Monday, June 10, 2013

Jokaero Weaponsmith Conversion

This crazy little ape is, in my opinion, one of the best units in the Grey Knights codex.  Between the utility his weapons offer and the possible upgrades they grant to their unit, Jokaero Weaponsmith's are a hidden gem.  The biggest downside to them is the terribly unimpressive model GW has to offer.  So, with a suggestion from Chris Vinton, I upgraded my Jokaero into a formidable looking techno-gorilla.

I began with the "Axis Gorillas" from the alternate WW2 tabletop game Dust.  Which are pretty bad ass, as they come fully assembled and primed, with a price of just $15 for three apes.  Finding suitable techy parts was a breeze after looking through some necron bits.  With the help of the Dremel Stylus, a tool i think is a must for every hobbyist, i carved the bits to fit the contours of the body and glued em up.  Now i needed to blend it together so it looked smooth so i grabbed some green stuff.  This was my first experience using the stuff, but with a quick tutorial from Vinton, I was able to achieve a passable fur texture.  For paint I used Khemri Brown as a base coat, added two coats of Agrax Earthshade, with a final highlight with the Khemri Brown.  Leadbealcher with a highlight of Mithril Silver gave me my armor paint.  For the "power" parts I used the same technique I use on my Nemesis Force weapons, a base of white with a heavy layer of Guilliman Blue glaze.  There you have it, my version of the Jokaero Weaponsmith.

My preferred use with these apes is to put two of them in a squad of storm bolter warrior acolytes.  When they are deployed you need to make a roll on the "inconceivable customization" chart.  Two is the magic number because for each Jokaero past the first you add +1 to the chart.  A roll of a one nets you no result so with two you can  never achieve that result.  Ideally I hope for a roll of either 1, 3, 5, or 6.  With a 5 you add one to a 6 and get to roll twice more on the chart.  6 being the highest you can get on the chart, also gets you two more rolls.  1 bumps to a 2 which grants 12" additional range to the entire units maximum weapon range.  3 bumps to a 4, my hope and dream whenever I roll, which gives rending to all the units shooting weapons.  The other two results are +1 to the armor save of the unit and the other gives the unit a 5+ invulnerable save.

The monkey's also serve a good heavy weapons team in your henchmen squad.  Generally parked behind the Aegis defense line, they rarely move, allowing you to bolster your fire power with either a lascannon, multi-melta, or heavy flamer shot.  I've one more than a few games simply by achieving the critical first blood point from a well placed, long range lascannon shot.  The multi-melta is rarely used, but has been critical in destroying drop pod dreadnoughts in the past.  The heavy flamer is my favorite, simply because your opponent will rarely remember you have it and try to get in close with their hormagaunts, orks, or scarabs.

As if all of that weren't enough reason to use these tech savvy apes of death, they also come with a 5+ invulnerable save.  Something I have apparently never remembered until just now re-reading their profile.  AND, even though they pretty much fold in close combat, they have digital weapons.  Which in truth has caused that one extra wound to turn the tide in a tight CC.

There you have it, the under-utilized, but highly valuable little monkey that could from the Grey Knights codex.  Next time you see these bastards on the battlefield do not under estimate them.  And keep an eye on your opponent when he rolls on that chart.  Remember, each roll can only be applied once (including 6's) and you ignore duplicate results.  Cheers!



  1. The completed model looks great! That's a great look at how you took a crappy GW model, (which honestly, there aren't many of) tossed it aside and created your own awesome model. Nice work!

  2. Nice! Definitely more fearsome than the other one!

  3. Thanks. This was really my first try at conversion work. I enjoyed it thoroughly and am looking forward to the next projecy