Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Maiming Mournfangs

Off with his saddle, toes, upper rear legs, the top of his head, part of his face, what passes for a tail... Poor guy.

Last night I sat down and started to work on converting my Mournfangs into wolves. Well, I started work on one of them, anyway. He will be my prototype. Given that I really have no idea what I'm doing, I figured a prototype might be a sensible place to start. As I sat down and started to analyse the model (with a Wolfygryph alongside for comparison), I realised just how much I was going to have to do. The following is the rough list of what needs to be done to make a Mournfang into a wolf, as per my requirements:
  • Cut down the saddle attached to the model’s back (without even using the extra saddle bits, it’s still way too tall)
  • Fix the head. This means lengthening the snout, narrowing and hiding the back of its existing mouth where the big tusks are meant to be attached, cutting all the lumpiness off the top of its head, and maybe doing something to make the ears more prominent
  • Replace the ugly 3-toed feet with paws
  • Build up the model’s rump to a reasonable level in proportion to the rest of it
  • Give it a proper wolfy tail
  • Try to change the proportions of the legs a bit, in particular the upper section of the hind legs, which are totally different from a wolf’s
  • Cover all the bald spots with fur
Judging from the list above, I am forced to the conclusion that a Mournfang and a wolf have very little in common. Oh well, if I can get all that done, I will be well on the way. Ideally I would like to add armour to the wolf when I'm done, but I may leave it until last in case I'm running out of time.
The saddle copped a beating from my clippers, knife and file. The weird material section over the shoulders will eventually be covered by fur and/or armour.
My work under way. Here you can see saddle, rump, the new paw and the beginning of the tail.
From the other side you can see the rough shape of the wolfy snout I've given him. I suspect I will need to cut into my own putty with a dremel and put teeth in. Teeth worry me a little - they'll be a test of what limited skills I have.
To show why the old feet had to go - the toes on the right really look nothing like a wolf's paw. I actually cut away at the back of each foot too, as the shape looked wrong there as well. That should be easily cleaned up with green stuff, but I'll try to remember to take a shot next time.
It’s still pretty early days in terms of the conversion. I've built up the back of the Mournfang, given it a wire to hold a tail, gone some way to replacing its saddle, added a rough shape for its snout, and modelled one paw. It will be interesting to see what progress I can make next time I sit down and work (that will probably be tonight, given how tight my time-frames are). My skill with putty is still pretty rough, but I am hopeful I can get things to a level I'm happy with.
Yes, there is a rider. And he now sits at a level I'm far happier with. Obviously he has a long way to go.
I've barely started to think about the rider. I actually considered cutting it off at the waist and using one of my cloned breastplated torsos, but for now I will leave it alone. I plan to armour up the whole rider, so his legs got shaved back to remove most of the folded fabric of his pants etc. The insides of the feet got cut and filed back too, because I was having trouble getting his legs to sit down much lower over the Mournfang. In fact I was pretty brutal with the sides of the mount as well, hacking and filing at them in an attempt to make it narrow enough for the rider’s legs to fit. It proved possible for the prototype, and I can only hope I will be able to do it again for the other base Mournfang (there are 2 bodies in the kit, with slight variation in heads and legs. The bodies are the key factor here).

In other news, I suspect the Ogre Halberdiers have about as much detail as they’re going to get at this point. The Mournfangs and Bruiser will probably absorb enough of my time without fiddling with something that basically works in its current form. I think I will admit defeat with these guys and base and undercoat them sooner rather than later, so I can start painting them if I am waiting for Mournfang putty to cure.
The remaining Ogre Halberdiers. About as done as they're going to get before painting.
This guy was made to look like one of the old 6th edition Empire Spearmen, who I have been converting to Halberdiers. Somehow this guy got immensely broad, however. Comically so. Whatever, he's an Ogre. Just big-boned.
The guy second from the right was the one used as the basis for that last Ogre.
Lot of work to do over the next week and a bit. Here's hoping I make it...

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