Converting Dark Angels from Black Templars

The fancy new Black Templars kits have drawn the eye of many a Dark Angels player as a way to get hold of robes, tabards, cloaks, and other bits and pieces with a knightly, science fantasy theme. I bought some Crusaders and Sword Brethren to add some extra flavour to my own Dark Angels. The Crusader squad strikes me as a solid base for a Veteran Intercessors squad while the Sword Brethren can form the basis of some interesting characters. I’m going to cover 2: a Primaris Champion (okay, so there’s no rules for these just yet but it works well enough as a Veteran Intercessor Sergeant or perhaps a Primaris Lieutenant because you can never have too many of those) and a Primaris Ancient.

Primaris Champion

This kit bash uses the Veteran Sword Brother from the Crusaders as a base and takes minimal work as most of it is direct component swaps. The head comes from the Deathwing Command Squad kit, the sword from the Ravenwing Command Squad, and the shoulder pads from Primaris Intercessors. I also added a tilting shield from this kit (not pictured above, but it is in the painted version below). Note that the shoulder pads are fully compatible with the older Space Marine kits so something from the Dark Angels Veterans kit is also worth looking at. I tend to use the veterans as an upgrade kit because the box is full of Dark Angels goodies which we’ll see more of later.

The Tricky Bit

The only tricky part of this build is removing the Black Templars iconography on the left leg. I scraped thin layers away with a hobby knife. You don’t really need skill for this, just some patience. Your goal here is to make it look as close to the curvature of the rest of the shin as you can.

Here’s the finished product; one knightly Primaris Marine with plenty of Dark Angels flavour:

Primaris Ancient

Large mug of tea in the background optional but recommended.

The second build, and one I’ve wanted to do for a long while, is a Primaris Ancient. Instead of the standard one, which only seems to be available in this direct-only bundle, I wanted one with a smooth banner so I could make use of the Dark Angels Legion transfer sheet.

This uses one of the Black Templars Sword Brethren as a base. Just about any of the torsos in this kit will do the job, depending on the post you want. I wanted to capture some motion with this one holding the banner high as he runs forward. His sword (and arm) comes from the Deathwatch Veterans kit, although any left-handed power sword will do the job. I found it useful to dry-fit this arm and glue the cloak to it before gluing the rest of the model so the cloak fit flush against the shoulder pad. The head is from the Deathwing Command Squad while the banner and arm are from the Space Marine Company Command kit. Note that the banner and arm are a real pain to find on bits sites but you can occasionally get lucky on eBay.

A couple of parts not shown on the above photo (I make this up as I go along so things change after photos) are a banner topper and a winged sword insignia from the Dark Angels Veterans kit. The banner topper is pretty obvious, but the winged sword is covered in The Tricky Bit.

The Tricky Bit

Again, not so much a matter of skill, but of patience. As with the Primaris Champion, we need to shave off the Black Templars iconography. We have the left leg to do again, but also a Maltese cross hanging from a chain around the waist. A hobby knife accomplishes both tasks but extra care needs to be taken with the Maltese cross. Shaving the cross off leaves an unsightly flat area atop that nice, flowing tabard which is where the Dark Angels Veterans kit comes in. A few have the parts have winged sword devices on them. I used some fine detail clippers to cut one off the studded shoulder pad, then carefully shaved around it with a hobby knife until just the device remained. That could then be glued directly over the area where the Maltese cross was.

And we’re done! Here’s how it turned out. I’m a bit proud of this one!

General Advice

This was really my first dabble into converting and kit bashing but it taught me a lot. Most important for me was to dry-fit everything first and blu-tack all the components in place before applying glue. This lets you know whether the parts work with each other and gives you an overall picture before being too committed to change things without a lot of work.

I’m hoping to do more of these throughout the year. Feel free to drop me a line with conversions you’ve been working on, if you’ve used any of the methods here, or just a general comment.

Want to support the blog? You can pick up my fantasy short read, Mysticarium, for your Kindle, or buy yourself some gaming goodies from Element Games and I’ll get a little kickback. Or you can always support through ko-fi.

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