Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Project: Chaos Knight of Blood Part 2

Starting work on the Knight of Blood. As I explained last time the Knight of Blood is going to be a counts as Lord of Skulls. The conversion itself will be based off of the Knight Titan kit. Today I'm dealing with the weapons. The Lord of Skulls is armed with a Hades Gatling cannon, a GoreStorm cannon and a Great Cleaver of Khorne. So the finished model needs to have the three weapons to represent these. The Lord of Skulls model has one gun arm, a stomach mounted weapon and the Great cleaver is held by the opposite arm. The Knight Titan on the other hand has one large cannon/gun on one arm, with the other arm being the large chain saber. So first challenge is I need to figure out how to effectively mount 3 weapons on a model that normally has 2. Well, what if I do what the Lord of Skulls model did and just mount the third weapon in the waist?
Um... yeah. That idea doesn't seem like a good one. Well unless I was to build a Lord of Rapage and devote it to Slaanesh. Hmm... files that idea away for later consideration.

Okay, so mounting a third gun at the waist isn't a good idea. What about mount the third cannon on the shoulder maybe?
Eh... okay that's better. But still not what I want. So I kept tinkering around in photoshop and decided rather then having the Great cleaver be it's own physical weapon, I'll mount a saber under each of the cannons and just have it count as great cleaver. Which brought me to this design approach:

It was also at this point that I started looking at the Hades gatling cannon and wondered if the sizing was actually going to mesh up with the shield like it looked like it did in the photoshoped image.

As you can see by the comparison of the size of the cannon to my fingers it's a pretty beefy muther. So it did look like it would fix. But of course the real test comes when you apply the saw to the piece and actually fit it to the shield. So end result?

Yeah it fits pretty darn well. I took a chaos star icon and added some detailing to the edges of the shield. I'm not going for a full out total conversion to chaos with this, rather a Chaos Aligned sort of look. This is after all a Dark Adeptus machine before it is a Chaos War Machine. The rest of the Hades cannon amounted to assembling the back section of the rapid fire battle cannon.

The next challenge came from the Chain Saber and was two fold. Firstly the Knight Titan kit has a fair amount of  imperial Iconography on it in the form of surface details made out to be the Imperial Aquial, Renaissance era style detailing, and other such material. Again this machine is meant to be a fresh built unit, not a captured or converted one. So I had to take that detail off. This was a rather tedious process as it required me to come in with an exacto blade and do lots of shallow carving passes to cut away the Imperial details being extremly careful to not cut off the raised armor edging. In many cases I then had to come back and, using a plastic scribing tool, carve in a panel separation that had previously been hidden by the surface details.

Here you can see an example of the armor plates with the ones on the left still with their surface details, and the ones on the right with the detail removed.  I had to perform this same operation to the sides of the Chain Saber.
The second challenge with the Chain saber was mounting it to the carriage of the Hades cannon. The top of the Chain saber is not actually flat, and like wise the shield the cannon is affixed to comes down nearly 4mm below the bottom of the cannon body. In order to address this I carved down the top of the Chain saber to give it a flat body, and then built a mount using a section of 1/4" squad styrene tubing. This gives it a good solid foundation for the Saber to mount to.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Project: Chaos Knight of Blood Part 1

So I'm embarking on a big project. Well okay, another big project. This is a little different then my normal 'big projects' like the Epyon project for instance, which I need to get back to now that I think about it. Anyway, this project is for my Chaos Space Marine forces, I want to add something big to it. Like Lord of Skulls big, 'cept I hate the Lord of Skulls model. I really want a Knight titan, but I don't want to deal with the allies chart. I want something that I can have right next to my regular Chaos Marines and I don't have to worry about both of them standing around for a turn. So what's a converter to do? Oh right, he converts. In all honestly, my interest in under taking this project was truly sparked when I saw Virtual Strangers scratch built paper hammer Knight Titan over on In The Grim Cheapness. He did a really outstanding job on it and it's inspired me to add something on that scale to my own army.
So short version, I'm going to convert a Knight Titan into a Counts-as Lord of Skulls. This is a bit more involved then my normal projects so I really need to start out by getting some kind of visual approach down on paper for it. One thing I knew I wanted to do with was I wanted to have it's leg crushing down on something, something is normally fearsome and dangerous. A Carnifex seems to fit that bill. I also wanted the finished model to have the same number of weapons as the Lord of Skulls. This was a little tricky since the Knight titan has 2 big weapons while the Lord of Skulls has 3. I also knew I wanted to have this model mounted on one of the Goth Tech bases from Dragon Forge designs, so that it would fit the base themes with the rest of my army.

So the first thing I needed to do was to put some digital pen to paper and get a better idea of what I was going to do. With a $115 for the basic kit before I get anything else this would be an expensive project to have an "Oh, that won't work that way" result come up. So went to the Games Workshop website and grabbed a couple images of the Knight Titan and the Carnifex and dropped them into Photoshop. After a little tinkering and moving around, I came up with this:

So I'm going to convert 2 weapon arms, one will be the Hades Gatling cannon while the other will be the Gorestorm cannon. Mounting a Chain Saber under each gun will allow the pair of them to count as the Great Cleaver of Khorne. The other thing I want to do is I want to wire up some lights in this thing so it's eyes will glow red. But there's a sub-point to that statement: I want the eyes to glow, but I don't want them to have lights in them. There is a difference though it is a subtle difference. I don't want to have a pair of LEDs sitting behind the mask putting the light out. I want to have the light glowing from back in the head. So to accomplish this I'm going to pass segments of fiber optics up into the back of the head. I'm hoping this will allow the light be brought up to the head, but disperse in the eye sockets giving it a more sinister look. Now powering an LED requires... well power. Which in this case means a battery. So I will need to add a spacer of some form to the bottom of the base to provide space for the battery pack and switch.

Stay tunes for updates.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Project brief: King Ghidorah HelDrake

As I said in the post about the Nurgle Mecha-fly, I truely dislike the HelDrake model. And like the Nurgle Mecha-fly I discovered a bit of inspiration for a new HelDrake conversion, though this bit of inspiration did come from a... somewhat different source then the last one. This source of inspiration... well was Godzilla. Yeah I'm a Godzilla fan, but seriously is anyone even remotely surprised by that? So am I going to build a Godzilla style HelDrake? Well.. not exactly. Rather, I'm looking at this guy:

King Ghidorah
So for the Kaiju fans out there, yes this is King Ghidorah. Arguably Godzilla's archenemy. His origin has varied from series to series, ranging from being a Space Dragon under the control of Aliens, to being the deliberate development of time travels to being an immature Tiamat Dragon. Origins aside, I like the three headed Dragon and I want to build a HelDrake inspired by him.

So what am I planning on doing? Well obviously I'm going to need 3 heads and necks. The larger wings without a question. The tail... that one I'm a little less certain about. In order to accommodate the scale and size, think I'm going to use the the body from a Forge Fiend. In order to get the curved necks into it, I will have to completely scrap the neck from the kit itself and build a series of 3 new ones. But I think I know how I'm going to do that.

It all starts with a length of wire coat hanger that's been built into the approximation of the curve of the neck in question (how often is it I have to take about more then 1 neck?). Anyway, starting with a length of wire coat hanger that's been cut to the desired length. I can then attack wooden/plastic balls of the appropriate diameter to one end of each section. This will give me a foundational armature to build up the rest of the neck around. I can then build up the details of the neck by laying in lengths of cable and wires and the like. Once I have the wires and such down and secured, I can come back with either stripes of kneadite or maybe strips of styrene and afix them around the wires and cables. With those in place, I think I can fashion a series of armor plates from styrene and then affix those over the back of the neck. With the plates in place I can cap off the entire neck with a second ball of the needed size.

Actually, this might make more sense. It is a little animation I put together showing what I am talking about.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Chaos Rapier platform

So the Hades autocannon and EctoPlasm cannons, yeah those are real nice options for fire power. Putting them on a daemon that's BS3... eh. Putting them on a daemon that's 175 points... yeah. It can work, but with the release of IA13 from Forge World there is a better option. And that's the Chaos Rapier heavy weapons platform. So I'll just hop right over to the Forge World website and order a set of three of 'em for... $120. Ouch for $30 more I can get a Spartan assault tank. So the Rapier is a bit cost prohibitive. At least the official model for on is anyway. Well I was skimming over some images and I happened across the Taurax for the Astra Militarium and I noticed something.

The treads on it are fairly small. It got me thinking, maybe I can take those, turn them upside down and build a platform between then to mount the weapons on. So I quickly ordered a set of the treads from a Bitz Seller to give it a shot. Well, sadly they are not assembled the way I thought they were. See, I had originally thought it was something like the Rhino Chasis where you laid the treads down and then had a section that covers the treads. Well... that not how these are built. The tread mounts themselves including the covers on top are 2 halves that join together. The respective treads then attach to those halves. So.. yeah. Can't do what I originally thought I would be able to do.

But, didn't give up. If I can't turn the treads upside down and build a rapier maybe I can just build the platform with the treads right side up. Which, I think I did pretty well:

I used 2 sections of 1/4" styrene square tubing to build a base connecting the two tread units. This gave me a foundation to build the rest of the platform from. To help with the detailing some I used a section of diamond tread plate on the standing ramp. I then came back in and edged it out with some 1mm striping to the edges around the diamond plating. This give the platform a much more solid and rugged look to it. A fitting appearance when you realize these things are meant to mount heavy weapon systems.

In order to allow me to swap weapons on it I put a magnet on the base. You can just see it in that first image. As long as I put a matching Magnet in the weapon itself, I can just swap the weapons. God I love magnets some days. For instance I used an extra Ectoplasma cannon, added some styrene mounting to it and then placed a magnet in it.
I had to shave down the sides of the cannon and remove some details. Like there's no space to accommodate the tubing that run along the sides of the cannon. I built a quad heavy bolter by taking 2 pairs of the Dark Angles Twin-linked heavy bolters and affixing them atop of one another.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Something gribbly...

I've made no secret of my disdain for the HelDrake model, here after to be referred to as the 'Helturkey'. It's always struck as being 2 half thoughts that were mashed together into one model, and with neither idea flushed out leaving us with this... half formed, incoherent... thing with wings and a mouth. It's kind of a dragon... sort of, but it's a fighter... 'cept it's not. Yeah, I just can't stand it. So I've been very keen any time I heard "HelDrake conversion".

I found one super great example of a HelDrake conversion that was just a home run for me. It was such a well thought out conversion that is perfectly executed to the model. It was done by a member of the DakkaDakka community who goes by the screen name of GuitaRasmus. He doesn't open many threads, rather continually updating one thread with whatever he's working on. He's got some really amazing conversions, but his Nurgle fly buzzer thing, that he built before the release of the HelTurkey mind you, is what caught my eye.

This ugly converted mecha-fly is a counts as a HelDrake completed by GuitaRasmus

Built from a conversion based around the Warhammer fantasy battles Arachnarok Goblin monster, it's a flipping daemonic mecha-fly of chaos! It looks utterly creepy and disgusting! Both big pluses. As soon as I saw this I was like "I WANT ONE!!!!" So I've started work on my own Mecha-Fly.
my counts-as HelDrake based on a converted Arachnarok from Warhammer Fantasy Battles.
Here you can see the slightly converted Arachnarok model. The body and head are all standard built from the kit. The legs I had to shave down the locking stubs in order to reposition them. But honestly, that's the extent of the conversion at this stage. I am debating about getting a second set of mandibles and affixing them to the lower section of the mouth area, just to give it a sort of Prederish look and to help carry the 'Warp Spawnedness' of the monster.

The rotors were an interesting challenge. I wanted to get the same circular fan blade sort of look that GuitaRasmus did on his model. Thankfully GuitaRasmus did provide a partial explanation of how he went about making his. So I was able to use that information and then extrapolate out from there. I started with cutting a circle of styrene that was slightly less then 1 1/2" across. I then cut out a second one. I then measured out 6 points around the perimeter of the circle at equal-distant points. I used the second circle to mark out curved lines from the center the circle to each of the points. I then repeated the process with the second circle using the first as a guide. I then cut out each of the 12 blades. I glued 2 panels together to form each individual blade. Once I had the blades made I was able to affix them to a length of styrene rod.
The rotors, scratch built from pieces of styrene for my counts-as HelDrake based on a converted Arachnarok from Warhammer Fantasy Battles.
For the rotor housing, I used 1 1/2" PVC tubing. I just cut off the junction pieces and used those as the actual housing. I mounted a section of styrene plate to the side of each of these. I had to use a rasp to gouge up the space on the pvc to give the super glue something to adhere to, so once I had the space prepared just a couple drops of super glue was all it took to hold the plate in place. From there I used a pin vice to drill out 2 holes and essentially pin using 2 lengths of styrene rod. This was all in preparation for mounting these rotor assemblies on cut down defiler arms.
The rotor assembly housing built from sections of PVC plumbing for the rotors that were scratch built from pieces of styrene for my counts-as HelDrake based on a converted Arachnarok from Warhammer Fantasy Battles.
Here is an image of the model with the rotor housing mounted on the defiler arms, which are in turn mounted on the body of the Arachnarok. In order to secure the arms to the body I had to go a couple levels of crazy with pinning. I used a series of 8 pins in each joint and then used plasti-weld cement to fuse the plastic of the Arachnarok body to the base of the armatures from the defiler. And even then, I used a drop of super glue to help
The ugly little sucker, built from the bases of an Arachnarok model from the Warhammer Fantasy Battle range, is preparing for lift off with the rotor housing mounted on cut down defiler arms.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Mounted Chaos Lord of Khorne

It's hard to argue with the effectiveness of a Chaos Lord with mark of Khorne mounted on a juggernaut with the Axe of blind fury, so I've added one such lord to my Chaos Forces. And here he is:

No, that isn't actually mine. That is the normal Khorne Lord on Juggernaught model from the Fantasy Battle range and while I do like the model, I've seen that exact same model used for like 90 Chaos Lords with mark of Khorne on juggernaut. And has long time readers of my blog will be well aware of, I like to be different. So what did I do for my Khorne Lord on Juggernaut? Well that's a simple answer: I converted on!

Well to be more precise I am still converting one. There are some things I'm waiting on to finish the model itself, so what I'm about to show should be considered a work in progress.
Converted Chaos Lord with Mark of KHorne mounted on a Juggernaut with the axe of blind fury built from a set of Mark II Iron armor from Forge world and the World Eater upgrade kit.

The juggernaut is still the fantasy model but I wanted to build the Lord himself so that he was wearing the Mark II Crusade Armor. I've been building several models with the Crusade armor and I've fallen in love with it. It's so brutal and UN-elligent, it's like the result of a back seat drunken grope feast between a suit of knight armor and an Abrams tank. It's sexy because of how not-sexy it is. It's effectiveness in its brutality. No ornamentation. No frills. No extras. Just raw simplicity. It's the AK-47 of power armors.

So I build the Juggernaut pretty much straight out of the kit, only use a bit of gap filler to fill in a couple casting bubbles. I used a long length of brass rod running up from the middle of the juggernaut body and up through the saddle mount.In order to use the Mark II armor on the juggernaut required some rather extensive cutting as I needed to separate the legs from the crotch. I used more brass rod to affix the legs to the crotch. This allowed me to position the parts while still keeping them all connected.
Converted Chaos Lord with Mark of Khorne mounted on a Juggernaut with the axe of blind fury built from a set of Mark II Iron armor from Forge world and the World Eater upgrade kit.
Once I had the legs properly positioned just a drop of super glue was needed to secure the legs in place. Once that was accomplished, I needed to add some green stuff to fill the space and then sculpt in some soft armor ribbing. I wasn't too concerned with being particularly neat at this stage as I'm going to be sculpting chain mail over top of these joints later on.

The main weapon for the Lord was something of a different affair then the body was. The Axe is a conversion built from the Sorcerers Staff from the Chaos Lord set, a wing from the Chaos Raptors set and one of the chain swords from that same set. I used a cybernetic arm from the Forge World character upgrade set.
Converted Chaos Lord with Mark of Khorne mounted on a Juggernaut with the axe of blind fury built from a set of Mark II Iron armor from Forge world and the World Eater upgrade kit.
I haven't decided if I'll fill in the little space in the blade. It helps to break the 'space marine-esqu' vibe of the rest of the weapon and helps to carry it being made by something other then a space marine.

I still have some work yet to do on the model. I need to build the reins of the saddle and stir ups for the boots of the lord. Add a harness to the heads of the juggernaut... yeah. Still have some work. But time to progress and all that.