Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Tutorial: Making True-Scale Lasguns from Bolt Action Guns

Lasguns are the standard weapon of the Imperial Guard. Cheap, simple and easy to repair, they are the backbone of the firing lines. But to me, they seem a little…big. The standard plastic models for them depict them as larger than the Space Marine’s Bolter. Now we can’t be having that. For my revamped Vraks militia, I want rifles which are more representative of a human-sized Las-weapon.

Today, I’m sharing with you a little tutorial on making yourselves a more to-scale Lasgun, more suited to a human-sized model. This conversion is based on 28mm rifles from Warlord Games' range of models. For this, you will need:

  • A rifle from a Warlord Games Bolt Action kit. I’ve gone with a German Heer Infantry rifle leftover from my German army. but a rifle from any nation would work.
  • A pair of arms to hold the rifle, ideally from the same kit.
  • Plasticard rod, roughly 1mm in diameter.
  • Hobby knife, file and glue.

First, get your rifle. Cut off the tip of the gun barrel. I cut at the final ring on the main body of the gun. Keep the cutting; you will need it later on.

Next, cut a small section of plasticard rod. This should be flat at one end, and angled at the other. Use the file if you need to, make sure the flat end is at a 90 degrees angle, otherwise you'll end up with a wonky barrel. Attach this to the rifle.

Next, bring back that cutting from the rifle. Cut off the very tip of the rifle. This will form the end nozzle of the Lasgun. Glue it to the centre of the angle end of the rod. Add this to the angled plasticard end. And there you go, a simple, true-scale Lasgun. At this point you are free to add extra wires, ammo packs etc. Then attach the the model with the arms you've selected. For mine I’m staying simple, and just using the new muzzle. Fluff-wise, the power-core for this pattern of Lasgun slots into the top, like the ammo cartridge on a P90 SMG.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Review: Spellcrow Plague Legion Bits Part 1/7 (legs)

The Plague God leaves no body un-ravaged, not even the mighty Astartes are immune to his loving embrace. Many have fallen to Lord Nurgle, and today, I’m showing off a bits set ideal for use on Nurgle –marked squads of Plague Marines.

This leg set is one of the many Plague Knights sets from Spellcrow. This pack consists of six pairs, three designs, and costs eight Euros, around £6.60 GBP with current exchange rates.

The designs share a lot of similarities: massively corroded armour, insect hive-like pitted surfaces, and bulbous fungal growths, the hallmarks of diseased super-soldiers. The images below show each design up-close:

MKVI-esque legs with spikes and boots.

Rounded knees with fungus shin and hooves.

Rounded knees with worms and boots.

Apart from some largish resin gates on the undersides of the feet, there are no obvious flaws. Also it is Nurgly, so flaws are easier to disguise and would fit in with the Plague Marine theme.  The legs scale well with other parts, and are about on-par with GW plastic legs.

They are compatible with GW plastic torsos, as shown. There is an obvious style difference, but with added work to the non-Spellcrow parts, and with paint, they should blend well.

As you can expect, they are well-suited for Spellcrow’s other Plague Knights components. Here is a pair of legs with a Plague Knight torso, which will receive its own review in time.

This set, then, is a good addition for making your marines true servants of the Plague God. The next item I will review will be the torso sets. Throughout this review series, the parts will be combined, so by the final review, there will be a fully built Plague Legionnaire for you to ogle, that will give you an idea of how all the sets look when combined.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

WIP: Triarch stalker=Defiler: Part Two: The Build Begins

Having planned this Defiler conversion a few weeks ago, I’ve started working on the basic design. For ease of building, I will be using as many original components from the Triarch Stalker as possible, with additions going on-top of the existing structure. The main areas of change will be the legs, front claws and upper structure.

So far only one leg has received the full extra-armour additions I’ve planned. The side panels require a lot of work, as they have to be curved on two sides, and narrow at one end. It still needs a few details, but for the most part, it is done. The whole leg has had a ton of rivets added to it, to make it appear less ‘Necron’ and more in-line with other Chaos designs. A spike, cut from the chaos vehicle accessories sprue, tops the leg.

I’ve found this whilst looking for an ideal part for the Battle Cannon: the tip of a Heavy Psycannon leftover from the Dreadknight/Decimator conversion. It is on the stubby side, so I may use some large pipe to make the barrel longer, and add a couple of recoil suppressors to the sides.

I am thinking of attaching the main gun to this area, where the Triarch Stalker’s frontal mandible-claws would normally go. There are a few gaps, but the recoil suppressors should solve this issue.

Here’s the current progress all mocked up. It looks a bit small to be a Defiler currently, but once the upper structure and front claws go on, it will look a lot bigger and more in-line with the official kit.

Next on the to-do list for this walker will be the secondary weapons, and then the upper structure.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Battle Report: Bolt Action Germans vs British (1250 pts)

The Germans have had a taste of battle against the British, and today shares an account of how it went.

My list was as follows:

HQ-2x 2nd Lieutenant with extra rifleman, (regulars)
Infntry-10x Heer infantry )SMG, LMG), 10x Heer infantry (LMG), 8x Pioneers (flamer, 6x SMG), 5x Pioneers (LMG)
Teams-MMG team (regular), Sniper team (regular), Pak 38 team (regular)
Tanks-Flammpanzer B2 (f) (regular), Panzerjager (regular)

The British forces were along the lines of:

HQ-2x 2nd Lieutenant, artillery observer
Troops-Many small units of British infantry and veterans all with an LMG, one SMG squad
Teams-6-pdr, medium mortar, sniper team
Tanks-Stuart, Chaffee, Sherman

Table and deployment

The table was a 6x4 with plenty of forests and fields. I got to choose sides, so I went for the one with a few buildings. The mission was Demolition, meaning we each had an objective which the other player had to reach.  I deployed defensively, with my panzerjager covering the objective, alongside a command unit, a 10-man Heer squad, the PAK 38 in the trees, and the snipers solely covering the other edge.

Turn One

Not much was killed here, since most of our units were hidden. My Panzerjager is shot at by the 6-pdr, but it misses, and return fire sees a 6-pdr crew member take a bullet. British snipers kill an MMG gunner, meaning the whole team disappeared (harsh). The British mortar attempted to hit the unit inside the houses, but misses.

Turn Two

More stuff arrives. The Pioneers and Heer arrive on the right-hand side, but without the officer, and the Sherman rolls up in the top left forest, near the 6-pdr.

The chaffee moves forward and sprays MMG shots into the buildings, causing no damage. The 6-pdr blows up the Panzerjager.

Turn Three

Turn three sees the enemy artillery spotter activate. The shots do not kill, but seriously pin the small Pioneers unit and adds a couple of pin markers to the Heer squad. The flamer-carrying pioneers arrive on the left flank, but because of the Sherman and 6-pdr, are forced to deploy far back in the forest in Their Hanomag. The Stuart and PAK 38 trade shots, both missing. Infantry fire manages to kill one PAK 38 member.

Turn Four

The Flammpanzer B2 arrives on the right flank. The flame-thrower was out of range, but the turret draws sight on the Chaffee. It tries to Reece out of the way, but that wasn't enough.

 A rear-armour shot sees the tank explode, but not before it spots my infantry. 

The pioneers vacate the Hanomag, and with combined flamer and SMG fire, wipes out a unit. The smaller pioneers unit attempts to rally, but fails massively and ends up running back towards my table edge. The Heer squad in the building takes hits from a mortar and the Sherman's HE shells.

The defending officer and aide jumps into the empty Hanomag, taking advantage of the MMG to add pin tokens to the veterans.

Turn Five

The defending Heer squad is finished off by the Sherman's HE shells. The Hanomag takes a hit from the Stuart and is immobilised. Still, the half-track manages to take down a few British infantry, as they attempt to get close to the objective.

The Flammpanzer moves up to incinerate the sniper team, and helps whittle down the large veteran unit, with the help of the pioneers, snipers and Heer infantry, down to one man, who defiantly runs in front of the B2. The Pak 38 uses a HE shot to take out a veteran.

Turn six

This turn sees little real action, as we realise the game will be a draw. The remaining veterans and pioneers continue to slug it out, exchanging a few casualties. The Flammpanzer rolls up and tries to take a shot at the Stuart, but misses. The Sherman proves to be a jammy sod by wiping out an entire Heer squad in one shot (I know, right?). a British officer moves up, but isn't close enough to destroy the objective. The game ends.


Overall it was a fun game, and very closely fought near the end. I've learned a bunch of new things, including the abilities to wipe out whole teams with one sniper shot, and the power of Sherman HE shells. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

News: Nerdvana Event In Camarthen, Wales

The Nerdvana team are preparing for their first event, which is will be on Saturday 26th April.

The event, help at St. Peter's Civic Hall, Camarthen, promises plenty to do, whether you prefer card games, table-top or video games. Local traders and crafters will be setting up shop at the event.

Helen Logan, the chief organiser at the event, said: "Events include costumes contest, NERF dueling and various games throughout the day. There will also be a vendors area open throughout the day which will be packed with local businesses selling handmade and commercial items."

"We're hoping that this will bring together a lot of people who are interested in the same things (anime, film, tv, gaming, steampunk etc.) as there isn't really anything like that in this area apart from Cardiff comic con. It should be a day of fun and a good opportunity to meet new people."

As well as stalls and games, two costume contests will be held. First up is a cosplay contest, followed by a steampunk one. If you decide to go as a steampunk Dalek, well you'll just have to choose one.

Doors open at 10am. Tickets cost £5, and can be bought from the event website. If you have further question, the team can be contacted here, or on Facebook.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

WIP: Possessed Relic Predator (Early Painting)

Oh, the joys of coursework! But there I am close to the light at the end of the tunnel: yesterday I handed my two biggest pieces in. Naturally, the best way to celebrate is t either A) Drink, or B) Paint more 40k. I went with A, but B the next day, and now I have some progress to share.

I’ve been adding some freehand detailing to the Relic predator, before it gets an all-over oil wash. It had been primed and basecoated last week. 

Most of my work lately has been adding some yellow to the tank, with various Thousand Sons icons, Tzeentch symbols, and marks of Chaos.

Here’s a few on the left flank that I’ve started work on. All the yellow icons have been done with a basecoat of Averland Sunset, followed by (or to be followed by) a few thin layers of Flash Gitz Yellow.

The pattern of the back door will be the most complex design. I’ll be incorporating a large Tzeentch icon into this sunbeam pattern, similar to the one on my Legion Fellblade.

As well as the icons, I’ve also been working on the daemonic sections of the possessed battle-tank.

That is all for this week, but with my newly found free time, I’ll be able to make more significant progress with this.  

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

WIP: Triarch stalker=Defiler: Part One: Concept Art

It has been a bit quiet on the modelling front this week. With family visits, and university deadlines this week, I haven’t had a spare moment to actually work on anything. However, I did find an idle half-hour to put onto paper my plans for a new defiler model.

And here is my idea. Please excuse the roughness of it; it was a quick sketch with a blunt pencil. I plan to use the Necron Triarch Stalker has my base kit. I had considered combining it with the Heldrake, after seeing this model, but I feel that I could both save money, and be a bit different, by just using the Stalker.

My main idea to change the basic Necron outline is to up-armour the legs, using plates similar in design to the standard Defiler. They will be glued to the legs, rather than suspended above them like on the Defiler. I’ll cut a few curved lines into them so they complement the Stalker kit.

Weapons are a fairly simple solution. I will use the standard gun mount that comes on the Triarch Stalker, and in place of the Gauss Cannons, will either go a pair of Heavy Bolters or Lascannons, leftover from the Centurion kit.

The main battle cannon will be nestled in amongst the frontal sensors and lenses. I'm basing the design on the braced Battle Cannon from a Forge World Leman Russ turret. Depending on funds, I may actually use this gun, and use the turret for another purpose. For the other secondary armament, I am thinking of going for a Havoc Launcher, placed above the battle cannon in a specially designed mount. A Thousand Sons-like crest will crown the centre of the weapon.
What about the top then? For that I have a few ideas. I will be removing the throne on top of the walker, and replace it with engine components. I do plan to use the metal spine, but for a different purpose.

I want to have a chained up Space Marine hanging off it, a tortured plaything for the daemon controlling the Defiler. It is well-known that the Space Wolves are the Thousand Sons’ sworn enemies, so I am very tempted to make it a corpse of the Emperor’s lapdogs.

That is all for today, but keep an eye out for further updates on Facebook. I plan to have a look for the kit later this week, so look out for any progress I make.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Review: Maxmini Steel Crow Tribe Helmets

Helmets are a good way of modelling your forces to fit a common theme. Plague marines (and associate humans) are ideal candidates for heads with fleshy build-ups, mutations and corrosion. More industrious armies like the Iron Warriors or Imperial Fists might wish for helmets with a more utilitarian style.

And Thousand Sons are great models to stick a fancy cap on. Today, I’m looking at a pack of heads from Maxmini: a pack of Steel Crow Tribe helmets . This set (a pack of ten with five designs) is ideal for “human sized” 28mm models, such as Imperial Guard and Dark Eldar.

As mentioned, you get five different designs in the set, all with a certain “masked ball” style to them. they feel like that they would work well in any sort of carnival/masquerade ball setting, and for armies which might indeed contain royalty and nobility. Here's a few close-ups

The designs are flamboyant, so would fit in any army that you possess which has a certain “fancy” look. They make great heads for elite guards, decadent cultists, and even the sadistic Dark Eldar, where they fit in surprisingly well. They are also a possibility for pre-heresy forces like the Emperors Children, should you be running any human allies.

In terms of quality, as usual with Maxmini, there are no real faults. A few mould-lines here and there, but no cast slips, and no air bubbles in the resin.

The heads are the ideal scale for human models. Here’s I’ve attached them to some Dark Vengeance cultists with Autoguns. The models will require some green-stuff work to repair the hoods, but the heads went on well. The models weren’t designed for new heads, but models with separate heads should cause no bother.
The only real issue I have is that the necks are quite long on them. It is an easy task to trim them down, but be careful: resin can shatter if you cut with too much force.

Overall, they are a nice set of helmets. Keep in mind that they may not work for all styles of army. If you happen to run a very image-conscious army, then these helmets are perfect for adding a bit of flare to your foot-soldiers.