Friday, 13 March 2009

Dark Elf Harpists, nay... Harpies

All right, out with it!

Like almost every collector, I have quite a lot of unpainted miniatures (mostly conversions) and virtually no time to paint them.

So instead of hoarding pics of my unfinished projects on my hard drive, I might aswell start sharing WIP pics (with no guarantee that these projects will be completed anytime soon).

Here is a little project I have started a while ago, but, like many others, is currently on hold. For some inexplicable reason, I felt the urge to make some harpies for my tiny dark elf collection, because it sounded like a cool challenge to try and top the "original" GW models.

So I got myself a little box of the newly released Daemonettes, since I thought the models are just PERFECT to represent harpies (with a little conversion of course).

Below you will find some WIP pics of my conversion attempts!

My special thanks go to Alan Preuss, for his generosity. He provided me with A LOT of plastic dryads, which partly found their place in my wood elf army and were partly used for this project.

I hope you enjoy these few modest pics ;)

My 6 plasitc harpies... in the making.

I wanted the bases to reflect the harpie's role in combat. The massive "stone" formations should suggest that Harpies are there to overcome difficult/impassable terrain.

I also imagine them as dwelling in caves, somewhere high up on mountains (who cares what the Dark Elf Codex says, the fluff in there is abysmally unimaginative and badly written anyways :).

The bases are pieces of bark I scratched off a tree. I made sure to take it from the very bottom of the tree and to only remove loose bark to avoid wounding the tree too much. No trees were harmed in the making of these bases! :)

The wings are a bit of a challenge. I don't know if this will work, but so far I am optimistic. I cut out rough wing shapes from cardboard and attached it with a pin/hole system to the torsos.

The bodies are Chaos Daemonettes. The hands are transplanted from Wood Elf Dryads. I added some thumbs where neede as dryads often only have 4 fingers. I think they make pretty cool talons (albeit a little disproportionate).

I intend to reinforce the wings by adding green stuff detail.

[EDIT]: Here's a little tutorial on how I made the Harpie's wings.


Tom said...

awesome work, its really cool to see them worked out in plastic, good job as usual :)


73rd said...

Hello Tom,

I came across your blog whilst searching for Wood Elves online. Really amazing work on here, I'm glad I stopped by! I am hoping to start a wood elf army and am currently switching from 40k to fantasy. Your Wood Elves look amazing and I'm hoping to borrow the idea of Autumn/Winter if you don't mind, to influence the colours of my army. I have had those miniature leaves laying around for god knows how long now and they need a full-time use!

Check out my blog if you get the time, it's

I collect Dark Angels/Necrons right now and that's what my blog is about!

Take care mate, and I look forward to your future projects!


Thomas said...

Thanks for the kind words 73rd! I am happy you enjoyed browsing my blog. No problem at all, feel free to borrow any ideas that you deem worthy :) I'm looking forward to seeing your wood elves.

I checked out your blog. There is some good stuff there. Thanks for the link! Although admittedly, 40K is not so much my cup of tea (although I used to play it a long time ago... and guess what army... Dark Angels).

I will be posting pics of my other projects as soon as I get some time to do so. In the future there will be pics of custom warhawk riders, custom waywatchers, a converted dark elf sorceress, converted dark riders and hopefully some finished harpies! ^^


73rd said...

Dark Angels to Wood Elves? Believe it or not that is the 4th time now I have heard that story. Maybe it's something in the water!

I paid close attention to your Dryad/Wild Riders conversions. They are without a doubt some of the nicest conversions I have seen. I too didn't really take to the GW models for these fellas, and I found a great way to represent them; Centaurs from a range of miniatures called Confrontation by Rackham. A few minor conversions and weapon swaps and they are slowly becoming a good enough unit of Wild Riders, and the bow armed ones become Glade Riders!

I will be making a new blog soon too for my Wood Elves and hope you don't mind me adding your site as a link.

Take care mate,


Thomas said...

I agree that the Wood Elf/Dark Angels combination is more than just a coincidence ^^

Please go ahead and add the link! I'd be happy if you did.

I'm looking forward to seeing your centaur conversions too!

My wild riders were made possible by a friend who sent me a LOT of dryad and horse bits, so I would like to take a second to express - once more - my eternal gratitude to Alan and thank him again for his incredible generosity.

Anonymous said...

hey Tom,

I've stumbled across your blog randomly googling harpy conversions looking for inspiration..

Once I found your example I am really, really impressed! May I ask what thickness of cardboard did you use for the wings? (do they go by millimeters? or grams of density i dont know)

Also, how did you attach your wings to them securely? you mentioned a pinning system... Did you just drill two holes on their backs and attach some paperclip-wire through the cardboard wings, super glue everything and slap on greenstuff for extra strength?

I'd love to see how your finished product turns out ;)

Thomas said...

Hey! Thanks for the kind words! I am happy you like the harpies so far :) I am currently working on painting some models for a friend so the harpies are on hold (although I have made some moderate progress since these pics were taken).

The cardboard is just random stuff I had lying around. It is roughtly 1mm thick. I think you could just as well use normal cereal packet cardboard (don't purchase it extra = waste of money).

Here's a quick description of how I made the wings:

1) I cut out wing-shaped pieces of cardboard and then I superglued a little metal pin (piece of paperclip) to the end where the wings would be attached to the torso.

2) Drill a hole in the body.

3) Instert (glued) the pin+wing construct into it.

4) Proceed to texturing (and masking the pins) with Green Stuff. This takes A LOT of time...

I will post a little tutorial soon to show you how I did this. Hope that helps ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey Tom,

oh wow, thanks for the quick response, that was very useful. :)I look forward to seeing a tutorial!

You sure need to copyright those materials as well to ensure people rightfully credit you when they use it!