As we all know converting models is my favourite aspect to this beloved hobby of ours. I love it. More than anything else, what I love the most about converting is losing myself in it. Last night I poured myself a whiskey, put on The Black Keys and spent a couple of hours in my Fungeon tinkering away like some sort of madman on a new model for my HellGate project. I go into an, almost, meditative state. I can still hear the music but my, usually very busy, mind is completely focussed on creating something. It’s pure bliss for me. It calms me, resets me and makes me so happy.
This song always comes to mind when I think about me in my hobby room tinkering away. Forgive me if I’ve shared it before haha. I love it.
Ok so what’s this model I mentioned all about?
Well, one of the main armies I’m having for HellGate is called The Tainted. These cretins will be a mix of flesh and mechanical bits with a bit of disease and pus thrown in for good measure. Some of you might remember some models I built a while back called “The Black Plague”, (I won’t blame you if you can’t remember or keep up haha) well they’ll be recruited into this army.
Every good/evil army on HellGate needs to worship some sort of God so for the Tainted it’s, simply, The God of Taint. There will be more fluff down the track but one thing I will divulge is that this God is a living breathing thing and it’s been enslaved by the Lord of the Tainted who controls and rides the great beast God.
Larger models are a lot more challenging than smaller miniatures or characters in my opinion. Yes they’re less fiddly, for the most part, because you’re dealing with a bigger base and bigger pieces but you’re also creating bigger holes to try and fill. GW kits are designed in such a way that everything has its place and fit together in a certain way and, these days, it’s not just a matter of this arm goes here and this head goes there. You’ll get part of an arm and some shoulder that slots into a back piece and a section of a backpack or something. Anyone who has tinkered with more recent releases from GW will know what I’m talking about. Therefore it means converting takes on a whole new challenging level. One that I’ve come to really enjoy. How I go about things is simply imagining what I want and just doing it. Making the basic shape or stance then fill in the gaps after. There’s something quite liberating and fulfilling about doing it that way. I do plan to a certain degree but I, mostly, do what I call “free-form converting”. Just making a start and seeing what comes of it. Great fun.
The main thing I wanted for this model was uniqueness. I guess every converter wants that but this one needed to be even more left of field than usual. That was my challenge. I had the base model in mind but wanted a different stance and a different head. I ploughed through my bits boxes and considered having a robotic head. In fact I even put one together from the GW sentinels kit.
Then I thought maybe half robotic and half ugly monstrous head. Then I found a piece in my terrain bits box and the idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. When I saw the piece I was instantly taken back to one of my favourite movies as a kid. Jason and the Argonauts.
I added the head to the model and planned ahead that I’d try and paint it to look similar to Talos. It needed something more. Hmm why not a mouth guard or some sort of muzzle? Haha a bit nuts but I went with it and I’m super happy with the result. I actually used th roll bars from the sentinel kit (see pic above).
It it took tweezers, some patience and a few gulps of whiskey to get the muzzle looking just right. I had to cut several sections of the muzzle to get it sitting on the face the face properly.
I also added some cables but will be adding more and hope to use a cable maker thing from green stuff that I have tucked away somewhere. Should be fun.
As mentioned the Lord of Taint will be riding the monster-God so he needed a podium. Here’s a sneaky look.
Along for the ride the Lord of Taint has a couple of slave minions to help him control and maintain the beast. They were fun to cobble together.
One of the more challenging things was completely readjusting the monsters left arm. The base model had it positioned hanging down low but I wanted it raised high in a “swinging a weapon to strike” sort of pose. Needless to say this created some challenges and a lot of holes around the shoulder. As I still have a fair bit of work to do on the arm I’ll just show you some of it. The photo doesn’t show it that well but at the very end of the mechanical section is a large curved blade. I cut this out from a piece of terrain. I had to sort of carve it into shape which was fun.
One more thing I’d like to show you is the statue this Monster God will be lugging around. It was another terrain piece but I cut the bottom half off and the arms too to give it a sort of Venus Di Milo look hehe. I filled the whole model with Gyproc (pollyfilla). 1. To fill the hole but 2. To carve the filled areas to look like broken rock. I hope that makes sense.
That’s it for the sneak preview I hope you enjoyed it. My plan is to finish it and paint it straight away but as I’m such a big hobby butterfly who knows haha. I’ve actually learnt to embrace my hobby butterfly ways. My philosophy is “do what makes me happy”.
Thanks for all the responses to the big “plastics or metals” question. I’ll be reading out your comments and giving your page a shoutout in the very next podcast episode (31). I’m recording tomorrow and it will be released on Friday (Australian Time).