Two possibilities exist:
- I have been at a bit of hobby loose end since finishing my drukhari kill team. Do I plough on with more Thracians, finally finish my Neferata, or make a few more Iron Tusks? Or do I do something different entirely? One can never have too many kill teams…
- I am a terribly shallow creature, easily swayed by the cheap & easy gratification of social media, and when a random chaos renegade from the Dark Vengeance box that I painted up years ago started getting a bunch of likes on instagram I immediately started rummaging through my hobby drawers for the rest of his mates.
(these possibilties are not mutually exclusive)
Long story short, I’m nurgling now.
That guy was the prototype that I painted years ago. The Dark Vengeance set contained 2 of these sculpts, and while he’s quietly my favourite model GW have ever put out (no joke), I wasn’t about to have two identical marines in a kill team. So I decided to start cutting.
Let’s call that the “oh shit, might’ve bitten off more than I can chew” stage. My man here lost a horn somewhere in storage, so that part wasn’t deliberate, but I did go and hack off his bolter, leaving just the hands to work with. The objective here was to give him a fancy nurgle flamer that could count as a plague spewer or belcher, depending on what points I had spare.
First task: the core of the gun and its weird muzzle. Because it’s a distinctive part that does a lot to differentiate the weapon from other flamers and if I can’t get that right, I might have to revise this entire model. I also wanted to add a little bit of warp-cursed mutation to the weapon to tie it in with the rest of the model’s armour.
The basis for the main part of the gun was a small piece of flat plasticard to fill the gap between the two hands and a bit of 1.5 mm dia plastruct rod for the gun barrel. So far, so simple. For the muzzle, I started by nicking a handy horn from a different chaos kit (probably), chopping its point off and repurposing it as the basis for that flared muzzle. Easier to sculpt over an existing shape. The bulbous bit before the muzzle proper got sculpted first (adding some reinforcement to the join between barrel & muzzle), before I went in and added ribs to each side of the muzzle and finally a little spine to bring the whole thing together. I’m very proud of myself that I actually had the good sense & patience to leave each little stage of green stuff for a good 8 hours before working on the next bit. I am not normally that sensible and typically cause myself a lot of unnecessary grief!
Second stage: worky bitz. Let’s try and make it a semi-convincing sci-fi gun. There’s not actually that much to be done here – I knew I didn’t want to make the back end of the weapon look anywhere near as heavy as the GW version, preferring the simple tube format of WW2 flame throwers (yes, those ones that werf flammen). Nevertheless the weapons of the Warhammer 40,000 universe have certain standards and we expect to see at least one unnecessary canister and some cool hoses on any gun worth worrying about and I do not like to disappoint.
This one was a pretty simple case of taking the fuel canister off another flamer I had laying around, carving a little slot out of it so it could attach to the side of the gun and then drilling a hole in the top of it. Once that was well secured, I drilled a similar size hole near the crook of his elbow and threaded one of Jeff Wilhelm’s handy dandy metal hoses through the gap and into the canister. The last step was to take some thin sections of 3mm plastruct tubing and cut them into little hoops to secure the hose and also reinforce the area around the left hand.
Finishing touches: obviously I needed to find a replacement horn. It’s bigger than the original, but it’s a chaos model, so we like asymmetry. The backpack is monstrously large, but in a way I can totally enjoy. If it’s not obvious, the big turbine is half of a raptor’s jump pack. I added a plaguebearer skull on one end to help receive a much bigger hose (again, shout outs to Jeff Wilhelm at Dragon Forge) and drilled a correspondingly larger hole under his trigger hand, as if that hose feeds directly into the grip of the gun. Finally, I did an incredibly delicate bit of work to make the little chimney bit that sits behind the muzzle, drilling a 1mm hole into some 1.5mm plastruct rod, and then drilling .3mm holes in the side of that. I am frankly amazed that I didn’t mangle the whole thing beyond use.
And there he is finished! Fiddliest conversion I’ve done in some time, but very satisfying all the same. I have three more guys to make (and one of those is going to need a scratch-built blight launcher) so it’ll be a little while before this one sees paint, but for now he’s enjoyable to stare at while making whooshy fire extinguisher noises. Happy hobbying, folks.