Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Terrain is everything - Dawn of War Plasma Generator part 2.

Thanks to MasterSlowPoke you all know my next terrain effort - the Dawn of War Plasma Generator. Of course this picture may elicit a call of "foul" - another one of those step-by-step guides that just goes from A - D, bypassing B and C but it's pretty straightforward, just fiddly in places. The white stuff is foamcard [obviously] and the black stuff is a laminate of three pieces of thin card.

The black is a textured folder card for use on report covers, I thought the texture might show up and be cool. There's a thin piece of grey cereal box type card sandwiched between the black, end result 1.5mm card. I was aiming for 1mm, if I'd have only used one piece of black that probably would have done it. Alternatively mounting card will do but I found this dead easy to cut, which was my concern over mounting card.

Masking tape was used to cap the foamcard in places, 8mm strips of my laminate in the reinforced areas. Mounting card was also used on the lower parts, with the two holes punched in. Later on I thought this a bit much as visually it takes away the horizontal line and instead continues the slope, which isn't the correct profile, but never mind.

As you can see I've used a CD base to create a standalone modular socket. This can can obviously be used on it's own or I can mount the Plasma Generator in any of the other modular sockets I've made so far, man-made hills for instance, though I doubt it'd work on top of the Vent Tower! Here's a marine so you can see the scale. I think it's actually taller than the DOW model but I think it benefits from the increase in scale.

Of course you are dieing to know about the plasma tubes... Simple, it's a Biro, chopped at the top, filled with any form of coloured gel*, handwash in this case and capped with hot melt glue. Now there is a knack to filling these, which I found out the hard way. I used a syringe to load them up but as soon as you start to fill them air gets trapped and the gel will come out backwards, not fill the tube, if you still have the coloured end cap at the bottom [which I did]. Now you can't really take the end cap out but if you put a tiny hole in it then as the gel fills it up the air can escape through the hole. If you use a needle file to puncture it from the inside it's relatively simple to press the plastic back in place until you can cover it with hot melt glue and seal it. Alternatively if you have the glue on hand you can seal it immediately.

As you can see bubble can be trapped in place but they do settle after a while. One note is that the colour is a lot paler than you will see in your gels normal container, this is obviously because you are looking through only a thin tube, not an inch or two of gel. I'm thinking bath bubble mixture may be slightly more vibrant in colour and definitely offer up more variety, reds and even pearlescent mixtures. I wanted the standard blue but I'd wanted to paint the structure Hawk Turquoise which I don't think will allow the plasma tubes to stand out so I've had to rethink that option.

I'm loathe to do another Ferron red structure, I wanted this to be metal so I'm thinking of doing the main structure yellow, and to weather it in as close an approximation of the rail crane at Appley Bridge Station. I'm not entirely convinced it'll work, as my efforts in yellow so far have been less than I'd hoped. Still, this could be my opportunity to get it right. The white bits will either be solid black or black/white chevrons. Overall though it's going to be a tough paintjob as I have to paint it unassembled as I don't want the plasma tubes to get spray or paint marks on them. Oh, the following shot should show up the folder card texture clearly.

So next to finish up is the venting on the sides, paint it with my usual black mixture and then Red Oxide primer as a base to put the Iyanden Dark Sun stippling on.

* I've just realised you don't have to use gel at all to colour the plasma tubes, you could use any coloured liquid or even paint. Water mixed with food colouring or even blackcurrant or orange juice depending on your desire. They'd probably be easier to fill as well, not needing the hole to allow air to escape.