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As the thread topic implies, I am attempting to convert a Hive Tyrant using as few metal parts as possible (and even then, only if the situation proves impossible to otherwise circumvent). There are several reasons why a Hive Tyrant would benefit from being plastic, mainly:
1) Thanks to polycement, I find that plastic figures are more durable than metal ones.
2) Plastic figures are lighter than metal ones.
3) Plastic figures are (generally) easier to hold together than metal ones during the assembly phase.
4) I am a horrifically lazy modeller and lack adequte pinning tools (my pin vise is broken and I have yet to acquire a new one).
Of course, the only modelling kit capable of creating a Tyranid Monstrous Creature at this point is the Carnifex set, so this will be the base. This leads us to problem one as the Carnifex body is hunched over, unlike the more upright Tyrant. However, it is easy to circumvent this by cutting off the part of the shell that covers the lower back, thus allowing you to position your Carnifex's torso upright if you so desire. Alternatively, there are several solutions involving a raised base that could make it appear as if the Tyrant is bending down over its prey, especially if it is geared for close combat.
Unfortunately, this is where I have hit a brick wall. The Carnifex's body is very bulky and even if I were to position it upright, it would still look like an upright Carnifex rather than the Hive Tyrant it was meant to be. I cannot find a creative solution to this problem and so I appeal to you, the forum, for help. Is this project feasible? Should I just get a metal Hive Tyrant torso? What do you all think?
You need to look at Hive Fleet Moloch, my friend. The man who did the conversion in the link is a genius, and I figure you could get some great ideas from that page.
Your problem here seems to be with the shape and size of the body. Hive tyrants are Tyranids and Tyranids evolve rapidly so an unusual Hive tyrant being hunched over isn't out of the question.
The problem you have is that it looks too big and too much like a Carnifex. I would suggest you try to reduce the plastic body in size. You could remove those big vent tubes on it's back. You will need to use some green stuff to smooth over that area once the vents are removed.
I really think you will need a smaller head, or you will need to somehow reduce the Carnifex's head in size. If this Hive tyrant is going to be winged you can position the body in a flying position of the ground. Don't add the legs because they are very bulky. Use scything talons to give it buggy legs, which are smaller than the Carnifex's legs.
I would say that you will have to spend a great deal of time reducing a Carnifex in size and changing it's position in order to make it into a convincing Hive tyrant. You may simply find it is a easy to use a metal Hive tyrant. The metal Hive tyrant is very cool.
To get the thing standing upright all you have to do is turn the torso upside-down. That's what my brother did with his.
As Leech said, you really need a different head. I would just use the Tyrant head and GS a longer neck for the deeper socket. The size of the Carnifex is a problem, as there aren't really any other parts in the nid range that will look right on the body.
I understand that the point is to use very little metal, however, I have found that you can use just the body of the HT, you don't really need to pin it (due to the high surface area for glue on the torso) from there everything else can be done in plastic using either fex parts or skinny buggy legs. Personally I feel the fex body is just far too bulky to use without chopping it up in little bits and GS all the holes you make (but that's just me).
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All points are well-taken. Thanks for the advice given so far.
Having looked at the Hive Fleet Moloch website, I now believe that the plastic Hive Tyrant conversion is possible (and it will be even better if I want to make it winged, now that I know Dragon Wings are plastic), I think I'm going to try a few of the techniques used on the site. Generally the Carnifex parts are bulky and will simply make the resulting Tyrant look like a Carnifex, though this problem seems to have been circumvented by using the parts to make a bigger Tyrant. Most of the essential techniques don't seem too difficult to imitate and, though my modelling skills don't hold a candle to the original, I should be able to build something convincing with patience and practice. I've still got the old torso of my broken metal Hive Tyrant, so I can't say I've got much to lose by trying.
Cheers, everyone, and keep the advice coming!