Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Tough Guys Don't Need Armour - Adeptus Custodes

With the release of the new Custodian Guard in Games Workshop's 'Burning of Prospero' game, I decided it was high time that I got on and painted up my Rogue Trader equivalents. The half-naked cloaked figures with tall helmets and spears you see below, are indelibly imprinted in my mind as the image of Adeptus Custodes.
 

These are Adeptus Custodes.

These are some kind of mega-armoured giants.

The new GW figures are, of course, great. But they're massive, and don't really fit the Rogue Trader aesthetic.
 
The single sculpt, which later became described in the catalogue pages as an Adeptus Custodes, was one of the very first 14 figures produced for Rogue Trader back in 1987. He was described as an Imperial Bodyguard, and illustrations of him peppered the Rogue Trader rulebook.
 

Darn, I didn't put the astropath close enough to the camera.

 
Pretty close to the illustration I think!
 
I have painted up a trio of Custodes / bodyguards. Two are clearly unmodified figures, but the third (centre of the pic below) represents a captain of the guard.
 


I've painted all three figures in a matching colour scheme to Lord Greiss, my noble / planetary governor. I figured that the looser description of Imperial Bodyguards would allow them to be used as his personal or ceremonial guard.

 
The captain is a conversion from a wood elf boar master of all things. I selected him primarily because he has similar trousers to the original models, as well as the pre-requisite bare chest. It also helps that both figures are Jes Goodwin sculpts, so they have similar build / proportions and crisp sculpted details.
 


With the selection of a few additional bits, including a plastic high elf cloak and a Grey Knight nemesis force halberd, the basis for the conversion was there.


I repositioned the arms, and added the parts of the force halberd, with a new blade at the tip. I sculpted a new left forearm and the top of the cloak to blend it in.


The helmet is largely a greenstuff cast of one of the original bodyguards, with the elf head cut down with some sculpting to blend the different parts of the helmet together.


At one point I debated adding the trouser studs to the captain model, but I decided against it - as a captain his gear is slightly different to the guards - he gets a nice fur waistcoat after all!

29 comments:

  1. Wow!That's a lovely conversion there Jon. Once again you have figure selection down to a tee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ed! It was one of those moments when you realise that the figures share so much of the same features, it's almost like it's pre-destined!

      Delete
  2. The models look great, but I didn't realise just how great until I saw your recreations of the RT artwork - now they truly rock my bare-chested man-world! A real satisfying project, brought to fruition with your usual skill at hackmastery. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These guys are almost tailor-made to appeal to your particular interests. I'll try to squeeze them into as many photos as possible so you can extract full pleasure!

      Delete
  3. Excellent project. The leader conversion is inspired stuff. It's a fun idea to recreate the photos and something you should revisit I think at a later time, perhaps using some fun filters to get a gritty black and white illustration look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I will indeed seek out some filters for the illustration look. Excellent idea!

      Delete
  4. The look great! But two of them must be really bored, they're always checking their watches!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Standing around looking both ceremonial and imposing can be pretty tedious for a muscle-bound hero of the Imperium!

      Delete
  5. Like the captain said, those recreation shots are just what push them from a solid 10 to 11.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what the 11 on the dial is for. 10 plus 1 = better :)

      Delete
  6. Great work on that conversion. I first thought that there were a second one released by Citadel until I scrolled further down and saw it was your creation. Great job!!
    /Hans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hans! I'm really pleased to have (nearly) fooled you!

      Delete
    2. "looks like a Jes Goodwin from afar" is only beaten by Jes telling you "thought I sculpted that one".

      Delete
    3. Now that's some ambition!

      Delete
  7. Like Hans said too :) That wood elf was made for this....getting cut up :D

    I'm curious about their weapons? Did they have rules for them in RT? I don't remember ever seeing any. Is it just the same as a force sword?

    Cool stuff :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to RT, as well as sporting black cloaks and leather breaches & boots, the weapons of the Adeptus Custodes are "lasers built to resemble the traditional and symbolic guardian-spear", which is a symbol used on their banners etc. Adeptus Custodes weapons list included lasguns, laspistols, bolt guns, bolt pistols, hand flamers, plasma pistols and webbers. If you were going to boring about it, I suggest they count as a lasgun ;)

      I'm not sure if any rules for them appeared later.

      Delete
  8. Great conversion, and I really like the posing in those recreation photos. (Helps of course to have the figures that the illustration was based on!)

    However, I have always found the "bare chested eldar helmet wearing" look to be a bit strange. As the body guard of a random (possibly odd) noble, they make more sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect, like a lot of the RT stuff, the text was written for the figures, rather than the other way round. The figures were originally released in March 1987 and the rulebook published in October of the same year. My suspicion is that the first 14 models were created on the whim of the sculptors, then retrofitted into the background (or, in the case of the Piscean warrior, simply dumped).

      I certainly agree that the outfit makes more sense as the eccentric choice of a noble with dubious fashion taste ;)

      Delete
  9. Holy crap mate, that's some amazing sculpting on the not-elf and he fits in perfectly.

    Fantastic work and yes, these are what Custodes look like in MY 40K universe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dai! The base model was 80% there in reality.

      You're obviously in the same 40k universe as me :D

      Delete
  10. You have to be very macho to go over there bare chested in leather pants. Respect! :D

    Awesome conversion, really, the group looks rock solid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So macho it hurts, right?!

      Thanks Suber!

      Delete
  11. Clearly too sexy for his shirt... amazing conversion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're all bald underneath the helmets ;)

      Delete
  12. These are great. When I saw Prospero had Custodes in I thought about seeing if there were five around to buy for a reasonable price. Hahahahahaha no.

    Conversion's really well integrated with the original pieces. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect I acquired my pair a little while ago, possibly even in job lots. I dread to think about the prospect of seeking out a squad.

      Glad you like them :)

      Delete
  13. Good conversion work. Translating 2D images into 3D paintings is very difficult ... well done!

    ReplyDelete