Greetings. This time we will take a look at some more Circle conversions, that for a change have nothing to do with cursed Orgoth artifacts, but are somewhat ‘heretical’ nonetheless: customized plastic Warwolves and a ‘kit-bashed’ plastic Laris.
I should point out that the conversions in this article are ‘NOT LEGAL’ for official Privateer press run events, since none of them use any parts from the original models they are supposed to represent and, in the case of Warwolves, don’t even have any PP’s parts in them. If that doesn’t bother you, keep on reading…
Long time followers of my articles might have picked up on the fact that I get particularly annoyed by repeated sculpts on my models (which is a big reason for my heavy conversion obsession), in particular when it is about solos you field multiples of, like for example Warwolves (there is one single metal sculpt for this FA 3 solo). Obviously the first alternative Wolf models that came to mind were 40k Space wolf Fenrisian wolves kit: 5 plastic wolf each with a different pose and a few alternative heads for a surprisingly acceptable price (considering it is GW); all they need is some Circle armor and they’re good to go…
Before I started putting green stuff on plastic, I made my bases using some ‘miss-cast’ base toppers with flag stone floor pattern (I cut off the portion with too many bubbles to salvage), leaving a lower empty area on each base. The idea is for the depressed portion to be flocked with grass to represent the edge of a park/wood the wolf pack is charging out from, onto the paved sidewalks/streets of the town.
Another reason I left a ‘bare plastic’ area on each base, was to allow me to glue the models directly on plastic using plastic cement glue (something that doesn’t work with PP’s Restic or on my resin bases), for a solid bond without pinning (since all the poses are running/leaping off and conact the base with only 1-2 paws).
As you can see on these first 3 pictures I cut off some of the fur on the wolves’ necks and back, to flatten the area where I planned to add armor. After gluing the models on the bases, I sculpted some circle plate armor on their backs, keeping it simple (so that I could repeat it consistently on all 3 models) and different in design to the armor plates Argi have.
When the sculpted armor was cured I added some leather straps to act as collar and to fasten the armor to the beast. To get the straps you simple roll a thin (less than 1 mm in diameter) ‘rope’ of green stuff, add a small drop of super glue along the line the collar will cover and then flatten evenly the ‘putty rope’ to the model. When that was dry and hard I glued the wolf heads (had to finish these details beforehand, because the fur around the head would otherwise get in the way of the sculpting process).
As we did for the back armor, I first cut off excess fur on the top and back of the head, to prepare an even flat surface to work on. To sculpt the helmets, I first added a hexagonal armor plate on top of the wolf’s head with the usual Circle pattern, waited for it to cure and then added back plates (to cover up the joint between head and back armor) and ‘metal sideburns’
So, what is wrong with Laris’ original model, you might ask… Not that much (I don’t particularly like his ‘mug armor plates’), but that is not the point here! I have the plastic pKaya model from the battlebox and since I am not particularly inspired by her rules, I decided to use her as eKaya, which meant I needed a Laris to go along with her (eventually I will convert Kaya’s model as well, but that isn’t such a pressing matter at the moment, so the missing pet takes precedence). After all the Orgoth converting, I had a leftover Ghetorix metal head, an Argus body and a bunch of arm/head bits from the Warpwolf and Satyr heavy kits, so I decided to try to kit bash these bits together to make my own custom Laris.
Because Laris is a character, I gave him his own sculpted custom urban base to stand on. While dry fitting the part I was planning to use, I noticed the tail+body+head length would considerably overhang off the base, which can be annoying for gameplay, so I went with some marble stairs beside the usual checkered tiles floor, to angle the model upwards, thus hopefully mitigating the ‘overhang problem’. As you can see I first cut some 1 mm thick strips of plasticard to build up the core of the sculpted stairs and made the outer edge match the curve of the base. After that I sculpted the tiles of the floor (first neatly imprint the major lines for the tiles pattern and then add minor details like cracks and dents to break the monotony and hide minor smudges and irregularities in your pattern). Next I sculpted each stair in turn: let each level dry before going up, since the process of flattening the putty to the plasticard base would inevitably mess up the steps sculpted before, if they are not cured.
Now, let us get to the main conversion work: comparing Ghetorix’s head and the Argus body, we can see they are fairly out of proportion, so I started by sawing off the front legs at the ‘elbow’ and extending that middle portion, using green stuff to fill in and re-sculpt that joint (for such organic surfaces is best to use silicone tipped sculpting tools). In a similar manner I elongated the ‘torso’ and finally attached the head to the body, using super glue and putty to properly fill the gap at the connection between body and neck.
In the next step I sculpted Laris’ trademark ‘scarf’ (also to cover up the messier neck joint) and used the leftover green stuff to build up a ‘hunchback’ on the upper back of the model (in order to make the mismatched head-to-body proportions less jarring I planned to beef up Laris’ upper body, much like a Bulldog from the Tom & Jerry cartoons). After that dried, I sculpted the helmet (as mentioned I am not a fan of Laris’ original model head armor, so I made up my own design for it), by first applying an thin layer of sculpting putty to the area, getting the surfaces and edges all neat and tidy and (while it was still soft) went back with my ghetto sculpting tools and slowly imprinted the traditional circle armor pattern into that layer (same method as I used to the Warwolves, just shallower depressions).
Then I started sculpting the back armor in ‘4 bands’ sections (meaning you sculpt 4 plates and let them cure, then go on to the next 4 and so on…): from the picture you can see I alternated textured armor plates and studded plates, following the same process as the helmet to make the textured portions. I kept on adding armor plates until I got to the tail end. At that point I sculpted some fur coming from under the armor, mainly to cover up traces of the original argus armor at the sides of my additions.
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments (speculations on what on Earth am I converting next…), feel free to join the discussion on the MoM forums (-linky-)and until next time, Cheers!!!