Monday, 29 August 2011

028 - "Never Happen...."

Firstly - apologies for the lack of posting recently. I moved house a few weeks back and I've only just this week gotten my shiny new broadband connection up and running.

Now onto business. A couple of weeks ago I entered the Iron Owl painting competition at Leeds Wargaming Center. I'd been working on something special for a while, and although I didn't win anything (the standard was very very high), I was really happy with how my entry turned out and gave me a great opportunity to develop some basic conversion skills.

One of the more amusing Malifaux abilities is called "Never Happen..." and is found on the Gremlin Hog Whisperer. Basically, it gives all friendly pigs within 12" the ability of Flight. To me this was crying out for a comically customised model, so I decided I was going to give my first Warpig some wings. Here's the final result:

I figured it'd be worthwhile showing everyone how he was made in case other people decide to do something similar.

The hardest part of the conversion was the legs so this was the part I tackled first. The Warpig comes in two halves, and the rear leg on each side is what he usually stands on, with his front legs raised off the ground as though he's charging or pouncing.

I quickly realised that if I was to raise him into a flying pose, the back legs would look totally wrong, as he would still be in a standing position with his feet flat as though they were on solid ground. I therefore decided to cut off the back legs with my trusty hacksaw, and alter their position so as to look like they were hanging down naturally when he was up in the air. I had to take a pretty big chunk out of the back of each side of the model in order to get these legs off, including destroying most of the muscles in the rear end, but I planned to resculpt them back on later. Admittedly I was quite worried after seeing my new model cut into small chunks!

On the pigs left flank, the leg turned and re-attached easily enough in it's new position without needing modification to the leg itself.

Unfortunately the right hind leg is sculpted in a bent position and needed some further work to get it to look natural. I cut into the leg at the knee joint and again at the ankle to split it into three pieces, which were rearranged into a completely new shape. Both legs were pinned back onto the body for extra strength.

The rest of the pig was assembled normally. Regrettably this model is one of those that never fits together very well, and there were loads gaps around the head and tail that needed plenty of green-stuff to fill in.

The crucial addition to my Warpig would be the wings, and I searched for a long time to find the right ones. At one point I was leaning towards the large feathered wings from Micro Art Studio, but they looked heavy and I wasn't sure they would be the right size. I toyed with the idea of stealing the wings from a GW Bretonnian Pegasus Knight, and tried to find these parts on some Bitz websites, but they appeared to be the most popular part of the kit and were always out of stock.

Despairing that my porcine friend would never be able to get airborne, I stopped by my local GW and told a staff member that I wasn't as familiar with the current range as I used to be and did he have any ideas? On their in-shop painting station they had some WIP new Dark Eldar Scourges and I knew right away I'd found my wings! I snapped up a box there and then and luckily, after choosing the right pair of wings for me (I definitely didn't want the bat wings) managed to sell the rest of the models on to Darren at the local club who wanted them for his Dark Eldar army. Win-win!

GW still make the best plastic miniatures around - hands down

The wings had a few cables and mechanical looking parts that needed carefully scraping off with a craft knife, following which I did my best to resculpt some feathers where the damage had been done. All that remained was to drill a hole for a 2mm brass rod in the base of the pig and mount him to a Wyrd Bayou 50mm base insert.

You can see at this point I had the wings in a different position. Thankfully my girlfriend convinced me to raise them up and outstretched which I realise now is a far better pose.

I got a big carried away at this point and forgot to take a picture of the model after I'd re-sculpted the hind leg muscles, but you can see the results in the final photos below.

As one of my first real conversion efforts I'm incredibly pleased with the final result, and I hope I've inspired someone to try something similar with their own pigs.

Until next time... oink oink!



winter said...

That looks fantastic! Really good work and thanks for taking the time to write up the process.