Thursday, November 4, 2021

Project Log: The Emperor's Champion, Part 2

I've made a lot of progress on my Emperor's Champion conversion:

Last time, I had tried to sculpt a flat layer of putty which I would then shape into a cloth tabard. It didn't quite work; the cured putty, while flexible, wouldn't hold its shape. So I went with a more traditional route. I mixed up a batch of Aves Apoxie Sculpt to form a "block" between the models legs which would be shaped into the armature for the tabard. Aves is really soft when first mixed, so I let the putty sit for about 30-40 minutes to allow it to firm up a little.


I pressed the putty under the model, and began shaping it into the form of the cloth. It was really rough, but I was able to set up the folds and flow of the tabard.



When the putty had cured rock hard, I carved the edges to make them a little thinner and sharpen the corners. 



Then, I used brown stuff putty to sculpt the surface layer over the foundation. I worked on the front and back separately, allowing each to fully cure before starting the next so I wouldn't risk marring the finished sculpting work.



With the bottom of the tabard finished, I popped the model off its sculpting stand. He still needed the top of his tabard, but I wanted to work out the arm positioning before sculpting the cloth.



I used the hands from the original Emperor's Champion, and the glove cuffs cut from an old plastic Chaos Warrior.



I also replaced the shoulder pads with the champion's metal shoulder pads by cutting out the plastic shoulder pad, leaving a notch that the metal pad could slot into.



To rebuild the sword. I used guitar wire and a thin drill bit. I drilled into the sword (this was painstaking, because the black sword has a groove running up the center, leaving a very narrow bit of metal to drill into).



Then, I drilled through the hand and crosspiece of the sword. Once the hole was drilled, I used a hobby knife to cut off the crosspiece so I could turn it in line with the hand.



The pieces went together as you see below. I had initially chosen guitar wire, because I was planning to use the coil of the wire to form the handle wrapping below the hand. However, the guitar wire hilt looked too thin, so I peeled off all of the coiled wire and just used the central wire as a pin. The new hilt of the sword was taken from a regular-ol' power sword, drilled out so it could slip over the pin. I also attached the glove cuff by drilling through it and the hand, and pinning them together with a bit of paper clip.



The arm was cut so the glove matched up with the forearm. The pins allowed me to twist the glove to get the positioning just right before gluing it.



I did the same thing with the pistol hand.



Because the insides of the shoulder pads would be visible, I sculpted the perforations around the edge. 



Here's what the pose will look like. Next, I'll be sculpting the tabard top and finishing the sword, pistol, and his head. I've also cut the purity seal off of his chest, and added it to his leg greave.



I also began working on the Inquisitor-scale version, converted from Artemis, the Space Marine from the Inquisitor range. I cleaned up the torso halves and removed the collar on the front of the chest plate, along with the outer areas of wings. He'll have a smooth chest plate with the tabard overtop. (It's not shown here, but I also cut the skull off with a jeweler's saw so I can use it elsewhere.)



To convert his leg armor into the solid greaves matching the small model, I marked and cut off the top portion of the knee pads (shown in red).



Here are the legs with the trimmed knee pads. I also cut the cables on the back of the leg, and cut away the under-suit at the hip so I could reposition it. (Man, I do NOT miss working with metal models– cutting and filing big parts like this takes forever and leaves a mess of metal dust.) 



My intended pose will look something like this. I'm putting him on a 60mm Skull Forge Scenics resin base with his foot up on the pipe. I may have to cut the toe of his left foot to bend it down a little. I'm also debating whether I want to keep his armor as-is, of "Primaris-ify" it by adding the round bits at the ankles. That might require more cutting than I'm willing to tolerate, though. We'll see...



'Til next time!


  1. chaos bits for a black templar, what fresh heresy is this?

    1. Don't worry, they were fully consecrated and the kit expunged forever from GW's Chaos Range. :D

  2. Looking great so far, and the 54mm version seems promising as well.

    And three stage sculpting is next level!

    1. Thank you! The model is turning out exactly as I had envisioned. :)


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