Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Freebootaz Toys for Tots 2011!

Hello everybody! Once again the Christmas season is upon us. And once again, the Freebootaz, of the 40KRadio forum, are continuing their annual tradition of support for Toys for Tots!

Every year, since they have started, the Freebootaz, the 40KRadio forum members, have been running charity drives in the form of donating, building and painting Warhammer 40K armies to auction. This activity actually takes place all year long, as members decide what new army to do, dedicate units and models, decide on the painting schemes, and then spend the rest of the year up to the very beginning of December assembling, converting, and painting their donations.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Editorial: 40K In The News? Another Perspective.

Recently, I talked about an article written about 40K, the hobby, and the people, by a journalist in Greece, and the negative attitude that journalist took towards the hobby and the people.

Well today I offer an alternate perspective. This wonderful little video by students in the Film and Video Production program at SAIT Polytechnic, is chock full of interviews, sweeping scenic views of wonderfully painted armies and miniatures, and showcases a very interesting event that was run in Calgary in 2011, depicting the opening campaign during the Horus Heresy, in the Istvan system. All of this wrapped around with excellent production value.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forgeworld News: Video History of the Rhino and Land Raider

Today, Forgeworld surprised the 40K community with an excellent new addition to their YouTube Channel, Forge World Visual Feed.

Land Raiders Being Painted in the Forgeworld Video
In this video they discuss the long and dedicated history of both the ubiquitous Rhino, and the Space Marines' heavy tank of choice, the Land Raider. They present a variety of models detailing the different marks of both vehicles, and revealing what Forgeworld has in store for the near future of their Land Raider Line.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Editorial: 40K In The News? Journalist Amok!

Is all publicity good publicity? Image courtesy 122nd Cadian Blog.
It's not often that our hobby gets coverage in the main stream news, so you would think we hobbyists would appreciate the press when we do get it.

Unfortunately, not all journalism is created equally, as the Warhammer 40,000 community and 40K enthusiasts who were interviewed for a news magazine article, learned yesterday in Greece.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trailer: The Lord Inquisitor

Every so often, somebody comes a long and turns the world on its head.

In this case, it just happens to be the world of 40K in cinema.

Below is a trailer from a 40K Fanatic (that is all he can be to put all his heart and soul into such a project) who goes by the name of Warpgazer on Youtube.

It's obvious he has a severe talent for CG Animation, as well as an eye for cinematography. I think he has the makings of something glorious, and wish him all the success in the world on this.

Good luck Warpgazer, and thanks for this awesome trailer.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Liquid Green Stuff and its Coincidence to Finecast Quality

Games Workshop's
Liquid Green Stuff
Regardless of the timing and the perception of why it was released due to the failures of the Games Workshop Finecast quality control, Liquid Green Stuff is actually a very good product for gap filling that Games Workshop must have had in development far before the first finecast models hit the shelves, with all their deficiencies.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Starminer at Beasts of War

The other day I did a bit of blog coverage of the Necron frenzy that occurred when the pictures of a bunch of new necrons were released. Well imagine my surprise when I got this message in my comments section:

"What a cool Article!
Warren here from Beasts of War, would you like to put this article up on BoW we'd love to have it up there.

Naturally, I said yes, and today they posted my article on the Beasts of War. To say I'm happy about this would be an understatement, especially since I didn't even know Warren followed my blog.

Well, today they posted my article on Beasts of War and I thought I would share it with you.

Thoughts on the New Necrons by Starminer

Also, here is a link to the main page, where you can see the headline if you hurry.

Beasts of War Main Page

I'd like to thank Warren and the BoW team for checking my blog out and for giving me such a tremendous shout out and opportunity by publishing my article on the Beasts of War website. I've been a long time fan and member and always look forward to the new stuff, so naturally I was very pleased they noticed little ole me.

If you don't know about Beasts of War, make sure to check them out. They have a lot of great content in all sorts of media formats ranging from written article, videos, and now TV. They are even talking about radio...proper over the air radio... Not to mention they have a great community web site and active community with a very positive outlook on the hobby as a whole.

Related Articles:
Necrons Leaked - Beasts of War Overwhelmed

Beasts of War
Games Workshop

Friday, October 14, 2011

Necrons Leaked - Beasts of War Overwhelmed

Well, it's been an exciting day today if you are a 40K player, and even more exciting if you are a Necron player or fan.

Beasts of War have got a very nice scoop with leaked pictures of plenty of new Necron models, which will be available to purchase starting on November 5th.


So frantic and furious was the online activity that it actually forced Beasts of War to shut down their front page just to support the leak, that's just how exciting this news is.

Sure, we all knew something was up, and many people were saying Necrons are coming, but it's been an extremely long time since this kind of leak has caused a flash fire to spread across the web so quickly and cause such an overwhelming response....presumeably of approval.

Some might say these are all new designs....but they are not all new concepts. In fact, quite a few of the images of the new necrons actually were conceived of conceptually when the Necrons were first developed, back in the early days of 3rd edition!

Now, let's take a journey into the past and have a look at something older.... pictures that go back to the development of the first Necron Codex... What I have managed to do is dig up some old concept art of the original Necron development, and will present to you just a few of those classic sketches so we can see how much they influenced the new range of models, and how far back they have gone for inspiration. I think you'll like what we find.

Original Necron Immortal Concept

First, there is this Necron with the stubby looking heavy weapon, which bears a very striking resemblance to the new Necron Immortal with Gauss Blaster. There are some slight differences in the barrel, but all of the other implied shapes are present in this gun. And you can see the Egypto-tech style detailing on the shoulder and collar bone armour that is very similar to the details on the new special characters and the other Elite models.

Next we see a series of what are called "Barques" and "Barges" in the concept art. Notice the upright pilot position, and the almost perfect replication of that general control spine, as well as the ribbed shapes, engine nozzles, and gun shapes of each of the vehicles. Obviously the new models were heavily influenced, and in a couple of cases direct translations of some of these concept sketches, and what appear to be light to medium skimmer tanks.

Necron Deathbarque - Appears to be a light/medium tank - Inspiration for the Command and Support Barge?

Funeral Barge - Necron armoured transport concept fundamental basis for Ghost Ark, combined with design below for ease of manufacture?

Warmachine - Basis for Necron Doomsday Ark and Ghost Ark?

So, is that the limit of what we could potentially see for the Necrons? Or is there more. The following sketches imply that we are still only scratching the surface of the Necron arsenal, and that the possiblity for heavy skimmer tanks, and even a super heavy monolith type of tank exist and may even be in development. What an awesome thought, that the Necrons could soon have some new Apocalypse level super heavy tanks

War Altar - Could this be a Necron heavy or super heavy tank with teleport gate concept?

War Barque - Could it be a heavy or super heavy transport?

I've shown you just a few of the concept sketches that I've found, as the rest deal mostly with stuff that has already been modelled, or has been done in an alternate form. But, this just goes to show that Games Workshop doesn't throw old ideas away, and in some cases, resurrects the good ones when the time, and the technology are right.... kind of like the Necrons are doing now it seems...

I for one am super excited about the new Necron line up. I especially like the new Arks and Barges and am happy that the generic Necron has not been radically altered, so there will be no "obsolete" models, at least it seems that way at first glance. I hope this gives Necron players a morale boost and we start seeing some of those old armies that are collecting dust get revitalized, repaired, and potentially repainted.

If you have a Necron project and you want to show it off, leave a comment here with a link. I'd love to have a look!

Games Workshop
Beasts of War

Copyright Notice: Original concept sketch images used for this article owned and copyright by GamesWorkshop PLC, and used without permission, for the express purposes of distributing hobby news, freely promoting the hobby, and the free exchange of hobby related ideas. No challenge is intended.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Project Orks: Part 3 - 'Ere We Go!

First, let me start with an update. Unfortunately due to illness, I was unable to complete much of the planned Orks for August. As a result, I ended up not even attempting to do those planned orks, and will put them into the schedule for later, which is one of the reasons that I left some open slots at the end of the challenge, as I knew there may well be some slack that needs to be picked up as real life gets in the way of that.

As a result, I will modify the original schedule, in Part 2 - Da Kunnin' Plan! to reflect this adjustment.

In the meantime, now that my vision has returned to normal, a side effect of the illness and something that took longer to clear up than hoped, I will be giving a crack at getting September's scheduled models complete.

Well, there is only effectively a week left in September to paint, so I guess I better get cracking.

'Ere We Go!

September's plan is to paint a unit of 10 Ork Nobz and a Weirdboy.

Here is the starting picture.

Note, these are as they were received in a trade, with primer and first base coat on some of the Nobz. For consistency, I will be re-priming them.

I'm currently prepping my house to sell it, so this will truly be a challenge as I try to squeeze them in. I will be painting these in the evenings, or as time permits. Hopefully it will be something that can be done in my downtime over the week.

Related Articles:
Project Orks: Part 1 - Mustering Da Waaaagh!!
Project Orks: Part 2 - Da Kunnin' Plan
Project Orks: Part 3 - 'Ere We Go!

Games Workshop
The Freebootaz
The Custodes
The Independent Characters

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Forgeworld New Release: Mk1c Deimos Pattern Rhino

Forgeworld are at it yet again. This week's Forgeworld Newsletter saw the announcement of some more excellent models that will be available for pre-order at Games Day UK 2011. Most noteably is the addition of the Rhino Mk1c Deimos Pattern Rhino.

Mk1c Deimos Pattern Rhino

This, along with the new Mk1 Land Raider that I blogged about last week brings the "old school" of 40K Space Marines one step closer to completion.

At this rate, Forgeworld looks like it's on track to actually do a Mk1 Predator, as I suggested they might do in that previous post.

So far, I'm really liking all the retro projects they are doing for Space Marines, and look forward to see what they do next.

Games Workshop

Copyright Notice: Original photos and images used for this article are owned and copyright by GamesWorkshop PLC, and used without permission, for the express purposes of distributing hobby news, freely promoting the hobby, and the free exchange of hobby related ideas. No challenge is intended.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Games Workshop Mystery Release Revealed: Dreadfleet!

Hello readers!

A few months ago, I revealed that Games Workshop is issuing a mystery box for sometime in September/October. At that time, details were very sketchy, and instead of posting rumours, because there really was nothing to post, and I tend not to post rumours, I decided to do a little speculation. Personally, I was hoping and thought it would be a new Special Edition Bloodbowl, for a variety of reasons.

Well, for the last few weeks, Games Workshop has been hinting at this new release and what it might be. Finally, today Games Workshop revealed on its website what the Mystery Release would be. Unfortunately, my conclusion after my speculation was...well...wrong...

Instead of a new Special Edition Blood Bowl, Games Workshop presents Dreadfleet! An undead pirate fleet game, written by Phil Kelly, and based in the Old World of the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

Games Workshop's Dreadfleet, a game of fantasy naval battle.
This game will be available for only a limited time, much like Space Hulk in 2009. So, if this strikes a chord in you and has piqued your interest, make sure you pre-order today and don't miss out. Be sure to check out the Games Workshop blog page and pre-order page (links can be found at the end of this article) to see a whole bunch of pictures, including 360 degree pictures, as well as a video, and close ups of the models and sprues.

Now. What do I think of this?

Naturally I am disappointed that my speculation was erroneous, though it was still fun and I still think it should have been Blood Bowl for all the same reasons. Note that in that article I didn't even mention Man O'War as a possibility because I thought the range and support required would be too vast to consider such a game. However, I have always loved Games Workshop's Man O'War game, and though it might just be riding on the coat tails of Spartan Games' Uncharted Seas, which many are speculating inspired this release, the look of this new game really does remind me a lot of Man O'War. Or more correctly, Man O'War Light, because there are no expansive fleets available for every race, where Dreadfleet has a very small selection of ships available, with only 10 large ships from different races, and not all of the races represented.

Having said that, if you still play Man O'War and are looking to expand your fleets or get sea monster and dragon tokens, islands, etc, this might just be the ticket... that is if the scale is appropriate. At first glance, the large ships might just fit in well with Man O'War fleets, but the smaller support ships appear vastly smaller, and more like tokens than actual vessels.

Ultimately, this was meant to be a one off self contained game, and that niche target group is obviously accounted for by the limited quantity being released. Will this do as well as Space Hulk? Or will it become just a footnote in the history of Games Workshop games? Will these models be suitable for Man O'War, or Uncharted Seas? Only time will tell. But I can tell you this, if I can scrounge up the money to buy it, I'm getting myself a copy pronto.

Related Articles:
Speculation: Games Workshop September Mystery Release?

Games Workshop
Dreadfleet Blog
Dreadfleet Pre-order Page
Spartan Games

Copyright Notice: Original image used for this article owned and copyright by GamesWorkshop PLC, and used without permission, for the express purposes of distributing hobby news, freely promoting the hobby, and the free exchange of hobby related ideas. No challenge is intended.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Forgeworld New Release: Proteus Land Raider

Well, it's been said by a friend of mine that Forgeworld does know how to excite the 40K community, and the newest Land Raider edition to their line certainly does exemplify that seemingly cerebral connection they have with us old timers as well as getting the younger generations who have only ever heard of the original plastic Land Raider, but never actually held one.

The new Proteus Land Raider, available in limited quantities (along with a bunch of other new awesome goodies that can be seen here) at the 2011 UK Games Day, is Forgeworld's answer to the question of "How do I get an original style Land Raider that I won't have to tear apart, strip onerous coats of paint off, then rebuild, add detail, replace the missing and broken components, like the lascannons and such, without busting the bank too much?"

Forgeworld's Land Raider Proteus

And boy do they do it in style. The new 'old school' kit from Forgeworld harks back to the day of the original Land Raider not by suggestion, but by near replication, then improving upon the original design, and adding loads of extra detail. At 85 Pound Stirling, this isn't a cheap kit, but considering how much original plastic MK1 Land Raiders are going for these days on e-bay (some of my latest experiences were for over $150 US) this seems like a fairly decent price - especially considering all the additional detail and the fact it's a brand new kit without the requirement of salvaging the old kits if you happen to get lucky enough to find one for cheap.

Games Workshop's original plastic Land Raider
I would love to see one side by side with the original plastic kit for scale comparison, but this one definitely appears to be larger, more on the scale of the current Land Raider kits. I would love if it was close to the same scale as the original Land Raider, as it would mean I could field old and new without visual scale differences. However, just by looking at the side door and sponson details, I'm certain it's longer, if not taller.

Now, how will this affect those of us old grognards who own one or more of the originals, and are looking for more? Well, if it's bigger, and you want consistent scale, you will either need to keep scouring the internet for old plastic kits and rebuild them, or you can replace the old kits with new.

With the price point of this new kit, and the shear awesomeness of the detail, I can see a couple things happening. 1. The cost is low enough that there may suddenly be an increase in cheaper MK1 Plastic Land Raiders. 2. The cost is high enough, but it's also desirable enough that people will forgo the plastic kit in favor of this kit, potentially driving prices down on the old kit as there is lower demand for those models.

Of course, that's a very narrow view of the impact this model may have on resell value of the original, and there will always be variation due to changing demand, collector completionists, quality of the used models, amount of work needed, etc.

So now I face a dilemma myself. I currently have a plastic MK1 that I got in a trade from a good friend. I have managed to disassemble it, and that was a hell of a chore. And I'm getting ready to strip the paint off it... but now I wonder if I should continue and build it stock, (the damaged guns do require replacement unfortunately) or do I wait, get a new one, and then either sell the original or upscale it to match?

Because this was a trade from a good friend, my heart wants me to restore it as much as possible, then add detail. But doing so definitely puts me in a situation where I need to scour for more of the old kit if I want that consistency in my army, or just keeping it as a display piece, or a one off for that army...which I'm not opposed to at all. Though the theme of that Space Marine army is that it has a lot of OLD kit. Bless Forgeworld for their retro looking view finders!

Regardless of what I decide to do, I love the new Forgeworld version and must have at least one, and it has been added to my wish list!

What's next? Perchance old school rhino hulls and old school round turreted predators? If so, I'm all for that!

Games Workshop's original plastic Predator

Games Workshop

Copyright Notice: Original photos and images used for this article are owned and copyright by GamesWorkshop PLC, and used without permission, for the express purposes of distributing hobby news, freely promoting the hobby, and the free exchange of hobby related ideas. No challenge is intended.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's Happening?

Hello readers and friends.

Normally I don't post this sort of update because, well, it's personal and I try no to bring personal stuff to the blog, which is supposed to be about celebrating our wonderful hobby.

But recently I have received several emails from various sources and friends asking why I have not posted any updates for a long time now.

Unfortunately, over the last month I have been suffering from a major health issue which prevented me from actually doing any hobby related work. I won't go into the details, except to say there have been many frustrating  and often painful things I've had to endure as a result of what's going on. But the biggest frustration has been my inability to do my hobby, or even do such basic things as read a book, which is actually something I rely on to help me deal with stress.

Things are starting to return to normal, but I am still unable to actively pursue my hobby goals. Hopefully I will be back up and running by the end of August and I hope all will be back on track soon.

Thanks for your patience, and for those who emailed me privately, your concern for my well being.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Project Orks: Part 2 - Da Kunnin' Plan!

As you know from the first article in this series, I have decided I was going to focus on building an ork army for the rest of this year, with a completion timeline of February for 1850 points, plus a 400 point sideboard.

The Ork Waaagh!! so far. This is what is already painted and included in the sideboard.

I spent the latter part of June inventorying the models I had, and figuring out a decent 1850 point list that I could muster from those existing models. This does mean my list was somewhat restricted to what I had, but I have so much that I only really need a very few things to fill in the gaps in the future. What I needed then, was a proper plan to build and paint this Waaaagh!!

So, without further ado, here is...

Da Kunnin' Plan!

Planned, Complete, Late

  1. Muster Forces – Inventory all models and create force org list. - Complete June 30
  2. Create Army List – Complete June 30
  3. Create Side Board List – Complete June 30
  4. Create Additional Side Board Project List – Complete June 30

  1. Repair, clean and paint: 30 Gretchin, 3 Runtherds
  2. Clean and paint: Deff Dread
  3. Photos Pending

  1. Build and paint: Big Mek Shokk Attack Gun - Did not paint due to illness
  2. Clean and paint: 30 Ork Boyz unit - Did not paint due to illness
  3. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

  1. Clean and Paint: Weird Boy Warp Head
  2. Clean and Paint: 10 Ork Nobz unit
  3. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

  1. Clean and Paint: 11 Ork Boyz unit
  2. Build and Paint: Trukk
  3. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

  1. Clean and Paint: 5 Burna Boyz, 5 Stormboyz w/ Zaggstruk
  2. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

  1. Paint: Battlewagon
  2. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

  1. Clean, magnetize weapons, and Paint: 5 Deffkoptas
  2. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

  1. Build and paint: Big Mek Shokk Attack Gun
  2. Clean and paint: 30 Ork Boyz unit
  3. Extra Sideboard: If time permits – My choice

Related Articles:
Project Orks: Part 1 - Mustering Da Waaaagh!!
Project Orks: Part 2 - Da Kunnin' Plan
Project Orks: Part 3 - 'Ere We Go!

Games Workshop
The Freebootaz
The Custodes
The Independent Characters

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Project Orks: Part 1 - Mustering da Waaaagh!

As some of you guys and gals probably know, I've been trying to do Orks for some Motivational Challenges on various forums (The Freebootaz, and The Custodes), but have just been feeling blah about the whole thing. As a result, I spent the last two months not thinking about these challenges at all, and just doing things that I felt like doing, hobby wise. And I found that not painting my own personal hobby related items to a preconceived guideline that I have little control over a lot more enjoyable.

Yes, there were commissions among those projects that I had to get done, but having my own personal projects unfettered made me feel a lot better about attempting to get back into the Orks that I was building for Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000. This, combined with a challenge on The Independent Characters forum, where the build and paint plan is entirely up to me, and has some flexibility, really has got me ready to get back to them. Another factor that is inspiring me here is that my friends and I decided to play a 6 month campaign, culminating in an Apocalypse game in December, so we will be helping motivate each other as we play and check out each other's progress.

As for the other Motivational Challenges, well, I still intend to continue working on them again, but they will take second fiddle to this project, as I find time. They will also give me the opportunity to work on other projects that are in the sidelines and are different from Orks, to give me some variety and help me stay interested in painting Orks!

As of now, I have inventoried and listed all of my Ork models. I have also put them all into an army list, and it comes to about 7000 points worth, and that's without tooling them up very much. Sooo, I obviously have a lot of work ahead of me.

The Waaaagh!! so far!

Fortunately, this part of the project is only to complete 1850 points by February (in time for Adepticon, though my ability to attend remains in doubt). A secondary goal is to also paint a sideboard. I'm including the orks I have already painted over the year's Motivational Challenges as part of the sideboard, and who knows, maybe I'll get more orks done for the ongoing challenges as part of the sideboard as well. I've left February open with only a sideboard project planned. This is to allow for slippage if life gets in the way and I can't complete a project on time.

Here is my 1850 point list:
HQ – Weird Boy, Warp Head
HQ – Big Mek, Shokk Attack Gun
Elites – 10 Nobz w/ Stikkbombz, 3 Power Klaw, 7 Big Choppa, 1 Bosspole
Elites – 5 Burna Boyz
Troops – 30 Ork Boyz w/ Stikkbombz, Big Shoota, Nob, Power Klaw, Bosspole
Troops – 11 Ork Boyz w/ Shootaz and Stikkbomz, 1 Big Shoota, Nob, Power Klaw, Bosspole
Trukk w/ Grot Riggers, Stikkbomb Chukka , Boarding Plank, Reinforced Ram
Troop – 30 Gretchin, 3 Runtherd w/ Grotprods
Fast – 5 Stormboyz w/ Boss Zagstruk
Fast – 5 Deffkoptas w/ 5 Twin Linked Rokkit Launcha
Heavy – Deff Dread w/ Big Shoota, Skorcha, Armour plates
Heavy – Battlewagon w/ Killkannon, Deffrolla, Grot Riggers, Stikkbomb Chukka, Armour plates, Boarding Plank, Kannon, 4 Big Shootas
Here is my sideboard to date:
HQ – Warboss w/ Power Klaw, Twin Linked Shoota, Bosspole
Elites – 5 Nobz w/ Stikkbombz, 5 Big Choppa, 1 Bosspole
Troops – 20 Ork Boyz w/ Stikkbombz, 2 Big Shootas, Nob, Big Choppa, Bosspole
Fast – 3 Deffkoptas w/ 3 Twin Linked Rokkit Launcha
Superheavy – 2 Ork Stompas
So, with the army decided upon, The next step was to create a plan, which I will discuss in part 2 of this series.

Related Articles:
Project Orks: Part 1 - Mustering Da Waaaagh!!
Project Orks: Part 2 - Da Kunnin' Plan
Project Orks: Part 3 - 'Ere We Go!

Games Workshop
The Freebootaz
The Custodes
The Independent Characters

Monday, July 04, 2011

GW Accepts Role as Mr. Scrooge?

Games Workshop has just released some more tidbits on the Storm of Magic for Warhammer, due on July 9th in stores near you.

The headlining picture of their blog talking about today's news seems inspired by a certain classic novella by Charles Dickens!

Three wizards looking strikingly like the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future....

With all the bad publicity and negative reviews of Games Workshop over the last few months, is it coincidence that this picture bears a striking resemblance to the three Christmas spirits? So.... is GW the Scrooge they are here to save this Christmas?

*Legal Disclaimer* Picture copyright Games Workshop LLC and used without permission.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Base of the Matter

Recently a friend of mine asked me if I would paint up some bases for him. I quickly accepted, and before I knew it, the bases were in the mail and arrived the next day from Winnipeg to Toronto overnight. Incredible! Ah, but that was before the 1 month postal strike/lockout...

The bases he sent me were a sampling of bases from a company called Battle Ready Figs, who my friend says sounded a lot like a Basement Business when he met the owner at Adepticon. They are mostly 25mm bases, with a 60mm base, which my friend is planning to use for his new Tau army that he is painting in a bright tan, blue, grey, and white scheme. He had no specifications for how to paint them, so I decided that to help make his Tau pop I would go for something dark. And the bases he provided definitely suit the darker colours.

Bases as I received them, primed and with a few thin washes.... ready to be painted!

When I first opened the little bubble pack mailer, I was not very impressed. Not because my friend already tried his hand at painting them and got frustrated, and for which he was embarrassed, but because the bases were actually quite simple. And the pictures at the website of painted versions really were not inspiring. In fact, I think the colour schemes selected for the manufacturer's store were not well suited, and actually clash.

But I could see the inherently simple designs could be turned into some really nice bases, and when the models get mounted to them, the simpleness of these bases would actually help. I figured, by restricting the colour palette to a few basic colours, I could make them work.

For the tiles and cobblestones, I chose naturalistic colours, working up from Games Workshop's Charadon Granite, to Scorched Brown, Calthan Brown, Graveyard Earth, and a variety of other tans and greys. This I overbrushed in multiple layers, blending the colours here and there to create uneven aging and colour patterns.

The brick and gravel I painted with Games Workshop's Scab Red over a base of Adeptus Battlegrey. I then highlighted with Astronomican Grey and Dheneb stone.

This helped give each base type some colour variety. But because of the commonalities, they all work well together. But ruined cities like this are often dusty and grimy, and tend to get a uniform colouration regardless of the material as dust settles on everything. So I gave everything several thin washes of Devlan Mud, followed by Badab Black, which muted the bright colours enough to make it look aged and ruinous. I finally finished up by giving everything a light drybrush dusting of Astronomican Grey followed by Skull White.

I also picked out some of the extra details, like the girder and the sewer grate. I took them as an opportunity to add another complimentary colour to the naturalistic tones on the bases. By rusting out the girder and sliming up the grate, I was able to introduce some additional visual interest to the bases.

This is the end result.

Completed bases. Though they are simple, they have a couple of surprising little details, like the grate, and the girder...
Overall, I'm satisfied with the bases. They may seem too simple at first, but while painting them I noticed the quality of them was actually quite good and they had a couple of nice little details. The castings are generally clean, with very little in the way of flash.

The overall quality of these bases is quite good. The manufacturer took the time to sand the bottoms so they are flat, though some concavity was noticed. This also helps reduce the rim flash commonly found on "Garage/Basement Moulded" bases. There was very little evidence of airholes, also common in resin casting, except in the areas were dirt and debris were piled, as the texture tends to trap air. But with simple drybrushing, they have little effect on the overall finish.

Now, I'm off to the post office to get these back to my friend. I hope he likes them!

UPDATE: Battleready Figs no longer seems to have a web presence, and do not seem to be in business any longer. If you have information contrary to this, please comment below with their contact info or web address and I'll update this post.


Games Workshop

Friday, July 01, 2011

Forgeworld New Release: Contemptor

Today, Forgeworld has posted on their website the latest Space Marine model, the Contemptor!

Forgeworld's new Space Marine Contemptor
The Contemptor is an interesting model. It looks like an over tall dreadnought. With those long armour clad legs, it looks like it can stride across the battlefield with ease..... but.... as a friend of mine pointed out, it is reminiscent of 80's anime mecha legs.

I don't think that was intended, but I see his point, and when I was checking out the pictures, it actually negatively affected my initial opinion of the model. Then I saw the red blood angels version, in dynamic "I'm coming to get you!" pose, and my opinion immediately changed. Especially when I noticed the details on the legs which were reminiscent of Space Marine leg armour, and I realized that the intent was to appear more marine like. And when I saw those similarities, I immediately liked the model a lot!

Then I started seeing the potential for this model! When the Grey Knights were first released, and the Dreadknight was announced, I was a little underwhelmed by the overall model. Now, it has grown on me a bit, especially having seen some in person, but I still feel it resembles an original Eldar War Walker too much, where the pilot rode on the front like an infant in a child carrier.

But, I also see an opportunity. And it's the Contemptor that changes all that. It has lines that resemble the Grey Knight terminator torsos, and looks like it would be a perfect swap for a Dreadknight with the appropriate weapon swaps, you could do conversions with just the torso, or use the whole model. Ultimately, it brings a bevy of options to the modeller and converter who wants something a little bit different!

It would also make for excellent swap fodder with regular dreadnought parts. In fact, I did a very quick mash-up using the Forgeworld comparison picture with a regular dreadnought to show just how the torso would look on regular dread legs, and how the dread torso would look on the Contemptor legs. It gives you an excellent idea of scale, and how the overall model could work in such swaps.

New Forgeworld Contemptor and potential conversion ideas for Dreadnoughts and Dreadknights.

And after having done it, and also seen the Blood Angel version on the website, I have to say, I've grown to love this model. The legs are no longer a concern for me as they are reminiscent of space marine least that's what I think they were going for...though I do see some of the 80s anime imaging that my friend mentioned.

If I had a picture of a Dreadnight to scale, I would have done a mashup with the contemptor torso, but I think this does give you the overall impression. I would probably use the Contemptor for a Dreadknight straight as is, and just swap some arms, etc.

If you are a Grey Knight player, and want an alternate Dreadknight, this model is just for you. If you are a Space Marine, or Chaos Space Marine player and want alternate dreadnought torso reminisicent of pre-heresy dreadnought variants, than this model might be right for you!

Now that I've set that catalyst for creativity, go out there, and start converting and mashing parts together. I would love to see what kind of conversions you come up with, so don't forget to link them in the comments section below. And for anybody who can get their hands on one of these, if you are converting it to a Dreadknight, I would be especially interested in seeing that!

Games Workshop

Copyright Notice: Original Photos used for this article are owned and copyright by GamesWorkshop PLC, and used without permission. Photos modified are for the express purposes of distributing hobby news, freely promoting the hobby, and the free exchange of hobby related ideas. No challenge is intended.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Charity Auction: Homes for Wounded Soldiers

Well folks, no matter what you say about 40K Radio, or Battle Foam, and believe me a lot of people say a lot of negative things about them, it's hard to deny that their heart is in the right place. After all, when they sponsor charity auctions, and do other charitable work, they really are putting their hearts out there for those in need.

Personally, I'm a fan of both, and after my trip to the UK and having met and hung out with Romeo (owner of Battlefoam and 40K Radio) and the Freebootaz who also attended the trip for nearly 10 days, know that he's a great guy when it comes down to supporting the hobby community, and the global community.

Their latest effort to spread hope and help to the community comes with this new charity auction!

Proceeds will go towards quarterback hunting, mullet loving, NFL pro, Jared Allen's charity, Homes for Wounded Warriors.

So please, if this is something that has a place in your heart, or you just want to help give hope to the families of soldiers wounded while fighting for their country and their families, please check out the auction and bid. And if you don't win the bid, or it's out of your economic ability to bid, but still would like to contribute, go directly to Jared Allen's website and contribute there.

Thanks and kudos! to Romeo, 40K Radio, Freeboota Darksheer, and all the multitude of service men and women from around the world who helped put this together! This is something special, and I hope it does very well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Artisan Painter Series: Part 1 - Anatomy of the Brush


Welcome to the first in my series on becoming a better painter. In this series I will talk about the tools of the trade, preparing your subject, basic, intermediate, advanced and master level techniques. I will also discuss basic colour theory, composition, layout, execution and presentation, including photographing your finished projects, and post image processing.

For now though, let's look at the tools of the craft!

Anatomy of the Brush

The first step to becoming a better painter is to know your tools. The painter's primary tool is the paint brush. These come in a vast assortment of shapes and sizes, but in the end, they are all constructed primarily the same way.

The main construction of a brush consists of a handle. Attached to the handle is a Bristle Head. This is attached by a metal Ferrule, which is typically crimped to the handle.

Pictured here is an example brush. This particular brush is round, with long bristles and a fat belly.

The handle of a good brush is usually made from wood. The handle is often turned in a tapered long shape, designed to be comfortable for the hand. But, with the increase in suppliers making fine quality paint brushes, new handle shapes are appearing that are supposedly designed to increase comfort, improve grip, and overall brush control. The style of handle you select should be based on what you find is comfortable, but be warned, not all handle shapes are available from all manufacturers. For this, you'll have to go into a store and try gripping several brushes. Imagine yourself painting with them, holding them in your normal comfortable grip, and trace the shapes and outlines of the back of your other hand with the bristles. It will quickly become apparent if the brush is suitable for your grip.

Though there are some brushes available that have handles made from moulded plastic, these generally are lower cost brushes, meant for adhesives, or generally mixing messy materials. I do not recommend them for painting as they are usually of cheap quality. These are the likes of brushes available in water colour paint sets for children, or model builder kits. If you have brushes like that, they make excellent stir sticks and mixing brushes. But that's all I'd recommend them for.

The ferrule is typically made from stainless steel, or some other corrosion resistant nickel or tin plated material, sometimes brass or aluminum. The ferrule is often a tapered cylinder. It is designed to hold the bristle head at the narrow end, and fit onto the handle at the wider end. Some manufacturers only glue the ferrule to the handle. Unfortunately, that compromises the quality and lifespan of the brush, so you want to look for a brush that has a good crimp. Otherwise you may experience a brush head that falls off the handle in mid stroke, spoiling your piece.

Bristle Head:
The bristle head is the business end of your paint brush. It is typically made from a bunch of hand selected fibers, often a form of animal hair, but is also avaialable in synthetic fibers. Typically, the bundle is shaped, and tied together, to form the general shape of the brush. Longer hairs or fibers will result in longer bristle heads, and shorter fibers, shorter bristle heads. The selection of fibers can also influence the overall breadth of the brush, making them fat, or skinny. They can also influence the shape of the brush, weather it is round, flat, tapered, fanned, etc.

After the fibers are tied together, they are inserted into the ferrule. The handle is then inserted into the ferrule, and pressed in so that the brush head is tight. The point where the brush head contacts the handle is the Heel. This is pressed together snuggly to avoid the bristle head coming loose, and is often lightly crimped, especially on flat brushes.

Finally, the ferrule is Crimped to the handle to ensure a solid contact. Different manufacturers may crimp more than once, to distribute the forces and ensure a longer lasting brush.

When selecting brushes, the Bristle Head is the aspect of the brush which you will pay most attention to, and will vary depending on your painting task. The key to this is to determine the appropriate size of brush, and to understand how you will be using the brush for varying techniques. The factors you will look for are overall length and thickness. The longer the bristle, generally, the more paint you can load onto the brush, but the more difficult it becomes to control. The shorter the brush, the less paint you can load, but the easier it become to control. However, if you get too short, then the diameter of the brush may be larger than the length, and your brush no longer can be pointed. Ideally, you want a brush with a length not much more than 4 times longer than its diameter. This will give you decent control, and paint volume.

The aspects you normally will be looking at here are the Tip and the Belly.

Often called a Tip, Point, or Toe, (depending on the shape of the bristle head) this is generally the very end of the bristles. This can be used for creating fine point detail, stippled effects, sharp lines, etc. When selecting a brush, you should ensure the tip is well shaped. There should be no splayed or damaged bristles, or you will never be able to get a good result no matter how good your brush control. When selecting your brush, hold it as normal, and gently bend the bristles, as if you are doing a paint stroke. When the pressure is released, the bristles should bounce back, and the tip should return to normal, and not remain splayed.

Sometimes also called the Edge, the Belly of the brush is what holds the majority of the paint. A nice full and thick belly will allow you to hold more paint and water, and reduce the amount of times you need to load the brush. It will also be able to keep the paint on the brush wet longer, as you can hold more water or thinner. This portion of the brush can also be used for broad brush strokes, especially when base coating models or painting wide expanses, like on banners. A finer brush with a finer belly can also be used for making nice long flat strokes, and for hardline edge work, by running the belly sideways along the surface. So when choosing a brush, it's wise to have detail brushes with thinner bellies than if you are selecting large base coating brushes, but not too thin as to avoid the paint drying out too quickly.


This concludes the Anatomy of a Brush.

In future articles, I will refer to this terminology when describing techniques, so familiarize yourself with the terminology described above, and get comfortable with holding and manipulating a clean and dry brush.

Artisan Painter Series: Index

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vindicare Part 3 - For the Gold...

Recently, things have been very busy, so I have not made any updates. I won't bore you with the details, except to say that one of the things that had me so busy was the Astronomi-Con Toronto tournament on June 11-12. Now that that is said and done, and I've had a chance to rest and visit with friends from out of town, and deal with day to day life, I have decided to do an update.

This update comes at the request of a friend of mine, who was also at the Astronomi-Con Toronto. When we were talking about hobby stuff he mentioned that I never did finish the Vindicare Assassin that I was working on, and he would really like to see the finished model.

Well, George, this one is for you!

Here you can see I blended all the grey highlights down to the black for a deeper tone. This also added more weight and volume to the model. This was done with wet blending and a Badab Black Wash to equalize the tone.

I've also painted up the leather belts and pouches, blending from a Scorched Brown to a lighter Vallejo Game Colour Brown Leather colour. The face mask started with GW Graveyard Earth and blended up with Bleached Bone.

The brass shells were painted with Vallejo Game Colour Tinny Tin, Brassy Brass, then Shining Gold. The metal was painted with VGC Gun Metal, then Silver. Both were given a Devlan Mud wash, followed by a Badab Black wash. The gun metal was then given an Asurman Blue wash, and then final highlights on all the metal were with VGC Silver.

To add some contrast to the model, I gave the guns a deep black coat of paint with very subtle highlights in a Vallejo Game Colour Caymen Green. I then blended up from Vallejo Game Colour Black and Caymen Green to Vallejo Game Colour Yellow Olive, washed with Badab Black wash, and then a final highlight of pure Yellow Olive.

The scope was painted with a standard red gem effect, going from VGC Black through GW Blood Red, Blazing Orange and Sunburst Yellow. To tie it together this was glazed with the old GW Purple Ink. And a single VGC White reflection spot was added. The eye lens was painted similarly, except only going to red. A purple glaze was then used to colour shift the red to make it deeper and more menacing.

The rocky base was painted very simply. First it was given an overbrush of Vallejo Game Colour Stonewall Grey, then given several thin washes of GW Devlan Mud, very thin Thraka Green, followed by several thin washes of GW Badab Black.

This completes the Vindicare Assassin model, though I may come back to add some yellow static grass to the base to hint at some dried weeds.

Related Article:
Vindicare Part 1 - Strike a Pose
Vindicare Part 2 - Back in Black
Vindicare Part 3 - For the Gold

Games Workshop

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hobby: Kicking it up a Notch

Hobby: Kicking it up a Notch

Many of you who read this blog are very familiar with Games Workshops games, and the tournament scene that surrounds them. Many tournaments are exercises in best general, and can be very cut throat, and over the top competitive -- especially when there are prizes for performance involved which tends to bring out more Win At All Costs attitudes. Others are more casual affairs, leaning towards campaign style play. Still others promote teamwork as doubles tournaments or team tournaments where you and a pal, or a team of pals build themed allied armies to play against other teams, and your final standing is determined by combined performance, painting, and other scores. Finally, there are the hobby tournaments. These are geared not at just playing and winning, but showing off your hobby mojo - bringing the whole package to the fore, and doing a collective geek out. Whatever your cup of tea, there is probably a tournament, or organised play event for you.

My prefrence is the Hobby Tournament. I often recall a descriptive term used for such a tournament by Games Workshop back in the early halcion days of the Grand Tournaments of the 90s, and Jervis Johnson referred to this great vision as a grand pageant. And that strikes me as somethign aptly descriptive of these tournaments, especially when you consider such things as painting scores, appearance and presentation, where army after beautiful army is put on display for all to see. It can often be like a beauty pageant, where people vie for top honours in not just wins vs losses, but in painting skills with awards for best painted armies and single figures, and for congeniality, in Best Sportsmanship, to name but a few of the common types of awards. It's a lot like one of those custom car shows where everybody parks their cool custom in a big supermarket parking lot and wanders around checking out all the other cool toys.

Ultimately, it's a geek fest. And they are, in my opinion, the best of the types of tournaments one can attend. One such tournament is the Astronomi-Con series. This tournament, spawned in 2000, is now in it's 11th year of operation, and spans North America with annual events in Winnipeg (the home town of the organizers), Toronto, Vancouver, and Texas. The format is a 6 game tournament, which includes composition scoring for first game seeding, sportsmanship scoring, painting scoring, generalship scoring, along with presentation scoring for display boards as well as army list hand ins. Each table is uniquely configured with custom terrain, and a unique scenario invented by the touranment organizers to suit that specific table.

One of my favourite aspects of the Astro (as it is called by alum) tournaments, are the unique custom scenarios. Each has different modes of deployment, including various deployment zones, orders of deployment, and special escalation rules for early reserves arrival, to name but a few. The scenarios are all objective based, with primary objectives for each player to achive. They also have secondary objectives, and the "Price of Failure" which reward or penalize you based on how well you accomplish those objectives.

This model was, in fact, the basis for the current style of mission we see today, where most missions are objective based, and the tournament organizers were actually given thanks in the Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 Special Missions book for inspiring that book, and contributing to the creation of that book. In essence, this tournament is held in very high regard, not just by the average 40K player, but by many members, past and present, of the studio staff - many of whom have participated themselves in the event at various times.

Well, this weekend (June 11-12, 2011) Astro is back in Toronto, and I'll be participating. As I said, it's one of my favourite events. This one is, I believe, Toronto's 8th Astro, and promises to be a great one. It will be held at the Toronto Police Association Banquet Hall and, at the time of this writing, there are still space left for any last minute sign ups.

Anyway, for this tournament, I will be bringing my own personalized Space Marines chapter. It's one most alumni will be familiar with, as I have brought it for the last several years, adding to and changing it a little every year. This year, I have settled on a mix fast and hard hitting, but fragile, with a converted Pedro Kantor as the central character. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time with this army and, being my own chapter, I have a very strong attachment to it - so every time it's been smashed to splinters by careless security officers or other random stupidity it truly hit home, but that's another story.

As I mentioned earlier, presentation is a component of the scoring for Astronomi-Con, including paint scoring, display tray, army list, etc. Well, though it's not a big component, and I have always done fairly well in presentation, including my army list, I wanted to do something special. This is, after all, my army and I want to showcase it as best as I can, because I want others to enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed building and painting and creating it.

So...this year I kicked it up a notch. While previous versions of my army list got more fanciful, with full colour illustrations, and lengthy stories, they were always just staple or spiral bound and I always wanted to do something more professional. So I did.

No. This is not a new codex army book from Games Workshop that got snuck through the radar. This is my own tournament army list for submission. But, as you can see, this isn't your every day army list submission! I made this book from scratch. I developed most of the art work, wrote the stories, took photos, did the layout, printed, and "perfect" bound the book by hand to replicate the look and feel of an official Games Workshop codex. It was quite an enjoyable, if laborious, process and was well worth the effort in my mind. I'm hoping this will knock the socks off everybody who sees it this weekend at Astronomi-Con.

Well, I'm off to go play.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Digital 40K: And Now For Something Fun

Remember in the late 80s early 90s when game consoles were 8 and 16 bit machines, the advent of the game Contra, and just how fun a scrolling shooter could be with some upbeat digital music with a fast tempo that kept your eyes and fingers twitching at dizzying and ever increasing speeds? Well, it looks like the guys at THQ took inspiration from games like that and have come out with KILL TEAM!

KILL TEAM looks like it's designed for several systems and should be available in July on the XBox 360 Arcade for about 800 Xbox Live points.

Check out the trailer for some reminiscing with a 40K flavour, and for those of you young'uns who have idea what Contra was, imagine this frantic pace, but on a flat 2d scroller.

Watch to the end if you have any interest in the new "Space Marine" game from THQ as purchase of this game will score you an extra for the Space Marines game.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Unboxing: Games Workshop Finecast Huron Blackheart

With all the hubbub over the last couple of weeks regarding Games Workshop's Finecast branded models, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up a Huron Blackheart model and do an unboxing, to see just how good these are.


Finecast models now come in a clam pack type of packaging. This new packaging really helps promote the visibility of the model. And when you actually see the models on their sprue, it becomes very apparent why Games Workshop switched packaging, as they would never have fit in the previous design blister pack.

The new Finecast Huron Blackheart in clam pack, front view.

Games Workshop has done a very nice job with this new packaging. They have taken the opportunity to update the look and feel of the packaging so it displays more nicely on peg displays. It's easier to search the rack for what you need, because there are full colour pictures representation of the painted model inside. So if you know what you are looking for by sight, it makes searching less organised racks much faster.

This packaging also allows you to view the contents of the clam pack, to check the quality of the model before you purchase it. It also gives a nice visceral feel to buying these models as you can easily grab a few clam packs of various models, and sort through them as you decide what to get. Being able to view the models can sometimes make or break that decision. In this case, it actually helped me decide to buy Huron, as I was never impressed with the metal version of this model, but the detail I could see was enough to convince me this model was far superior.

Huron is clearly visible from the back, making selection easier!

The other nice thing about these clam packs is the flat shape. Which means they hang very nicely on the rack, and they also stack and pack more neatly, for those of you who are hoarders, or like to collect a whole army before building it, and so keep it neatly tucked away until then.


One of the other improvements they have made to the clam pack is to eliminate the need to cut it open. Behind the hanger hole, you will find two slots that are die cut into the back of the clam pack. The purpose of these is to create a tear tab. If you carefully lift it up, and then pull it back, you will be able to tear the clam pack open for easy access to the miniature!

This tab makes the clam pack easy to open without tools!

A word of warning is probably advised here, be careful not to overdo the tearing, as you could potentially send the parts flying, and accidentally cause damage if you exert enough pressure as to bend or break the frame. But with care, you can easily open the clam pack and remove the contents.

Carefully peel back the tab to open the clam pack.

Tear across the top to make the opening big enough to remove the model.

Having removed the model from the packaging, let's take a closer look. Here are some close up pictures showing the model on the frame. As you can see, there is a lot of flash, and there are also a lot of runners, gates, and air vents. This is necessary for resin to ensure the mould is completely filled, and to reduce internal voids and surface bubbles.

Front: Huron and Axe arm.

Back: Huron and Axe arm.

Front: Backpack, claw arm, and pet.

Back: Backpack, claw arm, and pet.


Having unpacked the miniature, it is time to start the building process. The first thing to do is to carefully remove all of the parts from the frames. Using flat sided hobby clippers, carefully clip the runners about 1mm from the model. This helps prevent damaging the model with the clippers. It also leaves little gate debris on the model. By leaving about 1mm, there is enough material you can easily get a hobby knife behind it and gently slice the sprue off the model.

As you cut the model, you will find that the resin is actually very pliable. It is easy to clip, and because it is so flexible, you are not as likely to damage the model if it were to flex, which often happens with delicate plastic model bits.

Here you can see Huron and all the bits removed from the model. Notice the gates and large flash I left on the model. You should also be mindful of small parts during this stage. If you are not careful, you can easily mistake a small delicate part for sprue, and either cut through it, or discard it with the frame!

Everything is neatly clipped. Watch for small parts, like Huron's Thumb!

Once all the parts are clipped from the frame, it is time to start deflashing. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this process. The best way I've found to deflash a resin model like this is to start with a soft to medium bristled toothbrush and gently scrub the model. Be careful during this step as fragile parts can be easily bent, or broken, especially if there are voids in the model. This step will help quickly remove all the papery flash without needing to slice into it.

If this does not remove all of the papery flash, that's OK. You can clean that up in the next step, with a hobby knife. In this step, first you should gently cut off any of the thicker papery flash, air vents, and the large gates. The knife will cut through this very easily, so be very gentle. Make short controlled strokes, so the knife does not go out of control and gouge the model, or worse, slice your hand open. When cutting off the gates, tackle them a small bit at a time. It's easy to whittle the gates off in this way, and it will help you avoid damaging the surface of the model, as well as leave a nice clean finish.

After the paper flash, vents, and gates have been removed, you can then use the knife in a scraping manner to scrape off the lines of flash. Do this in a fashion similar to deflashing plastic, by gently running the blade along the flash line. Due to imperfections, you may find it necessary to slice along the flash. If you do, remember to do it in short controlled strokes, holding the knife close to the blade so it's easier to control. You can also use a needle file, or a very fine grit emery board, but do so very carefully as it's easy to be too aggressive and remove more material than intended. A very gentle touch is what's needed here.

Remember to be careful during this process. It's all to easy to cut a gouge into the model, or break some of the more fragile parts off. This is normally not something that would be an issue with metal models, but the trade offs are worth it for the final resulting quality, and repairs are easy and nearly seamless. Even doing this carefully, I actually broke two parts off the model during cleaning!

Even some of the more robust parts can be broken, despite how careful you are.

Repair and Assembly

Once you have all of the parts deflashed, you can start assembling. Before you do that though, this is a good time to inspect the model for damage, bubbles, and large voids. You will often find bent parts as well, and this is a good time to straighten them.

Damage is usually obvious, because a part has broken off, or there is a gouge, or some large visible imperfection, in this case, the large chaos symbol on the backpack was broken, as well as one of the liquid phials on his hip. Bubbles usually appear as small pin holes in the surface. If you look at the pet, you can see a few bubbles on the rump of the creature. Voids are, essentialy, large bubbles that usually manifest inside the model, but can also appear as large holes on the surface. In this case, the left shoulder pad had a void on the plate.

Fixing these imperfections can be relatively easy. The wonderful thing about resin models is that when they break, they usually break cleanly, and a small dab of superglue and a few minutes holding the part in place are enough to fix it. This resin is porous enough that the superglue bonds very well, and a little goes a long way. In fact, the broken parts were so well attached after I repaired them, that they seem stronger after the repair.

Voids and large bubbles can be repaired using some modelling putty or greenstuff. Just fill the hole and smooth it out with a sculpting tool. Small bubbles can easily be filled with superglue, and a little baking soda. In this case, I chose to leave the voids on Huron, as it seemed to fit in well with all the battle damage. I did fill in the bubbles on his pet though.

Due to the nature of the casting process, it's very common to find you have bent resin parts. With metal, you could usually apply a little pressure and bend such things back, but with resin, you must be careful not to break the part when bending.

On this model, I found that I had to straighten some of the chaos spikes, one of the phials, as well as his axe. To make it easier, and to avoid breakage, a very simple method is to hold the part in hot water for about a minute. The resin will soften up nicely and you can very easily bend the part back to shape. Once you are happy with the shape, dip the part in cold water for about a minute. This will make the resin harden up and keep the new shape. This is also useful for repositioning limbs, or other slender body parts.

It's also a good idea to wash the parts before assembly. As surely, during deflashing, there will be remnants of dust and debris that may stick to the model. Cleaning it now will prevent that debris from becoming a problem later when you start gluing things together and find that a part does not fit because there is a chunk of material that got stuck where it shouldn't.

Final assembly is very simple. While a metal model may require that you pin the parts together to ensure a strong bond, the resin is light enough that pinning is largely unnecessary for most models, though you may still want to consider pinning for larger models, or models with fragile connection points.

Make sure the joints are clean, and before gluing, dry fit the parts to ensure there is no additional scraping necessary to fit the part. Apply the glue with a fine tipped applicator. A small amount of superglue on one side of the joint is all it takes. Spread it out evenly, and gently press and hold the parts together for about 45-60 seconds. This will ensure the glue is absorbed into the porous resin on both parts, and create a very good bond. In this case, less is more, so be careful not to over do it, or the joint may be weakened.

Finished Assembly

Here is the final product. As you can see, the detail is very fine. I have seen a lot of Huron Blackheart models, and every one I've seen has had a tremendous loss of detail around the head, and the damaged portion of the torso and legs. The Finecast model, however, is very clean and crisp. It's much better than the metal model for retention of fine detail, casting quality, as well as ease of assembly. The quality alone was enough to make me choose this model for the unboxing, as I have refused to purchase a metal Huron Blackheart, because of all the flaws.

"Join me! Together we can put an end to this destructive conflict...."

Here you can see the shoulder pad damage due to a void. I carved it out to look
like damage instead of build it back up.

The backpack required extra care between the exhausts. The Chaos Star looks
much nicer after it's been repaired and straightened in hot water.

The damaged leg and head detail is superb on the resin model, far superior
to the equivalent metal model, where they ended up as just blobs on most casts.

Time Savings

All told, I spent about 3 hours working on this model. Most of that was in deflashing. It was not difficult, just time consuming because there was so much. And this model actually had minor flash compared to some of the others out there. Mind you, the average builder may not spend as much time deflashing as I did, but I wanted to treat this model right, plus I hate flash and mould lines, so tend to spend longer cleaning them up. That aside, this model could have easily been built very quickly.

In fact, the amount of time saved just from not requiring pinning is amazing, allowing you to build models more quickly and, as a result, get more models built. This model only took 5 minutes to assemble! As I said, deflashing is still a relatively time consuming process, especially if you are as picky about it as I can be, but for those not as picky about flash and mould lines, or making repairs, it is fair to say that a Finecast model can be cleaned and assembled in minutes, rather than hours that many metal models would potentially require.


After having spent a lot of time cleaning, repairing, and building this model for you to preview, I decided one more thing was required. There has been much talk about the durability of the Finecast resin. All along, I planned to conduct a test of the durability, by conducting a drop test from table height, onto a hard floor, to simulate potential falls off the game table.  As I built the model, and discovered how fragile it was, I approached this final test with a little trepidation. I was almost sure that the model would break at the repair points, and suspected the thumb might break at the join.

With great trepidation, I placed the model on the edge of my workbench, and pushed it off, to simulate an elbow or a sleeve knocking it off a game table. The model did have some breakage, and as I suspected would happen, part of the chaos star and the thumb snapped, but not where or how I expected. Amazingly, the superglued repair and joints were very strong. Had this been a metal miniature, it surely would have smashed into it's component parts without pinning, and probably been bent if it was pinned. But the resin on the Finecast models is flexible enough to absorb major impacts, resulting in minor damage at worst, based on this test.

The picture below shows the damage that actually occurred. The talon broke off the thumb, and one of the spikes on the chaos star broke as well.

Momma! I got a booboo!!!

Wanting to repair the model, I was not holding up hopes that I would be able to recover the tiny parts that snapped off but I was very lucky and found them quickly. I repaired the model right away (though I considered leaving the chaos star as it was because it looked appropriate) and the damage is almost imperceptible after the repair.

Almost like it was never broken!

I also planned to do a 6 foot drop, just for laughs, but after the results of the 3 foot drop, ended up changing my mind on that one. After all, it's only occasionally that I drop my whole army from a height of 6 feet while moving it to the basement, and it shattering on the concrete floor below...

Final Impression

Overall, I'm very pleased with the Finecast Huron Blackheart, and believe this is a good start to a great brand for Games Workshop. The details are very crisp and clear. The material is soft and easy to cut and clean, so it will make excellent conversion fodder. It is also flexible, and will avoid snapping if bent, though I advise not to push the limits. It is heat malleable, and easy to permanently bend or straighten. The joints are very crisp and make for excellent adhesion with super glue, and because the model is light enough and the joins solid enough, I doubt pinning will be required for most models, though it may be something to consider for the larger models with large wings, and the like.

The only negatives I can see are inherent problems that occur in resin casting. First, I must point at the imperfections in the surface of the model, with bubbles and voids. This is actually quite common across the line of models, as I looked at most of the available models when I purchased this model. So, this makes these models a more advanced level due to the methods required to repair such imperfections. It is also something that I hope Games Workshop will be able to reduce as they gain more expertise with their new casting system.

The second issue I have is due to the huge number of gates on the new frame. There are so many of gates on the models, and some of them are in very questionable places, resulting in difficult to clean chunks on the models.

Third, resin can only withstand so much punishment, and I fear that as Games Workshop expands the Finecast line of models, they will end up making thinner and thinner parts, which will inherently be more fragile. A good example of this happening already is with the Forgeworld models, with super thin sword blades and hilts, causing broken parts which become very difficult to repair.

Negatives aside, I think this is a great product line, and look forward to seeing all the new models that are forthcoming.