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Tyranid Conversions - Rending Claws (Ripper Swarms)

I wanted some Ripper Swarms with the Weapon Beast - Rending Claws one-off mutation (Codex, pg. 37) that confers the Rending Claws biomorph to one base of Ripper Swarms for a mere 6 points. The Codex Tyranids does not show any pictures of this. There are two basic approaches, in my opinion - mandibles, or adding arms with RC. I think the arms would look silly so I opted for mandibles.

You can simply buy:

  • the old second edition Ripper Swarms from the archive at the Games Workshop online store,
  • the Trygon Tyranid Horror from the Epic 40,000 line, or
  • the Ripperjacks from the Necromunda line.
However, I wanted them to look the same as the normal Rippers, so I thought long and hard. I wanted plastic on plastic, because of the weld like joint that plastic cement makes with plastic parts. This also would allow me to smooth out imperfections with Tenax in the same way that I remove flash and mold lines. My trick is to use the extended carapace from the gaunt biomorph sprue, bit #4, to be specific.


  • Ripper Swarm model, cleaned of flash and mold lines, and with a pinned base.
  • Cuticle clippers
  • Hobby knife
  • Faller Expert plastic cement
  • Two Extended Carapace biomorphs #4 from the Gaunt biomorph sprue*

* - this will be the limiting factor. You only get three of these in a box of Gaunts and one in a box of Warriors. I have plenty of both, so I am set.


  1. Basically, you trim off both edges that stick out along the side, as shown below, and then trim off the piece remaining. You might be tempted to try doing this with a single cut, but the result is not as good.

  2. Glue the piece to the side of the mouth, where the webbing is at the base of the jaw. The piece almost perfectly fits there. I glue both mandibles on right after one another, let the glue cure for at least ten or fifteen seconds, and then adjust the position as I see fit.

  3. I then went back and put a small drop of glue in the tiny hole/gap in the left mandible joint.