Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Arkhan the Black: A conversion project

I have made a relatively simple rule for myself. If someone from my club asks, then I will paint a model for them, but that is that. One figure per person per life. It is a relatively simple rule, but it has worked quite well for me in the past. I tend to only get asked to paint for others now and then, but when I am it is usually something quite interesting. Arkhan the black is a case in point.

The chap had an old metal model of a tomb king with great weapon which he wanted converting up into the Liche King. I then discussed with him exactly what he wanted in the figure. His basic needs were as follows;

  • Start with the metal figure
  • He wanted a Staff of Nagash modelled, he wanted this modelled based on the inside cover artwork of the new tomb kings book.
  • He wanted "the Liber Mortis" modelled. This tomb is one of the fabled nine books of Nagash.
  • He did not appear to bothered whether or not I included the Tomb blade of Arkhan.

The base model 

The chap supplied me with his base figure. This was superglued to its slotter base and had a significant amount of super glue on a failed attempt to fix both arms onto the figure. The left arm was missing...

So the first step was to chisel off the superglue. It was quite old so has well and truly set. In hindsight it might have been better to dissolve it off, but I lacked the knowledge of an appropriate solvent nor the interest in looking one up.

The next step was to have a quick study of the army book for inspiration and to raid my spares box for anything that might help. I just collected interesting things with the idea that I would decide what to do once I had gathered it all together.
Staff of Nagash:

As already described my friend wanted the staff modelled as the inside cover art in the army book, so step 1 was to get a picture...

I elected to start with the tomb kings great weapon, which had a curved blade a little like the side of the staff.

I marked and cut some plastic card. to match the blade.

I stuck this to the side of the great weapon, together with two bits of plastic that were taken from the firing handles of the Hellblaster volley gun (thank god for the bits box).
I then added green stuff to repeat the pattern. It looks a little rough, but it is the best I can do with the material. Maybe I need to practice more at my sculpting!

I then needed two small shields. I took these from the defensive stakes that come with the Brettonia peasant archers. These had to be cut off and then filed flat, before being added to the staff.

The Liber Mortis

This is described as "accursed tome is one of the fabled nine books of Nagash, the most potent source of necromantic magic in the world". Now, I am fairly convinced that this should be either a stone tablet or papyrus scroll, but I wanted something that was obviously a "book of magic". Therefore I went with a straight forward book.

I have no idea what model the book comes from, but I do know that it was metal and needed the human hand that was attached to it cutting off. This was no mean feet, because I wanted to maintain as much of the book detail as possible.

I used a bow hand from a tomb king skeleton archer because not only was it the right pose, but it was clearly a skeleton hand.

The assembled figure

I then assembled all the components. I decided to pin every joint because the last thing I want is for the whole model to fall apart the first time he plays with it.

At this stage I trimmed down the greenstuff on the staff and added a smoothing layer around the front of the magic book and a tattered sleave for its left arm.

The base came from  the new vampire counts necromancer, just because I had a spare.

A first lick of paint

I then undercoated the figure black and put down a first layer of colours to try out a basic colour scheme. I like to try models this may becuase I can then leave them for a day or two to establish if I am happy with the colours I have chosen.

Next post I will paint him up. Till then, have fun and happy brush licking....


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