Sarpedon conversion and fitting in 8 legs

Sarpedon has 8 legs. Spiders have eight legs too but they don't play 40k so that doesn't help much.

What I have to do is make Sarpedon's legs look convincing enough to suspend disbelief and have people accept that it's possible for this model to be "real." To do that, I'm borrowing a little spider anatomy. Spider legs are positioned a certain way off their bodies. It's not that everyone knows exactly how they are positioned, but most people know enough when they see something that's wrong. I just need to stay away from "wrong."

To get people to believe in the model, I need to make Sarpedon's legs look the part as much as possible. It's going to take some conversion work, but it's not impossible.

The real trick is going to be how I make 8 legs "fit" around his torso. It looks like 6 is the maximum for actual space so it's going to be interesting. In the picture above, you can see that the four on the left side go past the mid point and start to take up space where the other four would need to go.

I wish I'd posted this much earlier and gotten all the great input you guys have. Even though this stage is already complete, I want to thank you guys for all the comments and help, it's much appreciated!

Here's what I ended up doing to solve the problem:

Each leg is tapered down to fit. I've got four legs on each side. He stands on the back three and both front legs are up in the air. The right front leg is the bionic one. It's magnetised so it can be removed and used as a wound counter (it's a two-wound model).

My Project Link: Follow my Sarpedon Conversion

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. A dilemma for sure! I like where you're going with the model.

    Is it stated that Sarpedon has 8 spider legs and 2 arms on his torso? Perhaps you could get away with the model having 8 limbs overall, assuming the client is amiable to that suggestion.

    As another option entirely (though it's likely past time to make the change) you may wish to consider basing the body section on the WHFB Goblin Warboss on Gigantic Spider, perhaps...

    In any case, I look forward to seeing the model come together, keep up the great work!

  2. Didn't at one point Sarpedon loose a leg? If that is the case, you'd only need to do seven, and a stub.

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  4. Couldn't you make a more oval thorax to give you the room for more legs?

  5. At first, I was with Mordian: six legs and two arms. But Nicholas brings up something important. If there are already descriptions (and history of a missing leg), I think you should research that (quickly) and try to stick to it.

    Here's some 40k info:

    It talks about a bionic leg after a battle with a Nurgle Champ.

    Here's some info on the Greek guy:

    Maybe not as helpful... but... it's here. :)


  6. You know, if you used a torso without the frontal tabard (it's taking up space on the thorax), the 8 legs would actually fit quite snugly. After mounting all the legs, you could then GS a tabard that flows & falls onto the spider legs.

  7. Spiders often have their 8 legs in pairs, two facing forward and two facing back on each side. Perhaps you could work that in with some slight extensions to the thorax so that you could fit in all 8

  8. Many spider species have smaller appendages for the fore , like backup arms. How about using tyranid Sycthing talons for six of the legs and then using Hormagaunt talons as 'mandibles' at the front. It would reduce the size overall and introduce some variety to the uniform legs.

  9. Hey Ron,

    looking better every time I see the progress. I'm not sure if these ideas are anything you haven't already thought of, but how about converting a necron warrior's arm to play the part of the mechanical leg, and finding one of the really outstretched tyranid gaunt arms to almost point rather than touch the ground as that seems to be a space issue with the rest of the legs. Perhaps replace the angled leg at the back with 2 straight ones if they fit? Then it can be shaped to fit in neatly and any unnatractiveness hidden with greenstuff but I don't know, you're the pro!

  10. Thanks for the help guys... As best I understand it, he has eight "legs" and two human arms. One of those legs is bionic as well.

    I've actually managed to fit all eight around a regular space marine torso and still leave room for the tabard in the front. After looking at some actual spider reference, I realised the legs are in pairs and face out from the body in particular directions.
    All I had to do was duplicate this setup with my model. Amazing how Mother Nature already has this stuff figured out.

    It took some tapering of the edges where the legs meet the body to get them all to fit but it's nothing that you notice when you look at the model.

  11. This is looking really good Ron, cant wait to see the finished product. As you have already figured out the probelm i will keep my two cents (i might need it later).

  12. Well, probably late to the game, but here's an old conversion of mine that might give inspiration:

    Amusingly, I did this guy up several years before Soul Drinkers to represent Daemonic Talons and the cavalry movement mutation whose name escapes me. Anyways, any time I field him now I get asked if he's a Sarpedon. :p

  13. Nice work dverning, I like that you've got him on a 40mm base too, he fits perfectly on there.


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