Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Basing Deals

Way back in May, Col. Corbane over at Corbania Prime gave great tutorial about Plasticard bases. I've yet to try the technique yet, but I do remember trying to find a ready source of stone patterned plasticard. I couldn't find it in my local stores, and never got around to searching out online sources. I was looking through the local arts and crafts store the other day and found a great deal where I wasn't looking. Sometimes I get lucky. What I found was roads you can buy for the little Christmas villages. Normally selling for four dollars (US), they were on clearance for half off. So, I bought the last set. They also had snow, but I don't have plans to use snow on my bases (yet).

You get two in a pack. For some reason, this company packaged two different roads together. Seems to me, even in a Christmas village, you'd want your roads to be the same, but that wasn't an option. I plan to base at least my vet squads on the cobble stone pattern. And will probably use the brick version for heavy weapon squads or other mini using 60 mm bases. The pattern is a bit wider than I would like to have, but with a little extra debris rolled in, it should look just fine. I rolled these out and put a ruler on them so you can see the size. They are each 18 inches long by 2.5 inches wide. That's a lot of plastic base material for two dollars. I placed some bases down to get an idea as to coverage. They are wide enough for 60 mm bases. With good planning, they can pump out quite a few 25 mm bases as well.

My next vet squad is waiting for me to finish vehicles I'm currently working on. It's busy this time of year, so it will probably be after the holidays before I can actually try these out. Just wanted to get the word out about keeping your eyes open for good basing holiday deals.

Again, a how to on basing with these can be found at Corbania Prime: Tutorial : Plasticard bases.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Basilisk: More WIP

Amongst the four models on my work bench now (not counting various infantry in the paint pot queue), is this standard Basilisk. I posted a WIP a few weeks ago. After two tone painting a few Leman Russ tanks, I've decided my standard paint scheme needed a small bit of light grey. The main two colors on my vehicles are a gray spray primer and a camo tan Krylon paint for plastics. Since this Basilisk was the first planned from the outset as three colors, I decided to start with a light grey base coat. I then taped the areas needing to remain light grey, and followed with a coat of dark grey. Another taping (over the original), and follow up with the final coat of camo tan.

While I like how it turned out, I found I tend toward applying heavy coats of spray. I guess I wanted to be sure I got a solid, even coat all around, but this can lead to some thick areas where the third coat is applied. Some of the tape lines needed smoothing as well. Frankly it probably isn't much different than I'd have achieved brushing it on, so I'm not concerned about this particular piece. I will however take a lighter touch on the next try.

I am also considering applying the light grey last. The light grey overlaps the other two colors, so that would require removing the previous tape and reapplying for the final coat. Something I had hoped to avoid by spraying light grey first, but I think applying it last would thin the paint over most of the model.

As you can tell from my earlier post about it, this Basilisk is the victim of my Paint Pot Procrastination because of another distraction on the workbench, a Valkyrie. I couldn't resist detailing the inside, and have probably put more time into it than I will the outside. A shame considering the outside will be seen much more than the inside, but I really enjoy the detail GW put into it and wanted to do it up nice. One thing I relearned here is the sticking power of primer over straight paint. To be sure of a strong bond where the hull pieces will attache, I removed the grey primer along the edges. It took a bit of scraping to get it all. Scraping regular paint from plastic means big chunks at a time. Paint over primer is much more stubborn. Really hit home the need to prime first.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Terrain: Dragons Teeth Tank Traps

Back in June, FoxPhoenix provided a great tutorial about making Tank Traps using an ice tray. Now, I'd heard of the idea before, but could never find a good sized tray to use. Before I had a chance to go find one one, one found me. I had bought a mini fridge for the basement and a mini ice tray came with it.

Being the cheap bugger that I am, I searched my home improvement leftovers cabinets for a good plaster alternative. I found I had some a bit of concrete patch mix and tried that. It was a bit brittle, and I didn't want to chance that with something that was going to get tossed around a bit. So, instead of using water to mix it, I used leftover white latex paint. Worked like a charm. They're actually very sturdy to blunt force, but they can easily be holed with a sharp point and 'fractured' out from that.

I still had a bit of backer board from an old kitchen cabinet, so I cut a odd piece and glued some of my new Dragons Teeth down and added debris in the form of sprue pieces, bitz, and some pieces from the GW Basing Kit. Quick paint work in my standard basing style and it's done!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Imperial Guard Heavy Bolter

Here's another Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon Team that's been waiting out my Paint Pot Procrastinating. An experiment in miniature diorama making that's been done for quite some time. One advantage to basing like this is the built in protection it provides. It's going to take a bit of effort to break the pieces off the base. It could become a problem though if I'm trying to put the piece inside a building or other tight spot. Hasn't been an issue yet.

Unfortunately, there is another form of "protection" that could raise concern on the playing field. I had built it for a fun look. It had slipped my mind when I started it that an opponent could protest about my piece having its own built in cover. This is something Dverning recently, and conveniently, brought up in his blog about Playing Fair with Conversions. Luckily, over half of the base is open on one side. If there is any concern, we can expose the side without cover toward the opposing force.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Double Tracking the new Hellhound Hull

So, I've decided to build an armored basilisk. In my typical eureka fashion, I thought up something I haven't seen done, and am somehow finding a way to make it work. I'll cover the basic idea in another post, once I get a bit farther along. I don't want to give it all up right away. Though I hadn't originally planned to widen the tracks, the bits I decided to use for the armored part require it. After a couple experiments, this is what I came up with.

To widen the tracks of the old Chimera/Hellhound kit, you simply glued road wheels side by side and glued the track to that. While that probably could still work, you'd have to find a new source of road wheels, as the new kit doesn't use them. The new Hellhound sides come with spacers that fit together, one side is a "male," the other is a "female." So, first off, you need to make them both "female" as shown in the top photo. You need to make the new holes the same size as the old ones, so keep that in mind.

Next, find eight nails with the same diameter, and cut them the length of two pieces of tank tread side by side. If you can't find a nail the right diameter, like me, you'll need to get one a little larger and file it down a bit. It needs to be a snug fit.

The third picture shows the width of the standard Hellhound side piece. The next picture is of the widened side piece, having the nails as spacers. The nails, tightly fitted in the spacer holes, give you the rigidity you need to remove any play in the finished side piece. If they end up moving around too much, you're going to start loosing tread pieces. We don't want that.

Next up is the treads themselves. It's not good enough to simply glue two pieces of tread together. One strong push on the joint and you'll break the glue join. Also, the edges of the tread has natural gaps, which would allow you to "see-through" them once finished. While there may be other ways to do this, I chose to use some old two-part epoxy I had laying around and connect them together as shown in the fifth picture.

The sixth picture shows a partially finished wide track side. If you look close, you can see the epoxy poking up through the tread. Please ignore the plasticard attachment, for now. You'll see what that's for in a later post.

One shame to note. There is absolutely no difference in the new tracks than the old. They are exactly the same, down to every hinge and tread pad. What you see here are actually old treads I had lying around. And, although they look a bit different, the sides have the same overall dimensions. The fact that the tread lines up perfectly once assembled shames me, as I could never get them to do that with the old road wheel system. Kudos to GW for improving this part of the kit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Basilisk WIP

So, I purchased a Basilisk on eBay a while back. I had always had good luck with my eBay purchases. That was not the case here. It was pretty bad off. Most of the back end and some gun carriage parts were broken or missing, and there was glue in too many places. I now buy only un, or partly, finished stuff. The sides were still salvageable, as was the gun itself. Shortly after this purchase, I was lucky to get a couple more Basilisks still on the sprue for a steal. Unfortunately, they mostly sat waiting for their time to be built. I was inspired recently to build an armored Basilisk; now still very much WIP, to be covered soon. Many of the parts I won't be needing on the armored variant are exactly what I needed to flip the ruined piece. Here is the WIP.

This is pretty much the standard Basilisk. I don't like the tall shield, so cut that down a bit. It's got some old pewter pieces thrown in, and I've still got some little adjusting to do, but it's pretty much done. I did try a little something different with the back. I added some window screen to fill in the gap between floor and hand rail. Last thing the crew wants is a wayward round rolling off the back. Plus, it's a great place to hang their packs and other assorted gear. Note the backpack in the lower left will be hanging off one of the side hand rails after it's all painted.

One thing I've been concerned with for my own Basilisks was the ladder on the back end. It's a very breakable piece, just hanging out the back by two fragile pieces of plastic. Even a Forge World example shows this break point (see bottom picture here). So, I gave it a bit of thought and came up with an idea for a "hinge." I drilled a hole through one of the round bits you find on the back of every sprue, sliced pieces of the round, trimmed a flat end and glued it to where the ladder usually connects, where the rivets are. I trimmed, rounded and holed each top of the ladder, and connected it all together with the head of a pin. Now I can flip it over to a somewhat safer area for transit. I had hoped it would lay over flat, but I didn't get it trimmed right. I didn't want to adjust this one anymore, as that would just weaken the remaining plastic. I still think it's possible to get it to lay flat, and will give it another go when I finally get around to building my other standard Basilisk.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Terrain - Power Plant or Shield Generator

It's been a while since I last posted. Between work and other hobbies, blogging took a back seat. My regrets for that. For a while, I felt I hadn't really been up to much. Then I got the camera out and realized I had done quite a bit. It seems there's still a lot waiting out my Paint Pot Procrastinating, so I hope to make it up to you with a flurry of posting. This is the first of four unrelated posts in four days. Enjoy!

First up is a bit of terrain, shown above. The second picture here shows the basic material; a piece of masonite (from the back of an old cabinet) and the plastic from a box of cookies. I'm always about flexibility, so chose to make three pieces instead of one. This lets us adjust the terrain for small or large games.

After cutting the individual parts into three equal parts, add a bit of basing material, prime paint and voila, three pieces of terrain that fit together to make one if needed. Given a wider choice of material, I would have preferred a taller piece. So, now I'm on the lookout for a box of really big cookies!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mortar Squad

So, after sitting in various stages of completion, I finally cracked down and finished this mortar squad. One of my biggest distractions with 60mm bases is the urge to make a complex little scene out of them. I hope to grow out of this urge before too long. It takes far to long to get them on the table this way. I can remember commenting when reading Hal'jin's series, I Hate Right Hands, that the mortar holding right hand was another alternative. Out of this whole squad, the guy holding binos is the only one that does not use the mortar holding right hand from the heavy weapons sprue. While I didn't start these to show how this right hand could be used in other ways, here's some examples.

In the picture above, the one on the left has been just shy of being done for over a year. The problem with paint pot procrastinating on this team was a change in my army colors. Originally painted in standard Cadian 8th colors, I later decided I preferred grey armor over green, so I repainted the crew. The basing also didn't match my newer style, so I gave it a wash and a new drybrush, but is still a ways off. The brick wall is made from spackle (the all purpose basing material) with a bit of other basing experiments mixed in. The crew has some mods, the most notable being hand swaps for both, and a new leg job on the guy holding the binos. The left leg is from a kneeling figure, and is now propped up on the wall. One thing I don't like about the mortar holding hand is that it is designed for a kneeling figure, and doesn't allow for a two handed hold on the round. A quick hand swap here fixes that issue.

The next featured team is on the base I showed in my earlier article about using latex paint chips as basing material. It's since had a wash made from GW terracotta, and the figures added of course. This one is intended to show one of the crew re-aiming the mortar, and the other impatiently waiting to load the next round. The aiming mortarman's hand is the standard mortar holding hand, with the mortar drilled out. I did play with the idea of simply removing the adjusting wheel on the mortar itself and having the remaining mortar body serve as proxy. Either way works, though the proxy would have been easier. The right mortarman still holds the mortar, but with the hand swapped to a different arm. He, like the last crew, likes to keep two hands on the round.

This little mini-diorama has one mortarman continuing to annoy the enemy while the other prepares new rounds for the next volley. This crew took a little more effort in the form of scratch building the boxes. Heavy weapons sprues come with a spare mortar round, and I wanted to do something with the few I've collected. I'm not comfortable leaving mortar rounds lying about on the ground, so I built boxes to hold them. Actually, I cheated a bit; the bottom box is empty. I got lazy and used the standard mortar holding right arm on the standing guardsman. The kneeling one's right hand has the mortar drilled out, which makes an excellent lid holding hand. I hadn't really noticed before, but their left hands are the same also. I had built a little crow bar for the crew to use opening the boxes, but I seem to have misplaced it. Hoping I can find that before it's time to vacuum under my chair.

Playing with my camera for these shots, I discovered it has a "vivid" setting (right next to Sepia) in its "My Colors" menu. Although it tends to point out my painting faults, I'll continue to make use of that in the future.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Games Workshop Heads Sprue

So, GW comes out with some new bitz for Imperial Guard and I decided I needed some Aquilas for my Vanquisher Barrel Conversion. The ones that come with the Leman Russ kits are a tad long. I contacted my FLGS to get some ordered, and when I picked them up I took a look at the new heads sprue as well. Now, seeing these on the GW site is less than convincing. After all, the pic there silver on a white background; you can’t really tell what they’re about. Looking at them through the packaging isn’t much better. So, I took a chance and bought the only set my FLGS had. Thought I’d post them up here for others to view.

My first picture is of the basic sprue, here to provide a better close up for you than what GW offers. The second is the sprue based (white) with a wash of Ogryn Flesh. I painted them on the sprue to make it easier to show here, and perhaps save me a bit of time later. The third shot is painted, minus the finished optics and clear coat. The last two are front and back of the clear-coated, finished set.

Now, I’m not the best minis face painter out there, but I hope I did fair enough to give the curious a better idea as to the potential of these. My plan is to use them on a future veteran squad. Knowing I’d have to do a fair bit of handling after removing them from the sprue, I went ahead and clear coated. I was surprised to see the change it does to minis, like softening up the powdery look from drybrushing, and even lightening up the overall look. It also reminded me that one of my biggest concerns with clear-coating is that I’d have forgotten to paint an important detail, like teeth.

Now, the Aquilas? Well, they look good from the front, but are extremely thick for my tastes. I’m trying to figure out how to hold them down while I file them a bit thinner. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More free basing ...

Last March, Ron Saikowski published a basing article about using free basing material you can find just about anywhere. While I was always using ordinary sand, I now keep my eyes open for anything else that may work. Nothing I've found so far is very different from what Ron used in that article. Some of the best stuff I'd found so far was very rocky sand from a local river beach; great for rubble-strewn city terrain.

A few weeks ago, I was doing a little home improvement in the way of painting a ceiling. I had started late and left a thin layer of paint to dry overnight in the disposable roller tray. In the process of cleaning this up the next day, I noticed the paint had cracked and some had separated from the tray. Disposable trays are very thin plastic and the paint, being less flexible, didn't stick very well. I saw some potential in this, separated as much as I could, and broke it into manageable pieces for later use.

The beauty of this stuff is, you can leave it in big chunks for large terrain pieces, or break it up even further for basing your smaller pieces. Another bonus is that its latex paint. You don't really even need to prime it, and if you do, it won't melt like foam. A disadvantage is you can only make it so thick, so it won't readily work if you're looking for thick-walled rubble.

My first test was on a mortar team. I needed to break it up a bit into smaller pieces, but it breaks apart very easily into random shapes. I just grabbed the biggest piece and broke off small chunks till I ran out, then grabbed the next biggest piece until I had a decent pile. Gluing it to the base required applying it in layers, so involves a little more time than plain sand/gravel, but came out looking fairly decent. I added a topping of sand to the pile and remaining open area, then primed, and finished. In the top picture, you can see the final product, minus the team itself (currently WIP).

This has made me pick up a bad habit though. I painted a wall in that same room the other day, and purposely left some extra paint in the tray in order to have more "rubble" for the next project.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vanquisher Barrel Conversion

A couple weeks ago, Col. Hessler asked if anyone knew a good way to extend the LR barrel. He's planning to build a Vanquisher. I had actually been playing with this idea for a bit, and finally got to the point I could share. While this particular project didn't involve a standard LR tube, I did have a FW Conqueror turret that needed a barrel extension. So that is what I'm using here. The LR tube is about the same diameter, so this should work with that as well. My limitation was it needed to be removable, so this barrel isn't permanently attached.

What I did was to find a hard plastic Bic style pen tube and took the ink and ball-point parts out. Next I held it to the end of the Conqueror tube and measured the length. I actually have a similar FW Vanquisher turret, so I used that length for reference. I then angled the end of the new barrel as seen in the top picture. After experimenting with various plastic parts, what I ended up using was a 1/4 inch copper coupling (50 cents at the local home improvement center). While the inner diameter is a tad large, the outer diamer is perfect. I found a soft plastic bushing to help fill in the gap, but Green Stuff would work fine here as well. I also had to fill in a bit to transition from coupler to barrel.

To build up the front of the barrel, I used some leftover metal tape I had from a home improvement project. This is very thin, very smooth stuff, which works good for this conversion. Thin strips of plastic card might work as well, but I was concerned with how well the glue would hold so went with the tape. I cut two lengths of different widths, using the wider width on the bottom. A bit of glue over where the tape ended to fill the gap, and there you have it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Here's a recently completed trio of sentinels, with an armored sentinel on the left following two scout sentinels. The one in the middle has been done for a couple months. The other two I just finished up last week. The armored sentinel is the Steel Legion version, with extra armor on the legs. Extra points for anyone who can recognize the source of those. All three sport a very simple painting technique. First apply a coat of grey primer, mask with Play-Do, add a coat of tan camouflage paint (Krylon Fusion spray), add additional colors/highlights to suit, finish with P3 tank wash, and highlight where needed. All weapons are magnetized, but the armored variant's plasma and missile launchers are (currently) only useable on this particular model. What missile launcher, you ask?

Why, this one of course, shown here in a side by side with its plasma cannon self. The missile launcher is from the Dark Angels Ravenwing accessory sprue. The plasma cannon is the one from the Space Marines Devastator box. I had planned for these conversions before the new sentinel box came out, but only recently fount time to make it. The missile launcher was a fairly straight forward conversion, the most difficult parts being where to cut the missile pod arm and drilling for the magnets. The plasma cannon arm was a bit more challenging.

The basic bitz are from the SM Devastator set. The cabling just wasn't going to work for this conversion, as it was designed to curve around a SM torso. So they and the arm were removed. Finding the replacement cable was easy, as I had leftovers from a long completed electrical project. While the thinner red wire was good to go, making the blue into articulated cabling required more effort. I needed to cut roughly equal lengths in the wire's outer insulation without pushing the insulation off the end, and avoid cutting the inner copper wire. Easy enough to do, but a bit time consuming. The nice thing about doing it this way was, once spaced, friction pretty much kept the insulation pieces in place, even after some rough handling.

Cutting to length was the next challenge. I attached the magnets first, in order to free up my hands for fitting the wire. Once I had the desired wire length, I drilled holes in the power pack and the cannon's front receptacle, stripped a short bit of insulation from the end of the wires, added a bit of glue, and inserted the wire center into the drilled holes, much like pinning. After the glue dried, I bent the wire until I was happy with how it looked. It's rigid enough to hold its shape when the plasma cannon is being attached or removed from the Sentinel. Just to be sure, I added some super glue to help with that. In hindsight, I would have spread the gap a bit wider to better show off the wire core.

Though using a plasma cannon from the new Sentinel kit would probably have been much easier, I'm happy with the results of this conversion. Always nice to know there’s different options.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Modeling a real vehicle.

So I seem to have fallen off the net for a bit, but it was not for having nothing to do. The company I work for supports Marine Corps acquisition efforts, and a project officer was leaving after three years. The support team wanted to give something unique, a reminder of the effort. A model of the vehicle, called a Ground Sensor Surveillance Vehicle (GSSV), was the ideal memento, but the team didn't have anyone that could make it happen. Fortunately, I found out about it and wanted to give it a try. The photo here was the goal, and it needed to be 1/72 scale. Unfortunately, I only had about three and a half weeks to purchase the basic kit and make the conversion. I readily admit I'm not the quickest with construction, conversion and ultimately painting. Frankly, I wasn't sure I was up to the task, given the short time period and other commitments. This had to be done on my own time.

I started out by researching what HMMWV kits are available in 1/72 scale. The most modern version I could find was this M1114 version made by Dragon. As you can see from the box art, it’s the armored hatch back variant. While there was enough similarity, there was still a lot to do to make it a GSSV. Before I started I had already lost a week volunteering at a Boy Scout event and finding the model. Luckily, I was able to find it at a local hobby store. It has been a while since I worked with such a small scale, but the small size actually turned into an advantage. It meant I didn't have to go into excruciating detail to present a creditable version.

Essentially, what I had to do was to remove the model's hatch back and replace it with the boxy structure at the back. I made the back using some plastic card (actually, a hotel room card key) around a frame of squared GW sprues and some green stuff to smooth the edges. Another challenge was the radio and IED antennas, which were done using round sprue bits from the Dragon kit. The larger antennas were straight sprue, the smaller ones were done by softening the round sprue over heat and stretching it to the required diameter and length. The thimble shaped IED antenna at the back was also made using sprue bits from both GW and the Dragon kit. Had I another week, I would have fixed the windows too, but just didn't have the time to make that happen. The end result is pictured here on a base made out of foam board with simple basing of glue, sand and paint.

Another challenge was how to best present it. This wasn't part of the initial request, and I hadn't really considered it much when I first offered to build it. The more I worked on it though, the more I felt it needed something. Not only to protect it from being handled, but to provide an attractive display. It was a going away memento after all, so couldn't rightfully be handed over as a fragile finished model. I wrestled with how to do this as I'd never had to meet his requirement before. It needed to be inexpensive, and I had passed the window for ordering one, assuming I could even find something online. The small size and tall antennas were limiting factors, and most of what I was finding was either too short, or had too big a base. Luckily, I made another trip to Michaels and happened down an aisle I hadn't been before. I found a glass jar made for holding shells or other small collectables. While the lid was glass, it was a friction hold using soft plastic. I figured by turning it upside down, and covering up the soft plastic with card stock and the memento information, it would still have enough friction to hold and make a very nice display. It worked very well and was presented last week. It was a big hit.

Other than the cost of materials, there was no money involved. So while this wasn't "commission" work, it is the first work I've done for someone else. It sports the same colors I use on my Imperial Guard vehicles, so I did manage some work on models already waiting their turn at the paint pot. A couple Leman Russ' were primed, and I finished two sentinels last night. I'll post them up the middle of next week.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Conversion - Imperial Guard Jetpacks

When I set out to put together my Vet squad, I had in the back of my mind the idea to give them Jetpacks. Not that I have a Valkyrie in my inventory yet, but the plan is to give these guys some more fluff when the defense budget allocates funds for air transport. You can see on the left the end result of my effort and on the right the inspiration for it, a Forgeworld Elysian jetpack. I wanted my vets to have a combination jet and back pack, so mine ended up being a bit bigger.

This conversion starts out with a pack of Chaos Jetpacks. Of course, all the chaos-y symbols and pointy bits need to be removed first, and to get them a bit shorter I took out the bottom pair of thrusters. I also removed the round thrusters from the top, as I wanted them to look more like the Forgeworld example. It took a couple weeks before inspiration hit me on how to achieve this without a lot of effort and preferrably using something readily available. What first came to mind is to use the rounded ends of sprues, as shown in this picture. These are ideal, because they are the right shape and size to pull this off. Unfortunately, unless you've been saving empty sprues, there is usually not enough available to complete a squad of jet packs. Additionally, they come in different sizes, and the thinner ones are too small. So, what else is there to use? Not so easy, but certainly as cheap and usable, is using a sanding bit and "converting" cut sprue ends to round sprue ends, then cut to desired length. The advantage here is they are all the same size, and you can cut them to whatever length you prefer.

As I was going for the back pack look, I also removed a lot of the symbols, hoses, fans and other obvious jet pack bits, and hauled out the last of my green stuff. I tried to create a soft, fabric looking pack, using SM belt pouches for the outer pockets. While this was simple enough, it was a bit time consuming. So I switched over to a sleek, more aerodynamic, "aluminum case" design. You can see this version in the picture here. You can also see the top thrusters before they were attached. The little silver bit on the thruster was found in my wife's bead box. I was looking for a small bead to use here, but she didn't have anything small enough. I found instead what is called a crimping bead. It looks good, but it's long and requires drilling into the sprue bit to make it work. Being designed to crimp, cutting wasn't an option with the tools I had. Were I to visit a bead store to find more, I'd choose a small bead or at least a shorter version of the crimping bead.
Here is the collection of 8 of 10 finished, partially-painted IG jetpacks. All total, there are six "hard cased" packs, two plasma (or melta) packs, one grenade launcher pack and one comm pack. The comm pack started out as a Vox caster, with some rearranging of the extras, an added soft pack on the bottom, and jets on the sides. The jet struts were simply cut off the Chaos jetpack, glued to the comm pack, and then the sprue thrusters added.

And here's a view of two finished ones for size comparison. They're a little bigger than my initial vision of them, but not so much that I'd reconsider the design. This was a relatively simple conversion. The only concern, other than the green stuff work, is the need to build up the back a little to allow the top bulge to clear the figure's head. I used scrap plasticard to do this. Like many of my projects, they're waiting for me to quit procrastinating with the paint pots.