Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mawloc Project

Last weekend, I got started on a project that I've been contemplating for a good long while; I want to model a Mawloc bursting out of the ground, preferably eating and tossing some hapless guardsmen around.

I bought the bits I would need for this project a long time ago, namely an extra torso and head. I had plenty of spare arms and other bits from my other two Trygon kits, not to mention an extra base I lucked into. I also wanted something for the base that could make it look like he was bursting up from beneath a street of concrete/asphalt floor, and a sheet of cork was perfect for this.

I started by cutting out the rough shape of the base from a sheet of cork.

With the first step underway, I went ahead and took out my bits, cleaning them up and assembling the head and torso.

I left the tongue off the head for now since I'm thinking about having it spear a guardsman, ready to pull him into its maw. My original thought was to actually have the guardsman in the process of being swallowed, but after looking at the piece, I decided that would require a good bit of modelling to expand the throat and jaw, as I imagined the process would be very snake-like, distending the throat as the Mawloc swallowed its prey whole.

As I put the torso together, the back vents bothered me a little. They seem like the would catch on rocks and the like and make burrowing more difficult. I considered chopping them off and putting my puttying skills to the test to smooth out the plates, but looking at the top plate changed my mind.

For one, the top plate has two ridges that lead up to and would theoretically create a path for the vents. Secondly, I would have to extend those ridges if I removed the vents, and I'm not confident in my ability to do so smoothly.

With the two pieces put together, I put him on the base to get a better visual of how the project would look.

What immediately struck me was that it was too short. I wanted the model to capture the beast exploding from the ground, but I still wanted a far amount to be emerging from the ground. For one thing, making it too short and it could seem that it's modelling for advantage - though I plan on swapping it out for a regular Trygon/Mawloc if there are any Line of Sight concerns in game, and expect to lean toward favoring my opponent in any ruling. I'm also considering magnetizing the bottom of the torso to the base, and could magnetize the top of the tail on my second Trygon kit, constructing it to be able to swap from one to the other.

My planned solution to make the height more to my liking is to create a mound of dirt out of putty that will be kind of like a dirt bow wave. This will let me add about an inch to the overall height, which is right about where I want it, and also cover the fact that the back carapace hangs lower than the rib cage, giving him a more upright stance. I'm thinking Great White Polaris Breach here.

I began work on the cork by gently pressing in the middle until it began to tear. I then peeled back various pieces almost to the edge, trying to keep it more or less in one piece. As I get closer to completion, I'll tear more pieces and create some sharper cracks. I plan on having one or two solid pieces look to be airborne.

That's it for step one. Step two will primarily be converting some plastic Cadians to be airborne and flailing through the air, something the kit doesn't exactly make easy. If I get really ambitious, I might have the speared man carrying a flamethrower, with a Armorcast gout of flame as he instinctively pulls the trigger. Painting it with some Object Source lighting could add some cool complexity to the paint job.

An early version of the beast emerging.