Tag Archives: black legion

Games Workshop Abaddon… old-school

So I like Abaddon, and have several figures of him. (More coming up later.) It’s not like I have a problem or anything…

Anyhow, since the new Games Workshop figure is coming out, the original, the real figure suddenly appeared on the market for much lower prices than before. This is THE figure of Abaddon- the one spawning memes and ridicules: Abaddon the Armless, Failbaddon and the rest.

I had to have this figure, and for a small sum of five Euros I did get him (from Greece, of all places.)

This is the ebay photo that made me fall in love with him… This is what a five Euro deal looks like…

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I basecoated it with Vallejo German Grey primer, and started working on the details. The dark grey primer is dark enough to be black; however the Heavy Metal style of painting demands highlights everywhere… something I did not look forward to.

So I did the best I can. (Obviously.) In this case I went with the flaming sword look, since the previous Abaddon had a bluish-purplish daemon sword.

Games Workshop – Thousand Sons space marines

Well, two Thousand Sons space marines, both post-Heresy. The first one is a Rubric marine belonging to Ashur-Kai (Talon of Horus, The Black Legion).

Pre-Herey colors with one pauldron painted black, indicating his aliance to the Black Legion.

The other is just your run-of-the-mill Rubric Marine.

Grim Skull Miniatures – Master Of Crusade (Abaddon the Despoiler)

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There is a cottage industry providing models for tabletop games; they look similar to the original characters, but not too similar (or have different names) so that copyright law is not breached. I personally applaud these companies; they provide models and conversions that are unavailable for a more reasonable price. (The new Abaddon miniature by Games Workshop is over 40 GBP… a small sprue for the price you can buy a 1500+ part plastic model.)

Competition is good is what I’m trying to say here.

Abaddon is the one character that has not been treated well by Games Workshop and Forgeworld. There is one old figure which is both ugly and tends to lose his arms, resulting in the “No Arms” meme. And pretty much that’s it; since the early 90s Abaddon was essentially deserted by GW; only now are they issuing a new model.  There is a Heresy-era figure of him as the First Captain of the Sons of Horus by Forgeworld, but it is not yet Abaddon the Despoiler, just an angry guy in a terminator armor with a top knot. There is also a heavily OOP version of him, which can be bought for about 1200GBP, so I think we can safely ignore that. (If you see this model featured here you will know I won the lottery.)

The name itself of the character is full of meaning; Ezekyle (Ezekiel) and Abaddon are both important characters in the Bible.

Since I’ve read The Talon of Horus by Dembinsky-Bowden I actually wanted to have a decent Abaddon figure. The book does a really, really good job describing him as an interesting, three dimensional, complex character you can actually relate to, so obviously I wanted to have a miniature of him. He also seems like a swell guy, just like that other one. What makes him compelling is that he is the ideal Astrates: charismatic, ruthless, master strategist, fearless -it’s just he fights against the Imperium. I think he become this ideal after he followed his primarch into his rebellion and then took up a bit of soul-searching. It took him a lot to grow up into this person, and not many loyalists have the opportunity to do so. I think the space marines who rebelled and survived (without falling to one or the other chaos entity) actually walk the same path as a person growing up from childhood, and hence they do become much more mature, nuanced beings than their “for the Emperor!” buddies. Failure, disappointment in your idols, choice, the will and ability to determine your fate -these things are needed for you to become a well-rounded personality. (Unless, of course, you get possessed by a daemon and grow penises and horns on your face.)

 

Enter Grim Skull Miniatures. They first came out with a 28mm model who is not Abaddon, of course, but fits the archetypical Abaddon image with the Talon -the power claw of his father, Horus-, the daemon sword Drachn’yen, and his usual topknot that he is known for. A 54mm version of the miniature features a Mohawk instead of a topknot, and it is substantially larger… had it been issued when I bought “my” Abaddon, it I probably would have bought that instead of the original version simply because of the amazing detail comes out better in the larger figure. (It is on my wishlist, but I’ll probably have to pass on it; after all I just had a daughter. The days of spending on hobbies are behind me.) I’m not sure why this Abaddon features this hipster haircut. It is possible that Grim Skull realised something  about topknots writers and artist should have at Black Library long time ago: you can’t shave the skull and have a large topknot, as Abaddon supposed to be doing. All that hair has to come from somewhere; and unless he has exceptionally dense hair, it is not a realistic option to have the rest of his head shaved.

 

The power armor is incredibly well detailed, and only someone with much better skills than mine can bring out the maximum out of it. The ornamentation is well done, the armor has a lot of cracks and battle damage…It perfectly re-creates the various artworks of him as the Second (and true) Warmaster. The facial expression is pretty good, too; he looks “changed”, he looks intimidating, but not totally twisted; his features retained enough of his humanity not to make him look like a simple screaming monster.

The daemon sword looks very much like the pictures of the weapon on various artworks; painting it to look good is not an easy exercise in layers upon layers of glazes.

He has a loincloth for whatever reason, which is an incredibly impractical thing to have on an armor (alongside the tabards various Astrates chapters prefer). Besides getting caught in, well, everything, it gets dirty very fast, and it will also get destroyed in the first few seconds of action. (I tend to leave it off in my figures for this reason.) Replacing it must be a constant choir, but I’m not going to judge his fashion sense.

The trophy racks on his back sport skulls (but no helmets); all in all, the figure is an excellent rendition of the Abaddon we see on the paintings.

Painting black armor can be a challenge, since an uniformly black surface is not exactly interesting to the eye. I used Abaddon black (surprise) as a base, with a black ink coat after; the edges were carefully highlighted with midnight blue, and very bright blue in smaller amount. (Yes, highlights are everywhere.) Abaddon’s skin was painted with a rotten flesh base with a couple of light brown filters; the flesh on his head was done using red and brown glazes. I added a few patches of necrotic skin using Vallejo Engine Oil…

The eyes were painted gold (since his eyes were supposed to be bleached gold for staring into the Emperor’s light), but this does not really show well on a figure; the skin is too light for that, and the eyes are too small -there is not enough contrast. It would look better on the larger figure. The bronze edges were done using AK Interactive’s True Metal gold.

The sword was painted using various shades of purple and blue in thin glazes. The trimmings on the armor were painted in various shades of gold and bronze. I positioned the sword in a slightly different angle – it makes the pose look a bit more natural than if he held all his weapons at a chest height.

All in all this is an excellent miniature.

And finally: Eisenhorn facing down a bunch of heretics:

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Warhammer 40k -the Dreadnought division

One of the most appealing thing in Warhammer is the plethora of weird-looking, over-the-top machines and other contraptions of war. Among those are the dreadnoughts – gigantic exoskeletons for Astrates warriors who are too grievously wounded for recovery. These half-dead Astrates are placed into a life-sustaining pod (sarcophagus), and connected to a dreadnought body which they can control using their mind impulse units.
Anyhow. They look cool.

OK, our first contestant is not a dreadnought per se. It is called the Decimator (not a very inventive name), and is sold by Forgeworld. It’s a war engine imbued with a demon by the Dark Mechanicum. Instead of a crippled Astrates, it has a daemon in it. Even cooler.

He has this sad puppy look on his face, though.

Black Legion dreadnought – the Hellbrute

These are surprisingly cheap on Ebay (my endless source of used Warhammer stuff). The whole Dark Vengeance boxset is being sold separately, which brings the price down to about five quid. It’s supposed to be a maddened, chaos-corrupted dreadnought who is chained down until the time of fighting comes. He has became this strange organic-mechanical fused being, who is driven insane by this change. So he is suffering while he is slaughtering everyone, which, I’m sure, is a consolidation for all parties involved. I decided to paint him a member of the Black Legion, because red is a bit of a cliché by now. The bases in all cases were done using spares weapons and space marine bits -which (surprisingly) I got from Ebay by the bag. The earhwork was done using actual soil from Compton mixed with white glue, and airbrushed with some other earth colors here and there to give it some tonal variation.

I tried to make the stands a bit more interesting. I might have gone a bit to the gory side with our Dreadnought stepping onto an loyalist Astrates warrior. The blue does give a nice contrast, though.

Ultramarines dreadnought

This guy is a boring, run-of-the-mill Ultramarine. He was my first… To make him more interesting I did some surgery on an ultramarine figure; he is supposed to be a wounded Astrates being protected by his big brother in a firefight. The pose was surprisingly easy to do: just cut off the armor sections, and reconnect them using green stuff.

Death Guard dreadnought
This guy is my favourite. Out of all the corrupted Legions, the followers of Nurgle are the most unique. It’s a Forgeworld offering, and not even that expensive. If you’re lucky -or patient enough- you can get a used one from Ebay. I did. This meant I had to repair and repaint our friend. It was reprimed in black, and then successive layers of greens, olive greens, and browns were added using an airbrush. The final color-variation was provided by a lot of filters: burned umber, brown, green, and yellow.
Once all was dry the detail painting took forever. The boils were pained with deep red, and then added orange and yellow; the gun was painted with rust colors, the horns were painted in yellowish bone shades. The thing to keep in mind was not to use a single color for anything; everything was done in at least three-four shades.

I swear I have nothing against the Ultramarines. I think I just take them as the archetypical loyalist forces, as they were the very first ones I’ve seen.
I’m actually quite pleased with how the boils came out, but to be honest this guy must be stinking to high heaven.