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Zombie Dragon Project

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#1
My, it's ben a while since I had a proper go at converting anything. Now, naturally, I'm doing it the hard way.

I have in my possession one Citadel Zombie Dragon, released circa 1994, purchased by myself sort of october-ish last year, languishing in a drawer since. Now though, I am free of universitish commitments and can make toys. Today I based said grisly monster thus:



The base is made from pieces of slate I found in the street 'trimmed' with a hammer & glued with epoxy resin, and I don't need to hassle the ZD for now, though a couple of gaps still need filling.

The hard part is the rider. I have already decided not to use the Wight rider, I'll find a better use for him, most likely as a Battle Standard Bearer. That can wait. The monster to ride this monster is a fully scratch-built Carstein Vampire Lord with some enormous halberdy type blade, all flowing cloaks & drama. Currently said Lord is a rudimentary figure of wire & Milliput, and I don't know exactly what he's going to look like yet. Your humble artisan shall keep Sirs posted.

Incidentally, I have used the pickled onion jar since I started painting models when I was 12. As you may gather from a certain other thread, I began with Ultramarines.
 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#4
Aye, I realised after I uploaded it that I'd used the large size one straight out of my camera. It will be fixed by the time you read this. Serves you right for being so quick to point out flaws :tongue:
 

Nikos

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Messages
1,129
#5
That model is so much better than the current wobbly lookking GW zombie dragon, I wish you could still get it. The basing already looks great.
 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#6
Concept designs for the Dragonlord, first the scribbles to visualise what's going where:



And a more finalised design for the haemophagous gentleman:



There are a few things I haven't quite worked out yet, the weapon in particular; & one or two finer details, but I'll come to those when the bulk of the bulk is in place.
 

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
567
#7
Amazing scetches Ophidicus, my hats off to you. He's going to look amazing whichever way you decide to take him. Are these all of the sketches you made for this particular Vamp or was there a little more to this process? Is the eventual position of the Lord going to be at the back of the head so he's nice and high on the model like in the last sketch or is that just an idea you are toying with? I think it would look very good on this model.:zombie:
 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
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May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#8
Cheers :) I only did these sketches for this Vampire, but I've had the general idea in my head for ages, just needing to be recorded. He's going to be sat on the shoulders between the neckline & wings... the scale is a bit weird, the actual model is much smaller compared to the Dragon's head than the sketch would suggest, the size is based on the Mannfred the Acolyte model, which is a fairly sensible height for a tall human.
 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#10
I might do both, depends how arrogant I want the chap to be, the sword is an officer's weapon, but the halberd can be pretty bloody dangerous, which is the best kind of dangerous for a Vampire.

Here's yesterday's progress, which isn't necessarily a lot of progress, but not bad for a couple of hours, I can start on the proper sculpting soon.



 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
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May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#11
Yesterday's sculpting progress:



Should have a second foot & hair today, I'm a bit concerned about the curve of the right leg, I may need to trim some off the calf area.
 

Abbysal

Crypt Horror
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
567
#12
He's looking good so far, looking like you got the face down well done, it's going to take me a lot of practice to get where you are on the smaller sculpt.If it turns out as good as it's looking to I might ask you for a commission (is that the right word?) for the Twins. As soon as I pull my finger out of my a#se and finish the Terrors, might you be up for it?:zombie:
 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
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May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#13
I'd certainly think about it, I'm not really very experienced at complete models though, this is my third full model & I've still got a lot to learn, I wish I had the time to sculpt as often as I have to draw & paint, I've done a lot of plaster carving this year, which has helped but such small-scale work is very different. We'll see how this one turns out. Thank you very much for the proposition though, it's a good thing to read :D
 

Ophidicus

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True Blood
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May 27, 2009
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1,039
#14
Last few updates, more work later today...


Photographed 24/6


Photographed 29/6


Photographed 30/6
 

Sanai

Stylish Deviant
True Blood
Joined
Oct 30, 2009
Messages
5,229
#15
You may wish to change the wings, being up like that will obscure the rider from multiple angles. It also looks uncomfortable, like holding your arms up into the air.
The riders concept art looks fantastic, and he is coming along nicely, but his head looks a bit too tall.
Cant wait to see more.
 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
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May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#16
I think the wings are ok actually, they're much lower at the front than at the back, so they don't get in the way much & the model is pretty tall. The head doesn't look so high up when the shoulders have been built up, but I think I should fill in the part under the lower right pauldron so the shoulder looks higher. Cheers for drawing my attention to it.

"It also looks uncomfortable, like holding your arms up into the air."

It's dead, it doesn't get tired. & if it hurts when you hold your arms up, you should spend less time at the keyboard :tongue:

Cheers dude :)
 

Boo

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
3,195
#17
Looking really good. A very interesting thread. Your GS skills are pretty sweet.

But aren't the riders legs a bit too long?

Other than that, it looks awesome!

Cheers,
Boo
 

Alfika

Skeleton
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
66
#18
good concept and execution the wings can be adjusted a bit as it is now it looks like they are as flat as they are when you buy them (most metal wings are) but it is fairly easy to curve them a bit to give them more life and it would really good at your model if you did.

A did it at my manticore/abyssal terror as you can see here in the WIP pictures.
First assembly try (flat wings)
Middle of WIP (curved wings)
 

Nikos

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Messages
1,129
#20
Wow, your sculpting skills are impressive, he is coming on very nicely. Are you still going to have the wolfs head on his other shoulder? I think it would make him more imposing and also it looks really cool in the sketch! Good work :thumbsup:
 

Ophidicus

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True Blood
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May 27, 2009
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#21
Cheers guys :D Glad you like it! I will be using the wolf's head on his shoulder, I'm sculpting it separately & will attach it when the body is complete. I have bisected the poor fellow & put magnets in his waist so he can go on foot if necessary in the the event of, say, Droopy the Dragon getting a cannonball in the chops. Walking legs will be sculpted later.

Progress so far: Resculpted Poleyns (uneven between L & R, might have to sort that out). Added some cloak & wolf fur cloak, the cloak will be built up further and the saddle decoration repaired, and the waist added so that it fits flush.

 

Ophidicus

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
1,039
#24
Right, tis done! I've already posted these pics in Golden Bat, but putting them here allows me more room for in-depth commentary.







OK, it's taken me exactly 2 months (on & off) to finish this little swine, just in time for the Golden Bat deadline, during which time I have used precisely 14,382 obscene and/or blasphemous words to describe exactly how I feel about the process. The most irritating part of sculpting any figure is the fact that you get fingerprints on bits you've just spent ages working on unless you're really careful, & I'm a scatterbrained klutz, which doesn't help in the slightest.

I changed the magnets in the waist, I originally used 2mm diameter magnets, but they didn't have enough surface area to keep it stable, so I swapped them for 4mms, which are more effective, as there's more friction on the bigger area.

The draped cloth was a pain as it's really hard to get it hanging as it should without bending or otherwise moving while drying, and it's worse with thin sheets of GS, which tend to bend even when hardened. The feet aren't completely straight either, but I'm pretty pleased ith the way the armour plates have come out.

The blade is made from sheet aluminium (I had a small sheet, 4" square or so, left over from printmaking lessons at college); I drew the design on the metal with a marker pen, then cut it out using a piercing saw & shaped with needle files. I think it's a little bit too wide, but looks menacing enough.

Things to remember for next time:

Keep it attached to the cork for as long as posisble to prevent fingerprint-fouling accidents, use an extended piece of wire if necessary, and don't attach the magnets until it's nearly done, it's much easier to keep the torso & legs consistent that way.

Make sure all the body parts are pointed in the right direction! It's surprisingly easy to screw up...
 

Boo

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
3,195
#25
Very nice work! :)

I like him very much, it will be awesome to see him painted up and ready to wreak havoc on your foes! ;)

Oh, and good luck in the Golden Bat!
 
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