Monday, January 31, 2011

Red Scorpions: Up for Sale!

What's going on, everyone? I've decided to put my recently completed Red Scorpions army up for sale. You can check the auction out here:

All the best and happy bidding!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Red Scorpions: Complete!

I'd completed this army about a week ago, but gearing up for the mini-tourney at Dakkacon took up most of my free time. This is the first chance I've had to post the 500 point army shown in its entirety.

First things first: A big thanks to Mike from Showcase Comics for putting on an awesome event. To everyone I played against: It was a blast gaming with you guys, hopefully I'll get to play all of you again in the future.

I did alright at the tourney; out of three games, I scored one win, one loss and one draw. My speeder with his heavy flamer was definitely my MVP. During my first game against Orks, I'd wiped out my opponent's only scoring unit. He then proceeded to bend me over the gaming table and have his way with everything else in my army, except the speeder. Seeing as I still had that one unit left on the table and he didn't have any other scoring units, I forced a tie.

My second game I managed to win, again thanks to my speeder. It was a Capture/Control mission against Space Marines, and early on, I zoomed my speeder right into the terrain piece my opponent put his objective marker and a squad on. There it stayed for the rest of the game after being immobilized, one inch away from his squad. he ignored the speeder in favor of firing at my Razorback marching along his flank. After a round or two of shooting, his squad broke, but they didn't fall back far enough to auto-rally the next turn. My speeder kept him from regrouping.

My third game was an outright slug fest between me and a Mech-Vet Imperial Guard list. My speeder got iced turn three, but instead of exploding, it wrecked in just the right spot to block an enemy squad from getting to me and my objective so quick. I lost, but that was still a great game. My opponent gave me a real run for my money.

Anyway, this army will probably be up on eBay pretty soon. I'll post a link to the auction when it goes up. This was a fun project to work on, but I'm not a Space Marine player at heart.

Again, guys, I (and I think everyone else at Dakkacon) had a blast. Hopefully we'll do it again!

All the best,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mini Update--How's It Look, Steve?

A small update. A friend of mine asked me to paint up some of his Malifaux minis. Here's the "Miss Nurse" model. The card pictures her as a Latina-looking woman, but invoked some creative license and made her a Barbie-doll blonde.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dreadnought Drop Pod (with Templates!)

Hello again, and welcome back. I found this on Dakka a while ago and decided to give it a try myself. Before I start, I'd like to thank ptlangley on DakkaDakka for the inspiration. The following is the result. Enjoy.

Dreadnought Drop Pod

Opened door

Doors opened and interior exposed

I built this baby in (more or less) the same fashion as in the above link. To build it, you'll need some plasticard, a GW Drop Pod kit, patience, and a bit of skill. This should be a pretty decent conversion for those of you starting out.

Click the image above for a full sized template.

To use this template, print the above image at 100% size. Your printer may tell you that some cropping will occur, seeing as the image itself is 8 1/2" x 11", the size of the paper on which you're printing. This is A-okay, as the shapes you need will still be the right size. As a double-check, grab a ruler and measure one side of the solid hexagon (labelled with sides A and B). It should come in at one and seven-eighths inches (1 7/8") or 47mm.

After printing the templates out, grab a handy pair of scissors and cut out all of the patterns. You'll want to save the shapes you cut out, not the rest of the paper. Once that's done, you'll have to find a way to attach them to pieces of plasticard. I used clear cellophane tape for the longest time but have recently fallen in love with Elmer's rubber cement.

After you've got all your shapes cut and laid out before you, you can start matching the pieces to form a 3D object. The template has letters on the sides of the pieces. Match the same-lettered sides. You'll notice some of the parts are labeled "DOOR." The side with the label gets glued onto the door of the plastic drop pod so it can extend to reach the three spars you'll attach to the base of the pod.

Super glue is your friend. If you can find some of the weaker stuff, go with that, as you may have to rip pieces apart to file then down for a better fit, replace them, etc. I use glue from my local dollar store.

There's a bit too much detail to go into every last thing that I did, and to be honest, I really don't remember exactly what went into this model. As you do more and more scratchbuilding and conversions with plasticard, you'll get a feel for how everything's supposed to work and it'll just start making sense to you. You'll notice the top thruster vent thing in the middle of the three spurs doesn't touch them. You'll have to find a way to space it. The link at the top of the page has a creative way to get the spacing just so.

Don't be afraid to add details as you go. The more work you put into the model, the better it'll look when it's all painted up. Things like extra armor plating, magnetized weapons, GW bits here and there go a long way to having a great scratch build. You may also want to magnetize the doors so they stay closed when they're supposed to.

Feel free to distribute the template. That is why it's there, after all. And thank you for stopping by.

All the best,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Everybody's Getting Sued!

I'm sure most of you have heard of this lawsuit by now, and with talk of it becoming more frequent within the Warhammer community, I felt like throwing my two cents in.

The background is thus: Other companies and individuals (Chapterhouse Studios and Jon Paulson) are producing kits bearing Games Workshop's trademarked and copyrighted iconography and terminology; GW alleges that this is causing them "irreparable injury" and wants to put them out of business and receive compensation for damages and court costs.

In the past, GW would typically issue a cease and desist order to any company or individual who produced extra bits for their gaming ranges, and that would be the end of it. This time however, they've requested a civil trial by jury (I'll go into the significance of that later) for trademark and copyright infringement.

As with the cease and desist orders, this lawsuit smells like GW trying to drive legitimate competition out of business by using the courts instead of offering a superior product for which gamers are obviously willing to pay. The very existence of Chapterhouse and Paulson Games is proof of this demand. I think the lawsuit also serves as a warning. A ritual execution, sort of a head on a pike outside the Nottingham office of GW as a warning to any who would use their intellectual property without their permission.

Also worth bearing in mind is that there are only a small handful of products that directly copy anything either GW or Forge World produces, the remaining products neither GW or FW makes, which makes GW's claim that the defendants' operations on the whole are infringing on GW's (c)'d and TM'd works almost total bogus, and any "injury" sustained by CH and Paulson doing business certainly isn't "irreparable."

Other companies have similar hangers-on. Apple and Nintendo being two of them. Third parties often use copyrighted works of the aforementioned companies to produce products like "IPod case" and "Wii controller grip." Yet, lawsuits aren't brought against these companies. I think that Apple, Nintendo, and a slew of other companies have realized the value third party accessories have to building interest in these companys' products.

If Paulson and CH are doing anything, it's filling a niche demand, and making money that GW doesn't want to make. If GW wanted to make this money, they could very easily produce kits of far superior quality through FW and trample their competition. Making resin casts isn't that difficult, I do it myself using the same procedure FW does. Resin casting is very, very labor intensive, but the most difficult process is preparing the original sculpt itself. After that, it's just a matter of creating the molds and getting the finished casts to market. FW has recently outsourced a lot of its labor to China, and the lead time on many products has been cut in half. If filling consumer demand instead of maintaining a tidy monopoly was truly their concern, FW could very easily outsource all of the labor to China, turning their office in the UK solely over to the creative process.

In short, GW should be using the small garage businesses as a divining rod to gauge demand within the Warhammer community and offer a superior product. This would serve to secure their intellectual property, eliminate competition, make money, and fill the voracious hunger us gamers have for quality kits, making us happy and willing to spend more money on GW products.

One of the issues brought up by GW is the case of CH implying that they were a part of GW, or at least working for them. CH uses GW trademarked terms in their product descriptions quite frequently, and as far as I noticed, they didn't have a happy little disclaimer indicating that they have no affiliation with GW. Basically, they were asking for it, and it serves as an interesting case of someone not covering their ass. Again, I feel that there's no need to sue them, a simple demand that they stop using copyrighted and trademarked terminology and assert their independence from GW should have sufficed.

What line of logic GW used when dragging Jon Paulson into this is beyond me. Paulson designed CH's Tau Empire super-heavy walker for them, and therefore, he's getting dragged into this. Does that mean that if I choke someone to death with a Space Marine, is Jes Goodwin going to jail with me? Certainly not, but as I've opined previously, this is probably just an excuse to put Paulson out of business.

There are some other peculiarities in the case that my good friend pointed out to me. One of which is the fact that GW has demanded a trial by jury. This may not seem like a big deal, and it is a constitutional right after all, but in this case it's nothing short of a colossal dick move. Trials by jury increase the price tag of the trial by about 33%, and considering that GW is demanding reimbursement for court costs from the defendants who are just some guys working out of their garages, the jury demand is almost definitely a scare tactic to get CH and Paulson to settle, rather than try to fight it in court.

Copyright and trademark cases are pretty interesting. Typically, unless you've made an exact copy and sold it for profit, you're not liable for damages. Even a slight modification can get you off the hook. However, like most civil cases in the US, the outcome of this case is going to depend largely on how many lawyers at what price each side can throw into the fight (if it even goes to court).

To conclude, I feel that GW is taking advantage of its ability (and the defendants' inability) to pay the costs to judiciate competition out of business, rather than competing with them honestly for consumer dollars. My prediction is that this will be settled out of court and CH and Paulson will fold.

Hopefully, that isn't the case.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Double Update: Dreadnought and Landspeeder

Hopefully, you all enjoyed your respective holidays, I know I sure did.

A part of me really doesn't like how much fun GW plastics are to put together. I bought all of the stuff I'm going to need for my 500pts Red Scorpions army, and along way, I thought that I'd make a tutorial for magnetizing heavy and special weapons guys. That all fell by the wayside when I stepped back and noticed two fully built squads of Space Marines with all the Forge World goodies you can jam into 10-man tactical squad, all with no pictures. Well, $#!+...

I picked up the following two beauties for myself for Christmas and just got around to finishing and photographing them. The first is Forge World's newer Ironclad dreadnought, the second is a plastic landspeeder with some extras. Enjoy!

Ironclad Dreadnought of the Adeptus Astartes Red Scorpions

Side view showing the Seismic Hammer

A shot of this Dreadnought's Hurricane Bolter

Rear view

Laid out are some of the weapons and other pieces of equipment
available to to Ironclad Dreadnoughts

This picture shows the typical armament for an Ironclad

Magnetizing this beast was pretty easy. All of the smaller weapon and upgrade options (the meltagun, frag assault launchers up top and the missiles) are all attached with 1/16th inch magnets. Just grab your magnets, a 1/16th inch bit for your pin vise, and you're off to the races. Just remember to check your polarities. Making a small pilot hole with a hobby knife helps, too.

Magnetizing Dreadnought arms is a bit more tricky, especially with resin. I use 8mm (or thereabout) disc magnets. These are typically about 1/32nd of an inch thick. In order to minimize the appearance of having your dreadnought arms looking like they're stuck on by disc magnets, I use a punch and dye set to make a couple of plasticard washers. The outside diameter is about the same as the shoulder mechanism on the Dreadnought sarcophagus, while the inside diameter matches the outside diamater of the disc magnet.

If you do this, you should try to get the inside hole as centered as possible, but it's not the end of the world if you don't. Once you've got your plasticard washers glued onto the dreadnought arms, your magnets can go in. The fit should be a bit snug. The plasticard bits have the added benefit of keeping the magnet in place. The brand of super glue I use doesn't like to bond nickel to resin, so the plasticard is a must.

This is about what your dreadnought will look like when the plastic washer and magnet are all glued in place. Same goes for the arm.

Speaking of magnets, pictures of my fully magnetized Landspeeder follow.

Landspeeder of the Adeptus Astartes Red Scorpions

Side view

This speeder is armed with a heavy flamer and heavy bolter.
It is drawn from 2nd Company's pool of vehicles

Rear view

A close-up of the speeder's pilot

The speeder's weapons have been laid at its base for display

Additional weapons shown here

This weapons configuration is throughly illegal for regular games
of Warhammer 40,000

Putting in a couple extra minutes to magnetize everything neatly lets you do stupid stuff like what you see above. So far, I haven't bothered to paint the other weapons options, seeing as they're really expensive and I'm probably not going to use them.

Both pilot and gunner are wearing Mk. IV helmets, just like the rest of the army. I didn't have enough helmets to spare from the Red Scorpions upgrade kits from Forge World, so I had to sculpt up the "snout" on the helmet myself out of green stuff. I think they turned out quite well. The only extra work, aside from the sculpting, was that I had to trim down the grille on the front of the Mk. VII helmets to get a smooth slope from the brow ridge, down. If you have the ability to make molds and cast models in resin, do it with the sculpts. That'll save you loads of time.

I did, however have an extra shoulder pad, so I put that on the driver's arm to add just a bit of flair to the model. Also, here's a picture of the base. The rest of the army is flocked similarly. It's generic enough that it'll fit on just about any table, and doesn't take away from the model on the base.

That's all for now. As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the photos. If you guys have any questions, feel free to ask.

All the best,