Update: 24 September, 2016: Welcome aboard the Genestealer Cult Hype Train, party people. This has been updated with models from the newer kits as well as the original Deathwatch Overkill board game.
Hopefully I am not the only person unreasonably excited about the return of Genestealer Cult to the model range and the official “modern” Warhammer 40K lore canon. Sorry for the long break if you’ve been following. I moved, then it was summer, then we started playing Mordheim, then we started playing X-Wing, and well, 40K fell by the wayside for a good while. But, enough with the tearful reunion, on with the modeling.
Like Squats, the Genestealer Cult is one of the the relics of an older, more fun time in 40K, and an army that I played when I was younger, and it still had a list. Unfortunately, Genestealer Cultists are almost as hard to come by as Squats and they are metal with equally hard to find arms, making the idea of constructing a Genestealer Cult army both impractical and financially daunting.
But now we have the new Deathwatch Overkill game, which has 36 new, and frankly gorgeous, models for the Genestealer Cult. Admittedly, you can easily find purestrain genestealers and Broodlords/Genestealer Patriarchs, but there are 30ish models in this set that haven’t been seen in the 40K range since the early 90s. And four, the new Aberrants, which are an addition to the lore. They’re fairly cool looking models, even if I’m not really 100% sure if they fit into the fluff of an underground cult trying to keep a low profile. But I guess if they can keep the purestrains hidden, they can keep those big ugly bastards hidden too.
However, you all know me as a budget hawk, so I didn’t buy the whole set. I’m just not convinced my friends and I would ever actually play the game, and let’s be realistic: With all these sets getting broken up by bits sellers, the rules and tiles are going to be a dime a dozen on Ebay in a few months. Plus, I have almost no need for the Space Marine models, as cool as they are. Heck, I may just model up some Invectors-chapter equivalents (I need to do a chaplain anyway). Because every Space Marine deserves to be true scale. However, Ebay has bestowed upon me the Generation 3 & 4 Genestealer Hybrids, including the mining laser models. At about $2 a head, which is pricier than I usually go, but reasonable for a brand new kit that I am too impatient to wait for.
I’ll preface by saying I really like these models. The sculpts and detail are top notch. But they’re also terribly static. Which is where my knife, some glue, some green stuff, and my creativity come in.
My biggest problem with these figures are the fairly lackadaisical poses they have, right down to the 80s Action Movie poses that everyone knows I hate on Space Marines. So I wasn’t going to leave my new Stealer Cult Hybrids like that too.
These are what mine look like (exact same base models):
These are not easy to convert, to say the least. You pretty much have to dice them up, meaning lots of greenstuff to fill the gaps, but I think the result is worth it. Even if I can’t get perfect aiming poses, the modified models look far more like a bunch of crazy zealots who think attacking Space Marines is a good idea. Too many of the out-of-box models just kinda look… bored. Or, at best, angry about being bored.
A couple of the poses don’t offer much to anyone but the most dedicated converter (we’ll see if that’s me), but you can definitely improve this kit with a little patience and a good knife. At the time of writing, I’ve got 6 of the 16 models converted, and another 4 assembled as-is off the sprue (aside from cutting off the neck peg so their heads can be freely posed).
We’ll see what I decide to do with the remaining six.
The first two of my models from the Genestealer Cult Neophyte Hybrids boxed set
The kit has shotguns and autoguns for each model, however, each pair uses the same left arm. So I took one of the models from Deathwatch Overkill, and gave him the shotgun. For the left? It’s an archer arm from Mordheim.
I didn’t like the pope-drapes on the Magus, so I clipped them off. It also makes him look more like the original models from Rogue Trader. Rotated his hand slightly. Gave him a more stern looking head, too. I think it makes my magus more sinister looking.
The Primus had his hands and arms swapped to give him an aiming pistol, rather than a pointing sword. I also moved the left arm just so it would have a better angle for that pose.
The Aberrants were something of a disappointment. There isn’t a whole lot of potential in their models without extensive conversion, but I did eliminate the “Hey there!” waving arms on the pick-wielding ones, and I rotated the hammer heads on the sledgehammer ones to try to achieve a more natural angle rather than the one that fit easiest on the mold line for casting. I did the same thing with the picks. I also cut the skull out of one’s hand, because it looked silly to have them both holding a skull for no reason. I might cut the skull out of the other one’s hand, too.
Next to one of my True Scale Space Marines, just for reference, since the Space Marines are what typically brings people to my blog.
The 1st and 2nd Generation Genestealer Cult Hybrids will be in the next article.
Oh, and then there’s this guy, because any good Genestealer Cult needs some Genestealers. I still have quite a bit more to do. I want to raise its head, and get its left foot oriented more forward, but I like the way this turned out. Obviously inspired by the old Genestealer art from Space Hulk/Rogue Trader era, which was in turn inspired by the wonderful cover art from Den Beauvais and the old 1989 Aliens Volume 2 comic series.
As always, please leave a comment below. Let me know if you like what I did, or if you have some suggestions or feedback. And join me on Facebook. I don’t post a ton, so it won’t clutter up your feed.
10/1/16: They’re here. Time to get to work.
Previously on the Workbench: