Monday, October 7, 2013

Building Great Plague Marines from Dark Vengeance Chosen!

TJ here and tonight I want to talk about converting those Dark Vengeance Chosen that you swore you would do something with into something actually useful for your Chaos army and, since we have been talking about building a better Plague Marine lately, I want to make some Plague Marines out of my Dark Vengeance Chaos Marines. I puposefully stuck to a minimum of 3rd party bits and Green Stuff work because I wanted to show you how easy this can be and encourage a little bit of conversion out there, since I know everybody and their mother have these models on their shelf somewhere. Let's take a look at the squad I made.

Alright, so here is the group shot, which while it is a terribly far away photo, it does demonstrate that this squad, even without paint, already look good from the angle of the person passing by the table and if you are like me, that is all you really care about anyway.

Upon closer inspection, you will first notice the maggot bases, which Chris Vinton made for me a couple years ago (If anybody is super interested in these, I think either CVinton or I could find a mold or two). Also, you will notice some other resin parts, which are a select few Kromlech Morbid Legionnaire shoulder pads, which I have reviewed recently.

The Dark Vengeance Chosen, for those of you unfamiliar with the models, are already great models for plague Marines as they tend to have fleshy tubes and cables on them, along with horns gripping bolters on their packs and daemonic, plaguebearer-esque faces coming off of parts of their armor. The Kromlech shoulder pad here and there really sets them off though and is just the subtle push, along with paint that will ultimately unify the squad in one putrid theme.

Once I grabbed the squad, the first hurdle I had to cross was that two of these Chosen were armed exactly the same way. The good news in that the bolter and the head are disconnected from the rest of the model, so a simple snip and bam, you get the melta armed Plague Marine you see above. If you want an additional overhaul, you could saw off one pad and then take the head off as I did to the Plague Marine on the right. In any case, there are simple ways to make the two of these models unique from one another.

Here is a look at the shoulder pads. The faces I mentioned before incluse the horned head of the left pad and one of the Morbid Legionnaire shoudler pads from Kromlech is on the right.

One the other side, you can see that I added just the littlest bit of green stuff to the shoulder pad on the left to help tie in a little more Nurgle. I also added a Chaos Terminator's tusk to the helmet. The model on the right is keeping the plain shoulder pad because for One - I already made this model look like a plague Marine and Two - In case I model more of these particular Chosen from the other squads I own, I want to leave modelling opportunities for making those unique as well.

These three are some of my favorite Chaos Marine models of all time. They have the look I have always wanted in plastic CSM, so making Plague Marines with these models is something that excited me when I finally started this project.

Looking at the models from this side, I changed nothing on this side of the model on the left, I swapped out the powerfist of the middle model for a regular CSM sword and added a particularly gross Kromlech shoulder pad. The model on the right had some serious shoulder pads that would take a lot of cutting to remove, so in the nature of this post, I left them and removed the lower arms in order to add in a sword and plasma gun.

Heading down, we find more simple conversion work. On the left, I swapped out the power axe arm of the original model for a spare berzerker chainsword arm and then topped it off with a Kromlech shoulder pad adorned with a nasty fly, which ties right into other models in my army and one of the themes of many Nurgle armies. The middle model got a touch of Green Stuff work, just to add a little Nurgle spice to the whole model and the model on the right, has no changes other than those I mentioned above.

Before I move onto the Champion, I just want to take a last look at these two models here. I may have made these into Plague Marines, but really with how amazing these kits are, there is no reason why somebody wouldn't want to make them fit into almost any CSM army they can imagine and with a little work (like alternative shoulder pads and arm swaps) you can make that happen. Ever since I started the Building a Better Plague Marine series, I have heard comments back that all the conversions and third party bits were great, but too expensive or took too much talent.

This is my example to you. You can go on Ebay right now and grab up these models for $10-$12 for six of them, often with free shipping. Then you can grab some third party bits, whether they are from Kromlech or another company displayed in my first building a better series on Plague Marines - is up to you. By the time you do that, you still would have spent less than you would have on a box of the same old Finecast Plague Marines everyone else has or even the Plague Marine conversion parts that are also common - and the kicker is that with minor effort (swaps are easy), you can have better looking models too.

Let's see: Better looking. Check. Cheaper. Check. Simple conversion work. Check. You can officially have your cake and eat it too.

Now that I have sold you on that (haha), here is the Champion, who also could be a cheapo lord or sorceror in a pinch. He is already a great Plague Marine base model as he is covered in daemonic faces and even has a nasty bunch of tubes coming out of his head! All I had to do to this model to make him a champion was cut out one shoulder pad and turn his mace into a scythe. Done.

In order to do that, I took my hobby clippers and cut the offending pad off and then smooth the space with a hobby knife so the new pad would fit correctly. I also clipped just enough off the mace to match the scythe style blade I wanted (from the palstic Chaos Knights box).

Since he is the champion and I wanted a combi weapon, I grabbed the back pack from the Aspiring Champion clampack I won from a Spikey Bits contest last year and glued it on. It fits in really well, especially since the kit was made in the same style as the Chosen.

Finally, I added on another of the Kromlech Morbid Legionnaire pads with a fly design. There are two fly pads - one that has a traditional shoulder pad shape and another that has that little circle taken from it, which you can see matches the other, existing shoulder pad on the model and once it is painted, it will look like the model was made that way by the original designer, which I think is the ultimate hallmark of a good conversion.

With that all said, I want to encourage you to grab those shelfed Chosen models and take a look at how you can add them into your forces other than as Chosen. Perhaps you can turn them into Noise Marines, Bikers or even as Stearnguard in a counts-as force. Think outside of the label GW gave them and look at what you can do with a little cutting and a few simple bits.

For those of you interested in Kromlech Morbid Legionnaire shoulder pads or any of their products, check out their site here and for those of you interested in other ideas on building a better Plague Marine, check out the original post. For other Building a better ideas, here is a link to every article I have written thus far under that label.

As always, feedback is what helps drive these posts and ideas, so please let me know what you think! Have you done something interesting with your DV models already? Throw up a link. Did I give you some ideas? Don't be afraid to follow up and show us your stuff once you get to work.

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