Monday, January 25, 2010

Rough Rider Conversion

Rough Rider conversion

Since GW hasn't put out a reasonably priced box set for rough riders its conversion time. For the conversion I used the Glade Riders box set from fantasy and a Cadian troop box. I picked the Glade Riders becasue the horses look awesome and they have spears. Pretty simple choice in my opinion.

The conversion is a pretty simple one that you could even get away with not using green suff you'd just have to figure something out with the non-lance arm. Overall I think the cost effectiveness and ease of the conversion should put more Rough Riders on the table. The glade riders were 35$ and the box of cadians was 25$ at retail and you'll get 8 riders. so it's around 7.5$ each and you'll still get 2 whole guardsmen out of your guard box. Obviously if you make them out of the battle box or get your supplies on ebay or whatever you could bring the price down.

So first thing after washing the models is that I put the horses together so that I can still play with my rough riders as I'm putting them together just as horses with no riders. They're very dangerous horses. After that the most work is done on the rider.

Step 1; Legs

I start with the legs and boots and work my way up. For this rider I didn't use the legs that came

on the cadian spure. I'm pretty frugal with combination options and box will give me so to me, why use the better legs when I could just use some legs on of my bit box, like I did here; the gunner from a vendetta.

Clip the boots offand clean them up just above the top of the boot. Make sureyou get your cut as flat as you can.

After you get your boots, clip the legs off the elf spure and clip the feet off the legs keeping the cut and filing straight as well. After that you'll have your boots and your legs.

I've found that the legs look the most normal and proportional when you cut the elf legs about 1mm below where the leather of the boot comes together just below the knee. Any higher and he'll look like a dwarf and any lower and he's some strange branch of long legged evolution.

After you get your legs and boots you'll want to glue them together. Becare at this step because though you may have never looked they do infact have a left and right boot with an arch and everything. You're guys will look like preschoolers going out to recess if you're not careful. Also, the inside of the arch of the elf legs sits pretty flush with the horse and if you're boots are set too far inward it'll bow the legs out and make a gap and eventually snap your boots off. Lastly, it is large enough in this area to pin the boots but I feel like scoring the plastic will be good enough. These guys end up pretty frail all over so I doubt you'll be just throwing them in a box any way.

The top section of the legs is a pretty small flat area and on the first one I did I messed this up by reducing the angle back and it ended up making the guy look like he was about to fall off. Now all I do is just take my clippers and shave about 1mm off and keep it at the same angle. This will keep the back of the torso flush with the back of the legs. Also, on a personal note, I shave off that little rectagular back pack thing on the're back. I hate painting around it and its just pointless any how.

Step 2: The Lance

Setting the legs aside for now, we can move to the hunting lance. You could get more fancy than I get for this but I'm fine just using the tiny gem that is conveniently just below the blade as my explosive charge thing.

The Glade riders come with 2 lances in hands, one complete lance with no hand and 3 on backs with quivers and cloaks.

Personally, I think the cloaks look awesome and add to the ruggedness of the rough riders and their back story of being scout units and more woodsmen. (Being from Michigan, these guys have a special place in my heart)

For this tutorial I've selected the spear that has both a left and right hands on it. I kep the right hand for this to eventually make a more relaxed "I'm casually looking for something to kill" look. I've used the left on another model and it kind of looks weird but it works.

The Lance also has some frilly wood elf stuff near both ends that I file off being careful to keep the knob at the end without the blade and keeping the gem near the blade to represent my explosive tip. I've lopped a few ends off and they can easily be replaced with green stuff but its obviously easier to just not file them off or cut them.

On the spear I clean it with a file only. I when I cut my end off I was trying to shave it by dragging an exacto blade side ways over it and it just sliced it off. The Lance is to fragile for an exacto blade. I just sort of spin it in my fingers when filing back and forth to keep it as round as I can.

I use the clippers to get most of the hand off and then we'll file it down smooth like with did the frill and we'll end up with a clean smooth lance.

After the lance is all cleaned up we'll clip the arm off leaving a bit of the wrist. the wrists have two little bracelet things and I usually cut the line in between them and it'll give me a nice sleeve cuff wrist area to use. You'll want to be careful to leave this area because the elf hand is smaller than a cadian's and it looks strange if you don't have this little buffer area.

After the lance is cleaned up completely I clip out on the the weapon arms from the Cadian spures that's used as the support arm holding the stock of the las gun. Scroll down for a picture.

Step 3; the reins arm

Again, a personal preference her, but I had when riders aren't holding onto a horse. I think its pretty crazy to think that they're all so skilled a rider that they can guide with their knees while fighting in a battle. It takes a ranger what...12 levels to do that?

For the reins army I just use an arm that is holding a las gun from the cadian box. There are several options for the bend of the arm, but for the most part the arm bends and will look like the rider is holding the reins tight into their chest. I've used arms from the command squad, tanks bits and weapons teams to vary the way they're holding the reins but in the end its all more for flavor than function.

To start with you'll select your arm and clip and clean it. I picked a sort of more relaxed elbow and started clipping. You'll want to clip the lasgun our carefully because the clippers can easily slide into the hand and chop off a finger or the whole hand. Also, on that note I have contemplated chopping off the triger finger because it does look kind of strange that his hold on the reins has a trigger finger and someone would be less likely to notice that my guy only had three fingers than that one is sticking out like it has a trigger.

To help clean up where the butt of the las gun touched the shoulder I use my round file to just extend the folds in the sleeve and make it a little more smooth. For the most part its a small detail that might be missed in the quick scan.

I didn't get a good picture of it, but after I cleaned the reins hand up I drilled a small hole in the top and bottom to jam green stuff into to help hold it on it. After playing with my first set of riders I realized that the reins are not held on very strongly and might benefit from a little extra holding area.

Step 4: Assemble the Rider

Now that we have all our pieces you'll just need to assemble them. This is where you can have your creative freedom to put arms at different angles, the head looking in different places, the torso twisted, the wrist of the lance hand twisted, ect. This creates a very personalized look and makes ever rider very very different. This is how I put him together keeping with my "I'm casually looking for something to kill" look.

After this you've got your horse and you've got your rider and its just up to you how much detail you want to use and how far into your bit box you want to dig. I happen to love flare and if I have 30 custom made rough riders they're going to be the center of my army and I want them to be as awesome as I can make them.

I used a number of bits to flare up my riders and its all up to you. I like having saddle bags to add to the background of forward scouts.

Also, you can just leave the reins hand open or use some green stuff to make it more complete. I'll have some details about green stuffing them in a later tutorial. For now, heres some finished products.

Here is a finished green stuffed and saddle bagged rough rider.


  1. This may be the finest tutorial we have hosted here, CVinton. Welcome aboard DFG!

  2. Loving the tutorial, especially the trophy rack at the rear of the horse.

    Is this an indication of what could be next for the blog army wise? :-)

  3. I'd be happier seeing me ramble about how awesome a challenging army like guard are than someone else talking about how easy nids are. I'm not jaded at all or anything. Vote for Guard.

  4. Nice work indeed, Sir.

    And I voted Guard.

  5. have you got any pics of the others?