Monday, April 20, 2009

Leman Russ Annihilator

My last post included a Leman Russ Annihilator that I’ve had scratch built for a while, still waiting for its turn at painting. Like Admiral Drax, I had hoped for the Annihilator to be included in the new IG Codex. I like the idea of IG twin-linked lascannon goodness. Shame it was not meant to be. It'll get painted up (soon), as I’m sure it will come in handy for friendly Apocalypse battles. I’ve already used it for one battle, but it presented a tempting target and got taken out early.

I’ve included a couple WIP pics that better show some of the parts involved. It would be hard to recreate this one now, as some parts were purchased before GW stopped selling bits. The big piece in the front is from a Baal Predator. I filed off the symbol as best I could and then covered it with a clear piece from a blister pack. I love the detail on the smoke launchers too, but they are from the old Scout biker kit and are also no longer available.

I decided it was time to get some guitar string to use in conversions, I saw the look on many Forgeworld turrets, and finally made the trek to my local music store. One US dollar gave me plenty of “cabling” for future scratch building fun. It’s easy to work with, though you need a strong wire cutter; not a problem for me. I like the look it adds, and will use it on large model conversions in the future. I’m thinking of buying a smaller gauge wire for use on drop troop and similar conversions.

One other feature I like about this conversion is the wider turret. This was done using the demolisher turret bits. I had to make the turret wider so the wide Baal Predator bit would fit, but like the look enough that I’m considering making it standard on my future Russes. Since these bits are also not sold separately, I’ll need to learn to make a mold and use resin, so don’t count on anything real soon with this idea.

The hatch and commander are magnetized and removable which I did to a couple of my Russes for ease of transport. There is also a small magnet on the targetter box on the left side of the turret, which is for a HK missile (shown in the top picture). The WIP shots don’t have it, but there is an antenna mount at the rear of the turret, also magnetized for adding improved comms if desired.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Camera Procrastination?

So, it’s been a while since my last post, but I promise I haven’t been lounging about 40k-less. Like others before me, I suffered from camera issues. While I thought I had the camera figured out, I went through a batch of blurry and poorly lit pictures, and considered them unfit for print. Since my hobby time is sparse, I procrastinated on taking pictures because taking a long time setting up only to get bad pictures seemed like wasted time.

I figured out a space strictly for taking pictures would be a great solution. Unfortunately, every bit of space in the house is taken, so setting up a permanent home for taking pictures is not an option. I found another way to have dedicated space. The way is in the form of the long, short box I use to store my WIP minis. I think it's a keyboard box. Even covered with minis, it’s light weight and can be moved anywhere in the house, without fear of it caving in, or out. It also turns out it is the perfect length for taking pictures of minis. I put the mini on one end and the camera on the other. The only issue then becomes finding the right light. I have a low watt table lamp on my work desk, plus my hobby lamp, and I also use a portable, clip-on shop lamp. While the table and hobby lamps stay put, I can aim the shop lamp wherever I want to find the right light for taking pictures.

Now, what’s been taking the rest of my time can be seen in the photo below: Here, still WIP, are 32 guardsmen, two tanks and three motorcycles. The guardsmen are all recently built and primed, and I finally figured out the paint scheme to use on them, so they are my main focus for a while. Like the Russ on the right, the main colors are Adeptus Battlegrey and Dheneb Stone. While I like the color scheme on the far left, it doesn’t go with the tank scheme, so I’ll probably save it for a veteran squad later.

One of the Sergeants sports a lasgun, which I recently read is no longer accepted issue, so I may need to reconvert that one. No significant conversions on these. One Sergeant sports a unique CCW, made from a Catachan long knife and part of a straight pin (on each side). There are grooves on the long knife, which a straight pin, cut to lenghth, fits in quite nicely.

The tanks have been built/converted for a while, but I finally got around to painting the Russ on the right. It was my first large model in a while, and I’ve learned a thing or three about masking and paint coverage. I wasn’t impressed with the way the Dheneb Stone acted on the black primer, but the Adeptus Battlegrey went on very smoothly. It's still a WIP, with treads and accessories to be added, as well as some weathering. I'll write a short article on the Leman Russ Annihilator on the left and post it later.

You can hardly see them in the main picture, but there are three Rough Rider motorcycles too. They’ve also been done for a while, and I still need to add riders. I was having trouble figuring out how to do the handlebars, but believe I’ve solved that issue. I’m putting together the parts to convert two more motorcycles to fill out the squad, and will make a tutorial as a WIP.