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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maximizing Your Gaming Dollar The Chaos Way Part III: Grotesques

Hey there, my fellow Warhammer 40K fanatics. Old man Chaos is back with another entry in a series of posts that attempt to show how one can save money in this very expensive hobby. Today, Chaos Corner will show you how to tackle... Dark Eldar Grotesques!

I have two words for this- Fuh-Gly!
As my readers know, I love the new Dark Eldar range. Without a doubt, these are some of the finest models ever sculpted by GW. After years of horrid (wretched is a good word too) Dark Eldar models and even crappier rules, we have been treated to a true renaissance for the DE. The models, fluff, and rules are all nearly perfect for what the DE should be. Though they're nice, I think the DE range is superior to the Necrons (and I'm afraid for teh Necron fluff changes, but I digress...). As fantastic as the new DE range is though, there are a few clunkers. How could it not be, since the ENTIRE range had to be redone ? There has to be at least ONE stinker here- and to me, it is the Grotesque.

Not really an improvement...
I love Jes Goodwin's designs. They have gotten better and better over the years. Look at his Carnifex redo- fantastic model! And he did a wonderful job with the Dark Eldar (look at his drawings, then look at the models... incredible!). However, the Grotesques represent a huge misstep. The model is bland and ugly (and not in a cool DE way, either). It also lacks any real pose-ability or variety, they all look the same. Finally, despite the sweeping blade, there is no motion to the model. All of that for a wonderful $20.75. That's really a shame- too much money for a bad model. Nope, this won't do at all. We must solve this... the Chaos way!

So, I want to make a better looking Grotesque, for hopefully less money. It hit me after I got and put together the Talos. This is a great model and kit, which happens to have a TON of pieces left over, including spare weapon arms/tentacles, several helmets, and other spikes/blades. Yep- you could do a lot with the leftover bits... and that got my gears turning. I could use these to make Grotesques...

I had a ton of Chaos Spawn laying around, un-assembled. I decided that I could kit bash the two... and the results turned out great well. As a philosophy behind their aesthetic, I figured that the Grotesques were a creation of the Haemonculi, just like the Talos and Wracks. So, I figured I'd do everything I could to make the Grotesques to look like an "intermediate" creature, between the Wrack and the larger Talos. I could imagine that a few Wracks may have failed my Haemonculus in some way, and in his fury he turned them into Grotesques for their failures. Then, if a particular Grotesque proved strong/interesting to the Haemonculus, he'd expand on his "artwork" further, making it a Talos. So, I made a conscious effort to make them look alike in crucial ways.

I used the leftover Talos bits on the Spawns, but I used very few Spawn bits, as I didn't want them to look too much like Chaos Spawn. Just enough to make them look freakish. Then, I put green-stuff balls over the Spawn head holes- and then put a Talos mask over- which looks like larger versions of the Wrack helms. Then, I painted the Grotesques to look like Wracks and the Talos. Purple base, with layers of bleached bone to be pale skin. Any armor was painted black with red lines (like the rest of my DE line). I painted the blades and vials the same way I did it on the Talos. Finally, I did the helms the same, with shining gold outline and black surface.

The result? Well, you can judge for yourself. I think it works very well indeed. The bits tie the Grotesques in with the Talos, while the helms and skin color certainly evoke the Wracks. Put all together, I think these Grotesques work, adding some ugly muscle to any Haemoculus entourage. To me, they look far better than the regular GW grotesques, and I can take pride in my ingenuity in converting them. They fit in with the look, and will make a fine addition to my Dark Eldar force.

Now, did I save money? Well, you must discount the Talos- any DE player worth his salt is going to want AT LEAST one- especially if you're doing a Haemonculus. So, 6 Grotesques equals- $124.50 ($20.75 X 6). Meanwhile, 6 Chaos Spawn are $99.00 (3 Boxes of two each X $33). So, if you have a Talos or two anyways, you'll have a ton of bits left over- so I think this is a great alternative to the GW Grotesques. It saves money AND allows for creativity.

You can't beat that. Once again, "Maximizing you gaming dollar the Chaos way" works it's magic!. Until next time...

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