Friday, August 24, 2012

Heresy-Era Figures: To Forge World or Not to Forge World?

With all the big hullabaloo that's been in the air ever since Games Day US, and the subsequent leaks, whispers and teasers, Heresy Era modeling fever is gripping our community more than ever before. Everyone wants new models, that look old. A bit of an oxymoron, sure, but what the hey, I happen to be one of those people.

The big question though, is do we pay thought the nose for Forge World models that reflect that time period in our favorite universe's history, or do we go our own way with conversions and third-party bits?

Let's pretend that money doesn't matter in this decision...Okay, let's at least pretend that for the length of this article money doesn't matter. We're going to attempt to make this purely about what's better for you, ready-made models that are available to everyone, or models that are unique to you and your force. Let's break it down.

Converted Figures

Above we see an example of two very well done Heresy Era armies, the World Eaters and the Thousand Sons. Even more interesting, and amazing, to me is that both were done by one guy. Go check out Mordian7th at his blog, here and give him some well deserved props. Now answer me this question...will anyone ever create another army like either of the two he made? Let me help you out with this one...the answer is no. No one can duplicate what he's done exactly figure for figure, and that is something truly amazing to behold on the tabletop. Is this a cheaper alternative. No, not always. Third Party bits can be costly. There are even times when you chop up a 50 dollar model for one small part.

Don't look at me that way, you know better than to even ask if I've done that. Have you seen my Draigo model for my Grey Knights?

The one and only downside I can see to this method for creating your Heresy Era figures is the time it can take to actually get a project like this done. If you want a figure ready out of the box, this is not the method for you.

Forge World Figures

Let me be honest here before I go on...yes, I have purchased some of the Forge World figures. Now, with that out of the way lets dive into the why of the matter. Frankly put,their figures are amazing. The detail is anything but lacking, and the fact that they give us kits for vehicles, walkers, as well as infantry is a heck of an argument for going this route. There's something to be said for out-of-the-box solutions. And the models just keep coming. The biggest downside, besides the cost, is the combo of cleaning resin and the possibility of bad casts. Why did I throw bad casts in there? Because I live in the US, and this is a UK company with shipping involved. I've had my fair share of mis-shipped items in orders past, and I now try and reserve my orders to either Adepticon or Games Day when I can inspect them myself right there.

Ultimately, my own solution is neither option. At least, not either option exclusively I should say. While I own some of the Forge World models, and do indeed plan to buy more in the future, I enjoy modeling and converting too much to leave that out of any army project.

So what about you? Are you a fan of Warhammer 30,000? If so, what's your plan?

- Tim



  1. One of the many projects I would like to accomplish is a pre-heresy World Eaters army. I plan on using many of the more barbaric bits from the Space Wolves line. Something more in line with the War Hounds. But I am sure I will never accomplish the task because I am lazy and cheap.

    1. Ya know, that money ting is something you need to find a way past ;) Seriously though, this is an expensive hobby, there's no way around that. A way I'm lessening the blow for myself is that I'm doing a Heresy-Era Salamanders Army at the same time I'm going to be doing a 41st Millennium Salamanders Army. Dual Purposing much of the Heresy-Era work as Sternguard, Sergeants and other Veterans. It obviously helps that I'm picking a loyalist Legion, but still, maybe finding a way to get some extra bang for your buck is a way to help you past your money issue?

      You're not lazy either, you just need to devote the time to work on it. When you do, I've seen you do nothing but improve.

  2. Heya Tim, thanks for the kind words!

    To be honest, I had a lot more fun converting and building the Thousand Sons out of existing plastics than I did buying and building the heresy era resin models from FW for the World Eaters. It was definitely more work to pick through all the bits to find the "right" style of legs and torsos, and clean off most of the extra chaos-y spikes and whatnot, but in the end it was a lot more satisfying, and I felt much more invested in the army. The World Eaters felt a bit more humdrum in comparison - take 'em out of the package, wash and build. Ho-hum.

    Don't get me wrong, the models were beautiful though rather expensive. Even given the extra work that went into the KSons, converting up the plastics was significantly cheaper than the FW option. It's a toss-up which way I'll go for the upcoming Emperor's Children army next time!

    The vehicles on the other hand were all either old-school RT-era kit finds from eBay, or custom upgrade kits from Blood and Skulls industries. While the FW heresy-era kits are nice, I'm not entirely sold on the aesthetic and definitely scared off by the price!

    Speaking of Heresy-Era gaming, Ulfhedin and Company over at the Tempus Fugitives are in the midst of working up the 6th edition rework of their excellent Age of the Emperor expansion codex, and I'm really digging how it's coming along. Definitely worth a look!

  3. I've built my Astral Claws with older gear (scratchbuilt proteus LR, 3 mk1 predator/vindicators, 6 mk 1 rhinos, a bunch of older infantry models, etc) and am planning to do a few more conversions (a new land speeder into the old flying couch style, a scratchbuilt dreadclaw) because I love the 30k look so much. It was cheap to get all the old models on ebay, and scrachbuilding is very rewarding, so I definitely recommend the non-forgeworld route to start. My plan is to eventually buy the FW proteus, and stick with what I have for the rest.

    And yeah, I know that the Astral Claws werent around in the 30th century, I just figure their forgeworlds are building off older STC's, excepting the land raider which is an ancient vehicle they retrieved off a malestrom world, along with the dreadclaw(s). By building that way, I could excuse Mk VII armor etc in my army without issue. Eventually, I will build a true heresy army, but honestly now that I have a full chaos army, a full dark angels army, and a full SM army, plus plans for guard (as allies for my astral claws, and eventually some traitor guard) and blood angels (lamenters allies for my claws), I just don't see myself having the funds to invest in a forgeworld army any time soon. We'll see though, I really love pre-heresy thousand sons and I know I could convert each model one by one to match older marks of armor.

  4. I started a small Custodes force some time ago, when FW hadn't yet announced their HH books. What a coincidence, huh?

    Anyway, for my Custodes, I am trying to convert everything from existing GW kits, preferably plastic kits. I know that there are already several very nice Custodes models on the market (Scibor's come to mind), and I am quite sure that FW will be releasing excellent Custodes models somewhere along the way, but using a readymade model for a project like this somehow always feels like a cheap cop-out to me.
    But building everything from existing parts is somehow at least half of the fun ;-)

  5. Not a 40k player, but firmly on the conversion side of things. They make the models yours, give 'em character, and make them more interesting. As with everything else, practice makes perfect so you get better and better as you go.

  6. Hmmm.. okay, so the "reply" button isn't working so hot today for whatever reason. Gotta do this the old way :P

    Mordian: I'll be honest, while I know what's it's like to sell an army, I never knew what it was like to regret seeing someone sell one of theirs. you sir, have doen that for me. I can't believe you sold the Ksons. I know why you had to sell the world eaters, but the Ksons? :) You're welcome for the well-deserved words and I encourage anyone who is thinking of tackling a heresy era force to look at your extensive blog posts about it.

    And I still need to make it to a tempest fugitives event...

    Ian: Hey, there's no saying that current forces can't have heresy era models, right? I say model-on my friend :) I think you have some great plans ahead of you and would love to see what you cook up for a thousand sons force!

    KroutScientist: I'm with you. Converting things from existing kits is truly more than half the fun for me!!! Of course, I get a bit nutty and start hacking apart FW kits too... Have you put any of your Custodes up on your blog?

    Unknown: 40K player or not, glad to have you chime in here :) Conversions are key, and if you are a Fantasy player, I'd love to see some of the fantasy conversions you've done.

  7. Ask and you shall receive ;-)

    Here's a link to my first Custodes squad (inspired quite heavily by Dave Taylor's legendary Custodes force):

    I also converted some test models for Sisters of Silence, although those haven't been painted yet:

    1. Glee!! that was kinda girly of me, but still. How did I miss these on your blog??? Well done sir, very well done indeed :)