"Hey, I've got an idea– I'll throw together that Charnel Throne for the Flesh-eater Courts. It's just a small kit with 3 main components, and I can drybrush bones and stonework in my sleep, so I should be able to knock this out in a day or two and blog about it!"
–Rob Hawkins, 2 weeks ago
I never learn. There's no such thing as a "simple" project for me anymore. Everything turns into an intricate conversion or upgrade of the basic model, so here we go again...
To be fair, the Charnel Throne is a simple kit– Easy to build, easy to paint. At first, there were just a few things I wanted to address to clean it up a bit. Namely, the platform is hollow underneath so it only contacts the walls at the very edge. I needed to fill that in so it would appear solid underneath and have a sturdier attachment.
I built the walls and stairs, easy-peasy...
Then, I filled the underside of the platform with Aves Apoxie Sculpt and pressed the walls into it.
This left me with an impression that would fit atop the walls more securely, and provide a solid ceiling when looking from below. I even scored some lines into the underside to mark out the stone slabs.
Next, I needed to get rid of all the fleur-de-lis. "LOL, isn't that hilarious? The FECs think there[sic] Bretonnians!!!" Yeah. That's a riot. Never mind that the ghouls in the Mortal Realms are not from the Old World, so they couldn't possibly be Bretonnian descendants unless a new human kingdom also coincidentally called Bretonnia arose eons later, following the destruction of the Old World and the formation of the Mortal Realms and then devolved into cannibalism... Either way, that's not my army's motif or backstory, so the fleur-de-lis have got to go!
I replaced the little ones above the door with tiny skulls that I carefully sliced off of some quivers and Tomb Kings accessories.
The ones on the platform were scraped off, leaving a plain, non-stupid stone floor.
At this point, I knew I was in for the long haul, so I decided to break up the stones in the walls a little. They were a bit too smooth for my tastes, so I scraped and carved them a little to add more irregularity to the surface.
I wanted the throne to work as a stand-alone piece on a grassy battlefield, or as part of a stonework environment with other connecting ruins, so I tried to get the edges to be "seamless." I trimmed the edge by the stairs to match the stones, and blended all the "dirt" edges with skulls, leaving a few bits of broken stone and rock around the base. I also covered up any sections of decorative tile on the floor with more skulls and bones.
I added a few skulls on the lip of the walls that blend into the other bones when the wall is plugged in.
Now there's no "base line" around the piece.
Then, it was time to tackle the throne itself. One issue I had was the edge of the throne, where the bones and skulls flatten out along the mold line, making it look like one wide bone and a double-faced skull. I cut a channel down the center of the bones to make it look like two separate pieces.
For the skulls, I cut the vertebrate from the necks of some old skeleton horses and used those to cover the join between the two skulls.
The final step was to personalize the heraldry to something a little more grisly that Marduk the Ghoul King might appreciate. I added a bat (built from pieces of plastic and metal swarm bats), and some wolf-like skulls from the GW skull set (they're actually Beastmen skulls with their horns removed, but whatever, it's close enough) and a few orruk skulls with the teeth modified to resemble fangs so they could pass for Strigoi vampire skulls. The crowning touch was using the leftover zombie dragon head from my Terrorgheist kit as the throne topper.
I pinned the throne so it could be removed, placing the pin holes in the grooves between the stone slabs, and I added a few more skulls around the platform.
One last bit was to use the left over neck from the zombie dragon to add flayed skin and chains hanging from the ceiling and on the throne.
I painted the whole thing in four parts– the throne, the walls and stairs, the top platform, and the base. Here's Marduk the Ghoul King's finished Charnel Throne:
Without the throne, I can use the base as a piece of generic scenery ruins.