The Hound of Zamarkande Part 1

Hi, Dave here, back with a new project.
Over on my Instagram account, I’ve had a number of people asking for a tutorial on how I posed my Chaos Warhound, the Hound of Zamarkande. While I’m nowhere near done building the thing, I think I’m at a good point to break down how I got the model to this point.
Fluff warning: I’m going to set up the concept for the model; if you’re not into musings on the fiction of the thing, skip ahead.
Concept
My fiction for the Cult Stochastic has evolved a little since I first had the idea for a rogue cult of Mechanicum who revered chance and error in their quest for the Omnissiah. Now they are a loose collective of machine intelligences and servitors, co-opted by a transmission they call the Bright Signal into a never-ending search for the physical manifestation of the Omnissiah in the galaxy.
The Bright Signal overwrites programming, installing a directive to set out on the Long Search, to wander forever until the Omnissiah is found. Some are taken alone, some in groups. There doesn’t seem to be a reason why one machine is selected over another. But once the data takes hold, the result is the same: the machine selects a direction seemingly at random, and begins its mission.
The Hound of Zamarkande
Hound of Zamarkande WIP 001
The Hound is an ancient Warhound of an unknown variant; is body plan noticeably aberrant from the original Warhound STC. Indeed it bears some evidence of Chaos corruption but interestingly, seems to have thrown off any daemonic influence. More worrying perhaps is the fact that it no longer needs a crew to operate. Now co-opted by the Bright Signal and modified by the Cult’s servitors, it stalks the barren planet of Zamarkande.
Finding the Pose
The Long Search is the very core of the Cult Stochastic’s directives. With all of the Cult models, I want to create a sense of forward motion, of inexorable progress.
dreadtober_final_instagram_006

For the Praestia, the pose was designed to be quite upright, to show balance and confidence

More by accident than design I’d found, while creating a much smaller unit (the Skitaari Praestia, shown right) that a mid-stride passing pose creates a kind of snapshot feel. The pose is not settled, and the viewer can anticipate the next few frames of action.
For The Hound, I wanted to emphasize it’s massive size without losing what makes it dangerous. Warhounds are scout titans, designed to be fast and relatively agile. But the Long Search is a marathon, not a sprint, so it didn’t need to be running.
After some reference diving, I settled on something close to what science and movies have suggested as T-Rex’s walking gait.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMNOAOO6efE

It’s purposeful and communicates huge mass. I love it being up on it’s toes (Warhound feet always look like duck feet to me when they’re planted flat). And of course, the T-Rex was an apex predator, and that connotation works really well for imbuing the Hound with a sense of menace, even if the poor thing is really just wandering about.

Warhounds are, happily, extremely posable from the waist down. It’s a lovely job by GW/FW on the leg design. Very inspiring and pretty easy to work with. Getting the pose looked to be pretty straightforward.
The challenge was going to be managing the weight. Loads and loads of resin make the model pretty top-heavy. I’d seen a lot of Warhound poses driven by the need to balance that load. The pose I wanted was the opposite of that; put the whole thing on one leg, on tip-toes. Unbalance the pose so the center of gravity is biased forward, to create that sense of motion, scale and weight. So I wanted to do a couple of changes to help with that, even before I got to thinking about how to actually build it.
In Part 2, I’ll go over the changes I made to the Warhound design. Originally this was part of the same post but I wanted to break out the build into phases; roughly:
Part 1: Concept and Pose
Part 2: Conversion and scratchbuilding
Part 3: Construction.
See you in the next post.

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