Custom Mini Origins (Part 1)

Greetings everyone!

During my summer holidays I went to the re-opening of a well known hobby store here in my city, and huge was my surprise when I realized they had the one an only Juan Díaz as an honor guest. For those who don’t know, Juan Díaz was the first spaniard to ever work for Games Workshop, and he’s sculpted some of the best regarded miniatures of all times, like his Slaanesh Daemonettes (currently out of stock), or the powerful Be’Lakor. My fanboy level was sky high, and I also had the chance to talk for hours about the hobby arround the world, and I took the chance to show him my miniatures, which he liked a lot (my ego rocketed up that day):

The man. The Legend.

He also was there to showcase his new game he’s developing on his new company (along with Thais Mariblanca) Tiny Tales Studio, a game that will get the attention to everyone who loved Heroquest and other dungeon exploring games. Allow me to congrat them and wish them good luck. You can check their products out here: Tiny Tales Studio

Juan Díaz was always one of the top mini sculptors for me, as I grew up assembling and painting some of his miniatures for my Eldar army for Warhammer 40k, and having him there to talk about his origins made me think about mine. When I was a kid, there were conversion articles on the old White Dwarf magazine (which has nothing to to with the current ones), and I was always eager to try those tricks as best as I could, trying to emulate great sculptors like Juan Díaz or Jes Goodwin. Some of the ones I did back then are now a pain to see, but each failure was just another way to improve at this. I recovered some of the miniatures, and I will share them with you so you can all see (and laugh) what could come out from the fervish mind of a youth like myself. In this article I will focus on the conversions I did for my Eldar army for 40k, I’ll share the others in future posts:

Running Eldar Guardian:

This was the first conversion I ever did. I had just read an article on White Dwarf about how to convert some Khorne Berserkers to look like they were running, giving them a more dynamic pose, and that was a thing I wanted for my eldar as well. It was a pretty sloppy conversion, as a 11 year old boy like myself thought that just by heating plastic it would be easier to change the pose. Needless to say that was not how it worked, but it didn’t turn out as bad as expected:

Yep, it looks like a dog peeing, I know…

Striking Scorpions Exarch with bitting blade:

During the 3rd edition of WH40k, the resculpting of Striking Scorpions were not the best arround, as they had to improve over Jes Goodwin’s supperb design but they didn’t. They also sported wrong weapon set ups, like the Exarch who had a scorpion pincer in one hand and a shuriken pistol in the other, but he should’ve been carrying either a scorpion sword or a bitting blade. Without even blinking, I removed that gun and modelled the sword myself. I was arround 15 when I did this, my skills with green stuff were improving:

Too much of a sword for an arm that thin. I didn’t have proper tools back then to make it thinner.

Eldar Farseer riding a jetbike:

My eldar army had a theme since the beginning: Fielding as many jetbikes as I could. The idea of having people flying arround in sci fi bikes was something I always liked, but until recently, there were no miniatures of warlocks and farseers riding jetbikes, so I had to model one myself. I casted a simple mold of the chest runes a regular farseer had on him, so I could then make a copy to apply to the chest of a regular biker. I then modelled the whole tunic, swapped the head of the biker for the farseer, and last I modelled some details on the jetbike to make it have a mystical feel. I was arround 21 when I did this:

My best work so far for WH40K.

And that’s it for today’s post. In future articles I’ll be showing conversions I did for other games with more or less success. Don’t miss it!

‘Till next time!

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