Saturday, February 28, 2009

You don't always get to ride in luxury

Just a quick post as I haven't posted anything since Wednesday. 

I've been sitting on this idea for a while. Shortly after the Ork Trukks were released in January 08 I was hankering to do the conversion to retro-fit them to the Imperial trucks they obviously had always been. Again, Dan Abnett's stories about Gaunt's Ghosts always being transported around in trucks was the big impetus behind this project.

So, I converted an Ork Trukk back to the original Imperial work-horse it had been. The model languished for a few months while I thought about which army I would add it to. Would it be my Genswick 33rd Rifles? Or my Macharian 24th PDF? Or my yet to be constructed Mordant 13th?

In the end I decided that my trucks would be best suited as those of the Departmento Munitorium! My trucks will receive a neutral color scheme (probably blacks and greys) so that I can use them in any of my armies. As you can see, the truck above has a multi-laser, a heavy bolter, and room for about 12 troopers. Yep, this bad boy will be a counts as Chimera. 

Not content with one truck, I collaborated with my friend Thomas, from, to tweak the design a bit and come up with a great template. Below are the first three fruits of our labor. I hope you like them. Painted photos will be coming soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The base just makes it!

Well, my package arrived from Dragon Forge on Saturday morning and Jeff Hall handed me some magnets on Saturday afternoon, so I got to put a little bit of work into the Stalk Tank on Sunday and Monday evening. Below you can see a bit of a walk-around of the beast on its new home.

I tried to get the legs to hold up the body by themselves (using the rare earth magnets) but although they stayed connected to the body, they allowed the body to spin around too much. I guess the abdomen section is just too heavy. I had to find a different solution.

Enter some fencing wire from Home Depot. I cut off a few lengths, bent them into shape, drilled holes in the base, and slid the limbless body onto the new support wires, as you can see in the shot below. These wires, while still kind of obvious, are no where near as obtrusive as the pipe in the previous Stalk Tank post. This arrangement also helps with the packing/transport of the Stalk Tank, which was a good chunk of the ultimate goal for this base.

Speaking of the base, here are a couple of shots of it, all ready to be primed and painted. Used on the base are the following "ingredients":
• Fencing wire
• Cities of Death building sprues
• Apoxie Sculpt from Aves Studios
• Thin rolls of green stuff
• The fine crushed slate from GW's Urban Basing Kit
• A few pieces of Imperial Guard equipment
• and most importantly, a 150mm round base from Dragon Forge

Jeff at Dragon Forge has just recently added 80mm, 120mm (CD-sized), and 150mm round, blank bases to his range. They can be found in the Sculpting Supplies section of his site. I picked up a handful of the 150mm bases (for future Stalk Tanks) and one of the 120mm bases, for who knows what in the future!

More to come soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Adepticon Hobby Seminars!

Let me just begin by saying this Duel above is NOT mine. It's an awesome piece by Chris Borer that earned him the Golden Demon Slayer Sword in the Chicago competition last year. Very nice!

Now that I've got your attention I'll get to the meat of this post! Adepticon is less than six weeks away and if you haven't already signed up for the great hobby seminars, you really should. 

Adepticon is an awesome community-run extravaganza hosted by a growing team of ultra-enthusiastic hobbyists in the Chicagoland area each year. Last year they had over 800 attendees for 14 or so tournaments, more demonstration games, dealers, the Rogue Demon Painting Competition, and my favorite, the Hobby Seminars.

I've attended the last four Adepticons, and while I've spent a lot of time playing in the Warhammer Escalation Tournament and the 40K Team Tournament, I've also crammed in at least one hobby seminar each year. I still remember (and regularly use) the greenstuff techniques I learned in Joe Orteza's sculpting class four years ago.

This year's schedule will feature seminars by multiple Golden Demon and GT Best Painted winners including:
Chris Borer
Nathan Comanse
Rich "Hirst Arts" Nelson
Joe Orteza
Dave Pauwels
James and Cathy Wappel
Jamie Welling

The best thing is that all these folks are really passionate about the hobby and more than willing to hand over all their "secrets" (except for Chris and his "lucky shorts" secret).

For more information on Adepticon head to and have a great time at the event!


PS. I unfortunately won't be there this year. With our baby due around this time, I'm not allowed out of the house ; )

Monday, February 23, 2009

A rummage through the Archives

I've been pretty busy over the weekend, off playing a great game of Flames of War, wine-tasting at a house-warming party, and a hearty nap on the couch. I also did quite a bit of modeling work that is not quite ready to be seen, perhaps tomorrow.

Until then I didn't want to leave you hanging too much so I thought I'd dig into the archives and pull out a few pieces from my Genswick 33rd Rifles army. This army is my homage to the brave troops fighting on Aexe Cardinal in Dan Abnett's Straight Silver, the sixth book in the Gaunt's Ghosts series. The Genswick troops, while not the most colorful, are certainly the most indicative of the archaic grind of the forty year trench war against the Archenemy.  These hardy troopers are the very essence of the "more grist for the mill" mentality of the Aexegarian Alliance High Command.

When GW released the Bretonnian Men-at-Arms sprues I just knew that they would work perfectly to represent the hard-bitten warriors of Genswick and that their broad-rimmed helmets would instantly evoke a visceral connection with the most brutal trench war in human history.

Above you can see an under-strength assault platoon (only 35 of 55 men). I have the other two squads of the platoon buried in another case somewhere. This platoon is designated as "assault" because it has no heavy weapons to hold it back, each squad has a trooper wielding a flamer (perfect for trench clearing), the command section has two troopers with grenade launchers (for keeping the enemy's heads down), two combat veterans, and a decorated Staff Sergeant with his vicious cyber-mastiff (power fist).

Of course, this platoon needs some help to get them into the enemy trenches...

Enter the mighty Gorgon! I've loved the Gorgon idea ever since I saw it in Epic games over 15 years ago. I even converted a Space Marine Land Raider into an enclosed Gorgon when it was released back in 2000. When Forgeworld released it's Gorgon I was incredibly excited, but didn't pick it up at the time (not exactly sure why). It wasn't until the plastic Baneblade made its appearance in October 2007 that my next creation would begin to take shape.

I think it was around January or February 2008 that I completed the Gorgon you see above and below. Layer upon layer of plasticard sheets, strips, rods, and rivets were used to create this beast, built up from the Baneblade chassis. I have 5 Ogryn that I can field in it (as well as the under-strength assault platoon shown above) and I'm sure I'll have to build more of them once the new IG codex is released.

I hope you like the tour around this massive troop transport!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Heavy Metal!

Well, before we get into the Heavy Metal here's a look at my latest ten Blood Pact Troopers. These guys are predominantly the Forgeworld Chaos Renegade torsos, so there wasn't quite as much conversion work. I was able to put that conversion time into the Stalk Tank you saw earlier in the week.

While they're easier to build, I still enjoy painting them. I'm up to 5 squads plus the command squad. Not too bad. I'm going to take a break from the troopers for a while and concentrate of getting some support painted for them.

This weapons team is rocking a short barreled autocannon. I saw this look somewhere online earlier this week and liked it so much I had to steal it. Thank you anonymous modeler.

Here they are, the first two tanks that'll be supporting my Blood Pact. On the left is the Malcador Defender. I was originally going to use this tank in my Genswick 33rd Rifles army, but its "old school" feel is just perfect for the forces of the Archenemy. The tank on the right is the Valdor Tank Hunter. It was just too cool to leave out of my collection!

I love the crude feel of the Malcador Defender. The long, low profile is broken by the nest bristling with 5 heavy bolters. These guns can bring lots of dakka to bear on many parts of the battlefield at the same time. Note: the tank will not be a dark green, but the Dark Flesh color of the Pacters fatigues.

The Valdor is obviously compensating for something, but I'm sure that Neutron Laser will be able to deal some stunning blows against enemy armored formations.

More on the armored support for my Pact later!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Conversion Challenge - The Stegadon

The "Getting the most out of the new Stegadon kit if you're not a Lizardman player" Conversion Challenge!

The Adept's Forge, in conjunction with Dave Taylor Miniatures, is pleased to present the kick-off to what will hopefully be an ongoing series of cool idea-sharing and excitingly executed conversions.

All too often, there's a great, new, plastic kit that you just can't help but want to put together. Perhaps, however, you're not into the army for which the kit has been released and you just can't bring yourself to build a one-off, never to be used again model. Enter the Conversion Challenge.

Over the next five to six weeks, a group of friends and veteran hobbyists will take on the challenge of converting the fantastic new Stegadon plastic kit into something they can more readily use in one of their existing armies. The rules are simple. Take (at least) one Stegadon kit, add heaping helpings of creativity and modeling talent, and create a masterpiece of conversion work that will be admired the world over (or perhaps just over the world wide web). Photos will be taken around the end of March and half will be posted on, while the other half will be posted on Polls will be set up for voting and the winner will receive bragging rights, possibly even a prize from the archives.

We'll be posting the names of the contestants shortly, so keep your eyes peeled for the mighty creations come late March.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Infernal Machine nears completion!

Well, here it is folks! My Stalk Tank is edging slowly towards completion, just a bit of work on a base and possibly some magnet action on the legs (for ease of transport) and it'll good to go!

You can seen in the picture above that I've added my screaming psyker to the picture to give you a better sense of scale, and nothing says "What the...?" better than a screaming psyker!

In the pictures below I've tried to focus in on things I've added since last time you saw this beastie.

With the four limbs to walk on finished (and detailed with rivets and spiky blades), I figured it was time to add the "praying mantis arms". They are currently pinned with paper clips and are able to move. You can see in the picture above that they can really reach out and touch someone. I also like that there's something "brain bug-ish" about this picture.

In this picture (above) you can see most of the pre-made parts I used for this build. From left to right there are a) the twin flamers from the Forge World Elysian Drop Troopers, b) a leg from a Sentinel - with the "neck" pivoting on the ball joint, c) a mutilated torso from Forge World's Chaos Renegades range, and finally d) the twin-linked Reaper cannon from the Defiler.

I thought I'd show you all a shot of the underside too (above) so that you can get a closer look at the fun gubbinz added there. In the concept art and the stories there are description of this section being a fluid-filled bubble containing a mutated servitor. For the first Stalk Tank I felt this might be too ambitious so I opted for an armored "bubble". 

The brown circles on the shot above are sensors of various size so that the mutated servitor enclosed in the beast can make sense of the battlefield. They're made from balls of brown stuff cut in half and then surrounded by a thin slice of a plastic tube (like the ones used to make the legs). I've also placed a few on the sides of the "bubble" and one on the tail section of the carapace.

In the gap between the two thorax sections has been filled with ribbed cables, the same ones as I used on the Trooper backpacks, trimmed down to fit. You can just make them out in the lower portion of the picture.

And finally, a side view of the Stalk Tank without the legs. from the tip of its flamer snouts to the end of the "excrement tubes" (the exhausts from the Defiler). It's a respectable 9 inches long and spiky. Please keep the comments PG-13 ; )

Hopefully I'll have a bit of news in the next few days regarding a Conversion Challenge my friend (and author of The Adept's Forge), Jeff Hall, has proposed regarding the new Lizardman Stegadon and the possibilities surrounding it. Keep an eye out for more news on that!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Stalk Tank Art

A few people have asked me about the concept art for the Stalk Tank, so I figured I'd post a quick snapshot from the Black Library artbook The Sabbat Worlds Crusade by Dan Abnett (the man, the myth, the legend). Apparently it is very difficult to pick up this book for under US$100 on the second-hand market, so if anyone knows of any other sources feel free to let us all know in the comments section. 

Until then, here's the concept art. I'm switching out the stubbers for flamers and I've gone with a larger, twin-linked autocannon mount.

Pics of my work in progress Stalk Tank can be found a few posts down.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another squad is complete

Although my time has been a bit limited over the past few days I've still squeezed in as much painting time as possible and it is without further ado that I present Squad Four of my Blood Pact.

Above are the first four. In this squad I used quite a few pieces from Catachan models to keep switching things up. The two models on the left are additionally scarred and tattooed, my first nod to the ritual scarring that the Blood Pact undergo in their initiations and before various battles. The "sergeant" on the right is in response to folks who liked my hammer-wielding trooper from a couple of posts back. I figured if they liked one hammer, that two would be better!

The next four are a bit more "standard", although I've painted the plasma gun with a blue plasma coil instead of my usual green, thanks to the prompting of Tim Lison. The green variant can be seen in an earlier post. Take a look at both of them and leave me a comment, let me know which you prefer.

The final two members of the squad are the heavy bolter team. I really wanted to introduce the idea of beaten slaves into the army - not sure why - but I saw the opportunity for a loader to be laden down with huge, heavy bolter "clips" and couldn't pass it up.

Below are a series of shots taken around the model, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Finally, here is a close-up of some of the fresh and not-so-fresh scarring and tattooing.

Until next time, have fun!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A little bit of history...

I have not been slacking, faithful reader. Merely filling my time with other pursuits. Assembling furniture for the nursery, spending a lovely weekend away with my wife, assembling Romans from Warlord Games, and last but not least, assembling another 20 Blood Pact Troopers! Rather than posting pics of these new Pacters in a primed state I thought I'd put up a few photos of my Vostroyan army, painted for the Medusa V Global Campaign in 2006.

Above is one of my Ragnarok tanks. This beast is predominantly scratchbuilt from plasticard and follows the design of the Ragnarok tank used by the Baran Siege Defenders army from GW's Epic:Armageddon range. 

I use these Ragnaroks as Leman Russ tanks and I built three bodies and six turrets. These turrets include three battle cannons, two demolisher cannons, and one twin-linked autocannon (to run as an Exterminator).

Below are the two mini tanks I built to use as Sentinels. They are based on the Sigfried scout tanks used by the Baran Siege Defenders. A lot of fun to scratchbuild!

Below are a few pics of some of my infantry. The first is my Command HQ squad. I loved painting the Standard Bearer and he is still one of my favorite models. I added a psyker to the squad, the first time I've done that since 3rd edition 40K was released. These models are just too much fun to pass up, regardless of their effectiveness in the game. The Master Vox operator is actually the loader from the Mortar team added to the vox-caster from Forgeworld's Cadian Command Squad.

This squad is my Heavy Bolter Squad attached to the Command HQ, fairly standard stuff, but I had a lot of fun with the Cities of Death building parts.

This is my first Special Weapon squad attached to the Command HQ. With two meltaguns and a demo charge, these guys are designed to sneak forward and take care of bunkers and enemy armor.

And the final squad for this update is my second Special Weapon squad, the sniper team. The two standard sniper models are great, particularly the trooper with the night-vision goggles. To create the third sniper I used one of the standard Vostroyans, lengthened his barrel, added a new scope, and put the CoD buttress behind him. This last addition was to make sure he definitely stood out from the other models that were similar.

Well, I hope you like the update. There'll be more Blood Pact later in the week, and maybe a few Romans too.