Paul’s mega-gargant needs someone to boss around
Back in April 2006 (15 years ago!) Games Workshop released the ‘new’ Warhammer giant. Compared to other models at the time, it was huge, especially as a plastic model. Not only that but it was also full of some cool, funny and unique optional extras (a cow and a goat, an Empire peasant running in terror…)
I was working at Games Workshop Bristol at the time, as a ‘key-timer’, and each of the ‘full-time’ staff got given a giant to build, as an exemplar. Which means I didn’t. Cue years of resentment from me. (I didn’t have any armies that would actually benefit from a giant at the time, and I couldn’t justify buying one, even with a 50% staff discount… but I had some serious FOMO). Well finally I have the chance to address that resentment!
The kit has aged pretty well, but it definitely has aged. Much like the newer mega-gargant, there is only one pose for the body and legs. Unlike it’s newer, bigger cousin, the various foot options don’t do much to help make it more dynamic. Similarly, the arms, while having some variety, don’t do enough to help make a different pose or sense of movement. The hand options are a saving grace, and do provide a lot of choice (though if you don’t want a wooden club, you’ll need to do a bit of cutting and drilling).
You also can’t buy a single giant anymore! And they aren’t even called giants. They are now Mancrusher gargants, and come in boxes of two. This suits me just fine, as I’m planning on having multiple Mancrusher gargants in my force, eventually. But I don’t want them all stuck in this slightly-looking-downwards striding pose
I decided I would build my first two gargants together, and build one pretty close to the ‘standard’ pose first so I get a good feel for the kit. I promised myself I wouldn’t do too much re-posing and customisation.
And immediately broke that promise. I built the body and legs, but adding the feet and a head, I realised he would be staring at the ground. Maybe that makes sense to some extent – gargants spend their time squashing things smaller than them. But models that look forward or slightly up look a lot better to me on the table.
The easiest way to fix this was to adjust the feet slightly, raising the right foot (which is stepping forwards) by putting it on a piece of slate, and dropping the left foot to be flat (where it is normally on its toes). This meant chopping off the toes and repositioning them, so they weren’t pointing at the sky!
I now have a model that is stepping forwards in a measured way, rather than barrelling forwards. Great. Now I can just choose some arms and add them on… If only. Sadly the arms are all swinging a little too wildly for this less wild pose. And the issue isn’t the arms themselves, but with the connection to the body. My solution is a tad more converting, effectively pinning the arms to the body where I want them to be, swinging down beside the body on either side.
Body, legs, feet and arms all in place. Now he needs something to swing at my enemies! Sadly none of the ones in the kit really work for my army concept. I want big, magic-looking metal weapons. So it’s into the bitzbox I dive!
The bigger weapons I had to hand are all on Morghast and Necropolis Stalker sprues – and they still weren’t big enough. But they have some lovely regular shapes and repetitions, so a little bodging resulted in a pretty sizable and vicious looking sword. I initially went for a kind of zig-zag design, and was able to make a handle out of some plasticard tubing. One of the open hands in the Mancrusher kit looked almost right holding it, but the fingers needed to wrap around a little more (otherwise he looked like he was dropping it!).
Once I got this sword-hand on the model though, it just didn’t look right. The position and angle of the blade was good, but the ‘zag’ just threw off a strange silhouette that didn’t work for me. With a little feedback from the other Epic Level Hobbyists, I managed to make a few changes to it until it was a little more recognisable as a sword, but just as vicious.
What about the other hand? There’s a really cool piece in the Mancrusher kit, a hand grasping a length of chain, with a piece of building on the end. It’s such a nice bit, and I wanted to find a place for it. A piece of masonry doesn’t really shout ‘realm of metal’ (though maybe it does shout ‘Taker Tribe!’…)
The Kraken-eater kit I used for my first 500 points still had so many bits left of the sprues, meant for the other mega-gargant flavours. Some trinkets hang from the Gatebreaker’s cowl like a mechanical timepiece, a mug, a lantern and some wonderful skulls-on-strings – make for good little adornments for the Mancrushers too. And one of the Gatebreaker’s belly ostentations is a big old bell. I love the idea that this Mancrusher is going to be the ‘musician’ of the army, ringing his bell so that the enemy can hear the stomp coming (before they smell and then see them, in that order…). Attaching the bell to the above mentioned chain was a fairly easy conversion too!
And when that hand is attached to a back-swinging arm, you really get a sense of the bell swinging on the length of chain. I’m very pleased with the result. To finish off the arm holding the bell, I added the gut-plate from an Ogre with some chainmail and cloth hanging off it (I didn’t really like the lizard-skin on the back of the arm, so I had to hack it off, and the gut plate covers that sin nicely).
With that, and a few more bits from the mega-gargant sprues added to the back of the gargant’s belt, and I was done with my first Mancrusher! Well, other than a bit of green stuff needed to fill gaps. I built a second gargant at the same time, but I think he’ll have to wait for another blog post. Here’s what my Mancrusher musician ended up looking like: