Sunday, April 13, 2014

INQ28: Converting a Militarum Tempestus Scion

To feel pain or fear or grief is to allow myself a luxury I cannot afford.
Only a week after the release of the Militarum Tempestus Scions, we have already seen a surge of activity around the blogosphere involving the kit. They are particularly well suited for Inquisitorial operatives; both Jeff Vader and Henry South have excellent examples of this.  Wanting to experiment with the kit myself, I picked up a box and set to work. Now that I have actually seen the components of the kit, I am even more impressed than ever with Dave Thomas’s work. He paid a lot of attention to detailing the hands of the models. I was particularly impressed that he thought to model one of the Scions hands such that the operator’s trigger finger is not on the trigger of the weapon! Their fighting knives are also really neat. I particularly like that they are simple straight blades and that they have a fully enclosed finger choil (kind of like a karambit, ha ha).

Despite all the positives of the kit, there are a number of aspects that make me scratch my head. First of which is the scaling of the models; these guys are huge! Forget trying to use any of the plastic Cadian heads or bodies to convert these models, they are simply too small to be incorporated with the Scions (without looking ridiculous anyway...). This scale difference makes me grateful that they decided to include 17 different heads in the kit. Yet despite including so many different heads, of the nine with berets, only two have faces that are not yelling or somehow showing their teeth. This is a shame because the beret heads are my favorite, but with all of them yelling I would hesitate to make an entire squad with them. The next questionable choice was their decision to include scopes on their stockless hot-shot lasguns, making you question how the operators would actually aim their rifles (I can buy the argument that they are to be fired from the hip and therefore have no need for the stocks, but then they should not have high powered scopes). Furthermore, each rifle is weighed down with massive energy cables hooked up to a back-pack generator (which would greatly encumber the operator while they were in combat). While I accept that the 40k universe is not really one about practicality and realism, I think they would have benefitted from a slightly more reserved weapon design (the Death Korp Grenadiers achieved the same idea without being too over the top).
The Death Korp Grenadiers have hot-shot lasrifles that are much more reserved than those seen on the Scions. Take note of the stocks on the rifles!
I was fairly certain that I would be able to remedy some of these problems with the kit, and anxiously set about converting an Inquisitorial storm trooper. The first order of business was to modify the hot-shot lasrifle. Despite my earlier comments, I do really like some of the aspects of the rifles, particularly the heat shrouds covering their barrels. First I cut off the front and back of the rifle’s scope, leaving the base of the scope attached to serve as a holographic sight (much easier to use in a combat!). I then removed the cables attached to the energy cell of the rifle. Next I went about converting a stock for the rifle, starting by removing the cap at the rear of the weapon. The main body of the stock was taken from one of the plastic Catachan lasrifles, with the base of the stock made from a component of the plastic Master of the Ravenwing I had lying around (I somehow have like five of the piece...). After gluing the pieces together I used some greenstuff to fix up the seams and called it a day.

The converted hot-shot lasgun with the energy cords and scope removed. And an added stock! Also, take note that the trooper’s finger is not on the trigger. Trigger control for the win!
With the power cables removed from the hot-shot lasrifle, I decided I needed to modify the storm trooper’s backpack as well. I opted to remove the back-mounted generator entirely from the model, only saving the pouches and sleeping bag from the original backpack. To properly attach the this new smaller backpack to the model’s back I needed to trim away some of sleeping bag. After gluing on his backpack, I fashioned some straps using greenstuff  to fasten the backpack to the storm trooper’s armor.

After removing the energy generator from the Scions backpack, I used greenstuff to add straps to hold the backpack in place. Additionally, I added an Elysian Drop troop knife to his belt.
To make the storm trooper look like he was equipped for war (as any good Inquisitorial agent!), I wanted to make sure he had equipment on his belt. First I wanted to give the storm trooper a dagger and have it attached horizontally on his back, allowing him to easily have access to it. While I really like the daggers the Scions come with, due to their size I needed to look elsewhere (that and they will be perfect for all manner of other conversions… death cult assassins). Eventually, I settled on a rather reserved looking combat knife taken from the Elysian Drop Troops. After gluing on the knife I modelled on some attachment points with greenstuff. Next I added some other gear to the storm trooper’s belt, all taken from the Elysian Drop Troops. All of the Drop Troop equipment is noticeably smaller than the stuff included with the Scions, allowing me to add a canteen, a pouch , and a grenade without making the trooper look cluttered.

With most of the conversions finished, I chose out a Tech-Deck Dragon Forge base to go along with my other Inq28 models and glued the model together. To make the storm trooper look suitably hard-lined and venerable, I decided to use the beret head with the eyepatch. Overall I am very happy with how the model turned out. I am still a little unsure what I think about the light mounted on his left shoulder. I have considered removing it entirely and adding a light to the storm trooper’s rifle. Any thoughts on the matter?

The finished storm trooper in all his glory! 
Hopefully you all enjoyed hearing about my thoughts and my design decisions on building my first Inquisitorial storm trooper. With the first assembled, I am eager to start work on another one or two. Any thoughts or suggestions on the current storm trooper or ideas on what you would like to see on future storm troopers would be appreciated.

- Adam Wier

15 comments:

  1. Nice little bit of converting there Adam. The greenstuff work around the backpack and the knife is top notch - a little thing, but really helps sell it.

    The Elysian kit looks a good match even if it was a tad smaller.

    Also props for the link to Henry's blog - what a great little part of the internet he has - top stuff.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I too really am pleased with how the greenstuff work turned out.

      Henry does have a wonderful blog filled with characterful and well-crafted models!

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  2. Nice work on the conversion. Since you make the gun a bit more "realistic" if you do decide to add a light to the gun, you should do it like contemporary troopers do, and have a tube light mounted by his left hand under the barrel shroud

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    1. Thanks for the tips on properly placing a rifle-mounted light. I will certainly do something like that if I decide to add lights to this model's rifle and that of future storm troopers.

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  3. The thing on his shoulder isn't actually a light its a motorized camera so command can keep and eye on each and every thing they do.

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    1. Thanks for the information about the motorized cameras (an interesting concept). It kind of makes me wonder if those little devices on Space Marine terminators are something similar...

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  4. That's excellent!! I'm also planning on tweaking the front end of the rifles, but seeing this should probably do the back end too :)

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    1. I am glad to hear you like the rifle modifications. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for the rifles for your storm troopers!

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  5. The addition of the stock to the back of the rifle is great. Really liking the small things you've done to modify your Scion. Great stuff!

    Oh, and I'd like to inform you that this blog has been nominated for the Liebster Awards! For more information, follow this link: http://questing-artificer.blogspot.ch/2014/04/6-liebster-award.html

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of his squad mates!

    Cheers,

    Q

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    1. Thanks for the kind words about the Scion. I have almost finished the second squad member!

      Also, thank you for the nomination for the Liebster Awards. I will see what I can do about writing up a post about that.

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    1. Great to hear! Hopefully you can find something useful!

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  7. Assuming Warhammer 40k uses real-world physics (....a big IF)....Lasrifles and Hot-Shots wouldn’t have any recoil :P ...or even make any sound when fired.

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  8. I I like your conversions. I am doing some Sions to run along with my Wolves. I always hated the scopes and power cords since the Sions are meant for CQB (atleast fluff wise) and with short range rifles they really don't need high powered scopes

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    1. I am glad you like the conversions! From the moment I saw the plastic Scions I knew that I needed to remove the power cables and scopes from the rifles (and try and add stocks). Good luck with your Scions!

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