Building Deathleaper For Free (Sort of)

I am a student, and so believe disposable income to belong in a book of myths and legends (which also contributes a great deal to my hatred of mass transports). I'm always looking to get that extra bit of value from my miniatures (which will probably lead me to magnets in good time), and when my loyal friend and most regular opponent Cyberscape7 told me he'd built a Lictor counts-as from spare Nid parts I knew I had to try it.

Because I have more bitz than him, I could evolve the design further to create a viable Deathleaper, a counts-as dubbed the Burrowing Death, but it was stuck in limbo until I had green stuff. Now I can present to you a tutorial on the subject. But first, a word from the creator:

"The inspiration came from the simple fact that all Tyranids adapt into different circumstances. This is just one example of what the Tyranid range offers in terms of diversity, so this same idea could be transferred to other units in the Codex if you wanted, and had enough imagination."

Well said. I followed this same pattern with my Tervigon, which is a parasitic Tyranid that crawls into the corpses of larger organisms and uses their mass to create new life.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a master converter. What follows is a classic example of Scottish thriftiness that I (and by extension 'Scape) am sharing with you.

Ingredients: The Burrowing Death is made with spares from the following sources:

  • Ravener Brood (you'll need the rending claws, talons, a front torso and a tail)

  • Carnifex (optional, you'll need a back plate and a back thorn)

  • Trygon (optional, you'll need some of the small spikey things and a head carapace)

  • You'll also need a suitable head, plus a base. I'll go into that later.

    The first step is the body. The Ravener kit comes with 4 tails and 9 front torsos, so you'll always have one left over and a choice of two torso styles. I personally went for spinefists as they're closest to flesh hooks.

    The back carapace too has options. You can use only the Carnifex carapace, only the Trygon carapace or both to give more bulk. I went for both, 'Scape went for 'Fex, not having the option of Trygon at the time. To make the back with 'Fex, take any of the three back options for the 'Fex (you may want to file down the spikes or cysts) and cut off the side bits, as indicated:

    Attach the front and back bits together around the tail. You should have gaps around the half-sockets on the Ravener torso.

    If you want to use Trygon, take any of the two head carapaces and cut off the rounded edge. You can then glue that to the Ravener torso or onto the Carnifex plate, which will also leave gaps (not to mention a huge hole at the top.

    For limbs, use one pair of Ravener rending claws and a pair of talons, either from the Ravener or from elsewhere if you like, putting them into the gap between the half sockets and back plate. The lowest sockets I filled with those spike things from the Trygon you put on the lower body, but anything suitable works.

    With the limbs in place, you can fill up the gaps at the sides with green stuff, as well as the hole at the top. If you can, continue the rib lines along the gaps with a suitable tool.

    The tail can be kept as is, but I chose to make it more jabby with a thorn from the Carnifex. Like the back plate, you should cut off the side plating so nothing hangs off the side of the tail tip.

    Attach a head at the top, using green stuff to make a bulkier neck. 'Scapes' original used a tendriled Genestealer head, however I have none so instead went down a more complicated route. I took the Genestealer head from a Chaos trophy rack and used green stuff to add the tendrils, like so:

    I'm aware it's a skull and technically has no eyes, but it looks menacing enough. The tendrils are also longer, which is better than the shortish Genestealer ones.

    And there you have it, one 'free' Deathleaperesque built entirely from spare parts. Of course, this idea started off as a standard counts-as Lictor, and the same basic core could build another Ravener also. Depending on what you use this idea to build, you save 1000-1600 pence!

    No, I'm not converting it into dollars. I'll leave this up until after work experience, when I shall put up what I'm going to fight Vulkan with.