söndag 26 februari 2017

WIP week

Hi there. This week/weeks has been a lot of WIP. I have not really finished anything so I have not been blogging. But I have been hybbying. I have been working on the base for the Varangian, After assembling the feet I realized that I needed to attach them to the base with out using glue, so I drilled some holes in the feet and base and attached them with M5 screws. So now I can take them off for painting. I am also still paying around with the plaster, trying to shape the terrain around the feet and the chimera. Once I am satisfied I will go back and finish the chimera. I will try to add some road whiles to the side were the tracks has been thrown off. I also need to add some debris to the inside so that one does not see the wooden peg supporting the foot.
Apart form working on the Varangian I also got inspired to get to gripes with a model that has been hanging around the to do shelf for some time. Some time back I started a trio of Knights, of which I have finished one, but I still had two in an almost built state, so I decided to get at least one of them to a state were I could start painting. I do not have any progress shoots of the green stuff stage as I was in a kind of a rush to get done.
So far I have painted the interior, and I might need to do something about the screens, but most of it is done. I have also started to paint the main gun which is band fed Gatling. This was a quite intense build and I was looking forward to see what it looked like when painted. It is still not done but one gets a hint of what it will look like. I am a bit worried that I am rushing things and doing a sloppy paint job just because I want to see what it looks like when done. So I am afraid there will be some serious touch up on this one (and there are so much details on the bands).

Well that is what I have for now. Hope fully I will make some progress so that I have some more finished pieces to show.

söndag 12 februari 2017

Varangian WIP; Knee surgery

I finally got around to doing one of the major modifications to the Varangian. So far I have mostly added things, placed them differently and so on, but it has all been reversible. One of the major issues I have with the way the model is put together is the knee and thigh armor, which for some reason are cast as one piece. This is bothering me as the pose I am going for leaves one knee joint very exposed, and the idea with the knee cap armor must be that it, like on the reaver, is supposed to move to protect the joint when the leg bends. So I have been thinking about trying to separate the knee cap from the thigh armor. This is however a very non reversible thing if it goes wrong. When I first though about this modification I had not seen the actual pieces and thought that it would be straight forward to just separate them with a saw. Once I had a look at the actual thing I realized that the curve of the armor would prevent such things. Instead of making one cut I had to make three cuts, two at an angel between the two armor pieces and one across the back of the thigh armor. I could then breakaway the thigh piece from the knee cap, leaving a the tip of the thigh still attached to the back of the knee cap. Using a 1 mm drill I managed to machine away the tip from the back of the knee cap so that it could be re-attached to the thigh armor. Once that was done I just cut everything down to shape and smoothed it out a bit. A few layers of green stuff later and I have something that looks like it could work. This could have gone horribly wrong, but it didn't so I am happy. The next step was to cut the brackets holding the knee cap of from the thigh, clean up the cut surfaces and carve out the ring structure on the side of the knee. The brackets will be reattached later on once I have the lags put together so I know at what angel they should hold the knee cap. All in all I think the surgery when well and I do not think my mended pieces will stick out to much compare to the rest of the model one I get some battle damage in and some chaos growths.

lördag 4 februari 2017

Varangian base WIP

This time I will report on my progress with the Varangian. It is slowly moving forward, but I am super hesitant to work on this model if I do not have the mojo... it is such an exclusive model, and the amount of creative work I have to do to get it where i want it is staggering. But once in a while I my mind clears and I can see the next step clearly enough to take it. I have been slowly working on the base for the last couple of weeks. As I mentioned earlier I want the Varangian to step on an abandoned chimera left by a roadside. The main problem here is the limited step height of the warlord model and the fact that I want the chimera to look like it is actually taking the weight of the warlord foot, i.e it need to collapse enough for the titan to make the step.

As a kid I use to use candles to heat models and make them pliable so that I could deform them as if they had been in an accident. So I bought a chimera and set up a bunch of candles, and as expected the plastic held over the flames went soft and pliable, but in a very small area (I did not have large models as a kid). And if I held the model to long over the flame to get the heat to spread it caught fire at the center. In the end I ended up completely destroying the kit and had to discard it. The left overs might end up as random pieces on other bases in the future. So I had to by a new chimera and try again. This time I actually thought a bit about how to manage to get the effect I was looking for. I was trying to approach it more like an SF tech at a movie set. It was not about how the model would react to heat and pressure, it was more of a question about how I wanted it to react, and I needed to prepare the model in a way that I would achieve the desired result.

In my first attempt at squashing the chimera I tried to heat it very locally and apply some pressure from the top in the form of a wooden titan foot (modeled from the real thing). The lack of cohesive heating meant that the model panels could stand up to the pressure, but the glued joints could not and I ended up making a pancake of every thing (which might not be to in accurate but not what I wanted) with some locally melted plastic (which would have looked cool if I was going for a melta hit). So instead of relying on the panels folding in an "realistic" way on their own I decided to prep them with fold lines, weakening their integrity so that they would collapse in the right way. To achieve this I set out to cut a lot of furrows on the inside of the panels before assembly. In this way the furrows would be heated quicker due to less material in them and also be weaker structurally, and would not hold up as well as the rest of the panel when subjected to pressure and would then provide a fold line.

The problem of non uniform heating was solved by a quick google search. Polystyrene has a glass phase close to 100 degrees Celsius, or more convenient, close to the temperature of boiling water. A quick test on a scenery piece showed that once heated by boiling water, it could be bent and formed without losing any detail due to melting. So after adding the fold lines to all the panels of the chimera, I assembled it and put it in a pot of boiling water ( I waited 24 h to let the polycement cure). Using the wooden titan foot I managed to make it collapse in a some what realistic way. At least it looks like the chimera is buckling under the weight of the titan foot. It might not have collapsed as far as I would have liked but it was starting to come apart in the seams and I was fearing a pancake again so I stooped. In the end I think that the height of the chimera together with the raised back foot will allow me to pose the legs so that it looks like the titan is moving forward and not just taking a rest with its foot on some trophy.

To shape the base for the titan I used a plate of appropriate size and centered it on each foot and drew in some circles on a board. I then joint the circles using the same plate but turning it "inside out" so that I got a figure of eight shape. I had already decided to make a road between the legs and have one foot make an impression in the concrete (making it more realistic than what I managed on the bases for the rest of my titans). The road surface was make out of cork covered with some plaster. Before adding the plaster I broke up the cork in a concentric pattern around the feet. Each piece was then sanded down so that it could be attached to the base at an angle sticking out of the ground (I missed this on the last bases). In this way I was trying to achieve a look, where the concrete cracks due to the stress and the pieces are pushed down on one side and up on to of the other on the other side. I have also cut out the foot print of the titan in one layer of the board. This will be filled with plaster and sand so that I can make actual imprints of the foot.

All in all I am happy with how it progresses. It is a bit strange to work so much on the base before the model (as I usually work the other way around), but I think that to achieve my goal of a dynamic pose I need to get the ground work done right. I will attach a screw to each foot so that I can screw it to the base for fitting but be able to remove it for paint (I might glue it in eventually) . I also added a wooden peg though the chimera so that the actual weight of the model will not be resting on my weekend chimera model. I think the next step will be to star painting the base and the chimera as I still have some GS work to do on the internal of the titan before I can start paint the model it self. I will get back to you all with some reports on this progress as well in a few days.

fredag 3 februari 2017

BAC Dark Angels contemptor dreadnought

The mojo hit me the other day and I felt like painting a pre heresy Dark Angels vehicle. The problem was I did not have one, or at least not one that is any way near paintable. But I did have the Betrayal at Calth contemptor dreadnought. The model is not really up to the current GW standards and I do not know what they were thinking when they designed it. Just look at the mechanicum robots and you get an idea of what it should have looked like. The static pose is terrible, and the way it is made up, one complete front and back, makes it hard to actually do something about it. Well, as I can not help my self I did do what I could to help it out of its misery. I cut it up where I could, the waist, hips and head, and tried to re posit as much as the model would allow. The waist and hip were just cut and re glue at an angle to break up the symmetry plane. The head was a bit more difficult. The original is staring straight a head and I needed it to follow the hip twist. The head is similar to a marine head but larger and it is part of the front piece so it cant be mounted at an angle. I decided to cut it out and replace it completely.
I had some leftover parts from some death wing terminators so I decided to pimp it out using some Dark Angels parts to give it some flavor. I also used a terminator head instead of the original. It is much smaller but do actually fit quite nicely in the hole left by the original. I also used some of the shoulder plates with the winged angel to create some plastron and knee armor. A shield and halberd head was also added to tie in with the Dark Angels theme as well as a cyclone missile launcher.
All in all I think I managed to give this dreadful dreadnought a decent life but I am not sure about the halberd. Some how I am not sure it fit in.
In the process of painting I also, quite by accident discovered how to elevate my rust painting. And it turned out to be quite simple... just follow my own advice and use three colors..., i.e chestnut and orange inc followed with orange paint. It is amassing how much that third layer adds to the depth and be-livability.