Sunday, 8 November 2009

Tutorial - Assembling Dragon Ogres

After all the positive feedback I've gotten on my Dragon Ogres, I decided to make a tutorial of how I've made them. So, I've taken pictures from start to finish as I made one, and I hope this tutorial can be of inspiration, if nothing else, to other war-gaming enthusiasts!

First of all, a list of bits used:
O&G Black Orc torso + arms (right arm holding banner, left had a spiked club - removed)
DE Cold One Knight lizard except the heads (still wondering what I'll use them for..)
40k Kroot heads
WoC Marauder Horsemen chains, with skulls and other goodies
BoC Beast Herd horns (on this particular Dragon Ogre, I also used a sabre from same package for its Great Weapon.. On the picture below are some other weapon-options I was considering; just use your imagination when you make your own!)
Also, a fresh suply of Green Stuff is needed (I'm sure other modelling putties will work just as fine), along with glue and regular tools for cutting, filing, sculpting and drilling (remember the paper-clips!) - and don't forget the 40mm square base, for gaming purposes.

Step one - cleaning, filing, cutting and glueing:
File or cut away mold lines. I found the Cold One to be particularily tricky - sure it's a lovely sculpt, but I think the mold lines were placed unstrategically; hard to get at, and in a careless moment, it's easy to cut off some otherwise nice details...
In addition to the mold lines, parts of the saddle had to go, and also most of the Black Orc's armour.
After that it's just to glue the Cold One together, and place the torso on top.
I've also placed the Dragon Ogre to be on a temporary base, mostly to give me something to hold on to, while I add and sculpt the Green Stuff. A hole's been made in the neck region, and the Kroot head's pinned in place. Time to bring out the Green Stuff!

Stage two - Green Stuff:
Yellow+Blue=Green : Place a small ball on his lower stomach, and another ball at his chest. Then it's just a matter of taking one's time, and sculpt out m. rectus abdominis and a pair of mm. pectorales majores and his front is more or less done. I added some more at a later point for his neck and also built out the pauldrons a bit..
The tricky thing with Green Stuff is, as I'm sure most of us know, that it takes time to harden. And unless it has hardened, whatever you've sculpted is prone to being mashed to goo (or one big fingerprint). So, to avoid mistakes/accidents, I left the main part of the model for now, and proceeded to making those arms and the weapon.

For this Dragon Ogre, I decided to make something a bit more original than just using the Black Orcs' axes, as I had given my two other Dragon Ogres said axes. So, I started out with the banner pole, and tried to fit various blades to it - in the end I went for a Beastman sabre. I found a left hand that I thought would make a decent fit to the lower part of the pole, and got something looking like this (after pinning and glueing it together):
I've also added some chains from the Marauder Horsemen-kit, makes a nice "chainmail", heh. No, really, I think it helps to hide the true nature of the nearby saddle, and makes it look a bit more like armour plates. Also, they're nice accessories, and I wanted to include them in some way on one of my units. Be warned though, they're quite fragile and easily break off during sculpting if you're not careful. Then again, after the arms come on, the chains are very hard to get glued on correctly, so it is kind of a sacrifice to wait with them 'til after the sculpting.

With the first layer of Green Stuff hardened, the arms were glued/pinned in place, with a 3 mm gap to the torso. I've found the Black Orcs to have too short arms, so without lengthening, it looks all out of proportions. This gap is then filled with next batch of Green Stuff, making the Dragon Ogre's overarms mostly built out of putty and the pin as "skeleton".
The armour plates have been enlarged some places (other parts have been cut away to balance it), so that the arm looks like it fits underneath, and then the back gets a coat of greenstuff in the same manner as the front. Later I added a spine of scales running down the back, as it'd look kind of empty without it.

Stage three - gap filling, base switch, head details and horns:
When the putty of the former stage has dried, and the model's safe to touch again, I went over the model, weapon in particular, and filled in any gaps I found with Green Stuff. Then I glued the double pair of horns onto the head, and while it dried, I got my 40mm base (bits of barch already glued onto it) and drilled a hole in it where I wanted the front leg of the Dragon Ogre to go. Why the front leg? It's simply easiest to drill, to be honest I'm not sure if it's doable to drill the other leg, as the joint between foot and leg is sort of curved, while the front leg goes more in a straight line and on top of that looks slightly thicker.
The Dragon Ogre was then moved to its new base, and then the horns were expanded using Green Stuff, merging head and horns.

And that's basically it.
Do these steps three times, and voilà! Three fearsome beasts ready to wreck havoc upon any foe!
Hope this rather brief tutorial can be of help to some and give others inspiration.


  1. Noeste,

    Individually they looked good, but as a unit they are crackers - killer job mate.

    Thanks also for the easy to follow tutorial.

    If you ever decide to branch out into commission work let us know.

  2. Thanks Rogue Pom! Means a lot.

    I'll let you know if I find the time to do commissions, but I can tell you it won't be this side of christmas, heh. Got my hands full with studies on one hand and my brother's gift on the other. Will try to make a post about the latter sometime this week, studies willing.

  3. That's a great tutorial Noeste and you've done a really great job on the unit of Dragon Ogres. They look absolutely fearsome. Really great stuff. Makes me want to go back to my Dragon Ogres and give them a makeover, mine don't look half as vicious as yours! Hehe!
    I think you could do quite well with commission work if you did branch out into it, you clearly have a knack for great conversions.
    Now you just have to get these beasts painted. I think it's going to be a cracking unit though!

  4. Oh and top marks for using the Beastmen Sabre and Black Orc banner pole to make that fearsome glaive/halberd/great weapon of doom! Looks awesome! Really clever conversion.

  5. Thanks Elazar!
    Regarding the weapon, I think maybe a regular Orc Choppa would've been better, as they're slightly larger/wider, but alas I do not have any spare here i Denmark. I might give it a try if I ever make a second unit, heh.

    Unfortunately, the Dragon Ogres will have to wait their turn a bit, when it comes to recieving colours other than grey and green - Going to start painting my brother's gift today; will make a post of it soon (he's promised not to look at my blog)

  6. A great guide and something I might have to try in the future thanks!

  7. Wow, this is exactly what I was thinking about doing for my Dragon ogres... well at least the black orc, cold one part. The kroot head is a killer idea too!! Great stuff, keep up the excellent work.