The request for this commission was a fairly straightforward one, to convert the Dark Angels Grand Master Belial to carry a thunder hammer and storm shield. The client also requested beefing up his legs to make him a bit more inline with other terminators.
Projects like this with minimal sculpting and a focus on kitbashing lend themselves very well to photoshop planning. With GW providing very detailed photos of their miniatures on their website it’s easy to grab screenshots and do virtual assemblies, try out ideas and plan projects.
This image is the mockup put together solely from preview images of Games Workshop’s online store.
This project took the base and lower legs from the deathwatch terminator captain, the finecast Belial, and an assortment of selective bits from the Deathwing box set. Because I had the bits left over I also magnetised the arms so they could be easily switched back to the original sword and stormbolter set up.
The most important aspect of the conversion was making the join between top and bottom halves not only seamless but also an accurate fit. Frequently the most common mistake with kitbashing parts together is that the parts don’t fit as snuggly as they should. By this I mean that not enough plastic has been shaved off either piece before attaching them to one another. One of the reasons I favour superglue over plastic glue is that if I haven’t made the fit snug enough I can usually snap it off again and adjust without damaging the bits.
On the body of Belial I chopped off the legs and had to carefully whittle away the resin to retain the lower part of the tabard and ensure a good fit with the plastic legs. I wanted the lower part of the tabard to mirror the direction of the cloak was blowing (in the imaginary wind) so I trimmed away a small amount and re-sculpted the lower edges.
There were also some details in the resin that I replaced with better plastic equivalents (the dagger and standard top) due to poor cast quality. The only other major sculpting was on cleaning up and gaps where I attached the cloak. The plastic parts were carefully selected to match Belial’s existing heraldry. For the thunder hammer I wanted a design that stood out from the standard look, and settled on modifying one of the Deathwatch heavy thunder hammers.
I bought new magnets for this project, choosing to go with 3mm diameter discs with small holes in the middle that allowed me to also add a brass rod pin.