A project I’ve been thinking about for as long as the Wolf Lords has been completed. Here is a run through of how I made The Grand Annulus.
After the Wolf Lords were done I was contemplating doing the Grand Annulus again. Since the last time I’d thought about it a few more pieces of the puzzle had come about.
There was the original art for a long time now (maybe 5th edition?). I’ve stared at this thing A LOT over the years.
More recently was this piece. It’s not definitely but to me they are having a meeting on the Grand Annulus.
As I had the Wolf Lords done I had a renewed urge to make this. My plan for years was make it out of circular cake boards. But I think I can’t have liked that plan too much as I didn’t get started. I did a shout out with this pic for ideas on twitter. In the back of my mind I had some AoS bits in mind but wasn’t sure on sizing. Xavier St Amand suggested the Sigmarite Dais.
It seemed about right so I went into my local GW to get a better look at it. Only me and the manager in there so he showed me a built one on an AoS board. We had a good look at it, the pillars are optional and crucially it seemed big enough. I bought it there and then and consider myself very fortunate as it was the last week before the lockdown.
When I got it home almost the first thing I did was get those Wolf Lords standing on it as a test.
Looked about right now I needed to get the design right.
Already started cutting into it in this picture. But my initial idea was to put 13 plasticard slabs on top of the design. But on closer inspection I could see there was a metal ring holding the stones in place on the sculpt already. When I counted up the little holding spikes there were 26 of them. This meant 2 per slab on the annulus. I couldn’t believe the coincidence (13 being such a large prime number). So I knew I had to keep the feature, if for no other reason than it was a massive geometric help for me to get the slabs the correct size!
The other feature on the sculpt not present in the artwork were some visible cogs to indicate a disk mechanism.
The annulus may not turn for 1000 years (duration of a Great Wolf). But it does turn so the mechanism seemed appropriate to keep, another great coincidence.
The slab shapes were carved in with a hobby knife as well as the large Fenrisian runes. The non Fenrisian runes were filled in. The stone slabs were made from miliput. I put plastic gloves on and smoothed it down with my thumb. I found I could make nice smooth rock and if I dragged my thumb across the surface some nice rock texture too.
To achieve some of the details I tried my hand at press moulding. The gem stones and the skull design were from moulds. The skull design is a large diamond shape with a large skull put on top. I wasn’t sure whether to paint the Company Badges on or try to make them out of GS. I thought I’d give it a go and see how they came out. The floor design of Logan’s Chariot came in very useful and got copied over and over to make the rings. I even made a mould, cut the print and fixed it up and made a new mould to duplicate 12 times.
I then needed to decide if I was going to still paint the Company Badges or go sculpted.
Around this time Warbringer was testing out his new 3D printer. So he offered to draw them out on the computer and give it a go printing them.
They came out fantastic. This was a game changer. I decided to make moulds of them so I could play around and not ruin the originals.
To match the artwork they had to slightly overlap the rings. The green stuff gave me a bit of freedom to cut and position them. I was able to stretch them out slightly like pizza dough if they were too small.
The middle ring was really stretched out as it came from the same mould. So next up was painting it.
The main decisions I had to make was to make the rings flaky like the art and the outer ring I decided to do gold. This doesn’t appear in the original art at all.
I also decided to try and recreate the other artwork with all the wolf lords standing on the Grand Annulus.
You can’t see all the Wolf Lords from any particular angle so I also made a little video.
As soon as I started this project it had a real momentum. This has been such a big idea for me for years I almost can’t believe I’m on this side of the finished project.