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For my newest project I decided on a rather ambitious conversion of the 25th Anniversary Emperor's Champion figure from Games Workshop. It is a part of my ongoing quest to chop up as many limited edition figures as I can!

The Emperor's Champion has some fantastic details, but I wanted a more dynamic pose. My original idea called for removing both arms and reposing them into a two sword pose - maybe something similar to the Gladiator movie pose. Because the original arms are right against the upper chest, I knew I would basically lose the arms in the removal and that I would have to resculpt the chest cloth. My main concern was keeping the shoulder pads intact.

In the three photos below, you can see that I removed the lower arm roughly with a pair of clippers, knowing that the effort to salvage them would be very difficult and ultimately wasteful, since there was very little special about the existing arms that could not be easily reproduced with plastic marine sprue bits and some Green Stuff. Since the removal of the arms was going to damage the upper torso detail so much, I also went ahead and filed down the area so that there would be room for me to add my own putty work later.

About this time, I realized that I could remove the lower left leg with very little damage and maybe move it to a stepping up position, giving the figure that much more of a sense of movement and dynamic presence. It would also give me that much more of a chance to practice my skills at sculpting with Green Stuff and reinforce that this conversion is more than just an arm swap!

In the pictures below, you can see the figure fully cut up before I started reassembling it.

Now it was finally time to stop being destructive and start actually building something! For the sword in the right hand, I used the sword bit from the Emperor's Champion. I cut off the lower hand so that he could hold the massive sword one-handed. I would later add the lower part of the hilt and pommel, but for now I just left it clipped. For the right arm, I used a basic arm from the Space Marine Tactical sprue, and shaved down the details of the forearm so that I could model a gauntlet on there later (similar to the one I cut away above). Of course, everything is securely pinned.

For the other arm, I had still been debating on what bit I wanted to use for the second weapon, and while I had been planning on a sword or some other melee weapon, I decided that Azrael's combi-weapon would be perfect (visible further down on this page). It was a loose bit cut at the perfect point so that I would have to do almost no work on it, but the clincher was that it also featured a gloved hand, and the studs across the back of the knuckles were identical to the studs on the back of the Emperor's Champion gloved hand. Plus, I had just finished a minor conversion of Azrael where I didn't use the combi-weapon, so the bit was sitting around loose and was not needed for anything else!

I also took this moment to attach the left lower leg on a piece of stiff brass wire. Later this wire would be the armature on which I would build up Green Stuff. I had briefly toyed with cutting a plastic Space Marine leg to shape, but that was quickly becoming more work than just making my own from scratch. I took some time to play with the position of the leg in relation to the rest of the figure and how it would affect the placement of the left arm as well. One concern was that there was a thin, ugly scar left on the leg piece from where it had been attached to the figure originally. I wanted to keep the scar against the figure still so that I could hide it with no resculpting work. Well not much anyway, since I was going to bring some of the tabard up against the leg anyway.

Note that at this point I have yet to glue the sword or gun arm on. I want to be able get in there when I break out the Green Stuff. Speaking of which...

I started the Green Stuff work by modelling the leg and after that set, I added the edges of the lower tabard. I didn't add much detail on the leg since it would be mostly obscured in the end by the combi-weapon held in the left arm. Instead I focused on getting clean hard lines. I tried to continue the original lines of the lower tabard.

The original figure had a very loose upper tabard, and I decided to continue that style, though I added a lot more folds - more folds are more fun to paint and look more dynamic and since the conversion leaves the chest very visible now, I thought it was important that my putty work support a bit more dynamic painting.

I was originally planning on sculpting a new belt, but while a basic belt would be easy to sculpt, I was still trying to figure out what to use as a buckle. It the occurred to me that I could very easily remove the entire belt from a plastic space marine torso if it would be large enough. Luck was with me and with a little bending, it was a perfect fit!

I also finally added the hilt and pommel to the large sword. For this I used a set of telescoping brass tubes. By telescoping I mean the each tube fits perfectly into the next larger tube. I drilled a hole through the bottom of the hand about a half inch long. Into this I inserted the thinnest brass tube (not even visible in the photo) to use as a pin. Over that, I added the next tube, and this is what forms the lower part of my hilt. At the bottom of the hilt, I added a short ring of the next larger diameter tubing to make a pommel. The bottom end of the pommel I filled and smoothed with Green Stuff.

I also sculpted the glove out of Green Stuff, but was not happy with it and bulked it out further later on. I also later added details to the back of the glove to make it match the back of the other bit I used. And finally, I did a variety of minor fill work to some of the seams using Green Stuff. The sword is now permanently attached, but I am still leaving the gun arm loose so that I may paint that area more easily.

The model near completion. The back of the glove has not been completed in these photos, but has been completed since. One thing I am really happy with in this conversion is that the only bit I used from another figure is the gun from Azrael. Everything else came from the original figure or was sculpted (and everything sculpted was done with an eye of keeping the flavor of the original intact). The end result is a figure that is unmistakably the Emperor's Champion figure, but also completely reworked. Now, it's almost ready for primer and paint!
And just because some of you might find this informative, useful, or just randomly interesting - to the right you can see a quick illustration of where all I used pins. Simply put, I pin everything and normally to a degree of overkill. For my pins, I use brass wire.