Friday, February 10, 2012

On Seamless Conversion Subject: Orc(tonnian) BSB

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 6 of 6.

The Orctonnian BSB is an example of a seamless conversion on the model level, on the unit (boar) level, as well as on the army level. He is built from the mounted Orc hero from the plastic Orc Hero box set, some Bretonnian bitz, a load of GreenStuff, BrownStuff, and a few other random items (such as the wooden dowel that I used for the banner pole).   My goal with this conversion was to make a completely unique model to bear the Orctonnian army battle standard.

I had never been completely happy with any of the large cloth items that I had sculpted from GreenStuff. This was an opportunity to make a very obvious one for the army, so I’d have to learn how to get it right. That was the major challenge of this conversion. I needed to match the look of Bretonnian standards, which are generally very crisp and uniform looking.

Another large challenge with this model was making it into something I actually liked. From the moment I opened the box that it came in I had a very poor opinion of it. The boar was very inconsistent with the plastic boars from the Orc Boar Boyz box set. The orc rider looked small and impish. The orc was boring; not at all interesting to look at. If I had known in advance the poor quality of this model, I would have skipped it and used a plastic boar boy as the base for the BSB.

Since I had already spent the money on it though, I had to persevere. There were multiple layers of conversion required to bring the model up to the quality that I desired.

First off, I wanted him to really stand out from the rest of the force, which is why I didn’t use a boar from the plastic Orc Boar Boyz box set. It’s also why I used ApoxieSculpt to raise him up on an elevated base, and made his standard so high.  Also, I made the rider sit up straight in the saddle; rather than hunching forward. That last addition required resculpting his lower back, but was very much worth the effort. It made the orc rider look larger, and much more like a proper knight.

The next thing that was required was to make the boar fit in better with the other plastic boars that I had used on the Knights (Orcs) of the Realm. This boar had no fur, and was posed in a very static manner. The way that I raised up the base helped much in regards the static pose of the boar. The pose of the model then fit with the base layout. The lack of fur could only be fixed by sculpting over most of the exposed skin with GreenStuff fur. When that was done though, he did fit in much better with the other boars.

After ensuring that the boars all matched seamlessly, it was time to make the model fit in with the Bretonnian theme. I started with the boar. I first added cloth over the hind end, and sides (which were previously covered in chainmail). After that I added some Bretonnian-like accoutrements. I sculpted a fleur-de-lys, a bell, and a shield on the sides of the boar. I also added a shield to his face armor. The ideas for these things came from browsing through the artwork and model pictures in the Bretonnian army book. The shields and fleur-de-lys also had the benefit of adding some consistency between the boar and the rider’s standard.
The rider received a typical Bretonnian head wrap around his helmet, and a Bretonnian ornament on top of it. I also gave him a sword taken from a Bretonnian knight.

The standard was the biggest challenge. The first iteration of it didn’t turn out quite as I desired, and I ended up throwing it out and trying again. The standard itself was made from GreenStuff, rolled flat and left to dry while draped over some large paint brush ends. At first I was going to make it look battle scarred and ripped up a bit, but then decided differently. To complete the Bretonnian theme, I decided that a crisp clean look would be best. The metal bit on the top of the standard was taken from an existing Bretonnian standard. The shields and ribbons were added to be consistent with what I’d done on the other models I had built thus far, as well as to look more Bretonnian-like. The design at the top of the standard came from a picture in the Bretonnian army book. The fringes around the banner were added to complete the overall feeling.  I used chains to attach some of the shields on the banner in order to add a very slight orcy feel to the whole thing.

Overall, I very much like how this model came out. He fits in very well with the other boar riders, as well as with the Bretonnian theme. Thus far, he is one of my favorite models that I’ve done to date.


Rhellion said...

Looks fantastic, as usual. Definitely my favorite of the Orctonnians themselves.

retroalias said...

As always awesome. Whats the brown material on your base? I assume the white is the apoxie sculpt.

Johnny Hastings said...

The brown stuff is the ApoxieSculpt. The white is brush on primer, over the brown ApoxieSculpt. I always brush on primer, then add gravel to the base before priming.

Gamemaster Brown said...

Is there a damsel?! :D This is wonderful!!

Post a Comment