Expensive Conversions

This morning I've been scanning around the interwebs looking for examples of reposed Space Marines posted by players on various sites. This was prompted by my experience playing Space Marine on my Xbox the other night. I have been playing a lot of Exterminatus co-op lately, and during a pause between waves I happened to have my Marine standing on a rock. I panned the camera out and thought, "Wow, that would be a great pose for a model!"
My Marine had his arms by his side, with a combat blade in a reverse grip in one hand, and his bolt pistol in another. He was looking sidelong at the camera, with his rear leg up a little on the rock, while the front leg was extended to the ground. I wish I knew how to take screenshots on my 360 so I could analyze the pose.

Anyhow, I decided that it would be interesting to try reposing some legs and arms to make what will eventually become my Raven Guard Vanguard or Assault Marines. You know, once I finish my Ultramarine Command Squad, and the Vindicator, and the Raven Guard Shadow Captain...

In my searches, I saw some absolutely great work, and some complete butchery of parts. As part of those trends, I saw some nice things done to expensive models, and then some expensive models that were completely ruined. An entire squad of Forgeworld Mk4 Marines sliced up at the joints, and then glued back together with the gaps poorly filled with Greenstuff, or knee plates cut through and not replaced. It's not a new idea. I've seen examples online of people who buy a $400 Warhound Titan and then take a Dremel to it to give it "battle damage" or saw through joints to pose things awkwardly or with massive gaps.

Those are those peoples' models and they're free to do what they want with them. But the question popped into my head "What's the most expensive model someone risked a conversion on?".

Personally, I'm not a big risk taker with my expensive models. I'm not going to chop apart my Korvydae model to repose his legs. I've also avoided buying the Finecast Lord Executioner model and removing his arms and pads for fear of ruining a $23 model. I've done some small reposing on arms, but that's about it. The only major attempt I ever made at a leg chop/repose was for my old Master of the Forge. I'd originally intended to repose and build him some bionic legs. I started like this, but abandoned the idea when I laid hands on a set of the metal Iron Hands upgrade legs.

Even with the planned Raven Guard reposing, I'm thinking a lot about using salvaged/stripped parts to minimize the bitz cost. This might be a mistake, as a good model deserves new/fresh parts. Marine legs are one of the more expensive infantry bits you can buy, so I'm a little reluctant to invest in a ton of new legs for chopping up (though I actually already have plenty in my bitz boxes).
I've bought some expensive parts for kitbashes, but never for a full on chop-and-slice conversion.

What's the most expensive model you've ever sliced to pieces? Were you hesitant about it, or were you confident enough in your abilities to fix any mistakes?



  1. I have not spent any serious money on any of my armies. Most of my finds are eBay deals, used lots of people and the occasional standard retail box. So, I haven't had to consider the cost of a bad conversion. However, if I were then I would do some test runs on disposable parts. It may not be exact but a leg repose is a leg repose regardless and what you learn off the disposable one is still valuable. Plus, there's always greenstuff for mistakes; I know it's my fallback thought when I'm converting regardless of the cost of the parts I'm working with.

    1. That's a good idea, using a close match part or model to practice before slicing up the real thing.

  2. I'm a bit nervous before I cut into any model, though not as much now as I used to be. It helps to start with "disposable" bits though. A lot of my conversions have started as salvaged models. Like Thor says you can green-stuff away most of your mistakes (or those of a previous owner!) And when you're going to cut it up and cover half of it with green stuff anyway you might as well start with something that's already a bit beat up.

    I think the most expensive model I've cut up was a new Ork Trukk kit. I wanted more of a hot-rod style so I had to modify quite a few of the pieces.

    I do tend to stray away from working on more expensive models as those are usually cool enough looking as it is. When I'm going for something more unique I usually start with a standard trooper and add my own details to make it more heroic.

    I don't tend to go for expensive bits/bo