Well, this only took a few months. More like half a year. Pathetic, isn’t it? Sad as it is to say, these guys have been sitting half-done on my cutting mat the whole time.
So, the basic bodies are done. What I need now are weapons.
The ripper guns weren’t that hard. I wanted to stick to the combat shotgun idea from the Imperial Guard codex, but I didn’t have a problem with them looking a little simplistic and Ogryn-friendly. My previous Ogre-Ogryn conversion (for my Penal Legion) had used the autocannon magazine on the side, but I wanted to see if I could make something that looked more like an industrial Thompson sub-machine gun.
The most notable part of a Tommy gun (and a ripper gun) is the ammunition drum. I played around with a few ideas, including building the drums from scratch. What I finally decided on was gluing together a pair of old Fantasy shields. It gave a size and depth to the drum that I liked, plus some tiny details around the edges.
The main body/barrel of the ripper gun is 3/16” tubing. I cut a 1/4” section and then a 1/2” section. These would go on either side of my magazine. On the shorter, back half, I also added a wheel hub to serve as a machined-looking butt to the weapon.
Then I took some 1/8” wide plastic and cut a 7/8”strip. This would be the top of my ripper gun and help tie the whole thing together, both visually (it helps hide the fact that a few of the front and back pieces don’t line up perfectly) and structurally (it was going to serve as a sort of spine for the next bit). I lined it up to the back so any excess hung out over the end of the barrel.
I made a few 1/4” squares and put them on either side of the rear section, placing them so they “connected” to the top strip. This gave a bit more bulk to the body of the ripper gun. I put 1/4” x 1/8” pieces on the front, also lined up with the top strip and butting up against the magazine. It gave the whole thing a nice, solid look. I finished it off with a thin strip along each edge and a 1/16” strip along the top.
The last touch was to cut a 3/8” piece of 1/8” tubing and slide it in the front of the ripper gun to give it a muzzle. I left 1/8” sticking out and filed it a bit to make it perpendicular to the barrel. I toyed with the idea of putting iron sights on the front of the muzzle, but for the moment I’ve decided against it. Since ripper guns are made exclusively for Ogryns, I can’t see them being manufactured with any level of accuracy in mind. I may change my mind at the last minute before priming, though.
Next step was to mount the weapons on the Ogryns. The Ogres come with a lot of large, square blades that look a lot like machetes, and I like that look for Ogryns who were going to be in the jungle. Since those blades are all right-handed, I had the choice of making all the ripper guns left-handed, or doing a lot of modeling work to switch everyone’s hands around. I decided to stick with machetes on the right, rippers on the left—mostly because I like how this works with a lot of the arm poses (which are pretty inflexible on the Ogres)
(keen-eyed readers may note one of those is a right hand. I did a cool knife bit with the Ogre musician hand, so I had to put that ripper on the opposite side. The other option would’ve been having it slung over said Ogryn’s shoulder, but that would’ve involved building a sling and a trigger mechanism and, well, I didn’t want to do all that and have it come out half-assed. Plus it’d leave me with the oddness of what to put in the other hand...)
I cut the weapons away from the hands and filed them flat above and below the fist. I tried to make sure the flat sections were parallel, so I could add a base to the grip (just a little square of plastic) that would line up. This is one of those subtle little things that can really gnaw at you if you get it wrong, and it’ll take forever to figure out why.
Helpful Hint – I attached the fists to the bodies before I attached them to the weapons. Most of the Ogre arms are tight against the torso and I didn’t want to risk attaching the hand to the weapon at a point where it would prevent me from attaching that whole assembly to the body. So hand to body and then weapon to hand.
Ogryns get frag grenades, but all the standard grenades look ridiculously small on them. So I tried to think what a group of near-feral abhumans would use. Oh, sure, they might just use oversized frag grenades, and I even had an Inquisitor-scale grenade, but I thought it’d look a little weird to only have one model in the squad with a visible grenade. Plus, I wanted something that would sell their borderline bestiality with something a little more fun.
As it turned out, the answer was right there on the Ogre sprues. Bear traps. They’re big, primitive, fit into the jungle setting well, and... well, let’s be honest. They work as frag grenades. If someone throws half a dozen open bear traps at you, you’re sure as hell going to put your head down.
I also added a bit of random greenery from different Fantasy sets onto the bases. Especially for a jungle-themed army, I find the big empty swaths of base are kind of distracting. I find these leaves and weeds all the time in the bitz bins (I think they’re from Wood Elf sets, or maybe Dryads), and this is a great use for them.
I tried to pick some of the less-crazy Ogre heads. Even so, I filed down a lot of the weird bumps and pins on their heads. I’m toying with the idea of using a little bit of green stuff and making simple bandanas on them. It would tie them to the Catachans even more... and also give me some more time to consider those iron sights.
But, there they are. A good-sized squad of Ogryns for about a third the price it would cost to buy as many actual figures. If I’d been able to work on them straight through, this was maybe three days of non-intensive work. I might toss up a picture later once they’re primed and have some basic colors on them.
Next time (which will be, I swear to God, in one week) I’ll show you how some friends and I whipped up a bunch of good-looking, dirt cheap scenery in just a few hours.