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Winged Wood Elf Queen

If you're a Wood Elf general you'll know there aren't many minis out there to represent the queen of your natureloving woodkin elves. Sure, there have been several metal incarnations of LOTR's Galadriel, but none I really liked. The concept of GW's Wood Elf queen was not a bad one, but the mini itself didn't strike any high chords, she just looked too plain to be an elf. No, the only way I was going to have the elf queen miniature I wanted, was if I converted it myself...

The first task was to find a suitable model as the base for our queen. As it so happened, I had a very nice Ral Partha "Goddess of Love" miniature that would be perfect for the part.

The mini is part of their "Heroes and Horrors" range, catalog code: 01-008 and is still available from Iron Wind Metals in the US or Ral Partha Europe in the UK...

Naturally, there were many factors involved in selecting this miniature. Her features are already very elven to begin with and her flowing hair and long legs add a sense of majesty to the whole.

What's more, this miniature is almost 50mm tall and is bound to stand out amidst your regular wood elf troops. Another reason is of course the fact that I already had it in my possession...

Now, I also wanted her to have fairy-style wings. These were graciously donated by an unsuspecting Crucible Wild Elf fairy. The actual fairy was safely put away for a later conversion. Of course there are other wings you could use (Fairymeat comes to mind). The wings in the picture to the left are not the ones that were actually used (you can see those on the finished model), but are from the same set.

The other things you'll need to get started are green stuff, superglue and a pin vise. The latter is not mandatory but recommended if you want your wings to stay on the miniature.

The best thing to begin with, after cleaning mold lines, is to decide where you want to have the wings and then drill the holes. Make sure they're in the right spot by dry-fitting the wings to the model. If you plan on doing no further conversions to the miniature, you may glue the wings in place now.

When you examine your work you will notice that the natural flow of the model's hair has been interrupted by the wings. It's time to get out the greenstuff to resculpt some of the hair in the affected area to make it appear as though it's flowing more naturally around the protruding wings. Basically, the sculpting is done by drawing fine lines with a (wet) needle on a (very) small amount of greenstuff. It is best to wait until the putty has cured just a little bit. Sculpting hair on fresh putty can be a real pain. Just dont wait too long or you'll find that it hardened already and you'll have to start over.

While I was doing this, I also added the tip of a pointy ear peaking through her hair. I only did the right ear as she's running her fingers through her hair on the other side. Naturally, none of this shows up in the pictures. [#&@%!]

You can stop here, if you're wise enough to know when not to push your luck Further modifications are possible, but not really necessary.

Personally, having no common sense at all, I naturally decided to continue. What I had in mind for this model was for her to be in midspell, receiving energy from the living nature all around her. To illustrate this, I decided to sculpt a flowery plant, lovingly winding itself around her leg. I started with adding the vines (thin snakes of greenstuff), and when this had cured, I (tried to) sculpt some flowers. For this I started by sticking a small ball of greenstuff to the leg, flattening it and outlining the center of the flower. The individual petals were then separated, while I tried to slightly curve them upwards on some flowers to make it look like they were just opening up. Not exactly what I hoped to achieve, but it will do. Lastly, I added some small leaves here and there to finish it. Used sculptingtools: needle and cocktailstick. [Real sculpting tools are in the mail] [Honestly!]

Another thing I wanted to change was her staff. You could very well use the one that comes with the miniature, but I wanted to personalise her some more, so I decided to make one from scratch.

The main body is a straight length of copper wire. The stone on the tip was carved out of a piece of plastic sprue and attached to the staff. The wire was covered in greenstuff (not too much or you'll have her carry a small three around and that's not very practical). The greenstuff was then attacked with a fine needle to give it a wood texture, much like the hair-repair earlier. It doesn't show up well in the picture, but it's there. As you can see in the picture the copper is poking through on the lower end, which I will have to fix with some more putty. When this first layer hardened, some vines were added. I will go back to this later and maybe add some small leaves as well.

To be continued...



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