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One of the nice things that was done in the newer codices is that named characters (formerly 'special characters' in pervious editions) are toned down and included in the actual army lists. But what I like even more is that it's encouraged to take an exisiting named character, modify him to fit the theme of your current army, and simply rechristen him. This means, for example, you can play Vahallans but still include such diverse characters as Al'rahem, Ursarkar Creed, and Iron Hand Straken in your army (provided you paint/convert Vahallan equivalents). For someone like me, it doesn't get much better than that!

Loorg The Zoat

Genestealer Cult version of Nork Deddog
Loorg going hoof-to-toe with Justin's assassin
At this point I'm sure only the most veteran of 40K players would even recognize this model. In the days of Rogue Trader, Zoats were a telepathic race that the Tyranids enslaved (rather than absorbed) and further bio-engineered to serve in the dual roles of diplomats and elite soldiers. Zoats never made into second edition. I have three of these guys and I was dying to work at least one into my army. Zoats are roughly the same size as Ogryns so that's what I was originally going to use them as. But I like the new Ogryns models too much to not use any in favor of three Zoats. I figured that maybe I could use just one Zoat for Nork Deddog. This fits my army's theme, as Zoats rebelled and ran away from the Tyranids while my Genestealer cult is also on the run from the Great Devourer so they aren't 'recycled'. The name Loorg is the original name for the Zoat with two fleshborers; in the old days, GW named many of the rank and file miniatures, particularly nonhumans like Orks and Daemons.

Sargeant 'Steelclaw' Harkonen

I ain't got time to bleed.
Genestealer Cult version of Gunnery Sargeant 'Stonetooth' Harker
Originally, when I threw together some Catachans into a squad, it was only because I was lacking troop choices. I was going to paint up Ox from the Last Chancers to fill in for Harker. But then my friend told me it was actually worth waiting for the proper Harker model to come out. He was right. The sculpt is amazing and it was fun to paint. Also required little conversion work (just had to sand off an Imperial eagle on his sword scabbard). Yes, I purposely used a Dune reference to name him. Most times when I make a cult version of a character, I try to use a name that's somewhat close to the original name.

The Patriarch's Hand

I'm your worst nightmare.
Genestealer Cult version of Guardsman 'Sly' Marbo
I had a hard time choosing just the right model. It had to be armed with a sword and something I could say was a Ripper Pistol. I also wanted to use an older model, preferrably one out of production. And one that looked pretty intimidating. Now, what piece meets all those requirements? Why, the old assassin, of course! I painted him in the same palette as the rest of my army and mimicked the strange Cult camo pattern from my tanks. I had to highlight the purple some because otherwise it was too dark to notice on such a small model. As for the name it's a play on 'The Emperor's Hand', a title of Emperor Palpatine's personal assassins in the Star Wars expanded universe.

Veteran Sargeant Bastille

It's up to us, lads!
Genestealer Cult version of Sargeant Lukas Bastonne
I made him out of the well-sculpted (but woefully rules-inaccurate) Fanatic-line Necromunda Bounty Hunter. The powersword comes from the newer metal Orlock gang boxed set and his hotshot las pistol is from the old metal Necromunda weapon sprue. Now I just need some veterans with carapace armor for him to lead.
More to come. Keep watching this page!
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