A Princess Of Mars

This is one of the first models I planned to tackle for Fembruary and so it makes sense, in the topsy-turvy way I go about my hobbying, that she’s one of the very last to be completed. Back when Lady Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief, was first released I worried that she’d be a difficult creature to paint and commented that I felt like I was the only person on earth who didn’t really like her. To be honest there were plenty of moments whilst actually painting her which didn’t help to change my mind. Much like the Khinerai I painted earlier in the month the whole model is prone to moving around every time a brush touches it and despite my attempts to anchor her a bit more solidly both she and her handmaidens pushed my patience to the limit at times.

That said however I still enjoyed painting her a great deal, even if she did make me grind my teeth and swear more than usual, and I’m happy with the end result so all’s well that ends well. Rather than paint her as the Queen of the Nighthaunt I used her as the basis from which to convert a tech-priestess for my nascent Adeptus Mechanicus collection.

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With a conversion of this type there’s always a temptation to keep adding things but to me the simplicity of the original Lady Olynder is one of its great strengths and I wanted to strike a balance between maintaining that whilst adding just enough to tie her into a futuristic rather than fantasy setting and make it clear that here we have a representative of the Martian priesthood rather than an ambulatory bedsheet. For those who’re unfamiliar with the base model I used here’s the studio version from Games Workshop as a comparison.

Lady Olynder

As well as the Princess herself I had a lot of fun with the two little handmaidens. Strange though it may be to say I think there’s something quite cute about these two, and they offered an opportunity to play up the technological aspects without detracting from the simplicity of the core figure.

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Finally here we have her, ready to command the soldiers of the Red Planet in their unending search for lost technology.

Tech Priest ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer 40k (10)

And there we have it, another model that could so easily have been left unfinished get’s pushed over the finish line for Fembruary. That’s not all either, tomorrow – once I’ve added a few finishing touches – we’ll see another agent of House Escher.


38 responses to “A Princess Of Mars

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Very impressive and I like the colour scheme too. I can see why that was a bugger to paint but the end result was well worth the perseverance. I think you will have to be careful with this one, is it as potentially fragile as it appears?

    • Wudugast

      Cheers muchly mate! She’s one of those ones that now she’s finished I look back on her as an interesting challenge – but at the time I was ready to have a few good tantrums I can tell you!

      She is fragile, but perhaps not quite as much as it appears. I’d want to be careful with her but she’s not going to fall apart if someone breaths near her. There’s clever little joins for attaching the handmaidens but I, in my supposed wisdom, decided they’d be harder to paint there so moved them to different positions alongside the model, which then lead to finding new ways to fix them firmly in place. Are my solutions really better than GW’s? Time will tell but I think I managed to use the lower one to anchor the whole model a bit more firmly. There’s also a bit of visual trickery going on, if you look at the point where her train touches the ground it looks like there’s only a very small point of contact that the whole model rests on, however there’s actually a huge piece of plastic moulded directly to the train and then buried in basing material. Mind you, I’ll still be finding somewhere special to store her, just to be on the safe side. The weakest points of the model are actually her arms, they’re incredibly thin and delicate.

  • Alex

    Wow, that’s a bit special mate – what a cracking idea for a conversion! Like you say, the simplicity is key here – I love what you’ve done with the handmaidens, but the Priestess has a real gravitas. Superb.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! 🙂 Gravitas is the word I was stretching for when I wrote this, I like the way she looks regal – she’s so important she doesn’t even touch the irradiated ground. It’s also part of the reason I gave her no obvious weapons, I like the idea that her troops do all of the fighting for her and that she silently commands everything through noosperic connections with her underlings.

  • Pete S/ SP

    Wow – that is stunning. It has an etheral quality that isn’t often seen in the Ad mech but works really well.



    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I find that the Ad Mech have such a wide variety of aesthetics all tied together by some common visual elements. If you can get those common elements right – and I must confess not all of my attempts have worked! – you can bring some quite unexpected things under the Ad Mech’s banner, even ethereal ladies like this one. Really glad you like her. 🙂

  • mcmattila

    Excellent conversion and a successful 40k-ifying of an AoS model! She fits right in with the skitarii.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I wasn’t sure how well she’d work alongside the skitarii at first but one of the really nice things about the Ad Mech is the variety of models that they’re able to incorporate. Will have to have a think about what other AoS models I can bring under the banner of Mars now! 🙂

  • John@justneedsvarnish

    That is very impressive! 🙂 Way better than the GW original!

  • Steve

    Incredible, she fits in so well with the Mechanicus 😍 brilliant work!

  • CC

    This is fantastic. The attendants remind me of the sentinels from the Matrix.

    Which parts did you use for the conversion? I can tell which bits have been changed but wasn’t sure which kits the new pieces were from.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yeah, I can see the sentinel aspect in the attendants. I thought those were awesome first time I saw that film.

      Let’s see, the faces of the attendants are from the Pteraxii Skystalkers, and the crest on the priestess herself is from the Corpuscarii Electro-Priests. The icon on the end of her staff comes from the Imperial Knight kit (I think, pretty sure it was left over when I chaos’d one of them up), and the cables were off a servo skull.

  • lordcommandereloth

    That sir is what I would refer to as “Next Level”
    I’m very impressed you “saw” this model in the ghost it should of been, and even more impressed with the execution, it looks like it should be a kit from GW!
    Just great! Well done.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I was thinking about the old Cairn Wraith model that loads of hobbyists turned into an Ad Mech priest/agent/creature (even before the Ad Mech had their own range). I started wondering about which of the new Nighthaunt could get the same treatment and one thing lead to another. Glad you like her! 😀

  • 5 on Friday 26/02/21 – No Rerolls

    […] A Princess Of Mars @ Convert or Die – Hah, this is really cool! I like the admech and it’s nice to see something a bit different in the mix. The conversion is quite simple, but it works. Thanks for sharing! […]

  • Jonathan E

    Gorgeous! I am even prepared to overlook the blatant vitalism (“ambulatory bedsheet” indeed, tush and fiddle!) in service to something simple, stark and powerful.

    • Wudugast

      Haha! Thank you very much! That stark simplicity was something I was very keen to capture with this one, it’s very tempting to keep adding things to Ad Mech conversions, they’re naturally busy models, and obviously I needed to add things to bring her into the 40k universe, otherwise she’d end up just looking like the original with a different paint scheme. Avoiding adding too much was key though. 🙂

  • Kuribo

    I saw the thumbnail for this post in the Reader and thought to myself, “There’s no way he painted a model that big this month with everything else he’s done in February”, but no, you went and did it, mate! 😀 This is a really cool idea to take her from AoS and put her on Mars! I like how you redid her servants in particular. They’re creepy and fit into that faction really well. The dirty cloth on the back of her looks great too and really lends a gothic feeling to the piece on the whole. Now, go take a break from painting. You’re making the rest of us look bad! 😉

    • Wudugast

      Haha – cheers mate, I hoped it might surprise people. Honestly I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get her finished in time but I went with the “nothing ventured, nothing gained” approach and surprised myself by getting her done. As for taking a break from painting I’ve just seen my work schedule for the next few months and, yeah, I’m not sure I’ll have the time to see myself let alone the painting desk… Mind you I’m not promising I’ll disappear entirely though… 😉

      • Kuribo

        I was very surprised and impressed! I have seen some productive painters before but I’d say the amount you painted (in a short month no less) is something to be proud of. And also, its good to see your manager got my check okay. I told them to keep you busy for a bit 😉

  • Mikko

    That’s a brilliant idea wonderfully executed, great job!

  • Argentbadger

    This is absolutely wonderful. I love the idea and I love the execution. A friend of mine is working on some Adeptus Mechanicus now so I’ll direct him towards this for inspiration.

  • Faust

    Love how you converted her to a SciFi setting. The rich red goes great against that Martian soil. Too bad I didn’t have this war band, would give me a good excuse to use the Martian Ironcrust I picked up awhile ago.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I really like that Martian Ironcrust paint, and it goes very nicely with the red robes of the Ad Mech. You could use it for anyone from a reddish desert though – how about a Black Orc team hailing from the dusty red badlands? Another thing I’ve been experimenting with is putting down a layer of Martian Ironcrust then once it dries painting over it with a layer of Mordian Earth to make a lava effect. Still needs some perfecting but it’s showing promising results.

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