It has been a month since my last article (I was pretty busy with work), but I finally managed to complete my second colossal conversion: eFeora’s personal Judicator. Like I did for my Conquest conversion, I took pictures of all the steps of the process and tried to compile them in a comprehensive manner, for those that might want to implement some of these ideas on their own colossals. Hope it helps…
Anyway, those that read my past ‘Colossal ideas’ articles, already saw some initial drawings for Judi and when I put up a poll on the MoM’s forums this was voted the most wanted colossal to be converted next in my series of articles, so I started bugging my local Menoth player to get one for me to convert and 3 weeks ago it finally got delivered to our LFGS.
My first concept sketch focused on changing the original submarine-like rocket pods for an organ-like rocket platform and moving the flamers from the jack’s torso to its forearms like a Castigator/Torch. S’tan (my old rival and commissioner for this conversion) liked the ‘flaming fists’ idea, but wasn’t too sure about the ‘Organ gun’ on top, so I took out pen and paper, drew a few alternative designs and we bounced ideas and opinions back and forth, until we were both happy with this design:
The general idea was that we wanted the silhouette of the model to feel bulkier and more threatening (bigger weapons FTW!!!), but we couldn’t just slap on 2 square missile pods from a Madcat mech, since that would not fit with the curved line styling of the rest of the model and would look too much like my own Katyusha, so I integrated the gothic style of concave lines and surfaces in the design of the pod and merged it to the original model’s rocket battery.
Once we agreed on this and a few more details (like using Feora’s helmet as base for the head re-sculpt and reposing the left fists into and open hand) I could get down to it…
Multi rocket pods
Let start with the most challenging part of this conversion: the missile pods (I have been working on these in parallel with the other parts of the jack, for the entire 3 weeks length of the conversion project).
The oddly shaped boxes with large curved surfaces that housed the rockets required a sturdy frame, so I started by cutting up several pieces of 1.5 mm thick plastic card in the desired shapes and gluing them together using the leftover triangle bits to support the corners.
Then I cut off and filed the sides and front spike of the original model’s rocket pods, glued and pinned the plastic box frame on it and used rectangular pieces of thinner plastic card (1 mm thick for the sides and 0.5 mm for the curved areas) to encase this frame.
I should point out, that for the curved part I first bent and ‘wrapped’ the thinner plastic card around a pen, to give it the desired curved shape, before gluing it on the frame (otherwise it would tend to ‘straiten itself up’ and detach from the frame while the glue was drying).
Next I had to cover up the gap where the underside of my ‘box’ joined the curves of the original pod, so I first filled out the hole, let it cure and then sculpted a large curved armour plate over it.
Now we start with more serious green stuffing. I decided to copy the ornate raised edge that is present all over the original model, to stay consistent with its styling. The ‘recipe’ for it is:
You start by flattening a small rope of green stuff next to the edges of the surface you are working on and use the knife tip of you metal sculpting tool to remove the excess putty that spilled out of the sides, when you were flattening the rope of green stuff. When you have a consistent strip of putty you use the flat strait edge of the knife tip to press further down the sides of your stip and again remove excess on the sides.
Finally you take a custom made ‘stamp tool’ (it is just a small cylinder of plastic that is 5 mm in diameter and has a 1.5 mm shallow hole drilled out of its centre, to leave the impression of the rivet when you press with it) to press down on the middle raised band at regular intervals to reproduce the pattern we want. When pressing you want to be careful not to go too deep, since it will leave an impression also on the side bands that are supposed to be flat and at even level with the impressions you are leaving with this stamp. Keep in mind the putty is being displace, so it will bulge outward from where you ae pressing and you will have to go back and re-flatten the areas around the impressions to make them nice and neat.
Now that the missile housings are done, we can start working on the multi rocket front facing. The recipe for those is exactly the same as it was with Katyusha (from my first Sculpting table article):
Here you need another round custom ‘stamping tool’; you make it by stuffing some fresh green stuff into a small cylinder (make sure that it can fit in the holes you will drill in the front of your rocket pod) and stick a lubricated rocket (or anything that would look like a missile head in that scale) into it, let the putty cure and then carefully pull out the rocket without tearing the mini mould/stamp you made. Once your new tool is finished, you can make multi rocket pods with any number of warheads (HUNDREDS!!!).
Anyway, I cut some thick plastic card in the shape of the front of the pods, but made it smaller than the pod’s box and drilled out the holes for my missiles in a regular pattern. Then I took some modelling putty and ‘sandwitched’ it between the drilled plastic card and another flat piece of plastic, to make the putty ‘pour’ out of the holes. I again removed any green stuff that spilled out of the sides and used the stamp tool to press the bulging putty into missile warheads, as shown in the sketch above.
Once those hardened I glued them to the front of the pods and made the sloping edge all around, by simply filling out with green stuff the step between the initial pod’s box and the purposefully smaller rocket front and removing the excess that will spill out the side, while you are pressing down the putty…
After that I could concentrate on the back of the pods. The first thing was raising the flat area behind the rockets. As I did for the missile housing ‘box’ I made a frame out of thicker plastic card and then encased it with thinner bendable plastic, to accommodate for the curved shape. I also added a step as I did on the front of the pod to give it the same sloped edge from this side.
To break the monotony of large flat surfaces I decided to finish things up by adding a bunch of exhaust/cooling tubes coming out from the back of the missile pod, so I cut some small plastic cylinders (diameter 3 mm) of varied lengths and glued them to the back end of the rocket ‘box’.
First I sculpted the corners and details of the 3 lowest tubes, let them cure and then added some more short cylinders going upwards and sculpted the curved junction with the 2 upper tubes.
Since the release of Colossals we have had a lot of games proxy-ing the assorted huge based jacks and S’tan settled into using the Judicator with eFeora 80% of the time, so it made sense that her personal colossal would mimic her appearance: a new head was needed.
As you can see in the pictures, I first covered up the original head’s eyes and sculpted a wider core for its hat. Then I covered the ‘mouth’ with a ‘grill’ pattern and added some armoured ‘sideburns’, to look a bit more like a knightly helmet and finished by sculpting the upper portion of eFeora’s helmet with the vertical slids for eyes.
Because we moved the flamers from Judi’s torso to her forearms, we needed to cover up the now empty sockets, so we added more tubes (you could say this was sort of a ‘detail theme’, used across the model to add details that are still coherent with the rest of the model).
Like we did with the rocket pods, I cut some more plastic cylinders, pinned them to the sides of the torso in line with the flamer’s sockets and sculpted some equally thick tubes of green stuff going in the torso over those sockets. Lastly I added a band of putty over the junction between the green stuff and plastic tube, to cover up the uneven transition.
Most gamers seeing Judi on the table will probably be first drawn to the massive rocket pods on the top of this hulking model, but right after that I expect people’s attention being drawn to these Castigator-like flamer fists, so I have put the same amount of time into these as for the missile pods.
First I had to file off a few details to make space for later elements of the conversion, then I cut and glued to the sides of the ‘wrist’ the outline I wanted for the side flamers and used some cheap plaster clay to model the rough shape of these side burners. Once the clay was dry I covered that core with green stuff and smoothed it out using larger pieces of plastic card as sculpting tools.
The next step was sculpting the grill on the front of the ‘side burners’ (admittedly the look a bit like irons), modelling the raised ornate border just like we did for the rocket pods and finish the underside of the forearm by adding some more fuelling tubes coming out of the sides…
On the other side of the forearm I glued the bigger ‘barrel’ of the actual flamer on the backside of the hand, modelled the ‘butt’ of said flamer, sculpted the decorative raised border and some other details to cover up parts I had to cut/file off.
Finally I sculpted the typical grill over most of the flamer’s ‘barrel’ and, like we did on the underside of the forearm, I added some more fuelling tubes coming out of the flamer.
The last thing I needed to take care of, before I could pin all the pieces together, was the open left hand. As you can imagine there was much sawing, cutting and filing involved. I used a modelling saw to first cut off the thumb, making an effort to damage the other fingers as little as possible; after that one was off separating the other 4 fingers wasn’t as difficult.
I had to re-sculpt the inside of the palm and patiently clean up each individual finger, before pinning them all on the new palm in the right order (I did mark down matching numbers on the fingers and palm) and finally re-sculpt the finger tips lost when cutting off the thumb of the model.
So finally I can present you my second completed colossal conversion:
When S’tan finishes painting Judi I’ll be sure to take pictures and post them back here or add them to some future sculpting article, so stay tuned. In the meantime if you have any questions of suggestions leave a comment below, as usual.Cheers:)