Saturday, 30 July 2016

How I did it: Megaboss on Maw-krusha (part 1)

- Live off the land. Go to find war. Kill wot comes close. The old ways are best. -

   Few things are exciting like the full abandon when you start thinking about a brand new modelling project, or at least for me. When I say full I mean really full; every day, all of the time, at work or at home, before sleeping, while sleeping, just awoken and so on. For me this feeling, which I imagine most of you are familiar with, involved many parts of the model... such as the backgrounds and enviroment. The enviroment is very important, especially when we talk about huge miniatures, meant to be centerpieces of entire collections.

Marnaldur Gaze of Mork, The Ghyran Iron Skull, riding the mighty Kartart

   Well... this is the case, I started elaborating the whole project largely before even unboxing the Maw-krusha. For this big boy, Marn(aldur) Gaze of Mork, the Ghyran Iron Skull, and for his lovely blue lizard, Kartart, I had imagined a moment of his history to capture. That moment was his coronation as the clan Asheaters' Megaboss, in the wake of his victory in the civil war caused by the death in battle of the previous boss. I thought that an event of such importance needed a special place... so I started creating "The Crag of Mork (or possibly Gork)" kitbashing everything I had on hand.

   For the entire background of Marnaldur and Kartart I refer you to the dedicated post in the section Background Backdoor... now it's time for a brief modelling/painting tutorial.

Crag of Mork (or possibly Gork)

   First of all I'll tell you which kits and materials I used to make the bashing and the basing, the list is (in a messy order):

-the old Idol of Gork from Forge World, I used only the head

-Orruk boyz set form Games Workshop... a lot from this kit, shields, banners, spears, swords, heads ecc...

-the old Vampire Counts Skeletons pack... I bought almost three of them in the last few years because I make a large use of skulls, bones, corroded armors and weapons and so on; this kit is an incredible source of inspiration to shape a base in a dark/battlefield/whatever way! For this base I used only few skulls.

-Orruk Boar Chariot to recreate the door-banner on one side of the crag and the wheel on the other side

-the Orruk Warboss blister for the "luck greenling" behind the banner-door and for some other orc heads (representing the bosses beaten by Marnaldur)

-a lot of sand, cork, stones, 4 different kind of glues 

   I started from a huge piece of cork bought in my local Ikea store... a kind of hot-pad


Then I carved the cork with a modelling cutter; you need something very sharp. I wiped away a large part of the hot-pad always looking at the size of the big maw-krusha's round base.

Marking the traces of the beast as a reminder of how far I can push myself carving the cork I inserted the head of the Idol just in the front of the model... and fixed the crag to the round base with superglue. I suggest to always use superglue with cork.

Filling some gaps (in the space between the Idol head and the crag this process was very needed) with grey texture. I used Citadel astrogranite.

Using a lot of PVA glue (be careful anyway, do not cover the detail with it) I started putting stones on top of the crag. In this passage it was very important to use different sizes of stones... too many to be listed; just use whatever you have on hand, starting from the bigger to the smaller, to obtain a messy-realistic amount of debris. All over the base (avoiding the traces)!

Next step is maybe the most important. Here i created the whole crag in its mighty religious and politic power. I used few cork cubes covered by sand and stones as base for the spears of the fence, created a bestial bone idol just above a burnt ground circled by stones of similar size, put the banner-door with the iron-icon and luck greenling behind them, put the three heads of the dead bosses and finally circled the rock with the shields of all the tribes who have sworn allegiance to Marnaldur; adding few other details such as skulls and weapon, chariots' wheels, I covered and filled all the gaps and the flat ground between objects with PVA and sand, and the base's done.

Right after a solid coating of black (this is the best color for grey rocks, just because you can leave the recesses darker without doing almost anything) I had some good time drybrushing with a huge brush! The color was Dawnstone from Citadel (light grey) for the second coating; you have to cover everything with this shade of grey so don't be shy.

It's washing time. Ok now you have an enormous piece of rock colored in pallid grey and you have to make it real; so grab all of your shades (i used at least 5, greens, browns, dark reds ecc) and start to put drops randomly allocated all over the model.... adjust the amount before they're dry. After drops are fully dry take your favorite dark shade, black or dark brown and apply without reserve on the model. You must cover everything, indulging on every recesses and any detail that needs to pop up.

Here we go with the definition of the rock! Once again grab your larger drybrush and start brushing gently with:

-Citadel Dawnstone (light grey): you can indulge more here, go on until you are satisfied.
-Citadel Rakarth Flesh (light beige I think): brush most of the model gently in this step avoiding the darker recesses.
-Pure White (I used Ceramite White from Citadel); little amount, veeeery gently and carefully this time... pure white lets your model gain literally life but you are always on the edge of disaster, so go on very slowly.

Now do the same thing to the ground: this time i used different color moving the palette to a browner shade instead of doing the ground at the base of the crag grey as the rock. You are free to choose any tones you like in this step. Then go on basecoating, and painting right on, all the details, skulls, spears, heads etc. I will not explain here any single process....

....except one: making the iron and steel rusty and corroded. I used to coat the piece with Leadbelcher Citadel and shade with Agrax Earthshade from Citadel. After shading is complete I take one of my battle-harsh brushes to apply a certain amount of Citadel Typhus Corrosion, then i'll wipe away the same color before it will dry, leaving only recesses covered, as you can see in the picture.

Once the Corrosion is done I take another battle-veteran brush to drybrush all the iron with Citadel Ryza Rust. This time you have to apply the dry color in a slightly different way. Do not go back and forth but, with the brush very dry, start tapping around.

... and so, the model is almost done. Add as many details and features as you like and go on painting until you are satisfied, just like this poor orc's head in the pictures... different green shade, different age, or tribe, or country. Remember: the more time you spend on a model the more complex it will be. Rome wasn't built in a day!