Strutting your stuff – Conversions in Warmachine

Now as I touched on in my previous post Warmachine is not a game you associate with conversions. A range that provides only static metal models with no interchangeable bitz or options is pretty weak when you compare it to say, Warhammer, where nearly every model can easily be made to look different.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, this does prevent a lot of gaming shenanigans that games like Warhammer suffer from like laying down space marines, oversized vehicles, winged tyrants and all the other cheesy modelling advantages that I’m sure you’ve heard of. Combined with PP’s simple Base Size=Height/LOS system it makes the game mechanic perfectly simple.

However as a modeller, who enjoys having good looking models and isn’t too keen on duplicates it does sometimes rub me up the wrong way and recently, starting with the winterguard, I’ve had the urge to experiment a bit more in having a more unique looking Warmachine army. The problem is that to stop people abusing the system PP have a very formal ruling included in the new 2012 Steamroller pack.

So I’ve got a new conversion to show you all and at the same time we’ll take a look at the ruling and see why it’s allowed.

The Rules

There are 6 main points concerning conversions in the SR2012 pack.

“A converted model must contain a majority of parts from the WARMACHINE or HORDES model for which the rules were written.”

Simply put the model you are making must contain 50% of the original model. So if you wanted to convert P.Butcher you have to use either his axe or body. Notice this says parts so in theory doesn’t refer to the size of said pieces.

“On warrior models, converting and swapping weapons is acceptable provided the new weapon represents the same type of weapon replaced (like swapping one sword for another).”

If the model you are converting has a sword then the converted model must have a sword like weapon.

“Weapons cannot be swapped on warjack and warbeast models.”

As a lot of jacks now share a common chassis the weapons are the main defining point and therefore need to remain consistent. It doesn’t mean that you can’t convert them but the weapons need to maintain a similar aesthetic.

“The models with ―upgrade kit blisters are an exception to the standard conversion rules.”

For the same reason as above you need to be able to tell immediately what a model is by its weapons and additions so, for example, you don’t confuse Malice for an ordinary Reaper. You need to have both the weapons and the souls to properly show it.

“Miniatures must be on their appropriately-sized WARMACHINE/HORDES base.”

A no brainer. As mentioned the base system is Warmachine is one of the things that keeps it so neat and simple, the base size of each unit is an integral part of how that unit/model operates and therefore you can’t go modifying it.

“At his discretion, an event organizer can make exceptions to these rules to approve any reasonable conversion.”

THE most important ruling. Seeing the other rules you’d think that conversions were nigh on impossible unless you were a boss with green stuff but this allows your TO to make exceptions. For example my Winterguard infantry in my last post wouldn’t normally be allowed but because of this there is no chance they’ll be refused. They look like Winterguard, they have the correct weapons as well as the UA and WA. If a TO was to refuse them I don’t think it’s the kind of tournament I’d want to go to!

The Conversion

Like I said I would be shocked if I wasn’t allowed to use my new converted Winterguard. However this new conversion of mine is slightly more obscure…

The original piece is Lazar Grigsov, Khadoran Rifleman. A piece from PP’s Iron Kingdoms range. I managed to find one online for 3$ and seeing as I was wanting to do more converting I snapped him up! So what model do I want him to represent? Eiryss. Quite an ambitious request given the nature of the original model.

Now I own the eEiryss model and as much as I like it I’ve never thought it was at home with my Khador. Also My Ret army will want to use her so to avoid having 2 copies of her I thought I’d reunite her with her kind and find something a bit more russian to fill her place in my Khador.

The most important thing in this conversion is that I get the weapons correct. I won’t be using any parts from the original model so I have to at least properly represent her weapons which are a sword, crossbow and bayonet. I also need to try and capture status and transfer it over to the new model. In this case Eiryss is a sniper/assasin with magical abilities, she is used to operating on her own, using camouflage and the element of surprise to strike.

In the end this is what I came up with: Mikhail Fedorov, Former warcaster of the Khadoran military. He is a master marksman who used to excel in countering his adversaries sorcerous abilities. An old hand, he served with distinction during the Thornwood war however after being disgraced in battle by ace Cygnarian sniper Kara Sloan he retired to the wild mountains of Khador to live out the rest of his days far from the wars of his youth. However the years of inactivity grated on his mind and even though his harsh life in the Khador wilderness kept his skills sharp he yearned to feel the rush of real battle again, Resenting his decision he started wishing he’d died in a blaze of glory rather then fading into obscurity. Then, during a hunt in a snowy ravine, the familiar sounds of battle drew him to where a group of Winterguard were besieged by Cryxian monstrosities and he knew fate was giving him a second chance. His old military rifle recoiling against his shoulder he slew many abominations that day as well as using his long dormant warcaster abilities to neutralise the helljacks assailing his countrymen. When the light died from the eyes of the last thrall, the leader of the winterguard contingent presented himself to Mikhail. A Greylord Koldun, he claimed to be carrying vital information to the capital and although he could say nothing more about his task he asked Mikhail to accompany him so that he could be rewarded properly once his mission was complete. Now Mikhail travels where the fighting is worst for his countrymen, freely offering his services to kommanders that require it. In his eyes he can serve his beloved country until his dying breath and when that fatefull day does come he will be remembered as what he is at heart: A true soldier of the Motherland.

First thing I had to tackle was the weapons. The model comes with a rifle and a great sword that protrudes below the cloak. I started by removing the bottom of the scabbard to make it look like a smaller, 1H sword. I also redid the handle for the same reason, using a space marine chainsword to give it an ornamental pommel. I added some extra armour on his legs to represent parts of his old warcaster armour. I wanted it to look like he’d taken his warcaster armour with him but had dismantled it over the years to make a lighter, more practical and easier to maintain (gloves, leg guards and shoulder pad). Next I decided that even though Eiryss has a crossbow I would keep the rifle as it was his trusty weapon during his years of service and much more in theme with khador then a strung weapon. The size of it and the scope still demonstrates a strong shooty character so I’m happy with it. Finally I added a bayonet to the barrel. I tried a traditional knife bayonet but I found it made the weapon look too long. So I went for a more axe like fixing, once again more in theme with Khador and could also double as a bipod. Finally I added a few extra details such as extra bullets on the stock and roughing up his cloak a bit, to make him look more like a gruff survivor.

I’m really happy with the results, although he looks nothing like Eiryss he still looks like he does the same job. He was easy enough to convert and gave me a chance to practice with my clay shapers (which are AMAZING by the way, if you want to use green stuff get some!). Also note writing the background for these sort of characters isn’t obligatory but it can be fun to do and does help you visualise what you want to produce. All things considered I don’t think I’ll have much trouble getting this validated as a conversion. It will make a great addition to my Khador and make my army look that bit more unique!

Have you done any cool conversions you’d like to show? What do you think to these new rules on conversions? Do you think my Eiryss conversion will pass? Let me know!


7 thoughts on “Strutting your stuff – Conversions in Warmachine

  1. of course like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will surely come back again.

  2. Is it possible to begin your conversion using parts from other model lines, or are you determined to use PP stuff?
    Eiryss is pretty popular, but I don’t think it would be too hard to build an instantly recognizable scratch-build, if you could say, grab a crossbow and cloak from Warhammer Fantasy, some female ‘running and/or leaping’ legs from 40k Dark Eldar…..

  3. I’m afraid I agree with the other comment – this is not recognisable as Eiryss or something very like her (incidently, I think Eiryss is probably a very difficult choice for a conversion to be acceptable because there is no way at all of a conversion identifying whether it is p or e Eiryss). Not only is the model potentially Saxon Orikk or Alten Ashley, it could also be a Widowmaker marksman.

    • No thats fair enough I fully understand what both of you mean and how the model could be confused with others. It’s good to have other opinions as it’s easy to convince yourself you’re right 😉 We shall see how things go, after the comments I’m a bit more pessimistic about my chances but it’s not a wasted conversion as there are other things he can represent.

  4. For me, if I can tell what the model is without you telling me, it is an acceptable conversion. With your current one, I would have no idea without you telling me. As a TO, I’d say that fails the test. If you wanted him as Saxon Orrik or Alten Ashely, I could understand that, with a bit of conversion work.

    • Understandable, It is a very sensitive subject and I agree with your view, a very sensible way of doing it and for sure I would need to tell them what it is. However I have seen more..obtuse conversions pass (reinholdt modelled as 3 cats on a base.) We shall see, if they do say no Then we will make a great Orrik or Ashley.

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