However it could just as easily be any kind of horrible chaos demon.
Usually clients allow me a lot of freedom when developing the design for the beasties they ask me to build for them. This client, however, was pretty exacting about keeping the design very close to the source material, which was this Yugioh card for Lovecraft fan favorite: NYARLATHOTEP!
HORAY TENTACLES! IA! IA! FTHANG R'LEH!AHEM.
To say I was thrilled by the challenge would be an understatement. Not only did I get to give flesh to an ancient horror, I got to do it in the service of the Hive Mind!
Though I was pretty sold on the concept art, the client and I agreed that his Broodlord would benefit form some recognizable mods to its Tyranid ancestry.
Using Broodlord arms seemed an obvious choice as the rending claws on them are so nice while still being close to the claws in the art work. To cram a little more Broodlord on there, I also repurposed the model's tail to act as the top of Nyarlathotep's head, and I was able to convince him to let me include some Broodlord brains as part of the head as a not to the creature's potent psychic abilities.
And that was it. Aside from the horrible toothy mass all over the broodlord's body, everything else I made from scratch, using armatures and Apoxie Green (a combination of Greenstuff and Apoxie Sculpt).
Now, I'm supposed to be some kind of sculptor, so sculpting from scratch might seem obvious, but this is still hard. However, I took this as an opportunity to further flex my scratchbuilding muscles, electing to make most of the model from scratch with the occasional pre-existing bit thrown in. So I started it all off with an armature:
As I note in my How to Sculpt Armatures video tutorial, which features this particular model, I was experimenting with floral wire for this armature. I can's say enough good things about this material. It has this wondrous combination of rigidity and flexibility that is very hard to describe. When you want it to flex, it flexes easily. When you want it to be strong, it's pretty strong. It's some kind of wundermaterial, and I'm pretty sure it's standard in any craft store. Notice I'm using the thicker gauge stuff here.
Next up, I bulked up the armature with some aluminum foil, the best medium for fleshing things out and shaping it.
Then came a layer of apoxie green (1-part kneadatite epoxy putty and 1-part apoxie sculpt) to get in the detail. If you're wondering how I achieved that texture, it's all about sweet, sweet silicone brushes/shapers!
Then I started adding hideous mouths! I'd been really intrigued by the mouths in one of the new squig riders kit, so this dude received a lot of those.
Then I added his head. The client wanted exactly what was on the card, but I talked him around to letting me include some bits from the actual Broodlord/Patriarch to make the link to that model. The donated bits included the brain here, and the tail from the broodlord / patriarch, which I repurposed as the end of this guy's head. The mouth there is one of my favourites, stolen from Hydra: a pink horror mouth flipped upside down, as I made good use of on my mandrake and Cronos parasite engine conversions.
Then I added a bit more bulk and some more horrible squig mouths (I think I may have cut these up to rematch top teeth with different bottom teeth).
Then the boy needed some actual arms. Once again, I turned to the actual broodlord / genestealer patriarch arms as they have such lovely claws. You can see that bit on his right arm. However, for his left arm, I wanted to preserve the twisted, atrophied claw from the source art, so I made that one from a collection of different claw bits I had.
I added some more toothy maws, donated from a zombie dragon and a Tyranid Carnifex head as I've always got tons of those kicking around. If you're feeling like a hero, you don't need these bits at all and should just watch my How to Sculpt Teeth video with special guest sculptor Hydra!
I, however, am not always a hero. I am LAZY. So I used the bits.
Next up, I bulked him up still a bit more, starting to get him closer to the final shape depicted in the reference art. I also cleaned up his head to make it resemble the card a little more closely.
And, though it wasn't depicted on the card really, what good is a hideous, cephalopod monstrosity without THE PROPER AMOUNT OF SUCTION?
Then all that was left was a little more bulking up, and VEE-WA-LAH! The monstrosity was complete!
When creating horrible, eldritch daemons, it's always a good sign when your finished creation makes you vaguely uncomfortable. That was definitely the case with the last horrible monstrosity I made in the form of the Silent Hill Amnion Talos conversion I attempted. And I must say it's also the case with ol Nyarlathotep here. This dude definitely gives me the HEEBIE JEEBIES!
Though he was meant to be Broodlord or Genestealer Patriarch size, he wound up closer to Hive Tyrant size, which is kind of a pattern for me. To give a better indication of just how massive he is, here are some comparison models from my Dark Eldar Haemonculus Coven, my Genestealer Cult of the Omega Strain, and that one effing space marine I painted.
Here he is with a proper sized Genestealer Patriarch who has overcome his hunch (note: The Master is taller than normal has he's standing on the dias of his Osseous Throne)
And here he is next to my original Tyranid Exocrine conversion.
In the end, I was really happy with how the Nyarlathotep Broodlord / Genestealer Patriarch conversion turned out, and I was really glad that my client gave me the chance to create this monster!
How do you feel about the tentacled horror?