Saturday, January 31, 2015

40k Project: Daemon Prince Maggotscab

****NOTE: This post is under construction. Check back for more details on my model. I have a lot to say!****

Before going any further, I'll describe the stock model he is based on, and the model for which he was created as an alternative.

Here is the stock model: 

 An unaligned Fantasy Daemon Prince.

  This metal Warhammer Fantasy Daemon Prince came in several pieces, and there were a couple variant arms, heads, and legs so the contents of a daemon prince blister pack would vary. The one from the official GW/Citadel image has a different right arm (a double-arm with crab claw) and different loincloth than mine started with, but is otherwise the same.

These Daemon Prince models displayed little or no iconography/features that implied devotion to any one of the four Chaos gods in particular and left that for the hobbyist to express through painting and conversion. I don't know when these were first released, but they were not new when I started playing (during 6th Edition).

 I think the same models represented Daemon Princes in early40k as well. A 40k-specific Daemon Prince, wearing/partially-fused-with a suit of Daemon Prince-scale power armor was released eventually.

Some time later, probably the mid 2000's, a Nurgle-aligned Daemon Prince model was released (out of nowhere) for 40k.

I think it was in conjunction with the Cities of Death supplement, which contained more detailed rules for urban battles, but nothing specifically dealing with Chaos or Nurgle as far as I know. None the less, the supplement was accompanied by the only ever Daemon Prince model specifically aligned to a specific god, and a handful of other random ones for various armies.

Here he is:

Here's my take on the plague-ridden space-marine-ascended-to-daemonhood:

Warhammer Fantasy: Mangler Squig

 An anomalous unit was included in the very back of the 7th Edition Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins book:

The "Mangler Squig"...

A couple things made this new addition to the usually little-changed menagerie of orcs, goblins, black orcs, boars, wolves, snotlings, giants, trolls, squig herds, and ramshackle artillery an anomaly.

First,  despite being called "Mangeler Squig" in the Bestiary section (where background info on units is printed), the Army List section (where the unit point-costs and army-building constrains are printed) and the Summary of unit stats inside the back cover, the brief description in the Bestiary specified in no uncertain terms that this new unit was a pair of Great Cave Squigs chained together.

Its in-game rules specified that it behaved like a bigger, more deadly, and night-goblin-unit-indepedent version of a Night Goblin Fanatic. That is to say it could be engaged in combat normally, and moved a random distance in a random direction, dealing a random number of wounds to whatever it touched until it crashed into something or died by missile-fire.

But what was really strange was that there was no official model to represent it in games of Warhammer.

 Usually, an updated Warhammer Armies book was accompanied by several new kits and single miniatures updating those with dated-looking sculpts or representing whatever was new in this edition of the book. There had always been (and still are) certain things without their very own specific model, but it would always be stuff that was easy to convert on your own (read: "Make people buy more models") e.g. otherwise identical units with different weapons. In other cases, less popular units  still had printed rules, but their models were discontinued.

This was the first example I can recall of this practice of releasing rules-without-models for brand new units that never existed before but it would become a common practice for a couple years, presumably because it seemed like it would be profitable, somehow. (Maybe it let them crank out new books and stuff faster, and worry about all the fancy new models later-if-at-all).

 However, eventually Games-workshop realized that this strategy essential created a market for competing miniatures companies. When a new Codex or Warhammer Armies book would come out with holes in its coresponding model line, other companies would, for example, starts selling "Space-Knight Direwolf Riders!" (or something to that effect) as stand-ins for GW's  model-less Space Wolves Thunderwolf Cavalry.

That particular example was the subject of a lawsuit. Games-workshop took some independent miniatures company to court over it... and lost.

"You can't sue people for infringing on intellectual property that you haven't actually made yet"
- a judge.

Since then Games-workshop has wised up and returned to their original strategy of making figures to go with their rules.

  Here is the official model that was ultimately released:

Here are the other sides of mine:

The top Squig's tusks are tendrils from the Hellbrute. His smaller teeth are Goblin Wolf Rider toes.

Its body is mostly greenstuff, but its head is sculpted around a Wolf Rider wolf head (you can see the ears, and general head-shape).

His legs are from a Kroot Carnivore that was missing is right foot. The left leg was broken at the knee, and repositioned as seen with brass rod.
 His right foot was very conveniently replaced with a one of my ace-in-the-hole bits: an old plastic Night Goblin hand (meant to be the off-hand of an archer releasing an arrow)

 The shackles are styrene tube/rod, with locks from the Warhammer Giant's caged skeleton accessory.

A better view of the bottom one's face. This one's teeth are sculpted. His forearms are from the Krootox used for the body of my first Great Cave Squig.

 As I mentioned in my Giants post, deep inside of this one is the one-eyed Giant of Albion's head. Only his ears are visible.

You can also see the underside of the base where I attached neodymium magnets. This is an off-brand 60 mm round base that I got at the local game store. Since it was a flat disk with no cavity underneath (like the old Games-workshop dreadnaught bases, current GW 60 mm rounds are raised and have the cavity, as seen in my Hellbrute post) I had to drill all the way through, score the hole out with a razor until it just barely fit the magnet, and fill the gaps with greenstuff.

Originally there where three, but I removed one because this piece is fragile and the magnets are so strong, that I was afraid the piece would be damaged upon being pulled off whatever it's stuck to. Two are plenty since there's more greenstuff than metal, anyway.

A couple mushrooms adorn the base like on the official model. I would have used more prominent ones, but the little guys were all I had left.

The Night Goblin is a metal Fanatic. His hand and prodder-handle are from the old Night Goblin plastics. The head of the prodder was a trimmed-down piece of sprue with sliced-off new Night Goblin spearheads making the points.

The chains are a couple sizes of actual little chain.

The chain in the goblin's hand leads to a large metal ring, which is linked to a heavier gauge chain terminating in a massive iron ball like those wielded by Night Goblin Fanatics. Fed through the ring is another chain shackling the two Great Cave Squigs together.

I would have attempted a more dynamic positioning of the giant ball, but the larger chain was strongly attracted to the magnets under the base.

These squigs started as "dump projects" for left-over greenstuff. Like most other projects, they got out of hand quickly.

Warhammer Fantasy: Giants! or, "Regiments of Renown: Giants of Albion 2015"


These two represent my longest continuous sculpting project. And the biggest, appropriately. 

Being that they are so much larger than everything else I've shared on here, they're pretty tricky to photograph using the set-up I've used for most of my photography (phone, craft lamp, and white-or-gray paper). So bear with  me, in the photos to come there may be some extreme variance in lighting conditions / other aspects of photo-quality.

In older editions of Warhammer, you could include mercenary units in your armies to fill gaps in the normal set of tactical options afforded by your standard army list. For example, a normally slow dwarf army might make good use of some hired cavalry, or an elf army might contract some ogres for extra muscle.

There were generic mercenary units, "Dogs of War", and named-character-mercenary units or "Regiments of Renown".

 Dogs of War could be hired by other armies, or played as their own army list. However most Dogs of War units were pretty bland, having maybe an unusual piece of equipment like pikes or pavises, but being otherwise mostly ordinary, generic humans with base-level stats and no access to the army-specific special rules and Lores of Magic that made the mainstream armies vaguely competitive against one another.

Regiments of Renown were mostly "character" version of Dogs of War units. Meaning they had a fancy name and a named champion to lead the unit, and maybe an additional special rule or slightly different equipment. And being specific named guys, you logically couldn't have more than one of a given Regiment of Renown.
The original Giants of Albion were a Regiments of Renown unit of two specific named giants, Cachtorr and Bologs, and their druid handler, Hengus.

Do two giants constitute an entire regiment? Anyway, here are the original Giants of Albion

I've had these guys nearly as long as I've been involved in the hobby. They were part of my very first Orcs and Goblins army and made for a lot of fun. One or both would later be in my various Chaos armies.

 For a while their pieces were used for a Chaos Spawn (with a metal Tyranid Carnifex body). Later the one-eyed head was used for a different Chaos Spawn, on the body of the Krootox that would serve as the base-model for my Night Goblin Boss on Great Cave Squig. I don't know how hardcore Citadel collectors might feel about this...

  ....but the one-eyed head ultimately ended up completely covered in greenstuff (serving as a sort of vaguely face-shaped armature) inside one of my Mangler Squigs...

This was a pretty cool kit, very characterful. And you got two giants for the same price as the then-current Orcs and Goblins Giant. The Giants of Albion were taller, but scrawny. The actual O&G giant was a lot fatter, and looked like he could take the both of them.

Here is the multi-part plastic Giant that would be release some years later, and pushed as a mercenary option to potentially be included in every army in Warhammer.

 Unfortunately, Giants were considered to "suck" in the competitive scene, so that never really happened. They've got fun, quirky rules, but it is complained that they can't reliably "earn their points back" (i.e. kill a larger percentage of your opponents point total than the percentage of your you spent on them), and they die too easy to artillery.

 On the other hand, for only a 200-ish point investment, a giant can ensure that every bolt-thrower, stone-thrower, cannon, and magic missile your opponent has is NOT directed at anything else in your army for the first couple turns...

The plastic giant is really pretty decent kit, it's got good level of detail, and is highly customizable. It also came with a variety of neat accessories and base accents (of which I have mentioned a few in my other posts) like clubs, a dead cow, a frightened peasant, a signpost, etc.

I never had the complete kit myself, rather I was working with someone's leftover arm, foot, and head options from the assorted bits included with an Orcs and Goblins lot I purchased on eBay some years ago.

 Below, I'll post the rest of mine.

I worked on these guys over the course of the last two years. By my best estimation, they took me about 20,000 times longer to complete than I anticipated.

For both of them, I used brass rod to make the arms and legs longer, and filled in the gaps with a lot of greenstuff. I gradually had to make the limbs thicker here-and-there to keep up with changing proportions as the pieces evolved. The whole production involved many, many layers and re-imaginings.

Had it not been for my discovery of a technique even more revolutionary than the use of pastel shapers (described in my Hellbrute post), this process likely would have continued, and I would have probably given up on ever finishing these guys.

 The technique in question is the use of the back (the not-bladed side) of my X-Acto blade to shave the greenstuff. Prior to this, all shapes were created additively (i.e. by adding MORE), and any unwanted texture had to be addressed before the greenstuff cured. If anything didn't look right, I would have to just sculpt more on top of it.

 I can't even explain how much faster this technique made things.

I read once that greenstuff doesn't sand well, so I never really experimented. Using the blade of the X-acto does give kind of bad results. Even when you make strokes away from you with the blade-side facing back, the way commonly recommended for removing mold-lines.

That's not the "back" of the blade that I'm talking about. I mean the flat side of the blade that is not bladed. It's just a rectangle. Somehow the corners are just sharp enough to smoothly shave greenstuff without ripping it up.

Then you just give it a coat of Liquid Greenstuff (a "paint" of greenstuff that comes in a paint container. Another essential tool.) and you're good to go, as if it had been sculpted to perfection in the first place. I can't understate the impact this technique had on my sculpting.

Included for scale is my superfluous Escher-turned-Cultist from my 40k army. She's a bit shorter than a heroic-scale "adult male", but I didn't have a more representative model at hand that wasn't blatantly meant for a far-future setting.

****NOTE: The rest of this post is under construction! Check back for the rest of my commentary!****

*Bologs 2015 (the one with the big rock)*

This one measure in at 5.25 inches from tabletop to the tip of his finger on the rock.
*Cachtorr 2015 (the one with pants)*