Thursday 31 March 2011

Terrain is everything - 40k Hex tower 2.

Here's one of my oft delayed terrain pieces. You can probably tell reading through it that there was a lot of improvisation going on and as the piece developed ideas about how to make this even more versatile cropped up, hence the delay because I never got round to creating the STC. I'll get there in the end don't worry but meanwhile you'll just have to enjoy the process and the inspiration.

After I made the 40k outpost, that got bigger and it's attendant tower the next addition to my scenery collection [way back when] was inspired by 'found materials. We get large scale plotter paper at work and these rolls have plastic endcaps as shown below

So I wanted to build a platform based around this end cap, here's the sketch:

A hexagonal base was made and stuck to a CD [no warping card this time]

Then, foamcard was used for the walls and granny grating for the base. A hole was cut in the centre to allow a lift to come up from the base [still to do]

In the process I realised if I split one of the walls I can create walkways to connect more of these babies together. Here's the removable section


I have some different sized end caps which will add some variety and I may add some variety in height so I could potentially stack some of the platforms [if they come without CD bases]. Alternatively the hex tower can fit in the centre, but it'd look kind of odd.

I've still to prepare the walkways but I will be using foamcard and granny grating for the base of those and walls with the same pattern.
Here's the slightly smaller one

A view from above which shows that the smaller printer end cap is not closed, so you get a nice see-thru effect through the granny grating.

A possible layout using the removable wall plates. Still need to complete some walkways but it's quite versatile already, although probably too much for my small table.

Here's a figures eye view showing the completed doors.

Quite a lot of pics there, so I'll post the painted ones another time. As I mentioned before the STCs for these are still in development. I wanted to add an internal hexagonal column that would be the same height as the corner pieces. This would allow the stacking of the platforms. Additionally I have the advantage of the printer end caps, providing extra bits for you to make your own floorplate within the template is another thing to consider. I'll get there though.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

My son ACTUALLY gaming!

So wonders never cease. My son actually played a game of 40k with his cousin and up until the frantic melee below I'd kept out of it. Somewhere along the lines his 11 Genestealers and Broodlord outflanked onto the side. They charged the Terminator squad and at this point had taken out his Terminator Armoured Chaplain [2 wounds? I thought those guys had 3]

Here's a wider angle shot with a sneak peak at some of my Honoured Imperium terrain and my future containers.

Moments afterwards the Genestealer mauled two of the Terminators [33 dice delivered two deaths!] however the squad failed their morale check and were slaughtered as they ran away.

Later on the Trygon had 6 penetrating and one glancing hit on the Predator in the centre so it was destroyed also. The marines had little chance. Can't say he's learned about good sportsmanship but he's never beaten his cousin yet and perhaps it'll excite him a little more about it. Later the wife asked him again on his thoughts and he said I'm 'still sticking my nose in too much and make decisions on colours etc.' although I'm not sure what he's referring to as we haven't done any painting for at least a month! Didn't even want to be involved in the game but they kept asking my advice. Anyhoo...!

Monday 28 March 2011

ebay sales YOU won't regret!

This post is worthy of interrupting my every-other-day schedule You may recall I have mentioned my mate Liam, he of the scratch built Warhound and Warlord fame, a few times. His painting and modelling skills are awesome he admits he's a 40k geek, he scratchbuilt a Warlord for G.O.D.sake but he stops short of a blog so I asked him if he ever had anything he wanted to share on my blog he could.

So below I have some of his magnificently painted Adeptus Arbites and Ultramarine Rhinos but the killer thing is that they are all up on ebay NOW! Starting price 99p and decent postage rates.

Here's the Arbites with some gorgeous 'non-metallic metals, hurry I see these have already reached £6!

"We are the law!"

Here's the full set of four Rhinos being auctioned off individually:

And lot 104 is here:

Of course you don't have to buy you can just enjoy the fantastic quality which my friend is typically modest about and if you dig his work please leave a comment so I can share it with him. Just to whet your appetite for the future he had this to say:
"If you want more stuff I have WIP images of loads of stuff I've made
4 x Scratch built Landspeeder hibreed (fully inclosed)
Scratch built thunderbolt fighter
3 x Scratch built lightnings
Scratch built warhound
Scratch built warlord
2 x Scratch built from GW parts knights Paladin
2 x Scratch built caestus assault rams
Scratch built from GW parts An'ggrath"

So if you like he's stuff hopefully we'll get to see some more quality output. Oh and just a reminder of his scratchbuilt Warhound and Warlord...

Sunday 27 March 2011

Terrain is everything - Vent Tower pt 3. EVOLUTION!

OK, a lot's gone on with the Vent Tower recently and I suddenly thought that despite the evolution recorded in the blog through photographs we were short in some evidence of how the actual model is wrought from the initial idea [below]. Yep we've seen that initial concept a few times but the main issue for the roof was tested 'virtually' in Illustrator.

Here you can see how I was looking to solve that problem, the solutions to which I discussed the other day. As you can see the planned extension was also developed and in such a way as that I can still retain the roof section I've already constructed. Not only that, due to the 'plug and socket' module that the roof and extension use I could potentially keep creating more and more extensions as the the top and base are the same dimension!

My wife did a night shift the other night so I got in a lot of work and hopefully I'll be able to bring you up-to-date on all my progress next week. One post to cover the tower, the fences, the drop pod, dreadnought and even my AoBR marines!

Friday 25 March 2011

Terrain is everything - Vent Tower pt 2. EUREKA!

A lot of brain power has been employed over the last few weeks trying to solve the problem of the roof of the 'Vent Tower'. Surprisingly the solution was to stick to the initial sketch. Of course the problem with that was that I'd made the floor plate only just big enough to fit four figures and there would be no room for walls as foamcard thickness of 5mm (x4 all the way round) was sufficient to stop the miniatures fitting up top.

Additionally, going without walls looked a bit stupid, like that scene from Family Guy Blue Harvest. Sure, in the 41st Millenium, Health & Safety isn't big on the Imperium's agenda but seriously your not going to put a guard rail at the top of the building?... aah-hah! A guard rail BING!

So I went back to the sketch and thought to use granny grating as a barrier, thin enough to not take up too much room and transparent enough tto still retain the lines of the building and still provide some measure of architectural reality in stopping folks falling off the top.

So, here we have the floor plate with four pieces of flower decorators wire bent and shaped to add support to the corner pieces. The floor plate has notches cut into it, but not the last bit of card that the corner pieces can also be supported by and glued to. The last picture of the 3 shows the pieces dry fit into their position.

Typically the next set of pics seem to have missed out quite a bit but as you can see I've put in place the granny grating guard rail and removed sections of it to make it even less obstructive. I went for a chest height but having played around in Photoshop in the third picture, I think a waist height would be better and less intrusive to the design and easier to position figures. As you can see four figures fit quite nicely and the fifth would shoot from the firing position of the door. Can't imagine four Termagant up here though, but then again the Imperium does haven't to abide by diversity laws and accommodate for Xenos!

Here's a shot of the roof so I can try and break down what went on between the first three shots and the second set. Black mounting card was positioned in the two corners butting up to the corner spires. The spires were glued in place. I cut granny grating for the floor and removed a base sized circle in the corner with the spire that has a bit of wall to protect those coming out of the hatch. A slotta-base was glued in place and a hatch from an old model American Wild West Locomotive was poly-cemented as the hatch. I'm sure a simple disc of card would suffice here, I'll have to add one into the STC when I get round to it but as you can see this bit's going to be a right pain to describe. Railings where glued in place, I've still to use sandwich bag wires to tie them in place, but that'll happen after the PVA dries.

Now, afterall the worries about retaining the lines of the building I've actually bulked out the roof silhouette. The vertical stripes on the building had to have some sort of ledge above them. If the ledge was too thin it would have looked odd. Fortunately I had some bits of black mounting card that had been doubled up. These were stepped at the corners with the wire support and cut diagonally to butt up at the spire corners and amazingly it's made a pretty damn good fit.

Lastly another Photoshop edit to confirm whether chest height or waist height for the gurad rail would be best and I think the answer is self evident. Oh, and lastly a reminder of what the sketch was and it's pretty close.

But wait, didn't I say I was going to put Heavy Bolter sponsons on this? Well yes I did, but I couldn't get it to work properly, however this roof comes with a piece of square foamcard the exact size of the interior hole of the tower walls attached underneath to hold it in place. This roof will be removable and I'm looking to add an alternative roof section with a similar 'plug fit' that covers at least another two floors, possibly more. In which case there'll definitely not be enough room for four up top so it will support two and I will look to fit the sponsons and fire ports on the additional floors. I wonder how tall I can make this?

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Epic Space Marines part 10. - Ultramarines part 6. The whole shebang!

It's been a while and I know you missed them but here's the last of my Epic Ultramarine photos, though couriously I didn't take one with them all in one shot, still there's plenty to drool over if your and Epic fanboy.


Assault squad on the left, loving the white shoulder pads on the tac squad in the second row.

Termies, Chaplain and Medic hold the centre [no doubt backed up by the big guns of the Vindicators].

Robots and Whirlwinds support the right flank.

Robots, Predators, Bikes and Mole Mortars support the left flank.

Cheers for sticking with it. Still some unpainted titans left to come when I get round to photgraphing them.

Monday 21 March 2011

Terrain is everything - Honoured Imperium pt2.

Progress has been pretty swift with this set, not that you'll notice because these updates will be spread out over the next few weeks. Anyway, what a difference 'knowing how to do something' makes to a project. My Red Planet basing is making this a doddle and not only that an appealing prospect, something my non-starter of a Dark Angels project illustrates.

So far everything has had it's Red Oxide primer put on. The Hycote spray is really good, my Simoniz conked out within about one second so it was a good job I picked some up. It's coverage is really good a flatter finish than the Hycote, even more Satin than Matt. Each part has then been dry-brushed with copious amounts of Vermilion Art Acrylic.

Here you can see how the statue was kept separate so I could undercoat the Marine Matt Black [yes that famous one]. As you can see the drybrushing has caught the shoes. The funny thing is all of these models are kind of being painted in the opposite to the suggested GW tutorials, they work on the model then paint the ground. However, as I know the ground is going to require a fair bit of dry-brushing I didn't want to paint the 'item' then mess it up as evidenced below. Of course any dry-brushing later on may well mess up my RedPlanet FX, but we'll have to wait and see on that score...

Saturday 19 March 2011

WFB - Empire Halflings

There was a recent post on BoLS regarding 'power gaming' and the various types of power gamer. I know I'm one but the sort that looks at the best stats and says I'll have one [or many] of them. When it came to archers in my Empire army there was only one choice Hobbits Halflings! Somehow I managed to source 10 of these fellas. I'm certain of the history of some but the remainder I've just no idea where they came from.
I'm also totally unsure of my colour scheme blue and pink?! What was I thinking, but they are kind of pretty. Anyway here's the line up...

Much like the Flagellants/militia they all have a bit of character. First up is some chap stuffing his face with a rather orange chicken drumstick. The next three are Hobbits, they're from the original Citadel Miniatures Fellowship of the Ring box set, which I had. So here we have Merry, Frodo and Pippin. Sam has gone missing along with Gandalf, Legolas, Boromir, Aragorn and Gimli. Bill the pony however is in my bits box. Last of the five is the low-level hero of the unit. This is my favorite Halfling, he looks so cool in his little chainmail outfit and shield on his back.

This five are less impressive, just a bunch of halflings, however the second from left is one of my earliest miniatures. You may notice he's quite tall for such a little gue, that's because he actually came with his own base. You can see the gravel is quite a mound due to the lead base that actually says halfling on it underneath. This guy came in a two pack with another halfling, balding, in a cooks apron and a little dagger though I'm not sure where he ended up.

The only other thing missing from this bunch is my Champion - an Elector , Elder of the Moot! This was a Blood Bowl Halfling put into a sitting position with a lance and mounted on a Giant Scorpion! I'll fish it out for his day in the sun at some point but I think it's missing a few legs and only ever got undercoated.

UPDATE - since found 'Proud Foot', the Halfling with the integral base second from the left and a number of his bretheren here: