Monday, July 21, 2014

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 8: An Inside Look

Astronomi-con is in less than a week and I've hit the critical point where I had to decide what to do in terms of armies.

Right now I could finish this army if I pull a lot of late nights and force it, but I've decided I'm not going to force it because I'm never happy when I do, and then I'll be grumpy going into the tournament, and I just want to enjoy the experience.

So, while I didn't get the army done for this year's Astronomi-con Toronto, it's well on its way, and it will be done this year, which was my ultimate goal anyway!

I'll keep posting updates here, but for now I'm focussing on getting my backup plan into action. I have a few things to do for that, like make the army list, make a new display board, fix some damaged minis and finish off some work that I've put off on one or two units.

In the meantime, here are some progress shots of the Stormraven interior.

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.



Next are a few pictures of some detail added to the Stormraven interior displays and controls. I've gone for a monochromatic green look on the screens, which his a traditional screen colour for 40K. Again this contrasts well with the gold and reds that will be used on the marines, plus it makes for some nice object source lighting on the interior. I've yet to pick out the panel buttons, and will also be adding a couple of other indicator lights here and there. These are still very much works in progress.





 Next up is a Rhino interior.

Of course for consistency I'm using the same control panel colours throughout, adding monochromatic text and graphics on the radar screen as well as the information panels.



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.




Both Rhinos are effectively the same, with minor variation in the screen details to reflect them being in different active locations, and with different crew, mission parameters, etc.

I'll be cleaning up the stray paint strokes here and there. I'll also be adding more colour with some different signal and button lights.

Also, don't worry about the bright scorpion green splotches... that was due to a dispensing accident where the paint nozzle had dried and, when I squeezed the bottle, it exploded and got all over everything... Annoying, but as you can see, I've already started doing some chipping. Those are areas where the green paint splattered, so I'm starting there first, with focussed chipping, and then going to add more with a more random sponging around the high traffic/use spots.

Links:
Astronomi-Con
Games Workshop

Monday, June 30, 2014

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 7: When Cows Fly

As you may know, I’m working on my Minotaurs army to bring to Astronomi-con in July this year. I’ve been worried about being unable to finish the army due to lack of time, so I’m attacking the rest of the build with gusto, and happy to say that some more work is done!

That pile of boxes that I had sitting on my desk in a previous post (2 razorbacks, 2 tactical squads, Sternguard squad, Storm Raven, Hekaton Aiakos Contemptor Dread, Chaplain Enkomi, and Master Moloc) is now gone and has been mostly built. Everything is in sub-assemblies ready for priming and painting interiors on the vehicles and hard to reach places.

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.

Once dry I then just snap the top half onto the bottom half, with the axle in between. This can be magnetized for easy swapping of weapons. I just need to glue the weapons onto some brass or plastic rod, and can easily use every turret combination.


I need to clean it up a bit, and remove the top nib, and am going to add some additional detail to the bottom to make it look finished on the interior. But so far I'm satisfied with it.

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.








And finally a quick dry fit snap shot showing how the tail will finally be positioned.



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.

Stay tuned!

Links:
Astronomi-con
ForgeWorld
Games Workshop

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 6: Rhino Bull Rush!

Found a spare hour to build tonight, and decided to put together the two Rhinos from the Razorback kits.

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...



Links:
Games Workshop

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 5: Pile it On!

Apparently I'm a sucker for punishment, and seem to thrive under pressure...either that or I'm an idiot, but I always seem to end up blitz painting my armies, usually with a very short amount of time before I plan to unveil them...so why should this be any exception?

I've pretty much realised that now is the crunch time. I would prefer to finish this army in time for the big day, and avoid Plan B, which will also involve some additional work, so I've built a stack of stuff that I have to build to visualize the work ahead.

Here's what I've yet to do.

1 x Chapter Master Asterion Moloc
1 x Stormraven
2 x Razorback/Rhino
1 x Command Squad made from the Sternguard squad
1 x Tactical Squad made from all the stuff in the bits bin, which I'd clipped and sorted from last month's pile
Plus loads of forgeworld bits on the top of the pile.

This army is actually going to be quite compact.

Hopefully I'll be able to get it finished on time for Astronomi-Con Toronto, on the last weekend of July.

Here's a picture showing the pile of what I have to build. Wow. I actually just put a dent in my wall of product!




I haven't decided the order of the build, or painting, but I'll probably blitz build it all first, then get painting. Like I said. I hope I can get these done on time. But in case I don't, as mentioned above, I do have a Plan B!

Wish me luck.

Links:
Astronomi-Con
Games Workshop

Monday, June 02, 2014

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 4: Hekaton Aiakos

May has been a busy month for me, but I've kept pushing.

At the beginning of May, I knew my schedule would be very full, but with time ticking away, and all the other issues delaying me so much, I figure I'll have to step it up, working on multiple units, so that I can get it all together for detail work with time to spare before Astronomi-Con, which date had not yet been announced, so it was important to try to get more accomplished.

My primary objective was to build and paint the contemptor, Hekaton Aiakos. As a secondary objective, I wanted to at least start to build the second tactical squad, though that's more a task for June.


I will probably be blitz building the rest of the army for June as well since my deadline is looming, as they have announced the date for the last weekend of July. To complicate my life, I'm also trying to get the house ready for sale and may not be able to hobby much when we list it as I'll have most of that stuff packed away to show the house...

Despite all that extra work, which really has interrupted my painting time (including commissions, which I've stopped taking for a few months now) I'm making progress. Slow but sure!

Here's Hekaton Aiakos in early paint. I'm still working on him, as this coat is only the first thin coat of gold, and there's more to do.

He's posed to be lunging forward with fist raised to punch something, and plasma cannon ripping off some shots.


I'm trying a different paint now, as I was hoping to speed up the process by using an airbrush to do the base coat. So I thought I would give the Minitaire Old Gold a try. It's got a more yellowy brass look, but I'm finding it's not as bright. Possibly because this is only the first coat, and it's on a white/black preshade primer. Notice where the white shows through it looks more blotchy, but it looks more solid where the black is prevalent.

Based on my trials, the Vallejo Liquid Gold covers the white undercoat well. This....not so much. Plus I find it's difficult to shoot through my airbrush. I think I may need to up-size the nozzle.

I'm happy to be making some progress. Just frustrated with how slow everything is going, and how many problems I've been having with this project. I haven't had this much difficulty painting a project due to paints since I first started painting...grr... makes me feel like a novice...

On a brighter side, I have also made progress with assembly, and finalizing my army list. I expect I can have the assembly mostly complete in a week or two, though the realities of life are making me look at plan B for my Astro Army.

Links:
Astronomi-Con
Minitaire Paints
Forgeworld
Games Workshop
Vallejo Paints