Cheap Helbrute Conversion

So, lots of people are already talking about the new Horus Heresy plastics. I might at some point in the future, too.  For the moment, though, I wanted to look back at the last big sci-fi set...
(okay, seriously, how do we describe the connection between 30K/Heresy and 40K?  Are they just the #0K games? Imperium-based games?  Grim Future games?)
...their last box set from mankind’s grim future, and show something fun and cheap you can do with that.
You can still find lots of Dark Vengeance stuff online, most of it at half to 1/5th what you’d pay for them as individual units. A full tactical squad is about twenty bucks.  A lot of HQ characters are just two or three dollars.  And you can usually find the Dark Vengeance Dreadna—sorry, old habits—Helbrute for under ten bucks.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a reason for this.  Like most of the Dark Vengeance models, the Helbrute’s a block of plastic that takes some serious time and effort if you want to do any major conversions (that said—I’ve seen some great ones).  But it is possible to do some neat looking ones on the cheap without half as much effort.
For example...
This particular Helbrute is going to be named Occulus Blight, and it’ll be joining my Death Guard.  Before I even started putting him together, I rolled up a little ball of green stuff.  A little bigger than a pea, a little smaller than a marble.  I rolled this back and forth between my fingers until it was as round and smooth as I could get it.  Then I very carefully pushed it into the hood/collar hole where the little face piece would normally go.  I didn’t want the teeth/claws around the hole to gouge the surface of the ball.

Once this was in place, I stretched the putty out on either side to help hold it in place. Again, I had to be careful so I didn’t force it into the teeth/claws on the other side. This was tricky and I had to try twice.  Fortunately, on something this simple, messing up just means pulling the blob out and rolling it smooth again. So don’t panic too much.  It maybe took ten minutes from starting to mix the green stuff to having it in place.  I let it  dry for another fifteen minutes—face up! I didn’t want its own weight to make a flat spot on the ball—and then assembled the Helbrute as normal.

Look at that.  One big eye in the socket.  Much Nurgle.  So pestilent.
I did a few quick detail things.  An old scenic rubble piece went on the base.  I snipped off the chains that hang from the power fist and added some “tentacles” made from the horns of a Chaos Marine helmet.  It’s hard to tell, but I also added a big tentacle to his power plant—one of the ones from the old mutation sprue.  It looks really good there, and it’s got me thinking some of those bulkier pieces might work really well on other Chaos dreadna—sorry, did it again—Helbrutes.

I didn’t glue the front plate-armor-hull piece in place because I want to paint the eye without too many extra bits around it. So I’ll prime those seperately and assemble them later.  As one last bit of detail, I added a centered horn to the armor plate.  It’s something I pulled from the bits bins at one point—I think it might be from the Chaos Terminators set.  Central horns are distinctively Nurgle in 40K (and related games).

All in all, maybe an hour to make a distinctive Helbrute.  And about a third of that was just digging up parts and mixing drinks.

(Primed and basic paint pictures coming this weekend)


New STC Data Discovered

Just a quick post this time.

As has been noted, I haven’t added the templates for the past few projects into the STC archive.  Sorry about that.  There were some password problems, now resolved.

(and, as a reminder to myself, the new password is now in the original document for this post...)

Anyway, everything should be current now, including templates for the promethium pipes and the Kroot tents (there's a whole Scenery folder in the archive now).  I’ll try to be a lot better about keeping it up to date.  Maybe even pre-updated, so the templates are uploaded before I start new projects.

Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to finish off an old project that’s been sitting here for... well, about four years waiting for final touches.  Maybe dabble with some cheap or easy conversions.  A few tricks and techniques.  And I’m going to get back to a basic Paperhammer tank.  Something to deal with all the Knights and Gargants.


Warm Liquid Goo Phase

Austin Powers reference.  Only eighteen years late...

I know one question a lot of people have about paperhammer stuff is “but how durable is it?”  We hear paper and think of fragile origami birds and the soaked, floppy newspapers we just primed some models on.  Nobody wants to spend two or three long weekends building something that won’t even survive getting painted, let alone moved around the tabletop for one game.

Speaking for myself, I almost never build with paper, always with cardstock.  So the models I’m building are very rigid and solid in that sense.  Some of them I even reinforce a bit more with very simple supports.  Everything I’ve ever shown here at In The Grim Cheapness of the Future... is pretty close to its plastic counterpart as far as sturdiness goes.

But there is another process I take some models through.  It adds a few bucks to the final cost, but makes for an even sturdier model in the end.  Behold...

This Imperial Knight might look like it got wet, but I’ve actually given it a coat of thin superglue.  The glue soaks into the cardstock, dries, and the resulting material has the  consistency of plastic.  I try to hit all the joints, broad surfaces, and the points that are going to get bumped on a regular basis.

Helpful Hint—make sure you’re using thin superglue, not regular and definitely not the thick, gap-filling stuff.  It needs that watery consistency to flow smoothly and soak into the cardstock.  Thicker glue will just sit on the surface and form blobs or runs.

Now, a word of warning.  The superglue will make all the surfaces rigid.  If there’s some coarse or ragged spots where the cardstock peeled or a paper template didn’t come off in one piece, the glue will make them like that permanently.  I’ve used this to my advantage a few times, turning those rough areas into patches of rust or battle damage (on the Plaguereaper, for example).  But if the end result’s supposed to look super-clean, it’s worth taking some extra time with a hobby knife to scrape and polish all the surfaces.

 Helpful Hint II—Thin superglue gives off some powerful fumes.  Hard to believe I know, but... they’re not healthy for you.  At all.  When you start a project like this where you’re going to use a lot of glue, make sure you’re either outside or in a well-ventilated area.

A bottle of thin superglue is about five or six dollars, depending on where you get it.  I used about half a bottle on the Knight, maybe 3/4 of a bottle on the Plaguereaper, and a whole bottle for all the different Gargant components.  Add that to the dollar or two that some of these paperhammer models end up costing (or even the higher Gargant price tag), and you’re still getting a fantastic deal on a model that would usually be $75 or more.