Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to convert 6th edition Dwarf Warriors into Ironbreakers (tutorial)

This is a tutorial that I made some time ago for a Spanish electronic magazine, now I bring it to you translated as well as I can and hoping that I had used the right words.

With this tutorial we are going to obtain a Warhammer Dwarf unit that looks like this:

We are gonna need:
- Bodies, legs, arms and heads of Warhammer 6th Edition plastic Dwarfs Warriors (I know that isn't too easy nowadays)
- Shields from the 7th Edition Dwarfs Warriors
- A banner from the 7th Edition Dwarfs Thunderers
- Modelling putty
- Some of the mask of the Longbeards from the 7th Edition plastic Dwarfs Warriors

In this tutorial we will use the modelling putty in a pretty easy form for almost anyone. However, I'm not going to deny that doing 20 Dwarf Ironbreakers was challenging and took time.

First we cut with a modelling knife everything that have some relief from the bodies, like the lower parts of the vests, the knots, etc. In the next photo you can see what I mean.

The next step needs the use of modelling putty. Before we start with the particulars, I'm going to try to explain some basics about epoxy modelling putties techniques used in this tutorial. First we have to knead the two parts of the epoxy putty together (if you are using more than one putty mixed together there would be more than two parts). When the putty is mixed we take a portion of it and we roll it with our fingers to make a ball or against a surface to make a sausage. Then, we push the putty ball/sausage against the model with the fingers, a hobby knife or a sculpting tool so the putty sticks to the model. Next we smooth and extend the putty around the area with a sculpting tool so we move part of the putty to where it should be and end up with a smooth surface. Afterwards, we made some cuts in the putty to obtain the shape that we want. If you don't like what you have made, you take out the putty and start all over again =). Some examples:

We start the conversion of our dwarfs from bottom to top as we explain below.

On top of the chainmail skirts we are going to push putty sausages doing 2 to 3 levels of "metal" plates. There is not need on doing all of the levels at once, you can let the putty cure between levels, in fact is a good idea  if you want to avoid ruining your previous sculpted work. If you are interested in putting some rivets along the plates, one way to do it is poking some holes in the fresh putty plate, and filling them with small putty balls that you could make by cutting slices of a slim putty sausage so the balls are close in size between them. We also are going to add some putty in the toe of the boots.

After we have change the chainmail skirt into a skirt of plates or a mix of chainmail and plates, we are going to continue doing the armour for the body. To that purpose, we push a ball of putty with our fingers trying to cover all the body. Later on, we smooth the surface with a sculpting tool taking out the putty in excess. If there is some edge we could also file it when the putty is cured.

Now we are going to make the lower armour rim and some detaill in the armour, as we have shown above in the examples of the basics use of epoxy putty. For detailling the armour we use dwarf runes or dwarf symbols. It doesn't matter if the details are a little crooked, the beard will cover most of them almost completely.

Congrats, we are almost finish =P
The Dwarfs heads could be left as they are but I think that, with a little work on our part, they could became really similar to the ones of the Ironbreakers. So we are going to make a truncated cone with putty in one of the heads, If you get a good result you could try to copy the cone making a mold with putty, Instant Mold, Oyumaru or any other material that could be used for that  purpose. We did that and we were able to add conic helmets to half of the Ironbreakers with almost zero effort. It is also a good idea to cover the dwarfs faces with some masks, you could use the plastic mask of the 7th Edition Dwarf Warriors or make them using putty. Finally if you're up to it you could change the beards to make them longer, or simply because most of them are rather ugly, at least for my taste. The next photo shows a rather ugly conversion of a head, I like to think that it is because it was the first one that I tried to convert.

Additionally, it is a good idea to make some extra details as double shoulder pads (one on top of another). We made the lower one a little round and the top one rectangular and in some cases with a rune. The left model in the next photo have, for the moment, only the lower shoulder pads, the model in the center have all the shoulder pads and the model in the right have also some runes engraved in the upper shoulder pads.

You could also add some rune in the weapons blades or in the helmets

After all that work we finally have:

After we painted them they look like this:

Really nice models, don't you think?

Hope you liked this tutorial and feel free to leave any comments or doubts that you may have.

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