Friday, May 29, 2020

WIP: Blackstone Fortress Hostiles - Part 2

Blackstone Fortress Negavolt Cultist WIP

Greetings.  Today I'm sharing progress on my Blackstone Fortress Hostiles project.  For this week, I've been working on the Negavolt Cultists.  They are a bit fussy with all sorts of spindly bits and various small. hard to reach areas to put color on.  But the results are worth the time if you stick with it.

Blackstone Fortress Negavolt Cultists WIP

I started sort of "inside out" by painting in the flesh first and shading it.  Next I painted clothing and then all of the metals.  Then the energy coils.  I shaded areas as I went along. The shot below shows two cultists completed to that point and two who just have the skin and clothes painted.

Blackstone Fortress Negavolt Cultists WIP

I find it helpful to have a process like this in mind and follow it through.  Otherwise I find myself flitting about from area to area, model to model and it quickly becomes confusing..."where did I leave off on THAT guy?"  etc.

Blackstone Fortress Negavolt Cultists WIP

After a couple sessions I managed all four models to the same standard.  I'm happy with how they're coming out.  Still lots of little cleanup to do before I begin painting in all of the highlights. I have been recording my Blackstone Fortress model paint recipes.  At some point I'll get them on the blog. In the meantime I'll answer any questions in the comments.

Blackstone Fortress Negavolt Cultists WIP

Hopefully I can call these four done sometime next week.  Then it's on to the three Chaos Space Marines and two Rogue Psykers.  I'm really looking forward to the Psykers, in truth, which is why I'll paint them last.  It helps to have something to work towards that is more than just the notion of completing the group of models. 

I hope everyone is staying safe out there.  Best wishes to all and your families.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

HowTo: Casting Space Marine Shoulder Pads

Newly Cast Pad on an Interemptor for Comparison

In this HowTo post, I'm going to discuss how I went about casting extra Dreadwing mark III shoulder pads for my Dark Angels collection.  These shoulder pads have become available as part of the new Dark Angels Legion Interemptor Squad set from Forge World.  They look great, and I thought I could make use of them with other Dreadwing squads in mark III armor, but I didn't fancy buying other Interemptor sets just for the pads.

I found this great tutorial on Master of the Forge and decided to give it a go.  Here are a couple shots of the pads being set up to create the molds.

I used a little 5-minute 2-part epoxy and fixed the pads to the bottle caps using their existing sprue gates which I clipped carefully from the typical Forge World resin block. You can easily attach your own posts from bits of left-over sprue or plasticard.

Then I mixed up a batch of blu-stuff and poured it carefully in the caps, trying to avoid air bubbles and not spilling it over the pads themselves.  I tapped the molds quite a bit (careful not to spill them) to release small air bubbles that get trapped regardless.  The molds sat as shown below over night (though it cures sooner if you are in a  rush, I guess).

Next, I used a hobby tool to pry (um, gently lift) the molds out of the bottle caps.  You should end up with something like this...

The next step is the tricky bit, in my opinion.  You need to locate the pad in the mold and slice down along back of the pad along its flat edge.  See the picture below.  Doing a bad job here will effect the accuracy of your cast around the back of the pad, and could wreck things all together, so go slow.  I sliced down only enough to peel open the mold enough to insert the casting putty. This step helps with alignment and prevents risking mold slippage, if you had two separate, not connected halves.

With the molds created, I mixed up a roughly 50:50 batch of Green Stuff and Magic Sculp as described on Master of the Forge and placed a blob in each mold, trying to estimate the amount of putty needed for a good cast with no voids (not enough putty) and no deformity (too much putty).  This is the second tricky bit, honestly.

Then the molds were closed and pushed back into the bottle caps.  I suggest using a hobby knife to cut/shave off the threads on the inside of the cap.  I didn't, and it was a big pain pushing the molds back in, and possibly led to some deformity in the casts (see below).  I left the molds over night again to be totally sure things were done hardening.

Then I popped the molds out of the caps and split them again to pull the new casts out. Handle carefully and the molds will be reusable.  As seen above, I deformed the pads a bit (they are a little squished compared to the original) and had some minor mold defects, but they work more or less if you aren't a perfectionist.  Certainly a great effort for the first try. I had to do a lot more trimming than I would have liked, but four of them are usable.  The second from the right is the most squashed, and likely a reject, though some well painted battle damage could certainly make it work.

Taking a second look at the example, the newly cast pad works and only careful inspection of the model should reveal that one pad is a bit more deformed with the other.  I'm willing to bet I could improve on this easily enough.  The hardest part is cutting open the mold so that it makes a good cast.  I think I butchered a couple. I would look for a clearer way to locate the pad in the mold if I were going to do this again.

Still, a very easy way to get a usable cast, and less complicated shapes would likely cast more easily too. A very approachable method for those cases where you need a few more of something that isn't easy to get directly, or to cast custom items from a scratch built piece.

Hope this is helpful to the hobby-verse in some way and further promotes the great tutorial on Master of the Forge.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Friday, May 22, 2020

WIP: Blackstone Fortress Hostiles - Part 1

Surprise! While I had expected to work on Heresy era Dark Angels Dreadwing models next, I have some molding skills to perfect so I get shoulder pads for my Destroyers to match the new Interemptors that come with embossed pads (if indeed they are Dreadwing Icons at all...).

So I decided to continue to make advances on the Blackstone Fortress models I started as part of Squaduary 2020. This involved getting the airbrush work on the bases out of the way so I could move on to some brush work.

I started out with a coat of Vallejo Game Color Air Electric Blue over my usual black primer.  With the paint in the airbrush, I decided to get out all of the models I had based so far and get them all done in one batch. This will make it easier to pick up new ones to paint in the future.

GW Agrax Earthshade then goes over the blue panels in a heavy coat.  In this case, I used a custom Brown wash I've been experimenting with.  A little less goopy and better flow to the recesses without as much risk of staining.  Regardless, any brown wash would due for bases.

Next a careful shot of bright white in the vent-looking recess of the Necromunda bases. I got this idea from pics of a commission that White Metal Games posted online back along.  Quick and effective when paired with the Blackstone Fortress tiles, though not as artistic as other BF bases I've seen out there.

Last up, a coat of Secret Weapon Miniatures Purple wash on all the white areas.  A little over-spray and wash is fine to help with the eerie glow effect.  Here are close ups of a couple I did for the Infested Brethren who are not based yet. This provides a closer look at the process.

Electric Blue with Brown wash.

White sprayed in the "vents"

Purple wash over the white
All of that took up enough of my limited hobby time that I skipped posting earlier in the week as I had very little to really show.  Next I started to work on the flesh of the models I've set aside to batch paint.

Chaos Space Marines
This was a Vallejo pale flesh color shaded with GW Reikland Fleshshade.  I tried a Secret Weapons Miniatures flesh wash I had on the space marines but it was WAY yellow. So that got fixed up with Reikland Flesh shade and some more flesh color.

Negavolt Cultists
Painting these guys I realized how long it has been since I painted any real flesh, except the odd head here and there.  Lots of flesh here...

Rogue Psykers
I'm looking forward to working on the Rogue Psykers in particular.  Lots of character and detail and totally different than anything else I've been painting. These nine models should provide great variety to keep the painting fresh for the next couple weeks.  I expect to continue experimenting with molding shoulder pads for Dark Angels as well.  I finally acquired the supplies I need so perhaps I'll have something to share for June's "workbench" article.

I hope everyone is staying safe out there.  That's it for now.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

On the Workbench [May] - The Dreadwing and the Infested Brethren

Horus Heresy Dark Angels Dreadwing WIP

This month, I decided to build a few more units for the First Legion and assemble the most recent Blackstone Fortress models that have been hanging out on the shelves.  Back before I knew there would be actual Dreadwing models released for the Dark Angels, I had picked up a unit of Destroyers and a Legion Moritat to pal around with them and represent the Dreadwing.  Now we have official models in the form of the Dark Angels Interemptors.

Horus Heresy Dark Angels Interemptors WIP
Dark Angels Interemptors
Great looking models, but what caught my attention were the right arm shoulder pads.  We don't have Dreadwing iconography (that I'm aware of), so I don't know if these are meant to be emblems of the Dreadwing, or destroyers in general. The symbol looks very close to that of the Legion Moritat.  Regardless, it seems to be much cooler then the plain pads that come with the Legion Destroyers.

Horus Heresy Dark Angels Interemptor Shoulder Pads

So I dug out my aging package of Insta-mold to see what I could do with some green stuff.  I also ordered some mold making stuff to try duplicating the pads entirely.  But since anything ordered takes a random amount of time to arrive now, I though I'd see what I could do with custom icons to glue onto the pads of the Destroyers.


Insta-mold comes in these unremarkable clear bars which you drop into hot water to soften.  After a few minutes in the hot water bath you can press things into it to make impressions.  So I pressed this bar over the shoulder pads to see if I could make some green stuff emblems.

Making custom Dreadwing emblems with insta-mold

Next I whipped up a quick batch of green stuff and pressed it into the molds.  The green stiff didn't stick to the molds at all, but stuck to me fine...remember to use water, or something like Vaseline on your fingers so you don't pull the green stuff out of the mold trying to press it in.

Making custom Dreadwing emblems with insta-mold

Next I let that set over night and checked things out in the morning.  The green stuff popped right out and I was left with some rough art to work with.  Mind you, this was a very quick and sloppy prototype to see how this process could work.  I did it all in about 20 minutes, other than the overnight curing process.

Making custom Dreadwing emblems with insta-mold

It's possible to cut and file some of this down to glue onto a shoulder pad.  However, I'll probably toss this lot and try again.  It's important to separate the pads to make better mold impressions, I think.  Also, I'll use thinner green stuff material so that I won't have so much to cut away.  After this simple prototype, I believe it could work.  It's still likely easier to just paint symbols like this free hand on the pads.  Or, to sculpt green stuff directly on the pads rather than trying to create glue on bits.

Horus Heresy Dark Angels Destroyers WIP

The Destroyers are otherwise cleaned up and ready for assembly. Their plain bare shoulder pads can be seen at the top.  The Legion Moritat is also cleaned up and ready to be built.

Horus Heresy Dark Angels Legion Moritat WIP

I love the paired plasma pistols.  Too bad Horus Heresy uses 7th Edition rules.  This fella will almost certainly blow himself up if he uses his full rules for those pistols.  However, since I paint more than I play, it's the Rule of Cool all the way here.

Blackstone Fortress Infected Brethren WIP

Dark Angels aside, I kicked off the month by building the Infected Brethren from Blackstone Fortress to take a break form tiny Titans. I had every intent on pressing forward painting the Blackstone Fortress models, too.  But it looks like it's going to be Heresy Era Dark Angels for the foreseeable future. One must follow one's muse.

I hope you are all staying safe out there. Best wishes for your families and essential workers.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Legio Ignatum Reaver Battle Titan for Adeptus Titanicus - TO DONE

Legio Ignatum Titans for Adeptus Titanicus

The Titans of Legio Ignatum welcome a new member today.  I have completed the Reaver and moved that project to the DONE list.  Well...barring one heraldry issue.  I was reviewing the White Dwarf August 2018 issue that discussed Adeptus Titanicus and found some guidance on the iconography on Titans that I had missed.  Specifically, the crossed axes indicate Warlord titans and the single ax indicates a Reaver.  So I'll likely go back to the Warbringer and Reaver and replace the crossed axes on both those titans.  oops! A minor thing, but I like to be faithful to the lore.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus

I'm very pleased with how the project came out otherwise. I had another issue with the flat coat lacquer "frosting" the weather powders (or the fixer) and applied a new coat over the lacquer to correct it.   I'm going to miss the original Model Masters Lusterless Flat Coat.  Even though the new cans use the same part number, it's not the same formula apparently. At least it continues to work well over the paintwork otherwise.  I had no frosting or other issues on the rest of the model and the finish is just what I'm looking for.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus

I like how the stance came out as the Titan crunches over uneven ground. While fiddly, these models are very pose-able withing certain limitations of the armor plating (see my articles on the Wardbringer).

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus

The back of this titan is still pretty plain.  I might come back in with some details to the center of the upper torso.  The gold cogs on the weapons did dress things up a bit.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus

Choppy, choppy!  Nothing like a super heavy sized chain fist. Not sure if I will like this or the claw for games, but I like the chain fist for display.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus

A proud titan of the Legio. This is a senior Reaver for the maniple, with all the extra bling that comes with the status.  Misuse of axes aside, I really like how this Reaver came out.  Three proud titans painted and three more to go (1 Reaver and two Warhounds). Well, four if you count the Warlord-Sinister Psi-Titan which comes in on the side of the "good guys".  For now, this titan is DONE.

It's probably time to take a break from Titans though.  So look forward to a change of scenery for the next month or two.  I haven't committed to what comes next yet.  I'm leaning on more Blackstone Fortress minis, but I'm also feeling drawn to more Heresy Era Dark Angels.  Check back next week to see which way I go.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Legio Ignatum Reaver Battle Titan for Adeptus Titanicus - Part 4

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

Another week, another set of photos to show for my work on this Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus.  Now with more decals!  And a painted base.  The project is very close to complete.  Since I last posted, there was some cleanup, a bit of highlighting, then lots of decals.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

I like that each titan can be very unique while still looking cohesive in a maniple.  The individual heraldry is fun to create.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

I chose the little yellow honeycomb Legio icons for either side of the black carapace.  The (relatively) new decal sheet is full of fun stuff and the decals are well made, in my opinion. I have yet to tear one and I'm not the most careful when it comes to their application. I especially can't stop fussing with the to get the positioning "just right".

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

Some axes on the groin plate and knee.  I like the wasp on the inside leg armor.  The shoulders were just too busy with the strips to put Legio iconography there, in my opinion.  The Adeptus Titanicus eagle fit well on the chain blade.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

I added icons to the rear armor for interest.  The Legio Titanicus "bow and arrow" in this case.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

A Legio Ignatum cog icon was used on the other side. I put a small icon on the Melta Cannon as well. The Volcano Cannon has a black skull kill marker on it.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

With decals applied, it was time to get the base painted.  A simple two color approach with a couple washes.  Checkout the Legio paint recipe tabs above for specifics, if you are interested.

Legio Ignatum Reaver for Adeptus Titanicus WIP

And at last the weathering powders to lend that cliche dusty Mars terrain feel. Simple and effective for these over-sized game pieces.  I'm enjoying painting this Legio and they are a nice contrast to the Tempestus Titans I painted before this.  One more painting session I think and I'll call this Reaver done.

Hope you all are staying safe out there.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!