Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chaos Lord restoration and Ragnar Blackmane

A big part of the past few days has been me working on the Chaos Lord restoration project I started a couple weeks ago. Taking him from a finished model and starting over from the ground up has been a huge challenge.

I started by breaking the guy down completely as I posted before and now I'm at the point where I'm putting him back together. One of the possibilities we're looking at is adding some librarian type power cables to his torso. I know that adding such an iconic element can have a huge impact on him so we're thinking about this right now. Not sure where this one will go. A lot of times, I will mock something up for a Client to see how it will look before we commit to any work on the change. Seeing it mocked up can really make the difference compared to what we think it will look like in our head.

While I had everything taken apart, I spent time looking over each area of the model. One area that needed some attention was his torso. I had to clean up around his belt area and found out that a good portion of his lower left side chest plate was missing.

Not too terribly difficult to fix, but one of those small details that will make a project in the end.

A little bit of greenstuff and I was in business. I'm not sure why the area appeared to be damaged originally. It may have been the bit or something that was removed from it in the first place. Hard to say. Now it'll blend in better and not detract from the model.

Another feature I cleaned up were the shoulder pads. Taking the Chaos Champion ones and filling in the tiny indentations across the plating and cutting off the triangle spurs were the first steps. After that, I sculpted a skull for the left shoulderpad and I'll have to sculpt the model's personal heraldry for his right one.

I used a spare Forge World shoulderpad I had lying around as an example of the skull I wanted to recreate. Not exactly, but close enough to do the trick. I've got his heraldry pad started. At least the scroll along the bottom is done. I still need to add a broken halo on the top portion.

On the skull shoulderpad, I've gone back and sculpted fangs along with adding a gem along each side as requested by my Client. That and his helmet has finally be finished. After taking the pewter Typhus head and stripping it down to remove the vents and horn, I had to rebuild the majority of the helmet plates to get everything to line back up and look "right." I added a small vent on the top to bulk it out a bit and break up the open space along with some rivets along the bottom in the front. Looking at the pic now, I think it's hard to see them.

After cleaning up his arms, I had to go back and do some touch ups there as well. In the picture, I marked all the areas red that I went back and resculpted with greenstuff to complete them. Little things like attachment brackets and filling out the armour along the back of his hand.

Ragnar Blackmane conversion

This project is similar to the Raven Guard Shrike projects I've done before or even the Azrael Dark Angels commission I did. There's already a model out by GW, but it just doesn't have that look or quality to it that makes it worth fielding. So that's where I come in.

Looking at the GW version of Ragnar on the right there (image from them), there's a ton of stuff on him.

The plan is to recreate the model in terms of elements, but change his pose and make him much more dynamic looking. I've got everything I need in terms of bits and if you look at the picture below, you can see that I scored an old school bolt pistol to use for this conversion too. It should make a nice touch to the model.

He's going on a 25mm base in a rubble theme. I'm going to have to make some changes to him overall like swapping out his weapons. With the work I'll be doing on the chainsword, I want the hand joint to be as strong as possible. That means I'll be putting the chainsword in his left hand and the bolt pistol in his right. That will help tie in with his pose too since his left leg is back and his right leg will be forward. Normal people move their opposite arm forward as they move so it will allow me to make him look like he's just about getting ready to close in with his chainsword for the final attack after having just shot at his opponent.

You can see that I've got what I call the underlying portions partially built. Things like building the legs in the new position so all that's left is to greenstuff the joint or building his bolt pistol arm so all that's left is to greenstuff the handle of the pistol back in place.

There's lots more too like resculpting his top knot to make it bigger, resculpting his belt buckle, fur pelt, back half tabard... there'll be lots of greenstuff on this guy when I'm done.


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing how your take on Ragnar turns out as I'm currently looking for a good alternative to the metal model.

  2. Nils: Then keep a watch for sure on the next few posts. As I get more done on him, I'll be posting updates.

    We're going for an all plastic version with this guy.

  3. These look very interesting. I just recently have done something of the same thing with my own take on Vulkan. The GW model, while cool, is simply too static. I like taking basic modeling elements and creating a more active, dynamic model. Great work.

  4. Ron, good luck with Ragnar. That old model has a special place in my heart but I agree it's way too static of a pose. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on him.

  5. Looking great so far Ron. After reading your FTW post on Azrael I've been going over a few conversion ideas for my own Azrael model. Not sure if I'm ready to take on the pewter challenge though. I might even do what you're doing with Ragnar here and build a plastic one from scratch.

  6. Like the others, I'll be watching the Ragnar build -- I have the current model but I'm not crazy about him. When I cycle back to working on my Wolves, I'll probably take a stab at Ragnar.

  7. Excellent stuff!
    I'm glad you guys are interested in seeing how Ragnar comes along. I should be able to make some more progress this week and then be able to post what I have next time.

    The biggest thing is just going to be capturing all the tiny details on the original model.

  8. I have to chip in about Ragnar. I don't like the GW model and I want my own. My green stuff is real weak but I think I would have gone for one of the covers on the Ragnar novels. They guy suppose to be epic and needs a very dynamic model for sure.

    Very much looking forward to what you end up with. And the Chaos lord looks real nice. Bet your customer is going to be happy:)

  9. Flekkzo: Thanks. I haven't seen any of the other Ragnar artwork out there, I'm just looking to build something dynamic in the pose alone.

    After reading your comment, I'm starting to think there are probably a couple different ways he could be modeled based on the reference material you go by.

  10. Ron,

    Is there a tutorial out there (perhaps on FTW) on how you sculpted the scroll-nameplate thing on the Chaos shoulderpad? It looks terrific! I did some searching, but to no avail...



  11. Dave: I touched on it once with another conversion, but nothing in depth.

    Let me put something together explaining it because there are few steps that have to go in a specific order for it to look right in the end.

    I'll get it posted this week if that's cool with you.