Scratchbuilding this Navigator model has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. I've actually got a few models I want to try and build like this that come from images I've found in the 40k universe. After getting my hands on the new tentacle maker (I now have all three sizes) from Green Stuff Industries, I knew I was finally going to try and build this guy. Unfortunately, my scratchbuilding skills are not the best, but I think I've managed to capture a little bit of the feeling of the artwork.
I've always wanted to build a Navigator/Mystic type model with all kind of tubes and cables coming from his shell. Not something you'd see very often in an army, but something that looked super cool. I knew it would have been too hard to do without the right tools and when I got my hands on all three of the tentacle makers, I figured it was finally time to try my hand at making this guy.
I like a challenge, but this model would have been too much to try and do by hand.
The body is a Chaos Terminator torso and the rest of the bits have been collected from my bits box. When I say the rest of the bits, I mean his Eldar biker arms, the two space marine terminator hip plates and the Chaos space marine bolt pistol/grenade bit. The rest of the model is greenstuff.
This is my second attempt at "scratchbuilding" a model. My first attempt was a Tyranid Spore mine that came out pretty good for a non-Tyranid player. It was relatively easy though because of its organic characteristics. That made it a very forgiving model to try and build. I'm slowly working my way up towards a more complex model that requires a substantial bit of work, but it's going to take time.
The SAW-020 GSI Tentacle maker
I shared the WIP shots on the Green Stuff Industries blog a few weeks back to show off what I did with the tentacle maker. It was kind of fun to post it over there, I hope it shows others just what can be done with the tool.
As far as this tool goes, it's hands down my favorite one. They actually make three sizes, but I prefer the SAW-020. That one has the finest detail and is perfect for making tubes on troop models. Given my choice of this one or any other tube maker, I'll take this one any day.
The other sizes they have are slightly bigger and work better for larger models like tanks and maybe dreadnoughts. If you can get all three, do it, if you can only get one, get the SAW-020. Don't kill yourself trying to make cables by hand. I used to do it since I made so many Librarian models, but the detail you can get from this thing is superb.
Some final thoughts on the model
I didn't paint this guy out of the ordinary. My standard fair of basic colors and a good bit of weathering powders to add grime and connect him with his environment. I will say that paint hides a lot of issues on a model and can never be underestimated when it comes to improving the overall completeness of a model.
The more I look at it though, the more I see that I could fix in terms of sculpting. I wonder if that's the case will all models you scratchbuild instead of build normally. I'm still very happy with him for what he is... a test model to see if I can sculpt/build something that is not completely organic.
If you've got any questions about something in particular on the model, ask away and I'll answer them as best I can.
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
GSI Tentacle Maker review
Scratchbuilt Tyranid Spore Mine conversion