Grateful Teddy Wyrd Puppet Wars Teddy conversion, completed October 2011
This is the first Wyrd miniature I've finished, though not the first I've worked on, and far from the first I've purchased. Nevertheless, he's proven a nice break from my usual GW fixation. I really enjoy the Wyrd puppet art; I find it a curiously compelling combination of creepy and cute. So when photos of prototype miniatures and rumors of a miniatures game based on this puppish art started circulating in mid-2010, it was practically a foregone conclusion that I'd be picking up a lot of new figures when that game came out.
The puppet Teddy model is what Wyrd calls a mis-pack, which is to say you can't generally buy it; they're added as random free minis to other boxes. So while it's not a limited miniature per se, it's not a general release. This isn't my favorite approach, but what can you do? My friends and I ended up with 13 boxes of Puppet Wars minis from our collective GenCon binge-buying, and I was the only one lucky enough to get a mis-packed Teddy. Good for me, but now what to do with it?
Even with just the one figure available to me, I couldn't simply paint the stock model. I considered a number of possible conversion themes for this Teddy and had even started writing down several sets of brainstormed ideas when I happened to think of the Grateful Dead dancing/marching bears. It's a bit of an odd choice for me since I'm not what you'd call a Dead-head (Rock Band and Cherry Garcia ice cream notwithstanding). Perhaps I saw a bumper sticker or something that week which subconsciously sparked the theme, but once it took root the concept seemed too perfect not to use, and when I realized how well the circled-lightning-bolt symbol from the “Steal Your Face” skull would fit on Teddy's tummy, it was a done deal.
I oh-so-carefully removed his little arms and one leg with an x-acto chisel blade and a jeweler's saw. I cleaned up, rebuilt, or added the necessary claws, fur, and pads, and sculpted the ends of his disturbingly toothy smile. I pinned all the joints and spent a little time testing the pose, finally settling on what you see in the photos.
As part of my normal model prep and on-the-fly embellishments, I added one button eye and cleaned up the stitched "X" of his right eye, but it was days before I laughingly realized that my Grateful Teddy puppet is just as prone to severe eye trauma as the rest of my miniatures. As I like to tell new hobbyists: one eye is always easier to paint than two. It turns out that applies to button eyes as well. My final and favorite embellishment is the little “THX” tag pinned to his back - shorthand for "thanks" - you know, because he's grateful…