Saturday 26 December 2009

Scenery with Sketchup

I downloaded this free application from Google a few hours ago and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Sketchup is a free CAD type program with a bias toward architecture that Google have made available so people can add buildings to Google Earth. Seeing this opportunity I decided to have a go, except the buildings I intend to design have no real life prototype as they exist 40,000 years in the future ;o)

I'm a keen scenery maker and I even sell some of my cast pieces on eBay from time to time, so having a tool that enables me to plan on a screen means less time wasting mistakes and printing out scale plans makes life a lot easier (I could print the plan straight onto card if I wanted to). The example below is an Epic scale Censorium, the sort of building that would be common in a city of the Imperium, if I decide to make a master model for casting, the plans will make life a lot easier.

When trying CAD before I found it confusing and returned to pen and paper pretty quick, this application however is really easy to use and i recommend it as total novice to this sort of thing.

Hope you all had a nice Christmas, next week I'll be back with some more conventional painting type stuff...

Saturday 5 December 2009

Crimson Fist Terminators

This weeks bout of frantic daubing has delivered a squad of six Crimson Fist Terminators (the Black Reach termis plus an assault cannon from the plastic set for added flexibility). All in I think spent about six hours on painting these boys. I followed the same reduced scheme as for the Tactical squad outlined below, with the addition that the Crux Terminatus markings are a simple wash of Devlan Mud over Bleached Bone. Keeping the colour palette to a minimum means that I should have no problems in fielding a 1000 points soon after Christmas, a welcome antidote to my slow progress on my other projects!

You will notice that few of the minis I post up on here are actually based, well for me that is the very last thing I do on an army, it's a kind of ritual that clears my bench off and allows me to start thinking of the next project. Bearing that in mind though I am preparing a backdrop for photos on this blog that will make things a bit more aesthetically pleasing than a paint spattered cutting mat.

So next up to tackle is the dreadnought, and a metal tactical squad is waiting for some custom shoulder pads from GW....

Friday 27 November 2009

Crimson Fists

This week GW have released some cool detailing kits for the Crimson Fists chapter, an unexpected boon for me since I only decided to do Crimson Fists a few weeks ago myself! The first ever 'official' space marine chapter to be described by GW was unarguably the Crimson Fists, adorning the cover of the Rogue Trader manual all those years ago. The 'battle at the farm' scenario inside the book also introduced one of 40k's first ever special characters- Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, named jokingly after Pete Cantor who was one of the original developers.

Back then, although I admired the cool colour scheme of the 'Fists I wanted to do something a bit different and opted to paint my marines in Blood Angels colours, and carried on collecting as the Blood Angels evolved into the blood sucking close assault nutters they are today. All that time though the seed has been there and upon getting the Black Reach boxed set i decided it was time to daub blue and crimson on these 'marines.

My aim is to get a small army up and running pretty quickly, while my Knights of Atreus are a longer term project i want to get the Crimson Fists up and running asap. It also gives me a break from putting three levels of highlights on RTB01 plastics and lets me paint something from this millenium.

The paint scheme is a quick and simplified version of the one currently up on the GW website. Starting with a black undercoat the armour is painted in Regal Blue, followed by a Badab Black wash, then when completely dry drybrush the mini with Enchanted Blue. This provides enough depth for a simple gaming standard but I then added a single line highlight of 50:50 Enchanted Blue/Spacewolf Grey. The red bits... Mechrite red, wash Devlan Mud, Blood Red, Blazing Orange highlight. The metals are simply Bolt Gun Metal washed Badab Black then a minor highlight with Boltgun Metal again.

That sergeant looks a bit peeved, must be because someone nuked his fortress monastery.

Once the rest, and Pedro are painted I'll be doing a mini campaign detailing the escape and subsequent reinforcement of New Rynn city following the destruction of the fortress monastery. Of course that will have to include the 'battle at the farm' from the RT book....

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Land Raider renovation

I have had this MK1 Landraider sitting around for some time, and as the Knights are coming together (2 RTB01 tac squads fully painted, devastators on the way and Assault squad with jump packs awaiting paint) I'll be needing a ride for the Command Squad or Terminators pretty soon. The problem is, this Landy has several coats of paint and glue splodges, generally it's looking shoddy and it's totally the wrong colour!

A full recondition is in order, firstly I have removed the sponsons as they were totally clogged with glue after decades of repairs (the old Land Raiders almost always lost their las-cannons at some point) these will be reattached using brass wire so that they articulate they way they're meant to.

As for removing the paint- early experiments with oven cleaner (Mr Muscle) on the heavy bolter are promising, leaving pristine 1980's plastic underneath. The oven cleaner needed 2 days to munch through the thick paint but has the benefit of not attacking the plastic. A word of warning to anyone who wishes to use this method- use gloves and a mask!! And clean up thoroughly afterwards, the concentrated Sodium Hydroxide in these products is very nasty. This method has the virtue of washing down the sink with warm water, other stripping methods can be more polluting. Always try your stripping chemicals on a test area like i have with the Heavy Bolter before commiting to the full model, especially if it's an antique.

Once the Land Raider is stripped I'll post up pictures.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Progenoids, please.

I managed to knock up this Rogue Trader marine medic yesterday evening and I now remember what a tricky colour white is to paint!! I started with a black undercoat (yes that may well seem stupid for this mini but I always prime in black for the shadows it creates), followed by codex grey, space wolf grey then pure skull white.

I'm fairly pleased overall, it's about my standard of painting nowadays and I would probably use this method for white armour in the future (not too stark and decent shadows). The back pack is the same green as the other marines- catachan highlighted to camo green then a heavy thraka green wash. The shoulder pad is warlock purple with purple wash.

I'm looking to paint the rest of the command squad up soon, although a few decision remain on which minis to use (i want some veteran metals for a vanguard vets squad). My recent purchase of Assault on Black Reach means I'm finally getting up to date on 5th ed, but it also means the nice new minis are distracting me from my RT Marines, oh no i see a major abstraction coming- Crimson Fists anyone?

Saturday 7 November 2009

Warhammer World

The missus tootled off to Kent to see some girl mates this weekend, so rather than brood over the ease with which my better half abandoned me I decided to visit Warhammer World in Nottingham, well it was that or whittle away at the pile of minis to be painted...

After a minor diversion around Notts city centre while I orientated myself (ok I got lost but my tech level 4 road wheeler doesn't have auto-nav, and the only previous time i visited Nottingham I was very very drunk, I digress) I found the nerve centre of GW and spent a good few hours meandering around the gaming hall, exhibition, shop and Bugmans Bar. The staff are very friendly and managed to persuade me to get a copy of Black reach, for the rulebook you understand... I still use 1st or 4th ed if i ever get the chance to play which is rarely.

Anyways, the highlight for me was the exhibition upstairs where thousands of GW's archetypal minis (ie the ones you see in the codexes and White Dwarf etc) are on show, as well as showcases of our fave 'eavy metal painters and most especially John Blanche. For me ol' Blanchistu is the heart of GW's universes and he is in many ways responsible the inherent darkness and broodiness, yes his art is dismissed as messy and uncouth by some but that's missing the point, as the Warhammer universes are messy and uncouth places!

It was nice to see some of the famous dioramas on show too, and seeing the Horus diorama by Mike Mcvey was cool after spending so many hours staring at the pictures of it in White Dwarf.

Downstairs in the gaming hall some of John Blanches miniatures from the last 3 decades are on view, and MAN can this guy paint minis, as well as knocking out the odd canvas, y'know, as you do. The photos really don't do them justice, every one is a micro masterpiece and now i'm home feeling inspired!
Two things that caught my eye were these solid Landraider and Whirlwind, I'n not sure but i think these are the masters for the Epic plastics? They are massive and looked about 20% bigger than the 40k scale equivalent. If anyone could elaborate that would rock.

So all in all a very inspiring and pretty nostalgic trip to GWHQ, cheers guys ;o)

Tuesday 6 October 2009

On my workbench

The last couple of weeks I've been more or less living work :o( well we all have to pay the bills. My work bench is looking pretty cluttered, in fact it's well on its way into chaos. Maybe this is how the warmaster started his decline into insanity? Taking on too many projects at once is filling my head with an exponentially increasing mass of ideas and pushing out things like remembering my brothers birthday (sorry bruv). On the list at the moment.....

legio Cybernetica- Enough parts for 20 (at a push) rogue trader robots, I really need to sit down, draw up a list, design a paint scheme and paint these great robots.

RTB101 Marines- Another squad awaiting paint in my green and purple colours (think I'll call them Knights of Atreus as my IG regiment was from 'Atreus' and I wrote up a nice background for the world)

RT Landraider- I have an old old Landraider in Ultramarines colours that needs renovation, to remove the thick several layers of paint and remodel the weapons so they articulate, I want this to be an article with pictures and I'll paint it up to be my SM captain's ride.

More RT bits lying around- Ok writing this all down has shown me the madness of taking this all on at once. A lesson learnt, starting projects is easier than finisheing them, I need to rationalise the workbench and finish something!!

Ok time for bed, and a proper posting with pictures soon! Promise!

Monday 21 September 2009

Robots, robots, robots

My endeavours on a certain auction site, combined with some treasure unearthed from my gaming past mean that I can count enough robots in my collection to field maniples of all but the Crusader class. Why the Crusader eludes me I'm not sure, did GW make less of them in the 80's? I deigned to buy Crusaders back then as I prefered shooty firepower from my 'bots, though now I'd quite like a maniple or two of the sword wielding ones.

Be warned, collecting RT robots makes a severe dent on your wallet, I could be sporting one of these by now if i hadn't developed a yearning for 20 year old bits of lead. Make no mistake this is an army sized project and all i have decided on so far is the Legio name- Void Hounds


The last few weeks have been a veritable painting frenzy, well pretty quick for me. Somehow between all the overtime and nightshifts work seems to be throwing at me I've managed to paint up another 10 marines to a nice standard, throw in a tech priest and get the base layers on dozens of other minis too. Here's to more productivity in the coming rotations....

Sunday 23 August 2009

Some major downtime....

I'm back, after 8 months of hiatus involving an abandoned career in teaching, a period on jobseekers allowance and no internet I suddenly remembered that I had a blog that needed some urgent attention!

Recent developments in my Rogue Trader collection involve me painting up some RT Space Orks and most excitingly i have procured a quantity of Legio Cybernetica robots from ebay, combined with my existing collection these will be getting a strip down and repainting as the Legio Cybernetica 'Void Hounds', a body of the Mechanicus that can trace it's history back to before the Horus Heresy.

For those of you not as old as me, the original rules for robots in WH40k were written by Rick Priestley and published in White Dwarf and the 40k Compendium. Five varieties of imperial robot were described, the Crusader, Conqueror, Colossus, Cataphract and Castellan. Each type fulfills a different role from long range support to close combat and siege assault. The robots have their own 'program' which governs their actions on the battlefield, making them an inflexible if very tough unit to take on the field. Although the modern 40k background hints at the existence of Adeptus Mechanicus robots there aren't any rules for them nowadays, a shame really since they were so much fun to play.