Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hill Giant #2 (scratch-build)

How do you like my new hill giant?

Scratch-built Hill Giant

Scratch-built Hill Giant

I sculpted him over a Reaper Bones ogre. I got it to test the material and I have to say I was less than impressed. I have a bunch of prepaints I've collected over the years mainly to use for parts, and they tend to be much sturdier and with a material that takes paint a better. From sturdiest to most bendy the progression goes Pathfinder > Heroclix > D&D prepaints > Reaper Bones (though I only have 1 pathfinder figure to go by). You could easily put one finger on the base of this ogre and holding it thusly against a surface you could press his head down to touch it's forehead to the surface using very little pressure.

I also didn't care for the figure very much. The proportions in particular were egregiously wonky. But I noticed it was roughly the same size as the Otherworld hill giant, for whom I had wanted to make a partner in crime, so I wound up doing this to it:

That's concrete patch. If you know me, you know I like concrete patch, so much so I even sculpt with it. I find it pretty handy to quickly bulk out mass areas with. I would be hesitant to use it on figures that would be vulcanized during a molding process but for one-offs, it's great. It sticks like glue to most surfaces and dries rock hard. No kneeding, mixing or baking, and if you have bucket of it for terrain purposes using in minute amounts like this is essentially free.

Hill Giant Scratch Build WIP Hill Giant Scratch Build WIP Hill Giant Scratch Build WIP

I decided against the comb-over in the end. I can't say I really recommend this approach I took. It's a lot of work and had I just gone the extra mile and did the hands and feet, etc, I might have something worth casting. I'm pretty happy with it, though. And I have to say, although Paul Muller's giant is awesome and I have a very long way to go to get to that level, there's one bit, the fur, where I can say I like mine quite a bit better.

I took the idea for the armor plates from the following illustration by Gustaf Tenggren. Making whole sculpts after these giants would be a lot of fun!

I also wasn't entirely satisfied with the paint job on the first giant so I reworked it. Here's the final version of him along with a group shot.

Otherworld Hill Giant

Hill Giants

You'll notice I didn't go all out on the second one with the baked-in-the-sun skin tones. A bit of that is laziness but it's also that the Bones surface just doesn't take paint right. It's just not a good experience painting it, and I had a strong sense it wasn't up to taking glazes, and that it would risk making a mess. It marks them a bit apart from each other, but oh well, overall I'm pretty happy.

There's also no way it's going to bend any more. It's got an inch or so of tire wire going up through either leg. Which I guess would be a potential solution to other Bones figures that may be giving you trouble. Cut them apart and glue back together with tire wire.

By the way, being how I am I've decided that I'm not satisfied with this being my only take on hill giants. For example I have a Dungeon Dwellers one here cleaned up and ready for priming. And a bunch of giants elsewhere.

a quickr pickr post

There are more shots of these on flickr.


  1. Wow, that's one seriously well done conversion. It fits right in with the Otherworld giant and is miles ahead of the base bone model, as most of those sculpts are quite 'meh'.

  2. Very nice sculpting! Your giants look great.

  3. Fantastic sculpting. I wouldn't have even guessed it was a conversion if you didn't say so.

  4. Very cool. I saw the pic of this guy on your flicker account earlier and was hoping to hear about how you did it. Excellent work!

  5. Outstanding conversion. Pairs perfectly with the OW giant.

    Don't get me started on Bones. Suffice it to say that I share your dislike for the material. You've turned a crap miniature into something special. Well done.

  6. Salvage jobs tend to be my favorite conversions, and you did a beautiful makeover on this one. Fantastic job on the face, really expressive. These two have the right balance of Malevolent and Dopey. For some reason, I imagine this is what the vendors see when we peruse the flea market Monday morning.

  7. Bravo. Such a cool team and superb conversionn work! Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Hey Spooktalker. Where can I get in touch with you?

  9. I am also looking to get in touch with you about a commission similar to a conversion you have already done.