This will be a short series (3-4 articles) on my conversion ideas and concept drawings for all the new huge based jacks and beasts, that at present I can’t put into practice myself. I should point out that these drawings (and any other drawings in all my articles) are collaboration works with my younger brother (that is a much better illustrator than me); he usually does the raw sketches, while I pen in the details and shading. Anyway in this first installment we will take a look at some Stormwall and Kraken variants.
As you will notice, some of the ideas are fairly simple weapon swaps and reposing, while others may involve a lot of scratch-building or strait up re-sculpting a model. Feel free to use any of these ideas to make your colossal unique and different from what everyone else has (and possibly send me pictures, since I’m eager to see what people will do…)
Siege breaker (aka Mega Cyclone):
As you may have noticed from my Katyusha conversion, I have a tendency to make my guns bigger (and yes, I realize that Freudian psychologists would have much to say about that…) and the Cygnar colossal is no exception. The detail that sparked this concept was the chain guns on the Stormwall: too small/thin.
The initial idea was just swapping those with some thicker ones, based off the barrels on the Vulcan mega bolter from the WH 40k Stormlord tank (a Baneblade variant), but I really like the look of the Cyclone jack, so they got moved under the forearms of the jack, allowing us to add visible ammo belts (which is another detail I really like). Now you could just use the original chain guns, Cyclone chain guns left over from the plastic heavy kit (more practical if you don’t want to scratch build the housing of the weapon) or scratch build your own Gatling guns out of small plastic tubes; if you can’t get those from your hobby shop, try cutting up the tubes of ‘cotton cue tips’ (I hope that is what they’re called in English).
The next step was moving the main cannons to the spot where the chain guns were originally. I personally don’t like how the cannons are pointing upwards, even if you put them at the lowest end of their ‘rail’, so I placed them in line with the head (so that they can fire at targets that aren’t taller than a colossal). This obviously involves modifying the lower half of the Stormwall’s shoulders to accommodate for that change.
At this point we have to do something with the shoulder ‘rails’; let put ‘rocket silos’ for the Storm pods there. To make it clear that is what those ‘lids’ are, you might want to model one of the pods you get as if it is being fired (like in the sketch).
Overkill (aka Gundam 03 ‘Heavy arms’):
Since the first images of the Stormwall got released, several people described it on forums and podcasts as the ‘Gundam’ colossal; let roll with that! Out of the various iterations of the Gundam franchise, the one that best fits the bill is Gundam 03 ‘Heavy arms’ from the Gundam wings animated series, mainly because it was one of the only ones to use prevalently ballistic weaponry (lots of Gatling guns and rocket pods!!!).
To make it different from the previous design I decided to switch back around the main cannons and pod silos, while the double chain guns stayed on the arms, as the main detail for this reference. If you wanted to get closer to the look of the actual Gundam 03, you could add even more missile/storm pod silos on the top of the jack and some on its legs, just for decorative purpose, but don’t get carried away too much ending up oversaturating the model with weapons…
Mechano-Kraken (as in an actual Kraken):
This is probably the most obvious conversion for the Cryxian colossal sea monster: give it actual tentacles instead of crab legs!
As far as I can see there are two ways to get this done:
- Bits order six more tentacle ‘arms’ from the Kraken, cut and bend them into the desired shapes and model the base as if the model is standing on top of some rocks coming out of the water. This is probably the quicker way to get this conversion done, but is also the more expensive rout (since those tentacles are big white metal bits)…
- Scratch build 6-8 mechanical tentacles out of thick metal wire and plasticard. If you want to copy the shape of the original tentacles you’ll need to cut out a lot of triangular pieces of thick plasticard (2-5 mm), drill them all in the middle and ‘string’ them up on the straitened metal wire like the pearls of a necklace, leaving a 0.5-1 mm gaps between the segments. Once that is done you can just bend the segmented tentacles into any desired wavy shapes. Also keep in mind that if you are willing to scratch build also the ‘arm tentacles’ you can choose any shape for the cross section of your custom tentacles (make them squared or round, ecc…). This method is much cheaper but much more time consuming, especially if you want to make the ‘glowing suckers’ on each segment of the tentacles, since you’ll have to make those with green stuff. You can speed up that process by making a 3D stamp, like the ones I used to make the rockets for my Katyusha conversion and use that to mass produce tentacle suckers to later add to the converted model…
Another small detail you could add even to the stock model, to make it grimmer is making a pair of human legs sticking out of the furnaces (assume he’s full on corpse tokens…).
Colossal Slayer (aka Extreme DJ):
In the beginning of the Colossals’ rumor mill and previews, many Cryx players were somewhat disappointed that the Kraken was a beefed up ‘crab-jack’ chassis and would rather have seen a supersized slayer-like chassis, so let try to make that. There are several ways you could execute this idea, but in general you will have to scratch build some new legs and arms.
For the arms I thought you could use the necro-furnaces as the effective ‘shoulder pieces’, maybe adding some extra armor plating in green stuff and spikes of plasti card; if you wanted to go with the DJ theme you could sculpt the Skulls of hate on there (fluff wise the skulls would morph and corrupt any jack chassis they’re put on). From there you’ll have to make the robot ‘biceps’ out of plastic tubes of varying sizes (besides using the plastic stick of cotton cue tips, you could also use the plastic tubes you usually get on new brushes to protect the brush tip). For the actual arms I thought of using the plastic plates you get from the Kraken kit and just add on more spikes, blades and a few ‘fingers’ to make them look like claws.
Now if we do this, we’re left without furnaces, so continuing with DJ details we could move that to the hole in the chest where the secondary gun is normally placed. In that case I would also shorten up the original tentacles and make it look like they are there just to grab people to shove in the furnace, rather than the main arms of the jack (btw that would also lower the leverage those huge metal bits put on the legs, which might be necessary, since our scratch build variant might not be as stable as the original 4 legged design). Naturally if you go with that you will need to put the secondary gun somewhere else, like you see on the sketch…
Finally the legs: here I would use the armor plating of the Kraken’s crab legs to make the bulk of its thighs, the bigger set of crab legs chopped up and pinned into position as the core of the legs and then add pistons, tubes and spikes to finish them up.
Giant Mechani-troll (aka enslaved Mountain king):
The basic idea here was: What if Morthenebra and the Cephalyx overlords managed to capture and subdue a MK? You get a huge mechani-troll…
We’ve drawn this concept quite some time ago (and some of you might have already seen the sketch on some of my older articles from Steamforged.com), as a ‘counts as’ colossal/gargantuan for both Cryx and Trolls, so it had to include all the relevant elements from both models. The furnace in the chest (DJ inspired detail again) represents both the Meat fueled and the Snacking abilities, while the big cannon on top and the barrel in the troll’s mouth represent the ranged weapons for both models.
The main challenge with this project is that it would be best as a completely new sculpt. To avoid making the entire model out of green stuff (expensive), you could make a metal wire skeleton, covered in clay or Fimo mass (a much cheaper variant of modeling putty) and use finer modeling putties only to make the outer layers of skin and armor plating. Admittedly it is a very time consuming project (reason why I didn’t manage to get down to it yet), if you pull it off you will really have a unique huge model to show off (plus it could be the center piece of a neat themed troll army of mechanized Trollbloods that escaped the Cryxian enslavement – imagine Spartacus with full blood trolls instead of gladiators for your backstory…).
On the other hand, if you like the idea but don’t feel like sculpting and entire gargantuan, you could get the actual MK model, file off most of the rocks sticking out from the top and sculpting just the cryxian armor plating, brass tube guts and mechanical limbs…
Anyway that is all for now; hope you will find some of these ideas useful for your own conversions. Next week I will talk about some IK RPG character concept drawings and my first impressions on the system (since I’ll soon be the GM for an IK campaign) and after that we’ll probably get back to some Warmachine related conversion articles (I will probably keep rotating between my series, to keep things varied and interesting). As usual if you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below. Cheers!!!