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Posted by Serpent_Six

Is that legal?

One of the biggest irritants I have heard during my duration as a WARMACHINE player is that the Official Tournament rules don’t provide many options for those who are knee deep into the modeling aspects of the hobby. By that, I mean, a legal conversion has been hard to make…until now. No Quarter #3 relays new conversion rules in the Poop Deck section. They are easy to overlook, as it’s the last page of the magazine. For those who haven’t seen it, the new conversion rules are as follows:

  • Model must be based on a WARMACHINE model
  • Weapon(s) must be recognizable and be reflective of what is on the card
  • Make sure you have a backup, stock copy, just in case

This is a big shift in the ruling, and opens the doors for many more interesting conversions. With that in mind, let’s look at the Thrall Warrior as a case study. The one bit of advice I’d offer before you dive into these types of conversions is to have a steady hand and feel free to experiment. These two models are really only my 3rd and 4th conversions, respectively, and they came out fairly nicely for my skill level.

Winter Guard Warrior

Seeing that one of the representative Risen models is a former Winterguard soldier, I thought it would be interesting to ‘promote’ one to Thrall Warrior. The following models were harmed in this activity:

  • Winterguard Mortar Crew ‘Spotter’
      • Upper body
  • Trencher Risen model
      • Lower body
  • Thrall Warrior
      • Head
      • Sword
  • Green Stuff

For the first conversion, I wanted to incorporate an extra Winterguard model I had lying around. It was the ’spotter’. Considering I didn’t have his telescope, this was basically a useless piece of metal. It was perfect for this application, since there are no forearms, and the upper arms are easy to Dremel away without cutting into any body details. I cut him in twain, as I only needed the top half. I use a jeweller’s saw to cut him in half. I also used the saw to cut off his left arm. I did this as I wanted to have the left arm hanging limply.


His head will be replaced by the Thrall Warrior’s skull, so that needs to go too! I cut off his hat with the Jeweller’s saw, as it may be needed for some future conversion. Use a grinding ball to remove the majority of the head.


Take a Trencher Risen model and carfeully cut right above the belt. Place the top half aside. You’ll use it later in conjunction with a Water Base to create a Risen rising from the swamp! Pin the Winterguard torso to the bottom half of the Risen Trencher. Pin the Thrall Warrior head, and reposition/pin the left arm of the Winterguard.


Next up is the sword arm. Carefully excise the left hand and re-pin the sword to the grip. Pin this assembly to a basic paperclip armature for the right arm. We’ll rebuild the arm with GreenStuff soon….



Bring on the GreenStuff

Notice all those gaps and lack of arms above? Time to fix that. The one thing I’ll say about GreenStuff is that you need to have patience. If it’s not working like you think it should, it’s probably too malleable. Let it cure for about 15 minutes before working with it. Fill the gap between the upper and lower body. Rebuild the arm, use a Revenant arm as a reference. For the left arm, I just sculpted the upper arm. I’ll paint it up to make it look as though the lower arm was hack off. You’ll also need to resculpt the fur trim around the Thrall Warrior’s head.



And there you have it…your very own personalized Winterguard Thrall Warrior for Alexia to command on the fields of battle. Up next….reimagining the Exemplar Thrall Warrior.

Exemplar Thrall Warrior

Here is the laundry list of bits and pieces needed for this conversion:

  • Exemplar Seneshal
      • Upper body
  • Knight Exemplar
      • Right Arm
  • Zealot Risen model
      • Head
  • Thrall Warrior
      • Lower Body
      • Sword
  • Revenant Trooper
      • Left Arm
  • Steelhead Halbediers
      • Shoulder Plates
  • Paladin of Menoth (IKRPG figure)
      • Shield
  • Green Stuff
  • Brown Stuff

Before we go any further, let me state that I did this totally out of order. Rather than cut, dry fit, pin, dry fit again, etc. etc, I tried to build this thing on the fly. DO NOT do this. GreenStuff is not hard enough to support the joins under the pressures of continued sawing and Dremeling. Yes, it should be an obvious notion, but even I succumbed to the excitement of Build As You Go.

Grab your jeweler’s saw again, and separate one Exemplar Seneschal upper body, and one Thrall Warrior lower body from their respective pieces. Test fit and pin. Do not glue yet!


Remove the poor Seneschals head. I found the Jeweller’s saw to be the most precise instrument for this job as well. Again, disregard the GreenStuff. That is all going to catastrophically fail, and will be replaced later. Remove the head from the Risen Zealot model, pin, and test fit onto your Thrall Warrior. This is a much more dynamic head; very fitting for the model.


My Kingdom for a Sword!

Good thing you practiced your conversion skills on the Thrall Warrior sword on the last piece, as we’ll bedoing the inverse this time around. Take the default sword, remove the right arm/hand, and reassemble. Concurrently, remove the gun hand from the left arm of a Revenant. You’ll be pinning your new sword on to it. Yep, this Thrall is a lefty.



The right arm is a bit more tricky….but it doesn’t have to be. In retrospect, you could likely use this arm as is, and sculpt a new hand:


Apparently I did not take an actual photo of what I did. If you are feeling overzealous….chop off the lower half of the right arm, and attach the original Thrall Warrior’s lower right arm to the upper arm. This will provide a good fit for the Paladin’s Shield.

Now you can assemble and glue your model together. After it is completely dry, use Green and/or Brown stuff to fill gaps, add the robes back, sculpt a left shoulder and the chainmail around the neck of the Thrall. Finally, attach the Steelhead Halberdier shoulder plates. Pin the shield, but do not glue it. The model will be much easier to paint if the shield is left unattached.



These are just two small samples of what can be accomplished, and still by tourney legal under the new Conversion Rules. I found it very liberating to hack the crap out of these models, and bodge them back together into something that is unique. Hopefully these will provide some inspiration for you to try new things as well.