Deathskulls Orks Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Ripfist, Skraggit, Stikkit, smoother magnetization, endlessly kitbashing Moonkrumpa

I’ve learned some lessons about drilling, magnetization, and efficient assembly over the past 14 months, and I applied all of them to “Ripfist” Gorg, my second Deff Dread for Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas.

Had I done things this way with “Facepeela,” his build would have gone much more smoothly!

Ripfist the Deff Dread and the two Killa Kans I just finished building, Stikkit (center) and Skraggit (left, about to stomp on an adorable monster snail from the AoS Squig Herd kit)

Drill bullet holes before assembly

Yeah, it works fine afterwards — but doing it first allows me to exert as much force as I like on the piece, while holding it wherever I like, without worrying about breaking an assembled miniature.

Magnetize before assembly, too

Soooo much easier this way! It involves drilling, so the above applies here as well. But working with a single loose piece also means less stuff I might accidentally glue together — and I can clean up the inside of the holes before putting the model together. My first Deff Dread, Facepeela, still has a couple shavings rattling around inside his body.

Ensure cross-compatibility

The whole point of magnetizing my two Deff Dreads (two…so far!) is to enable weapon-swapping one each model, but by matching polarities on both models I can also freely mix and match between them. While building Ripfist, I carefully checked (and re-checked, and re-re-checked, and re-re-re-checked) each magnet against Facepeela and the component of Ripfist that I was magnetizing.

I also paid attention to what went where. So Facepeela has his KMB on the right and Ripfist has his on the left. If I want one of them to have two KMBs, they’re both ready to accept that swap.

Facepeela (painted) and Ripfist’s pieces, ready to check magnet compatibility and get underway (and one of my busiest work area pics to date!)

Trim, clean up, glue

With larger models, I’m in the habit of clipping pieces off the sprue, tidying them up, gluing them, and then starting on the next section while the first section dries. But with the two Killa Kans I just built, I tried clipping 100% of the parts, then sanding/filing 100% of the parts, then gluing the model all at once — and dang, but that’s both easier and more fun!

Ripfist trimmed, sanded, and ready for section-by-section assembly

Moonkrumpa: never actually finished

It’s becoming a bit of a running personal joke that I’m constantly tinkering with Moonkrumpa. This time around the impetus was building the other Warboss in my army, “Bigtoof” Skragga (to get a Morkanaut into my list, I needed two detachments), and this incredible, dynamic sculpt screams Warboss in a way that Moonkrumpa doesn’t.

Even with Moonkrumpa 3.0’s height, banner poles, looted wargear, bulk, and customized base, it isn’t immediately clear at a glance which of the two is my Warlord. Based on an idea I saw on Reddit, I starting tinkering with him again.

Bigtoof (left) and Moonkrumpa (right)

Having done more kitbashing — and a full-fledged conversion — since I first built Moonkrumpa, I’m a bit more confident about it now. My bits box has more stuff in it, too.

This kitbash does mark the first time I’ve significantly altered the silhouette of the original model, and you could certainly argue that I’ve strayed from WYSIWYG wargear by adding a second claw — and I’m not sure how I feel about that! The original Big Mek in Mega Armour mini is bulky, but doesn’t have a huge “wingspan,” whereas — by design — my version sprawls to the top, front, and sides.

It’s not “suddenly, he’s Ghazghkull,” though, and it feels consistent with a rule of thumb I saw on Reddit: Your Warboss should be the largest infantry model in your army. To boot, I can always take the stratagem Da Biggest Boss for 1 CP (making him literally a bigger boss), or give him Super Cybork Body to represent the Killa Kan arm in game terms.

More importantly, it’s a fun kitbash, it brings me joy, and it’s exactly what the Mek leader of a Mek-driven Waaagh! should have going on.

Moonkrumpa 4.0

Now there’s no mistaking who’s in charge here:

Moonkrumpa (left) and Bigtoof (right)

As I was wrapping up this revision and re-kitbash, I looked at the time and realized that I’d been at it for five hours! But I couldn’t have done it all up front, when I first built Moonkrumpa, because I didn’t know as much about Orks, my army, or kitbashing when I started this army. Even though it’s meant more work modifying him after the fact, it’s been a fun process.

Hulking update!

My bonsai tree, Hulking, dropped a few leaves during his first couple of days with me — which Alysia said was probably just because he was adjusting to the new environment. She was right. After a little adjustment period, not only is Hulkling not dead, he seems to be thriving.

A freshly watered Hulkling

I’ve had to prune new shoots several times, and more are always popping up. I’ve got a little routine for where to place him during the day for the right amount of sunshine, including rotating which side faces the window, and he seems quite content.

Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

WIP it good: Moonkrumpa’s third iteration, first time magnetizing a miniature

Even though I built Moonkrumpa on November 16, I held off priming him because I couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed a bit more…something. That proved prescient, as I kitbashed him to good effect in December — but he still didn’t feel 100% done.

Moonkrumpa 1.0 (November 2020)
Moonkrumpa 2.0 (December 2020)

Last week, I read a comment somewhere (Reddit, I think) to the effect that you should be able to easily spot your Warlord/Warboss because they’re the largest infantry model in your army. Despite 2.0’s added bulk and height, Moonkrumpa’s static, lumbering pose and masked face don’t make him stand out — and even bulked up, he’s not that much larger than a regular Meganob (which I also have in my current army list).

So I did a bit of surgery. I bent and snipped his base until I could force a razor blade under his feet, cut him off the remnants of the old base, and built a fresh base with some height and some scenery. This time, I’m calling him done!

Moonkrumpa 3.0, the final incarnation (January 2021)

Da Deff Dread

I also built my first Deff Dread over the weekend. What a great kit!

Tons of options (and pieces)
My initial building push, one session just for the body and base

While working on my Killa Kan, I watched a YouTube video in which the hobbyist drilled their own bullet holes to add a battle-worn look. It seemed simple enough, and I loved the look of the bullet holes in the Kan, so I gave it a shot. It is indeed dead simple.

Drilling more bullet holes

After waffling about it, I decided to take the plunge and magnetize the Dread’s lower arms. The first pairing went swimmingly, with 3mm x 1mm magnets, super glue, and a couple of quick shots with my cheapo hand drill.

One KMB and one arm slot magnetized!

After that, though, I messed up just about everything it was possible to mess up. I glued my fingers together (I hate working with super glue…). I glued magnets in backwards even after testing multiple times, because the little fuckers are so small that they flip around on you if you’re not careful. I also glued magnets to my fingers and to one of my assembly tools. I shot bits of plastic into the holes in the Dread’s body while drilling, so now he rattles.

All of that I chalk up to teething. This is still new, it’s all good; I’ll improve. The only real problem I ran into was weight. After messing up the first arm I tried to use, a smaller one, I switched to this larger one. But the magnets weren’t strong enough to support it, so it drooped.

Saggy arm

Later on in the process, I realized that I could have glued a stack of 2-3 magnets together, carefully inserted them into the body hole, and possibly gotten some extra oomph out of them. But at that point it was too late.

Magnetizing 1/4 of the possible slots felt like a waste of time, though; I wanted to be able to switch freely from 3 melee/1 ranged to 2 melee/2 ranged. So I chopped away at the small arm and made a flat spot that held a magnet at the right angle, and on my third try I got it right. A firm shake will make it swing down, but I can move the model around and it stays in place. Sold!

The first two of many arm options

Given his two saws and jumbo claw, I’m naming this dude “Facepeela” Snarg,

My finished Deff Dread, “Facepeela” Snarg, ready for an overnight curing session before priming

I might hold off on painting all of the other arm options (2x Big Shoota, 1x KMB, 2x Rokkit Launcha, 1x Scorcha) until I’ve built the second Dread in my list. I don’t know 1) how much swapping I’ll actually want to do, or 2) whether the extra options that second Dread — whose lower arms I’ll also be magnetizing — puts into the mix will really be all I need. Something to sleep on, I suppose.

Anyhoo: rad kit, magnetization is a struggle but also a skill I can work on, and I can’t wait to build the next big stompy thing!

Deathskulls Orks Miniature painting Miniatures Painting tools Warhammer 40k WIP it good

A wall-mounted paint rack and some WIP miscellany

Currently working on a few too many Boyz and Gretchin at once, so I’ve been taking breaks to do some assembly.

First up, a Killa Kan:

Mukkit, leader of Mukkit’s Murda Mob

Mechanically, Killa Kan mobs don’t have a leader, so perhaps it’s more apt to say that Mukkit considers himself the leader.

I’ve heard these are terrible units, but damn this is an incredible kit. 100% of the parts are interchangeable, and they ooze character from every rivet. I was going for a sort of “Rarr! Mukkit stomp you!” pose, but wound up with more of a Macarena/posing for a tourist photo kind of deal…and I’m not even a little mad. Love this dude.

Alysia got me an Age of Sigmar Weirdnob Shaman for Christmas, so I spent a couple of pleasant hours today figuring out how to kitbash him into my Weirdboy.

Age of Sigmar Weirdnob Shaman + 40k Ork bits

On the AoS model, I test-fit the cape to see which of my arm swap ideas might work, and I trimmed off the smoke and shaved the spot under it flat. Everything else stayed.

I used the arm from the standalone Mek kit, which I snipped at the wrist; a standard from the Meganobz kit, which I stuck where the smoke used to be; two shoulder pads from the Boyz kit, which I used to camouflage the kludging I did around the smoke; and a jaw plate from the Nobz kit, which I used exactly as Gork (or is it Mork?) intended.

“Warpmek” Nakk, Weirdboy of Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas

As befits a Deathskulls army in general and Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas in particular, “Warpmek” Nakk is both a Weirdboy and a Mek (achieved by taking Da Fixer Upperz for him).

Since I’d destroyed the Mek kit’s clamshell packaging to steal one of his arms, I decided to just slap him together as well.

“Sawfasta” Grunk, Mek

Alysia also gave me a new paint storage solution, a nail polish rack that can swallow 100% of my current paint library. I believe it’s this model on Amazon (not a paid link), and as the reviews show it’s been battle-tested by fellow hobbyists. I can confirm that it does a bang-up job of holding Citadel paint pots.

Nail polish rack = Citadel paint library

I’ve seen folks organize their paints by color, but I alphabetized mine by type instead. I mainly follow GW recipes, so this makes the most sense for my approach. The top row is Technical paint and some non-paints (glue, etc.). The second row starts with shades/washes on the left and then jumps into base paints, which run another full row and the first couple slots of a third. After that come all of my layer paints.

I’ve mounted it with room for a second one, which I’ll need at some point. (I’m currently storing all my backup pots somewhere else.) I loved my previous paint storage solution, but my paint supply had outstripped its slots and I wanted to free up that corner of my desk.

Having started my paint collection back in February with the bare minimum I needed to do parade-ready Blood Angels, it feels funny to be actively using 85-90 paints now.

Happy holidays, merry Christmas, and I hope to be back in a few days with some finished Orks and Gretchin.

Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: modifying Moonkrumpa, Lootas, and Grots

I kicked off my Waaagh! by building my Warboss, Moonkrumpa, back in November, and ever since then I’ve been noodling about how to make him more Mek-y and Warboss-y (and whether or not to magnetize his wargear options). This morning things finally shook loose, and I busted out my bits boxes and kitbashed Moonkrumpa 2.0:

“Moonkrumpa” Grutnik, who once krumped an entire moon
Ork booty

I used a Killa Kan pauldron, a Blood Angels Dreadnought arm plate and Blood Talon, the light from a Space Marine unit (Dread or tank, I don’t recall), and two boss poles from a Nobz kit. He has to compete with an actual Warboss model (Grukk), so my goal was to make Moonkrumpa unmistakably Da Big Boss — but without meaningfully changing his silhouette, or doing anything that could be taken as modeling for advantage.

Not being able to fit the pauldrons under the sides of the Tellyport Blasta was what sealed the deal on 1) not magnetizing him, and 2) committing to the Kustom Force Field. Now all I need to do is practice a bit more armor-weathering — probably on Killa Kans — and I’ll be ready to prime and paint him!

Over the past couple of weeks, I also built a mob of Lootas, Gark’s Git-Blastas:

Gark’s Git-Blastas getting their parts lined up
The assembled Git-Blastas, with Gark (the Spanner) in the center

Getting their massive backpack/frame/gun jobbies to stay put for gluing was a bit fussy, but apart from that they’re a fun kit. And there are enough bits left over to build Burnas (by adding torsos and legs) or make a nice deposit in the ol’ bits box.

I also assembled my first Gretchin, Runt-Eata’s Grots, who are just fucking adorable:

Not pictured: Runt-Eata, my Runtherd, who I can’t afford to put in this army (because I’d rather spend the points on Mek-y stuff!)
So adorbs

I’d normally grumble about the number of mono-pose minis in this kit — three mono-piece Grots and six mono-pose models, leaving just 1/10 with minor posability — but they give you a ton of extra heads and the models are so cute that I don’t even mind. I might mind if I needed to paint more than 10, but even then the heads and paint jobs would provide a decent amount of variation.

The Grots came up at the same time as I was touching up the rest of my first mob of Boyz, Skrudd’s Krumpas, so I decided to break with tradition and paint 15 models at once. They’re actually almost done at this point, so I should be able to book them all this month.

Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

I built my first Ork, Moonkrumpa

There’s an element of ritual and ceremony to The Building of the First Miniature in a 40k Army. When I started my Blood Angels army, I built Sergeant Karios first (on March 10, 2020). I deliberately didn’t hedge my bets with a vanilla Marine I could mess up — but I also didn’t go straight for a big, fancy figure. It was a perfect starting point for me.

But with Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas, my Deathskulls Ork army, I had to start with the Warboss himself, “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik. Last night, after a rather long day, I assembled him:

Warboss “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik and his Grot Oiler

No surprise, really, that I’ve essentially picked the Ork equivalent of a Terminator as my starting point! But it makes sense: The rest of this Waaagh! will flow from Moonkrumpa, since it’s his Waaagh!. He sets the tone.

The Waaagh! begins here

The Meganobz kit is an excellent and involved one, with plenty of customization options. From sprue to fully assembled, it took me about two hours to put Moonkrumpa together. (The other two models, both Meganobz, will stay unassembled until I buy a second one of these kits, as their minimum unit size is three and I’ve just peeled one off as a Big Mek.)

Moonkrumpa, both wargear choices, and his Grot Oiler all laid out

I’ve left his two wargear choices, the Tellyport Blasta and Kustom Force Field, off so that I can — probably — make them a magnetizing project sometime down the road. Because while I wanted to build Moonkrumpa first, to mark the official starting point for my Ork army, I’m not going to paint him first.

That first will go to Boss Skrudd, leader of Skrudd’s Krumpas, closely and some of his Boyz. I need to practice my Deathskulls color scheme, get used to drybrushing again, try out some weathering techniques, and consider whether this army will have a unifying mark that ties them together (beyond Deathskulls colors) — and then I can start tackling bigger, fancier models like Moonkrumpa.

Let the krumpin’ begin.

December 19 update: I kitbashed Moonkrumpa into a more Ork-y and Warboss-y 2.0 version.

Blood Angels Space Marines Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Squad Cain, scouts with a head conversion

My working concept for my Blood Angels army is the Faceless Strike Force, with 100% of the models in helmets. I wanted Space Marine Scouts in my army, which posed a small problem: the Scout kits only come with bare heads.

Some Googling turned up two easy options for alternate scout heads: Skitarii Rangers and Militarum Tempestus Scions. The latter looked a bit too “WWII Germany” to me, and the Skitarii had the added benefit of being hooded — a perfect match for my Scout snipers and their camouflage cloaks. A quick trip to Ebay later and I had a bag of Skitarii Rangers heads to convert my Space Marine Scouts with sniper rifles (paid link).

I got a bag of heads!

I talked a bit about the limited uniqueness and posability of the Primaris Infiltrators here on Yore, but these Scouts take that to a whole old level: exactly one bottom half, one top half, and one gun for each model. How will the heretics know they’re Blood Angels if they aren’t dual-wielding 16′ banners and wearing an entire craft store’s worth of bling?!

On the flipside, these are badass models. That’s why I bought them.

All five ready to rock
The Skitarii heads sit too high without some trimming-down

In the photo above I’ve sandwiched a Skitarii Ranger head between two Scout heads. The bottom looks the same, but the Scout heads are designed to sit in a shallow divot on each model; the Skitarii heads sit too high and have “flanges” sticking out of the neck recess.

Ha ha, these minis are like 5 pieces and I still managed to glue Sergeant Cain’s hand on backwards

After test-fitting a couple of Skitarii heads, I decided to build the models and then choose heads based on their poses. On the guys looking down their scopes, the larger respirators get in the way; they need the more svelte heads. Like this guy:

Kneeling for a shot

All of them needed a bit of trimming, some more than others. I experimented with using a file, but quickly switched to my hobby knife and stuck with that approach. Shave a bit off, test-fit the head; shave a bit more, test-fit again; and so on until it looked right.

This was my first-ever conversion project, and even though it’s quite light as conversions go it still took some work. On a couple of these Scouts, I spent as long trimming the head to fit as I did building the rest of the mini — and the more fragile Ranger heads, with the tall antennae, were too delicate for me (I nearly broke one).

Close-up of a converted Scout

If you’re looking for it, you can see the curve of the bottom of this one’s neck nub. But with paint and a wash to fill in the shadows, I think it’ll look solid on the tabletop.

Sergeant Cain (with his hand glued on the right way)

I like that this conversion doesn’t look “off” — the heads are the right size, they don’t give the minis giraffe necks, and while they’re taller than the normal Scout heads they’re not that much taller. They’re still in proportion with standard Space Marines.

Space Marine vs. Scout with Skitarii Ranger head
A Primaris Infiltrator taking his kids to the park
Squad Cain, reporting for duty

Another squad down! The Scout models are super-simple, mono-pose, and a bit heavy on the mold lines — but once built, they’re nicely differentiated from each other. A mini carrying a rifle as long as he is tall is always going to look pretty cool.

I dig how the Skitarii Ranger heads look on them. They’re a bit creepy, which I like, with almost a Jawa vibe, and the hoods go well with their camouflage cloaks — and should go even better once I paint them in the same camo color scheme. They’re a fun addition to my Blood Angels force.