Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sometimes girls go for the short guy - ratling genestealer hybrid

Back at the end of October, a painting and modelling competition was launched over at the Father's Hall Facebook group (home to all things relating to genestealers and their romantic associations with the human race). Between now and the end of November, participants are being invited to make and paint a new genestealer hybrid. The rules of the competition are:
 
  1. Submit a finished hybrid, any generation, any race.
  2. Post images of the model prior to priming and once finished. All models must be new work from the start of the competition.
I've been slowly collecting enough genestealer hybrids to make a small force at some point in the future, and the competition seemed like good motivation to make and paint a hybrid in a test colour scheme for the future force. And then I read the rules again: "any generation, any race."
 
I thought, 'I wonder if I could make a ratling genestealer hybrid....?'
 
Holding that thought, I hit ebay and snaffled this cool little fella - a weird pre-slotta halfing oni demon (he later had his horns removed and a slotta-tag added, becoming an Oriental Halfling):

 
 

 
At first glance, you might think this guy is an unpromising basis for a genestealer hybrid, but he had some features which I figured would translate nicely: the odd eyes/eyebrows; the bare feet; the bald head; the nice pose; the interesting looking mace.
 
The conversion was quite extensive, completed over the course of about a week. First job was to remove the head and replace it further forward and down on the chest to give my little hybrid a more hunched look. I clipped away the back of the head, and then resculpted a smooth dome, before adding some distinctive hybrid creases and nose ridges.
 

The claw arm was a greenstuff press-mould copy of one of the arms from one of the genestealer familiars, while the other arms got newly sculpted carapace plates, mimicking the design from the Jes Goodwin hybrids.


I clipped away the armoured skirt and sculpted a new tattered robe, then finally sculpted the distinctive high-collared hybrid armour, adding a small backpack (Denizen Miniatures 25mm sci-fi range) to complete the look.

After completing the conversion, I probably spent longer than I should have thinking about the paint scheme. Purple and blue is inextricably linked with genestealers, and coming up with a new interpretation on the scheme, without being wildly off-piste, is actually quite tricky.

In the end I settled on a dark skin done with purple washes, and a blue robe. White armour, sand coloured carapace and black claws completed the look.


 


Ratling hybrids are incredibly rare. It is almost as it genestealers are aware of the sub-standard gene-stock and weak physical make-up of the abhumans, and shun them for reproduction as a result. Nevertheless, ratling hybrids do exist - they often act as messengers or spies for their covens. Sometimes they are included as part of a Patriarch's inner circle where they act as personal servants or even court jesters, where their frolicking and prat-falling can entertain and delight the coven.

Hopefully I'll paint up some of his friends in due course!

I'm not certain if ratlings can technically become hybrids according to 40k lore, but as this little guy is so cute, I'm sure it can be overlooked!

The dog handler cornered the tiny hybrid, but worryingly, something was coming up in the lift from the lower levels...

31 comments:

  1. Ratlings certainly can become hybrids. This little guy is pretty cool. Great job on the painting and sculpting.

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    1. Nice to get everyone's support. Ratlings are in then ;)

      Glad you like him Urion :)

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  2. If the ratling were not already in the lore, the colness of this one automatically retcons them into canon.

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  3. Prat fall made me lol.

    Coming up with a coven scheme is difficult alright.
    Does this mean that we might see a purestrain or three in that cream carapace?

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    1. I can just imagine the Patriarch sat on his throne, chuckling Jabba-like at his favourite little progeny :)

      I will certainly be thinking about cream purestrains at some point in the future. Can't promise it will be 2015 though ;)

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  4. Prat fall made me lol.

    Coming up with a coven scheme is difficult alright.
    Does this mean that we might see a purestrain or three in that cream carapace?

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  5. That's an inspired conversion. Very nicely done.

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    1. Thanks very much! He was fun to make.

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  6. Wonderful little conversion! Really nice work mate.

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  7. That's a vast improvement on the original mini Axiom. Your right too, that mace does look cool!

    Oh, and bugger the canon, if it looks good it's in :)

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    1. TBH, I see all the background as a framework to play around with. I certainly won't be losing sleep about my little hybrid ;)

      The original mini does paint up pretty nicely though - check out:
      http://greblord-littlemen.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/citadel-25mm-c11-halflings-oni.html

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    2. Just checked out the link and they actually look alright! Would have been a pretty cool addition to have these included in the hobgoblin canon....little Oni demons running around the battlefield would have been fun :)

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  8. So cute! Now purge it with fire.

    Seriously, that is great work, converting something that does not look very good at all, to that excellent little hybrid. If you go cream colored for the purestrains, I think you need to take advantage of that with heavy ink usage for carapace spots, splattered blood, etc.

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    1. Excellent suggestion for the purestrains. I must remember that!

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  9. Another stroke of genius Jon, there can't be many people in the world that would look at that halfling and think 'hybrid'... He looks amazing! Bravo sir :-)

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    1. I guess it wasn't a single jump in the thought process...it was more hybrid > non-human > abhuman > ratling > search halflings on ebay > choose one ;)

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    2. haha - having a method to the madness doesn't diminish the bonkers genius of this mate :-) Are you tempted to do an Ogryn? How cool would that be!

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    3. I do have an ogryn planned, but not a conversion. Bob Olley sculpted one for a private commission which I've managed to get a copy of.

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  10. BRAVO!! You just knocked me out. Brilliant, enormously creative. Not only the mere concept, but the execution. Oh, sir, if Ratling hybrids weren't in the fluff, now they most certainly are. It is law.

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    1. It is a good law you propose :) Thanks for the feedback!

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  11. Imaginative! Cute! But he'd probably rip your arm off.

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    1. Don't doubt it. He's a nasty little bugger really!

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  13. Nice conversion work with spot on colour palette and execution.
    IMHO If it's warm blooded and has a cranial cavity then it can be impregnated, poor little guy, more so poor genestealer imagine waking up to that little hobbit in the morning; he is coyote ugly, Good thing stealers have 4 arms!
    That was an attempt at humour, but really; great work and I hope to one day see an Eldar hybrid, the idea alone would offend so many puritans out there, for that reason alone it must be done! Say it can be Sir!

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    1. Eldar hybrids would be an interesting challenge. I like the idea :)

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  14. He looks way better post conversion. And you topped it off with a great paint job. :)

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