I’m continuing to slowly plod away at these here plague marines (a pace which I think they’d approve of), adding a second gunner with a blight launcher to the team. This was a bit of a complex, pain in the ass type of conversion, largely owing to the need to build him a completely new set of arms while trying to retain the model’s original shoulders.
Just like with the plague spewer carried by my other gunner, I knew I wanted to keep the actual gun on this guy fairly low-key and offload a lot of the ammo storage and other Worky Gubbinz to a towering, industrial backpack. Inspired by older weapons like the American M79, I decided to take a bolt pistol (which I think used to belong to a chaos raptor?) and simply stick a small length of plastruct tube to the front of it and the butt from a plasma gun on the back. The bolt pistol actually came with a bit of a leering eyeball already emerging from the casing, so I decided to work with what I had and sculpted some nibbly teeth underneath, gobbling up the ammo feed.
The backpack itself is dominated by a pair of heavy bolter magazines (probably from space marine centurions?), with a basic plastruct ‘box’ just underneath to receive the ammo feed and provide a solid base on which to sculpt a big ol’ skull. The ammo feed itself was made possible by a handy dandy pencil sharpener I found on ebay that’s designed to sharpen the lead as much as the wood, allowing me to create a lot of giant hollowpoint style bullets from thin plastruct rod. Yes it was tedious, fiddly work; yes I know this thing is supposed to be a grenade launcher, but after having explored a lot of options I figured out that this was the one that was actually feasible for me to make, so that’s what I went with.
Finally, because the whole project wasn’t fiddly enough already, meet Dave the Nurglo-skull. He’s a plaguebearer skull of course, with a bunch of little bits (including an eye lens) from a regular servo skull. His little wings are cut from a piece of transparent plastic and as you can see, I did go in and reduce the size of that massive horn a little bit.
And there you have it, one gribbly gunner ready for paint. The rest of the conversion work on this team should be much easier, so hopefully I can actually get some paint on these before the year is out.