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Hello all, I'm a long time lurker and first time poster, perdominately because I didn't have anything particularly important to say . Anyways I am an IG player and I'm currently finishing up painting a Steel Legion/ DKoK army (DKoK as command and Veteran squads, Steel Legion as standard infantry, justified in my fluff that each of my guardsmen must complete a pair of campaigns or 3 years of service before gaining their "veteran" uniform, but mainly because DKoK are pretty costly and I wanted something different than one of the armies GW has created). I also am working on a Crimson Fists army and a Night Lords army.
Introductions aside, I was thinking earlier today about converting some Athonian Tunnel Rat models (pictured on page 141 of the 5th ed rulebook) for fun, and was thinking what would be the best way to do so. I was thinking maybe use Space Marine Sniper Scouts bodies (as they have cloaks and armor plates which could have spikes added to them easily with green stuff, though the picture in the book does not have an Aquila on the chest I like it anyways for a guardsman). For the head I was thinking maybe I'd use At-43 UNA alternate (goggled) heads (and add a spike on each side and on top) and perhaps take a SM vox piece grill thing off an SM head and put it on the lower half. I'm confused on what to do with the Gas Mask cables, as I can't see where they are attached to on the back of the model. As for the shoulder pad I was planning on chopping up some Ork 'hard boy Shoulder pads and adding spikes. The doubled barrel lasguns I think wouldn't be too tough to convert from Catachan ones by chopping them short and using a few small brass pipes and a couple suppressors from that rifle and another. I think I could use SM scrolls for the scroll that hangs between the legs (though obviously they wouldn't be as long).
I'm primarly concerned with them being too bulky and out of porportion to other guardsmen/ being poorly skilled with green stuff. Before I go off and spend a bunch of money for all the parts I was wondering how someone else felt about this idea. I haven't made a decision whether or not I'm even going to attempt to create a tunnel rat, but hopefully this will, at minimum, provoke thoughts in individuals more brilliant than I, or at least individuals with more money than I and are willing to attempt a tunnel rat conversion ; ).
Hello, nice to have you post here. I think you can use the image of the tunnel rat as a guideline and not have to make it look exactly that way. I think you should concentrate on the most distinctive features of the tunnel rats. They seem to have what looks sort of like a twin linked lasgun. Creating that would make them stand out right away. Where the tubes go is up to you. You could give them a backpack with air tanks. That would fit in with their tunneling which probably means they lurk about in sewers full of toxic gas and they would need air tanks.
I think if you use Space marine scounts for them the problem could be that they will be too big looking. Space marine scouts are made to look big as they are Marines with slightly less armour. This might make them appear too big in comparison to other Guardsmen. Things you could add to them would be rags made from tissue paper and PVA and other bits and pieces such as tropies or flashlights for seeing in the tunnels.
Thanks for you input Leech, I think that the space marine scouts torsos are probably a bad idea, as like you said, they would simply be too big/bulky. Also, with the fluff given from the paragraph next to them, I probably don't need them to be absolutely identical to the picture provided, as there would likely be lots of variation between individual soldiers. The PVA/tissue would also be a helpful idea. Airtanks would be a great idea imo, as they would go with the fluff quite well. I think I may dig through my bitz box tomorrow and see what I can manage. Thanks for your advice!