Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Scratch-built Soul Grinder of Slaanesh and Cancon preparations

Cancon is almost upon us, and I suspect a lot of us are scrambling a bit to make sure we're ready. I delayed writing an army list as long as possible for this event, as the Swedish comp pack, whilst a necessary evil for an event like this (120+ players), completely kills what joy I find in making armies. I considered a few things that I might like to try running, but most of them wouldn't work properly under Swedish, largely due to their hating on unit sizes beyond about 40 infantry.

In the end I tried something a bit different and wrote a Daemons of Chaos list. I have Ben's Daemons kicking around my house, and I figured I might as well look at using them. A few of the sillier people who know me started referring to me as "Greg of Slaanesh" for reasons that aren't really worth explaining (nothing exciting or kinky), so I decided to embrace the tag and take a Slaanesh-heavy army. This has the added benefit that I actually painted all of Ben's Slaaneshi Daemons some years ago, so despite the army not belonging to me, most of it would still be my handiwork.

I didn't think too hard about the composition of the army. I knew what stuff was available, knew I wanted lots of Slaanesh stuff, and went from there. They I checked my Swedish score, decided it was acceptable (despite it being pointed out to me after I submitted it that I had calculated it wrong), and it was a done deal. Here is what I will be using:

  • Keeper of Secrets (Level 4, Lore of Shadow) with 2 Greater Gifts
  • Herald of Slaanesh with Battle Standard; Greater Locus of Swiftness, Lesser Gift
  • 23 Daemonettes of Slaanesh with Full Command
  • 18 Bloodletters of Khorne with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (Level 1, Lore of Tzeentch)
  • 5 Seekers of Slaanesh
  • 6 Fiends of Slaanesh
  • 2 Beasts of Nurgle (in 1 unit)
  • Soul Grinder of Slaanesh with Daemonbone Claw, Phlegm Bombardment

The list is a 14.7 in Swedish, where Cancon is using a range from 10-16. Most people have aimed for high comp, because you look at the difference between the comp scores of the 2 lists and multiple it by 150 for a VP bonus to the higher score. That could add up quickly. I could find myself giving up nearly 200 VPs to a maximum comp list, but that's acceptable.

Anyway, with the list dealt with, I just had to make sure the army was ready to go. This meant rebasing some of the monstrous beasts that were on incorrect base sizes according to the Swedish FAQ, finishing 5 half-painted Horrors, and doing something about the Herald BSB (hopefully making use of an existing painted model). Oh, and Ben doesn't have a Soul Grinder.

This last one promised to be a bit of a hurdle, since I had no intention of going out and buying a Soul Grinder for over $100 for a single tournament. I decided I could make one, and thankfully Pete stepped in with his 3D printer to help out. Using my descriptions, my mock-ups in Sketch Up and some slightly dreadful-sounding software where he draws everything by inputting coordinates and dimensions using code (apparently only noobs need to see the picture they're drawing), he was able to produce all the bits for the lower part of the model for me, include all of the mechanical bits.
That there is totally a Soul Grinder. Or part of one. Or it will be...
I then set about pinning and gluing it all together, making a base out of MDF, and sculpting the upper part of the model using green stuff. It took a couple of sessions, but eventually I came up with something that more or less matched the image I had in my head.
Here is the WIP model, before she got some final attention to try to clean up some details.
I think in my efforts to improve her face I actually made her worse, but then she's a daemonic, clanking monstrosity. Not one of the pretty Juan Diaz daemonettes that I was looking at for inspiration.
Pete suggested I try to hide the printed texture on the body with liquid green stuff. In my case it was more like a paste (I think it's drying out again), but it seemed to help a bit.
One slightly rough Slaanesh Soul Grinder, ready for action!
So she's not a looker. So sue me. I haven't sculpted a face before. I painted teeth in to try to add some detail to a face that lacked it.
Yes, she's purple. Like everything I seem to paint. However this is to match Ben's existing daemons, and she is Slaanesh so I guess it would have been that or pink.
She does have some stingers on her tail. In case anything gets past the enormous snippy claw, I guess.
You can see the textures on the printed legs, but given they're mechanical, that doesn't really feel like an issue.
You can still see some of the texture on the body, but it doesn't feel like that big a deal. If anything, it's less pronounced in person.
She only took a bit over 2 hours to paint. One of the benefits of sculpting no detail.
Anyway, I just need to convert that BSB model and I'm good to go. Oh, and I guess I had better pack for the 8 hour drive up to Canberra.

My first game will be against the Zombie Dragon of Nathan Goodchild, who issued a challenge after our tightly-fought encounter at Rumble in the Bronx. Wish me luck!


  1. The second painted shot looks like a garden gnome which has just been hit very hard in the guts outside the local gnome pub...
    And being a Slaaneshi gnome, that's PROBABLY what she was wanting to happen anyway.

    1. I'm pretty sure she just looked in a mirror.

  2. Sort of reminds me of one of the AD& D drow spider queen things from the 80s and 90s. I'll have a look for it on the table at CanCon.

    1. Yeah, I was sort of aware of the drow thing. There were a few things I knew she would be similar too. Cydaea the spider demon from Diablo 3 was another.

  3. Gosh, it makes me somewhat jealous that such great work is just an easy conversion (scratch-made at that) and a couple of hours of painting to you.

    Looks awesome, great job, as always!

    1. Cheers. The couple of hours painting is a legacy of the fact that the things I convert tend to be very simple. There are benefits to painting the work of a rubbish, lazy sculptor. :P

  4. As rough and ready as she may be, I always enjoy seeing what people come up with when scratchbuilding defilers / soul grinders. I still sort of miss those old days of C:CSM when there was no official daemon engine model, so everybody was building their own unique monstrosities to rampage the table ... Nice work all around, particularly done so fast + cheap ;)

    Love that you're playing (Mostly) Slaanesh Daemons, look forward to hearing all about it. May the Reign of Chaos table treat you well!

    1. As a fantasy player, I've hardly seen any soulgrinders running around. They seem to be a rare breed. Ah well, here is one more to bolster their numbers a bit.