Saturday, 11 April 2009

CONVERT: Gargoyle test prototype.

The completed gargoyle with the 'folder' in the background.

By Suneokun.

If some of you missed it, I'm on a bit of a mission to resurrect some unsung army choices. My work on the Rough Riders and Ogryns so far is all about two things:
  1. Fielding Units other players just don't (many due to a poor cost/model ability ratio)
  2. Cut corners and Drastically cut costs.
So far I've saved over £50 on 10 RoughRiders @ £2 each (and got 20 cadians in the deal) and saved £54 on 6 Ogryns @ £3 each. I guess these 'savings' are subconsciously going into the 'must buy more battleforces' trust fund - or actually supporting my burgeoning family!

The next project I have set myself is to cut corners in an achieveable way by custom building an easy to reproduce Gargoyle model that aren't £4 each.

Why Gargoyle's: well let face it Tyranids really struggle against the new template scatter rules and those neccessary hordes are being pummelled. Gargoyles are key 'fluff' creatures for Tryanids, hunting and harassing the enemies into the open. On the battlefield, I see Gargoyles giving you another edge, an angle from which to strike and therefore forcing your opponent to consider this dangerous flanking unit... Gargoyles are very well priced for deepstriking troops, and the wings overcome the shortfall of the standard gaunt weaponry as it allows you to get into range.

Additionally, at only two points more the Gargoyles offers more 'attacks' on the charge than the hormagaunt (1 S4 fleshborer, 1 S4 bioplasma and 2 S3 attacks). So a handy 'distraction' unit to have around, and the only small horde unit outside the troops selection (which makes it more dispensible in my book 2/3rds of the time!

Build Plans: After considering some 'wings' options (thanks to Ymmot and others for scaring me off harpy wings!) from GW and elsewhere, I've stuggled to find a cost effective wings substitute (despite ALL the wings in WFB?)... I therefore decided that the best way to go about it was to create my own.

Importantly I wanted a repeatable and easy to build design which could be replicated easily. The good news for you guys is that in doing so I also wanted a good looking design which concentrated on using GW bits (which are available online or in your bits box.

I actually think I've settled on a pretty cool looking solution, but I'll leave the feedback to you guys...

A Termagaunt becomes a Gargoyle, thanks to spinefists, a holstered pistol and a shovel.

Part 1: The bits. To build a Gargoyle you will need the following:
  • A Termagaunt (fleshborer armed Gaunt) with the 'tongue out' face (see prototype).
  • Right and left SpineFist Arms
  • 6 WFB Empire pistolliers holstered pistols (easy to get if you build roughriders).
  • 2 Cadian Shovels
  • Thin Clear Plastic with a 'leathered' effect (go to your local office supply and look in the document binder section, these style are very popular)
  • Plastic Glue.
  • Greenstuff.
  • Knife.
  • Greenstuff tool.
  • Soldering Iron.
  • 'Dremel' tool.

The Construct: Take the 'constructed' termagaunt and identify the 'middle arms' of the model. Take the dremel tool and 'carve' the top of the middle limb joints on both sides. This should then allow you to weaken and remove the middle arms. Use the dremel tool to carve out an appropriate hole on each side for the glueing of the 'spinefist' arms. Glue to spinefist arms in an appropriate angle from the body - I've gone for a 'landing' pose with mine. Have a look at the Tyranid wings on Forgeworld website for some great examples.

The Rear Legs: Shave off the armour on the front of the thighs. Spin off the two 'hooves' at the joint. Then cut off the 'hooks' off the bottom of the two middle legs you've just removed. Simply glue to the hooks onto the end of the rear legs. You may wish to reposition the 'foremost' leg (I did), as the position may appear too 'standing up'.

The Wings: Next, get the spinefist and carefully split the spinefist down the centre. Next remove the 'horn' on top of the severed part fo the spinefist (this will go back on), shave off end of the fist above the 'pinky finger' (This is where you'll attach the first 'finger' of the wing). Next clip off the 'ammo belt' along the bottom of the arm.

Take the Imperial Pistollier holstered pistols and cut off the gun 'handles', these form your six fingers of the wing. Position the three fingers or spines along the 'wrist' of the spinefist. The first finger on the cut off area above the 'pinky finger', the second on the 'cut-off' spot of the ammo belt, the third on the lower spot (just above the 'elbow').

Finally, take a imperial guard shovel and cut off the shovel at the end of the handle. This leaves you with a bone-shaped piece. Attach this to the end of the upmost finger forming an exended finger.

Next, get the plastic folder and cut out the 'wing sections' one by one. First bend the plastic wings both ways, trying to create a 'pocket' of air in each wing section. Cut them to shape and glue them onto the fingers and wrist. Repeat six times and that's it.

Tail: I used a soldering iron to warm the plastic (hold it close or brush the plastic along the iron), and then carefully bend it. The tail needs to be bent all the way around into an aggressive position.

Stand: drill the Termagaunt between the legs with the dremel (gruesome and brutal, but it's the best way) and then attached a flyer stand (I have loads left over from GunDrones). I simply attached this stand straight into a 25mm base.

The completed (WIP) prototype gargoyle.

Greenstuff: Remember to greenstuff the head (make it pointy), cut off the tongue and model a bio-plasma (a hollow tongue with ridges down the side). Next model back some of the ribs (that you cut off when you removed the middle arms.) And finally model the blade on the end of the tail.

And that's it. Please let me know what you think of the model and feel free to borrow the design. This is all part of my plan to bring down the cost of GW models and field more interesting units.

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