View Full Version : SM Armour Conversion Guides.

Gagoc The Ancient
10-10-2008, 09:45 PM
I've been trying to write guides for the various types of conversions I do to help those interested in them.

Here's one for Mk I helmets.

Mk1 Helmet:

Materials: Plasticard (0.5mm/1mm) & Greenstuff (or similar), possibly Plastic Rod (1-2mm D).
Parts: IG Cadian heads and probably pieces from your bits box.

It is advised that you read through this information before proceeding with conversion.

I base my Thunder helmet conversions on Cadian heads, as they seem closest to what I want to end up with.
There are a few variants of this Helmet. The variations are of what covers the eyes and what sits on the helmet. Or the eyes, you can either have a very sci-fi v shaped visor or what looks like wraparound sunglasses.

If you like the idea of the wraparound sunglasses look, find a Cadian Heavy Weapons Team sprue, as this has a head with sunglasses already modelled on. Otherwise youíre going to have to model them on yourself.

What sits on the helmet is either is either a Plume like the White Scars Topknots or what can be found on some CSM heads, or a Horsehair Crest like the Greeks and Romans used to have, and like the old UMB Captain (99060101246) or the limited edition Veteran Sergeant from the SM army box.


As you can see from the Photo the one on the left has the Topknot like Plume, whilst the other has the Greco-Roman Crest. Both have the Sunglasses type visor. The V type visor is portrayed on the inside front cover of ďHow To Paint Space MarinesĒ.



The above photos are of 2 examples of Mk1 helmet I have made.
There are also pictures portraying Hybrid Helmets. These are usually a combination of Mk1 and Mk2.

There is no particular order to the instructions below. For example if you feel more comfortable doing the visor first, the do so.

Adding and removing:
Looking at the front of the Cadian you can see the IG winged skull, I usually shave this off and file the area smooth. But this symbol can be found on some SM heads so you may have the idea to keep, if you do, let me know how it went.

If you look on the sides of the head you will see 2 similar raised areas over where the ears would go. I strongly suggest you Do Not remove them, as they can be used as guides for building up that area to make it look Mk 1. On the right ear cover there is a moulded on bar. Remove that as you will be using that surface for something else. There is a box like object moulded on the back of the head, I leave it on for reasons related below.

You will need to make more of a neck so that the head will fit onto SM and CSM Torsoís. you just need to add 2mm onto the base of the head. I use Plasticard squares to build it up to the right height, but you could use a small length of Plastic Rod or Sprue. I then fill it out with Greenstuff to about the right diameter for an SM neck, round the end and shape it to give it a look more in keeping with that type of armour.

I draw a line between the earpieces on the sides and the box on the back of the head. Below this is where the helmet is built up to give it that bulky look of a Mk1. Though do be careful around the front of the head, as it can get tricky there.

Then I add pieces of Plasticard in gaps between the rear box and earpieces to provide a depth guide. These pieces should not have any part above the line. I then add pieces above the face to define that area. If you havenĎt put a visor on, or if you donĎt have the weapons sprue head, then place the plasticard in such a way as to create a recess between this card and the face. Next is some plasticard strips to define the edges of the face, they should reach down to where the chin strap actually begins, which is about 2mm below the outside edge of the helmet. You may have to add another layer of plasticard to get the width of the helmet around the face.

Before you start filling in the gaps with Greenstuff, you will have to increase the depth of the outside edge of the helmet. To do this you will have to add Plasticard underneath the rear box to add another 1mm there. Now if you have extended the sides of the helmet next to the face, as detailed above, then all you now need to do is to make the new edge between here and the plasticard under the rear box. I add plasticard to get a rough guide, then use greenstuff.

Fill all the gaps in the lower part of the helmet with greenstuff, and if necessary, file and sand down to give it curves and straight edges in the right places.

Visor & Ears:
Adding the visor. For the V shaped visor, you need a triangular piece of Plasticard as slightly wider than the face, and which will cover the face to just above the end of the nose. You will need to bend it so it curves across the face, you might be able to get away with just bending it with your fingers otherwise heat it first in some hot water. If the triangle is still to wide for the face, donít worry just cut a little off the appropriate corners, this will have the advantage of making the visor look more like itís part of the helmet. If you cut off a little too much you can fill in the gaps with a little greenstuff later. Add plastic cement to the top and top back of visor then insert it under the lip at the top of the face.

For the Sunglasses type visor, mark out 2 squares of plasticard. Along two adjoining edges of each mark off 1mm towards the corner. This will form the bottom inside corner like in my first conversion. On the opposite side from one of your marks, mark of 1mm away from the corner. When these marks are connected will make an off-centre point on one side of both squares. Glue these pieces over the eyes of the Cadian face with the new points going down and the small cut-off corners towards the nose. Fill in the gap over the bridge of the nose with Greenstuff.

Make 2mm diameter disks, I use a Plier-Punch on Plasticard, then glue them onto the earpieces on the sides of the head with the centre of the disks on or just below the heads eye line. These are the new earpieces.

Crest or Plume:
Next is the Plume or Crest. Plumes or similar items can be found on at least a few models, so I suggest you nick one of them and stick to your Mk 1 head. Though you might have to diamond like pattern around itís base, such a pattern is on the original model on the left and on my first conversion.

Iíve had to scratch build the crest of my second conversion, so Iíll tell you how. Decide if you want a Greek crest, front to back, or a Roman crest, side to side. Both are similarly made, having the actual horsehair crest and the metal trough itĎs fitted in.

Youíll need to make a spine out of thick plasticard which is the about length of the trough, taking into account the curvature, but which steps in 1mm under the top of the trough, and continues up to about 1mm below where the top of the horsehair will be. Next cut out 2 pieces of plasticard also about length of the trough, taking into account the curvature, and which stops 1mm under the top of the trough, these will be separators between the spine an the trough sides. If you donít think that the trough is wide enough, add more separators. If you are making a Roman Crest it would be a good idea to put a notch in the bottom of the spine and separators to take a Plastic Rod of about 2mm diameter.
Cut out and add the sides of the trough, make sure there is a gap between the top of them and the spine, then cut out ends and like wise make sure there is a gap.
Use Greenstuff to make the horsehair, secure in the space between the spine an the trough edges, making it slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Make straight / slightly curve lines in the side with an appropriate, and make dimples in the top with a pointed tool, to give the sense of horsehair.
Attach to head in appropriate position. At this point you may wish to add more embellishment to the head, like the laurel leaves from the Command Squad Sprue.

Hybrid helmets come in two variations, the first has a facemask similar to those found on the ornate armour of Japanese Samurai, would need to be sculpted in Greenstuff, and is currently beyond my skills (and probably will be for ever). The second has a faceplate that looks as though itís been taken straight from a Mk 2, and occasionally a Mk 3.

This latter Hybrid can be made in 2 ways, the first is take a Mk 2 (or 3) helmet, a conversion would be best, and make a mould of itís face plate. Use Greenstuff to make 2 positives of the face mask from the mould, each being one half of the mask. Shape them so they fit over the face of your Mk1 conversion to form the hybrid. If the mask youíve now created hasnít got a good in-built visor then you may need to use the one already modeled onto your conversion, either that or make it by filling any gap over the heads eyes with Greenstuff.

The other way is to make the entire facemask in plasticard and greenstuff. I suggest that you make this in 2 halves as well. Make the basic shapes out of plasticard, generally it would be a shield like shape. You may wish to cut away a slot for the visor.
Use a thin strip of plasticard, you may want to use it edge on for this and similar jobs, to form a border around the visor and bottom edge of mask. Next take a strip of pasticard, less than 1mm wide, it doesnĎt have to be perfect, and use it to form a grille on the face mask with 3 distinct vertical gaps on each side wide enough to put a sculpting tool or craft knife blade tip into them. The borders should be slightly higher than the grille. Cover this area with a thin layer of greenstuff and use your sculpting tool or craft knife to form the 6 trenches of the grille. This is how this Mk 2 was done.


At this point, if you cut out the visor, may want to glue a piece of plasticard underneath to form the visor as you attach the mask to the head. then use a thin strip of plasticard to form the central spine of the mask, up to but not over the visor and cover any gaps in the join between both halves. As an alternative you could leave the visor slot empty, and fill it in later with Greenstuff.

Addendum:- Scouts:
In a recent White Dwarf article it was suggested that heads from other plastic models could be used to provide character to a squad of Space Marine Scouts. One of the types of head referred to in this article were IG Cadian heads. As these are used in the conversion to Mk 1 SM heads it is feasible that with some adjustment to this method, namely not building the neck so high if at all, you can convert a new Scout head that resembles a Mk 1.
These figures, one in each of the following pictures, illustrate this type of conversion.



So What do you think?

12-12-2008, 12:43 PM
cool there are cadian heads on some

15-12-2008, 04:57 PM
Fairly nice read Gargoc. REP dutifully deserved.

The Dim Reaper
15-12-2008, 05:07 PM
I like it Gagoc, I may duly steal your ideas :p

Rep awarded.



Constantin Valdor
15-12-2008, 08:10 PM
Wow, good job Gagoc! I grant you REP:)

15-12-2008, 08:17 PM
Looks good, REP is awarded for for your work. It is truly deserved.


15-12-2008, 11:09 PM
u deserve rep man

14-01-2009, 01:07 PM
really cool, the amount of detail and time in the conversion work is first rate!
rep for you!