Monday 8 January 2018

Aliens Themed Ravenors Tutorial

Hi folks,

Well, it is too damn hot where I am at the moment. A few days ago, a suburb 30 minutes away recorded the hottest temperature on the planet for the day (47.3 degrees centigrade, or 117 fahrenheit). Painting is almost impossible, which means it is time for some construction. On my to-do list I have a unit of Aliens themed Tyranid Warriors, which I thought I could get done given a solid couple of hours of tinkering. The Tyranid Warrior miniatures I have range in age from the dawn of 3rd edition to just last year. Needless to say, the old models have had a few (horrible) layers of paint thrown at them. They have also been battered with multiple conversions, weapons and biomorph swaps.

Considering that I am trying to build up a Jormungandr swarm, I decided on a more drastic plan to convert all of the figures into Ravenors ("Groundbursters"). I took some WIP shots as I went along, just in case someone else wants to have a go some day. The plan was to create some figures that could be used as Ravenors armed with Rending Claws and Spinefists, whilst still making a nod to the Aliens xenomorph aesthetic. Functional and frightening.

Step 1: Pull apart the Tyranid Warriors.

Putting them in the freezer overnight helped me to snap off anything that was superglued, otherwise I used a pair of pliers to remove as much of the arms and legs as I could. To clean it up further I bored and excess waste out with a Swiss Army Knife blade. To do this I hold onto the flat of the blade, not the red handle, as the pressure can cause the blade to fold on your hand otherwise.

Step 2: Cut the Tail

I cut the tail with a razor saw just underneath the last armour plate. The angle at which you cut determines the orientation/pose of the Ravenor when it is glued to the base, so I kept that in mind when I was cutting. I saved the tails for some ground bursting shenanigans later.

Step 3: Fill the Holes

I filled in the leg holes with green stuff; I had no plans to add a third pair of limbs here, despite what the typical Tyranid morphology dictates.

Step 4: Prepare for Pinning

I cut the neck of the Tyranid Warrior flat and drilled a hole so that the head could be pinned into place.

The heads I have used for this conversion are from Chapter House Studios. They are compatible with the GW Tyranid figures, but only marginally. Scalewise, they fit Warriors and Ravenors just fine, but they really need to be pinned in place. For one of the heads, even finding a spot to pin is a challenge.

I find the sweet spot for a pin is right here. I file it flat then drill a hole.

Step 5: Assemble the Body 

Pin the head to the body using a pin, green stuff and super glue, then blutac it upright to set. There is nothing worse than trying to juggle gluing weapons in and having the head fall off.

Here is my stash up by the end of this step.

Step 6: Attach the Weapons and Base

I glued the lower body to the torso and added the rending claws and spinefists. I immediately glued the whole assembly to a base, so that I wouldn't have to hold it or fiddle around with blutac again.

Step 7: Add the Tale to the Base

I glued the tail to the base pointing backwards, but closer to the front of the base. This is to give the suggestion that the Ravenor is coiled up with part of its body underground. Some basing shenanigans will be required to accentuate this effect.

Step 8: Group Shot!

Bathe in the glow of the photography lamps. Here is my finished brood of 9 Aliens themed Ravenors. Next I'll be undercoating them with Leadbelchers (if I haven't already), as soon as the weather is not... Venusian.

Step 9: Go to the Beach with your new Puppy!

I hope you like my little "Groundbursters". Hopefully over the next couple of days the temperature will drop so that I can finish my Imperial Knight!

See you across the table,


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