Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Steel Legion Commissar Conversion

The Imperial Commissar has been part of the Imperial Guard since the very first days of Rogue Trader, appearing in WD109 back in 1989.  The first four models models were single piece sculpts, like all figures were at the time, and were sculpted by Mark Copplestone.  These were quickly supplemented with a further six built to take advantage of the new plastic arm sprues available for the IG.
Picture from WD114 from SOL
After the RT era ended, 2nd edition Commissars were produced, which were larger and more detailed, but returned to being all metal (although multi part).  Later, when the Steel Legion came out as part of the Armageddon campaign, Imperial Guard Commissar body #2 was modified to have a gas mask to fit in with the toxic atmosphere of Armageddon. The figure was not given any of the other Steel Legion items, like bedroll, heavy gloves, or canteen.
Picture from Collecting Citadel Miniatures
I do not have that figure, but I still want a Commissar for my Steel Legion company command. As it happens, I DO have figure 401312 from the WD114 picture above, and he is wearing a gas mask... perfect for conversion!  Compared to the much newer Steel Legion, the figure is a bit crude, and short, with some curiously large feet, so I will convert those.

The first thing I did (well, first thing after having the figure sit in a bitz box for 18 years after I bought them from some bloke on, was toss the figure into a container of Simple Green to get the black and red paint off. A few days of that, and the paint sloughed right off with a bit of toothbrushing. This also broke down the old super glue holding on the plastic arms, and I put them aside.

Here is the stripped figure compared to a Steel Legion grenade launcher trooper, also showing the backside of the miniature, where you can see that he has a pouch and a old style bolt pistol held to his belt by a strap. You will probably notice that he is a bit short, and his neck is a bit stumpy.  Fortunately this grenade launcher trooper is going to provide the legs, and the neck will be less of an issue from the front I think, as the gas mask will provide some cover.

With new arms and legs

Here he has gone from being a bit short, to being a bit tall, which was a result of the difficulty I had with pinning (I even used a power drill and made little headway on the white metal of the legs).  There are also new arms from a Chimera commander (with bolt pistol) and a chain sword arm from a Steel Legion sergeant (now demoted to mortar loader). I also added a Cadian bayonet to replace the old style bolt pistol that I cut off from his left hip.

And here he is all painted up, generally following the painting for my Steel Legion figures.

As always, I really enjoy this army, and after I finish up the remaining bits and pieces (heavy mortar, heavy stubber team, and sniper), I really need to consider if I want to make a second platoon to go with that planned company command...or maybe just a scout squad?


Gregory Wier said...

This is a great use of that old commissar model. I think adding those newer legs goes a long way towards making him not seem as wonky as he was. I would not even say he looks a little too tall. I think his height is perfect. My brothers and I have just started trying to buy some old Rogue Trader models and paint them (hopefully to plays some games of Rogue Trader, or maybe 2nd edition 40K). Exploring all of the old imaginative models has been really enjoyable.

Mordian7th said...

Very cool! Definitely dig the update to an old model!

Laffe said...

Excellent conversion!

Lasgunpacker said...

Thanks guys!

It also reminds me that I need to get the whole platoon out and take a couple of pictures.

Unknown said...

I've got a bunch of those older Commissars including the Gas Mask one, that I am hoping to pair up with some Victoria Miniatures arms ... thanks for the read and looks great!