You can certainly spend thousands on your All-Forgeworld Horus Heresy Army, but you don't have to...
We've seen the arrival of the Horus Heresy series create a wave of excitement within the Warhammer 40,000 community. At long last we can play in that most glorious of times, fighting alongside the greatest of heroes and villians, and even the primarchs themselves.
Then folks go over to the Forgeworld site and add up the price of an all-resin force and get a bit wobbly in the knees.
Well WORRY NOT! There is a perfectly acceptable way to get your Heresy force together for a fraction of the 100% Forgeworld option - Heresy modeling using available bits and very minor conversions from other ranges. Folks have been doing it for years!
So first off, the Forgeworld stuff is great and I certainly suggest getting at elast some of it to spruce up your army. I like to use the Forgeworld kits for Officers, Sergeants, and anyone special. If I'm feeling like splurging, I will even fill out a single squad of say Legion Veteran Tacticals with the fancy stuff. But its the meat and potatoes of your force where you can save a lot - your mass infantry. Here's the quick and dirty Primer for making an acceptable Heresy era force while not breaking the bank.
Basically, we are going to use bog standard Plastic marines, with some rules for what bits we allow in 3 areas: Chestplates, Heads, and Backpacks.
First off, you will want to get with all your non-Heresy friends and trade away all of Your Aquila plates (winged skulls are fine, just not the double headed Eagle), and certainly all your high collared Mk.VIII chest plates:
|Mk VIII - Not invented yet - DITCH IT|
|Aquila plate - Emperor's Children ONLY|
Then try to get as many of these as you can grab. Anything simple and brutal looking with rivets, cabling, and even characterful stuff like the Berzerker torsos with ammo belts are good once you shave away the Khorne symbols.
|Stuff like this what you want|
Next, the hardest part - ditch any and all of your Mk.VII helmets - the bog standard grill nose model.
|MK VII - Not invented yet - DITCH IT|
Now lie, cheat, and steal (ok just trade) for Mk VI beakie heads, and any and all of the older looking mks of helmets. You have a lot of choices out there. You could use Grey Knight helmets, or some of the Mk IV Black Templars helmets, as well as several of the Chaos Marine helmets once you have "de-horned" them. Another common option is to use Warhammer Fantasy Warriors of Chaos Helmets with no horns as Mk II stand-ins. In general, this is the part that will be the trickiest, as you will have so many MkVII helmets to replace.
Don't forget the use of exposed heads now and then to fill out your numbers, based upon the character of your Legion. My Death Guard exposed heads are always bald and wearing respirators - while a friend's Emperor's Children only use the "just out of the salon - fancy boy" Blood Angels exposed heads. Have fun with it.
|Mk VI - Looking good!|
|Warrors of Chaos - Snip the Horns and add some grills.|
|Black Templars Mk.IV|
|Grey Knights - Adding some grill slits can do the trick|
|I'm grim and badass GRRR!!!|
|Look at my hair! - I'm WS:5!!!|
Now the Easy part. Not only can you use the standard Marine backpack, but one very common Chaos Marine pack has recently been revealed as a Heresy-era standard piece of Legion equipment. So feel free to mix and match these to give your force a cool unique feel, or mark out particular models or units.
|Nothing wrong with this pack.|
|Anvilus-pattern backpack feating "advanced thrusters and inferior rad-shielding" (HH Betrayal p.131)|
Now dress up your bit-swapped mass infantry with some select Forgeworld infantry kits and a vehicle or two (I'm kinda keen on those sexy Contemptors), and you can have a Heresy force in no time and keep your bank account in the green.
Have at it folks. Feel free to drop in your favorite bits and ideas for Heresy era conversions.