Monday, 11 April 2016

Eldar Exodite Warrior Conversions - Step-By-Step Guide


So, remember when mentioned that I was going to take a stab at an Exodite force? Well, here's the first part. Despite being better known for riding giant lizards and mounting guns on dinosaurs, there's only so much you can do with Shining Spears and tanks. As such, this first lot are made to serve as stand-ins for Aspect Warriors, specifically Striking Scorpions to augment their close combat focus.


Now, a lot of conversions online you go find going one way or another. Either players will wholly embrace the Wood Elf 40,000 angle this army is best known for, or they will basically make Guardians with a few minor tweaks; these usually involve mounting them on Cold Ones. Personally though, neither look seemed to ever look quite right. 


The overly rustic look seems primitive for combat armour. True, there are Exodite worlds which are little more than feudal states, but the most famous ones can still build or at least maintain the kind of weapons the Imperium is still envious of. As such, it seems a little disingenuous to present them as strolling about in leathers, clothes or lacking the kind of helmets. Going to the other extreme, meanwhile, fails to convey them as anything more than Craftworld Eldar with a dinosaur fetish. The parts here make them look just enough like their Craftworld kin to give the high tech feel, but archaic enough to stand apart from them. Plus, given these guys are supposed to be associated with Yin-Sarr, it makes sense they'd have access to a decent armory.


Oh, and yeah, I was inspired by this image as well:




So, without further ado, here's how to build this specific variant of Exodite. 

What you'll need are some spare Eldar Guardian spruces and a Shadow Warrior kit, specifically the legs, a few arms and the catapults of the Eldar and the heads, arms, body and swords of the Warriors.

Slot together the Eldar legs and Warrior back and torso as you usually would. Unless you want to make a few major changes to the legs, this serves as a good basis for the body. The main issue you'll run into is the fact that both halves have female slots: 



As such you'll need green-stuff to fit them together. Not much but just enough to fill out most of it, though there is a specific structure which can help with posing and conversions:



By adding one ball of green stuff atop of another, they'll act like a spinal joint of sorts and a solid basis for posing; shifting the torso about so they can be lunging forwards, moving back or angling downwards all work so long as you don't completely fill out the space:



Once they're together, you'll have a bit of time to choose your overall pose, or mess about with your ideas before it sets in place. You can choose to fit the head and arms in place before this, but the Shadow Warrior body makes for a surprisingly good basis for this sort of thing. The Shadow Warrior arms fit together well enough without much issue, and you can cut down the Guardian arms to fit any angle you'd want. Really, just trim off the edge a little first, and then cut in a little deeper if you want them holding the weapon over their head or pressing it tighter against their chest. 

However, the problem you're going to quickly run into is that all the Guardians are holding their guns in their right hands, and there's only so many left arms holding swords. As such, you're going to need to use a few Shadow Warrior arms for the guns as well. This is easy enough as they're already clenching blows and it's simple enough of a task to just snap them both off. The same goes with the catapults as well, though how you'll want to approach that is entirely up to you. Most people will probably cut around the hands entirely, but I personally prefer to do it at a slight angle,:



This helps present the idea of a curved handle once joined up with the hand. It's a minor thing to be sure, but it give a somewhat subtle impression of an older weapon again, like a version of this gun with a handle more akin to a flintlock rifle:



Both sets are fairly solid plastic so you drilling a couple of holes and threading a thin section of wire through them is easy enough. That said, if you're someone currently bereft of those things like I was tonight, glue will suffice, though it's easy to overdo it.

Once that's done you just have the head and base left to fit together. The base is easy enough, but the head can be the interesting one. The Shadow Warrior body has something of a neck built up just inside the collar for the head to rest on and be angled however you want:



Some green stuff or a little trimming via clippers is usually enough if you want to pose the head a little higher, just in case you want the warrior to be directly looking at someone while in a combat pose rather than looking out the corner of one eye at them.

That done, there's just one final bit to take a look into: The cape. The Shadow Warriors have a hole in the cape to fit a sword into place, assuming you want one to be hang over their backs. You can do this again here to give a little more of a warrior look to them, but with a little jury rigging you can fit more than a few secondary items into place:



Personally I tend to favour the sensor spines usually found on the Guardians, just to give a little more of an impression of technological aptitude. This tends to be a little difficult just as a basis and requires a little time and patience to get into the right position so i'd suggest using minute amounts of green stuff or minor cuts to help hold it in place:



That done, you should have one Exodite warrior in your hand with the resources ready to build nine more.



There's more than a few ways you can customize, alter or build upon this, so consider this a mere basis for a design. Personally I tended to merely use the Maiden Guard heads to represent Exodites, but there's plenty of room for more ornate helms or exotic weapons. I've personally had a few ideas on how to implement Dark Eldar bits, but that's another conversion for another time.

If you enjoyed this one or have your own ideas on how to create a proxy Exodite force, please feel free to leave it in the comments. I'm still building this up as I go along, so any ideas would be most very welcome. Please also say if you'd like to see this attempted again, as i'm currently working on the Exodite war beasts and would be happy to make another guide for them as well.

Oh, and apologies for the lighting. A bulb blew while working on this particular guide, and the replacement was rather less than satisfactory, but we had no other alternative. With luck this should just be a one-off.

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