Last week I discussed the chassis and spirits, since then I've been working on the corpsemasters who will be riding atop the Mortis Engine. When I bought the kit, the keys on the master's staff weren't formed properly. I got a replacement part from GW, so now I had a spare front half of the master. I decided to make two riders:
The first is a "normal" corpsemaster. The stock model has a face with a blindfold, which I have other plans for. Instead, I used one of the faces from the Corpse Cart. A little putty work was necessary to fill out the hood and hair.
The other rider is Korak the wraith. To make the back of the model, I used one of the bodies from the Empire wizard kit. The mismatched join was smoothed over with putty, and his back and shoulders built up a little. The hood was taken from the Corpse Cart rider, and a classic skeleton head (also known as a "skull") was trimmed down to fit inside the hood.
I built up the top of the hood and "shawl" on his back with another layer of putty, and filled out the bottom of his hood around the front.
The scythe that normally goes at the top of the Coven Throne will be added in place of the staff. Then, I'll need to either find or sculpt a suitable skeletal hand.
Having the two corpsemasters will allow me to field Korak as part of the Mortis Engine if he's not on the table as a wraith hero. Perhaps the artifact in the reliquary might be the earthly remains of Korak himself, and maybe the "normal" corpsemaster could be the manifestation of his human form?
I've also been playing around with the Morghasts. I have four, and I'm building them with interchangeable weapon options. The body assembly, while complex, was relatively easy; there were a few spots where the parts didn't look like they were going to fit properly, but it was just a matter of "popping" the parts into position.
I have to say that the attachment points on this kit are less than stellar. A lot of the joins don't provide a definite, locking fit, so it's possible to build things misaligned if you're not careful. The shoulders, for example, have a ball join with a peg that will attach the arm in a fixed position so that the halberd hands align properly. It's a neat feature, because the pegs can be cut off to allow more freedom in the pose (and the instructions point this out when assembling for the hand weapon option). The problem is that the pegs are so small they don't really snap into position, and have a lot of play that can cause the arms to be misaligned anyway.
I changed the legs around to create more variety in the poses. In the two unit options, one has the chest armor and a helmet, and the other a bare rib cage and skull. I'm planning to build the models with the chest armor glued in place, because even the unarmored version still has shoulder and arm armor, and it seems silly to have armored arms, but not the body. I'll leave the helmets removable.
The kit comes with four hand weapon designs, so you can build up to four models before repeating any of the weapon styles. That's a nice feature.
The more I looked at them, the more I felt the sword blades were a little bland and cleaver-like. Since I had spares in case I messed up, I decided to cut some "bat-wing" scallops into the blades.
I'm very happy with the results, and the blades are much more wicked and menacing now.
Now begins the arduous task of pinning all the weapon hands. I'm attempting to make a universal configuration so all the sword hands will fit all the arms and I won't need to keep track of which of the 16 sword hands goes with which body. I'm using a double pin so the hands won't rotate, either.
Once these guys are built, I plan to assemble the Dread Abyssal mount for the Mortarchs and paint all of these monsters in one batch. Before that happens, I need to work out the basing and finish the Mortis Engine.