Friday, September 2, 2011

From the Mailbag: Carapace Vets

by: farmpunk

Here's the e-mail, it's about what models to use for Carapace Vets:

Hi folks,
Long time reader of your blog and a big fan.  Thanks for putting out such useful information for WH40k players at large, and especially Imperial Guard players.
I have a question that I was hoping you might be able to help with, if you have time.
What models do you use for Carapace vets?  I've been reading some information Sandwyrm has posted about carapace blocking vets in larger point lists, and I'd be interested to try this... but I'd prefer not to have to buy the Kasrkin metal models.  Are there upgrade bodies with better armor out there?
Thanks in advance for your help.

 It all depends on your frame of reference. Since Sandwyrm uses Tallarns, and I use Tallarn/Praetorian/Steel Legion, we've got easy options for getting that Carapace look. Cadians are more heavily armored that any of the above, and more heavily armored than Catachans, too. If you feel the need to distinguish them more, it's not too hard to greenstuff some shinguards for your cadians. If most of the older line of IG are outfitted with sweaters for a 5+ save (ork T-shirts give a 6+), Cadians put on their Leather Jackets, and can earn a 4+.

If you've got any of the lightly armored IG, I'd go with Cadians.
Praetorians, Mordians have the same range, different heads.
Tallarn troops

Steel Legion troops
Catachan troops

Cadians come stock with a little more armor than your average guardsman's sweater.

If you're working with Cadians, I'm afraid your options are slimmer. There are Stormtrooper models available from GW, as well as the Kasikrin models. You could even use Space Marine scouts, who are 4+ saves.
GW Stormtroopers

GW Kasikrin models

If you don't care if you're using GW models or not, I've always liked models from Pig Iron productions.
They've got 3 ranges that might fit the bill, depending on how 'heavy' you want your carapace to look. You could also do some headswaps with Cadians, and get a heavier look with primarily GW models.
Pig Iron Production's Colony Militia
First are the colony Militia figures. I like them a lot, they are close to a Steel Legion look, having greatcoats, gas masks, and German inspired helmets. If you're using some of the lighter GW IG troops, these guys might fit the bill.

Pig Iron Production's System Troopers
If the Colony Militia don't have a heavily armored enough look, The System trooper is a slight step up. I think these guys look more like a Kasikrin equivalent. Gun swaps may be needed, but you might want to swap them on colony militia too.

Pig Iron Production's Heavy Infantry
The Heavy infantry line are the 'heaviest' looking guys Pig Iron has. If they're not carapace, I don't know what is. I think they might even be bordering on Power armor. I think they're firmly in Carapace land though.

Whew. That seems long winded for what to use for Carapace. There are even more model options out there. I covered 2 sources. I hope that helps! Let us know what you do.


  1. You left off the classic - space marine torso with Catachan arms and legs.

  2. ok. you got me. I did forget that.

    But that's why you're here. ;p

  3. you could also use riot shields on normal cadians to represent the carapace armor. simple to make and implement, and visually very distinctive.

  4. I used Cadians, up-armored with some leg armor from the fantasy range for mine:

  5. I really like those, Hudson. The leg armor helps a lot to flesh out the carapace feel.

    There was a guy in Central Illinois who did something similar. I think he cut his from sheets a greenstuff.

    I like yours better.

  6. Thanks, Farmpunk! Really I was just shamelessly flogging my own blog. :-)

  7. I like the bubble heads on the storm troopers... i've not seen them for a while, but they look similar to when they jump onto the mining thing in the star-trek film. they look great on storm troopers in planes.

  8. When the Cadians were first released around '99, I remember GW saying in White Dwarf that they were specifically designed to go either way on the carapace/flak armor divide.

  9. SM scouts seems to be the norm from my many Google searches and forum trawls, which may be the route I go down for my glory boys or vets in my own guard army but am still undecided.


  10. A few years back I bought some Guard secondhand from some guy to add to my growing collection of footsloggers. He had used bits from the starship troopers miniatures wargame to add extra armor to some of the models. They make really nice carapace armor on normal cadian models. Here is a picture of the starship trooper minis.

    The armored pads are the ones I'm referring to of course, shoulders, knees, legs, etc. YOu can tell from the pictures that the minis themselves are way off on proportion compared to the 40k guard models, but the pads work great!

    Another picture of them

    I have around 10, so a full squad of carpace vets.. If you're interested I can post some pictures of them to give you more of an idea

  11. Vostroyans also make great carpace armored troops.

    With my Mordians I decided to grab some Kasrkin models off of eBay since I plan to have them riding around in my Vendettas, I think of them as "Navy" boys anyway.

    My original plan though, and one I'll go back to for the strictly ground vets was converting up some Praetorians into having spiked helmets (pickelhaube) to match my Mordians but still stand out.

    Ultimately I think that's the only key here, is to have them stand out some way from your non-carpace armored troops. You don't necessarily need bulky armored minis, just think of them as more resilient or tougher troops that shrug off damage/hits better.

    I did the same thing with my fantasy Vampire Counts. I wanted my vamps to look more traditional and not a bunch of evil knights. There's more than one way to explain an armor save.

    Unless your opponent is a jerk, I don't think anyone would have a problem with anything you come up with as long as they can differentiate them from your regular Joes. If they ARE a jerk, who cares what they think anyway...


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