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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-16-13, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
Subtle Discord
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An Introduction ~ Part 3

So this time, I built the Predator kit with resin casting in mind...

This time I built everything 'loose' - able to come free from the model. Not being able to glue to parts down to the model for support came with its own challenges, to say the least.

I took the opportunity to tweak the design and incorporate elements I used in the Land Raider, designing them to look cohesive-but-unique when together. I also completely changed the shape of the turret by extending the slope of the original turret down. In my opinion, this turret looks like it is designed to deflect incoming fire much better than the original turret shape. Beyond those two major changes the overall design stayed very true to the MK.II Pattern.

Originally I had use the part in the GW Predator kit to make the sponson weapon link, but if I wanted to make a complete kit I needed to design my own solution.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It's a post with a 'cap' that has a proper seat for the optics bit. It's designed to work with two square 1/8"x1/8"x1/16" magnets, letting you easily swap between Las'Cannon or Heavy Bolter. Square magnets also let the optics turn with the weapon. It's a little thing, but hey. Normally I work in metric, with metric tools, but Neodymium (Rare Earth) Magnets are the one exception. The selection of sizes in Imperial is just so vast; I can't find the same in metric.

Designation: Loricatus Pattern Mk.III Heavy Predator - The culmination of everything I've learned so far about casting, manifest in resin for the first time. I do believe I've got the hang of this!

So this brings me to the end of the Dark Path that lead me to this point. My selection is modest so far, but everything seen cast in resin through the course of this thread is/will be in production, and available from my shop The Dark Works, if anyone is interested. I'll also add to this thread with some tutorials on what I learned and some of my techniques over the coming weeks and months. I've been itching to paint lately, so expect a painting article or two sooner-or-later, but for now it's all about the current builds and expanding the line of kits I have to offer. Speaking of which... (What, you though it was over? Never! Submit to the will of the Dark Gods... *Subtle starts speaking in strange tongues* ... *Cough* Err... where was I?)

In case you thought I only did scratch-build, here's a Chaos Decimator that's on my workbench. Naturally I took the time to magnetize the arms for easy weapon swapping.

For the most part, the Decimator will be stock. It's just such a hardcore miniature, it really doesn't need much modification if you don't want to invest the effort. I do plan on altering the weapons a bit; Improving the Storm Lasers, Conversion Beamer, and Butcher Cannons to make them more Chaos. The stock butcher Cannon especially, to me, is very... meh. Reaper Auto-Cannon barrels attached to an 'ok' ammo-drum-like-thing. I think I can do better. It needs more... Butcher!

What's that you say? A proper Chaos Storm Eagle? I think I may be able to work something out. (Must have VTL vehicles for my Air Cavalry!)

This is a very early proof of concept build, not even a prototype yet. (It's been in the back of my brain for quite some time.) Since building this, I've had time to contemplate, and I want to go back to the CAD design one more time and refine this base structure. It is very close to what is planned, but I have several adjustments to make. This is going to be a large ambitious build that will take some time to come together, but it's something I really want to make happen, so it's on my short list. Unlike the Forge World Storm Eagle, my kit will make much more use of the base GW Storm Raven kit. It's such a good model it's a shame not to use as much of it as possible. It should have a slightly longer and leaner line than the FW kit, while still feeling like plausible counterpart. Compare this to the early build picture of the Predator, and you can have an idea where this is going. Being a flying vehicle, I plan on doing the Chaos Trim detailing with a lighter plastic; .33mm or.25mm verse the normal 0.4mm. It should give it a more sleek lighter look. Well... as sleek as you can make these 'flying bricks' look, that is. And I think the missile racks are going to mount wrap-around on the corner of the engine housing, with a stabilizer coming out from the center. It's a little hard to describe, but the Havoc Launcher should also give an idea of the feel they will have. My take of a Reaper Auto-Cannon for the nose, and Las'Cannons for the wings will also be part of the build. I want to make this as complete as the Predator kit. Also, a key feature of this kit, it will be really really easy to build. Everything interlocks and links together; the only thing holding the entire build pictured here together is that single rubber band. Everything is dry fit and held together because it's locked that way.

I mulled some ideas over on the left, inspired by the original track pattern. I've chosen to go with something more unique.

I've considered doing treads before, but the repetition always turned me off. (I have to make how many?!) So, this time I'm going to make a small selection of links and make moulds to mass produce them. I'll still need to make lots of them, but casting them a few at a time is more appealing than fabricating each one. from there I'll construct the needed lengths from a collection of links.

The other issue was size; they're so small (especially the Rhino links) that there really isn't that much room to be that creative. There's only so much you can do with a tiny link, even on a Land Raider. In the end, they are a very utilitarian part of the tank so I chose to keep them simple enough. A single layer with low-profile rivets.

Finally, also on my (not so) short list is a Chaos Vindicator kit in the Loricatus Pattern style, and a selection of Chaos vehicle components: Chaos Search Light, Dirge Caster, 'Dozer Blades & Destroyer Blades for Rhino and Land Raider chassis. I'm also looking at the Hell Drake kit and trying to figure out a way to make a 'Hell Drake Jet' kit. Everyone who doesn't like the Drake seems to want it to be a jet, maybe I can help them out. I've also got this really cool idea for counts-as Chaos Drop Pods... I think I want to call them Hell Thorns... *Subtle's speech starts to drift* ... or Hell Spikes... fired from orbit, they drive into the planet, planting themselves and opening a portal for troops... *Subtle starts wandering off, still muttering to himself* ... so much to do, so little time...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

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