Making a Nurgle daemon.... out of rubbish!
I've been stuck in a painting rut recently and haven't been inspired by any of my current projects, so when I saw my friend Cat post a painting challenge to kitbash a model in one day, I decided to give it a shot! :)
For context, I'm usually a painter and not a modeller - I rarely do conversions, and this was my first scratch build! So I'm not teaching you "proper" techniques here - just showing you what I did to build this particular mini :)
It took 4 hours to build, from concept to primed.
The challenge rules were very simple - you have one day to build/kitbash a mini, and it needs to be blanchitsu in style.
The start off point for my design was these wings:
I had them left over from when I converted my Mortarion to have real bird wings. They are budgie wings (don't worry, it died of natural causes).
So I knew I wanted to use them, but only have my small travelling bitz box with me at the moment (thanks to quarantine), and didn't have any other parts in the right size/scale.
A sensible person would have done a smaller mini instead - you know, one they actually had parts for.
But I'm not sensible.
So instead, I drew this quick concept sketch for what I originally imagined to be a tall, hunched, hooded figure with ragged robes and wings.
As well as the wings, I had some LEDs in my random bits draw that I pulled out of an old skull halloween decoration when I needed the skull for my Lady Olynder photoshoot, so decided to use them on the simple basis "why not".
The electronic part was quite big so as a base I used a cork block meant for sanding paper, and hacked a hole in it with my stanley blade lol.
Once the hole was made, I pushed the LEDs and wires through, then pinned them into place with some bits of wire.
I decided to leave the loops of wire out the back so that it could trail in the robes of my imaginary hooded figure.
Next I used thick wire to create the main S bend structure for the figure...
Putting the wings against this gave a vague idea of what the broad shape of the mini would be.
As you can see, I originally planned to have the wings very high, as the figure was going to be humanoid and I didn't know yet that it was going to become a swan!!
To create more structure around the main wire S bend, I started to build up an armature of finer wire.
It's a tecnique I haven't used for over a decade lol and I quickly got bored of building the structure up that way because it kept spiking my figures.
After paying the blood price, I came up with a new superior plan...
..... an old painting sponge!
This made the process much faster, because I could bulk the structure out really easily with minimal wire. It might not be a great technique if you needed super fine accuracy, but for nurgle it works just fine :)
This was about the point at which I fully accepted that it was going to be a swan because seriously, who am I kidding? It's clearly just a swan.
Fuck knows why this daemon is a swan but apparently now it is :)
As a completely hopeless sculptor, I don't even own clay! so needed to come up with another way to cover the armature.
My Cunning Plan for this was to rip up tissue and dunk it in PVA glue, like an even messier version of papier mache....
This was my favourite part of the process by miles!! :D
I was always that kid in art class who would paint my hands with PVA, wait for it to dry and then peel it off, so this was basically heaven ;)
Next I remembered it was meant to be a warhammer kitbash challenge so threw a few warhammer pieces onto it....
My concept for the tissue was that it was peeling skin, so I draped it with gravity in mind. I left gaps where you can see the sponge underneath, because it creates a perfect texture for open sores.
Also I added crumbled/powdered bits of cork leftover from where I made the hole in the base, just to add some extra texture.
These tyranid pieces were kind of to represent exposed spine, or maybe just growths, and again to break up the texture of the tissue and add detail.
I made some extra intestines from green stuff and draped them down from the main belly, to blend the guts onto the model rather than looking like a single piece stuck on. The main section of gut is leftover from my GUO.
You can also see the red LEDs here, one of which is partly exposed on the front and the other is just visible behind the intestine on the left.
As a last detail, I added a little nurgling rider holding a chain that pierces straight through the "face" of the daemon.
Nurglings are possibly my favourite creatures in all of the warhammer universes, and I put them all over my death guard army! :D
It also helps with giving a sense of scale (this daemon is big, a good 2.5 inches taller than a new size GUO!) and ties it to the warhammer universe when it's an otherwise entirely non-canon miniature.
At that point I called it a day on the build - there's a couple of mistakes that I didn't bother fixing and there could have been a lot more detail, but I ran out of time to keep working on it and just wanted to have it finished rather than perfect :)
This is what she looks like finished, before spraying:
And the nurgling rider:
It looked pretty random at the construction stage, but I was surprised and happy with how "proper" it looked after it was sprayed! :)
There's a lot I'd change about it if I was making it again, but for my first scratch build, done in 4 hours, out of random materials with no plan, I'm very happy with it lol!
Also the LEDs glow through the tissue and look really cool.....
So yep, that's the construction of my Nurgle daemon swan! If people are interested then I'll do a walkthrough of the painting too :)
Thanks for reading, and Nurgle bless you! :D