This week, we finish this mini series with a splurge of smaller conversions, expanding the ‘Doom reaver look’ to the rest of my Circle models in an (almost) sensible fashion (not everything needs a Fell blade to fit in).
In the first Circle of Doom article I mentioned this ‘Orgoth’ theme was meant primarily for the more bloodthirsty elements of the faction, meaning living warbeasts and the more brutish types of infantry (Death wolves, Tharns and Skinwalkers), while all the constructs and druids would focus on an ‘urban infiltration’ theme (more on that in a future series, when I get some worthwhile progress on that front…).
As usual let start with something simple: the Argus and the Winter argus from the 2 players Hordes starter set (that is what I started with). Personally I don’t rate these lights very highly, but some multi-headed hounds would at least look cool at the front of my savage horde on the shelf, so I might as well convert them along with the rest (someday I might find a use for them).
That said, these models don’t hold any weapons, that we could apply the Screaming souls pattern to, so we have to rely exclusively on Doom reaver masks to drive home our theme. I considered putting some form of Fell blades on their helmets (something like a rhino mask with a blade instead of the tusk), but it soon became apparent that did not offer enough flat area to work our pattern into (or the blade became disproportionately big), so I ended up going with a simple unadorned reaver mask (I did these conversions long before we saw concepts of epic Zerkova and the alternative masks of her escorts; If I ever convert some more Argi, I will probably use some of the design ideas from there to get visually different models from these ones I already made).
Here is another minimalist conversion, but at least this is a model I plan to use in the majority of my lists, so I spent a bit longer on it…
As you can see, again I just added a Doom reaver mask, but in this case I also made leather straps from the mask getting under the beast’s fur and left the lower jaw exposed (much like Fenris’ mask). I considered giving it a pauldron on its left shoulder, but the position with the fists up in the air, makes it very difficult to sculpt a good looking shoulder pad on either arm; if I ever decide I need a second Gorax, I will change it’s pose (saw the arms off at the shoulder and pin them back on in a ‘smashing the ground’ position) and in that case add the armored pauldron to cover up the chopped up joint…
Now we are getting to the meat of this article: the Skinwalkers:
If you remember my earlier article/tutorial on sculpting Orgoth themed blades, you should recognize this blade; I mentioned back then this was a Naginata-like pole-arm and I sculpted this specifically to go on the Skinwalker models:
Again the conversion process is rather simple (once you have finished sculpting and casting the Fell blades with the soul pattern), since the Alpha is already wearing a full face helmet, I just had to add the reaver mask detail on top and pin my resin blade instead of the stock axe head.
In the full unit you get 2 poses for 4 grunts, which obviously annoys the Hell out of me, so I sawed off the plastic ‘belly’ pegs from the legs of 2 of the models and switched 2 torsos around, using green stuff to fill in the gaps and re-sculpt the non-matching belts. After that step the process was the same as for the UA and leader before, but in the case of the grunts with bare heads I added one extra layer of armor around the doom masks, so that they would look more in line with the helmets of the other members of the unit, while each having tiny differences.
The main effect of the torso switches was that when I added the weapons on, each model in the unit ended up holding its weapon at a different angle and having slightly different masks, making them visually different enough not to trigger my OCD pet peeves.
2nd Doom stalker:
In the first article of this series I mentioned I would make at least one more Stalker with giant Fell blade, but it had to be in a different pose than the original, so I decided to try and give it a pose where it held the fellblade with both hands… Another limitation here was that I had to make do with the bits I had leftover from the Warpwolf kit, Satyr kit and the plastic Feral you get in the starter, after I used the most convenient parts in the previous conversions.
I started with the stock Stalker head and like with the original Doom stalker, I first filled out the eyes and shaved off the front of the mask’s mug, to get an even surface to sculpt on. After that I added the typical Doom mask and in the same pattern a grill on the front of the muzzle, to go along with the mask.
After that I assembled the legs and torso and added similar details as with the first Stalker (leather strap to hold the shoulder armor and some minor gap filling…
The next challenge was the armored left arm. Since in the satyr kit you get only 1 separate shoulder pad of the right size for our conversion, I ended up using the Gnarlhorn left arm (it has the same type of pauldron, but the arm is much bigger/longer than a warpwolf’s), sawing it off at the point of the leather strap and pinning it to the Stalker’s left arm. To get the positioning right, I first glued in the Stalker right arm and then spent quite a while trying to get the arms to align properly (filing off mass from the model’s left armpit and biceps to get the arm closer to the body). Eventually I chopped up the left arm at the elbow and reposed it at a sharper angle to finally get the hands holding the swords’ hilt next to each other and used green stuff and extra armor plates to cover up the chopped up portions.
To get the model to hold the hilt with both hands I used the clenched right fist (from the stalker) and a reposed left hand (cut off the fingers, pined back on in an enclosing motion and green stuffed the gaps). I did not make the left hand fully clenched, since the angle of the hilt and the reposed arm would not meld well, so I went for a stance where the Doom stalker is ‘adjusting his grip on the Fell blade’… I think it turned out OK.
At the time of writing this article I have slowly started painting some of my models (and promptly forgot to take pics of them in the zenith unercoat phase), so here is a picture of the 2 Doom stalkers side by side with just the basecoat on (no shading, washing or highlights yet, just flat colors for now). As you can see I am going with a Legion-like color scheme, that will end up looking like my custom Ghetorix from the article in season one, but we’ll go into more details about that when I eventually finish painting this batch of Circle conversions (don’t get your hopes up; it will take me a long time to get to that point, since I just got my Ruin and I am bursting with Khador conversion ideas I want to realize before the end of summer; we’ll see how that goes…).
That concludes this mini series for now (I will certainly do more Doom themed conversions for my Circle models and post new articles about it in the future), so in the next few articles we will take a look at some more Hordes conversions that have nothing to do with Orgoth relics, before going back to my main faction… As usual if you have any comment, question or suggestion, feel free to drop by and join the discussion in this article series’ thread on the MoM forum.