Tuesday, October 18, 2016

(X-Wing) The Birthday Flagship...

It's my birthday today, so I took the day off, and look what arrived in the afternoon mail: a  Pelta! I ordered it nearly a month ago. Great timing!

She's even larger than the largest rebel epic ship and a nearly solid hunk of 3D printed material. Detail isn't as high as an FFG model, sadly, but there's enough on there to look good.  Also, she's a Clone Wars era ship, not the Home One mod with the A-Wing bay from Rebels. What I might do is bore into her docking bays and put in base bits so I can dock A-wings and other star fighters.  

The engine sections also hinge open, but the chunk holding them on is verrrrrrry solidly glued on, and I'd be hesitant about digging it off. I had messaged them before about whether they had an unassembled one, but alas, no answer. I'll need to put some basing parts in as well, so I'll be checking Corsec and Litko. 

I wonder if I can finish the rest of the 11 Deathwatch and their Corvus Darkstar before the basing stuff comes?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Deathwatch Terminators

They're technically my third batch after the initial set of 10 marines from way back, not to mention the recent Overkill set. Well, fourth, because I painted up Artemis and two other bits-box veterans to experiment with greys (how much and highlighting). I'll post those next time. 

Wait, did I never post the old-school ones with the metal bits? I could swear I did. Hmm.... 

Well, anyway, Terminators. I do love working on Terminators.

What I really like about painting Deathwatch stuff is that it allows you to use all of those chapter-specific bits that sit around for ages, and since they're all basically unique, the army gains a lot of character rapidly. The downside is that since they're covered in detail your speed slows down dramatically, but oh well. I've since taken to painting the Deathwatch in smaller groups (Kill Teams, if you will) with this one being probably the largest batch. 

Einar here (right)  joined the DW along with his brothers, the assault cannon-toting Wolf Guard Thorvald  (left) and the regular armored Svein (you'll meet him later).  Would you believe I found a set of Space Wolf terminator pads after I finished these guys? Yeah. 

I'm rather proud of how Thorvald's melt-fist came out. That bit is courtesy of the Calth set, as I gave those sergeants combi-plasmas. 

Einar's frost axe got a new bluish metallic treatment I'm trying out. 

It involves mixing blue airbrush paint with mythril silver at the mid-stage, which is then highlighted with silver. I used the same technique on Artemis' sword and Svein's axe, and I rather like it. Whether I'll use it on the other power weapons.... well, maybe, maybe not. It seems rather specialised to the Space Wolf frost weaponry (or other like specials) to me.

Epistolary Astinus of the Deathwing (left) bears Litanies of Hatred on a back-mast that came with a Bugman model. I like the new Librarian models, but this had been sitting in a bits lot for some time. This way my Deathwatch also has a little psychic firepower, to boot.

Brother Dagmar of the Emperor's Scythes echoes the combat loadout of Branatar; a heavy flamer and a melta-fist (courtesy of the Calth combi-bits). I decided on the Scythes after reading a bit of their background, which details them being nearly wiped out by who else but the Tyranids (their homeworld was entirely lost). If anybody knew how to fight the malignant cockroaches (not to mention having an axe to grind) it'd be a Scythe. The background material I found doesn't say whether they carried any actual scythes, though. I guess the Death Guard have the lock on those.

Brothers Claudio and Siegmeyer of the Ultramarines and Imperial Fists snagged some old cyclone launchers on their way to life. I prefer these to the newer big-box launchers, which are more dreadnaught than termie-sized. As I was out of chainfists, they each gained a custom bits box one (chainswords are plentiful).

Brother Fulgis of the Salamanders came about solely because I had that Storm Shield in my bits box forever. Also, I liked Branatar's back-torch and wanted to replicate it with another terminator.

Brother Seknar of the Iron Hands has those big, unshielded lightning claws from the Assassinorum Chaos Lord sprue. I thought their exposed workings were especially Iron Hands-y, so I ordered a FW shoulder pad to go with them (along with Fulgis' FW Salamander one). The fiery-gold effect on the Salamander logo was made by building up through the gold-ish metallics range and highlighting with Auric Gold mixed with Mythril Silver. 

I'm rather proud of the way these two turned out. I think they're my favorites out of the bunch. 

Next up, their power-armored brethren, in waves-- oh crap I just found another metal Terminator. Oh well. Plenty of spares.

Next time, some regular grunts.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dreadtober Finale....

Well, this is lovely. I can't get photos to load using the conventional Blogger tool, I have to go three steps around to Google photos. (have a better solution? Drop me a line) God help me. At least they're (mostly) watermarked, and if you ever want to see any golden oldies, they're on my hard drive somewhere.

Anyway, thanks to being ill, I managed to finish Venerable Brother Antilocus early, which means I can get back to painting the rest of his Deathwatch Brethren. He ended up being rather large, and turning into a bit of a vignette piece, as you can see. 

How big? Pretty big. I'm sure if I straighten the recut Calth Contemptor on the right, they'd they the same size. He definitely towers over Ole'Boxy there on the left. It struck me when I took this that I haven't shot the Calth set properly, but you all have seen Ultramarines before, and although 30 of them is a sight I don't want to bore you. (I do like the Terminator models, though. Maybe I'll get a set of troopers so I can use the Lightning Claw bits...)

Under all those bits is the old Contemptor Multi-Melta arm, which gained a magnet so I could swap weapons in and out. This required a bit of cutting, but it was all worthwhile. I debated scatchbuilding (or just buying) a set of Stormcannon and Melta-Lance and/or siege drill arms (especially since the Imperial Fists are into sieges) but decided to stay with the standard kit for the time being. 

His alternate weapon options, magnetized to click into place when needed. They also add an extra degree of posability. My apologies for the photo hotspots. Should've turned the model slightly more (sigh). 

I always thought the articulated hand made the boxy dread look rather apelike, but now that he has proper legs, it's wonderful. I debated using the arms from the Votoms kit the legs came from, but finding adequate cauldrons proved daunting, and the test fitting looked a little contrived. 

His back is a little underwhelming. I didn't want to overdo the gold everywhere. Yes, I know, there are parts lines on his legs. Shame on me for not green stuffing and sanding. I blame the diverticulitis. 

Large bases demand something extra, I think. This Grot is hoping Antilocus will just pass him by without stomping on him but you can guess what's going to happen next. The little fellow came with a Grenadier Models orc or ogre (I forget which), and sharp eyes will recognize the plastic bit from the Assassinorum set (they didn't want your shiny new Callidus to get cover saves). The two bits fit together quite well, so instead of using him for an objective marker, I plugged them in here to (literally) give the model a little character.

Next time, his little brethren....

Blogger issues.....

For some reason Blogger isn't uploading my JPEGs. Anyone else having issues? 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dreadtober Progress...

Oho, what's this? He's now an Imperial Fist....

....who's about to punt some poor snotling into next week.

Not sure I like how his chest armor is turning out, though. What do you all think?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dreadtober: Assembly....

My projects tend to snowball along at an intuitive pace; I pick something up and work at it till it's done or I'm stuck. This fellow flew together rather rapidly, probably because I've been wanting to do this for a long time: 

My apologies for the deep shadow; rest assured there's nothing especially interesting going on in his waist area; just a run of the mill extra long scroll. Once it's all painted I'll light it better, but these photos really are just to show progress. 

I didn't do much to the back because frankly, I didn't think it needed it. Those mold lines could do with some sanding down, I suppose. I though of doing some rivets to the back of the cobbled-together right arm, but then, he's not especially rivet-heavy. 

Speaking of that arm, it started life as a Contemptor multi-melta arm from the Calth boxed set. Of course, it didn't match the left arm from the standard dread kit, so I built it up with the sawed-off top of the lascannon and some plasticard. The weapons are all magnetized, of course, but here's what I consider his "main" one. Canonically the DW dread has a plasma cannon but of course, canonically he's not an almost-Leviathan either.

Nihilius' canonical weapon in the DW boxed set, but of course, this Dread isn't Nihilius. I should give him a name and a "home" Space Marine Chapter. What do you think, folks, does he look like an Imperial Fist? A Dark Angel? A Blood Angel? Those are the icons I have from a drop pod kit, by the way. I have a Space Wolf icon as well, but he lacks the Fenrisian ornamentation. Anyway, I have enough Space Wolves among the Deathwatch rank-n-file. Pics of those are coming soon, but the DW infantry has been sidelined while I work on this fellow. 

The multi-melta from the Contemptor arm. Underwhelming, isn't it? I might just buy a set of actual Leviathan weapons (oooh, that stormcannon) but they might be too huge for this kit. I didn't do the assault cannon because frankly, it's just too little gun for this beast. A Contemptor-sized one, maybe. Is anyone else surprised that the DW dreads didn't get twin-linked shot cannons, especially considering their infantry can carry loads of them? Even the Blood Angels dread sports one. I also noticed you can't buy "Rifleman" dreads with two twin-linked autocannons or lascannons, either, and certainly not AA "Mortis" variants with their radar arrays.  That DW codex was very rushed and not well thought out. 

Here's his left arm, by the way. Nothing really to see here. They could've gone the extra mile and made a special Deathwatch shoulder pad for it, but they didn't, more's the pity. Both arms are removable and semo-posable, so in the future I might fit him with a different loadout, but we'll see. Some sanding, finishing, and painting to come this week. (I think I'm kind of ahead of schedule, now). 

Friday, September 30, 2016


Because I need to get my Deathwatch Dread up and running, I've decided to keep motivated by participating in the Dreadtober event over at Broken Paintbrush. In case you don't know (and I didn't, so I missed last year) it's a non-competition event whereby you set goals and work on a Dreadnought-sized (all the way up to Knight!) model, with weekly goals and an exhibition at the end. 

Brother Nameless will be a pseudo-Leviathan type Dread, owing to some Votoms parts (well, mainly legs) in my bits box and a desire to not just have a black stompy box. The theme of the Deathwatch seems to be "Every one a character", so I'm determined to make no exception for their biggest member. The end result will probably still be smaller than a Contemptor, but taller and hopefully brawnier than the standard stompy box. While I'd like magnetized arms, Contemptor-sized ones with elbows might visibly sag. 

I'm a week behind (and all the arm bits with elbows are in other countries, according to eBay) but let's get cracking anyway. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Deathwatch Terminators...

I forgot how much I loved working with Terminators.  

Yes, the rest of the Ordo Xenos task force is building behind them. More to come.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pre-Heresy Sunday....

It's as hot as Calth outside, so I'm doing some Pre-Heresy Ultramarines today. These chaps join these other fellows: 

As well as these guys:

And these two chaps: 

And this thing:

And their Primarch, whom you may know:

On the battlefields of history. Combined with some Mechanicum and some other things, I might just have a decent Pre-Heresy army.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Adventures in Lighting...

I'm home with the flu today, so here's a post I've been meaning to do. 

The larger ships of X-Wing have continued to hold my attention, and being somewhat of a completionist, I've embarked on a quest to add LED lighting, aided by fiber optics, to the ships in my collection. This is not without its challenges, such as taking apart things that are obviously not meant to be pried apart, running optical fibers everywhere, and jamming little circuit boards and batteries into things. I haven't graduated to soldering things yet, but with the limitations of space making Powered Play games products only usable in larger models, this is on the horizon.

You may recall my first effort, the Millennium Falcon's engines and headlights:

She required quite a bit of sawing, as well as some additional installation to get rid of all the light bleeding around the cracks. In retrospect, I should've done the bottom panel instead of the top one, but overall, the effect is rather pleasing: 

My next effort was both more and less easy; an Imperial Raider Corvette, which I have since christened the Rectifier. 

Pulling her apart was an exercise in horror, as I realized too late that her TIE panels were, in fact, clamps holding the top and bottom shells together. Both shot off in different directions before I could realize their nature and function. Luckily, repairs were easy and sturdy.

Yes, in retrospect I should've added more lights...
Speaking of said lights.

Her switch lives here, which I can live with, since you never see it anyway.
Her insides are an organized chaos of fiber optics running every which way and taped up LED wiring. I misjudged the fiber's propensity to break once secure by CYA glue, which resulted in a lot of re-cabling and re-drilling, and as a result there are half the number that there should be. There are still a few bits where I couldn't quite get to the old fibers, and the new ones are held in there by nothing but friction. Those illuminate dimly, thanks to light spill from all the working ones. I may yet go back and re-drill them, running their fibers to red LEDs to provide a little light variety. 

Following on the heels of this project, I attempted another, simpler one: the VT-49 Decimator. Pulling her apart was made easier by an online source, and turns out to be less tricky than you'd think. 

Her engines were filled by way of a hot glue gun, which gives them a weird sort of uneven mottling that I quite like. With the scarcity of translucent sheet plastic (you'd think there'd be more out there besides milk containers....) the hot glue filled the bill, and I had to be careful not to melt the actual model with the hot nub. 

I had originally planned to two-tone the fiber optics running to the doors and front running lights, so the doors could have both red and white lighting, but it was not to be. I was informed by someone who knew better informed that the chemistry of the battery won't support both red and white strands, which is an oddly arcane factoid worth remembering for future projects. 

Yes, I know there's light peeking out. No, there's no way to stop it short of sealing the hull and locking in the battery
My latest project is the Gozanti-class Imperial Assault Carrier, who will carry forward the lessons learned from the preceding projects. Be warned, modelers, that this thing is deceptively difficult to wrench to intact pieces, and I very nearly broke her keel. Gentle and Firm are two things difficult to balance when dealing with its crazy architecture. 

There is not enough room in this hull for these wires. Do not do as I did;  instead run the fibers all the way to upper hull.  
One of the issues I ran into was due to some poor planning on my part; I thought I'd have more white lights running from the board than was actually possible, and ended up having to re-do all of the fiber optics to both halves of the wing hull needed only 1 light each instead of two. This proved to be a boon, as it lessened the amount of crap that had to be crammed into a relatively flat area. You can see how insane it looks. Some of the fibers bent too far and lost their conductive ability. Most of them are fine, however.

Another issue is all of the crap crammed into the upper hull. Managing the wiring isn't easy in such a small space, and made less so by the different areas it has to funnel to. Added to that are the concerns that nothing can be made permanent because you have to be able to change bad LED bulbs and the battery. 


Another issue: light bloom from the cracks. ARGH!
Looks pretty though, right? 

Tiny switch would be great for Slave-1 and the Imperial shuttle, too. 
One of the protrusions on the side of the hull was the perfect size to accommodate the switch, too. I'm glad that Powered Play switched to these instead of its old huge clunky switches which, while great, were impossible to embed in a notch like this. 

If anyone's successfully done either Outrider or CR-90, let me know. The GR-75 Rebel Transport came apart easily enough, but the damn Outrider continues to confound me. Slave-1 and the Lambda-class Shuttle came apart easily enough, but I have yet to find a plug/play solution that will fit their tiny frames beyond a battery stuck directly to a light, which may result in my first foray into soldering. (gulp)