Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chaos forces - Dark Adeptus Combat Constructs

I've been shifting some focuses in the past couple months, in terms of 40k projects and have been working on my Chaos Space Marine forces recently. One of the central concepts in my view for my Chaos Forces is that it's not a single unified army that answers to a single leader. Rather it's a loose conglomeration of different groups that for today, have agreed to work with one another for whatever reason. This gives me lots of conversion possibilities and separate modeling options by having different squad from different legions and war bands. I can have a squad of Night Lords along side a unit of World Eater Berzerkers advancing under fire support of Dark Mechanicus Servitor Slaves under the command of a Renegade Nova Marine turns Chaos Lord.

So, this particular entry is a Count-as Obliterators unit. The idea is that they are Combat Constructs, heavy combat machines akin to baby dreadnoughts. The Dark Mechanicus are given prisoners, which it then cuts their brains apart, wire them into a Servo-matrix that consults the brain for creativity and then applies what the program decides is good to the battle field. This gives the constructs greater adaptability in the field then a pure machine spirit controlled unit. The end result are large, heavily armored constructs plodding across the battle field bringing an assortment of heavy cannons and dark energy weapons to bear against their designated targets.

Count As Chaos Obliterators converted from Space Marine Centurions.
The models are based on Centurion models with a few minor modifications. I got the core idea from a conversion done by Dave Taylor as an addition to his Adeptus Mechanicus forces. I could have sworn he was also where I got the idea the idea for the domed heads but after breezing back through his blog I couldn't find it. Anyway, I had the idea to instead of using heads to put domed helmets on them to help carry the idea of face machines. I accomplished this by taking space marine shoulder pads, cutting off the bottom rim and then shaving down the sides just a bit to allow it to fit in the space on top of the Centurion bodies.

In order to remove the more Imperial looking designation from the shoulder pads I had to use a combination of an exacto blade and sanding sticks. I used my exacto blade to cut a hard line along the edge of the rimming on the shoulder pad. I then came in and very carefully carved away the imperial insignia and details from the shoulders using the cut line as a sort of break point so I would be less likely to accidentally cut through the rim edging. Once I had the majority of the insignia cut off I cam back with sanding sticks and smoothed out the remains. I did a similar removal of the insignias on the chest plates as well.

The rest of the conversions were largely on an individual model basis and largely based around mounting different weapons on the arms.

Count As Chaos Obliterators converted from Space Marine Centurions.

To carry the "old style tech" sort of look I raided my supply for Pre-heresy Forge world heavy weapons. Here I had to cut off the back shoulder padding and brace and then mounted the Multi-melta to the under side of the right arm. I was able to flex the cables from the Centurion kit enough to meet up with the side pressure chambers of the Multimelta. I still need to come back and use a little green stuff to join up the connection itself.

Count As Chaos Obliterators converted from Space Marine Centurions.
For the second Obliterator I used the plasma cannon and again had to cut off the back of he shoulder mount. I used the tentacle maker from Green Stuff Industries to make a pair of cables. I cut small segments of styrnene tubing and affixed the green stuff cables to those slices and then glued the slices to the back of the Centurion body and the Plasma cannon body respectively.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Blood Angels come to the fore

So last time Games Workshop released the Space Hulk set I was able to snag one and the last couple days or so I've been working my way through painting the Terminators from the set. I have to say that while I'm generally not a fan of mono-pose models, GW's recent efforts with them have been very impressive. The Dark Vengeance box set and the Space Hulk set have some really nice models in them that even though there's only one way the model can be built, the finished result looks incredibly dynamic when placed with its set-mates. The Blood Angel terminators from Space are a great example of this:
The Terminators as they stand today.

You can see how the assembled models still look dynamic and varied while still being unified in appearance. What exactly am I talking about? Lets take a look at them:
Brother Valencio of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.
 Brother Valencio is the youngest of member of the 1st company, and is eager to prove his worth. The 'dashing forward' appearance of the model carries a strong 'eager to engage' kind of look to it. While it's a fairly basic stance the details are the part that sell it. The swinging chains, the purity seals, the tassels of the cord, they all move in the same direction and with very sharp angles giving the impression that Volencio is charging forward.

Sergeant Gideon of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.
Sergeant Gideon. Maybe it's the half-face look, maybe its the way the character was shown in that Flash Gitz Animation, maybe it's how the character is described as bucking advised tactics by using a thunder hammer, but I get the impression that this guy would just be a royal jerk. Very much one of those guys who are basically high on the fact that he's in charge, makes absolutely no effort to help you unless it helps him, and loves to remind you that he is the one who is in charge. The 'charging hammer of thor' pose just seems to emphasis this for me. He's very "I AM AWESOME! FOLLOW ME CAUSE I AM AWESOME!" in appearance.

Sergeant Lorenzo of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.

 Sergeant Lorezeno looks very much like a 'lead from the front' sort of commander, somewhat removed from how Gideon is portrayed he looks more team oriented. While he is certainly fighting, his stance is open enough to suggest he is positioned to help cover his team mates if the need should arise.

Brother Goriel of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.
Brother Goriel... or rather "Brother Gorey" is just so utterly brutal in his appearence. I mean he's holding the head and spinal column of a gene stealer. Do you know what else does that? The Alien hunter from the Predator movies! And somehow I get the feeling that he removed it from the gene stealer the same way the hunter removed it in the movies. Just straight up tore it out of the body.

Brother Claudio of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set. Okay so we've had lightning claw equipped terminators for a while. What have we not had? Wolverine in terminator armor! Okay okay, I'm kidding. Still prior to this model most lightning claw equipped terminators just had their arms hanging at their sides or raised up and forward of their body. This was a nice and welcome change of pose, and one that was later used in new terminator sets.

Brother Scipio of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.
"Okay, so we can't go forward, back, to the right, or to the left. I'll just open the floor and go down." I love the way that the Brother Scipio is modeled, he's just tearing up the floor to make an exit or perhaps to use it as a shield. Maybe he's going to grab a power cable and use it as a make shift weapon. Just so many possibilities and so dynamic a pose for a model that is typically portrayed so stoically. 

Brother Leon of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.
An assault cannon is pretty ubiquitous in a Terminator Squad, so even though it's a little dubious in a space hulk, there pretty much has to be one in the Space Hulk terminator squad. Leon is that one in this case. Now a Terminator with an assault cannon is kind of hard to pose dynamically due to the size of the cannon relative to the Terminator itself. Leon is fairly well done given the limitations and it's nice break in design to have him aiming across his axis rather then along it.

Brother Omnio of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter model from the Space Hulk Boxed set.
There's a character blip in the mission books about Brother Omnio where it talks about him being extremly level headed and how Gideon had once joked that Omnio was actually a servitor that got promote to the first company by accident (What did I say about Gideon being a jerk?). While I can see what they were trying for, I think the pose of this model in comparison to the others gives the look of someone who is more interested in his smart watch then he is in the fight at hand. Still I'll give the designers props for the quality of the design.

So that's the break down of the 8 Terminators I've started painting so far. I'm using a varied approach to painting, rather then going through all 8 of them and doing the same the same step, I'll go through 3 of them with one step then I'll let those three sit for the paint to dry. While those 3 are drying I'll work on another 4 until I reach the end of a given step with those, put 2-3 of those down to dry and then pick up another 1-2 and work on those three. I don't have a particular reason for this approach beyond my ADHD kicking in and being relatively unable to focus on 8 models straight through. 

Today I'm just going to talk about doing the reds and golds on the model.

Space Hulk terminator primed in black
Painting started with a black spray base. I originally primed the Space Hulk models last fall by affixing the models to a series of lengths of 1" wide wood by way of tape. This gave me a series of paint sticks so I could work in batches and orient the models to get maximum coverage.

the Space Hult Terminator with Mephiston Red base color down.
I put down a base color layer of Mephiston red. I watered the red quit a bit and it took a series of 3-4 coats to get a smooth solid color.  In order to shade the red I make a mix of Rhinox Hide and water, to a ratio of about 5 parts water to 1 part Rhinox Hide, and then went in with a detail brush to pick out crevices, lower panels, and anything else that would be shaded.

the Space Hult Terminator with Gehenna's Gold base color down.
For the gold details I put down a series of 3 layers of Gehenna's Gold. In hind sight I think I should have put down a light brown base color, like Dryad bark or Mournfang brown, before putting down the Gehenna's Gold. The gold was then shaded with the same Rhinox Hide/Water mix as what I used to shade the Mephiston red.

Once the gold and base reds were down I came back in with Fire Dragon orange and picked out the edges of the armor doing a bit of an extreme high lighting effect. 

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Yeah I'm still here...

I am still alive, it's just that the last 8 weeks or so really hit me a lot harder then I was expecting them to. In short, I'm getting older. I've worked retail and other high-demand jobs since I was 14 so I thought I had a pretty good idea how the Christmas season and its fall out would stack up for me. I knew it was going to be an increased work load and I wasn't going to have the free time I had previously, that's why I had started to do the 'year in review' I had said I was going to do. While I couldn't commit to any major project work, I could talk about what I had done and what I had learned from those prior projects.

Well, this last Christmas season hit me a lot harder then previous ones. Working 40+ hours a week left me absolutely dog tired and unable to focus when I got home. While I could do little bits of hobby work here and there, I was left too exhausted to really focus on any project or bring the brain power writing up a post to explain anything about it would really entail.

I did get work done of a variety of projects and did post quick snippets about them on my facebook page, but I never really talked about the work in detail. That is what this page is for. Now that things are settling down and I'm recovered from the madness of the Christmas season I'm returning to blogging.

For today just a quickie update, the addition of a new tutorial video: Switching Paints from Citadel paint pots to dropper bottles. As always, you can view all my Tutorial videos on my Videos page.