PAINTING AND CONVERTING - Lord Commissar

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On account of me getting sick of my ogryn running off the table the first chance they got, I finally decided to make a lord commissar to replace Straken from my list.

My last several projects in a row had been scratchbuilding, and I was somewhat eager to not do another model entirely from scratch. As such, I decided to go the course of my other commissars and do a partial scratchbuild. It would be an interesting test to see how my skills have improved since last time I worked at this level.

My vision for a lord commissar was, of course, to start with a commissar. This meant black cloak and gold armor, and shouting and generally being angry. The thing is, though, this is a LORD commissar. If ever there were a time for me to hit the throttle to the max and flirt with flagrant over-the-top-dom as far as being a commissar was concerned, this would be it.

At my disposal was pretty much just the bitz from a regular box o' cadian infantry. Unfortunately, I had already used up the last of the type of legs that I wanted for this, which meant that I needed to chop up my own. Unfortunately, this very early on lead to a horrendous gash as my hobby knife gave through plastic on one of the legs:

Needless to say, this would make the process just that much more difficult. Praise the emperor for superglue, at least...

With the leg swap done and a few little bits of greenstuff later, and I had the basic plastic frame done.

Of course, the first thing I noticed with this versus scratchbuilding was how fast I was already onto the detail stage, given that the main body had already been done.

In order to really crank up the OOT, I was going to start with the armor. As this guy is getting both a power fist and carapace armor, I've decided to take a page from the GW lord commissar model and give him a big, bulky breastplate. That and a big gothic helm. Basically, he's getting a 15th century suit of armor. As such, the first part is to just get the base of the armor down.

One of the things I definitely already noticed by this point is how scratchbuilding has taught me to do WAY more greenstuffing per step in order to reduce the total amount of steps (and thus the amount of time). A few months ago, this armor would have taken two or three steps instead of just one.

Once the armor was down, it was time to do the detailing. In scratchbuilding, by the time that I got to this point, I was already suffering from burnout. As this is obviously not the case yet, I decided to do something ambitious. Time for the armor to go on with style!

Also, of course, I added on the pistol. Usually, my commissars were pointing and holding their pistol. That's too regular commissar, though. For this one, the pistol will have to be holstered in order to free up the hands.

After this, it was time to put on the coat. Having done this a few times, I've now gotten it down to just two steps (with a cheaty half-step in there for the structural coat leads). This was definitely something that I noticed the scratchbuilding helping with. With scratchbuilding, I needed to do a lot of clothing in a single step. The way I thought about coat engineering was now definitely different from the way I originally did them.

Also, I decided that I wanted him to have a megaphone.

Unfortunately, it came out too small once I had it into shape...

After mulling it over for awhile, I decided to make it an electronic megaphone, rather than just a conical tube. To achieve the effect, I cut off a chunk of the cadian vox set (the wire connecting it wound up in the power fist).

Once this was done, the coat was finished off, along with most of the power fist. Also, to drive home the final outrageousness, I decided to go for a picklehaube:

At this point, I was actually pretty proud. I had done a commissar, mostly, and I had done him in 4.5-5 steps. If I would have had the whole weekend to work on him, I could have done this whole thing in just a single weekend. Quite a deal, given that my first commissar took me two weeks, and had much less detail. And all this was on a busted thumb, to boot!

Once here, it was just touch-up work. The here's and there's. After only a little effort, the green was complete:

Once done, the matter of painting it was pretty obvious. He was a commissar, so had to fit the commissar theme.

The painting didn't come out as hoped. The prescribed commissar theme ultimately hid a fair amount of the detail. I tried a few different color schemes, like some brown on the fist, but it just really didn't work out.

In any case, he is clearly a commissar, and he is clearly a more awesome commissar than a regular commissar. Here are all 4 that I've done together:

All in all, I've got a result that is wysiwyg in upgrades, and clearly the type of game piece. More importantly, this let me see what I'd learned about greenstuffing from my summer of scratchbuilding astropath, priest and ogryn. This definitely gives me more confidence that I'll be able to do more, better stuff in the future. Not only am I getting faster for the purpose of mass-production, but this model also has a lot more detail as I was able to get into the detail phase much before burnout.

I hope you like it. Let me know if you have any questions.

And of course, the poster: