Apologies for the lack of posts so far this year. I had the pleasure of being hacked last week (this site and a number of others) which is one of the reasons this post is so late. Although the actual damage incurred was quite minor and cleaned up within about 3 hours I decided to tidy up and remove any other vulnerablilites. Unfortunately I mistakenly deleted the wrong database, effectively destroying this site. It took me a further 2 days to repair the damage I’d done myself but thankfully I was able to recover everything.
Anyhow back to the work at hand…
I don’t have any work in progress shots of the arms and shoulder pads being added so the best I can do is describe my methods. I first opted to use a sword from the Grey Knight Terminators kit (great kit!) with the power generator bit carefully removed from above the hilt to make it a bit more traditional looking and also make it the correct height for the pose I wanted. The sword was re-assembled from 4 bits: the blade, the guard, the right hand and the handle (grip & pommel). The handle was pinned on but the rest of the parts glued with liquid welding glue to make sure the bond would be clean. With delicate parts superglue can be a nightmare if you’re not careful. I cut out a little gap in the base to rest the tip of the blade in and filled this with Green Stuff to make sure the tip would have a perfect fit when pushed in.
The arms started out as standard plastic arms. I basically use them to ensure the size of the arm is always accurate. Spacers (about 1mm) were adding to lengthen the forearms, and the upper arms were replaced with wire (paper clip wire is perfect) which I used to pin the arms to the torso. I then began the process of sculpting a thin skin of Green Stuff over these arms, trying to keep edges as sharp as possible. The forearms, hand, elbow pads and upper arms are all done separately and allowed to cure before moving on, otherwise you are guaranteed to mess something up.
The shoulder pads are resin casts of a single pad a made some time ago. They are pretty much a perfect size for this conversion although I had to do a little repair work on the corners. Whenever I try to repair imperfections in smooth armour I always use a soft mix of Green Stuff (as much as 3:1 yellow to blue). This helps to smooth the Green Stuff into the existing shape to keep it as clean looking as possible. Positioning of the pads took sometime to get right. It might sound like a simple thing to attach shoulder pads but the pose of this model can make them look awkward. I did a lot of trimming and shaving of bit of the model that wouldn’t be seen to get the fit just right. Now might be a good time to mention dry fitting. One of the reasons my conversions take a long time is the shear amount of testing and dry fitting of components I do during the build process. I probably spend more time looking at and thinking about a model than actually making it, but (at least for me) it’s all part of the process of getting things just right.
At this point I added some more detail to the head, an ear on one side and the usual space marine headset/plugin set up. I knew when I started the project that the swords position in the pose would likely cause some problems obscuring the face. The simple solution was to very slightly angle the head to be facing to the side. Essentially the direction of the head determines the front of the model as it’s the automatic focal point (it’s a human thing for the eye to look to the face first).
Next up was the cloak. I’d been playing around with using some wax sheets to help me with the cloak making process but it just wasn’t panning out as I had hoped so I reverted to a more standard approach. I took some of the plastic that Green Stuff comes supplied in and mixed a large amount (2:1 ratio, yellow to blue). After pressing onto the plastic as best I could with my fingers, I took the handle of my large clayshper, wet the handle and used it in a rolling pin fashion to spread it as thinly and evenly as possible (as shown above). I left this for about 1 hour before applying it to the mini.
Leaving the plastic in place I pressed it into the back of the model and tried to shape it into something well “cloak shaped”. This was then left for a good few hours before peeling the plastic off. I deliberating made this rough cloak too large, because at the end of the day you can always trim is down, but adding new Green Stuff is a lot harder. Even though this was pressed into the back of the model once it was fully cured I was easily able to remove it and the dry fitting process began.
I slowly whittled down the edges of the cloak with a scalpel making sure the overall shape was what I wanted by continually testing it on the model. Once I got the shape right I then set to work on it with “wet & dry emery paper” under a running tap, cleaning it up and sharpening edges.
Looking at it so far, I’m at the stage now where I can start detailing up, I just want to be careful not to go overboard. The back pack definitely needs work to make it more fitting for a Mark VI suit. I think the cloak needs some more work for sure, either decoration like the hydras on the chest plate or maybe more folds and flowing shapes (or both).
So far I’m really really liking how this is shaping up.
Also, here’s a quick pic of Omegon (Alpharius’ twin). As I’ve said before, I want to try and make Omegon a bit more stealthy/shadowy posed. At the moment I see him in a sneaking forward pose with him in the process of drawing his sword from a scabbard. However, we’ll have to see how that evolves.