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A Conspiracy of Ravens

Well met my vengeful brothers and sisters, we gather again to swell the ranks of the Word Bearers once more. This time with another example of our Master's plans coming to fruition in the form of a worshipful cult. Kind of a weird one this time, presenting the Corvid Cabal:

It is fair to say that I love almost everything that has come out of the Warcry range so far. Enough to make me seriously consider playing a game based on AoS, my "mehness" over which is long documented. When putting together plans for the Word Bearers however, I hit upon an idea. Some of these warbands are ripe for conversion over to 40k and use as wilder cultists. Rubbing my hands in evil glee I ordered a box and found a couple of spare models on ebay to round the unit out to 10. I'm not using the dude on stilts in the main army. He's just too bonkers. Instead I shall use him as a roleplay mini as the shaman of the whole cult. Just like all my cults, I'm assuming there are a couple of hundred in the Corvid Cabal. We just see 10 of them in a unit.

Before we delve into the details of modelling and painting we need to do two things, the first? Marvel at this miniature. It. Is. Gorgeous. The leader of the Corvid Cabal is clearly not someone with whom you should mess. Stunning Sculpt. The second? Well we need the backstory for the Corvid Cabal (which has definately not been written primarily to annoy Tom's Raven Guard, honest) and for that we turn once again to our mysterious narrator.

"The Corvid Cabal are rather special to me as I recruited them personally. I found them in the rebuilding ruins of a city called Tarno on Samalut IX. I was wandering the Imperium on one of my periodic reccees looking for potential and found myself on a world that had narrowly defeated an Ork Waaargh. It turns out that our misguided and holier-than-thou cousins of the Blood Angels and Raven Guard had been instrumental in this effort, in Tarno especially the Raven Guard were held in high esteem. Well, as high esteem as any thousand diluted imitation of their former might might be. Such was their reputation that something of a cultish worship of the Raven had sprung up as a symbol of the Emperor's protection and a Gnostic sect was forming around this worship. 

"The Imperium, ignorant to the laws of cause and effect as they always, always are, were attempting to deal with this sect by destroying it utterly. As a result, there was already a state of undeclared civil war in Tarno with magistratum backed by Imperial troops raiding homes and fanes and arresting any who were found there. Shrouded in falsehoods I walked among the people of Tarno for a time, watching the progress and saw an opportunity. I joined the cult and through discussion and some telepathic manipulation twisted the minds of the shamen away from seeing the Emperor as the saviour raven. There were other powers out there that deserved their worship more. For a time I thought they would choose the Great Deciever as their totem, but the symbology of death and carrion carried them to the Grandfather's loving arms. I convinced them through dreams that escaping Samalut would be their salvation and so, stealing away aboard transport crates, the cult moved into orbit. They took over the sprint trader, I forget it's name, and headed for the Eye. I revealed my true self and guided them to their new home."

Obviously, being fantasy figures, there was going to be some conversion work needed to make them 40k-worthy. Most urgently a special weapon of some kind, given that the cultists can only have flamers or heavy stubbers in the rules (thank you Chapterhouse, y'gits) I figured a flamer would make more sense. I decided to make a jury-rigged home-made model so completely scratch built the thing:

I started with a couple of lengths of plasticard tube, drilled a bunch of holes and then fitted them together to form the shroud for the barrel. I attached that to a larger, rectangular lump of plasticard and fitted that to the arm. I bent a length of thick wire into the feed tube for the pilot light (inexpertly blobbed on with greenstuff), and added a guitar wire feed tube from the tanks on the back of the model. I had to shave away a lot of feathered cloak to make the tanks fit so they needed to be re-sculpted back in. A couple of thin plasticard strips over the vambraces to be the stabilising staps finished the thing off. I then hid my terrible modelling crimes with paint! Turned out ok!

All the others were converted with a variety of Necromunda and Genestealer Cult pistols. If they had a raven I left it because 1: they're cool, and 2: I figure a weaponised bird to the face is worth an autopistol. The pistol hands fit perfectly at the wrist. Very happy.

I wanted a variety of skin tones in the cult. In general I'm going to try to do this, partly to contast with the universally very pale marines and also to inject a little believable ethnic diversity into the army. As usual this meant a range of colours mixed from Burnt Umber, through Beige Brown up to the Caucasian Cadian Flesh. All of the Corvid Cabal are somewhere on this spectrum. It really increases the time taken to paint the unit but I love the effect. Trouble was, they still weren't looking properly 40k, they looked like fantasy minis with guns. Then I added the gang tattoos and everything became loveliness. The modern style body art pulled them the last few inches into the future that they needed and suddenly they were 40k miniatures.

And that's all folks! Hope you like the Corvid Cabal, would love to hear your thoughts and any similar projects you've embarked upon! Until next time, lovely people



  1. I feel the urge. The urge to purge!

    1. You know what you did, cousin of the 19th...

  2. Isn't it a Murder of Ravens... even more creepy. These look great, love the converted Flamer and the choice of mini for that weapon, some sort of macabre dance.

    1. Murder of Crows. Conspiracy; Congress; or sometimes an Unkindness of Ravens :)

      I loved the dance-like movements too, very shamanic

    2. Although ha! Further research indicates that Murder is sometimes ALSO used for Ravens. Sheesh English, have a word with yourself:

      " A group of Jays are called a band, a scold or a party of jays.
      A group of Magpies are called a tiding(s), a charm, a flock, a gulp, a murder, a mischief, a tittering, a conventicle, a tribe, or a congregation of magpies.
      A group of Crows are called a murder, a mob, a horde, muster, hover, parcel or storytelling of crows.
      A group of Ravens are called a congress, a conspiracy, an aerie, a murder, a storytelling or an unkindness of ravens.
      A group of Rooks are called a building, a parliament or a clamour of rooks.
      A group of Nutcrackers are called a ballet, a booby, a jar or a suite of nutcrackers.
      A group of Choughs are called a clattering or a chattering of choughs.
      A group of Jackdaws are called a train of jackdaws."


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