I’ve been at this hobby for more than two decades now and my talents for painting and converting have steadily improved over the years. Still, I don’t do either enough to be very good at it. Like most things, I find that I develop enough skill to be considered proficient, but certainly not enough to have mastered them.
In the past, I’ve outsourced some of the modeling/sculpting to a friend of mine named Joe. He’s a fantastically nice guy who is pretty masterful at most everything he does. He also took to 40k about the same time I did and has a sizeable collection (probably enough to rival my own). The odd part about that? He’s only ever played two games of 40k in his life–and I was there for both of them.
His first game wasn’t until about 15 years into the hobby, and the second was a few years later. Though he does really like gaming, he was always much more into the modelling aspect of things. He’d collect entire armies (always space marines) and convert/assemble them up. Because of that, he wound up becoming quite adept at delicate conversions–many of which were done entirely with metal models (before we’d discovered milliput: which was before green stuff was even a thing).
Anywho, I’ve turned to Joe in the past to make some of my models work. Two that come to mind are my scout snipers (originally there were only two poses of metal snipers, and I needed 20 of them made up, so I had him convert some–mostly with Vindicaire rifles–back when you could just buy bits from GW). The other one that comes to mind is a masterful rendition of Chaplain Cassius from the 2nd edition codex artwork. I’ve never posted a picture of that, but I really should. He wound up chopping up four or five different metal models to get every part of that figure right. It’s a pretty nice looking model, even by today’s standards, but when you consider that it was done using almost all metal bits, it’s really amazing. I’ll have to do a post on that sometime…
Until then, let’s talk about our most recent project: Space Hulk. I got a wild hair and asked him to convert up the terminators in my Space Hulk boxed set to look a little more Ultramariney. I gave him the models and an assortment of bits (spare parts from Calgar models, some brass etch, and Forgeworld shoulderpads) and let him go to town on them. The pictures you see here are the final product that he returned.
The obvious standouts are the little addition of metal/resin Ultramarine symbols and the various plastic bits from kits. What is harder to make out from a distance is the level of effort that went into cutting off/filing down all of those tiny blood drops and other blood angels iconography. Its easy to look at these models and think that very little was done, but it does take a significant amount of effort. Granted, he’s not the first to accomplish this, so I’m sure you can find others discussing the level of commitment involved if you search around the internet.
I’m really pleased with the quality of his work–no surprise there though, as he’s always been pretty great. One area that might stand out to you is with the captain’s cloak. Joe wound up filling in the gaps between the strips at the end because I had accidentally broke one of them. It does wind up looking a little flat overall, but cloaks are quite difficult and he didn’t have much to work with.
I’m only now realizing just how many models/pictures there are to post, so I’m going to end this rather abruptly and say that the rest of the photos will go up on my next post. I will, however, leave you with some thumbnails below to show the back of each of the models shown in this post…