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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tusk: The Mammoths

The finished mammoths, all "upgraded" in one evening. These are 1/30 scale, done by Safari Ltd.
Tusk is first, a game of hunting mammoths, but it also includes rules for hunting dinosaurs (for which I also have plenty of models that are close to scale with my 54mm cavemen.) But today, I talk about these mammoths.

Right out of the box (OK, they don't come in a box, they come loose on the shelf,) these mammoths are ready to play. Safari Ltd does some great prehistoric toys, and the mammoths carry on that tradition; the painting is great, the sculpt is fantastic, and their shear size is imposing on the table. Still, I wanted to "upgrade" them a bit.

For the first mammoth, I recurved the tusks so that they would extend out just slightly more than the others (mammoth at far left in above photo.) On the second mammoth, I use a candle (carefully!) and heated up the trunk so that I could curl it down toward the ground (it's the mammoth at far right in the above photo).

Green stuff used to" beef up" this one a bit.
The third mammoth got the most work done. The biggest thing I did was to saw the head off and reposition it, turned a little more toward one side as if to avoid a spear thrust, or in preparation to smash a poor little Waiteri hunter to pieces. This left an ungodly seam, but I had planned for that: I also prepared a hug gob of green stuff and started off by making a simple "collar" to cover up the seam.

I added more green stuff to give a more prominent and imposing shoulder/back/hump to this mammoth -- this was going to be the leader of the group. Then I used a needle to sculpt fur into the new mane, blending it into the existing sculpt as best I could. (I knew the paint would also help to cover up the seam between my additions and the existing sculpt.

Drybrushed reddish-brown highlights. Eyes repainted.
After the green stuff had cured, I gave the mammoth a light layer of Army Painter Black (it works on vinyl toys! Oh Shit -- I can repaint all of my dinosaurs!) After the primer had dried (all of 5 minutes,) I gave the mammoths a nice drybrushing of reddish brown (as per the latest scientific research indicating this as the color of at least one mammoth specimen.) I followed that up with a couple layers of highlights and shade. I also repainted the cartoonish eyes.

For the Daddy Mammoth, I decided to do something a little more special and gave him some actual markings (not supported by any scientific research, but by my imagination.) I wanted to keep these simple, so I made large black stripes that narrowed as they projected from the neck. That mammoth is definitely the centerpiece, of the herd and probably always on table. The markings could also represent ritual paint on a domesticated "war" mammoth. All of these conversions, repositionings and painting took one evening. As I said, Safari Ltd's stuff is ready to go out of the box.

A bit large in scale to my 54mm caveman, but close enough.
This was also the first time I tried the Army Painter primer on vinyl toys, and it worked great- no tackiness at all. This finally opens up the realistic probability of repainting a bunch of my old toy dinosaurs. Many of which I've given simple and effective drybrushings to. But now, I have the opportunity to repaint them in earnest.

First, though, I want to find some more scale-compatible prehistoric mammals; I have a tribe to feed!

5 comments:

  1. Great post dude.
    Very nice work.

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  2. Beautiful work. The mammoths are stunning. Always love the conversions you do, at times so subtle but so effective.

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  3. Superb job and great models, thanks for the tip!

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  4. Fantastic conversion on the lead Mammoth.

    Tony

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