Monday, May 15, 2017

Genestealer Patriarch Throne - The Osseous Throne

The centrepiece of my Genestealer Cult of the Omega Strain is the cult's Patriarch, known as The Master, and his Osseous Throne.

In this article, I'd like to share more photos of the Osseous Throne, both unprimed and painted. However, before we get to that, I should probably touch on my...

Inspiration for the Conversion

Anyone who has been along for long enough, or who has a vested interest in Genestealer Cults has probably run across either the following piece of phenomenal art by Tony Hough...

(Due possibly to some Twitter cajoling, he even did the following colour version of the same art in recognition of his 30th anniversary as a 40K artist!)

...or the following iconic enthroned model for the Patriarch from the days of Rogue Trader/Second Edition 40k:

Any of those would be fine, straightforward, and respectable bits of inspiration for this project. However, I've always been a fan of punishment, so I, instead, took the following as inspiration from the current Genestealer Cult codex.

That throwaway reference to an "Osseous Throne" in the codex entry for boneswords is the only time the thing is mentioned in the codex (Believe me. I checked.). And it was from that virtual footnote that this whole project began.

Conversion Components

This conversion uses the following kits:
- Age of Sigmar Magewrath Throne
- Tyranid Zoanthrope kit
- 3 Boneswords and a head blade/horn from the Tyranid Hive Tyrant kit
- 2 Boneswords and 2 of the bone daggers from the Genestealer Acolyte kit
- Random Tyranid armour plates I still had kicking around in my bits box from my Tyranid Dominatrix from a Hierodule conversion

Other materials:
- Greenstuff and Apoxie Sculpt
- Copper wire
- Plasticard tube


I had initially decided that I was going to build the Osseous Throne from scratch, but when I mentioned this to the manager at my local Games Workshop, he convinced me that it would be far better to work from an actual throne, and they had just the throne for me in the form of the Magewrath Throne piece of scenery for Age of Sigmar.
It was a great suggestion as it would allow me to fully sculpt over the throne, if I wanted to, but I eventually settled on the idea of having the Osseous Throne be a hybrid of a throne that had been artificially constructed from opulent materials, but which was slowly being taken over by an organic structure.

I'm not gonna lie, the idea was also more than a little bit inspired by the Iron Throne, from Game of Thrones/ASOIAF. After all "Osseous Throne" could translate pretty literally as "Bone Throne," though it wouldn't have quite the same ring to it ;)

So I began construction by cutting down the Magewrath Throne to make it a little less vampyric (though my cult does have some vampyric links >:) ) and more receptive to eventual Tyranidification. As the bulk of the Tyranid infestation, I used bits from the very lovely Tyranid Zoanthrope kit, which I think is probably the best Tyranid plastic kit to be released since the winged Hive Tyrant. Specifically, I found a way to stack two Venomthrope bodies together to form the spine of the Osseous Throne:

I also nipped off the demon heads on the arms of the throne and replaced them with plastic genestealer heads to make it a little more fluffy.

I particularly liked the texture of the ribs/insides of the torsos for the place where the Patriarch would be reclining, and the weird, sac-like growths for the back of the osseous throne.  Also, the venomthrope back crest at the top looks a bit like a cerebro-style / hair salon unit that he can slip over his head when seated to tap into the broodmind.

I also raided the Neurothrope (?) bits from that kit, which hurt a little as I think that zoanthrope is the most stunning part of that kit.
I'm not sure where I came up with it, but I liked the idea that the Omega Strain cult was much older than other Genestealer Cults. I'm not in love with the portrayal of Cults as militaristic tenderizers that soften up a planet's populace for the eventual Tyranid smorgasbord. I wanted my cult to have a long, storied history and not be a mere flash in the pan!

However, in order to do this, they needed a way to avoid the notice of the hive mind. So, I thought, what better way to shield yourself from a galaxy/spanning psychic entity than by enslaving one of its most powerful psychic creatures and turning that creature against the entity.

That being said, it's a bit chicken-and-egg in my memory. I can't remember if I came up with first: the modeling idea that a zoanthrope head would look cool on the osseous throne, or the backstory idea that my cult would enslave a zoanthrope to hide themselves from the Hive Mind.

Regardless, I think both turned out pretty cool, and the head is the perfect thing to crown the osseous throne and make it look like it serves a greater purpose than to simply be the Patriarch's lazyboy.

Next, I had to handle the Iron Throne / Throne Made of Boneswords angle. I started with a concept that was very close to the Iron Throne:

 This did look cool and badass, but I instead chose to approach the boneswords as more than just a "look at how badass I am" statement. I wanted them to look like they served some kind of function for the osseous Tyranid organism infesting the throne, so I went back to my whole "psychic array" concept from my Dominatrix and my Patriarch: a set of armour plates or growths arranged in a way like a psychic antenna around the psyker's head as if to help them focus/channel their psychic energies.

This revised layout also let me sculpt bone-y growths across the back of the Osseous Throne, and have the swords growing from them.

To fill in the narrow area on the spine of the osseous throne and kind of mirror the shape of the old pewter one, I used a couple of Hierodule armour plates...

...which I guess is further evidence what a bits hoarder I am as I completed that conversion in like 2008. There's also a Hierodule armour plate in there for good measure :P

For the boneswords themselves, I used mostly Hive Tyrant swarmlord bits, but also this standard bonesword which I cut down rather satisfactorily:

And I mounted them on spinal-column like structures, which were made using my favourite recipe of copper wire and plasticard tube:
I then sculpted some on them to make them look a little more spinal/organic:

 Patriarch in the North!

Finally I filled in all the details with Greenstuff, and this is how it wound up looking before paint:

Though I always think I could do a little better here or there, I was pretty pleased with that. In the end it was very similar to the Iron Throne in that the television series of the thing looks like this:

But the version in George RR Martin's head is supposed to look more like this:

One day maybe I'll remake the Osseous Throne in a way closed to what I picture in my brain. For now, this will suffice :)


The Osseous Throne was painted with a combination of airbrush and brush brush methods. I love the conversion and sculpting parts of this hobby far more than the painting, so this will be much mroe brief than the previous section, but I'll try my best :P

The base, seat, and fleshy bits on the throne were painted by airbrush:

You can also see some Nurgle's Rot in the crack there. That was a late addition, but I liked the idea that the Osseous Throne was oozing out goop and infecting everything around it!

The gold/bronze of the throne was painted by brush in three stages, then washed with gryphonne sepia, then nilhide oxide, or whatever that games workshop paint is called that gives you the blue oxidization. I left the throne less oxidized and more shiny in places where the patriarch would come into contact with it.

Though I did bone colouring on the spinal growths, I wanted the boneswords and carapace plates to be the same colours as my cult. I love this colour scheme, and I've had a tough time finding good teals/aquamarines (?) across a number of different company's paint lines. I currently use a mix of Games Workshop and Vallejo paints, but I feel like these particular shades can act real strangely, where they get too watery, or they have a weirdly oily finish. I can't really explain it, but it resulted in the boneswords not being as smooth as I would have liked >:(

I also wanted the boneswords to be glossier, to I coated them in a layer of Vallejo water effects, but it picked up on the weird rough texture of the paint >:P

The brain and vascular matter is purple, because it matches my cult, and because green and purple is the greatest colour combination EVAR!

Oh, I also made sure to add some Nurgle's Rot to the back of the pristine seat cushion on the Osseous Throne to make it clear that it's all going to be infested very soon!
The only other thing to note is that, when working on the patriarch and the osseous throne, I wanted to make sure that I could remove the patriarch from it for play on a normal base. I figured the easiest way to accomplish this was a combination of pins and magnets, so here he is on his throne:
...and here he is on his base:

Like I said, I hate painting, so I feel like going on and on about it is boring, particularly since I don't have any WIP shots of the painting (It all happened in about 2 days last week :P), so if people have painting questions, please ask in the comments below, and I'll take care of them. For now, here are some shot of the osseous throne without the Patriarch in the way to mess them up!

Lemme know what you think, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions! :)


  1. That is an impressive center piece! Thanks for sharing such an extensive WIP on the throne. I like looking at finished models as much as anyone else but what I really appreciate (even more than the WIP) is the background a hobbyist shares about their piece, A where did it come from. Without being the bladed throne you made allusions to it in your model. Your master could be a Mad King. If I ever tried to model a Patriarch I don't think I'd be able to bring it out from under Tony Hough's thumb. I love that illustration as much as I did when I first saw it and can't unsee a biomorph Dune Harkonnen

    1. I know what you mean. The old, fat Patriarch is just so hilarious. However, I've always much preferred the idea of a Patriarch that is threatening, insidious, and the peak of genestealer evolution and menace.

  2. Yeah.... now that is damn cool! I love how you have taken the original concept and made it your own, with the little additions like the hive mind blocker. Really, really great stuff

    1. Thank you, Naf! It wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if I just made a newer version of the older throne :P

  3. Very impressive work. From start to finish, this came together amazingly well.

    1. Thank you, Thor! It was a bit of a scramble to get it done in time for Inner Circle, but I knew it needed to happen.

  4. Fantastic! Would you mind sharing what kinds of tools you used for sculpting the green stuff?

    1. Sure thing! Here's the article I wrote a while back about the sculpting tools I use, and I'm actually in the process of finishing a video series of those same articles :)

  5. Great work chief, wonderful to see the full progression in one post as well. Anyone reading this who doesn't follow Pink on FB is missing out.

    1. Ha! Thanks, Rory, but I'm actually most active on Instagram, and a lot of the Facebook posts are pushed from there. I have very few followers on Facebook for some reason, so I definitely appreciate it if you can share any of the facebook posts in your gaming networks on there :)

  6. Awesome stuff. A great centrepiece for the army. Now you just need to petition GW to give you new rules to match its awesomeness!

    1. Ha! Yeah! Didn't even think of that. The closest they've come is Deathwatch Overkill, where the Patriarch's Throne in the final mission gives him an invulnerable save, amplifies his psychic power, and lets him regenerate. Something like that in 40K could be fun...though it would require the patriarch to remain in one place and not be out trying to stab folks :P

  7. Lovely stuff- I saw that shoutout to the throne in the codex as well.

    1. Thanks Barks! Here's hoping it can get some more love in future genestealer cult fluff :P