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Artscale Grey Knight Chaplain

Ever since reading the Grey Knights Omnibus book I’ve wanted to convert a Grey Knight Chaplain (NOTE: this is before the release of the 5th edition Grey Knight codex). When I decide to start any kind of project I look for inspiration (usually artwork or other minis) to help envision what I want the final conversion to look like. In this case I found this amazing image.

I’m sure some of you would argue against the existence within the fluff of GK Chaplains, but I rather like the idea, if nothing else just for aesthetic reasons – Chaplains always look cool, but a Grey Knight Chaplain should be something really special.

I started this project with a few ideas in mind. I wanted it to approximately fit the description of the Chaplain mentioned in Ben Counter’s Grey Knights book, ie: all black power armour and a gun metal skull helm. I also had this idea of him carrying a thunder hammer that looks similar to a crozius arcanum.

You can probably see where the parts have come from. The legs are from the Grey Knight Terminator Brother Captain, and the torso/head is from one of the standard Chaplain models. Normally I would make the torso from plastic and green stuff to give it extra depth and position the head properly, but I decided it best not to remove the head from its original torso in case I risked damaging it. Part of my working process involves trying out a variety of options and poses till I find something that works best. In this case I hadn’t decided on the weapons and gear from the start so I gathered a selection of possibles (swords, thunder hammer (crozius), stormbolter and storm shield).

In the end I settled on the Storm Shield (from the Forgeworld Inquisitor) and a custom Thunder Hammer/Crozius but I eneded up modifying it into a one handed weapon.The Thunder Crozius was made from brass details (Forgeworld again), plasticard and some crozius bits from a Chaplain model. I also selected a large book (from an Inquisitor familiar model) that I would later be slung across his body. I imagined the Chaplain recording the names of the Imperium’s greatest unsung heroes in it.

The Crozius/Hammer had been made a bit more compact by shortening the hammer heads and adding a smaller handle. The forearm is taken from the Hector Rex mini, just so it matches the arm holding the storm shield. I really like how this weapon has turned out. Took a lot of tinkering with to get it right, but this is one of the things about converting minis, the longer you tinker the better it is likely to be. It did in fact start out as the Thunder Hammer on the Preacher Josef model but has been chopped up and whittled down till only the center part between the hammer heads is left… and I could easily have used plasticard to build that bit

As this was an Artscale conversion I proceeded to fill in the gaps in the terminator legs to make them look more like power armour and resculpted the chest to be both deeper and more pronounced. My first attempt on the chest I tried to retain the original details, but as I really wasn’t happy with the result I ended up resculpting the whole thing, aquila and all.

I had a lot of trouble finalizing his pose, but eventually settled on a crozius resting at his side rather than the usual held aloft pose common to all Chaplains. It helps give an impression of weight to his mighty hammer, but also allows the fitting of the shoulder pad to look far less awkward. Although this model has 9 pins holding him together, there are elements that are definitely fragile (the iron halo for example) but there’s not much I can do to improve that. Guess I better not drop him.

Midway through painting him I decided I wasn’t totally happy with the positioning of the shield arm, mostly because the direction the attached purity seal was hanging looked odd. So I rebuilt the arm with the shield in a slightly more dynamic pose and the seal hanging more naturally downwards. Whilst doing this I realised I’d missed an opportunity to take the rather awesome Iron Haloed Skull design of his helm and repeat it on his own shield. So before continuing with painting I sculpted the Iron Halo design onto his Storm Shield.

Originally I’d wanted to have all of his power armour black (as described in the novels) with just a few gold details and a silver skull helm, however, the all black armour just didn’t really look that good, so in the end I opted to paint both shoulder pads the same silver as his helm.

As a bit of fluff for him I’ve given him the title of Guardian of Names and painted the name Durendin (from the novel) on the iconography of his backpack. He carries and protects one of the Grey Knights sacred tomes, a book that records the name of each and every Grey Knight to have died protecting mankind. If that’s not a role for a Chaplain I don’t know what is.

Size comparison.
May 4, 2010

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  • Julian M Hunt

    Where did the iron halo come from?

    • It’s from the Terminator Chaplain model with a bit of plasticard rod to help it fit either side of the skull helm. There’s a very similar plastic version in at least one of the plastic Space Marine box sets.

  • Erich1234562002

    there is a good Iron halo in the space marine comander set with just a little cutting.

  • Erich1234562002

    Lamenter if you dont mind I might send you and updated picture of the chaplin I showed you last week see if the changes look any better to you

    • Sure thing. I apologise for the lack of progress on your other project, I’m just putting the finishing touches to a Vulkan project this weekend then I’ll give that my full attention.

    • Erich1234562002

      That’s perfect I cant wait to see it I have been having fun trying my hand at converting hoping some of your magic rubs off on me =)

  • They’re rivets from the Grandt Line range (a model railway supplier). I use the 0.81mm (small) variety and find them a perfect fit for 28mm scale minis. Should have no trouble finding a supplier through Google.

  • humbrade

    That is a neat strap around the book, how’d you get it to sit so right and look so smooth? Did you sculpt it on the model or let it dry off the model then bend it on the model?

    • I sculpted it onto a piece of plasticard first to get it thin and neat enough and then after it had cured, transplanted it onto the model. Should easily be flexible enough, especially if you use a bit more yellow than blue in the Green Stuff. I would use another putty for something like this Mulliput for example would cure hard.

      Getting it to actually fit on the model is the tricky bit. Takes a bit of patience and a lot of dry fit testing.

      • humbrade

        Thanks for your help on this, it’s worked great and I’ve used the idea for a few things. If you’d like you can see it in the link below.

        The Custom Marine was one of them I’m particularly pleased with..

        Here is the main page to my blog if your interested. http://blog.coolminiornot.com/blog.php?80191-Northern_Fox 

        It’s not to your quality, but I’m still pretty happy for my first real effort in sculpting anything.

        Most of what I’ve been doing so far has started or been inspired from this site, so thank you.

  • Brandon Burt

    Sexy very sexy model