Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Return of Korak the Grim, Part 2

Converting the Wraith


As I mentioned last week, the base model for Korak is this wraith from the Mortis Engine's ethereal swarm:


That wraith is combined with the sleeves from the Corpse Cart's corpsemaster. A plastic skull with the back portion trimmed away is used for the face. At this stage, I haven't yet decided how I'll handle the scythe, other than that I'll add the spirit tail behind the blade. I'm torn between the pitted scythe from the Mortis Engine or the "flowery" scythe from the Empire Wizard kit. Since I first envisioned this conversion, I've imagined Korak with a larger, fancier scythe than the regular rank-and-file wraiths.


I cut the flat portion off of the wraith, and trim the bottom of his robes a little. Where the flat spot used to be, I sculpt some layered robes.



The sleeve is blended into the body with putty. I leave the top of his hunchback a little rough because it will be covered with a second layer for the hood.


The "tail" of the spirit clinging to Korak's back is extended and filled out with more putty to create a base for the model. The spectral cloud continues up under his robes. I also work out the model's positioning on its base. (Although, the base would be changed out later because this one melted under the heat lamp while cooking the putty. It wasn't even in the heat for a long time, only a few seconds, but the base began to warp quickly. The black GW bases have a MUCH lower tolerance for heat than the regular plastic.)


Next, I add the other sleeve and sculpt the wrinkles on the connecting putty.


The hood and shawl come next– a layer of putty over the back, smoothed over and shaped at the bottom. The folds are blended around the neck. The holes are made with a pointed sculpting tool by poking into the putty and pulling down slightly.




The edge of the hood is enhanced with a bit of putty.



At this stage, I notice that there is an indent in the spirit's skull. I think it's part of the attachment point when it fits together with the other parts of the spectral swarm. Either way, it looks odd, so I sculpt over it and added some tendrils that blend into the wraith's robes.


I had removed all the flowers from the Mortis Engine's chassis, under the assertion that nothing would be living in the presence of this much Death Magic. I apply the same principle to Korak, and remove the roses and thorns from the scythe. (I imagine the grass and vegetation withering in his presence as he floats by.) The scythe handle is made from a length of wire, pinned into the scythe head. The hands are from a Tomb King's skeleton, and the wire runs right through them. I leave the hands unglued, and base their spacing and the bend of the handle on the positioning of the sleeves on the wraith.


Once the fit is correct, I glue the hands in place and attach the spectral trail.


I wrap some putty around the wire and smooth it out to create the wooden handle. Some splits and wood grain are pressed into the putty with a knife.


The final step of creating the scythe is to extend the spectral trail with putty, blending it into the blade.



A new base is added and the weapon is glued in place. The last little bit to be added is the hand grip on the scythe, made from a section of a plastic spear shaft. I had planned to add a second handle closer to the blade (scythes usually have 2 hand grips) but, in order for it to be "anatomically" correct, the grip would need to extend up, perpendicular to the blade, and in front of Korak's face, which would look terrible when viewed from the front. It also seems odd to have both handles on the scythe and Korak using neither of them. So, one handle it is! (If anyone asks, Korak will just explain to them how the other handle broke off ages ago, and then murder their soul.)










And that's all there is to it! Now that he's painted, I can't wait to get this guy on the table.

'Til next time!


  1. I guess my biggest compliment can be it does not look like a conversion!

    Fabulous conversion!

  2. Visionary! Love it! Man, I would love to see a tutorial from you on the use of brown stuff. You get it so smooth! Is it a better consistency than green stuff? What tools do you use for smoothing, etc... Video would be great too....

  3. Thanks guys! Chris, the brown stuff is a little stickier (it sticks better than green stuff, and is a little less rubbery). It also dries rock-hard (no flex like cured green stuff), so it can be sanded or carved more easily.

    I use blade and spatula sculpting tools, pointers, and extra firm clay shapers to smooth it.


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