Tuesday, January 29, 2013

IC's hobby challenge, February - Chaplain Dreadnought

As I've mentioned I'm working on building more Ravenwing so that I can do a lot of basecoating at the same time.  I have built two Deathshroud/Vengeance kits in the last week and fully magnetised them.  You can read about how I went about that in the previous blog entry.

Aww, yeaaahhhh.

THOSE are not my commitment for February. Well, not the main one.  My building commitment for February is to get those built as well as a Nephilim with magnetised nosecone weaponry and a Dark Talon with magnetised wing weaponry.  There will be bloggage on the builds After that is done, I will paint my Chaplain Dreadnought.

The Chaplain was built in a moment of hobby ADD in mid January.  Nice model.  I was frustrated but not surprised that the spines on the Iron Halo are all wonky, so I will have to use a hairdryer to try and soften them up for straightening. My OTHER frustration is that the pegs on the side of the sarcophagus are a LOT smaller than the holes in the weapon arms; the arms just fall right off.

I first tried to just make a good friction fit by stuffing grey stuff into the holes then displacing the excess by pushing the arm onto the dreadnought.  It worked to an extent but I wasn't COMPLETELY satisfied.  So I dug out the trust 1/16" x 1/16" cylindrical magnets from KJ Magnetics and went at it.  I magnetised the left arm too rather than just gluing it in place.  That will help to keep it from being damaged in transit.

Since I'm a mechanic, you'll usually see hands that I can't always get all the way clean!

The model has two close combat weapon arms, and a plasma cannon as a swap-out depending on the desired application.  I will be putting him in a Lucius pattern drop pod that will come in a lovely shade of Deathwing. With two CCW arms he'll be able to perform some righteous topiary on the enemy upon his arrival :)

I would have loved to put a heavy flamer on the sarcophagus but apparently it's only available with the Grey Knight venerable dreadnought kit. Oh well.  I put the storm bolter on and if someone gets all bitchy about WYSIWYG over a tiny storm bolter that you can't see from three feet then they're not worth having a game with. YEAH!

The base is from Mr. Dandy. I'll most likely flock it and put mud holes in it too. It's held in place with paper clips for now, as is the torso - it will be permanently pinned to the legs after painting is complete.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Darkshrouds and Vengeances and magnets - OH MY!

image © GW
Right! Time to get my money's worth!  Well, I mean - $80 Canadian (yes, I hear you gasp!) IS a bit much for this kit (not that I paid that).  If you want one of each type of these speeders for occasional use then it's a stretch to afford both.

I like the look of the kit, I really do.  There's those who (me included) who have dubbed it The Disco Speeder, since it looks like a flying DJ booth (and those Necrons on the Command Barge DON'T look like they're taking requests at a wedding reception?).  I actually thought for a few minutes of putting Lego motorcycle helmets on the two in front and having them represent Daft Punk in Tron Legacy, and put a Mickey Mouse head on the turret gunner to represent Deadmau5.  But I didn't do that, because that wouldn't match the clean look of the rest of my army and WOULD be a waste of an $80 kit.  I've finished one, and I'll be doing the other one over the course of this week.

I started with one of the flying bases that I bought from S6 Engineering. A shame that they decided to close their doors because I really do like these bases.  Alas, no more.  I'll have to find another magnetic flying stand vendor. I gather that Back To Base-ix are okay.

This is the assembled flying stand.  Yes, I scratched it. Bugger. I can probably fix that with some Future, I think. Some filing had to be done as the upright didn't fit exactly in the slot in the base - that's when I scratched it.  The oval on the top glues to the bottom of the model. There's a magnet in the oval and a magnet in the upright.  A cross shape mates them in such a way as to prevent the model rotating on the stand. 

Oval goes here.  It's not a level surface so I had to cut a small piece of plasticard to level it out.  The magnet has to be recessed so I had to drill into the body of the speeder to accept the 1/4" magnet. That's a big drill bit to turn by hand, once you've worked your way up to that diameter. There is some epoxy clay to reinforce the magnet on the inside of the model. 

Ta-da.  There is a widget that's supposed to glue to the piece coming down from the bottom of the model, that's just behind the stand.  The stand interferes with it so I left it off.  Well, that's one less skull that I have to paint anyway...

Since the body of the speeder is pretty much what it will be, I won't go over the building of that - you can read about it in the instructions you'll get with the kit!  I will go over the important bits, and some stuff that I did just to make life easier for me when I paint the thing.  The main turret first!

Assemble the weapons from the Plasma Storm Battery and carefully drill 1/16" holes in the mounting pegs.  You can get 1/16" x 1/16" cylindrical magnets from your magnet supplier.  I like KJ Magnetics, myself.  Do this for each of the two weapons.

This is the donut bit that glues to the side of the turret.  The peg on the gun is quite a snug fit so it won't flop around when you install it. The magnet keeps it in place.

Glue the donut in place, and carefully drill a 1/8" hole, centred there.  The hole in the donut is 1/8" so use the correct bit.  Be careful you don't make the donut hole bigger or the gun WILL flop around. Underneath the turret, you'll see that it's hollow, and you can watch the drill bit break through.  You should put some green stuff or grey stuff or whatever stuff in that hollow to support the magnet.  Push it in part way (apply a bit of glue to the back of the magnet, it will adhere to the epoxy clay in the hollow as it contacts), then use the gun peg to push it in the rest of the way.  That way it will find its depth.  If you push it in too far, you won't get the magnetic attraction you need. Use the peg on the gun and it'll work perfectly.  Do this for the other side and you're golden.

This is the piece that goes across the front of the turret for the "optional sensor array", as it is described in the instructions.  I installed it upside down purposefully, so that it would not stop me putting the Icon Of Old Caliban in place (hereafter known as The Icon).  Trim it a little - you can see where I scored it.

Dry fit it with the icon in place before you commit to glue. Do that later. You can see the moulded line in the front of the turret - that's where it should line up. So far, so good!

And there you have it! Optional Sensor Array and everything.  The guns will sit a TAD askew since they're not glued in place but on the tabletop who'll really give a Jokaero's arse?  The donut is a good friction fit, and the magnets are strong enough to hold them in place.  Yes, I know the gunner isn't there. More on that later!

This is the clip that you would glue to the turret were you building the Darkshroud only.  In the instruction book they're numbered 41 and 42, step 17. Where the 1/16" magnet has gone in, the piece will start with a slight depression in it - just open it up with a drill bit and you can push the magnet in place, it should stay put. Do this for both sides of the turret. You'll see in the right hand picture that it just snaps into place in the turret. 

Assemble the rest of The Icon - as much as is required for a test fit. The bracing for the back of the Icon, parts 45 and 46, should glue to the icon and not the turret of course. When installing and removing The Icon, care should be taken so that you don't snap it.  You need to slightly bend the cross piece so that the dimples on those clips go into the holes. Just be careful, you'll figure it out :)

I am Caliban (And So Can You!)


As an aside - a word of caution.  When glueing those tiny pieces into the side of the pulpit, DON'T DROP THEM! One of the rows of skulls slipped from my fingers, hit the garbage can under my desk and I never saw it again.  Minutes of searching with a light under my desk bore no fruit.  I made another set using Insta-Mold and some Grey Stuff.  The replication isn't exact - you can see that the copies are smaller.  Doesn't matter to me, at least I have them. 


I decided to magnetise the Pulpit Gunner too!  You can see I installed a magnet in the top of his bottom(?!) and installed its mate in the bottom of his top!  

Clipping the gunner in place helped me to glue the arms in at the correct level so that the assault cannon and heavy bolter rode the support rail correctly. Once the arms had dried in I removed the torso and glued on the pauldrons.  Then glued the gun to the cross-piece being held in the hands.  

I had spare bodies lying around from the Rhino kits and so I used the back and arms from one of those sprues. I set the arms at the right level for the Heavy Bolter, then removed him and glued the Pauldrons and bolter in place, setting him back down in situ while the glue dried.


I did the same for the pulpit gunner.  It was a tight fit to get him in and out while setting the arms in the correct position - I ended up being very careful with a pair of needle-nose pliers.  The same for the pilot.  I would advise extra care when glueing the pilot's arms on as they are separate and need some support while drying.  Do one at a time and have patience while the glue sets.  I use Plastruct Plastic Weld for all of my plastic assembly.  I've found it works okay with small pieces of Finecast too.  I just magnetised the pilot and turret gunner so that I can pop them out and in while painting.  I will probably glue them in place after painting is complete. 

And so there you have it - another photo with a cluttered background showing you the finished build of this model. I have one more of these kits which I will no doubt complete more quickly, then it will be on to the Talon and the Nephilim.  I will be building one of each. Hopefully my Ravenwing Command Squad arrive soon so that I can also build those.  I will have a lot of black models to prime and basecoat with the airbrush.  All part of the Independent Characters 2013 Hobby Progress Challenge! My progress as you know is being mirrored in this blog.  This entry is an extra, but I will mirror it in there when it is time.  You can see my progress thread at this link - it's the same content as this page for the most part but you can see the discussion of my progress from my peers on the forum. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

IC Podcast hobby challenge. January part 6.

January goal reached!



Hopefully I'll be able to change that list I wrote soon.  Just need to find the time!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

IC Podcast hobby challenge. January part 5

So... remember the picture of the stack of paints I needed for this month's commitment? Yeah... I didn't have all of them.  It's amazing the colours I used to paint a squad of bikers in black power armour!

The bases are ready to go.  I applied the muddy tracks last night - you can't see most of the track once the bike's pinned to the base but I know it's there.  I mixed Forgeworld's Light Earth weathering powder with PVA glue and water, then applied it in a paste.  I spread it with a stir stick and patted it down.  That gives the effect of the grass being mown down by the bike's wheels.

I did twelve bases so that the ones for the other Ravenwing squad are done too.  After the mud dried I painted the edges with Calthan Brown.

My hand's not as steady as it was two years ago so the edge highlighting isn't as pretty as the last lot.  I did the first round of highlight with Vallejo's German Grey, then did a smaller highlight with Codex Grey.  The final clearcoat after basing will knock the highlight back a bit so it won't be as stark.

I applied the same PVA/pigment mix to the tyres then wiped most of it off.  The PVA really helps the powder to stay in place.


All I need to do now is to pin the bikes to the bases.  Pin vise and paper clips are standing ready!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

IC Podcast hobby challenge. January part 4

Update of the week!

I got the feathers all painted up, which is quite quick but hit-or-miss unless you have the technique down.  I appear to have lost the knack for it that I gained last time but it's still quite acceptable.  I also painted the seats.  I based the seats Calthan Brown, washed with Agrax Earthshade and drybrushed with snakebite leather.  The bedrolls (?) on the back got the same paint.

I started on the bases.  I use a craft paint for the base colour, because it's cheap! Then I drybrush with deneb stone heavily and was with a thinned Agrax Earthshade.  I'll be doing the bases for the other Ravenwing battleforce that I have at the same time.

To get to this point, after the wash I did another drybrush of Deneb Stone, followed by Graveyard Earth then Kommando Khaki. Then a very quick drybrush of Deneb Stone again.  The rocks were Codex Grey with a wash of black then a drybrush of the grey.  Simples!

Apply grass with white glue. 

I got the eyes done and the highlights done on the weapons and I started to paint details on the buttons and display on the bike.  Once that's done all that's left is the edge highlight. If it all goes well the bikes will be based by the weekend! :)

I wish this picture was better...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

IC Podcast hobby challenge. January part 3

Bloggage for the week!

Yes, I got my new codex over this weekend. There is stuff I like, stuff I am disappointed about being only a rumour and some stuff which IS in there which I'm not that impressed with.  That is for a later blog entry!

At the start of the week I airbrushed the wash on to this Ravenwing squadron.  On that subject, I had a question from evil_bryan who asked:

"Hey Chris, do you find you need to be aggressive using the wash through the airbrush? I had airbrushed wash over several terrain kits at the club, and found my best effect came from applying quite a bit."

Well Bryan, since I thinned the wash 50% I did find that I had to be a tad aggressive, but since it's a black wash over black paint I suppose I got what I wanted by happy accident. But oh yeah, I drowned em with the airbrush. It's the only time that I've used a wash through an airbrush, but I imagine I will be doing it again when I get around to painting some Guard vehicles.

FYI, I put the models on a spatter shield for a frying pan (you can get them at the dollar store), and put the spatter shield over a foil pie dish. That let the excess wash run off and away and helped mitigate tide marks at points where the washed model is touching the surface it's resting on.

So that was Monday night, and they were dry by Tuesday. Then the Sargent's robes took me two evenings to get done.  They say that work is the curse of the drinking class.  It also appears to be the curse of the hobbyist because I was too tired to paint much.

The Sargent was just never glued together and I took it as an opportunity to get it glued to the bike more easily as the robes are a bit of stretch when putting them onto the saddle.  When I glued the legs together I deliberately left a gap which I filled, in order the make it easier for me to get him into the saddle after painting was done. So I'll push the legs into place when he's done and place the right hand on on the handlebar.  Then I will apply some glue to the area of contact between torso and legs and that should do it.

The robe was basecoated in Graveyard Earth then Deneb Stone.  Then a wash of Graveyward Earth and Kommando Khaki was applied.  Then a drybrush of Deneb Stone and Kommando Khaki was applied.  The folds look darker than that up close.  The inside was Dark Angels Green up to Snot Green. It'll do for me! :)

This will most likely be my unit commitment for next month since I had a hobby ADD moment. Instead of painting bikers I started building the Chaplain Dreadnought. It will have a plasma cannon and an optional right handed CCW.  It's a pity Forge World don't make a heavy flamer to go under the body instead of a storm bolter, I would have chosen that instead. I like the idea of a dual clawed Chaplain Dreadnought jumping out of its drop pod, blasting the neighbours with a heavy flamer then performing some righteous topiary on the charred remains.

The base is one that I picked up from Mr Dandy at Adepticon.

My only real frustration with this model is that the arms hang quite loosely on the... pegs, for want of a better word - and fall off immediately. I will have to look at some way of tightening the joints for a friction fit.  My green dreadnoughts all have magnetised arms for the various Mortis Pattern weapons since the Black Reach dreadnoughts were made with different sized pins. I may also magnetise these arms.  A shame really, since magnets don't always allow the weapon arm to remain in the desired position - they sometimes let the arm rotate to find the its centre of gravity and then it looks like it is hanging slack.

I reached my goal for this weekend which was to basecoat the "white bits" on this Ravenwing squadron. I used P3's Frost Bite as a base. Its a Space Wolf Grey variant which goes on over black nicely enough for what I need.

My next goal for this week is to wash all of these areas with Asurmen Blue then highlight with P3 Menoth White Highlight, which isn't as stark as Skull White used to be.  After that I'd like to get the bike saddles and the spot details done before I start the edge highlights. If I keep to schedule I'll have these based and my challenge commitment met by the end of the month.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

IC Podcast hobby challenge. January part 2

I had to go to the store and collect a few of my completed Ravenwing models to use as guides.  Examining them, I came to the conclusion that I'd painted the highlights after the wash, as I suspected. Oh yes, here they are now! These are from two years ago, the last time I painted Ravenwing.

The highlighting doesn't show up very well in photographs, which is just as well since they're tabletop models, not camera queens!

At this time, I have everything painted red, black and boltgun - the next step will be washing them.  I have some Badab Black, which I will blow through my airbrush and take mere minutes! Once that's dried, I will have to look for tide marks which I did get one or two of last time and paint them out - I remember using P3 Thamar Black mixed with Badab Black to do so. Invisible mends, they were.

I'll need a whole evening to get that done, since I have to warm up the compressor and the lights out in the ship to do that little job. Once that's done I'll be working on the Sargent's robes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Merry New Year!!!

Dark Angels come this month.  My hobby commitment challenge army is Dark Angels. I committed to Ravenwing.  May as well bring in the new year the way it'll go for the next eleven months!.  Here's the lot for January. Done the red on the bolters. Mephiston Red base and Blood Red over the top.

And then since there was just red to be done and my hand-eye coordination is lacking somewhat... here's the other battleforce.  There's Jack Daniel's in the tupperware cup because I don't trust myself with the gold rimmed tumblers right now!