Make Kaauri Short Again

Home, Painting & Modelling

I think everyone has noticed that the Kaauri are far too tall to be Silhouette 1, and I decided to shorten mine.  So at the elbowing of Perseus on the official forum, and catching a fever yesterday and therefore having the time to do it, I finally made some shortened Kaauri.  This is a pretty easy conversion that you should be able to do with basic hobby tools.

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So yeah, Kaauri are really tall by default.  A little shorter than the modern sculpt scale…

…but not nearly short enough to justify S1.  What to do?  My original thought was to cut off their little waist, to give an Oddworld-esque munchkin appearance.  Once I had my hands on the models (which was like 2 months ago), I saw a couple problems with that plan.  1, the arms would collide with the legs, especially on the Combi version.  2, the waists have fantastic detail, and it would be a waste to remove.

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So I decided to cut down both legs.  What we’re doing here is cutting off the kneecaps entirely, right below the boxy bit on the thigh; and cutting out 90% of the calf musculature.

I also wanted to swap the Boarding Shotgun for the Sniper Rifle, since I think the Boarding Shotgun is an expensive waste next to the SMG/Nanopulsers loadout.  So we’ll be doing the Sniper conversion here, too.

The knee horns package separately, and I do not use them here.  I hate Tohaa knee horns, so into the Spare Parts Bag they went.

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First part is the scary part:  cut the legs off at the knee.  You want to cut in such a way that you leave the boxy part of the thigh, and make a flat incision for the new knee to fit over.  Cut and sand away the calf musculature, until you have a nice boxy socket behind the shinguard.  The top of the shinguard will be the Kaauri’s new knee.

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Using a dremel or hobby drill, make two aligned holes on the thigh and calf.  You can do it by hand, but a clamp, vise, or panavise to hold down the little leg while you work is strongly recommended.

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Your holes should align closely, and should be at least 1mm deep.  If you’re newer to conversions and using a hand-spun hobby drill like me, note that you don’t need to push very hard on the drill.  The pewter is pretty soft stuff, and you don’t want to bend or abuse the drill (nor punch through the other side of the model) by overworking the drill.

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If they’re off center, you can use a spar of soft flange metal discarded from the model, instead of a snipped paper clip as usual, to work the socket of the two together.  Use whatever hobby glue you like, there should be more than enough roughing on the legs to keep the bond secure.

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Next, the sniper rifle.  You have a sniper rifle left over from your Hatail, right?  Cut the two guns in the spots highlighted above.

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Make the handle of the sniper rifle into a male bit for the attachment.  Drill a female socket into the grip of what was the boarding shotgun.  Make sure to clean this part of the model nicely before you try to glue them together.

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If all goes well, they fit together perfectly!  No one will know differently. 🙂

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Assemble to model, and voilà.

I’ll note that I did greenstuff some padding in the sniper rifle armpit, to make sure it doesn’t contact the ground.  Likewise, you might decide to pose it more aggressively, or take the conversion further and put both hands on the rifle.  This was good enough for me, though.

Now you have an extra Boarding Shotgun for that Vulkan Ectros conversion!

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Same story on the Combi Kaauri legs.  I actually quite like this one’s pose, and I think the Combi/Nimbus pheroware profile is useful, so all I did here was shorten him at the legs.

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And hey ho, one more cutened, shortened Kaauri.

20161015_120523The result puts Kaauris more than a head shorter than Silhouette 2, if you disregard the head horns.  You might even cut the horns off–I considered it, but decided I like how they look with horns on.  They’re angled oppositely to the “Holdaan Hornbeast” horns, so they offset themselves nicely from other Tohaa models.  The surgery is largely unnoticeable and doesn’t really require greenstuff, and does indeed make Kaauri look cuter.  If you’re a more professional hobbyist than I, you’ll likely decide to smoothen out the leg connection.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty easy conversion that should take less than an hour.

Thanks again for the nudge, Perseus

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