Two years ago I bought a Space Marine Mega-Force box as well as several other 40K box sets from the now defunct Maelstrom Games. They were holding a big sale at 30% discount and I made the most of it at the time. I also had a lot of 'due back' credit with them, and this just made my purchase all the more worth it.
Since I decided to start building a dreadnought for my Space Wolves I had to decide what to build. I had a normal dreadnought from the Mega-Force box and a Venerable dreadnought box, as well as a 'Black Reach' dread which I bought for about 10 quid (I wish I had bought one or two more to think of it).
I opted to build the dread from the Mega-Force box, but I wanted to alter it. I always liked the style of the Contemptor and the Venerable dread over the standard sarcophagus style dread. So the decision was made for me.
Another reason I wanted to alter this one was because the dread from 'Black Reach' would have been harder to convert. I also had plans to convert the 'Black Reach' dread into a 'rifleman' dreadnought with auto-cannons.
This dreadnought I have started would be magnetised and used as my main choice in my army. All I had to do was see how I could go about converting it.
Before I put blade to plastic, I studied the front and top parts carefully and opened up the Venerable dreadnought box to see how it was designed. The front section of the Venerable dread,for those who don't know, has the body of the Space Marine showing under the sarcophagus. I thought this was the way to go, so I started to cut up plastic.
As you can see from the pic above, I cut out the top part of the central part of the front plate. The part where the sarcophagus is. The I had to choose an appropriate Space Marine model to fit. After trying several torsos, I went for Forge World's Mark IV torso. The shape made for a neater fit.
The next step was the head. This was a bit more difficult. I tried toying with several, including Space Wolf helmets. In the end I opted for the Mark V from Forge World. This just seemed more 'heavy duty' to me. It also looks a bit more aggressive. So the choice was made as well.
I also decided to glue on the backpack onto the marine and to the top part of the dread. Why? Just to add some extra strength, since I would be manhandling it some what. It also adds a bit of depth to the dread when seen from the front.
I then fitted some casted power cables I bought from Dragon Forge. They can be seen better from the first pic. These are excellent for adding the extra detail this type of conversion depends so much on. The last part was to add some brass wire. This was basically 'filler'.
The last part was to cover up some of the cuts made with some plastic strips and Forge World etched brass.
Altogether the conversion took 2 hours of work, excluding the time it took to figure out how I'd go about it. The next step is to fit the sarcophagus cover on. I chose one from the Venerable dread box, as you can see below.
Farewell and good health