Looking Good

The weekend allowed me to make good progress on the Wolf Guard Terminator that I’m painting.  The armour has come out OK, not as smooth as I’d like, but it has been a learning curve without a doubt.  The key thing I’ve learned is that I need to ensure that my highlights are thin enough else they have a nasty habbit of applying poorly.  The other item is that I need to ensure is that the mixes with Fenris Grey are mixed well enough because as previously mentioned that particular paint separates very quickly.

I’ve now started painting the red on the Terminator.  I’m using a recipe that was shown in White Dwarf a few issues back when Space Hulk was re-released.  The biggest drawback with this is that it is taking quite a while to actually paint.  Now in fairness the terminator has a lot of red on it – both wolf claws, a knee pad and a whole shoulder pad.  The overall effect is really smooth though, so it’s worth the time investment.

Although this miniature has consumed upwards of 8 hours time so far, I currently believe that painting power armoured marines will take less time providing I paint them in batches of between 4 and 6.  Many of the issues I’ve come across so far have been technique issues as well – how thin to make the paint, what area to cover to achieve a smooth blend, neatness etc – all of which will improve with practice.  I’ll also mix up a bottle of the base red colour I use which will also save some more time.

Tomb King Links

I borrowed the Tomb King Warhammer Army book off my brother yesterday, although it’s quite sparse on artwork there are some key elements that I could use for a possible entry for GD2010.  There is a really quite cool map/article that describes lots of traps encountered in a small pyramid.

One thing that is interesting is that it’s currently rumoured that the Tomb Kings will be getting a new army book during 2010 – in fact it’s currently rumoured that it will be the army released after Beasts of Chaos – which would make it a April/May release I reckon.  On a positive note this means that should I decide to do this as an entry that I could add in lots of nice new miniatures – in other words I have till May to get the scenary done and then June till September to do the miniatures 🙂

Useful Links:

http://images.mmosite.com/photo/2009/04/22/warhammerw490CIV48h51S.jpg – Witch Hunter Fighting Tomb Prince
http://www.wouldyoukindly.com/wp-content/uploads/warhammer1.jpg – Knight fighting Tomb Gaurd + interior
http://mythicmktg.fileburst.com/war/us/home/images/newsletter/2009_02/TK_Pendulum.jpg – Pendulum Trap
http://www.ogeworld.com/document_general_info.html?products_id=3366 – Article on planning tomb king expansion
http://war.mmolecule.com/articles/id/2031 – Another article with lots of exterior shots

Flying time

I can’t believe that there has been 10 days since my last post, it’s true that the closer to the festive period you get the faster the time seems to fly past.

I have however managed to get some painting squeezed into this last week and a half, so I’m thankfully not having large gaps in my hobby again.  I’ve managed to undercoat a Wolf Guard Terminiator with pair of Wolf Claws as I though that this would allow me to practice one of every item that my marines would have – wolf pelts, lightening weapons, face, armour, etc.  Overall I’m fairly happy with the progress that I’m making, modern terminators are really large models so it’s taking quite a while.  The basing technique that I’ve chosen looks absolutly fantastic and genuinly looks like this Wolf Guard is stood on top slate.

I have however come across a rather annoying item in my armour colour – I use Fenris Grey in the first three phases of painting the armour, this paint is one of Games Workshops Foundation Paint range which have a really good coverage.  The biggest drawback with this range is that as soon as you add water the paint seems to separate into a multitude of hues, Fenris Grey for example ends up with a rich purple sat on top of a mid/light grey.  The real problem comes in that you end up constantly mixing the colour up – normally with your expensive W&N brush in order to maintain a consistent colour ending up on your model.  I need to do some investigation to see if the addition of a flow retarder or similar will slow down the speed of this separation.  The armour on this miniature is far from complete and although it only requires four colours in total, in order to achieve a smooth transition is going to take quite a bit of time for each miniature.  However I’m sure that with a bit of practice I’ll be churning out armour in more of a production line style than this first one.  Justing rethinking I’m probably closer to finishing the armour than I thought as each progressive layer actually covers less area than the one before.

Almost there

Well the weekend went quite well, especially considering I didn’t actually do lots in the way of modelling.  I did however get all 14 Blood Claws assembled & based and also finished off the Scouts and based those as well (yes two dozen bases).  So all I have left to do is the 6 Long Fangs, 2 Wolf Guard and 1 Battle Leader, plus Wolf Guard for the Sky Claws (I’m excluding the various metal ‘priest’ models I have).  By using various old marine components I had around I’ve actually managed to do it without using any of the bodies that were in the Battle Force boxed set, giving me 20 marines with which I can play with to fill out existing packs and to build a new one or two.  I think that my next step will be to assemble my Razorback.  I’ll then likely do the Long Fangs then the Wolf Guard and begin to convert and customise all of the models from there on.

One thing that has just gone through my mind is to expand the Sky Claws by 5 more marines.  I also am thinking to try and replace the meltagun I’ve kitted one of them out, with a flamer (a BS of 3 means a meltagun might not be the best weapon).

Another GD2010 idea

This idea is probably the first that I actually feel genuine enthusiasm towards.  As I may have mentioned, I feel that a lot of the recent diorama’s that have won at Golden Demon have been small and don’t have much in the way of ‘battle’ in them – they are however brilliant on technical and painting levels.  The category allows you to use a 1 ft cube (or 30cm for those who prefer metric) and I personally think that it’s a shame not to use every available bit of this.

So whilst I’ve been looking on the internet, I’ve always had in the back of my mind that it would be nice to have something suitable for this maximum sized cube – and I now think I’ve got it.  Basically it’s a Tomb King dungeon scene, where a party of intreped adventurers have broken into a tomb complex, battled their way past various traps and found that the treasures are actually protected by all manner of undead gribblies.

The concept is that the piece will be a two-level cross-section.  The walls will be embossed in some manner, allowing for all of the various Tomb King murals to be incorporated into the piece.  Painting the environment will be pretty straight forward as all of the sandstone can be done using an airbrush, which should create quite a bit of depth and atmosphere.  There will be an upper level that will contain the ‘outside frontage’, which will lead into a small chamber via a hallway (including devilish traps), at the end of the chamber will be a spiral staircase (because all good dungeons have one) which will then lead down into the lower level and then into a final large chamber with Tomb King and sarcophagus.  One thing that I want to do is to make the last chamber appear untouched by the ravages of time as if preserved by some magical statis field – hopefully I can incorporate water fountains in this as well.  The top level needs to look decrepit, plaster falling off the walls, cobwebs, long dead bodies etc – similar to how ancient egyptian tombs look now (well without bodies).

I will need to investigate a good way of making realistic sand as real sand is too coarse to just glue on and expect it to look right.  I have had some thoughts about the walls as well.  If I get a piece of plasticard and glue on thin wire in the shape of the required embossing (sealing the edges with PVA glue or putty), I could then pour a thin layer of super fine plaster of paris over it.  When this has set I can then grease patches where I want the plaster to fall off (poking a hole through so I know where to bash) and then pour a layer of regular plaster.  Finally once set sand the back off and fix to some plasticard or similar to make a solid wall.  I can poke and gouge the areas that are greased which should flop off as it it had in real life.  I also think that I could get a mini sand blaster and spray the outer layer to weather it (you can get one for around £30).

I think that this could be ‘the one’, in which case I’ll start planning out the construction.  In principal, two 1ft squares of mdf and four corner spacers will be the starting point.

Userful Links:

Inner Lower Chamber
Outside Idea 1
Outside Idea 2
Chamber Idea 2

Possible GD2010 Project

I may be mad, but I’ve had a bit of a thought for a GD2010 project – a scratch build Thunderhawk Gunship.  Although you can actually purchase a Forgeworld model and GW have produced a metal one in the past (yes I remember that one – it came in a velvet lined oak box), it is still a fantastically impressive piece.  I’d likely make it in some kind of diorama carrying some vehicles or dropping off troops.

One of the really nice things about what is in essence a Space Marine vehicle is that it doesn’t need billions of rivets like a Imperial Guard vehicle would.  Although it would be a large project, the most complicated pieces are the two jet engines.  All of the weapons can be purchased from existing plastic kits.

Useful Links
http://www.grafstar.com/wh40k/resources.html – Contains some very rough plans (useful for scale)
http://www.ironhands.com/thawk.htm – A 2001 home grown one, using various plastic toys

so the socialising begins

I can’t believe that almost two weeks have passed since any kind of post.  In my defense I’ve not actually done much in the way of modelling due to other commitments – yes mostly social 🙂  I always find at this time of year that November seems to be more busy than December as many of the people who I know tend to have family commitments so cram as much into November as possible.

I have made a few in-roads into my army however.  The scouts are assembled, although they require extensive conversion and filling – the regular scouts (the ones with bolters) are bloody horrific to assemble.  The legs and torso’s don’t really tie up correctly which limits the assembly possibilities.

Currently I’m assembling the pack of 14 Blood Claws – the chainswords make them a bit more time consuming to put together than Grey Hunters sadly.

As a slight variation I putchased an ‘Aegis Defense’ boxed set – the one that has the quad-linked autocanons and lots of barriers.  The actual molding on these pieces are fantastic – probably the best that I’ve come across on a GW kit.  Should be good practice for airbrushing and some of the weathering techniques within the ForgeWorld masterclass book before I attempt them on a tank.

Pretty much nothing else to say.  I have two days off at the end of this week, so am hopeful that I might get my Blood Claws assembled and perhaps the Long Fangs.  I’ll then go back and bulk out the packs using some of the spare models that I’ve got to give me a greater variety of options.  The current aim is to have an assembled 1000 point army ready to play with for Christmas.