A few weeks ago, I had someone at my FLGS ask me if I would paint a model for him. "Sure," I said and met him one night to work out the specifics. When he laid out all the pieces to the model, I knew I was in for a bit more work. We talked about the project, but in the end, it didn't work out.
Wouldn't you know it though, as soon as I got home and checked my email, there was another offer from someone else to do the very same thing. This time, I got the project.
Up top is the sketch my Client sent me to show what he was looking for.
Goodbye GW "Saturday Night Fever" pose and hello new dramatic pose. Something a bit more fitting for the Chapter Master. He wanted him to look like he just finished swinging his sword and has raised his combi-plasma to finish off an opponent. No problem. Sounds like a great pose to me.
It's a deceptive project really, At first, you think I'll just take some bits, glue them together, fill some gaps and I'll be all set. Even though I'm not painting this model, there's a huge amount of detail work to do.
Image from Games Workshop
Just looking at the GW version, you can see all kinds of details. From the Angel on his chestplate to the custom combi-plasma, there's tons of little things in there. The trick is keeping as much of the original detail while recreating the completely new pose.
Fortunately, his right shoulderpad is already available as a bit. I sculpted his left shoulderpad to match the original one. After laying down a thin layer of greenstuff, it took me a little while to "cut out" the Dark Angel chapter symbol.
As for the model itself, it's a Dark Angels robed set of legs with a standard Space Marine Sergeant chest plate. His left arm would have to be built from scratch and his right arm would be a combination of a replacement arm and his actual pewter right hand holding the sword. That would allow me to reposition the arms the way my Client wanted.
The reason the Sergeant chestplate was used was to allow me to sculpt a small tryptic on the collar and add studs along the top edge. In the pic, I've got the tryptic in place along with the new belt buckle. I'll be adding studs to the sides of the collar as soon as this cures. You can see I cut away the vent on the front which will be replaced with a sculpted angel icon. Depending on how this turns out, I may or may not be adding the vent piece that hangs down in front. I'll show it to my Client at that point to see what he prefers to have done.
And his combi-plasma. Why he can't have a regular one like everyone else does, I'll never know. This one was a bit of a challenge to build. With the arm in a new position, I couldn't use the old one and fit it in place. There was too much to cut away and still be left with something useful.
It took a regular combi-plasma, a piece from a Tau weapon, a left hand from a bolt pistol and the pointy hand arm from the Devastator Sgt. I believe to get to this point. I've still got to greenstuff his wrist and add his glove like on the other hand though. Once all that's done, I can add it to the torso and resculpt his shoulder joint to get it in just the right position.
Here is the completed model.
My Project Link: Dark Angels Azrael
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
6 tips for sculpting shoulderpad icons
How to sculpt scrollwork on models