With the weather being awful recently, I have been unable to undercoat the last two scenery prices for my half year project and so I have taken the opportunity to keep my finger on the hobby pulse by building some Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) models.
I remember back in my youth when Games Workshop showed off its Games Day ’97; display Massacre at Big Toof River and I was instantly struck with how cool the Praetorian XXIV looked.
The Praetorians were sculpted specifically for this display from the Mordian Iron Guard models and proved so popular that they were released as a limited edition set.
15 year old me could not afford to buy the limited edition set and just like 36 year old me, there was always a new shiny that I must have for Christmas/Birthday and so this set was never mine.
Fast forward many years and I have returned to the hobby with my own disposable income. White Dwarf has celebrated it’s 40 year anniversary and it’s writers have been reminiscing about their favourite articles from it’s history. One such article is the Battle for Glazier’s Creek battle report between on coming waves of Orks and the beleaguered Praetorian XXIV from White Dwarf 222.
With talk of the Paetorians and the possibility of White Dwarf refighting this Battle Report, I decided to check back through my old White Dwarf collection. It appears that I had somehow missed this issue so a quick trip to eBay filled the 222 shaped hole in my life.
Now that the battle report had been read and other old issues of White Dwarf have been scoured through for mentions of the Preatorians I made it my plan to get a force of these together.
Looking at the prices of the now out of production models on eBay, the original Praetorians were not an option. Instead I opted to use the plastic Cadian battleforce that I already have but with some head swaps from third party manufacturers.
Both sets of heads appear to be the correct proportions for the Cadian bodies and their pith helmets are quite similar so both sets of heads could be used in the same squad. I also purchased some female pith heads from Victoria Miniatures, hoping that these would look ok on Cadian bodies. Unfortunately, these heads are too small. Hopefully in the future Games Workshop will release some female Cadian models and I can make use of these.
Here are the models that I have assembled so far starting with the Victoria Miniatures pith helmet heads:
The Victoria Miniatures’ pith heads fit well on the Cadian bodies with only a little bit of cutting and filing to get the head at the angle I wanted. At the moment, they don’t look quite right, but I think this is due to the helmets being taller than the standard Cadians and so makes the heads look thinner. It also doesn’t help that the heads are a different colour to the bodies, helping to make them standout.
I have so far only built one model with a head from Max Mini:
The Max Mini head needed more work to get the head where it needed to be as the rear peak of the pith helmet is much flatter and nearer the neck than Victoria Miniatures’. This involved cutting and filing a bit of the collar on the Cadian body. I was reluctant to do this at first but it’s the only way the head will fit.
I’m now beginning to think that I should trim the collars for the Victoria Miniatures as well as that should give me more freedom for head placement. It also looks a bit better having a smaller collar in my opinion.
Here is how the Victoria Miniatures and Max Mini pith helmet heads look together:
Once painted, there will be very little difference between the two.