*Subtle gnashes his teeth, head-butts his keyboard, and deletes a second ramble of words that just doesn’t seem right*
Me no have right words! Why life so distracting? Ideas to share stuck in brain! Ideas good, but maybe… too… many!? Go away pesky real life.
*Subtle swats and flails at some unseen spectre harassing him, and then notices he’s not alone… he smiles sheepishly and composes himself*
*Cough* Errr… Yeah, so life is going to have me a little
more distracted then I was expecting; I can finally take the hat of ‘student’ off, but I’m still wearing ‘husband’, ‘father’, and ‘homeowner’, while trying to figure out how to get the ‘proprietor’ hat to fit right. I’ll still have personal hobby time (individual sanity demands some hobby time; muuuch more in a moment), but other obligations are going to need to get sorted out before I can settle in to some semblance of a proper routine and get up-to-speed with various plans. The timing isn’t bad I guess, considering the current flux that 40k is in.
That said, for the first time in a looong time I have
some time… and I’m suddenly caught in the midst of a bout of Hobby ADHD. I’ve got more than a few projects planned, so I’m sure it shouldn’t be a problem to try and do 5 or 6 of them at once! *Manic grin. Eye twitch… twitch, twitch…* The whispers from the Warp keep saying it’s a good notion, but they also keep giggling as they offer each new inspiration and motivation, so I’m growing suspicious of them as I’m reaching cognitive saturation.
But really, I’m sure it’s a combination of finally having some proper hobby time after such a long hiatus, and naturally the uncertainty of the entire Warhammer 40k setting as the bits-and-pieces are being released and leaked. I like to build and paint using a legit army list in an attempt to keep me on track, but that’s all out the window right now… sorta’. Even as I’ve been writing this article leaks have started to find the light of day, so that should help in the short term to avoid any major pitfalls in assembling a few models.
Massive wall-o’-text-and-images incoming! Enter at your own risk.
Ok, so this is going to be a rather sizable
mental offload, so you might want to grab a snack, beverage, and/or libation of choice, if you’re so inclined…
What’s a cult of Dark Mechanicus without a scheming malevolent super computer, after all? Initiate, the Irradial Cogitator! … Uh, some (lots of) assembly required.
A completely tangent side project for a bit of fun, I want to make a scenery model of an Irradial Cogitator loosely based on one of the few images I’ve found providing an idea what one might look like. I won’t be matching the look and details of the image exactly, but the monolith form, central screen, and pipework feeding up from the ground are elements I can use as I put my own take on the idea. An LCD picture frame built into the model will serve well for the purpose of the screen, and I have some plans in the works for some other lighting elements as well. Still very early in the build, this will be the central rectangular shape, which will then get a ton of detailing layered up on the outside to really bulk it up and embellish it. This will be a slow-burn kind of project, that won’t take as much of a priority, but it should pop up from time-to-time with progress updates.
Assembled before 8th edition was announced, it’s hard to say if this Heretek Magus won’t be altered before I finish him. He might need just a bit more… something.
Intended as a commander of a Renegades & Heretics force of ‘Mechanicus Militia’ I think the stature of the Enginseer model does well to strike a balance between a Mechanicus-R&H infantry model and a proper Tech-Priest Dominus. Personally, I think the the main body is great, but it just needed something to elevate the model a bit more and the servo-harness is the perfect opportunity. The Mechanicus kits are positively silly with extra bits to sprinkle about in kit-bashing. More bits are always a good thing, and it makes bashing like this a pleasure.
Limited in the weapon options available for a R&H Demagogue, I chose to splurge and give him a Plasma Pistol in an attempt to synergize its range with the Meltagun that was planned for the Command Squad; the squad is really meant to hang back and provide protection to support assets like Rapiers or artillery, so the Plasma seemed to suit the role and add a little bite to the Heretek Magus. In light of some of the recent information about weapons in 8th edition, who knows, the Plasma Pistol might even stay.
I’ve been looking for something to add a bit of visual interest to the Ash Waste basing scheme I use for a while, and GWs Agrellan Earth texture paint really fits the bill.
Getting back to assembling some ground troops, I’ve taken the opportunity to consider my basing scheme. Wanting a completely lifeless landscape for the basing of my army, I didn’t want to use static grass or charred foliage to add interest. The textured stone was a good start but I wanted something more. I’ve tired other ‘crackle paint’ products with some moderate results, but it’s usually very hit-and-miss and doesn’t crack at the right scale. Credit should be given to GW for some of the specialty paints in their line, like Agrellan Earth, which gives very consistent results that suits the scale very nicely; for standard paints there are several brands that all perform reasonably similarly, and it comes down to personal choice and availability, but GW does offer some unique products that are hard or impossible to find in other offerings. I recently got a bottle of Nihilakh Oxide, which easily produces the most wonderfully authentic looking copper patina, as another example. I think I’ll explore a few more of the specialty products in the future for a few more of the gems in the line.
With the lighter stature of models in the Ad Mech line, I wasn’t happy with the first models I did; to me, the feet were just too sunken into a surface that would likely have very little give.
With Power Armour models I don’t mind as much when the feet are sunken into the surface created by the basing; it seems quite reasonable that the considerable weight of the armour might have it sink into the ground some. The Ad Mech are a different story, but with the delicate nature of the feet on the Skitarii models pinning seemed like too much of a hassle. I also prefer to attach the model directly to the base so I can compose the look a little. For me, this completely killed the idea of doing the basing then adding the model after, so I figured it would be easier to just give the models 0.5mm lifts with some shims of styrene.
Excellent, just enough of a gap to have the model sit on top of the basing material, instead of sunken into it. 10 Skitarii down, 30-40 to go… *Eyes glaze over and go slightly crossed*
I’ve long been an advocate for doing as much basing as possible on a model, before priming. I do myself a favor and make it part of the assembly of the model to get it over with early; be honest with yourself, you know you never want to do it after
you’re done painting a model, so make it part of the build process from the start. From there, it simply gets painted with the rest of the model and it really does make the addition of the basing cleaner, cohesive, more durable, and much less daunting to finish.
This ‘Raider has been waiting so long for paint that the black pigment in the resin has been discoloured by the ultraviolet (UV) light of the fluorescent lighting it’s been exposed to.
It’s only been the last few years that I’ve really started to appreciate the damaging potential of UV light; especially after seeing this discolouration developed on a few other models. What’s telling for me is that my painting area is setup in a corner of a basement and it gets very little natural daylight, so all of this damage has been done by artificial lighting. The takeaway for me is that a final varnish with a product that expressly states that it’s UV resistant wouldn’t go amiss, especially if the models are going to be on display under intense light of any kind.
Being at least 6 or 7 years old, this Land Raider was a personal project model that got sidetracked into early service for the studio, going on to help me create several kits for the Land Raider chassis. With a replacement model obtained, it’s finally time to let this model return to its original purpose and see some paint! First up, the final assembly and attaching of the armour kit, and a serious future consideration; attaching such a large part in one go using Super Glue is quite tricky and in the future I think I’ll use 5 minute Epoxy for a job such as this to provide a bit of working time to ensure a good fit. I was able to get a good results, but there are a few small spots where I would have liked to adjust the fit slightly, but the fast setting Super Glue is very
Buuut, before this model sees any paint it needed to get roughed-up a little bit to give it a some extra character.
The files are used as you’d expect, to add dings, scratches, and dents in strategic edges and surfaces. Where those tools are used to cut away material to make a mark, I use the smooth metal rod to put marks in the plastic with hard physical pressure. Carefully pressing and scraping this tool on surfaces and edges creates marks in the plastic without removing material and that slightly deforms the surface, making the cosmetic damage effect a little more authentic looking in some places.
I was tempted to do a spot or two of more elaborate damage to make it look like the ‘Raider had taken a few hits. However, since this model has waited so long already, I chose to save that treatment for some future projects; I’ll aim to start with completing a selection of well-maintained vehicles before I do some with a bit of battle damage to add some extra character to the collection.
The challenge of priming a partially assembled model; you want primer almost everywhere, but you want to avoid some stupidly small or fiddly spot so you can build it later.
During the masking process I did happen to discover that a common CR2032 battery is actually the perfect size to cut circles for masking the holes in the Land Raider and Rhino models. It’s just large enough to mask a very thin ring around the opening, perfect for gluing discreetly in later assembly. I also use a pencil sharpener to give some low cost dollar-store dowels a bit of a taper so they can fit snugly in the various weapons; this made them easier to handle while priming, while also blocking paint from getting where it wasn’t wanted.
Look, Jeff Dunham would be proud! A Heavy Bolter… on a stick. A Las-Cannon… on a stick. Even a whole Land Raider… on a stick!
It can be frustrating sometimes, dealing with the dilemma of how to safely hold a large model in some way that permits you to turn and rotate it in every direction in order to evenly apply the primer. Then you need to be able to put it down in some manner, to allow it time to dry, but you can’t touch it in any way. In this case I was lucky to have a heavy cardboard tube that fit very snugly through the Land Raider’s doors, providing an excellent temporary handle. It’s worked so well, I think I’ll keep it in place to help with the painting process.
I’ve had the overwhelming urge to paint things black recently. This ‘Raider is only the start. There’s something so very satisfying about the unification that happens when priming a model.
I haven’t had a chance to put any more paint on this yet, but it’s sitting on the bench calling to me to get started. This will also open another
door, once it starts to get closer to completion; what’s a Land Raider without a squad of Terminators for it to transport, after all? Time to dust off another old project, me thinks. A new edition where Terminators might just perform better is as good a time as any to finish them up, I suppose. More on this and that when I have a chance to dig up some bits-and-pieces, take stock, and make some progress.
Oh look, something else that I felt compelled to paint black. And I’ve even had time to add some more colour.
I figured the Shield Generator would be a good candidate for some paint sooner rather than later. It’s a very successful model in general that I really want to see painted, but it’s also something that can find a home in more than one army list, so there’s nothing wrong with versatility. I’ve extolled the virtues before, but I feel compelled to say again just how good the Vallejo Liquid Gold/Silver/Copper line is. The tiny learning curve required because it is an alcohol based product shouldn’t stop anyone from giving this line a try if they’re going to be doing large areas of metallic colours. While there are some solid Silver alternatives (Vallejo Air Silver, for example) I have yet to find any water based acrylic Gold paint that compares to the results of the Liquid Gold from this line, and the Copper is just as amazing. One coat over virtually any colour, and then just a quick touch-up and it’s done. Just be sure to have a bottle of 90%+ Isopropyl Alcohol around for cleaning brushes and thinning the paint while you work; the alcohol evaporates very fast, which is good for drying times on a model, but it also dries quickly on your pallet.
The notion to mix up a few paints and washes quickly turned into… this. Ok, it’s time to get the painting area organized again.
Since I’m finally able to get back to painting, I’ve discovered that some of my Black highlight colours have turned to sludge. Given the consistency, I didn’t want to try and rejuvenate them, and I was interested in slightly altering the highlight process to tone it down a little anyhow. So I set about mixing some new highlights and some washes, and promptly made a much larger mess then I had anticipated. Message received; the painting area has since been returned to an organized and useful state, making it much easier to avoid procrastination (in theory) and jump into painting when the urge strikes me.
With my Mechanicus think I’m going to shift from a dusty ashen aesthetic that I was trying with my Chaos Marines, and try one that is more inspired by grease, grime, carbon, and soot.
Still a long way to go at this point, as I’m still building up layers of wash to give the depth and dinge I’m aiming for. It’s mostly just really satisfying to finally get some fresh paint on something… anything.
It’s going to be a great piece to build the army around. Naturally, there should be several maaany more painting projects turning up much more regularly in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Some dabbling in Illustrator to work on symbols and icons. And hey, meet my cat Monty, who routinely sits in the middle of my work space to get my attention. Oh, what’s that, there…?
At some point I want to have some sheets of decals produced, and now that I’ve got a better grasp of vector based graphics I can sit down and get some ideas out. I’m going to try and produce some that are overtly Chaos, some that are outright Mechanicus, and some that are a blend between the two. Beyond larger more elaborate symbols such as this one, I’m actually just as eager to have modest things like large batches of small sequential barcode-like identifiers that I can use on large groups of Mechanicus rank-and-file. Again, this is a slow-burn type of project that should pop up sometime in the future, as I start to get some models painted.
Unlike my Kytan build, which is happening from the top down (more on that wonderful kill-bot in the near future), this Knight build is getting done from the bottom up. Needless to say, I wanted to change the pose of the legs at least a little, and that was going to require some minor surgery. It really is a missed opportunity that GW didn’t make the Knight kit with more (read: any) flexibility in how the legs can be posed. While it would have made the kit a little bit more involved to build, the Knight model is already a more advanced kit, and it would have benefited sooo much from having more control over the pose of the legs.
By using a very thin push razor blade I was able to remove the hip connection very cleanly in order to minimize the loss of material.
A careful scoring of the cut line around the joint several times started the process, follow by gently (and carefully!
) forcing the blade through with a rocking action, removing the part very cleanly; just a little light filing to make sure the surface was nice and smooth and the parts were glued back together in the new pose, and the join is completely seamless.
I wanted to lift the leg, but I didn’t want the extra work involved to change the angle of the foot. By rotating the leg at this vertical seam in the hip, the leg can be raised without changing the tilt very much. Then it’s a simple matter of bending the knee a little to accommodate the change.
Altering the bend of the knee joint is just a simple matter of a little careful cutting, some cleanup, and a few bits of styrene.
My handy-dandy Razor Saw (aka: Jewellers’ Saw) made quick work of the knee joint, but I was very careful to keep the cuts following the center of the gap, to avoid any cosmetic damage of the parts. A little bit of file work cleaned them up nicely.
The upper leg took a bit of extra work to fill the hole, but nothing too elaborate.
It was simple enough to add a small piece of styrene tube into the leg. This not only filled the hole providing support for the next bit of plastic, it also helped lock the alignment of the two parts. A small shim of plastic added in on top filled the hole flush with the model’s original plastic. There’s really no need to make this reconstruction any cleaner than this, since it’s all-but completely hidden in the final build.
I’m partial to using real stone in my basing which requires a little extra effort in some projects, such as this.
In this case I needed to tweak the angle of the bottom of the stone a bit so it accommodated the foot of the Knight properly. This also improved the surface area of the stone to the base, so it’s glued on very securely now.
When a model is standing on the natural stone directly, it’s usually a safe bet to pin the it in place for strength. With a good bit, a high speed Rotary Tool (aka: Dremel) makes quick work of drilling mounting holes into any stone; it’s not all that much harder than pinning any two dissimilar materials, really. A simple modification to the Knight’s foot and it’s ready to be securely attached in the absolutely correct position; note that using two pins ensures that the part can better resist any twisting forces.
Yeah, I got a thing about rocks. I can’t be the only one who can get a bit… particular… when it comes to adding certain details to a model.
It’s an interesting balancing act, trying to add enough visual interest to the presentation of the model, without going too overboard; you know you want just a little bit overboard, but just a little
bit. I’ve collected a modest selection of stones in a range of sizes over the years so I can play with the arrangement until I’m satisfied with it. Despite having a good selection to choose from, it all stores away in a single old-school 4 quart wooden peach basket and a few of the plastic containers pictured here. Larger bases have so much more room to consider, I find I need a good selection of stone to consider the composition carefully.
Ok, with that, I will bring this not-so-little entry to a close. I’ve still got a few other projects lurking in the shadows waiting for a chance in front of the camera, but all in good time. While I am currently still juggling several things, as life is apt to force us all to do, I expect to be making updates with more substance, content, and frequency going forward. In fact, I should be following up this with a request for input in the reasonably near future. I’ve been inside my own head for a while now, and I’d like some outside perspective and suggestions.
But for now, I have the distinct urge to put something together. *Subtle wanders off to make a productive mess*