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Monday, March 24, 2014

Conversion Time: A Nurgle Heldrake

Hey there Chaos fanatics! Old Man Chaos is back with another blog post- trying this weekly proved to be too difficult, but I am trying to get a few a month up, plus keep up with my painting and hobby related stuff. I have a few things I want to talk about and show off, starting with a recently completed Plague Marine Heldrake. So, away we go...

"The man at Radio Shack said I was mad... Well- who's mad now? Hahahaha!"

I was in my local store a few months ago (before winter came and derailed my whole schedule) gaming (I forget which battle it was now). As such, there were a bunch of us hanging around, talking about strategies, upcoming GW releases and, modelling. Well, I am not sure how the conversation turned, but I remarked that the Heldrake did not lend itself easily to Nurgle- it didn't look sickly. So, I proposed a conversion that would take parts of the zombie dragon fantasy box and basically kit bash it to make a properly decayed looking Plague Heldrake. As I discussed the potential conversion, one esteemed gamer told me it could not be done. The wings were the wrong size, it would be impossible to get them to stay- and so forth. He told me that I was mad to even think of such a thing! Well, that did it. The old Chaos converter in me decided to take up the gauntlet that was thrown down- I WOULD accomplish this feat!!!

So, it took me a few months due to interruptions (like, say, oh I don't Imperial Knight perhaps, just for starters... as well as me getting back into Ultramarines and continuing with my Khorne Bezerkers... Geez), but I finally set to work. Having 2 kits, I decided to kit bash them in equal measure- thus 2 kits will get me 2 Heldrakes (not exactly saving money the Chaos way, but the zombie dragon is slightly cheaper than the Heldrake, so...). What follows is the first Heldrake that I completed.

Basically, I decided to use the body of the Heldrake with zombie dragon wings. So, it is fairly simple: I glued the wings onto the body. Presto. It was not difficult at all. Indeed, the nub of the wing fit fairly well in the nub for the Heldrake wing, though it was not a perfect fit. In order to make sure it wouldn't break, I added a bit of putty work to secure it. Frankly, I think this was the most straightforward conversion I've ever done. The wings fit just fine. And while they are a bit smaller than the Heldrake wings, it is still a large wingspan (just backwards instead of forwards).

The head was actually trickier. It was not going to fit onto the body at all, so I had to cut, pin, and use plenty of putty. This was actually clever (if I do say so myself)- I used the decayed neck to actually hide the conversion- the putty around it looks like dead skin and even tissue in the throat of the ugly beast. With the putty securing it, I know that head isn't going anywhere. And the downward angle of the neck and head makes it look like that it is belching a poisonous Nurgle fume on the terrified Guardsmen below! Hahaha!! Nurgle loves his little pets indeed! For the final touch, I put Chaos Spawn hooks in for the Heldrake legs, thus making it look totally warped and unnatural. Plus, the poisoned hooks will be lethal for those Vector Strikes.

So, now for the paint job. I started the whole thing with Deathworld Forest green. The Heldrake body would stay that color, pretty much. On the wings and neck, I built up from there with Nurgling Green and even a drybrush of brighter flesh shades (to give the wings definition). The bone was my usual Dust buildup, with a drybrush of Tyrant Skull and a light Praxetti White.

The metal portions were done up in Leadblecher followed by washes of Earthshade and then the new Effect Paint of Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Orange drybrush. The effect is different from my old way of doing rust, but the effect cannot be denied- the thing looks rusty and broken and dirty- just the way Grandpa Nurgle likes it!

The engines I did purple (it really does contrast the green well). The bone continues from the neck to the back of the Heldrake, giving a nice bit of continuity there. The "legs" I did in the green, but the hooks I did bone, but without the drybrushing of Praxetti. The guts in the neck I did with various reds (I was going to do pink, but I decided against it). I must admit it took me a bit of time to get the wings and bone just the way I wanted them.

However, the model was not done. How could it be, now that we have that fantastic effect paint, Nurgle's Rot. I applied it rather generously, as this is a Plague Heldrake. I was careful to put just a bit on the tongue and his teeth, looking like he just spewed the unholy filth of Nurgle upon his errant children. I also put a bit on the wings, just to give them a slimy look. Thus, my beast was completed, and I am eager to have him take to the field!

Of course, I am still working on my other Heldrake, though working with the zombie dragon body is far trickier than I had first imagined. However, with the spring here I will put him together, sooner or later. I'll let you know how that one goes.

A few other things I wanted to talk about. First- the weekly White Dwarfs. I think they have been really good lately, since they have been 40K focused. In particular, the issue that gave the rules for the Knights. Now, I know some people complained that the codex was pricey for 1 model army. I didn't mind, as I loved the fluff for this newly re-illuminated area of the 40K lore. But- the rules were in a 4.00 WD, which is amazing if you think about it. Again, the weekly WD is giving us choice, which is good.

I am not pleased about the recent "limited supply" Void Shield generator though. I don't mind having limited edition books, so long as the regular book is out there. Forgeworld is expensive, but you don't NEED anything from there. The special one off model like the "White Dwarf"... who cares. But- this is different. They limited it to 1,000... what? Why would they do that? It's stupid. And I wasn't even going to buy it in any case (so this is not sour grapes for not being one of the lucky 1,000). It just makes no sense. This reminds me of what comic books did in the 90s- limited edition this or bagged copy that. Ugh. That is something this hobby does NOT need, and I hope they don't repeat this experiment in the near future.

I made this with a Demotivator site... and saved 100$
Finally, I introduced a friend to the game last week. He knew about Warhammer in general from computer games (fantasy, mostly). He saw my models when he visited my house on many occasions. He was interested, so I loaned him the rule book, which he read through. So, the time was right and we played a 1,000 point game- Ultramarines versus Khorne Bezerkers. I made both lists, but allowed him to choose. He chose Ultramarines... and proceeded to kick my ass! Brian was a quick study, and was rolling and cursing the dice gods just like the rest of us. He won 4 to 8 for points. He did a fine job. The best part... he wants to play again this week...

As Mr. Burns would say... Excellent!!

Until next time...


  1. That is a fantastic piece of conversion work. Well done! Nurgle must be so proud. But let's hope he doesn't decide to reward you. ^_^

  2. Thank you for the compliment... and while Nurgle has not yet visited me this winter, I know it is only a matter of time before I feel Nurgle's pestilent touch once more!