This project was one of the biggest I’ve done, certainly in recent years. After posting pics of my previous Nemesis Dreadknight conversions I was approached to do something similar for a Sisters of Battle force. To accompany them were also two squads of Centurions, again modified for a Sisters of Battle aesthetic.
Because this is a project with two distinct parts I’ve separated it into two posts. This is the first, you can find the second, covering the Confession Suits here.
My client planned to use these two models as “counts as” Ironclad Dreadnoughts (he runs his Sisters as Space Marines) which he aptly named Vengeance Engines (find out more about his Order of the Abyss here). Right off the bat I had to find a way to make the Nemesis Dreadknight fit onto a 60mm base, so it would be tournament legal. My first thought was that this would be impossible without looking grossly oversized. After looking at the regular stance for the Dreadknight and its base I messed around in photoshop to give myself an idea of how exactly to get the model to fit and look like it belonged there.
This essentially made a large portion of the project about reducing dimensions, but subtly of course. I also knew from the outset that these needed to be more elegant than the Dreadknights and fit the aesthetic of the Adepta Sororitas. Starting with adjustments to the legs I both shortened them and reduced the width, cutting a section out below the knees which I had to remove anyway for re-posing, and stripping some of the plastic from the inside of the two halves that make up each leg. The giant pneumatics were removed and the small parts added back on in positions that made a bit more sense. The hub that normally forms the ankle was removed and replaced with a similar but smaller part.
The armour on the lower legs was sculpted over to further distance it from the original Dreadknight design. On the previous Grey Knight conversions I had used the standard foot piece but left off the two toes on the side of each. This slender looking foot was something commented on more than once, so in this case, even though I had removed about 3-4mm off the bottom of each foot I also bulked out the size on the toe and heel sections.
The torso was also heavily cut down. I chopped about 10-15mm (I forget exactly) out to the middle of the chest and back piece, making it narrower but keeping the depth the same. The engine block on the back had its central part replace with a small piece of plasticard, though some of the details were saved and added back on. The waist/hips were thorough stripped down to a bare minimum. I wasn’t sure just how far to go, but every time I dry fitted it to check it out I thought it looked too chunky.
The head and shoulder design is taken directly from Sisters of Battle power armour and adds a nice amount of familiarity. Originally I had intended to have the heads sitting lower behind the gorget but while trying to dry fit it I realised that having the head sit higher up improved the whole look of the model immensely. One of those happy accidents.
Other than work to reposition the arms they remained largely unchanged. I did strip off the original shoulders and joint where the arms fit the torso to keep the shoulder width narrow. The weapon design was one requested by the client, inspired by a Gears of War (2?) boss. I did try a variety of shapes for the teeth of the chainblades, even going so far as to try a fleur-de-lys design, but the best one turned out to be the simplest, I believe because the more complex designs were harder to keep uniform in shape. The blade part ends of the weapons were obviously going to be fragile so I opted to magnetise them to the shaft of the weapon, making them easier to transport and potential knocks wouldn’t cause any breakages.
I have to admit this was a tough project to see to completion, but I’m pretty happy with the results (I wouldn’t show you if I wasn’t :-D).
Whilst I didn’t take much in the way of work in progress pics (no way I’m making a tutorial for this), I am trying to improve my photography and add better 360 degree videos. The lens of my DSLR is unfortunately faulty, so for now I’m making do with a less than optimal lens.
You can see the full 360 degree view of all the models (Vengeance Engines and Confession Suits) in the project in the video below or on youtube.