Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Showcase: Necron Overlord

By way of an "apology for kicking your Necron's metallic butts", I offered to paint up my girlfriend's Overlord (the plastic model from the Annihilation Barge kit), and here are the results.


The scheme for the army was originally going to be silver and black (classic cron style), but we tried a different colour based on Temple Guard Blue. It suited the model so well that the colour has since been added to the other units. It also helps tie in the models with their wintry bases, and makes the necrons look a lot more interesting.


The shoulder pads and the central cloak plates were first painted with Macgragge Blue, followed by two layers of Temple Guard Blue with an Asurmen Blue wash in between. Faint lightning patterns were added using a 50/50 mix of Temple and Bleached Bone, with more Bleached Bone added to highlight.

The warscythe has been painted with a green  mirrored effect. I imagine this would be a lot easier with an airbrush, but I managed fairly well with a bit of wet-blending and patience.






To finish off today's update, here's a picture of some warriors, painted mostly by the other half. The only bits I did were the shoulder pads and the snowy bases. These guys have a habit of not dying, and with the additions I suspect will come, they will be even more of a challenge in battle.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Showcase: German Officer and Command Squad

Locked and loaded, my newly finished command unit is ready to lead the forces of 28mm Germany to victory. Well, once the foot-soldiers are painted....


Today I'm sharing my German officer and two assisting troopers from my new Bolt Action force. The unit was made from the plastic Blitzkrieg infantry plastic box-set from Warlord Games.


The main body of the troopers are painted using German Fieldgrey and Basalt Grey, for the uniform and trousers respectively. Field boots have been painted black, and the helmets were done in Reflective Green. the same colours were used to highlight the models, after a black wash was added to shade them.

The skin follows my usual method using GW paints: Bugman's Glow, followed by Dwarf Flesh, a wash of Reikland Fleshshade, finished off with Kislev Flesh.

For the bases I wanted to have a grassy highlands/fields type appearance. I used German Camo Pale Brown and GW Screaming Skull for the rocky surface, and then added static grass on top, leaving some rocks showing.




So with the command group complete, I'll be moving on to my regular infantry. once that task is done, I'll have a fully painted starter force ready for war.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The PAM Guide To: Scratch Building

Scratch building: the dark art of making things from nothing. Hard to master, but certainly a fun way to make your mark on the hobbying world. Whilst not always perfect, scratch-built models do create a higher sense of value than just building something from the box, and the better scratch-builds get the adoration of the masses. So, fancy being a part of this world? Here are my tips on getting started.


Planning

Nothing is going to be done well unless you have a decent plan to go by. Even if it is just a few rough sketches and dimensions, a plan is a valuable visual aid and a target to stick to. It helps make sure that your parts are the same size and shape, and helps you work out where you need to start. If you are internet savvy, you can search on-line for templates, which detail every part you'll need to make your tank, walking death-machine or flying contraption (I'm not going to share any for copyright reasons, but trust me, they exist).

When making your own plan and whilst working, it's a very good idea to write down as much as possible. Write down dimensions, draw the model from the front, side, rear and top. Use reference pictures and images on your computer. All of this will help you through the process, and alert you of any changes you may need to make.


Tools

Tools are essential if you want to scratch-build. Whilst a sharp craft knife is the utter essential, it's best to invest in other items too. A straight ruler (preferably metal) is fantastic for getting your lines straight and perfect; essential for tank building. A drill is great for pinning together pieces, or adding details such as pitting and bullet holes.

Another neat tool I have is a card circle cutter. This device is a godsend.. It's very handy in cutting out circles and curves, and despite the name, works very well on plastic.

Materials


Even a novice will tell you that you need some materials to get started. Plasticard is key here. It's easy to work with, strong, and takes paint well. for a good build, you'll need a wide variety of sheets, tubes, rods and strips. Thinner plasticard is great for detailing work and curves surfaces, whilst the thick stuff is ideal for basic blocking and structure. You may want to look into textured plasticard to add just a little bit of extra detail. Tubes and rods are well suited for making gun barrels, fuel tanks and exhausts. Strips aren't essential, but I find them very handy in making trim and edging on armoured panels.

Wires, chains and cables are another valuable asset. You can often find rolls of chains and hose cabling in model shops, and whilst it isn't always cheap, it does last a long time and will greatly improve the end result.





Donors


Some structures and complex shapes, such as plane fuselages, energy guns and crew, are too complex for a starter scratch-builder, and difficult even for more advanced modellers. Alongside the main build, I often recommend that you find a donor tank or model to rip parts off. Iconic and intricate parts such as tracks, Lascannons, crew members and turrets, can be ripped off other models and used in your creation, to add a bit of detail and make things more recognisable.

So with these tips, I hope to see more scratch-building. If you are working on something, or plan to, feel free to share it on the Facebook page.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

WIP: Chaos Spartan Kit bash Part Three: All About the Details

Piece by piece, this beast of a tank is coming together nicely.


This past week, my focus has been on the engine and roof, the two other key structural and design sections (as well as the prow).

The engine is one of my favourite parts. I've gone a different path to the official Spartan, and have made an enhanced version of the standard Land Raider engine. I was lucky in that I had two additional exhausts left-over from an old Ork conversion that fit the bill. Now I have this six-exhausted monster block to power my tank to the front lines.


The damage found on the extra parts was covered up with plasticard, and the whole engine has had some trim added. A leering Daemon face is featured in the centre. I still need to add more rivets and triangles to the trim to finish it off.





On the roof, I've added an extra level, where the cupola will be going. The one shown is just a place-holder for a more interesting (and probably manned) piece. A few details have been added, notably an imperial comms unit and some optics. I've also started adding a few rivets in and around the hull-mounted gun.


With a few more details (mainly on the assault ramp) I'll soon be moving onto the side armour plating and then the track units.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Review: Anvil industries Tox Troopers

Variety does no harm (unless it comes to biscuits!). So today, I'm having a look at Anvil Industries, and one of their newer products, the Tox Troopers. These guys sounds great for count-as Nurgle Guard, or even renegades in general, no matter your system or force.
Before going onto the actual product, I do have to say that Anvil's service is extremely efficient and fast. I only ordered these models on Thursday, got the dispatch email yesterday, and received them on my doorstep today. Very fast service, and definitely a plus-point.

Now, onto the models. The kit comes in at £16 (excluding postage) for a total of ten models. To put this into perspective, ten GW Cadians cost £18, ten Forge World Death Korps are £37. So for less money, you are getting some very unique and detailed models made of resin, a material assumed to make models more expensive. Whilst not quite as detailed as the Death Korps models, they are by no means dull, boring or shoddy. What these models lack though are any bases. Anvil says that this allows costs to come down; can't argue with that. Plus, what self-respecting gamer doesn't already have bases? If you don't have any it can be a problem, but bases are easy to find, and in massive variety, from cheap and simple all the way up to the pricier but very detailed.



Each model comes in three pieces; body, gun with hands, and head. Whilst this makes the models beautifully simple to build, it does mean a lot of cutting and slicing for those who want to convert. But for those who want rank and file goons, I doubt this is a high priority. The kit doesn't come with any options though. Anvil do offer a flamer 'booster pack', and I imagine they will add more to the Tox Trooper range, which only consists of the two mentioned kits.

The models, when built, stand a bit and thinner than more common 28mm 'human' infantry. Here it is next to a 40k cultist and a Space Marine; the model is noticeably less bulky, but in a way this isn't a bad thing. People are always complaining that marines are the same size as normal humans, despite being 8 feet tall or more in the fluff. Many decide to make the marines taller. This offers an easier alternative; make the humans smaller!


So, in conclusion, these are a very nice, detailed, simple and cheap kit suitable for your armies. What little the  kit lacks is easily made up by the plus-points of their design, price and ease of assembly. Here are my main points:

Pros

-Cheap
-Easy to build
-More 'in scale' with Space Marines and other super-humans
-Nice details

Cons

-No bases
-Require a lot of cutting to convert
-No spares
-Smaller than other human models in 28mm


(original image owned by Anvil Industries, used for review purposes only)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Showcase: Bolt Action Flammpanzer B2 (f)

As some of you may know, I like unusual vehicles. I own several Horus Heresy pattern tanks, I've created a custom-pattern of Vindicator, and I regularly modify standard tanks.

Today, I'm sharing a more historical oddball, the Flammpanzer B2 (f), from Warlord Games' historical WWII war game, Bolt Action. Based on the good but outdated French Char b1 'bis', it's an unusual tank which happens to be very good. It has good medium armour, is immune to armour penalties due to its thick plating, oh, and it has a flame-thrower at the front. Much fun will be had...


I've decided to paint it in an early to mid war scheme, since this was when most B1s were captured and used. I've gone with a flat grey scheme, befitting the era my army will be themed (1940-1943). I've gone for minimal wear and tear, as I imagine this is a fresh capture and conversion. Still, a flat grey scheme was a bit boring, so I added a tiny bit of pigmentation to the side plates.

All the symbols were freehanded, and were very simple and fun to do. I added a unit number to the turret, and iron crosses on the other side of the turret and the hull.

The commander was a small conversion job. The kit did not come with a German commander, just a French one. However, with a simple head-swap with one from the plastic Blitzkrieg Germans kit (which I have to say is a fantastic kit), the commander looked suitably...well, German. Also, pointy hats look great.






The tracks and metals (exhaust pipe) were painted differently to my 40k tracks. I went with a more oxidised and worn colour scheme. I stated with Vallejo German Camo Brown Medium, followed by some light stippling of GW Troll slayer Orange, Boltgun Metal, and a few heavy brown and black washes to finish off. The whole model was sprayed in a matt varnish to remove the shine.

So with the hard hitting tank done, it's on to the smaller, but still essential, infantry.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

WIP: Chaos Spartan Kit bash Part Two: Steel Walls

The Spartan is coming along very methodically, and today I'm sharing some of the progress I've made.

My main focus has been the central structure. First off, it's a nice simple area to work on, and secondly, it adds much needed structure and support; it helps to have a tank which will hold up to some pressure.


The hull has been widened by about 4mm to help create the larger transport capacity. The front prow is similar to the official Spartan; an enlarged exaggerated prow similar to a normal Land Raider. The roof is also taller than the standard Land Raider, and I still have a bit more to add to the top structure. It has been detailed with a few parts from the Baneblade and Vindicator kits, leftover from other vehicles. Hopefully this should all add up to a decent sized hull which looks like it can carry 25 if Chaos' finest. 


Another major feature I've worked on is the hull-mounted weapons. I've decided to magnetise the weapons out, so I can swap out the twin-linked Heavy bolter with a twin-linked Flamer or a Reaper Autocannon. This picture shows the Reaper aAtocannon, made from plastic tubes...

...and this picture shows the Heavy flamers. They are from the Malcador kit, and were previously used for my Contemptor Dreadnought.

After I've completed the roof, I'll be moving onto the engine and then work my way out. I intend to move onto the track units, then the outer armour. I've come across enough wheels to add to the tank, which saves me the hassle of making my own wheels. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Fellblade Project: Part Seven (Dropping it into Gear)

Majos Forrox was panicing, or more precisely experiencing electrical-neural impulses simulating panic. He had failed to start the engine of the monster that was being created in the Thousand Sons workshop. IT was normal for a machine spirit (even a debased one) to resist coupling with a new component, more so if an entirely new engine was added. Even so, he did not know how Warpsmith Khotep in charge would react, if he would punish Forrox. 

He pressed on the ignition buttons and pulled the starter handle. The engine coughed to life, but then died seconds later. Forrox swore in the machine-tongue. His hands were sweating profusely, fearing the inevitable torture should the Fellblade fail to start a third time. He could feel Khotep behind him, bolt pistol in hand. The heavy-caliber pistol was pressed against the metal back of his skull, making a dull ringing sound. 

On the third go, the engine spluttered, then roared into power. Forrox sighed slightly, but the bolt pistol did not budge. He didn't expect it to. Sending coded commands to the mutated hard-wired servitors within the super-heavy tank, he ordered a slow reverse move. Ancient heavy tracks squealed as they moved, the components having being still for thousands of years. The loudly squeaking tank slowly rolled out of the cavernous workshop and out into the desert sands for the first time in millennia, only in a far more dangerous form. Forrox swore he could hear cackling amongst the engine notes. 

The Fellblade has been progressing nicely and I have much to share today.


The engine compartment is now pretty much complete. As you know from last time, the main focus of the engine was the plasma generator and huge exhaust stacks, but even with these they looked empty and incomplete. To resolve this, a small box structure was added underneath the plasma section to help close it off. I've also added a ton of cabling, made by rolling Greenstuff into a thin wire, and rolling it over a finely toothed comb. After curing, the cables were cut and bent into shape, so they fit suitably. Other details, such as hooks and brass etch, were also added.


The top of the engine has had vents added, from the Predator kit and some turbines left over from a Raptor squad.


I've also figured out how best to attach the fuel drums. I've extended the rear of the track units to look more like the official model. The back was closed off to cover the missing track links, and the drums were added flat to the sloping panel. More Greenstuff cables were used to connect it to the tank.


As well as the power and armour, I've added another of the weapons, a twin linked heavy bolter. They are spare from the Contemptor (originally from a Deimos Predator). An armoured cover was also added, inspired by the original model.

Finally for today, the turret has had major work done too. The main sculpting work in complete, and all that is needed sculpting-wise is to tidy it up, even it out and smooth it with sand-paper. I have also added the second cupola, so now I need to work on a crewman to man it.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

WIP: Flames of War Reinforcements

As some of you know, I came back from Wartorn 2013 with a number of reinforcements for my forces. I've managed to get enough models to start Bolt Action, and I've also added these to my Flames of War Panzerkompanie: a platoon of Hetzers and an infantry unit. I was tempted to get the mother of all support units, the ironically named Maus, but seeing as there are no rules for it in Fow that I know of, it wan’t bought...though I will probably grab the super-heavy monster at some point.

Both units are from Forged in Battle’s WWII range in 15mm. The Hetzers were incredibly simple to build, in a way a nice change from the more complex PSC tanks I've been getting used to. They do compromise the quality slightly, the tracks don’t look as good, and I think some of the tow-hooks on the front lower glasis broke off at some point. But I couldn't argue with the price, £19.50 for all four, cheaper than Battlefront, and since PSC doesn't make plastic Hetzers (yet…) these are probably the best value models out there.
I’ve finished painting these models in my standard mid/late-war scheme. These models also come with bases, so I need to get around to doing them eventually.

Next up, the infantry. I’ll be using this unit as a Walk├╝re Platoon, though this may change if I manage to get some transports like half-tracks or trucks.

The blister pack came with enough to make this platoon, finish off my Battlegroup: Kursk infantry, and come with a number of models spare. The only thing it didn't come with were bases. Fortunately I was told about the true dimensions of FoW bases and made some of my own; cutting some shapes from thick plasticard, filing the corners round and bevelling the edges. Simple to make and will look fine once fully painted and completed.


Next up is the base these units and get them completed soon. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Showcase: Tzeentch Contemptor Dreadnought (Redone)

The Ork Dreadnought smashed apart the cultists, massive oversized claws snipped them in two, crushing jaws pulped bodies, and under-slung rotary cannons fired point-blank tore open the un-armoured bodies of the mindless fanatics. 
The more armoured regegades had tried firing missiles on the over-sized mechanical monster, but only managed to blow away the odd armour plate, loosely falling off only to reveal even more plating. Some had even detonated before striking, the mega-dread having some form of energy field. Unless support came soon, the beast would continue its rampage.

Something large and blue smashed through the wall to the right of the scene. The mega-dread disregarded the remains of the cultists, opening fire on the newcomer. Every shot bounced off the ancient hull, and as it cleared the smoking ruins, a large glow began to form at the end of one of this arms, discharging a large heat-beam directly at the dreadnought. The crude energy field struggled to stop it, and the generator powering it overloaded and exploded, taking with it one of the rotary cannons slung underneath the main arms and one of its killer claw arms was ripped from the body in a cloud of smoke and sparks. The blue machine bellowed: “I am Akun Shai, and you will die by Tzeentch’s will”.

The Contemptor dreadnought ran forward, far more nimbly than its ordinary, more insane, counterparts in Chaos. Akun fired micro-warheads from a back mounted launcher, doing little damage, but distracting the hulking scrap-heap. The mega-dread tried firing its own, larger rockets, but most corkscrewed off target, some exploded on the hull of Akun, doing little if any damage. 

Akun’s second arm ended in an enlarged claw, much like a space marine’s lightning claws, with a smaller energy weapon embedded into the palm. It fired, sending small rapid blasts of burning plasma flying. The super-heated shots melted pistons and cables to the dread’s crusher claw, seizing it shut. Before letting the Mega-dread react, Akun slammed into the much larger machine, smashing off loose plates with the impact, and caving in a small brick hut. The Ork contraption has no chance of getting back up. It was still very heavy, and its limited jerky movements would mean it would struggle to rise. The Contemptor levelled its Multi-Melta at the grinning face-like structure that was presumably the machine’s cockpit, and let loose. Akun smirked with what little remained of his face from inside his adamantium tomb. 


The Contemptor’s refurbishment is now complete, and now has a name, Akun Shai. As you will notice, its armament has changed from power fist, plasma blaster and conversion beamer to power fist, plasma blaster, multi-melta and havoc launcher.

The main difference is the banding around the shoulders and legs. Before this was painted on, but now it has been replaced with plasticard banding. Very thin strips were used on the knees. Brass etch stars was added to the chest and one of the legs. The model has also received a nice Micro-arts base, purchased from Putrid Painting.







The launcher was fun to do, and a stroke of genius. It is based on an upturned jump pack, from the Maxmini range. Circles were added to the now-front to serve as launch tubes.



Paint-wise, there was a lot of empty space on the model, which is great for whose like me who love painting freehand. I used the opportunity to paint a ton of scripture, symbols and icons across the legs, shoulders and torso. I also added a few runes to the power fist to guide its strikes in battle.