|Embrace the madness in your soul!|
In our last post about the Putrid Blightkings, we talked at length about how they are uniquely poised to be the foundation of all manner of interesting conversions. In our minds, the most obvious was utilizing them to make a range of interesting and unique plague marines and plague terminators for Warhammer 40k. Since the models are so complex and layered, it quickly became clear that a simple weapons swap would not do the models justice, and that they would require more significant modeling work. I am happy to report that work is well underway for the first of these conversions, an ancient Death Guard terminator! This post is geared around showing my progress on the conversion and talking about some of my thoughts on how I might finish him and what to do with the rest of the squad. Hopefully I can get some opinions from all of you about the unfinished aspects of the conversion!
Going into the conversion, I wanted to take pains to modify the Blightking armour to make it appear that he was actually wearing some form of terminator armour (rather than simply make due with the armour he was already wearing, despite how cool it is). To speak towards the notion that this Death Guard terminator is an ancient warrior heavily vested in and blessed by Grandfather Nurgle (a true veteran of the Long War!), I opted to give him Cataphractii Pattern terminator armor, one of the mainstays during the Horus Heresy. Furthermore, the Cataphractii Pattern armour is the broadest and bulkiest looking of all of the terminator armour produced by Games Workshop/Forge World, perfect for capturing the indomitable presence of a corrupt Astarte!
The first thing I did with the conversion was snip off his legs below the knees and replace them with those from a suit of Cataphractii terminator armor. While I love the boots several of the Blightkings sport, they do not exactly fit the space marine aesthetic. Having replaced the lower portion of the model’s legs, I wanted to add a little more armor to the model’s thighs, making it appear as if the terminator is bursting free of the confines of his armour (so blessed is he by Grandfather Nurgle). This turned out to be simpler than I initially envisioned; all I needed to do was take what was left of the Cataphractii terminator legs and cut them in half and hollow them out to plate the Blightking’s thighs. Additionally, I added some armour to the model’s rear, which I took from a plastic space marine terminator (from the Black Reach boxed set).
|The conversion started out simple enough, just snipping off the Blightking's legs and replacing them with the lower portion of a pair of Cataphractii terminator legs.|
|To make the legs even more convincing, I trimmed off the armour plates on the terminator legs so they could be layered onto the Blightking.|
With all of the armored components in place on the model’s legs, I went to work with greenstuff to make everything look a little more convincing. The first order of business was simply to fill in all of the gaps, connecting the resin and plastic pieces. After that was done, I started the more fun and interesting task of adding details to bring everything together. This consisted primarily of extending armour plates, adding extra bulges of flesh, and adding torn webbing from one of the leg joints (all suitable for a walking reservoir of contagion). With these details in place, I went about deforming all of the pieces of armour with pock marks and tears. The majority of these were done using drill bits of various sizes.
|I was able to use green stuff to fill in any gaps and add some final details to make it look like his armour literately burst apart from the inside.|
For the model’s body, I decided to use the Blightking with a monstrous belly mouth and a long slavering tongue. While I was particularly fond of the toothed maw and the tongue, I was less thrilled about the severed head wrapped in the tongue of the model. Since it is plastic (and not metal…), I decided it was worth the extra effort to carve off the severed head. I am pleased with the results and feel it accentuates its length and and hideous dexterity. At this point, I could have easily stopped, leaving the rest of his bloated body intact, rupturing through the rest of his armour completely. I decided it was worth experimenting with remnants of his former breastplate. To to this, I took a small saw and cut the body of a Cataphractii terminator in half. Afterwards, I used an xacto knife to hollow the rest out such that it could layer on top of the Blightking’s body. I still have to do a little more work to get the the breastplate to fit properly. The shoulder placement on the Blightkings is much different than the standard terminator. I also added two severed cables (from Dragon Forge games) coming from the breastplate to make it look like the mouth in his stomach tore open his armour.
|I am experimenting with adding a breastplate to the model, fashioned from the front portion of a Catapharactii terminator.|
The next major hurdle to be surmounted was the terminator’s weapons. To keep with the terminator-heavy theme, I decided that I needed to equip the model with a powerfist. This was a pretty simple conversion, just requiring me to snip off the Blightkings lower arm and replace it with one of the Cataphractii powerfists. Next I added some torn cabling hanging from the weapon and an elbow guard taken from a plastic space marine terminator. Aside from adding a shoulderpad, I don’t believe I will add anymore armour plating to his powerfist arm (now it looks like armour has fallen off after years of warfare and demonic corruption).
|No terminator could be complete without a lumbering powerfist!|
For the terminator’s right arm, I was less certain about what I wanted to do. As such, I began converting several different options! First and possibly the easiest would be to use one of the myriad of fantastic corroded and pitted blades and axes that came in the Blightking box. I chose one of the swords from the kit and shortened it by a small margin. Fortunately the Blightking hand holding the sword fit perfectly with the plastic terminator arms, allowing me a relatively simple means of adding the weapon to the plague terminator.
While I liked the look of the sword, I thought it would be wise to devise some form of firearm for the terminator, as well. With all the imagery of the plague marines of old, I decided the weapon needed to be a bolter of some kind. Similar to what Jeff Vader decided on with his wonderful plague marine conversion, I choose to base his firearm on one of the old 2nd edition plastic bolters. Since this was a terminator, I decided to modify the bolter into a combiflamer using one of the Cataphractii combiflamer attachments from Forge World.
|The Death Guard have always been fascinated with flamer weapons and poisons, so I felt it was worth converting a combiflamer for him, basing it around one of the old 2nd edition plastic bolters.|
|A few of the potential weapon options for the Death Guard terminator.|
Finally, I also decided to try my hand at converting a reaper autocannon as well! Although I have one of the Cataphractii autocannons, it is ridiculously oversized. Not only is it about twice the size of a plastic assault cannon, it is also as tall as Primarch Vulkan. When a weapon is so large that even one of the most massive Primarchs would look ridiculous wielding it, you know there is a problem. In a pretty simple conversion, I replaced the rotating barrels of the assault cannon with a portion of one of the dual Cataphractii autocannon barrels. And while this is still large, I feel it looks far more sensible. On a whim, I decided to fashion a shield for the weapon, to protect the vulnerable ammunition hopper.
|Yes, that autocannon is as large as Primarch Vulkan...|
|But with some cutting and the help of a plastic assault cannon, it becomes much more believable.|
When it came to selecting a head for the model, I opted to use one of the heads from the kit rather than replace it with a more traditional terminator head. I did this because I think the Blightking heads are some of the neatest components in the kit, and are possibly the most defining in terms of their character. They maintain a level of faceless horror, reminiscent to the helplessness of a viral pandemic. For the first terminator, I selected a head that pays homage to a classic Adrian Smith piece of artwork in which there is a chilling horn/blade jutting from the faceplate. I feel it speaks to the warrior’s alienation and long departure from any pieces of humanity he may once have had.
|The model is well on its way towards completion, now with a suitably pockmarked and spiked shoulderpad.|
Despite still needing to finish his body and decide on what weapons to give him, I am very satisfied with how the terminator is coming along. While it has taken much longer than I had anticipated, I think the extra green stuff work really ties the model together and make him a more convincing Death Guard terminator. It has also been really fun creating weapons for the model, mixing old and new pieces together, merging Fantasy and 40k. Although I have some ideas, I am still very much in the planning phase for the rest of the squad. Therefore, I would love to hear what you all think of the current terminator, and what you would like to see with future ones!