Monday, 25 January 2010

The shape of things to come

A weekend of building lies behind me, and the primer is on.

Left to right, you can see - 3 TH/SS grey knights, dread arms and torso; two more GK's a drop pod a batch of IST's with melta and commander cullin... nay Brother Captain Cullin :)

nothing is glued to it's base for easier painting, and the Dread is magnetised so the weapons get seperate paint, oh yeah and theres a guy whose head still isnt on :)

I've still got a Land Raider to build, but i'm waiting on magnets so it can be either a Crusader or Redeemer., so while we wait on those, let's have some closer shots eh?

This is a set of three TH / SS guys, that at the moment I'm going to run as a Deep striking squad of its own, but later will be 1 guy per squad.

at the moment I dont feel I have enough units, so i'm working with smaller focussed guys, mainly because of the cost of things in my dex.


the next two guys had thier sheilds carved into a semblance of the =][=

The next two are vanilla GKT's, it was very interesting working with non-AoBR termies as a base, the extra posability of the seperate torso really allows some dynamism.

that guy had a "priming accident" dont worry its glued back on now :)

A closer view of my dread torso. this got magnetised, but i'll most likely run him as a marksman, as i'm seriously lacking Long range firepower. Its just a normal dread with a bit of iconography on it, hopefully it will paint up convincingly

And of course the drop pod is his.

The melta IST's

the guys I was using with plasma and grenades just never seem to do anything worthwhile so melta all round. oh and scouts come in a box of 5, so I made a flamer guy for the hell of it.
Last up, my new commander to be

Brother-Captain Cullin of the Grey Knights.

I was going to do a bit more converting, but it's just such a beutiful sculpt all I had the heart to do was swap his Iconography. =][= symbols pervade where once there were only scorpions.

I think he'll tie in well, his armour is ornate and covered in purity seals, his crotch plate is pretty much a peice of GKT heraldry anyway, and i've added similar to the new GKT above so that should echo well and work as a unit despite the different armour.

so that lot all needs paint now. argh. just when I thought I was getting somewhere :)

still I'm pretty happy with them so far, and once this set of guys and their ride is done it'll be time to try and take some group shots.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tau Stealth Suit Conversions

A freind of mine over at A Tau Beggining is an adult returner to the hobby, much like me, but unlike me, didnt do much modelling last time round. He has been painting his stealth suits and I think he has a wicked scheme for his army, and his painting is remarkable considering how long he's been at it.

His problem is he's got at least nine of these guys good to go and is finding them a little, well static.

I offered to have a go at making a few a tad more dynamic so he threw a box at me.

the very first thing I did was assemble the few multi-part components so I could see what this kit was made of. It's not very complex and really dosent allow a wide range of motion or dynamism. odd, I thought for something with a jump pack.

That very feature was what I decided to make the most of, flight. so off came the first guy's feet.
and those neat littl discs on the ankles, I'll put those back later :)

Then I positioned the legs as swept back as I could. that left a little ugly ball and socket visible at the waist, but we'll GS that in later.

I stuck a pole up his.. vent.

and then re-attach the feet.

We'll come back with GS later and re-form ankles. then we can glue those nifty ankle discs back on

Thats him kinda done. I know, I know I screwed up the weapon. I've never built this kit before, and it just fit so well like that i didnt question it. theyll get pulled off and put on right. i promise.

I also didnt attache the shoulder pads for him, as i had no clue which ones he had on which side on his other blokes.

okay, two left.

I wanted to try for "about to touch down" as i like doing that with Assault marines. so off comes one foot.

and with the careful application of a rod up the... vent. and a pinned foot (yeah yeah, ankle, GS later :P ) he kinda looks right.

okay so he's probarbly the weakest of the lot, but it's really not a hugely versatile kit.

next fellow got a more ground based repose.

First thing was to cut through the thigh, well away from any sculpted detail

then mount the legs at a jaunty angle in the upper torso.

like a fool I didnt clearly photograph the next step, but basically you pin the legs back on, in almost the same place, but rotatedmaybe 40 degrees in line with the new facing of the model.

the result looks something like this

a little GS and no-one will ever know :)

This is the closes I came to a post GS group shot.

But this fellow is still my favourite :)

These should look wicked when painted up in my mates scheme.

As always I'm happy to hear your thoughts, but also, why not pop over to his blog and let him know what you think. maybe chivvy him along to get them painted :)

The Ton.


I've another post all ready to go, which I'll put up in a short while, but I couldnt let the landmark pass without a comment of it's own.

100 people find what I'm doing here interesting enough to read from time to time.

That's very cool.

Thankyou all.

I am a much happier hobbyist since I discovered these blogs, having bounced around a few forums and really not enjoyed the reception or atmosphere. I still lurk on one or two and post occasionally but this has become my real home on the web.

and its because of the people that read and comment, and the others that create content for this little corner of the web.

Okay this is starting to sound a little like an acceptance speech, so I'm out.

once more.


Saturday, 16 January 2010

C'mon Lads, Group Photo

I finished the Last 3 guys, making my first squad of GKT's.

Each one of these has been converted form an AoBR termie, most recognisably the sergeant.

Apologies for the pics, I've messed the exposure up a little, I forgot to check my settings and i'd been shooting out in the snow the other day. ah well. Maybe i'll take some more later in the week, if i can be bothered :)

Here's a few individual shots -

Next on the table?

Well I have a LRC to build for these fellows. I have an actual box of terminators, no AoBR here, which will get the same treatment. I've a Dear and Drop pod waiting for paint and last but not least a FW Commander Cullen who, with a few changes of iconography, will be my GK HQ.

I'm not changing his armour up though, as i think the sculpt is too good, just his icons and maybe his hair :)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Works in Progress

Unusual for me I know. I usually try to post either finished tutorials or finished minis but in the interest of trying to keep people interested I'm trying to post a little more regularly.

I've four guys actively on the go at the moment, that is in the crosshairs and actively receiving paint. three of my GK conversions and one model for a freind.

The GK are giving my a slight issue. I'm taking more time over them than the first two, and working hard to improve the paint, as I have the modelling too. and while I am very happy with the way they are going... they are a smidge darker than the other two.

I think I'll live with it, but I know it's going to bug me a little every time I look at them.

anyway heres the brother captain;

a squad member;

and the last guy;

they still need a whole heap of detail and highlight, but i'm pleased so far with the grey, the glds etc. I think the eyes really pop, and the darker tone does a nice job of draing you to the BC's face. still cant quite get the smoothness I want though.

this last model is very WiP, about the only thing close to done on him is the armour, but I'm taking my time as it's for a freind who went to GD :)

There we are, WiPs galore. I hope to have these guys finished by the end of the weekend (the GK at least) but work is going crazy at the moment, so don't count on it.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Must... Resist...

Blood angels upcoming release...I used to have BA as my main army, I loved them.

I love assault troops.

Assault AS tropps is going to be awesome. - here's the text..

"This April the Blood Angels will be re-launched with an all-new Codex and range of plastic and metal miniatures. One of the oldest and noblest of all Space Marine Chapters, the Blood Angels have stood fast against the enemies of the Imperium since the Great Crusade and it was their Primarch Sanguinius, who laid down his life to aid the Emperor against Horus in the final hours of the Warmaster’s rebellion. The new Codex explores the background and history of these superhuman warriors like never before, and contains new artwork depicting some of their greatest battles and most powerful champions.
The Blood Angels have always been a powerful close combat army and have been made even deadlier thanks to a range of specialist wargear, the ability to field Assault Squads as Troops choices, and more Dreadnoughts than any other Space Marine Chapter, including a Death Company Dreadnought and the fabled Furioso Dreadnought. The Sons of Sanguinius will be deep striking onto a tabletop near you this April – now’s the time to practice painting red."
I've got four armies already. I literally can't conscience a fifth.

though i could repaint all my Ultras as BA..



Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Tutorial - AoBR terminator to Grey Knight Conversion (Sooo pic heavy)

I've been asked for this several times, both here and on B&C so I decided to document the next one I had a crack at.

We're going to assimilate this scrap AoBR terminator into a proud Grey Knight Terminator
First off, a List of What's needed.

The Bitz

Cereal box card (optional)
Plastic Rod
FW =][= Brass etch symbol
One complete AoBR terminator
One Thunder hammer arm
One storm shield arm
Any space marine hand
A suitable blade (I’m using Dark angels ones due to the unique shape)
A purity seal or scroll etc for “dressing”

And the tools used :
GS sculpting tools
Pin vice / Drill
Fine files/sandpaper


There are other tutorials out there which cover pretty much every aspect of this build, some I’ve used, some have been pointed out to me since posting the models.
The two(three) that most directly relate are Ron Saikowsji’s Pre-heresey terminators over at From the warp, and related to that iktovian’s template for PH- Pads.

And USABOB’s picture tutorial on plastic GK termies, which I hadn’t actually seen until someone directed me there, I’ve done almost exactly the same as him, but with less pinning and more GS, and I think a different magazine – I use the existing one, he uses a rhino mounted one.

I can only hope if BOB every sees this tut he wont think I’ve ripped him off.

Anyway, onward -

So here are the step-by-step stages of making this fellow

1) The close shave

First thing is to prepare the AOBR termie, by shaving off all the unnecessary bits.

Head – we make a few select cuts here, shaving off some of the detail from the flat planes thus,

Then following the line of the eye here, we make a cut each side,



shaving down until we are happy with our new mr. pointyface


If you like you can drill some “breathing holes” in one or both sides at this point. I do this to about half the squad, and in different patterns / sides. I’m going to leave this guy vanilla though.

Chest – all detail removed to make a nice flat surface

The stuff in red has to go. I use a sharp blade and then finish with a file or abrasive paper


The result is this:

Legs – again, protruding details removed to make way for the plates later

Anything that "sticks out" has to go.



if you aren’t a fan of the leg plates leave these intact and use the legs as is. Personally I feel the bulk of the shoulders demands some bulking of the legs for balance.

Okay so there he is prepped and partially converted, next is to start adding bits back on.


2) The Build

The Head / collar.

For this we need a thin strip of thinish plasticard.


Now I’m terrible at measuring, I tend to go “by eye” its the same when I cook, paint, whatever, so it’s about this big, and it gets fenegled to fit with a few dry fittings and a bit of a trim, until we have this –


Which can be happily bent around a paintbrush to provide the curve


And then glued into place


The Nemesis force weapon

Here are the components for the NFW,

and the cuts required to get at the good stuff we need


The assembly


and the product.


simples :)

The storm bolter

The bolter is made from....

Broken down into -


and reassembled thus -


Positioning the arms

At this stage and before I affix them or do any GS I get the arms to fit correctly for the pose I want. The posing of AOBR figs is very limited, but since we will be adding our own shoulderpads, we can do what we like to their usual mount, the shoulder nub.


Its this nub that dictates the angle the arm sits at, so whatever we shave flat here, will affect the final pose, experiment with trimming and test fitting until you have a pose you like. Any big “underarm gaps” can be filled and hidden later

Oh, yeah,

It's at this point you should glue the Brass etch in place,

Giving us this assembled Grey Knight to be, awaiting his first Greenstuffing.


3) The Features

The greenstuff – round 1.

The first part of the GS is to prepare each piece, -

The Bolter shroud is probably the first part you should do, it’s easy and it needs to be cured before you can start attaching arms if you want to avoid fingerprints.

You're aiming for roughly this shape, - the feeling that the whole bolter is some kind of armour peice or "cuff"



Next is the body, first step is to pack the GS in there where you need it,


then smooth and shape it to your heart's desire


Once cured, clean off the Vaseline with a q-tip and we're ready to move on.



The plasticard

Here is where I cut and fit the custom pieces, I have to give props here to Ron Saikowski over at From the Warp, without his tutorial and emails I wouldn’t have got these stages down.

Anyway I draw out the following, and mount to plasticard.


I cut out the scrap insides


I then mount this onto cardstock. (the previous two models I used cereal box card, for this one I tried using all plasticard, having found some very thin sheet styrene, allowing me to make the leg plates a little thinner and the feet more visible, as people seem to have expressed a preference for)

And cut the outline


A little curving round the brush and we are ready to go


Glue in place


You can see some issues with the new thin styrene in that is has a tendancy to bend in one place rather than smoothly, not a problem though, a rub over with a sculpting tool smoothes away most of this.

Next we put in some structure for a Tabard – a simple peice of styrene for mount, thicker card this time.


Affix arms

You can pin these if you wish, but I haven’t needed too yet, there's lots of plastic to plastic surface area which means good glue adhesion with CA.



Once the arms are on we can Affix the shoulders.







Greenstuff round 2 - tabard and edging

First up, repair any cracks or visible seams in the plasticard parts


After that we are going to apply GS to the tabard plastic to build up folds and create a dynamic shape.

Slap it on first.


Then refine the shape


Then smooth and improve


Don’t forget the back


Detail and done.

Last step is to glue on a few purity seals and bolt heads

The seals just get glued in place, along with a few skulls to "hold the tabard on"


Then the bolts

Theres a trick to getting little things stuck on,

use a Cocktail stick as a glue applicator, dip and drop.



then use a Needle to deposit and position the item


There we are.

One GK Termie, from an AoBR box.


Last thing is....

The base

So here’s what you need to make bases like mine

The "basic" ingredients are :


Wood filler (I think called “spackle” in the US)
Ballast/gravel (your regular basing mix)
And a base (obviously)

I tend to dress this up with “interesting” stuff.

One of my staples is bits of broken plaster, whenever I cast anything is plaster I cast up the leftovers in anything I have handy, then I break it up. This gives me a great material with a mix of rough and smooth surfaces, which makes an excellent concrete/plascrete stand in.

I also use leftover bitz – usually from vehicles. These GK so far have a cut up barell, some tread and this fellow is getting a broken searchlight.

I also keep/ mix in things like wire mesh, balsa wood and these wicked sheets of textured styrene, I’ll use some on this with a tread plate texture.

Okay so thats the “stuff”.

Tools are very simple,
A scalpel,
a pin vice/drill (to mount the guy in the end)
a palette knife for spreading the filler
that’s pretty much it.

Play around with the bits and test fit them, make any cuts/changes so they fit how you want


With fiddly things you might need to use the old “blu-tak” vice trick


Slap some wood filler on the base, and push it about till you’re happy.


Then stick your interesting bits on


You can choose to either impress some ballast now, or glue it on later. I like to apply it while the filler is still wet.


You might want to just “eye up” and check the mini will sit how you want, with experience this gets easier, but expect your first few to look like they are climbing Kilimanjaro.


That’s it. Leave it to set. ( a couple of hours usually, but read your filler tub)

And last but not least, Here is the whole thing primed and ready for paint.


(of course hes just "resing" in place as I'll paint them seperately.)

All I can say is I hope that tutorial had value for you and if it did, please let me know.

If there's anything i've taken for granted you know, or if you've any questions in general, let me know what I missed or what you'd like to know and I'll do my best to answer.
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