Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hive Tyrant W.I.P

So I have liked Nids for a long time, in fact I have had an army of them for every codex, plus a Genestealer Cult Army back in the far of mists of time. This time around I had planned to only do a small army, this was spurred on by the fact that I was given a couple of unassembled plastic Carnifexes in trade for some work, which I added some forgeworld Stonecrusher parts to for "the look." I already had one done up as a Screamer Killer which I added to a resin base. He came up so far I think.

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The biggest thing I wanted was a ridiculously cool Hive Tyrant. I know alot of people like the metal one, and the way things are going there will be a plastic one eventually. But to me there are two things wrong with it.
Firstly it is a serious pain to assemble, my buddy Luke almost cries tears of blood when you ask him how much fun it was to assemble his. I do not want that pain.
Second, beside the awesome that is the Carnifex kit and the sweet that is the plastic Trygon the meat Tyrant is like a wee baby man, in fact it reminds me of Napoleon with his little man syndrome.

So my solution was in the words of my mate Red "freakin insane!"

Behold the first snaps of the WIP of my Hive Tyrant.

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Yes it did start life as a Trygon kit, I modified the head and added a few spikes here and there, the head-spike and tail spike are the smallest digging claws in the arms set, I used the nowmal Trygon tongue with the T-Prime head and tail pieces. I used the ball socket part of the central torso where it joins the hips and bulked out around the hex attachment end this with cheap filler epoxy ribbon before pinning on the tail and some armour plates shaved off the upper tail section of the original kit. I then did the green stuff details. I also used green stuff to fill in the previously hollow tail sections and blend this smoothly into the hips.

The arms are all magnetised, with the scything talons stock standard, and the custom heavy venom cannon you can see half sculpted. I have built it around a piece of aluminium pipe I found in the local hobby shop that is kind of egg shaped in cross section.

Here I am using a new sculpting medium I hadn't tried before from Privateer Press' P3 range. It is quite smooth and holds detail well. My one gripe is that if it is wet with water it will not, unlike greenstuff, stick to another bit of itself that is still un-set. In fact it is difficult to get it to stick to anything when wet, but as soon as there is no surface moisture it will stick to everything. (you, its packaging, the sculpting tool, the table, the random sprue on the desk...)
Once you get used to it is is however quite good. A little tip is to keep it in the freezer so it will come out of its packaging, to which it is otherwise inseparably stuck.

I have also started on the legs, and with nothing large enough on hand I am slowly sculpting the individual sections, which I will double using resin castings as per the hoof that is already done. the thighs will have to be completely sculpted however as there is no way to mirror them. As you can see I have used my spare standard Trygon head pieces as the thigh carapace.

I am thinking of maybe extending the back vents/spore chimneys (what the hell are those things anyhow?), but I am not committed to it until I see how well the legs balance the rest of the figure.

What is the biggest tip I can give about sculpting Nids?
To get nice smooth organic curves use a burnishing tool, one of the ones with a little ball on the end of it, or as pictured use my preferred tool. A length of brass rod with the end rounded and polished. Using it you can more easily smooth off large areas of organic flesh, add the little muscle striations where flesh meets carapace, do the little round indents that there are on nids and lastly easily sculpt the rib detail.

Also do the cross ribs one way first and then when these have set do the perpendicular bone detail. As this will prevent the making of a real mess. Finally add you circular flesh indentations after you have smoothed out the flesh section you are doing them on but before the sculpting medium sets as they will be a part of the surface rather than an addition, making them look more natural/organic.

How do I rate the P3 sculpting epoxy?
About 7/10 as it is pretty good but is a pain to get out of that package unless you keep it in the freezer, you can overlook the other parts as it hold detail nicely.

How do I rate the new Trygon kit?
8/10 It has pretty limited poses, but with magnets and patience you can set it up so you can alternate between your beasties of choice. In the end I love it so much bought two!

Secret Business Complete!

Ok so I teased you the other day with a WIP shot of some secret business. Photographed below is the end result.

What is it you ask?
A combination 6x3.5 foot gaming table and single bed, with deep drawers underneath to store terrain.

The change from table to bed is enacted by two 1/4" bolts on each leg and wing nuts. they are prevented from moving by the runners for the drawers.
It is a little bit taller than a coffee table, the perfect height for pnp, and also makes it easy for wargaming to kick back and relax, as I have always found that games at the FLGS tedious because you have to stand at the tables for endless hours when gaming. It is not that I am lazy, standing at tables is great for tournaments but for relaxed afternoon games on a weekend there has to be some compromise in table height to accommodate the inevitable chairs around the table.

All in all very functional, and handy to have. It should encourage me to both play games more often when the lads come over, and give me some incentive to finish the terrain I have unassembled in the cupboard!

Enjoy all, and if anyone is interested I can whip up some CAD of this right quick if anyone wants to make there own.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Night Gaming.

So you are a Gamer in the South West Suburbs of Brisbane and you have an itch to get a game in on a Sunday night but your FLGS just ain't open... What do you do?

Easy, join a few of us regulars at the Centenary Tavern, 96 Sumners Rd, Sumner, just off the Centenary Highway from about 6:30pm until about 10pm. We meet and game pretty much every weekend.

We play a range of games regularly, including 40k, WH Fantasy, DnD, Rogue Trader, Dark Heresy, 40k Scale Inquisitor and just about any game that we have on hand. If you are interested in a particular game you can contact us in the week before to see if we can get someone else to bring minis along to play you.
Forgeworld Rules and minis are Welcome.

What do we require of you?
First: You Must Be 18+!!!
We hold it at a Local Tavern, and while we encourage younger gamers we cannot be responsible for those under 18. Also if you are over 18 and intend to have a couple of drinks make sure you do not Drink and Drive, if your licence does not provide you with the ability to have a drink then be responsible. Primarily we hold this as a social gaming event, not a drinking competition.

Second contact us ahead of time to make sure we are definitely going to be running it on the coming Sunday. Sometimes the room we hire is booked out or we are having a BBQ or other social event at the residence of one of the organisers.
- You can contact us via emailing myself, or Maddermax has a post up about the club on the Heresy Online Forums that you can post to.

Third if you want to play something specific ask us to make sure we can tee up a game for you, most Sundays we have a few 40k and Fantasy armies at the bare minimum. We provide some terrain, but if you want to bring some you are more than welcome too.

Fourth as we are a Social Club, we don't ask that you have your minis all painted to tournament standards (so long as they are assembled to game with we don't mind at all). Bring along some dice and templates for whatever game you have sorted out and you are good to go. Like I mentioned before we like won't say no to Forgeworld stuff, just make sure you bring a copy of the rules for whatever you are using.

Lastly we each put in about $5-$10 to cover room hire and some food from the bistro (wedges, chips, cheese breads, cobb loaf etc.). If you don't want any food or are just coming along to check it out just ask Brett and he, generous soul that he is, will generally tell you not to pay anything.

Last Sunday saw two really good games. Nids vs Orks and Bretonians vs Dwarves. The Orks triumphed in the first battle, but sadly I had to head home before the end of the other game so I could get some sleep for my first day back at work.
We also had a running campaign continued for the lads who are currently playing DnD, I believe that they faced off against a giant purple Dire Chicken (although why it was even there was lost on me... the GM assures me it was necessary to the plot).


Monday, January 11, 2010

Secret Men's Business

Generally during you holidays you would say take a bit of time off, me not so much. I have been a little lax in my posting since the holidays started. Still there are a few good things going on at the DSM homebase.

Firstly I got a new glass display cabinet for the sculpting room (although it often gets reffered to as "the Man Cave"!). I haven't finished filling it but this pic was snapped in mid December so there are a few more finished minis in there now.

Another important event that recently occurred was the rebuilding of the front hubs in the ol' Cruiser (affectionately referred to as the Battle Bus). We did the wheel bearings, king pin bearings, seals in the ends of the axles and the felts in the swivel housings. It was hot sweaty word but it was worth it cause now you can't smell swivel housing grease after a drive to the FLGS. The only advice I can offer about this is make sure you have two people doing the job, one of whom has done it before. I got the Old Man to give us a hand, and it took us about six hours to do both sides.

I started another project, it is super secret and you can see a WIP shot below. I will have this done in the next day or so (up to the painting part atm). Can you guess what it is?

The "Dude a Day Challenge" I set myself was successful, I manage to paint 42 points worth of minis in December around all the other stuff that went on. I even got my Ironclad Dread conversion painted for his birthday (Boxing Day).

I also have got in some time working on a pst for Ron over at FTW, I have a few chems to wet test and a bit of typing and it should be read to wing its way to him.

Lastly as a quick tip, when buying timber to make anything make sure you plan ahead! Don't get half into a job and discover you are short because you didn't CAD up the job beforehand (Like I usually would).

Cheers All
and a Happy belated New Year