Sunday 15 June 2014

Here comes the Cavalry: Curious Constructs mail order.

Last weekend I finally got around to placing my mail order to Curious Constructs. It's been nearly a year since I did an update on my Praetorian Imperial Guard (now the Astra Miltarum) and have been meaning to re-visit them for a while.

For those of you unaware, Curious Constructs is a company run by Rob Angell (aka Col. Gravis) which specialises in making metal 28mm sci fi miniatures and conversion parts for 'Colonial Empire' style miniatures. These are very useful as additions to 40k Praetorian and Mordian armies, as well a useful for converting Cadian miniatures to create different looking Regiments.

His site can be found here:

and his blog is here:

The order arrived very quickly, in about for days. I opted to buy cavalry conversion parts and complete sets  so I could finally replace my Attilan Rough Riders, which while are ok, are not quite in keeping with the Praetorians. I will still keep a few handy in case I play at GW. In my mail order I ordered enough parts to build 25 Rough Riders, and have some heads and bits left over for adding to my Praetorian Infantry. You are required to supply your own mounts, of which I have enough, and brass rods for lances. In addition I will add Cadian bits for the officers.
 The plan is to have one squad of 8 Heavy Cavalry; one squad of 6 Hussars; one squad of 6 Lancers; and one squad of 5 mounted infantry. The Heavy Cavarly will be mounted on Cold Ones, the other squads on horses.

My aim has always been keep the Praetorian as GW as possible. I consider that adding too much from other ranges would detract from the overall all feel of the army, and dilute the Praetorian-ness of the army. Otherwise I might as well have just bought Zulu War miniatures and 'Steampunked' them. However, adding the Curious Constructs Cavalry and bits fit in well.

As an aside, 'The Trooper' by Iron Maiden is a great song to assemble cavalry too, although for some strange reason I also found myself singing 'Stop the Cavalry' by Jona Lewie!
Perhaps this clip from the film 'Young Winston' will be better. I like the way the Cadian las pistol is similar to Winstons Pistol (a Mauser Broomhandle pistol)!  :)

As a further aside, I popped over to Worthing (West Sussex)  to buy Brass Rods for the lances, and there is a new model shop opened, A and B Gaming. Nice little shop with friendly owners selling Warmachine, Judge Dredd, Vallejo, and all sorts of stuff.
Here's thier site:

Anyway, here is the mail order, and some Praetorian Snipers which I also converted up this week.
I have added several photographs of scale comparisons to help people if they want to undertake conversion projects.
Enjoy :)

 All in bags! 
Enough bits to make 25 Cavalry.
 Heavy Cavalry body and lance tip. The torso is wearing a Cuirass rather than just a breastplate.
 Sprue of Heavy Cavalry heads wearing plumed helmets.
 Head on Cuirass.
 Heavy Cavalry mounts. 
I have 8 old Lizarman Cold Ones from ages ago and plan to have the Heavy Cavalry mounted on them to give a sci fi and Heavy Cavalry feel. 
The troopers uniform will be red coats with dark blue riding breeches, the Cold Ones I might re-piant with bright blue/turquoise hides.
 Lancers Torso.
The Lancer Uniform will be dark blue with a white front to the jacket, similar to the 17th Lancers in the Zulu Wars.
 Pith Helmet on Lancer torso.
 Hussar torso on the left, standard infantry torso on the right.
Hussar uniform will be a dark blue Dolman, with red riding breeches, similar to the 11th Hussars.
The mounted infantry will be the same as the dismounted Praetorian infantry.
 Pith Helmet heads.
 Hussar torso and legs on horse.
 Scale comparison of Curious Constructs infantry torso with two Cadian torsos either side.
 Cadian Head on torso.
 Heavy Cavalry torso on Cadian legs.
 Cadian arm onHeavy Cavalry torso.
 Cavalry all sorted out! 
I have added some Cadian parts and some of the Imperial Guard metal conversion heads. 
 Maxmini resin heads.
I bought some of these last year, and whilst the details are great, the Pith Helmets were out of keeping with the GW Praetorians...
 ...however in retrospect I have decided to add them to the Lancer torsos and probably the Hussar ones too as they are too good to waste.
The Heavy Cavalry still have the plumed helmets, and the mounted infantry will retain the Curious Constructs Pith Helmets, the spare ones of which will go into repairing a batch of old Mordians I have.
 To add the lance the idea is to drill through the hand grip and place the brass rod through it.  However I found this somewhat tricky, so just cut the hand grip off (left)..
 ...and then reattached it with greenstuff. 
The same thing happend with the lance tip. 
I will tidy it up more once it has set.
 Assembled Lancer, with Maxmini head, and on GW horse.
 Assembled Heavy Cavalry on Cold One.
 Left side view.
Converted snipers made from Mordian bodies, Catachan Sniper rifles, and GW Imperial Guard heads. 
I am planning to paint these in Rifle Green.

Next blog update will probably on how far I have proceeded with assembling the Rough Riders (and maybe even painted some!). I also plan to do a little update on Great Goblins/Gnolls, and on the wider revisiting of my Praetorian Army.


  1. Thanks for putting "The Trooper" in my head for the whole day lee !

    I love themed Imperial guard armies, it always leads to characterful forces.
    The fact you have to restrain yourself with nonGW parts just to be able to play in a GW store is a bit sad though.
    I hope we're seeing some praetorians painted soon.

    1. 'The Trooper' is always a good song to have in your mind especaially if painting :)

      I agree, I love themed armies, Imperial Guard or others. I have had lots of ideas for them over the years, and have been lucky enough to create some of them, for example the Fantasy Chaos army or the Squats, and even the Goblins.
      Looking at the Curious Construct torsos I am considering doing a Praetorian Veterans only army in Carapace armour, using the Cuirass bodies, some gasmask heads in Pith Helmets from Black Pyramid games, and plastic Cadian arms and legs. Might have that on hold thuogh as I still want to finish off some of the 3rd Edition Fantasy armies.

      I think you may misunderstand my approach concerning GW only parts and gaming. It's my fault, I probably did'nt make my design concept approach very clear.
      I have only restricted the army to largely GW parts to keep it within an authenic GW Praetorian framework, otherwise I could have just converted up an historical army. It's the same thing I did with the Squats,for them I only used 1980's models and 1980's conversion bits to keep it within a certain framwork, for no other reason than fun and as a challenge.
      I have'nt gamed at a GW store for about 5 or 6 years, but if I was too I still have the Attilian Rough Riders to use. I bought the Curious Constructs stuff because I wanted to add something similar to the GW which they did'nt do and which is in tune with the now defunct Praetorian range.
      I hope to get some painted by the next blog update :)

    2. I stand corrected (and the misunderstanding is more to blame on my poor reading and english skills than anything else really).
      I totally get the framework approach, having boundaries sometimes forces one to have more creativity which is always a good thing in our hobby (I think).

  2. With a cavalry like this, any army is sure to win a war! It's great that you've found some suppliers for your materials. How long did it take for you to assemble and paint all of them? Anyway, thanks for sharing! Looking forward to your updates.

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals

    1. Thank you Brandi,
      I have'nt actually got around to assembling and painting the models yet, as I have had several other projects to complete, but I will be re-visiting them soon. :)