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post #1 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-09-12, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default Leave No Model Unconverted: A Tall Scale Battle Company in the making

I've had this log running for a short while on a couple other forums, but any extra feedback is always useful, especially on a project this big. I've found quite a few exciting logs here, so I figure I'll add my own.

I turned this into a P&M Blog because I hoped it would keep me on track, and it's worked out so far. I'm a very lazy modeler at times. I work full time, I go to school full time. I also had a full time girlfriend who mercifully eliminated herself, and I was, up until recently, still in the Marines as a Reservist. So my free time that isn't spent on sleeping, or homework, or girlfriend maintenance, or the gym, I sometimes have a hard time keeping on track with my project. I don't play a lot of 40K anymore. I was big into the hobby starting in 1993 at the tail end of Rogue Trader, and played a ton of 2nd Edition, and some of 3rd, and then only off and on since then. However, when I was kid, and thus a young, under-funded 40K player, I had always wanted to have my own Battle Company of Marines. Problem was, I had two small Fantasy armies, and three small 40K armies and one big one (and a Necromunda gang, and a Gorkamorka gang...). So I never had the money available to just flat out waste on frivolous, excessive Marines.

Enter the well funded adult gamer version of myself, lol. So, with the help of Ebay and a reclamation of my old figures, I now am now pursuing my dream, lol. However, it would be too easy to just buy 100 Space Marines, some tanks, and such. Any lame average Joe with cash to blow can have 100 Space Marines. Nope, I'm going to convert them all. All of them. Everything in my army will be converted, somehow, no matter how small. The Marines will be easy, since I've adapted some techniques for "Tall Scale" (as I call it) or "biggerizing" Marine figures. I don't like the Terminator Legs versions. If they aren't heavily re-sculpted, the end up looking like Kim Kardashian with a giant ass and a way too small waist. Some people make phenomenal ones, don't get me wrong. Apologist's Ultramarines come to mind. But that's just way too involved for me. And second, it often makes them too big. Space Marines are supposed to be 7-7.5 feet tall. Really just a head taller than normal men, for the most part. Plus, I want to use the standard Mk VII plastics and just fix the proportions.

Very quickly, I decided that my project would address my long standing problems with Space Marine models.
1. They are too short, obviously. Space Marines should be 7-7.5 foot super-soldiers. The GW human figures are probably just too tall, but too late to fix that; gotta make the Marines bigger.
2. They don't have enough ammunition to fight wars. Marines need to be loaded for bear. Look like they could actually fight a war. So all of my figures would have ammunition pouches, grenades, combat knives, etc.
3. All the Marines should have helmets because no good Marine would be without his helmet. It's just dumb. Encased in nearly impenetrable ceramite, only to leave you nugget exposed, and lose all the life support, communications, imaging and targeting enhancements of the helmet? Idiotic.

Also, the Battle Company had to be "Counts As", WYSIWYG for the Standard, Blood Angels, and Space Wolves codex lists.

Plus, being that I was going to convert everything, my last challenge was to only use Mk VII parts, but also ensure that every model had a character of its own. That they weren't just carbon copies of Marines with bolters, but with believable poses. This of course is not going to be easy with a whopping fifty two bolter Marines in a Battle Company, and forcing the majority of them to wear helmets.

So I set to work, with some plastic card, and a dream. A lot of these are old photos of rough prototypes that I didn't fully sand, or gap fill, etc. Excuse any rough early modeling problems. At first, I wasn't sure how tall I wanted them to be. So I went with 1mm extensions to the thighs (which I thought were too short anyway) and an extra .5mm at the waist. The results were decent:

The tall walking stance makes him a bit taller than he actually is, but it was a good start. Next to him are Hasslefree's McKenzie (part of my new Imperial Guard project), a 2E metal Cadian, and Sgt Bylkow (one of of my favorite Squat models).

Decided this wasn't tall enough. So I moved up to 1mm at the waist. This was starting to give the height I wanted, but I only had about 25 or so walking legs, and they aren't cheap on EBay, and well, if they were all walking it would be a bit homogenous. So the firing stance models had to retain height too. Eventually I decided to go with 1.5mm at the waist for a total height increase of 2.5mm.

So now it was time to start working on some individual models.

This guy was posed to be pulling a grenade off of his belt. But instead of using a pre-posed hand, I cut and repositioned one of the bolter support arms, bent the fingers closed around a grenade separated from the grenade bundles.

Bolter Marines:

Arms have all been cut and re-positioned, for two reasons. The standard "hip firing" bolter cradle formed by the arms in stock form looks dumb. And second, I wanted some more dynamic looking poses, not just the more realistic ones.

The metal arm is from an old Devastator sergeant.

Of course, un-drilled barrels was out of the question, so that was rectified. Some of the models have weird poses, but that's because eventually they will all be based. So they may not stand flat on the standard bases.

The Marine on the far right is Brother Givenicus. Eventually he will have a grievous energy weapon style wound that has rendered his left arm useless. I cut all the fingers apart, and bent them to appear limp and useless, and re-positioned the thumb.

Now I needed some special weapons. I present the shortened Assault Pattern flamers and meltaguns:

Some more Marines:

Mid draw. Arm cut and the the fingers bent to be around the grip of the knife.

I have decided that the heavy weapons Marines will have the helmets with the extra targeter mounted on it. Plus, I decided the Tactical Squad Heavy Botlers will have box mags instead of the giant belt fed apparatus. Devastator Squad HB's will have the belt apparatus, but I figured Tactical Squads would need more portable weapons. This is an early version, and I have since modified the box mag to be better looking. Plus, there will be Bolter Marines from the rest of the squads who will be carrying extra heavy weapon ammo (missiles or bolter mag boxes).

This is Brother Brutus. A severely in-progress WIP. I wanted to inflect some more Rogue Trader era brutality to this army. I'm a huge fan of the darker, more brutal Space Marines of the old days. This one needs a ton of work, obviously, but here's the start. The Tau helmet mounted on the shoulder pad came from the Chaos tank sprue, and was clipped and filed down to match the shoulderpad contours. The idea of a mounted helmet came from the multitude of RT era drawings with severed heads. But I didn't want it to be too brutal and cross into Chaos tainted territory. I feel the Chaplain, once he's been modeled up, will be keeping a close eye on Brother Brutus.

The severed head is a Wood Elf sorceress head, the hand is the Grey Knight Daemonette head hand. The Dark Eldar is a classic 3rd Edition warrior that we had piles of from the three 3rd Edition boxed sets we had that nobody ever bothered to assemble. The helmet is a Black Templar helmet with studs, to mix up some of the helmet appearances. Plus, I think it makes Brother Brutus look a bit more harsh and maybe a bit more unbalanced and potentially vicious.

Eventually Brother Brutus's corpse was re-done because people suggested he seemed to be doing some untoward things with his bolter to the dead body, lol.

Part of the feeling I'm trying to evoke with this "army" is that of how I envision the Space Marines. These guys are seven foot, functionally immortal, genetically engineered super warriors. Human, but something more than human, and something a little less. I want to illustrate that they are both completely ruthless towards xenos, but also still fulfilling their role as protectors of humanity. I plan to have not just Marines brutalizing the Eldar corsairs (that way I can utilize both Dark Eldar and regular Eldar) I've decided the Marine Company is fighting, but also abusing Eldar prisoners out of a complete disregard. But I also want to hit on the Marine commitment to humanity. Show them protecting children, or wounded Guardsmen perhaps. I've got a pretty amazing idea for an objective marker that you guys will have to wait for.

Anyhow, I hope this work interests you guys. I'll try to keep this getting updated now that I've committed. Sorry for some of the mold lines I didn't file, lol. Sorry for some of the legs that haven;t been filed smooth and flat where they have been extended A lot of these pictures have been taken in progress over the last couple months, being send to my buddies via email for critique. So they don't all represent the current states of the figs. But, taking new photos is way too much effort right now. But as I go along I'll try to give you guys some ideas where it is at. Right now, my Battle Company is about 40% complete. So you guys should get to see pretty much the entire evolution of it.

Thanks for any thoughts you guys have. Especially any criticisms, ideas you don't like, etc. I'm definitely open for anything constructive or suggestions.
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post #2 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-09-12, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Amusingly enough, this guy started out as a test model, a "proof of concept" so to speak, for a model for my Command Squad. I liked the results so much, he's actually one of my favorite figures so far.

I like the idea of the Auspex, I just hate its clunky model. So I went to work creating this. The process is pretty simple. Cut the bottom of the handle off just below the buttons. Cut the display off just above the buttons. Trim the little antenna do-dads off, and then carefully cut lengthwise to make the display and buttons pieces half as thick. If you're careful doing this, you'll actually be able to use the back sides of both the display and the buttons, glue them together and make a second flip up auspex in the closed position. Now it is just a matter of trimming carefully to fit the auspex on the forearm of the model, and smoothing out the edges of the display with a file. The fist on the arm is from the Grey Knights sprues.

Heavy bolter with a box magazine, as well as his Assistant Gunner carrying spare ammunition:

Have you ever wondered why the bolt pistols don't fit in the holsters that are on the Marine sprues?

The answer is Games Workshop doesn't care. However, the new answer is because they are holding the Horatius Pattern Bolt Sidearm. A defensive weapon, it has a six round magazine, and was named after a legendary Space Marine hero whose troops held a bridge for a day and a night against an onslaught of Orks before reinforcements could arrive.

The Horatius pattern bolt pistol has been sliced down the center, with the inside faces filed down to make the weapon skinnier, the front sight trimmed off, and the magazine shortened. It's not a perfect fit in the holster, but it is close enough for heroic scale work, lol. I still need to decide how to give it a stubby barrel protruding, but I thought you guys might like the new figure.

This Marine has dropped his rifle to transition to his sidearm for immediate threat engagement.

Some detail shots of the weapon itself:

I haven't decided whether or not to put the front sight back on or not. It's perfectly believable it could be flip up. At the same time, the Marines don't actually use the iron sights on these weapons, so hey. The front end of the weapon looks flared in the picture for some reason, but it is not that way in reality.

The right arm is from the gunner arms on the vehicle sprue. I may bend the fingers on the left hand to "wrap" the firing hand better. The post is a close approximation of the traditional isosceles pistol stance, with the offhand wrapped around the front of the firing hand in the push/pull bracing and recoil compensation method.

I decided to reclaim some old metal heavy weapons. Took a solid bath in simple green to strip the paint, and whatever madness I used to paint this guy's weapon way way back in the day was quite stubborn.

But, in the spirit of capturing the feel of Rogue Trader, I bring a 2nd Edition las cannon. Cut the right arm from an assault Marine's bolt pistol, filed and re-positioned it to fit the grip of the old heavy weapons. Then I took the bracing arm from the missile launcher, clipped the hand and rotated it to properly brace the position of the lascannon.

Here he is with his other two Devastator brothers:

The metal lascannon on the right has a nice, weighty feel to it, but damn, is it a pain to glue it together. I had forgotten about that, lol. You get spoiled working with all plastics. Obviously the missile launcher will eventually have something under his foot that he is stepping on.

More Rogue Trader inspiration with some more Marines lugging around trophies. The guy on the left has picked up an exarch's shuriken catapult as a souvenir. Or maybe for heretical use. Who knows? This is Rogue Trader inspired after all. The second guy has mounted the skull from an unspecified Tau Auxiliary from the unit's previous campaign on his shoulderpad. The unfortunate donor was a fantasy Lizardman from the old boxed set I bought at some point and had never used. I filed off any skin detail, removed the eyeballs, and then hollowed out the underside of the mouth.

One of my magnetized Sergeants with a custom combi weapon. The Sergeants will all have heads with upgraded comms (antennas), and be magentized for all kinds of crazy options. I haven't yet gotten my tiny magnets, but they will be included at the belt line for stuff like Meltabombs to be attached.

The flat top to the melta barrel works aesthetically to provide clearance for the bolter barrel. The power source is from a multa bomb cut lengthwise and narrowed. I think i may go back and shave some of the details off of the rifle like the eagle.

The first of my completed Assault Marines:

Nothing terribly exciting about those guys, and they all need finishing touches. I was just glad to have sat down for a while and gotten some more work done. They are spaced 1.5mm at the waist and 1mm at the hips, with a krak grenade as part of their belt kit. I'd love to have krak grenades for all of the Marines in the Company, but they are a lot more rare than the frag grenades that come in every Marine sprue, so more expensive as bits. I've been salvaging them from friends who have Grey Knights and such. But I'd realistically need about 100 of them, haha. All the Marines have been clipped at various joints to create unique poses. Except the running guy. I was actually able to achieve the desired result with stock arms. If you notice the guy with the extended right arm, that's actually been done by taking an extended left arm and cutting it free and swapping the middle section to the right arm, and the reverse for the right arm, so you have a 90 degree left, and extended right, which isn't part of the normal sprue options.
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post #3 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-09-12, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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And here is my other madness. I've been wanting to do this for a while, and had to figure out the best way. I'll show him before the commentary.

That's right folks, it's a multi-laser, lol. C.S. Goto was right all along. That, and everyone knows that Marine Special Weapons troopers can have a multi-laser on a roll of 91-00. Duh.

Veteran Brother Anachronus has the honor of carrying the Chapter's prized relic, an ancient (Space Marine) man-portable multi-laser. A weapon no longer in common use amongst the Marines, the multi-laser has been well cared for and passed down from generation to generation of Marines. Large and unwieldy, even for Marine Heavy weapons, ever since its suspensors stopped functioning properly, Veteran Brother Anachronus stays in shape by practicing back flips during the long periods of time between battles.

I will probably treat this as a Counts As Heavy Bolter or Lascannon since Marine-deployable Multi-lasers are probably not coming back after 20 years MIA. But it should make for an entertaining conversation piece. It still needs some work because the right arm had to essentially be constructed from three different arms, and spacered under the shoulder in order to achieve the right angle. The multi-laser itself is from a Sentinel, with the barrel shortened, the under-rail clipped off and a bolter grip inserted, plus the power pack having been cut down and fitted onto the side to look like a removable power pack. As you can see, using .5mm card and creativity, I created a spare power pack on his hip. A third spare will go to an A-Gunner just like the Heavy Bolters have.

The Squat Standard Bearer is there because, well, he's awesome.

So there you go. The Company is about 40% done with assembly I'd say. Minus the closet full of unassembled vehicles, lol. I haven't included any of the assembledvehicles yet, because for the most part, there's nothing terribly special about them yet.

For those curious about the paint scheme, sadly I'm just as picky about that as I am the details of the models. Which is a nice way to say "I haven't been able to decide yet". I've done some test models on old metal figs I won't be able to use for this project, but haven't been 100% on any of them yet.

Thanks for looking.
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post #4 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-09-12, 09:30 PM
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You have too much time and money! Soon we'll have 6th and when that comes multi lasers will make a return. Fantastic models!

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post #5 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-09-12, 10:04 PM
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Hmm, this should put you up there with the creators of Angry Marines! Very nice work.

You know what you need? Some Marines just standing around taking a smoke break or chilling out beside the Rhino.
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post #6 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-10-12, 10:01 AM
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Nice job on the conversion work. Given the extra height you have given the Marines, it def makes them appear and feel more in tone as they should. Well done!

I am very interested in seeing how they look once you start painting them.

Great work so far and keep it up!


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post #7 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-11-12, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lethiathan View Post
You have too much time and money!
Sadly, I don't have nearly that much time. You're looking at around 6 months of work compiled into three posts, but most of it is recent. I hope to finish by the end of the year with at least putting everything together. But you know who has too much money? Anyone who makes a DKoK army, lol. Now that's financial dedication. I just troll EBay for deals. I'm going to have so many bits left over at the end of the project. I may be selling off like 1000 points worth of leftover Marine parts since I don't use any Mk 6 legs, beakie heads, or non-aquila torsos. Though I did promise to construct a single Mk 6 Marine (gonna have to buy a FW torso I guess, or use the one from my old Space Wolves sprue), complete with rhino horn (bonus points for the people who know what that refers to).

Originally Posted by jaysen View Post
Hmm, this should put you up there with the creators of Angry Marines! Very nice work.

You know what you need? Some Marines just standing around taking a smoke break or chilling out beside the Rhino.
That's high praise indeed. As silly as they are, the Angry Marines make me laugh, every time. Some of my favorite all time conversions are peoples' Angry Marine figures. So much lunacy, so much awesome, and so much so that I'd considered an Assault Marine beating an Eldar Guardian/Corsair to death with its own severed arm. I can only hope that this thread offers that much inspiration and enjoyment as it moves along. As to the second part, that picture is actually one of my oldest 40K memories (after the scratchbuilt gunship/deodorant tank), and I'm fairly sure I'll have some extra Marines lying around at the end of this project for ancillary figures like dismounted vehicle crew and such. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to pay homage to that one. I've been trolling just about every 1st Edition book I have and can get my hands on to get inspiration. Heck, if anybody has a favorite, feel free to post it here or PM it to me and I'll consider if/how I can make it happen. Kil Kil Kil!

Anyhow, thanks guys. Hopefully I can move this along regularly. I've got the parts for another four Assault Marines sitting around awaiting filing and final assembly. Two will be rigged up for flamers/meltas and the other two will hopefully have exciting poses. Achieving dynamism with the melee weapons isn't as easy as the rifles, even though it would seem like it would be. I may end up having to do some more involved sculpting or figure out better arms to obtain and butcher. ;)

If Marneus Calgar is supposed to be "one of the Imperium's greatest tacticians" and he treats the Codex like it's the War Bible, but the Codex is garbage, then how bad is everyone else?

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post #8 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-13-12, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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A little something different from my workbench. Because, you know, focus and efficiency has never been an issue with this project and I've got so much free time.

Pictures didn't come out too clear, but it was a proof of concept model for an additional squad that will be added to my Imperial Guard. He's just a test model and will probably be disassembled in favor of a different set-up and Catachan legs, but I wanted to see what it looked like when done. The arms have both been re-posed, but the distinct change I made was his shortened up las-carbine because, well, the un-augmented human figures look a bit silly holding those gigantic lasguns the current plastics come with. He's supposed to be some kind of top-tier Guardsman to be represented in game as a Veteran or Stormtrooper. Perhaps a member of the command squad or an augment? I've added a respirator to him which will eventually have straps, as will the lasgun have a sling. When I was a Marine, I loved that carry and referred to it as Weak Side Samurai Style, even though traditionalists hate it because it puts the barrel into dirt if you aren't careful. With a two or three point sling, however, it's a great way to get a weapon out of the way for using your hands without taking it off completely, but maintain control of it.

I really like this lasgun. All it needs is a new barrel, which will probably be done up with plastic tube. It will also look good in the hands of my plastic Squats. I may go full-stupid and slim it down along its axis like I did with the Horatius Pattern bolt pistol just so it matches the slimmer structure of the older lasguns on my metal Cadians.

Anyhow, I should probably have some new Marines done soon, and I'll try to take an accounting of the existing squads and some of the vehicles. Getting closer to a finalized paint scheme too, so who knows, some of them may eventually have paint.

If Marneus Calgar is supposed to be "one of the Imperium's greatest tacticians" and he treats the Codex like it's the War Bible, but the Codex is garbage, then how bad is everyone else?

True Scale Space Marines: An odyssey in posing, tall scaling and other madness.

The Brief and Humorous History of the Horus Heresy
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post #9 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-13-12, 07:12 PM
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Really loving the work so far. I do have a couple of niggles though:

1. I really don't think the special issue weapons needed their barrels shortening. I think they look too stubby now, in comparison to the rest of the model. But maybe that's just me.
2. That pistol you converted (drawn from the holster), I think isn't necessarily accurate. If you look at the holstered pistol, I think it looks like a normal pistol, simply without the magazine. Hence, the "slimmer" version you have simply looks too flimsy and unlike a bolt pistol to me - more like a laspistol unfortunately.

+rep for your amazing effort so far.

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Spanner's got some great advice as well... Listen to that wise man.

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post #10 of 157 (permalink) Old 06-13-12, 11:51 PM
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@Veteran Sergeant

Firstly a HUGE THANKS for sharing your project, I too have felt the Marine mini was too mini and need a couple of extra mils to stand out better.

Its a true joy to see your models, I love conversions and I was wishing the thread (and pictures) to never end!

I must ask, what gauge drill bits do you use for the barrels / muzzles, if I might be so bold as to also ask what tool do you use?
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