Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Pre- Heresy Conversion

 First Off I’d like to thank Matt, our blog master for inviting me to contribute. At our hobby store we are lucky to have a wide range of guys to bounce ideas of off and get excellent feedback, and by all means Matt is one of the best to utilize for honest opinions and “how too” when things are descending into the depths of the warp on a project.

 The journey I’m about to take you on, I do so with a bit of trepidation, for we will be dealing with taint, and it must be removed!

I inherited a good deal of old Chaos bitz from a friend of mine the other day and as I scoured through them, realized that I had the makings for around 13-15 guys, so naturally not being a chaos player myself, I decided to embark on bringing honor back to those gallant heroes that remained loyal to the Emperor, praise be his name, by making a soldier to represent each of the original legions before they turned traitor, following the deceptive one, Horus, and his litany of lies.

Here is an example of the materials I have to work with. Most are chaos bitz and will have to be cleansed of their taint.
I started with what I like to call the “Fett” helmet. If you have read “The Horus Heresy” books you will find a great rendition of this on the cover of “False Gods” with the red horsehair crest. I think it’s a great Mk III helm, and captures the feel of the pre-heresy armor.

First I cut away the “ears” with a sharp exacto knife. Then I begin to gently slice away the leftovers down to the meat of the helmet.

At this point I changed the trimming technique by scraping with the blade along the helmet in the same fashion you use to clean mold lines off of figures, in order to smooth the crown of the helmet.

The only real issue I ran into was making sure not to chip too far into the earpieces, so watch out for that!

Now just rinse and repeat for any other helmets you have, taking care for the differences you may have in styles of helmets.

                                  Next I moved on to removing the taint from the torso pieces. 

With the Exacto knife again, I begin by “slicing” the mark of Khorne off of the Belt buckle and slicing the chain down to the plate.

. I emphasize a slicing motion when doing this because it is easier to control and as long as you keep the angle shallow you will avoid the need for green stuff to fix deep cuts. 

Once you have sliced away the taint of chaos you can use the Scraping technique to smooth out the surface and then move on to a file of you like, though if you are experienced at scraping you may not need to file. When filing, use gentle pressure and let the tool do the work, you don’t want to end up with a flat chest piece! You can avoid this problem by doing a little at a time, and checking your work.

Here I have an example of an imperial Jet pack harness chest piece which is, in my opinion good to use, in that it has the “flavor” of the Mk III/ Mk IV pattern, but we need to remove the Aquila. For those who don’t know, in the pre-heresy the only legion allowed to wear the Aquila was The Emperor’s Children. So with that being the Imperial Truth, we must remove the wings that are visible under the harness, lest we offend the Emperor, praise be his name. We again utilize shallow “slicing” and then scraping to finish it off.

                                                   Here you can see the difference.

Now I go through the different styles of Chaos chest pieces and rid them of their taint using the same “slicing” and then “scraping” techniques. And repeat the process with the back pieces. At this point you can now go back and check your work to make sure that you have things in a fairly “clean” state, and you may even sleep better tonight knowing that you have rid the universe of more chaos infused filth and pestilence in the Name of the Emperor, praise be his name!

Part 2 will be here in a matter of days; we’ll take a stab at cleansing legs and arms, and begin the process of picking the right pieces for the best poses!  

- John


  1. Great tutorial! I utilized several of the same techniques on my Thousand Sons, though as it's themes in mid-heresy I felt I could get away with leaving in the occasional spike or chain to show how the warping influence of chaos was beginning to make itself shown. I'm looking forward to seeing the unit you have planned - keep up the great work!

  2. This made me smile! I loved the Emperor comments through out! Also this was a rather nice tutorial! It is nice to see honor being returned to these guys!

  3. Nice job cleaning those off. It's tedious work I know, but it pays off in aces later on down the line.

    Ron, FTW


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