Raagh! (Or a Shining Spear Exarch)

shining exarch FL

This guy took me a lot longer than I had hoped, partly because I went a bit overboard with the conversion. I won the Dark Elf War Hydra tail in a painting contest at my local GW a few months back. The prize was three bits from the box and as soon as I saw the tail I knew what I wanted to do with it. It took a fair bit of effort to get it to fit on a Cold One model and I didn’t entirely succeed but it makes for a larger (much larger) and more powerful looking mount for what (unless he gets a promotion) is currently my Shining Spears Exarch for my dinosaur riding Exodites. I had to extend the neck of the Cold One with some green stuff in order to balance the model. The rider himself has Dark Elf Cold One Knight’s legs (I broke the Shining Spears ones), a Shining Spear torso and sword arm, a Dark Eldar Hellion head and an Eldar Guardian left arm.

shining exarch neck tail

The feathered cloak is green stuff and was built by using a sharp modelling tool to rip and cut into soft green stuff to make a feathering effect layer by layer from the outside in on top of the basic cloak base. Sorry for the quality of the photos of the unpainted model. I obviously can’t go back and take better ones and I didn’t realise just how bad they were at the time!

shining exarch green stuff

I used the same paint scheme as for my other Shining Spear so I won’t go over it again. For the cloak I started with Kantor Blue, washing with Drakenhof Nightshade and highlighting with Macragge Blue, Hawk Turquoise (Sotek Green), Ice Blue (Lothern Blue), Space Wolves Grey (Fenrisian Grey) and Skull White (White Scar).

shining exarch side

shining exarch BR

I based the model using a piece of cardboard tube from a roll of clingfilm for the skeleton of my tree chunk with a crushed cinnamon stick as bark. I used Middenland Tufts for the longgrass and liberal amounts of Lustrian Undergrowth and Agrellan Earth to add texture. The spider came from the Deathworld’s basing kit. I love the new Nurgle’s Rot paint and I used a fair bit to add slime to the model, particularly as my water effects stuff has dried up.

shining exarch FR

shining exarch F

Anyhow, that’s one more model done for my Exodites. I’m going to paint a few marines next I think for a change of pace!

L.o.F.

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Female Inquisitor Kitbash

In a fit of drunken grumbling three weeks back, I found myself bemoaning the loss of the female Inquisitor model by Games Workshop. At some point I realised that I had some female Dark Eldar bits kicking around and decided there and then to kitbash my own.

Inquisitor front

I used a set of Eldar Guardian legs as they are fairly slimline while the torso came from the Dark Eldar Hellion box, as did the head and arms. The sword came from the Dark Elf Cold One box while the bolt pistol and parchment cases came from the Space Marine Tactical Marines kit.

Inquisitor right

Next I sculpted the coat, sword hilt and hair from green stuff. I did this in several stages so as not to damage any of it. I started with the skirts of the coat, which I built by cutting panels out of soft green stuff and fixing them together on the model. When they were almost set I built sleeves round the arms. Only when these were set did I add the cuffs and lapels. The hair I added in several layers in order to get enough fullness. One great thing about green stuff is that it freezes, so that you can happily pause between layers, stick the leftover green stuff in the freezer for anything up to two days, then, when you’re ready for the next layer, warm the frozen green stuff in the palm of your hand and you’re ready to go again!

unpainted Inquisitor

Most of the purity seals came from the Tac Marine box, although the big one came from the Ravenwing box (as did the book on the base).

Inquisitor back

I posed her standing on a heretic tome as she will probably be played as an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor eventually. Hopefully I will build a retinue to go with her when I have the bits and the inspiration to go with them!

L.o.F.

The Joy of Kitbash part 3: Weapon Swaps

So, today I’m going to talk about weapon swaps. Sometimes the weapon that a model wants to use is simply unavailable or requires buying a kit for just one bit. Perhaps the way the weapon is posed is not quite right or you want a WYSIWYG model and your model doesn’t have quite enough hands. If this is the case then it’s time for a weapon swap.

Some weapon swaps are trivial, for instance in building Long Fangs from the Devastator kit or giving a model a sword or pistol from another kit. It gets a little more complicated when you need a weapon for which you don’t have the kit or want to pose the weapon in a different way. I’m going to cover reposing of limbs in a later post so today I’m just going to look at what the limbs are holding.

So what should we consider when doing a weapon swap on a model? The first thing to think about is how the weapon is going to be fixed to the model. Is it in the model’s hand ready to use or is it stowed? Is it one-handed or two handed? If it’s stowed, does it need strapping down in any way? If it’s in use, is it in one hand or two? In which direction do you want it to point?

Below are some examples of stowed weapons. The sword that the Wolf Scout is carrying is a cut down power sword from the Space Wolves pack (representing a combat knife). I had to build up the hilt with green stuff and I added the chain to make it look as if it were strapped on. I also built the green stuff fur cloak around the blade, so that the sword blends in with the rest of the model. The meltagun on the first Grey Hunter is slung from a sling made from green stuff. Here, I just glued the meltagun to the thigh of the model and used two thin bits of greenstuff to make it seem as if it is slung from a strap over his shoulder (don’t you just love big shoulder pads sometimes). The final stowed weapon is the simplest. I just glued the bolt gun to the backpack to represent a weapon that is maglocked in place.

stowed weapons

So, stowed weapons are fairly straightforward. Now we come to weapons modelled as if they’re in use. The trivial example (although it doesn’t feel like that when you’re juggling arms and bolters) is swapping out a bolt gun for a plasma or melta gun. A more dynamic pose can be made by having the model wield the weapon one-handed. For the flamer wielding Blood Claw below I used a plasma pistol wielding arm from the Space Wolves Pack box and a flamer from the Tactical Marine box (1). I trimmed off the plasma pistol using a scalpel and trimmed the grip area of the flamer to match (2). Then it was straightforward to glue the two pieces together(3-4).

Flamer diagram jpg

Then there are weapons and items that do not exist, for example the only Space Wolf Crozius Arcanum comes with Ulrik the Slayer. Fortunately it’s very easy to make your own. All you need is a thunder hammer (of which you’ll have plenty if you own the Space Wolves Pack kit) and one of the backpack icons from either the Space Wolves Pack or Terminators kit. Trim off the head of the thunder hammer and glue on the icon. It really is that simple!

crozius

So, what should you try to remember when kitbashing or converting weapons. Well, firstly, you need to consider what the weapon represents. For example I built my Rune Priest with a staff, which caused no problems when I fielded him in 5th Ed., but caused me much confusion when I first got him into close combat in 6th (it should be a power stave). The next thing to think about is the aesthetics- how you want the model to look. For instance if you want a WYSIWYG model you need to work out how to fit everything on which, when you have a model with two or more weapons, stops being trivial very quickly! The third thing that you need to consider is transport and storage. Unless you only play at home and store your figures on a shelf, you will need to be able to pack up and move your models. If you want to kitbash or convert a model with a particularly epic or thematic pose you may want to think about either keeping everything close to the body of the model (for ease of packing) or using magnets.

Hopefully this post gives you a few ideas about how to be creative with a weapon swap. In the next post of this series I’m going to look at reposing limbs. Until then!

L.o.F.