Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Imperial Navy Thunderbolt Fighter

Hello again, readers.

I find myself in a strange place. I've got a bunch of ideas that deserve to come to fruition and things that need to be worked on. However, I don't yet have the resources to work on any of them. To that end, I've been working on my older, unfinished projects. The plan for my table, that I've referenced before, is to make an Imperial airfield in the desert (I would say "desert planet," but this isn't Star Wars).

I have a Thunderbolt fighter from Forge World that's been sitting around with an old (bad) paint job. So, I put down a fresh coat of paint to get it ready to serve as a nice piece of terrain for my table, at least until the next Apocalypse game. Photos follow. Enjoy!

Imperial Navy Thunderbolt Fighter

Side view

Rear view

Top view

I went for a pretty plain color scheme for the Thunderbolt. Seeing as my Elysians are a freshly recruited unit with new equipment, I decided to paint this fighter in a similar vein. Very lightly used, well maintained, just arrived in-theater. That, and the light grey will match the terrain I'll be building for my table, and contrast with the desert yellow.

Head-on view. Note the missiles hanging from the wings

Seeing a golden opportunity to use power tools, I drilled out 1/8th inch holes in the missile mounts on the underside of the fighter and stuck magnets in them. I did the same to some Hellstrike missiles that came with the Valkyrie kit and stuck 'em on the underside of the wing.

I managed to loose the landing gear to this model (either I lost them or they didn't ship with the model, I can't remember which), so I scratch-built a pair of landing skids and magnetized them to the bottom the model. You can see the skids in a couple of the pictures if you look hard enough.

Close-up view of the nose weapons. Thunderbolt fighters arearmed with twin linked lascannons, and a pair of twin linked autocannons, standard

This Thunderbolt is part of the 1225th Imperial Navy Fighter Wing

The details, numbers and stripe, on the wings were done with tape. Too easy. As I'm sure you could've guessed, I'm happy with the way this one turned out. Otherwise, I wouldn't have posted it! The painting didn't take long at all, just a grey undercoat and some weathering with GW's Codex Grey paint makes up the bulk of the fighter. A black wash was put in all of the gaps between armor plates to add depth and just a hint of wear to make it look like it's actually flown.

Happy hobbying,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I don't think I could ever measure up to George Washington in terms of oration, so I'll quote him in regards to Thanksgiving:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

G. Washington

Happy Thankgiving, all the best and God bless,

Sagitta Air Defense Battery

Hello again, quick blog update before Thanksgiving. I scratch-built the following model over the course of about an hour to serve as one of my objectives for my Elysian army. I figured since they're airborne, they'd probably be fighting for control of an air defense network or something similar. That, and it seems like nobody else has done anything like that. I also got a bit inspired and put together an Apocalypse data sheet for an automated air defense battery. Enjoy the photo and datasheet below.

Command platform
Sagitta Air Defense Command Platform

SADB datasheet
Click the above image for the full-
sized Apocalypse datasheet

I'll probably be posting a bit more after the holiday weekend. All the best to everyone out there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blood Angels Second Company Captain

A good friend of mine recently started playing Blood Angels. After a bit of trepidation about which list he wanted to play (razorback lascannon spam, death company spam, etc), he settled on a pretty balanced list with four full tactical squads, three Baal preadators and a mix bag of special units to fill in the gaps. It's a great list that's served him well.

Usually, one of the beastly Blood Angel special characters would serve as his HQ, although recently we've been mixing it up by playing some games with points less than the Imperial-standard 2,000. My dear hombre is of the opinion that named characters break the spirit of smaller games (and I must say, I agree with the sentiment) and as such wanted a regular company Captain.

Being the generous person I am, and by that I mean needing something else to work on, I asked if I could be the one to build and paint his Captain. For whatever reason, he really likes my work and agreed. Pictured below is the model completed in all of its photographed glory. Happy Kwanzaa, C-Rams.

Blood Angels Second Company Captain
Captain of the Blood Angels' Second Company

Side view
Side View. Note the Second Company
iconography on the shoulder pad

Other side view
A view of the Captain's bionic replacement arm,
Chapter icon and plasma pistol

rear view
Rear view. This captain chooses
to leave his cloak unadorned

This particular captain was built out of a mix of the new Death Company kit and the plastic Space Marine Commander kit. It's a simple conversion, the only real work I had to do was replacing the sword hand attached to the bionic arm with a plasma pistol.

I broke from my usual style of painting and really tried to make the details stand out. It wasn't hard, considering how Throne-damned many of them there are on the model. The Citadel silver-colored metallic paints are great, but the gold is a real pain in the butt. I had to do at least three coats to cover up the red primer. The wash on the model is spot applied instead of simply brushing over the entire thing. After that, I picked out some of the red raised areas with a light coat of orange paint. I wasn't sure how detailed I wanted to get with the head. I figured I'd stop at getting the teeth and whites of the eyes painted up (I honestly don't think I can make pupils look good, no matter how hard I try).

I like the way this model came out, and hopefully my friend will as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Planetstrike Auto-defense Photos

A recent, ahem, membership issue has left our club short one Realm of Battle board, but up several dozen pieces of Games Workshop terrain. Having it sit at the local hobby store half-assembled and primed wouldn't do, so I decided to take it home with me and get it ready for the table top, instead of doing responsible things like working on my army.

So far, I've got everything assembled the way I want it, and am making progress on it, albeit at a snail's pace (like everything else). Following are some photos of a pair of auto-defenses included in the Planetstrike sets.

Imperial Auto-defense weapons

Orbital lascannon
Anti-aircraft lascannon

Orbital lascannon side view
Side view

To me, the auto-defense lascannons don't look like they can reach out and touch someone at 96 inches. To this end, I lengthened the barrel with some Evergreen plastic tubing and other bits.

Quad autocannon
Quad-barrel autocannon

Quad autocannon three-quarters view
The cannon targets an enemy flyer

The paint scheme is easy, just prime gray, pick out a detail or two and get some wash in the recesses. I think it serves the purpose.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zuzzy Terrain Mats

Greetings, one and all. I haven't been posting lately, and for that I apologize, but then again, I haven't been doing anything hobby related, either. But enough about me.

Recently, Oni introduced me to Zuzzy Miniatures Terra-Flex (tm) Flexible Terrain System mats. The full name's quite a mouthful, so I just call them "Zuzzy mats." My gaming group plays in the back of our local HobbyTown USA, and over the year or so we've been gaming there, we've accumulated a lot of... well, crap. In an effort to minimize the space we use (for free, mad props to the owner), we've been selling off our bulky GW Realm of Battle boards and getting rid of most of our excess terrain.

The latex rubber Zuzzy mats don't take up much room when rolled up, so we decided to try them out. Zuzzy offers multiple sizes of their mats, all the way up to 4'x6'. They also offer a 3"x6" sample size for 1.50$, with free shipping. Pictured below is my work on a sample size mat, along with my process of working on it and my thoughts.

Unpainted Zuzzy
A 3"x6" sample-sized Zuzzy mat

I ordered the "Broken Blacktop" texture, figuring I could just paint it differently and get a nice-looking desert mat. Like just about everything else in the hobby, the mats come unpainted (you can order them pre-painted, but where's the fun in that?). The full sized mats come rolled, almost like wrapping paper. The texture is great; I didn't notice any little bits flaking off, which speaks volumes about the quality. The mats are a bit on thin side, but they're pretty strong. Latex rubber has a tendency to warp a bit if left draped or bent, so I think it's best to keep it flat or loosely rolled.

Zuzzy primed
Zuzzy mat primed with Army Painter's Skeleton Bone colored primer

Have I mentioned I love Army Painter's colored spray primers? If not, I'll say it now. I love Army Painter's colored spray primers. I think they're one of the greatest things to ever happen to the hobby. I gave the mat a solid coat of Skeleton Bone primer, and let it dry. The mat took the paint very well, which is surprising, considering the thing is rubber.

Zuzzy painted
A fully painted battle mat

After laying down the primer and letting it dry, I washed the mat with some watered-down Gryphonne sepia Citadel wash. This added a bit of depth and color variation to the mat. After letting that dry throughly, I drybrushed on a bit of GW's bleached bone to make the texture really pop. To finish up, I sprayed the mat with some of Testor's Dull Cote matte varnish.

Doing a 4'x6' mat is going to be a real chore with the above-mentioned technique. For that particular project, I may invest in an inexpensive airbrush and some Army Painter Quickshade.

Zuzzy mat with model
Completed mat with a model on it

After the whole thing dried, the acrylic paint sounded like it was cracking just a bit, but there wasn't any visible damage. Once you "exercise" the mat by bending and rolling it (carefully!), you've got yourself a completed mat. I wouldn't recommended trying to stretch it. I haven't tried that yet, but I imagine this would crack the paint and cause it to flake off. The mat can be stored by rolling, and is only a bit bigger than a collapsed umbrella. My club is planning on using postage tubes or something similar.

Overall, I am very impressed with this product. If the full mats are anything like the sample, then Zuzzy has got themselves a customer in me.

As always, happy hobbying,