Friday, 28 December 2012

Be on your guard. There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.

Never a truer word has been spoken. I certainly qualify as foul, but there is one who watches, and waits. Whether directed by Sauron's will,or just by chance, its many writhing tentacles beset the Fellowship at the West Gates of Moria, uprooting the ancient holly trees like they were twigs and barring the doors shut. The Watcher in the Water.

Where it came from, nobody knows, save that it can overland to the lake formed by a dammed stream in Hollin. I like to think it dragged itself out the West Gate after the lake formed, the idea of it squeezing it's slimy form through the ancient city up from whatever dark pool it spawned it just fascinates me, drawn like all evil things to the call of The Ring, and I like to think that maybe Gollum knew of its existence, maybe even tried to catch it once before realising his mistake and using the precious to escape.

The kit itself being in Finecast doesn't really bother me. There's been enough improvement in the cast quality over the past... however long it has been, to give me a bit of confidence in the stuff. I was more worried about the mold lines than bubbles when I opened up the box. The textured skin and odd curvatures made it very hard to get rid of the lines completely. On the textured undersides of the tentacles I gave up entirely - there it just no way to remove them without taking all the sculpted ribbing away too. Fortunately the lines weren't very noticeable there.

The kit comes in 19 components - the monsters back, its belly and tail, the head, six legs, eight tentacles, and two rocks with dwarf bodies on them for the base. I had initially hoped these rocks weren't going to be important because they lack the natural rocklike texture I'd have liked, but they are necessary because of the holes for pinning the feet to (well, actually just foot 1 and foot 5, but they're guides for the rest.

After cleaning off the components I gave it a dry fitting. Boiled water, left for seven minutes was hot enough to soften the larger components and remove or minimise most of the gaps to a satisfactory level. Rubber bands to hold the back and belly together, and iced water to harden it all once the gaps were gone. Simple enough procedure. This video (though not the same model) gives a good guide for this process:

A 6/10 for the actual casting of the model - the alignment of the two halves of the mold really needs to be checked at GW, and the issues from things like that have been bothering me on too many models.

When it comes to assembling models, I consider myself to be quite experienced - more or less a given fact after 8 years collecting - so I was rather shocked that I found the Watcher as difficult to assemble as I did. Some parts were easy enough - gluing the back to the belly and the head onto them - but the spider legs and tentacles were straight out of a nightmare. They're fiddly enough parts at the best of times with their thinness and length, but I couldn't be at all sure that I had un-warped them properly. I stuck on the legs before the tentacles, and when I did so, I found that they raised the back end of the beast about one and a half centimeters off the base, which would have been fine if I had planned to put the creature under a whole lot of model water. It bugged me so much that I put the whole assembly (minus the tentacles) back into hot water and forced it into the shape I wanted. Now some of the legs are warped back to how they were when I opened the box, but at least it's all sitting right.

The instructions say that you can attach the tentacles to any of the slots on the face. A nice idea, for sure, but in practice some tentacles fit with some slots better than others, and even then some of the gaps are quite large, given their inaccessible nature.

Some more WIP shots:

The model also barely fits onto the base, so you really need to have the rocks as far forward as possible to maximise the available base space behind them.

A few more dabs of liquid greenstuff and I'll be ready to paint it. Over the last decade I've seen a lot of people wanting elven cavalry. I've always wanted the Watcher more, and I can't wait to paint him. Not sure if he'll jump the line ahead of Legolas, Gimli and the Council though.

Until next time, may the wind beneath your wings bear you to where the sun sails and the moon walks! 

No comments:

Post a Comment