Monday, October 25, 2010

Skarbrand, the Exiled One

A Bloodthirster so angry, he gives both armies preferred enemy.  I think the original Bloodthirster model may have something to do with his rage...  I hope I did him justice!

Being a completionist, I had long wanted to create the ENTIRE daemon codex for my collection.  In addition to modeling and painting one of each of the greater daemons, I also wanted to create each of the special characters.  Skarbrand had been worrying me for a while, as I did not know how to approach the project.

After re-configuring the classic bloodthirster model (sorry about the low res pic),
I knew that making a Skarbrand would have to go beyond the limitations of the standard GW figure.  The regulard GW bloodthirster is not very easy to work with, and the metal wings are both awkward and difficult to pin.  I love the Forgeworld greater daemons, and especially like their Bloodthirster, but there was a conflict.  I saw the model's whip as an immediate "red flag" as far as breakage goes, and I certainly did not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a figure that I would be afraid to touch, much less paint.  This led me to the Forgeworld Daemonprince of Khorne model.

The daemonprince itself is far larger than a standard bloodthirster, and has a very appealing aesthetic.  While it is true that the fluff for Skarbrand explains that he has two seperate axes of Khorne, and the Daemonprince model only has one, the one axe he has is too cool to leave out.  It looks like a cross between an executioner's axe, which would be ideal for collecting skulls, and an awesomely huge pole-axe.  That just left the fluff part of Skarbrand's wings, or should I say lack thereof.

According to the daemon fluff, Skarbrand betrayed the god Khorne, and as punishment was cast from the top of the highest mountain in the realm of chaos.  As Skarbrand fell in a comet-like corona of fire, his wings were burned off.  Very old testament, wouldn't you agree?  I needed to find a way to represent this wound in an appropriately dramatic way.  One of my favorite GW bits packs that you can buy, are the plastic wings they had cast for their Balrog model.  I love these wings, and had already used two pairs when I converted my Harpies (yes, I have tyranids too.  And several other absurd collections...).  I just tried to make a link to said wings on GW's website, and could not find them!  I did however find another assortment of acceptable wings.  Alas.  Anyway, first, I trimmed down the stems of each balrog wing to make sure they would fit inside of the shoulderblade area on the Daemon Prince model.  Then, I took out a power drill, and about five different sized bits.  My plan was to drill numerous holes through the wings, in varying sizes, until they looked suitably destroyed and bedraggled.  Once I was happy with the pruning job I had done, I tapered off the drilled holes to make them look more natural, then pinned and puttied the wings onto the resin.
I am very happy with the results.  While it is true that I could have made the wings end at a far shorter angle, I wanted to include the clawed "index-finger" of the wing to give the model a cornered "frame" around Skarbrand's face.  The two claws above his head, combined with the axe and his clenched fists, make for a suitable box in which to view the model's head.  Here is another shot that exemplifies this effect (again, sorry for the low res pic):
I hope you like the finished product.  As I keep saying at the end of these conversion walk-throughs, I WILL give paint formulas at some point.  I just think that this post has gone on long enough for now.  Expect more info later this week.


  1. Awesome!

    And show us how you paint your Vraksians! Especially your tanks!

  2. You are very quickly working your way into the same category as Roleplayer..I am going to love and hate you both for the same reasons lol.

    That is some beautiful work Sir!

  3. Thanks, guys!

    Varg, I assure you I will explain my painting treatments. I guess I know what to talk about on my Wednesday post.

    Hex, if there is anything I can help you out with, lemme know. I would love to help you hate me. =D

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  5. This model looks great. How hard was the model to build and attach the wings. I was looking into picking one of these up but my friend told me It was a hassle to put together and is rather fragile. Regardless it looks great. Keep up the work and lets see some more of that Daemon army. ^_^

  6. Hey Dan! Gorgeous model man. You really have a gift for color selection, and I completely agree with the decision to leave that Axe in there.

    If I may, I have but one (minor) critique, which is that the holes in the wings are all circular, and that detracts from the effect you are going for, I think.

    I think that if you took a hobby knife or dremel bit to the insides of some of those holes and just made them a bit more irregular and less circular, it would bring that effect out amazingly well.

    Regardless, it's a beautiful model.


  7. Good call, Purgatus. Maybe I will go back in with my dremel and cut a bit more out. I would need to hold the wing very steady, to keep the grinder from biting in and ripping the wing right off.

    Grimnar, I had very little trouble assembling the model. The resin that Forgeworld uses responds wonderfully to zap a gap, and aside from the wings, I did not have to putty a thing. I did leave some of the teeny tiny spikes off of the model though, as I was having a hard time applying the minuscule amount of Zap to the spike indentations. The shoulder-plates had a few more teeth that could be applied. I think I replaced the spikes he has jutting from behind his leg, on the joint below the knee (Du-claw? Is that the right word?) with spikes from the chaos spawn spru, as I did not like the size of the resin ones. I don't think it is too noticeable, though.

  8. Oh and Purgatus: I truly appreciate the comment about color selection. I think I spend more time selecting colors than applying them. I have a photo of the color wheel on my iphone, and sometimes I just stare at it. Planning... Scheming...

  9. Holy Crap. That model is incredible. You mind if I link to a forum?

  10. I really love your color use. I think your wings are tremendous- love the highlights of white/silver/grey.