I'm going to be doing a small Imperial Guard army based around a Rogue Trader's private army. As part of this the Company HQ will have the normal Regimental Advisors, now there is nothing wrong with the blister of models that GW supply but I wanted something just a little different. So I decided that I would convert some of my own. A big part of that was going to be the technology to communicate with the starship in orbit. I grabbed a stack of Imperial bits and bobs from my bits box and started trimming and fitting them together.
First of all, the orbital communication array which, with its operator will represent the Astropath. The base of the unit is a pair of mortar stands, I sliced the legs off one with the Chopper II and glued them on to make a... quadripod? A collapsable stand. On to this I attached (via a plasticard shim for strength) a pair of IG lascannon power cells and then the Apocalypse imperial upgrade base on top. A Space Marine satellite array finished off the feel of the thing but it still felt a little thin. So I added an orbital transponder made from the terminator locator beacon connected to the uplink device through an IG lascannon's power cable. Looks quite nifty in the end. The model which will accompany this will have either a laptop style interface or a handset, any thoughts?
For the Master of Ordnance role I wanted a kind of surveyor system that would identify battlefield targets and upload the co-ordinates to the ship in orbit and they will do the rest! This one is mainly space marine parts. On another chopped around IG heavy weapon base to create a stable platform. On this is the Apocalypse Space Marine componant. To the back of this I trimmed down a leman russ communications array. Replaced the weird tennis racket antennae with the end of a land speeder sensor probe. At the top of the antennae a land raider weapons sensor with a part from the Dark Angel land speeder on top as a target painting device. This one will definately be crewed by someone with a computer to provide the upload data.
Finally, the Officer of the Fleet role is being filled by one of the pilots from the ship's air wing monitoring local air space and vectoring aircraft to intercept. The interface is the drop pod central hub on top of the base from the Apocalypse space marine parts. This will be painted as a kind of radar display, the generator and sensor package is attached to the interface by another lascannon power cable. The generator package is made from a pair of razorback storage boxes with a shim of plasticard seperating it for spacing. The land raider crusader communications array is trimmed to fit the top of it. The back of a small searchlight is glued to one end to fill the space under land raider communicator base plate. I added an IG heavy bolter ammo pack to the other end to fill the other remaining space. This will probably be painted glowing. Finally I added a space marine satellite dish to the other end of the array as the radar.
As a result 26 random parts have come together to form new models that meet my needs. It didn't take a huge amount of converting skill to achieve either. A sharp knife, plenty of patience, dry fitting and then a decent plastic glue is all you need. As a result this sort of work is not usually called converting and instead is termed kitbashing. Keep your spare parts people! They can serve you well...
Next time there will be purple space marines to oggle, for now though...