Hvarl Redblade, Jarl of the 4th Great Company, Headsman of Koltoc

Commander of the Fourth Great Company of the Rout, Hvarl Red-Blade has a reputation as a dourly humorous and often choleric-tempered warrior, whose greatest joy was to be found in the din of war and whose battle-cunning was something of a legend. Master of his Great Company for more than five decades at the time of the Razing of Prospero, he was a veteran warlord as renowned for his scourging tactics as he was for encouraging the taking of heads from the enemy fallen as a form of competition among his warriors. Though considered volatile and perhaps a little insane by his fellow Jarls and Thegns, Hvarl’s often striking insights into a foe’s plans and motivations made his voice one that was still well-respected in Russ’ Einherjar, while in battle his sharp-witted savagery was counted on by his Primarch to leave nothing alive in his Great Company’s wake.

Until Next Winter…

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Hvarl Redblade WIP 01

With the wyrd winds blowing in favour of the rout, i was lucky enough to pick up Hvarl Redblade from the Forge World Horus Heresy Weekender.

Components of the kit:

I intended to make some alterations to the kit, which will follow in the post and future posts, the proposed alterations will roughly be as follows:

  • Custom base to match the other sixth legion models.
  • Add a beard to the head.
  • Adapt the heavy bolter to be a single handed terminator heavy weapon, and improve the balance of the weapon. Add a magazine to replace the feed.
  • Increase the wolf pelt on the right pauldron.
  • Add a grenade harness.
  • Alter the axe to be held higher on the handle, below the head of the axe to carry the weight of the weapon more naturally.

 

Base

The base has been made with a cut down pillar from a resin building kit by Unreal Wargaming Studio, some embosed flagstone plasticard, slate and sand.

The base has had holes drilled to pin the model in place.

Beard

Hvar’s head sculpt is superb, a grizzled veteran through and through, but missing a beard. I carefully cur one from a Varagyr torso and added it. The mohawk was also removed as i think it makes the mode scarier.

 

Heavy Bolter

Upon inspection it is evident that Hvarl’s heavy bolter is grossly oversized compared to its infantry counterparts, so rather than just moving the grip forward it is being replaced with a more appropriately sized one.

The smaller heavy bolter looks much more balanced. The rear of the bolter has been cut down to further enhance the model and using plasticard a brace has been added to the inside of the arm and weapon to show how it secures to the terminator armour, in a similar way to other terminator heavy weapons.

Hvarl loose on his base to check the balance of the weapon and composition of the model.

Wolf Pelt 

The wolf pelt on Hvarl’s right shoulder pauldron looks strange, only covering the pauldron its self and not overhanging more of the model. The cloak has been fixed in place and a larger pelt sculpted over the armour.

With the pelt in place, the grenade harness has been added completing the torso armour.

Next up is the axe, which is going to take some planning.

Until Next Winter…

Hvarl Red-Blade – Critique & Reflection

For the wolves 2019 has started on a very positive note with Forge World previewing the much anticipated Hvarl Red-Blade model at the New Years Open Day.

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Hvarl Red-Blade is a mighty character and leader of the Rout, with a rules set that puts him up there among some of the leading characters in the Horus Heresy game. While for the most part the model meets the expectations that the rules have cultivated, there are a few areas where the model falls short of what could have made it exceptional (albeit leaps and bounds better than the Varagyr models, especially the fur!).

To critique the model, there are a couple of detail items that don’t quite make the mark;

  • The grenade harness is missing.
  • The heavy bolter is a power armour varient, not altered to be carried by a warrior in terminator armour, the result being it looks like he’s picked it up mid-battle rather than going into battle armed with it. To solve this the trigger and grip would look better if they were further forward on the gun casing, and the arm would look better with a guarding like that on the Tartaros Heavy Flamers and Tartaros Reaper Autocannon.
  • The shoulder fur doesn’t sit naturally upon the model, only seeming to be present on the pauldron itself. The model would greatly improved if the fur was a larger pelt, draped across the top of the armour and overlapping the cloak.
  • The hand on the axe is low for the stance and pose, it would be more natural to have the hand higher of the shaft better balancing the weight of the weapon (the axe blade being particularly large)

Whilst these are minor items, they would greatly increase the attention to detail on the model and put it on par with some of the more remarkable models the Horus Heresy Character Series.

The above observations not withstanding, the model really is fantastic. The additions of the wolf skull strapped to the leg armour, the inset rune stones and the pyramid stud plates seal the model as clearly of the Vlka Fenryka’s aesthetic. The lowered gorget and decorated surround mimic that of the Cataphractii Varagyr, a nice detail that frames the head well. The head is nicely detailed, with an aggressive expression and war-torn visage. The skull trophies are a particularly welcome detail, adding to Hvarl’s narrative as the headsman of Koltok.

The axe is remarkable and with some minor alterations to the hand position along the shaft, it will be a superb representation of the reforged Necron weapon from Hvarl’s background.

Until Next Winter…

‘Best Loyalist Army’ – Legion of Peterborough

In June of last year the Legion of Peterborough held a fantastic Heresy event, ‘Blood & Steel: The Battle of Laernan Prime’ which consisted of a number of small centurion based games.

It was humbling and pleasing to get the peer vote from my fellow hobbyists for the ‘Best Loyalist Army’

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(re-sculpting all that Varagyr fur was clearly worth the effort)

Until Next Winter…

Jarl Skunnr, The White Wolf, The Bloodied Hunter. Lord of Sesc Company.

Jarl Skunnr, The White Wolf, The Bloodied Hunter. Lord of Sesc Company.

Known among Russ’ Einherja for his particularly direct manner, cutting to the heart of any debate or discussion like a spear through powdered snow. Skunnr is a great bear of an Astartes, rumoured to be one of the largest of their trans-human kind standing tall with Alexis Pollx of the Seventh Legion and Ezekiel Abaddon of the Sixteenth Legion. With this great size he carries a mountain of ferocity, suffering fools not at all his temper measures far shorter than that of his Great Frost Blade, it is said that Skunnr has killed warriors from his own Company in fits of rage, whether there is truth in this it is unclear, but upon questioned Skunnr simply looks on with a warriors’ predatory stare. It is said that Skunnr never forgets, grudges are held and blood debts paid without fail. It is perhaps because of this reputation for unrelenting pursuit that gained him the moniker of ‘The Bloodied Hunter’.

As Jarl of the Rout and master of a whole Great Company he is among thirteen such warriors, raised to be the war-chiefs of Russ’s great Legion. To attain such a rank one has to be a strategist, sharp of senses and with a honed mind for war and leadership. A Jarl has to be commander and inspiring leader, more so, he has to be this to several thousand trained trans-human killers, all must respect him. Skunnr is all of these things, his prowess at war as well known among the Rout as his stature.

A cold prospect, his age and experience give him a wisdom seldom seen among the Astartes, he is as much an truthsayer and broker of honesty among the Rout as he is a Jarl.

Until Next Winter…

WIP Jarl (Praetor)

Made some minor alterations to the Jarl, primarily changing his combat weapon from a two headed axed with an elongated handle to a large chain toothed sword.

I’m much happier with the model’s presence and look now, he stands apart more from the Varagyr and the sword looks like a ‘Great Frost Blade’.

Until Next Winter…

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…