Thursday, November 15, 2012

Army showcase: Urash's Marauders

Hey everyone, this is KrautScientist again. After my initial post (showcasing my World Eaters), I would like to show you the other chaos army project I am currently working on: My growing force of Traitor Guard, called “Urash’s Marauders”.

I started working on these guys back in 2011 just for the heck of it. Back then, allies were not yet (or rather: no longer) a part of 40k, so there was no immediate reason to build these models in the first place, apart from the fact that I had seen some fantastic Traitor Guard forces online (Dave Taylor’s amazing Blood Pact, Ten Inch Template’s Traitors, Stempe’s Vraksian Renegade Militia and some of PDH’s chaotic creations, among others), have always been a big fan of the old “Lost and the Damned” army list from Codex: Eye of Terror, and simply wanted to build some traitors. So one day, I got myself one box of Cadians and WFB Chaos Marauders respectively and got to work.

Since then, the force has grown a bit, as you can see above. And the advent (or rather: reintroduction) of allies to the 40k rules means that these guys can now be used to bolster the ranks of my World Eaters if necessary. Yay!

In any case, my traitors were built with maximum flexibility in mind from the get go. But I am getting ahead of myself! Let me just walk you through the different squads and unit types, with a couple of (hopefully) pretty pictures:

I. Platoon/Company Command squad:

This is where everything started: I wanted to build a traitor command squad with a chaotic version for each of the different models in the squad. So from left to right, we have a medic, standard bearer, commander, veteran with Plasmagun, veteran with voxcaster and a rogue psyker (this last one is admittedly not a member of the squad in Codex IG, but I thought he fits in rather nicely here). All of the models were kitbashed from Cadians and WFB Chaos Marauders, with some WoC, CSM or Empire Flagellant bitz thrown in (the psyker is basically an unconverted flagellant in the first place).
As you can see, this gives the squad a rather ragtag, feral appearance. I further expanded on this with the other units, as you will see in a minute. I imagine these guys are a lot into scavenging, stealing what they can from the battlefield and using their defeated enemies’ equipment whenever possible.

I also laid down the basic elements of my paintjob here: Dark grey combat fatigues, scratched metal and the odd piece of red armour, embellished with crud chaos iconography dabbed-on in white. It took me quite a while to decide on this recipe, since even though I wanted these guys to be clearly recognisable as traitors, I also wanted their origins as “regular” Imperial soldiers to be pretty obvious.

II. Traitor Soldiers

These were built and painted following the same recipe as outlined above. I think that, while the squad looks unified enough to read as a unit, there’s still quite a visual progression, going from almost Viking-like barbarians (the squad leader) to models that still look reasonably close to a standard Guard soldier (the guy on the right, for example). I already have another squad of these completely built, but I have yet to paint it.

Depending on the army list I use, these can be played as normal Guard soldiers, Vraksian Renegade Militia, Chaos Cultists or even Traitors (when still using the old LNTD list).

III. Traitor Ogryns

These were the first conversions for my Traitor Guard where I really went to town on the different models. These were of course heavily inspired by the FW Ogryn Berserkers, but I absolutely wanted to convert my own psychotic traitor Ogryns using the WFB plastic Ogres. While those are readily (and cheaply) available, the limited poses and rather restrictive structure of the models made for rather challenging work. I persevered, though, and thought about how to make the models look more interesting while also clearly showing their allegiance to the Ruinous Powers.

In the end, I went for a mix of crude surgical implants, mutations and slightly menacing, closed helmets. I also used my usual traitor colour scheme on these guys, although the slightly larger scale gave me the opportunity to pull off all kinds of weathering, effects for bruised skin and a couple of different “special effects”.

These guys were a ton of fun to build and paint, and the resulting squad can be played as either normal Ogryns (Codex IG), Ogryn Berserkers (Vraksian Renegade Militia), Big Mutants (LNTD) or even as Chaos Spawn in a regular CSM army.

I really like how this squad turned out, if I do say so myself! Allow me to show you a couple of detail shots of my favourite model in the squad:

This guy uses a huge gatling gun (spliced together from a Dreadnought Assault Cannon and a Chaos Termie Lord’s  Bolter) to show that more Dakka is always better!

The other prominent feature of the model is the horrible, prehensile tongue emerging from its gaping maw. I used a tentacle from the old chaos mutation sprue to build this, and covered it in Tamiya Clear Red for an extra disgusting finish.

IV. Basilisk

Another model I am really proud of is the traitor Basilisk I converted and painted fairly recently. This was actually my first tank ever, and I was quite nervous about tackling this project. Here are the results:

As you can see, the tank was painted using the same colours I use for my infantry. Fortunately enough, the recipe worked rather nicely for a tank as well!

Again, here’s a couple of my favourite details about the model:

First up, the front of the tank and tank commander. I used one of RSJake’s very nice masked officer heads for the model:

I even managed to paint a little map for the tank commander…

The flag at the back of the tank was converted from an old WFB standard. Again, I used Tamiya Clear Red (that stuff is magical!) to dab on a crude chaos star, making it look like it had been painted using blood…

V. Traitor Commanders

No army of Traitor Guard can be considered complete without a cadre of commanding officers, right? All the more so since building champions and commanders for my armies is one of my favourite hobby activities. So it’s no surprise that I sat down to convert and paint quite an eclectic collection of Traitor commanders. Take a look:

First up, Lord Urash, commander of the Marauders until such time as I built a better model or he is usurped by one of his “loyal” followers ;-)

I built this guy by using mainly Cadian and Marauder parts, adding a sword covered in glowing runes (my first OSL effect ever!) and some vestigial horns to show how the ruinous powers have already started to corrupt Urash.

While Urash’s Marauders are, and will likely remain, and force pledged to Chaos Undivided, I thought I would be interesting to build a couple of champions whose allegiance to a special chaos god was plain to see.

The first model in this vein was the Nurglite champion you can see above. I built him using the WFB plastic Nurgle Lord for no other reason than my desire to convert the model. I imagine that he will be joined by a fittingly pestilential squad of soldiers one of these days…

The next traitor officer is quite clearly recognisable as a follower of Khorne (although I painted him to look a bit more subdued than my usual Khornate warriors). This guy makes for a pretty convincing traitor officer even now, but he could end up commanding a squad of beastmen, brawny mutants or something similarly brutal in the future.

I also built a chaos sorcerer, to be used as a Primaris Psyker, by using parts from the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore. I am pretty proud of this guy, and he could also work as a Champion of Tzeentch or as the leader of a chaotic cult.

Seeing how massive this guy is, he could even be used as a Chaos Space Marine sorcerer…

And of course, having the power of the Warp at your fingertips means that your feet never ever have to touch the ground:

Some deft gluing was all it took ;-)

And finally, perhaps my favourite commander model: A renegade commissar (to be used as a Lord Commissar), converted from one of the cultist leaders from the Dark Vengeance box. I made a few small changes to the model and added the head of an old Warzone mini to make him just that much more menacing and mysterious…

And so, that’s the current state of the army. All of the above assembled for a family portrait looks like this:

Not bad for a fun project that wasn’t even meant to yield a playable army in the first place, don’t you think? I feel that the different squads work together rather nicely, from a visual standpoint, although the army is still pretty small: All that you can see above will add up to about 750 points tops. It’s also quite possibly a severe case of style over substance: I only included what I liked, so I have no idea how these guys would perform on the table.

But that’s beside the point: My Traitor Guard will probably mostly come in handy to bolster the ranks of my World Eaters and to add a little extra flavour in bigger games. And since several of the units could also conceivably be used as selections from Codex: Chaos Space Marines, it doesn’t matter that the army is as small as it is. After all, it’ll never become a classic IG gunline army, I can promise you that much…

You might have noticed that the Lord Commissar is conspicuously absent from the picture above: That’s because he has been busy assembling a little retinue of his own:

Of course the release of the new cultist models was really a godsend for my Traitor Guard: I chose to paint them all in colours matching the rest of my traitors. So even though they are looking like a rather ragtag bunch, they still read as a unified force and blend in with the rest of my Traitor Guard pretty well.

So all in all, I feel that the time and money have been well spent on this little endeavour: I ended up with a force that was a blast to build and paint, plus I can use them in multiple ways, either as a part of my main 40k army, or on their own in smaller games. Some of the models could even make pretty convincing cameos in games of INQ28 or Necromunda (The sorcerer and chaos cultists come to mind…).

So what’s on the horizon for Urash’s Marauders? I already told you that another squad of traitors is ready for painting. And I am currently working on the second squad of Dark Vengeance cultists. The models have been converted for some added variety and are ready to be painted. Take a look:

The traitor soldiers and cultists together will give me about twenty more models to add to the force.

I also have a couple of leftover horses and riders from the WFB Marauder Horsemen in my bitzbox, so I may just end up building a squad of Rough Riders — to be perfectly honest, I am already dryfitting parts…

Beyond that, a squad of followers for the Nurgle champ could be interesting. Or some beastmen to be led by the Khorne guy. And what about Slaanesh? I may have to add another champion, to round things out. Then there’s the fact that I’ll soon be in the possession of a number of the brand new Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers (who will make for splendid elite troops with their faceless “Jin Roh vibe”). And maybe, just maybe, I’ll go and add a Valkyrie to the army one day. Not for the combat effectiveness, mind you: I just think that it’s a gorgeous model that would look great in my Traitor Guard colour scheme ;-)

Whatever will be next, though, the great part about this army is that it gives me lots of room for experimentation. And whenever I get tired of painting power armour (as every Marine player is wont to, from time to time), it’s always there to offer a nice change of pace.

If you want to know more about how this army was assembled, the different posts on Urash’s Marauders can be found here. Or you can just check out my blog at

I’d also love to hear your opinion on the army so far, so drop me a comment!

As always, thanks to the DFG team for letting me post this. And, of course, thanks to you or looking!
This has been KrautScientist.  Thanks for tuning in ;)


  1. That is awesome. Love the psyker and commissar!

  2. Fantastic! The perfect look -- their Mad Max-like appearacne goes well with the chaos flavor and represents well their stat line and armor saves. And the mutant ogres is a great touch, along with the conversions for the command squad, like the vox castor. Just great work all the way around. I'm envious!

  3. Krautscientist, you always get it right. You are a master of the bits box. These models have been kitbashed to perfection to represent all that traitor guard should be! Great work!

  4. Wow, they are really good! I feel inspired to do great things again!

  5. Really nice stuff there. Exceptional conversion. Like it, like all of it.


  6. Very, very nice. I wish I'd had the time to lavish so much attention and devotion onto my own Traitor guard which look tawdry in comparison to these. Exceptional work indeed.

    1. Of course, now I'm gonna have to go and make units of Chaos Cultists using the same bits. Thanks for the inspiration. :D

  7. Great looking models. Being able to use them for several different armies is just more cream on the milk.


  8. Wow, thanks a lot for the kind words, people! I feel really flattered now ;-)

    @ J.D. Brink: You know, I never spent to much thought on it, but the Mad Max look is really there. Well spotted, sir!

    @ OST: Aw shucks, that's really nice of you, OST. But I really profited from the fact that there were so many great Traitor Guard armies out there, so that made my work much easier!

    @ Lead Legion: Actually, building and painting these guys was much less time consuming than working on my World Eaters! It's really all about finding quick and effective recipes (both for converting and painting) and then applying them to a whole army!

    Anyway, thanks again, everyone! This really made my day ;-)

  9. Great looking army! Its always great to see another take on the traitor guard look, and you have some brilliant conversions. I especially like the Ogryn conversions, nasty yet well thought out.