29 Jun 2009

Painting Points

Afternoon all,

Just a small post to say I've added a Painting Points tally to the side of the blog. The idea is, of course, shamelessly pilfered from a number of different blogs, though I can't remember the exact pointing systems used, I quickly came up with my own:

Infantry: 1pt/Wound - that includes Heavy Weapon Teams, Officer's, etc... Basically anything with a Wound Stat.

Vehicle: 5pts/model

Super-Heavy Vehicles: 10pts/model

If I come across any irregularities, I'll just adjust the system.

This gives me a total of 39pts so far - the first four squads of my two troop choices (minus 1 flame-trooper who is waiting to be undercoated). Considering I only started painting in April, I'm quite pleased with my progress so far, especially taking into account that I've never painted this much of an army before...

So at the moment, I have the flame-trooper and 10 Penal Legionnaires awaiting the brush. The legionnaires will need to be done by the 17th for the Paint or Die 2 competition, and I'll be working on the command squad for the 1st platoon after that (they've had most of the solid colours blocked in, but I haven't "officially" started them yet - I just slapped surplus paint on them during the assembly-lining for the other squads).

In other news, I got nothing done this weekend - the (ridiculously hot) weather and an impromptu shopping trip (during which I got soaked and managed to lose my flip flop in the middle of a road while holding what seemed like two tons of shopping) conspired to keep me away from little toy soldiers. Did do some gardening though! :D
I received a few sheets of moulded styrene from Col. Corbane the other day with perfect patterns for the vents on my APC, for which I'm very grateful. Even the sprue sections they came on are going to be useful.

From now on, I'll be taking a couple of nights during the week to do some hobby-related stuff, as Real Life has taken over on weekends.

Have a good one peeps! (In case you're wondering, that picture is just the first one that came out when I stick "painting points" into Google Image Search...)

23 Jun 2009

Massive Update 1

Evening all, lots of lovely piccies for you tonight.

First up, we have the two squads that are nearing completion. I just have to finish up their bases and dot their eyes. The second squad is missing a guy - the one with the horrible flamer conversion. I was going through one of my bitz boxes and found a flmaer set as well as quite a few grenade launchers. So that guy needs priming and doing up.

1st Platoon, 2nd Section

2nd Platoon, 2nd Section

Next is the Penal Legion Squad. You get ten heads with the Feral pack, so I combined those with the Rebel pack I got and came up with these guys. I had to use the weapons from an already-undercoated corporal for the Custodian as my last set of weapons seems to have gone missing...

I'm going to paint all the cloth in different muted colours, then give the whole models a wash with one of the brown washes to tie the colours together. Their defining feature will be the vivid-red cloth that goes over their death masks.

And finally, we have my efforts at scratch-building the Chimera-equivalent grav tank so far. The pictures aren't that good, I'll get some done against a non-whitish background once I've made some more progress. Any gaps you may be able to spy will be filled with Squadron Green Putty diluted with acetate.

The multilaser barrel(s):

Front(ish) views: (Notice the sole remaining cushion from my previous, very retro, 3-piece suite)

Top view: There's a gap in front of the turret as I want to add some ventilation grilles in that part, so it will have to wait until I go down to Halfords and grab some aluminium mesh. I am considering getting some tread-plate molded plasticard sheet but the only english source I have found so far charges about a tenner for and A4 sheet of the stuff, so the mesh will probably be the best way to go about it.

And a picture from before I trimmed and sanded the top-back and back plates down.

Details will be added to this basic frame using .5mm plasticard. Once I have that done, I'll move on to the skirting as well as the engine blocks which go on the sides in line with the turret.

I was pleasantly surprised with just how easy it is to work with plasticard. Even if your measurements are a bit off (hopefully bigger than you intended), you can always just stick the piece down, wait for it to set then trim it with a craft knife or clippers (if the overhang is too small to snap), then sand it down. Plastic glue is essential in my opinion, as well as two types of sanding paper - a fairly rough one to get most of it off then a super fine one to smooth it completely. Don't just get the super fine one - the paper will wear out way before you finish sanding...

It's funny, though I followed the basic process that I planned (from my last post), most of it got ignored. I did the two side-plates and the base, stuck those together, then added spacers close to the top to try and make sure the side were perpendicular to the bottom and parallel to each other. After that, it was just a case of going around the frame sticking on panels. For the turret ring, I just cut a hole out of one square using a compass cutter then stuck it to another sheet os the same size which then went onto the frame. In retrospect, I'd advise someone who's just starting to scratch-build to just get a good idea of what you want something to look like and have a quick thought on how that shape could be made using sheets then get stuck in. Until you have some experience with styrene and co., making an elaborate plan is a bit of a waste of time. So start with a project that isn't necessarily important for your army - just a cool little addition and have fun sticking plastic to itself to get an idea of how it all works. Precision-measurement and all that mumbo-jumbo can come later.

I'm definately going to be investing in some more tools though - a mitre, steel square and I want to find a perfect cube of some sort, so that I can stick a right-angle together and just leave one side resting on that cube (and therefore guarantee that it will be perpendicular when I come back to it), as well as a scriber and plenty more rods of different shapes and sizes.

Catch you later!

19 Jun 2009

A cure for brain flatulence...

Morning all,

I feel like a bit of an airhead right now. I was lying in bed, waiting for my brain to shut down last night when I went through one of those half-asleep Eureka! moments... And realised that all my planning on the frame for the APC had been, for the most part, one great big brain fart - you know, the kind that shakes the walls and kills/puts to sleep anything alive in the same room...

I realised that I didn't need to build such an elaborate support structure for the damn thing - I had originally planned to put the side panels on - maybe as two pieces per side with a gap in the middle - after the whole structure had been built. This, upon sleepy reflection is simply wrong. All I need to do, is cut out the side panels in one piece each, then stick the other outer hull pieces to them. I will still add some support struts in the middle, like so:

This will support them in the middle and lend the structure some strength.

So yes, my advice - if an idea seems overly complicated, sleep on it for a bit - doing this tends to clear the air...

17 Jun 2009

Planning: APC Support Structure

As promised, I have some wonderful MSPaint masterpieces for your perusal this morning.

A quick reminder of what I'm trying to build:

There are two concerns I have for this build: structural strength and opportunity for errors. I suppose structural strength won't matter too much as long as it survives the mold-making process - though if that fails miserably, I would probably want to scratch-build every one of them - in which case the stronger design would be better.

So here are the two plans I came up with. These are both side-views, and all sheets bar the bottom horizontal one are 53mm "deep" to account for the outer hull being 1mm thick on each side. Each join will be reinforced with a piece of square rod:

This is my initial design. The idea would be to assemble the coloured-in sheets first as the main structure then base all other parts on this frame. This design saves on plasticard compared to the second, but more importantly, I think it also reduces the risk of the final structure being wonky as there are comparatively fewer angles that have to be set.

This one goes for an initial box as the base, with all the relief based on top of that. It provides a more durable structure, but seems to make it easier to make a mistake (this is my completely uneducated opinion, by the way...). Quick note: I forgot to add in the sheet underneath the turret mounting (as I did in the first picture), just imagine it is there.

I also wacked out some plans for the turret. I really like the way they have turned out, I just need to transfer it to paper to get the appropriate measurements.

Right, well that's it, let me know what you think.


16 Jun 2009

A quick thank you.

Hello guys and (I assume) gals...

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who took the time to go over to Realms of Equinox and vote on the contest.

I'll be assembling and painting the command squad as quickly as I can once it arrives.

Mini-update: I'm currently trawling through the clean-up stage of both the Pig Iron and Cadian squads at the moment, before going wash-crazy with them. I've found that getting up a bit earlier and just doing one model stops it from becoming too much of a pain.
I've also succumbed and assembled the Penal Legion squad, which I will be entering in another contest over on Rites of War (I find these things to be really good motivation to get stuff done). They need some putty work done to their bases and then they're ready for priming.

I've also mapped out the main body for my chimera-equivalent grav APC and started listing out the dimensions of each piece I'm going to need - a joyful task that one (I stopped at 13). I'm still debating how to assemble the support structure for the outside facings, and will probably have to MSPaint some diagrams to show you.

Anyhow, see you later!

9 Jun 2009

A few pictures!

Wow, three posts in two days... I'm spoiling you. :D

First up, we have a WIP Skitarius (Mechanicum foot trooper). Bits used include a Feral head, Micro Art Studios Iron Brotherhood arm, Phoenix Wargamers Club bionic arm and a Bretonnian Men-at-Arms body, all mounted on a Daemonscape resin base. I've been accumulating stuff in my bits box to make a Mechanicum army for a while now, so it was nice to actually assemble a trooper. I allowed myself to as a reward for highlighting the black on one of my troopers this evening. The putty is still a bit rough, but as you're reading this, it's being cleaned up (it should have cured for long enough once I've finished this post).

Next up, we have my three company advisors-to-be. While the astropath and master of ordnance don't need any further modelling work, the fleet guy needs the top of his head chopped off, a pig-iron head added and something done about his right hand. Come to think of it, I may look in to giving the astropath a gas mask as well...

Next: two minimum-sized platoon troop choices... (two command squads (though I'm thinking that if I win the Attention! contest, the one on the right will be reassigned), each with two squads behind them - PIPs in the middle.

And lastly, he-who-was-going-to-be-my-captain (sorry about the blacked-out parts, by the way, I realised as I was typing this that I'd be disqualified from the afore-mentioned contest if I showed the pictures unedited...):

Keep in mind that the PI minis on the left are raised by about two or three milimietres. This guy is a beast - he even towers over the standard cadians (with smaller heads, granted, but still...).

Now, should I still go with him (with a suitable head swap) and pass it off as him being gene-bulked, in the manner of the Geno-Two Chilliad, or should I look for another model? I'm considering, the DKOK Commissar from Forgeworld (he is very nice!), but I can't seem to find any pictures online of him standing next to a standard figure...

Anyway, that's me out for tonight. Catch you later!

Preliminary "sketch" for Hover APC

I've been thinking a lot about scratch-building tanks recently, but nothing beats getting stuff down on paper - be it digital or "analog" - to really solidify your thoughts. I've been doing a few (very bad) sketches on paper, but these are generally while I'm at the Dearest's house trying to ignore Hollyoaks on the tv *sigh*. So without my reference material, a lot of the sketches had to be scrapped. The hardest part, I find, is taking a two-dimensional drawing and imagining it, in detail, in three dimensions. It's especially hard with the APC and Light Tank as I cannot seem to find a single screenshot of them (so am working on these side-views alone).

Here's something I whipped up between spurts of actual work this morning:

And here's the original image:
The green part is the main body, and should hopefully be one piece, then everything of a different colour will have to be separate (as I intend to reproduce these as many times as I need). I've tried to simplify the individual planes of the original, while maintaining the general shape.
There will be several gun attachments - hopefully, I can make them all compatible with either the APCs turret or any of the tanks' hull mounts for easy interchangeability.
It's hard to represent the sloping of the top half of the hull - I think mt next task will be to sketch that out on it's own so that I can get a concrete idea of what exact pieces I'm going to need and how it's going to be assembled. Once I have the planning done, I'll be starting work with a few sub-assemblies first, to get into the swing of things...
Any advice on this process would be most welcome, I am a first-timer, after all! ;)

8 Jun 2009

Helghast Planning: Heavy Weapon Teams (Pt2)

Hello All!

This isn't quite the update I was aiming for: picture taking has been lax recently. Soon-ish though!

Right, on my thoughts this morning (and for a few days now) are the heavier weapons (lascannons and autocannons). Having asked Si over at Pig Iron, it would seem Kolony versions of their Chaingun and Heavy Laser teams are a long way off, so I'm going to be using the Heavy Infantry ones from their "old" range. This will be justified as being a platoon seconded to my company from the regiment's Heavy Weapons Company.

A very good thing about this is the Platoon Pack they do for Heavy Infantry:

This is the larger of the packs, there's a smaller one for £30 that comes without the 3 Assault Squads at the top of the image.

As it is, this pack gives me:

1 Command Squad for the HW platoon
2/3 of a Lascannon Squad
2/3 of a Missile Launcher Squad
2/3 of an Autocannon Squad (the chainguns)
and a full 6-man Heavy Bolter Team.

On top of that, I get five casualties (the kneeling one of which, depending on how he looks when I see him, might be up for conversion) who can be used as makeshift objective markers and nine Heavy Indantry to go towards that three Storm Trooper squads I want to build. Not bad for £45.

After that, I need onlt pay another £42 to end up with two full six-man teams of each heavy weapon (barring heavy bolters).

I think converting and painting that squad for attention has really changed my outlook - I was originally quite adamant about having every single model in a trenchcoat, but my stance has shifted, and will probably keep doing so throughout this project, i suspect.

In other news:

I bought the Commissar With Bolt Pistol off Ebay the other day, and got it in the post. He is one hell of a chunky so-and-so. He looks ridiculously out of proportion compared to the rest of my guys. I'm considering passing this off as him being gene-bulked in the manner of the Geno Five-Two from Legion, but want to look into alternatives first. Does anyone happen to have a DKOK comissar that they could compare size-wise (in a photo) to a standard guardsman at all? If you could, that would be a great help: I've tried googling it, but the closest I got was a comparison between the Kolony models and a Cadian on Warseer...

Also bought a nice alternative model for an astropath from Heresy Miniatures: The Dark Lord. Thoroughly recommended online store, the models are great, and the service excellent. Though the postage section does give a few days, every time I've ordered from them, I've received my models the next day. With the pilot model from the BFM box set (whom I will need to convert), I have all my Advisors accounted for.

I also bought a pack of the new Kolony Ferals as well as a pack of Rebels, and I'm going to combine them to become a Penal Legion Unit. I'm considering buying more Rebel heads for the Ferals, as I think their original heads are uniquely suited for making Skitarii (Ad-Mech). I'll butcher one up and stick that in the next round of photos, see what you think. ( have a few Men-At-Arms lying around).

Right, I think I'm all news-ed out. Oh wait, remember that BUM-UGLY sofa featured in a couple of my pictures (at least, Drax does, I'm pretty sure). Well that's gone now, I have a spiffy new sofa chair and poof(sp?) suite in a Dark Blue scheme - I am no longer mr Martian Wastes Camo-Pattern... Shame I had to cut a bit off the top of the chair to get it in my place though...

Now I really am out - off to look at all of your blogs. Catch you later!
Thanks for reminding me Klaus. The helmets will be the ones supplied with their open visor greened over. Crating the eye-piece should be easy enough - two balls of greenstuff pressen down in the centre with a styrene rod should do the trick!

1 Jun 2009

Attention! has begun!

Afternoon chaps!

The contest is a go! After pulling an all-nighter (well, until 5am that is, thanks to time difference), my entry was received loud and clear and is now up on Equinox's blog for your perusal. Though there is only one other entry, I have to say it's gorgeous. The guy seems to have taken a bunch of Tau legs and done wonderful things with them. The variety of poses and the sheer character of each one is great. My favorite's are the standing plasma gunner and the grande-launcher dude - tons of attitude!

So head on over, and have a look-see (and of course, cast a vote!).

Another update coming soon - maybe tonight!