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!

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...

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 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.

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.

Minitaire Paints
Games Workshop
Vallejo Paints

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 3: Enkomi Incoming!

Having lost a lot of time testing and playing with the Vallejo Liquid Gold, March was quickly coming, and to stay on target I had to stop that nonsense to get a move on Enkomi, who was still only in bits and pieces at the end of February.

To better paint Enkomi, I left the model unassembled, though I did spend an hour cleaning up flash, and mould lines, and making repairs.

Here you can see I finished priming, base coating, and a first highlight.

Next came additional highlighting and shading, and picking out the detail.


That day turned into a cluster F***

No sooner had I finished that portion of Enkomi.... then immediately lost his head. It took an hour to find, and when I was trying to take photos, he just wouldn't stay together. This, followed by a complete horde of computer problems and other technical issues made for a very frustrating day.

Oh. Did I mention he fell apart? Here's a picture of his wrist separating...and the bent spine on his Crozius from falling apart and falling to the floor. He's nearly complete, though I have plans to do more highlighting, and now repair the chips.

As I still hadn't decided on how I would be basing this army when I was working on him, I didn't do anything with the base yet. More on that later.

Painting shouldn't be this stressful...

Games Workshop
Forge World

Clearing The Work Desk!

Ok. While I was thinking about what to do next regarding my misadventures with the Vallejo Liquid Gold paint, I wasn't really painting much. But I had been keeping busy.

One thing I had to do was to clean off my desk. It was driving me nuts that I have a desk, but couldn't actually paint because it was covered in stuff. That is one of the perils of doing assembly on the same desk where you well as receiving stuff in the mail that you have yet to put away, etc.

Awesome as that stuff is, it had to go. So I got a big box, took it all down to the basement, sorted and stored it, then scrubbed and cleaned my desk, which has a glass top so makes keeping it nice and clean a breeze.

I then sorted my essential hobby stuff, tools in the drawers, paints hidden under the desk, everything straightened up, and it's ready to go!

I also made a new portable photo stage with a printed back drop I found using a Google search, and a single daylight lamp (Ottlight) positioned above to the left and behind the camera. It does pretty well, for a quick setup.

It's a very simple setup, and very portable, but works well for quick snapshots of WIP without showing off any clutter behind the subject. Notice there's clutter behind the stage? Yeah. That's other work in progress.

Here's the miniature shot on that photo stage without actually setting up or practising. This was a Christmas gift that a good friend of mine painted for me as a surprise!

Games Workshop

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 2: Painting Bullsh.... Ehrm... Adventures in Painting Liquid Gold

Well, in my first post, talking about my new Minotaurs Space Marine army, I mentioned that I was going to try using the Vallejo Liquid Gold for this project because I've heard many awesome things about the quality of the finish...

I also heard many horror stories... but thought how bad could it actually be? I won't have any issues with this. I've got the right stuff, and the experience...

How could I be so wrong?

Initial paint trials utterly failed. I had a paint catastrophe and just could't get the Liquid Gold to work right. It clumped in the palette, would not mix properly with the alcohol I used to thin it, didn't ahere properly, or coat properly, and just made the miniature look like crap...

Here's a picture of a pile of Bullsh... Thankfully it's only a test miniature.

Release the Bulls! Minotaurs Space Marines

Hey all.

Well, it's time for me to come out of hiding and show you what I'm working on now. It's been a slow go with all of Real Life's interruptions, but I'm making some progress.

After much discussion with my friend Dave about our mutual interest in the Badab War books and making new armies from those books, this year I'm working on a Minotaurs army for Warhammer 40K. Though it's been a long time in the planning and acquisition stage in terms of finding just the right bits, and getting the right Forge World models, this is a new army I'm starting, and hoping to actually have 1500 points done by the end of July for the 2014 Astronomi-Con Toronto tournament.