Monday, January 31, 2011

Battlewagon #4 Completed

...I finished up my fourth battlewagon the other day: with the others, it received the Freeboota treatment:

Custom Green Stuff armor plate

Anchor & chain

 Forge World brass emblems

Rear-mounted cannon

Only one more of these left to go!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Black Templar Neophytes

Finished building some Space Marine Scouts today - these guys will serve as the Neophytes in the Crusader Squads for the Black Templars army I recently bought:

For the base models, I simply ordered some plain Space Marine scouts along with a bitz order I recently placed.  One problem is that the Templars have their guns chained to the arms, as shown in this pic of the chapter upgrade sprue:

...I had bought some Black Templar weapon arms, but I had mainly planned to use them for my Initiates - plus, I didn't know if the scale would look right.  I decided to try to replicate the look myself.

First, I shaved all the icons off of the Scouts' wrists:

Then I mixed up some Green Stuff, spread it out thin, and cut some strips:

And I used it to make some manacles:

Next, I dug out the Reaper bitz that I bought to build my Freebootas - specifically, I was interested in these chains:

I used my side cutters to trim one side of the chains, so they would lay flat easier:

...then I wrapped them around the guns and glued them in place:

A couple of the Scouts received some bitz from the chapter upgrade sprue:

For their should pads, I used some etched brass Black Templar emblems from Forge World:

 (One trick that lars4life & I figured out was using a pencil eraser to bend the etched brass to conform to curves).

After they all had the icons, I snapped them off their bases - I was only using them temporarily:

I'm going to base this army on the "urban wasteland" bases that I made in my "Casting Resin Bases" tutorial:

To start, I drilled out the feet of all the Scouts and inserted a short piece of brass wire:

Then I drilled the corresponding holes on the bases and glued the models down:

...and these guys are ready for primer!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Amy Builder something else I bought along with the items I mentioned in my last post was a copy of Army Builder:

...I've seen a lot of hate directed at Army Builder & the gamers who use it on various forums, but I got a chance to try it out one night before lars4life & I headed to the FLGS, and it was soooo much easier than building a list from scratch in a spreadsheet - for a n00b like me, anyway.  I'm really looking forward to using to try out a bunch of different lists...

Monday, January 24, 2011

GF9 Templates

Based on Lars4life's review, I picked up a couple of the Gale Force Nine T.A.C. templates:

I got two so I could throw one in each of my (currently used) army bags - eventually my goal is to have a complete set of templates, dice, tape measure, etc., in every army bag I have, so all I need to do is grab the bag with my books in it & the appropriate army case and hit the door, without having to worry if I forgot anything or having to move a bunch of stuff over from another bag.  To this end, I also picked up a Multi-Template Mk II:

This is pretty slick - I know I've criticized Gale Force Nine's "Hobby Scenics" line for being overpriced, but their "Gaming Aids" line includes a lot of cool, well-thought-out stuff.

I also picked up some spare dice:

The Chessex 12mm dice cubes are cheap enough that I can add one or two to my order whenever I buy some stuff online, and it isn't too painful.  At some point I bought a bagful of scatter & artillery dice, so a few of those will get thrown in each bag too...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Everybody Into The Pool! I decided to start stripping the paint from the Black Templars I bought - looking at them closely, it seems that some of them were just primed black over top of an old paint job.  While the popular choice for this is usually Simple Green, I was listening to 40K Radio a few weeks ago and one of the guys recommended a product that is available at the Dollar Store, with the unfortunate name "L.A.'s Totally Awesome":

I decided to give it a try, since Simple Green is kinda pricey, and there's a "Dollar Tree" store near my house.  I have to say, I'm not impressed - I started out with a 50/50 mix of cleaner & water, but after a couple of days it didn't appear to be affecting the paint at all.  I gradually added more cleaner, until the mix was probably around 80% cleaner.  Here's the models after they soaked the better part of a week and were given a scrubbing:

Well, that's just not gonna work.  To appease the modeling gods for my attempt to cheap out, I ran out and picked up some of the good stuff:

...I went ahead and bought a gallon jug - it was $5.99 for a 24-ounce bottle, and I knew I would need at least two bottles.  The gallon jug was $16, so it comes out to almost exactly half the price per ounce.  (It also happens to be a great household cleaner, so I can use the leftovers for that).

Here's some of the same models after just 24 hours in the Simple Green:

...the paint just comes off in sheets, without a mark on the plastic.  A little bit of work with a toothbrush & a dental pick for the hard-to-reach spots, and these models will be ready to convert & primer.  So, I guess the lesson here is sometimes it's better not to cheap out, and just do the job right the first time...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Squarebase Invasion! where I work, November & December are great if you want to pick up overtime - everyone is using their vacation time to attend holiday parties & family get-togethers, or to vacation in warmer locales.  On top of that, we were down two employees in my department, due to one retirement and one transfer - Since mid-October I don't think I've worked less than 55 hours per week, and there were couple weeks where I almost hit 70 hours.  But, I've been here before, and it's quite a shock when January rolls around and I'm back to my regular 40-hours-per-week paycheck.  So, since the Christmas shopping was done, the bills were paid, and I still had a little extra money in my pocket, I swung by my FLGS a few days before Christmas, figuring I'd pick up a few models to squirrel away for the upcoming lean times.

When I got there, I found the place pretty picked over by holiday shoppers - they didn't have a single Ork or Black Templar / Space Marine model that I wanted in stock.  I'd given the Island of Blood fantasy boxed set a look a few times in the past, after 8th edition came out.  They were sold out of those, too - while I was chatting with the owner, I picked up a Battle for Skull Pass set he had left over and was giving it a look.

FLGS Owner:  You realize that's the old set, right?

Me: Yeah.  What are the armies in the new set?

FLGS Owner: High Elves & Skaven.

Me:  Hmmm, I think I'd actually like Dwarves & Goblins better... but the rulebook would be out-of-date, right?

FLGS Owner:  Yeah, but I tell you what... if you want that set, I'll sell it to you, with a full-size 8th edition rulebook, for the same price as the new boxed set.

Needless to say, I thought that was a heck of a deal, and I jumped on it.  But fear not, readers - I haven't gone to the darkside, and remain focused on 40K.  This is a back-back-burner project for a rainy day, for after I've finished the two 2,000-point 40K armies I currently have in progress...

Monday, January 17, 2011

More New Tools

Picked up some new tools - the first is a hobby saw & mitre box:

...I had a small hacksaw that I've been using to make more difficult cuts, but it seems to have gone missing.  Since I still have a couple more Deffrollas to build for my Battlewagons, this should help immensely. 

Next I picked up a protractor & some squares:

...these fall under the category of "things I've wished I had dozens of times while working on a model, but finally remembered to buy after going to the store a dozen times".  Stay tuned for details about using these tools in the near future...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Deff Dread

Finished building a Deff Dread the other day:

...this was a metal model that came from a lot that I bought from Craigslist a while ago.  This was how I bought it:

I did quite a bit of filing & cleaning, then put it together - I also added a piece of Forge World Brass on the front:

I also didn't care for how "empty" the front looked - the new plastic Deff Dread & Killa Kan models have much more detailed "teeth" sculpted on the front.  I took some bits of plasticard and fashioned an "upper jaw" that would work with the one on the model:

Test fitting

Then I added some of my rivets:

...originally when I built the model I couldn't find the eyepiece, and adapted one of the searchlights - I dug through my bitz box and eventually found the eyepiece:

I've gotta say, after building both the metal & plastic versions of the Dreads & Kans, the plastic versions are waaaay nicer to work with...