Saturday, August 2, 2014

the March of Chaos...

So I'm a masochist. I enjoy torturing myself. I have to be. There's no other answer for why I keep coming up with more projects to under take and keep throwing myself into them to the depth that I do! In the last 7 months I've under taken the following projects:
And those are just the projects that I can actually be bothered to list off the top of my head with out really searching. There's a bunch of other models sitting on my project shelf that isn't included in that list. So what am I getting ready to say? Yup, I'm working on something else. Actually I've been working on it for several months now. With the revamp of the blog it seemed like a good time to talk about it. So what else am I working on? Well remember a couple months back I took that info on Atomic Warlords and remade the Chaos Space Marine army list? Weeeeeell I'm taking it further and rebuilding Codex: Chaos Space Marines, actually rebuilding is the wrong word. Replacing is more accurate. See I'm not actually rebuilding the Chaos Space Marine codex, I'm replacing it with a series of three codecies; Codex: Chaos Renegades, Codex: Chaos Legions and Codex: Books of Chaos.

Why am I making three books to replace the single book? Well because from my view of Chaos you have several distinct major factions of power and influence that can potentially feed into any given army that is assembled under the 'Chaos' banner. These forces include the following:

Traitor Legions: These are the 9 traitor Legions that turned traitor during the Heresy.
Renegades: This is the mix of Astra Militarum and Adeptus Astartes units that have turned traitor following the heresy. The occasional squad of Marines that want something more, the disgruntled Militarium units, the detachments of marines that have been lost in the warp for 5,000 years.
The Dark Mechanicus/Chaos Titans: Yeah, there's the Dark mechanicus. What more is there to say? These are the dudes who create and maintain the Forge fiends, Mauler Fiends, Defilers, HelDrakes, Chaos Knight Titans, Lord of Skulls, and all those fun little toys.
Chaos Daemons: the Chaos Daemons.Yeah, it's the Daemons.

Largely any mixture of these four powers can be used to create an army under the banner of "Chaos" and each have their own strengths and weaknesses, too many for any one book to be able to properly facilitate into an army. Thus why I feel the need to create a series of three books.

Chaos Renegades: This is the book most closely based on the current Codex: Chaos Space Marines. This book will focus on the more combined war-bands as an army aspect of Chaos. See, this is NOT Space Marines with spikes. This is Warlord who has cobbled together an army out of various groups. Each group has been paid/coerced/threatened/blackmailed/ or in other form asked to perform some duty with in the army. Once again, this is NOT a space marine army with spikes. Some of the units may have come from Space Marine chapters, but they are no longer Space Marines. They are augmented, genetically enhanced, post-human warriors. They are in this for their own gain. Bonds of loyalty are rare finds outside of the smaller war band/squad. Armies built from this book will be extremly diverse and may even appear to be patch work armies where mobs of Traitor Astra Militarum solders fight along side Dark Mechanicus daemon engines while a unit of Marine Bikers zooms up the field.

Chaos Legions: While the legions as they existed during the Heresy are gone, there are still groups that emulate their operations and organizational structures.So while technically speaking these armies are not THE Legions, in-game there is no appreciable difference. Yes, all of the original World Eaters got the Butchers nails stuck in their skulls and thus became Berzerkers. Yes all of the original Thousand Sons became Rubrica. Yes all of the original Death Guard became Plague Marines. But there are other groups that emulate them and in so doing have formed a sort of second generation of the original Legions. The Sons of Horus reformed when Abaddon forged the Black Legion, while aspiring butchers emulate the World Eaters. Here is where you will find the resources to field these second generation Legion armies. The Traitor Legions are still extremely powerful armies with many of the strengths of the original Space Marines Legions including technology that has been otherwise lost to the throes of time AND formations and operational standards that were handed to other groups following the formalization of the Codex Astartes.

Books of Chaos: Initiative 5 Terminators with Sonic weapons. Plague ridden dreadnoughts dedicated to Nurgle, exuding clouds of flies and noxious as it stomps forward. Daemon infused war engines utterly removed from what the Dark Mechanicus can build. During the 3rd-4th edition era, there was a series of Sub-lists in the Chaos Space Marine Codex called "Books of Chaos" and the idea behind them was that it would allow players to craft and field armies that were dedicated to a given god of Chaos. These sub-lists gave us a lot of extra options that have since been removed. Some of these options include God-speccific upgrades available to the likes of terminators which is the basis of the often lamented "Cult Terminators". Books of Chaos will be the renewal of this concept and will be expanded so that it will be a viable army on its own right.

So whats my point to all of this? Well I've set up a second website to serve as a central point for all of my efforts in re-craft the Chaos Space Marine codex into these 3 replacement books. So I invite all of you to go there and check out my efforts on that front. At this time the majority of my work has been focused under the Chaos Renegades book so that have the majority of info at this time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Please excuse the mess

So I'm taking a little bit of a break from my projects for a little bit. I'm doing this for a couple reasons. Firstly, my work space has become largely unmanageable so in order to work on much of anything larger then a single space marine
So I really need to clean up my work space and get stuff put away and organized. I spent all this time building the space and I can't really make use of it right now. So I need to deal with that. Also I'm starting a new job so that's going to eat up some of my time. That combined with the fore mentioned need to clean is going to chew into any sort of extra time I have for the next couple weeks.
Also I'm going to be working on re-designing this blog some over the next couple weeks, so please excuse the mess.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Project Thunderhawk update 7/19

You know what I dislike the most about working on one of Pataroch's templates? The level of details on it! I'm not saying he's done a bad job with details in his templates, or that the detail is a problem. No, something quit different. The sheer amount of detail he puts in his templates is staggering compared to most other scratch build templates out there. As an example, look at the diagram showing the construction of the pilot deck:

instructional breakdown for assembling the pilot deck of the scratch built Thunderhawk
Breakdown for assembling the pilot deck of the scratch built Thunderhawk
 That lists 40 separate components to build that deck. So whats the big deal right? Well, here's the thing. Most of those components are in turn made of several pieces. Like the center console between the pilot seats. One component. That is made out of 6 pieces. The pilot seats? 12 pieces each. The computer console behind the pilot seats? 16 pieces.

So yeah, you have times where you can work on these for several hours and get everything assembled.... on only have like 3 small sections built. It's a bit disheartening at times. That being said I have been working on the project today and gotten some work completed on it.

Canopy for the Scratchbuilt thunderhawk painted with the beginings of the Blood Ravens color scheme
I finished building the canopy cover. Now I'm sure you're saying "Wait, what? I thought you built that a while ago." Well, yes sort of. See if you look closely at this new image you can see that I'm put in the clear plastic planes for the canopy. It's a solid part so I count that as building. I had to wait until I got the primer on the piece and decided to go one step further and put down the base coat for the piece. The Thunderhawk is going to join my Blood Raven army so it got the maroon color needed for that.

Blood Raven Pilots in the pilot seats of the Scratch Built thunderhawk

Got the pilot station glued in and am now working on painting the pilot deck.

the ceiling of the embarkation deck of the Scratch built thunderhawk
Here is the ceiling of the Embarkation deck. Here is where that level of detail comment came from earlier. Everyone of those boxes are made using at least 3 pieces of styrene each. And then there's the piping between many of the boxes. Oh and I had to pass the wires for the LEDs though the pipes too. Yeah.... lot of work. Not a lot to really show for the effort.

I've been working on other stuff besides just the pilots and  ceiling of the embarkation deck for this bird though.
inside left wall of the scratch built Thunderhhawk
inside left wall of the scratch built Thunderhhawk   
This is the inside left wall of the Thunderhawk's embarkation deck. There's not a lot to say about it that you can't see from the pictures themselves so I'll just let the picture speak for itself, you know being worth 1000 words and all that. The ribbed cables I'm using are from Dragon Forge Designs.

I've also started working on the engines. Well one part of one engine. See the model uses a series of 6 half-tube sections around the engines. One of the top of the wings, one on the bottom and then 2 along the bottom of the main hull. Here is my current state of progress on this point:

Yeah... lots of small parts and sections. The capping on each end is a section of "House siding" paneling from Ever Green plastics wrapped around the end of the half tube and glued in place. I needed to use clamps to hold the piece down long enough for the glue to set because my hand would start to cramp after a couple minutes while still failing to hold the piece in place properly. Once that was glued down I went back with smaller strips of 1mm thick styrene and then glued those down along the edge of the siding piece. It gives a rather nice mechanical look to carry the idea that this is a working machine I think.

The piping isn't even half done yet and it still a lot of experimenting as I go so I've had to start over several times. The center pipe running along the back of the tube was accomplished by cutting strips of .01mm thick styrene, gluing down one edge of it to the pipe and then rolling it around the pipe and gluing it down once I had reached the desired thickness.

Remember when I posted this a couple days ago?

Well I got some work done on the thruster nozzle that attaches to this part, buuuuuut I'm not all that thrilled with the end result so far:
It's just... so plain, There's nothing there. So working on that. The catch is I'm trying to accomplish fixing this with out ordering anything right now. See Plastruct is crap at filling orders. Last time I ordered it took me 5 weeks to get my order and when I got it in there was mold on it. They also require a $50 minimum for private orders, but they only supply 1/19th of their entire catalog to distributors like Hobby Town. So... yeah. I have one maybe worked out:

Basically there is a raised edge along the outer perimeter of the panel. It adds some to the piece, I'm just not totally sure it works well enough. Any thoughts from anyone else?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

So I made something

Got a new piece built for the Thunderhawk:

Scratch built engine cowling for a Space marine Thunderhawk Gunship
Got a guess what this is? Well I'll save you the trouble:

It's this:
a Raptor Thunderhawk with the engine cowling highlighted
Yup. That is one section of one engine on this bird.

Now want to know the really twisted part?

Well, yes there's the point that I have to build 2 more of these things. But beyond that point. This one part is built out of 88 separate pieces of styrene. Yup. 88 pieces.

 So now I have to make 2 more of 'em. That'll mean I have to cut out 176 pieces and assemble them. I'm sort of tempted... in a weird I want to torture myself sort of way, to actually count up the number of pieces of styrene it ultimately takes me to build this monster. And then I'll have to at least double that because I want to build a 2nd one that I can convert to go with My Chaos Forces.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Project Thunderhawk

So got some more work done today. You know one of the things I dislike about scratch building projects like this is that I can work on the project for multiple hours and only get a small section complete. Not exactly a complaint just a point of annoyance with the project. As a point of comparison, in 8 hours I can build a complete Land Raider kit, fill in all the seems, clean it up, and probably get started on painting it, and by get started I mean getting base colors down and started on highlights.  I've been working on the Thunderhawk for a bit over 8 hours today. And the most notable piece I finished is the canopy.

The Canopy is actually made out of 3 layers of styrene affixed to one another both for strength and for the bonding plane to... well actually exist. The first layer is .02mm thick styrene. Then there's a layer of .05 mm styrene on top of that is just slightly larger then the  .02 layer, This larger layer is principally what is actually holding everything together. And then ontop of that there's a layer of .01mm  sheet styrene on top of that that is cut to create the panels you see. And then of course there's the 62 rivet details on the canopy. The rest is pretty straight forward and speaks for itself.

I was also able to add some more material to the cockpit of the craft to help fill in space a bit more and got the torsos of the pilots built. Gonna get 'em primed tomorrow I think. I used the weapon firing arms from the Space Marine vehicle accessory sprue as the pilot arms. I decided to get a little adventurous with the left side pilot and made one arm with a pointing finger like he had taken one of his hands off the yoke to push a button on the control panel.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Continuing with Project Thunderhawk

Okay so got some more work done on the Thunderhawk today. Annoyingly for at least the next week or so any progress I do make on the Thunderhawk will be extremly small and mainly limited to small details or perhaps painting a small part and there is a reason for this. I have to wait for several orders of materials and parts to arrive before I can continue working on the large stuff. I don't have enough styrene of the proper thickness to build the body for instance. I decided to use some bitz to make building the consoles on the control deck a bit more reasonable and keep them fighting with the other Space marine Models so I need to wait for those parts to come in. I've decided to use rectangular LEDs for some console displays, rectangular LEDs I had to order so I have to wait for those to come in before I can do much more like wiring in the circuits for them them to be used.

But I have been working on the Thunderhawk!
the Underside of the Thunderhawks control deck, or the ceiling on the embarkation deck.
 Here you can see the underside of the control deck. I'm sure you're wondering what those two holes are toward the front of the panel. Well Those will be fore red LEDs that I'm going to install in it. Something to give you an idea:

the Underside of the Thunderhawks control deck, or the ceiling on the embarkation deck with a red LED stuck in the hole for demonstration purposes.

I'm gonna try and wire those red LEDs into a blinker circuit that that it'll be like when they open the bay door, there's a red flashing light. Might build a Captain getting ready to jump out of the Thunderhawk, along with an  arrogant little twerp of a 'veteran' marine complaining that such acts are not in keeping with the codex. And then he promptly get's smacked by the Captain with the codex as he tells him that as soon as you start limiting your battles to a pre-written book you may as well surrender.
The green lines are pigment powder I used to mark out the boxes and sections I marked. See the template I'm using builds in a tremendous amount of detail and I'm going to try and use that detail to my advantage with regards to the electronics. See the lights will be... well the lights on the Embarkation deck and control deck will be in the front of the model, while the power supply will be in the back end. So I need to run wire up the body and into those respective sections. Well I'm going to try and hide those wires in plain sight by positioning them to be the cables and conduit that run over head on the embarkation deck and under the control deck.

here is an example of one of the extra bits of detail the template makes:
That's not all the details that go on that panel, but it gives an idea of it.

Here's the top side view, along with Calgar for Scale:
 I am going to build the console stations and piloting stations but like I said I have to wait for the supplies to arrive to do that. To give you an idea of what I'm going to light up in the cockpit I made this using the template:
The Green glow from the panels is what I'm intending to light up. Actually I've already made one part for the process:
So... yeah. Little tiny updates for the next week or so I guess while I wait for materials and parts to come in.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Return to Project thunderhawk

So, who remembers project Thunderhawk? Yeah I know, it's been close to 18 months since I posted about it. what can I say, between my Army Builder attention deficit disorder, school, work, family, and medical stuff my brain tends to jump a lot. It's just the way I am. Anyway, with this years apoc game behind me I decided to return to project Thunderhawk at least for the immediate time being. I still have a great many other projects I'm working on, not the least of which is Codex: Chaos.

So Project Thunderhawk. Last time I talked about this I was talking about casting the parts for the thunderbolt fighter. A year later I haven't gotten any better with that and with my current financial situation I have not the means to practice at my disposal. So that has annoyingly been put on hold. Which is a bit of an upset because with the plastic thunderbolt I was building and the paper-hammer version I had built previously I was moving closer toward having a full flight of Thunderbolts. Be really fun to be put a flight of 6 Thunderbolts on the table for a future Apoc game. Well, may still happen one day, but not just yet.

Returning to the Thunderhawk I actually started with the upper cannon housing first. This is largely an arbitrary choice because of how the template is setup.You could very easily break the finished model down into 8 seperate parts that you could start on and work on in virtually any order and only need to make extremely minor changes to your project plan to accommodate the changes. The wings, the main body, the forward section, the upper cannon housing, and the forward stabilizers are each separate sections of the template So the upper canon housing seemed like a good enough place to start while still having to work with some of the electronics I had previously talked about doing.

So I constructed the upper cannon housing using .4mm thick sheet styrene over a support structure of 1/4" thick hollow square tubing. here is the end result:

A scractch built Thunderhawks upper cannon housing built out of sheet styrene
Fairly good work here if you don't mind the self congratulations. The only part I'd do differently if I did this again is the vent stack covers. I made them too tall.

Now, there's not much point in building a cannon housing if you don't have a cannon is there? Well I'm working on that too:
Using various diameters of tubing I am working on building this Volcano cannon.
The Turbo Laser Cannon for the top of the Thunderhawk

Building the Turbo Laser has been a bit more of a challenge then it first seemed it would be. See money is an issue right now so I'm trying to do as much of this with out buying anything as I can. Basically what I have on hand right now. So while I had the material to the build the mount housing at the base of the cannon, and I had the materials to build the cannon barrel... mating the two parts was a bit more of a challange. Basically I had piping that was 1.8mm  on the inner diameter that I used for the cannon housing, and I had piping that was 1.4mm on the outer diameter which is the cannon barrel basically.  So I had .4mm of space to fill across a depth of 3.5cm. Well I think I got it settled moderately well. Basically I used stacks of .2mm thick styrene to build 3 stacks that I then glued around the base of the cannon barrel and then used those stacks to fill the space between the cannon barrel and the cannon housing.And then I went back in and filling in the forward most space with green stuff. I'll see need to go back and add on a bunch of detail on the cannon and the mount for it. The hydralics for it, the additional bracing, the bolts, ect.
How I mounted the cannon in the housing.

I also worked on the electronics for this part as well. I installed a 1cm yellow LED on the housing where the cannon will mount and then wired in the switch. I installed the monetary switch in the upper housing so that way the cannon will light up as long as I push the button.
I installed a monetary push switch so that the Thunderhawk cannon would light up while I pulled the switch.

I had a bit of a happy accident of sorts when I was working on the cannon. See the Cannon has a sort of recoil suppressor or something on the end of the barrel, and I didn't have a section of tube small enough to accommodate this so I used a length of clear pen tube body for it. The happy accident? The suppressor glows yellow when the light is applied to it.
The clear pen body I used as the suppressor on the cannon actually glows when the light is used.
If I had know the pen body collected light like that I would have used a red LED instead of the yellow one. Oh well, next time I guess.