Next in our campaign to expand the Orgoth empowered Red Army of Doom we shall realize an old idea I got back in Mk1, influenced by the video game God of War: Doom Hunters (aka Doom reaver-ed Man Hunters). The reason I say this idea was somewhat inspired by Kratos, is mainly in the shape of my solos’ weapons; instead of the stock over-sized axes I wanted to arm them with ‘short swords/cleavers’ with the outline of Fell blades (long time followers of my hobby articles have already seen these short Fell swords in -Mission Objective 01: Piles of stuff- among the stockpiled Orgoth weapons on the Khador Armory custom objective):Besides entertaining my usual obsessions, this article also explores how to re-pose/modify two identical models to make them look distinct (I intentionally chose to use two of the same male Man hunter model, instead of going for the female alternate sculpt I have in stock).
Doom Hunter A (stock pose):
To ease ourselves into this conversion, let start with the stock Man hunter pose, however even if we don’t chop off arms or legs, we can change the ‘imllusion of movement’ the model gives by adding different ‘levels’ to the base and pinning the feet on un-even ground:In the picture above you can see how I used a little bit of cork to create a little rocky outcrop, I then covered with leftover putty from previous projects (to make it look like mounds of snow) and finally pinned the models body so that it appears to be leaning forward ‘charging down from an elevated position’. You might also notice that I chopped off the original head of the models and pinned there a smaller (slightly elliptical) ball of putty (that would be the core/skull for the head I will sculpt in later steps), while flattening a thin (0.6 mm of diameter)’rope’ to the chest and back, to represent the leather band that holds the traditional Doom-reaver’s shoulder armor over the left arm.Next I added small details to the torso (the belt buckle on the leather strap, some neck over the exposed brass rod pinning the head on the shoulders and some furry collar to cover up the area scratched while removing the original head), before getting to work on the head: first I evenly flattened a ball of green stuff over the ‘face’ of my model, used the ‘knife-tipped end’ of my metal sculpting tool to ‘cut away and shape’ the edges of the mask and while it was still fresh carefully pressed in the holes for the masks (using a small point knitting tool; you could even use a smooth toothpick), taking particular care to keep the openings evenly spread and symmetrical. After this layer cured completely I flattened another small ball of fresh putty to the back of the head, flattened the new layer of soft green stuff so that it would be lower than the edge of the mask I did previously (so that the hair looks like it is coming from under the mask, not the opposite), used one of my custom Square Flatters (one of my ghetto sculpting tools; for more information on that check out: -Circle of Doom 02: Orgoth blades-) to press in the shape of a leather strap on the back of the head (I pressed in the areas that will become hair, leaving the strap raised) and finally used another ghetto tool (Splitter) to delicately press in the lines to represent the hair on the back of the head and neck. After that putty hardened completely I added some small ‘ear mufflers’ on the sides of the mask and some knee pads on the legs.With the main body finished, I turned my attention to the arms. In the pictures you can see how I chopped up the stock axes and the areas (on the back of the hands and over the forearms) where I filed off some of the existing detail to flatten the areas where I planned to add sculpted armor of my own (if you don’t remove some of the mass you might end up with over-sized armor plates that look too bulky for comfort). Once I slimmed down the arms, I pinned them on the body and sculpted some simple armored gauntlets/bracers (keeping the base shape of your sculpted details simple helps a lot to make such elements symmetrical/consistent, which is essential if you want your conversion work to ‘blend in seamlessly’ with the original model instead of looking tacked on or out of place…).The last step in this first conversion is to sculpt a nice shoulder pad. I started by making an ‘armor-plated short sleeve’ on the left shoulder, left that to dry and then added another layer of armor higher up the shoulder and left collar bone, let that layer cure and later decided to add one more thin layer to the initial ‘plated sleeve’ (because otherwise the top end of that detail looked too ’empty’ to me). Anyway, after the completed armor pad hardened completely, I just pinned on my resin-cast custom Fell cleavers and set my sights on the other untouched Man hunter model…
Doom Hunter B (simple re-pose):
Earlier in this article I mentioned how an uneven base can contribute significantly to the impression a model gives, so let us put that concept into practice here:I used some cork and green stuff to make the second base in the same way as the first, but in this case I pinned the model to make it look like he is ‘stepping up’ onto the rock outcrop rather than down from it, which angled the torso to stand upwards rather than leaning forward. As before I chopped off the original head and in this case I also carefully sawed off the right arm with a hobby saw, in order to re-pose it later on. Besides that the process here followed the same steps as the first Doom hunter (leather straps on front and back, small sphere of putty in place of the head and minor details like fur collar and buckle on the leather band on front…).Continuing in the same style I then sculpted the head, making the hair on the back a bit longer and finally pinning on both arms angled downward closer to the body to get a more ‘at-ease’ pose and suggest this Doom hunter is ‘observing the battlefield for his next target’ rather than charging forward swinging like my first converted Man hunter.Upon further observation I realized the right shoulder came out a bit awkwardly (bulging a bit unnaturally), so I covered it up with a nondescript pelt, at the same time I was sculpting the first layer of armor plates on the left shoulder. After that dried completely I added one more layer of green stuff over the left collar bone to bulk-up the shoulder pad and finished thigs off by adding some smaller leather straps connecting the fur patch on the right arm to the leather band ‘holding’ the armor in place and after it was all cured completely pinned on the same Fell cleavers as the first Doom hunter.
Painting:In the picture above you can see the 2 completed conversions undercoated in black/grey/white as usual, but here I also wanted to point out another small detail to differentiate the 2 solos: the stock Man hunter has 3 pouches on its belt, but back when I was hacking off heads I also removed 2 of the pouches from the first hunter and a different pouch from the second one, leaving them with different set ups on their belts. Additionally I used a pair of ‘trophy heads’ (from Butcher2’s model) tied to the belt of the first hunter, to cover up some of the worse ‘damage’ left after I filed off the details in that area. This is a small thing observers won’t consciously realize, but still adds to the impression that these are 2 distinct models, rather than the same model with the arms at a different angle.The paint job followed my ‘usual’ process: first I applied neatly all the base colors, giving one or 2 extra layers of highlights to the dark green of the cloth, the reds of the armor pieces and the bronze on the belt buckles and pommels of the swords. After coating everything with a matt spray varnish I applied a brown (burnt umber) oil paint wash to all the colors except the green cloth and blades, left it 15 minutes for the spirits to evaporate, feathered it with a dry brush, scrubbed off excess paint with Q-tips moist with paint thinner and feathered the transitions between ‘clear’ and ‘washed’ areas to smooth the gradient of shade. Then I left the models to dry overnight and sealed them in the morning with another coat of spray satin varnish, so that I could add the final highlights and accents to the metal colors (to give them back the metal sheen they lose with the multiple coats of varnish and the oil paint wash), reds of the armor plates, green glow of the Orgoth blades, skin of the arms and the fur all over.
After covering the white areas of the base with snow flock the Doom hunters are really finished. Above you can see the completed conversions from multiple angles…… and here they are together with their other crazed comrades in the slowly growing Red Army of Doom!
That will be all for this episode; if you have any questions, suggestions or comments as usual check out this article series’ thread on the Muse on Minis forums ( -Linky- ).