PAINTING AND CONVERTING - Mortar Teams
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So I'm writing this article to showcase the mortar teams that I've completed recently. Note that it's just the gunners and their mortars. My plan is to make a bunch of generic loaders and stick them in later.
The first thing to notice is that all of my guys will be put onto their own bases. As much as I like doing the dioramas, they suffer from being really big (and thus, easy to get pot-shots at them by clipping the edge of the big base), confusing to my opponents, and difficult to fit into terrain. Plus, this way I get to have seperate loader models. You will notice that mortars actually fit pretty well on the standard size bases. They hang off a little, but I think that it's just fine.
As well, there is the obvious part about the guys not wearing helmets. The first model I made for this, I wanted to test if it would be possible to remove an imperial guard helmet, and be able to come out with a nice product. Obviously, it is possible, and thankfully not as much work as I'd have thought. The process begins with selecting the head from the Cadian sprue. Then you have to carefully work around the face with the hobby knife. I like to start by removing the chin straps, along with the big knobs on the helmet that I know I'm going to have to remove later. The most challenging part is cutting away the helmet on the forehead. While having a wierd angle slope can be fixed, not having eyebrow ridgelines, or accidentally screwing up one of the eyes is a much greater risk. Just remember that any accidents with the knife can be rolled into the final result of the model (that accident with a knife can easily be turned into an accident with a chainsword).
After the helmet has been entirely cut away, I continue by taking out a couple of small pieces of greenstuff to serve as ears. It will definitely be helpful to put a tiny bit of super glue down where you want the ears to be and then stick them on (this will help the ears stay put while you sculpt them). Take a moment to make sure the ears are lined up with each other. You will likely need to look at the head from above to tell for sure. After this point you can mess with the ears however you like, from putting a simle "C" shape into the greenstuff to doing something more complicated.
After the ears have completely cured, it's a matter of adding any widgets (like carving a pipe and gluing it into the face) and planning how you want the hair / facial hair to look. When applying the hair, I suggest a couple of things. The first is to always use a little bit of superglue to anchor down the greenstuff. The second is to do the hair in a few stages, if possible, to get the best layered effect. Other than that, it's just a matter of drawing paralell lines with your hobby knife to get decent looking hair.