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.


Col. Hessler said...

Wow, the finished product looks really sharp. Although they still have a taste of the SM shotguns, they have a very unique appearance. I'll take 20,

Col. Hessler said...

One more comment, I'd put the shells on the other side. It seems like they will be too hidden when put into the hands of an IG mini.


the other Kevin said...

This is an interesting coversion. I'll have to keep this in mind, as It looks a bit bulky for my vision, but I like how the pump grip looks. I may steal that and use Chimera lasguns for barrels, like in this Cadian VIII conversion.
Thanks for the idea!

Frag_Dad said...

Thanks for the comments!

@Col. Hessler: Cheers mate! I had the same thought about the shells, but I'll try and use poses that don't hide them too much - it'll take a bit of creativity though! I wish I could help you out with some, but I barely have time to get my own army together! :P

@the other Kevin: Thanks for the interest! I'm glad you might take something away from this tutorial - I didn't think the chunky look would appeal to everyone. Also, thanks for reminding me of the shotguns over at the Cadian VII - I'd seen them before, and they're a really clever idea!

Marcus said...

Looks really nice, but must take ages. I went with the far easier of conversion of using SM scout shotguns. As another alternative, over on Dakka there was a nice shotgun conversion done with a lasgun and flamer.

Frag_Dad said...

Thanks for the comment Marcus! As it says in the title, the conversion can be done quickly - the longest part is the waiting around for the green stuff to dry. I managed to get 7 shotguns finished in a couple of nights, but excluding waiting time it would have taken about an hour!

Marcus said...

No worries, you have more talent than me on the conversion. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished result. My take on it is over here if you are interested.

Frag_Dad said...

Cheers Marcus! I like your vets, they've come out nicely. The rest of your force is great too - you've put those Necromunda models to great use! Now, just add a follow widget so we can keep track of your blog! :P

DimmyK said...

Loving this, but how on earth did you thought this up, I don't know. It's genius

Frag_Dad said...

Thanks DimmyK! I wish I could say it was all my idea, but unfortunately it wasn't - the idea came from the article I mentioned at the start of the post. I just modified it a little. I was impressed when I first saw it, too!

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