Sunday, August 22, 2010

Games Day 2010 Pics

Well, I hadn't planned to go to Games Day 2010, but I happened to win a ticket. Many thanks to Shelexie over at Wanna B Painter. At first I was going to give it to my son go so he could go with his friends, but I decided to go along. It was my first Games Day, and I'm glad I went along. It was a great experience. Next year's Games Day is in Chicago. I imagine that Games Day 2012 will be in Los Angeles. So it will be a while before I get another chance.

Below are some pictures I took. First some generic photos.

Waiting for the doors to open:
A very large Space Marine:

A Witch Hunter:
A Space Marine, the winner of the costume contest:
A Space Ork, not sure if this was an official costume or not:Regrettably, my camera was not doing too well in the hall, so many of the pictures I took didn't turn out very well. This was especially true at the Forge World display. I did however have decent luck at the Golden Daemons display. I couldn't get them all, as the glass cases were unkind to my flash. I'm pretty sure I have these right

First up is the LotR Golden Daemon:

This the the Young Blood winner:

40k 1st place vehicle:
40k second place vehicle:
40k third place vehicle:
40k first place squad:

40k second place squad:
40k third place squad:

40k Large Monster and Slayer Sword winning entry:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Land Raider WIP

The next item on my Grey Knights list is a Land Raider. Frankly, I've wanted to build one of these for a while, and could hardly wait to get started. Painting the Dreadnought had to wait!

There's quite a few folks out there who, despite the fact the inside a vehicle/aircraft will seldom be seen, feel the need to paint it. This despite my paint pot procrastinating tendancies. Probably for the same reason the folks at GW put some time into detailing the inside. The Land Raider kit has nice detail, and I looked at it as a chance to play around with ideas.

The top picture is the engine compartment and a control panel. My favorite part is the brass fittings, which are done using a Tin Bitz base over light grey primer, overcoated with Burnished Gold and a Badab Black wash. The skull and gear icon was my first attempt at mirroring colors. I like the way it looks, and was looking for an excuse to try it.

Next is a picture of the sides. Here was an experiment in yellow using VMC Light Yellow and Gryphonne Sepia wash. I'm wondering if I got a bad batch of Gryphonne Sepia, as it comes out of the pot looking orangish. I imagined it as something much more yellow. Also here is a failed experiment with highlighting the edges, probably not going to use that much again.

I do have some Forgeword Grey Knight doors for this. I got the Land Raider, including the doors, in a good deal on Ebay, still much cheaper than what a Land Raider would cost in a store. Timing is everything. Here is the inside of the front, top hatch. Very happy with the colors, and am actually looking forward to having some red on the outside as well. After looking at this picture, I touch up some spots I had missed. May have to take pictures of everything from now on...

An odd part about the side doors is that they were too small. I'm not sure if that is the case with all FW Land Raider doors. If I had bought these direct from FW, I would have called about the problem. One bad thing about buying second hand, you can't take advantage of FW customer service. It's a relatively easy fix. I glued thin strips of plasticard around the outside, filed away any overlap, so it should be unnoticable after a good priming. Fix is on the left here, next to the other door still needing to be done.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Poseable Action Dreadnought

I found another fun thing to do with magnets. I honestly don't know what inspired me for this particular magnet idea. Perhaps I was just looking for a way to paint pot procrastinate. Perhaps I just had magnets on my mind. Regardless, I thought I'd share the fun.

I started putting together a Dreadnought for my growing Grey Knight army. I got a great deal on an unfinished standard Dread and some extra arms (see my last two posts about arms). As I was putting it together, I noticed there was enough gap in the waste to place a magnet or two. Since the magnets would have to reach through two thick plastic sections, I wasn't sure how many I'd need. So, I just put one of every size round one I had.

In order to make this work, I figured the other magnet needed to be loose inside the sarcophagus. The only issue I had was trying to use small magnets. There are two metal pins in my dread. One holding on the head, and one the smoke launchers. Every small magnet I used would stick to one of these pins. It would stick so well I'd have to shake it loose every time, which I didn't want to do. So, I tossed in a big square magnet leftover from a batch bought for some long forgotten project. While it still sticks to the pins when the dread top is not touching the bottom, the pull between to two magnets is strong enough to pull them together when they're close enough.

The actual design does limit its "poseability," but it was still a fun experiment with magnets. Another advantage, given all the nooks and crannies of the legs, is that it will be easier to paint in two sections. This is why the leg armor isn't attached yet. Well, I actually had them on and realized I wouldn't be able to paint behind them very well. They'll be added later. The armor is from the Dark Angels sprue, with a poor attempt at a GS book.

The front of the sarcophagus actually keeps it from spinning all the way around. With the magnets though, it can easily be made to look backward, should something attack from behind. Here's some views of the "poseable" range.




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another Dreadnought Arm Conversion

So, of all the extra Dreadnought arms I had, one of my favorite weapons was missing; the plasma cannon. I had a SM Devastator plasma cannon left from a previous bitz buy. I've had success converting one to use on a Sentinel, so it made perfect sense to use it here. This is the finished product.

I started with an extra Assault on Black Reach Multi-Melta arm like this one. First thing to do is cut off the front weapon parts and the cables underneath. I also decided to remove the fuel canister tips from the back end.

I had to add a bit of plastic to the bottom cutout, as I hadn't accounted for the part where the wires enter the backpack. I cut the backpack part to fit in the bottom cutout, figured out how to make the original large cable fit the gap, and used a piece of electrical wire to replace the original smaller cable. I also added a few bits to break up the flatness of the back.

Like the sentinel conversion, I would probably have saved a lot of time by buying the Venerable Dreadnought Plasma Cannon arm bits. Whether I really did it because I enjoy converting, or just to avoid the paint pots, it was a fun diversion.

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.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This week's challenge

Only a couple figures to show this week. Up top is a priest with an eviscerator. Got this one in an ebay auction with a bunch of other bits. My son took him to battle last Saturday, within the first few days we had him, and he personally took out a Land Raider in four turns, don't ask me how. I do know he had a squad of IG there to absorb damage. My son came home and said he deserved to be painted right away, so he went to the top of the list. He had been primed rather badly, and in black which I'm not used to painting over. But, I scraped away the thicker stuff and painted him up. I'm right happy with the monk's robe look. I'll call my experiment in brown a success for now. I could never get the skin painted up right and it looks rather ghoulish now. This will cause me to rethink painting another bald guy for quite some time. It also taught me to always strip a primed second hand mini, as some detail is lost and there's some nasty cracks in some places.
The second piece was actually finished up right before the eviscerator priest. It is a conversion from and I-Kore Militia Leader, meant to be a Callidus Assassin. She's about 1/6th GW, as her right arm is actually an Eldar Pilot's arm, with a guardsman pistol hand. The Neural Shredder is a complete conversion, made from a jewel type bead, a bit of sprue, a Tau Firewarrior foot, and some GS to tie them all together. I wasn't sure about it before it was painted up, but I like the finished look. The pads on her upper sleeves are green stuff, meant to match her existing knee pads. I figured she looked roughly American Indian , so tried for that skin tone. Again, not too happy with the face, but the right hand gives me hope that some day I shall be able to do skin well. Now, if only I can remember how I did that...

Now it's back to painting the headless veterans waiting in the wings.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Magnetizing a Rhino / Predator

Friend of my son needed help magnetizing a Predator. I've never built a Predator, may never have done one on my own, so this gave me a chance to give it a try. Not to mention, it was a great excuse to procrastinate instead of hitting the paint pots. Though much of what I did has been seen before, I thought I'd show how I did it. I already had magnets, mainly in sizes 1/16" x 1/16" and 1/8" x 1/8" cylinders, so I concentrated on using these. I actually came about having the 1/16" cylinder magnets by mistake, and often wondered what I was going to do with 500 of them. They've actually been quite useful.

I started with the side sponsons, as I figured most of the work would be involved there. First I drilled out the normal attachment holes on both sides with a 1/8" bit, and glued in the magnets here. I used the 1/16" magnets on the sponson arm, as the arm's width wasn't wide enough for a 1/8" magnet. To ensure a good hold, I doubled up the 1/16" magnets on the arm, both side by side and lengthwise to fit in the arm. You can see the before and after pictures above.

To the right is my method of attaching magnets. Once I glue the sponson arm magnet in place, I put a piece of wax paper over the magnet and let the weapon side magnet attach on, holding the wax paper in place. This way I can glue the next magnet and know it will line up perfectly. For gluing magnets, I often use a metal epoxy called JB Weld. It's magnetic so will surround the magnet as it cures giving a good hold. Wax paper is essential though, as you don't want it surrounding the magnet and bulking up any surfaces you want to keep flat.

Below are the finished pieces.Next up is the turret set up. This is very straight forward, as the pins on the weapon barrels are exactly 1/8", so no drilling on the turret is required. You do want to add some green stuff or glue sprue pieces inside the turret to keep the magnets from being pushed too far in when you glue them in place. For the weapon barrels, simply remove the pins and drill 1/8" holes. Important here to line up the magnets in the proper direction. I actually did not use the wax paper trick on this one and regretted it. I had not inserted the magnet far enough into the turret hole and had to pry it out because there wasn't enough room for the barrel piece to fit in.
For the back of the turret, I used one magnet here. I've seen a lot of folks use two, and that's fine, but as long as you don't use too much paint between turret and box/power pack, one should to be strong enough. My magnets are N50s, which are almost the strongest magnets you can buy, so two may be better if weaker magnets are used.

You can see here and above how I've added magnets to hold the hatches in. Another fairly straightforward magnet application. On the closed hatch and in the turret hole, a piece or two of sprue is required to build it up so the magnets meet at the right spot. I used the SM gunner as the basis for placing the magnet. I wasn't quite happy with the location, as it wasn't quite center. They still rotate, but I made the mistake of using the SM gunner when I lined up the magnets in the hull hatches, so the other fill-in bits don't marry up quite right. You can see what I mean in the Predator top shot, I hope. The right hull hatch hole is centered, so fits everything well. The left hull hatch hole is set back a bit. While the hatches work fine, the other fill in circular bits sit funny, as their magnet is centered. Minor annoyance. The bottom of the turret is what you see here. Filling the hole here is a piece of sprue with a magnet it in. It attaches to either of the two magnets seen on the sprue bits crossing the main hatch. While the hatches themselves have magnets on them to hold them in place, the turret top bit does not. The strength of the turret magnet holds the two sided top bit in place so you can use it either way. If I had the bits to make a Razorback turret, either of the three vehicles could be made from this set up.

The side door and sponson parts are also magnetized. I couldn't figure out a standard way for a single set of magnets to hold both the door and the sponson, so I used different magnets for each. The sponson uses 1/8" magnets in a single location, while the doors use 1/16" in three places two at the top and one at the bottom (bottom not shown). I actually placed the bottom magnet after taking all these pictures because, as you can see in the rhino picture at the top of the page, the bottom of the door hung out. Once painted, the magnets will hardly be noticable.

The back hatch uses 1/16" magnets at the upper corner of the door. The 1/16" magnets are perfect for these doors. They are small enough to fit in the narrow plastic part, and strong enough to hold the lightweight doors in place, but not so strong that you have to struggle to open them. The only bad part is there is little room for error; you need to be careful where you drill.