Thursday, 9 February 2017

Ironjaws Megaboss part 9

It’s been a long time coming but the end of the project is finally in sight!

In order to finish the Megaboss I had to complete his base and that was quite a project in itself. As well as the severed dracoth head there were several skulls attached to the base, but they were not going to be the only such additions. I intended the base to be piled up with severed heads, using a mix of Orruk and human heads, as well as a couple of more skulls. This would give the base a look of a trophy mound with the combination of skulls, and more recently severed heads, telling a story of many victories over a period of time.

Painting the heads went very smoothly, although it was very fiddly work. The desaturated flesh tones I have used on the severed heads helps to convey the impression of death and prevent them from drawing too much focus from the Megaboss. For the same reason, I put a little more work into the dracoth head to darken and desaturate it.

Once the heads were painted, I glued them onto the base using PVA woodworking glue. This is an excellent adhesive for small lightweight parts that do not need to be held in place while the glue dries. It avoids the potential mess of epoxy glue, and the problems of fogging and positioning that can come with superglue. With PVA, parts can be nudged into place and any excess can be cleaned away with a clean damp paintbrush.

Then it was time to add a few sparse grass tufts and, after the addition of a little extra dirt effects, the Megaboss would be finished – or so I thought!

I’d been having those nagging doubts I sometimes get. This time I felt that something wasn’t quite right with the Megaboss but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what the problem was. It might just have been last minute jitters, as the project came together, but the feeling got stronger and stronger.

The answer came from sitting back and taking a good long look at the model. All the details were as good as I could make them but the overall impression lacked impact. Something was off with the positioning and composition of the Megaboss on his base!

He looked very awkward from certain angles and from others seemed to be about to topple backwards, right off the rear of the base. Cue panic, swiftly followed by black despair!

However, all was not lost! I could remember a similar situation with my Dark Eldar diorama. The solution, which came as they often do in the middle of the night, was the same as before. I would have to remodel the base.

This was not something I undertook lightly and it took several hours to psych myself up to it! If I got it wrong I’d be in a much worse position than before.

To begin with I used a pair of clippers to snip away the edges of the plastic base and some of the ‘soil’ from the lower edges. Next I took my Dremmel and sanded away the milliput from under the front edge of the base. This covered the entire model in a heavy layer of milliput dust that had to be meticulously cleaned off. It was, to say the least, a horrible job; but at least I could then move on and start reconstructing the base.

I took a new 60mm plastic base and filled the underside with milliput for weight and stability. Once this hardened I glued the old, trimmed down, base onto it. But I didn’t glue it down flat. Instead I inserted a wedge of cork between the old and new bases at the rear. This had the effect of raising up the back edge of the base and radically altering the relative angles of both the Megaboss and the ground. The gaps were then roughly filled in with green stuff.

The change has made a massive difference to the Megaboss and his base! The positioning and composition now feel right to me. But the biggest change is that the Megaboss now feels ‘alive’! His posture looks balanced and dynamic and this, together with the added height, has given the piece much greater impact.

Now I have to reapply and paint the soil effects but the end really is in sight … honest.


  1. Very impressive as always! You were right, da boss was slightly backwards, the new base corrects this impression.
    If I may add something, the heads includind the dracoth's one are lacking blood... (please excuse my bad english)