Monday, July 27, 2020

Modeling Tutorial: The Versatile Verminlord, Part 2

In part two, I'll show you how to finish off the Verminlord conversion–


When I left off last time, I still had to rearrange the weapons for the left arm. 


For the doom glaive, the plan is to re-position it behind the Verminlord's body, with the hand in the center of the weapon. First, the hand needs to be cut off of the weapon.


Use a fine jeweler's saw to cut the hand away, and try not to damage the tassel or the parts of the blade.


You're going to lose the fingers, and will have to resculpt them. (If you have a spare hand from a large model like a daemon prince or something, I'd recommend using that, as long as the fingers match. I looked at my Rat Ogors, and while the size is close, they only have three fingers and different claws.)


Use a hobby knife to carefully cut away the remnants of the fingers and clean up the blade.



The opposite end will require a little more work because it has an indent where the foot would rest, and it's missing its tip.


To replace the top of the blade, trace the blade from the opposite end onto a piece of thin styrene card.


Fit the other blade on the tracing, and then mark and cut out the tip.


Glue the tip to the blade...


...and then add a layer of modeling putty on each side to match the thickness of the blade. Use some putty to fill the divot in the blade housing, and smooth it out to match the surface and contour of the piece. You can press a Skaven icon into the putty with the sharp tip of a sculpting tool. Let all of the putty cure fully.


Use a sanding stick to smooth and shape the newly-sculpted blade tip. Match the curve and contour of the plastic. Start with a coarse-grit, and then move to a fine grit to finish it off.


Cut apart the handle of the glaive as you see here– Remove a section from the middle where the hand will go, and cut a portion from the opposite end to match the section that was lost when the hand was cut away. The overall length will be slightly shorter than the original weapon. Pin all the parts together for reassembly, but don't glue the blades on until after the hand is finished. You'll need a small bit of styrene rod to build up the "collar" on the top blade where it attaches to the handle (the white bit in the photo).


With the hand pinned to the handle, resculpt the fingers. I managed to salvage a little of the index fingertip, so I glued that on, and sculpted over it. Don't worry about the wrist just yet– Simply add some extra putty to bulk up the end to full the gap between the hand and the forearm bracer.


While the hand is curing, assemble the doomstar shuriken. Drill a hole in the tip of the pyramid shape on the wrist, and into the corresponding depression in the arm. Make the hole nice and deep, and glue a pin into the hand. The pin should be about 3/4-inch long so it sinks deep into the arm and stays securely.


Once the putty on the hand and wrist had cured, you can move on with the next step. Dry-fit the hand and glaive to see how it will be positioned. Mix up a batch of putty...


...and place the putty over the wrist. Lubricate the arm with Chapstick, and press the hand in place. This will leave you with an impression of the arm. Let this cure fully.


Once the putty has cured, you can trim away the excess putty around the wrist and drill a hold into the hand for the pin, which will be using the same pin hole as the doomstar hand.



To add more stability for the glaive, you can add a second pin by drilling another hole, and marking its position on the arm with a bit of blue-tac or putty.


Make this second pin shorter; it just needs to keep the part from spinning when inserted. The "double pin" is one of my favorite techniques and provides a lot more stability than a single pin.


Fit the hand in place and then add more putty to tidy up the wrist and eliminate any gaps. Once cured, you can pop the hand off and you'll have a perfect attachment for the glaive hand.



And now we come to the heads. There are five configurations and each one uses a mix of some of the same parts. I wanted to be able to interchange between all five, so I needed to do a little planning about which parts needed to go where and how they would attach.


I must have agonized for hours, clipping the parts and figuring what went where, which parts could be glued, which ones would need to be pinned, where the pins could be concealed, and how to get those curly horns to attach two different ways.


Charlie would be proud! If you want to follow me down this path of insanity, then read on!


The first step is to assemble the multi-part components– The Warbringer's topknot, the Deceiver's head, and the curly horns. Keep the Deceiver's mask separate so it doesn't get in the way.


Every head except the Deceiver uses this jaw as its foundation component. Plugging into the back, you have the option of either the topknot or the horns, and as far as I can tell, they are interchangeable, meaning if you built two Warbringers, one could have a topknot and the other could have the horns to give each of them a distinct appearance. Similarly, you could use the topknot for the Corruptor instead of the horns. To cut down on the number of separate parts, I recommend picking one or the other. This is personal preference, but I put the topknot aside and glued the horns into the jaw. Skreech Verminking is a unique character, so he will be accurately represented, whereas the other Verminlords can have their own variations.


Lord Skreech and the Warpseer use the same head assembly with different faces. Glue their face plates together and dry-fit them onto the jaw.

Then, drill through the back of the jaw, into each face. Using the same hole through the back ensures that the pin in each face will fit into the same spot. Deepen the hole in the face a little, taking care not to punch through the front.


Then add a pin so two face options can be interchanged on the jaw.


There is only one set of braids, however, so only face can get them. Again, I attached them to Skreech's face so he will look like he's supposed to. My Warpseer will be braid-less.


Now it's time to attach the horns. Start with the two straight horns. Tack them in place with little spots of super glue. Don't use too much; you don't want them permanently stuck, just tiny dots to get them to stick while you drill the holes.

Drill two holes through the side of the straight horn, into the central horn. Then, insert and glue the pins into the horn.


Each of the straight horns can pin into the central horn.


To attach the head to the body, you'll need to hollow out the neck and fill the cavity with putty. The torso is mostly hollow, so a pin won't find any purchase and would wobble around otherwise. Pack the neck full of putty, and then press the jaw onto the putty to create an impression of the jaw's attachment point. Apply some Chapstick to the jaw so it doesn't stick to the putty.


Once the putty has cured, you can drill two holes in the neck, and then use blue-tac to match the position on the jaw and attach pins. Use a "double pin" to ensure a secure attachment and prevent the head from spinning or wobbling.



Next up are the curly horns. I found it easiest to first work out their attachment on the Deceiver's head– Drill pin holes into the end of each horn, and then use blue-tac to mark the positioning on the head, and drill the corresponding hole.


The pins need to be in the head, not in the horn. The easiest way to achieve this is to insert the pin into the horn, and then put some glue on the end of the pin, and push it into the head.


Then, you can pull off the horn and that will leave you with pins that you can fit the horns over.


Here's the head with the horns in place and the mask separate. I recommend keeping the mask separate for painting, and then gluing it on.


Use some blue-tac to mark the holes for the neck pins, and add a pair of pins to the Deceiver head the same way you did for the other head.



To attach the curly horns to the other head, drill a hole all the way through the central horns.


Next, drill a hole into the straight horn as shown in this image. (Ignore the green putty; I tried to see if a magnet would work, but thee wasn't enough room to fit two magnets and I had to repair the large hole I drilled.) With the two holes drilled, mark the positioning on the curly horn, and drill into it.


I found it helpful to drill straight through both sets of horns to ensure the pins would be aligned and deep enough.


Glue a single pin all the way through the central horn, and a pin in each of the straight horns. the curly horns will fit over these.



A little clean-up is necessary to cover holes on the outside of the horns, cover any mistakes (like my extra hole at the top), and fill the gaps a little.


Use putty to match the horn pattern and patch up the holes.


From there, it's time to move on to the Warbringer's head. Here is where I really began to struggle– The Warbringer's horns didn't want to cooperate. I tried to pit out large areas to fit over the existing pins...


The gaps between the horns were too much, and the two halves of the face just would not fit together properly.



So I decided to call an audible, and turned the Warbringer's head into another "face plate" that could be pinned on like Skreech and the Warpseer. If you want to go this route, cut off the Warbringer's horns and clean up the ears.


Here's the Warbringer's head with his unique rack of horns.


Fortunately, the Corruptor's head went much more smoothly. Its horns are hollow, so they only needed a little drilling to fit properly.


Attach the two halves of the head with two pins.



The Corruptor's broken horns fit in place of the standard straight horns. Super glue these right to the Corruptor's head.


Here, you can see the parts for the Corruptor. This one is the easiest to assemble because it's just the two halves and the central jaw component.


So, at the end of the day (or week), these are all the individual components for the head assembly, allowing the model to swap between every variant of the Verminlord.


The final thing to tackle is the assembly of the feet. Add a little modeling putty to the masonry, and press the foot into it to make an impression. Once the putty cures, carve it a little to clean up the shape and then glue the foot into the impression.


Attach the tails and putty their seam, and glue the loincloth in place. I've cut away most of the loincloth because I want this model to work for my Pestilens and my Skryre which have green and blue-grey colors, respectively. By removing the loincloth I don't have to worry about it not matching. I've also cut all the spines off of the tails so I don't have to pick out a thousand little spikes while painting (plus I've never been a fan of spiky-tailed rats).


Here's the full lineup:

Verminlord Deceiver


Verminlord Corruptor


Lord Skreech Verminking


Verminlord Warbringer


Verminlord Warpseer

All the components are ready for basing and priming.


'Til next time!

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