Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Forgeworld Realm Of Battle Cityscape

Greetings internet readers, today I have a treat for you in the form of the Forgeworld Realm of Battle Citryscape terrain tiles, after a google search I found that there are virtually no pictures online of these tiles.  I don't know if it's just that no one is taking any pictures or I'm the only person on the planet to have bought any?

Well I have my own blog now so its time to flood the internet with pictures of these things as they are really great.

So I had this big narrative event over the weekend which I keep going on about and will be posting pictures of this week, I did take some great pictures of the terrain before everyone turned up so I really wanted to show them off to you all.

Now back in November of last year I dropped the cash for six of these tiles as I needed at least a 6x4' table, I decided on one of the Shattered Plaza and Primus sectors and two each of the Generatorum and Concourse sectors this little lot came to £430 or approx $652.75.

This is a boat load of cash and a big job and I had only just finished all my Mortalis tiles, oh well once more into the breach and all that.

The tiles turned up within 5 days and were individually packed in single ply boxes and wrapped in a single layer of bubble wrap, the boxes were not in good condition by the time they reached me but to my surprise and delight the tiles were not damaged and had no bubbles of obvious faults.

It was now time to plan the method by which I would paint them, while I pondered this question I put them all in the shower one at the time and cleaned them up, I then applied a Chaos Black undercoat.  I decided to get a car body spray base coat in grey which would be the main colour for all the masonry across all the tiles so this layer went on next. 

There are loads of small details strewn across all the tiles like discarded equipment, aquilia and even wrecked vehicles, these details were painted using the a combination of the following Citadel base colours Balthasar Gold, Leadbelcher and Rhinox hide.

Once the everything was dry I wanted the roads to be a darker shade, I also wanted  this shade to be applied carfully to the cracked and chipped damage on all the masonry making sure not to soil the clean crisp grey areas.

I went with the same three part shade that I had mixed for my Mortalis tiles which is made up on Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade and Druchii Violet, this would work really well over the gold and metal details that are scattered across the tiles and add a slight purple hue to the masonry damage and roads that I hoped would help bring it all to life.

Once the shade wash was dry I did a quick tidy up with Citadel Dawnstone and then sponged an edge hightlight on to all the of the manonry using Administratum Grey, I then used a large drybrush to apply the same two colours as highlights to all the craters and rubble.  Finally I added a layer of PVA over the entire of every tile to protect them from damage during play and then dulled it all back down with a layer of  matt varnish.

when everything was finished I was glad to see that the paint job tied in perfectly across all the tiles and there was just enough shading to make it all look 3D but not so much as to make it look over worked.  This board was now a hauntingly desolate back drop that would help increase the visual impact of any models used upon it.
So lets take a look at each tile individually and then a few shots of them covered in models, the buildings that are also featured are from Pegasus Hobbies and can be purchased on eBay or Amazon.

Primus Sector.

Primus Sector including gothic church.

Primus Sector pipe line details.

Shattered Plaza.

Generatorum Sector.

Generatorum Details.

Concourse Sector.

Rhino wreckage.

The calm before the storm.

The battle setup.

I have really enjoyed painting these tiles and the feedback from my fellow gamers was more than I could have hoped for, they were worth every penny though I would have enjoyed a little discount from Forgeworld for me buying the extra two tiles to make up six but hell I knew what I was getting into.

I will update my Flickr feed to include all of these pictures but for now enjoy and check back soon.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderhawk Gunship HO!

Hey everyone, I have spent over a year working on my Thunderhawk on and off and when I decided I wanted to include it in the Narrative game on Saturday I went all out to get it finished in time.  I Literally managed to finish it the night before the big game, I have dug up some old pictures I took last March when I was building it and I apologies for the rug that features in most of these pictures :)

On the plus side the new pictures I took before everyone turned up on Saturday look great so please bear with me.  

To say I was some what overwhelmed by the amount of bit this model came in would be an understatement, I forget exactly how many but it was a hell of a lot and I spent the best part of a week washing and straightening everything.

I was quite hopeful at this point in the built as everything was going very well the wings and the power section of the fuselage just needed super glue and some green stuff to insure a good strong bond.

I painted the interior of the cargo bay and cockpit before I glued the upper section in place, the upper section was very harder to line up right and getting it to lock down exactly right was a nightmare and needed quite a lot of Green Stuff to fill in the joins. 

I wanted everything that might ever break off to break away using magnets for example the tailplane, the front stabiliser fins, Lascannon X-Wings, Cockpit canopy and of cause the main weapon as I always use the Turbo Laser Destructor but you never know the cannon might be needed one day.

I was going to add my Forgeworld Land Raider doors but they would not fit no matter what I did so I opted instead to use the doors supplied and make a cast of the Forgeworld details in resin and add them.

Finally it was almost finished, all it needed now was its landing gear, it spent most of its time sitting on a big yellow car washing sponge so I did not damage the details on the underside. 

Once the landing gear had been attached I taped up the door surrounds, cockpit and assault ramp and gave it all a Chaos Black undercoat, I think I used a whole can of the stuff. 

Here is a great close up that I took this weekend, you can see the weathering streaking up the front from the searing heat of constant atmospheric re-entry.

This shot shows the scale of the Thunderhawk against the Stromraven, both are docked at the Zone Mortalis space station.

Again the Stormravan is dwarfed in this shot.

Here you can see the chapter details on starboard door.

This is a cool angle showing the engines and the weathering at the rear.

The weathering on the wings makes this model look like its moving even at a standstill.

I do have a 10" flying base that I have not yet finished dressing up with craters and ruins but the Thunderhawk sits atop a half inch acrylic rod.  There is a hole in the underside that leads to a compartment filled with expanding foam that hold a brass tube in place that creates a secure mount.

I will try to add a picture of the base when its finished as its a bit rough looking right now :)

You might now be thinking about getting a Thunderhawk Gunship of your own and to you I would say if you think you can do it justice go for it as you won't be disappointed.  Its an amazing model that will amaze your fellow hobbyists as well as those who have no idea what it is.

Sure its £399 or $602.93 but if like me you have a birthday that's close enough to Christmas that you can spread the cost or you just have money to burn why not take the plunge.

If you need any advise please add a comment and I will try to help but if you go to the Facebook page of The Independent Characters you can see some cool pictures of  Carl Tuttle's Thunderhawk taking shape.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Stormraven Gunship Painted On The Frame - Part 2

Hey everyone I finally have the pictures of the fully built and painted Stormraven Gunship, I just added the weathering and some damage and its just waiting for me to cast the door icons tomorrow.

I really like this model in the flesh but it never seems to photo very well, though now I am sitting here looking at it and thinking maybe I will add a red stripe like my Thunderhawk, which incidentally I will also be finishing tomorrow, it just needs its weathering and crew painting.

Anyway it's getting late so here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure, If the red stripe makes the cut I will post an updated picture in the Thunderhawk Gunship post I am working on.

I think this might be the best angle

You can clearly see that the canopy is now shiny and free of super glue.

This picture shows that I have left the side doors ready for the chapter icons.

Not exactly rear of the year material.

The weathering shows up well in this shot.

Well that's enough for now, I bid you all good night.

Hobby Factoid - Removing Super Glue From Canopy's

Good morning all, I did not quite have time it finish my Stormraven last night so I will be posting again later tonight but in the mean time I thought I would offer an interesting solution to a hobby problem.

So once upon a time many, many years ago I was introduced to scale models by my father via the gate way drug that is Air-fix.  I was tutored in the fine motor skills and techniques needed to construct and paint such iconic war birds as the Spitfire and the more recent Harrier Jump Jet but one thing grew to become the bane of me and would haunt me right through to the present day................................OH NO, I GOT SUPER GLUE ON THE FREAKING CANOPY!!!!!!!

Yes for years I would come to place the final part on a model that until that point was looking great and oops I would get a big super glue fingerprint on the canopy or worst use too much super glue and despite having attached it perfectly the glue fumes now locked within cockpit would cloud the canopy from inside.  It became such a problem that I just painted all the canopy's in my old mechanised Eldar army silver from the inside.

I was very happy when aircraft started to show up in 40K as everyone loves model aeroplanes but there was always that niggling feeling that I always mess up my canopy's but at the same time I wanted my Vendetta and all my Marine aircraft canopy’s to remain transparent so I could paint the internal details.

So far I have managed to keep my cool and my Vendetta and Storm Talon are perfect with no problems attaching their canopy's but last night I slipped while I was working on the Stormraven and got superglue on the canopy.

I have to say I was about to go on eBay and pay through the nose for a replacement but I found myself online looking for a way to remove the glue and polish it back to its former glory.  After about ten minutes I found a few tips that were meant for removing the scratches from headlamp covers and the pictures looked promising, it literally went from completely opaque to clear with just a  little elbow grease.

Firstly I had to gently rub the affected area with some wet super fine glass paper, now this is where it gets scary because that will make the area completely opaque, then I washed it with detergent and dried it fully before using a soft cloth to apply brass cleaner or Brasso directly to the canopy.  You then spend about 15mins in my case polishing in little circles over and over until you can start to see through the plastic again.  Once you think you are done you wash it again and give it a quick buff with a clean cloth or your T-shirt and bingo I had a canopy even clearer than it was when I first opened the box.

Needless to say I was super careful when attaching it and everything was fine.

Well I hope that helps some of you as much as it has helped me check back later to see the results for your self.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Stormraven Gunship Painted On The Frame - Part 1

Good morning everyone, well as promised I am back with some pictures of my Crimson Fist Stormraven all painted up on the frames.  I have painted a Stormraven once before for a friend who plays Grey Knights but this one is all mine and will replace my Land Raider whenever I need a bit more ZOOM with my BOOM!. 

I found it quite an ungainly shaped model when I last painted one, fully built it was hard to manoeuvre around without causing damage to the previously painted areas from having to hold it so this time I decided to airbrush the base colours and paint the rest manually but leave it all on the frame.

I found painting on a flat plain like this was very easy, I could take it down into the living room and watch TV with it on a tray and hold onto the frame which greatly reduced the chances of me damaging any painted areas.

I clipped off a load of bits that I was not going to use like the chapter iconography on this frame so I could concentrate of what needed painting.

I painted the main fuselage and wings in Citadel Macragge Blue, I don't use Kantor Blue as I think it's too dark and all the bear metal in Leadbelcher, the Aquila were done using Balthasar Gold then the pilot with Mephiston Red.

Once all the base colours were dry I dropped a Nuln Oil shade/wash over all the bear metal areas and painted Agrax Earthshade into all the recesses of the blue areas and around the rivets and Aquila's, I think I also used Agrax Earthshade on the pilot before his highlights went on, man I really do get through a lot of that stuff.

So finally it was time to start clipping it all off the frames very carefully, as you can see in this picture I did add some detail to the control panels and view screens inside so it was not just a black void in there, I did after all leave the front ramp able to open just for coolness factor.

As I added a new component I smoothed off the small bear areas where it was attached to the frame with a very, very fine glass paper which some of you might know as wet and dry.  Once I was sure all the glue was dry I painted the bear areas to match their surroundings and let that dry fully before moving to the next stage of construction.

It was about 2:30AM by this time and I had been working for about 2 hours, I will say construction is a slow carful process when the model is already 99.9 percent painted but it will be so cool when it rolls off the line fully painted.  I decided at this point to call it a night and go to bed but before I did I gave it a quick blast of Citadel Purity Seal matt varnish.

I plan to cast some resin Crimson Fist icions and add them to the side doors and will likely end up making the doors able to be swapped out to the Hurricane Bolters so I had better get the magnets out.

I will get what remains of the construction finished tonight and will post some more pictures tomorrow in part 2 so be sure to stop by and take a look.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Special Thanks

Good morning everyone, I would just like to welcome any new readers and send out a big thanks to Natfka at Faeit 212 for helping put me on the map keep up the good work :)

Product Review - AB500 Portable Spray Booth

Like so many other hobbyist out there I have recently started using an airbrush, I have mostly been using it for base coating whole armies in a fraction of the time a manual brush allows.  I am now branching out into the Vallejo Model Air paints range for the purpose of some commission work and maybe a new Eldar army if and new codex turns up this year.

So with the increased use of the Airbrush I needed to increase the ventilation so I was not breathing in paint for hours on end.  Putting my personal health aside for a moment the thing that annoyed me the most about using the Airbrush was that over time those little wayward particles of paints find their way onto everything.  I used a pressure somewhere between 15 and 20psi  and over time I was finding a thin layer of dried paint on top of everything near where I use my Airbrush.  I could not let this continue so I bit the bullet and went online to find a solution and let’s face it these days if someone has thought of a problem there will be a thing out there to solve it.

After a much shorter time than expected I found my solution on Amazon in the form of the AB500 Portable Spray Booth for £75 along with some very encouraging reviews.  It was available on Amazon Prime so within 24ish hours it had arrived and I was fighting my way into the box eager to get it all setup and tested.

When I got it out of the box I was very impressed by its compact design, basically you get what you see here, the unit in its pre-transformed state and an instruction book that shows you the different stages of transformation.

Closer inspection revealed that the power cable was tucked away in a compartment at the right hand side of the unit, and better still it pulls out and is then drawn back in using a large red button on the top much like a vacuum cleaner would, a very slick feature I thought.

Here are the specs for those of you who like this sort of thing, while powered up I found it no louder than my old work PC when it’s under load, and certainly no louder than my compressor so not really an issue.

It has a large internal fan that draws air from inside of the booth and puts it through a large blue filter before expelling it from the rear of the unit via what looks to be about an 80mm PC case fan.

Anyway here it is fully transformed, the process is easy and only takes a few mins and when you get it all open you find that hidden inside is a turn table for standing your models on while you spray, everything is hinged so you just unfold it then all the panels lock together easily.  You can then position a lamp over the top as the panels while not being entirely transparent do let a good deal of light into the booth.

I figured I would show the size and capacity of the booth fully transformed by sticking something huge in it so out came the Stompa, I think it could easily accommodate most large models that are out there as well as the batch painting of large numbers of infantry.

I used this booth to spray my new Stormraven blue while it was still on the frames and just like it says on the box it stopped any fumes and paint from escaping into the atmosphere and I did not have any problems with blue boogers like I did after spraying my Thunderhawk :)

To sum up I will be giving this product a 5 star rating on Amazon, the price is not bad at all for what you get and the design is brilliant allowing for easy portability and storage.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Painting Guide - Zone Mortalis Theta Complex

Monday again how does it come round so fast? 

It's been a very busy hobby weekend for me, I have been working to finish a few projects that will give me some good content for the rest of this week so watch this spot.  I also bought a copy of Death From the Sky's at about 3:00AM on Saturday morning, I did mean to say up until just after mid-night and buy a copy but I must have fallen asleep Doh!  Anyway it's on order and should arrive on Wednesday so I will be doing a full unit review by race starting next Monday which should be fun.

Among other things I did finish my new Zone Mortalis Thete Complex tile, I figured it was the easiest of my three new tiles to finish in time for next weekends narrative event.  I plan to incorporate it as part of a hanger bay area for my Crimson Fist boarding party to deploy into.

I followed the same method as I described in my earlier Zone Mortalis painting guide but obviously this time I had no walls sections to paint.

First I washed the tile and then gave it an undercoat in Chaos Black spray, followed by a base coat of Humbrol Silver 11. 

I then blocked out the floor sections with the Citadels base paint Steel Legion Drab.

Then I dropped on my three part shade mix that is made up of Agrax Earthshade, Nuln Oil and Druchii Violet which I applied liberally over the entire tile.

Finally when everything was dry I added a layer of PVA glue to protect it from damage and when that was dry I could not resist taking a few pictures of my proposed hanger bay.

These three Tactical Squads are embarked on the Thunderhawk and they will be joined by a five man Terminator Assault Squad with a Librarian in Terminator Armour attached and a Dreadnought who will be on board my newly acquired and almost painted Stormraven Gunship.

I will add an article detailing the painting and construction of my Stormraven later this week as I have painted it entirely on the frames which has been a lot of fun so be sure to check back soon.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Victoria Miniatures Resin Trials

Just a quick bit of news that I saw on Facebook this morning, it seems Victoria Miniatures is moving into casting in resin, some products are now available in this new material as small product runs while the suitability of this new resin is determined. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Nothing Says I Love You Like A Big Box From Forgeworld

Good morning to you all on this the most romantic day of the year.....more importantly it's my Birthday today sweet irony.  Anyway as the title suggests I got not one but two boxes of plastic crack from Forgeworld further fuelling my addiction to all things Warhammer 40K.  My good lady wife bought me a unit of four Hyperios Missile Defence Platforms and my mates clubbed together to get me three of the new Forgeworld Zone Mortalis tiles Epsilon, Eta and Theta as well as a large Blast door.

I will post a few work in progress pictures when I get these new bits put together, I might even try to get the Theta tile done next week.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Imperial Guard On Parade

Hello again everyone, I was rooting through my Imperial Guard case the other night making sure I have my 2000pts force ready for my coming Narrative event, so I figured I would put them on parade as it seems to have become very much the done thing these days :)

This army conforms to the 6th edition ethos of the all-comers hybrid list with six units of Veterans with Flamer and Lascannon and a Company Command Squad also sporting a Lascannon.  The infantry are joined by the usual mix of support units with the Leman Russ squadron supplying the standard issue big guns.  A Vendetta was a no brainer but wait I hear you say "WTF are Rough Riders doing in there?".

I was watching the movie War Horse and before it was even over I was online looking for 3rd party bits to knock up a squad of Cadian Mounties for fluffy reasons and ended up at Victoria Miniatures, if you have not been there trust me it's an Imperial Guard players proverbial candy shop.

The Cadian Mounties