Friday, October 29, 2010

Creatinge a Narrative Conversion

When I was building my Daemon army, I naturally wanted three Soul Grinders.  Permanently inclined to do everything in the most difficult way possible, the GW models did not appeal to me.  I had to devise my own representations.  Could I make a daemonic machine that did not just look like a pile of skulls and putty, but almost appeared to have a purpose?  Can a model tell a story?

As I brainstormed a way to represent a "Soul Grinder", I had many ideas to draw on.  As a child, I loved reading War of the Worlds.  I was especially captivated by the image of a monstrous machine collecting people in a basket for some nefarious purpose.  As far as the mechanical "grinder" element, I was reminded of a terrible Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd movie, Nothing But Trouble, and the "execution machine" in it called Mr. Bone-Stripper.  I wanted a daemonic contraption that not only could stomp around killing things, but also collecting whatever body parts were left-over.  Keeping in mind my affinity for all things Hellraiser/Silent Hill, I knew barbed wire would be involved.  I was halfway there!

As far as the "basket" goes, I was lucky enough to have access to the GW corpse cart model.  The kit comes with not only a pretty sweet rib-cage inspired basket, but also some great gore piles to put inside.  I affixed this basket to the center of my defiler leg base, and made sure to leave easy access to weave Forge World etched brass barbed wire throughout the ribs, to create the desired effect.

Next, I needed to create some kind of "collecting" mechanism for the front of the machine.  Not only appendages that would feed victims in, but also some sort of mastication system that would leave said bodies in the disarray displayed in the gore piles.  Here is a close-up of this component:
I used tubes from the Defiler sprue's power flail to make articulated limbs.  The three limbs below the "mouth" were pinned with zombie sprue scythe blades, to give the appearance of a scooping/peristaltic lower mandible.  On each side of the "mouth", I placed a smaller claw made from zombie sprue pitchforks, pinned to the power flail morning star balls.  Lastly, the "mouth" itself, was made withan old ork dreadnought power claw, housed in the corpse cart frame that the driver would normally be placed in.  This gave the appearance of an articulated maw, that would push victims into a vertically affixed bite, only to be "swallowed" and collected in the basket behind.  Considering the "flesh-and-tech-construct" nature of the rest of my Nurgle Daemon army, I thought the model told a fitting story.  Kill the enemy, collect the enemy's bodies, then use the bodies to create more monsters.  Yay!

Again, after making a crazy conversion, I kicked myself for having to make more of the exact same model.  Fortunately, I only wound up making two of these beasts.  I know what you are thinking:  I said earlier that I had built three Soul Grinders, not two.  I will leave the third, "Big Daddy" grinder for another post.  I think this is enough mechanical horror for one day, even if it is October.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween weekend!


  1. That's very Barker and Geiger- truly spine chilling. Lovely!

  2. Holy crap! That is freakin wicked looking! Oh man that is really impressive. I am really enjoying your site and the contents! Keep it up!

  3. I love it! Certainly a vast improvement on the big muscleheaded... thing in the stock kit. Nice use of the back of the Corpse Cart, too - a lot of people would just have stuck the cart on the back of a Defiler and called it quits.

  4. Holy Toledo. That is... awesome.

  5. You are sick and twisted individual Nyhil..I am very happy I know you! That is a seriously angry looking piece of hardware!

  6. I can't tell you how much I love this model. Genius idea.