Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Thousand Sons 100 Conversions

For the last few weeks I've been caught in Tzeentch's grand scheme and have been fervently converting a massive number of minis for both a Thousand Sons and Tzeentch Daemons army. As you can see from my desk, the hobby madness hasn't been contained to just the minions of the Great Deceiver, I also have a number of Eldar pieces in the works and even a few of Grandfather Nurgle's followers.

For the Thousand Sons, I o
riginally planned to construct a 1500-2000pt force, led by none other than Ahriman. The army focuses on rapid deployment troops, a ton of psychic powers (7-8 a turn depending on composition), heavy fire support from allied Obliterator Cult members, and daemonic reinforcements. What really excited me about this army were the conversion possibilities. As I was to have a unit of undedicated chaos marines roaming about to act as the vessel for my greater daemon, a bland bunch of marines was simply not going to do.




Though these five marines aren't dedicated to Tzeentch, I wanted to tie them into the theme of the army somehow. What I struck upon was the idea to make them "disciples of Ahriman" or rather put, freeblade marines that have pledged themselves to their master's service in hopes of attaining arcane knowledge and power. I mentioned earlier that the greater daemon is summoned from this squad, and as such, each member has a role in the summoning ritual. The vessel for the summoning is the champion who holds aloft an icon which acts as a focal point for the squads ministrations. Because he will be sacrificed I wanted to add details that suggested he was about to spawn the greater daemon into the material realm. To get this effect I modeled flames swirling about his body. In my mind a Tzeentchian daemon wouldn't crudely burst from its host, but rather, the host would erupt into ethereal flame and the daemon would stalk out from amongst the inferno.

Not overlooking the others in the squad, there is a ceremonial censer bearer, meltagun wielding vanguard, sacrificial blade bearer, and one of my personal favorites, the orchestrator of the ritual. For this model I posed him to give the impression that his oration was reaching a climax and he was beseeching Tzeentch to bless them with the aid of one of his servants. Though these marines are merely "bolter" marines, with the exception of the champion and meltagunner, I still wanted to add a distinctly Tzeentchian feel to the squad and a strong sense of purpose.

The main body of troops for my "Disciples of Ahriman" army is, of course, Thousand Sons. I've always been a big fan of the Sons models and am delighted to finally have the opportunity to model and paint my very own. The kit for the basic troopers is fairly straight forward, so I concentrated my conversion efforts on the unit's sorcerers.

For the squad's sorcerers I drew much of my inspiration from the Horus Heresy novel 'A Thousand Sons.' In the novel they do much to flesh out the Sons' background, of which they describe the five covens of the legion: the Pyrae, Corvidae, Raptora, Pavoni and Althanaean. I really liked how sorcerers in the legion weren't simply all-rounders when it came to psychic powers, rather specializing in either damage dealing, prescience, protection, manipulation or mind-reading. The two squad sorcerers were modeled to represent a Corvidae and Pyrae sorcerer respectively.

Because the stock sorcerer model is gorgeous I wanted to concentrate on adding non-obtrusive details to the mini without altering the original cast. To achieve this on the Corvidae sorcerer, I took a defiler standard top and trimmed it down to its inner circle and main pole. With the base of the standard complete, I trimmed two of its icon points down to a smaller size. These two bitz would be the hour-hand and minute-hand of the clock made from the defiler standard. Cutting three pieces from a brass pin, to be the hand arms and the central hub, completed the workings of the clock. Next, I took the chaos marine Tzeentch standard and diced off its periphery scroll work and glued them to the sides of the clock for a bit more embellishment. Finally, a raven from the Warhammer Giant boxed set completed the Corvidae standard. Why a raven you ask? In the novel they explain that ravens/crows are the "mascot" of the Corvidae Coven.. brilliant! A last touch for the model is the addition of tutelary or familiar. Severing the fume-skull from its flask (found in the Empire Wizards box set) I took a paperclip and mad the structure for the tutelary's ghost trail. A bit of green stuff and the familiar was complete!

For the second sorcerer, I wanted to portray his fiery potential (he casts wind of chaos in-game). The addition of the brazier staff top (once again from the Empire Wizard box set) as a backpack standard and some green stuff flames to his sword gives the model a pyro feel. In fact, I think I might add a bit of green stuff fire emanating from his eyes to further the effect...

Like I mentioned earlier, I started out with plans of building a Thousand Sons army. While I was working on that army I thought, 'hey, I wonder what a Tzeentchian daemons army would be like?' A quick glance at Codex: Chaos Daemons and I was sold, they were awesome (last Saturday I placed 2nd in a 1000pt tournament at my local game store). Now that I was hooked on an all daemons army I began creating larger and larger lists. My current list contains Kairos Fateweaver, The Bluescribes, The Changeling, and a herald on chariot all in 1500pts! However, with 'Ard Boyz next week I realized that I needed to bump that up by 1000pts.. and quick. Though I have plans to model the Bluescribes from scratch and have gotten a start on my herald and his chariot, the possibility of getting everything wrapped up by Saturday just wasn't going to happen. What's a guy to do then? Build two daemon princes!

Though one daemon prince is flavored towards my Thousand Sons army (the latter prince) and one for the Tzeentch Daemons, both are useable in either army. Little additions like the headdresses and parchment strips gave the dp's a more Tzeentchian feel. The Warhammer Tomb Kings skeleton set is great for these as they contain great banner tops ideal for Tzeenthian/Sons conversions. For the prince I wanted to give flight I took a pair of wings from the Necrosphinx kit and trimmed them to fit, instead of using stock prince wings. In fact, if you are looking to make a Sons army, I recommend utilizing the full range of Tomb Kings bitz, as they are excellent for adding Egyptian style embellishments that are typical of the legion.

Stay tuned next week for more of Tzeentch's followers, including Thousand Sons vehicle conversions and a peek at the herald and his chariot in progress!

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