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Themed Army Ideas
From Idea to Reality II
Part 1 <> Part 2 <> Part 3

From Idea to Reality II, Part 1 by Patrick Eibel
Here at the Jungle, we have always tried to provide information that players will find useful no matter what army they field. One of the best articles on the site, in my opinion, is the From Idea To Reality series where Kenton chronicles the process of assembling a Dark Eldar army from concept to playable force. Even if you aren’t interested in playing Dark Eldar, the articles are useful to understand how one goes about creating a unique army.

Creating a Daemonhunters Themed Army
With the release of Codex: Daemonhunters, I decided to put together a force that would incorporate some ideas I had been kicking around for the last several years. First, I had always wanted to do an army with lots of conversions that people instantly would want to see, you know like the ones that are always winning Grand Tournaments. Second, I have been toying with the idea for basing an army on the characters from Star Wars for awhile, but was waiting for a list that would fit my idea (and yes, I know the Star Wars motif is not all that original.) 

Aside from the previous From Idea To Reality series, I referred to the following articles on this website before starting: 

From these articles I knew that I wanted to do the following:
  • paint everything as I got it;
  • use as many spare figures as possible;
  • make as many models as I could fit the theme; and 
  • field a fairly balanced force using units from each category.
Step 1: Inventory
The first thing I did to get started was to take stock of my bits box. For some people, this would be pretty quick, as they don’t have a lot of extraneous pieces lying around, but I have been playing 40K for over 15 years and have accumulated a lot of stuff. Looking through my bits box yielded the following figures which would be of use:
  • A Rogue Trader-era psyker figure with robes and hands raised;
  • A Vindicare Assassin (from Kenton);
  • A Preacher with club and mohawk;
  • Two Servitors and a Tarantula (also from Kenton);
  • Twelve plastic Orlock gangers;
  • A storm shield; and
  • A variety of Space Marine bits and vehicle bits.
Quite a diverse list of miniatures, to be sure. I also bought two figures before I even had the codex just because I liked them and have wanted to use them in an army: Confessor Kyrinov and Mephiston. Kyrinov is such an excellent figure that I knew I would find some way to use him in the army. Mephiston was going to be the basis for my Inquisitor Lord. With my initial inventory complete, I was ready to get the codex and make a list to guide my future purchases.

Step 2: The List
I decided to split the list into two phases so that I could more quickly organize my force into a playable unit. Phase One would use the add-on rules described on page 21 of Codex: Daemonhunters and could be used in conjunction with my existing Space Wolf army. Phase Two would be a full-fledged Daemonhunter force that could stand alone and would include Imperial Guard elements, which could not be used with the Space Wolves.

Phase One Daemonhunter List:

  • Inquisitor Vader w/ force weapon, psycannon, refractor field, hammerhand (140 pts); Hierophant (8 pts); two Gun Servitors w/ multi-meltas (35 pts each); Mystic and Familiar ( 6 pts each), and two Acolytes (8 pts each)
  • Rhino for Inquisitor and Retinue, w/ extra armor and smoke launchers (58 pts)
  • Vindicare Assassin (110 pts)
  • Seven Grey Knights + Justicar. Two w/ incinerators; Justicar with storm shield (255 pts)
  • Nine Inquisitorial Stormtroopers + Stormtrooper veteran. Two w/ plasma guns; Vet w/ bolter-plasmagun, auspex (147 pts)
  • Chimera for Stormtroopers, w/ heavy bolters (turret and hull), extra armor and smoke launchers (93 pts)
Total: 909 points

This list would give me almost 1,000 points to play with right off the bat, which I could add to with either wargear or Space Wolf forces. 

The Phase Two list includes everything above and adds the following:

Phase Two Daemonhunter List:

  • Grey Knight Hero w/ grimoire of true names (71 pts)
  • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor w/ anointed weapon, icon of the just, scourging (85 pts)
  • Two Armored Fist Squads. Each w/ seven Imperial guardsmen w/ lasguns; one w/ grenade launcher; one w/ missile launcher; Veteran w/ hellpistol (95 pts each)
  • Two Chimeras for above, w/ multi-laser (turret) and heavy flamer (hull) (85 pts each)
  • Three Sentinels w/ multi-lasers (135 pts)
  • Land Raider w/ extra armor, smoke launchers (258 pts)
Total (including Phase One List): 1973 points

Now that I had put together my lists, it was time to paint the figures I had already and go shopping for some of the figures I needed for Phase One.

Step 3: Assembling the “Phase One” Force
The first thing I would have to address in my Daemonhunter army was the Inquisitor and his retinue.  Since the Inquisitor is the central figure from which the entire army derives its personality, I wanted this unit to be as unique as possible.

To convert Mephiston into Inquisitor Vader, I first routed out his head with a drill bit and shaved down his high collar with a Dremel and an Exacto knife. I put a regular Space Marine head in the depression I had created with the drill (I used the one with the two respirator pipes on the side of the head) and glued his left hand with the big sword in place. 

Inquisitor Lord Vader
Above: Inquisitor Lord Vader, based off the Mephiston model

I cut off Mephiston’s right hand and replaced it with a regular Space Marine hand from the plastic close combat sprue. I fashioned a psycannon from a spare storm bolter off the Leman Russ accessory sprue. I cut away the middle section (from the raised part back to where the end slopes down) and cut the two barrels off from the front of the gun. I then assembled the back part of the gun to the newly cut end (thus shortening the gun considerably) and put one of the gun barrels back on the front in the center. I then filled any gaps with green stuff and glued the finished gun in place. 

I painted the entire model black (of course) and picked out detail in Boltgun Metal. I wanted his sword to look like Vader’s saber, so I painted it white, then Blood Red, and then applied three coats of Red Ink, leaving the center ridge of the sword lighter than the rest to give some depth. Inquisitor Lord Vader was ready for action.

Two members of Inquisitor Lord Vader's retinue of faithful servants. Left: Hierophant. Right: Mystic

For his retinue I already had the Battle Sisters Preacher, which I was going to use as a Hierophant, and two Servitors, to which I added multimeltas to make them Gun Servitors. I knew I wanted a Mystic (to get the free shot on Deep-Striking models) and the Mordheim Auger figure shown in the codex looked fine to me. 

Above: Gun Servitors painted in the golden tones of a certain fussy protocol droid....

The real challenge was going to be the Acolytes. I knew I wanted two because of the ability for the Inquisitor to slag wounds onto them, and I wanted to make one of them like Darth Maul. After thoroughly scouring the GW Mail Order web site (an indispensable help), I found what I wanted in the Necromunda range in two Ash Waste gang leaders. The leader with the cowl was given a chain sword and laspistol: pretty straight forward (see below). For Acolyte Maul, I had to do a little work. 

Above: One of Vader's Acolytes

I replaced the original head with a Space Wolf head that had all of its hair removed with an Exacto. I created a double-bladed weapon from two Catachan swords and a Space Marine’s hand from a chain sword (including the sword grip). To create the horns, I filed some teeth off the unused chainsword and separated two and glued them so the “teeth” sloped upwards. Again, both figures were painted primarily black with details picked out in either Boltgun Metal or Snakebite Leather. Acolyte Maul’s face was painted white, then Blood Red, then given a Red Ink wash, and finally Chaos Black lines were painted on with a very fine detail brush. I painted his eyes Sunburst Yellow with a black dot for the pupil to finish the model.

Acolyte Maul
Above: Acolyte Maul, a loyal but scary-looking fellow with a fondness for two-handed weapons

I now had the bulk of the retinue finished except for the Servo Skull. Since I want to use the Forge World Inquisitor doors for my transport vehicle, I decided to delay that project and move on to Elites: my Vindicare Assassin.
Next page: Part 2
Next page

From Idea to Reality II
Part 1 <> Part 2 <> Part 3

Related Pages
From Idea to Reality (Ozone Scorpions)

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© Copyright Patrick Eibel, May 2003. Used with permission. 


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle