Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Wolfygryphs are coming...

I have spent a lot of time modelling over the last few days - far more than usual. It's slightly depressing then that I have so little obvious progress to show for it. Nevertheless, I figured it was time to show what I've been working on.

On Saturday I went to the club as usual, however I brought bit and pieces rather than an army, and spent the time clipping Thunderwolves off sprues, cleaning them up and gluing them together. It's amazing how long this process seems to take, but that was why I decided to do it at the club - where I would have several hours uninterrupted in which to get it done. 

I also decided to bust out a Witch Hunter that I've had sitting in a blister for some time. I got him as part of a second-hand bundle, so I didn't really stop to think how old he really was. The model is the old Warhammer Quest Witch Hunter model, but I guess I figured they had been selling him as a regular Warhammer character for some time. It was only when I went to trim the mould lines that I realised how soft the metal was - he had lead content. Then I checked the packaging, and realised the poor guy had been stuck in there for the last 17 years...
Free at last! The Warhammer Quest Witch Hunter finally escapes the confines of his blister pack
So I had spent 4-5 hours assembling half a dozen enormous wolves and a Witch Hunter. Great, eh? Well, Sunday was even better. I planted myself on the floor of the living room, and proceeded to make a glorious nest of modelling paraphernalia in front of the TV. I had resolved that I was going to watch the entirety of the Lord of the Rings (extended versions) whilst I fiddled with models.
Sprung! My wife finds me and my modelling nest on the living room floor.
Well, it was good in theory. I pulled the plug 1.5 hours into Return of the King as midnight approached and I started to get tired. I had been on the floor for a good 10-11 hours, and once again I had precious (my precioussss) little to show for it. A lot of my time had been spent trying to make bases for my Thunderwolf-based Demigryphs. As I mentioned before, my plan was to make a couple of prototype bases and then copy them with Instant Mold and Magic Sculp. After talking it through with some friends, I had come to the conclusion that the bases would need something stronger on the bottom to protect the putty and stop it from breaking, so I set about carving bases from 2mm plasticard. Then I made a mould and started the interminably slow process of copying the bases. I also started my plotting for a War Altar, and finally assembled Ar Ulrik, who would ultimately ride the thing. So some limited progress, but not a lot for the amount of time it took.

Last night I snapped somewhat, and decided to revise my basing plans. Rather than take the time to copy out all the Demigryph bases I would need (probably 10) one at a time using putty (realistically limiting to 1 base per day), I dug up some more 3mm perspex and set to it with a hacksaw and Dremel. And by the end of the night, I actually had some visible progress!
My Wolfygryphs are starting to take shape.
I finally feel like these guys are on their way now, and I'm looking forward to agonising about how I want to do the riders. The Thunderwolf models are awesome, and I'm looking forward to being able to start painting them. 

I have learnt a bit of a lesson from all of this. It's all well and good to resolve to scratch build your own stuff (especially if you want to make something unique), but sometimes the time and effort is not really worth it. I could have forked out a fair bit of money for actual Demigryph bases on Ebay, and whilst I originally balked at the cost and went my own way, I think if I had my time over again, I'd be seriously considering handing over the money for the genuine (if somewhat boring) article. Yes, it's a lot of money for what you get. But in the time I spent making bases, I could have modelled or painted a whole lot of stuff. This is something that will bear thinking about in the future.


  1. Can't wait to see how these turn out!

    Ulric is badass. And that is coming from a devout Sigmarite.

    Your modelling nest is fantastic. Relieved to see I am not along in the world in this.

  2. Please tell me you use the Thomas the Tank Engine table behind you for wargames....

    First post here too, gotta say this is an excellent blog. Love the gaming analysis, fluff-heavy battle reports and I admire your willingness to make your own stuff (Imperial Ogres?! Well done that man).

    Keep up the good work please.

    Tane W

    1. Thanks Tane.

      No, we don't use the Thomas table for wargames. Or at least, we haven't yet. A couple of guys were looking seriously at it for a game of Infinity, though...

  3. You look so guilty...
    Next time I visit, I shall come bearing Chuggington, and we can have a mighty battle of the engines o'er the Thomas Table of Terrible Tyranny!

  4. Great stuff. I love the nest. I love the wolf bases, I kind of disagree though about buying them. Yes it has taken you longer, but it is also something unique and you can be proud of the fact that it was you doing this and not something store brought.

    I think seeing armies and models where you have gone out of the way to convert something unique and special is something to be proud of, forget the time it took. :)

    1. There was a time when I wouldn't have understood this viewpoint at all - when converting seemed like far too much effort. Nowadays I kind of agree with you, however I'm not sure I care much about custom-built bases. Having to carve them from scratch (and really wanting them to look much like the proper store-bought ones) is a bit of a thankless task. I'm glad it's done now.

    2. OK, the bases I can understand the not wanting to make from scratch. That is quite a lot of work.