Ever since I read the entry for the Foetid Bloat-Drone in the Chaos Index, I had been rather enamored with the “fleshmower” alternate weapon configuration. As the name suggests, the fleshmower transforms the Bloat-Drone from a mid-range fire support unit into a hard-hitting close combat unit. The fleshmower didn’t appear as an option on the Bloat-Drone that came in the Dark Imperium boxed set, so I began thinking about how make my own conversion.
Later, of course, a proper fleshmower kit was included in the stand-alone Bloat-Drone box. But my mind was already racing with ideas for a conversion using some of the gnarly blade arms from the Mechwarrior collectible miniatures game, which came out many years ago and still provides a wealth of interesting industrial-looking bits on many of my projects.
In particular, Mechwarrior had a lot of battlemechs with crazy melee weapons — spinning blades, grinders, cutting implements and other brutal apparatus. I’ve got a plastic tub filled with leftover figures and vehicles, many of them broken, and it’s served me well as a bits resource.
For my fleshmower conversion, I took a deep dive into that plastic tub and came out with two likely candidates: an industrial grinder arm and a dual chainsaw arm. I had initially wanted identical weapons for my fleshmower, but as I looked at these two pieces, I warmed to the idea of an asymmetrical loadout. It somehow made the whole model look even more heavy metal.
I also snipped off the mosquito-style nose on the Bloat-Drone and replaced it with another spinning blade. To me it seems like this guy uses his utility arms to cut up his prey and bring it closer to his snout, where it gets pulped into a fine purée, perfect for being slurped up by his trailing tentacles. Yeah, that’s the stuff.
The challenge with Mechwarrior bits is that they’re made from PVC, a slightly more pliable material compared to the polystyrene used in most Warhammer kits. And the sculpting detail is much softer, which sometimes makes Mechwarrior pieces look silly next to the much sharper Warhammer models. My solution was to cover the cutting implements with a nice splatter of Blood for the Blood God to cover any imperfections or soft details.
I painted this guy in an ochre/yellow paint scheme, which was a departure from my previous Bloat-Drone palette, but still somewhat related. I think they’ll look nice on the table together.
I also whipped together a nice scenic base using some random industrial bits I had lying around on my workbench. I think it really ties the whole thing together.
The end result was everything I had been hoping for. Sure, it’s not an “official” fleshmower, but it’s totally awesome and anyone who tries to give me any guff about it is going to get an earful about creativity and making the hobby your own.
Up next on my workbench is another 7-man squad of vintage metal Plague Marines kitted out with resin upgrades from Spellcrow. I’m really loving the aesthetic this creates, and it’s a great way to give new life to some awesome old models. Stay tuned!