German civil servant Florian Kschonek spent six weeks making this custom Warhammer 40k Blood Angel helmet, complete with catastrophic battle damage. Kschonek tells us he only started making Warhammer 40k props in the Autumn this year – but the gory Astartes helmet sold to a collector on the strength of work-in-progress photographs.
Kschonek tells Wargamer he was inspired to create the helmet after seeing a cutaway illustration of an Ultramarines helmet revealing its inner wiring, and after discovering a badly broken prop helmet at a flea market. The choice of which Warhammer 40k faction to use in his creation simply came down to colour: “I thought about whether I should do Dark Angels or Blood Angels”, Kschonek says, “But then I preferred the red one”.
It took Kschonek six weeks to renovate the helmet. “There were really many things to consider here, filling, sanding, glueing, modelling, the drying times – and all this in addition to normal work and everyday life”, he says. Despite these pressures on his time, Kschonek managed to sell the prop before he had even finished it. “I listed it on Facebook for review, asking for suggestions on what I could do better… and immediately had a buyer.”
Kschonek has made and painted Star Wars helmets for two years in his part-time prop-making business ‘TK2803customs’. His day-job is working for the government, but he enjoys the self-expression that his prop-making side hustle allows him: “I can develop my creativity here”, he says. Although he’s new to Warhammer, he’s settling in well, saying that he enjoys the “absolutely free creativity” of the IP. There may be more custom props to look forward to from Kschonek in the future.
Kschonek constructed the Space Marine helmet from a grab-bag of materials, listing “3D printing, Worbla (thermoplastic), latex, foam, modelling clay, acrylic, a spatula, metal and plastic parts from everyday life.” He often gets materials from “everyday rubbish”, adding “before my wife or family throws something in the trash, they ask if I can use it”.
Kschonek connects his work to the fine history of trashbashing in the movie SFX industry, saying: “George Lucas also assembled props from everyday rubbish”. There’s a similarly strong tradition of making things from junk in the world of wargaming. Recently, we saw how a prop maker made incredible Star Wars Shatterpoint scenery from bits of PVC pipe and a toy microphone, while Warhammer 40k fans of a certain vintage will remember Rick Priestley’s deodorant-stick landspeeder in the original Rogue Trader rulebook.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi props but don’t know what kind of scowling brute would wear this helmet, we have a guide to Warhammer 40k Space Marines which introduces their lore (as well as their role in the tabletop game). Or if you’re a 40k fan who doesn’t have the foggiest how Kschonek made something as cool as this, you can take your first steps into a craftier world with our guide to painting miniatures.