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    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Karak Norn

    Do It Yourself Flayman

    Warmth. Comfort. Rest. Swathed in darkness, the mind of a man drifted between consciousness and sleep upon the swampy mangrove shores of distant Pigbarter. It was a mind suckling this rare peace. It was a mind as hardened as the gnarled body it inhabited.

    Originally from Marienburg, the man had spent so many years of his life upon the decks of Tilean vessels that he barely could speak his native language. It had been a life of hardship and plight, especially so the childhood years. Beaten, hungry and weathered by icy winds and howling storms, he had made the sea his homeland and the ships his shifting homes.

    High up in the rigging and masts, he had toiled and endured when the roping flayed the skin from off his hands. They were callused hands with fingers hooked like claws, barely able to straighten after thousands of hours of labour. Yet they were also able hands with tool and weapon alike, and as he grew into adulthood his natural talent for fighting had become apparent.

    Seeking his luck, the young man had become a buccaneer, a pirate, a scourge and bandit of the seas. There he had witnessed wonders and horrors which no son of the land would ever witness or believe. Death and disease had been his companions as much as fortune and success.

    It had been a hard life, broken only by bursts of drunkeness and pleasure, yet it has been his life. That life was about to end.

    - - -

    Cold. Pain. Panic. Swathed in rags and dried blood, the body of a man scrambled to rise and run, acutely aware of danger like never before. Even the act of breathing seemed to tear at his lungs. Pressing aside the limp corpse of a man, he got up on his knees and rose up.

    "Oi! Boss! Ere'z un more!" The sharp voice spoke of cruelty and knives. It came from behind, somewhat to his left if he was any judge. With ears ringing like bells, it might have come from right in front of him.

    The man started to run, one foot bloodied and naked, the other still stuck in his shoe. Panting with agonized lungs, he pumped with his arms and legs to escape. Around him, he caught glimpses of a massacre among the mangrove trees. Inhuman shapes moved about in groups, stabbing and hacking into the bodies of dying men. Moans and screams of agony were in the air, as were the putrid stench of death, swamp and salty sea. He had to get out!

    Jumping over the corpses of his first helmsman and some greenskinned bogeyman, he spotted a thicket of old trees and ran for it. In there, he might escape any pursuers...

    A whirling throwing knife cut into his back and sent him splashing into a pool of muddy water and blood. The knife must have penetrated one of his lungs. He could not breathe, he could not breathe! The pain paralyzed him.

    Someone's foot planted itself on him, stamping hard. Yet the blade was slid out from his back, leaving him sprawled on the ground, gasping and coughing blood.

    "Zee wut da wolf dragged in..." said the same, sharp voice. Then it yelled: "Tell da stuntees! We've got da kap'n!"

    The man tried to turn around, but was pinned down by the creature. He was too weak to resist, in any case. It was time to give up the struggle. He resigned himself to his fate. Above him, he heard the sound of blades being sharpened.

    "Ere dey come," said the voice. The foot was removed from his back. With an effort, he turned around in the puddle, staring up into an abomination flanked by a handful of ugly Greenskins.

    "Horns and hooves," the short monster spat in an odd dialect. It seemed to be some kind of Dwarf, dressed in exotic armour and wearing the highest hat the man had ever seen. It bore a bizarre shield and some sort of scimitar. "You will speak, and you will suffer."

    "Yes," he managed to say in a weak voice, coughing more blood.

    "I, Warlord Uhr-Uruk Hamzhibinzulbar Blackeye of the Red Host, have hereby trampled your forces into dust and death," said the foreign Dwarf. "For the sake of my liege, Sorcerer-Prophet Nir-Kezhar, I hereby claim all your belongings and all survivors of your followers as loot and slaves. May the four Daemons of myth - Azhar, Talkrun, Cid'Jaelogschin and Kairos - act as witnesses for this oath, for I hereby swear that high Hashut will be given His sacred due of the booty upon the sacrificial pyre before the sun sets, in view of His mighty idols."

    When the creature had finished rambling, it bowed down to the exhausted manling.

    "You will tell me your name, and you will suffer," the Chaos Dwarf growled.

    The man didn't even try to resist. "Mikael Hauptmann," he managed to say, "captain of the three vessels..."

    Uhr-Uruk Hamzhibinzulbar darted forward, grabbing his head with one arm and crushing down on his chin with the butt of his scimitar. Mikael struggled in vain as the Warlord pulled out his tounge and cut it off. The captain tried to scream without success as blood flowed from his mouth. Such pain! It made him dizzy, but not dizzy enough to miss what was said next:

    "Mikael Hauptmann," the evil creature smacked with his own tounge, as though trying the syllables for the first time. He tossed the human's cut-off tounge to one of the nearby, gangly Greenskins. "Here! You know what to do, Khan. I want this wretched foe strung up yet flat as though the thunderous hooves of Hashut Himself had trampled and crushed his worthless body. It will be finished before the evening sacrifices, or you and your... retinue will burn!"

    "Aye-aye!" said one of the Hobgoblins as the Warlord walked away.

    They gathered around Mikael, closing in with sadistic smiles, producing knives as though out of nowhere and reaching for him with grins that were all fangs and tusks. The leader, or at least the one with the biggest hat, took a stranglehold around the human's throat and ordered:

    "Say 'Aaah'!"

    The victim complied.


    Artisan's Contest XV was concluded a time ago, and the winner of the flayman prize for gold is Fuggit Khan!

    Here we will follow the creation of a flayman, step-by step from plasticard to grotesque.

    Materials & Tools Needed
    Sculpting tool
    Hobby knife
    Pin vice
    Ball-point pencil
    Paper clips
    2 20mm square bases
    2 plackers
    Super glue
    Fine thread
    Grey stuff
    Green stuff

    Do It Yourself Flayman: Preparing the flayed skin

    Step 1
    First take a plasticard sheet of about 1mm thickness or more. Don't keep it too thin, it have to withstand the rigours of tabletop gaming!

    Take a model of the race which you want to flay, place it on the plasticard and then sketch a rough outline aside of the miniature. Do not draw hands and feet because they'll be sculpted later on.

    Step 2
    Cut out the outline of the figure, deliberately making it rough and wavy. Avoid too straight lines. Someone has been flayed, and that someone was probably alive when it took place!

    Step 3
    Rough the skin up by cutting lots of little notches into its edges. Drill out eyes and mouth (nostrils will often just be sculpted). Optionally you can drill out the navel, because it seems like a hard piece to flay, and some extra tears in the skin.

    Take your hobby knife and add a few knife cuts across the skin in choice places, and make the eyeholes and mouth more irregular. This is not master flay work. Since Fuggit Khan is a Hobgoblin aficiando the skin got extra ragged, because when Hobgoblins start their knifeplay they just can't stop that easily!

    During this step the risk for broken off head or limbs is the greatest. Despair not, for super glue will save the day. Don't just glue the body and the lost piece(s) together at the fracture, take a piece of paper and smear super glue all over the flayman, on both sides! Clear up any cuts or facial holes which gets clogged by glue.

    This super glue treatment should be applied over the whole skin regardless of if something broke off or not. This will help make your flayman stand the test of time. It might be advisible to do this twice or thrice even, depending on the thickness of your layers.

    Do It Yourself Flayman: Preparing the bull's head struts

    Step 4
    Take care of your dental health and clean your teeth with plackers. It should be a certain type, with a curved end for reaching the backside of your teeth. Wear out the dental floss and add the plastic to your bitz box after washing.

    Step 5
    Take your plasticard skin and mark out where to cut struts from the plackers. Special care should be given to the angles, because otherwise this will give you problems later on (see below). Cut with a hobby knife or larger sharp tool. Trim the underside to make it flat.

    Step 6
    Make small indentations in the underside of the struts with your sculpting tool (I've sharpened it's edges to allow better details and actual cutting with it, by the way). These indents are for your pin vice to get a beachhead.

    Drill into the plackers and pin it (glue a paper clip into the hole). The drilling could be fiddly work given the narrow material, but it's surprisingly simple if you hold the plackers and drill so you see the placker from the very narrow side when drilling. This allows you to adjust and keep the drill straighter in line.

    After drilling there will usually be left a tiny ridge around the drill hole (red arrow). Just take a knife or sculpting tool and gently press it down before pinning.

    As you can see from this quick mock-up, the angles of the struts' undersides don't align to form a straight line. This is a minor problem to be solved with cut bits of plastic sprue, grey stuff, pinning and super glue later on.

    Do It Yourself Flayman: Preparing the base

    Step 7
    Pin two 20mm or 25mm bases together, taking care to align them as straight and flat as possible. This step is unnecessary if you're to mount it on something like a 40mm base or on top of a warmachine.

    Step 8
    Cut off strips of plastic sprue and glue them onto the base. This will form the foundation for a small platform of bricks, which should result in a less primitive look than the original flayman.


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