In this installment of Hobby Heresy I will be going through the creation of a liche. These undead necromancers have long played a part in Warhammer lore, with Nagash and Arkhan the Black being the most famous. The inspiration for this build was from a couple of illustrations in the third edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook. This character will be a stand-in for a necromancer in a Soulblight Gravelords army.
The base for this build is Octren Glimscry from cursed city. His robes are slightly tattered and his posture is hunched with thin proportions. His tomes and scrolls also seem like the kind of thing containing the forbidden knowledge a liche would possess.
To start with his cowl was shaved back enough to fit a modified head from the skeleton warriors kit. This head had the dangling fabric beside the face that calls back to the artwork. The back of the skull was cut off and the helmet detail shaved down to leave a pointed crown.
With that done the next step was to add the armored plate around his shoulders. This is a classic style preference of these undead wizards. The bits used are from an Ossiarch Bonereapers Liege-Kavalos. (I picked up most of the sprue minus mount on eBay for pretty cheap, the leftovers from someone else’s hobby project. Most bonereaper characters and infantry have similar armor.) I cut the shoulder pieces from the chest with a jewelers saw and cut back the hood and cowl on the body with a blade till the armor could slot on nicely, particularly behind the book. You will notice later that the spines are removed. I really like the way it looks and wanted to keep them on, but found it was just too busy and threw off the proportions.
Next up is getting some skeleton hands on there. This hand is from the older Skeleton Warriors kit that was replaced last year. The spear was cut off, hand off wrist, then cut in half down the middle leaving the back of the hand free. The original hand on the book was carefully cut off with an xacto knife. New bone hand was then attached with plastic cement.
His left hand holding staff was replaced with a hand from a Grave Guard great weapon. Initially I glued the left arm on there so there would be wrist bones for the hand, then the weapon was cut off. Octren’s hand was clipped cleanly from the staff, leaving two parts. Using a hobby drill, a hole was made all the way through the bit of weapon haft left in the skeleton hand, big enough to slot the two parts of the staff in. Once it was reassembled and glued, the arm was cut off behind the wrist, with a similar angle to the original hand.
To finish off the staff the orb was cut out and replaced with this little skull bit. I’m not sure where it’s from, but likely Tomb Kings though. A bag from the Grave Guard kit (with knife carved off) was hung from the strings where the rune was. It’s probably full of mummy dust. Greenstuff was used to blend the staff and skull bit, and to tie on the bag.
Next up is his collar. This was a segment cut from the crest of some sort of beast, another bit I found in a pile of stuff.
At this point I have also switched up the head. It’s another one from the older skeleton warriors kit. I preferred the open mouth and nose guard this one had. It had the extra ornamentation cut off. The strips hanging down along the face on the previous skull were perfect though so they were taken off with the jewelers saw and cemented to the same spots on the new one, with a little cutting make space to fit.
The final step was to sculpt the remaining armor and headdress with greenstuff. For the armor I followed the lines from the shoulders and had it curve down the back. The head was built up into a dome shape and when that had cured a crest (similar to one in the reference images) was made for the front. The head was mounted on a bit of paperclip then superglued into a hole that had been drilled in the neck of torso. Finally a thin strip of greenstuff was draped around the back and sides of head to be fabric hanging down and resting on the armor.
Here he is painted up. I’ve come to really like the look of cloth painted with a transition from zandri dust to screaming skull, with some incubi darkness shading. It’s how I will do the cloth for this army along with weathered copper/bronze for the metals.
If you have any questions or comments (or know what the unidentified bits are!) feel free to drop a comment below or email us at email@example.com.