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HOBBY: 40K Without Spending 40K — Finding Your Inner Haemonculi.

6 Minute Read
Oct 2 2011

by Douglas Hildebrand

I am always looking for a way to stretch the contents of a kit. How many ways can I stretch a Talos kit so I have as many original models and poses possible???

That’s what a bitz box is for, isn’t it? The easiest to do is take a fantasy orc box and an ork boyz box, mix up the bitz, and you have a whole new range of models to showcase in your army. It is a simple change to execute…. as if someone was thinking ahead and planned it that way. Say it isn’t so. What I want to address are the not so obvious opportunities. What I like to do is appeal to my inner Haemonculi or Mech Boy and create something that will be unique; mine and mine alone. Mwahahahahaha…..

Today we are thinking like a Haemonculi. After getting the Talos box, I couldn’t help but to fall into that mode. There are so many bitz and pieces left over after building one of the options. You can argue that they did a magnificent job in differentiating the Talos and Chronos pieces or a horribly wasteful job of not finishing the task of giving you two complete models – I believe the latter. (Ready, set, go. Whoooosh. Flame on). Well, put on your Urien Rakharth thinking cap (which is probably someone elses skull cap, if it’s a good one), break out your bitz box, and get your gears churning. I built three models out of the one box. Three models for the price of one. The first one was really simple. Follow the instructions in the box and build a Talos. Yep, that is all there is to it. Done. Fin. One down two to go.

At this point you will realize that the sprues are still full of bitz and pieces. There are practically enough parts for a complete Chronos at this point — real damn close to a complete model. All you need is a carapace or shell. And in the example here, that is exactly what I used.

Yes, that is a walnut shell. I wanted something slightly smaller than the Talos and looked fleshier/less armored. The walnut shell fit the bill. I put a small wad of green stuff inside, pressed in a trimmed down savage orc body torso, attached the remaining Chronos bitz, found some random spikey bitz to fill the dead space, and I was done.

I posed the model on a more scenic than normal base for two reasons. First, it made it difficult to see the underside of the model which wasn’t all that great. Second, I thought it looked cool, which is the only reason I need. Two down. Really easy. You don’t have to eat the walnut if you don’t like it – feed it to the dog.

Haven’t been real Haemonculi-ish up to this point. Is that a word? Say it out loud….”Haemonculi-ish”. Sounds like an evil Irishman. Now the sprue is looking a bit spartan and we still want to get another model that is recognizable as a Talos or Chronos out of it. I went for a Talos.

This requires a bitz box with Tyrannid stuff, a friend with a bitz box full of Tyrannid stuff, or a good day at a bitz trading event. I would like to thank Michael, the store manager from my local GW store, for opening up his bitz box to make this happen. I don’t do bugs and this wouldn’t have happened without his help. Well, it would have happened one way or another, just not this easily. I can be obstinate like that.

The key, in my opinion, to a successful conversion is getting the appropriate size, shapes, and forms in relation to the original model. In this case I want an armored body, dangling limbs, and a weaponized prehensile tail/ scorpion stinger.


Haemonculi don’t torture humans exclusively. Why not throw in a little Tyranid DNA into your constructs? The Carnifex carapace is a wickedly awesome piece for conversions. I always look for them when bitz trading. I have used them in many different armies as armor or trophies. This is where I started with the model. Real close to the original model in size – looks like a winner. I now have the shell. Using Tyrannid parts exclusively or excessively would make it look like another bug variant, so I had to ensure that there was enough of the bio-mechanical and drug induced aspects to the model.

When you look at a car the area that you identify most with is the front end – grill and headlights. So, I wanted to get that right. I needed the face and arms (front end) of the conversion Talos to be unmistakable as a Talos. Not difficult with what is still left on the sprue. I actually had choices.

I could have gone the same rout with the second model and pack in some green stuff and fill the void with dangly bitz and sharp things. Would have worked, but I wanted to get more of a Talos demeanor and differentiate from the Chronos. I hit my bitz box up for a previous generation Reaver carapace from a failed conversion that I didn’t like. This made for the lower body of the model.

The number of holes in the Reaver body side are convenient for the conversion. I need to add arms and instruments of pain to create a well rounded instrument of torture. I relied on more Tyranid arms. I could have used some old Talos bitz to create a level of continuity between the old and new models, but I opted to use paint scheme to tie them together (just my choice). This kept it in theme for the model and tied it into my current force (continuity is always preferable). The old Talos bitz would help create a level of aesthetic flow between the older and newer models if I ever want to field a massive amount of Talos for an apocalyptic army.

Now to get some tail. Talos tail, shame on you. The scorpion stinger with a gun look has been kept from the previous generation model. I could have just mounted a gun on the top of the carapace like some sort of bio-mechanical turret, but I wanted to stick with the overall feel of a Talos. So, we are going for a stinger. Trim a talon down and add the weapon of choice. You will still have some leftover weapons to update your old Talos
models – that continuity thing again.

The carapace is adorned with a number of the toxin/poison vials from the sprue. They fit nicely into the pock marks already on the carapace and brought out the whole drug use theme.

I found the center of balance of the model by balancing it on my finger, drilled a hole, used of wire hangar for the base stem, and you have another Talos. Decorated the base with some debris (my Dark Eldar army has a ruined city theme running through it) and you now have two Talos and a Chronos from one kit.


Again, to reiterate my point. If you don’t look for ways to use the bitz in this kit, it is horribly overpriced and a waste of a lot of plastic. You can disagree with me on this one because you are entitled to your own opinion (even if it is miserably wrong), but there is a lot of wasted potential if you don’t use the leftovers. Once you let that inner Haemonculi out and let your imagination go, the boxed set of three models is exceptionally cheap overall. You get three models; two of which are unique to your force.

Thanks folks!  Have at it.

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