Paul builds his first Mega-Gargant
With an army full of centerpieces, trying out modelling or painting on the ‘battle line’ models isn’t really an option! So I decided to dive straight in and start building my first mega-gargant, relying on the strength of vision from my previous blog post. As a reminder:
- It’s going to be a Kraken-Eater
- He lives on a beach in the Realm of Metal
- A gigantic axe is going to be involved
The mega-gargant kit has loads of options so you can build the three variants, and while some can be mixed and matched, they all start with the same main part of the model – legs and torso:
Games workshop has been turning out fantastic kits for years, and their sculptors and frame-setters do a great job of hiding mold lines and joins. However, this kit is huge, so there was no chance all of the joins would be hidden. And I’m not a fan of leaving these visible, which means some filling will be in order later.
This influenced my decision on how to prepare the model for painting. I couldn’t really get away with sub-assemblies which would need filler on their connections. So I was going to have to build and prepare pretty much the whole model, as one piece, for priming.
The next choice was over feet. There are two options in the kit: four toes with no footwear, or three toes with some classy sandals. A quick flick through the battletome told me that the Krakenskin Sandals are actually a relic option for the Kraken-eater, so I went with those.
Once the feet were stuck on, I finally had the chance to look at the model without having to be holding it up, and I could start deciding on some of the more optional bits. There are loads of what I refer to as ‘belly ostentations’ on the sprues. While particular ones are designed for a given mega-gargant flavour, I knew I wanted to mix them up a little.
For one thing, the Kraken-eater has this net that goes across his belly that I wasn’t a fan of. So I cut the middle of the net to make two distinct belly-belts that I could then add my ostentations to. I’m a big fan of dry-fitting and using bluetack to plan out this kind of thing:
I chose a few of the pieces meant for the other gargant flavours, as I wanted to reinforce the character of this one. He likes collecting trinkets and weapons, keeping the best ones close to his chest… well, to his gut.
The next big decision was the arms. Again, different combinations are intended for the different mega-gargants, and I tried a few variations but ultimately I went for the ones designed for the Kraken-eater.
The combination of the arm and foot poses do a huge amount to change the dynamic of this model – it’s how they made all the mega-gargants feel so different despite the common mono-pose body and legs! A slight twist to the feet and a swing of the arm brings much needed momentum to the model – and the direction of the head also makes a difference. But let’s finish talking about the arms first.
I added some extra metal plates to the back of one arm (his favourite scraps collection), and decided to remove the scales from the fish-skin strapped to the arm – there’s enough other aquatic references on the model, and I might keep that for one of the other mega-gargants later.
The other arm I left pretty much as is. It’s holding a giant net bag. He’s a taker, having somewhere to put things he takes (the smaller races are also considered ‘things’ by gargants…) is important. The net-of-junk is very cool, but due to how it goes together and the greenstuffing needed on gaps, I had to assemble the whole thing. This was going to bite me when it came to painting…
At this point, I also started the task of filling in those joins. Not my best sculpting work, but a little filing once dry removes a lot of sins, and hopefully the paint would hide the rest. Either way, it would be better than a giant gap (pun intended).
The head intended for the Kraken-eater has a gnarled old-man face, a giant earring (another of the relics, I think!), is bald and has a scraggly tuft of beard. It’s wonderfully expressive, but I wasn’t keen on the tufty beard. The Warstomper gargant head has a much longer beard I wanted to borrow, so a bit of greenstuffing later, I had a head on my gargant. And seeing how the head sits on the torso really completed that feeling of momentum.
There are things that are meant to go on the Kraken-eater that I decided to completely leave off, as I felt they didn’t suit my particular interpretation. One is the big mogalodon jaw necklace (another relic – I see what they are doing here!), the other is a boat that is strapped to his back and hangs over one shoulder.
The mogalodon jaw is a very cool piece, but it screams ‘REALM OF BEASTS’ and while I really want to find a way to use it on the model, I haven’t yet found how. The boat I decided would end up on his base – to help with that feeling of being on a beach.
Before I could tackle the base, let’s talk about gargantuan magical axes. To tie this fella into the realm of metal, I had decided he was going to be wielding the Aethervoid Pendulum as a weapon, rather than the big wooden club he would normally carry.
This was why the head and arm positions, and the feeling of momentum, was so important. The blade has loads of magical fire trailing from it. Getting the feeling that he was swinging it in the right direction was important to me. I also had to work out how to get it into one of his hands! This meant cutting all the magic fire off of the haft of the blade.
I also had to graft some extra magic fire on the top of the blade – where the pendulum would normally sit on a base, it’s a little flattened and the absence of flames there looks weird…
I tried all the left hands in the box, then had to cut away the club from the most appropriate one. That left a huge gap in the hand, much bigger than the blade’s haft. So again, I had to break out the greenstuff to make it all fit – and this sculpting had to be a bit more careful than just filling gaps. I’m pretty pleased with the result though!
You’ll notice I also made a start on the base at this point! Well I went digging through my bits box, and turned up a treasure trove of beach related stuff from the sprues of an Eidolon of Mathlan (I had used it for a C’Tan conversion a few years ago). Loads of crustaceans, some cool looking magic weapons, and this lovely mound, dotted with jars and shields washed up on the beach. Perfect! It would need some bits filling in where the Eidolon’s water-cape would have attached, but that was fine.
Sadly, before I could get that onto the base, I had a bit of a problem to solve. It’s a huge circular one, 130mm in diameter. For perspective, that’s bigger than a 5” blast template. Sadly, the one that came with my model was warped, and looked more like a Pringle than a base. And while I know Games Workshop would almost certainly send me a new one if I contacted them, I’m impatient and wanted to get on with it. So I bent it back as best I could, and used bits of spru to reinforce the bottom
Once the gargant and this basing feature was stuck down, along with the reinforcement underneath, the base was flat enough for me to add more stuff, such as the aforementioned boat, some more magic items (including an Idoneth magic wand and a Blood Dragons shield) and a few more crustaceans and skulls.
With the base complete, the belly ostentations selected (but left aside to be painted separately), and the greenstuff dry, I was finally ready to prime my first model in the army. It had only taken two weeks to build! I knew I was going to be using contrast paints on him, as I wanted to learn how to use them well (and get some tips from Ross who is a master at using them to turn out hordes of great looking toys). So a coat of wraithbone spray, and I was ready to start painting.
All images used without permission from Games Workshop Limited.