Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Genestealer Cult - Converted Sanctus

One of the new units available in the current edition of Warhammer 40K to the Genestealer Cult army is the Sanctus. Unlike the Locus, which serves more as an elite bodyguard for high ranking cultists, the Sanctus is an assassin. Capable of being armed with either a bio-dagger or sniper rifle, the unit can fill two very different niches in any force. I have a copy of the standard Sanctus available from Games Workshop, and like most of their new releases it is a great miniature. However, its pose seems to lend itself more to being armed with the bio-dagger rather than the sniper rifle. An individual online posted a great conversion of a Kroot miniature to serve as a sniper Sanctus and thus inspired I decided to make my own.

I'd decided to perform this conversion before I found out the December Legion of the Brush competition at Warhammer Hillsboro is all about conversions, so I've tried to put my best foot forward on this one. The biggest problem I had was that I'm not great with sculpting putty - so I needed to minimize use of the "green stuff" while still getting something convincing as the end product. I also wanted to hide some of the more "reptilian" features of the original Kroot miniature while keeping the arms, hands, and feet.

I went through my bits box and found an appropriate Acolyte hybrid head that I thought would work well for the Sanctus. I then began surgery in earnest. I removed the exposed midriff of the Kroot and replaced it with Acolyte armor. I covered the exposed upper legs with green putty to make pants and then added knee pads from the Acolyte Hybrid as well. I removed the molded in pouch and knife as I wanted to replace them with a Cult Knife. I ended up grabbing a couple of spare pouches from the Death Korps of Krieg detail set.

I modified the rifle from the original miniature by removing the "fangs" front and rear. I also cut out the middle of the rifle and replaced it with the receiver from the Sanctus sniper rifle. On the rear I added a collar from green putty to clean up the join between the head and the rest of the body (which required hacking off a lot of extra plastic).

I should probably take a step back and talk about the servo skull familiar as well. It is completely scratch built from various Games Workshop components. I started with a Tyranid skull from the Citadel Skulls pack. I then added part of a bionic eye and some sort of scanner from a spare space marine head. The training tubes are from an Adeptus Mechanicus packpack, which also donated the right scanning light and the tip of the arm. The rest of the arm is scratchbuilt from styrene strip and sheet. I also punched a few circles for connection points and joints. Finally I added a little copper wire which became the red wiring on the back of the skull.

I'm working to get some better photos, because the ones I have so far don't quite do it justice, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Painting this also had to be done in stages, and it's a mix of literally everything I have from Contrast, to Vallejo, to Ammo of Mig, with some Army Painter shades thrown in! If you look carefully, you'll see the Scumb4g Kustoms genestealer cult decal on the shoulder pad as well! As soon as I get some better photos, I'll get them posted!


  1. Holy heck I like this! Really nice take on a cool solo that has a sculpt that does indeed fit the biodagger version far better than sniper.(I think on the official mini, the rifle held at that angle looks goofy to be honest.)
    Might try to give your version a go in the nearish future!

    1. Thanks!!! I've done a little more touch up on him and will be trying to get some additional photos in the not so distant future. I've got the standard Sanctus, and he's likely next on the list to get built and painted, but with the Bio Dagger. Now I've got to come up with a backstory for this guy...