Hive World Terra

Converting Grots from Goblins

The following article describes the process of converting Warhammer Goblins into Warhammer 40,000 Gretchin/Grots. The Goblins could be used as Grots without conversion, but the added extra touches make them seem more like Gretchin and less like borrowed Goblins.

I made these models instead of paying £5 for 4 metal Grots, where I'd end up with duplicates. Instead I got 20 converted Grots, all unique, for £15 (the price before the boxed set price rise of 2005).

Getting the pieces

There are very few hard and fast rules about what parts are needed for the Gretchin conversions. The obvious requirement is the Goblin Regiment boxed set (the normal Goblins with bows or spears, not the Night Goblins).

For additional weapons, I used a combination of Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Ork guns, 2nd Edition Bolters, Gorkamorka metal guns, plus a plastic crossbow taken from a Mordheim sprue in my bits box. The rest of the Goblins retained the bows.

Remember, if you're trying to do this on the cheap, check out the Games Workshop on a Budget article, which gives tips on how to get models for less.

Assembling and converting the Goblins

This part is very much down to personal preference. Assemble the models however you want to get the poses you want. Some combinations of arms look better together, such as the out-stretched arm and 'holding bowstring' arm.

Adding Warhammer 40,000 weapons

To add the assorted Warhammer 40,000 weaponry to the Goblins, some minor weapon swap conversions are required. To add a gun to a Goblin, take the original bow holding arm and carefully remove the bow just above and below the hand.

Some weapons may look better with a small amount of bow left around the hand as pistol grip, while others will sit better directly on the hand. Use superglue or polystyrene cement as appropriate when attaching the weapons.

Creating 'Blasta' bows and arrows

As well as using an array of guns (which will be in various states of breakdown and not as efficient as they once were) I also converted some 'Grot Blasta' bows and arrows.

To create the Blasta, take a shouldered bow and the hand holding the arrow. Add a blob of 'green stuff' over the arrow tip and mould it into a cylinder. Before it dries, score two lines down the length of the cylinder to represent the join in the metal making the Stikkbomb-like Blasta arrow head.

It isn't anything amazingly complex, but it's different and it adds Orkyness!

Other weapon conversions

Even some of the Grots with bows received some minor conversions. The most difficult was swapping the hand of the bow to make more of them left-handed.

To swap the hands of the bow carefully clip the bow from a right hand and find a suitable shield-holding left arm or a spear arm. If you are using a spear arm, remove the spear with clippers and make sure that you leave a flat surface. Glue the two parts of the bow on to the new hand and hold them in place until the glue has set.

Positioning of limbs can become difficult with this kind of conversion, and the drying time is quite long, so only a few of these weapon swap conversions were included.

The other main conversion of interest was the Gorkamorka Uzi-style slugga. Since Gorkamorka boys are smaller than normal Orks, and because the Uzi-style weapon needed the clip from below the hand as well, this weapon swap was different to the others.

Firstly, a suitable recipient arm was found, and the hand was removed from half-way down the forearm. Next, the Gorkamorka arm was clipped half-way down the forearm, just where the bracelet stopped. Once smoothed, these two parts can then be glued together, leaving the Goblin with an Ork hand that is about the right size!

Painting the Grots

With conversion finished, the next step is painting. If you have your own methods for painting Orks, this isn't an essential read. The Converting Grots from Goblins - Painting article is now available!