Saturday 30 November 2013

Terrain is everything - Hail the Omnissiah a new type of STC is found - Print and Play terrain cont.

Technically this should be a Free Radical Collective post, as I'm not going to make this but it's a simple block so there's not much that can go wrong [is there?!]. What you have above is an isometric render of the 3 storey tower block. There are two floors in the .pdf but feel free to reprint them if you want more floors.

You can choose to keep the stained glass windows or cut them out. Equally you can go at it with a craft knife or a Dremel multi-tool and make a ruin. You can even print an extra set onto card and add some of the decorative details onto the paper so it has a little more depth, your choice.

Essentially all you really need to do is print these, stick them to foamboard and cut out. I might suggest using A4 sticky labels for the printing, then either bevel the edges to 45 degrees or remove an interior 5mm strip so the boards can slot into each corner - simple!

To access the full STC please point your Cogitators here, be fair warned it is 44MB in size [I make no apologies for this, I could probably render it as a .jpg but what the hey?!]:

There will be a wide version coming up next month and then I'll look at the marble version - great if you can put it on black card, I may make the tall one fore this ;)

Friday 29 November 2013

Cel shade robotech awesomeness!

I saw this insanely great Cel Shade Robotech model the other day. I can really see Tau benefiting from this kind of treatment, but even Space Marines you could manage it. The great thing is the process is relatively simple. I mean the highlights are so simple, no blending or shading needed just making sure you choose the right colours, manage to keep your edges neat and your colours nice and flat. The hardest part is probably doing the black edges but even then with the varied line weight it's probably easier than line highlighting

I recall someone on BoLS once talking about using a painterly style to do their army, being bold enough to go beyond the accepted conventions of how to paint figures, using the Wii game Madworld as an example of how one could paint an army in a specific style or like Sin City, pause for thought at least

Anyway, for more pics point your cogitators here: and here:

Thursday 28 November 2013

'nids part 112 - Scratchbuilt Tyranid Capillary Towers pt7.

Here you can see how I capped the spikes, not quite the 'talons' I'd intended I really struggle with fine detail and I'm not sure DAS works that well fine. I'm not too upset though, the sculpting looks cool, if a little too like the roof of my bastion than the bone white bits they'll be painted as, still nevermind. All these spikes took a further 1 hour 10 minutes, taking us to 13 hours 55 minutes 

The next night I went all out on the flesh fibre bundles on two towers, this took a further hour and 26 minutes. 

Finding ways to overlap the fibres makes them slightly more interesting and I am finding myself trying to 'fill in' all the tower when I still want areas of the bonewhite structure to be visible. I'll try to take that into account on the other towers, four more to do, including the 4 and 5 tier towers, which is like another 5 three tier towers - roughly 3 hours 35 to go and then the bases...

15 hours 21 minutes is the current project time to date. I'm not sure whether you all think that's a lot of time but I'm still not doing more than 90 minutes in a sitting so unless it gets annoying it doesn't bother me. 

Tyranid Capillary Towers | part 1. | part 2. | part 3. | part 4. | part 5. | part 6. |

Wednesday 27 November 2013

ebay sales I shouldn't regret, but kind of feel like I do

I'd been watching a couple of 'buy it now' auctions from the same seller for a few days on ebay. What really struck me was the Space Hulk Genestealers on offer. Sure they weren't the coolest choices out of those that came with the box but even standard stealers usually cost more than £5.50 for six! You can't even pick up five Termagants for less than £6 at GW so this, I felt, was a bargain.

So, when it came to pay day and they were still there I decided to snap them up. Indeed the bargain was even better as they're on 40mm bases to account for the Space Hulk metalwork they're mounted on. A set of five 40mm bases is £3, so I got £3.60 worth of bases. All I had to do was split them off the base, trim the mount down a bit and re-base them on 25mm bases. One stealer did snap at the ankle so I might just have him as a Ymgarl and cut him further down and have him emerging from dormancy. I'll also need to mix them up with more bits too, but still a bargain.

However, it didn't end there, as they also had a Warrior and 4 Termagants for £3.99. Again, taking into account five gaunts are £6 another bargain. he's even got the Deathspitter and both have their Rippers intact so I should be able to make another base with the couple I have knocking around. The other bonus, I have five spare 40mm bases to mount him on! I'm sure at this point you're wandering why I need more Tyranids when I said I wasn't going to buy any. Well with a new Codex coming out who knows what I might need but additionally I have started something I will refer to as Project X. It's a small expansion of my Tyranid force for a very specific reason. The current amount of figures I have was not going to be sufficient so if I can pick some up cheap I'll do it. Project X will feature here and there over the next 12 months, I just need to stock up on bits in case they're needed.

But I can't go Tyranid without some bits for my Dark Angels and £2.49 got me these Scout bitz. That's 5 scopes on those bolt pistols that I can graft onto my rather plain Dark Vengeance and Battle for Macragge Tactical Marines. There's also two Bolter straps, plenty of grenades and other equipment and not to mention a Heavy Bolter I can add to my Land Speeder that is missing one.

Add on the £4 postage and £15 is quite a good price in my book, except I then went and missed out on two more Macragge sets for £15 and £16, one was missing the scenery but did have a box of Tyranid Warriors and the other had a bunch of Eldar jetbikes. So you see it was a bargain but I kind of regret the other missed bargains too... Still we'll work with what we've got.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Terrain is everything - hedge your bets.

A quick one, another gem from the old White Dwarf back catalogues. This time it's more a tutorial than tmeplates - how to make Warhammer fences, walls and hedges. Hope you enjoy it.


Sunday 24 November 2013


And there we have it, I hit 300,000 pageviews before I could make 200 followers. It kind of snuck up on me, I'd been watching it closely and then the new print and play page managed to tip me over the edge. The real shocker is that the last 100,000 views have happened in 6 months, while the first 200,000 took 2.5 years.

Anyway, I thank you all and I would be even more elated and happy for your support, unfortunately I'm struggling what to say at the moment because once again a personal situation is overshadowing things, which is why this post is late. On Friday night my Great Aunt passed away, she was 93 and it wasn't unexpected but it's difficult to get my head around. Auntie indulged my passions my whole life, when my grandparents and parents struggled to connect with the things I was interested in she was the one buying Dwarves from Games Workshop mail order so I had exactly what I wanted on Christmas day. She would listen to me drone on about the games, the painting and then later on future hobbies, past-times, family life, hopes, dreams, work frustrations - she was always there to listen, I'll miss her dearly.

I'll not say any more than that. I want to, I want to leave some testimony like I did for my Dad but I'm not sure this is the same thing and I'm not sure I'm ready yet. I've got a couple of posts to round out the end of the month, not quite the continued push of the Print and Play terrain I'd hoped, but you never know.

Once again thanks for visiting and I guess thanks for 'listening' too I'll try to measure up to the support I've received so far.

Friday 22 November 2013

Terrain is everything - Hail the Omnissiah a new type of STC is found - Print and Play terrain

A few months ago EvanS kindly pointed Fritz40k to my humble little blog and its FREE .pdf building templates. He was impressed despite his actual need for 'print and play' terrain. Something you can print out and play with pretty much from the get go. So I tasked myself with doing just that. Originally I planned to just add texture to my existing plans but thought why not make something new. Here's the first one, a mash up of some found imagery and a new building template with elements from my existing STCs.

You can choose to keep the stained glass windows or cut them out. Equally you can go at it with a craft knife or a Dremel multi-tool and make a ruin. You can even print an extra set onto card and add some of the decorative details onto the paper so it has a little more depth, your choice.

The roof section also comes with a Standard Manifold Coupling illustrated on top. You can keep it as is or cut it out to add any other modular plugs. Additionally it will provide access to the first floor, which is also available in the ST, should you wish to add it to your model.

Essentially all you really need to do is print these, stick them to foamboard and cut out. I might suggest using A4 sticky labels for the printing, then either bevel the edges to 45 degrees or remove an interior 5mm strip so the boards can slot into each corner - simple!

To access the full STC please point your Cogitators here, be fair warned it is 44MB in size [I make no apologies for this, I could probably render it as a .jpg but what the hey?!]:

As you can see from the teaser picture below I have some other sized versions which are awaiting completion and a different colour of building. In truth I have five different styles so far, I think they get better as I developed them.

As you can see I started to get adventurous, this plan will be slightly more complex because you can print the windows onto printer acetate, another copy onto card and another onto foamboard. Remove the windows on the foamboard, add the window sheet, then use the card version to add some details!

Thursday 21 November 2013

'nids part 111 - Scratchbuilt Tyranid Capillary Towers pt6.

A bit of a 2fer today as you will notice my four tier tower has all four plates done.

 I forgot to take pictures of the bigger ones after I'd done the 3rd tiers, oops. Anyway you may just be able to make out I managed to fix that odd looking first plate on the largest tower. It doesn't cut in on the left randomly anymore - DAS can be very forgiving.


And they're all starting to come together now, definitely consistent with my existing Tyranid scenery elements.

I haven't started feeling uncomfortable sculpting yet as my 'time at bat' is still only about an hour per sitting.

I also started some of the fleshy fibres. Again I thought to use Milliput but went ahead with DAS. Speed is the overwhelming factor and not having to mix the epoxy putty does save time.

However, using water to manipulate the clay means when you cut the lines in the clay can break up completely towards the ends so you do have to be careful.


And some more close ups of the plates. I cut down on the amount of grooves too.

The turquoise striations all have to be painted and the more there are the more tedious it becomes, hopefully reducing the grooves will alleviate this and also it means the shape of the plate is held more. Every time you cut a groove it pushes the clay left and right, you cut another one close by and it will push the groove you've just carved shut. Once again it's a fine line but you get used to it.

11 hours 10, plus another hour for the 3rd tier and 35 minutes for the 4th tier and some of the fleshy fibres brings us to 12 hours 45 minutes on the project so far
Tyranid Capillary Towers | part 1. | part 2. | part 3. | part 4. | part 5. |

Wednesday 20 November 2013

'nids part 110 - Scratchbuilt Tyranid Capillary Towers pt5.

Another day another tier of Chitin plates.

I think I've gone a bit weird on the tallest one, the plate looks a bit odd, hopefully I can fix it.

The difference with these compare to the Bastion ones is that they stand alone whereas all these differences in the sculpted plates got 'hidden' when they joined up to the main Bastion walls.

Still, there's plenty more sculpting to be added to these so it's a bit early to make judgements.

Oops forgot to add the times, 10hrs 25 so far plus another 45 minutes takes us to 11 hours 10 minutes.
Next stop - tier 3 tomorrow!

Monday 18 November 2013

'nids part 109 - Scratchbuilt Tyranid Capillary Towers pt4.

What can I say, there's no way I can defend these pics as they stand. It would seem a lot of people are seeing something altogether more, erm, Slaaneshi with my Capillary Towers. I admit I'm seeing an excited dog now but you guys started it!

DAS air drying clay was my weapon of choice. I'd intended to try and sculpt an entire set of 3 Chitin plates in one sitting just to see how the DAS coped but realised [what I already knew] one plate at a time is the way to go to ensure you don't smoosh your perfectly sculpted plates as you try and add another one on.

The DAS performed really well, in some respects, even though too much water will separate all the paper fibres in the clay, the clay leaves sharper grooves than the Milliput. You can see some 'tearing' at the edges but they're easier to smooth and then carve back in and the tearing is reduced considerably.

There is a concern with it's adhesion to the grouted plates though. I wet the underlying plates beforehand so that when I pressed on the clay it moisten the surface and act like an adhesive. These are now dry [24 hours] and I don't imagine they'll fall off but a small part of me is still worried about their durability. This is really just an exercise in creating them and having some more varied terrain so I probably should worry too much about their 'indestructability'

We were on 9 hours 40 on the last update, these took a further 45 minutes to sculpt the 6 plates which takes us to 10 hours 25. The great thing is that this is well within my patience threshold, 45 minutes is nothing and once finished I still get to watch a couple of episodes of what whatever TV series is gumming up the Sky+ It also helps plan ahead, with 21 plates in total [15 remianing] that's another 112.5 minutes on the plates, although it'll probably be more like 2 hours.

A simpler equation is that each level of plates takes a night so the 3 tier ones will be done in 3 days and then on the 4th I can start on their spikes and fleshy muscular interior and finish the 4 tier. Day 5 will be some more overlapping of flesh and complete the 5 tier. Then the next few days will see me finish them off before I look at basing and sculpting the craters they're bursting from. I may also add some of my lava ball sacs and tendril vines on the base of the bigger ones just for a bit more variety. It'll take a little longer but all in all I can see the construction complete in no more than 3 weeks max [that's done it].

Anyway, given I'll be making progress on this nightly there may well be a post tomorrow to show the next tier of progress, lets keep the momentum going!
Tyranid Capillary Towers | part 1. | part 2. | part 3. |

Saturday 16 November 2013

EPIC! Battle Report - Horus Heresy Skirmish

PeteB went and pickedup the bargain set of Space Marine 1st Edition about a month ago now. Following his 'epic' purchase we decided to have a battle. I thought I had more pictures but it seems I didn't take as many as I first thought. Really we were just struggling to come to terms with the rules as I also had the 2nd edition rule set and Pete had the current Epic Armageddon ones. Having looked at the new rules one thing jumped out at me - the fact you have to roll off to see if your unit actually follows through on it's orders [am I wrong in this?] I hate that dynamic so we went with 2nd edition and mixed in some of the stuff we liked from 1st.

I got to roll out some of my old Ultramarines and PeteB had his force of traitors ;). I really need the 2nd Edition Warlord Titan datasheet, so if anyone has it or a link to it I'd appreciate it. Instead we used the Adeptus Titanicus rules that make it incredibly difficult to kill with non-titan units. Anyway, this was our set up at the beginning of the game, we put down orders and PeteB won the initiative and moved first.

And we suddenly realised that putting everything on Charge orders was quite an issue as some of our faster units - bikes, speeders etc. were suddenly on the other side of the board. 2nd edition rules I think stated you couldn't fire either, compared with 1st edition where it was at a -1 modifier. Therefore I tried to position to capitalise on the next turn, making sure I'd got everything in place to rain fire down on the traitorous scum.

I did manage to get into assault with his Dreadnoughts though [robot proxies] and killed a few.

My Dark Angel allies - Ravenwing and Land Raiders, together with my Ultramarine Predators and Dreadnoughts tried to outflank the Land Raiders on the hill.

My Tarantula battery set up on the hill but I'd bigged them up too much before the game and the next turn they were assaulted and wiped out. My Titan spent most of the game untouched, firing with impunity but not doing a whole lot of damage. 2nd edition doesn't state you get +1 to hit on First fire orders, it's only advantage being you 'fire first'! Given most to hit rolls are on 5+ I'm not sure we liked this. When only a third of your hits do anything it can be a pretty unrewarding experience.

Sadly this is the last pic and so much happened after this. I tried to blow up buildings but again 2nd edition works by only barrage being able to damage them. My Thunderhawk came on, managed to do practically nothing and then put itself in a position in PeteB's deployment zone where it was just riddled with fire and shot out of the sky. Pete also created a Land Raider sandwich attack - my four Land Raiders in the centre of the board [three by the time this event took place] were assaulted by 2 units of three Rhinos with a higher Close Assault Factor the Raiders easily dispatched the first Rhino but the second Rhino gets an additional d6 as a secondary attacker and he was able to ram the Raiders into oblivion.

Once again it was getting late and we called it a night. I'm not even sure who won, we didn't even bother to work up which units had broken [and therefore we gain their VPs] and to be honest I didn't care. This was a game full of fun, attack and counter attack, periods were nothing seemed to happen and then suddenly entire units were vaporised. The great thing was there was no emotional attachment to the forces, these aren't my nids I've been using for years so it didn't matter if I won or lost it was the 'cinematic' journey along the way.

We had a 40k battle the next time we met up, as that was in preparation for Blog Wars but I look forward to our next Epic confrontation. We still need to iron out some of the rules we want to play with, being happy with a system that works for us. I think if we have the correct edition datasheets for Warlords, Reavers and Warhounds that would help too. I was devastated with their rules in 2nd edition, they became so much easier to kill but if we play them like Adeptus Titanicus rules they're overpowered so that has to change.

Following on from my battle I wanted to paint up a Reaver Titan for PeteB to use in battles. I wanted to do a red one with all brass fittings [very Khorne] I started with a Red Oxide primer and then blacked in all the metal areas.

Shoulder pads, missile launcher, and head are all pinned to be secure. I've tried to do a similar metal effect as on my drop pod [do you remember that? G.O.D. that's so long ago now and still so unfinished!] Anyway, I'll add some more highlights and then probably a 'devlan mud' wash and then work on the red bits. I can't decide to go basic highlights on the red or try and do a mottled blotchy pattern of highlights...