Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Imperial Progress

OK, so as I have stated earlier, I plan to have unit fillers for all of my decent-sized Empire infantry units. 40 or 50 of the same model is just plain dull. A unit filler will break the monotony of the regiment a bit, as well as giving the unit some unique character and even saving me some money. My white furred units have their totem animals, so I have more or less sorted that aspect (even if I have not yet executed all of my plans).

The plan for my non-white furred units was to give them things like supply carts, surgeon's wagons, etc - things the troops have brought with them, then formed up to protect. I still kind of like this idea and might make some wagons as objective markers and the like regardless, however I have hit upon a new idea for unit fillers that I like better. Ogres.

My plan now is to convert maybe 3 ogres per regiment of infantry, to look like huge versions of the same troops. So a unit of halberdiers wearing breastplates will contain a group of 2 or 3 ogres dressed the same way, armed with halberds. This can then be repeated for greatswords, swordsmen, flagellants, etc.

This plan has an additional advantage. The ogres will be useful in their own right if I want to include them in my Ogre Kingdoms army. So I am effectively painting models from 2 armies at once. This is something of an echo of my original plans for the ogres, as they could be Dogs of War to be included in whatever army I chose, in addition to being an army in their own right.

The downside to my plan is that converting the ogres looks like a major undertaking. I don't mind the ogre bull models, but they're not really what I need for this project and there is not enough variety in their poses. So, courage is required. I am going to try anyway, making this easily my most ambitious modelling project to date.

A random ogre bull was "volunteered" by his so-called friends as my prototype. His nervousness was apparent, and he was right to be worried...
My legs! I can't feel my legs!
My ogre models are all largely constructed already. Some of them even have paint on them from previous owners. As such, this building process will also be one of destruction. Apart from the wanton savagery shown above (the blood was cleaned up to maintain my child-friendly G-rating), I had to hack the gut plate off the model and generally try to trim him down a bit. Then I stuck a couple of wires into the torso as legs and started to experiment with my new putty.
This shot is actually from partway through the second session, where I decided to give him back his arms and a halberd
I figured I really had to start by giving him back his legs, so I have done so. He still needs a knee guard on his left leg and some feet (duh). Had I been a clever modeller, I would have made the wire of his legs longer so it could impale a cork or bit of foam so I had something other than the model to handle him by. We live and learn.

As is probably apparent from the shot above, my prototype will be for my halberdier unit (or one of them, anyway). The halberd is made from a banner pole (including the hand that held it, but not the rest of the arm), with the blade components being made from plasticard, with a touch of putty to close it around the handle (you can see that below).
By the end of the second session, our ogre has a breastplate. I figure I can hopefully tidy it up a bit with files and knives once it's hardened.
As shown above, the breastplate was next. It's as close a knock-off of the original halberdiers as I could handle. If you're wondering why he has bits of putty all over his face, that would be 2 things - me not being careful enough where I put my putty-laden paws during the work, and also my making an abortive attempt on a helmet in the first session. At the time his head was still separate and it was too much, too soon. It was removed again shortly afterwards.
And now we add some shoulder plates
Above you can see what I achieved in the third sitting. I decided to give him shoulder plates. I wasn't sure whether to do these or the sleeves first. These were easier, so I kind of sooked out. My loss, I will suffer for it later.
I am hoping I can get this guy finished in maybe 2 or 3 more sittings. If it all works, I will do them in batches in the future. More to follow...

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