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40K Hobby: Making Pre-Heresy Thousand Sons

4 Minute Read
Apr 23 2010

I’ve always been a fan of both Tzeentch and the Thousand Sons, originally through the seduction of Chaos-themed armies in my earlier gaming years, but more recently with the original legion’s reinvention through the Horus Heresy series. I’ve been itching for an excuse to build some pre-Heresy Thousand Sons for a while, so here’s my first venture into the path of the sorceror!

The Thousand Sons are one of the most stylized legions, with highly ornate decorations on their armour and unique weaponry. Their concept is undeniably inspired by Egyptian architecture and mythology, adorned with iconography such as scarabs and khopesh-like blades.

Fortunately the Chaos Space Marine range provides plenty of options to meet these needs.

Required parts:
2 Chaos marine arms, I prefer the gloved variety.
2 ornate shoulder pads. I’m impressed by the nice details on the new Space Wolf shoulder pads – very refreshing compared to normal pads.
A pair of Chaos marine legs – the pair with trim running up the shins is ideal for matching the artwork in Collected Visions.
A Chaos marine chest. I’ve chosen a mark V chest as it has a nice circular space in the center.
A Chaos marine backpack.
Maxmini steam knight heads strike again – they have a helmet that is great for Thousand Sons.
A Tomb Kings khopesh polearm.
A suitable piece of power weapon housing – if you have a spare power weapon to cut up, old power axes are ideal.

How to create a pre-Heresy Thousand Son:

Starting with the Chaos marine legs, remove any spikes and chaotic details such as arrow-heads along the trim. Clean up all the mold lines and flash.
For the chest, I shaved off the small vent on the center of the chest to make room for a scarab.
The backpack arms were cut off and the vents reattached. Upward-facing vents are a personal preference, not necessarily accurate. A more detailed guide for this is available here.

Remove any Chaos emblems and spikes from the gloves. For the chainsword arm, remove all of the sword from the hand.

Drill through the hand between the fingers, through to the bottom to make space for a pin.
To make the khopesh weapon:
Firmly place a pin through the hole in the hand.
Remove the blade from the Tomb King staff.

Remove the blade and marine arm from the power weapon:

Drill through part of the base of the power weapon housing, enough to insert some of the pin without it wobbling.
Cut a small rectangle into the housing and glue the khopesh blade into the space. Push the top of the weapon firmly against the wielding hand.
Remove the handle from the Tomb King staff and drill into the shaft. Then attach this to the opposite end of the pin, cutting any excess length before gluing.

Clean up the bolt pistoland drill the barrel.

The Maxmini helmets can be left as-is, or if you are feeling creative they can be modified to match some of the concept art. I’ve cut the top of the face plate into forks.
To sculpt scarabs:
Attach small balls of modelling putty onto areas that you want to create a scarab. A little superglue will hold these in place. Use a flat sculpting tool to smooth the putty and shape it into an egg.
Wet a sculpting knife and gently press a vertical line down the centre of the putty, starting abou a third of the height down.
Use the knife to mark two more lines from the top of the existing line, drawing diagonally upwards. Then use a pen or automatic pencil tip to press a smal circle into the top segment of the scarab. Alternatively, you could continue the vertical line over this area.
Assemble all the pieces and paint!
Rusty Dice has been writing tutorials for all things pre-Heresy at his website. If you want to recreate a particular mark of armour, weapon or legion-specific models, check it out.

Author: Larry Vela
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