I’ve finally finished my own Skullgrinder conversion, and here he is in all of his brutal glory.
According to their fluff, the Skullgrinders are the blacksmiths of Khorne’s armies, and when in combat they wield the very anvils they use to forge blades as massive flails.
Personally, I think the idea is awesome. Imagining the kind of damage that a daemon aided warrior can do with such a weapon is frankly hilarious. I imagine the effect that it would have on enemy soldiers would be a lot like Sauron’s mace from the Fellowship of the Ring. Every swing of the anvil would create massive shockwaves sending soldiers of Order flying every which way.
In a previous post I mentioned that since Gorechosen included the official Skullgrinder, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue with my conversion. I ended up finishing the conversion rather than changing him to something else because the original model has some serious flaws in it’s execution. The problem I have with the official model is that the “anvil” doesn’t look anything like an actual anvil at all. Even taking into consideration the magical/daemonic nature of the weapon, it still just doesn’t have the look of an anvil. Sure, it’s a large chunk of metal, but there’s not a single flat surface to be found. An anvil is used as a surface for red hot steel to be drawn-out and shaped. Shaping the steel requires a flat surface so the smith’s hammer can do it’s work. So, are they any possible areas on the Skullgrinders anvil that could be used? Well, the sides of the anvil are decorated with symbols of Khorne so they’re out. The bottom has one end of the chain build in so that’s out too. The only other place it could be is the top, but there’s a giant frikken spike sticking out of the top. There’s not a single spot where any kind of effective smithing could be done. The anvil is bad enough, and if the bad design of the anvil wasn’t enough the hammer attached to the belt of the official Skullgrinder has a raised symbol of Khorne on it’s striking face surrounded by spikes. It’s even more important that the hammer have a flat striking surface than it is on an anvil.
Obviously this is kind of nickpicky. We’re talking about semi-daemonic blacksmiths who forge intrinsically evil and bloodthirsty daemon weapons for an army of rage-fueled cannibals. I am fully aware of how ridiculous my gripes may be to some people. My other hobby is blacksmithing, and the lack of thought put into the official model bothers me. Because of this oversight, I chose to finish my own Skullgrinder conversion to address my gripes with what is otherwise a fantastic model. The first step was to fashion something that actually looked like an anvil to attach to the end of the chain on my model.
I took two of the large gargoyle heads from the Chaos Rhino sprue to use as a base. I filled the bottom gap between the gargoyles with a piece of plasticard to provide the chain a solid attachment point, and a flat surface for the anvil to rest upon. I imagine that when the anvil being used for smithing, the pedestal the anvil rests on has a gap where the chain may hang down so that it doesn’t prevent the anvil from remaining flat. I then took another piece of plasticard and cut one end of it into a narrow point. This point formed to upper surface of the anvil’s horn. Once the upper surface had been glued to the gargoyles, I used greenstuff to fill in the gaps in the body of the anvil. I then used a diamond file to shape the top of the horn into it’s typical rounded shape. Whew! Once I had the basic anatomy of a London style anvil established, I took two small Khorne symbols from the wonderful Chaos Forsaken kit and added one to each side of the anvil. Paired with the gargoyle heads the end result is a distinctively Chaos flavored anvil ready to be added to my Skullgrinder.
The next part that I felt was absolutely necessary to correct on the official model was the hammer hanging from it’s belt. This piece took a lot less work. I took one of the hammers from the Chaos Forsaken kit (I cannot express how incredible this kit is, and how heartbroken I was when I found out that it’s now discontinued. *tears*) I removed the head of the hammer and attached it to the handle from one of the small hand axes included in the Warthmongers kit. This last choice was simply because I needed a handle that didn’t have a hand already built into the piece, and I really didn’t want to spend the time to scratch build a handle. The hammer’s head did have a spike in it’s face so I cut it away and smoothed out the hammer’s face to give it a good striking surface for smithing.
Now that I’ve completed the converted model, I’m going to be playing around with the official model to see what I can do to fix the problems I have with it. I’m going to avoid doing a complete swap out of the official model’s “anvil” because I actually do like the general feel of it. Instead, I’m challenging myself to salvage the base piece, and turn it into something that makes more sense while preserving the feel of the original. Wish me luck!