My lone hobby project for December was to finally finish Steelheart’s Champions, which I’ve been working on for about 6 months. And when I say working on, I mean leaving them on a shelf for months at a time, then doing a couple of hours work, and then shamefully rushing to a finish in the last week of December. These were started as part of the AoS28 mentorship programme over on their Facebook group, which was supposed to only take ten weeks, but thanks to my procrastination dragged out to a point where I suspect both my mentor and I had got very bored of them. I love the idea of AoS28 (and Inq28), but because no one in my area plays it I found it very hard to prioritise any of my somewhat limited hobby energy towards it. Added to that, I’ve not played Shadespire in a good long while now, so it was hard to find the motivation to finish them.
But, after a mammoth 15-hour painting session yesterday, finish them I did. Finally.
So on to the WIPs. I went into the challenge not knowing what I wanted to do, so I had a dig through my meagre bits box (of mostly 40k parts) and pulled out Steelheart’s Champions and a shamefully abandoned Leman Russ (the hairy fella, not the tank), and those bits formed the basis of my conversions. Normally my conversions are merely functional (when I feel they are required at all), and I tend to shy away from complicated kit bashes and greenstuffing, but that’s what AoS28 is all about, so I had to up my game in this instance.
Obryn was the first model I tackled as I had the best idea of the direction I wanted to go with him. After gluing on all the wolfy bits I still had quite a lot of gaps that needed to be filled, so I reluctantly dug out the green stuff, did a couple of practice fur patches on some spare plasticard and got stuck in, and thankfully they turned out alright. The fur on the FW resin bits is much finer than plastic fur, and I couldn’t quite get it as detailed, but it’s close enough to not be too noticeable. The other bits that aren’t from Russ are an Orlock head, a random horn from my bits box, and part of a Skitarii shock maul for the axe haft.
Angharad was next, and it took a few different combos of heads and weapons until I found something I liked. I was worried the Escher whip looked too sci-fi but I eventually came around to the idea. That flagellant head is also pretty recognisable, but I think the hair does enough to make it different. The story that we came up for it was that her helmet had been smashed somewhere along the way (the remnants now hanging from her belt), and she’d fashioned a new one from things she’d found in the ruins of Shadespire. Although looking at it now, it does look a bit like Varclav’s mask, so maybe she claimed it as a trophy from some ghost she busted.
I tackled Steelheart last because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do to him other than give him a new head. I wanted to get rid of the helmet under his arm because it’s such a central part of the original model, but I was terrified of chopping up his arm, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do in place of it. I settled with keys which, like the tome on his belt, I imagine as being some of the relics he’s picked up in the Mirrored City. I think his fingers ended up a little chubby and the angle of the keys isn’t quite right, but it was my first try sculpting a gauntlet so it is what it is. I couldn’t find a sword big enough to swap with his one, so I just hacked all the Stormcast bits off and gave it a different crossbar/ bladebreaker/ skull thing and hoped it’d look different enough after painting. Then I grew out his hair with green stuff. I was going to give him a back banner, but I couldn’t think of what I’d paint on it, and he maybe has enough extra height with the step that he’s on.
On all of them I took a scalpel to their armour and gouged in some dents and rends, and then muddied up their bases with some skulls and various texturing materials.
Overall though, the mentorship program was very rewarding, despite my terrible participation, and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in creating some darker themed AoS models to hop over to the Facebook group and join in. I believe there’ll be a new one running in the new year. I was challenged to create some conversions that I would never have had the ambition to try on my own, and I learned some very useful hobby skills.
Next up from me will be a 2018 hobby roundup, which should be up before the new year, so keep your eyes open for that.