Eric Here, I’m very excited to be participating in this year’s Dreadtober challenge. My project is a re-imagining of Forgeworld’s Mhara Gal.
For reference here’s the near stock version I did a year or two ago:
The only change I made at the time was to change the pinky finger on the power fist, I added a bit off of the AOS Khorne “Dreadnought” (because I lost the original finger)
While I overall liked the Mhara Gal’s design, functionally there was a lot that was left to be desired. The legs, because the knee joints were covered in tubes, were baked into a pretty stiff-legged position. The shoulders, were similarly baked into an awkward position that together led to a “I’mah big baby, Imah gonnah eat u!” pose as you’re only recourse.
It’s probably because the base forgeworld contemptor models are SO posable that this problem seems to be all the worse. You can literally do anything from kneeling contemplation, to leaping off of one foot with any of the other contemptors. (See my FW Word Bearers model with super awesome leg pose)
There were other stylistic differences between the Mhara Gal that probably only bug a production artist: shoulder pads and torso are different shapes than any of the other contemptors, again it doesn’t look bad, it’s just….. different.
Ok, end rant.
What I WANTED to do was do a reimagined version of the Mhara Gal, one that felt like it was the evolution of a Mhara Gal that had been in service for a while.
The first thing was, I wanted it to be a quadruped.
Forgeworld has done an excellent job with the Gal Vorbak (and Mhara Gals) in making them not just feel mutated but, cancerous, explosively growing, similar to Kaneda’s arm from the Akira anime.
I wanted to take that concept a step further. Make it feel like the base Mhara Gal is one that’s been more recently corrupted. Mine would be if it’d ben in service a while.
So with that, asymmetry is going to be super important.
I wanted to keep one of the legs from the original model. I decided to keep the one with the toe mutations coming out of it, but to turn it around and use it as a back leg. Given that it already has these growths coming out of it, it does naturally feel kind of like a back leg. I took the arm of a pox maggoth, and used that as the other hind leg. This automatically gave it a disjointed look , just because the legs were different lengths.
For the fronts I used a combination of the leg from a Khorgorath, one of the metal legs from a Adeptus Mechanicus Dunecrawler, and a leg from Cryx Desecrator. The new hips were also from a Cryx Desecrator that I flipped over. It actually had the perfect number of sockets for this type of conversion because it had 6 sockets. I filled the last two with a couple of small arms from different Legion of Everblight War Beasts.
Once I made sure it could stand on flat ground, I got a donor dead space marine hero and glued him to a base. Then I undid my tacking of the legs, and repositioned it so it was standing on top of the space marine champion.
I also added a blade coming out of the shoulder pad from the Khorgorath, as well as chopped up a plasma cannon from a Hellbrute and grafted it onto the original Plasma cannon (a rare moment where I like the GW version better than the Forge World one)
To further differentiate I added some bone spikes from some Everblight models. I removed the horn from the head and added a lower jaw from an Everblight Nephilim. Just that change to the head helped to differentiate it from the base Mhara Gal. I had planned on making a tongue for the head, but it felt like I didn’t need it.
So, next steps for me:
I’ll be refining my sculpt on the legs, adding more tubing (using the excellent roll maker tube and hose tool from Greenstuff World. ) http://www.greenstuffworld.com/en/69-roll-maker
Then I’m going to chop up the chest some, remove the hosing and add a large tongue and more teeth to the chest.
Once all of that is done, I’ll pin the shoulders in place, and add the power fist (also from the poor Khorgorath donor.
Thanks and I look forward to seeing everybody else’s progress!