Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Circle Orboros Warpwolf / Ilyad Warwolf

Converted and painted: Ilyad Warwolf to Circle Orboros Warpwolf

Next up is one of my favorite figures from my collection and the reason I started a Hordes Circle Orboros warband. As I was getting into the game when it first game out I went for Skorne first, but after getting bogged down in painting scheme, helmet swap and decal printing quandaries I decided to a smaller force that I would have fewer hangups about. Reading up on the Circle I liked quite a bit but didn't care for the Warpwolf model. However, I was immediately reminded of the awesome War Wolf figure by Ilyad, and Ilyad was on my brain already as they were going under and this would be my last chance to get the awesome "Vorag" barbarians and minotaurs. I lucked out and got pretty much everything I wanted on sale shipped from France (though despite the sale they wound up being more than I typically paid for figures of any kind).

But man, Ilyad figures beautiful, and the resin castings a joy for the most part. And by today's standards what I paid was pretty modest for any store-bought figures. Resin is one of those mediums that can be second-to-none in the hands of professionals like the original Armorcast team or Ilyad, or be a disaster like in the hands of Forge World, GW or the new Armorcast team. The detail on the Ilyad figs can't be beat. Gluing the arm of this beast on with no pin, no greenstuff, just CA glue alone, was a first for me. After gluing I could hardly see the join at all. Mold lines were virtually non-existent, and the gritty resin material files and sands down so much easier than any other medium. The Ilyad resin is light weight but sanding exposes some trace glints. I don't know about resin to tell if that is some kind of mixing agent like metal. There was one significant bubble area beneath one of the knees that I had to fill with greenstuff. Having looked over my other figures my thought is that a figure might pass QA if the bubble was in an easy to fill area on a larger figure. I haven't found any problems with detail areas. Faces, and armor, etc, the detail is simply better than metal, especially with regard to the pressure used to fill the mold. The volumes of the figures are fully fleshed out and don't have the squashed look that metal figures often have. And when you have a flat surface there is no concave surface like you have for Forge World, etc. All in all, superior to metal for this particular figure.

The finished figure:

Pardon the fuzzy focus on the head in some shots. Even with the f-stop as high it would go the heads juts a bit too far forward to get the whole thing in focus. Should have made sure I was focused on the head.

I was painting a lot of commission pieces around the time and in a commission piece I tend to want to make a crowd-pleaser, and I'm thinking about balancing the colors, creating a clear focal point, and giving it something a little extra to grab some attention. This one was just for me, and so I could make it just how I wanted without worrying about the critics (and as a side note in some ways when it's just for me I'm a tougher critic, but in other ways I'm a gentler one, it's a funny shift that way).

When it comes to wolves I've always liked black ones ever since I had recurring dreams of them invading my dream winter manor as a young child (courtesy of the book the Wolves of Willoughby Chase, but the wolves are sadly all but forgotten mid-way through the book, whereas in my dreams they would come time and time again).

Anyhow, painting nearly all black is a fair challenge in and of itself and I went with a warm neutral tone in the highlights. As usual I used photo reference which was crucial to get how the hair on the back can be brown and the chin white, and the color of the gums. The pale green eyes are also after a particular wolf. And despite the finished product being more subtle and minimal and not having the bells and whistles I decided to see how it would fare at Kublacon (2008 I believe) and I was really pleased to come home with a Best Conversion and Bronze Master Kubla.

Here are some WIP shots of the conversion. I don't have any protips for doing armored detail. I just kind of muddled through and am pretty pleased with them though think I could do better given another chance as I've honed my sculpting craft a bit since then. I also made shin guards but decided the concept of shin guards on a wolf was a little goofy. You can also see how nice the Ilyad resin is, along with how I filled a bit of a hole under the left knee.

As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.