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A Firstborn Black Templars Crusade - Redemptor Dreadnought Conversion Project

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Hello and welcome to the Neurode Crusade's Keep!


This is my second attempt at a WIP thread in this section of the forum. I pronounce the first one dead - all of the images were hosted by Photobucket and many of us know how this turned out.


However, technical issues are not the only reason why a fresh thread is justified. My approach to the hobby has changed and I have started doing things with my models. Before that, with few exceptions, the only thing I did was to hoard more models to meet a crusade composition I imagined, but did not control.


That is why matters got out of hand quickly and the number of models swelled considerably. The miniatures were tucked into countless scattered boxes. This is no longer! Over the last month and a half, I appointed my Power Armour Marines to squads and/or "functions" and organised my bits. The way ahead of me is long, but I am finally able to see progress and hope.


For a good start, I'll leave share this photo of the larger part of my PA Crusaders. In addition to 205 Marines (including 30 jump packs), I have 25 models in scout armour, 49 in TDA,17 bikers, over two dozen vehicles and a Freeblade Imperial Knight. Disclaimer: for the foreseeable future, no Primaris are allowed!




And here is a sample of my painting skills. These models represent my current table-top standard (or I should probably add "overall standard," since I'm not able to produce better quality painting factoring in time-per-painted-miniature that I find acceptable).




I am going to update this thread as regularly as possible - i.e. every time I manage to do something meaningful, like a completed kitbash/conversion, painted model, finished squad or reasonable progress in a larger project.


All and any questions, comments or requests are mostly welcome!

Edited by Brother Cristopher
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You know, if you need to get rid of a few models . . . 


I will either keep or sell all of them :biggrin.: But considering the time I've already invested, I think I'll keep this (what seems like a life-long) project running and see the army finished!


Apart from assembling the models I hoarded, I had to find solutions to handle some of the damaged models I got from people. For example, when I bought some bikers, I found that they included a severed torso of an OOP Chaplain. While I'm not a huge fan of the model's design that didn't stand the test of time too well, I feel a kind of respect for old-school models and think that they deserve decent treatment on account of their age and the game's heritage. In other words, it saddens me when classic miniatures are forsaken, covered in clumped, garish paint and what no.


This is how I handled restoration of the Chaplain. I gave him a bolt pistol for a cheap Black Templars HQ.




Shots from more angles in the gallery: https://imgur.com/a/pEuUZ


Most of the green stuff stuff is press-moulded, the only major exception being the sabatons. I don't feel comfortable with my sculpting skills and try to avoid sculpting as often as possible.The cloak, for instance, is Sicarius'; the eagle on the left greave is a Web Exclusive Sergeant's, the ornament on top of the backpack is a combination of plasticard work with green stuff 'casts' of an accessory from the BT Upgrade Kit and the ornament from one of the backpacks from the "new" Tactical Squad. The legs are the most ordinary legs you could find in the "old" Tactical Squad, one leg repositioned for the Epic-Yet-Casual-StanceTM. The bolt pistol arm probably comes from a CSM kit - I was happy to find it in my bits box because the vambrace is similar to that of the Chaplain's Crozius arm.


How do you like the model? I wanted to breath new life into it and give it a modern feel. With my typical reservation that it's not "GW quality*," I'm quite happy with the model.


*Obviously conversions and scratch builds are nowhere near the technical quality of original models - there will always be imperfections of various sorts, the detail will not be as sharp, etc. It probably is my personal quirk, but I'd want everything I do to be as best as it can. However, some things - like hobby-related stuff - isn't "worth it." In this regard, I persuade myself, it's a good idea to tone down a notch and instead of aiming for the 100% (or 110%), settle for 80-90% of what could be done because the said 80-90% after I apply my average painting skills will be enough, especially for display and gaming purposes. What's more, after a month or a year, I will probably forget about that what could have been done better and won't notice it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I mobilised all my resolve and free time and managed to finish my squad of Black Templar Veterans before the end of the year:




I can post pictures of individual Marines if you're interested. I will do so nonetheless later, next year, when they are based and properly completed.


And here's my Black Templars Standard Bearer inspired by the old artwork. Still not decided on the helmet, though:


I'll probably eventually end up with one of those (either the one in the photo, or one of and Emperor's Champion model):




Alternate helmet, more faithful to the original:



Edited by Brother Cristopher
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Really amazing looking. I might need to pick your brain about your eye painting technique. 


I am still personally a fan of the BT helmet. However, if you are trying to be as faithful to the artwork as possible then I would suggest the second.


I also love that chaplain. I might have to get one of those.

Edited by Hawklynn
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Awesome Templars! The standard bearer is an uncanny rendition of that artwork and the Chaplain is a great update to a classic - I remember facing Templar armies led by that model with my works during the Armageddon global campaign and your version has the essence of what made the olds one great with the improved detail of contemporary kits.


Best of luck getting your force painted, you're off to a great start!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Awesome Templars! The standard bearer is an uncanny rendition of that artwork and the Chaplain is a great update to a classic - I remember facing Templar armies led by that model with my works during the Armageddon global campaign and your version has the essence of what made the olds one great with the improved detail of contemporary kits.


Best of luck getting your force painted, you're off to a great start!


Thank you for the comment! I am honoured that you draw such comparisons, it really flatters me. I've got onboard in 5th edition and had no first-hand experience of the older stuff, but the fluff and artwork of 3rd and 4th edition codexes was the thing that made the setting unique (and interesting). Being able to (unknowingly) capture the spirit of the older stuff is really something!


Looking really good. Nice to see the art making such an impact on your conversions. I do t know of the Chaplain or the banner bearer which I’m looking forward to seeing finished more.


So, it turned out I've started with the Standard Bearer! And here's what I managed to do (which is almost everything, excluding the base):




And more images:












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Your highlighting and small detail skills make me very jealous. I need to find some more time to simply practice these techniques. 


I love the Standard Bearer. What are you planning to do for the base?


Practice makes perfect. I'd very much love to be a better painter, but I must say that I'm slowly beginning to appreciate the progress I've made over the years. The edge highlighting is probably the thing which requires the most skills and a steady hand. Presently, I think could manage finer lines, but it would be too big of a time investment. Actually, I plan to paint all my units and retouch them in the grim future. The rest of the colours I do is fairly quick and easy. Since I started painting with a thrifty mindset, I weren't too keen on spending much on paints to paint things properly. I basically basecoat a given piece of detail with a given colour, drybrush with a lighter shade, apply wash/shade, edge highlight again and that's done - not much skill required there, but the results I find satisfying for my table-top standard.


For the base, nothing fancy - in addition to the fallen brother and rock he sets his foot on, just some sand, grass and a piece of turf, to match the basing style of the remainder of my army.

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Looking at the family photo, I can't help but notice a bizarre absence of Neophytes.  I hate painting them as much as the next man, my brother, but perhaps that poor Initiate laying shot open on your Ancient's base wouldn't be in such a state if he had his loyal meat shield..er, 'pupil' on hand. ;)

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The photo was taken to help me sort out my Power Armour inventory. Currently, I have 25 Neophytes, which means that roughly one out of four Initiates go to battle with their... squire ;) The one on the base, as you aptly noted, was unfortunate. I thought about adding more Neophytes for fluff reasons, but I'm not a fan of the plastic models, which are not only ugly, but also boring (luckily, or unluckily since I don't like the problems metal models cause, I have a bunch of metal ones armed with pistols and swords), and I doubt that I'll ever use so many in an actual game.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's my converted and painted OOP Chaplain; finally done, alongside the Standard Bearer and four other Crusaders.










Overall, I'm quite happy with the result. There is room for improvement, for sure; especially with the dreaded whites, but for my current standard and expectations it's a satisfying piece of work.

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  • 1 month later...

I've taken a break from painting and took a bit of a detour.  This means that my hobby goal of a fully painted army is again further than it was, but well - that's the "beauty" of the hobby.


I don't want to say that I relapsed since it would mean that I admit that I have a problem with scratch building - I've sworn not to build anything on the premise of not wanting to pay GW for "the thing I don't really need, but I want badly since 2 more Rhinos would make a total of 15 and that's a nice, round number..." But well, here I am again. The good thing is that this side project reminded me how I enjoy building things from scratch, out of polystyrene sheets, and the satisfaction of putting these together was immense. Boy, oh boy, do they "feel good." With the experience from earlier builds and strengthened internal structure, they're very sturdy and definitely one of my precise and well-thought-out works.


Neurode Indomitus-pattern Rhinos
















I used polystyrene sheets (which as far as I'm concerned are the same thing as plasticard, only way cheaper) and some blueprints for a papercraft Rhino I found online a couple of years ago. This took me 2 weeks of my hobby time to complete*. But apart from the significant time investment, the builds turned out to be dirt cheap. With the exclusion of the spare parts from GW's original vehicles I already had (doors, front plates, stormbolters, tracks and hatches), the polystyrene sheets I used cost probably not more than 1 Euro.


Overall, I'm quite happy with the final product. Some detailing could have been better and more faithful to the originals, but I wanted to complete this project relatively quickly, thus I cut some corners here and there.


*I still need to fill some crevices with green stuff and add rivets.

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  • 2 months later...

Here's some progress, mostly me catching up on my shooting troops. The Marshal (based on Seraphicus) and plasma gunners (who are my count-as Hellbasters, since I don't want to get any Primaris from GW due to 1. my backlog and 2. their treatment of the Black Templars and Codex: Space Marines which I'm personally not happy with in general) were a part of my first ETL vow. The devastators were unfortunately painted before the competition started. The awkward poses are due to them being hybrid models and the pewter parts being a @#%@# pain.






























And here's an updated army photo which now includes all my power-armoured models (as it turns out, a total of 210 marines). I suppose it's a nice update on the December photo - at least I got together to line all my troops up for the picture. It also shows some progress with regard to painting which is surprisingly quick by my standards.



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  • 5 months later...

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