Plastic for the Plastic Throne! Pt. 1

…Okay, let’s finally get down to brass tacks, so to speak: Time to show you some of the kitbashes I have been working on recently. Be ye warned, though: There be lots of unpainted plastic and crude WIPs ahead 😉

Now when the World Eaters release was first teased by GW, I was relieved to see that all of my most recent, painted World Eaters stuff – from back in 2019/2020 – would probably still make the cut when placed next to the new models. It’s good to know that “The Hateful Eight” have not been made obsolete by the new release!

But of course my first action was to go through the as-of-yet-unpainted models and see whether I might be able to tweak and improve them a bit. To be perfectly honest, not only did I do this to bring them up to the level of the new models, but also as a substitute for actually getting to work on the new bitz, as I was still waiting for my first box of new Khorne Berzerkers to be delivered at this point 😉

First up on the table were these three gentlemen:

All of these have been tweaked a bit, but without using any of the new parts. This was really mostly about bringing the existing conversions up to snuff and about straightening out any remaining kinks and areas I didn’t like. Let’s take this model, for instance:

I must have tweaked and re-tweaked this particular kitbash half a dozen times by now, but now I am finally happy with the conversion: The model combines the head, torso, upper thighs (and half of a weapon arm) of an AoS Blood Warrior with the lower legs from the plastic Mk. III Marines. I threw in shoulder pads from the vanilla Chaos Space Marines and the old FW World Eaters conversion kit. What really sells the conversion, in my opinion, is the left arm (from the Age of Sigmar first edition starter box Blood Reavers): I knew I needed at least one berzerker to carry some freshly taken heads, and now this noble task falls to this particular gentleman.

Next up is a model I was already very happy with back in 2020:

The original plan here was to build a World Eater wearing massive, archaic & spiky Mk. III armour, and the plastic Plague Marines presented me with the perfect body for that look. The shoulder pads and left arm came from the vanilla CSM; while the right hand gripping an axe came from the Blood Warriors included in the old AoS starter box. The one tweak I chose to make was to exchange the somewhat dodgy FW Red Butcher axe the model had before…

…for the Chaos Space Marine chainsword you can see above. I’m not quite sure yet whether I want to keep this version — we’ll see.

The other fun thing I did for this model was to convert a helmet for it: I found myself wondering what a suitable helmet for this massive set of warplate might look like, and then inspiration struck. Here’s what I came up with:

The blunt, brutish helmet from an easy-to-build plastic Plague Marine made for an almost perfect design, with an ancient, Mk. II-ish look, and the bladed crest added character to the helmet, making it suitably vicious and gladiatorial for a World Eater. And while I will definitely keep the bare head for the model (it’s from the plastic Custodians, but I think it just works so well), I am now thinking about maybe keeping the head exchangeable — my original plan was to merely put the helmet on the model’s belt, but it actually seems much too cool for that. So maybe I will just keep both heads optional, so I can swap between them whenever I feel like it 😉

Finally, there’s this gent here:

Another 2020 conversion, this one. This is what he looked like before I worked on him:

Granted, the model seems cool enough in that photo, but the proportions were really all over the place, with a right leg that was MUCH too long. The model seemed cool at first glance but became dodgier and dodgier the longer I looked at it. So the right leg was shortened, leading to a slightly different pose. The infuriating thing is that it’s now much harder to find the right angle to show off how the model has been improved, as the legionary is aggressively thrusting forward his chest. It works really well when seen firsthand but is a lot of trouble to photograph right…

The conversion was, once again, based on one of the Blood Warriors from the AoS 1st edition starter box, and I think the armour works really well for a World Eater, looking much more archaic and gladiatorial than standard Astartes warplate. In this case, I didn’t replace either of the shoulder pads, because I really wanted to embrace the gladiatorial look.

The one thing I added to bring the model more into the 40k universe was to add some GS Butcher’s Nails to its head:

Granted, compared to the new stock heads, these nails seem pretty crude, but I think the model still works pretty well overall. The model still needs a bit of cleanup and gap-filling, but I think the look I want for the character is clearly there now.


Then there’s this converted Khorne Berzerker champion, built around some parts from the – somewhat problematic – Wrathmongers/Skullreapers. It remains a slightly dodgy conversion, but I am still fond of the sense of brutality it exudes. I’ve added a Blood Warrior shoulder pad to the left arm which definitely makes a big difference, even though it’s such a small detail.

And I also built one additional model, mostly by combining CSM and Blood Warrior parts in the already well established way. However, this model was mostly conceived as a vehicle, so to speak, for one particular bit: Its head:

This particular head was a gift from fellow hobbyist Drone21c — and from all the way back in 2015, if you can believe it! I’ve had this part in my bitzbox for so many years that it was finally time to build a model around it. The helmet itself was converted by adding berzerker “bunny ears” to an old Chaos Warrior helmet, I believe, with some customisation and GS cabling making the design look even more original. The body, meanwhile, was my usual combination of CSM and Blood Warrior parts, with arms from the CSM Raptors.

My idea for this character was a legionary who takes a moment to aim a bolt pistol shot at the enemy while advancing, and I think the pose sells that idea well enough:

The next two models were also originally built in 2020, but in these cases, I actually tweaked them by using some parts from the new berzerker kit:

The guy on the left, with his Corpse Grinder Cult circular saw (a bitz donation from my buddy Augustus b’Raass, by the way) originally used a rebreather head from some Primaris kit or other:

Nice enough in its way, but I think you’ll agree with me that the model has really been transformed simply by giving it a “proper” new World Eaters head:

There’s an added element of viciousness to the model that was really missing before. And there’s something subtly feral about those fanged rebreathers that I just love. This is definitely a case where a single bit has managed to enhance an entire model!

The second model was already really close in concept to the new Khorne Berzerkers, albeit converted from CSM and Blood Warrior parts:

I only really swapped in a different sword arm, as it turned out one of the Berzerker chainsword arms worked a bit better than the vanilla CSM arm I had originally used — although this also has the cool side-effect of leaving the model with one of the rather vicious, hacksaw-like Berzerker chainswords now:

Which invariably leads us to the models that were built using only (or mostly) the new Khorne Berzerker bits — but I’ll be saving those for the next update. Before we wind up this post, let me show you one last fun thing, though:

While I am very much in love with the new Khorne Berzerker kit (more thoughts on that will follow in a future update), I have a few small, almost microscopic, gripes with it. For one, I think it’s a bit of a shame that the new kit doesn’t feature a modern interpretation of the “Arx Death Helm”, as it was called in the 3rd edition Codex:

The helmet design wasn’t only a throwaway line in the Codex, however — it actually existed in model form: You might remember the berzerker helmet with a skull-shaped faceplate, as seen on this older model here:

Granted, the design may seem a little hokey by modern standards, but I still think it was a bit of a shame for it not to receive an update. Which is when I came across the model for something called an “Aspiring Deathbringer” in my bitzbox. I picked it up when I bought the one-off game “Gorechosen” at a very good price a couple of years ago:

The model itself is easily the dodgiest, most awkward sculpt from that box, and not easy to completely convert into a 40k character, not least due to the enormous lenght of its legs 😉 But upon closer examination, the head definitely warranted a bit of attention: I couldn’t help wondering if I might be able to turn this into something really cool…

So a few precise cuts later, I had this:

A simple enough conversion, really: The lower part of the head (i.e. the mouth and neck area) were carefully cut off and replaced with the lower part of an Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii Vanguard helmet: I could have used a CSM head as well, but the Skitarii heads have the huge advantage of being really easy to cut apart cleanly right above the breathing apparatus. Afterwards, the two parts were carefully glued together, and I must say I am pretty happy with the result!

I don’t even have any plans for the head yet: The truth is that I sometimes just enjoy making involved conversions on one small part that I then just keep around until its big day comes. Which may be next week, in four years…or never. Here it is on a “borrowed” body, though:

As you can see, I decided to get rid of the massive amount of dead space in the middle of the helmet crest by gluing on a medal from the old Khorne Berzerker kit.

Oh, and one of my favourite parts of the head is how, even though it’s originally an Age of Sigmar bit, it does have those grooves running across the top of the head that really look like an artistic representation of the Butcher’s Nails:

Anyway, so much for taking stock of my existing models — and of bringing them into the year 2023. Next time, we’ll be looking at the first models I have actually built from the new Khorne Berzerker box. And we’ll be meeting another old aqcuaintance that has received a rather substantial makeover.

For now, however, I would just love to hear your feedback or questions about these models, so please feel free to let me hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

12 Responses to “Plastic for the Plastic Throne! Pt. 1”

  1. Gorgeous work mate, these boys will look ace painted up!!

  2. Yeah that’s gorgeous. I love the helmet your featured last in the post. Those grooves instantly reminded me of the Butcher’s Nails, so i’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one, and that mdela in the dead space is brilliant. Fantastic work as usual. So good to have you back.

  3. rottenphliegerflieger Says:

    Fantastic to see you back, I must say when GW was slowly revealing each of the new world eater kits I did sometimes have “I wonder what kraut scientist would do with this?” in the back of my mind. Your down to earth approach to explaining your modelling decision making and finessing over the posing of individual models in this blog is always interesting, and it’s great to see this immediately in this post. It’s like you were never gone!

    Whilst I am overall a bit disappointed with the world eater model range due to the lack of references to the old legion wargear, and extremely small unit roster in the game, I am very excited to see what you end up putting together from this array of new parts.

    • Thank you for the very kind words! As I am mostly coming at this particular problem from a modeling angle – and I also happen to be sitting on a massive pile of Khornate bitz collected over the years – the lack of different units and kits is not that much of a problem for me. That being said, I am of course hoping for a second wave to round out the World Eaters catalogue (Teeth of Khorne!!). Should just a release never arrive, we’ll just have to do the same we’ve always done and convert whatever we need. It has been the World Eaters way for the last 20+years, after all 😉

  4. Great to see the blog active again!
    The new conversions and updates are all looking great, hopefully lots more still to come!

  5. Oh wow – I hadn’t even clued into the fact that you weren’t using any of the new models yet. Good job with the kitbashes. I especially like the head on that final model.

  6. RookCorvus Says:

    That rebreather headswap absolutely makes the model, I agree wholeheartedly. And I’m glad you made that Deathbringer head work! I think something I have always admired the most about your conversion and kitbashing skills is how you’re able to isolate specific parts of specific components, even from ranges I would never conceive of using for CSM, and artfully grafting them into place.

    Your Legionaries have always had a delightfully brutal aesthetic and these tweaks really sell it. I’m so excited to read your next post and see how you’re going to put the new Berserker kit through its paces!

    • Thanks again! I was already looking forward to trying one of those rebreather heads on that very model, even before I actually got my hands on the new berzerkers. As for that Deathbringer head, it must have passed through my hands half a dozen times already, and only now did I try to do something interesting with it — I’m glad it worked, it was an easy conversion to ruin 😉

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