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Commander Dante


This particular conversion has been a labour of love, while not exactly easy it’s turned out beyond my expectations. The conversion is based off a black and white illustration of Dante from 3rd edition 40K.

My original intent was to simply take the base figure and re-pose it, but it just sort of developed into something a bit more substantial. I guess technically it’s now a truescale Space Marine, but it looks just fine alongside regular Space Marine figs.

The standard jump pack that the finecast model comes with was a little miscast and lacking detail, luckily having bought two Astoraths for the previous Mephiston conversions I now had two single engine jump packs that were perfect for this project. With a lot of hacking and building onto a tactical back pack I was able to make a scaled up jump pack fit for the commander. I especially liked the curved air vents and so kept them as they were to give Dante a slightly different design to the standard issue jump pack.

Dante’s power axe was looking a little feeble so I again used bits left over from Astorath to give him a more appealing weapon. The rest of the model is based off of a tactical Space Marine torso, with Dante’s orginal finecast legs re-posed and used as an armature of sorts. I then essentially re-skinned the surface details.

My favourite element of the model is the pose and slight illusion of it floating above the base. In an ideal world we’d have invisible wire to suspend our flying models above their bases, but I find using wire an acceptable practise. If painted the same colour as the rock base it will barely be noticeable. The wire I used for this is made of spring steel. While it can be bent into shape with some force (use of pliers), it can’t be accidentally bent out of shape while handling because it’ll just spring back into position. This also means wear and tear from handling won’t cause the wire to eventually snap. This spring steel wire connects from the bottom of the base and runs up through the rock, into the bottom of the foot and up the leg into the torso, so it’s extremely robust.

I’m still practising with the 360 degree view video and I might go and get a better camera and lighting in future, but this at least gives a better impression of the model than endless photos from different angles.


June 17, 2015

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  • John Mansell

    This is so well done!! the sculpting, the pose, the base, all of it!! how you start with even thinking about what your gunna do? i have just got my self 2 old style eldar avatars that am thinking of converting but don’t even know ware to being. Advises?

    All best john

    • Sorry for the late response. I meant to write something at length and it (like many things these days) just skipped my mind.

      I almost always start with 2D artwork and then attempt to capture something of that in the model. It gives you an end goal and a point to work towards, rather than just a vague idea. In a way it removes the tough part of the creative process and allows you to focus on the crafting.

      As for the Eldar Avatars, the most noticeable problem is the massive head, or more importantly the face. Finding a way to transplant another smaller but suitable face onto the model would be my suggestion (perhaps the one from the dark elf blood cauldron khaine). Other than that, cutting up the limbs at the joints and re-pinning into a slightly more interesting pose would be my second thought.

      • John Mansell

        thanks so much for the reply that has give me something to work on, hopefully al try to draw up some ideas. Am fairly casual to warhammer (ie. I don’t play it or read about it) just like painting and modeling, so the suggestion of the dark elf blood cauldron khai e is great. I was thinking kkng about just re-pinning but wanted more then that gunna Google load of images and start there with drawing up a design. if I can post the image any advice would be great.

        all best again

  • Valten

    is this for sale or a commission? It’s awesome. I would buy it, or buy one from you mate.

    • Unfortunately it’s a one off done as a commission.

      • Valten

        Ah that’s too bad. Some stellar greenstuff work on his sculpted armour. Truly befitting a lord of war.

        • Thank you, I’m really trying to up my game now. I’m setting myself some higher standards for my future sculpts.

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