Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Spinning the wheels

OK, so by this point I should really be posting something about having made further progress on my Empire, but the truth of the matter is that I have achieved very little recently. This has partly been a result of my being a bit busy, and multiple painting nights being cancelled. However, my lack of progress has also been due to my focus being a little bit skewed.

With the success of my first Empire Ogre conversion, I was all fired up to make the other 2 that would sit in the Halberdier unit. I decided I wanted to make one look exactly like a big, ogre version of the old single-pose 4th edition Halberdiers I was matching, right down to the pose. The other I would make bending over, driving the spike of his halberd into a victim lying on the ground. All good, right? Well, not so much…

My problems began when I started to make the simpler of the 2 Ogres – the big fat clone of the human Halberdiers. I figured I would have to do what I did to the prototype Ogre, and cut him off at the waist, giving him completely new legs. I was fine with this. But then I realised that none of the existing plastic Ogre arms were in even remotely the right pose for my purposes. At this point I decided the easiest thing to do would be to scratch build the arms too. As such, my poor Ogre became this…
Alas, poor Ogre! Not much of him left... The hand with the pole is not glued in place, hence the funny angle.
I had decided I was going to build the 2 Ogres at once, as it would save time waiting for the putty to dry, and hopefully also save a little bit on the wastage (although I have a whole bunch of horses that now have slightly goofy-looking tails as a result of the leftovers from my sessions with the prototype Ogre, so I guess there was not too much waste before). So I needed to start work on the other Ogre before I broke out the putty. After looking at the poor sod in the picture above, I realised that there was no point cutting up actual ogres for this project. All I was using the original model for was to hook everything together. As such, the final Ogre would not use anything except the hands and head of a plastic Ogre (of which I have many spares).
The beneficiaries of my playing with putty. I have a lot of Kislevites on horses with no tails. That number is gradually improving...
Somewhere in this process, I got bogged down. Building an Ogre from scratch was a far more daunting prospect than using an existing one for a base. Add to this that I am trying for a different pose (one foot on his victim, leaning forward), and my insistence on using big, fat, very tough wire (just because it’s what I already have), and it’s been a real headache getting the guy into roughly the right shape. I figure that knowing my model will have puffy sleeves and the like means I have a bit of leeway in terms of the shape of the limbs (I can make corrections with the putty, even if the wire doesn’t run right through the centre of the limb), but getting things close enough to work has been harder than I thought.
Skinniest Ogre ever! Getting this thing even to this point has been much harder than expected.
Of course, now that I have managed to get to this point (finally), I am thinking it was a mistake to focus on these two models to the exclusion of everything else. Putting these guys first has stalled my progress completely. I do want to do them, but with Book of Grudges coming up in a bit under 2 months, my wife has pointed out that I should be aiming for that and deciding what I want to use there, in case it dictates my painting. Using tournaments as my motivation is my normal approach to painting, but not having entered a tournament since early April, I have fallen out of the habit a bit.

So my revised plan is to get a regiment of 40 Halberdiers painted before Book of Grudges. If I look like getting them done with time to spare, I will try to get the Ogres done to ride in the unit. But ultimately I can use the Halberdiers without the Ogres, but not the other way around. I also want to get another 10 Crossbowmen done, so I can field a unit of 20. I also need to get something painted so that I can start making use of detachments. And I want some more wizards painted. My to-do list never ends…


  1. I have to agree with the using tournaments as a motivation - but lately it's been more than a hassle to prepare for the tournament scene (that and I have had enough of the 40k tournament scene for a while), so I've been just sticking to a plan of making sure I have a WIP update every 2nd day and that there is something new done on the army.

  2. Every second day would be a stretch for me at the moment. But you're right, making sure I have some progress to report regularly should keep me moving a bit.