Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Dark Eldar Grotesques WIP Conversions

A slightly different project today. As I've been working on my Dark Eldar (which have a Haemonculus Covens theme), I knew I wanted some grotesques. Like many who came before me,it didn't take long for me to realise that the options are limited as GW only makes one model that's both expensive and finecast. 

I had a look through the options for conversions, and Crypt Horrors to me seem to be by far the best kit to use as a base. All the mutant spines and stuff work in your favour, and they're half way there from the beginning. I picked up a set of them on eBay, and then combined them with spares from the Talos kit.

In terms of the conversion, I mostly just had to trim their heads down to fit the masks and replace some of their hands with weapons from the Talos. I added tails too, as they looked good with the poses. Handily, as I'd built legs for my Talos I had a lot of tanks left over, so I had plenty of them to add to the spines I'd cut off to look like it had a lot of chemical feed lines stuck in them. 

The only other part of the conversion was trimming off and shaving down the hairy bits on them, as it just isn't right on grotesques. I still need to finish adding some more bits and then greenstuff the gaps etc, but they're getting there. I'd like to add a bit more armour to them too - just so they'll blend in well with the rest of the army once they're painted, as the gloss red scheme is quite distinctive.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Dreadtober Talos 2nd Week Progress

Painting has commenced on my Talos with legs conversion. There's still a long way to go, but it's starting to actually look like something!

In terms of the work so far, I began by painting the bulk of the gloss red areas, as getting the high shine effect is quite labour and time intensive. It worked well though. After that, I basecoated the flesh areas with Rakarth Flesh, and painted the base too.

Personally, I like the mantra "bases and bases" when it comes to painting. Often getting a basecoat on your mini and painting their base gives an impression of the final model, and also gives a decent tabletop level finish. That's prettyour much where we're at now.

Next steps will be finishing the smaller red gloss details, and then washing and detailing the skin. Somewhere in there I need to start on the metallics too, so there's plenty to be getting on with.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Dreadtober - Dark Eldar Talos with Legs Conversion

I'm quite proud of this conversion. My Talos with legs is complete and ready for paint!
I looked at different options for kitbashing, but in the end I decided to sculpt the legs myself. It was a bold move for me as I'm not that great at sculpting, and normally I'd intentionally avoid a project like this. That said, I really wanted the legs to match the style of the model as well as the rest of the force and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the conversion. With that in mind, I set to sculpting the legs I wanted.

In the end, it wasn't that difficult. I built an armature out of some large paperclips. I bent them to the correct shape for the legs, and then set them into a spare block of wood to work on. After that, I built the basic structure of the legs with some white milliput. I actually just shaped it with my fingers and then smoothed it out to get a basic design. It didn't take that long to get a decent look (maybe half an hour?).
I let the basic leg shape dry and then I used an engraving tool to smooth out and reshape what I had. After that, I etched in the lines for the muscle fibres (designed to sort of match the look of the Wracks). Once that was done, I stuck it all together and then it was just a case of adding spare armour from the Talos kit and using greenstuff to make the straps and add details to the feet etc.

That pretty much sums up the work. I'm quite happy with how it looks, but I think it'll be a challenge to paint! So far I've added an undercoat and a little extra white to the mask and skin areas, but there's still a long way to go.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Dreadtober - Dark Eldar Talos

Just a quick update on my plans for Dreadtober this year. As I've started working on my Dark Eldar again, and given the Haemonculus Coven theme, it seemed fitting to do a Talos for the event. I've got the kit and have started constructing it, so work is already underway. 

As with most Dark Eldar kits, it's a really nice thing. Just great details all round, from the grizzly flesh-hooks that hold its carapace on; to the emotionless mask head and all the tanks and vials. That said, as I started building, one thing struck me as odd - the lack of legs. Sure, it floats, but the Talos has a perfectly formed hip section with ports just screaming out for a suitable pair of legs to be added. So, in the interests of science, certain conversion works will be conducted.

Luckily, here at Tabletop Apocalypse, the design department were able to sketch out a rough idea of what a futuristic space elf monstrosity with legs might look like:

Don't rush yourself, just take it all in. Obviously, this is just an impression of what the final piece could look like, but I think you'll all agree it has great potential...

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Dark Eldar Wracks (Drukhari) Painted

After my latest Steel Legion push, I knew it was time to shift gears to something less batch-tastic, and a bit more artistic. While searching through the cupboard of doom and having a bit of a clearout, I came across my half-finished Dark Eldar project and thought it was high time to get some of them done. Long-term readers may remember the "week of evil" a few years ago where I started them, but somewhere in the mists of time and the first ever Squaduary, progress halted; only to be resumed in the last week or so.

I said when I first started working on the Wracks that they were probably one of the best plastic kits ever made. A few years haven't changed my opinions there - the details are really crisp and they're a kit that basically has no bad parts and plenty of spares too. I enjoyed finishing the last 3 from the unit too, as I got to actually paint to a higher standard than I do for most armies, which feels both fulfilling and somewhat annoying all at once. It's nice to get something you're really proud of, but at the same time, I get frustrated by how long they take!

The funny thing is that I've almost painted them too well, as I can't actually capture the colours and effects on them very well with my camera. The red is actually highly reflective and there's a lot more depth to the skin tones, but the crappy phone camera can't really keep up.

I've been working on more Dark Eldar units too, but I haven't been able to take pictures of the other unit I've finished yet. Still, at some point the blog will be updated. I've pledged to work on a Talos for Dreadtober too.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Steel Legion Infantry Squad 2

Another infantry squad completed. I actually finished this one a few months ago, but as the blog is behind, and as basic squads aren't that exciting, they've been a bit delayed. In the army, I have 4 fully painted squads of basic infantry, 2 with just lasguns, and another 2 fitted with special and heavy weapons. This one has an Autocannon and Plasma Gun - a pretty time honoured armament. 

But wait, that's not a Krieg weapon team I hear you cry (insert deafening sounds of silence and images of slowly rolling tumbleweed here....). I'm too cheap for that, so this one was built out of an old leftover Cadian heavy weapon team. The sitting legs were spare Anvil parts I had. I think the arms for the guy with the binoculars were part of a tank commander. The other conversion in the squad is their sergeant.

Speaking of tank commanders, he uses bits from a plastic tank commander; either from a Baneblade or Hellhound kit - I'm not sure. Anyway, that's where I got his arms and head from. 

I could probably have taken better pictures of these guys, but it's what I've got, so it'll do. I think there are some better photos of my other squad, so look at those if you want to see them clearer!

And that's pretty much it for Steel Legion for now. I've started work on some other stuff though, so stay tuned for that. Dreadtober is on the horizon too, so I'll be plugging on with that soon enough.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Steel Legion Valkyrie Conversion (Revell 1:48 Hind Helicopter Kit)

Something a bit different today. A few weeks ago, I was watching the A-Team (which is full of Helicopters), and I got to thinking how cool it would be to have one for my Steel Legion. Then around the same time, I played a bit of Red Alert on the old PS1 multi-tap. Needless to say, I played as Soviets (because that is probably the last balanced game ever), and I started building Hind Helicopters. It got me thinking how cool they are, and throw in a little Metal Gear nostalgia and this was pretty much the end result.

I should probably explain that there's a reason I took photos outside. One was for the cool "sky" shots, but the other was that this thing is just too big to fit in my regular set-up.

Build wise, I used a Revell 1:48 scale Hind kit. The 1:48 scale is quite close to 28mm. In face, I was able to use the pilots bodies as they were close enough in scale. It was an odd kit to build though, and my first foray into anything "historical" or real. Basically, the build involved getting half the fuselage and adding all the interior detail to it (including internal chambers and cockpit etc and then sandwiching it with thee other half. It sounds fine till you actually try to get that to fit. I'd read a bit online about people shaving various bits down to get it to fit, but it's actually completely unnecessary. About half a dozen elastic bands stretched round the fuselage as it dried ensured a good fit, and in the end no filling or anything was needed.

As far as conversion goes, I replaced the guns with some tank and Sentinel bits. I also added a crewman made from a few spare Anvil parts, and did a similar conversion (head swap and shoulder armour) for the two pilots. The flight base is from TT combat. I used an engraving tool to cut an "X" shape into the helicopter so it sits inside and is nice and snug. Painting was fine - a bit long winded because of how big it is, but nothing to report on really. I followed my usual tank scheme (there a tutorial for it here)

That's about it then. I think I still have another Steel Legion post to go... but I'm starting to lose track.

I also edited this picture to make it look like a battle scene - consider it a bonus!

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Steel Legion Mortar Teams (Anvil Industry Heavy Weapons)

More Steel Legion today - this time is my freshly finished mortar teams. I've had these guys for a while, but they were always lower down on my list of priorities. After adding up a few potential army lists, I realised that they'd be useful to have as an add on unit to fill those gaps where I was left with thirty or so points to spend.

They're pretty much 100% Anvil parts, so nothing to report on that front. Anvil supply heavy weapons teams with smaller bases than the GW ones; which means that you have the second crewmen on individual bases. I think I'd prefer a 60mm round base, but it does make marking wounds easier.

Style-wise, they match the rest of the army. Most of my guys are styled with very busy bases like they're in the thick of combat. I went with calmer more plain bases for the mortars as I envisage them always being out the back of the force providing support.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Steel Legion Command Squads

More Steel Legion again. This time, I'm presenting my two command squads. Together with the sniper squad I showed last week, these guys make up the elite section of the force (well other than the Scions and probably veterans at some point!). The picture above shows the army commander Kastoph Greede (some longer term blog-viewers might remember him from my battle report a year or so ago). At that point, I hadn't finished his squad, but here they are with him:

They're really a classic set up - a banner, vox, medic and one special weapons guy with a grenade launcher. They're pretty stock, but the medic does use a few Anvil Industry bits.

I quite like the red cross on the medic and the little freehand numbers etc.

I did say command squads, and that's because I made a second one for my other commander. This time a full flamer team - sort of as a counter-assault unit, but also just for fun. In time, they'll have their own Centaur to ride around in, but for the moment, they'll have to lump it on foot.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Converted Steel Legion Tech-Priest Enginseer

This Tech-Priest was a bits box built freebie. I wanted him to look a little bit ramshackle and less-preferred by the Mechanicus. The kind of guy who would run some type of tank junkheap and get annexed to an armoured column aas he was the best of what was left!

I've always got plenty of stuff about the place from years of building and collecting. The biggest part of this guy is a Renegade Tank Commander body from Forgeworld. I've had the part for a while, but had never done anything with it. It actually only goes to the knees, and had no arms, so I built on top of it as a base.

I used a plastic pair of legs from a different tank commander to get him on his feet. After that, A pair of Scion arms and a Heresy resin power axe with a brass rod haft brought the look together.

His backpack was cut off of a Kreig vox caster (who I had converted to have a cloak in my sniper unit, so I was cutting it off anyway) - the robot arm is an upside-down Necron arm with a bit of a Dark Eldar Scissorhand attached. Yep, he's made of bits from pretty much everything! Oh, and his crotch-plate is part of an Onager Dunecrawler.

Anyway, he's ready for battle now, and painted up to match the rest of the force. Fixing vehicles is pretty good in this edition of the game and as a cheap choice, I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of him.