The Genestealer Cult has always had links with Imperial Guard elements, to such an extent that when I was building my list I based it on Astra Militarum elements. Now, with the release of a dedicated Codex, the Cult is able to ally as Allies of Convenience with Astra Militarum and Tyranids. Hooray! My list is back in play!
So, the new plan is to make a mixed army, with Cult-ish analogues of different models. The main Cult list will act either as infiltrators or mounted up in Goliath transports, or some Cult limo conversions, and these will be defined by the main Cult range. The secondary aspect of the army is an Astra Militarum force, predominantly using the original metal models for Veteran squads, and gives me plenty of options for different conversions. The centrepiece of the force will be the converted Knight, which will have to avoid getting close to actual Cult forces. The different forces in the army will be differentiated by the colour of their fabrics, with the current plan being orange for the Cult and blue for the Astra Militarum.
So, since I’ve now built all the new Cult models I have bought, I looked to converting the models I had picked up years ago for my Cult. I made some meltagun users for an up-in-your-face Veterans squad beforehand, so first call was to use up the remainder of the shotguns that came with the Neophyte hybrids box, which suit the old models well but need gap filling to fit well. I’m trying not to let multiples of the same model come into each squad, and have enough metal models to build two Veteran squads.
Some of these guys needed a shaved-down Cadian arm to fit the shotgun hand, but I went a little overboard with the last conversion. The shotgun comes from the Dark Vengeance cultist champion, with a Cadian sleeve, and then I used a clawed arm from the Acolyte hybrids kit to support the gun. Pretty involved for a basic model, but these things help me love my army!
Now for the main conversion of this post! I had picked up the Dark Vengeance cultist champion a long time ago to build a Magus conversion of some kind, and there are a billion different conversions of this body around the internet. Thus, making it my own seemed a daunting prospect, and he lay in the bits box until I had some extra parts from the recent kits to finish him off.
In terms of parts, he is made up of an eclectic mix. I carved the Chaotic chest off the model, as well as any other Chaos insignia, and then rebuilt the chest with wire to simulate the ribbing of the Cult hazmat suits. This isn’t perfect, but works well enough and should look good once painted, and REALLY took a long time to get right. There is also a new Cult symbol over his crotch-plate, to obscure more Chaos and tie him into the Cult.
For his right arm, I used the power fist from the Cadian Command Squad, which I cut down then rebuilt with plasticard to fit under his epaulettes. I love the greatcoat of this model, it gives the figure a more powerful presence, which is helped by the extra height this guy has!
His left arm was a bit of a mess after removing the shotgun, so I chose to rebuild it using an arm I cut from the DW Overkill Cult models. This is a 3rd generation arm, which hints again at his unusual parentage. The hand comes from another spare arm, and the bolt pistol is from a Rogue Trader sprue I got with a Cult order ages ago. The shoulder needed a lot of building up and fixing with plasticard, and I tried to add to his epaulettes at the same time.
Finally, his head, which I am very pleased with, is a combination of the grumpiest, meanest-looking face I could find in the Neophytes box with the hat from a Cadian Command squad head. This hat matches the Commissar aesthetic and really makes it obvious what this model is, while still having a bit of the Tyranid head crest hidden underneath. It was tricky to make, but really completes the look, and the Imperial Eagle acts as a little mockery of Imperial ideals.
This model was incredibly fun to build, and reminded me why I love converting so much. A lot of the models I’ve built recently have needed a little rebuilding or plasticard sculpting, but nothing comes close to building some different than everyone else has done. His pose isn’t outlandish or overly aggressive, he is just patrolling his charges and directing them in service to the Patriarch.
The concept of a Cult Commissar seems reasonable to me, as I feel he is stalking the battlefield, and ensures that members of a Brood Brother squad are acting as the Patriarch wishes. Obviously, in a Neophyte or Acolyte squad there would be no need for him, but perhaps the connection between the Patriarch and those only enthralled by his spell could falter at times. Thus, his act of blowing the head off any Brood Brother that messes up is actually the removal of a rogue element from the Cult!
And finally, here he is with a few of his charges: