Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Project Log: The Emperor's Champion, Part 3

I made a big chunk of progress on the Emperor's Champion this week. Here's how things are shaping up...


With the legs and bottom of the tabard sculpted, and the arm poses worked out, it was time to work on his head. I always save the heads for last, so I can make sure they are looking in a direction that matches the body's pose and movement. In this case, I wanted to have Magnus looking in the direction he was aiming his bolt pistol. If the head was looking straight forward, I would have left the bit of metal collar on the head and just had a "double collar" on the figure. But with his head turned to the side, the collar wouldn't be aligned, and therefore it had to go.


I also cut off the cords, since their positioning was also affected, and glued them on the torso.


Then, I sculpted the top of the tabard. I used a mix of green stuff and brown stuff, mainly as a way to stretch my dwindling supply of brown putty. I don't like to use green stuff for precise modeling, but the combo provides more sharpness than straight green. It can't be carved or sanded as easily as straight brown, but I wasn't planning on carving this, so it was fine in this situation.



Before the putty cured, I fit the arms in place to make sure the shoulder pads could "press into" the putty and create a perfectly-shaped attachment point. Then, I turned my attention to the remaining accessories. The backpack got a templar cross:



And, I finished up the black sword. For this, I used brown putty to fill in and smooth the gap where the blade was attached, and added a skull icon on either side. I sculpted those tiny skulls for details to add to my range of Skull Forge Scenics graveyard scenery, and they come in handy for other projects from time to time.



I used thin styrene rod to add rivets around the gloves.



Then I added the boltgun in his hand (and drilled out the barrel, because I'm not a savage!), and glued the arm in place.



With the gun arm attached, I could finally position the head. I filled the neck cavity with putty, and pressed the head in place. Once the putty was cured, I glued on the head, and now Magnus is properly looking where he's firing.



Then, I turned my attention to the Inquisitor-scale marine. I sculpted the knee joint, and continued filling in the detail on the greaves.



I made sure the putty was completely hard, and then filed and sanded it smooth and flush with the metal to create smooth leg greaves.



I also cut and adjusted the toe so it lined up with the base and didn't pitch the model forward as much.



After some consideration, I decided to upgrade the model to Primaris status. I carved out the bottom of the greave on either side, and used green stuff to add the round caps at the ankle joint. Then, I sculpted the extra layers of armor on the feet, and extended the back of the greave.



To match the design of the Champion's armor, I used brown stuff to sculpt trim around the top and bottom of the greave...



...and added rivets with styrene rod. Once the rivets were in place, I sanded their tops to round them a bit and get rid of the sharp, square edge of the cut styrene rod.



I think the feet are most complex part of the Primaris conversion, so it's nice to get that out of the way at the start. I still have to add the extra panels of armor on the thighs, but most of the torso and arms will be covered by the tabard and gloves, so I can "fudge" a lot of the details. The effect should be sufficient to convey that it's Primaris armor when finished.

'Til next time!


  1. These conversions are absolutely top class. The fact you’re using the parts from the original champion just takes it to another level, excellent and inspiring work!

    1. Thank you! I wanted to use as much of the original as I could, and thankfully the heads and shoulder pads are still compatible.

  2. More great work. How did you make the knee joint ribbing? It looks as if it has a more complicated profile, rather than just a cut line from a sculpting tool

    1. Thanks! It's just a "blade edge" kind of tool to make the initial impressions, and then a hard silicone clay shaper with an "angle chisel" shape to gently widen the grooves and get a sharper edge on the raised ridges. Then a little more of the blade edge to deepen the grooves.

    2. ah, yes, an angle chisel, that makes sense now. Thanks!


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