For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a fun little project – I’ve been building a small Adeptus Arbites force. The Arbites don’t exist as an army in 40K right now, but when has that ever stopped a determined hobbyist?
Anyway, I posted my initial work on social media, and got a lot of encouraging feedback and many questions about how I went about making my conversions. Below is a quick guide on how to make your own Arbites. I’m afraid I don’t have as many photos as I would like, as I’d used most of my parts by the time I got round to writing up the process.
To make these Arbite models, you will need (affiliate links below):
- Reikland Reavers Blood Bowl Team (2016 version). 1 box can make 10 Arbites, if you build the squad exactly like I have.
- Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns. You only need the shotgun arms, so if you have no need for the rest of the parts, hit up eBay (if you do get a box, you’ll have enough parts leftover to build a squad with bolt pistol + CC weapon)
- Militarum Tempestus Scions. You need the legs, some armour plates, and many other parts are useful – the greatcoat, special weapons, pouches, etc.
- Skitarii Vanguard. You only need the helmeted heads, so if you have no other need of the remaining parts, get these from eBay. (If do you buy a box you’ll still be able to build the Rangers/use the hooded heads)
- clip out your Reavers. The Blockers/Blitzers make up your troops, the Thrower is your sergeant. You don’t need the heads.
- Remove the arms. It should be fairly obvious where to cut/clip these, so you get a clean, vertical surface. I test fit with the chest piece, to make sure it all lines up.
- if you’re adding the coat to the sergeant, trim off half of the Thrower’s shoulder pad (your left, when looking at the model’s front). Otherwise, I find a larger, alternative pad with an eagle scultped onto it. Note: If you are adding the coat, remember that it only fits with certain leg options.
- once you’re happy with where the arms used to be, glue the two parts of the body together.
- once the glue is dry, and using a razor saw for an easier time, cut through the body, following the line of the belt. Try to keep the cut as straight as possible. You might lose some of the belt – that’s fine. If you lose all of it, you’ll just have to use a bit more greenstuff. Trim off any excess material as required.
- You should now have a bunch of dismembered Reaver torsos. They’ll look something like these (which still need cleaned up)
- get your Scion legs and assemble as necessary. With the saw, cut the “dome” part of the waist off (just above the armour plates), as straight and level as you can.
- glue to the legs to the torsos. If you’ve cut things right you should find they line-up pretty well, size-wise. You’ll have gaps though. Fill those with greenstuff or whatever your favourite filler is. You should have something like this:
- Trim the hip armour plates off the bottom of the Scion chestpiece. Glue them in a similar place on your Arbite. Superglue is usually better, if you’ve had to fill anything in that area.
- Once the filler/glue is dry, I glue various pouches/grenades/accessories around the waist, just to clean things up. The Scion kit comes with 3 little books (they look a bit like big pouches) – I like to use these as often as I can.
The main body should be ready now. For the arms… it’s mostly trial and error, followed by greenstuff to fill joins/replace any parts of the arm you’ve trimmed off too much of. There’s no real science to it, or easy way to describe it, I’m afraid. I generally use Scion arms/weapons for the special weapons (except the flamer, which doesn’t really fit the look, IMO), Scout arms for the rest.
Basically, trim down the shoulder pads, cut to the angle you want, glue in place, and hope for the best…
The coat for the sergeant should more or less fit exactly. I put a little filler over the join, just to smooth it over (and just in case someone looks in that area), but you might not need it.
Once you’ve got the arms attached, and greenstuffed to look approximately right, I hide anything I’m not happy with, with purity seals/more pouches/any decorative doodads I think look good.
The last step is attaching the head. It should fit in place just fine; sometimes I trim a tiny bit from the collar, to get it sitting “just right”, but this is to taste.
Below are a selection of photographs showing off the 3 squads I’ve built – and their transports (Taurox, with “Longhorn” wheel kits from Blood & Skull Industries).