Uber-hobbyist Luke Slothower has made a masterpiece that is both beautiful and creepy – just like we like our Nurgle stuff!
Take it away Luke:
I don’t really think the stock Helldrake model was very well suited for a Death Guard army. It has too many clean lines and doesn’t really fit the mold of what a model blessed by Grandfather Nurgle should look like. While trying to come up with ideas I came across the Vampire Lord on a Zombie Dragon model and saw that it had some great rotting features and looked to be about the same scale as the Helldrake. I chose to use the head, neck, ribcage and some of the other miscellaneous bone bitz from the kit.
To start with, I had to trim the neck on the Helldrake by about 2 inches to accommodate the Zombie Dragon’s neck and head. This left a pretty sizable gap, which I filled in with green stuff and made to look like the dripping flesh on the Zombie Dragon bit. This also made it blend in with the rest of the model much better. The bale flamer from the Helldrake fit rather nicely inside the mouth with only minor adjustments needed. Then I glued the ribcage bits to both sides of the upper fuselage. This looked pretty bad as it didn’t really blend in with the model, so I used more green stuff to try and make the armor look organic and scaly. Unfortunately the curve of the ribcage left a large gap underneath the bones, so again I used green stuff to make a putrid kind of slime under the bones to make it appear more full and not just an empty space.
The rest of the work is mostly done by using a pin vice with several different sizes of drill bits to make pock marks throughout the model. I like to do this in patterns to make several pronounced pockets of corrosion on each major part of the model. In some places on the wings, I made sure to drill all the way through to make it appear as if the rust was thoroughly eating away at the surface.
In order to avoid any clean lines on the model, I made sure to clip the sharp edges off of almost every surface and make them appear corroded or rusted. In place of sharp wing tips I added some of the boney bits that came with the Zombie Dragon model. I also used some of the bone bits on the wings to make them appear more organic. I did this by cutting chunks out of the wing and gluing the bit in the hole. Use green stuff to cover up any gaps and blend it into the surface of the model.
On each of the front arms, I decided to add an eye in the middle. After all, how was he supposed to see if the eyes in his head had rotted out. I also use the eyes on some of my other, larger pieces in my army. Use green stuff to roll out a small ball and let it dry completely. Glue the ball to where you want the eye then sculpt green stuff over the ball making sure to keep a pronounced eye lid. I also use the green stuff balls to make little zits and buboes on the model. It makes it appear a little more yucky and gross.
In Progress Snapshots: