The Converting Beginner’s Guide

By |2013-01-12T22:07:00+00:00January 12th, 2013|Categories: Hobby Hacks, How To Tutorial, Warhammer 40k|

Hello all!  My name is Thomas, and today I am going to talk about taking a conversion idea and making it a reality.  Many people have come to me about how I constantly make such cool looking models. I always tell them, its starts with an idea.

Sometimes it takes a while to get that idea to coalesce into an actual project, but it usually pays off in the end.

The first thing I do when thinking of converting my models, be they 40k or WFB, is to write down the idea. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but keeping notes on the ideas I have on a modeling project are essential. I have often time thought of a cool idea and then subsequently forgotten it after a long day at work. Writing every thing down is key. In my current project, which can be found here,, I have a whole notebook of my ideas which I have been working on.

 This is my Orkuisitor! He is a Battle for Black Reach Ork Warboss, with a Combi Skorcha from a Warboss kit and an Inquisitor 54mm scale Hat. The hat was the hardest bit to collect!

Another important thing to write down is a list of the bits you are going to use for your project. When converting either a singular character or whole army, it is important to get a list of what you need and how much you need to complete your project.

Everyone knows that certain bits are hard to come by, so it behooves you to find out exactly what you need, and where to get it. This can be a time consuming project and may take quite a while to achieve for various reasons. Another way to make a list of the bits you need or want is to add them to a shopping cart online. That is an easy way to make a list and acquire your bits all in one go! You can do that here

Once all the pieces are acquired, I like to do a test fit with all the pieces before gluing them together. Blue Tac is great for such a process, as well as Green stuff. Blue tac can be found at almost any office supply store. Green stuff can be found at most hobby shops.

It is great for filling gaps and sculpting detail. It is also good for holding bits in place while you test fit them. After you are done, the green stuff should peel off of the model after it is dry. It is important to note, that Green Stuff will stick in crevices and fine detail pretty good, so be careful how much and where you use it.

After the dry fit step, it is finally time to do the necessary measurements of cutting and gluing to get the model or models together. Once this is done, painting is the next step. I use the same process for painting as I do for bits gathering. I make a list and then I write down, just in case I have something come up and I can’t get back to my project.  It helps to have a cohesive paint scheme planned for the models that you are converting. Also, it helps if you come back months later to convert a model to an army you painted two years ago! You won’t be stuck wondering, was that Scab red or Blood Red for the first layer? Which colors did I mix for that last highlight?

Following these steps helps maintain a consistent flow to your conversion ideas. May they be many! I hope this article helps everyone looking to start converting! These little tips are a surefire way to get that project started and keep it going. One day I will finally get all the projects in my note book finished!

About the Author:

Virginia Restless, Miniature Painter & Single Father to 3 Cats. I blame LEGOs. There was something about those little-colored blocks that started it all... Twitter @catdaddymbg