Monday, January 27, 2014

work and projects

Okay, so I'm still alive. I survived retail hell and I'm working on various projects again. Also got a really big project I'm working on, an Apocalypse game! I hosted an apoc game last year. It had its ups and it had its downs. The folks who played in it had a lot of fun and they've asked me if I was going to do another one. So I am! But I'm gonna push it out several months for several reasons. First reason being is giving people a chance to get ready for the game, mainly by getting all those models they want but can't really using in their armies. But also to give people a chance to get coordinated and synced up with one another in the game. Also I need time to get ready for it. I've got some plans that require the construction of specialized terrain. So  I need time to build that terrain. I've set up a website to provide a single location for interested parties to get information on the game.

In the last Apoc game I put together 3 4'x8' tables to create a 12'x8' table and saw about 35,000 points on the table. For this upcoming game I'm hoping to get 50,000+ points on the table. But I'm also going to be setting up a far larder board. So large that I've talked to the owner of Game Vault and have reserved the front gaming room for the battle. Which also gives me some 136 square feet of table top space to work with.

But the Apoc game isn't the only thing I'm working on. Well sort of anyway. I'm also working on some other 'cool' stuff that is being motivated for use in the Apoc battle. The first of these is a Death Watch detachment which will consist of 2 ten man Sternguard squads with a Captain. I ordered 2 tactical squads, Pedro Kantor model, 3 different chapter shoulder pads, a Death Watch conversion kit, and an Iron Hands conversion kit.Well the order came in and I've gotten to work on my plan for the detachment.

Deathwatch Captain
So I've converted Kantor into the Death Watch Captain. The biggest point of conversion on this model was the storm bolder arm. I speciffically wanted to have a Death Watch shoulder pad on the left shoulder. Originally I had hoped I would be able to shave down the existing shoulder so I could mount the shoulder pad on it but the way the arm is designed made this not viable. The ammo feed connects at the back of the shoulder in such a way that I would had to disconnect the ammo feed while the original shoulder pad came low enough on the arm that I would have to replace the upper arm anyway to keep details that were previously covered.

So I had to replace the entire upper arm. I used one of the straighter arms from the tactical marines sprue for the replacement.
For the rest of the detachment I'm going to build 20 marines, decked out to be representative of Stern Guard, with a varied assortment of chapter markings. I have the bits and pieces so that I'll be able to build 3 Ultramarines, 2 Iron Hands, 2 Crimson Fists, 2 Imperial Fists, 2 Black Templar, 2 Dark Angels, 2 Blood Angels, 2 Space Wolves, 2 Aurora Chapter Marines and 1 black shield to round out the two squads.

Another project I'm working on is Egyptian Chaos Marines:
Egypt styled Mauler and Forge Fiend
Egypt styled Mauler and Forge Fiend
These will be a ForgeFiend and Mauler Fiend respectively. I'm going to mount the cannons on the sides of the Howdath of the WarSphynx.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

It came from below

So got the Trygon mostly built.
The based Trygon.
This project had several challenges, starting with the eyes and culminating in the base. If I had planned it out a bit more I could have actually made the head swappable and still kept the light up eyes. But alas I didn't.

The eyes were the first challenge. There isn't enough space to put 2 LEDs in the head, so I needed to use one LED with fiber optics for the eyes. But even that came with a challenge. The distance from the base of the neck to the eye sockets is fairly short, short enough that the Fiber optics doesn't have enough distance to allow the fiber optics to bend. So I had to find a way to make the fibers bend with out snapping. The answer? Heat. I just needed to heat the fibers enough so they would become pliable, then I could bend them to the angle I needed and let them cool. Once I had the LED set in the neck, it was just a matter of carving out the eye sockets and gluing the fiber optics in place.

The next challenge involved installing the wires in the body. This was a challenge because of how the model is designed. The chest, the abdomen, and the thorax are each separate parts that are themselves made out of halves. So I had to make sure to pass the wires through each half with out interfering in the ability of the parts to be assembled.

Then came the real challenge:
The base for the Trygon.
I wanted to make the Trygon look like it was bursting out of the ground which meant that there had be to ground being thrown up. I watched that scene in Starship Troopers, where the bug comes bursting out of the ground, like 50 times to get some ideas. Once I had a rough idea I went about making the design so that it would accommodate the battery, switch, base of the Trygon, and the wires.
Bottom of the base showing the battery and switch.

From there it was largely a matter of building up layers of cork board and then adding additional layers of bits in layers to show the ground being thrust upwards. Once I had the layers of cork down, I added a layer of glue and put down a combination of sand, gravel and modeling dirt.

I added an extra layer of 2mm thick styrene on the bottom and installed magnets in it. This allows me to change the battery and flip the switch.