That's no parasite.
THIS is a parasite!
Okay, so, the Talos model is phenomenal. I love the damn thing, which should be apparent from all the bits from it that I've used in my Wracks and Grotesque conversions. The only reason I haven't modeled a Talos yet is that, for me, there is no challenge to it; nothing needs to be improved. You take that model out of its box, assemble it, bog-standard, and you've got a work of art!
The Cronos Parasite Engine, however, is another story. I understand that they needed a secondary model to build out of a Talos kit, but for me the fluff doesn't match up with the suggested model that is built off the Talos kit. You've got this PARASITE that feeds off the SOULS of its victims, repackaging the unused lifeforce and beaming it out to other nearby Dark Eldar models. This thing, as far as I'm concerned, is the single GRIMMEST unit in the Dark Eldar codex. It gives me chills up my spine the same way the Doom of Malantai did when I first read its fluff.
But then you've got this to represent it:
Sure, they did some good work at adding in grubbins to change it up, but the two are still too close to me, and the Cronos still looks far too mechanical to be a parasite.
Thus, I took it upon myself to convert a proper Cronos model out of the Talos kit, and I tried to capture my inspiration for it in the following rough sketch:
Even if I'm not 100% sold on the Cronos model itself, the niddy side in me does love those tentacles:
In that initial concept, I thought a good way to break from the standard Talos design would be to open up the creature's back carapace and expose the spine. I wandered further and further down that path, and eventually it fused with a similar line of wondering about how I would represent the spirit vortex. I wanted it to be more organic and horrific, so I thought about having the rune shape of it carved into the Cronos' flesh. When I thought about where to situate the thing, The back seemed like a natural place for it. As I didn't want to go to the trouble of resculpting all those intricate shapes, I took the lazy way out and stamped a negative of the pattern using the actual bit:
Coven of the Unmarred Fluff Article last week, I touched on the crazy Cronoses that the Coven employs. I mentioned witnesses hearing moans coming from the creatures back, and those moans are meant to be coming from these unfortunate fellows.