Sunday, 9 January 2011

Porky models - Ork (5) - Ork 1

Here at last, the complete model, with all of the parts combined into one. A list of the parts first, with the links to the making.

Pics next, and quite a few.

It's not quite finished of course. I haven't drilled the barrels out yet and could always go back and tinker with other things. It's also not especially spectacular. The point with this first was more to demonstrate the ease with which various small changes can be made.

At this more or less final stage there were four main areas of work. These were adding the arms and head, connecting the loose cables on the shoota to the power pack, hiding the joins at the shoulders and filling out the empty spaces to give the model more mass.

Adding the arms and head can decide a lot of the character of a model. Here I had to take into account the hanging straps and cables on the shoota and the hanging tooth on the stikkbomb arm. These were originally placed with the final pose in mind so it was just a case of getting the right angles. I'd also angled the surface of the right arm socket to avoid the shoota moving across the face, but it wasn't a great fit and the shoota strap came away in a couple of places so had to be glued back on. Greenstuff doesn't always stick perfectly to a surface and it's worth bearing this in mind when applying pressure. 

The loose cables were less flexible than I'd expected and the initial plan of plugging them straight into the power pack had to be abandoned. The solution was having them run into a coil of cables slung in the space between power pack and belt. This decided how the space would be filled so killed two birds with one stone. In bending the lower cable it also came away from the arm and needed gluing, but this would have been necessary anyway to get a more natural movement with the final arrangement of parts.

The coil was made by creating smooth lengths of greenstuff, fixing one end between the power pack and belt and running the loop down and back up again, with a natural swing. The second end was fixed next to the first and the unused greenstuff cut away. The most difficult aspect was getting each length a similar thickness. I failed to do this, but the problem could be overcome by ensuring that the topmost loops at least were alike. I'd recommend allowing each loop to dry before adding the next to reduce the risk of damaging the loops already laid down.

It's worth mentioning too that I laid a new length of greenstuff over the top cable, which I decided was far too thin on the shoota compared with the lower end. Working with thin lengths is always tricky and you can't be too delicate. In laying out a span like this I'd make sure the string is not too sticky by keeping the piece of greenstuff I'm working from very wet, then fixing one end as well as possible and working along the length to the other.

Hiding the joins at the shoulders was simple in principle. I'm not a big fan of the way the fabric sits at the shoulders and will probably always want to modify it there. This time I decided to cover it with fur trim. It's as easy as placing a length of greenstuff along the join and fabric edge, pressing it in so that it doesn't so easily come loose when being worked, and then starting to shape it. I play these things by ear and used the tip of a modelling knife - very carefully - to pull the greenstuff into pointed clumps. This wasn't good for the blade. I tried to suggest a wavy flow, with the clumps in a given area pointing in a general direction, but with plenty of strays. The stickiness of the greenstuff will make a difference to how it looks. I find that if the greenstuff is wet, it gives a smoother effect, but the working into clumps may still produce a bitty surface.

The only complication here was on the right shoulder, where I had to take the strap into account, but also add to the strap to make it sit right. I did this in stages, first adding the base level of fur, then when that was dry working on the strap, and then when that was dry in turn adding the rest of the fur and working it over the strap. You can see in the photos the two tones of greenstuff of the two different fur stages.

As mentioned some of the filling out was done with the coil of cables. I also added another pouch between the coil and armour plate, made in the same basic way as the one made for the front of the body, described in the body post. The opening is here hanging to one side and I also added the ends of a string. This was made with a thin length of greenstuff, which as far as I remember I folded halfway along and attached to the neck of the pouch at that point.

The theory behind the filling is simply that I think it makes the model look more complete, more like a well-thought-out, classic, single-pose metal model and less like the parts of a kit. Musings of a Smurf has some thoughts on the differences between plastic and metal models here, with the link coming from Ron Saikowski himself.

As before, if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer.

My mind is already on the next. With each model I want to do something evoking more of the nature of the Orks. I'm especially interested in 'bioniks' and how well the Orks are supposed to accept mechanical impants, as well as low-level technology, including steam power. That said, I want to keep things general enough to have applications in other settings and on different miniatures, as with the near-universal pouches and fur.

As I mentioned in my replies to Harald and Johnathan under the last post, this amount of work on a single model is more justified in what we call roleplaying games, where there may be a single model per player, or even in a skirmish context, in a game of Killzone for example. I'd love to see more gamers taking full control of the look of their miniatures, and feeling comfortable they can give even outlandish ideas a physical form.


Paul´s Bods said...

I like outlandish ideas...the more outlandish the better :-D
He looks drilling and painting

Ludo Weyden said...

That's a nice one, very good detailed.

Harald said...

Are you planning on proceeding to the paintjob next?

I must say I am well impressed by how he turned out. You've got skills, P.

Nesbet said...

WoW!, amazing conversion work! Loved the use of bits from the shoota! The details made with GS are nice too, specially that thooth! Awesome!

Pretty nice job!

Cyborg Trucker said...

I love the classic elements you've added. I have a small Ork project to do this week as a b-day gift for a friend. I look froward to future postings.

Porky said...

Thanks to you all again for the compliments! I'm glad - and more than a little relieved - it's gone down well as a whole model too.

To answer the painting queries, I hadn't planned to paint any of them immediately, not least because my skills there leave much to be desired. Also, since looking closely at b.smoove's very special Ork colour scheme at A Gentleman's Ones, I've been questioning my assumptions about how Orks can be painted. I'll think about it, although my preference at the moment is still to work up a small batch of three to five diverse models and then paint them together. We'll see how it goes. The mind changes like the wind.

The Angry Lurker said...

Nothing but praise for people who convert models and the time it can take to do, very nice model.

Porky said...

Thanks, Angry. It can be time-consuming, but the simpler pieces like the pouches can be in place in five minutes or so. I'm often surprised by how easily things come together. It's like painting - you just have to pick up a brush and get to work, and it gets easier and easier.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Hmm. Right now it looks like your Ork has some sort of fluid filled tumors on him. Is that intended, or just a side effect of the fact that he's not completely painted yet?

Porky said...

Only a side effect - there are supposed to be mushrooms sprouting from the head, to expand on the idea of a fungal nature, and pouches at the belt front left and rear right. There's a close-up of the head here.

Papa JJ said...

Hey Porky! Sorry I missed this when you first posted it because holy cow! that's a cool looking Ork. It's great to see how all the pieces came together and I'm really impressed with the vision you had to see so much potential with the stock kit. Awesome work, awesome ork. Very well done, Porky!!

Porky said...

Thanks, Papa - as always, praise from you is praise indeed!

Satiran said...

Ah, here he is, fully assembled. I'm months late, but I've been looking forward to seeing the completed project. When you first began posting your steps, my initial thought was that you were embarking on a massive undertaking...after all it requires 20-30 of these for a single squad in 40K. However, you've already covered my second thought, which was that you might be working on an elite team for Killzone. He looks great - ready to bash in sum skullz.

My own modelling preference leans toward pewter figures. Having worked within the confines of the limited Mordian range for so many years, I finally taught myself the use of a dremel (with precision quality dental burrs) in order to add some variety, alternative weapons and heads, etc. It takes a bit more work, planning, and of course lots of practice with the dremel, but I've surprised many players with some of my conversions.

Mark K said...

You, sir, have the patience of a saint. Nice work. Pardon my asking, but is this a plastic casting or metal? My personal preference is metal, plastic just hasn't got the weight behind it - but then, I'm rather 'old school' when it comes to figures.

Bloody great job, though ;)

PS: has anyone else noticed some of these 'prove you're not a robot' words actually can be rather interesting (potential) character names?

Porky said...

Looks like I'm well behind on replies...

@ Satiran - For Killzone ideal, and maybe the future Killzone Evolution more so, not to mention 28mm Inquisitor. And I'd guess since I posted this the attraction of playing skirmish games in the 40K universe has gone up plenty, along with the attraction of doing it with fewer GW minis or none. Where are you?

@ Mark. K. aka - EvilDM - It does take patience, but the drive to create helps early on and the ever improving feel for working with it helps as time passes. As with painting, it's about getting into the zone, homing in on the particular scale, but that comes over the session and over sessions. I recommend converting and sculpting to anyone, whatever the specific interest. It's a lot of fun and very empowering, and the skill comes with the doing. This one is based on the standard Ork Boyz kit from GW so it's a softish plastic. I know what you mean about weight - I appreciate the many benefits of plastic, and plastic kits, but these days I do rather wish the material was heavier. Re the word verification, that's very true. There is periodic posting on the subject at one blog or another, or maybe in comments when an especially good or appropriate one comes up, and no surprise given the potential for a spark of inspiration. There seems to be a slow movement towards switching verification off, and I'm almost persuaded, but we would lose an interesting and potentially useful element of the blogging landscape.