Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Lady's Gardeners - WIP

EDIT: The finished unit can be found HERE.

This Sunday I have a big converting project to share, some Sylvaneth Dryads.

Years ago I came up with the idea of introducing some visceral, flesh-horror themes (think John Carpenter's "The Thing") in my collection - mostly in the 'Dwellers of the Bog' faction - and the first example of that were the Flying Horrors. Now I am going back to this topic, bringing you some progress on the Lady's Gardeners - Dryads 'blessed' by the Lady of the Bog.

I always liked this kit and wanted to do something with it, especially when I decided to make my army forest-themed - but they didn't work in my undead army at all. Only later when my painting became less about creating a valid army and more about creating my own themes I have found a place for those tree ladies. I thought of them as foul parodies of real Dryads, pieces of wood which the Lady forces into movement through flesh-bending magic and uses them as horrifying guardians in her realm.

Thanks to that I had a lot of possibilities when converting them, adding various fleshy and bony bits that I found in my box and sculpting tentacles and other fleshy appendages. For the faces, they have just the Lady's sigil carved into them. The only irritating part of the kit were the mold lines - removing them from all the branches was worse than scraping them off ribcages!

Here are them all together. Only one picture because unpainted and in those numbers, they are quite a mess:

20-model strong unit of unpainted, converted Sylvaneth Dryads miniatures.

And the close-ups on the singular Gardeners:

Closeups of 20 singular models of converted Sylvaneth Dryads miniatures for AoS, converted to incorporate various fleshy appendages and spines.


Recently I thought that I could make those WIP posts a little more interesting by actually showing the sculpting progress and the techniques that I used.

Here I decided to show how I made the one on the bony 'stilts', probably my favorite from the bunch. I started with cutting the limbs at the knees and elbows, drilling holes inside them, gluing thin brass rods inside and securing them at the connection with small amounts of milliput - mostly because those rods tend to rotate inside their holes after fiddling with them too much and milliput helps to prevent that.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing thin brass wire being used as a 'skeleton' for later use of putty

After that, I create a mixture of greenstuff and milliput (ratio 1:2) to sculpt the bony horns. In 'reality' They are supposed to be hard, bony material, so using milliput-heavy mix makes the sculpting more convincing and also much easier to sand afterward.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing first, thick and uneven application of milliput and greenstuff on the limbs

Using that much milliput made it more difficult to sculpt it properly, so I sanded it to smooth, sharp finish - exactly how I envision bony protrusions on creatures such as this one.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing the sculpted limbs after sanding, smooth and sharp

And finally, I used pure greenstuff to sculpt some fleshy connection between the spikes and the wooden body of the Dryad. I was making thin pieces of putty, which I was then 'draping' them over the joints, adding additional ridges or stretching them with the sculpting tool as needed.

WIP photo of the conversion of a Sylvaneth Dryad, showing final stage of the process, where thin strips of greenstuff were used to connect the sculpted limbs with the plastic body.


  1. Na topie mrocznych sylvanethów!

    1. Planuję ich bardzo mrocznych, mam nadzieję, że będzie ich widać na tym tle!