It's about that time again, I've been involved in a staring contest with a GW stegadon that's been sitting on my desk for...a while....anywho I'd better get an intro thrown into this one. I'm hoping to turn this into a two parter at most and although this one will be much lighter on the technical and complexity/difficulty side, it's still vital to be mindful of what you'll have to do at later stages. I've also decided to change style a little by keeping things lighter on the descriptions.
I've also thrown in a small segment at the end on sculpting easy and quick, or hard and time consuming
Attempting this is a higher end conversion in terms of difficulty, there's going to be a lot of texture work in later stages and it should also go without saying, DO NOT ASK ME TO CAST, OR COPY THIS
. Even if the IP breach against GW wasn't the problem, I'm not even going to attempt to do the artist below a discourtesy by lifting his art for commercial gain.
So this is the GW Stegadon...
It's basically supposed to be a triceratops like dino beast that runs into enemies, squashing trampling and generally crushing them.
With those dinky little legs, none existent shoulder blades, connective tissues, muscles, oddly placed bony plates, broken hips/ankles/cankles and general assortment of weird anatomy, it's not going to do that. In fact, at best it could probably collapse and die for all the various issues it has with existing, let alone moving.
*Puts away the vitriol*
Some of you may think I'm being overly harsh here and my response to that, is you should hear what a couple of friends of mine (two palaeontologists, one of whom studied smilodon fatalis bite pressure and mechanics for her masters, the other, T-rex) had to say on the matter (I'm not even going to broach the subject of their stance on the importance of anatomy).
That being said I finally made the move to begin converting my stegadon kit into something I wanted to have in my army (before it gets canon sniped on turn one and does bugger all...). A good start point always comes from inspiration, which in this case comes in the form of the work done by
, his work is espresso for the mind, his style is unique and exceptionally thought provoking.
This piece here is my starting point, I loved Primal rage as a kid and his work with it makes it all the more awesome.
The pose for Armadon was what grabbed me, the tail, the body, it really stands out, so I decided to emulate it using the pieces I already have, though this does require a large amount of chopping and changing (miniature chop shopping, but without the cars).
First part is nice and easy, stick bits which you need to go together, together.
Next stage requires drilling holes through the limbs and inserting brass wire before gluing and sealing them in place with glue and putty (apoxi sculpt).
Whilst waiting for this to dry I begin to change the head, bringing it back more to the original design of a frilled dinosaur, this not only includes the beak, but also moving the eyes to a more protected/realistic position on the head.
I begin to add contours and textures, as well as pits to the peak for nostrils.
Moving back to the rear end, I pin the legs on to the brass wire, leaving loads of space and gaps, but these (like the angles of the feet, detail and bony landmarks) will be getting sculpted on to and over at the detail stage. For the moment the focus is to simply build up a rough armature. Layers are applied with apoxie sculpt (far cheaper, easier and quicker than using green stuff at this scale) on top of thicker brass wire and then manipulated and re-shaped as it hardens.
Going back to the head, my focus moves away from the snout and I being a rough structure for the eyes.
With the head already changing and the body not far behind, the crest will also need some adaptation, in this case it will need to be longer and spikes re-positioned.
I then cut some of the spikes off completely (but do not throw them away), use apoxie sculpt to position the crest further away, give it a new structure and some stability for when I sculpt a detail layer on top. You can also see I've started adding in some more to the eye sockets with a layer of green stuff to form a rough upper orbital structure above the eye. There's also some sockets left for spikes and there will be more info on working around existing detail you wish to keep, in part two.
Quick and easy, or hard and time consuming
One thing I keep getting asked, is how long something takes me, something I never have an answer for, as there are so many variables and sometimes parts will take that much longer, not because I fouled up, but because they are WORTH
taking the time to do.
What I mean by this is quick simple, there's always several ways to do something and as luck would have it, usually the much longer, more irritating way usually gives you the best finished result.
Take the images below, you have 3 blobs of green stuff, each one I've made as close to each other in terms of size as I can, I even timed myself for each one, wrote them down and....managed to lose it.
I do have a vague memory of these times, just remember they're not 100% accurate.1: About 2 minutes
, involves sticking it to the base and then making scale like shapes. 2: About 6 minutes
, involves sticking it to the base, but making the shapes, smoothing the edges and using a clay shaper to create texture.3: Pushing the 11 minute barrier
, involves sticking individual scales to the base and shaping them. However you only end up using about two thirds of the green stuff to cover the same area.
That's all for the moment, admittedly I did start this project before the poll on conversions, so I figured it best to finish this first (completely) then move on to the next one.