Friday, October 24, 2014
Over the years I've made many display trays, and find the ones I like best are usually made from large picture frames for 18" x 24" portraits. I then stick some army related artwork, or the army list, or other some such inside the tray, and replace the backer board with a black foam core and a light piece of plywood.
This lends itself well to a simple yet highly professional looking tray, on the cheap, and quickly. However, I didn't want to take my old tray and repurpose it, because I still use it a lot for another army and wanted to preserve that, so I decided to make a brand new tray.
I also decided to take my original design, and improve upon it.
One thing about my older tray design is that, because it was a very simple re-purpose of the picture frame, I had to be careful not to overload it, for several reasons. The first being the glazing points on the back of the frame used to hold the bottom on are not meant to be load bearing, so when moving the tray around I found I was always worried about the bottom dropping out. But also because the tray has a glass surface, there is a risk of shattered glass flying everywhere if it does fall out, not to mention a fallen army every where.
So for this new design I decided the bottom would be anchored to the frame, and I would actually be doing a scenic display tray.
So off to the local art store I went to find a suitable frame. There were a couple, but this is the one I liked best.
I also picked up a wooden painting board. This is like a canvas, except it uses a light plywood for the painting. It has the distinct advantage of being in standard sizes that fit in the opening of standard picture frames, being very solidly built, square and true, and relatively inexpensive. Always check the fit before you take it home. Though the sizes are standard, it could be a little tight and you'll have to do some modification to the wooden canvass.
Finally, I picked up some angle brackets and #8 x 1/2" wood screws from the local DIY store.
Before assembly, you first need to take the frame backer board, glass, wall hangars, and glazing points out of the frame. Save them for later as they are very handy, and if you don't texture the board, you can use them to act as a protective cover for any insert material you put inside, like army list, photos, ribbons/award certificates, artwork, etc. This frame had a nice thin sheet of plexi-glass, so it won't shatter in case it gets dropped. So I'm keeping it handy in my construction materials, and will likely use it to replace the glass of my original framed display tray, along with the improvements in design I've made to make it more sturdy.
Now that you've removed everything from the frame, insert the wooden canvas board into the opening. Centre it so as to ensure maximum strength, and avoid gaps in the display.
Then locate the angle brackets spaced evenly around the frame so as to avoid any excess unsupported base, and to ensure a nice snug fit. Screw them in with the hardware, careful to not over tighten as these woods are usually softer and strip easily.
When you are done, you should have a very sturdy carrying tray, upon which you can support your army confidently.
This tray is now ready for the next step.
As I mentioned earlier, at this point you could just put the original black backer and plexi-glass face back on, and insert some artwork relevant to the army. However, I've already got a display tray like that, so this time I'm going to build up some terrain on the board that is thematic to my army!
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!
Deserres Art Supply Store
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Last year they had a very successful Kickstarter to launch their new modular card system with the Sci-Fe set.
They've been delivering for the last few weeks, and shipments are now making their way into the hands of US backers. I got my shipment not to long ago and have a look at it for you. You can see it in the video.
Kickstarter: Battlesystems Fantasy Dungeon
Monday, July 21, 2014
Here's a pile of interior bits for the Stormraven and two Rhinos.
Here they've been primed with Vallejo Surface Primer - Light Grey, then preshaded using Vallejo Surface Primer - Black. Over this I did a lot of light coats of Minitaire - Light Grey. These are thin coats so that the preshading shows through, to create the feel of depth on the panel lines and the corners and other details of the model. I added several layers of this colour, then finally did a very light layer of Minitaire - White to give it a little pop. I went with the light blue grey interior as it will create a nice contrast to the warmer golds and reds of the main army, both in colour and brightness. Plus, being brighter will help the interior details actually be more visible inside the unlit vehicles.
You can see here how bright the interior will be with the hatches open, to reveal the detail. If this were a darker colour, it wouldn't pop quite as much, and some of the detail wouldn't be as easily seen.
Monday, June 30, 2014
The most recent thing that I’ve been working on is to convert the Stormraven Gunship.
I've always felt it's a diamond in the rough, and that with the correction of a couple of poor design choices, it would look quite nice.
Forgeworld have shown that it can definitely look really nice with some work. So I chose to make those corrections. As a challenge to myself, I've decided to try to use as much of the kit as possible, with minimal bits from other kits.
First, I had to correct the turret. This is, in my opinion, the worst problem with this model. The turret has nothing in common with the Space Marine design aesthetic, and looks like a wart on the top of the gunship.
To correct his, I've converted it with two basic bits to make it look more like a machine spirit controlled gun turret that is more in line with the established Space Marine Aesthetic. I chopped the turret armour up, keeping the front piece, and the axle covers intact. I glued this on to the top mounting ring, which had the rear nub cut off. I then took the armour plate from a Razorback turret, and mounted on the front.
I got the Space Marine targeting bit from the Command Tank upgrade sprue, cleaned off the rectangular nib on the top, and then glued it onto the servitor hip joint on the bottom turret ring. With the lenses facing to the rear of the turret.
Next up... The air intake with tiny exhaust nozzle makes it look hunch backed, and I think was added as an afterthought to try to hide the turret wart and blend it with the tail, which is too stubby, and the design flow is defeated by the opposing rake of the lift surface angles. So I will be eliminating the intake as a design element completely, and then remodelling the tail.
Here's a quick look at the gunship with the new turret.
I will need to do a bit of plasticard work and such to properly attach and detail it, but in my opinion it's far superior.
However, before I can do that, I actually have to paint the interior so that I can finish the hull assembly, so off to the air brush next.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
They are mostly assembled, with some components left off for ease of painting, and to paint the interiors. The Razorback turret for one is earmarked for another part of this army, and the other turret will probably be built for one of the Rhinos to be swappable and therefore can pull double duty. I'm thinking of a future razorback with assault cannons or some anti-armour guns, carrying a Devastator Squad...