Well this weekend I made a really good amount of progress. The Kheres Assault Cannon has been glued together and with the exception of a little filling and gluing the gun onto the shoulder, is now finished. The claw arm now has an appropriate genestealer head and I’m trying to bid on a Space Hulk miniature on eBay so that I can use the genestealer spine that that piece has. I need to get round to gluing all of those items together and then drilling holes and pins into the torso and shoulders as I intend to paint the arms separately to the main body. In fact I intend to have a total of six sub-assemblies to paint – Base; Body; Left Arm; Right Arm; Head; Cloak. Once the body and the back of the cloak has been painted, I’ll glue them together, sculpt the last bit of fur onto the cloak clasps and then paint the fur of the cloak.
Whilst on the subject of the cloak, I have now made the “skin” element and begun the long job of making fur using green stuff. Magic Sculp is absolutely brilliant for making cloth type effect and the skin has some lovely ragged edges where it stretched when I was pulling it off the glass lid I had rolled it out on – which at the time I was swearing and cussing a lot. I used the same process as previously and mixed up a decent sizes blob of putty that was then rolled out on an oiled glass pyrex lid using a length of oiled tube. I then roughly cut out the pelt shape I wanted and let it cure for around 2 hours and then peeled it off (gently). I quite drastically stretched one end when I did this, but the end effect is that the edges are ragged and one bit that tore got patched together and actually looks like a rip in leather.
This putty behaves quite differently to green stuff and Milliput and needs to be treated slightly differently. The biggest problem I had was positioning it so that it holds in place as the weight of the cloak (which is around 3″ long and a good 2″ wide) kept trying to “pull” itself flat and down. I was trying to made the cloak look like it was being blown to one side rather than hanging straight down to add some real dynamic quality to an otherwise static piece.
Originally I tried to use a hair dryer to set it, however this actually had the opposite effect and made it even more flexible… The solution I went with in the end was to remove the dreadnought from the base and poke the pin in it’s foot (which is 3″ long) into a piece of cheese at a 45 degree angle. This resulted in the cloak naturally hanging in the direction I wanted it to. I then put it into the fridge for five to ten minutes which was just enough to firm it up (from the hair drying incident). I took it out, poked it with clay shapers to put a bit of volume into it and then put it back in the fridge overnight. Now although chilling it firms the putty up, it also inhibits it’s curing time, so the whole model got taken out in the morning (before work) and left for the day. The putty will dry rock solid – if there is *any* flex in it, it’s not fully cured. At the thickness I’ve rolled it, the whole piece is also really brittle, so avoid any knocks, drops or impacts.
Finally I’ve now begun to sculpt the fur on with green stuff that will also strengthen the whole cloak. Its a slow job and a 1cm square of fur is between an hour and an hour and a halves work. So I’ve at least another 10 hours work left 🙁 That said it will look awesome when it’s finished!