WIP Jarl (Praetor)

Following the release of the Varagyr kits and the latterly released Grey Slayer upgrade kits I am working on a new Jarl to lead the Rout into war.

A few key factors and design choices have influenced the build:

  • My existing Cataphractii praetor with lightning claws does not do well.
  • Really need the punch of an AP2 weapon on my Praetor.
  • To incorporate design features and aesthetics of the Varagyr within the character.
  • Make use of Russ’ pelt/cloak which I have removed from the Primarch.

Starting with the torso, I am keen to keep the same basic identity of the previous praetor, so elected to use the same base 40k resin upgrade torso, it’s a beautiful sculpt. In much the same manner as before I have converted the back to have a Cataphractii style power plant.

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The legs are those of the Varagyr, the existing torso has simply bee cut away with a saw. Using a Dremel all of the poor-quality fur has been removed and re-sculpted. Like wise the fur has been removed from around the shoulder pauldrons in the same manner and re-sculpted.

The great frost axe has been converted from a pair of frost axes, re-ordered to be doubled headed and with a longer handle to better represent the swing of a two-handed weapon and justify the ‘reaping blow’ special rule. After playing with the handle I decided the slightly more barbaric look of the twisted and gnarled shaft worked well and added to the ferocity of the model.

After careful deliberation the top knot was added to emphasise the seniority of the model and further make him stand apart from the Varagyr, whom I have not used top-knots upon. Russ’ pelt has been cut down, re-shaped (with a hair dryer) and added to the model.

Until Next Winter…

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Forge World Varagyr WIP 03

With the original five Varagyr converted to correct some posing issues and all of the fur resculpted attention has turned to the sixth pack member. With five unique models making the sixth posed a challenge to achieve a differing aesthetic, as such the potential duplicate model was chosen to be the Squad’s Thegn allowing for a little more customisation.

the fur was resculpted to match the rest of the squad and his frost-axe switched out for a chainfist. A grenade harness as added to the top of the carapace.

Whilst building this model a second thegn was converted up to lead the second proposed varagyr pack.

Until Next Winter…

Forge World Varagyr WIP 02

With all the fur re-sculpted on both the legs and below the pauldrons the Varagyr have been assembled.

Two of the Varagyr have had their posing altered, mostly through shortening their gaits (to reduce their stride length) and making minor adjustments to the arm and torso connections to get a better visual fit of the shoulder pads to torsos.

The combi-bolters were also swapped out to be replaced with standard pattern ones with the twin barrel magasins instead of the belt fed shells.

Until Next Winter…

Forge World Varagyr WIP 01

Following on from the review of the kit, work commenced in earnest.

A dremel was used to remove the fur from the waist and below the pauldrons, in preparation for re-sculpting the fur. This was done on all of the Varagyr.

Once removed fur was sculpted on using a 50:50 mix of Green Stuff and Miliput,this dries harder than just greenstuff, but keeps the tactile qualities while working it (thanks to @AnvilsofKonor for the advice, do check out his amazing work on Instagram).

The fur was sculpted by applying a layer of the mixed putty to the area i wanted fur, using a hooked and pointed tool this was gently scored in a downward direction, but not in a regular pattern, the downward scores were made at varying angles. This was then enhanced by using the flat of a scalpel blade to move the ‘fur’ into more natural directions and clumps.

The finer fur give more balance to the model’s aesthetic, giving contrast to some of the other bulky details and removing the cartoony feel.

Until Next Winter…

 

Forge World Varagyr Analysis

After much agonising, vocalising my disappointment in their style and overall release (which i will come onto shortly), i consulted with some of my very talented friends to see what could be done about the Varagyr models, which despite some major flaws (in my humble opinion) have the makings of greatness but need a lot of love to achieve it. The outcome of this being that i picked up a box and set to work.

The contents of the kit is as follows:

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Now, at face value this is a very comprehensive kit, with very detailed components almost all unique to the Varagyr and altered from their ‘regular’ cataphractii counterparts.

The legs, torsos and heads come as single piece casts, the arms fur shoulder pelts and pauldrons come as one piece casts for each arm. The axes and combi-bolters come separately and as do the top-knots.

To add a little opinion and offer a critique on the models i’d like to share with you my notes:

Torsos/heads: Beautifully done, lovely detail with very characterful head sculpts. The Torso armour is well proportioned (early photos made them look oddly thin) and the low gut gorget feels reminiscent of the Justaerin kits and works well. The woolf tooth charms and fetishes are a nice addition too.

Legs: With regards to sculpting these are great and nicely detailed, the additional pyramidal studs and segmented lower leg armour and projecting knee pads echos that of the wolf king, a nice tie in. The pose however, on some of them, isn’t great, the stride is naturally long and conveys more movement than i would imagine terminator armour to posses. (fur will be covered in it’s own section).

Arms/Pauldrons: The vambrace armour is true to Cataphractii armour, all well proportioned and nicely done, the raised decorative plating even has small runes carved into it, which look amazing. The shoulder pauldrons too, are nicely done, well proportioned and suitably detailed. The knotwork and the legion symbol are a little simplistic and could have benefited from being a bit finer, but it’s not bad.

Axes: The axes are different in style to that of those we have seen in other legion upgrade kits or the MkII/III and MkIV weapons kits, the tech application and proportions particularly so. This has drawn critisim from some, but these are frost weapons, of fenris manufacture and i feel their slight variance conveys their lineage as being different from Terran or Martian tech. The variety of handles and shafts makes for some simple, but welcome variation.

Combi-Bolters: These are basically the same as cataphractii combi-bolters, albeit with out the magasins and belt fed shells, not sure from a technical perspective the swapping of a magasin for a belt feed works or adds anything to the model.

Top Knots: As separate piece which can be added, or left off the model these are nicely sculpted, the wolf skull is particularly nice.

Fur: The fur is appalling, no getting around it. I’m not sure if this is a side effect of the 3D sculpting process, a result of limited ability on the behalf of the designer or just a very unique style choice. None the less, i’m not a fan. (fur will be covered in it’s own section).

I have plans (which in truth have been executed in my excitement before this post was written) to resculpt the fur, fix the posing and #MakeSpaceWolvesGreatAgain

These are the individual varagyr, detailed photos of the pauldrons and the axes:

 

The other point to note is that the Varagyr squad have within their rules a 2 Wound Thegn as their leader, there is nothing to suggest that any of these warrior sculpts are such, nor do they have anything to help them stand apart. This isn’t necessarily a problem, nor necessarily should they standard apart but as a gaming aid it would be useful to help depict the varient model.

Until Next Winter…