Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dreadful Things: Custom monster kitbashing

Every now and then I need a break from painting fleets of starships or platoons of Dirtside troops, and over the last few years my "relaxation" jobs have frequently been large monster kitbashes, mostly out of soft plastic models.  The softer plastic is ideal for conversion work, and they're cheaper than figs made of higher-quality material so it's relatively inexpensive to get suitable models for parts.  The most recent examples of these are the critters I call the Wormkin Beholder and Leechmaw Horror.



I've done several of the Wormkin Beholders over the years, refining my technique a little each time.  Requires some hacksaw work to remove part of the front end of the worm and some putty to join the beholder to the worm, as well as adding the weird dangling globes to the "chin" tendrils (which are cut to remove the model from its integral base).


It's quite a large model, and sits comfortably on a 60mm base.  Seen here menacing a human-sized 28mm trooper from the old Vor Neo-Sov range.


The concept comes from D&D, obviously, where Beholders are prone to weird mutations and genetic instability. 


How one managed to crossbreed with a Purple Worm is beyond me.  Maybe a worm ingested a beholder spawn and it somehow got lodged in the critter's digestive tract as a parasite and eventually grew into this nightmare?


Regular (using the term loosely) beholders probably hate these things, given their intolerance of physiological deviations from their own phenotypes.  Or is that no longer a thing in the days of 5E?


Now, building the Wormkin Beholder left me with a leftover worm maw just crying to be used.  I briefly debated using it as a "surfacing" worm (a trick I've done many time in the past) but after some test fitting I decided it would make an interesting head swap for a oddball demon instead.  The resulting nasty I'll call a Leechmaw Horror.


Another big model on a 60mm base, and it barely fits at that.


The demon's original (tiny) head was carefully clipped off and the worm maw attached upside down, where it fit snugly.


I then sculpted a larger spinal hump on while blending over the join between the parts.  Bit more work than the Wormkin was, but I like the way it came out in the end.


The overall shape reminds me of the old Vor Growler Bull models, and it would make a decent Warpfang (the growler "weird mutant" subfaction) for the game if anyone actually played it these days.  The paint scheme was inspired by some Google images of actual leeches, which turned out to be more colorful than I thought they were.  They aren't all boring blackish-green lumps, who knew?