Hobby Heresy: Kitbashing Axe Praetors

In this instalment of Hobby Heresy, we’re looking at the Praetors, Consuls and Space Marine Characters the Goonhammer crew have kitbashed out of the Age of Darkness box set. With two brand new, highly detailed and imposing Marines in the set we, of course, took one look and started filing, cutting, raking through the bits box and generally making them our own. There’s a bewildering variety of Consul upgrades in the Age of Darkness, but you’ll note that the Goonhammer crew like two things more than any others: Big Guns and Big Swords. Other options are available, but…. why? As so many people are splitting and selling the set, there’ll likely never be a better time to pick up the base models used in this article at a bargain price. Dive in and get chopping.


I didn’t really want a second generic praetor and I really wanted to have the option to take a Castellan for my imperial fists. Fortunately, I had the heavy weapons upgrade sprue by the time it came to build the model so I assumed I would have the bits to do something I thought would work. Mind you this is the second time I have ever done a conversion that actually included cutting anything!

The initial work was just to build the model up to the point where you would put the arms and little detail bits on, leaving the cloak off because I wasn’t feeling the need for it. I will admit to scraping some of the little spikes off the helmet as I find those a little goofy looking.

Getting the heavy bolter on the model was fairly simple, I took a spare mkVI right arm that would have it pointing roughly forward then cut down the stub of arm on the body of the model until it looked right. Now prepping the gun itself was a bit of work, cutting off the wrist so it would point straight out from the arm was simple, but getting the hand off the foregrip was a little more involved. Essentially what I did was chop the majority of the hand off with a fresh hobby blade, then carefully scraped it back into shape with a mouldline tool, there is just enough space to get the narrow tip of the tool in the underside. You could probably do the whole thing with a hobby blade, but it was getting a little sketchy when I was doing it.

I bounced back and forth on what I was going to do for a melee weapon on this guy, I was originally going to do either a power sword or a chain sword, but my bits box isn’t that deep, and I wasn’t particularly impressed with how any of them looked. Then when I was sitting staring at the sprue, I realized I could try shortening the two-handed axe into one for his offhand that would look pretty similar to the ones Fafnir Rann wields.

Cut along the red lines

Chopping down the axe was surprisingly simple; I just took a sharp knife to just below the two-power weapon stick n knob things and then glued them together. I tried to fill in the gaps, but I am bad at this so I expect you can do a better job. Getting the axe on the model was a bit more tricky, I could reuse the default arm with minimal modification to the wrist, but there is a cable that normally runs from the shoulder to the handle of the axe and getting it to work with the new position was a bit of very careful bending and superglue.

The last detail to do is that since I wasn’t using the cloak I needed to use the mkII shoulder pads from the vehicle upgrade sprue.

Castellan. Credit: Rockfish
Castellan. Credit: Rockfish



I decided I wanted to use this chonky boy as an Armistos for a future heavy bolter support squad. I used parts from the praetor, the Chaos Space Marines kit (a trove of parts for kitbashing characters in traitor legions) and the heavy bolter from the mk IV tactical kit that I had lying around.

Armistos, Credit: Lupe

I left off the cape and the trophy rack, and then sliced down the arm joins until flat, mounting chaos space marine arms over which I laid the bracers. I attached a power maul from the chaos space marine kit and the heavy bolter, which I trimmed slightly to get it to fit neatly at the join. I used the loose medallion pieces to cover the armpit join a little and made it seem a little more smooth in transition. A head from the kit was the finishing touch.

Magos Sockbert

Cheating slightly here, I decided to use the Cataphractii Praetor from Betrayal at Calth (recently rereleased) as the basis for my Praetor. Here we see Magos Reductor Kayvarr Iscarion, the Broken Crow, a shattered former Terran Forge Lord of the Raven Guard Legion (ticking pretty much every box to get Corax off side), he fell during the events of Gate 42 where Corax had his own mini-Istvaan by feeding those he didn’t like into the guns of the enemy. Rebuilt by the Mechanicum and some entirely friendly XXth Legion comrades, he now does double duty leading my Blackshields and Mechanicum armies. He’s taken bits from a number of Mechanicus models, including his chestplace, head, and mini-arms from the Servitor kit, his pistol and mechadendrites from the Sicarian box, and his Arm Gun Of Doom from the Tech-Priest Dominus kit. I had a lot of fun making his base, using a whole range of ruined parts from my bits box, including some of rubble from Angron. The hardest part (and not visible in this picture) was getting the large Mechanicum transfer from the Forge World transfer kit across such a wrinkly surface as his cloak, and if you look closely you might see another transfer showing his allegiance to another, sneakier Legion…

Serotonin’s Death Guard

As soon as I saw the ‘more generously proportioned’ praetor I knew I wanted him to lead my Death Guard, although I he wasn’t quite the finished article yet. The first thing that had to go was the cloak. I like my Death Guard to look as unadorned and war torn as possible so it was a no brainer for me. Luckily the way the model goes together made leaving the cloak off easy, bar for the issue with the left pauldron being partly attached to the cloak. This was easily solved with the Mk2 pauldrons from the Spartan gunner. This would give a nice blank canvas for decals later down the line. I wasn’t keen on adding the broach chains but without them the chainmail on the torso just sort of appears from nowhere so I cut them down to a single rosette and stuck them on to hide the issue. A little bit of bling, as a treat.

Death Guard Praetor, Credit: Serotonin

The back banner had to go too, although not in its entirety. The idea of a grisly skull rack felt perfect for Death Guard but the ostentatious eagle was easily snipped off with minimal effort. This just left the head. At first I tried it straight off the sprue but the huge top knot wasn’t doing it for me. I snipped it off and it looked better but it still didn’t feel enough. Then I remembered I had a left over helmet from my Forgeworld head upgrade pack. As soon as I glued it in place it felt right. Not the most sophisticated conversion in the world but I now look at him and think ‘Death Guard’.


You’re going to have to excuse the fact that this one isn’t fully painted, I was seized by the spirit of a crazy idea and rushed to get it done before it vanished altogether from my brain. While flicking through looking at Consul options, I saw the Assault 12 deflagrate psychic power from the Esoterist and suddenly the look of the model strode fully formed into my mind. Starting with the chunky axe praetor, I made the main body but clipped down both shoulder connection points until they were flat. The massive holster and chainmail were savagely clippered off until there was a gaping hole needing to be filled. I used an old Frostgrave cape piece from the Female Wizards set to cover, eventually using a bit of milliput to join the ends for an on reflection extremely low cut loincloth. The arm with the staff is from a Custodes kit, with the hand and body of the staff cut out from the large axe similar to rockfish above, except I used the top hand rather than the bottom.

WIP Esoterist, Credit: Lenoon

The staff is constructed out of the nuncio-vox from the mark 6 kit and a candle in candleholder from the Sisters Paragon Walkers. The Shoulder connection was a nightmare until I found a massive, virtually solid shoulder which came from the Black Library Valerian kit and attached it via prayers to the god of miniatures. The other arm is far simpler – an old Chaos Space Marine chainsword arm. As the scale is slightly different, the arm is attached low down on the torso, with the Praetor kit shoulderpad covering the gap, giving it the right length for these massive guys. I added 1mm nail art hemispheres to this pad and smoothed over the surface. Some final touches of books, purity seals and candles gives the model the look I was going for with the first demon-hunting marines: 40k in the 30k universe.

The beginning of a grim, dark, future

The posing really came together with Valerian’s head, angling down with a dismissive sneer that captures the strong image that I had: a psyker brutally crushing a roiling mass of warp-tainted flesh into the ground with the force of his hatred.


Imperial Fists Castellan Consul. Credit: Jack Hunter

The stock axe praetor felt too heretical to me to run in either my BA or IF armies, so I decided to take him as a base to build a different consul from. As he seems somewhat thicker than other marines, I thought he should be a consul that would reflect that, and IF got the new Castellan consul in the book. Match made in heaven. I dug deep into my bitz box and found a MkIV heavy bolter and bolt pistol arm, which fit together pretty nicely. In his other arm I used a death company chainsword that just had a bit of scrollwork, then I stuck MkIII shoulder pads on, clipped off the trophy rack, dropped in a phalanx warder helmet, and added a targeter from the Imperial Fists primaris upgrade sprue. Everything went together very easily with a quick trim of the armpit material on the torso and a bit of carving of the base of the targeter.


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