Thursday, August 13, 2015

Model Showcase: Skrag, Incarnate of the Great Maw

In this post, Ryan takes a gorgeously hideous Kromlech model, reviews it, then sculpts some extra bits on it and paints it up to create a unique Skrag the Slaughterer: Incarnate of the Great Maw.
Making this... ... from this.
Back at Lone Wolf this year, I won a Kromlech model as part of the Player's Choice prize package. I took a look at it, made a mental note that it was a kind of cool 40k Nurgle Daemon Prince, and put it in a drawer, fully believing I'd never look at it again. I did, however, take some pictures of it, intending to do a review at some point.

The Model

The model is massive, and just barely fits on the 60mm base provided. The pieces are solid, and I
didn't see any prominent air bubbles. The chest
has burst open, and has a number of toothy
protrusions that captured my imagination. The
models' got a great skin texture, and a lot of cuts/lacerations and warty/bubo areas that are perfect for a Nurgle theme.

A look at the back of the model shows a huge mass of fleshy tumours on the right shoulder blade area that are awesome for Nurgle looks, as well as more of the tumours protruding from the flesh. The detail on the shoulder pad makes it very suitable for a CSM force, and was the main reason I thought I'd never use it for anything on a table.

As far as mold lines went, the only substantial one I had was on the left leg, where there was a slight mold slip. Most of it would be easy to fix, but the thigh portion would be tricky with the skin texture.

Coming up with a concept

Choppa? But I barely know her!
Fast forward to several months later, when I began some trash talk with Hayne Begley about his Rock Wars GT. Rock Wars is using Mersey comp, which rewards people for taking sub-optimal choices in a list, and while I was already running a gorger, stonehorn, and big block of bulls that fulfilled the Core, Special, and Rare requirements, I didn't have one for the character choice. Skrag the Slaughterer has always fascinated me as a character, so I grabbed him and decided to go with him.
However, since my Ogre Kingdoms army is focused around werewolves, I couldn't think of a way to tie the theme in with any of the Special Characters.

Those smiles...
Time passed, the End Times came out, and like most Ogre players, I grumbled that my army was barely involved. However, I remembered the gaping stomach of this guy, and started thinking: what if Skrag came across the warpstone-tainted Ogre-Wolves and started leading them on? What if the Great Maw approved, and started blessing Skrag with increased size, and started turning him into a literal mouth? Since my first Gorger was Blood-Maw, which already features a massively distended mouth, I decided to play with the concept. I pulled the model out, and started to figure out how to change it. Since the models' greataxe head was on its own, I simply pinned it to the wrist stump of the model, to replace the "hook" the Skrag model has. Then took a piece of wood and carved it, pinned it to the other wrist, and thought for a bit. I then pulled out some FIMO and sculpted caps for both wrists, to cover the abrupt wrist joint, and sculpted some support onto the blades to make it seem like they were cohesively attached.
Slap a cauldron on it and call it done!
So, I had successfully handled the no-hands aspect of Skrag. His next signature visual is the cauldron he's required to pull. The problem I had was that my Skrag was massive; there's no way he would fit on a chariot base with a cauldron being dragged behind him. Instead, I thought laterally: what if he had grown so large that the cauldron isn't dragged behind him so much as it's carried around? I broke out more FIMO, sculpted a large cauldron, and then used some jewelry chain to attach it to his back. Conversion complete!

The Paint Job

Initial base coats
After a comment on my Blood-Maw post, I'd given a lot of thought to doing an extremely detailed shot-by-shot of each layer. However, I quickly abandoned the plan due to time constraints, and instead just took really detailed notes.

For the skintone, I followed the process I had used for Blood-Maw.
Base coat plus the three ink washes
I started with parts Somber Grey, 1 drop of Vallejo Medium Gray, and half a drop of Royal Purple. I also did the other major basecoats, since I was going to hit all of them with washes. The red portions, I base coated with 3 drops of Gory Red, 1 drop of SS Camo Black Brown, and 1/2 a drop of Royal Purple. For the teeth, I started with two drops of filthy brown and 2 drops of SS Camo Black Brown. For the white on his loincloth, I base coated with 3 drops of Medium Sea Grey, 1 drop of Filthy Brown and just a touch (not even half a drop) of Royal Purple. The Royal Purple running through the skintone, red stomach lining, and cloth will tie those three together visually, while making the bone stand out with a higher contrast. For now, I didn't bother with any of the metal faces; I would be handling these later.

Reverse after the first ink washes
With the base coats done, I then did a trio of ink washes: the first was a mixture of 3 parts Vallejo Black Glaze, 2 parts Black Wood Stain (from Lowe's), 8 drops of water, and 2 drops of Future Floor Wax. The second coat was 4 drops of brown wood stain to 8 drops of water and 2 drops of floor wax, and the third was 2 drops of purple ink, 2 drops of black wood stain, and 12 drops of water. This significantly darkened the model, so I went back over the top and reapplied the base coats much lighter than I had previously. I then highlighted with the following layers. All were done with 1 drop water per three drops of paint.

Skintone layers

  1. 1 SS Camo Black Brown, 2 Cold Grey, 2 Medium Gray
  2. 4 somber grey, 1 Medium Gray, 1/2 Royal purple.
  3. Black Ink Wash
  4. Brown Ink Wash
  5. Purple Ink Wash
  6. 4 Somber Grey, 1 Medium Gray, 1/2 Royal Purple
  7. 1 SS Camo Black Brown, 2 Somber Grey, 1 Medium Gray
  8. 1 Cold Gray, 2 Stonewall Gray, 2 Medium Gray
  9. 1 Stonewall Gray, 2 Wolf Grey, 1 Medium Gray

 Stomach/tissue reds

  1. 3 Gory Red, 1 SS Camo Black Brown, 1/2 Royal Purple
  2. Black Ink Wash
  3. Brown Ink Wash
  4. Purple Ink Wash
    Front with skin, red, and bone done
  5. 3 Gory Red, 1 SS Camo Black Brown, 1/2 Royal Purple
  6. 2 Gory Red, 2 Scarlet Red
  7. 3 Scarlet Red, 1/2 Squid Pink 
  8. 2 Scarlet, 2 Hot Orange, 1 Squid Pink
  9. 2 Hot Orange, 1 Filthy Brown, 1 Squid Pink


  1. 2 Filthy Brown, 2 SS Camo Black Brown
  2. Black Ink Wash
  3. Brown Ink Wash
  4. Purple Ink Wash
  5. 2 Filthy Brown, 2 Medium Gray
  6. 2 Dead Flesh, 1 Medium Gray
  7. 4 Bone White, 1 Medium Gray

 White loincloth/straps

  1. 3 Medium Sea Grey, 1 Filthy Brown
    Reverse view with the skin, red and bone done.
  2. 2 Medium Sea Grey, 1 Filthy Brown, 1 Medium Grey
  3. 2 Stonewall Grey, 1 Filthy Brown, 1 Medium Grey
  4. 1 Wolf Grey, 2 Medium Grey
  5. 3 Wolf Grey, 1/2 Medium Grey



I won't bore you with the process I use for metallics; I've written it up a bunch already, and this time around didn't add much to it.

Four layers into the silvers.

Mostly done with golds
Reverse, showing the cauldron.
Once the metals were done, I did hit the metallics with a light brown ink wash to handle some contrast issues, and make the golds a bit less yellow.
For the cauldron, I attempted a stippling effect to make it look like cast iron. I'm not sure the effect was fully successful, but time became an issue and after two repaints, I didn't care enough to try again!

Detailing the metals

Once I was done with the metallics, I decided to go through and add some rust effects. The technique I used was first published way back when the Ogre Kingdoms book first came out, so I feel a nice sense of history in using it for the only Ogre-ish looking model in my Ogre Kingdoms list.

  1. Outline the rusty area with black
    Metallics with rust effects done
  2. Stipple thickly with Vermin Brown
  3. Stipple with Plague Brown
  4. Stipple very lightly with Hot Orange
Once I was done with the rust, I went back into the silvers and re-highlighted the sharp edge with the white highlight level, since the metal would still reflect through the rust.

I also went back in and added some SEB-inspired scuffs across the metallic surfaces, particularly on the gold, just to break it up a bit.
Reverse view, showcasing the stippling on the cauldron and the rust effects.

Almost done!

The finished product

Build a bridge out of 'em!
Once the rust was done, I filled the cauldron with Water Effects and tinted it red, and glued him to a base. Rather than going with a typical base, I instead created an elevated bridge, just to make him tower over the competition a bit more. The top of the bridge is 50mm x 100mm, while the posts beneath hit right at 50x50. This gives me a bit of flexibility in how I use him, just in case I ever do pick up 40k. Get a template over THAT!
I also hit the stomach mass, cauldron contents, gums, and a few choice points with a 50/50 mix of Satin and Gloss varnish, to give the appearance of wetness.

View from above, showing the cauldron contents teeming on his back

Shoulder pad detail shot The typical reverse shot, this time of the completed model

You can almost hear the footsteps across that bridge. "Doom... doom..."

Glory shot, highlighting that Great Maw! Reverse, zoomed in on the scars and cauldron contents

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