Large and in charge

Having worked on cousin Andy’s Plague Ogryn recently, I really wanted to finish up the first big mutants for my own Traitor Guard. In keeping with the overall flexibility of my Traitors so far, I wanted the models to be usable as Big Mutants (LNTD), Ogryn Berserkers (Vraks Renegade Militia) or straight up Ogryns (IG).

It really took me quite a while to get these guys to look cool, though. Here’s why:

First of all, instead of just going for hideously mutated beasts, I wanted the models to look more like corrupted Ogryns. It’s a recurring visual motif with my traitors that their worship of Chaos may be clearly visible, but you can also tell that they used to be “normal” Imperial soldiers at one point. I wanted to convey that feeling with my mutants as well, so I began to look at (corrupted) Ogryns for inspiration.

It didn’t take me long to get to the FW Renegade Ogryn Berserkers, of course. Those guys are really great for a number of reasons: They look like really bad news, for one. Then there’s the fact that you can tell that they used to be regular workers: They are still using their old tools, or at least improvised weapons made from their tools. And finally, while they are not really all that mutated, all those cables, tubes and “augmentations” suggest some horrible experimentation and make it clear that the Ogryns were “transformed” into something dangerous and disturbing by way of crude surgery.

That’s really a look I wanted to emulate with my own Renegade Ogryns. I am not a big fan of over-the-top mutations, or rather: I only like them when they are done really well. Mutations can often end up making a model look really goofy, so I decided to restrict the amount of “regular” mutations on the models, instead opting to use all kinds of crude surgical “improvements”. Oh, and I wanted the models to be all plastic, which left me with few options. I decided to use regular WFB Ogres, seeing as they are readily available and look similar enough to 40k Ogryns.

There was a number of problems, though: The old Ogre models are very static and not nearly as flexible as I would have liked. I also needed to “40k-ify” them enough to actually make them look like models from the dark future. Plus I felt that my GS skills might not actually be up to the task.

I built a proof-of-concept model, but I felt like the whole thing was not really getting off the ground. And when I saw cousin Andy’s hideous Grotesques, I wished that I had gone with Minotaurs as a base for my mutants in the first place. Was I doomed to fail?

But then painting that lone Plague Ogryn really reinvigorated me: The model was a lot of fun to paint, and I could really see myself having a similar amount of fun with my own Renegade Ogryns, once they had been converted. So I sat down again and finally finished the first two models.

First up, the first model I built (but actually the last to be finished). I had picked up a box of Ironguts as a base for the conversions, since I felt that the additional armoured parts would probably make the models more interesting to look at. So I used some arms from the kit and a couple of other bits to give the model an armoured look.

Here’s a first look at the finished conversion:

There was  little to be done about the Ogre’s overall body shape without massive amounts of work, so I contented myself with a slight repositioning of the arms to make the model look more imposing (and less like it was marching in an organised WFB regiment). Even that took quite a bit of GS work, and the rough job I did on it was almost enough to put me off the model for good. I added some rough stitches to the skin to make it look like the Ogryn had been subjected to some rather primitive surgery, and hoped I could salvage the whole thing with my paintjob…

The basic conversion mainly uses parts from the Ironguts kit, with extra gut plates used as shoulder armour. I also used a crude sword and a vicious gauntlet to make this guy look suitably dangerous. A Chaos Marauder shield was added to replace the regular gut plate and show the Ogryn’s new allegiance.

The main conversion was the back of the model: I wanted to add a horrible, exposed spine on the model’s back, so I greenstuffed the whole area as well as I could (which, admittedly, is not saying much). I added more stitches to the skin and also attached two stimulant vials (from the DE Talos/Cronos kit) to show that the Ogryn had been outfitted with some sort of combat drug dispenser.

What really saved the conversion for me was the idea to convert the helmet to a closed variant and to add some goggles made from the muzzles of a Chaos vehicle grenade launcher. Before, the Ogryn had just looked like an Irongut with a lot of greenstuff on his back. Now, the model looked like it actually belonged in the 40k universe.

Fortunately, the second model was far more straightforward. I wanted this guy to sport an even more heavily augmented look, with lots and lots of crude implants, so I used lots of cables and technical bits from my bitzbox. Here is the result:

I used a head with a huge metal plate. Combined with some cables and a speaker from a Cadian Voxcaster, this made the guy look like he had received some extensive cranial surgery. Ewww…

The model’s left forearm was replaced with a Chaos Lord’s chainfist, since you can never possibly have enough chainsaws in a 40k army. I also shortened the arm a bit to make the augmentation look slightly awkward. As a contrast, I wanted the right arm to look slightly too long and somewhat twisted, so I added an arm from the old Chaos mutations sprue. I also used some of the same armour plates my traitors are wearing. They seem to be bolted onto the Ogryns skin for extra protection, visually tying him together with the human traitors (and masking some rough spots on his arm in the process…).

I managed to find a nondescript bit (it might be from an Ork kit, but I am not sure) with some tubes and primitive pressure indicators, which made a fantastic addition for the model’s back, further enforcing the impression that the Ogryn had been “modified” with all kinds of crude technology. This time, there was really no danger that the model would be mistaken for a WFB Ogre…

So both models were affix’d to my trusty paint pots of doom, and I started working on them. I really wanted them to look like they had been attached to the same regiment as the rest of my traitors, so I basically used exactly the same colours. Here they are with just the base colours laid down:

Then came the washes and the detailing. Working on these two, I once again realised that I was giddily awaiting the moment where the washes came on, since they always manage to transform the model and bring it alive.

I only allowed myself two small departures from my usual recipe: I added a bigger amount of weathering to their equipment, representing the fact that it is probably less well-cared-for than that of the human traitors. And I added some extra bruising to their skin around the scars and implants in order to make the mechanical parts look even more rough and brutal. A bit of red and purple wash can really go a long way…

The models were actually a blast to paint! The larger scale allowed for much quicker work and made some effects much easier to pull off. Finally, I added some fitting bases to the two Ogryns, and they were done:

The brusing of the skin came out really nice, although it’s not all that visible in these pictures. Take a look at the model’s shoulders though, and you’ll see what I mean.

I added some primitive chaos iconography to the model’s gauntlet. It’s another recurring visual element in my Traitor Guard, so it made a lot of sense to include it here.

While the GS job on the model’s back still looks kind of rough, the paintjob really managed to make it appear somewhat believable, I think. What a relief!

Here’s the second model:

This guy was a little easier to paint, since he had been much easier to convert and didn’t need any “saving” in the first place.

I added a bit of gore to the chainfist, since leaving it looking brand new would probably have seemed a little strange.

Once again, I was pretty happy with the way the bruised skin came out. Take a look at the area around the cables on his left shoulder.

I even painted the little indicators to show that this guy is really running at full throttle 😉

And with that, my first two Renegade Ogryns were finished! I was pretty happy with them, especially since I had almost given up hope on the squad to actially take shape. For the rest of the squad, I will probably do one or two additional Ogryns. I already have a couple of ideas up my sleeve too: I’d like one of those guys to carry a huge gatling-gun (no matter whether he can actually use it…Rule of Cool and all that), while another will probably be a little more mutated. And then Doombreed gave me a very nice Ogre from one of the new kits. He looks really badass, so I’ll have to add him to the squad as well.

The difficult first step is accomplished. From now on, it’ll be a lot easier, I guess.

Let me know what you think of these guys in the comments section! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


10 Responses to “Large and in charge”

  1. Very cool! Really dig how those two turned out – keep up the great work!

  2. Wow… just…wow. Seriously I need to figure out a way to get a wordpress blog to show up on my blogroll.

    The conversion work is stellar, but when you combine it with your painting skills, these are amazing! I know you said the first was the last to be completed, but he’s by far my favorite 🙂

    – Tim

  3. Thanks a lot, guys! Now just you wait for the third member of the squad. He’ll be along shortly… 😉

  4. Great job. They look really nice painted up. Good job!

  5. Those are spectacular models. Great use of parts and bits, the conversions look seamless. My favorite is the one with the helmet., but they all look brutal. Not something that you would like to see crossing the field towards you as a humble Imperial Guardsman.

    • Cheers, aegisguard! You should look at some of the more recent posts when it comes to these guys: The squad actually has five members now, and each of them was a joy to convert and paint 😉

  6. These are so cool. You’ve inspired me!

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