Saturday, December 20, 2014

WIP - Salamander Scout/Command Vehicle

After building an Imperial Guard Chimera using the Chapter House Studios six wheel kit I had a set of Chimera tracks left over. I used those tracks, a multitude of bits, and styrene stock to create my very own Salamander Scout/Command Vehicle. This will become part of my 8th Pardus Armoured Regiment, the heavy support for my Tanith 1st army. The following are pictures of my current work in progress prior to painting.

All of the weapons, the main gun, hull mounted weapon, pintle mounted weapon and a hunter killer missile (not shown) as well as the dozer blade have been magnetized.

I've always liked the look of a modified exhaust. This one was made from styrene and a Leman Russ exhaust.

Shown above with the autocannon option.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Unboxing - Sabbat Crusade 1st Edition

The Tanith 1st and Only, respectfully referred to as Gaunt's Ghosts, hold a warm place in my heart and a couple of rows on my bookshelf. When I saw that a new collection of Ghost related fiction was coming out in a limited first edition I had to shell out the dough. Considering I'm in the process of assembling a Tanith army I thought it would serve dual purpose as source material and reading entertainment.

Today it arrived and if there is one thing Games Workshop does best it's produce quality publications. I'm the proud owner of three Imperial Armour books and this collection lived up to the level of quality I have come to expect from GW.

My excitement began when I opened the mailbox to see the "Black Library First Editions" box art stairing back at me.

 After opening the box I was greeted with this lovely red tissue wrapped package sealed with a the Tanith emblem.

 I was very careful when removing the sticker. I have plans to scan this and start printing some decals sheets in the very near future.

The book itself is protected by a gorgeous gloss camo book sleeve adorned with the Tanith emblem on the front and spine.

A beautiful battle rages across the front and back covers in a combination of matte and gloss which lends a real depth to the image.

 A murderous vision of Colonel Commissar Ibram Gaunt graces the inside cover page.

The book contains a copious amount of new reading as seen here in the table of contents.

There is some additional artwork including illustrations of Gol Kolea, Tona Criid, and a couple of other characters. Not nearly as much artwork as I was hoping for but that's okay because it leaves tons of room for more stories, time lines, and maps. There is a page marker ribbon incorporated into the book. The inside back cover is a star map of the areas involved in the Sabbat Crusade.

I'm only on the Sabbat Martyr in the Gaunt's Ghosts series so I wont be publishing any reviews any time soon on the story content of this collection. With that in mind I am thoroughly pleased with my purchase. The book is one of uncompromising quality and I'm proud to set it on my shelf alongside the rest of the series. I'm also excited at the prospect of using the illustrations to help me design my Tanith army to be as true to the fluff as possible. I've already started to consider what bits I can use to recreate the banner and ornate pole depicted on the front cover of the book.

For die hard fans of the series this is a must have. Thank you Games Workshop!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Terrain - Supply Dumps

Continuing in my recent terrain building effort I made a couple of supply catches turned strong points. Materials used were:
  • My home made cargo containers shown in my previous post
  • Apoxie Sculpt - Used to make sandbags
  • Scrap sprue
  • Window screen
  • Cast wheels/tires
  • Clay
  • Sand
  • 1/8" particle board

I started by cutting out the particle board into shape.  ***Be careful** I sliced the ever living crap out of my fingers doing this, not on my blade but on the chamfered edge of the particle board. Just shy of stitches but I was covered in bandages afterward. I would recommend using a jig saw and then sanding the sides to a desired bevel/chamfer.

After the boards were cut to shape/size I coated the board in clay and shaped it to create 3 berms and one point of entry.

After the clay had dried I placed my larger objects in place and then cut out the clay to stick them them in. I suppose I could have placed these objects when the clay was wet, but I didn't want to get clay all over them and have to clean it up later.

After the large objects were in place I coated the ground in a PVA glue/water mix and dusted it all in a fine sand.

I made the fence posts out of spare sprue which I carved a wood grain into and used some nylon window screen to make the chain link fence.

Apoxie sculpt was used to make the sandbags and both the tire/wheels and containers were castings I had made. The container is an original creation and the tire/wheels are casts of Forge World Tauros wheels.

I based it all in black and followed that up with a series of dry brushes, washes, and weathering pigments.

The second one was created in the same manner.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Terrain - Water Tower

I always wanted to make a water tower piece of terrain out of a tin can and so... I finally did! Yay, me. It's complete with a bird's nest and a fortified base.

For materials I used 1/8" particle board for the base, some scale model drums and cambros, a pack of scrap balsa wood, some sheet styrene, styrene hex rod, styrene tube, sand, and wait for it... a tin can!

I detailed the tin can with cardstock and made rivets out of disks I punched from styrene and slices of styrene hex rod using the same methods detailed in my previous tutorial on fasteners.

After that I primed the whole thing black and drybrushed it with a medium grey followed by a drybrush of gun metal and finished off with a mix Secret Weapon Miniatures rust weathering powders and mineral spirits.

The sandbags were sculpted out of apoxie sculpt using the same method described in the Forge World Model Masters books:

  • Roll out a sausage of putty (green stuff or milliput will work too)
  • Flatten the sausage
  • Cut it into sandbag sized rectangles
  • Cut a seam into the sides
  • Set in place
  • Texture with a cloth
  • Enjoy

 A box of scale model cambros and drums helped to add some detail.

I weathered the wood with a wash of dark grey acrylics.

A weathered pipe made out of styrene tube is complemented by a small pool of water.  I used the Secret Weapon Miniatures real water to create a little puddle.

Want to make your own? Check out this great video from MiniWar Gaming:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Terrain - Cargo Containers

Our local gaming group started an escalation style campaign based on the book Death World by Steve Lyons. In order to bring the game to life I began making some custom terrain. One of the things I knew I would want was a ton of cargo containers. 

To begin I made the below container out of sheet styrene. I was very meticulous to ensure that every part was measured precisely and that all edges were square. I added the rivets using some scale rivet strips, although small diameter styrene rod would work just as well.

After it was built I went about making a few silicone molds. I used RTV silicone which is easy to mix in a 1-1 ratio and cures in about 4-6 hours. I order my silicone from Micromark.

After the molds were finished it was time to start casting.  The resin I use is also a simple 1-1 ratio and cures in as little as 15 minutes. With three molds I can crank out a lot of these in an afternoon.

And here's a look at some of the containers used in a piece of terrain.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Storm Eagle Assembly

I recently started helping a fellow gamer (Joe) out with some of his assembly work in exchange for trade. The most recent project was a Forge World Storm Eagle he had acquired for his Imperial Fist 30k army.

The kit was new in the bag and ready for work. There was some mild warping of the hull, weapons, canards, wings, doors, well basicly all of the resin was slightly warped. Nothing a little hot water couldn't help.

After everything was straightened I went about cleaning everything off the sprue and touching up the resin bits where needed.

Joe wanted the interior detailed so I went about assembling all that I could before that point first. One of those steps was to magnetize the missile pods. This will help to prevent breakage during transport and allow for easy removal in game after receiving weapon destroyed results.

After the various hull sections were assembled I primed the interior black, gave it a drybrushing of Army Painter 'Gun Metal' and went about detailing the interior lights and screens.  I applied some OSL to all the lights and finished the lights and screens off with a gloss varnish. 

The front ramp got a little love with some hazard stripes too.

Later, after I assembled the hull I realized just how obscured almost all of the detail work I had done had become. Oh well, I suppose it's best to err on the side of detail.

Once the interior had been painted it was time to glue the hull together. I would normally use plastic weld, but because some of the parts are plastic and some resin I had to use super glue. I was also glad to have several small clamps on hand as the resin, despite my work straightening it, was still warped to some degree.

After a night curing in place the clamps were removed and I was back to work. The engines were added. Some areas needed either plastic card, putty, sanding, or a combo of all three to get them squared away. I also magnetized the wings to allow for easy transport and to reduce the risk of breakage later on.

All in all I was quite please with the end result and so was Joe.  Now that he has it in hand I'll be looking forward to see how it looks after he gets done painting it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tauros Venator

I've always loved peering through the Forge World online store and the catalog I picked up at Games Day back in 2005, but it wasn't until late last year that I finally purchased my first Forge World model, an Elysian Tauros Venator. My venator sat untouched for quite a while until I broke it out a couple of months ago and started to work.
One of the first details I added was a mesh screen over the roll cage. I used window screen for this detail. I also added grab bars to the roll cage using florist wire.

I made a custom lasgun carbine for my driver which was detailed in a tutorial I posted earlier.

Using some RTV silicone I made a mold of one of the front wheels and cast it in resin. I used this copy as a spare tire and attached it to the rear of the vehicle.

I used Secret Weapon Miniatures weathering powders to give an aged bronze look to the Imperial eagles, and a light dust to the sides and underside of the vehicle.

I did a little bit of OSL to the various light sources like these batteries.

I used Tamiya clear acrylics for all of the consoles. All of the paint chipping was achieved using the sponging technique.
I used an oil wash to complete the weathered effect.

And the finished product...