Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marduk the Ghoul King

I've been working on this guy on and off for the past few weeks, but at long last, the newest version Marduk is finished. 

I plan to field this model as a 'Strigoi Ghoul King' even though the Strigoi and Blood Dragon are separate vampiric bloodlines. Marduk's ferocity and feral nature has completely overtaken the martial discipline of his Blood Dragon order, and he is more at home with the creatures of the night– ghouls, dire wolves, bats.

Here's a little insight into the modeling process:

I wanted Marduk standing atop a shredded corpse, drenched in blood releasing a primal scream. The body on the base is clipped from the charnel pile on the Corpse Cart. I modeled the ground texture with Brown Stuff modeling putty, and added a few metal skulls to prop up the torso and add some detail.

The entrails and torn flesh were then sculpted. In this image, the sculpting is finished and the base has been sprayed with black primer. The base and figure were painted separately so I could get at all of the details.

Marduk himself is built from the Ghoul King that comes with the Terrorgheist kit. I removed the "dog legs" and replaced them with metal feet from a classic GW ghoul. The legs are pinned in place and the shins, sculpted with putty.

In this shot you can see the model closest to its original state, the dog legs, arms with long taloned fingers, the metal ghoul that marduk's feet came from, and the corpse pile.

In this pose, he's rearing up; perfect for the primal scream.

Unfortunately, the heaping wolf cloak I was planning to add wouldn't sit on his back with him leaning that far back. I cut the model at the chest and angled him forward. Marduk also needed to carry his trademark headsman's axe, so I had to swap out his hands for ones that looked like they could actually hold a weapon. These came from the Crypt Ghast in the plastic ghoul kit. All the detail at the joins was resculpted, as was the axe handle. The axe head was cut from Grimgore Ironhide's axe, heavily trimmed and reshaped.

That plastic end cap on the axe handle came from the handle of a plastic skeleton mace.

The final sculpting step was to add the cloak. With the exception of the wolf feet, which came from the old Space Wolves accessory sprue, it's all putty. To accommodate the cloak, those spines on the back of Marduk's arms had to go as well.

I'll close out with a couple of detail shots. My only regret was not photographing the painted base before I glued Marduk to it. But, hey, I was on a roll!

'Til next time!


  1. Excellent conversion. Congrats on this.

  2. Really great work you did there, he looks like a Ghoul King should look. I am allways amazed what people can do with putty, I am allready struggling with filling Gaps.

    The only whing I am missing is the wet look of the Blood, did you try out Tamiya Red or adding some Gloss Varnish on Top?

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi there,

    I found this guy, while I was looking for a tutorial for painting vampire skin.

    Could you tell me how you did it?


    1. The skin is painted using three basic colors: GW Rotting Flesh (or P3 Thrall Flesh), That's shaded with Brown Ink, and highlighted with GW Screaming Skull (or P3 Menoth White Base). I basecoat with the Rotting Flesh, then wash with Brown ink to get the deepest shadows. Then I blend the two colors for the mid tones and add in less brown and more Screaming Skull as I work toward the highlights.

    2. Thank you very much for this fast response.

      "Then I blend the two colors for the mid tones and add in less brown and more Screaming Skull as I work toward the highlights."

      You mean you blend with Thrall Flesh and Menoth White Base, right?

      By the way, I love your whole army!


    3. The darkest shadows should be Brown Ink. In the shaded areas, blend Brown Ink and Thrall Flesh up until you're at straight Thrall Flesh for the mid tone. Then blend Thrall Flesh and Screaming Skull up as you work from the mid tones toward the highlights, but don't ever take it to straight Screaming Skull as that would make the highlights too white.


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