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Togg's Waaagh!

Mad 'At

Dumb enough to work
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
2,359
Alright, as promised to @Crystal and her brother I've now put together a description/tutorial on how I build my own great cave squigs, used either as mount for night goblin bosses or as mangler squigs. I've recently started working on my second pair of mangler squigs myself so I will continue this tutorial with pics of those. For now I use old WIP pics of the previous ones.

The first you need is a base material. You want something cheap that is easy to give a rough shape, is sturdy enough to hold the rest of the model in place and is preferably light. I use pink Styrofoam, which could be a bit sturdier but the lightness is really nice. I'm sure there are other material that could be good for this, but the rest of the tutorial is written with mainly styrofoam in mind.

From the styrofoam you construct the base shape, a ball with an open mouth (if you want one). Try to make the mouth nice and hollow, carving it out with a small knife (the knife end of the GW sculpting tool is great for this). The inside gets a little rough after this so you probably want to cover is with putty. In the pictures I've used green stuff but on the ones I'm making now I've used milliput which was great for it. The thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to be that nice since it wouldn’t be very visible due to all the teeth. You might also want to add a tongue. I make these from putty with a base of steel wire. Make a very basic shape first and then add detail in a second session. Here is a pic of it can look thus far:
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If you have an open mouth you then add teeth, I make these from sprue frames. Just take the plastic and cut it to shape, drill a hole in the bottom and pin it to the jaws. Here are some pics of that:
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Next you sculpt the gum. First cut away the styrofoam around the teeth to make a round base for the gum. Then add green stuff. Sculpt this quite far back the body (it will help the next stage) and don't care about lips yet. Cause that is the next stage. Lips are added by rolling a string of green stuff and attaching it on top of the gum. On the upper lip the string is flattened, making a smooth transition into the skin beyond (i.e. that part of the gum you sculpted a stretching a bit back the body). The lower lip gets a little bit of this treatment, but you still want to to stand out more. Near the ends of the line you smooth it out though.

With the new squigs I'm making I've found out that you can make a lot more different facial expressions by making the lips cover part of the teeth, so that less gum is visible. It makes it easier to make the mouth open wide but is a little bit harder to sculpt. More on that when I've completed it on my own squigs.

Onto legs. Drill a hole through the body where you want the legs attached and pull some sturdy steel wire though. It can be a bit tricky to attach it properly since the styrofoam is so soft. On my new squigs I pulled the wire through and added milliput on either side, pushing it into the hole next to the wire, to make it a bit sturdier. On the warboss's squig I worked a piece of plastic into the centre of the head, the wire goes through this piece and it is also where the warboss is attached with a magnet.

Bend the wire on either side to give the shape and pose of the legs. For proportions I used the existing squig models and just doubled each length. I then covered the wire with twine, as a cheep and lightweight way of bulking out the muscles. Here you can see the legs thus far, and the work on the lips:
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To sculpt the face the first thing to do is add eyeballs. Roll two sphere of appropriate size (not necessarily equal in size depending on the expression you want) and squeeze them in place were you want them to create half spheres protruding out of the body. Next you build up the face around the eyes, making a nose and eye sockets. The size of it all makes it quite easy.

The Legs are covered in green stuff, and muscle structure is mimicked from the smaller squigs (if you copy a pose it gets easier). Feet are then added. Depending on the design you can use different bases materials. Both squigs on the mangler have steel wire as the base for each toe, while the great cave squigs has whole feet made from a base of more styrofoam. This is probably the hardest part to get right. On my current squigs I plan to use the feet from the IoB griffon on one of them to make it easy for me.

The last part is to cover then whole skin in green stuff and add any details you want to the squigs. This can be horns or scales or anything really. What's important to remember is tor first cover the base material with a basic green stuff skin before you sculpt any detail on it.

Skulpting the skin over styrofoam can be a bit tricky as the green stuff doesn’t stick so well. But it can be done. Sometimes you get trouble with air bubbles being pressed into the foam, which then expands out pushing at the green stuff. This can look really creepy but another layer fixes it. A trick to get is all smooth is to sculpt it a bit thicker than you want it and then file it smooth. When I make the skin I often use whatever green stuff I get left from sculpting other stuff, and just push it in place, bothering about looks later. On my current squigs I'm thinking about using milliput to cover them instead but I'm not sure, I've found it hard to get the details right.

One thing I have to say is that making squigs take time, a lot of it. You need to let the green stuff cure between sessions and you want to keep the sessions fairly small or you risk messing it up. It is a good project to have on the side, working a little bit one it each day.

Think that's about it. Hope you guys can derive something useful from it. If there is anything else just let me know :)

Update 2015-07-21
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Update 2015-08-10
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The gum and tongue of the smaller squig is finished.

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The start of the legs on the larger squig. Steel wire to make the basic shape. String twisted around to build some cheep and lightweight muscles. I attach one end using super glue, the start twisting it around, adding more super glue to places I need it firmly in place (the knee for example). When twisting, do it neatly so that it is roughly the same thickness all over.

Getting the steel wire to the right shape is probably the hardest part. This is really the only place where proportions matter. On the first squig I sculpted I copied the shape and proportions of a GW squigs, just made everything twice as long.

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Lips and nose added to the small squig.

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The first leg mostly sculpted using milliput. A knee added with green stuff for higher detail level. More parts will be covered in green stuff eventually. The second leg has been given some string. Used more here than on the first cause I noted the legs needed to be quite thick to look right.

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Eyes added. First a ball pressed in place. Then eyebrows/eyelid in another session. The stuff on his chin is my attempt to explain where all the skin goes when they open wide.

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Some clay pressed in place, right before sculpting.

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Trying out some feet for the smaller squig.

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Finer details added to the second leg using green stuff.

Update 2015-08-13
First, the big one, who has gotten a face:
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The small string of green stuff was added to the bottom of the eyes in a first session. Then I sculpted the face in another. That session was really at the limit of my ability, was also on the third try that I finally was pleased with it.

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Fixed some last details to his face with green stuff. Making the features sharper and cleaning up.

And the the small one who has gotten legs:
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String attached in one end with super glue.

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And twisted around, in two neat layers.

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And the other leg. Added a second wire that becomes a rope at the squig's ankle. This rope is what will suspend the squig in the air. It is made from three pieces of steel wire, one that is super tough and two that are more soft. Attached to a screwdriver in one end and a vice in the other and viola, a strong rope.

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And covered with one layer of string. The fact that it was two steel wires made it the right thickness with only one layer.

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The legs sculpted, in two sessions for each leg.

Update 2015-08-25
First, the small Squig.
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He is getting a rider...

... who will be holding on to this:
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A fine mohawk!

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More work done on the mohawk. Also glued the feet in place here.

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And added some milliput to the joint.

Onto the big Squig:
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He too is getting a rider, and a horn!

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Close up of his fine calves and clawless foot. Two sessions of Milliput and one of greensstuff for each feet, over a core of twine a steel wire.

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And here he is ready for a pedicure.

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And after the pedicure.

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His rider.

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With the broken horn taking shape.

Update 2015-09-06
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As I said, I wasn't entirely happy with the horn. So I sawed it in half and added some plastic card in between to make it a bit longer.

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Here I have filled the gap with miliput and worked around the horn attachment with green stuff.

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And here you can see the magnets in his skull. Allowing me to remove the horn.

Onto the smaller squig:
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I've sculpted green stuff on the leg joint to cover it up. First step is to make it smooth and create a nice edge to the "elbow". I then added some small balls of green stuff to continue the texture of his claws. Paint will judge how well I've done it. Also worked on his mohawk, added the back part of it.

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Here we can see the other leg joint. I think I managed the texture better here. You can also see that I've only done one side of the back part of the mohawk yet.

Update 2015-11-03
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The two squigs are attached! Using the twisted steel wire as the only thing suspending the smaller one in the air. It is a bit wobbly but it won't bend unless you use pliers.

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From another angle.

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And the back.

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Close up on the knot details. The wire goes straight into the horn and the leg. Then I greenstuffed the link in the shackles and the plate. Took some greenstuff and rolled it out to dry for an hour or so. Folded it once and twisted into a rope. Cut of two small parts to attach to either side of the link. Flattened them to the steel rope. Took more greenstuff rope and twisted around the steel rope, tugged the end into the twisting. Added a small part sticking out at the end of the twisting. Most likely it will fall off but it is just to attach it with super glue after that and it will stay in place.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
281
Alright, as promised to @Crystal and his brother I've now put together a description/tutorial on how I build my own great cave squigs, used either as mount for night goblin bosses or as mangler squigs. I've recently started working on my second pair of mangler squigs myself so I will continue this tutorial with pics of those. For now I use old WIP pics of the previous ones.

The first you need is a base material. You want something cheap that is easy to give a rough shape, is sturdy enough to hold the rest of the model in place and is preferably light. I use pink Styrofoam, which could be a bit sturdier but the lightness is really nice. I'm sure there are other material that could be good for this, but the rest of the tutorial is written with mainly styrofoam in mind.

From the styrofoam you construct the base shape, a ball with an open mouth (if you want one). Try to make the mouth nice and hollow, carving it out with a small knife (the knife end of the GW sculpting tool is great for this). The inside gets a little rough after this so you probably want to cover is with putty. In the pictures I've used green stuff but on the ones I'm making now I've used milliput which was great for it. The thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to be that nice since it wouldn’t be very visible due to all the teeth. You might also want to add a tongue. I make these from putty with a base of steel wire. Make a very basic shape first and then add detail in a second session. Here is a pic of it can look thus far:
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If you have an open mouth you then add teeth, I make these from sprue frames. Just take the plastic and cut it to shape, drill a hole in the bottom and pin it to the jaws. Here are some pics of that:
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Next you sculpt the gum. First cut away the styrofoam around the teeth to make a round base for the gum. Then add green stuff. Sculpt this quite far back the body (it will help the next stage) and don't care about lips yet. Cause that is the next stage. Lips are added by rolling a string of green stuff and attaching it on top of the gum. On the upper lip the string is flattened, making a smooth transition into the skin beyond (i.e. that part of the gum you sculpted a stretching a bit back the body). The lower lip gets a little bit of this treatment, but you still want to to stand out more. Near the ends of the line you smooth it out though.

With the new squigs I'm making I've found out that you can make a lot more different facial expressions by making the lips cover part of the teeth, so that less gum is visible. It makes it easier to make the mouth open wide but is a little bit harder to sculpt. More on that when I've completed it on my own squigs.

Onto legs. Drill a hole through the body where you want the legs attached and pull some sturdy steel wire though. It can be a bit tricky to attach it properly since the styrofoam is so soft. On my new squigs I pulled the wire through and added milliput on either side, pushing it into the hole next to the wire, to make it a bit sturdier. On the warboss's squig I worked a piece of plastic into the centre of the head, the wire goes through this piece and it is also where the warboss is attached with a magnet.

Bend the wire on either side to give the shape and pose of the legs. For proportions I used the existing squig models and just doubled each length. I then covered the wire with twine, as a cheep and lightweight way of bulking out the muscles. Here you can see the legs thus far, and the work on the lips:
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To sculpt the face the first thing to do is add eyeballs. Roll two sphere of appropriate size (not necessarily equal in size depending on the expression you want) and squeeze them in place were you want them to create half spheres protruding out of the body. Next you build up the face around the eyes, making a nose and eye sockets. The size of it all makes it quite easy.

The Legs are covered in green stuff, and muscle structure is mimicked from the smaller squigs (if you copy a pose it gets easier). Feet are then added. Depending on the design you can use different bases materials. Both squigs on the mangler have steel wire as the base for each toe, while the great cave squigs has whole feet made from a base of more styrofoam. This is probably the hardest part to get right. On my current squigs I plan to use the feet from the IoB griffon on one of them to make it easy for me.

The last part is to cover then whole skin in green stuff and add any details you want to the squigs. This can be horns or scales or anything really. What's important to remember is tor first cover the base material with a basic green stuff skin before you sculpt any detail on it.

Skulpting the skin over styrofoam can be a bit tricky as the green stuff doesn’t stick so well. But it can be done. Sometimes you get trouble with air bubbles being pressed into the foam, which then expands out pushing at the green stuff. This can look really creepy but another layer fixes it. A trick to get is all smooth is to sculpt it a bit thicker than you want it and then file it smooth. When I make the skin I often use whatever green stuff I get left from sculpting other stuff, and just push it in place, bothering about looks later. On my current squigs I'm thinking about using milliput to cover them instead but I'm not sure, I've found it hard to get the details right.

One thing I have to say is that making squigs take time, a lot of it. You need to let the green stuff cure between sessions and you want to keep the sessions fairly small or you risk messing it up. It is a good project to have on the side, working a little bit one it each day.

Think that's about it. Hope you guys can derive something useful from it. If there is anything else just let me know :)

EDIT: Hah, new page! That's convenient. Will probably just add to this post when I make progress on the new squigs.
Its "her" at the start :tongue: not his and thank you very much :) I'll show him when he finishes work.
 

Mad 'At

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Update time!

Been working on the squigs during my vacation, so heads up @Crystal.

Will update the top post on this page with the pictures also, but you all can check them out here as well:
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Cheers!
 
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@Mad 'At those are cray creepy, but also kinda cute. I'll let my brother know of the update but kinda wanna make one to use as an abyssal terror or something for my undead now...oooh! I just realised I have banshees left from my coven throne that I built last night and I remember my brother showed me an image of someone's converted land raider (I think it was a land raider) that had a spirit host flying out of the open front hatch. Kinda tempted to try this but either cut holes through the foam and slip the banshees through or have them only slightly dug in the sides or something to make a haunted squig :tongue: No idea what I would use such a thing for though but it looks interesting in my head.
 

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Yeah, squigs are often called cute. And why not, what's not to like about a flesh colourful meatball filled with teeth and happiness :)

Sounds like a cool idea with the banshee. Never heard of a haunted squig, but I'm sure it can be done xD
 

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It is more commonly used for insulating houses (hard to believe but not all make squigs from it). Might be found where other building materials can be found.
 

Farmer7574

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Neither have I but its not the craziest idea I've seen :tongue: just need to figure out where to buy that pink Styrofoam
I had an issue finding it locally a while back too (I probably just didn't check the right places), but found it in all shapes and sizes on eBay.

I love your idea of ghosting up a squig. I had an idea of undeadifying some squigs to throw into zombie units but it might be too much of a colour clash. :lol:
 
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I had an issue finding it locally a while back too (I probably just didn't check the right places), but found it in all shapes and sizes on eBay.

I love your idea of ghosting up a squig. I had an idea of undeadifying some squigs to throw into zombie units but it might be too much of a colour clash. :lol:
Well if I liquid green stuff a small layer over the styrofoam to paint on then spray corax white, paint the squig grey then mediun drybrush khorne red to have bits of grey show through, then heavy wash earthshade to darken down, have nurgles rot seeping from the holes where ghosts come out I might be able to make it work...I'll need to think on it :tongue:
 

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Another update on the squigs. Quite a big one actually.

Again I am updating the top post with the pics, but you can see them here too:

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This time I could use some feedback too. The legs on the smaller squig, the one with the griffon feet. Do they look alright? I've given him reversed knee joints, which makes him unique among all the squigs. But It felt needed to get his pose right. Any thoughts?

EDIT: Added some more instructions to go with the pictures in the edited post above.
 
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Borgnine

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Going good with the squigs. I must say that the idea with twine-covered legs is certainly interesting :)

As for the griffon legs on of them - they certainly give him a cool vicious look, but in my opinion they are a little too big. Or maybe just the fingers are too long? I think it could look a little (too?) 'chicken'-y. But maybe that's his uniqueness in work ;) Maybe add some chicken comb on his head? That could be quite hilarious ;)
 

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I'm thinking since you're presumably going to avoid painting those legs orange it'll work. It's essentially the same structure as a dinosaur foot. Nice and brutal looking.
 

Adam_Barrow

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Actually, might be a good idea to take a look at how a dinosaur leg bones are oriented. The "backwards knee" is actually the ankle. The knee is positioned closer to the body. Should be easy to put an extra bend in the wire closer to the bod.

-edit-
Ostrich skellie for reference.
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Mad 'At

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@Borgnine: I share your concern. Hopefully it will looks better in size when the leg is more than just a thin wire. Funny you should mention a chicken comb. I've planned giving this squig a mohawk since long before those legs were even considered. Incidentally they looks quite familiar and share the same name in Swedish (tuppkam).

@Adam_Barrow: Not a bad idea looking at dinosaur bones. Unsure about how I would add another joint to the leg though. The wire is easy to bend, but how do I sculpt it? Also feels like it could end up too long. Will have to think about it.

@MasterSpark: As requested in the chat, a comparison shot with the old squigs to show the size of these things.

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Adam_Barrow

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The femur (leg bone above the knee) on that ostrich is less than half as long as the tibia (long leg bone after the knee, before the ankle/"backwards knee"). Basically an extra small length of the wire, then the knee bend, then the shin which leads to the "backwards knee". Bird legs look odd because their proportions are very different from ours.

I wish I could label the bones, but I'm on the mobile at work. I don't feel like this has been very helpful.
 

Adam_Barrow

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What you'd be sculpting is that extra small length at the top. Basically the thigh of the animal. Curled tight to the body.
 

Mad 'At

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I'm thinking about maybe sculpting it so the femor bone is mainly hidden in the body. Not sure if I can explain it...
Making the thigh really think and connecting it tight to the body.... could be what you were saying...
 

Adam_Barrow

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That sounds close, yep. Glad you can understand what I was saying. I know it wasn't very clear. Good luck!
 

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Any day I get to flex all those years in college studying skeletons is a good day. I'll say thanks right back for that.
 

Mad 'At

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@Azakael & @Crystal
More squiggily madness!

Here are the pictures, can be fount in top post too.
First, the big one, who has gotten a face:
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And the the small one who has gotten legs:
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Many thanks to @Adam_Barrow, these legs wouldn't have been half as good if you hadn't stopped me. Didn't turn out quite as I had imagined, the thighs became longer that I had thought for one, but I am still really pleases with them =)
 

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Cool! He certainly doesn't look chicken'y xD even if his legs really are quite longer than usual ;) Also, interesting for a squig - not only a wall of teeth, but also a set of claws, vicous!
 

Mad 'At

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Thanks guys =)

@Adam_Barrow: I have a few things in mind, but I won't spoil anything :tongue:

@Borgnine: Strangely though, squigs are often described in the fluff as little more than teeth and claws, but few of the models actually have intimidating claws. Thought I'd build this one to make up for it xD
 
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