Following on directly from yesterday's post about converting power axes for Tartaros pattern terminators, today I'm showing the other hand: the combi-bolter conversions that I undertook. Although the squad leader for my Tartaros terminators is sporting a Death Wing storm bolter, I ultimately decided against going all out storm bolters for the rest of the squad. My thinking here is that the squad sergeant should look something different and dynamic compared to the rest of the squad, hence perhaps his ranged weapon might be artificer made (narratively speaking, of course). Plus, the remaining Death Wing storm bolters that are still on the sprue have way too much Dark Angels iconography all over them which would result in a lot of clean up work for me. As it turned out, producing this conversion was almost as much work!
In the image, you can see that final result of my conversions. What we have here are effectively the arms from the Tartaros terminators joined on to chaos space marine combi-bolter fists and weapons. There has been extensive work done on the bolters to get them in this shape. The first thing I did was to slice off the chain blade extension that features on the chaos space marine bolters. I felt that these did not give off the vibe or dynamic that I was looking for with my Alpha Legion Tartaros terminators at all. But the chain blades dig further in to the bolters themselves than would might ordinarily be seen in 30k. Hence, there is horizontal and vertical edges along the bolter that need cleaning up: directly below the gun barrels, below the main housing and to the right (in the sense of the image above) of the ammo feed. Getting these four edges looking flat and believable takes serious time with filing and the trusty old modelling knife.
At the other end of the arm, I used a saw to slice directly down from the edge of the bolter. This captures the fist readily, albeit at the expense of further tidy up being required. As with the power axes from yesterday, there are skulls and other decorative bits the poke outward from what would otherwise be a flat wrist. These need slicing off with a modelling knife. Further, a little bit of filing proved necessary to ensure that the shape of the fist and wrist slotted in snugly with the Tartaros arm -- part of the arm overlaps with the wrist and the shape of the fist can cause a rotation to occur without this.
To ensure an excellent finish to the conversion, I pinned the wrist to the arm (both have flat surfaces, but I felt that simply gluing would not result in the tight fist that I required). Overall, the effect is a good one. The fist sits neatly inside of the arm, whilst the bolter appears to slightly extend over the top of the arm. Although the chaos iconography (i.e. leering faces in the ammo feed) might be problematic for some players, I actually feel that it enhances the look for the Alpha Legion. Especially if they have been purchased bane strike ammunition rounds -- this kind of design would readily differentiate such configurations from others.
I will be pairing them up with the power axes from yesterday to create my final Tartaros terminators very soon!