|"The Charosion" are the elite of the Emperor's Children|
With excellent opportunity to do some more high contrast painting, relatively easy MkIV armour to scratch build, and a little freehand and object source lighting to tinker with, this artwork jumped out of the pages of the Visions of Heresy at my local Games Workshop. The only problem seemed to be sourcing a MkI Rhino chassis to destroy. Forge World will happily sell you a version of it and eBay seems full of them if you are happy to pay almost as much again for postage and (probably) import duty at the border. But why pay for the whole thing if you're only going to use half? This was my lazy Sunday challenge, and I am quite happy with the results.
I started with my usual Aluminium Foil armature for bulking out the Sculpey cheaply and quickly, which also serves as an opportunity to correct any scale issues without wasting clay and avoids the possibility of large chunks of clay splitting or cracking as they bake. Anything bigger than a 28mm torso should always be supported in some fashion using a non flammable material (plastic is definitely not oven friendly). Not having a model to base it off, I used a variety of sources including my own Rhino model (knowing that earlier versions are much smaller). Scale wasn't such an issue for me as I wasn't going to be gaming with the model.
A new addition to my materials list is "Sculpey Firm" which I have been trying to track down for ages, as it keeps sharper edges and you can spot things like fingerprints before you bake, unlike "Sculpey Original" that has a translucent edge which hides all sorts of imperfections until you start painting. I found this out most annoyingly when I started painting my Blood Angels sculpture earlier in the year.
Where I did use some leftover "Sculpey Original" was on the base, which I knew I was going to be covering in extra details. The artwork itself gives me a little bit of freedom on this regard, and I will have to balance out the number of bodies vs scenery details as the project continues. I also used this split in baked clay surfaces to allow the rhino to be removed from the base for painting and further assembly. It's at this point I was going to leave it and work on the marines, but the different colours of the materials was hiding the full sense of the diorama so I went one step further and decided to undercoat the model using my new airbrush (more on that soon). After a base-coat I took the time to lighten the central focal point of the model, simulating the effect the final paint scheme should have in drawing the viewer's eye and gauging whether the basic scratch build has enough detail to continue with.
Success! With only about half the detail I would have put into a table top scratch built model I have managed to convey a sense of the MkI Rhino details and the damage sustained. The top and sides are lacking in detail but will have models and scenery obscuring the awkwardly sculpted areas. Any further work will be done in green stuff or similar two part resins to prevent melting the plastic areas. With about two hours of work, and ten minutes with the airbrush, I am very happy with the results. You can see the magnetised door and removable chassis in the photo below.