Kitbashed Underworld Team

Warpstone Troll, Take 2

This is my second attempt at an Underworld Troll, last time I started making one from a river troll loaded up with cork rocks to represent the warpstone growing from its skin. But that model has a few issues now. Firstly, it’s not appropriate for the comic book style that I have now decided to use on the Underworld team, having too much rough texture instead of the smooth surfaces ideally required.  Secondly, there are a few things I no longer like about the conversion, it’s nothing major but cumulatively adds up to a general sense that I can do better now. And thirdly, it’s genuinely just too big for Blood Bowl, where even with the inflation in the size of the pitch squares in the latest edition, a 40mm base is the practical maximum.

As with the previous attempt I am going to be magnetising this new troll, on the slim offchance that it gets enough star player points to pick up the claw mutation, or even a set of tentacles (for those who aren’t Blood Bowl officionados, the Underworld team is one of two whose players can readily gain mutations as they gain experience, and I like the idea of representing these on the model – hence magnets). I’m using the Rockgut Troggoth kit, one I am really impressed with for the sheer variety of poses that GW has crammed into a kit of 3 models (and the resulting spare parts which will come in use later), the way the kit comes together and the character of the sculpts.

After a lot of enjoyable indecision about which leds, torso, arms and head to use, I glued the bulk of the troll together and then began magnetising the wrists. I’ll be magnetising both wrists and the neck, and probably siting a magnet for a possible future tail. I’m using at least two magnet points per wrist joint to avoid the hands spinning. I had issues lining up the right wrist magnets with those in the hand. When it came to the left wrist I remembered auseful trick of painting the area around the magnet holes with chalk paint and using that to print on to the other part where the holes should go.

The wrist joins are perfected with a thin layer of milliput press moulded so the join is flush, and I added some wristband trinkets to the left wrist as well as this sort of detail serves to conceal the magnet joint.  I also used milliput to conceal the part joins around the body (a job I have recently learned it is infinitely better suited to than green stuff, since it is water soluble so can be feathered with a wet brush). There are a lot of visible join lines in the assembled troll and the milliput does a fantastic job of making it impossible to find the joins.

The slightly bigger sculpting jobs at this stage were the deflated blood bowl ball (more on this in a second), and adding a couple of warp stone crystals growing from his shoulders. These were carved from sprue, stuck in place and had a green stuff flesh ridge sculpted around their base to blend them in with the shoulders.  I also extended some scales around the neck to hide a too obvious line where the neck piece attaches.

I’ve magnetising the neck mostly because I couldn’t decide between the head options (the kit comes with 10 or so, and I really liked 3 of them), but also in case I do a tentacled head or something. But the first head I’ll work on (and probably the only one for now) is the one in the kit that has a rock tied to his head. This really tickled my fancy and gave me a chuckle, but I’ve decided to replace the rock with a deflated blood bowl ball. It’ll still be a nice homage to the original kits head, but place the model squarely as a BB one.  Big guys on my team now have form for this detail, as one mummy on my undead team sports a deflated ball pierced on a shoulder spike.

To sculpt the ball, I followed these steps:

  1. Using an official BB ball for scale, I rolled a ball of greenstuff slightly below the size and into the rough shape of the ball (it needs to be undersized as it’s not pumped up, natch)
  2. I put this into position on the head, squishing it gently into place to start the deflating process.
  3. I sculpted in the lines that divide the four segments of the ball lengthways. I used a scalpel to start with, then refined and widened the lines with a clay shaper
  4. As the ball is strapped to the trolls head, I used a clay shaper to squish the ball down where the strap would run. Then, I added creases and wrinkles in a naturalistic way, sort of emanating from where the strap would be.
  5. Time for the stitches (of which there are four). I took tiny lengths of thinly rolled green stuff, and pressed them into the ball with a pin head, simlutaneously creating the stitch hole and sticking the stitch itself in place. This is a technique I learned when I made my Necroumunda Muties who have stitched together fabric all over the place (I talked about it in more depth in this post)
  6. More thinly rolled green stuff is used for the rings around the ends of the ball. Once in place, they’re flattened down.
  7. I cut the spikes from cocktail sticks, dipped their flat ends in superglue and gently pushed them  (it’s as this point that I started to take photos, and the first 3 in the montage above are from this stage)
  8. Finally I added the strap itself, which is pre rolled and flattened, put in place, then creased where it’s under tension and blended in to the existing strap on the sides of the trolls head.

I’m pretty chuffed with the sculpting overall here. At this stage, he is ready to clean up and prime. I’ve made a base from plasticard (a process I’ll cover in a dedicated post at some point) and two hand options for each arm, including of course the claw hand that is the main reason for all the magnet work.

I’m aiming to submit this for Yaktribe’s “Big Guy” competition, which closes at the start of August, so in theory there is plenty of time, but standing in my way is the not inconsiderable challenge of the comic book style painting, which compared to my skaven test model will need some adaptation for a much bigger model like this.




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