Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bog Sylvaneth - Kurnoth Hunters Conversions

Captain's log: Day 5,

"Our journey to the merchant city of Jademeadow goes smoothly. Our sky-ship has had minimal damage done to it by the native wildlife and our supplies and goods from the last Barak are still secured.
A stop at a nearby village has been charted to repair the damages and let our hired mercenaries retire as their services and contract have come to an end."

Captain's log: Day 8,

"We've landed at the village and have begun our repairs and taking on any additional supplies that we can trade for.
The villagers are very quiet and go about their work with a focused and hushed silence. Upon asking for any news of Jademeadow we were met with furtive looks and vague answers.
Our mercenary leader, Bastlin Oakwrath a Duardin kin of the strange Rootkings who call the deep woods home, says word of the city will be stopped by the great beast migrations at this time of year.
He says the villagers are likely apprehensive due to worry of their fathers and husbands who leave to hunt the beasts and supply their wayward villages. It's after this reassurance that he holds his contract up and puts his hand out for his company's fulfillment pay."

Captain's log: Day 9,

"Death and disaster, a great evil has greeted us with the rising sun.
Foul creatures of bark and flesh have assaulted the village before daybreak. Our ship is immobilized by hideous vines that seem more bloodvein than plant. Engines, rudders, prow and even unlucky crewmen were transfixed by the disturbing vegetation.
Regardless, the crew takes defensive positions and readies a clear field of fire while gathering the fleeing civilians to our safest position. The mercs take position among the line with their shields and axes at the ready, not a word uttered about the end of their duty to us.
I ready my pistol and wait for the attack."

Captain's log: Day 30.

"We are the last of the survivors.
Myself, two crewmen and the few mercenaries left after Bastlin's sacrifice at holding the line to allow a organized retreat. His death was a great blessing as the deepening hell we explored was a far worse fate.
Our retreat towards the city was a constant rising death toll as the creatures harried us the entire way and tore away any stragglers. Continuing forth we took refuge in a grove of red-leaved trees that seemed a island amongst the forest. Many had to empty their stomaches once we were close enough to see why they were red. The torn debris and broken weapons marked them as the village hunters.
The creatures took advantage of our shock and struck quickly before we could properly array ourselves.
One of the crewmen made a heroic stand and warded the creatures away by igniting a stockpile of munitions we carried from the ship. Luck was with us that one our trade goods, celebration fireworks from Greywater, were among them. The soaring explosions had to be seen by Jademeadow, they will have to send a patrol to investigate. We just need to hold out.
Our current position is in sanctuary of a pilgrimage tomb. Many heroes that died defending the new cities were brought here in this secluded area to be blessed by the sacred lakes and their spirits put at peace.
I ready myself to join them though I feel that I'll be a intruder more than a guest. The mercenaries have begun praying under their breath for ancestors and gods, my crewmen join them shortly though we had put such frivolous dependencies behind us long ago.
With the tomb growing darker and our hope of rescue dimmer by the second it was understandable to beseech the eyes of such distant beings to be cast upon us and give any glimmer of light.
My pistol long since spent, I ready my sabre and quietly hope that when the tomb doors open it will be such a light to shine upon us."

Story written for the bog Sylvaneth by BaronKlatz on Reddit (many thanks, it's awesome :) )

y'know when sometimes conversions just flow effortlessly and all your visions and ideas come int being exactly as you had planned? Well this did not happen on this unit. It is very rare that I struggle with a conversion, but these three really did not want to come into being.

The first hurdle was making the legs and arms work with the muscly torsos I planned to use from the vargheist kit. Luckily this bit was not too painful, as I found after I pinned them it was much easier to find more natural poses before the glue was applied. The arms I blended in using the pustules and growths so the bark element will work well transitioning into corrupting flesh (more so once the texture is applied). A little painful but so far so good. I then hit a snag. What to use as heads. I tried various options as well as converting quite a few, all of which just looked terrible. I finally found some pink horror heads in my bits box that I thought might work. I went with the first half beaked look, splicing it into the upper half of a Kurnoth head, but it just did not sit right, it was just huge and disproportionate to the rest of the body.

After days ruminating on it I turned to twitter for a volition. Luckily a few guys came to the rescue with some great advice and suggestions. I went back and cut off the jaw, trimming it down so it was less bulky on the sides, and shortening it where it attached to the beak. The blogger Ex Profundis also came up with a great suggestion to use feathers to blend the head into the torso so it was not so pronounced. I went with this idea, but modified it to fit the treemon theme a bit more, using the mutating flesh to create that link between the two (and it also still has an overall shape like a plume of feathers, which adds a nice touch to it I think).

Once the first guy had come into being the others flowed a little more easily, as the general idea and pathway for each was similar to the first. I got to admit I found the sculpting not very enjoyable, and it dragged on for ever. The last guy (with the full on beak) I decided not to use any bloating on the skin at all. Hopefully the texture will achieve the blend between the bark and flesh. Having ruminated for a little on this, I may go back and add just a little sculpting around the shoulder pads, as this is the area I am still a little uncomfortable with.

Overall, now I have sat on these models and ruminated about them, I am satisfied with the conversions. It was a bit painful to get them done, and this soured my outlook on the finished pieces a little. I guess I just had to adapt my vision with the reality. Once I achieved this I can say I am pleased with what has come out. Once they are textured and painted the overall effect will be great :)

What are your thoughts on these three?


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