Ah, back to the blog! The last couple of months have been rather busy for me, leaving me with little hobby time, not least because of the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Those games do have a few problems, but the first truly 3D Pokemon games are awesome overall.
Now, what has brought me back to the hobby this time? My hobby tides ebb and flow with the new distractions, but my recent activity has been due to a commitment I made in September or so. I organised a festive model-swap with my mate Hades, agreeing to at least build a model for each other to match our collections. Notice, I did not commit to actually PAINTING the model, as apparently I…don’t paint so much, as evident on this here blog.
With such a (low) bar to meet, I had purchased a few models in an eBay auction, and promptly forgotten to do anything with them. Suddenly, we were going to be meeting up, on the day this goes out, and with less than a week to go I decided I better get building.
Hades and I both have our little bands of Inquisition/Rogue Trader models that we are slowly building up, and his are themed around the scouring of the Tyranid menace, at any and all costs. Most definitely verging on the Radical path, his Inquisitor will use every possible weapon to fight the Xenos threat, as long as it will damage Tyranid chitin. I have also been reading Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn/Ravenor/Bequin trilogies [required reading for ALL 40k fans] and the concept of blanks really appealed to me, so I played around with those unfortunates.
Some of you may remember the Necron Pariahs, an Elite choice from the days of the faceless, identity-less Necron skeleton armies, but if not here’s a quick recap. The Necrons ran raiding missions on human planets, hunting out and capturing any psychically-null humans, product of a rare Pariah gene, who have no prescence in the Warp. These “blanks” can be uncomfortable for normal humans to be around, and contact with a psyker is likely to be painful, at the least, resulting in another nickname, the “untouchables”. The Necrons then created an elite fighting force by crafting living metal onto these humans, creating the Pariahs, who ran into battle with awesome warscythes.
The Imperium ALSO has a use for blanks, and some may undertake the training and procedures required to become a member of the Officio Assassinorum, as a Culexus Assassin. These guys are absolutely devastating to psykers, effectively cutting the area around them off from the Warp, with disastrous effects for psychic powers, before striding into close combat and ripping psykers to shreds. OH, and they have a MASSIVE BLOOMING CANNON IN THEIR FACE. They are my single FAVOURITE assassin class, and Hades had actually been looking to include one in his warband.
Thus, I blended these concepts together, let it percolate for a while and came up with the following fluff, which I transferred onto this dataslate template. I think it came out fairly well!
With models in hand and fluff in head, I started with a few sketches, to get an idea of how to shift the head into a more traditional Culexus shape. In hindsight, these were likely a little ambitious for my current skills, but if I ever make another, I’ll give a bit more a go.
Now, to the conversion! With three days to go, I finally got my act together grabbed my (mercifully stripped) model, and separated the parts. The original models do have a rather big design flaw, in that the warscythe blades are incredibly fragile, which I found out after they arrived. I had also collected a few other Harlequin and Necron parts, which I thought might come in useful. Plus, the inside of a clickable pen gave some interesting shapes to be utilised…I can find a use for any broken item!
Hmmm. Looking at that picture, I switched out the main guy for his partner sculpt, but I can’t exactly retake that picture! I should also mention that by this point, I had broke the end of the warscythe off, recovered the green rod, and seperated the left hand grip from the right hand and haft. Both hands have more of a “balanced” pose than a true grip, so positioning should be key, so that the items don’t look they’ll fall. But then again…robot…magnets…an explanation could be made!
Onto the hands! Left first, as I’m a lefty and I’m proud of this plan. The Culexus entry actually mentions grenades, psyk-out one I believe, which I had intended to leave off. the model. The head of the scythe actually provided an interesting basis for a grenade, so I cleaned it up, drilled out a pinning hole, and looked to fit this with the green rod. I sliced off a section of the green rod AFTER pinning it with a handy green-plastic-coated paperclip, then filed this piece down to make an “activating bubble” of energy. I like to think of it at the preparation stage before tossing the grenade.
For the right arm, I was a little stumped, as I didn’t want to remove that lovely metal haft-texturing, but couldn’t decide what to do with the piece. As I was watching Terminator 2 again (for research I tell ya!), I realised that this slightly sentient robot could be programmed for lethal or non-lethal force, and a suitable weapon for that would be the classic baton of the Arbites. A handy metal cap for a guitar string was lying around that almost fit, so a little filing down allowed me to finish the baton. I also cut off, then carved the blade into reasonable fingers for the Culexus.
Onto the hardest part! After spending forever cutting and filing the left side of the face down, I could roughly fit the remainder of my green rod in as a power source or capacitor for his face-cannon. A piece of plasticard rod provided the lower support for this, while I used the warscythe’s firing port as the focus for the cannon. The pen part provided a good, heavy looking backstop, and a leftover piece of cabling from a dreadnought linked the cannon to his internal systems. As you can see, Hades will need to file or shave down the green rod to fit more accurately once he has painted the model, but it illustrates the point. Additionally, you can see a few buttons I added to the small of the robot’s spine, which allow for the setting of mission parameters.
You’ve probably noticed the other couple of additions, a simple Inquisitorial =I= and a purity seal, nods to it’s new masters, but I’m really pleased with the finished product. This guy screams Radical, if not Heretical, Inquisitorial property and the final build should look great. I actually left it in pieces for transport to Hades, and decided to leave him to position the arms. I did pin the parts though, as I’ve found metal models NEED pinning for stability.
On the day, Hades did seem to really like him, and I believe he is the first model of Hades’ warband to have written fluff about him. I will be featuring the model I received in trade VERY soon, (as it is bloody amazing), and hope to be able to show you Hades’ final paint of this unique conversion soon. I will leave you with a picture of the final build as sent to me by Hades himself:
Now, what to do with the other 4 Pariah models I bought in this lot?… I have been looking for a C3P0-esque conversion for my own Rogue Trader warband…