Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Seamless Conversion

This blog entry will continue with the conversion theme of my last major entry. That entry was intended to familiarize you with some of the basic tools and techniques that I use. In this one I’ll talk about the thought process that goes into designing a model conversion themed for a specific army.

The majority of the times that I do a conversion, it is intended to fit in with one of my existing armies. The only situations I can think of that this wasn’t the case is the large monsters that I created for my Beastmen army: the Jabberslythe and the Giant. In those cases, I just wanted to create something big and unique. I used the paint colors and paint style to tie them into the army as a whole, but the models themselves were very different from anything else in the force.

One of my main goals in creating a conversion themed to match a particular army is to make the conversion as seamless as possible. This makes the whole force look as cohesive as possible. A model that at the beginning of the conversion process would look rather out of place in or next to a unit should look completely normal integrated there at the end. This allows me to exploit the things I like about a model or model range, and to minimize the things that I don’t like; all on a single new model.

A really good conversion should not just fit in with the army that the conversion is themed for, it should also look faultless in and of itself. What I mean by this is that the style of the original model should be accounted for in the conversion. The following things should be consistent across the entire model: The style of hair or fur, the type of belts and straps, the handles on the implements/weapons, the business part of the weapons that the model is wielding, the clothing and cloaks, the way the skin and musculature is sculpted, the pouches, and so on.

For example: If you start sculpting fur on a model that has a particular type of fur sculpted on it already, say close cropped kinky style fur as seen on the old metal GW minotaurs, and you add additional fur and hair to the top of its head that is a flowing style of hair, as is typically found on the new plastic GW minotaurs; that inconsistency in the fur/hair on the model will look glaringly out of place.

It is always a great compliment when someone looks at one of my finished models, and asks: ‘What is that model from?’ They know it’s a conversion, and they are familiar with some or all of its components; but they don’t recognize it. That says to me that I did a really good job on it.

My next six blog posts will be examples of some of my converted models, and a discussion on how this idea of a seamless conversion applies to them.


PsychosisPC said...

I have much of the same thought process, as I proceed with army building.

The best compliment one can recieve regarding your army that is simply full of conversions, is that the person thinks that they can buy their models looking like that from the manufacturer.

Subtley in conversion sometimes is all that it takes.

Michael Butcher said...

Stompers is one of my favorite models you have done...

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