Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shotguns for the Imperial Guard - 10 Minute Conversion Guide

I've been thinking about another Veteran Squad already (I still need to paint my first one) and have decided I want to equip them with shotguns. They'll operate as an expendable unit, with flamers to cause as many wounds as possible, and since you can't assault after firing lasguns I'll outfit them with shotguns.

Obviously, this means I need some way of representing this on my models. There's a few different options I've looked into:

1. Using Space Marine Scout shotguns, such as Necros did on the Boot Camp forums.
2. Convert some shotguns up, such as these really nice ones over at The Manufactorum.
3. Buy some 3rd party shotguns. Some places like MaxMini do some. (I'm sure there's others, this is just an example I've come across).

In the end, I went with Option 2. The Scout shotguns look great, but I want some weapons unique to my Guard. Third party stuff is fine too, but I enjoy the process of converting things, and so I went with Option 2.

Now, after trawling the 'Net, an article on frequently got mentioned. This site is unfortunately not around any more, but I was familiar with it as it hosted many articles I was interested in before it disappeared. Thanks to the miracle of the Wayback Machine, however, I managed to track the article down! The full thing can be seen here, but what follows is my adaptation of that tutorial.

For what I'm showing here, I used:

 - 1 Imperial Guard Lasgun (either by itself, or attached to an arm - the latter will require a bit more work though).
 - 1 Space Marine Bolter
 - Green Stuff
 - Styrene Rod (1.6mm round and 1mm square)
 - Styrene Sheet (I used both 0.75mm and 0.25mm thick, but use whatever is comfortable).
 - Resin shotgun shells which I bought from These aren't the cheapest way to go, but they do look nice - you could achieve something similar with some thin rod, however.

Let's do it!

Step 1: Cut the lasgun down to basically the main body: we want to get rid of the stock, the barrel, the clip, the front part of the stuff on top, and the angular bit under the aquila. Shave off most of the details as well. The bits to remove are shown in red below:

Step 2: Cut the section shown in red off the bolter. It's worth leaving the bit behind the bolter grip too long to begin with, so you can get a good fit later:

Step 3: Shave the part behind the bolter grip down to straight sides, by cutting off the red parts in the second picture. I like to shave it even thinner, to look like a rail for the bolter grip to slide along as a pump-action.

Step 4: Glue the bolter grip to the underside of the lasgun, cutting it to the right length so the front of the two pieces are flush (I accidentally cut my grip too short, but we'll fix it up later). Glue a section of 1mm square rod along the top centre of the shotgun. Shave the front at an angle.

Step 5: Drill a hole in the front of the shotgun and glue some 1.6mm rod in there for a barrel:

Step 6: Right now, the pump grip seems to be hanging in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to stop it sliding forward. I cut out some 0.75mm plasticard to fit around the barrel and extend down to cover the front of the pump. I do this by drilling a hole in the 0.75mm sheet (of the same diameter as the barrel, this gives the bit which fits neatly around it) and then cutting out the rest of the rectangle, with one of the short ends being a semicurcular hole. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but check out the picture below! This makes it look like the rail goes all the way to the front of the gun:

Once all this had dried, cut the barrel down to size and drill it out.

Step 7: The bulk of the body has been done.

Now we need to fill in any gaps and finish off a couple more parts. Firstly, green stuff over any gaps between the 'rail' and the main body of the shotgun. Also, fill in the section above the old lasgun clip and extend the bit on top of the gun to the back. (I've drawn red arrows to the parts I've green-stuffed):

Step 8: To add some interest, cut out a plasticard 'plate' to attach to the side of the gun with the skull decoration. I also cut out a cartridge ejection port - having a sharp knife and using 0.25mm plasticard helps with this. Cut the ejection port first as well, to stop the plate from deforming.

Step 9: We'll add some spare cartridges on the other side of the gun, which gives some extra decoration. I'm using the cartridges I bought from, but, as mentioned earlier, some plasticard rod could also be used here. Firstly I glue a strip of 0.25mm plasticard on this side of the shotgun to raise the cartridges off the body of the gun:

Step 10: Next, I glue some cartridges on to this strip. My cartridges have come with an extra tab on the bottom from the casting process, which I've left on for now to give me more to grip on to. I'll cut them off after everything has dried. Finally, roll a thin sausage of green stuff and lay it across these cartridges. Squash it down flat, and finally use a wet blade to press the green stuff down between each cartridge. That should give you something looking like this:

And that's done! All that's left is to attach it to your veteran and paint them up. All in all, this process took me about 10 minutes - however, that doesn't include time waiting for the green stuff sections to dry. I wasn't quite as careful as I normally would be, but I still came up with a decent example.

I haven't done a full veteran yet (I've got some super-secret plans for them) but I can show you a shotgun all painted up to give you an idea of what they will look like:

I really like the chunky look of this shotgun - after all, I want my vets to look like they'll do some damage! However, I realise it may not appeal to everyone, but hopefully this will solve the issue of a lack of shotguns for a few of you out there. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section, and, as always, thanks for looking.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shameless Product Endorsement

Unfortunately, I'm not getting paid for this... Just a quick post to fill in the time until I get some more models up!

I picked up this book from Amazon a little while back - the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer:

 Image from the Black Library -

It's a fun read and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd recommend it to all of you!

If you haven't seen it before, it's a tongue-in-cheek look at the 40k universe from a lowly guardsman's perspective. It runs through basic training for the Imperial Guard as well as tips for defeating their enemies - such pearlers as "There is one rule to employ when fighting the tyranid: shoot the big ones."

Anyway, it's good for a light read, and has some useful background info in it too. I'd recommend it for any Imperial Guard player!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Workspace

OK, I'll admit it - this is really just to get my blog at the top of the blogrolls again... I stuffed up with the publishing scheduler (why can't Americans do the date properly?) and removed one of my posts. This meant that my post about Commissar Volkov (below, and which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check out!) didn't get advertised properly.

While I'm here, however, I thought I'd show you a pic of my workspace which I snapped a couple of weeks ago. I cleaned my table up and, taking advantage of a rare opportunity when one can see the table without all of the mess, decided to take a photo to show you the tools and materials I like to keep handy:

All the bits and pieces are as follows:

A: Wet palette. If you're interested, check out how I made it here.
B: Paint brushes, of various sizes.
C: Sculpting tools - both silicone-tipped and metal. I'll discuss these in the near future!
D: Basing and detailing materials: a tub of water-filter contents (used for rivets), modelling snow, static grass and basing sand. Behind that there's a bottle of water effect and plaster that I use for the mud on my bases.
E: Paints!
F: Brush on varnishes, and weathering pigments.
G: Glues, hobby knife, spare blades, files and a toothbrush. "Toothbrush?" I hear you ask. That's right - I use it when I'm cleaning the mould lines off models, as it helps to get rid of all the shavings!
H: Drill, drill bits, razor saw and mitre box (used to cut materials at different angles accurately).
I: Pliers and clippers.
J: Tweezers.
K: Various types of wire.
L: Plasticard rods and tubes.
M: Craft mat.
N: Whatever I'm currently painting!

And that's about it. I realise this wasn't the most interesting post ever, but I like seeing people's workspaces - it gives a bit of an insight into the person behind the models, in my opinion!

Until next time, take it easy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Commissar Volkov

I wanted a change from painting Guardsmen, so I decided to jump in and paint the 77th's second "morale booster" - Commissar Volkov!

I came across a picture of this model somewhere (I think it was an old Imperial Guard Collectors' Guide) and decided I had to have one. I love the face mask he has and the character it adds. If you want one for yourself, it's order-only, and is listed as a Steel Legion Commissar.

He's painted in a similar way to Commissar Waechter, with the other parts painted as follows:

I used a method similar to the one described by Syph here for painting the mask.
  1. Start with a basecoat of Snakebite Leather.
  2. Wash with Devlan Mud.
  3+. Highlight with a mixture of Bleached Bone and Snakebite Leather, gradually mixing in more and more Bleached Bone until a final highlight of Bleached Bone. From memory, I think I did 4 layers of this.

Gun Body, Epaulettes and Sash:
I decided to paint these blue to tie in with the rest of the force. The method was:
  1. Basecoat Necron Abyss.
  2. Highlight with Regal Blue.
  3. Highlight with 50:50 Regal Blue and Ultramarines Blue.
  4. Highlight with Ultramarines Blue.

Unfortunately these are hidden underneath the brim of his cap, but the method was:
  1. Paint with Liche purple.
  2. Wash with Leviathan Purple.
  3+. Highlight with Liche Purple/Skull White mix up to pure Skull White, of which a dot is placed at the centre of the eyes. This gives the impression that they are glowing.

Respirator Tube:
I couldn't decide whether or not I really liked the look of this, but I decided to keep it in the end.
  1. Undercoat with Adeptus Battlegrey.
  2. Wash with very watered down Blood Red.
  3. Highlight ridges with Adeptus Battlegrey.
  4. Highlight again with 50:50 Adeptus Battlegrey/Codex Grey.

Silver Metal:
The gold metal parts were painted in the same way as Waechter, but the silver bits here went as:
  1. Undercoat with 50:50 Boltgun Metal/Chaos Black. This gives a toned-down metal which I prefer - to me, it looks more like cold steel.
  2. Wash with Asurmen Blue (although this isn't that obvious in the final product).
  3. Highlight with the Boltgun/Black mix.
  4. Highlight with pure Boltgun Metal.
  5. Finally, highlight with 50:50 Boltgun Metal/Chainmail.

For the sword I tried to do this as a series of glazes more than straight layering, to give a smooth transition between the shades. It didn't quite come out as I wanted, but it was pretty close.

Shells in Bolter Magazine:
I didn't have any Dwarve Bronze and couldn't be bothered going to the shops to get any, so I went with:
  1. 50:50 Shining Gold/Scorched Brown.
  2. Wash with Gryphonne Sepia.
  3. Highlight with about 60:40 Shining Gold/Scorched Brown.
  4. Highlight with about 80:20 Shining Gold/Scorched Brown.

Phew! That's more for my record than anything else, but perhaps someone will find some use for that list!

Anyway, I'll be back with more Guardsmen soon, but I'll leave you with a shot of the 77th's Commissariat:

As always, thanks for reading!