|The machine spirit guards the knowledge of the ancients.|
Although initially a member of the Ordo Xenos (with an obsessive fascination with the Ghost Warriors of the Iyanden craftworld), after his investigations into an aberrant technovirus (OTAV1X) led him to the to the forgeworld of Stygies VIII, Lucanus Molnár shifted his primary allegiance to the Ordo Machinum. The shift went largely unnoticed in the Pacificus Conclave, and seemed a natural transition for the technologically minded Molnár. Even the Mechanicum’s quick acceptance of his presense did not raise eyebrows, with the prevailing thought that his timely aid with the OTAV1X scourge opened doors. The truth of the matter is more iniquitous, and while garrisoned on Stygies VIII, he uncovered elements of the heretical Xenarite sect. The Xenarites, scholars and archivists of xenos technology, were thought to be eliminated in the Inquisitorial purge of 335.M36. Instead of reporting the sect’s existence to the Conclave, Molnar saw a potential ally, one who might aid in his search for technology (human or xenos) to restore the Emperor to his former glory. And so a tenuous union was formed between Lucanus Molnár and the Forge World of Stygies VIII; the Mechanicum would aid Molnár in his holy work, providing the limitless material resources and wargear that only a Forge World could supply, and Molnár would ensure the less “open-minded” members of the Inquisition would not learn of the thriving Xenarite sect within their midst.
And while his membership in the Ordo Machinum is all well and good, it does not matter a whole lot if he does not have a loyal retinue of mercenaries, hired guns, tech adepts, and death cultists. With this in mind, I started scheming over ways I might convert the first of his associates. The timely release of Skitarii Rangers/Vanguard proved a fantastic place to start!
One of the most defining features of the new Skitarii Rangers is their bionic feet, and I knew it was something I would need to seriously consider replacing if I wanted Molnár’s companion to be anything but a partially lobotomized Skitarii warrior. The simplest solution to this seemed to be experimenting with replacing the Skitarii’s bionic legs with ones of flesh and blood (and cool boots, ha ha). The first option that came to mind for the conversion was replacing the Skitarii lower legs with those of the Elysian Drop troops from Forge World. The Elysian Drop troops are quickly becoming my favorite infantry models in Warhammer 40k for conversion opportunities. They have a realistic military vibe and are scaled well (without the massive boots many 40k models tend to have). Fortunately, the Elysian Drop troop legs scale almost perfectly with the Skitarii models. Additionally, it is relatively simple to trim the legs off below the knees of both models and simply swap between them.
|The Elysian Drop troop legs work perfectly as replacements for the Skitarii bionics.|
After modifying the legs of the Skitarii, I shifted my attention to the model’s weapons. Similar to what Eric showed in his unboxing of the Skitarii Rangers/Vanguard, I decided to modify their stock Galvanic Rifles. The main modification was to aggressively shorten the barrel of the rifle. Additionally, I trimmed off the little fins on the sides of the muzzle of the rifle’s barrel. Finally I cut a little notch in the rear sight on the rifle such that he can actually use the iron sights of his rifle to aim.
|Despite aggressively shortening the Galvanic rifle, it is still a large rifle.|
Next came arguably the most important, and certainly the most challenging, part of the conversion, his head. The main thing I knew I needed to do was choose a head where at least a portion of his flesh was actually visible. This would go a long way in instilling more of a human element to the model. Eventually I settled on a head from the Empire Greatswords (Warhammer Fantasy) with a fantastic looking mustache. To make the model look like a seasoned veteran, and fit more with the skitarii body, I decided to incorporate all manner of bionics on his head. To do this I ended up splicing the lower half of one of the Skitarii Vanguard heads on the Empire head. I also crafted him a bionic eye from one of the tiny optics from the head of a Sicarian Ruststalker. Overall, I am really pleased with the head and think it gives the model a very space cowboy/big game hunter look to him.
|With some careful trimming, I was able to splice together the lower half of a Vanguard head with one from the Empire Greatswords.|
|Looking at the assembled model, it is surprising how much modifying the Skitarii's legs change the look of the model.|
|The targeting array on the Skitarii backpack was shifted to the model's shoulder, allowing me to position it to follow his view.|
I have started to write of the model’s personal history:
Beltran Destrieux was the 12th son of the wealthy Destrieux family, a prominent arms manufacturer on the industrial hive world Verghast. A veritable polymath, he spent his youth buried in books or piecing together cogitators. With very little prospects in the family fortune, Beltran started looking further and further from his family's influence and holdings on Verghast, and started to go on lengthy expeditions into the surrounding Segmentum Pacificus. This period of wanderlust came to an end when he was recruited into an Explorator Fleet (from the Forge World Stygies VIII) into the uncharted Veiled Region. Destrieux and Molnár met during the OTAV1X incident, with Destrieux serving as his chief technical aid and liaison with the Stygies VIII Fabricator Locum.
Although not 100% complete, Beltran Destrieux is well on his way to joining the shadow wars fought within and without the Inquisition. I would like to modify his bionic arm a bit for example, distancing it from the current ubiquitous design. Any comments or suggestions about the conversion or ideas on paint schemes are more then welcome. With a little luck, you will see the completed model posted here shortly!
- Adam Wier
What an amazing Skitarii conversion. This is one of the best that I've seen since the kit has been released.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the kind words! I can only imagine that in the coming months the internet will be flooded with awesome Skitarii conversions.Delete
Fantastic! Oozes such character, amd your modifications are great. Not sure that you need to make any changes to the bionic arm. Looks pretty good to me :)ReplyDelete
Thanks! I am glad you like the model as he is. I still have not decided if I will further modify his bionic arm. If I do, I will likely only add a small bracer such that you would still be able to see most of the original bionics.Delete
Very well composed conversion, I think you very much achieved what you were going for.ReplyDelete
Personally, I would prefer something a bit more... mad and inhumane, but I understand many people find my taste to be rather over the top. Consequently, this means you must spot on with your mini :D
I am pleased to hear you think I achieved my aims for the model. :)Delete
Eventually I need to create a bunch of models that are a little crazier than what I have currently been working on, ha ha. It would be a good change of pace! I do have at least one model planned for Inquisitor Molnar's group that is a little more outlandish...
Well, I actually find it to be a great strength of the hobby that there are so many different approaches and views, and so many different types of conversions. I don't think you should change your style, just because mine is different.Delete
Sure, trying something different fo a change is always refreshing, but there certainly is nothing to fault with your current minis ;)
I really enjoyed Eric's writeup on the infantry releases and the follow up with this miniature is really great. I'm a sucker for showing faces on central miniatures and I really think that the head choice here made the sum much more than it could've been.ReplyDelete
Any assassins coming the Wier way?
These new Mechanicus releases have been a wonderful surprise to the community and are brimming with conversion potential! I too am a sucker for cool faces on models. :)Delete
In terms of assassins, I really want to try and convert an operative from the Culexus Temple. I have a bunch of ideas that I have been kicking around for the conversion, so with a little luck you will see something in the coming weeks!
The most exciting part about the skitari (and cult mech), is all these new bits and conversion opportunities that the community will grab onto. I'm glad to see they are already bearing fruit in your magnificent work!ReplyDelete
I could not agree more about the new Adeptus Mechanicus models! And looking at all the leaked pictures of the new models coming out in the future, things are looking even brighter for the community. :)Delete
A very elegant and extremely ingenious conversion! What especially gets me is the spliced-together head -- brilliant!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the vote of confidence! Based on my experience with the head for this model, I would say the Vanguard heads in general are pretty apt for all sorts of splicing conversions. :)Delete
Very good conversion, particularly the head as already mentioned by some of the above posters.ReplyDelete
If you wanted to change the bionic arm, you could do something simple like clip off the hose on the elbow, or replace it with a longer one that runs to the backpack.
Another question... why even keep the Skitarii backpack? If you had gone with another one, it would have further changed the character and moved him more to the "human" side of things.
What about pouches/holstered pistol/CCW? Are you going to add any of the little bitz that proliferate on GW figures?
Thanks for all of the suggestions. Good thought about the cable at his elbow. I might consider just removing it entirely?Delete
In terms of the Skitarii backpack, your right, it might have been better to just replace it entirely. I liked the looks of them and thought it sort of spoke to Beltran's connection to the Forge World of Stygies VIII and the Adeptus Mechanicus there. I imagine most of his equipment came from there.
At the moment I have steered away from attaching more gear to his waist because then I would need to attach it directly to his jacket. Most of the gear I imagine would be more naturally attached underneath this jacket on his belt. I could attach more pouches to his backpack or even his chest.
Really like this - strong, accomplished workmanship!ReplyDelete
Cheers! With a little more work, hopefully he will be even better!Delete
Simply Wow mate - probably one of the top 3 minis you guys have posted. Your GS work and attention to the small details is, as always, brilliant. That little whip antenna is great, and the small change to the targeter is a nice touch.ReplyDelete
Sometimes I've found using fantasy heads is difficult as they are slightly to different scales - but this one looks like it fits in well.
On the boots, I was going to recommend the Death Korp Grenadier lower legs as they have a nice armoured look, but these Elysian ones do the trick just as well.
How have you found that jacket seam? I noted Dave Taylor mentioned it on his recent post as something to watch out for. Is it raised much/a flush finish?
Again, simply brilliant. The missus popped over after I exclaimed 'wow' when looking at one of the collage shots - even she mentioned it looked a cool mini.
I am glad both you and your wife like Beltran!Delete
Getting the scaling right on conversions can be tricky. The variations in sizes of the different model ranges (and within ranges) is pretty severe. So I found it works best to test fit everything you have until you find something that looks right, ha ha.
I think the lower legs of the Death Korp Grenadiers would work well too. They are scaled similarly to the Elysian ones (and the Skitarii).
So long as you glue together the correct body halves of the Skitarii, the seams are not too bad. They fit together pretty flush with just a small gap to be filled. For this model I tried using Vallejo plastic putty to fill the seams on his coat. It goes on as a paste that when dry can be scraped and sanded off, remaining in the cracks and seams. It works pretty well; similar in function to liquid greenstuff.