This is only my second Mark VIII power armour conversion. The first work in progress pic below shows the three basic components (legs, torso and head) assembled and based to give an early impression of how the final model will look. Normally I make the legs and torso separately and assemble later but I think doing it this way is probably a lot better. The components basically form a skeleton onto which you can sculpt the surface details. Because the surface needs to be highly polished it is best to treat the “skin” of the model as a separate part of the process to the structure underneath. If you try to establish structure and surface detail at the same time you make it twice as hard for yourself.
This guy is an Imperial Fist of the Deathwatch, carrying a Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer. The Thunder Hammer is a modified version of Lysander’s weapon and the shield is a FW Black Templar Storm Shield with all the detail removed. To do this I first removed as much detail as I could with clippers and a knife being careful not to damage the shield itself. Because of the harmful nature of resin dust I took some fine grade wet&dry paper and sanded it off under a running tap (not hot water) until I had a smooth finish. This way the dust is just washed away harmlessly, leaving your lungs intact.
The Imperial Laurel on his helm was done very easily with a bit from one of the Space Marine box sets. Find a Tutorial here.
I really wasn’t sure how well this model was going to turn out, but now I’ve finished it I have to admit that it pains me to part with him. Rather than repose the legs I simply based him on a slight slope, and stuck with the out the box pose of the legs. This approach is a simple way a huge difference without having to chop up legs. Making Mark VIII armour requires a little more attention to detail but isn’t so different from Mark VII to be a big issue. Most of the rest of the model is standard procedure, building a base model on which to sculpt a “skin”.
I didn’t have a second Deathwatch terminator pad (found in the box sets) spare so I cast another one using a Blu-Stuff one piece mold which I then cut up a little to add an Imperial Fist icon. The helm is also magnetized with an alternative bare head allowing them to be swapped over whenever, also allows easier painting.
As I can’t keep this mini for my own collection, I’ll be using it as a guideline for my own Lamenters Company Champion when I finally get time for my own army.