- by Iain Wilson
Following on from the conversion article and rules card for the Epirian Scorpion Drone a little while ago, it seemed fitting to show the Karists a little love as well. Sneaky, sneaky love, in the form of the Karist Reaper Cadre. Armed with a sniper variant of the Karist Pulse Carbine, Reapers arrive in advance of the main force and are tasked with removing problematic opponents before the regular troopers have to deal with them.
Here, you'll find instructions for building the Reapers' fearsome Pulse Lance, and unofficial rules for running this unit in your games.
I've based the Reapers on the Karist Trooper, with the shoulder pads left off and the collar trimmed down to represent their lighter armour.
The unit comes with Pulse Carbines by default, but up to two models can be upgraded to have Pulse Lances. To build each lance, you will need two Pulse Carbines. You will also need some 1mm plastic rod (plastruct or similar) and some 2.5mm plastic tube.
Start by cleaning off any mould lines, and then you will need to drill a 1mm hole into the barrel of one of the pulse carbines. Use a sharp knife to prick a guide hole into the centre of the barrel, and then drill in 3-5mm with a 1mm drill bit.
Then use a sharp knife or a file to remove the barrel completely, so the front of the weapon is flat. You do this after drilling, as it's easier to find the right position for the drill while the barrel is still there.
Take the other carbine and cut the front end off just behind the front sight, where there is a groove running across the top of the weapon.
Drill a 1mm hole into the back of this piece, in line with the centre of the barrel. If you drill out your pulse weapon barrels, you can just drill all the way through.
Trim off the leftover pieces of stock around the bottom and sides.
Cut a piece of the 2.5mm tubing around 7mm long - the exact length isn't important, so long as you're consistent with it on all of your lances. There are specialist tools out there for cutting plastic rod and tubing square, but here's the quick and easy method: Grab a cutting mat with a grid pattern on it. Lay the plastic tube along on of the grid lines. Line up where you want to cut with one of the perpendicular lines, and sit the knife blade on top, also lined up with the grid. Now, gently press down with the knife as you use your other hand to roll the tube forwards across the mat. Don't stress if the knife doesn't go through in one go, just roll the tube backwards and forwards a couple of times if necessary without lifting up the knife off the tube. The rolling motion causes the blade to scribe a neat ring around the tube, and when the knife makes it through to the centre your cut piece will pop off with a nice, square end.
Cut a piece of the 1mm rod that is 3-4mm or so longer than your piece of tube. Glue this into the barrel hole you drilled in the first carbine.
Check for length before gluing the rest in place - Slide the tubing over the 1mm rod, and then dry-fit the 2nd rifle barrel to make sure that it sits flush against the end of the tube. If necessary, either drill out the hole a little more or trim down the end of the rod so that everything sits snug, and then glue it all on place.
The finished unit, ready for painting:
For an alternate take, I built the below version with a sculpted cloak and with a lance that uses one Pulse Carbine from the Trooper sprue, and a front half of a carbine from the Faction Expansion Sprue - that version of the carbine doesn't have hands modeled on, so is easier to use for this. This is a little less fiddly than the plastic tube version above, but doesn't stand out quite as much from the carbine.
If you would like to use the Reaper Cadre in your own games, you can download an unofficial rules card here
, and you can pick up the Karist Trooper kit needed to build it from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here
As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page
For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here