I picked up some of the new Stormfiends this week. Here's a quick review of the kit, followed by my conversion plans for the unit.
The models are very nice. The box comes with three poses and each pose has two weapon options: shock gauntlets or doom flayer gauntlets; grinder fists or rattling cannons; warpfire projectors or windlaunchers. Each pose and its options are completely contained on a single sprue* so finding or trading specific poses should be easy.
*Edit: As I'm going through the models and assembling them, there are a handful of pieces that are scattered across all three sprues. Specifically, the little warpstone inserts for the armor, part #99 for the shock gauntlets, and the masonry the melee pose is standing on. So if you're trading, buying, or selling whole sprues, watch for that.
Right off the bat, I think the ideal options are the gauntlets (awesome in combat and come with warpstone-laced armor), the grinder fists (for tunneling a melee unit directly into combat), and rattling cannons. I'm sure the warpfire projectors and windlaunchers have their place, but for gearing up an all-shooting or all-melee unit, they seem to be lacking.
The ratling cannons have a better threat range and mobility and throw out an average of 10 shots per model, but will only hit with about half. The warpfire throwers move or fire but the flame template will hit automatically. The windlaunchers can hurt anything on a re-rollable 4+, but scatter like a stonethrower, so getting the template where you want it might be tricky. I think I'll need to play around with them a little to see which can consistently dish out damage.
After looking through the instructions, I think the weapons will be really easy to magnetize so you can swap out the different options with just the "stock" assembly. The gauntlets are a little more involved because there are different parts that attach to the armor– blades for the doom flayer gauntlets and warpstone chunks for the shock gauntlets. The parts have pegs, but they are too small to hold the part in place securely. I think a simple pin will do the trick, but that's a lot of little pieces to be fiddling with.
Planning the Conversions
For my Stormfiends, I'm trying to get as many melee gauntlets and Rattling cannons out of the two boxes as possible. This means converting the warp fire pose to accommodate a different weapon and improving the armor on some of the models so it resembles the heavier warpstone-laced armor.
I start out by assembling the bodies. The tails are kept separate so they won't get in the way while working in the conversion and sculpting.
There are a few seams that require putting, but I think the armor and accessories will cover most of them. I appreciate how the musculature is intact under the armor. If you wanted to convert these without the armor (for some strange reason), the resculpting would be minimal.
Next, I begin experimenting with the armor and weapons to see how I can rearrange the combinations.
It looks like the rattling gun torso will be the easiest to upgrade the armor. By adding the shoulder pad from the windlauncher pose, I can create a fully armored torso. I also plan to cover the weapon mount on the chest with a scratch-built breast plate. I don't care for the "gun in my chest" appearance, and those rattling cannons can go toward one of the other models.
Since the rattling cannon pose is going to become a warpstone-laced armored pose (with doom flayer gauntlets) that means the cannon arms need to come off. I'll trade it with the windlauncher pose. This is suddenly becoming more complicated than I had expected. (Just the way I like it!)
With a jeweler's saw, I cut off the rattling cannons and a portion of the arms on the other model.
The rattling cannons are then glued in place on the other torso. The joins will need some serious putty work to fill the gaps.
As my unit stands at the moment, the left models will remain mostly "stock" with the armor and gauntlet options. The center models will get the additional armor and scratch-built gauntlets. I need to figure out a way to exchange his gauntlets for rattling cannons. And the right models will be equipped with interchangeable rattling cannons and warp grinders. As I work on these, I'll see if there's a way to swap out the other ranged weapon options as well.
Coming up, I'll get the warpstone-laced armor in place and make sure the fur and joins are puttied where necessary.