In Warhammer Age of Sigmar, there is a legendary model produced by the Games Workshop partner, Forge World that I always considered way out of reach for my fledgling bout into the Slaves to Darkness faction. The Chaos War Mammoth is a massive model and carries an equally heavy price point at around $300 because it is discontinued. It was costly even before it was discontinued so it was never really in the cards for me to use.
Flash forward to the pandemic and 3D modeler, Emang, created a set of files to print your own war mammoth. The model looks fantastic and I’ve been wanting a game to run a cool giant mammoth/elephant and howdah full of spear guys ever since I read about the mumakil oliphants of the South Harad in Lord of the Rings.
A trip to the Denver Museum had a great mammoth skull on display and was a catalyst for putting together all the work I have done so far.
I started out by putting my printer through its paces and start printing up my own. The model is quite large and really fits the bill as a gargantuan wrecking machine. I’ve never seen the Forge World’s model so I can’t really compare but I’m liking the size quite a bit.
The model files include the howdah crew but they really need to be done with a resin printer. The bulk of this print is the mammoth and howdah and this test shows I can get away with the inferior FDM printer quality but anything else will need finer detail work. Colton agreed to help and printed out the resin parts for me. I still have to work those up and clean them but they look fantastic and I’m excited to get things together.
With one successful print down and a hard limit of 4 behemoths in a regular Age of Sigmar list, I started wondering how many of these guys I could get in. I came up with a list using four of them but decided to reign it in and include a Chaos Warshrine instead replacing on of the other mammoths.
I’ve already talked about starting my Warshrine but didn’t talk much about the model itself. I really never liked the original much as it has these weird mutant hulks carrying the shrine on their back. Since I was still obsessed with mammoths, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to still max out my mammoths but also have a flexible “real” unit for my regular army as well.
I printed out another mammoth, this time a little smaller (85%) to fit better to the actual Chaos Warshrine base. Colton again helped out with the resin but this time I only needed the mammoth parts and not all the extras.
After priming the main body, I attached the resin parts and used green stuff to help blend in the gaps between the resin and FDM parts. Luckily, these are all “natural” parts so I don’t need a lot of skill blending fur and horns. I’m sure you’ll still be able to tell where they attach but it’ll look way better than hard lines and gaps.
Using a soft metal (ie. rounded) tip, I rolled little lines of green stuff around each gap and then just carved random lines and indentions in the direction of the tusk grain.
For fur, I use the same roll around the entire gap and then used a hard metal edge from the back of a broken exacto knife to create courser lines for fur. Here it was better to make the lines more random and not quite all in the same direction. That is about the limit of my green stuff sculpting skill so hopefully it won’t be too obvious.
Using a combination of a quarter print of the original howdah and the rest of the shrine part of the model, I was able to test fit the whole piece together. I had to do some major cutting off the front of the shrine as it had some sculpted demon face pushing way too far forward into the beast’s back and wouldn’t fit right. A jeweler’s saw was perfect and I may still use the cutout piece as some sort of totem to hang from the mammoth’s neck.
The detail on the warshrine is pretty intense so I’ll keep both the shrine and mammoth separate for painting. To help attach the shrine and howdah, I’ll be using some modelling chain from Kromlech. I’m still debating whether to put them on now to get them primed or trying to deal with them later. I think I’ll wait and deal with them afterwards as they’ll be easier to paint separately. When the green stuff sets, I’ll get them into the booth for some airbrush priming and base coating.