Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Conversion corner – building better centurions

OK, I took the plunge and decided to do it. There were things that bothered me about the centurions (a popular opinion from what I’ve read) since the first moment I saw them. The WD pics were a slight improvement over the leaked ones, and to be honest when I got them in hand they WEREN’T as bad as I thought they would be. Seriously, I’d advise anyone who thinks they look awful to see one in person before casting judgement as they were pleasantly suprising. 

So, I categorised the issues I had with the models and below have listed my modifications and how I went about them. This isn’t a tutorial as such but you should be able to get most of what I did from reading it – if not then please feel free to ask any questions.

The feet are very static and, like with the riptide/wratihknight, have a notch in the joint that can be removed to repose the ankle. I wanted the trailing foot on the pictured centurion to look more like it was capable of actually flexing the toes rather than looking like a post-office stamp. I cut the front toes off and repositioned them at about 30-degrees. No filling was needed, just a bit of trimming in places. I then needed to remove the aforementioned notch to allow the ankle to be positioned differently. As a result, the piston at the back of the leg would no longer fit, so I removed a section of this also, reassembled it and attached it. Best to do all this with plastic glue so you can alter different parts as you position it to get the perfect pose.

Leg armour

This was a very simple fix to make the centurion look like he could actually move by exposing more of the knee joint. I simply cut the armour in half following the shape of the join then attached the lower part of the armour as normal. The thigh armour I used superglue to attach as it only connects at one point to the thigh and thus needs a more immediate strong bond. I left a decent gap to expose the knee which gives the illusion of lengthening the leg and making the joint look less blocky and inflexible.

Waist armour

This is one thing that bothered me the most about the centurions. It doesn’t fit with the artists impression, which makes the centurions look like they can actually move in the armour and thus I wanted to alter it. First I cut the 3 pieces of armour apart and then glued the two side plates into place atop the thigh armour. The central plate will need a bit of tidying (best to place some purity seals over the cut marks) and is then ready to be attached to the belt buckle as detailed below.


This was a fairly extensive modification. I cut the belt and buckle away from the model and then removed the cabling from the torso also. The buckle was separated from the belt (the belt discarded), had the detail removed and was then glued where it should be at the front of the marines waist. I then glued the central plate atop the buckle, with the result being it was higher up and protruded more from the body, allowing a decent range of motion without obstructing the legs. I then used greenstuff to recreate the belt, torso and cabling, which allowed me to twist the torso giving the illusion of movement.


The really big mitten hands bothered me mainly from a functional perspective. They aren’t power fists, are too big to perform delicate tasks with and don’t really represent the space marine pilots functions, therefore making them a bit redundant. I toyed with trying to attach the guns directly to the elbow joints removing the forearms altogether, but then came up with an alternate idea. I carefully cut down the forearm, removing the mitten altogether and leaving a nice, flat surface. This would be the new mounting point for the chest weaponry which, when the individual weapon banks are slightly trimmed to be symmetrical end up fitting nicely. Now all weapon systems can be aimed from the hands instead of being fixed forward. 


This now left me with a blank weapon mount each side of the chest. My solution was to turn them into vents by putting some greenstuff into the space and using a small, chisel shaped sculpting tool to put some lines into the greenstuff.

Phew, that’s it. I’m pleased with the result and think it was a good solution to making the models more suited to my notion of them. The first guy took about 2 hours to convert as I messed with different ideas, but the next ones significantly less as I knew what to do. Any questions please feel free to ask. Cheers. 


  1. Great conversions and something I was thinking of doing my self - especially the bending of the knees and re-positioning the three pieces of armour.

    It has worked really well! And I really like the re-modelled waist - adds a certain extra dimension to it :)

  2. About a million times better, very well done.