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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Redux: Tyranid Dominatrix from a Hierodule

To build up some content on the site, I'm going to be posting a few of my past projects that were kind of like milestones in my development as a sculptor. I'll call them "Old Strains," and you can feel free to check them out if you're curious.
01 complete1

First up, I would be remiss if I didn't credit my Hobby Brother, Hydra, for being the first person ever to convert a Tyranid Dominatrix from a Forgeworld Hierodule. Go see his original work, though he wrote that article about 12 years after he created the original!

Having learned from the work I'd done on Ross'/Accommodator's original Dominatrix, and having improved a bit through practice over the time in between, I endeavoured to take ANOTHER stab at the idea of creating a modern Tyranid Dominatrix from a Forgeworld Hierodule model. The project was another one that was sponsored by Moloch, and, when all was said and done, it would be he who would put his brush to it. With this in mind, and having seen the fantastic treatments he'd given the Dactylis and Exocrine, I was well motivated to go above and beyond on this Dom.


What's more, while I was working on it, Hydra came over to visit and volunteer at a Canadian high school as part of his teaching degree, which meant that we wound up sharing an apartment for a month. While he was here, the dining room table in my place was transformed into a full-time workshop. That in and of itself is not particularly interesting, but I believe that, had Hydra not been there while I was working on the model, I don't know that I would have pushed myself as hard as I did, and I may have settled for less than I was actually capable of. Thus,  I owe part of my success on the project to him.

Alright. Enough chatter. On to the actual project.

Start with one painfully-hacked-apart Hierodule:
01 dismembered
02 tear down

Add Apoxie Sculpt to recreate it in the shape you're looking for:
03 Apoxie buildup

Extend the neck with Apoxie Sculpt to eliminate the "fat chicken" profile of the Forgeworld Hierodule. This will also help to counterbalance the huge tail you've got planned for the thing:
19 Adding some neck

Sculpt it some Razor Claws for balance, and sculpt 'em from scratch:
04 Hands from scratch
09 Hands from scratch
10 Hands from scratch

Repose and update the scything talons so they fit in with the current, plated ones:
11 Modernizing the talons

Give the beast a split jaw and a togue with attitude:
05 Head and tongue

Create a cannon from scratch with apoxie sculpt and plasticard when you realize no combination of existing guns and plastic tube will do:
06Cannon beginnings
07 Cannon beginnings
08 Cannon_complete

Make sure to pay your tithe to the Dominatrix of old, and--especially--to its synaptic, symbiotic rider:
12 The Synapse symbiote
(It should be noted that resin head is a GW original cast, from a prototype of the current pewter Hive Tyrant that someone special happend to have lying around. I was sad to actually use it when I received it in the mail, but I didn't have access to a pewter head to replace it with)

Be considerate of his import and craft him a comfy chair to sit in. You can call it a Synaptic Cradle:
13 Psychic Craddle
14 Craddle detail and shields

Include some armour plating around him for protection. It can serve a second purpose as a Synaptic Array--a configuration of synaptically-impregnated carapace plates that focus and channel additional synapse energy to the rider:
15 Symbiote in the Craddle
16 Craddle Above

Use greenstuff to sculpt detail over your rough apoxie sculpt substructure:
20 Plating1

...and when you're done that, sculpt some more:
21 Plating 2

Next, really mail-it-in on the ribcage: like I'm talking the worst, most-slapdash work you could ever imagine:
17 Good Enough
(Pictured here are the miscasting bubbles that scored me a second Hierodule as a replacement for this one...too bad it took Forgeworld more than a year to get it to me)

And once you've tentatively decided that's "good enough" have a German that you trust and admire slap you upside the head and demand that you do it again:
18 Not a chance

Winding up now, find the thing some mandibles that it could be proud of: ones that could really cut a man in half. Make them from plasticard if you have to:
22 Custom Mandibles

Take some pictures of the completed beast:
02 Dominatrix complete2
03 Dominatrix complete
05 Dominatrix complete


And, finally, send it off to someone you trust--someone who could really bring out the beast in it--so he can paint it with his masterful brush:
Dominatrix painted 2
Dominatrix painted

Moloch Painted
In the end, it rivals the work I did on the scenery for the Casavant Prime table as the most beautiful thing I've ever had the fortune of creating.

If you're interested in the thread tracking my progress in bringing it all together, it can be found here.

14 comments:

  1. No comments on a post of this calibre?! Outrageous.

    You sir, area lunatic to engage is such toil, but the (satisfyingly retro) result is spectacular.

    Fantastic.

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  2. Ha! Thanks, sir. It is one of my favourite things I've ever built. I think the reason there are no comments is that I posted it a while back in a burst of posts to build up my history on this blog. It's been years since I was working on this thing in real time.

    Still, thanks for the appreciation :)

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  3. I always thought this Dominatrix belongs to the artist Moloch, doesn't it?

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  4. I certainly does, Anonymous (as you can see in the article I posted about Hive Fleet Ouroboros http://modernsynthesist.blogspot.ca/2012/04/return-of-moloch-hive-fleet-ouroboros.html )

    I love modeling, and Moloch loves painting, so we combined our efforts and came out with a heck of a finished product!

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  5. How much did it cost you to make this? Fantastic work by the way I absolutely love it.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. where did you get your epoxy sculpt?

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  8. By the way, may I ask which country you are from?

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  9. I get into detail on sources for Apoxie Sculpt in my How to Sculpt series:

    http://modernsynthesist.blogspot.ca/2012/05/how-to-sculpt-4-what-to-buy.html

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  10. Anonymous, if you poke around here a bit, it should become abundantly clear from whence I hail ;)

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  11. this is absolutely gorgeous.. I mean terrifying.. I mean absolutely astonishing piece of work!

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  12. Mr. Pink this is an amazing model how much did it cost to build everything also which exact parts did you use.

    Thanks again

    nick

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It is one of the models I've made that I'm most proud of. Just a shame I gave it away as a commission piece. I do have another Hierodule lying around here, so I could make another one for myself, but thinking about the amount of work that went into it makes it a daunting proposition.

      I couldn't begin to tell you how much it cost or what all went into it as I did it YEARS ago, and it took FOREVER. Sorry! :(

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    2. ...However if I were to do this commission for some one these days, it would be in the $1500 US range as it requires a metric ton of scratch sculpting.

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