Monday, 30 December 2013

Vallejo Modelling Pastes

Recently I have been working with a few new materials for basing my models.

I picked up several of the Vallejo modelling pastes on special to try them out. I ended up receiving Black Lava, Brown Earth, Dark Earth, Desert Sand, Red Oxide Paste and grey Pumace. They come in large 200ml containers and cost about $20 NZ each when not on special. I also tried out the new technical paint from GW.

Black Lava is obviously a black paste. Its texture is slightly rubbery. It is aimed at representing volcanic rock however I found that it makes a very accurate asphalt surface when flattened.

Brown Earth is a coloured sand paste that is similar in colour to XXX. The texture is fine and the paste thick enough to make shallow reliefs with little effort. The colour looks to be good for a dry dusty environment and should make a good base texture to add further detail to.

Dark Earth is almost the same as the Brown Earth, however it is far darker. The colour would be the equivalent of XXX and would make a good wet mud or bog.

Desert Sand very similar to the Brown/Dark Earth, although it does appear to have a slightly more pronounced texture. This may just be the colour. The sand colour is overly white imo and could do with the addition of more yellow/brown pigment. The Vallejo Pastes are apparently easy enough to add pigment to by mixing it in when wet. The paste holds shallow relief well just like Brown/Dark Earth and is good for making wind swept sands and dunes.

Red Oxide Paste is fairly similar to the Desert Sand having all the same consistencies. The colour is a very vivid red oxide and does at first appear very bright. A little brown ink would take the edge off this. The colour would be great for simulating a Martian landscape. I plan on using it for my Imperial Fists Legion when the liberated loyalist Mechanicum and equipment from Mars at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy. By the way it is very red. It manages to do something weird with the camera its that red!

Grey Pumace is a course texture which is suitable for making more pronounced reliefs. It would work well by using it to create the main shape on your base, then covering with one of the other pastes to finish. It has a very rubbery feel to it once dry and will peal off with some forceful help once dry.

Last up is the new Games Workshop technical paint Agrellan Earth. I have heard whispers of bad batches or poor results. Through some experience with using similar products I learnt that to make it work you need to apply it on liberally. As in it should look like PVA glue when applied. I have tried to demonstrate here with applynig thick and thin layers to the same base for different results. The thinner you apply it, the finer the cracking effect (to the point you get none). You can also try drying it with different methods (like sun, or a hair dryer) for different size cracks. I also plan on applying this over a undercoat (but under the base/top coat) of tanks etc to replicate heat effects on paint such as melta blasts or heat from missile launchers.

I experimented with giving some of the textures a wash and quick highlight to see the results. I found it a quick and easy way to base a model to a good standard. A few static grass tuffs and/or rocks, or maybe some leaf flock will finish the base nicely. Above is desert sand with a watered down sepia wash over half of it. Below is Brown Earth with an undiluted sepia wash. A quick dry brush to high light will give a simple but effect quick way to base an army. 

In my next post I will try using some other materials like fine mesh, rubble and bricks to make a complete base. Hopefully the above gives you an idea on what these ready made products can do. They definitely will speed up the time it takes to base/finish an army.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

New stuff from Forgeworld + finished jigsaw

Early xmas prezzy's for legion fans!
As cohesive fighting forces able to operate and conquer in any theatre of war, the Space Marine Legions maintain their own mobile heavy artillery units. The long-range cannon armed Basilisk is one of the most common artillery units used by the Legiones Astartes and has proved its effectiveness both for protracted bombardments and as a defensive weapon against enemy armour. This complete multi-part resin and plastic kit designed by Blake Spence includes two Space Marine crew members. This model is available to pre-order now and will be despatched from the 3rd of January.

And we all know the mobile space docking station that is the Kharybdis 

Employed by many Legions as their primary ship-to-ship assault craft, the Kharybdis is a monstrous drop pod capable of carrying large assault forces through the void and mounting significant firepower to blast a path through defending small craft.

As a fully operational dropship, Kharybdis assault claws also serve as orbit-to-surface transports, a role that allows them to use the firepower of their storm launchers and melta cutters to scour clean their chosen landing zone before disembarking their deadly cargo.

Some aggressive commanders employ the Kharybdis as an effective tank hunter, ramming enemy armour in daring low-altitude attack runs.

Complete multi-part resin kit designed by Will Hayes. This model is available to pre-order now and will be despatched from the 3rd of January.

And the final part to the jigsaw

Which gives us this

Monday, 23 December 2013

A Titan story - Part 5

So I could not resist the Reaver Titan any more. After the Warhounds got pushed aside for the Fire Raptors, I decided to give the Reaver Titan a good go.

First up the hip joint and upper leg. Nice and simple, single pin and a bit of a tidy up.

There is nice groves for the parts to slot together with ensuring a good centred fit.

Alot of the parts are single piece casts. No issues here, a quick clean and layout to check everything is good

A few dry fits later and we have some legs! There are no groves or teeth like the Warhound Titan in each joint so making sure you keep the right angles requires a bit more patience.

At this point things felt like they were going to smooth. There is alot of detail on these parts and for once I dont think I accidentally cut/sanded off any rivets!

After waiting a few hours for the epoxy to gain some strength, I completed the leg assembly. Looks easy right? This has to be one of the most frustraighting things to do during assemble. I had not placed a magnet on the waist this time so balancing the level and holding the legs firmly on the ground (after making sure the building surface was level) took alot of time, and blu tac! You can see the bits of green stuff in the knee joints where I drilled through and pinned the model. Using an electric drill takes a bit of working up to on your $1000 model...

The end result came out great. There is far less flexibility in the Reaver Titan compared to the Warhounds. Left foot forward, slightly prone, right leg bracing to fire. Damn this thing is huge!

Next up we have the upper body. Nice simple assembly here again. everything aligned ok so no major issues. I did experience some shrinkage with the three parts that make up the rear being about 1mm to short. You dont see any of these joins as they are cleverly hidden with overlaps and undercuts. The weapon mounts where pinned into place and targeting servitors have been prepared for painting before final assembly (not pictured)

A quick look from the rear. The cooling fans in the centre are covered by a grill once assembled. You can also see how I magnetized the void shield generators. So far this Reaver Titan has been very simple to build.

Next update will be the full assembly of the Reaver Titan! Things have gone so well with this that the last thing remaining to do (as of typing this) is mounting the head!

Fire Raptors Incoming!

I had the recent fortune of receiving my Fire Raptors before xmas. Quickly did I push aside all my other projects to start on them.

After cleaning the parts up and dry fitting them together half a dozen times I spent some time straightening some of the parts. Compared to the Storm Eagle, the Fire Raptors are a much easier kit to work with. You can see where Forgeworld has learnt from the Storm Eagle and fixed several issues with the new variant.

I still needed to spend a lot of time ensuring the parts glued together straight and both the models required a lot of work with a hair dryer whilst I assembled them

The end result is some very nice looking gunships to add to my Imperial Fists Legion!

All going to plan I will have these painted over the holiday break

There are still a lot of issues surrounding getting the top wings to align properly with the engine uprights above the intake. I had to shave 1mm off mine to get the overhang acceptable. Oddly it was only on the right hand side where I had this problem, and on both models. The actual engine support measures 1mm shorter than the same part on the left hand side which was weird. Not sure whether its shrinkage, bad casting, warpage or compression...

The Fire Raptor includes the wash board covers on the main body engine covers now. The downside here is you cannot use them to cover up any gaps. This was the hardest area to get right. I spent a few hours with the hairdryer getting the engine brackets straight and lined up with the top cover struts.

It all looks symetrical now however I did have to break off the left engine and reposition it to get it level, leaving a small gap between the fuselage and engine.

You can see the internal bracing inside the aircraft here. Oddly it dosnt quite reach to the roof thus missing out on another contact point to strengthen/straighten it with.

I drilled out the barrels and vents on the main guns. This reminds me of the A10 Warthog!

You can see the gaps between the engine and fuselage here. They are only small but will require some greenstuff work to get right

These next three images show the landing gear pods complete with the most unsightly gaps. These have groves that they recess into ensuring they are positioned right, yet dont fit!

Maybe I just received a bad set but both my gunships have the same gap. Nothing a bit of green stuff wont fix however.

Overall, the kit is giant leap forward in assembling over the storm eagle. It appears that Forgeworld have listened to their customers and made improvements to the kit assembly.
It still suffers alot from being a plastic/resin hybrid kit. I noticed that the top rear fuselage/engine cover had shrunk 1mm when compared to the plastic front top. This is what caused me the most issues with getting the sides straight, engines level and wings aligned.
At least I did not have to call up and order replacement parts (as I have done for my last 5 orders!). The kit itself should still be approached as an expert level thanks to those long sides and the alignment issues.
The one recommendation to Forgeworld to improve this kit would be to increase the thickness of the fuselage sides (similar to the Landraider Proteos) and to just skip the 5 or so plasic bits and cast it all in resin.

Hopefully I have no such issues with my Fellblade when it arrives. I know this has very long straight sections as will. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Grave Wardens + Forgeworld Jigsaw - take two

More Death Guard goodness...

Alone among the Legiones Astartes, the Death Guard make free and frequent use of alchemical weapons. These are deployed by specialised units outfitted in modified Cataphractii Terminator Armour; the Grave Wardens being the most renowned and feared of these harbingers of death. 
Designed by Keith Robertson, the Grave Wardens are a five man multi-part kit fitted out in modified Cataphractii pattern Terminator armour that features alchemical weapon canisters and projectors. In addition, they are equipped with assault grenade launchers and power fists, as well as an optional heavy flamer and combi-weapon. These models are available to preorder now and will be despatched from the 3rd January.

Also the second part to the second attempt at the jigsaw for this year...

Definitely World eaters!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Forgeworld Jigsaw - take two

Forgeworld are having another go at the holiday jigsaw since the three parter was spoiled before it was even released...

This time we see a leg of what appears to be at first glance a world eater...

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Forgeworld Holiday Jigsaw Revealed!

So Forgeworld continues with their traditional holiday Jigsaw, however this year with an unusual twist, but not of their own doing. 

Some crafty wee wafer out there has got his hands on the full puzzle mere moments after the email from Forgeworld went public with the first part...

So who is it? Definitely a Death Guard character, so my money is on Typhus. 

Toughest Girls of the Galaxy Kickstarter - Another picture dump

Raging Heroes have provided us with another huge picture dump of the next batch of 3D computer sculpts. Whilst they all look amazing, I am starting to tire of the concepts and would much rather see some finished product in my hands...

The full post can be found here

For the mean time, enjoy all the pretty pictures