Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ride the Lizard: Gila Be Good.

I've noticed a tendency in the studio regarding my own projects.  When I have several days in a row where I paint commission projects, the days where 80% of my 'work time' is spent with brush and paint, in the late hours for my own hobby time I am not much inclined to paint my minis, but I still feel the need to be at a creative project of mine. So what do I do? I build more minis: assemble and convert. I probably enjoy this aspect of the hobby even more than the painting.  Of course, some days I end up spending half my day answering emails, writing up quotes, researching miniatures for suggestions for clients' projects, doing the 'hobby consultant' part of the job, so in late hours after working I haven't spent as much time painting and so feel fine to spend my hobby hours painting for me still. But the creating minis seems to outpace the painting.

So what have I converted for me lately?

While I love the Skorne Titans, they also have a lot of 'reptiles' in their arsenal, with Basilisk Drakes & Kreas, (gator)Lizardmen, and the Archidon (a pterodactyl type creature)

I thought about stressing this theme.

First I wanted something to replace this mini:
The Skorne guy is fine, nothing amazing, but some good Samuraiesque armor details, but that cat.
That cat mount is just terrible. For one thing it is too small. That guy and his 200 pounds of armor is going to break that cat's back. If he's not rearing up the man could almost touch his feet to the ground, like he's riding a tricycle. 

And the cat himself I just don't think is well done. His paws are just confusing. Unless someone above is dangling some invisible yarn, what is he doing? 
If he's trying to grab at someone, why is his head turned to the side when his paws look like they reach out for someone not where he is looking? And the head just doesn't work. But I thought he'd be fun for the army

So he needed a new mount.  As much as he might love his cat, he outgrew being able to ride him when he was 10, time to move on to a big-boy beast. This called for a big desert lizard predator. 

Gila-raptor time.

The cold ones from GW are cool, but I wanted something bulkier. The ones from Gamezone are ideal:

Luckily the Gamezone rider is a separate piece. Unfortunately, the Privateer Press rider is not: his legs are molded on the same piece as the cat body.  I could either use the legs from the Gamezone or remove the legs from the Skorne & Cat. The gamezone rider is a bit smaller, and since the Skorne has a mounted & on-foot version, I thought it was better to keep the same, so the more difficult task of surgically removing his legs from the cat was decided upon. 

Here is the result:

Wasn't easy to get him up there, but I don't blame him- wouldn't be easy to get me up on that lizard either!
I'm much happier with this than him riding the cat.  It fits with the other reptiles, doesn't introduce a new theme (cats) to an army that already has 3: titans, cyclopses, reptiles, and is much more imposing looking. 

The other reptile conversion I did in the late hours is the Archidon.  Not really a conversion, since I didn't change the beast at all, but I did give him a more suitably regal base. This is him:

He attaches to the base by a peg in his fail. Even skimming the ground, he's still a pretty tall mini.
But I imagine him swooping down out of the desert sky where his prey has nowhere to run. 
So this is what I came up with:
Lifting his tail as he clears a desert rock formation. 
Death from above!
He's quite sturdy despite appearances.  The base is filled with spare metal and there is a good deal of metal in the rock formation too.

And while we're on reptile conversions,I showed him painted, but here is the converted Lizardman shaman:

Very simple: add a scepter from the GW Empire Wizard kit: Cobra of course! 

So that's the cold blooded creatures from conversion corner.  
If I didn't enjoy converting and creating so much I might have fewer projects and unpainted minis around here, but I wouldn't be having the fun, and that's the point isn't it? 

Video a bit related, but 
Warning: Not exactly safe for work! 



ColKillgore said...

The figures are looking good with some amazing conversions but I can't get that song out of my head now.


The Angry Lurker said...

Totally awesome bodging my friend....

Lead Legion said...

Very nice conversion Ferret. Have you considered painting your own miniatures on your lunchbreak? Devoting an hour or so of painting time a day to myself (in between working on commissions) helps keep me motivated.

Anne said...

Was a long haul with the Hubby but it's good to be back on blogger again. I missed you Ferret, truly I did. You are talented, intelligent, funny and prolific. The figure looks so much better of the reptile and it came out wonderfully for such a difficult conversion.

Now make sure you find time for your lovely girlfriend in between work and hobby!!

Michael Awdry said...

Some great work Sir; superb results all round. I think I need to invest in some better tool as even if I attempt the most simplest of head swops I end up bodging it up! Now as for that song - well and truly hooked, I just know that I will be humming that all day now!

Laughing Ferret said...

ColKG: Thanks! You're welcome for the song ;)

Thanks Fran! :)

Lead: On occasion I do, but more often I take a break in the afternoon to get out of the studio altogether and relax, eat lunch, watch a show and pet the cats :) My version of the 'siesta' which is one of the more civilized concepts out species has come up with.

Anne: Thanks :) Missed you too, often thought about you and hoped you were weathering life's crapflow alright. Even had a donut in your honor a couple weeks ago ;) I must have enough Irish dna that I get the withdraw from the observable now and then too. My family and friends who know me understand it- I refer to it as 'going into hermit-mode', sometimes just needs to be done. I do make a lot of time for Inka, just wish it was more quality time- big gov red tape still remains keeping us delayed. But it won't be forever.

Thanks Michael!
Yeah, have to have some decent tools. There are some that can cut corners or use odd things, like I still use a walnut pick for one of my sculpting tools. But a razor saw and a jeweler saw are both well worth the modest investment.

I had that song in my head this weekend- had a small tournament where this pterodactyl lived up to his theme song! More details on that soon.

Mr. Lee said...

Wow nice conversions.. and IN METAL NO LESS!!! Dammmn.. takes some serious skill to pull that off and you did it in spades mate.. good job..

Looking forward to how you paint them up now.. the last crews colors were different but really worked.. am sure you will repeat that success ;)

Spacejacker said...

Now those are some impressive looking saurians! Way to go making some already imposing models look downright terrifying. In the good way of course ;)

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