Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dreadnought Arm Modification

I had picked up a standard Dreadnought and a set of extra arms, which included several from the Assault on Black Reach set. My plan is to have several arm options. Breaking from my magnet preference, I decided friction was enough to hold the arms in place during games. Like many Dreadnought makers before me, I also found the AoBR arm holes were smaller than the standard Dreadnought kit. Some converting is required to make them work.

A quick look through my tool box found that a 3/16" drill bit was the proper size for the standard Dreadnought. I didn't feel the plastic around the current AoBR hole would stand the strain of drilling, let alone attaching and reattaching for game play and storage. However, with a bit of reinforcement, it should work out alright. I used sprue bits, cut to size and glued in place, as shown in the first picture. I used more than enough glue, to help fill in the gaps between sprue and the existing attachment hole.

Once the glue dried, I took the 3/16" inch drill and bored the bigger hole. I was concerned with using a power drill on this work, so actually used the drill bit like you would a Hobby Drill. In other words, I simply held it in place with my hand, and spun it with my fingers to drill the hole larger. It took a bit of wrangling that way, but I was happy with the results.

I took a cue from John over at Santa Cruz Warhammer and decided to 'plate off" the inside of the arm so you can't see the sprue bits. It gives a cleaner look, and is similar to the way the standard Dreadnought arms come on their sprue. Using a pencil, I traced the outline on a piece of thin plasticard, cut it with a knife, and dry-fitted it in place. Before I glued the plasticard on, I used a standard hole punch to make the hole in the plasticard, roughly estimating the location. Once glued in place, I then cut and filed the excess and beveled the edge.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My First Forgeworld Order

So, I won a gift card at work last month, and decided to indulge in a bit of Forgeworld goodness. I had a lot of stuff in my wish list, and it was tough narrowing it down to my limit. Given I've started putting together a small force of Grey Knights, I decided to focus on that for my first purchase. I want to say it was a good first experience, as they had it shipped the day after I ordered it, and it was to my house in Virginia, USA 10 days later. All except one were perfect casts, and that one had only minor warping. I've read many complaints about poor casts and long delays with Forgeworld orders. I've no complaints here, except for discovering someone on the Internet is wrong!

First on my list was a set of etched brass Inquisition/Grey Knight emblems. I blame Karitas for making me want these, as I saw him use them on his AoBR to GK Terminator conversion post. Before that, I had thought them a luxury, but now consider this a must have for Grey Knight conversions. While I could create some of these with GS, the detail on this small piece of brass is great and will definitely save me some time. For information, I'm planning on a GK Dreadnought, a Land Raider, and converting some plastic Terminators. This will come in very handy!

Though I like the look of the Forgeworld Dreadnought arms, I wanted to try converting some instead (in other words, I already have some extra arms). So, I moved on to stuff I'd need for the Land Raider. I really liked the look of the tank commander, so I picked up one of those. It comes in five main pieces, the body, the arms, right and left shoulder armor pads, and a head. They also throw in two purity seals. As usual with Forgeworld bits, they have great detail and I'm looking forward to putting them together. Price-wise, it's not much different than you'd pay for a similar specialized GW mini, so I consider it a decent purchase.

Next up is the Psycannon upgrade for the Land Raider. I didn't think this was something I wanted to convert, so I decided to buy it. I do plan to try a psycannon dreadnought arm conversion, so this will be used to scale that as well. As you can see, there are three unique pieces: right and left psycannons, and a targeter. Frankly, I expected it to come with the mounting bits, and was disappointed when I found it did not. One more thing to add to my magnetizing "to-do" list.

Last up is a set of Aircraft Punisher Cannons. Now I know these aren't Grey Knight related, but I have a conversion in mind for this and did an impulse buy. Here was the lone bad spot in the order, as one of the barrels is slightly warped. Even though I have no experience with fixing resin pieces, this should be a simple fix. This set contains a lot of repeat pieces. The two cannons are identical, the two magazines are identical, of course the wing mounts are identical, and the two ammo belts were cast as one piece but are the same.

My plan is to make a turret, mount the cannons and magazines over-under, and have it count as a Hydra. I blame credit Admiral Drax for this conversion idea, as he suggested something similar on Col. Corbane's post about Kitbashing a Hydra. The only trouble so far is, all the turret ideas I had are too small to accommodate a cannon and magazine set up. Actually, I was concerned with this before I ordered it. It will be a couple months before I get to it, so have plenty of time to figure out how to make it happen. Other options I'm considering are Admiral Drax's Hydra turret, or buying a Forgeword Manticore Conversion kit and magnetizing it for both versions. Suggestions are welcome.

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Grey Knights

Since I posted about a Nemesis Force Weapon Scratch Build, I've seen some posts about converting AoBR Termies into Grey Knight Termies. Now I'm not ready for that conversion yet, but I did have a regular Grey Knight in power armor that needed a NFW. In my earlier scratch build post, I started with a force halberd pole and handguard, and only needed the blade. With this figure, I was missing the whole arm. I figured if you can convert a CC arm from a regular Terminator to a GK Terminator, I should be able to do it for a regular Grey Knight. I just followed other examples of this type of conversion, like USABOB's over on Astronomicon. Here is my finished result.

Simple assembly, using the following parts:
Metal Grey Knight body on 25mm base;
One Space Wolf Hammer (regular, not Terminator);
Straight pin (you can see the pin head at the halberd base);
Space Marine shoulder pad;
Plastic tube;
Space Wolf Terminator Sword (I would have used a SM Scout combat knife, if I'd had one).

Speaking of Grey Knight Terminators, here's a WIP of a squad I'm currently working on. I usually primer my figures in white or light grey, but these came to me primered black. Rather than strip 'em, I decided to try the ol' Citadel how-to painting technique. These will be painted in the standard Grey Knight scheme found in the Daemon Hunters Codex. So far, I've got the Boltgun Metal layer on all, and one has a layer of CeramCoat Metalic Silver (from Michaels, a local craft store). After I took the picture, I coated the other four figs with the CeramCoat Silver.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finished Veterans

Here is the group shot of my latest squad of veterans. There’s an extra three here in case I want to try some different weapons options. It’s been a few months since I posted the WIP for these vets. Actually, they’re made up of a few WIP posts. For the bases, I used the cobble stone pattern from my Holiday Basing Ideas post. When painting the bases, I used Ron, From the Warp, Saikowski’s Bloodthirster basing technique which I also used for my Skulltaker. The heads are from my review of the GW Heads Sprue. The plasma guns are my standard conversion. Finally, all the WIPs and techniques have come together and they’re ready for the table.

I'm not sure I'm happy with how the cobblestones worked out. The technique is really designed to simulate marble floors, but I thought it might work here. I'll have to search for methods for painting cobblestones, or come up with another way to do them. I don't plan to rebase these, but will likely try something else next batch.

The colorful backdrop is the tiles I use for painting. They're in need of a clean up, which is as simple as scraping the old paint off using a hard plastic scraper. I know I should use a wet palette, but when I tried a homemade version, I wasn't impressed. When I get to the point I'm using up too much paint, I'll change the name of my blog and try again.