Wednesday 25 June 2014


Good morning/afternoon/evening, take your pick.

I put the finishing touches on the walker last night. It was quite a lot harder to know when I should call this build "done". But I'm mostly happy with the outcome.

Here be pic's;

Proudly standing beside his captured walker.

I think I painted that sign about five different colours before I finally settled on black.

I did the rust & oil stains with pigments, oil paint & acrylics.

The dreaded headlights, I think they turned out ok.

Good old Mutie, plying his honest trade on the outskirts of Helsreach.

I made the gun detachable, as I knew it would be the first
 thing to get broken off otherwise.

This was the first time I tried using oil paints, I'm now a convert, they were
relatively easy to use and I think the effect looks pretty convincing.

Must be quite terrifying for the slaves looking up at that from ground level.

The slave that tried to get away.

The ladder was originally going to be hydraulically operated, but I thought that
was a little too "high tech", so I made up a simple chain operated thingy instead.

It was a little difficult to know where the rust & oil stains should meet, but I
thought that there should be some rust running off of the platform
onto its legs.

The chipped paint ended up looking quite alright after some extensive
weathering was applied to it.

I made the ladder from bits of sprue, plastic spoons, necklace & a model kit.

Seats five to six scum bags (28mm minis) in relative comfort.

Rust prevention system (oil leaks), desert style.

Coolant leaks & a space marine head on a spike.

A few things worth mentioning about the build;

The headlights? 

This was a pure fluke, the day before I finished it I was at the supermarket and came across these "feet stickers"....the kind you stick on the feet of chairs & speaker's to stop them scratching the floor. They were clear and the right size, but when I stuck them on they looked a little strange. I painted a couple of thin stripes on the front of them to replicate a headlight. I think they look ok.

The sign?

I wanted to write the same wording that was in the illustration, but no matter how hard I looked, I couldn't make out the middle word. I thought it must be "the", but it didn't look like it!  

I decided I'd try the direct approach. I had a look on the net and found that Carl Critchlow (the illustrator of Helsreach in Rogue Trader) had his own website. I emailed him my strange question & he was kind enough to tell me what the word was..... thanks a bunch Carl :)

The chipped/flaking paint?

This was another first fit me. I'd never tried painting this much worn out paint before, but I did have a couple of saved images of other people's work that looked the goods. My first attempt turned out looking like fluffy green clouds. After getting some constructive criticism from my pal, I went back to the drawing board. After I had gone back over the entire howdah and sharpened up all the edges it looked a whole lot better.

So, all in all it's been quite a cool little project. It's the biggest & most complex build I've ever attempted so far. It required a lot more planning than painting a single mini that's for sure!

I learnt a fair bit and I'm pretty happy with the final result. 


Thursday 19 June 2014

Helsreach walker getting close.

I've got exactly one week to get this thing done (as well as three dreads), that is painted, varnished & dried for it's long journey back home with me.

Here's my solution to painting headlights, Google images, print, & glue on.

It always seems strange to me that if you don't paint wire to look like wire,
then it ends up looking out of place, but that's miniature painting for you.

I'm trying a chipped & flaked paint effect, but i still have to add rust effects before it will/should look convincing.

I'm going to write something on this sign, still not sure what it will be yet.

Here's the arse end of the beast.

This is definitely the biggest wargaming model I've ever attempted. I'm pretty happy with my progress so far, but a little worried that I won't have it finished in time.

Better stop blogging & get back to work then hey!

Cheers big ears :)

Friday 13 June 2014

Kornate Space Marines

The paint jobs pretty basic on these dudes, but I'm glad their tabletop ready. There's nothing quite as disheartening (as a wargamer) seeing unpainted or half painted minis glaring at you everytime you walk past your shelf.

These guys had been base coated since I was a teen. I was originally going to paint them up as blood angles, but I'm over them now.....every man and his dogs painted up those bloody things at least once in their life time!

Their all sporting khorne symbols on their shoulder pads now, proudly denoting allegiance to their patron.

That's enough of the RTB01 marines for now, I've painted up almost 40 of them. The next time I do some I think I'll make some characters and/or create a new chapter.

I'm just about ready to prime the walker (christ it's a bugger painting large models!).

Anyway, good evening & good night fellow grognards :)

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Helsreach walker progress.

I'm getting close to finishing off the walker. I've got to get a riggle on too, as this things gotta be ready to game with in under a month!

Here's the progress so far;

I've done the motor, control panel, ladder and headlight brackets.

Here's a close up of the ladder. It's a folding type that will be hoisted/lowered by chain.

Here you can see the headlight brackets with bolt heads (cut-off plastic sprue).

The innards of the beast. I put down some plastic mesh for the flooring & wire for
cable's. I decided to go a bit silly with the "control panel", deciding that a steering
wheel with pedals would make an amusing way of moving it about. I can picture
the driver mashing the accelerator to the floor, forcing the walker to running
across the desert landscape :D

All that's left is to do is add some hand railing, a heavy machine gun to the side turret & tiddy up a few things and she'll be ready for paint.


Monday 9 June 2014

Pre-slotta bastard!

Ever had an old pre-slotta mini that you wanted to fit onto a plastic base, but the lead base was wider than the confines of the plastic one? Well, have I got the solution for you! Or me? Either way, this is what I do;

Step 1. Grab said mini,

This guys base is wider than a 25mm base

Step 2. Trim the lead base down until it sits well within the lip of the plastic base,

I used side cutters to cut the lead base off. Don't be shy with how much you
 trim off either, the closer you can get to the feet the better.

Step 3. Sit the mini on the plastic base,

Position the mini wherever you wish & then mark around it with a scribe or maker.

Step 4. Grab a Coping saw,

The thin blade is ideal for making abrupt changes in direction while sawing.

Step 5. Disconnect one end of the blade and thread it through the plastic base slot. Then reattach it to the Coping saw, ready for use,

Now, work your magic. Don't worry about cutting it exact, in fact,
cutting it larger is preferable, you'll see why later.

Step 6. Position the mini in the cavity,

As mentioned before, make sure it's a loose fit.
Now, this bits important. Check to see if the lead base sits flush with the top
of the plastic base. A little higher is ok, but lower, and the mini will end up
looking like it's standing in a crater. As you can see in this pic it's too low.

Step 7. (If required) Raising the height of the mini,

Get a scrap bit of plasti-card (or anything really) the correct thickness to
raise the mini to the required height. 

looks much better now.
Now super glue it to the base & trim the plasti-card to match the lead base.

Step 8. Glueing it together,

This is the stuff I use for this type of application. It begins to set pretty fast
(depending on how much hardener you add) & once fully cured it's as tough
as nails. Make sure you use gloves though, not due to toxicity,
but because the glueing process is a little fiddly.
Lay down a smallish sheet of baking paper, mix up the putty,
apply an excessive amount of it to the underside of the plastic base
(you'll see why in a minute) and then push it down onto the baking paper.
Now comes the bit that's a little fiddly. While holding the plastic base down
with one hand, push the mini down into the cavity against the table, until no
more putty oozes out from between the gaps. Let it sit until the putty has
reached a similar consistency to that of Play-do.

Step 9. Clean up,

Trim the excess off of the base with a hobby knife. 

Trim all the excess off of the underside of the base too. It's best to do all of
the trimming while it's still curing.
Job done. 

Important thing's to remember,

You could always use a Dremel or something similar to cut the plastic base up with, but they are great at making a mess. So I use my old trusty Coping saw for these little jobs.

Depending on how much hardener you use, it will start to go off from anywhere between a minute and five. So once you've mixed up your batch of putty don't fuck about.

Make sure you mix up more than you think you'll need. You want it to squeeze out from between the gaps.

Trim while it's semi hardhard. You can do it once it's fully cured, but it's harder to do then. I usually trim within a minute of application.

If I've not made something clear enough then feel free to ask.


Wednesday 4 June 2014


IMO these figures are great proxies for miniature wargaming. Their cheap, got plenty of detail, their cheap, painted to a pretty decent standard and did I forget to mention that their cheap?

I'll take youse all on!!!

I've got a whole bunch of these that I've yet to base up, but I'll get around to it one day.

Ciao bella.

Sunday 1 June 2014

Mr Bibby; Legend, dead set legeeeend!!!

When I first picked up RT back in the day, there was so much to take in that I didn't really notice much detail. I was just in love with the artwork & background story. It was only until I got a little older that I actually started to "read" it. 

The section allotted to models at the start of the book was quite slim, but it did have a few pics of Marines that had had their poses repositioned. It made my teenage brain go "Wow! How'd they do that?!"

Roll said pics;

Shiny as fuck, but oh so impressive poses!

It wasn't until the "Compendium" came out that there was more information forthcoming on the creator of these custom Marines. About half way through the book, there was a fifteen page "Eavy Metal" article which covered how to go about scratch building vehicles (including Mr Rick Priestley's infamous monocoque deodorant "Grav Attack Vehicle"), colour schemes for Rhinos, painting advice and -my personal favourite- a section devoted to customising your Marines. The perpetrator of this incredibly imaginative work was Mr Nick Bibby.

Next exhibit;

Freeze!!! It's the deodorant police, come to soothe your burning armpits!

There were more close ups of his work in the article too!

Now, where did this influence leave me? You may ask. Well, I thought I'd give his conversion techniques a go. It took me a good many years to actually get around to trying it, but by Jesus H Christ I didn't give up!

I really liked the unique poses he was able to achieve, as well as the shoulder spikes, but I thought I'd try a lesser used chapter -at least in my neck of the woods- by going with the Silver Skulls.

Here is my attempt at imitating the original dismemberer of RTB01 Space Marine's;

Group shots;

Solo shots;

I cut the beak off a few of the guys and used a technical pen to make the grille helmet.

This guy was probably the hardest to reposition out of the lot

Crouching with a bent knee was a challenge.

Captain with a modern power fist & head. Had to cut his legs and boltgun/arm too.

Get over that sprue rubble god damn it!

Trying to pose these guys in "normal" postures is surprisingly difficult.
 It just made me admire the "Man" even more.

I really enjoyed doing this one the most. He has that
 "I'm relaxing as I'm shooting you to bits" look about him.

Took his weapon from an you do.

Standard Chaplain, but with a twist.

This guys pose is quite similar  to Nick Bibby's "Inquisitor",
 I just added a silencer on his Bolt Pistol.

The standard Beaky Marine pose might be a bit old hat, but I still think it looks great. 

Good old "Brother Dixon". He's one of my favorite Bob Naismith sculpted Marines.

The last Rocket Man

To achieve all these different poses, I had to imitate them in real life,
 much to the amusement of my family at times.

Not much to say about him.........has Plasma Pistol, will travel.

I tried to find the original Silver Skulls transfers, but alas, GW never made them. So I settled on some Chaos Space Marine transfers as they were the closest. I also gave them "veteran stripes" as I thought considering these bad hombres had individualised postures that must indicate a "I've been around more than you standard type Marines" type of aura.

As I said in my original post, I like converting minis, and this was no exception. It stretched my abilities, but it was worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So until next time,

Keep smiling & bye for now.