Wednesday, 28 July 2010

I finished another squad..

And I’ll be honest I wasn’t happy.
Well, that’s not right, the paint job is my usual solid tabletop, the squad is done.
but that was the problem. I think the sentinel made me realise that some of the joy of painting had been substituted for the joy of completion.
I’ll be honest I don't get to play often, so I’m primarily a modeller and painter. and recently I think I've been painting more like a player, if that makes any sense to anyone, I’ve been painting sometimes 10 guys at once, so I can get a unit done.
Don’t get me wrong, I do take pleasure in that but I’m not really learning anything from it. so I decided it was time to mix it up.
To get back on track, challenge myself, learn, improve.
I dove into the bitz box, found a full model I could build, and set about making a model on a more display oriented stand, from an army I don't have, simply for the challenge and joy of painting him.
This is the result so far.
 DSC_5781 DSC_5782 DSC_5783 DSC_5784
(I had to photograph him differently than usual, yellow didn't like being on the blue)
I know I wont win a demon with him, that’s not what this was about – it was about taking my time with 1 model, doing some things I never do and challenging myself.
This model taught me a lot. NMM – i never do this, and learned a lot by trying it. wasn't that successful but the next one will be better. the yellow, some parts of the model are beautifully smooth blends, other parts look more like a dogs arse. the red, highlighting red, ugh. but still some of it was really good, some not so much. and his face. I wish I’d used a different one as the sculpt has issues, but that's what you get when you try to make a display model from spare parts.
I’m really glad I did this, and will be doing a lot more like it. It will allow me to explore different armies without building a whole list and buying a ton of models for a start. I have enough armies. in fact I should probably sell a few, but I really enjoyed this, and felt like I learned something so will be doing more.
now I know you are probably thinking “where's the chapter badge”, well I am going to do one, but I wanted to practice first. I’ve done one practice pad, and it’s got some issues, so I want to do a few more before I commit it to the model, but rest assured I will finish him.
That’s the practice pad.
Well that’s it. A bit of a change for me. don’t get me wrong I'll still post tutorials and work on armies, but I’m just giving you due notice I’m going to be trying this kind of thing too :)
Because I want to be a better painter. and modeller. I’d like, ultimately, to be able to enter a painting competition and have a chance of winning. to that end, any comments, criticism or help is gratefully received, and as always..
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Homebrew Primaris Psyker part 2

More a quick update than a full blown “part 2” really, as I didn't manage as much today as I’d planned.
This is his current condition. quite rough but structural GS on the coat. I decided to blend the sleeves into the existing sculpted plastic to stop the arms being too bulky. I’ve added some boot aquilla and sorted the eye on his staff
the coat and collar still need work, a shoulder pad, some straps a bit more form around the collar. I still have to decide whether to add any gubbins to his head or not too.
I’m not 100% happy with him, but I’m not disappointed either. I get this, this stage of WiP when I’m ambivalent. I usually don't share work when I feel that way, but I thought I would this time. :)
Thanks for reading !

Monday, 19 July 2010

Homebrew Primaris Psyker part 1

Because I need a cheap, powerful HQ and I really don't like GW’s model. don’t get me wrong, I like the elements that make up the model, just something about the proportions and pose that don't sit well with me, So I’m having a go.
Step 1: Gather some bitz:

I didn't plan this at all really, this was just the result of digging through what I already had, – in hindsight I might have wanted 1 or 2 more pieces for this build, like a thunder hammer shaft maybe
I decided early on that the pockets on the guardsman’s legs had to go.
Followed shortly after by the decision that  the coat-tails needed to amscre also
I spent a while experimenting with Brown stuff trying to make some of the iconography i would need. more of that later.
The first gluing was the legs to the base, then the Greatsword torso to the legs. I’d been holding on to this in the thought that I might do a commissar – but both commissars and primaris psykers are depicted in breastplate’s so here we go.
The next step was the little Masonic apron :)
And the eye thereon, with a little implied piping too, not sure how well that will paint however. it’s a bit rough. at this stage i also added a holstered pistol and belt.
I selected an arm from the empire militia sprue in classic “emperor says “…then DIE”” pose. choose a head form the flagellant sprue and added an =][= symbol and a pouch. the cabling is trusty guitar string.
His other arm comes courtesy of the militia sprue too, with a cadian respirator and a space marine terminator topper. I've carved off the crux and will make up the eye symbol around the gem.
that’s how he sits now, I’m going to GS a storm coat on and do some tidying up, but then I think he’s done. a quick and easy way to get a slightly more dynamic Primaris Psyker.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Ghillie suit

On one of the blogs I follow, Dei Greci the creative talent, Klaus has been working on an amazing scratch build project. He is at the point where he is populating it with troops and has achieved some truly inspiring things with the posing and construction of the guys. If you aren't following, you should be.
He’s kind of why I created this model, and post. I’ve seen one thing on the whole of his blog I thought I would do differently. A Ghillie suit. Now, don't get me wrong, Klaus is an absolute genius with this stuff and I’m sure that when he’s done his ghillie suit will look amazing, but the wip he posted looked a bit.. off to me. and started me thinking how I would approach it.
It’s a difficult thing, would I try to GS it? surely that would end up just looking a mess? the plasticard approach Klaus has taken, looked too rigid to me, so I thought about the way I do camo netting.
I set about building a model (and improvising a sniper rifle from bitz) then reached for my crepe bandage and glue.
Here’s the result -
DSC_5699 DSC_5700
I’m not saying this result is better, for one I haven't seen a finished version from Klaus, just WiP, but this is more how I would approach the problem, and it did strike me as a problem, hence my need to work through and find an answer for myself.
I’d love it if these blogs worked more like this, like a discussion between creatives, so I’m picking up on something from another blog, working through it and throwing it back out there, maybe someone else can take it up further, and before long we’ll have some real creative discussion going on on here :)
Anyway I’m going to throw this back at Klaus now and see what he thinks of my solution :)

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Why did I never build one of these before?
Honestly, I didn't think I liked them. way back when Dark Eldar were new and Guard had just had the Catachans come out, a friend of mind went mad for the lil’ rambo guys. and that included the sentinels. I didn't like the Catachans, still don’t but I think my dislike of them got wrapped up with a perceived dislike of the sentinel and there we were. I never revisited that opinion.
Fast forward to now, and I’m creating a Veteran guard force who are (if such a thing as fluff exists for my armies) a foward element, recon and fast strikes. So what fits with that list? scout sentinels. I felt I had to include at least one.
What can I say, this is a really cool kit, it’s so poseable (yes I know I made a mistake, let’s not talk about that) and dead easy to paint (in 3 sections)
What can I say, I’m a convert – I really like this kit and think this fellow will be getting a friend.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Becoming a Treadhead.

I think this is the first time, well ever, that I’ve had this many vehicles painted for a single army. They intimidate me you see. so big, so much flat plastic….
DSC_5687 DSC_5686
This is the total of my treaded vehicles for my Vet Guard force. two of the Chimeras and the Executioner are new.
I can’t actually fit them all in my lightbox neatly.
For reference here are individual pics:
The Command Chimera:
DSC_5681 DSC_5682
Plasma Vet Chimera:
DSC_5685  DSC_5684
The Executioner:
DSC_5679  DSC_5678
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not finished. not anywhere close, I have 2x valkyries to paint and probably another leman russ in my future, plus something I never thought I’d build. but that’s another post.
Speaking of other posts, theres a tut. on the way from these three, but some of the video is garbage, I’ll see what I can salvage, but my poor old pc keeps dropping frames on HD video recording.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Assembly 101 (Guardsmen)

Okay so here is the promised basic assembly post.
If you wanted to take these in order of build/paint etc, then you should probably start here and work back through the face and camo painting tutorials afterward. Either way I hope you find something of value in this.
I’m going to take you quickly through tools, cleaning, building and finally a little GS work.
Please bear in mind this is the basic set of techniques for tabletop, front line guys, centrepiece models get very different treatment, which I will go over in a later post if there is interest.
This is my current set of tools that I like to have to hand when assembling and converting.
2010-07-03 11-27-13.004
Left to right:
GW Sprue Clippers – these GW ones are really very good, regardless you need some flush cut slippers like these.
Emery Board, Fine grit sandpaper, Needle file – some form of gentle abrasive really helps smoothing rough areas. especially on contours.
Scalpel, Exacto  - there’s no getting around it, you need to cut stuff in this hobby, and you need control. the truth is you are less likely to cut yourself with a sharper blade, as you need to use less pressure to cut, and therefore have more control. I use the scalpel for almost everything but the exacto for really tough cuts (I break a lot of scalpel blades)
Pin vices / drill bits – everything from drilling out gun barrels to pinning large pieces together, you really should have 1 of these, and a couple of sizes of bit – to fit different bore weapons and to fit your wire/rod for pinning.
Haemostat / pliers – for holding/bending/picking things up sometimes you need a bit more grip. I wouldn't be without the haemostats because of the way I pin / paint more complicated pieces.
That’s the stuff I like to have to hand, it’s be no means al utterly necessary. if fact for what I’m doing today you can probably get away with :-
2010-07-03 11-27-54.217
But I’ve been at this a while, and I like my gadgets :)
Prep Work
Today I’m building three lasgun guardsmen to replace the test models you will have seen elsewhere on the blog, and a sniper to round out a 3-man counts-as Ratling squad.
2010-07-03 11-32-17.205
the first thing I do is lay out the sprues and pick my parts. I’ve got a normal set of Cadian shock troops sprues and a sprue form the command squad box here.
2010-07-03 11-33-07.877
Once you know what bitz you want, it’s time to get them off the sprue. here’s where the flat-edge clippers come into their won. you can clip right up tight against the part you want and minimise the clean up later.
if you don't have flat edge clippers, you are probably better off using the scalpel flat against the part, that using pincer style clippers.
NEVER twist parts off, you can damage them beyond use.
 2010-07-03 11-42-02.554
A wee while invested here and you will have lovely, neat piles. here is a small pile of bitz for each guardsman I intend to build, and a modest pile of “dress” parts. – extra bags pouches etc I intend to use while putting these guys together.
2010-07-03 11-42-55.210
This is a mold line. Every cast part has them, whatever the material they will be present to varying degrees.
I hate them.
Before assembly I go through and clean them off, yet I always miss some. whether I get carried away building and sub out a part I have cleaned for one I havent, or I just zone out and miss one. but the more we do at this stage to minimise them, the better.
2010-07-03 11-43-33.538
I’ve seen people talk about de-burring tools and have yet to try one myself, I use the flat of my blade to scrape away the offending flash. just be careful not to gouge the model, or yourself.
2010-07-03 11-47-25.533
For areas like the top of the helmet here, where we have both a contour and a smooth area, I like to use an abrasive to sand away the mold line. its safer and the result is smoother as long as you use a fine enough abrasive.

Simple Conversion
2010-07-03 11-49-54.762
I’m going to digress a little form the “101” nature of this post for a second because I am attempting to replicate these guys pictured above, who you will have seen as test figures in an earlier post. these guys go a smidge beyond normal assembly as they have “Las carbines” to mark them out as vets.
I’m going to mention it rather than ignore it because simple effective changes like this can really personalise your figures and are much simpler than you think.
the process is identical to normal assembly:
2010-07-03 11-52-14.637
Identify your parts, make the necessary removals from sprue (or other parts) and re-assemble. above you can see the lasgun with its barrel removed, the muzzle break removed from that (the middle portion of the barrel discarded) and half a pair of binoculars from the IG vehicle accessory sprue.
these just get glued together, so:
2010-07-03 11-55-13.108
2010-07-03 12-02-20.186 2010-07-03 12-02-29.984
Lets talk glue.
I personally only use two types of glue on figures, superglue and liquid poly.
the two behave very differently but both hold well and set quickly.
superglue often prefers the taste of flesh to the taste of plastic, and has to be used sparingly or will take a year to set. best applied from a piece of card with a toothpick or needle.
liquid poly smells funky and will literally melt plastic together. best applied with a dedicated brush.
I use superglue for stand alone parts with not much surface area contact, and for things I think I might need to pop off and reposition.
I use liquid poly for large surface area contact points like arms, where I know what I want to build.
2010-07-03 12-00-02.194
the first thing I do Is glue the legs to the base. this gives me a stable platfor for experimentation and assembly.
Now, if this is a kit I am not very familiar with, or If I want to be sure I get these guys looking “right” I test fit.
2010-07-03 12-00-22.585
A little “poster-tack” of a “blue” nature helps me to assemble without gluing
2010-07-03 12-00-36.288
yes, it bulges, we are just checking out the fit here, it’s okay.
2010-07-03 12-01-40.723
Once we are happy with the pose, we can disassemble the tack and glue the guy together.
2010-07-03 12-05-56.741
Accessorise. Also, Don't be afraid to tweak things. It didn't  look right to me to have his bayonet there.
2010-07-03 12-06-34.133
So I cut the bayonet from the equipment piece and glued it to the other side of the model.
2010-07-03 12-30-15.444
This guy went together with similar ease. but there were two “special cases” during these builds I’d like to discuss before we move on.
The first was a guardsman I wanted to model looking down his scope.
2010-07-03 12-30-32.106
I pulled it off, but not without his head being on a very odd place in respect to his neck.
2010-07-03 12-31-39.498
My solution was twofold. I cut his collar off.
2010-07-03 12-32-36.077
And repositioned it, in a more natural place. I will GS a camo cloak on this model, and use that to cover up the hole in the collar.
The other “special case” is the command squad box sniper.
2010-07-03 12-40-09.730
I find it makes more sense with these guys to assemble the upper torso separately, rather than glue the torso down then try to get the cloak to fit.
2010-07-03 12-42-30.280
Once I have something I like here, I can mate it with some legs.
2010-07-03 12-42-41.449
So there we have it. that’s assembly.
Bonus Material
As a little bonus for having bothered to read all that, here’s a very rough video, showing the GS work I did to fill the gaps on the sniper bodies. these gaps presented a nice, large scale opportunity to demonstrate simple gap filling.
There we have it. Thanks for reading, and I hope this was useful.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...