Monday, June 30, 2014

Deep Wars: Converting the Silent Soldier

The call of the wretched sea...
Antimatter Games’ Deep Wars miniatures game has many elements that draw me to it: the tight ruleset and the very narrative focus certainly rank towards the top, but the primary draw is, without a doubt, the setting...  It is underwater!  What other miniature game can claim that? The underwater setting offers all manner of unique opportunities for both gameplay and narrative.  Towards this end, the release of the Fortune Hunter’s Silent Soldier model really captured my imagination. What is not to love about the concept of an underwater assassin encumbered by all manner of deepsea diving gear?  The concept alone is one that really offers a unique modeling opportunity, trying to create an amalgamation of sleek and cumbersome.  And while Paolo Fabiani did an excellent job exploring these themes with his sculpt of the model, I was always a little skeptical of the two cutlasses he was wielding. Why would an assassin be wielding such massive weapons underwater and why would they be in such a state of disrepair? Ultimately, I can’t really blame Fabiani for this, as he was following the original concept image. Even still, I knew it was something that I would change if I purchased the model.

The original concept art for the Silent Soldier.

About a year ago, Antimatter Games launched a Kickstarter for their ShadowSea game (a related game in the same universe, but on dry land, albeit underground). Being a fan of Deep Wars, I gladly backed their Kickstarter. Aside from just getting models for ShadowSea, I opted to use it as an opportunity to get some Deep Wars models that I still wanted, including the Silent Soldier. After a year of hard work on Antimatter Games’ part, all of the ShadowSea models are done, and have been sent to the backers, so, at long last, I received the Silent Soldier.

My Silent Soldier, complete with a host of knives and daggers more befitting of an assassin.

To start the conversion I snipped off both of the blades of Silent Soldier’s cutlasses, leaving the pommels and finger guards of the weapons intact. With the blades removed, I was off to my bitz box to search for smaller more suitable weapons for him. After a while of searching, I found a whole collection of usable Space Marine and Imperial Guard combat knives. For his first knife, I used a plastic Cadian combat knife (it being the smallest knife I could find that was still able to be pinned to his hand). Due to its small size, I opted to remove the hilt’s finger guard. His second blade is one of the standard plastic Space Marine combat knives. Like the Cadian blade, it has a nice and simple profile. It is substantially larger, however, allowing me to retain the finger guard of his original cutlass without it looking ill-proportioned. I did trim off the excessive hilt guard which awkwardly extended to mid-wrist.

While still quite large, the new plastic blades I added are considerably smaller than the original cutlasses.

With the blades pinned and glued in place, next I focused my attention to the scabbards on his belt (designed to roughly hold his original cutlasses). Since I swapped out his swords, I decided to replace the scabbard with two sheathed daggers taken from the plastic Deathwing terminator squad. No self-respecting assassin would be complete without a bevy of daggers!  With this done, all I needed to do to complete the model was some touch up work with green stuff.

The plastic Deathwing terminator sheathed daggers work perfectly to augment the assassin's arsenal.

Ironbelly Klegg's pistol is much too comical for my liking. I am still working out what is can be replaced with.

With the Silent Soldier finished, I can focus my attention on some of the other models that I got from the Kickstarter! One of my chief interests is assembling Ironbelly Klegg, a Sea Dog captain that has an uncanny resemblance to the Big Daddies in Bioshock (never a bad thing!). He looks to be well cast, so it should be fairly quick, however, I plan on replacing his pistol with something a little more menacing (and does not look like a cornucopia filled with crystal shards…).

- Adam Wier

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