(I couldn’t think of a clever title for this post, hence you just get a plain but descriptive one instead)
Welcome back! As this is a continuation from last week’s ramblings about how I think how under-rated Chaos Mutilators are in the lore, if you haven’t read that first please do so and then come back here. OK? Cool.
Assuming you are still here, let’s jump straight in with a quick turn-around and a size comparison too:
I chose the Obliterator and Terminator to use in comparison because of one of the core ideas with this Mutilator concept was to create something in-between the two – something that was evidently of the same daemonic ilk as Obliterators, but still clearly showing their Terminator roots.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the different parts and chat about my thought and modelling processes as I went along.
[INSERT JOKE ABOUT LEG DAY HERE]
Without a doubt the longest and most challenging part were the legs. The very first thing I knew I needed to address first was that awful squatting post that the stock Finecast miniatures have. I cut the legs into separate calves and thighs, then hacked off the feet as well (which needed a partial re-sculpt, as I was straightening up the legs).
Repairing the structural damage to the armour wasn’t too difficult – I used a 2:1 mix of standard Milliput (with a pinch more of the grey than the yellow) and Green Stuff. I’ve discovered this mix is really good for me for this purpose, easy enough to shape as the putty got slowly firmer the longer I worked with it. When it’s dry, it files down really easily (an oddly satisfying part of the process)!
I also completely removed and re-sculpted back the armour joints, can’t say I’m particular pleased with the results but in my mind I was doing to disguise them a bit with some fleshy strands and odd cables. I also added some of those thigh plates as a later addition, to mimic the ones that the Chaos Terminators have as part of their corrupted Indomitus-pattern suits. Again, I was still not completely satisfied with my sculpting efforts, so I didn’t complete the baroque trim on them either.
THE BIG CHUNK OF RESIN THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE TORSO
Pre-conversion, I knew I needed to remove the bulk of the detail on the top. For some reason, the sculptor decided to make the top of the model covered in vague fleshy and twisted cable nonsense. Naturally, I chopped a lot of that off and smoothed down the top of the torso. I was planning on replacing the details on top with something else, but had paused on working on the miniature at that point.
I also noted just how much of a pain it would be to replace the head with a more modern one – was likely to do with either a trimmed-down Havoc head, or some a snarling bare head from my bitz box. I knew though to be able to do that properly, that I would have to drill away a significant part of the front half of the torso. At this point, I was starting to doubt whether all this work would be worth it or not at the end, but we’ll come back to that later on.
ARMS, BIG STONKING ARMS
One of the (many) alterations that I wanted to make was to repose the arms, have them in a more open, aggressive pose. Unfortunately, in the end the shoulder pads had to go too. Initially I was juts going to all the spikes and poorly-rendered fleshy details off of those, but in the end like many parts of this kit – it would have been significantly easier just to start again from scratch.
You have probably also noticed that one arm is a bit further along the reconstruction phase than than the other, but I think it shows well how I had to completely build the shoulder and upper arm on each one. I did a rough ball shape and stuck it on the end of the now-smoothed off chunks of resin, then when that was dry it was filed down a bit, then I created a second ball for the starting point of each shoulder. Then, it would have been a case to finalise the arm posing, stick the two putty ball bits together and start to properly re-do the muscles.
Naturally during the whole Mutilator conversion process, I had a plastic Obliterator on the desk as well for visual reference. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what my mutilated Mutilator’s arms would look like on the Obliterator’s body, as seen below;
At this point, it became painful obvious that my initial concept piece was a tad too ambitious, for my skills and patience. If it wer the case that we were still able to take single-model units of Mutilators (like back in 6th edition), then maybe I could continue to justify the mini-project as I originally intended. However, unlike their gun-toting brethren Mutilators are still forced into units of 3, which in retrospect was not a commitment that I was eager to follow through with. It took the best part of a week’s worth of hobby time just to get to the stage I stopped at.
This was the stage where I stopped the work on the concept model. On a positive note, I got the idea that was stuck crawling around my head out, which was nice. Overall, it was fun if somewhat laborious process. I find part of the more engaging parts of the conversion-side of the hobby is not just finding a combination of bitz that work really well together (although that is very satisfying!), it’s also about the experimentation and refining those initial ideas.
What did I learn from the CONVERSION process?
In retrospect, if I were to attempt another go at an updated Mutilator (or three, because that’s how many I would need to fulfil a legal unit choice) I would probably go along the lines of this;
- Aquire a trio of current-gen Obliterators, those lovely plastic ones. Yes, I already have a pair of them, but I would rather finish those off and use them as intended.
- Lop off the Obliterator’s arms – oh wait, those are separate pieces! Regardless, I would still need to remove all the guns and other ballistic details (ammo feeds, ejection ports etc..)
- Raid my hobby supplies for some spare melee bitz, things like chainswords, odd lightning claw blades and other stabby bitz that I could use to add detail to the arms, without them just looking like swiss-army knives.
- Also grab / sculpt some spikes (some big and some not-so-big), to artfully adorn the top of the torso and to add some visual interest to the legs as well. Since I would be hacking off all the big guns that the Obliterators originally had, I would need something other than the arms to help give these Mutilators more of a distinguished visual profile.
- Definitely new heads – most likely either bare ones or perhaps even some malformed Chaos Terminator ones (with those big ol’ tusks!).
I think this will suffice for now, so once again thank you for reading. I would love to hear what you think, if you were trying to update Mutilators with more modern kits how would you have done it?
As at the time of writing I’m currently away from my hobby space, I will have something a bit different for next week’s post. I think you’ll like it!
Til next time,
Daniel / Circus of Paint