Archive for cataphract terminators

Lorimar – the post-Isstvan years

Posted in Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by krautscientist

For todays’s post, let us return to plastic models wearing Cataphractii Terminator armour for a bit. Because, even with the squad of five Cataphractii finished, there was still the matter of the Praetor model that came with the Betrayal at Calth box to take care of:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
In many ways, it’s a rather strange model: On the one hand, it’s well designed and fairly elegantly engineered. Like most of GW’s newer plastic characters, it’s made up of a number of parts that lock together in a very clever way, creating a character model that definitely has the right amount of bulk, detail and depth. The armour is also a nice step up from the standard Cataphractii design and, along with the flowing cape and the more detailed pteryges leather straps, instantly communicates the fact that this guy is an officer. So far, so good, right?

But then there’s the pose: I cannot even begin to guess what made GW’s designers decide on such a rigidly posed model. Maybe they merely wanted to provide the model with some agency, instead of going for the classic “posing with outstretched weapon arms” look of the yesteryear? Or maybe the Praetor was designed as an opposite to Forgeworld’s own Praetor in Cataphractii armour?

Whatever the reason, the pose is definitely one of the model’s weaker parts for me, and it seemed like the one factor that would make any conversion rather challenging. Even with quite a number of fairly clever conversions appearing over at The Bolter & Chainsword, few versions of the Praetor managed to get rid of the somewhat pidgeon-toed stance of the base model — which really seemed at once central to the conversion and fairly challenging to me.

And maybe it was  that challenge that drew me towards attempting a conversion in the first place. I had originally planned to leave this guy for last, but when I recently started hitting a bit of a roll with my Catapphractii, I felt motivated enough to start working on the Praetor as well. There was just one problem, however:

You may remember that my 30k models are supposed to represent an earlier incarnation of my 40k army of choice: The World Eaters’ 4th assault company. And the 4th has one commander, and one commander alone: Lord Captain Lorimar. And I even already had a 30k model for him:

Lorimar then and now
The model shown above was originally mostly built and painted by AgnostosTheos, and I bought it from him when he sold off his collection of World Eaters about two years ago. It took very little work to turn the model into an earlier incarnation of Lorimar, and I am still reasonably happy with the way both versions of the character look next to each other — incidentally, you can read more about the models and the character that informed them here.

So was there actually any room for yet another version of Lorimar? Or for a different character serving as Praetor? Of course this whole discourse only really makes a lick of sense if you take the whole background part of the hobby seriously, but I am just funny that way in that I tend to build and paint characters, not just playing pieces. At least that is what it feels like to me.

In the end, however, the urge to create a badass Cataphractii Praetor got the better of me, and I decided to play this one by ear: If the resulting model ended up as another version of Lorimar, then I would find a place for him in my collection somehow.

So I started making some adjustments to the base model, and here’s what I ended up with after putting in the first bit of work:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP
Like I said, the base model is pretty cool in principle, but it’s also severly hampered by the somewhat rigid (and slightly uncomfortable looking) pose, so that was the part I really needed to change. I also knew that it wouldn’t do for a World Eater to focus so much on a shooting weapon, so I changed the model’s entire orientation.

The most important part was to cut off the right leg above the knee and slightly rotate it inwards. Such a small thing, really, but it was really key for making the pose far less awkward — in fact, it’s a neat little trick that I would recommend to anyone trying to change the model’s pose around a bit:
You cut right between the kneecap armour and the armour plate covering the hip (directly under that one line of decorative trim on the leg). There’s really only an area of about 0.5 mm width where you can make the cut without damaging either armour plate, so the sweet spot should be easy enough to find. Then you rotate the leg inwards, stopping once you’re happy with the pose. There’s going to be some damage, especially if you are trying to have both feet meet the ground at the same angle, but it’s really easy to repair with some plastic glue and some plastic shavings, plus the damage will be nearly invisible from the front. And if you are using the stock model’s cape, the damage will be neatly camouflaged by the Praetor’s cape.

The other considerable change I made to the base model was to cut off the hand holding the combi-bolter and replace it with that massive chainsword from the Space Wolves Upgrade Pack — incidentally, that sword was one of the two reasons that made me pick up that sprue in the first place, and its mass and length seemed ideal for a World Eaters Praetor.

And finally, I cut away the model’s original head, mostly to allow for a head facing in a different direction. As it happened, however, I had an extra head from the chaos warshrine priest still knocking about – the exact head I also used on 40k Lorimar – so I decided to use it in my early mockup.

With the basic pose out of the way, the next part was to add some detail that would make the model read as an actual World Eater. Seeing how the stock model’s armour was already very detailed, I had to try not to go overboard, lest the model end up looking too busy. In the end, I think I managed to come up with a fairly good solution, though:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (2)

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (1)

The bandolier of skulls is a classic for World Eaters, especially since the more recent fluff has given it a deliciously ambiguous nature: Are those the skulls of enemies, displayed as trophies? Or are they the remains of honoured battle brothers, allowed to see the field of battle once more? Or a little from column A and a little from column B, perhaps?

I also added another shackle bit from the AoS Bloodreavers — as DexterKong astutely pointed out when commenting on my Cataphractii, shackles are such a tragically fitting accessory for 30k World Eaters, are they not?

And finally, I tried to give the a slightly more ornate version of the topknot the other Cataphractii have, spliced together from a topknot that came with the chaos chariot and the tail of a Marauder horse. I like how the front of the piece could be seen as a stylised Iron Halo or as the iconic arrows of chaos…

The one thing that didn’t sit right with me was the chainfist. Granted, it works pretty well with the tweaked pose — arguably better than on the stock model, really. But I just couldn’t help it, I had to mock up an alternate arm holding an axe.

I used the upper arm from a plastic 40k Terminator (which had to be shaved down quite a bit) and the forearm from an Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternal, as the curves of the armour fit the overall Cataphractii look pretty well. As for the axe, I chose the same blade I already used on 40k Lorimar. And here’s the model with an alternate arm:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (11)
And seeing the axe arm in place actually decided things for me: I would be turning this guy into a representation of Lorimar, after all.
Incidentally, when putting all three models in a row, I realised that there was a really nice sense of visual progression between the three. Take a look:

Lorimar comparison

The version on the left represents Lorimar as a younger officer, say a Secutor-Sergeant, during the latter stages of the Great Crusade, or even as a young Captain, having just taken command of the 4th after winning his captaincy in the fighting pits. The new version in the middle is him during the Heresy: The more ostentatious armour shows his newfound confidence in his command. And he has started to discard the trappings of a loyalist Astartes: Where his younger version is armed with weapons bearing a strong aquila motif, his new weapons are more vicious and cruel-looking, and there’s not an aquila to be seen — I really like how his weapons get less Imperial as he goes! Finally, the model on the rightis him in the 40k setting, now in fully Khornate regalia.

So basically all that was left for the conversion at this point was some cleanup work. One interesting part is that I have not yet glued the different parts of the model together — I think this will make painting quite a bit easier in this case, because the seams between the parts are cleverly hidden. Anyway, here’s the model as it looks right now:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (15)
WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (16)
One thing I still want to do is to make his axe look slightly less chaotic. I am going to fill in the chips and nicks in the blade with GS, provided I manage to pull it off in a clean enough way. As for the chaotic eye, a fellow forumite on a big German forum came up with the idea to keep the eye, but to fill in the chaotic arrows around it, making it look like some kind of decorative jewel. I think I rather like that idea, as just removing everything would just create a huge flat area on the axe blade.

One small detail I am really happy with is how I have used some leather straps from another Cataphractii Praetor model to close the gaps between the straps that were already there:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (18)
Shaving these off from the source model’s shoulders was slightly fiddly, but the extra effort was definitely worth it!

And here’s a look at the model’s back. Careful observers will spot the stylised Khornate rune adorning the crossguard of Lorimar’s sword (I put it there to replace a wolf skull):

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (17)
All in all, I am very happy with the model, both because it makes for a pretty cool “missing link” between the two versions of Lorimar I already have, and because I have managed to tweak just about everything that I didn’t like about the stock Cataphractii Praetor. In fact, having discovered how easy it is to carefully turn the base model into something quite different, I would basically recommend this guy to every hobbyist looking for a characterful base model to turn into a commander for their own Space Marines! What’s more, as has already been postulated by Commissar Molotov, the Praetor is also a pretty ideal base morel for a true scale conversion — as it happens, I am working on a true scale Chapter Master based on this model right now, but that is a story for another time 😉

Before I wind up this post, here’s a look of Captain Lorimar with his Cataphractii bodyguard:

Lorimar's Fist 30k WIP (4)
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Guards, Guards!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by krautscientist

While the Custodes army I started some time last year was originally just a small side project with a very limited scope and a “Why the hell not?” approach, several factors have led to the army expanding far beyond what was originally planned: One reason for this was the fact that kitbashing Custodes out of all kinds of Space Marine parts is just a whole lot of fun. And there were all the Dark Angels models from the Dark Vengeance starter box too. I had to use them for something, didn’t I? Anyway, even after completing the first two squads for the army, I still couldn’t stop building and building. Today, let’s take a look at the most recent additions to my Custodes:

 

1.) Kitbashed Cataphractii

I already featured all of the individual models, but here’s another look at my finished Custodes Cataphractii squad, basically ready for painting:

Completed Cataphractii Squad WIP
Originally, I had planned to build only one model as a proof of concept, but the Terminators that came with the Dark Vengeance box allowed me to bump the squad size up to five. While these may look a little different from FW’s “official” Cataphractii model, they were kitbashed with base models and bitz I already owned anyway, and I think they read as Heresy-era Terminators well enough. Still, five models should be enough for now, so the next step would be to actually get some colour on these guys.

 

2.) Sisters of Silence

Another spur of the moment idea was to add a small squad of Sisters of Silence to the army. This was made pretty easy by the fact that some of the Dark Eldar models make for pretty convincing Sisters when combined with a couple of more imperial looking bitz.

I recently added another model to the squad. This time, the model was converted from a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior instead of a Wych:

SoS (10)
SoS (11)
SoS (13)
I thought it would be a cool idea have a model wielding a flamer in the squad, so I used a bit from the plastic Empire wizard kit and combined it with the body of a Dark Eldar shredder to create a flamer that looked suitably archaic and ornate (and was, once again, pretty close to the official HH artwork).

Here’s the squad so far:

SoS (15)
SoS (14)
I think I’ll be adding one more model to make sure the squad is actually legally playable. They could probably be used as Scouts, although that’s really not all that important to me. In any case, a squad of five will look nice enough, even if it’s just on a display board 😉 The one decision I still have to make is whether to paint these in gold (like the regular Custodes) or rather in a combination of red and silver (as they are seen in several pieces of HH artwork).

 

3.) Legio Champion

I have mentioned the fact that I am slightly addicted to building HQ models on several occasions. So in addition to my already completed Custodes Shield Captain (and another possible commander converted from the Dark Vengeance Company Master), I wanted to build an imposing warrior to represent a mighty champion of the Legio Custodes. I wanted him to look like he could basically bring down a fortress all by himself. Here’s the result:

Legio Champion (6)
Legio Champion (3)
Legio Champion (8)
Legio Champion (9)
I combined all kinds of Marine parts with the legs of a WFB Warrior of Chaos. I also added a slightly converted Thunder Hammer. The storm bolter looks a little too clunky, so maybe I’ll just swap it for a storm shield. And I have to be honest with you: The whole model was really heavily inspired by one of the very nice Custodes models over at The Buddy Times (I really wish Hashashin would get back to building more Custodes!).

 

4.) Jump Infantry

I already told you that my Praetorians were built using parst from the GK, Sanguinary Guard and DA Veterans kits. That means I had a lot of leftover bits from those kits, so I thought it would be cool to build some kind of jump infantry for my Custodes, using those parts. Here are my test models for a squad of five:

Jump Infantry (1)
Jump Infantry (2)
Jump Infantry (3)
And the second model:

Jump Infantry (4)
Jump Infantry (5)
Jump Infantry (6)
This one is a bit closer to the classic Custodes look, wielding yet another converted judgement spear.

All in all, like I said, these were basically built from leftovers. I considered adding the Sanguinary Guard wings for a long time, seeing how they are a really nice fit with the overall Custodes aesthetics, but I decided against it in the end: For one, the models would have looked like nothing more than Sanguinary Guard with High-Elf heads. Plus leaving the wings off means the jump packs look identical to FW’s MK IV jump packs, adding to the models’ Pre-Heresy look. And without a doubt, the leftover wings will come in handy sooner rather than later…

Jump Infantry (7)
Apart from the two painted test models, there are three more in the squad. I’ll probably paint these next, so expect them to be the next update concerning my Custodes army.

 

Anyway, these are my Custodes-related projects at the moment. All in all, the army remains a fun project to distract me from all the World Eaters stuff. Plus it offers me the way of using all the strange and obscure Marine bitz that end up in my bitzbox in new and interesting ways.

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

More fun with Dark Vengeance

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by krautscientist

With the new Codex Chaos Space Marines and FW’s first Horus Heresy book doubtlessly paramount on people’s minds, let’s not forget all the great models left in the Dark Vengeance box! I am still happily cutting and painting my way through these, as you’ll see for yourself in a minute:

First up, some more cultists:




Quite a straightforward paintjob on the guy with the big gun. As you can see, I added some chaos iconography to the model’s apron. I also think the backpack with the tools dangling from it is a very nice touch! I painted these to look rusty and used:


Next up, a model whose design quite closely resembles the FW Vraksian Renegade Militia models, if you ask me:



I went for the dark grey fatigues typical of my Traitor Guard. The skin portions gave me the opportunity to add some contrast, and the rebreather unit on the model’s back offered a nice chance of adding some rust and grime.


And finally, the third cultist I painted:





While this guy would make a convincing Cawdor ganger for Necromunda, I somehow like him quite a bit less than the other cultists. Maybe it has got something to do with his rather unimpressive “potatoe on a lenght of string” weapon? I’m not sure… The dog tags around his neck are definitely a nice touch, though! I also added some blood to make the weapon look at least halfway presentable 😉

Anyway, with that, I had painted one model of each of the different designs from the starter box. I decided to round things off with a character to lead them:

I turned my attention to one of their leaders: the guy with the commissar’s coat. While I like both the coat and the Bloodpact-inspired grotesk, combining both of these elements on one model seemed like too much of a good thing to me. I also wasn’t all that keen on the arm holding the shotgun: In my opinion, it messes up the composition of the model. So I got to work, and here’s what I ended up with:





A rather simple conversion, as you can see. I wanted to further emphasise the look of a traitorous commissar, so I replaced the head with a fittingly sinister head from an old Warzone mini (an Imperial squad leader. The plastic models are still sold in bags of 80 and can be had for a song over at Prince August, in case anyone’s interested). I also replaced the left arm, opting for a Plasma pistol for no other reason than the fact that I like to paint small OSL effects on plasma coils.

The cool thing is that I can use this model as both a cultist leader (in a regular CSM army) or as a traitorous Lord Commissar (in a Traitor Guard list).

And here they are as a whole squad (click for bigger pictures):


I quite like the overall impression: They still look like a ragtag bunch, but the limited colour palette and unified basing nicely tie them together as a squad (and, hopefully, with the rest of my Traitor Guard as well).


For the second half of the cultists, I’ll be doing a number of smaller conversions to add a little additional variety: Exchange some heads, add a banner pole, use a couple of additional bitz,…

Here’s an initial impression:


The Helbrute’s also still standing on my desk, daring me to start painting it: I guess it won’t be too long now…

But what about the other half of the starter box’s contents?
Well, for one, I finally buckled up and converted the Deathwing sergeant into yet another Custodes Terminator wearing Cataphract armour. Here you go:





Again, a fairly easy conversion: I replaced the Terminator’s torso front with a piece from the Venerable Dreadnought kit. The right arm is a regular Terminator’s upper arm combined with a Chaos Lord’s Lightning claw. The result resembles the clawed gauntlets present in the HH artwork. The pauldrons are shinguards from loyal Dreadnoughts. I also added all kinds of purity seals, a topknot and a couple of other bitz.

Here’s a look at the whole “Cataphractii Squad” so far:


While these may not look as “official” as the new FW models, I am still reasonably pleased with the squad. I think they’ll end up looking rather nice once painted. And those Deathwing Terminators were in the box anyway, so the squad came at basically no extra cost!

Let’s wind up this post with two rather simple conversions, also for my Custodes:


The first model is a standard bearer for my squad of Custodes wearing Astartes pattern power armour. I converted this guy from the Dark Angel wielding a Plasma Gun (the gun itself was squirreled away for some future project, of course).

And then there’s the DA Company Master. With a simple head swap, he now looks like this:


Quite an imposing Legio Custodes Shield Captain, don’t you think? While these two models aren’t finished yet, I guess you can see where they are headed.

I am still far from fed-up with the Dark Vengeance models, quite the contrary: Thanks to the models I will be able to considerably bolster the ranks of both my Traitor Guard and Custodes. As as you can see, the models lend themselves rather nicely to conversions with a bit of thought (and decisive cutting…).

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Dark Vengeance – Gauging the possibilities…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by krautscientist

By now, many people have spent their first few days with the brand new Dark Vengeance box. The internet is abuzz with the discussions concerning the models and possible projects. There have been some very informative and helpful reviews, the usual, somewhat hamfisted propaganda on the part of GW and, of course, a magnitude of the seemingly inevitable “unboxings”. Some hobbyists (*cough*) have even begun showcasing their first painted or converted models.

After having spent a very enjoyable weekend sifting through the contents of the box (and painting the first batch of models) I would like to use this post to talk about some of my plans for all those lovely little plastic men. I already outlined some of the ideas in my first post on the subject, but in the light of my first hand on experiences with the box, some of those plans have changed, some may have been abandoned altogether, while still others only formed after seeing the models first hand. So let’s talk about the bigger picture, shall we?

First of all, let me say that my plan is to basically use up all that this box has to offer: Some of the models will be integrated into my different army projects, some may end up decorating my bases as corpses or broken statues. Still others will be cut into many different pieces and wait for better days at the bottom of my bitzbox. But all of it will be put to good use in one way or another. That much I promise you.

So let’s cut to the chase: Here’s a rather large post with my updated thoughts and plans for the different contents of the Dark Vengeance box, illustrated by lots of pretty pictures:

 

Chaos

It shouldn’t surprise you that the chaos models are very likely to find a new home in my World Eaters and/or Traitor Guard forces. In fact, I think that the chaos models alone are pretty much worth the purchase of the box. But what do I have in mind for those beauties?

Cultists

I already showed you the first three cultists I painted, and I decided that they needed some friends. So I set out to paint the next three. Instead of painting the same designs over again, I chose three different cultist — the duplicates will have to come later…

Again, my objective was to have these fit in with my other Traitor Guard models, so I stuck to the established colour scheme. I like to imagine that I was a tiny bit more succesful in painting these guys to fit my traitors this time:


I really love the gasmask on this guy! I even thought about a “Psycho Mantis” conversion while painting him. I also like the crude weapons some of these guys are wielding – like they had to improvise weapons from their regular tools or bits of machinery.

This next guy may have a different head and different weapons, but apart from that, he is actually identical to the guy above – albeit “flipped horizontally”. The only difference aside from the head and weapons is the added knife on the guy with the gas mask — I don’t think it’s too noticeable, though. After all, these are starter miniatures!



I tried adding some crude chaos heraldry on his scarf. A recurring element in my Traitor Guard. I went even further with this on this next guy:





Again, I love the mask. Reminds me of Kroenen in the first Hellboy film 😉

And here’s all three of them together:


Seeing these side by side makes it even more obvious that the cultists on the left and right are basically the same design, but again: Let’s not forget that these are starter miniatures. I already mentioned that I am actually pretty happy with the look GW chose for the cultists!

And here’s all of my painted cultists so far:


These are pretty quick to paint, so it probably won’t be too long before I’ll have ten or even twenty of them finished. I’ll mainly be these for 40k, so all of them will be painted in the colours of my Traitor Guard. That said, they’ll make useful cameos in games of INQ28 (or even Necromunda).
I will be doing a number of smaller adjustments to some of the “duplicates” (weapon swaps and the like) for some more variety. I’ll also add an icon or two, following my belief that every chaos squad needs an icon. Apart from that, though, I’ll be using these pretty much out of the box.

Chaos Lord and Chosen

Hmmm, these guys are a tougher nut to crack: My gut instinct tells me to just leave them for later. Granted, some of them could be easily inducted into my World Eaters, but maybe I’ll just hang on to them for a later project: a small Chaos Killteam for Special Operations Killzone, or some “counts as”-Characters for my Traitor Guard (I recently saw a World Eater used as Colonel Straken — what a cool idea!). The guy with the twin Lightning claws may be an exception, since I am simply too much in love with the sculpt, but apart from that, I guess these guys will keep for a while.

Hellbrute

Definitely the star of the show for me, I am pretty psyched to start working on this bad boy. As a matter of fact, I already managed to paint what’s probably my favourite part of the model:



This was actually pretty hard to take a decent photo of, and that should tell you something about the size: So much fine detail, and very easy to obscure… I didn’t do a job worthy of the ‘Eavy Metal team, but I am still rather pleased with myself.

I also really love the anguished and tortured face peering from out of the Hellbrute’s bulk, so I had to start with it. Apart from that, I am currently dryfitting the parts and looking long and hard at the stuff in my bitzbox to decide which changes to make to the original model.

I’m a little torn, since I really love the Hellbrute as it is, and I don’t want to do conversions on this guys just for conversions’ sake. Yet I feel compelled to make some minor changes… Let me talk you through some of my early ideas — any feedback on this would be much appreciated!

First of all, this idea came up while I was messing around with some stuff from my bitzbox:




I actually have very little inclination to use the Minotaur head, but I still wanted to show you this mockup, because I think if somebody wanted to change the look of their Hellbrute or didn’t like the existing head, this could be an avenue worth exploring…

This one’s based on a similar idea. I just couldn’t help it…






I’ll have to be honest with you: I just love adding Juggernaut heads to Dreadnoughts!
I also think that this could really work. Hmmm, I’ll have to think about it…

Let’s talk about a couple of other changes I am considering:



I am actually pretty sure that I’ll be adding an Ogre Kingdoms gut plate to the model’s fist, as an approximation of the World Eaters’ legion badge. The part is a pretty nice fit and covers the more generic “Eye of Horus” symbol beneath. I also really liked the effect of the legion badge on my first Dread.

Then there’s the Multimelta:


I quite like the fact that they gave the model a Multimelta, seeing how this is one of the last weapons missing from my little Dreadnought Menagerie. But I am not completely sold on those stubby barrels. I could replace them with daemon heads from the chaos vehicle sprue (like TemplarCrusade01 did to great effect in this interesting video) or replace them with a Lasgun’s longer barrels…I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

And finally, those horn-tentacle things may have to go:


I appreciate what they were trying to do with this, but as it stands, they only serve to obscure the model’s silhouette. I haven’t decided on this, though. I’ll need to consider it for a while…

Even after playing around with a couple of different options, I couldn’t forget that Juggernaut head. If I were to attach it at a more interesting angle. like so…



…and add a neck made from cables and a spine, I think it would look really cool. Then again, I love the Hellbrute’s original face and wouldn’t want to permanently obscure it by a conversion… This really is a problem! Maybe I can do the Juggernaut head as an optional, removable addition to the model? Let me know what you think!

Let’s not forget the other side of the spectrum, though! So, what to do with the Sons of the Lion…?

 

Dark Angels:

Whenever I hit a roadblock during my musings on possible uses of the chaos models, I relax by working on some of the Dark Angel models. Some, if not most of these will be really useful for my Custodes army!

Characters

The Company Master will definitely be transformed into a Custodes officer! It should be easy enough: Just add a different head (for example, one from the High Elf White Lions kit), a couple of bitz and get rid of some of the DA symbols, and you’re there.

I’ll probably save the Librarian for later: He won’t do much good in a Custodes force, seeing how psykers were pretty much outlawed by the Edict of Nikaea. He might make a great base for an Inquisitor, though…Hmm, I’ll have to think about this.

And then there’s the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain. I am somehow feeling a little tempted to convert him into a Word Bearers Dark Apostle…but it’s definitely not a priority at the moment.

Ravenwing Bikes

These will probably end up as Custodes jetbikes sooner or later. I’ll be using this excellent tutorial by Ron Saikowski (of From The Warp fame), although the conversion will probably end up being a bit more complicated compared to normal Space Marine bikes, since the wheels of the bikes from the starter box are part of the bike’s main body. Still, nothing that a bit of judicious cutting cannot solve…

Tactical Marines

To tell you the truth, these are a bit of a problem: The sergeant will become a Custodes with some minor conversion work. As will the guy with the Plasma cannon (only sans the Plasma cannon, since they didn’t yet exist at the time of the Heresy, I believe). His arms are completely separate, and he is sporting a rather interesting, older helmet design, so he will become a member of a power armoured Custodes squad (I’ll be showcasing some models from the squad soon).

The other guys are a pretty hopeless case, though: I doubt any amount of cutting would make them look like anything but Dark Angels tac Marines. So into my bitzbox they go. Maybe I’ll use them as statues in a terrain project. Maybe I’ll start a DA army one day. Maybe I’ll think of something in time. We’ll see…

Deathwing Terminators

To tell you the truth, I am already hard at work cutting these up. They may not look like it, but the Deathwatch Terminators make for pretty convincing Custodes Terminators in Pre-Heresy Cataphract Terminator armour. You don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

First up, an early test model for my Custodes Terminators I built using a Black Reach Terminator:


I had already abandoned the hope of actually doing a whole squad of these, since I did not want to buy a whole box of Terminators for what was ultimately more of a “why the hell not?” project. But then, the Deathwing Terminators provided me with more than enough willing subjects to build some more Custodes in tactical Dreadnought armour. Behold:


This is an assembled Deathwatch Terminator from the starter box. So I took this guy and began to transform him. Quite a bit of cutting was needed for this, since I wanted to keep the Terminators powerfist — the rivets are just screaming Pre-Heresy to me. So I needed to get rid of the shoulderpad. I cut off the entire arm, replacing the upper part with a regular Terminator arm. The other arm and torso front were put away for future projects, and I used all kinds of stuff from my bitzbox to turn this guy into a Pre-Heresy Terminator. Take a look:

Same model, ladies and gentlemen 😉

While I realise that the armour may not be a hundred percent consistent with the official artwork, I still think that enough of the visual cues are there to make this guy read as a Custodes in Cataphract armour.


I think the paintjob will do the rest 😉


As you can see above, I also built the beginnings of a Guardian Spear: The weapon was spliced together from the blade of a Nemesis force halberd, the shaft of a thunderhammer and a part of a Chaos Knight lance. I may yet add a Boltgun to transform the weapon into an actual Guardian Spear.


This first success motivated to try again. So while my second batch of cultists was drying, I took another Deathwing Termie…


…and got to work again. By the way, say about GW’s decision to make the Marines in the box DA’s what you want, the poses on those Termies are excellent!

Again, my objective was to transform this guy into a Legio Custodes Terminator. Here’s the result of that plan:


The conversion was pretty easy too! I cut off the left arm (with the chainfist), which can still be used on another conversion and removed the Terminator’s head (that was a part of the torso). I replaced the arms with parts from my bitzbox and built the foundation of another Guardian Spear. Then I added some bitz. Done!


You’ll notice that my Custodes Terminators don’t look exactly alike. The reason for that is that I am using different base models and have to make do with what’s in my bitzbox. Then again, I think it fits that those warriors should wear individualised armour: Each of them is a mighty champion of the Imperium, so I think it’s quite alright if their armour deviates from the standard design here and there.


In closing, let me just say that I am pleasantly surprised how relatively easy those Deathwing Terminators can be converted into something quite different! As long as you’re not afraid of making some bold cuts… And definitely don’t try this at home if your bitzbox isn’t well equipped! You’ll need all kinds of stuff to make these guys look the part!

And there you have it: You’ve seen all that I’ve done with my Dark Vengeance models so far! If you’ve got any questions, criticism or words of encouragement, drop me a line in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!