lördag 6 april 2024

Sydonian Skatros a.k.a the stilt man

This year I got a Sydonian Skatros from my wife for my birthday. This is somewhat of a controversial model as it seams to evoke either feelings of love or hatred for the design. It is definitely a mechanicum model with its arcane look and unconventional design. It was quickly dubbed "the stilt man" when released. I can not say that it was a favourite of mine as it is clearly an unpractical design. But once I got to sit down with it, it sort of grew on me. I used my custom ranger scheme on him with a leather suit and olive green armour. I kept all the armour, legs, and weapon in one colour which I think helps smooth things out so that the individual details of the model does not yar the eye as much. And once that happened I actually started to like the design. It is still un-practical but in a swamp or deep ash layers I could see something like this being used to keep out of the muck. But still, once you go over you ain't coming back up.

I like the back pack on this model with the extra arms holding the range finder and some new ammo clips. I think this could have been a nice addition to more of the mechanicum infantry.

I am however not a fan of the tail pipe hanging so far down his back. I can't see any point for it to be that long and it does look strange from the front.

I also started working on my last two pteraxii together with the Skatros but realized I could not keep the standar up on all three models at the same time and so I focused on the Skatros (as it was a present to be enjoyed, not rushed in a batch paint). Now that the Skatros is done I will complete the Pteraxii squad. Then we will se what is up next for the mechanicum. I still have the forge lord to complete and also a marshal as well as a Onager.

måndag 25 mars 2024

Opus flight deck extension

So, an update on the work on the Opus Magna. For many years now I have been thinking about the flight deck and what I should do with it. One thing that has been bouncing around the back of my head were what to do with the crenelated sides. These comes from the landing platform sides that are intended to be raised to form a barrier from where the soldiers defending the plattform can shoot. This looks good and ties the Opus into the ascetics of the 40K scenery.

However, once I started work on the flight wing I quickly realized that to fit everything onto the deck I needed to balance the aircraft with the tails sticking out as far as possible over the edge, which meant balancing on the crenelations with big holes in-between. The fact that that the aircraft does not have a modern landing gear set up does not help as there is no nose wheel but a tail wheel, preventing the tail to overhand the edge. So this meant that I would need to close up the gaps in the crenelations, adding some much needed extra space to the flight deck. I always imagined that this would be a quick thing. Just cut out the suitable shapes and glue them in. Well it did not turn out to be that easy. Not all pieces needed to fill the gaps were the same shape, and to give things some details I also needed to att some extra layers to each piece. All in all I ended up doing some 53 pieces, each consisting of four layers. So this to a lot more time than expected, but in the end I think it was worth it. Next thing will be to mount it to the hull and see what this did to the profile (there are still some things to do around the interference with the air defences).

Another thing that has been troubling me with this build is the fact that the original aircrafts are WTOL's, which in principle makes a carrier somewhat obsolete (as there is no need for a take off and landing strip). But on the other hand I think that WTOL operation, from what I have seen on live footage is not a rapid thing and probably not something you would like to do in a hot zone as you become an easier target as you slow down for the landing or is a sitting target as you take off.

Then there is also the issue of moving things around the deck as the original air frames do not have wheels. This probably means I have to remedy this on my builds. And that sort of lead me to the second addition to the flight deck, catapults. As I will have wheels on the aircraft I can also use the catapults to launch them of the deck, and actually use the angled deck for normal landings (when in a combat zone).

I added two catapults to the forward section of the deck where I had left some space open as decoration when I build this part. I also added a slightly longer catapult to the side of the angled deck to launch heavier crafts. Each catapult has a small runner that I can move along the track depending on what action I want to portray in the future. I also added two horns to the front. I am not sure they look good. They are a bit on the skinny side. The hone on the angled deck is lager, perhaps on the large side. I will have to think about what I do with these...

All this has taken a lot of time and it is not done yet. Now I need to go in with GS and seal any gaps, which I dread as I know it will take forever. But before doing that I will paint some normal models just to clear my head.

torsdag 14 mars 2024

Crusader and Sergeants done

Well that to more time than I had expected. From the beginning I thought this would be a straight out of the box build. But it has taken years to plan and execute. In the end it did not turn out anything what I had imagined but I am still happy with the outcome. I love these chaos models. The detail and character is great but they are horrible to modify due to all the details. This is why I could not make it as first planed, it would have required so much cutting and re-sculpting that I do not think I could have done it justice. So instead I went with what could be done with the models. I am really happy with the scratch build cannons on the back, even though I think it would have looked better with a more traditional shoulder mount. Thar would however have meant that I could not use the spikes and horns on the back. The arm mounted rotary cannons also turned out nice, giving an older and more intricate design than the original which I think goes well with the knights over all estetiks.

I am also really happy with how the paint jobb turned out. It is the first time I painted a large model using stippling weathering combined with my usually rusted metal and sponge weathering. I think this works best with a lighter colour that contrasts well to the darker metal, which means that the Northern Knights will probably not get this treatment.

Next up will be some mechanicum models I got from my wife, so back to green it will be.

torsdag 25 januari 2024

Gaunt's Ghosts

This year I got the box with the Gaunt's Ghosts for Christmas. I have been looking at this set for some time but not really felt connected with them more than that I knew they were famous. But, after finishing all the omnibusses during summer they are no longer strangers to me. So it was a real pleasure to get the box from the wifey, but also a feeling of dread. How to paint them to make them justice? Their fatigues are black and that in itself is problematic as it is a difficult colour to get right. And it tends to  become just a big blob of all the same. Also, the famous camo cloaks were a bit of a problem. On the box are they are green with some light camo pattering but I was not sure that that would cut it, or that I could pull it off.

So, I decided to try to make a numer of different black shades on the bots, jackets, armour paunches etc. I am not sure if it made that much of a difference though. For the cloaks I went with something a bit more exotic. Instead of using traditional camo I went with a "shimmering" effect, were the cloak shifts colour over a gren-bron-yellow scale depending on how it falls. If one could make such fabric it would at least not be your standar type camo cloak.

For the skin I went for a pale pink type, but with enough red to give it some warmth compared to the black. I tried adding some blue tattoos but my brush and hand was not good enough for any fancy stuff.

The bases were blinged out a bit by adding some cork concrete and plaster craters. Over all I am happy with how they turned out.

My favourite of these models is Oan Mkoll. He just looks so cool sitting in his tree and being lite "You are inte the wrong forest my friend" - to quote someone on the internet.

Sadly there are no models for the rest of the core cast, Dorden, Milo, Golea, Soric, Brostin, Faegor, Mk Venner, Daur, Merrt, Caffran, Ayatani Zwail, Anna Curth any many more. Perhaps I will have to try do make some, but I doubt that I can get it to the same level as these with the detail.

Colonel-Comissar Ibram Gaunt

Colonel Colm Corbec

Major Elim Rawne

Scout Sergant Oan Mkoll

Master Sniper Hlaine Larkin

Trooper 'Try Again' Bragg

söndag 21 januari 2024

Opus update

Last couple of weeks has gone by in a rush and I have not had much time to do hobby stuff. So this will be a short update. After finishing the main blocks of the Opus I have gone back and started adding internal wall, door etc to give the model some more detail when presented without the flight deck. This is probably not strictly necessary as it will mostly have the flight deck mounted but it will look nice.

When I started this the idea was to also furnish each compartment, but I realized that I do not have that much time. Instead I added roofs to some of the sections to suggest some purpose to the space without having to actually come up with it and make all the details. I am also finding that the base structures are by no means straight, don't know what I was doing when I started this, but I obviously did not make sure the walls were at 90 deg to the floor or to eachother. So everything I do now has to be fitted to this wonky build. It is that or restart the entire top of the model and that will not happen. I am hoping that the scale of the model will make it less noticeable. Also, I have found that if you just burry things in details it becomes harder for the eye to see asymmetries etc..  there is just to much going. I will add some detail to the roofs in terms of pipes and some fans and general technical details.

In hind sight I should probably have used the side compartments to extend the hangar bay instead. It would have been easier and also provided more space for the air craft. As it is they will be stacked in the core only. There will be two levels where the second is mostly made up of the elevators being parked half way.

Once I am done with this I need to make sure the internal panelling in the hangar bay match to the sections so that I do not have holes etc in the coverage.

söndag 7 januari 2024

Opus Magna, blocks done.

First post of the new year. Over the holidays I finally got some time and inspiration to spend on the Opus Magna! It is now almost fully blocked out and I have added most of the weapons systems that I  had sitting around. Normally I like to keep things in subassemblies for easier painting, but with this model I needed to get it more or less built so that I can fit each subassembly to each other in the build process. To keep the numbers to a minimum I decided that I needed to attach the small assemblies to the big ones instead of keeping them separately for painting. In cases where I need to be able to removed them anyway I built some sliding holders so that I can attach them (without blue tack) but still remove them later for painting.

Some of the major things was that I needed to attach the air defence pods along the battlements. Since I did not plan for this from the beginning, the platforms where all cut to fit the GW barricades which meant I needed to cut holes in these to fit the pods. This meant getting in there with a jewellers saw and not destroy anything else. Not easy but I managed. One good thig about finally getting these mounted was that I noticed an interference between them and the flight deck. I am thinking on cutting some of the tabs away from the decking to give the guns some clearance. Other option is to pull the pods of and reposition them further out. This will however make them stand out from the battlements in an un esthetical way. Since this is only a problem on one side and for two of the pods, I am leaning towards the first option, might also give the deck some interesting features. Just have to make sure that that part is not needed to place aircraft on.

Once that was done I realized I needed to go back and remove some more parts of the battlements on the inside of the landing bays (and flatten them out) as I came up with the idea of adding some leftover heavy bolter towers at the blast doors. 

Once I had done all the cuts and re-assembly I put everything together so that I could finish of the last block, i.e. the launch tubes (for tactical nukes) beneath the tower. This has been a part I have been working on for many years without coming to a definitive conclusion about how it should work. In the beginning I had the idea of the tubes folding in beneath the tower when not operational. But in the end I just went with a fixed position, which I think was the right decision as it really bulks out the hull below the tower.

I also added all the tracks liks to the bandblade track units that I for many years have thought I would paint separately, but in the end I could not motivate it to have some 48 separate pieces just to make it easier to get to things. It also means that I can add some more detail around them as they are now fully assembled.

One such thing is that I wanted to add something to the front just to give it a more detailed look and decided to go for two large doser blades (which needs to be fitted to not interfere with the tracks). This is something that I have had i my head for some time but never really though to much about. So I just winged it and built something. Not sure exactly how they will end up but at least there is a start. Now that I actually have all parts build (except for the bottom floor of the hangar bay, which needs to be built after the internal panelling and elevators are truly done) I can now "relax" and start adding details to the individual blocks and make sure they fit together nicely. I can also continue the work with the flight wing. Who knows, 2024 might be the year this build gets done so I can start painting (wifey promised me an airbrush for Christmas).

lördag 30 december 2023

Crusader body done

So it is time for the last post of the year and it will be about the Crusader. I did get the Gaunt's ghosts box for Christmas from the wifey but since I built some custom bases for them I have not had time to paint anything. I also have been working a bit on Opus, taking the Dremel to some parts, but these are not yet put back together so there is nothing to show.

So instead of showing half done parts I will show a half done knight. Well it is done as far as it is built but it is still lacking its weapons. These needs to be built first and I am struggling a bit with finishing them. One main reason I did this project with the Crusader and his sergeants was that I wanted to try out some weathering techniques that I previously only done on small models. I wanted to see if these would hold up on a large scale model.

So what have I done. Well instead of painting the model as usual and applying the weathering and shipping over the base paint I did it the other way around. I started out with painting the armour panels in my standard rusted metal scheme. 

Once done I used a bone white colour and stippled it on to the model using a brush half full of paint. This will give the effect of only partial cover of paint as if it has mostly shipped/worn away revealing the underlaying metal, and since the metal was painted before it as a nice coloration to it that is hard to achieve if it is applied over the base paint. The bone white areas were given a light drybrush to give it some shades. Some of the drybrushing will go over the metal and give it a slightly bone-ish colour which works quite well in the next step.

Once the base colours are done, the metal and the white, I added some free hand patterns to the panels, taking care to only paint on the white. This actually is easier than painting on a solid background since the pattern is broken up it is not as critical to get it perfect. I added some light stippling of bone to the red to give it a more broken up texture than what I managed while painting in the patterns. Once that was done I did some standard sponge shipping to added some minor wear to the paint, don't know if this is really necessary though. Once I was happy with all this I used some watered down orange ink to colour the edges of the paint so that it looks like rust add the edges. Here it turned out that the over colourisation from the white drybrush helped to pick up and shade the orange rust effect.

Overall I think the technique works also on this scale, and I might actually prefer the look compared to the traditional way, at least if I am going for heavily worn look.

Once all the panels were done they were attached to the knight. Shoulder armour are still lose as I need to fit the arms before locking them in. Now I just need to sort the weapons out and get this finished. 

But I might take a detour and paint some Ghosts first.