In light of the upcoming release of the 5E Guard codex, I've put together a couple of tutorials focusing on Imperial Guard weapon conversions. The first is how to convert your standard Kantrael-pattern Lasgun into a shotgun, and the second is how to create Type-69 RPGs to use in place of the standard missile launchers.
1. First, take your lasgun and cut off the barrels.
2. Next, remove the top barrel sight thingy and everything in front of it. Also remove the top part of the rear sight thingy stabilizer (someone's gotta know the actual name for these parts...). See pic for details, I can't explain this bit very well.
3. Now you need to cut the furniture horizontally from the front to the rear sight thingy stabilizer, to remove some of the height. This is where the shotgun barrel will sit.
4. Very carefully remove the trigger and grip. You want to make sure you take some (just a tiny bit) of the lasgun furniture with it, so that you can create a trigger guard by shaving it down (see final pic).
5. Cut horizontally along the bottom of the lasgun from where you removed the trigger, towards the front. This removes the power pack and leaves a pump-grip at the front of the weapon.
6. File down the sides of the weapon to the pump-grip; this creates the illusion that the pump-grip is thicker than the weapon (and makes it look like a separate piece when you paint it). It's a little difficult to see in the pics.
7. Cut the antenna from a Voxcaster and trim the ends slightly; this will be the barrel. Carefully file one side of the antenna to flatten it out; you'll want to put it up to your weapon and measure so that you don't flatten too much of it out. This filing will give the impression that the lower half of the barrel is set into the furniture.
8. Cut the other antenna and use the straight portion of this for the lower barrel.
9. Glue the barrels on, trim the trigger guard and glue it on, and you're done! If you want someone to be holding the weapon in a firing position, you can cut off the stock and leave the trigger off, but I like to keep the shotguns lashed to packs and whatnot, so that the Guardsman can be doing something more interesting with his hands (and I think the shotgun looks best unheld anyway). Oh - and you can make a little tiny iron sight for the tip of the shotgun barrel using a triangular piece of plastic or plasticard (see the shotgun on the trooper's pack).
I particularly like this conversion, because not only does it look neat, it uses only optional parts from the Heavy Weapons sprue! You can convert one RPG per sprue, leaving the actual missile launchers for other conversions.
1. You will need one missile and one mortar shell per RPG.
2. Cut the missile warhead at the very tip and where the warhead meets the body. Cut the tip from the mortar as well as the stabilizer fins at the back. You want to make this cut as far back as possible.
3. Take the missile warhead and flip it around. Glue it to the rear part of the mortar shell (not the bit with the fins) to create the RPG round.
4. Look through your bits box for one of these things; they're the sprue that 28mm bases come on. You want one with a good cone shape on the opposite end. If you're anything like me, you probably have quite a few of these laying around.
5. We need to remove that cone-shaped bit, so the best way is to trim everything down around it. Cut the arms off the sprue, and then you can just cut straight down to get the cone bit separated. Try to leave as much of the base intact as possible; you can trim and shape it once you've got it off.
6. This cone bit becomes the exhaust port at the rear of the weapon. Trim the narrow end so that it fits snug with the body of the RPG, then glue it together. Voila!
7. I usually add the sight from the Heavy Weapons sprue to the top, and use the missile launcher arm, since it's got the trigger on it. Here you can see some of my troopers with RPGs (which I'm now going to have to put on big bases for the new codex...!).
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