Boar is the guilds “big guy” and according to most Butcher’s players (including me) a critical piece in the team lineup from a gaming perspective. Few other models in the game are capable of dishing out as much damage as Boar, who under the right circumstances is capable of taking out almost any opponent in a single turn.
Sadly, no other model in the game (that I’ve seen) is quite as poorly sculpted either. So I knew before I even bought the model that it would need a lot of work.
This is a real shame when the art for Boar is so very cool. I can’t help but feel that the relative difficulty of digitally sculpting a convincing action pose has contributed to some of the failings of the model – and that a model based more on Boar’s “at rest” pose in the artwork would have been preferable.
Still, at least it gives me a reason to get stuck into a fairly complex conversion! Here is the digital render of Boar (probably the best image to base an initial assessment of the model on).
And here are the issues I have with the stock model:
- A bizarrely oversized right arm, several degrees bigger than his left. The discrepancy is so stark that the difference in diameter at the shoulder and elbow joints is 2mm between right and left arms (note, this isn’t particularly evident in the views above)!
- The right arm joins the torso poorly, anatomically speaking. It looks more like a trunk growing out of his body than a limb attached with muscle. The right pectoral muscle, for example, should be stretched back where it joins the arm and “flow” into the arm muscles, but on the stock model instead ends abruptly before properly joining the arm.
- Huge “straps” sculpted around the upper right arm look, to me, awkward and like they are there to hide some poorly sculpted muscle. The straps don’t follow the contours of the muscle, so look more like an inflatable arm band.
- Some very deep, gaunt flesh around his collar bones – something you’d normally associate with a malnourished figure, not someone as obviously well fed as Boar!
- A cartoonish face that may or may not work for you, but for me had to go.
- Equally cartoonish cuts in the torso.
- Slab like pectoral muscles with an unnatural cleft between them around the sternum.
- The chain flailing from the handle of his axe struck me as unnecessary embellishment and perhaps likely to bend and eventually snap off in time.
- Finally, in what is a common trend across Guild Ball models, a tab that is way too thin to fit snugly in the models slottabase.
These photos (particularly the overhead shot) show the discrepancy in arm size and other anatomical issues fairly well.
I started by cutting off the head and right arm. I used the shoulder strap on his right arm as a guide for the hacksaw. I used a sharp knife to further carve back the neck, which is very large indeed because of the stock models huge chin and jaw line. With a different head, the neck would be too big. I then scraped down any mould lines and finished off the initial preparation with a fine grade sponge sanding block. These sanding blocks I find the best way to remove surface imperfections while still being sensitive to the detail and contours of the model.
The bits I’m using to replace the arm and head are Games Workshop parts. The arm is from the Skullcrushers of Khorne kit, and the head is a Marauder Horseman head, chosen for the tash and serious countenance that comes pretty close to Boar’s concept art. Fortunately because Games Workshop’s heroic scale means their models tend to have very oversized heads, this head looks about right on Boar’s huge frame in Guild Ball’s more natural scale. Both parts were pinned to the torso using 1mm wire – the arm with a 1-2mm gap to ensure it is long enough.
I used procreate to fill the main gaps including the deep cuts in the chest and back, then brown epoxy putty to resculpt the neck, right shoulder and pectoral muscles and tidy up the chest (removing the unnatural trench between the upper pectorals) and make the collar bones a little less prominent.
At this stage I have also based the model, using two thin strips of plasticard to narrow the slottabase gap before mounting Boar directly to the base with plenty of putty to reinforce the join. As he’s already so big, I didn’t feel any extra height was needed here. I finished the build of the base with several roughly cut paving stones cut from a wine cork.
I pinned the axe hand in place (note the axe is now bereft of the chain attached to the base of the haft), then shortened the left forearm slightly to make sure both arms would be the same length before pinning that to the left arm and finally gluing the tool belt down. I am infinitely happier with this Boar which I think is much more anatomically correct and pleasing to the eye, as well as having more muscular detail (particularly where the right arm joins the chest) to paint varying skin tones on.
I washed the model in warm soapy water to remove any grease that has no doubt accumulated during all the conversion manhandling, let it dry thoroughly then undercoated it with grey and white primer ready for paint.
The grey primer is tough car body paint; the white is sprayed as a zenithal undercoat from above to provide a brighter undercoat for the upper surfaces and a useful guide to shading.