Friday, December 31, 2010


I finally made it to a scale-model-centric hobby shop to pick up some supplies:

That's enough styrene bits to build a  LOT of Deffrollas!

I also picked up a tubing cutter:

...should make working with the round styrene stock much easier.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Killa Kans Completed

I finished some Killa Kans today:'ll probably notice that two of the models are plastic, and one is metal - the metal model came with the lot of Orks I bought off Craigslist.  After I built my list, I decided I wanted to field three Killa Kans, so I had a choice - did I want two buy the box of three Killa Kans that GW sells and have one extra?  Or buy two separately? After considering it for a bit, I decided to get two more separately - believe me, if I had any idea how much hassle the metal model was going to be, I would have just bit the bullet and bought the plastic ones (but more on that in a second).

After looking around I bit, I checked one of my favorite bitz sellers on eBay and found they were selling individual Killa Kans cut off the sprue:

I was able to get both of these for about 1/2 the price of the three-Kan box.  Thanks to GW having a pretty thorough assembly guide on their website, these went together pretty easily:

...the major exception was the back plate of the "canister" section - there is a tab that is molded along the bottom lip that needs to be trimmed off, or it throws off the angle at the top, and the "lid" can't be glued on.

Now, the metal one.  Sheesh.

As I've mentioned before, the first Orks I bought came from Craigslist - the guy gave them to me as a pile of bits in a shoebox.  It looked to all be there, but most of it was loose in the box or cut from the sprue, partially assembled, etc.  I dug out the Killa Kan model, did my best to clean it up, and glued it together - and came up with this:

That can't be right, can it?  The left arm looks like it's missing some major structure.  Regardless of whether or not it's supposed to look that way, I didn't like it.  (edit: after looking at page 78 of the Ork codex, it appears that is right.  Looks silly, though).  The first thing I did was to get out some styrene tubing and brass rod to mock up a structure for the left arm:

Then I glued it in place & trimmed it down:

Next, I drilled some holes at an angle in the "arm" & the side of the Kan:

(You can see in the above pic that I also added a bit of guitar string going from the power pack to the weapon as a little detail).

I was trying to find a way to mimic the look of the "strut" on the other arm - I accomplished this with a section of styrene tube & rod:

...then I trimmed it to length & inserted it in the holes I had drilled:

As with my previous projects, I added some rivets for the sake of appearance:

Next, I scavenged some shoulder pads from an 'Ard Boyz Armour Pack that I had no intention of using:

To clean up the bit of brass rod sticking out from the far side of the weapon, I trimmed another section of styrene tube and slid it over the rod:

...and I plugged the hole with one of my rivets:

...and I added some rivets to the outside:

After I broke the pole off the back three times, I got sick of it and decided to pin it:

I also added a Forge World brass-etched logo on the lid: still needs a ton of filing to be ready for primer, but it's built, and I'm pretty happy with how it came out.  But man, what a hassle...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Great News From The Black Library

As I mentioned previously, my awesome wife got me a Nook Color e-reader for Christmas.  While the Black Library has some e-books available, to be honest a lot of the 40K fiction has been hit-and-miss with me.  One notable exception is the Horus Heresy series, which I've begun reading, and think is fantastic.  The one thing that bummed me out: they weren't all available as e-books - the first two were, and the most recent one, and then one or two others somewhere in the middle of the series.  I thought it would be a drag to have to wait for all of them to come out in electronic format, or to have some as hard copies and some as e-books.  Well, on Christmas Eve I opened my email and saw the following message:

"If you're lucky enough to get an eReader for Christmas, then make sure its fully loaded with action. Your favourite Black Library books, including the entire Horus Heresy series, are now available to download as eBooks."

Sweet!  it looks like my leisure reading is taken care of for the next couple of months... 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Tree Topper

There was some interest in my Christmas tree topper that was posted yesterday, so I thought I'd provide some details - it's simply made out of foamcore board, and I hot-glued electroluminescent cable around the perimeter.  (Search eBay for "EL cable" or "EL wire" if you want electroluminescent cable).  Here's some pics:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a great holiday!

(Yes, that is my actual tree on display in my living room, and I did buy it and the ornaments because it's Ultramarine colors.  Have I mentioned that my wife can be a very patient woman?)   :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nativity Scene

My wife absolutely loves Christmas - the music, the TV specials, and especially the decorations.  She's a pretty talented hobbyist in her own right (although her medium of choice is usually fabrics & thread).  Since she's so patient and supportive towards my hobbies, I really wanted to make her something for Christmas - so, when Reaper announced that they were producing a nativity scene this year, it was the perfect opportunity.  The only problem is that they didn't release it until November 29th - and I had to have it ready for Christmas!'s the kit as it came from Reaper.  It was a bit pricey, but it's a very nicely done, large piece.

I thought about leaving the pieces loose so they could be arranged under the tree every year, but throughout my childhood we always had to dig through dozens of boxes of Christmas decorations looking for the lost baby Jesus, or Joeseph, or the manger, etc. - and that was with a regular-sized nativity scene.  I figured a 28mm nativity scene would be a nightmare of lost pieces, so I decided to base it.  For this I used a hardboard panel:

...I added a bunch of these in various sizes to my last order from Dick Blick - they're pretty cheap, and handy to have around.  I traced a random shape onto the panel with a permanent marker, and then used a coping saw to cut it out:

Here's the arch with a rough basecoat:

...and glued down to the panel:

I used craft paint to basecoat the hardboard - it's much cheaper, and covers better in applications like this:

...and at some point in the project, taking pictures took a backseat since I was rushing to get done - I was sneaking away to my studio and working on the nativity for 10 - 15 minutes at a time, so my wife wouldn't realize I was doing it.  On top of that, some parts of this project were a bear - I did all the wood with inks (similar to how I did my Freeboota bases), and the finish would chip off if you looked at it funny.  The basing turned into an absolute fiasco, and I wound up having to scrape all of it off the hardboard and start over.  But, here's the finished product:

The tree is a chopped-down-to-size Woodland Scenics piece, and the shrubs are from a bag of moss I picked up at the craft store: