Top 5 GW Artwork & Convertorum Interview

blogger-image-844809848 Johan Egerkrans from the Convertorum give me his top 5 favourite pieces of Games Workshop artwork and speaks about his design process.

One of the hottest blogs to read at the moment (other than mine) is the Convertorum, I caught up with its owner Johan Egerkrans to ask him a bit more about it.


A lot of the illustrations featured in the gallery section of your blog are from the late 80’s up to the mid 90’s and a lot of people getting into the hobby recently probably haven’t been exposed to the dark gothic style of artwork back then. If you had to pick out five pieces of art to introduce people which would you pick?

Choosing five favourites out of the hundreds of amazing illustrations GWs produced over the years is quite a pickle.


Number one is easy though – John Blanche´s Sisters of Battle cover from their first codex back in 1997.

That painting has got it all and completely nails the look, feel and attitude of the 40k universe. If I only had one picture to show it´d be that one – it´s perfect. Fun fact – the Sister superior on the cover is based on John´s ex wife.


The other four in no particular order:

John´s Black Templars cover from 40k 3rd edition, which pretty much sums up what Space Marines are about (or at least should be). 


Jes Goodwin´s Adeptus Mechanicus drawing (from Rogue Trader I think?) 

It really captures the Imperiums view of technology and the creepiness and religious dogma of the mechanicum.


Paul Bonner´s drawing of Ork Meks building a Gargant

(because I love his philosophical, happy go lucky, Orks of old).


Adrian Smith´s Nurgle vs Tzeentch

(because no one captures the essence of chaos better than him)


Am I right in saying you got back into the hobby around 2013. What made you stop and what brought you back?

Not quite. I´ve been painting and modelling off and on since I was twelve back in 1990. Since 1998 when 3rd edition of 40k came out I’ve been slowly building an Ork army and used to hang out a lot at the Waaaagh forum. However in 2012 I discovered the inq 28 community and that inspired me to start up a blog of my own and change focus from Orky contraptions to the grimdark weirdness of the Imperium. All the stuff that John Blanche, PDH, Migsula, JRN and all the rest of them completely changed how I looked at modelling and painting. Through interactions with those guys on the Convertorum and the INq28 forum on the Ammobunker I soon became part of a community in a way I previously never thought possible – it was a lot more open and inclusive than the other forums I had visited. That positive energy sort of supercharged me. It made me try new techniques and my work got exponentially better in a very short time.


The parts that make up some of your conversions are very varied, how do you store it all? I bet you must have a platinum account with bitzbox.

I have a bunch of carton boxes from a office depot where I store all my sprues, plus various plastic boxes full of bits. It´s a bloody mess and takes up way too much space.


I’ve seen that excellent Cairn Wraith miniature pop up several times in your work, do you have any other favourite model kits which you keep going back to?

The robed legs of the fantasy Chaos Sorcerer has popped up in quite a few conversions.


~ Inspired yet?

Continue reading for more on Johans design process and more of his work at:

Chilvers Industries

  • Anthony Shannon

    I would love a conversation with Blanche about his thought processes and the design briefs behind his stuff. The Black Template center left in a mk4 guy with a 2nd ed style mk7 helm and bolter.
    His chest plate is not a 2nd ed gemstone eagle, it’s a skull and templates cross.
    The rest of the marines have modern mark 7 and modern bolters for the most part. The thematic implications of continuity and the end of the ‘red period’ with these Black glossy crusaders stomping through fire, ruins and skulls- replacing the technicolour madness of bloodangels and crimson Fists in past editions, and red yellow blue marines in codex ultramarines.
    I’d like to know if that’s Armageddon they’re on or some other far flung world. Are the ruined temples recently destroyed or are they abandoned suburbs?

    So much in that one picture.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      I always felt it was Armageddon myself! That was a good transition period for me too. Although I agree on the sister’s image. That stylized 80’s rock hair still lingering about with the sleek lines conflicting with the Gregorian religious effects of the church. The cold attitude and skill she implies!

      • ZeeLobby

        Mm. Yeah. Def Armeggedon. Talk about great times.

  • benn grimm

    Nice picks and nice work! 🙂

  • Zingbaby

    Heck yeah, more of this please!

  • euansmith

    I do wish that there was a Paul Bonner set of Ork models. The illustrations are so lovely. There seems to be a real bond of affection between the Boyz and the Runtz in his artwork. I get the impression his Orkz probably have northern accents and live in ramshakle sheds; like a race of Fred Dibnahs, or the cast of “Last of the Summer Squig”.

    John Blanche’s take on the Grim Dark is pretty much the definitive one for me; a cataclysmic mash up of punk rock, prog rock and metal opera. I think that the SoB are the poster children for 40k; loony religious types with flamerthrowers encapsulate my idea of the Imperium.

    Johan Egerkrans, or Jeff Vader as I am used to thinking of him, makes some absolutely lovely conversions and paints them with a delicious, limited palette.

  • amaximus167

    Yep, all of those are in my top picks as well. Great choices.

  • Ian Bush

    That BT cover on the 3rd ed book is what got me into 40k and collecting BT. Definitely one of the best grim dark pics imo.

  • Tenpoletudor

    I Always enjoyed the more classic almost metal band front cover of 40k, It’s a wonderful style that sometimes is hard on the eyes. MG’S art work,another great from the 90’s is another look at Grim Dark but he also uses light for both 40k and fantasy.