Hi, Dave here. I have been getting a bit weird with my conversions lately. And that itself is a result of me growing both in confidence as a modeler, and in familiarity with the parts available. An as things have gotten weirder, I’ve noticed an uptick in the frequency of a certain kind of comment on IG and Twitter in recent weeks:
“How do you think this stuff up?”
“I would never have though of using <part X> as <shape Y>.”
“Shuriken Cannons for legs?”
That last one’s paraphrasing but it made me consider how I go about choosing the bits I use. Because it’s a very specific kind of question: Why are you using this thing, which has a function in-lore, as this other object which has a whole other set of associations.
“Gun” (the source) becomes “Leg” (the target). This one shoots. That one walks. We have all these words and ideas attached to what is really just a visual label. And I think sometimes having those built-in labels stops us from seeing objects in any other way. Recognizing that, and then putting the labels aside for a while is really how I approach kitbashing and conversion. I keep the target word and lose the source words.
Try and turn everything into purely a shape. Silhouette first, secondary forms next and then texture last. Turn every piece upside down and give it a good long stare. I sketched this out last night:
My process went something like this
- Oh man that blight drone is lovely.
- Huh it kinda looks like a back to front Plague drone. Nice one GW [TURNS DRONE BODY AROUND]
- What does it look like if we mix the two (Grabs plague drone legs and tacks it all together)
- It’s too too similar to the other two designs but there’s something here. I love the bladed plague drone legs they look like they’d be well dangerous OH HANG ON
- Flip it upside down again. Yes that looks like a hunch back in armor.
- PLAGUE DRONE LEG-ARMS.
- Remember when I bought a bunch of Tyranid legs off Ebay? I wonder if any of those will fit.
- They do! Quick, tack it all together. Basic blockout done.
And while there are a dozen problems with the model that I’ll need to address (those pipes on top now gravity is upside down for them, the spikes around by where the legs would articulate, etc), it’s solid, has decent gesture and it tells a bit of a story.
Anyway hopefully a few more updates and musings to follow. Hope this was a little useful.