Saturday, December 29, 2012

IC Podcast hobby challenge. January part 1

The secret word for the day, Zappa fans is TIDDYSPRINKLES

Got my act together today and de-fuzzed all of the Ravenwing I currently have pending - the January and (possibly, depending on the codex) February goals.  I also made sure to check all of the bolter barrels, drill out the ones I missed and of course drill out the tailpipes.  Thanks Nick!

I put away the current projects and all of their associated paints and arranged most of the paints I'll need over the next couple of weeks.  Maybe even months - when I buy the heavy speeder and flyers I may just carry on with the paint scheme since it'll be fresh in my head.  Or I may do something else if I feel my mental hinges bending.

My companions for the forseeable future.

As I said before they're basecoated through an airbrush with Tamiya's NATO black.   Over the basecoat I'll start doing the metals and reds, then re-touching the black where there are oops.  There are always oops. At this time I can't for the LIFE of me remember if I did the edge highlighting before or after the wash. I will have to go to the store and bring home some bikes for reference.  I keep my Ravenwing in a locked display case at my FLGS. Pictures coming as they're ready for and after the wash so you can see how the Badab Black works going through an airbrush.  I may have to change that out given that Badab Black is NLA, I don't have a lot of it and I haven't tried Nuln Oil yet - I don't know how it behaves when thinned 50% through an airbrush.

The... patients? I guess I'll need ANOTHER of these trays soon... :-/
After that I'll start by painting the fairings - I base them in P3's Frost Bite as it's a very light base with high pigment.  I then do a wash with Asurmen Blue into the recesses of the feathers.  On top of that goes an overbrush of P3 Menoth White Highlight.  That's pretty much what I will do for the fairings.  Pictures as the action happens people.  And I mean in regard to the painting of Ravenwing.  Not any other kind of action. Boom chicka bow-wow.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Independent Characters, 2013 hobby challenge

The Independent Characters is the Warhammer 40k Podcast that puts you in the game! 

They are a couple of guys from a regular gaming group who decided to strike out on their own and attempt the impossible (or at least improbable). So how does their podcast seek to differentiate itself from all the others? 

What they do:

- Attempt to bring you “into” their gaming group. They want you to feel like you are hanging with your friends on a Friday night.
- Provide you with updates on their hobby progress, battle reports overviews, and hopefully provide a little inspiration.
- Give you opinions on GW 40K product releases.
- Provide reviews of GW 40K fiction releases.
- Provide videos and interviews of local Californian events and possibly some that are further away.
- Entertain you on your commute to and from work – or at least during painting.

What they DON'T intend to do:

- Provide in-depth Codex Overviews… There’s enough of those to go around.
- Provide “News” segments. They assume most of their listeners will already be well versed in what is coming up. This isn’t to say they won’t give their opinions on upcoming stuff though!

(Apologies to Carl & Geoff for stealing their copy - they're much more gooder at making words than I do)

They have a Facebook page too.  Yes, they do!

In 2011/2012 year they ran the first hobby challenge.  The idea was to have an 1850 point tournament ready list done by the end of March 2012, with a 400 point "sideboard" - 400 points worth of models or units that could be swapped in and out to make different builds.  It was a great success and they decided to do it again.  There was a small shift in format but it seems that within a week there has been a flood of people who have signed on to the challenge, and even some people who signed up to the forum to take part!

I didn't have time, head-space or the models to take part last time.  The coming Dark Angels codex and model release is the IDEAL opportunity for me to get my hobby on some more!  There are a LOT of Dark Angels models that have been languishing in my collection unbuilt of late, since I have been working on stuff for A-Club, my son's Ork army and my Tyranid army.  On top of that I just bought a playable (in 5th anyway) Imperial Guard army that could do with being brought up to date.

Off the top of my head I have: 

Two Ravenwing battleforces, built and basecoated.
Twenty assault Marines with magnetised jump packs, basecoated.
Land Raider Crusader for Deathwing, in grey primer
A whole bunch of Terminators, some basecoated, some in pieces waiting for final construction.

Unbuilt I have:
Two jump chaplains
Chaplain dreadnought
Venerable Dreadnought
Regular Forgeworld dreadnought
Dreadnought drop pod
and then of course there will be all the new shiny that comes out in January.  I'm looking at getting the heavy Landspeeder as well as at least one flyer.  Then I'll be buying some new Ravenwing Black Knights, some Deathwing Knights and the new Belial and Asmodai figs. Oh, Holy Terra I'm going to be a busy boy. 

I have cobbled a list in my head which WILL change once the codex is out, but I'm committed to getting the Ravenwing squads finished.  

January's goal.  One Ravenwing battleforce. Complete the painting and basing on this Ravenwing squad. There is one biker with a flamer, one with a plasma gun. The sarge has a power fist and plasma pistol - in his holster, you can't see it but I paid the points! 

So that it can fit in the same slot, the speeder has Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon. The Attack Bike has a Multimelta. 

I have resin bases that will be painted before each bike is pinned to it. I do not have a base for the attack bike. Just the same as the other two battleforces I completed way back in June 2011. I hope that I can get them looking as close as possible to identical. If I can't get all the way there it won't be the end of the world.

The bikes are base coated in Tamiya NATO black. They look kinda fuzzy right now, and they are. Something to do with the way the paint comes out of the airbrush if you don't use Tamiya thinner. I just used de-mineralised water. It's no big deal, I just give it a rub with a soft toothrbrush and it's fine! I spoke about it in my blog here

Pictures as progress is made - hopefully. If I remember. Yeah, I got a head like a sieve.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Land Raider Ares, completed!

Man, I really can't quantify just how proud I am of this model. There have been a couple of "OOPS!" on the way which I've had to work around - never hobby while you're tired, people! But those are lessons to keep in mind for the future.

I finished the model in pretty much the same was that I finish every Dark Angels tank that I own.  The largest challenges in post paint assembly were the sponsons - they just didn't want to stay in place with super glue.  Some VERY carefully applied two part epoxy did the trick.  I also attached the siege shield to the body with epoxy.  It was a bit of a fudge and I applied a little too much, but unless you turn the model upside down you'd never see it so I'm happy with that.

I hope you've enjoyed following this WIP.  There will be others soon, as I have three Vindicators to work on.  No in depth analysis of every cut and glue, but you'll see some pictures of them after they're painted.

I have one more Land Raider to work on, which will be in Deathwing colours.  I also have two Forgeworld Dreadnoughts which will be painted at the same time.  It will be interesting to learn about how well Deneb Stone goes through an airbrush.

Until then, battle brothers - here's a slideshow of the finished piece.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 6

I went into the paint booth last weekend with my trusty Badger airbrush. It's purely used for base coating at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to hone those skills as I work on some other secret squirrel projects that have yet to start.

Orkhide Shade works okay if its thinned with water, about 60% paint and 40% demineralised water is what I use. It has to be thoroughly shaken and if it's left to sit for a day or so it WILL separate until you're left with dark blue/green ink on the top an a sediment the colour of Camo Green on the bottom. It doesn't reconstitute very well from that point. After making that observation, Camo Green is obviously the natural choice as a drybrush.  I panic bought ten pots of Orkhide Shade as they went out of stock

So I gave the tanks a couple of light coats. Unfortunately an imperfection in the siege shield showed up in painting. I'll have to try and cover it somehow as I don't want to have to redo that area.

I did the drybrushing the other day, then decided last night to fiddle around with the guns while watching Predators. The cured paint and the drybrushing on the siege shield went a long way to hiding that imperfection.

I just heavily drybrushed the assault cannons sponsons, until it was about 70% covered in Boltgun. I like to do the heavy drybrush instead of just painting since it gives a nice texture that the wash clings to. I painted the nozzles of the flamers with TinBitz and the hoses underneath with Hashut Copper, one of the new Layers. I found that paint to be quite lumpy and wondered if I was working with a metallic texture pot. Went on okay though. 

I washed these with Secret Weapon's Soft Body Black, watered down about 40%. The secret weapon wash takes a long time to dry, compared to a thinned GW wash or shade.
After that was dry I went back and lightly drybrushed the boltgun with boltgun metal again. I mixed the TinBitz and Hashut copper about 50/50, heavy on the copper and drybrushed the nozzles, then again very lightly with straight Hashut Copper.

I was asked for a progress picture on a local Facebook page so here's what I did. I just push fitted things together. The sponson fell off about half a second after the picture was taken lol

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 5

I knew what to expect going into the armour as a friend of mine had already had challenges with his.  Use lots of rubber bands, he said. So I did!

After I washed it up, I trimmed the pouring gates and all that good stuff that comes with owning Forgeworld product.  I find that an old toothbrush loaded with dishsoap does the job so that you can get into all of the places and stuff, rinsed well under cold water and air dried.

Then I started on one side, figuring out which of the rivets I needed to remove from the body of the Land Raider and dry fitting the pieces until I was satisfied with the way they would sit. Then I glues the back piece in, making it nice and snug.  Then the front piece which wraps over the tracks.


Then I noticed something that unsettled me quite a bit.  I put the centre panel in on the side to check for fit.  Well, I didn't have to trim anything as you can see here. It doesn't look like this on the "instruction leaflet" that you get from FW.  I can only assume that the piece shrank as it set due to some sort of phenomenon.

The gap is fairly even all the way around! I tried assembling the panels on the other side and moving stuff back and forth to see if I'd messed up during the fitting but no - still gappier than Madonna's smile.
I measured the gaps with my trusty 6" steel rule (every hobbyist should have one) and found the gap to be 1.5mm x 2mm.  The only thing I could think of was to head to the hobby store and once again employ the fantasticness of Evergreen Scale Models strip styrene.  What do you know - they sell strip styrene in that very size.  Marvellous! When I got home I cut some to size and glued it to the body and the fore and aft panels with Plastruct.  When I inserted the centre panel it looked like this

As Ace Ventura would say - LIKE A GLLLLLOVE! Glued it in and went to work.  Actually, before I committed to gluing it in I filled some gaps with liquid green stuff, just to keep things smooth.  Buddy was right - many rubber bands were required to hold it all in while good old Loctite Gel Control set up.  I used plenty to maximise the area of adhesion. 

Once the glue had dried I went into finishing the gap filling on that one side before going to work on the other.  The gap around the centre piece was a little smaller on one side so I had to use a strip of sheet styrene that had which just happened to be the right thickness.  Then I did more filling with LGS.


Again the rubber bands and stuff came into play for the centre panel.  Then I had to work on fitting the door inserts.  The case of the centre panel MUST have shrunk, as the plastic door inserts wouldn't fit into the doors and I had to do some trimming.  If you look at where I painted highlighter on these spare inserts you can get an idea of where I used my hobby knife to cut back the panels. It was a case of trial and error to get this right.  When they did fit I bonded them in place with two part epoxy to stop any shenanigans.  The sponsons will be glued after the model is painted. 


So that's it, pretty much.  The model was ready for priming I test fitted the tracks and the section that goes at the front under the track guard will have to be trimmed so it slides into place under the resin, but other than that - job's a good'n!

I'm basecoating it this weekend as I am using it at an upcoming tournament.  Then in September there's a 3000 point Apocalypse tournament happening so I'll be taking the Ares, my Damocles Rhino and a Linebreaker Squadron! The Vindis are getting basecoated this weekend too.  BOOM! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 4

Attaching the siege shield.  What a pain in the arse that was!

No, I take that back.  It was just very challenging since I needed to move the rams' positions, their shape and their size AND make them look like they were engineered that way.

I attached them with very small amounts of superglue, just enough to hold them in place.  I like the Loctite Gel Control glue. It's pricey, about $7 Canadian for 4ml but it definitely does the job.   It enabled me to find the placement that I wanted.  What I did after I found their sweet spot was to draw lines around in pinpoint Sharpie. I needed to shorten those rams for the final placement, since they just let the siege shield sit out too far.  All it would take would be one crazy Bomb Squig to run in through the gap and it'd be Game Over, man!

I guesstimated the required length of the rams then hacked them down. I cut the pistons off as I knew I would have to change those later. I did try magnetising the rams, so that I could glue them to the body and attach/remove the shield for storage.  I didn't have any success unfortunately due to early setting of the glue for the magnet inside the left ram - before I could get it to the correct depth. I tried to compensate by countersinking the magnet in the shield but I was awfully close to actually penetrating (heh, heh. Shut up, Beavis) the shield.

After deciding to fix the rams to the shield I realised that making the pistons the right length would be easier.  Evergreen Scale Models to the rescue again with .100" rod styrene.  After attaching the rams, I was able to use their placement to make pistons the correct length, trimming and gluing as required.  Easy peasy.

You'll see that I filled the holes where the rams usually attach on a Vindicator siege shield, and added some filler around the rams new placement. This left a quite suitable gap between shield and hull.  Lovely.  Next time, ARMOUR! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 3

I got the hang of this during a couple of episodes of Ashes To Ashes.  Oh, wonderful British police drama in the eighties style with just a LITTLE bit of science fiction thrown in.  Try Life On Mars first, just not the American version. Bleugh. Notice a theme with the titles?

I assembled the main body of the Land Raider and held it together with rubber bands.  I could have used three hands for this exercise. Holding together several parts while wrapping rubber bands around them was like trying to stuff three cats in a sack at once! It afforded me the opportunity to trim the front plate from the Vindicator sprue appropriately, and to dry fit as I go.

After seeing the various photos deposited around the web, and after reading the assembly blog that used to be on the Games Workshop website, I was confident that I would be able to trim and fit this plate quite well.  I placed it on the front of the body and marked where I needed to cut.  I was generous with this so that I could trim with a knife as necessary.  I had an unfortunate accident as I was marking the cut lines with my hobby blade and sent the blade through the top of my knuckle.  Wasn't just an ordinary knick either - this was a talking wound!  Kinda made my job difficult for a couple of days, but there's no good kitbash without a little injury or two.

I made the cuts with a hobby saw and filed flat and smooth, working as needed until the plate fit snugly and straight in place.  The next thing was to work on whittling down what was required to make the plate fit in a way that looked like it was engineered like that.  I didn't want to glue the cannon in place until I was happy with the placement of the plate.  I had to cut down the areas that take the upper door hinges on a regular Land Raider.  I had to cut back the parks of the body that the doors would rest against, just so that things tuck in nicely.


After I got the plate positioned correctly, I measured up where the lower door would have to meet, and I cut it across and filed it straight.  Again, testing for fit - I had great joy - it was working! 

Then I assembled the demolisher cannon, and I used some plasticard to cover gaps in the back.  The part of the front plate that normally on the Rhino chassis would wrap around the cupola worked well around the area for the TL Assault Cannon, but I couldn't insert and remove the weapon - as you would in the case of a Weapon Destroyed result.  I really should have magnetised the main barrel of the Demolisher cannon because you and I both know that the first Weapon Destroyed result will be on the Demolisher. So I trimmed it back in an appropriate manner. Small pieces of plasticard gave that area some support and finish. 


So here we have it.  The body glued together, demolisher cannon in place and rubber bands securing everything until the glue dried. I just placed that piece of track to ensure the gaps were correct. 

 Next up is the attachment of the siege shield to the body.  Or at least working out where the supports go. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 2

I was just too tired last night to continue the diatribe and explain in excruciating detail how I widened the dozer blade (or siege shield, if you want to be picky about it!).

As you might well know, the shield that comes with the vindicator is about 5mm narrower than the body of the Land Raider, so we need to change that. Some people aren't that bothered and I have seen quite nicely done versions of this vehicle across teh interwebz that just use the unmodified siege shield. I want it done properly, dammit!

I though that the best way to widen the shield would be to add pieces on the end of the shield, before the end sections are glued on.  Some suggested cutting two shields and making one wider one, but it would mess with the symmetry of the lower portion of the shield and inaccurate cuts can ruin the whole affair.  I hunted around and found some styrene rod that was roughly the dimensions I needed.  Evergreen Scale Models make plasticard and strip styrene, and they have a variety that is .100" square - or 2.5mm x 2.5mm if you prefer.  This is pretty much the desired size!  I paid $4 for far more than I needed. I'm sure I can use the rest on something Orky.  Or if I decide to build an Ares variant of the Linebreaker Squadron.  Ouch!

I cut a suitable length and held it up against the end of the shield.  I realised that I would need to shape a portion of it with a knife to go around the piece at each end designed to receive the end plate. I made sure that when I cut and shaped it, that it would protrude a small amount top and bottom so that I could shape to suit. Then I glued it inch by inch starting at the bottom, clamping as required.  I used Plastruct solvent cement.  It really softens the plastic enabling the two parts to really bond it's $6.99 for 2fl oz up here in Canada.  A comparable cement would be Tenax 7-R, but Plastruct comes with a brush applicator.  Don't spill it - it will ruin whatever surface it hits. Sorry, I don't have a photo of it in mid gluing, but here's the shaping I had to do. When it was all dry I had to sand and shape the styene to the profile of the shield.  The strip styrene isn't THAT bendable - it's injection moulded plastic that's 2.5mm thick! So there were portions that weren't true with the shield.

When I went to fix the end plate in place, there was a slight gap in the back, so I packed it out with some thin plasticard and glued away.  After attaching both ends I shaped the top corners. If I was able to go back and re-do I would have shaped it like the one in the datasheet, but no matter, I think it still looks good.

You can see that in the bottom corner on each side there is a void.  Normally the end plate would tuck behind the front of the shield.  I decided to use the Privateer Press "grey stuff" that I bought on a whim a while ago.  This stuff sets up a lot faster than Green Stuff in my experience and is easier to carve and sand when setting up and when fully set. It behaves very like injection moulded plastic when fully set up, although a little softer and easier to cut.

After I had applied the grey stuff, I went over all of the white styrene with a liberal coat of Liquid Green Stuff to fill in whatever was needed after all of the work was done.  I decided that I didn't like the winged skull so I cut that off, and glued on a large chapter insignia from the Ravenwing upgrade kit.

I did find this to be a challenge.  More so than making a home for the exhaust fans, but certainly more enjoyable because the shield is one of the defining pieces of the Land Raider Ares.  I think the most challenging part is to come - assembling the Land Raider and attaching the demolisher cannon.  Photos and bloggage when it happens - hopefully in a week or so depending on how much time I get to look at it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 1

Oh look, The Limey's NOT dead!

I've been interrupted by Waaagh! Jamie, which was 4000 point Adepticon Team Tournament effort by three friends and I.  That was good times, and my six year old is beside himself that he now has 4000 points of painted Orks. Yeah!

I've been drooling over this project for a while, and doing a lot of thinking but I think there was not a whole lot of doing.  I finally got the two main Land Raider Crusaders finished, which has been the impetus I need to at least get this bad boy built. Oh yes, here's a picture of a Land Raider Crusader for my army.

As usual, based in the Orkhide Shade foundation (I have managed to hoard ten jars of it, and I'm looking for more).  The panels are painted in, as with the Damocles Rhino, in Deneb Stone - which I am also hoarding or my Deathwing just won't look right, dammit!

The Land Raider Ares is quite the tank.  A 300 point AV 14 Vindicator with twin linked heavy flamer sponsons.  Yeah! Here is one.  You'll obviously see the inspiration for my vehicles colour scheme. Here is the actual datasheet for the unit

I wasn't impressed by the use of the old Baal Predator heavy flamers on the example on the datasheet.  SO - I figured I would use the flamestorm cannons from the Crusader kit and twin link them.  On the Redeemer, it has a flamer cannon on one side of the sponson, and the prometheum tank on the other.  I cut half of the back piece off - the tank portion - from both sides, and glued the cable bits together.  "SO WHERE DOES THE PROMETHEUM COME FROM?!" I hear you ask.  It's magic.  I mean - where are the magazines for the Hurricane Bolters, hm?  I have prometeum tanks made, I think I'll just have to figure out how to mount the tanks, and what to use to get the fuel from the tanks to the cannons.  For now:

As you can see, the linkage for the back is quite simple.  As they're just heavy flamers, and I don't want to be accused of modelling for advantage, I may shorten the heavy flamer barrels by cutting out the portion between the body and the end bit. If anyone has any thoughts on this I'd appreciate them :)
It goes together quite nicely.  Sorry about the picture quality - my phone isn't THAT great and it's too much hassle to drag out the light box and the fancy camera for workbench photos. Click on the photos for larger versions in a new window.

The exhaust fans for the Demolisher cannon have to be present on the model, of course.  I had a dilemma as to where to place them.  GW's article about the construction of the Ares seems to have vanished, so I couldn't get a top-down view of the one on the datasheet.  Here is where I started.  I just whittled away at the corder of that raised portion.

I wanted to have it sitting on the top, seperate from the engine exhaust grille but I couldn't decide on where and how much I wanted to cut away, and I was also worried about messing it up and having to order another lid from a bitz provider.  Just cutting the corner away as you can see allowed me to fit it into a spot that would look "correct".  It doesn't look THAT correct as one of the fans is over the track, but we'll put it down to some inventive duct work on the STC.
I needed to create support for the exhaust fan plate, and block off the annoying gap it would create, so there was some inventive use of plasticard and liquid green stuff.  The liquid green stuff also was used to fill the gap between the exhaust plate and the raised portion on the body. 

Next posting: Widening the dozer blade!