Venturing deeper in the Church of the Red Athenæum


Adam with more unbelievably elegant WIP work that meshes models 20 years apart in to something very unique!

Having finally painted most of the models I created for the Church of the Red Athenæum, I was able to start converting some new ones!  The first is to represent the librarian/historian for the Church; one who has devoted much of their studies to uncovering the details about the Great Crusade and final days of the Heresy. I decided to base him one of the other Missionary models Brian Nelson sculpted for the Sister of Battle line years ago. He is already lacking an arm and one of his eyes, right up the Church’s alley.  The model looks right at home with the conversion for Samael too. 🙂

To go along with the historian’s devotion to studying the Heresy I thought it would be neat if he carried some cherished relic from that era. After a little thought I realized a weapon from the Heresy would be ideal. The thought of him carrying around some ancient bolt weapon which has long since run out of ammunition seemed fitting. He is now carrying an old bolt pistol (one of the plastic Rogue Trader bolt pistols); which I imagine is some form of caseless variant.

I also started to create a new regular member of the congregation, this one based around an old GorkaMorka mutie model.  The Church has a large population of mutant members, and I realized I need to do a better job reflecting this.  The Keeper model which I based the conversion on is pretty creepy, missing fingers, ears, and even having an eye on his palm.  Perfect.

Let me know what you think of the models and if you have any suggestions!
– Adam




20 thoughts on “Venturing deeper in the Church of the Red Athenæum

    1. The Devil is in the details, right!? Adding small and subtle touches helps make richer characters I think, ones that people can pour a little of themselves into and wonder about.


    1. I admit I had not done too much mixing of metal and plastic myself, but thought this would be a good opportunity to try. GW’s metal is really hard, much more so than say that used by Corvus Belli (Infinity), which makes it difficult to work with. But with enough patience you can get it to do what you want. Thanks for the kind words, and I am glad they look creepy!

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  1. Oh, I do love the idea of mixing old/mid with new… (can I coin the term ‘fusion-hammer’ here? :-P)

    Seriously though, I find it so exciting that minis that are decades old can still resonate in modern visions of 40k – a testement to the depth of the universe and the skills of earlier sculptors I feel. It can be hard to do well, but these examples are perfect in my opinion – can’t wait to see these guys painted!


    1. Fusion-hammer for the win! You are certainly right that some of the old models are pretty incredible, and still look natural next to any of the newer models. Brian Nelson’s models in particular are astounding. The amount of skill he displayed even in these first models is incredible. I am pretty pleased that GW still has his talent among their sculptors. It was just revealed today that he designed some of the new Orruk models for Age of Sigmar. Who better than the master of orcs/orks, to show people what an AoS orruk looks like too?!

      Thanks for all the kind words about the models I spliced together, and I cannot wait to show you them when they are painted!

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  2. And talking of Brian – it’s very humbling to see such three dimensional beauty coming out of an almost incoherent sketch I’ve done like the new orruk range – he sculpted the boss dude and lead the process – his brain lives in another special dimension to mine ….. He’s so reserved and real likeable chap as well ……

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    1. Wow, I would love to see that sketch sometime! Brian certainly created an incredible model; the best orc model I have seen in ages. While the newer plastic 40k orks (plastic nobs and meganobz) over the years have been nice, they do not hold the subtle character, emotion, and pure brutal essence that Brian infuses with the orcs he creates. It is as though everyone else tries to imitate the master, but never quite get it. They get close, but you can always tell a Nelson orc. When I first saw that new warboss, my heart leapt, because I knew he had to have had a hand in their creation. He is hands down one of my favorite sculptors/artists, and I am happy that he still makes models for GW. You and him working together to re-envision the orcs for AoS is nothing short of legendary. Thanks for the insight, and sorry for the over-excited rambling, he he.


  3. Really in love with these models Adam! Each and everyone you make I just go “I wish I could paint that” which to me is the ultimate conversion compliment, a new character that captures one’s imagination.


  4. I really dig the mutie conversion! I guess it’s safe to say I’m a huge fan of those old metals.

    I also have to agree with Eric W’s comments regarding the new plastic 40k orks, they lack some essence that Brian Nelson’s 3rd edition models had. The model that leapt out for me in the new Orruk release was the Weirdnob shaman, it’s such a beautiful model but also very smart in how the pieces fit together.


    1. The shaman does look fantastic. His face looks as though he can barely contain the searing energies of Gork and Mork! I also really appreciate how all of them look to be scaled well, with the skulls hanging from their armor being made to to fit with current human sculpts, paling in comparison to the huge orc skulls. It is a small thing, but something very important for immersion, and often overlooked.

      Also, it is good to hear from you Apoteos! Your mutant warband is second to none!


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