Monday, November 16, 2015

Sgt. Harker Revisited

While Sgt. Harker may have been nerfed in the most recent Astra Militarum Codex he's still a badass and I always run him with my veteran squad. Today's post is a republishing of a very old page I made dedicated to my custom Sgt. Harker project.

Why buy a character figure when you can make your own?  I'm sure there are plenty of good reasons out there but for the sake of this project let's just pretend there aren't.  Yeah Games Workshop makes a Sgt. Harker figure, but I wasn't in the mood for that.  You see I had lot of extra Catachan Infantry lying around and a whole lot of bits to play with so I went about making my own. 

I started with a standard Catachan Infantryman.  I chose the bare chested torso with legs which were in a bracing position.  Since Sgt. Harker is carrying a Heavy Bolter he was going to have to brace himself for both the weight and recoil.  One arm was a standard Catachan trigger arm and the other was a Catachan arm extending a sword.

Using a hobby knife I trimmed off the rifle butt from the trigger arm, the sword from the extending arm and carved away the ammo pouches and straps from the torso.

Next using Apoxie Sculpt I began bulking up the muscles.  In order to get a good shape for the neck and shoulders the head was glued in place.

For Sgt. Harker's heavy bolter I salvaged one from a Catachan Heavy Weapons Team.  It was a little long so I trimmed it down using my miter box.  I then smoothed out some spots with the hobby knife and added an aquila to the front facing side using apoxie sculpt.  I also drilled out the barrel and vents.  This is an important part which a lot of people overlook.  Simply painting black dots where holes should be is just tacky!

At first the ammo belt stumped me.  After looking at some different examples of heavy bolters I decided I'd make mine in the style of the Space Marines.  I measured the width of the chamber on the heavy bolter and trimmed numerous pieces of 3/32" styrene tubing to fit.  I then affixed these tube sections to a long thin strip of masking tape I had cut to be roughly 1/3 the width of the tubes.  This allowed the belt to remain flexible until glued into place.  After the tube sections had been wrapped down the middle with masking tape, the lengths were a little nonuniform.  I evened them out with a few passes over an emery board.  If I had it to do again I would have created the bolter before I did my sculpting.  Because the sculpting was already finished I was limited in how I could position the bolter and drape the ammo belt.  I ended up with layout seen here.

The shoulder strap with ammo pouches was created using Apoxie Sculpt for the belt, salvaged bits for the ammo pouches and sheet styrene for the buckle.  A sword and sheath were positioned in the middle of the back

You can also see here the addition of the forward arm.  A little more Apoxie Sculpt was used to create a forward handle for the bolter.

I finished bulking up the muscles and repositioned the head.  It had been buried in his neck.  I think now he looks like Sgt. Harker, not just a Catachan Infantryman with extra muscle.

Additional ammo pouches were added to his waist.  These were carved from scrap sprues.

I'd have to say for my first major sculpt I'm pretty satisfied. Due to the difficulty in obtaining accurate detail in Apoxie Sculpt I would choose Kneadatite in the future, but Apoxie Sculpt has served me well for small applications as well as adding bulk. The tape and tube styrene worked like a charm for the ammo belt and I will definitely be using that technique again.

A close up of the heavy bolter. The aquila was sculpted with Apoxie Sculpt using a dental pick.
A close up of where the shoulder strap meets the heavy bolter. It was sculpted using Apoxie Sculpt. The bracket was made using sheet styrene.
These ammo pouches were carved from scrap sprues.

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