Saturday, 18 January 2014

Guest Article - Cenobite Conversions.

Some time ago I started a project to make a Hellraiser crew for Malifaux and I've periodically revisited it now and again since then. Apparently I'm not the only person who had that idea as at about that time I got an e-mail from a gentlemen who goes by the name 'Obcenobyte' who had some ideas of his own on the idea.

As I've decided to get back into this I've decided to post Obcenobytes own ideas as he has an interesting prospective on certain of the methods I used.

The models of mine he refers to can be found below.

He also refers to my own series several times so a link to it can be found here.


Hello. I found your blog while searching for some pics of wrack conversions.  Nice job on converting the wracks into cenobites.  I wanted to give a little constructive criticism to help you out.  I think as a first attempt they're good, but would like to suggest a couple things that may improve them.  If you're happy with them as they are, feel free to disregard this. 

PINHEAD: The best looking of the group.  I'm emulating what you did with the head to make my own (see photo).  Still need to trim down the wires I added.  No suggestions for improvement on your pinhead model at all.  Here's my version:

TWINS: Great use of possessed twin head.  Honestly doesn't need much to improve it.  A little shading and highlighting on the face would make him stand out more.  Get a little bit of darker paint into the folds of his face to bring them out more.  I'm still holding onto that same head in hopes of acquiring a particular body to put it on.

MALE BOUND: I ran into the exact same problem you did when I wanted to use that possessed head to make a cenobite.  It's a beautifully grotesque sculpt, but it's huge -  cartoonishly big for the wrack body.  First I looked all over for a body that I thought was big enough (I chose one from Rackham minis), but the neckline of that head was still too big.  I wound up using a needle file to lightly file down the thickness of the plastic neckline in front and back and also I gently filed at the jawline to make it a bit less chiselled and superhero-like.  Here's a pic of the model I added mine to: 

If you aren't above trying again, consider trimming down part of the jawline and neck on that head and then sculpt the throat on using some greenstuff or selecting a slightly bigger upper body to accommodate that head.  Reaper minis and Rackham minis make larger scale models than warhammer that may be good fits.

FEMALE BOUND: Rather than adding a strip over the existing head as the belt, use a needle file or the cutting disk on a dremel tool to lightly sand away a little ravine around the eyeline.  Then, add a strip of greenstuff and sculpt it in to make it look like the belt is so tight that if is painfully pushing inward on that line.  The skin around the belt on top and bottom comes out further in depth than the belt itself.  The highlighting around it on the mask makes the skin above and below the belt look heavily irritated and partially bruised from how tight the belt is.   I used a similar technique when I sculpted onto this one for a 6" NECA style Male Bound figure I customized.  It's not 100% true to the film and certainly not perfect, but I'm happy enough with how it came out:

CHAINS: Consider going to a used goods store (goodwill, salvation army, etc) that carries cheap jewelry.  Find the tiniest chain necklace you can find.  It probably won't cost you more than about $3.  They make some really minuscule chains for earring charms.  Also, get some picture hanging wire from a dollar store and couple pairs of needle nose pliers.  You an create some tiny meat hooks with a little practice then add them onto the ends of those chains that your characters hold.
DISPLAY BASES: Consider using some body parts (a severed arm, leg or hand or maybe a torso with the arms trailing off the display base. 

PAINTING: Try not to use so much black paint. A lot of the Hellraiser figures by NECA don't have a ton of rich black paint on their costumes.  The black is more faded and diffused to allow the highlights to show off the textures of the costumes.  Black is the darkest colour you can get, so save that for filling in little nooks and crannies to bring out the depth of the miniature (folds of fabric, spaces around the knives or armor/padding on their costumes, etc). The NECA Hellraiser figures are highlighted with the darkest shade of a colour (Chatterer had blue highlighting on his costume to bring out the textures. The female had purple highlights. Barbie had the darkest shade of brown for his costume colours).  Black is usually used as a medium for shading, so you may do better to use a dark shade of a colour as opposed to black as the main colour).

Feel free to disregard the advice.  I just figured I could help you out a little. Lots of people say "this is great" in forum and blog replies, but I think it can be even better when people help each other to improve their methods and craft. I'm far from an expert but felt that the advice was sound.  I look forward to seeing more of your cenobite conversions. 

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