From Balrog to Skarbrand, a custom transfiguration by White Metal Games

Greetings fellow wargamers!  Since the Balrog figured was released by GW post the LOTR release, it’s always been one of those figures near and dear to my heart.  The Balrog itself is intimidating enough.  The figure is posed mid stride, fire literally marking it’s passage.  And for $50 some odd dollars, even by today’s standard it’s a pretty fair price for the size of the figure.  GW did another smart thing when they sold the balrog wings for individual sale.  I can’t begin to tell you how many sets of wings I’ve used for transfigurations over the years. 

 I knew I wanted to try my hand at a counts as Skarbrand.  He’s an iconic figure and I love working on daemons.  The balrog was the natural starting point. 

 I suppose I should have swapped his feet for hooves, but any good conversion is also a study in budget, so to keep matter cheap, I just left his cloven feet along.  I swapped the wings for these worn out leathery bat wings from a heroclix model called Su-Bak-Na.  I felt the scale was pretty good, maybe a bit smaller, but perhaps the wings have atrophied through lack of use . . .  .

For the horns I wanted something BIG, like Legend with Tom Cruise big.  So I went to the Cygor kit.  The cygor comes with like 4 sets of horns, so there are tons left over for conversion.  Then I moved the balrog horns lower down the face to create the 2nd set of horns featured in the concept art in the codex/army book.

 The right axe is simple a Daemon Prince axe with an extra blade added to the back from the same bit.  Pretty easy stuff.  The left axe is a Khorne icon attached to a spare autocannon barrel, with a gargoyle head added to the barrel.  I actually carved out a niche int he barrel to insert the icon,then glued it into place.

 I used spare bits of Daemon Prince armor to give him some leggings and vambraces.  A heat gun heled met to fit the belts in place around his ankles, as well as bend his fingers around the haft of that autocannon barrel. 

 His shoulder pads are two canopies from some spare Eldar kits I had used for other conversions.  I added the icon, then glued on some spawn bits (drool and tentacles) to simulate blood on his armor.   A little grey stuff helped to blend it all together and complete the effect.

 At this wait I wrapped some jewelers chain, then used the heat gun again to bend a chaos chain around his front torso.  Some spare plastic cloak from an action figure was used as a loin cloth.  I actually built a breast plate too, but it never looked great so I left it off altogether.

 For his shoulders I actually had my first shot at sculpting muscles. Mostly in the past I’ve just filled gaps, but as I get older and more confident I am willing to try more and more ambitious sculpting ventures.  Actually they weren’t that bad.  I just applied sausages and balls of grey stuff in ideal places and then smoothed them into place using some solvent. 

 The hardest part was probably getting the front arms to fit into place between the now ‘comically’ big shoulder muscles and the arm socket.  I actually hard to remove part of the muscle and resculpt it just to get the arms back into position.  Whoops. 

 I left the fiery mane, but plan to paint it as black fur when I paint this bad boy in a few weeks. 

 I also had to clip the rock from the Balrog’s right foot (left in the below picture) to get him back on to the base.  For some reason his legs were a bit warped and didn’t want to fit snuggly.  Fortunately, his right left fit fine, so I just used a little base decoration from this C.o.D kit to cover the gap.

 From the top down. . .

 And now in scale.  That marine doesn’t stand a chance. 

 My name is Caleb and I run and operate White Metal Games.  Be sure to check us out and if you are interested in setting up a commission, contact us at [email protected].  And until then, PUT YOUR MINIS WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS! 

Caleb, WMG