Interview with the Convertorum

Johan Egerkrans from the Convertorum give me his top 5 favourite pieces of Games Workshop artwork and speaks about his design process.

One of the hottest blogs to read at the moment (other than mine) is the Convertorum, I caught up with its owner Johan Egerkrans to ask him a bit more about it.

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A lot of the illustrations featured in the gallery section of your blog are from the late 80’s up to the mid 90’s and a lot of people getting into the hobby recently probably haven’t been exposed to the dark gothic style of artwork back then. If you had to pick out five pieces of art to introduce people which would you pick?

Choosing five favourites out of the hundreds of amazing illustrations GWs produced over the years is quite a pickle. Number one is easy though – John Blanche´s Sisters of Battle cover from their first codex back in 1997. That painting has got it all and completely nails the look, feel and attitude of the 40k universe. If I only had one picture to show it´d be that one – it´s perfect. Fun fact – the Sister superior on the cover is based on John´s ex wife.  (Pic from – here)

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The other four in no particular order:

John´s Black Templars cover from 40k 3rd edition, which pretty much sums up what Space Marines are about (or at least should be). (Pic from – here)

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Jes Goodwin´s Adeptus Mechanicus drawing (from Rogue Trader I think?) – it really captures the Imperiums view of technology and the creepiness and religious dogma of the mechanicum,  (Pic from – here)

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Paul Bonner´s drawing of Ork meks building a gargant (because I love his philosophical, happy go lucky, Orks of old). (Pic from here)

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Adrian Smith´s Nurgle vs Tzeentch (because no one captures the essence of chaos better than him) (Pic from – here)

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Am I right in saying you got back into the hobby around 2013. What made you stop and what brought you back?

Not quite. I´ve been painting and modelling off and on since I was twelve back in 1990. Since 1998 when 3rd edition of 40k came out I’ve been slowly building an Ork army and used to hang out a lot at the Waaaagh forum. However in 2012 I discovered the inq 28 community and that inspired me to start up a blog of my own and change focus from Orky contraptions to the grimdark weirdness of the Imperium. All the stuff that John Blanche, PDH, Migsula, JRN and all the rest of them completely changed how I looked at modelling and painting. Through interactions with those guys on the Convertorum and the INq28 forum on the Ammobunker I soon became part of a community in a way I previously never thought possible – it was a lot more open and inclusive than the other forums I had visited. That positive energy sort of supercharged me. It made me try new techniques and my work got exponentially better in a very short time.

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The parts that make up some of your conversions are very varied, how do you store it all? I bet you must have a platinum account with bitzbox.

I have a bunch of carton boxes from a office depot where I store all my sprues, plus various plastic boxes full of bits. It´s a bloody mess and takes up way too much space.

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I’ve seen that excellent Cairn Wraith miniature pop up several times in your work, do you have any other favourite model kits which you keep going back to?

The robed legs of the fantasy Chaos Sorcerer has popped up in quite a few conversions.

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What does the process for creating a miniature look like?

I generally start with a very vague idea and then just play around with different combinations of parts. It´s all very organic – a lot like building Lego. It´s almost always model first – concept later for me.

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I’ve seen a lot of different paints and equipment in the some of the work in progress shots of your miniatures, do you have any favourites to work with?

I like plasticard as that allows me to create stuff like parchment, purity seals and armour fast without resorting to greenstuff – I´m way too impatient and sloppy for sculpting… I’m more of a kitbasher compared to many of my peers.

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Can you talk me through how you would set about painting one of these miniatures? I’ve noticed that a lot of them have a kind a two tone sepia basecoat, how do you manage that?

I generally undercoat the minis several times – first with a black basecoat and with one or two zenithal coats of lighter colours. Often black – brown – bone or black – grey. This creates a natural shading as if the light comes from above.

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Obviously the latest Pilgrym game has gained a lot of press around the web and will be featured in an upcoming White Dwarf, how often do you game normally?

Not very often. I try to visit Nottingham and meet up with John and the rest of the crew at least one time each year and then perhaps one or two other games with modellers that live here in Scandinavia. It´s hobby first, gaming later for me.

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Skipping outside of Games Workshop for a moment, you are a professional illustrator and have a pretty excellent looking portfolio, are they available in the UK or US at all?

I think you can order Nordiska Väsen (my book about Scandinavian nature spirits/fairies) and Nordiska Gudar (about Norse mythology) from the UK through Bokus. We´re also working on an English edition of both books. (Ed: full link here)

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I had so many pictures I wanted to use to illustrate this article so I will finish by slotting them in here.

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2 Thoughts to “Interview with the Convertorum”

  1. Great interview! It’s amazing that someone could take all this inspiring artwork, mess about with it in his head, and then translate it so well into miniature form!

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