The reasons we decide to start projects or make armies can vary a lot. Generally I’m someone who makes armies because I want to play a particular game: I started my Alpha Legion because I wanted to play the new edition of Heresy; I am painting a bajillion napoleonics so I can play Soldiers of Napoleon; and so on. But sometimes the urge to just make something comes over you and it cannot be denied. A siren’s call, if you will, to a hobby project.
Thus was born the Cult of Sirens.
My birthday is at the end of the year and I went into 2023 with a little cash set aside to treat myself to hobby stuff. Normally when this happens I have a laundry list of stuff to buy and get on with, and that was certainly what I intended – an armoured spearhead is calling for my marines, and I though predators and land raiders were my future. But when I thought about it I couldn’t summon the enthusiasm for building and painting any more vehicles right now, and so I wanted something different. Just a little hobby project to switch things up. So I asked in the Goonhammer discord what I should get, just something fun to build and paint. Necromunda stuff was recommended and a little stirring in my brain reminded me that I’d had an idea before to kitbash some Delaque Genestealer Cults. I headed over to Element, my local store, and and picked up a Neophyte box and a Delaque box and soon I was splicing the two together.
The moment the first one went together I knew I was on to something. It just fitted in a way that felt incredible natural and fun. Genestealer Cults was my very first army (way way back when they were a thing the first time round) and the new iteration are awesome but somehow didn’t fit the “limos and trenchcoats vibe” that my brain insisted they deserved. But this did and it was perfect. Exactly how Genestealer Cults look in my head, and I was hooked.
Converting the rest of the kit wasn’t quite so easy and it took a little greenstuff work to make it all smooth. The neophyte bodies are a little broader than the Delaque ones, and they have a different angle to them, so getting the guns to line up and work nicely was tricky in a few places. The heads were easy though – just leave out the neck piece and put in the head and it works without any modifications. Despite the oddities of fit the arms weren’t too bad and soon enough I had a little rabble of cultists.
I soon started cracking in with priming, painting and basing and while I did I started thinking about this cult. The paint scheme I ended up putting together happened to look a lot like Hivefleet Tiamet, which is an unusual one – they stay static, hold territory, and are building some kind of super-structure. A cult for them would be unusual – after all they’re not coming to devour the planet any time soon. So how would a cult for this fleet work?
I came up with the concept of the Cult of Sirens. On a hive world, now collapsing and being consumed by an alien environment caused by Tyranid influence partially terraforming the world, the Cult of Sirens makes its lair. This world is on the fringes of Tiamet’s territory, and the cult maintains dozens of emergency and distress beacons, from a multitude of species and organisations, hidden in their inner sanctum continuously broadcasting. As people arrive to investigate, they are ambushed and their biomass is fed to the hive fleet waiting deeper in alien space.
I had this vision of overgrown rusted hive flooring for bases, strange alien plants beginning to bloom and blossom, and the tall gaunt forms of the cultists with rebreathers and masks unless they were hybrid enough to breath the strange air of this new world. I went and bought another Delaque box, and with that in hand I kitbashed a Magus to lead them – strange and twisted. His staff was a cult icon mounted on top of a spear from an Age of Sigmar kit I had lying around.
Now I had this built, I started to think what I would do with them. Kill Team was the obvious answer, but for that I would need some other models. A kellermorph and a locus were choices recommended to me and I started work on kitbashing those. I wondered what I should tackle next but a surprise gift of an Acolyte box made that easy – five of those were an easy conversion, carving off the raised shoulder pads of the Delaque to make room for the double arms.
I realised that I actually had nearly enough for a boarding patrol at this point, and so I added give aberrants to the list, based everything and my little boarding patrol was ready to go.
With them complete and ready to hit the table… they did! I took them out for a spin with boarding actions, my first game of 9th Edition since launch, and had a whale of a time. My loyal cult was sadly defeated by the repulsive forces of the imperium and their guard, but I will have the upper hand in the future.
I also came away with some generously donated sprues to fuel further kitbashes, and a bunch of ideas of how to expand the cult. I’m going to build some purestrains, some more acolytes, and then move on to another ten neophytes. At some point in the future I want to make a patriarch based on the classic illustration of the hulking fat creature on a dais, and I think the new Slann model looks perfect fodder for that.
Soon we will lure even more ill-fated travelers to our world, and consume them for the star gods!
Got your own cool converted Genestealer Cult crew? Want to give Lupe some props? Drop us a line a Contact@Goonhammer.com.