Monday, March 21, 2016

How to make a Mega Armored Ork Warboss (scratch building tutorial)

Hi everyone, some time ago a follower of the blog asked us for a tutorial building a Mega Armored Warboss. We do not usually field this miniature but do to the awesome look orks have when they are wearing mega armor, my brother take upon him to make one of this beauties making a tutorial out of it in the process. The result of the conversion process can be seen below.

Materials used/required:
  • Ork and other races bits.
  • Sprues.
  • 1 mm thickness Plasticard/ old cards: credit cards, hotel cards, library cards or IDs. The use of old cards makes the process economic.
  • Hyssop (ear cleaning rods)/ empty ink pen tubes/ cylindrical tubes of different diameters.
  • 2 mm diameter rods, we use brass rods, but wood or plasticard rods could also be used.
  • 1 mm diameter rods (I use paper clips).
  • Putty. I used green stuff and A+B white from Sylmasta, but any putty that you know how to use is ok.

  • Ruler.
  • Pencil and marker.
  • Razor blades.
  • Cutting mat or something similar to protect the table.
  • Glue (Cyanoacrylate).
  • Limes or files.
  • Lighter.
  • Tweezers to handle small pieces.
  • Sculpting tools.
  • Manual drill with 1mm and 2 mm drill bits.
In the link below, you could access the drawings of the mega armor that I have made, basing the proportions in pictures that I found in internet. The pieces are designed to be made with 1 mm plasticard. The drawings have to be printed in a Din A4 format.

Firstly, I want to inform you that it has taken me a month to finish the project. I usually worked on it a couple of hours every afternoon, but I was also finishing the wrap lightning cannon when I started the project. Due to the lack of blueprints, I also have to redo several pieces or structures. I think now it would take me at most 15 days to do another one, so now you have some idea of the time required to create your own Ork Megawarboss.
The first thing I made was to create some sketches of the basic form and structure of the different armor components. Then I transferred the sketches to a 1 mm card with a marker, cut them with a razor blade, file the imperfections and glue them together. After gluing them together additional filing in the unions was done to smooth them. This process was repeated over and over with all the different parts :-). The steps in this tutorial are the ones I followed, but I recommend reading the whole thing carefully before starting, since I mention some upgrades to my process, some of which are already present on the drawings.

In the following picture you can see the armor torso already assembled (I started the project with such an illusion that I wanted to do a step by step), and the union between torso and legs. In the picture, you can see the Assault on Black Reach Warboss that I used to have an idea of the proportions and later on to create an Ork Warboss on bike. Finally, you can see in the picture the sketches that I made and several tolls and materials that I used.

The following picture shows all the pieces required for the union between torso and legs already cut. In case you are using an old card instead of plasticard, instead of cutting all the way through you can leave a thing union between pieces and bend them. Examples of this technique are presented later on the tutorial.
In the bottom end of the torso, there are some guidelines to help with the collocation of the union between torso and legs. However, you can also turn a little the union in order to present the warboss turning around the waist.
I firstly glue the interior pieces that are going to support the others in top. I find that it is better to start with an internal piece and then a lateral one before adding the other internal piece. Once we have the two internal pieces glued in place the rest of the pieces are glued on top of them. Because some of the pieces are small, a pair of tweezers or the aid of the razor blade can come in handy. If a second layer of pieces has to be glued on top of the previous one, as it occurs in this case, some filling is advised before the second layer is glued.

In the mega armor drawings you can see that in the picture above one piece is missing. I have to add this extra piece in a later stage due to the continuous separation of the legs and torso. Because I did not want to take any chances, I decided to drill the piece and the bottom of the torso and add 2 paper clip pieces, to give more shear strength, but this could not be necessary.

After making the torso, I decided to make the feet of the armor. Maybe it could be reasonable to make the feet first. The feet are composed by two different structures the toecap and the body. This allows you to put the feet more or less tilt as you prefer. In the mega armor plane, there is a foot designed to be tilted and one to be plane, the ones I used and can be seen in the following pictures. In the feet, I implemented the technique of bending the pieces instead of cutting all the way through. This avoids some filling of the pieces, but requires some putty to fill the gaps that appears in the visible unions. The process is similar to the previously described; pieces are transferred to the piece of card. Superficial cuts are made on the unions. Pieces are bended in the correct order and glued to the lateral pieces.

A second layer of card has to be glued over the estructure for the feet to make the heel. If you forget, as I did, this could be done later on.

To connect the feet to the torso I first create a structure with discarded sprues or with copper wire. The copper wire helps you to change positions until you like the result. However, if you have a clear idea of what you want the sprues gives more rigidity.

My legs have been made with sprue, have a total length of 2 cm, and are bended in the middle with the help of a lighter. The sprue ends have been cut at an appropriate angle to the desire position. To improve the union I drill both ends and glue a paper clip segment in the joint.

Before adding volume and form to the legs with putty, I recommend that you made the shin guards in order to adjust the thickness of the legs to these structures. I was not able to do it because at the time I did not have the designs. I also recommend you to make the rest of the mechanisms and pistons of the legs (kneepad, lateral mechanism, the posterior mechanism, etc.). If you made the different pieces in advance, you could better fasten them to the legs. Since, the legs are mostly covered by armor pieces or mechanisms, when you put the putty you do not have to be extremely careful. They do not have to be smooth or have the same thickness, this could be latter be corrected by adding more putty.

While the putty cures, you can advance in other parts of the armor and later on attached them to it. Like the jaw plate or the fists. In the mega armor plane the jaw plate, is polygonal, but if you have a 1.1 cm diameter cylinder, you could replace the exterior piece with it. I have used a 5 ml syringe piece. The process is the same: transfer the pieces to card, cut the different pieces, file the pieces and glue them together using the bottom piece as a guide. The same applies to the fists.
Before adding the lateral hitches of the jaw plate, you should glue it to the torso, because due to the pieces of separation they are separated 1 mm.

At this point, I design and made the rest of the legs mechanisms, but as I said before it is better to do them before. If you decided not to do them before, know you would probably have to fill the legs in order to fit them in place and they would probably fall off more easily.
When making the kneepads it is better to drill the 2 mm hole of the back piece before gluing it to the front one. If not you should be careful not to drill all the way through.

The piston housings are made with a 2 mm interior diameter cylinder, like Hyssop (ear cleaning rods) or empty pen ink tubes. The piston housing in the back of the torso is 8 mm long, and the ones in the legs are 1 cm long. In order to facilitate the gluing of the piston housing in the back of the torso you should file one side along the axis. The pistons are made with 2 mm diameter rods and have 1.7 cm the ones of the legs, and 2.6 cm the one in the back of the torso. One end of the rods for the legs has to be filed at an angle. However, these measures may vary depending on the position you give the legs. If you look carefully, you may see the indents I have to cut and file to house the piston mechanisms in the pictures.

For the mechanism at the back of the leg we need two 4 mm long 2 mm diameter rod. One of the ends has to be filed at an angle. Instead of using two pieces of card for the mechanism at the back of the leg, as it appears in the mega armor plane, I use only one and fill up the gaps with putty. I did it like this because I did not make the pieces before adding putty to the legs.

Once the legs were far on their way I started with the arms, following the procedure described for the legs. The sprue pieces in this case were 1.8 cm long and bend at a distance from the shoulder of 1.4 cm. They are a little larger than the legs in order to give a little orangutan likeness to the ork warboss. As it happen with the legs you can chose a position of your liking for the arms. I tried to position the ork warboss firing his weapon while advancing. To strengthen the union between arms and shoulders and arms and fists, I drilled holes with a 1 mm drill bit and insert in them a paper clip piece.

Once glued in place I added volume with putty. Since, I did not know how many plates and mechanisms I was going to put in them, I give a lot of detail and latter covered it with the mention mechanisms. As with the legs, I recommend to have beforehand the arm mechanisms. After the experience with the legs, I had learned the lesson and I was prepared.

In case you have an excess of putty, you could use it to give the mega armor some details like volume to the teeth, or to start giving some volume to the other arm.

Once the putty is dry, I started giving some details with new putty, fill up unions of pieces, create some rivets, etc. Until both arms were ready.

While these layers of putty were drying, I continue with the parts that did not interfere with the putty and did not require it:
  • I added details to the leg mechanisms with the cylindrical pieces of the sprue.

  • I make the shoulder pads.

In a first design step, the shoulder pads did not have a border but later I decided to add it.

  • I make the pistons for the arms. In the mega armor drawings, the longest possible length of the rods appears, but the actual length depends on the position of the arms. The housing of the piston however, is always of 6 mm long.

  • These waiting periods are also the perfect time to search for potential motor parts among your bit box. The little motor of the ork boys saw sword is ideal. Cables, plates with glyphs, bits from the ork pistol, etc. are also interesting. I do not like the motor overcharged but you could add as many things as you like, for example cables joining each extremity and head with the motor.

Once I have and adequate motor, I decided to add some rivets to the armor. I have a silicon mould to make the rivets with epoxy resin (the ones on top of the drill bits box), but they could also be made slicing a putty or other material cylinder. In the web if you are interesting there are several tutorials showing how to make different versions of rivets.

To give the MegaWarboss a bossy look I decided to add a big banner to his back. The banner comes from the Warhammer fantasy, orc warriors box. You can decide to create your own banner or use one of the Ork boyz, ork nobz, etc. I put the banner on top of the shoulders but it could also be attaches to the back filling some space in the motor area. The stick that holds the banner is a hyssop tube joined to the mega armor and the banner by drilling two 2 mm holes and inserting a 2 mm brass rod. I added a sprue cylinder between the banner pole and the top of the shoulders. If you decided to attach the banner to the back, I would use the 2 mm rod as the pole and the hyssop tube as the union to the back.

The armor belly, the kneepads and the shoulder pads, are excellent places to add some ork glyphs. I give you some ideas in the mega armor plane. I added a jaw to the belly and three triangles to the kneepad as you could see on the following pictures.

Even though the model is far on their way, the most important things are missing, the weapons! My weapons are design to be symmetrical so you could put them on any arm or on both of them if you like. The weapons process consists on adding details and layers to the fists. For the twin-linked shoota, I used some spare bits from my bit box.

The first step for the claws is to create the blades, on the mega armor plane I put the design I used, but you can change it according to your taste curving them, making them more smooth or long, increasing the number of blades, etc. I make the blades with plasticard and I highly recommend its use for this task. Two 1 mm plasticard layers compose the blades, after having the initial form cut I glue them together and once the glue is dry I filed them. I made the joint between blades and fist with small sprue pieces instead of card. The blade pistons are separated of the fist by a piece of card in order to insert in the middle of the blade, if you modify the blades, you should consider this. You can add details like a piece of ork pistol and some cables to make the function of a motor.

For the shoota, I used two shoota cannons and two Nob pistol ammunition clips and ammunition ejectors from my bit box. The ammunition clips are overlapped with the fist. My first attempt was to paste them directly over the fist, but because then decided to separate them from the fist with a box.
To cover the added box I added two card pieces covering the joint as a brazing between shoota and fist.

Now only the finish touches remains. I added some cables between shoulder and fists and I covered all the remained cracks.

The other thing that remains is the head; I finally decided to use one of the Assault on Black Reach Ork Warboss heads. And now a bunch of pictures showing the finished model.

I hope you like it and that this tutorial helps you as a starting point for your own Warboss in Mega Armor. If you have questions about the process, the mega armor drawings or anything, please let us know.

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