Saturday, November 30, 2019

Conversion Corner: Arco-flagellant

Never worth your name.

Ever since the introduction of arco-flagellants into Warhammer 40,000 with the release of the 54mm game Inquisitor, we have been fascinated with them. Their concept is something that represents 40k so well: taking Imperial citizens condemned to capital punishment and converting them into specialized servitors that are pumped full of combat drugs and stims to send them into a bloody frenzy upon the vocalization of a trigger word. The original 54mm Damien 1427 model expertly captured the drug-addled madness of the concept, but the 28mm 40k models always fell far short. Fortunately, better versions are being released with the new Sisters of Battle release. In celebration of this, we decided it would be fun to convert one ourselves for our Conversion Corner series!

The Wood Elf Blood Bowl team has a number of fantastically dynamic poses that work well for arco-flagellants.

An important element of the the arco-flagellant is their frenzied movement. With this in mind, I set out to find a base model that was in motion. I found the ideal candidate in one of the new plastic wood elf blood bowl models, one that was sprinting forward. Fortunately, the wood elf models also have excellent anatomical form, with well-defined muscles and features rather than exaggerated heroic proportions. This substantially reduced the amount of conversion work required. A key element of the arco-flagellant design is that they have one or more of their hands replaced with electro-flails or chain blades. I decided to only replace one of the hands with a weapon, feeling it resulted in a more balanced looking model. Rather than using a whip, I used a small chainsaw blade we found on an old 2nd edition Malifaux model.

Epidermal sockets were added to the model by inlaying small brass tubes within slightly larger brass tubes.

To create a face reminiscent of the original Damien 1427 model, spliced together the lower half of one of the wood elf models with the battered metal head of one of the Nighthaunt Chainghasts. I added a plastic bionic eye, and added a second lens beneath it, created by a small piece of brass tubing. I added a piece of brass wire and another plastic one sprouting from the back of his head into his back. I also added a series of epidermal sockets all across the model’s body, created with inset pieces of brass tubing from Albion Alloys. I also used modeling putty to add some scars covering his body, to reflect his violence-wracked body. Although the model is largely finished, I may also add some form of drug-filled syringes to the model’s back, possibly some less conspicuous subdermal ones, rather than the often seen vertebral spines.

The arco-flagellant next to the original Conversion Corner model, the Happenin' Habber!

It was really fun to create an Inq28 model again, particularly one based so heavily on the Inquisitor roleplaying game. It is also great that GW is creating models like it again after so many years. I really look forward to getting some of the new plastic arco-flagellants for a comparison! Any comments or suggestions are welcome!

-Adam Wier


  1. That's a wonderfully dynamic model and the pose looks much more natural than the slightly awkward looking pose of the official models.
    I think the chainsaw blade needs some cabling adding to help blend it in and imply that it has a power source.
    It's still a great conversion though and I look forward to seeing him painted up.

  2. Great conversion. Looking forward to seeing it with some paint ;)

  3. Fantastic work, Adam! I actually thought this was one of the new official models that you had merely decided to glitz up a bit. Quite a seamless conversion! :)