Monday 15 November 2010

Confessions of a Myopic Procrastinator, Part the Second: The Gorger

This has been one of the most difficult builds I've ever done. I said last time that this could take a while.

I chose to make the Gorger because he was of a manageable size, and filled a potentially useful slot in the potential Ogre Kingdoms army list. It was either him or the Slavegiant for the rare slot, and I have some big plans for the big guy; but he stayed in the box, and I went with the Gorger instead.

I realise now that "manageable size" does not necessarily mean "manageable". While struggling to drill, pin, cut, fill, and base this monstrosity, I couldn't help paraphrasing Obi-Wan Kenobi, muttering to myself in Alec Guinness-like tones, "He's more green stuff than metal now..."

I finally ground out the torso socket so that the lower half could fit, pinned the join, and ended up with a highly visible seam. It also turned out that top and bottom didn't exactly line up, so lots more cutting, and green stuff, and discreet sculpting of the musculature later, I went on to attach the left arm.

The pose on the model as bought seems curiously stiff, operating in two rather than three dimensions. I decided to try and impart more of a sense of movement by cutting into the elbow and bending the forearm forward and to the model's right. I was quite pleased with the result. This was fortunate, since, as it turned out, it only got harder from here.

OK, let's attach the head; again, pinning to secure the rather pointless ball-and-socket arrangement thoughtfully provided by Citadel's finest. Oh, joy, a seam running right behind the start of his hairline. OK, green stuff, do your... green stuff stuff. I model some straggling hair over the offending joins, but wherever I look, there seem to be more defects to cover. Keep piling it on! Practical upshot, while the joins are now concealed, he's looking more like Ozzy Osbourne by the minute. "Sharon, 'ave you seen my bat...?"

Only the right arm remains to be attached... Bugger it, it won't fit, his right knee is in the way! More cutting, pinning, repositioning, gluing and puttying, and I end up with the Gorger's right hand at a lower level than his right foot. How the f....? When the putty finally hardens, some serious filing will be in order. I like a challenge, but this is ridiculous.

As luck would have it, well-known army painting machine Millsy has published on the topic of basing, so he can back me up on this when I say that a dramatic base can rescue even the wonkiest figure! Now, I know that if I place the Gorger on something elevated, at least the hand can hang over the edge. "Oh yes, I was going for that look the whole time..."

Unlike most of GW's large metal castings, the model lacks the usual peg on the foot to stick him into the base. With a model of this size, this is a recipe for disaster, doubly so given that he's rather top-heavy. So drill and pin the feet, and create a pair of platform clogs out of green stuff to raise him above the base so we can build some rocks around him. The pins stick out of the base of his 'platforms' so that they can be secured to the base.

Now for the rocks. The weather is hot and humid, and the superglue is more like water than an adhesive. I'm sticking my fingers together more often than not, but I eventually get the rocks arranged more or less to my liking. A bit of sand and some decorative whimsy, and he's finally assembled.

So after an hour or so of painstaking basing, he's standing on a rocky outcrop, about to leap upon his prey. Except he looks more like he's lurching up drunkenly after the landlord has called last orders ("Mine's a pint of the black stuff!").

OK, I've seen worse, but a commercially-available figure with this many major gaps and basic lapses in quality control is pretty shabby. Yes, I know that the poor workman blames his tools, but I'm convinced that only an extremely confident modeller (one much more confident than myself) would be able to rescue this from mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, the concept is good, it just seems to have failed in the manufacturing process somewhere. By comparison, the Ogre Maneater figure (the piratey one, also on the to-do list) is cleanly moulded and all the bits fit where they should in the dry run. It's not like Citadel can't produce a decent casting.

I've done all I can with the modelling and basing, perhaps the paint job can give it a lift.

Maybe I'll give him a rest and go back to putting the finishing touches on Briss the Butcher. I'm not that happy with Ozzy right now, so perhaps stepping away for a bit is the best solution. Still, I'm actually building and painting stuff for the first time in ages, so that's got to be a positive!

1 comment :

  1. Don't be so hard on yourself Ev. Personally I think you've done a superb job assembling what was obviously a very poor cast. I'm particularly impressed with the base! Giving him a break for a day or two is probably not a bad idea anyway as it will let all the green stuff harden up nicely.


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