Last summer I painted the Abyssal Warlord from Scale 75 for my workshop at Element Games. Although he started out as a demo mini I decided to try and finish him to competition standard, and I was pretty pleased with how he turned out. I took the finished model along to the Golden Demon winner’s day, at Games Workshop HQ in Nottingham, to get some feedback from my fellow painters.
Having successfully smuggled a non-GW model in, without setting off the alarm at the gates, I put him out on display. The reaction was very good but there was one bit of very helpful feedback. Put simply, the rings that attached his cloak to his armour were the weak link in the paint job and didn’t match up to the rest of the model.
I believe that we are all our own toughest critics and deep down we always know when something isn’t up to scratch! However, I’m very good at deceiving myself, and it’s all too easy to think that it’s ok and no one will notice. Thank goodness someone did notice and gave me a, much needed, push to sort it out!
The root of the problem was in the casting, which wasn’t great in this area. However it’s my job to spot such issues before I’ve glued the parts together and base coated them – my bad!
This required a little thought so I put the Warlord in the cabinet and took plenty of time to ponder the issue. I decided the solution was to remove the offending rings and replace them so that I could then repaint the area. It would be straight forward enough to replace them and sculpt some new fur and fixings. Straightforward in principle but bloody fiddly to do!
I took a little more time to think through a plan of action and I’m very glad I did. I gradually began to rethink my idea of replacing the rings like for like. This seemed to me to be an opportunity to add something a little extra. My thoughts came together very slowly but, in the end, I decided to work with the fish theme already on this model and put fish head terminals onto the cloak.
At this point I remembered the fish familiar in the Silver Tower box and I had my solution. The fish familiar was the perfect size and, because it’s made from plastic, easy to cut and carve to fit. With Horticulous Slimux done I decided this week was a good time to get the Warlord out and make the changes to him.
The Warlord is a weighty, top-heavy model and this made the whole process much harder than it should have been. To cope with this I had to proceed very (even for me) slowly and carefully.
I began by carving away the old rings and a little of the adjoining fur. It was a horrible job but by proceeding with extreme caution I managed to remove the unwanted parts without causing extra damage to the paintwork. Then I had to cut the fish down to size by removing the head, filing off the back half of it’s face and re-carving this surface to fit onto the Warlord’s shoulders.
I glued the new, pre-painted, fish head terminals onto the Warlord’s shoulders with epoxy glue and, once this had set, sculpted new fur to connect the old and new parts. I finished off by repainting the fur to blend the old and new together.
To say the least it was a tricky change to make, and I hate doing this sort of work on a ‘finished’ mini at the best of times! But I think the effort has paid off and I’m very pleased with the result. The new fish head terminals add to the under-sea theme and I think they also improve the overall composition. They help to bring extra focus to the face by framing it with areas of the cold gold. They also create a subtle triangle of gold within the overall colour composition that I find very satisfying!
Thanks to Ellis Kaye for giving me the feedback that prompted me to make the changes!