Thursday, April 02, 2020

Old Strains: Genoproject and the Genestealer Hybrids

Or, "How I once converted a Eldar Genestealer and Ork Genestealer"
What feels like a thousand years ago, the revised plastic Genestealer kit released to much fanfare. However, that fanfare was pretty negative as this was the early days of the Internet, and the advance photo of the new plastic Genestealer that leaked was taken from the front, the with crumby, potato phone camera pointed right up its nose!

Thus began Stealergate: the controversy of the entire 40k community panning the new genestealer models before they were even released for having giant nostrils, and Jes Goodwin swearing off the online community for them having prejudged a model they hadn't even seen yet.

So, when the new plastic Genestealers finally released in the Battle for Macragge they did so under a bit of a pall. However, there was a group of us Tyranid hobbyist who couldn't be dissuaded by net negativity. We appointed ourselves Goodwin's Army, and we decided that we would embark on a project to show what the plastic Genestealer was really capable of!

Or at least I think that's how we started. Regardless, the Genoproject was born!

What happened next is that we all set to work trying to imagine what Genestealers would look like if they were grown from different 40K races (since your run-of-the-mill Genestealers are all produced from human stock). If an Eldar were infected with the Genestealer parasite, what would that look like? And an Ork? A Tau or a Kroot?

You get the idea.

The phenomenally talented artist Warren Beattie got us started with some sketches:

First up, his concepts for an Eldar Genestealer:

Then, for an Ork Genesetealer

Here is a mix of the two, trending into Xenomorph territory

And I believe this was meant to be a Tau Genestealer, but we decided that would probably be a dead end mutation :P
Warren even took a run of his own at kitbashing and sculpting one of his sketches for the Ork Genestealer:

...which are pretty damn fine and makes me wish that Warren was as prolific with sculpting and kitbashing Tyranids as he was at drawing them back in the day.

Anyway, informed by equal parts Warren's sketches and my own musings for how Ork or Eldar DNA would influence the Genestealer parasite/virus, I sculpted and bashed out my own take on both an Eldar and Ork Genestealer.

However, I had no photos of them. In fact, until recently, I had actually forgotten I'd even made these models!

When I remembered them only recently, I went digging through all my old model photos to try and find record of them, I came up empty! What's more, since I had created them in...I think the photo timestamps say 2005?...they hadn't been preserved anywhere on the Internet other that, and when that fell to the spambots, the photos fell with it!

What's more, I had sent the model themselves to Marco in Germany so that he could properly photograph them for, and he'd never sent them back.

So I found myself in this weird place where I knew I had created these models, but I had absolutely no living record of them!

...Until I realized that, buried in one of my 40k folders, I had a complete photo backup of from soon after Marco had lost the domain rights. And, luckily, the models were in there!

So, here you are: my original concepts for a Eldar Genestealer and Ork Genestealer hybrids--likely the only record these things ever existed since who knows what Marco's done with the originals at this point.

Of the two, the Ork is my definite favourite, and you can see that he has the prototype for the Strain-inspired Genestealer Kiss tongue that I later explored on my Genestealer Patriarch model. I still remember fighting with Warren over his lantern jaw. Warren maintained that the Genestealer virus would clearly correct that particularly dead-end genetic abnormality, but I was dead set on the fact that a Ork Genestealer needed a lantern jaw!

It's weird to look back on these things now and to be surprised by what I managed with greenstuff fifteen years ago. I maintain that, had I kept at it consistently back then, and not let my hobby languish for long years, I'd likely be even better at it now!

Oh well. The past is passed. However, I'm still glad that I was able to resuscitate this particular kernel of history to live on here on the blog.

Let me know what you think of them, and whether you think I should take another run at newer versions of them >:)


  1. Hey Nick,
    just had them in my hands two days ago - along with printouts of Warren`s sketches. Just give me your current address and I`ll send them back. All the best Marco (great nostalgic read btw)

    1. Good to hear from you, buddy. Not sure how is best to contact you. I tried messaging on FB, but no response. You can reach me at modernsynthesist - at - Gmail - dot-com

    2. Also, not sure if you've seen, but I've got pretty much all of your Nid work posted up here so people can find it.


  3. "The phenomenally talented artist Warren Beattie"

    Oh piffle. But an idle scribbler compared to the great work put in by you and... holy moley, is that Marco?!?

    (Honestly, I'm very flattered by the praise and the fact that you guys have held onto my part of this stuff for so long, but I look at these sketches now and I cringe a bit!)

    I can't rightly remember my reaction to the new stealer plastics. The 'I hate genestealers with nostrils!' thing seems like something I'd (ironically?) thumb my nose at.

    1. Cringe you say? That sounds like someone who's eager to take another run at these concepts and, perhaps, produce some NEW SKETCHES?

      Seriously, dude. These still hold up, after all these years. I'd love to see what you could do if you think these are now low level.

      Regardless, good to see you, and glad you spotted the light from the glass candles I still burn for you.

      If you're looking for sculpting tips, I've now got a fair few on my YouTube channel. Just search Modern SynthesisT. DON'T FORGET THE T!

  4. Man, these are brilliant! I actually think the Eldar 'stealer is my favourite, at least in part because of that delightful spine. The Ork version is great too though, I love the ribcage structure. I do kinda feel like if you were to have another go at the concept, a more fungal influence would be cool given Ork biology.

  5. I agree that the lantern jaw is totally killer, and necessary. I have to build one of these orc conversions.

  6. I love how the Eldar genestealer looks like it’s flipping you off
    Even as a genestealer they’re still pricks

    But I would definitely love to see some more stealer conversations
    Love your stuff

  7. Thanks Alexander! It would be fun to revisit these now, about 15 years later, to see how I'd do it differently. And the eldar stealer is just warning that he's coming to F you up!