Creating Krieg-pattern Skitarii Hypaspists
Hypaspists or Tech-Guard are the infantry of the Cult/Adeptus Mechanicus. Upon my quest to create something a little more special, I finally settled upon using Krieg guardsmen as a base model using a simple conversion for the heads. I’ve tried making them from Bretonnian Men-at-arms, Empire Archers, Cadians and even Night Goblins, but I’m quite set on this pattern, albeit sparingly due to the cost!
All you require for this conversion are Krieg infantry models, modelling putty, clippers/knife and a sculpting tool. I also use some super glue.
You have a choice of base models, but I have a preference here. These are regular Krieg infantry:
However, unless you want to spend a great deal of time adding armour plates, using Grenadiers is a much quicker and better looking choice.
These models are ideal because they have the segmented carapace plates of armour and full face masks including tubing – very suited to the Mechanicus.
To convert the models, the helmets need to be removed and replaced with hoods. The first, blasphemous, step is to clip off the top of the helmet.
Now use a knife to trim away the rest of the helmet, reducing the head down to a rough skull shape and size.
With the helmet now removed, the hood can be sculpted onto the head. Take a small ball of putty and place it on the top of the head. I use a small dot of superglue to initially attach the putty.
Using a lubricated sculpting tool, press down onto the putty and slowly push it down, around the head.
The putty should be pushed down behind the head so that it meets the shoulders. At the sides, smooth it down over the collar.
Slide the sculpting tool under the putty around the face so that it not directly touching. Slide the tool down towards the shoulders and push it out a little, over the collar. This should help raise the material around the edges.
The hood shouldn’t be completely smooth – the material should flow and fold. Gently indent the material at the sides and blend this into the raised front edge.
It is definitely worth studying some pictures of hoods for ideas in improving the shape beyond the guide here.
As you create more hoods, you should become quicker and better at forming the shapes. Add some dynamics across the models by shaping the hood edges with the motion of the model’s pose.
Finally, just add the regular arms and your basic hypaspists are ready for painting!
I haven’t yet settled upon a final paint scheme, but dark red coats tends to be the trend for the Mechanicum.