Apocalypse 40k: Custom Chaos Shadowsword Part 1

I’ve always thought Apocalypse was the best expansion ever for Warhammer 40,000 and the new version released earlier this month does not disappoint.

It certainly has energized me to work on some larger models again.

Customizing Baneblades to give them a Chaos look and feel is an exercise in creative fun as I recently discussed in my article about my Chaos Stormblade. The approach I used on that model mostly adds Chaos themed bits onto the standard kit with a minimum of replacement of stock parts. If one really wants to go over the top it can also be a fun challenge to scratch build a large portion of the model so that the Chaos aesthetic is built directly into it.

Materials required for a project like this beyond the model to be converted largely consist of plastic card and rod available from companies like Plastruct and Evergreen Scale Models. If your local hobby shop does not carry these products they can be ordered by mail. Most hobby stores that sell model railroads also carry plastic card products for scratch building. You’ll also need a good hobby knife with both angled and chisel point blades. A hobby saw is also extremely useful. Of course you’ll also need plastic cement. Since the plastic card products we are using are made of the same type of polystyrene as the model kits from Games Workshop no other type of glue is required.

As you can see from the first photo below the entire turret of my Chaos Shadowsword is scratch built from plastic card. I first built the flat horizontal part between the Baneblade track sections to have a foundation on which to work, then constructed the turret on top of it. The sloped armor in the front was also hand cut to fit between the horizontal upper hull and the stock front armor plate from the actual kit. All white parts were hand cut from plastic card or plastic rod while grey parts are bits from the original Shadowsword kit or other Games Workshop kits. Imperial iconography like the aquilas on the front track guards was carefully removed with a chisel point modelling knife to make way for the custom cut Chaos arrow decorations.

In this closeup of the turret I’ve exaggerated the contrast using Photoshop to make it easier to see the white on white parts. The base structures are cut from plastic card of a sturdy thickness. Armor plates were then cut to fit on each facet of the turret.

The custom Chaos arrow decorations are cut from very thin plastic card. Hand cut rivets are hand sliced discs off of plastic rod. Grey rivets seen on white parts were carefully cut from unused parts of the Baneblade kit and then glued to the plastic card. A few armor plates, the top hatch, small mechanical details and assorted decorations are all GW bits.

I left off the optional side armor plates that come with all Baneblade kits and made new ones from plastic card. I then hand cut Chaos arrow decorations and rivets to adorn the new armor. I drew the arrow designs on the plastic card in pencil first and then carefully cut them out before gluing them onto the armor.

I actually built this Chaos Renegade Shadowsword a few years ago, but never got around to painting it. I recently decided to finish it by adding a few more bits to it and then painting it in time for the new Apocalypse version two release.

My next article for Spikey Bits will cover the painting of this armored behemoth. Till next time, this is Brass Scorpion reminding you that when it comes to Apocalypse you can never have too many “superheavies”.

What superheavies are you working on now for the new 40K Apocalypse? I’m looking forward to working on one of the new Lord Of Skulls models soon. If you’d like to see some of my Apocalypse work in person a couple of my Chaos Baneblade variants are on display at the Games Workshop Bowie Battle Bunker where there will be a massive Apocalypse game on July 27. Bring your armies to the store and battle for the fate of the galaxy! And if you’re in the Richmond, VA area be sure to stop by FTW Games for all the latest 40K action!

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