Total Pageviews

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Phase 1a: Forelimbs Revised

So I spent a lot of time planning and planning, and being too worried I would botch the job that I have let this project sit for a while. Work was also pretty intense but the break is upon me so more time is now available.

I had been pondering how the forelimbs would look in their previous incarnation, and they looked far too plain. The detail necessary would have required a whole wad of green stuff and I began to have concerns regarding how much weight this would add. So for some reason I opted to add armored scales to the limbs using plasticard (yet again). The templates are below. I also modified the concept sketch and I think I have settled on the final look I am hoping to achieve.

The rear limbs will end in a giant hoof like the Fex and Tervigon. These changes will make the beast's limbs look a lot heavier at the terminal point, but should convey a better sense of the toughness of the model and should meet my need to reduce the model's footprint to make it more useful for games.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Phase 1: Hierophant fore-limbs (leg shield)

Inspired by the Tervigon model, this is my attempt to create a platform upon which to do some sculpting to detail the fore-limbs of my Hierophant biotitan. I used plasticard (about 1.5 mm thick) and created a template to guide the appearance of these shields. I drew one side of the shield onto heavy stock card, then used that shape to design a double-sided template. This in turn was used to trace out the desired shape in plasticard. The top ridges of the fore-limbs had to be cut down to allow better contact with the leg shield. So I am now committed to a conversion job.

Here are some basic pictures of the phase one of work. The shapes are still too flat and will need to be rounded using greenstuff but I expect that these shapes will serve as  a guide. I have included shots of the double-sided template with a  ruler for anyone interested in trying this out. Be warned that gluing the plasticard to make this shape was a pain to make happen..

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hierophant ideas

As a quick note, the mega-battle ended up being a no-go for me. Work came first unfortunately but it looked like an insane game. An ork horde led by a stompa line against an entrenched IG position. Very cool indeed and I am sorry I missed it...

So a while back I picked up a hierophant biotitan from a seller on Kijiji. I love the idea of the beastie but the model is all wrong. Specifically the legs. Something that massive would not be able to walk on points. Its claws should sink into the ground with each step. So I have been pondering how to change the creature's legs and feet.

The rear legs are to go to the look of the carnifex's rear hoof-like feet. Its front limbs went through several design concepts, but the one that intrigued me the most is the set of limbs from the Tervigon kit, one of which is circled below. By the way the photo does not belong to me, is used without permission, and I do not assume any rights with regards to the image other than the right to highlight one part of it. Probably meaningless legally but I felt a need to say that. Anyway....

After the sculpting work is done for the feet, the walking pads of the titan's feet will be able to support the model's weight and will allow me to re-position the limbs to minimize the size of any base that I use. Rather than sculpting the whole leg shield out of green stuff, I have cut a shape from plasticard to serve as the basis of the leg shield, and then will layer green stuff on that to add a more organic look to it all. I am quite nervous about this as this is the most ambitious modelling project with regards to the sculpting. On the plus side weird organic components like Nid limbs are very forgiving for inexperienced sculptors (unlike the clean lines required for technologically advanced races in the game). So here is a shot of the model that is the basis of the design, as well as my latest of concept drawings of what the forelimbs should end up looking like.There is a sketch of the rear hoof as well but I wanted to add more to that particular look as it appears a bit too plain for my tastes.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Megabattle on the way!!

So I have been quite a bit more absent from the gaming side of the hobby than I have been from the painting side. And I am finding myself to be quite behind the curve when playing now with a brand new edition out to enjoy.

Last week I took a Nid list out for a spin that managed to do surprisingly well, though in fairness my opponent was a friend who brought out a weaker Guard list than he would normally field (I assume it was just to allow me to learn the game and not get too frustrated). And it is now a very different game indeed from what I am used to.

In a couple of weeks a local gaming club will be running an Apocalypse Mega-battle (10 people per side, 2000 pts each max) and it is an excellent opportunity to field my Hierodule biotitans. I still have about 700 pts to spend but I was thinking of including the Swarmlord to bolster  the biotitans, the Parasite as a unit generator, and a unit of gargoyles to accompany the Parasite and to force me to finally paint these models. They have been assembled and extensively based but have been on the shelf for a  couple of years now. So this looks like a good opportunity to get them done using an event as the impetus. Anything that drives my production of painted models right now is a good thing. This in turn increases my desire to play, which is also a good thing.

Besides....I never get to use my biotitans.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Parasite of Mortrex

Ok this one has been on the shelf for a while now. So the description of this beastie describes it as being about the size of a warrior. And I love the idea of having this creature implanting rippers in it's unfortunate victims. So it needed an ovipositor of some sort with which to implant its eggs. So in delving into the bits box I brought up a set of tyranid warriors from Advanced Space Crusade, specifically the rather large stinger-equipped abdomens. The wings were easy as I had two sets of warrior wings and no desire to field shrikes with their current rules and stats. Hormagaunt scything talons were used for the forward pairs of limbs, while the back set are the middle limbs from the termagant/hormagant torsos. This did two things:

First it broke the Nid rule of 3 pairs of limbs. Wings for nids usually count as a pair of limbs so technically this conversion has four pairs of limbs. So for any offended fluff bunnies, this is a unique tyranid organism and can deviate significantly from the Nid body plan while still looking consistent.

Second the effect is more of a creature that grasps its prey just enough to implant them, or attack with the scything talons at the front. The model has a profile that looks more like a wasp, which gives it it a sense of aggressive movement as the stinger is always pointed forward into an attack position.

I have also resolved that at some vague, undefined point that I really need to build or buy a photo booth. There are so many effects on this model and on the Swarm Lord that are washed out by my attempts to photograph them that I have a hard time closing the discrepancy between what I see vs what I post. Anyway here are the shots, such as they are:

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Swarm Lord is done

Check him out. A few more touch ups on some other nid models and I will be devoting time to the Caestus. Right now I am looking to get at least two different versions of a 1500 pt Tyranid list together and have had to order a few additions to the army as well as one that I am getting purely for aesthetics. Anyway here are the pics:

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Nids and Wolves. Painting models by leapfrogging armies.

I got the Caestus Assault ram primed and have started to base coat the areas that will require a black base. I used the Army Painter grey spray over a black primer coat. Most of the blackened areas you see on the model will be a dark red, starting with a darkened mix of mechrite red and black. I have a feeling I will have to put something a lot more interesting to look at on the tops of the booms though, as that looks like too much space to leave as a a solid colour. Norse runes and Celtic knots are strong contenders, although simple jags are also a possibility that would be within the theme. 

I have also done some painting on a Nid model, but not the Hierophant. It seems I do not yet want to start a project that big as it will require an enormous commitment of time and I have other Nid models that are useable in a basic game of 40K. So I dusted off a Swarm Lord conversion I constructed about a year ago and have made significant progress on this model. The upper pair of swords look horrid right now but they will be significantly altered from their current state. The lower pair are closer to where I want them but I still intend to do a bit more work on those. Over all the model is coming along nicely, fits into my current Nid army, and has a much better flow and sense of movement than the GW offering. Once I saw the static Swarm Lord from GW, I was glad I went through the effort of making my own.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

And the next thing on the assembly line....

So I have been working witha  FW kit for the last few days. Originally the Caestus Assault Ram was going to be done up for my Ultras but a friend convinced me to try to maintain momentum on the Space Wolves. So it has had some SW icons cast and affixed in order to give the vehicle the proper feel. Next to the Storm Eagle I converted, this thing looks like a brick but it has a design aesthetic that suits its rather blunt purpose.

Another FW kit has also been crying for attention (along with my Thunderbolt, Hellblade, several Eldar tanks and an Armorcast Revenant Scout Titan, and several other Nid models) has been this Hierophant biotitan. I purchased it through Kijiji and it was already painted and had seen the table top numerous times. The previous owner had not based the model, and I could not blame him. the footprint of this monster is huge and basing it as it appears in the FW website makes it useless for the table top. Due to being deployed like this however the legs were well bent from having to support such weight with such thin limbs. This was not an issue for me as I fully intend to redo the front and back feet (and they will be feet as something that big on points that tiny would sink with each step) as well as reposition the limbs. If all goes to plan then the biotitan's footprint will be much thinner and only three limbs will be in contact with the ground. I am hoping this will translate in to a more menacing appearance while maintaining the model's useability. After all I already have the two Hierodules painted, this puppy would just make the whole army look more imposing.

So I began disassembling the model meaning that I ripped it apart while damaging some of the more delicate components. I tried using a substance that is supposed to dissolved cyanocrylate but I lack patience and managed to get all of its limbs off using mindless physical force instead. The flesh hooks have all been removed and they will be re-done from scratch. There is a a small pair of claws on the underside of the biotitan's body. One has snapped off and I am planning to remove the other one. If I have the bits I will be adding a row of scything talons going from the Hive Tyrant size through to the size of a hormagaunt. It should make for an interesting row of bladed limbs on the beast's underside.  Several of the smaller horns/claws (?) are also missing so I will need to sculpt replacements. A lot of work on this model but it will look great on the table top.

I have also started some planning on a games tables worth of terrain that will represent an Adeptus Mechanicus forgeworld. The idea is to construct all of the terrain using only card and foam core. Woods and water features will be represented by other terrain features (e.g. steam vents as obscuring cover). I have constructed most of a teleporter pad and a tower-like structure. As work progresses on any (all?) of these projects I will endeavour to make regular updates.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Synchronicity I

So I have been trying to get back into a 40K mind set. After all a new edition of the game has dropped and all should be well in the world. But as always my attention has been so scattered that I have not been able to settle on one project or another. So instead I committed to completing a project that had been a long time in process.

I had purchased and painted a couple of FW Khornate daemons and a Renegade Ogryn model for a couple of close friends. As with all paint jobs I'm not 100% pleased with the end result but they turned out well in all.The clear coat I used (GW semi gloss) was too glossy and kind of  killed some of the red effects that I had painted on the two Khornate daemons. I may try hitting them with a dull coat just to try to take the shiny-ness down a notch. The Ogryn and his friend came out essentially as I wanted. They both look grimy and greasy and there is a dullness to the palate that is slightly shocked by the red I used on the models. All of these models will soon be packaged for a trip to their new owners in Windsor. Then I have to commit to a new army before I have to commit to a pre-heresy army....why do I feel burned out again?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The camera's flash may not be my friend.

Not having any background in photography, I am generally blind and unthinking in my approach to taking photos. Luckily I have friends who have no problem saying that the shots I took look bad. Specifically the camera's flash washed out the colours so much that any evidence of highlighting was obliterated. So I took a long hard look at these photos and tried taking a few shots in natural light and with the flash off. I did do some colour correction using a very old program I have but I tried to keep my manipulations to a minimum and had the model at hand to compare the colours. It is quite possible that such digital shenanigans is at least partly responsible for the washed out look of the previous set of photos but that sounds too much like taking responsibility and that just is not my thing.

I may finally get my first game of 6th Ed in soon, but for that I am planning on using my Ultramarines. At 300 pts kitted out like this this flier may be a bit much for a 1500 pt game (points wise that is). There is also the inevitability that the first time a newly completed model hits the table, it gets destroyed by the first shot that hits it. I should probably field the Wolves just to get that out of thee way and blame it on unfamiliarity with the demands of the new rule set.