17 July 2015

Centaur - WIP #1

Lovers of classical mythology, like myself, will know that there are two types of centaur in Greek myth. First there are those who are wise and noble teachers of heroes (e.g. Chiron, mentor to Achilles, Jason, Theseus, Perseus and others), but then there are the others - wild, drunken, savage creatures who like nothing more than a skinful of wine and a good scrap. It is the latter to which my attention turns as I flesh out my chaos warband.

The Citadel chaos centaurs (as shown below from the 1991 catalogue) are a varied bunch, stylistically, with four of them (top row, 4 & 5, second row, 2& 3) particularly betraying their Greek mythological origins.

Thank you, SOLegends!

However, their interestingness and multi-partedness have made sure they are rather collectable, with several people seemingly trying to get the full set. Which is all well and good (I fully understand the urge), but it does make it more pricey than I'd like to pick up just a few. So, what's a chap to do? Make his/her own, of course!

This is how I started - a Copplestone/Grenadier barbarian on horseback:

You'll notice from later photos that this isn't the barbarian I used (this time - he's next), but I only thought to take the picture afterwards.

Next step? Cut them up!

Someone got made an offer they couldn't refuse!

Then the usual steps for conversion - dry fit, pin and glue, then some putty to cover the hacked off saddle bits and make it look like he'swearing a massive fur cloak. I also reposed the axe to look more like it was being carried ready for use.

Just horsin' around. Oh, and pillaging. Lots of pillaging.

Is this my best side? Yay or neigh?

Now, the only problem at this point was I wasn't happy with the join between human body (nice mail shirt) and horse body (umm, horsey body). My last attempt at sculpting mail to cover the join (on the proof-of-concept centaur a while ago) didn't satisfy me, so I had a cunning plan... cheat! Or, more precisely, use some oyumaru to help me duplicate a suitable piece to cover the join. A little rummaging turned up this somewhat diminished khornate warrior...

A little press-molding later and I had this piece to add to his front:

I still need to add a belt above the armour plates because the body shape is too thin at that point, I think, but it's another step towards being confident with putty as well as towards completing my RoC warband as it stands at the moment.

Comments and criticisms welcome - I have three more after this to do!



  1. great looking centaur ,an excellent conversion.

    1. Thanks - I have a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I saw a brilliant version of this ages ago which set me down this path subconsciously.

  2. I've got those mounted barbarians, but l only got them for the rider's. I mounted them on the modern GW plastic maruader horse & called them "mounted chaos thugs".

    The lead horses these guys came with are too small compared to GW horse's (lead or plastic, from any era), but for some reason the centuar "horse", from that same period, were on the small side too. Your conversions will scale up fine to the old citadel one's.

    Well done :)

    1. Thanks :)

      I really like the size of the horses; they have a delightfully vicious "Viking pony" feel to them which matches my aesthetic for northern raiders perfectly. They are slightly shorter than my early Bret horses, but stockier. Different strokes for different folks, eh?

  3. I'm going to have to try this. As I always seem to miss out on centaur trades. ;)

    1. Doooo eeeet! You make a great job of it and it'd look cool in with your warband :)

  4. Wonderful conversion! I have some of these mounted barbarians in my painting queue, they're wonderful figures.

    1. Thanks - the barbarians Copplestone did for Grenadier (I think that's right) are such fabulous, painter-friendly sculpts with loads of character.