Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Customizing 40k Space Marine Terminators

Claws?  Coool!!  Sword? Not so cool!  Lets fix it. 
So!  I'm new to Warhammer 40k, and I'm also new to customizing stuff.  But I found a great project that hit on both.

In the box set that Games Workshop makes to act as a starter set for Warhammer 40k, Assault On Black Reach, 5 Space Marine Terminators models are included.  The models are armed not with hammers or claws, their awesome melee weapons, but with a big pistol and a big gauntlet which are ok, or basic sword that looks cool, but in game terms, is actually a pretty basic and unimpressive weapon.  I don't want to spend points on Terminators if they aren't going to be tearing stuff up.  Seriously, they are called Terminators.  They SHOULD be tearing stuff up.

On the other hand, if you buy the Terminators Close Combat Squad box set, you get pieces to make 5 terminator models but enough weapons to arm 10.  You get 5 of their hammers and 5 sets of claws.  I grabbed a box, and thought, hmm...  I wonder if I could get these claws to work on my Assault On Black Reach terminators?  The trick is, the Close Combat Terminators weapons do not come on fully built arms- you need to either use Green Stuff or some other sculpting medium to build shoulders on those arms, or cut the claws off of the half made arms to go on the arms of the AoBR Terminators.  And you'll need to cut the the gauntlet/pistol/sword hands off of the AoBR Terminators to create a space to place the gloves.

Time to get that aggression out!
So How Did It Go?

Not badly, as a matter of fact.  Even with my lack of experience, I didn't screw it up.  I used the Games Workshop hobby saw (I nicknamed it "Sharp Tooth") to chop up the Close Combat Terminator claw arms right where the claw gauntlet connects to the arm.  There is a little  hose that also connects to the gauntlet, and I cut that where the hose connects to the back of the arm.  The lines are pretty straight, so it wasn't too difficult to cut anything with the Sharp Tooth, which was nice, since the thing is not a scalpel.  Fine incisions is not what this thing does.

I repeated the process with the AoBR arm pieces.  I cut just where the arm fit into the gauntlets, but this time, I tossed the gauntlets (tossed them into my scrap pieces bucket, not the trash.  They could still come in handy) and kept the shoulders and arm.  For about half of the pieces, I ended up doing a little sanding with a hobby file to make sure the angle of the arm connected with the angle of the clawed gauntlet, but the good news is, a little hobby glue and the two pieces stuck together like they had been built that way.  Check it out!

Worked out just fine!  Only 18 arms left to go. 
It took abut a minute or two of careful sawing per arm.  I was glad to have Sharp Tooth- my xacto knife would not have done very well at this task.  Before going to the store to buy the saw, I tried with the xacto just to see if it would work, and yeah no.  The plastic used by Games Workshop would take forever and a day for an xacto knife to saw through. Maybe with a smaller, finer, blade the line would have looked nicer, but it looked plenty nice with Sharp Tooth.

I had some Green Stuff on hand and did use it in three cases.  In the first case I used it to connect an arm to a claw glove where the angles just did not work and I needed to fill in a gap.  In the other two cases, the hose from the glove did not connect with the shoulder of the new arm, so I created little green stuff hose extensions that did connect from the end of the hose to the top of the arm.  I haven't painted it yet, so I don't know how it'll look when its done.

Yeah.... we look a lot meaner with these claws
than we did with pistols.  ::snicker::  Pistols...
All in all, this project turned out pretty well.  Everything looks great at this point and is structurally  sound.  My biggest question now is how the painting is going to look, since I primed the terminator models in black before I started this project and primed the arms from the Close Combat Terminator kit white.  I'm not sure if it'll make too much of a difference since its going to be ultramarine blue in general, and UMB is pretty opaque, especially after a few coats, but I'll have to see.  I'll tell you how tings turned out in a later post.

Until next time,

David D.


  1. Now that's dedication. I don't think I'd be able to customize stuff that small!

    1. LOL. Part dedication and part 'lets see if I can do this without screwing it up too much'. ;-)