lördag 10 april 2021

Rat Raiders

This week I finished my Rat Raiders, i.e. the motorcycle squad of my Desert Rats. They are based on the genstealer cult Atalan Jackals. The conversions are pretty straight forward as the original models could as well have been imperial guard. I removed all the iconography of the cult, swapped out the heads and weapon arm. I went with ranged weapons from the tempestus scion frame to distance them from the original models and keep with the ascetics of the scions. First I though about swapping both arms to the scion arms, cutting the one holding the handlebar of at the wrist. But I realized the it would be to hard to make any of the arms from the scion kit to match up properly and meet the body in the right way. So I left the original arm in place, but added a shoulder from the scion frame to make it more inline with the rest of the scions. I also added a lasgun to the back of the raiders to further tie them in with the rest of the models. Colour wise I went with the same scheme as with the rest. Slightly tan trousers and a beige armour. I like how they came out.

Sergeant Dane Tiller

Corporal Ernst Helveg

Corporal James Tubon

Corporal Tim Johnsson

Now I need to finish the 4 wheeler and the squad is complete.

måndag 5 april 2021

Fenrir WIP, shoulders

The Easter Week was spend as a mix of eating nice food, working in the garden and some hobbying. I continued the work on the desert rats but did not manage to finish anything, just got the bikes base painted and got started on the riders but there is where I got stuck.

Instead I got inspired to work on Fenrir, mostly green stuff and some plasticard work. Basically I am now finished with the modifications to the torso, just need to dial in the hoses that are now running from the reactor housings to the shoulders (instead of to the weapons). There are some minor details left to do on the rear parts to tie in the tail to the rest of the protruding bones.

I also fixed the attachment points for the shoulder plates and stared to construct some plasticard extra armour and heraldic shields. Basically I wanted to add some armor to the front of the shoulder to protect the shoulders and arms from frontal fire (and make it more in line with current titan designs). I went with some overlapping plates mounted below the main shoulder plate. I also made two shields that will be attached to the bottom armour plate. To hold everything in place I made to curved beams attached to the underside of the shoulder plate that the rest of the armour will be attached to. Once I have detailed it a bit I will go over it with green stuff to blend it into the existing resin parts.

Then I got the idea of sculpting a 3D demon face breaking through the knee armour. For Varangina I made something similar to what is originally on the Chaos Reaver kit but since I have made a lot of bone protruding through the armour of Fenrir I wanted the face to be more 3D. The skull is sculped in 6 stages so that the bottom structures are cured before adding on them and building up the structure. All in all I am very pleased with how it turned out and I am really excited about getting it painted.

Well, not the much that got done this week/weeks but I am getting close to get Fenrir's body done. 

söndag 21 mars 2021

Astra Militaum Tempestus Scions, callsign Desert Rat

Well, that went quick. This morning I got an urge to try out the desert paint scheme for my Scions that I started building some weeks ago. So I set about to do five in parallel (which is something I never do) and a few hours later they were done. I tried out a new way of painting which turned out to work very well with this almost monochrome scheme. Instead of doing all the colour fields sequentially I decided to try to do them in parallel. 

I started out with a very rough base paint were I filled out all the major colours and added some details. Then I washed the whole model and started dry-brushing up form the darkest to the lightest colour, moving between areas all over the entire model. This way I did not really have to care to much about "overspray". After two rounds of this I added some details and added in some greens on grenades etc.  I am quite pleased with how they turned out. Apart form sculpting on legs pockets and some chest pouches I smacked on all the small bits and accessories I could find on the frames to make these look more like some spearhead special forces rather than armoured chock troops. I opted for the beret heads instead of the helmeted ones to reinforce the special forces vibe. I will use the helmets for the bikes and top gunners on the vehicles.

Staff Sergeant James Bradley

Corporal Corben Tell

Corporal Jim Meelon

Corporal Angus McMan

Lance Corporal Aaron Tromley

Back side

I really am looking forward to see how this mini force turns out.

måndag 15 mars 2021

More Naked Demon ladies.

Once again, time has flown away and I do not know where it went. Hobby wise I have been busy doing nothing, or at least not finishing anything, until now. I have been working on Fenrirs legs, finishing up the pistons and cables. After hours of fiddling and scratching the paint job I got everything in place. Note to self, attach the pistons before painting. I also started the GS work on the waist part and the reactor blocks. Hopefully I can get the torso part of to paint within a foreseeable future.

Parallel to this I started a couple more Naked Demon ladies, including their matriarch. The two "normal" models were as the last couple, excellent prints, but somehow I screwed up the painting and got some noticeable frosting. Also I was not on top of the detail work, I really need to get my eyes checked. It is really hard focusing on the small details and it is giving me a head ace.

Then, as if I did not have enough on my plate I stated a completely new project. I got me a Astra militarum Scions start to collect box and some Atalan bikers and a ridge runner. The idea is to make a desert light attack force, a little like the Humvee soldiers in Generation Kill. I "just" needed to make them more realistic with some chest pouches and cargo pants. Can't go on mission in just your harnesk. I also need to build the Tauros and convert it to a wheeled version and add antennas and external cargo packs. The Ridge runner will be more or less stock as it looks good as it is, just the crew that needs to get scioned up. 

Well, this will be a build project on the back burner... as so many other things I do lately. And soon the outdoor season starts...

fredag 26 februari 2021


 After finally getting Fenrir on his legs I sort of needed a break from the titan so I looked through the different boxes hanging around in the to do bin and decided it was time to try out the Judiciar. I must say that I really like this model. It has a very strong presence and an almost arrogant stance. Some people have an issue with the sword lacking a tip, which is only a problem if the fighting style includes a lot of thrusts. 

Any way...  I decided to keep the color palette simple on this model. When I did the lord executioner for my crimson marines, I almost did leave all the bone parts metal after the initial dry brush, but in the end I opted for a more traditional bone color. So I this case I intentionally did go this way, leaving the ribs and all the skulls etc metal. The base armor got the same treatment as Saint Katherine, i.e. a metallic dark green which I found worked nice to give some depth to the black. I think I might have done the same to Abaddon at some point. The robe is my normal leather but with a nuln wash instead of agrax. I also kept the sword and time glass in white metal and only added color to the sword handle and the Judiciar's eyes. As there aren't that many colors I could spend some time on each to build up the layers for depth and contrast. I also tried to use some NMM techniques on the metals, similar to what I did for the dreadtober challange. I might call that MNMM as it is a NMM technique using metallic paints. In the end I also added an Omega to his shoulder as he will be tagging along with the rest of my ultra smurfs. I also did try to free hand some minute skulls on there but it did not end well... I will leave them there for now though.

Over all I am very happy with how he turned out.

torsdag 11 februari 2021

Fenrir stands, WIP

Finally I got Fenrir to stand on his own. Over the last weeks I have been slowly toiling away, painting the legs and pelvis. Due to the amount of customization and my otherwise over complicated paint scheme it has taken much longer than I thought. But it is finally done and I have glued the legs into the feet and Pelvis as well as attached the feet to the base with the screws. Now it is standing solidly. What is left is to fit all the pistons and paint them as well as the cables and then the legs are done, except the armor which I have not finished sculpting (mostly due to lack of inspiration).

Now I just have to sort of the mounting of the weapons (they are not as secure as I had hoped) and the shoulder guards before I finalize the upper body and start painting.

Over all I am happy with how it turned out, even if the back mounted laser blaster is a bit on the big side. I guess that it is a matter of getting used to the new profile.

Now back to work!...

fredag 5 februari 2021

Naked Demon Ladies

This year I got some naked demon ladies for Christmas from my wife. She found a vendor on Etsy, TheSaltyPrints, who sells 3D printed sculpts. Apart from the delivery time, approximately 2 month (which was not the vendors fault), I am happy with the quality of the models. 

I have as some might remember played around with some 3D printing myself, mostly titan parts and knight interiors. For this I use an Ultimaker 3D printer which is a fairly good printer as far as FDM  (filament printer) printers go. I was however never that impressed with the prints as models for hobby painting due to the very visible print lines. These demon prints however I assume are done in a SLA (resin) printer and the level of detail and smoothness far out stripes the other printer. If I am ever to invest in a printer for the hobby it will have to be an SLA version. 

There was some lose white powder on some of the models and there were some small parts missing on some were the resin had not cured and had been washed away. Looking at the models from afar they look like any plastic models I have ever bought, smooth and very detailed. If one looks very closely under a bright lamp it is possible to see the layers. Since my go to technique is dry-brushing it was a very interesting thing to try it on these models. The models were not supplied with bases (bases are available) but my wife thought (correctly) that I would want them on the same bases as the rest of my Naked Demon ladies and Demonettes. The problem with that was that I only had spare 28 mm bases and the stance on these models are in some cases quite broad and would be better on a 32 mm or 40 mm base. But I had waited a long time for the models so I just glued them to what I had and got to painting.

The sculpts are very interesting. The poses are very nicely done with believable articulation and musculature. Some of them are a bit hard to interpret though as to what is armor, trousers, bone etc. So I decided to do two test models first to get the color balance done before committing to painting to many models. One thing I noticed directly is that the problem with digital sculptors doing STL files for printing is the ability to think about the painting process. With 3D printing it is easy to sculpt thing that are impossible to paint for the only reason that you can not physically possible get to all the places with a brush. These models were not really in that category but they are leaning towards it. The base body is fine, but the split tail circling the legs can be in the way of properly painting the legs and as they are part of the focus for these models that might be a problem, especially as the model comes as in one piece so there is no option of painting it in parts.

Well, that being said the models were quite pleasurable to paint. After basing them with a hobby spray paint I based them in Fenrisian Grey and gave them a wash of The Fang. At this stage any print lines would have shown up as the darker  colors would have gone into the joints, but the color flowed out evenly and I could start the dry-brushing. To build up the skin I started with Fenrisian Grey going to Blue horror and White Scars. After a good rinse under flowing water and subsequent drying I repeated the dry brushing and at the end I did some pinks and purples on the horns. The skin turned out nicely and I can not say that it can be seen that they were printed and not cast. The claws were given the bone treatment and the legs were painted black. The armor I decided to do the same verdigris bronze as on my Keeper of Secrets.

I also had some harpies from Raging Heros that I had stated but not finished. As the paint scheme for these and the "Demons" are the same I decide to finish them in parallel. These have been covered before so I will not say much about them. As sculpts go I think they are better then the "Demons" with more detail in the from of skulls and bones hanging from their belts. If I have understood things right these are also digitally sculpted and then 3D printed to create the master molds for the casting of the models. I can not see any great difference in the quality of the models form a production point of view. Maybe that the Raging Hero Ones suffer a bit from mold lines that are absent from the direct prints.

All in all I must say that I am really impressed with what can be done with 3D printing today but I am a bit afraid of what that will do to the hobby. In principle it is good that any one can produce digital sculpts (and there are a lot of original, beautiful ones out there) and that any one can print it to high quality (or get it printed through a print shop), in principle by passing the production companies. But then there is the grey area that is proxying. I understand that somethings are very generic and models can be used in many ways and that no one company my claim the IP of these. But when sculpts are specifically done to imitate someone elses IP but with a twist it gets tricky. Then there is down right piracy were a design is copied, either as a sculpt or as a 3D scan.

I must say that the Naked Demon Ladies are being marketed as Demonette proxies, and I am not really ok with that. The design elements of the models are reminiscent of the real deal, but I do think they have enough of their own design not be be copies even though they share some design elements.

Well that was a wall of text...