Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Build a (Male) Centigor, Part One: The Bits Required

So, you want to build yourself some centigor?  Well, you've come to the right place.

While there are a lot of tutorials out there for building a Centigor, I've decided that, rather than simply showing you pictures of what I'm building, it might be beneficial for those of you out there who might be trying to do something similar yourselves to walk you through the steps I undertake in the process.

Let's start at the beginning with assembling the necessary bits.

(But, you know, I wouldn't advise trying to get them from Bits and Kits.)

Before I started building my centigor, I scoured the internet for ideas.  Sure, they are based on centaur and the general idea of a centaur is pretty consistently the upper half of a man attached to a horse's body roughly where the horse's head and neck would be, but the implementation of such an idea can vary widely and there are always ideas better that your own to be pilfered borrowed from if you're willing spend enough time looking for them.

(And, obviously, you're willing to do so elsewise why would you be reading this brilliant article?)

For the males, I settled on a design similar to the Uuka character sheet on the right, but replacing Uuka's feline features with those human and equine features where appropriate.

I quickly decided that I would have both male and female centigor in my units.  The males would be large, bulky beasts built on the bodies of warhorses.  The females ... well, the females will be covered in another article.

Another thing to consider is that, while the centigor are armored, they are not heavily armored (either in the Beastmen army book or in the picture I'm attempting to emulate).  That fact cuts down on the potential horse choices a bit.  Empire and Chaos Knights' horses both wear significant plate armor, for example, and most of the Bretonnian and Elvish horses wear at least some amount of barding.

So, like many others before me, I eventually settled on horses from the Chaos Marauder Horsemen as my base.

One of the things to consider when kit-bashing miniatures is consistency.

While you may have the models handy for a simpler or cheaper conversion, for the purposes of consistency, the human bodies that would go on these powerful steeds would need to be equally large and powerful.  A 'normal,' average human or elf-sized body simply doesn't fit the aesthetic.  To some degree, I'd even argue that a Gor body appears too small to fit with the Marauder horses.

No, this torso needs to have long, smooth, powerful musculature.  Something not likely to be found on a human miniature at all (at least, not on the scale we're looking for).

With that in mind, I selected the bodies of Orc Boar Boyz for the male centigor.

The arms need to fit with the Orc-ish musculature.  Whether you opt to have them armored or not is up to you, of course, but for the design I am trying to implement, they needed to be as bare as possible.  So, I opted for the arms of Savage Orcs.

(GW was brilliant in making those kits interchangable, by the way, so you'll have no trouble getting your Orc-y arms and bodies to fit together if you decide to follow the design I'm laying out.)

For the hands, we have to consider our options based on what's available to the centigor in the army book as well as what you actually plan on fielding as your unit.  In my case, I'll be going with spears and shields.

While there are many options for these available and a number that might be good based upon the overall look and feel that you're going for with your army, I've elected to go with the spear hands of the Chaos Marauder Horsemen, and one of their shields as well (my units will be tied together visually by carrying shields that not only are painted the same color, but have the same iconography).

The heads I've chosen are, similarly, from the Chaos Marauder Horsemen (are you sensing a theme?).

Both they heads and the hands are, aesthetically, a bit smaller than what I'd really like -- particularly after the extensive discussion earlier about visual consistency -- but we'll be disguising that with some creative sculpting.

We'll also be adding some smaller bits -- knives and blades and spikes and such -- to their armor  (don't worry, I'll discuss the reasoning behind it when we get there), so you'll want to pick some of that up as well.  I found what I needed in the Chaos Knight's blades bits and and assortment of large and small spikes from the Dark Eldar Raider vehicle sprue.

So, there's your shopping list.

Go grab your bits -- either by raiding your bits box or hitting up the online bits retailers (again, not recommending Bits and Kits) -- and meet me back here next week for our next installment and we'll start to put it all together.

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