Last month, I put together a list of manufacturers who supply alternative models for boneswords (along with some other conversions for the same). Today, I figured I’d go a little into depth on the option I went with for my Lashwhips (or is it lash whips?).
Like my boneswords, I also got the whips from Paulson Games. Now, they don’t call them by that name, instead refering to them as “Alien Tendril Whips,” (to avoid any copyright infringement, I’m sure), but it’s painfully clear what they’re intended for. Before going with them, I’d researched other options, including those by Chapterhouse and conversion ideas from BoLS, but I went for Paulson’s for a couple of reasons:
- I really liked the BoLS solution, but it did require more converting than I wanted to do, and also required me to butch up a ripper for each whip. The biggest advantage of converting my own would seem to be the cost savings, but this solution didn’t seem to be particularly cheap (though they do look sweet). Between the money and time investment, I figured I’d find a cheap alternative.
- Chapterhouse’s solution, like many out there–even Paulson’s for that matter–are sold as a series of long straight bits (And sculpted by Navarro, so that’s a definite plus). I failed to grasp how to bend them, and thought they’d look silly standing errect. Paulson’s site had clear instructions though, telling you to heat them up in sub-boiling water to bend them.
- I’d already purchased the boneswords from Paulson, and they were quality components.
Ultimately, the 2nd reason was the deal-breaker. Now that I know how to bend them, I think the chapterhouse whips are just as good as the ones I’ve purchased.
For those of you familiar with their offerings, these whips may look a little odd. This is because he used to sell a different variety of whips. I wasn’t a fan of this style as it was little more than an elongated fork with striations along the shaft (see pic at right). The new models are far superior to the older style, which I’m sure, is why he switched them out.
Anywho, so this Christmas, I asked for two sets (six whips total), and my family dutifully obliged me. I didn’t get any photos of them as they arrived, but rest assured, they looked mostly like the photo to the left. Naturally, as resin models tend to do, they arrived with a considerable amount of flash on them, but it was easy to clean off. Sometimes, you’ll receive parts with more than just flash–bits of “sprue” left attached, but these were clear of those, making short work of the cleaning process.
All in all, it took 10-15 minutes to clean the flash off the models, at which point I took them straight to the stove for bending. The actual instructions were:
Tendril Whips come straight but can be bent into new posistions. Simply heat the part in a cup of hot water until the resin becomes soft and then carefully bend it into the desired shape.
Reading around the internet, it became very clear that you’re not supposed to use boiling water, so what I did was heat a skillet of water on my gas stove for this step. From a safety perspective, it’s not ideal, but it allowed me to easily adjust the temperature. Of course, kids get your parent’s permission before playing with fire…
I found that once heated up, the resin instantly became maluable, and easily manipulated. The counter-point is that it didn’t take long to cool down and harden into a defined shape. I’d heard from various online sources that they had a habit of returning to their original shape when cooled, but that didn’t happen for me. What I believe they’re talking about is that once reheated, they naturally assume their original shape. So, if I bent a whip partially, but it cooled too fast to finish, once I soaked it again, it would naturally spring back to it’s erect position.
Once each whip was shaped the way I wanted, I set them aside to dry off and went looking for some arms to attach them to. Naturally, since they belong on Tyranid warriors, the proper sized arms to use would be found on the warrior sprue. Unfortunately, since I’ve magnetized all of my warriors, I didn’t have any arms to spare, so I repeated the process I used when making their boneswords–which is to say, I used arms from termagants.
Now, I did have some devourer arms for warriors, and a couple of spare scything talon arms, but the devourers only had left arms (that were suitable), and I see talon arms as far too valuable to cut up into whips. But, since their hands were going to be removed anyway, and I wanted arms for both the left and right side (so I could pair them up with the boneswords), I opted to use spinefist arms from my termies. Unfortunately, the size of the “hands” in Paulson’s whips dwarfs the termagant arms, so they do look a bit out of place, but once applied to the finished model, they’re not half bad.
So, after chopping the hands off the arms, and drilling them out (both the shoulder socket–for magnets–and the hand socket–for a pin), I set to work on the lash whips. Since they’d had time to sit, their new twisted forms did show of mold lines that were previously unnoticed by me, so I took a few moments to clean those off before prepping them to be pinned.
At this stage, there were two options to connect them to the arms. The first (and apparently intended) method is to leave the piece whole, and attach it in a limp-wristed fashion, underslung beneath the arm. I saw a picture when I first started this post online which clearly demonstrated this method, but unfortunately, all of those images seem to be removed.
The best I could come up with is the photo to the right, which shows the wrist bent at a 90 degree angle from the arm. Sadly, since this was just a thumbnail from a Google search, you can’t expand the picture to see it in a larger size. This, unfortunately, is as big as it gets.
The other option (and the one I’d opted to go with, since I hadn’t even thought of the first solution), was to chop the nub (ie. the “wrist”) off the hand, and then secure the arm directly into the fist. From there, it was just a matter of pinning it on, gluing it, and painting it up. The end result can be seen in the photo below. It’s really too bad that there isn’t an option to allow a model to use four whips, because I really like how the demo model turned out…
So, in summary, below are my general findings on these pieces:
- Highly detailed. Not only are they detailed, but they fit perfectly with the theme of Tyranids. It’s almost like they were made for this, eh?
- Great Symmetry. The hands are nearly identical on both sites, and ambiguous enough to pass for either a right-hand or a left-hand.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Posable. This one is important. Several sites that sell these don’t clue you in that you have to bend them to the shape you want (or just how easy that is to accomplish)
- Require bending to shape. This is a minor inconvenience, but without proper knowledge, it might discourage people from purchasing.
- Incomplete Arms. I’m sure this is to avoid IP lawsuits, but it does mean that you have to have spare arms available to make them work
- Large hands. They’re so big, in fact, that they look out of proportion with most of the arms available (aside from those in the MC sprue).
So that’s three products I’ve ordered from Paulson, and all three I highly recommend. Of course, depending upon how the legal battles shape up between GW and various resin manufacturers–including Paulson Games), you may or may not be able to get some of these whips for your own use. If you’re on the fence about it, I’d recommend picking them up now, while you still can.
However, if this isn’t an option, and you’re still looking for some inexpensive solutions, I’d recommend you checking out Xenos & Proud’s solution. Over there you’ll find that Luckless Xenos put up some elegant conversions and a nifty tutorial for lashwhips using the tails from gargoyles. If simple and cheap is your goal, this is really the sort of thing you should be looking into. Check out his post here.