Monday, April 20, 2015

Trollbloods know how to Rok...TO THE EXTREME!

Might as well start with an EXTREME pic! And yes, I do need to yell when I refer to how EXTREME this model is...
So yeah.. EXTREME Rok. Since I already bought the extreme mauler just to get the base for my MEGA Mulg, I found myself with this great big lump of metal left behind. I didn't really need another mauler, so Rok it was !

Ok so yeah I planned it all along.

Rok is such a super cool part of the Trollblood mythos and such a powerful impressive CHARACTER beast, that he clearly deserved a characterful model - that was more than just a plastic mauler with a new face. I did some looking around and found a few REALLY cool beer drinking raging and genuinely impressive Rok models, but I kept coming back to the big bad extreme version.

I had one recurring problem with the extreme Rok conversion's that I was able to find and that was around the axe hand. Some people clipped the axe and put it in the wrong hand, which was a strange idea that I still don't really understand given the nature of the game rules. Other builders cut and pinned the axe to the correct hand - which I understand is probably the easiest answer, but given the tightly clenched fist doesn't make it look like he is properly holding it . Or the most sensible but still difficult way was to cut off the extreme hand, attach the Rok hand and try to smooth the zone to match it up..... which basically leaves him with one less detailed and smaller hand.

To me, the solution seemed straightforward - none of these would suffice. Instead I started by sawing and clipping away all of Rok's hand and carving the remaining metal so that it was shaped in a way similar to the rest of the axe handle. Yeah...umm that was .... On any level. But it sure as hell looked cool when it was finished and on the table.

Next I took Instant Mold from CMON and took an impression of the fingers and knuckles of the extreme mauler hand. This stuff is really great and I am finding all kinds of uses for it in my conversion work.  I could have simply resculpted the fingers and matched them up, but this cut a ton of time and made sure the fingers matched up perfectly to the original sculpt!

Once I was sure that my press mold was good and the resulting fingers were dry I set about cutting the original fingers from the extreme fist. I was careful to cut on angles and work slowly so that I could maintain the integrity of the thumb. this made gluing the axe into place much more easy. once that was secure I trimmed, bent (GS is flexible!) and fit the greenstuff fingers into place.

Now I had an extreme Rok who was properly holding his axe!

Next was a bit of simple gap filling around the back and arm joints and then to make him a bit more EXTREME I gave him more hair and a MORE EXTREME BEARD!

This was now a Rok with a beard so fine that even Kris Aubin would be proud to sport it!

Now I truly had an EXTREME Rok to be proud of. Time finish Mega Mulg and Frank&Stein so I can get them all into paint at the same time - so that my colour matches will line up across the batch :)

Then again..... Perhaps one more model first.

A Warcaster.

That way I could end up with a heck of a battle group for P3.

But who would hang out with both Rok and Mulg? hmmm........

Monday, April 13, 2015

Introducing Frank & Stein - my Dire Troll Bomber Team!

This started out as 40% inspiration and 60% joke but in my mind has ended up 100% awesome!!!!! (ok 96% awesome and 4% still a joke - makes me smile like crazy!)

hehehe the hands are SO MUCH BIGGER than this... but dang this looks cool!
Once upon a time I was digging through the forums at privateer press and cam across a model that I thought was pretty darn cool - turned out it was actually just a digital mock up that forum member Maximum had made when people were trying to figure out how big Dozer and Smig's hands were when the initial pics of them had been leaked and what the model could look like... He pasted them on to an image of a dire troll and then used bouncer shields as shoulder pads to camouflage the arm joins etc.

Having just cut apart Dozer for my Mega Mulg project I had a set of the hands just kind of kicking around and thought - what the heck lets give it a try. First thing I discovered was that Maximum's estimate of the size of D&S hands was under - by a lot. Those frikking hands are HUGE. But I had little to lose and thought that the bouncer shields might really offset some of the size disparity so I pushed on. Using my leftover Extreme Mauler head really helped as it was much bigger than the standard plastic head and brought more overall proportional balance to this (still mostly ridiculous) model. That was actually a tough choice because I did so like the look of Maximum's inspiration piece with the blitzer head, but I figure Ill be building at least one blitzer still so Ill get to use that head yet....and this really did add a lot to balancing the sections of the figure.

As with Mulg I wanted to make sure that it stayed close to the definitions of legal for Tournament play - and looked to the defining features of the actual bomber model for inspiration. I used the correct back piece for the bomber kit and carefully cut one of the bomber "bombs" from the hand so that I could it it in the D&S hand. A little Green stuff later and the hand close around the refinished bomb nicely!

I used a couple of extra mule barrel/kegs and some smaller ones from various Trollblood models (I bits ordered a bunch directly from PP a while ago) to fill out the area along the belt line and around the back. Really easy and really worked out!

I also noticed the helmet head on the bomber and felt that this was one of the things that was specific to differentiating this model from the other trolls in the kit so I cut the helmet away and mounted it atop the extreme head and then added some straps from brass etch (1/35 german tie down straps).
It actually made the extreme head a little more normal looking but what I really like it the way the brass straps look like he has just burst them in the moment and really give some life to the overall model!

I also removed all the gear that was strapped to the gloves - the missiles/shells, an axe, bedroll, pouches, straps etc (hey there was a lot of room to fill on those!) and went about refilling the resulting holes with greenstuff and apoxie sculpt (apoxie sculpt is way easier to smoothly blend in for surfaces like this btw...) I decided to leave them less than 100% level - giving them a slightly dented appearance instead. A light sanding to finish and they looked great!

I then added the shoulder pad which was a Bouncer shield press molded using Instant Mold from Cool Mini or Not and Apoxie sculpt.  Once it was hardened and attached I added a brass strap across the body. I looked at whether to add the second bouncer pad like Maximum's original artwork had featured But I really liked the asymmetry of just one and felt that it gave me more range of pose for the bomb holding arm not to have the second pad.

It was at this point that I realized there was still something missing and that a whelp was really needed to finish the composition and raise the eye level above the huge lateral axis created by the huge hands. I briefly thought about using the stock bomber whelp and was explaining to a friend about how I had "frankensteined" this whole thing together from leftover parts when I was hit square in the face with inspiration.  Like Dozer and Smig - I could really characterize this duo as Frank and Stein!  With all personal the character focused attitude featured in the current Riven Bonds league play I knew I was really on the right path!

I made a press mold of Smig's arm and grabbed a metal whelp with the bottle.  a few snips + a bit of wire later and I had modified the bottle into a bomb, taken off the other arm and married the cast of smigs fist to the body. I took some greenstuff and gave him a frankenstein-esque tall forehead and hairdo and then added some grandt line bolts to the whelps neck! I then took some screws/bolts from the Cephalyx monstrosity sprues and added them to the neck of the dire troll to give a bit of thematic continuity. It looks pretty cool!

Cant wait for my Bases from CMON/MAS to finally come in as I will be able to stand him up properly and start laying in some paint!