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Posted (edited)

I imagine one day that GW will update the Phoenix Lord models but I'm tired of waiting and some months ago started on a Jain Zar custom figure that I worked on here and there between other projects. This year I decided I wanted to focus on the large amount of Eldar stuff I have that's been gathering dust for years and I'm going to be focusing on three Phoenix Lords in particular: Jain Zar, Karandras, and Fuegan simply because they are my favorites. I might end up doing all of them, but for now, I'll begin with Jain Zar.

 

So what did I want to accomplish with this? As much as I like the story of the Phoenix Lords, I have never liked some of their models even when they were still relatively new when I got into the game shortly after 3rd ed came out and now with two decades of newer, better models to outshine them, I feel like my sculpting and converting skills are at a point to tackle my own vision for them. Jain Zar's model is, in my opinion, the worst one of the bunch. The hair is crazy, the boots are ridiculous, and the pose makes the figure horribly unbalanced and prone to falling over. Aside from changing the pose, it occurred to me that the Phoenix Lords and their armor have been around since The Fall when the Eldar were still mostly one race. Once the they split, their cultures and technology evolved along different lines and I imagined that the armor of the Phoenix Lords should be a blend of the two and something unique among the modern aspect warriors that follow them.

 

Here's my first sketch of the pose idea I had with a little greenstuff prep work already on the legs:

 

 

I'm obviously going with Dark Eldar parts because I think their proportions are better and just look better than the older Eldar stuff. Renowned for being fast, I wanted to have her in a running pose and used pictures of sprinters for reference.

 

Being a stickler for realism, I figured Jain should have a little more muscle on her than the official model, particularly in the legs from doing all that running.

 

 

Here's where it starts to get ugly. The way the wych leg halves comes together doesn't leave much room for pinning and I had to trust in my sculpting skills that I could eventually make this look good because even I was having some doubts at this point. I did like how the legs were coming out though.

 

 

Refining the shape of the legs and trying out something for the right arm.

 

 

Recreating her signature glaive.

 

 

Finally filling in the waist and adding the armor to the legs.

 

 

I wasn't happy with the torpedo breast armor on the DE model so changed it up and also (shocker) wasn't happy with the previous work on the waist and removed most of it to try again.

 

 

Much better go at the waist and the chest is looking good. Added a soul stone and started working on converting a head for her.

 

 

More refining on the armor, more work on the head, and the spear breaks! Note the cutouts on the side of the face where the Banshee mask amplifier things will go.

 

 

Now note how I filled them in because I had the idea that Jain Zar's nickname - Storm of Silence - should be literal. She is completely silent and is such a powerful psyker that she does not need an amplifier for her Banshee Wail. Building the foundation for new hair that will be a little long, but nothing like the original model or her artwork.  Spear still broken.

 

 

Aaaaand now the current state of her with a fixed spear and a few tiny changes here and there that are probably not visible to anyone but myself.

 

 

I have a little work done on Karandras but I want to get a little more progress before I unveil him. Thanks for looking!

 

*edit* No more img tags? Hmm, not sure if I like that.

 

Edited by Brother Chaplain Kage
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And here I thought your work on the B&C was awesome, I see this goodness and my brain exploded :lol:!

 

I don't know where to begin with praise on this one. The whole model looks amazing. I particularly like the modifications to the legs.

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Thanks! I sometimes wish the B&C would open up the boards to other factions, but I doubt that will ever happen with xenos. Shame, because there's not a good place on the web that focuses on Eldar the way the B&C does its thing.

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That's absolutely amazing!

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8 hours ago, Chaoswolf said:

That's absolutely amazing!

I agree with the un dyed wolf...

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Wow.  This is a first rate conversion/sculpting job.  

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Wow!  awesome sculpting/converting!  Looking forward to the end product!

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Interesting take on her with some very good skills to bring her to life.

 

While I do like certain aspects of the old models, I think you are completely correct in thinking they need a re-sculpt.

 

Looking forward to seeing your take on Karandras, he was always a favorite of mine but has a squat, static pose with a way too bulky feel from all the way too big detail on him.

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Glad you guys like her! The main sticking point right now that's kept me from working on her is what to do for the lower legs and feet and what, if anything, to do with the right arm. I had originally wanted her to have the triskele in the right hand and my couple of attempts to make a new one didn't even get far enough along to be worth photographing. Maybe I'll leave that arm as it is to give more of a running feel to the model.

 

And now for some Karandras stuff.

 

Here's the first pose sketch I did with some parts from the current finescale Striking Scorpion exarch and a badly miscast DE Incubus finecast head that I cut down and sanded quite a bit.

 

I wasn't real happy with much of this. The pose of the legs wasn't what I wanted, I didn't like the Incubus head or my first attempt at his mandiblasters, and both weapons on the Exarch arms looked too big and chunky for the eldar aesthetic I see in my head. In fact, I've never cared for the chainswords on the Scorps at all because it seems too barbaric and low tech for them.

 

Back to the DE sprues for sketch #2 and came up with this, still utilizing the old claw and a temporary Wych sword just for visualization purposes.

 

Much better! This patient stance with a feeling that he could explode into murderous motion any moment is exactly what I was wanting.

 

Trying out a new idea for the mandiblasters and metal sword #1.

 

Really digging those mandiblasters! I think it's a happy medium between the mandiblasters on the normal Scorps and the ridiculously large ones on the old Karandras model. A traditional power sword also seems more fitting for him than the chainsword imho.

 

For those who might not have seen my work on the Bolter and Chainsword (or on my Iconic Investigator conversion here), I've started making metal swords for my figures -- formerly out of large paperclips and now out of steel wire -- that are not only more durable but are much more realistic with the scale thickness of the material vs the ultra-chunky blades you normally see in plastic or resin. In the end, I wasn't happy with the sword because it had originally been longer, a little thicker, and more curved, but I kept grinding away with the Dremel trying to refine it and went too far.

 

Sword #2.

Similar to first one, removed too much material on the back end when trying to refine the shape.

 

Sword #3!

 

You know why by now.

 

Current work and sword #4!

 

Fourth time is the charm, although it's actually the fifth because there was one in there that I didn't get photographed because I accidentally broke it when the tip of the blade hit the Dremel's grinding wheel at a bad angle. The part of the sword that snapped off hit me in the safety glasses an inch off of the center of my right eye. ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES WHEN USING ANY KIND OF POWER TOOL! Hell, I even wear them when I'm using my sprue clippers or my hobby knife just in the off chance that a little piece of something gets launched at my eyes.

 

While working on another project I had some greenstuff leftovers and had a go at laying down a foundation for some segmented armor on the top of his helmet but I don't like it. It looks way too tall and pointy and too reminiscent of the original Karandras figure.

 

I have an idea for making a new claw I'm going to try out tomorrow. Once I get the claw nailed down (tomorrow or whenever) I'll get his pose right where I want it and then get going on the greenstuff work in earnest.

 

Bonus pic of the Fuegan conversion I started before I had the idea to completely build my own Phoenix Lords.

Two of the things I wanted to do was make his fire pike shorter and underslung on his left arm, and this Dire Avenger arm was a stand in for visualization. A custom power axe was in the works.

 

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Very nice take on Karandras imo.  The last pic of him has a pretty nice pose, looks like he is going to commit a sudden act of violence.

 

As you said, the mandiblasters are a good compromise between the two but I am not a fan of the claw, the one thing I always thought was a real problem with the original model too.

 

Your use of the dark eldar bits are a really good choice for the base of the models too.  

 

I kind of like the tall thin helmet though...doesn't really remind me of the original helmet too much because it is not that thick chunky thing.

 

Interesting that you make your own metal swords man.

 

Just removing the huge weapon from Fuegan makes the model way better, wow!

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Oh, that claw is not going to be on the final model. It's only there as a visual representation for now.

 

The metal swords thing is pretty cool and not all that difficult if you have a Dremel or something similar. I hammered out large paperclips and now steel wire until they're the thickness I want. I leave a good amount of excess space on the back end, and leave it round as well, which I insert into a pin vice to hold while using a grinding wheel on the Dremel to smooth out the sides of the blade from the hammering and then shape the blade how I want it. After that, I wet sand it with 300 and 600 grit sandpaper to polish it up.

 

That Fuegan conversion is based on the Fire Dragon exarch, but yeah, those overly long fire pikes are silly.

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Fantastic work on the Phoenix Lords. Impressive as always. Jain Zar is my fave up till now. :lol:

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