+ inload: Tutorial – Converting squats from Kharadron Arkanauts

+ Step-by-step conversion: Squats +

For the thronghold and the ancestors! To arms!

+ I thought the release of the first new squat for 25 years deserved a bit of fanfare from hobbyists, so I built the squad above using Kharadon Overlords and Genestealer cultist spares. I've documented the process to share, in case you fancy having a go yourself. +

+ What do I need? +

+ As usual, the fun of conversion is getting your own ideas into the figures; so please use this tutorial as a springboard rather than 'holy writ'. Feel free to vary the parts used based on what you have, to embellish and improve on the basic squat I show here. +

+ For this tutorial you will need: 
  • Greenstuff putty
  • Superglue
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Polystyrene cement
  • A tub of lip balm (or similar lubricant)
  • A sculpting tool with a point, edge and smooth end; such as this [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]
  • The body and legs from the Kharadron Arkanaut kit


[VAL-request=OPTIONAL] + If you find this tutorial useful, please consider using this Ko-fi exloadlink to support the blog's free tutorials. + [+exload:GRATITUDESPOOL//+]


+ Part 1 +

I_ Mix up your putty and apply it over the torso, aiming to fill the space between the collar and belt as shown. You don't need a huge amount.

+ Note that I've filled the neck area; that's because I'm using a flat-bottomed head from the Hammerer/Longbeard kit. Depending on which heads you're using, you may or may not need to do this. +
 II_ Use the smooth end of the sculpting tool to spread out the putt evenly over the area, working into the crevices. Leave a fine gap at the edges. If you've added a little too much putty, simply smooth it so that it overflow the area, then use the sharp edge of the sculpting tool to trim it away neatly.
 III_ Use the smooth end of the tool to gently push the surface of the putty towards the middle. This will create a raised hump, which you then gently flatten to create the impression of a strap. Note that the arkanaut bodies vary – some have two straps. You can sculpt them how you wish, but there are buckles on the collars that provide handy guidance on the placement of the straps, and help you to ensure a uniform thickness.
IV_ Use the blade of the sculpting tool to draw diagonal lines. Keep them as evenly-spaced as you can,and avoid the strap.

 V_ Work back the other way, making diagonal lines running in the opposite direction to create the quilted effect.
VI_ Roll a tiny ball of putty and place it on the upper left chest.
VII_ Use small circular motions of the smooth end of the tool to gently flatten out the ball into a circle. This will be the regimental/thronghold badge.
 VIII_ Use the craft knife to trim away the little bobble at the back of the neck (the part where the backpack is intended to attach). Next, lay a small amount of putty between the belt and collar at the back, just like in step I.
 IX_ Repeat the quilting process (steps II–V above) on the back, then add a small ball of putty where you trimmed away the backpack attachment. Smooth it out into a rough rectangle, then use the flat edge of the tool to refine and sharpen the edges.
 X_ Returning to the front, wrap a small amount of putty around the upper legs, just below the belt. Smooth this into a flat tunic. As you can see, I didn't add enough putty initially, so it doesn't wrap all the way round (you can see the unsculpted end on the left of the picture). It's better to work gradually and add a little more at a time; as it's easier to add and smooth in small amounts than trim away excess neatly.
XI_ Once you have laid in the basic shape, repeat the quilting to pattern the bottom of the tunic all the way round the body. Because there's no break between the front and back, you can work round in one go. Try to match the spacing of the squares you're creating to the size of the existing quilting on the front and back. 
XII_ Gently run the blade of the sculpting tool round the edges of the tunic bottom  to create a border. Use the smooth end of the tool to gently erase any overlapping marks to finish.

+GOTO 10+

+ The finished models +

+ Finishing the models is now relatively quick work, with little sculpting. Once the putty has cured, you can add whatever suitable head, arms and weapons you wish. The example here use heads from the Hammerer/Longbeard and Ironbreaker/Irondrake boxes – the only addition is a simple blast visor made from a rectangle of putty, similar to that added in step IX. +

+ The arms come from a variety of sources – Mantic Forgefathers, genestealer cultists and the Arkanaut box itself. The shoulder pads here are mostly from the Imperial Guard Valkyrie kit, but that's simply because I had them handy. A more economical way would be to use the  more ornate ones from the Ironbreaker/Irondrake box, as shown on the squad leader in the centre. +

+ The weapons are a similar mix, with autoguns and pistols from the genestealer cultist box and suitably-sized boltguns from the Sisters of Silence kit). +

+ I hope the tutorial's useful – if you have a go, please do share what you make. These chaps will be popping up in the Alien Wars soon – why not have a bash at making one of these little bits of history yourself? +


Riot said...

Very cool!

Rory (Stepping Between Games) said...

Interesting idea. No sure I would do quite so much sculpting for it but lovely to see the options.

Mordian7th said...

Those are spectacular! Nicely done, man!

Lasgunpacker said...

Quite a handy little tutorial. While the figures do not match the old squats (they have knees and scale heads!), they certainly give the feel.

Suber said...

Best modern Squats ever!! I love this and noting it down!

Anonymous said...

I love them! I‘ll try and make some for my Necromunda Squats and use them as Juves.