Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Seamless Conversion Subject: Dwarf Bear Riders

Be sure to read my blog entry ‘On Seamless Conversion’, as this entry is intended to be an example of what I discussed there. This is example 5 of 6.

These models are an example of seamless conversions both on the model level, as well as on the army level. They’re built from the GW Tsar Boris of Kislev model, plastic dwarf components, GreenStuff, and other random bitz. My goal with these conversions was to create a Dwarf themed unit of large models that could be used as Dogs of War Ogres. I based them on the look and feel of the rest of my Dwarf army, along with ideas taken from the Dwarf Ranger fluff.

To date I’ve only created two of these, and they were last worked on way back in 2006 or so. The biggest challenge here was using the same big metal bear on several models, and not having them all look exactly the same. The only real option there was to build the first one with no conversion work to the bear’s body, and then commit to hacking up the others as much as I could in order to reposition the head and legs.

The idea to build these struck me when I first saw the Tsar Boris model. It seemed like a really kewl and fun thing to build, and a way to add some interesting flavor to my Dwarf army. Back then I had not done large whole model conversions, so it was a real challenge to my conversion and sculpting skills.

The bases had to be built up a bit in order for the bear model to fit on a 40mm base, as it was originally intended for a 50mm base.

I tied these models into the Dwarf army in a few ways. One obvious way was by adding the Dwarf rider, with the understanding that he’d be painted the same as the rest of the army. I also added several ancestor mask charms, and other commonly recognizable dwarf bits.

The last major theme-related conversion element was to add travelling equipment to the back of the bear. I included dwarf bitz as they applied, such as the crossbow. I also added some custom GreenStuff packs and bedrolls, as well as some equipment bitz made by Reaper.

I was very impressed with the end result, all those years ago. I still think they are very interesting and flavorful looking models. Theme-wise they flow very well when set up next to a unit of my Dwarf warriors. I will say that my painting has significantly improved since I painted this guy, but that’s also nice to see!


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