Tag: Building

How to Build Adeptus Arbites

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a fun little project – I’ve been building a small Adeptus Arbites force. The Arbites don’t exist as an army in 40K right now, but when has that ever stopped a determined hobbyist?

Anyway, I posted my initial work on social media, and got a lot of encouraging feedback and many questions about how I went about making my conversions. Below is a quick guide on how to make your own Arbites. I’m afraid I don’t have as many photos as I would like, as I’d used most of my parts by the time I got round to writing up the process.

Parts

To make these Arbite models, you will need (affiliate links below):

  • Reikland Reavers Blood Bowl Team (2016 version). 1 box can make 10 Arbites, if you build the squad exactly like I have.
  • Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns. You only need the shotgun arms, so if you have no need for the rest of the parts, hit up eBay (if you do get a box, you’ll have enough parts leftover to build a squad with bolt pistol + CC weapon)
  • Militarum Tempestus Scions. You need the legs, some armour plates, and many other parts are useful – the greatcoat, special weapons, pouches, etc.
  • Skitarii Vanguard. You only need the helmeted heads, so if you have no other need of the remaining parts, get these from eBay. (If do you buy a box you’ll still be able to build the Rangers/use the hooded heads)

Guide

  • clip out your Reavers. The Blockers/Blitzers make up your troops, the Thrower is your sergeant. You don’t need the heads.
  • Remove the arms. It should be fairly obvious where to cut/clip these, so you get a clean, vertical surface. I test fit with the chest piece, to make sure it all lines up.
  • if you’re adding the coat to the sergeant, trim off half of the Thrower’s shoulder pad (your left, when looking at the model’s front). Otherwise, I find a larger, alternative pad with an eagle scultped onto it. Note: If you are adding the coat, remember that it only fits with certain leg options.
  • once you’re happy with where the arms used to be, glue the two parts of the body together.
  • once the glue is dry, and using a razor saw for an easier time, cut through the body, following the line of the belt. Try to keep the cut as straight as possible. You might lose some of the belt – that’s fine. If you lose all of it, you’ll just have to use a bit more greenstuff. Trim off any excess material as required.
  • You should now have a bunch of dismembered Reaver torsos. They’ll look something like these (which still need cleaned up)

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  • get your Scion legs and assemble as necessary. With the saw, cut the “dome” part of the waist off (just above the armour plates), as straight and level as you can.
  • glue to the legs to the torsos. If you’ve cut things right you should find they line-up pretty well, size-wise. You’ll have gaps though. Fill those with greenstuff or whatever your favourite filler is. You should have something like this:

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  • Trim the hip armour plates off the bottom of the Scion chestpiece. Glue them in a similar place on your Arbite. Superglue is usually better, if you’ve had to fill anything in that area.

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  • Once the filler/glue is dry, I glue various pouches/grenades/accessories around the waist, just to clean things up. The Scion kit comes with 3 little books (they look a bit like big pouches) – I like to use these as often as I can.

The main body should be ready now. For the arms… it’s mostly trial and error, followed by greenstuff to fill joins/replace any parts of the arm you’ve trimmed off too much of. There’s no real science to it, or easy way to describe it, I’m afraid. I generally use Scion arms/weapons for the special weapons (except the flamer, which doesn’t really fit the look, IMO), Scout arms for the rest.

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If you look closely you’ll be able to make out the huuuge gaps on the shotgun arms

Basically, trim down the shoulder pads, cut to the angle you want, glue in place, and hope for the best…

The coat for the sergeant should more or less fit exactly. I put a little filler over the join, just to smooth it over (and just in case someone looks in that area), but you might not need it.

Once you’ve got the arms attached, and greenstuffed to look approximately right, I hide anything I’m not happy with, with purity seals/more pouches/any decorative doodads I think look good.

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The last step is attaching the head. It should fit in place just fine; sometimes I trim a tiny bit from the collar, to get it sitting “just right”, but this is to taste.

Results

Below are a selection of photographs showing off the 3 squads I’ve built – and their transports (Taurox, with “Longhorn” wheel kits from Blood & Skull Industries).

A Minor Diversion… Corvus Blackstars

I had intended to switch back to some Grey Knight units – specifically some Dreadknights – after finishing the Deathwatch, but I ran out of some of the paints I used during the first GK’s I painted and had to rethink my plans.

One reason I was building up both armies was to combine them into a 2000 point army for a small, one day tournament to be held in April. Or at least, that’s what I thought, based on last year. When I did get the information about the tourney, it was 1500 points and happening in March. Oh. That meant my plans had to be drastically altered! While I could field a combined army, it would have meant some big compromises, none of which seemed particularly good, so I decided to focus on expanding just one army to fill the points.

Deathwatch required fewer additions to reach 1500 points, so that’s where I focussed my attention. Listing out everything I had already brought me to around 1200 with upgrades factored in. I wasn’t going to have enough points for another squad or Kill Team, so adding one or more vehicles made sense.

Skipping ahead to make a long story short, I ended up reorganising things about to make a Black Spear Strike Force, and by changing some of the upgrades around, I had enough points to take 2 Corvus Blackstars.

I bought and built the kits on Saturday (it’s a really nice kit to build!), keeping as many of the metallic parts separate as I could, and magnetising the main weapon options. From there I painted them much the same as the Drop Pods:

  • Prime black: 2-3 layers
  • Layer with Vallejo Game Air Black
  • Red areas (in this case, the stripes) are given 3-4 layers of Game Air Scarlet Red
  • Mask off the red areas
  • Respray black to neaten up
  • Using heavily thinned Game Air Sombre Grey and a bit of card, softly highlight the edges
  • Neaten up with some black if needed, concentrating on the middle of panels
  • Paint all “working” metallics with Metal Color Burnt Iron, shade with Nuln Oil, then lightly go over with a drybrush of Necron Compound
  • Decorative metals are painted with Metal Color Steel or Metal Color Gold

I do still need to paint the lenses or missiles on the model, but I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do those right now, so I’ve left them undone for now. I’ll get them painted before the tournament. Both Blackstars were 95% finished on Sunday, and the remainder done in a couple of hours on Monday

Building The Deathwatch

I’ll let you in on a secret: I dread starting to build miniatures. Which is odd, because once I get going I find it incredibly relaxing. Possibly more so than painting. But it’s the thought of dealing with all the clipping, mould lines, cleaning, fitting, and glueing that provides a mental hurdle. So the 18 models I had planned for my Deathwatch contingent took a while to get going:

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As I wasn’t “feeling it” at the time, I took a break then went back to it later, put some Tabletop Tactics on the iPad, and got stuck in. On the first evening I built Artemis, the close-combat Veteran squad, and the first of 2 Aquila Kill Teams with Librarians:

As you might be able to see in the last picture, I also scrounged up a second Librarian from my bits box.

On night 2 I wanted to keep things rolling, so I built the second Kill Team, then threw in a Chaplain which will accompany the Veteran Squad (I haven’t decided what type of Kill Team to make them yet)

Both Kill Teams are built with double shotgun and double frag-cannon. The Blackshields are all equipped with two power swords. I have some Drop Pods to build for these squads, but I can do them in a later batch of models.

Artemis is in sub-assemblies, and similarly I have left the shields unattached from the Veterans, for easier access to painting (particularly at the airbrush stage).

Oh, as one last thing – fuck this one bit (from the frag-cannon barrel assembly) in particular: deathwatchvet-23I lost 2-3 of these while trying to clean the parts. It’s only because I bought spares off eBay that I could finish the build at all.

Building the Grey Knights, pt. 1

Once I had my plan set out, it was time to build. At first I was struggling with motivation to build the Terminators, but once I kitbashed the Librarian leading them, I got into the swing of things:

The Librarian is the Deathwatch Librarian, with a head, shoulder pad and weapon swap, plus the Blood Angel symbols filed off.

I wanted the Terminators to look a bit more sleek than the default build, so I didn’t add much in the way of “extras” (pouches, relics, etc) and I left off the small shields that attach to their shoulder. The Justicar is built to look like he’s manifesting a psychic power – I’ll paint an OSL effect on his hand.

The remaining 5 Terminators will be built tomorrow, and I’ll hopefully get the whole lot primed as well.