Stormhammer: The Legendary Butcher – Part 3 (Dogs of War)

Welcome back to the world of the electrocuted! Today we burn, bake, and mutilate Butcher 3’s trusty pets: the Argusii (Arguses? Argeese? Poodles?).

From these humble beginnings, we’re going to start digging into the dogs. As you can see from the scattered parts, I’m primarily working with the main bodies of the dogs, replacing and upgrading the other bits. As the dogs each have a unique sculpt (nice one, PP!) this will also help Jason, the Stormhammer’s new owner, to keep track of which doggie is which. Even better, the dogs have each natural head on the opposite side, making the cyber-heads I’ll be placing uniquely differentiated (despite being the same piece).

The first doggie, and his future leg. I bought three boxes of Grind for dirt-cheap from the Privateer Online Store a while back, when I was still considering the Cryxian Trolls as my next conversion project. As a result, I’ve got plenty of mechanical bits from PP, including the legs of the Khador ‘light’ jack they had in the box. Still looks a little beefy to serve as the doggie’s leg, eh? Just wait!

Here you see where I’ve cut the leg down. I cut a lot of the front foot off, as well as a few bits and bobs and spikes. I’ll be putting it on ‘backwards’ to simulate the backward-facing dog knees, and what was once the heel now serves as an excellent cyber-paw. Also pictured is the Cygnaran light jack that will be used as the back leg. Since I’ve always seen the Khadoran war dogs as pit bulls, I plan to use the slight size discrepancy to further the stronger front body illusion.

And here’s the Cygnaran leg cut down to size. Similar to the Khadoran leg, I’m reversing it, but I’m also bending it by cutting away at the back portion and using the old ‘hot water t bend cool water to harden’ trick that PP plastics demand.

Before mounting it to the base, I drilled and pinned the legs onto the dog’s body. Usually I prefer to mount on my pinning point before adding spare legs, but the front leg at least was necessary to take the rather heavy weight of the main body. Here you can see it’s starting to sync up, although it might be difficult to ignore the technicolor red and blue plastic and how out of place it seems on the metal. Trust me, it’ll work, you just have to tune your eyes and trust your conversion instincts.

Doggie 2: Electric Boogaloo!  This pup has a less active position due to the nature of the sculpt, so he looks more sedate for now. I’m hoping to fix that with head positioning. Speaking of which . . .


The first cyber-head goes on! Right now I’m using pinning wire and force to position it in a more snarly position. I’ll be filling in the gap with various pipes and hoses, but the first thing is to make sure it syncs up with the opposite head believably.

And here’s his buddy. As I’d hoped, lowering the head gives more of a stalking feel to the model. But what about those pesky necks?

This is a really simple way to simulate hydraulics, by using different sized plastic tubes that fit into each other (giggity?).

In addition to filling the necks with hydraulics, pistons, and pipes, I’m also going to give them each a stubby tail (bull dog reinforcement, and it helps them fit easier on the display piece), as well as one of the pieces specifically requested by Jason. He wanted something that looked like an arc node (bark node, eKaya players!), and I wanted to make sure they tied together with the Butcher himself. The solution? Each of them will be carrying an eStryker pack on their backs. So how did it turn out?

Alpha Dog, the guy snarling from the sandbags about his treats! As I worked on the project, I made sure to dry-fit pieces to keep the flow of the miniature. I wanted something that almost looked like a bristling ruff, further enhancing the meanness of the model. The stubby tail was made with my tentacle maker, just like the hoses, and will be painted as a metal bit.

Beta Doggie! With this pup I had a lot less room to work with pipes and such, but the important thing is to give the feel of a mechanikal neck, which I think I scored on.

The whole family together!

This concludes the build portion of Butcher 3 and his puppies. Hopefully Jason and you folks like what I’ve done with the signature 10th anniversary piece from Warmachine 🙂

Next up: painting! Now I want to take my time and get it right, as this is the last piece of the Stormhammer Brigade under my watch, so it might take more than a week to paint. We’ll see how Halloween and my airbrush treats me!

Until next time, keep converting the world!