In the old times of Warhammer 40.000 and Space Hulk, before the Tyranids became a race, Genestealers had not only the normal 4-arms monsters, but also semi-human Genestealer Hybrids. They even were available to play in the old Space Hulk rules, but Games Workshop phased them out and made Genestealers the baseline close-combat troop for Tyranid swarms.
I have some old miniatures (some yet unpainted), and I wanted to build a Genestealer Cult mini-army, but getting more hybrids like this is almost impossible today:
So, after one day looking at some Warhammer Fantasy Ghouls painted with pink tones, the heads reminded me of the hybrids, and I decided to do some modding experiments. This was the shopping list:
- Tyranid Genestealers. I had spare pieces from old Genestealer models so I still was able to build full Genestealers squads after rampaging arms, but will depend on your desired amount of claw-arms hybrids.
- Vampire Counts Crypt Ghouls. Initially I just wanted the heads, but after checking the models, I decided to go for a "weak hybrid" conversion also using Ghoul torsos and arms (either unarmed or changing the bones/knives for pistols). The torsos needed removal of hair and some spikes (or softening them).
- Catachan Jungle Fighters. I wanted the hybrids to have uncovered violet arms and some torsos (to remark that they are no longer human), so instead of other Imperial Guard miniatures I chose this.
Some afternoons assembling, cutting and joining pieces, and this is the unpainted result:
This is one of the new "weak hybrid" models I mentioned before:
The worst part was the necks. Catachan torsos had no neck because is the head the one containig it, but Ghoul heads are concave instead of convex, so I did one elaborate but guaranteed approach: Cut the ghoul necks from the torsos and adapt them to the Catachan ones.
It needs some cutting and careful glueing, and I found better to rotate horizontally 180º the neck (so that the back part becomes the front one) because it rises the head (as opposite as lowering it in the ghoul models).
The title says WIP (Work In Progress) because I've just started painting the squad. I'm not yet finished with any model but I painted all the flesh part of one hybrid to check how it looks:
You can't simulate the "hunchback" old hybrids mostly because of the bigger head and complexion, but I'm satisfied with the results of the experiment. I definetly prefer this to just simple Imperial Guards with another colors...
It will take me some time to paint every model, but I also have another modding project related with Genestealers which I'll show in the future (when I can at least start painting it and show a before-after).