Monday, 25 April 2016

Green Stuff and Bitz Box ... bibbity bobbity boo

After a three-month hiatus (to deal with a spawn of a very different kind), work on my Beasts of Chaos warband continues apace*.

(*by which I mean: one beastman for every ten that Kraken is able to crank out)

I noted in my last battle report that I needed some Heroes, for flavour as much as combat effectiveness. So next on my painting list is the Beastmen's Big Bad: Morghur the Shadowgrave, Master of Skulls!

Morghur, Master of Skulls
Because it's GW: he was never going to be Master of Fibula, was he?

I would like to say I'd thoroughly researched the Beastmen lore, and discovered that Morghur is truly the rotten heart of the herd, representing all that is unnatural and mutating, and the unkillable arch-nemesis of Ariel, Queen of Athel Loren.

All of the above is true, except the reason I went with Morghur was because I accidentally printed off his warscroll, and I didn't want to waste the sheet of A5.

That said, I wasn't going to go with the model available. Above is the latest illustration of Morghur, and it's a pretty good, characterful illustration of a major bad guy.

And this is the model to go with it:

Morghur, Master of Skulls
I can't even tell: is he surfing on that tree trunk? Emerging from it?
Where's the rest of him? Why does he seem so small?

It wasn't for me - so time to mash together those little blue and yellow strips of magic!

Sculpting and conversion work for Morghur, Master of Skulls
Arguably not as good as the one I just pooh-poohed, but at least it's cheaper and my own.

The basis of the model is Hoggar, the Zombie Troll Shaman from Mantic's Dwarf King's Quest. He was covered in skulls and mutated bits anyway, it made for an easy task: head swap for a Gor, with horns and greenstuff cowl added; right arm swapped for the tail of a Manticore.

(following the illustrations, it should really be his left arm, but the other one already held the bone staff - and hey, you can't expect consistency from Chaos)

The feet were more of a giveaway, so I amputated them and tried sculpting some hooves (they seem to be half-hidden by the flock - mercifully) and fur - although it does make him look like he's wearing shaggy cowboy chaps on his legs.

Of course, the main advantage of fielding Morghur is that he can mutate his own side and start spamming spawn. So I'll be needing a few if them too...

Sculpting and conversion work for Chaos Spawn

First up is the traditional double-header spawn: Mantic troll body; orc and human heads with a greenstuff mane; arms from orc boyz, boarboyz, night goblins and empire militia; and what appears to be a river troll foot for a hand.

Sculpting and conversion work for Chaos Spawn

I wanted to avoid having all the spawn as bidpeds, so took the same Manic troll torso and flipped it onto its belly. I then cut it at the waist (cutting Mantic's 'restic', by the way, is tough going and no friend to the casual converter) and replaced the back end with a boar's legs.

The troll's legs were then moved to the front to act as forlegs and some plastic tufts of grass from the LotR Rohan set were added a back bristles.

Sculpting and conversion work for Chaos Spawn

The head began as a press mould of the Skull Pass troll, with the entire jaw opened out (using the troll's necklace as a guide), and an orc jawbone added and flanked by a pair of jaws from the savage orc boarboyz set. More greenstuff to fill in the gaps and add some front teeth.

Sculpting and conversion work for Chaos Spawn

I was intending to use Mantic trolls for all three spawn, but they ended up looking too uniform, so I went with a small orc boarboy as the base for this. He has mismatched legs (one common boarboy, one savage boarboy) and a greenstuff loincloth to cover the join.

He has even greater mismatched arms - Hoggar's original right arm and a massive troll one holding a rock. The head is my favourite part: it's the reverse end of a Manticore tail - what was intended as the 'plug' ought to make a good cyclopean eye.

Sculpting and conversion work for Chaos Spawn

So that's my first stab at Chaos Spawn - limited only by my imagination! (which, I discover, is quite limited)


  1. Yay spawn! Good looking stuff, that. I vote heretical waaagh skulls, and Ootini for completeness.

    And welcome back into the fold of the damned, Stylus, the blog has been missing you.

    1. Cheers - I'll be back in another three months!

    2. It's feasible I may have overtaken your model count by that time.

    3. Overtaken my entire collection, you mean?

      Wouldn't surprise me. In the time it's taken me to type this, you've probably cranked out six Ungor and a Devilfish.

    4. You're actually right about the Devilfish.

      But it's twenty-three gors.