Author Topic: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)  (Read 28275 times)

Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2009, 06:03:52 AM »
I've showed those pics to Polish Chronopia games - They were stunned by the perfect work you did! Great RE5P3CT from Poland :)

Well, I've got some Polish blood in me, so maybe that helped!  ;)

Offline Alxbates

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2009, 07:37:06 AM »
Wow!  That looks great!  Kudos!

-Alex
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Offline joshuaslater

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2009, 11:46:16 AM »
I'm going to feint.  The conversion, AND a guide how to do it. 
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Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2009, 12:53:32 PM »
Creating the Central Platform (continued)

I essentially had two choices for attacking how the Dwarves were going to attach to the Totem and their bases.  In the past I've attached pins to the "rider" and drilled holes in the "mount".  This way the mount looks "cleaner" when the rider is not on the mount.  However, I didn't like the idea of having to create individual dwarf bases with some sort of vertical thin hollow cylinder to accept the pin attached to the rider.

So I decided that I would just have to have pins "jutting" out of the totem, and drill holes in the bottom of the Dwarves.  Then it would be a simple matter of attaching pins to the four dwarves' bases when I got to that point.

For the pins on the Totem Warrior's mini-platforms, I dug once again into my stray mirror/picture hanging parts and found what essentially are nails, except they had an unusual head to them that were ribbed -- I think to make them easier to grasp with your fingers.  (They were designed to use with a sort of J-shaped hook, attaching it to the wall for hanging stuff).  While I had no idea what the head of the nail would represent on the model, I though it provided an interesting feature so I went with it.  I clipped off the sharp point of the nails, drilled a hole in the metal mini-platforms, and glued them in place.

Checking the fit of the pin in the platform


The nail ends were shortened prior to attaching


Now, I almost have all the parts I need for the assembly of the central platform.  One last thing I wanted to do was to make the main platform (where the crossbow operator would stand) look a little more interesting than just the flat plastic.  I went poking around at a hobby store and looked the various types of balsa wood used to build hobby airplanes.  I found a piece which was "striped" that I thought would look like planks of wood when used on the platform.  So it was a simple matter of cutting a small piece to size.  Once I had that, I just glued the plastic pieces to the wood, then glued the two mini-platforms to the plastic pegs...and lo and behold, our War Totem central platform is complete!

Cutting the wooden platform


Attaching the wood platform and the plastic pieces


With the mini-platforms attached, this piece is complete! (scrap plastic in background is just for support)


Now, before I starting gluing stuff to the Totem itself, I thought it might be wise to make sure that the Totem Warriors that were yet to be made would actually fit on their mini-platforms....


« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 12:58:55 PM by Daargrim »

Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2009, 10:51:30 AM »

Creating the Central Platform (continued)

As I mentioned before, I decided to use Horned Legion models to make my Totem crew and Warriors.  I'll go through more details later, but for now I'll just touch on initially fitting the Totem Warriors to their platforms. 

The Totem Warriors were made from one of the poses of regular Legion swordsmen...the only ones with decor (horn) on their shoulders.  I thought that would make them stand out.  I shaved the excess metal off the bottom of the model, then drilled a hole where they would slip onto the pin.  I cut off the sword at this point as well, as these models would eventually need axes. I also needed to bend their shield arms forward somewhat to better fit the eventual space they would occupy on the Totem.

Totem warriors emerge from surgery ready to climb aboard the Totem


Checking for fit on the platform structure


Now with that settled, I can go ahead and glue the platform structure to the totem itself.  First I decided to give it a partial spray of black primer.  I was afraid that simply gluing the platform on would result in some bare metal trapped somewhere that I could see, but couldn't get a brush to.  So to be safe I gave it a quick partial spray.  I'l l do a full priming later after constuction is complete.

After the partial prime, it was just a matter of slopping on some glue, placing the platform, and letting it dry.

The beast accepts its newly constructed burden...





All that remained (not pictured above) was to drill down through the middle of the platform, through the plastic, and into the metal to make a hole to glue the pin for the crossbow operator.

So, now with the critical platform structure complete and attached, it is time to turn our attention to the remainer of the Totem's "outfit"...

Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2009, 12:51:40 PM »

Rounding out the Totem's "outfit"

At this point the Totem still needed some additional "decor", and of course a means to mount the giant crossbow.  I dipped into my bag of tricks once again (the pile of mirror/picture hanging parts) and came out with some metal pieces that were similar to what I used for the mini-platforms.  These didnt have large "tabs" at the end, just some slight curve.  Plus, the middle section was actually cut out.

It's much easier to show a picture of these than try to describe them


This is probably the point in the project where the miniature gods were smiling down upon me the most as these metal "clips" fit absolutely perfectly on the Totem.  The ridges in the Totems back fit nice and snug into the holes, actually protruding slightly above the metal pieces.  Also, the length of two of these perfectly bridged the area from the central platform to the back of the Totem's head.  The gap between the two clips was at the top of the Totem's shoulder "hump" and would be a perfect point to build a harness for the crossbow.

Our Totem has acquired a bit more armor (note pin for crossbow operator is now installed)




Now, all along while I was planning and building, I wanted the stuff I put on the Totem to look like it could actually be wearing it without it falling off.  So another good thing about this entire combination of platform/armor/crossbow area is that I felt with strategically placed chains, it actually would look like the Totem could wear it into battle.  So I took some craft miniature chain that I bought at the local Michael's store, and placed two strands on the Totem.  One that went from the front most metal piece by his head and wrapped around under his neck, and a second that attached to the undersides of the central platform and went under his belly.  I think it turned out well and gave a little more believability to the model.

Cheap metal craft mini-chain found at Michaels


One of the two chains holding on the Totem's "outfit" (you can see the other chain in the pictures in the first post)




With all that completed, I moved on to what was probably the most frustrating part of the process, the crossbow itself...

Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2009, 08:20:44 AM »
I don't know if anyone is watching this thread closely enough to notice, but I've been lacking in adding new material.  We put our house on the market on Tuesday and its been crazy juggling showings, kids, work, and offer negotiations.  got a verbal agreement in place last night, so I am back in business!

Constructing the Crossbow

Well, the first step in constructing a War Totem mounted Crossbow is this: find a crossbow.  I spent a lot of time browsing my miniatures, looking in hobby stores, peeking online, to try and find a crossbow that looked good and was the right size.  Then wouldn't you know it I found one right under my nose.  I had a box of LOTR miniatures that I didnt even think to look through.  In that box I had a blister of "Uruk-Hai with Crossbows" (model # D 05-62) that had a crossbow that fit the bill nicely.

Crossbow from Uruk-Hai blister


To mount the crossbow on the Totem, I dug through my workshop again, and came across something in my bin of "miscellaneous small electrical wiring doo-dads" that my Dad had given to me years ago.  I'm not sure what to call this thing, but it is a short stubby cylider that ends in a ring.  I'm sure its used for crimping and connecting wire.  My thought was I could cut down the cylinder part, strip off the red plastic, and it could sit in the gap between the metal plates on the top of the totem.  Then I would mount the crossbow inside the ring.  I thought that would be fairly realistic as could imagine the ring rotating the crossbow horizontally, and the crossbow itself perhaps could tip up and down, allowing the operator to have full range of movement.

The "ring mount", before and after modification


So, gluing the ring mount to the Totem was easy enough.  However, it proved difficult gluing the crossbow to the inside of the ring.  I just didnt have enough surface area to attach it well.  So I had to resort to a crude method of adding more surface area.  I just glued two small pieces of paper clip to either side of the crossbow.  That gave me enough surface area to attach the crossbow to the ring.  That ended up working well enough and doesn't stand out too much.

Creating more surface area for gluing the crossbow


Gluing the crossbow to the ring required some careful support


The crossbow operator intently oversees the construction of his weapon


A couple more steps to add some flavor and realism.  Again, looking through my electrical doo-dads, I came across another connector that I thought would be useful.  This one ended in two mini-cylinders.  I thought if I mounted those on the top of the crossbow, that they would represent the chambers of the two arrows that it can shoot every round.  It was a simple matter of snipping those off, and gluing it to the top.  Then I took some common small nails, cut off the ends, and attached them to the operator end of the crossbow.  They would represent handles the operator would use to manuever the crossbow.  The intent was that if the crossbow had handles, it would give the impression of larger size and more weight.

Another electrical "doo-dad" would serve as chambers for the arrows


Almost ready to fire!


Nails getting trimmed to use as crossbow handles


Handles in place, fire when ready!


Oops, a little crooked, but I can live with it (cant tell from most angles)


Ok, so now we have a weapon, but wait a minute...there's some things in those pictures that haven't been discussed yet.  Let's backtrack just a bit...





Offline Alxbates

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2009, 05:28:54 AM »
Excellent tutorial - just excellent.  Thanks for posting it - I look forward to further updates.

-Alex
Wan Chew Tree Faw!

Offline luckyone

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2009, 06:43:04 PM »
This is awesome stuff. Ingenious conversion.
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Offline Von Koss

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2009, 10:04:29 AM »
Absolutely Fantastic!  I have been meaning to post on this topic for a while now, it's just so good and definately matches the pics in the rulebook.  I'm making moves now to replicate this model by the end of the summer- In my opinion it's so good I have no other choice but to copy it.  Many thanks Daargrim for posting the tutorial it's very in-depth and easy to follow.  The painting is great and I would be very proud to deploy that model on my game table. Bravo, my good man!
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Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2009, 11:47:45 AM »
Absolutely Fantastic!  I have been meaning to post on this topic for a while now, it's just so good and definately matches the pics in the rulebook.  I'm making moves now to replicate this model by the end of the summer- In my opinion it's so good I have no other choice but to copy it.  Many thanks Daargrim for posting the tutorial it's very in-depth and easy to follow.  The painting is great and I would be very proud to deploy that model on my game table. Bravo, my good man!

Thanks!  Hopefully I'll be able to update this more tonight.  By the way, I love your "Project Log" thread where you are updating what you are working on.  I like the idea of the black stygian and I am going to copy that whenever I get around to mine!

Offline Daargrim

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2009, 12:36:49 PM »
Some Final Touches for the Totem

Careful observers may have noted something glued to the neck area of the totem...attached to the front-most metal armor piece.  Well, that is a horned ones symbol taken from the standard of the legion warriors box. 

After I attached the symbol, I still felt the various metal pieces needed some dressing up.  They looked too plain and too much like "metal pieces from a mirror hanging kit".  Part of that is just my natural perspective, having been the person who put this together.  So I looked around at the local Michael's store looking for some small beads that could be used as rivets.  I landed on some self-adhesive plastic "gemstones" which I glued on.  I put 4 on each of the two metal plates on the top of the totem, and 2 on each of the Totem Warrior's platforms.

I disassembled the standard in order to use the Horned Ones symbol
(I will use one of the smaller sections later for the handle of the crossbow operator's sword)



The Horned Ones symbol needed the back filed down to make it flat




Beads used as rivets




Next, our Totem needed a base.   I picked up some stuff called "Plastruct" from the local hobby store.  Basically just plastic sheets of appropriate thickness.  after some careful work with the Dremel, and some more gluing, the Totem was basically constructed!

Cutting a piece to size to make the base


Rounded off the corners to look a little nicer


Totem updated with Horned Ones symbol, "rivets", and a base


I prefer to detail the base prior to priming, so the final step would be to add ground effects, leaving some open spaces for flock or grass.

Ground detail added to base




The Totem is primed and ready for paint!!!





Now all the remained was to finish converting the 4 Dwarves...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 01:16:35 PM by Daargrim »

Offline dave kufner

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2009, 04:55:59 PM »
I like how everything comes together on conversions when the primer is added.
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Offline luckyone

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2009, 07:38:02 PM »
Quote from: dave kufner link=topic=5843.msg45601#msg45601 date=
I like how everything comes together on conversions when the primer is added.

You are so correct. Having that first prime coat after a long and awesome conversion is such a great feeling.
Always look out for number one, but don't step in number two.
What do you mean Flash Gordon approaching? OPEN FIRE!
The entire Capitol Army.
Don't ever say anything but a 20 before rolling the dice.

Offline Alxbates

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Re: Creating a Dwarf War Totem (Torkha)
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2009, 09:05:37 PM »
Quote from: dave kufner link=topic=5843.msg45601#msg45601 date=
I like how everything comes together on conversions when the primer is added.

You are so correct. Having that first prime coat after a long and awesome conversion is such a great feeling.

Oh, heck yeah.  I'll echo my earlier comments, the figure looks fantastic.  You've written an excellent conversion guide.

-Alex
Wan Chew Tree Faw!