Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scythes' Scout Speeder Storm

Back in 2008, the Space Marines 5th edition codex came out. It was filled with new pictures and new units that were not yet released. One of those units was the Scout transport, the Land Speeder Storm. A concept I attach to Agis Neugebauer way back when. He originally came up with the idea of using a standard Speeder to carry space marines into combat with them hanging onto the sides. His inspiration came from the movie Blackhawk Down. Alas, he no longer has the pictures on the site of his original creation. From what I remember, GW had asked a few of their dedicated gamers to submit ideas for new units. That was his submission with rules and a painted up model to boot.

Back from the digression, GW at one time had a habit releasing units with no models to support them. That was the case with the Storm. I was in the process of beginning my Scythes in early 2009. I was needing a full army for the 2009 Necronomicon Gaming tournament that was held every June down here in Orlando, since kaput. My Scouts had no transports and Game Workshop had not yet released the Storm. So I had to build my own. Mind you, this article is pretty useless now as GW released the Storm in May of 2009...

The process I followed utilized three Speeders to create the two Storms, as they had three engines each. Not very cost effective money-wise, but needs must.


I had no help with the build. The only thing going for me was a pre-release image of the CAD design of the Speeder and whatever was in the 5th edition codex. Otherwise, I was winging the production.


I even had to create my own Scout crewmen. They way I envisioned it, there would be one pilot and no gunner. I figure he's a space marine and he can control the gun himself much like the pilot of an Apache gunship. The other seat would be taken up by the Sergeant when the squad was embarked, getting his info and data from the onboard systems.


The most difficult part was the bay in between the cockpit and the engines. I had to concoct a way to get them to join and make it sturdy enough that it wouldn't just fold in on itself. To do this, extra sprue was cut to act as the support beams. Diamond pattern sheet styrene was put down for the bottom of the crew bay. A blank sheet of styrene was placed as the bottom of the bay to give it thickness.


You can get an idea of what extra bits were put to use. Lots of extra Leman Russ parts everywhere. Anything extra from the third Speeder was also put to work. The extra fins were used a rudder else it looked a bit off and unbalanced.


To give the bottom of definition, I just cut squares of styrene out and glued them randomly to the bottom. Much like the appearance of the standard speeder. You can also see I went for a Heavy Flamer and Assault Cannon approach for weapons.


The completed and painted Storms. In general they came out much like the actual models. A tad bit longer though. I even used a smoke launcher for the Cerberus Launcher.

In game, the Storm is fun to use. It's far from durable, but with the ability to charge from the vehicle, my Assault Scouts put it to good use. The flamer doesn't require a roll to hit, making it a nice easy weapon to use. The assault cannon does, but with 4 shots, it's got a good chance to connect. The model may not be the best, but I love the uses.

Needless to say, when I brought them to the Necronimocon tourney, the real Storm was released, upstaging my creations to no end. Nobody knew that mine were throw-togethers. I don't remember much from that weekend except I went 2-3, but I had a good time. Not too bad for a Scout heavy army.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WIP: Super Heavies Pt 3

I was able to get the first layer of paint onto the tanks. Sticking with the same paint combination as the Punishers and Sentinels, these will also be in greys.

I taped off any areas that will be getting any glue afterwards, such as the track wheels track guard locations, the cannons, the turrets/turret bases, and where the large fuel drums connect to the back of the tanks. The reason these were left off were to make painting easier. This is especially true with the tracks and the fuel drums. Also by removing the turrets, it makes the tape laying much simpler. The tracks will all be painted on the sprue and added afterwards. 

All the tanks and various unglued pieces were given a primer of black. The extra bits like the turrets and ladders were put down onto painters tape and sprayed from there. The track guards and fuel drums were held in place with clips or by hand.

The Shadowswords were given a base of Mechanicus Standard Grey. The Stormblade was based in Administratum Grey. In proper order the tanks should be left to sit for 24 hours or so to let the paint settle. I let them sit for about 14 hours before I proceeded to add the tape for the next step. Sorry, I'm just impatient and eager to jump to the next step, sometimes this gets me into trouble.... Anyway, no issues this time.

The colors were then reversed for the tanks. The Shadowswords getting the lighter grey lines and the Stormblade getting the darker lines. The idea is to use the tape to get a hard line for the camo with the rest of the spray trailing off to get the soft fade. I only airbrushed to one side of the tape to get the effect. To me, the design makes them look to be underwater.

Now comes the touch ups, decals, the base painting, the tracks, the gloss seal, and the weathering. It may be due to them not sitting, but if you look closely at the cannons in the top right, you can see on one of them where the base and primer peeled off with the tape.

It seems I still I have art least a couple of more days to go as these guys are huge and have lots of rivets and such to get attention.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

WIP: Three Super Heavies pt. 2

Super Heavies pt. 2

The tanks have pretty much been built. The spots that need to be masked off to prevent paint have been taped off. The reasoning for this, should be well known. Plastic and super glue do not connect well to a painted surface. They tend to eat at the paint and generally make for a much weaker bond. 
Anyway, I digress, while looking the tanks over, I could see a few locations where the resin just did not have a great fit. It left a gap due to a bad fit or from the resin just splintering due shipping or whatever. There were several that needed filling just from the resin fit, or lack of. The overall build of a Baneblade tank leaves large gaps on the sides where the armor plates meet. Those spaces are just too big. They will just swallow washes and look huge! I had to do something about them before I put down a primer.

Looking to fill in the gaps, I had many options, greenstuff was available, but it just seemed to be too time consuming, but would fill any and all. I am always looking for shortcuts, and I saw sitting in one of my drawers, packages of styrene. Hmm, I had three sizes to choose from, two rods of 1.2mm and .8mm and flat strips of 1mm. You will need superglue to fill any resin to resin gaps, but plastic to plastic gaps are easily filled with standard plastic cement, Tamiya liquid cement please. This could be much easier than greenstuff in general and a stronger bond to boot when plastic is involved!

You can easily rearrange these steps to whatever you need, cutting first is always a good practice, with the gluing last, just in case. So here is the process I used.

Simply lay the plastic rod down into place. In this case, it's just behind a sponson. One of those regular Baneblade gaps.

Next, I added glue to begin the bonding. You will have some time to work the the plastic before it really sets. This instance, the glue gives the fitting some bite so the styrene isn't sticking to you finger or wanting to just fly out, etc.

Tamp the styrene down or maneuver it into place to get a good fit. I used my sculpting tool with a rounded end. With the styrene rod softened due to the glue, you have some ability to force it into tight spaces or even shape it slightly. You are also able to bend the rod for curves. 

The leftover piece was then carefully cut away either with a sharp knife or sprue cutters. Be mindful that the unglued piece will have a tendency to 'fly' away the shorter it gets.

Other examples of the process are shown below

Your mileage may vary depending on what gaps you need filled. With the different pieces of styrene, you can fill differing gaps or try for varied effects. Here the flat strips are used to fill in along the sides, and a rod on the front where the resin top meets the plastic front. In addition, they can be used for other decorations or designs. You may have seen the strips used for rifle straps. 

If you do a quick search for fillers you may also come across super glue with baking soda

Scale Model Guide also has a couple of links

I'm hoping to get at least a primer of black down on these three tomorrow, maybe even the first grey. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Scythes of the Emperor Revisted

While filling in spots while my craft room is under construction, windows being rebuilt. I thought my Scythes should get revisited. as I never really showed much beyond one of the scout squads. To get re-inspired I visited one of my favorite websites, The, and found that the owner is moving on to other endeavors for some time. I wish him well.

Anyway, I thought I would start with showing the Scouts again. Remembering that most of the Scythes died fighting against Hive Fleet Kraken, to rebuild the Chapter, Scouts would have to be groomed.

These guys are the first of two Assault Scouts that I have. Each Sergeant has a combo flamer. As for their makeup, their armament is a toss up between shotguns and pistols with close combat weapons. The idea being either two shots before engaging with the shotguns, or one shot and an extra attack with the pistol combo. These squads are designed to harass or dig out units in cover.

I also built up a full squad of Sniper Scouts. This squad can be a huge boost or a huge bust depending on how the dice are rolling that day. Being that a sniper rifle is useful against anything excepting vehicles for the most part, they can really threaten the largest creatures the Tyranids can throw. They can also give Riptides, Wraith Knights, and C'tan issues.

Just to add flavor, the Scythes have incorporated their own Sergeant Telion. I have added veterans throughout the company to give it the mix of rookies and veterans. As many of the Scythes that survived would have definitely earned their veteran status in spades, there would be a lack of generic marines.

As for the camo cloaks, this was the first time I tried to do a complex scheme. Each scout had a unique style. They came out okay for me. Knowing now what I didn't know then, I would have added a filter to tie it together. As they stand, I am fairly happy with them. The idea comes across.

I had some extra scouts and decided to make a support unit with a missile launcher and bolters. Potentially this unit could sit on a Storm Scout Speeder in the back field or just occupy an objective.

As for the Scouts in general, outside of the snipers, I tried to make each guy different. Mainly this was accomplished with their head selections. Having each guy looking the same can really lend to a boring unit. The power fist for the Assault Scout is an old terminator power fist. It fit in real well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WIP: Three Superheavies for Bolter and Chainsword

E Tenebrae Lux IV
'from Darkness Light' in general

The Warhammer 40k forum site, Bolter and Chainsword, is having a painting challenge amongst its many sub-groups. The contest revolves around painting 'vows'. You must take a vow to complete a model or set of models of X amount points, but not more than 3000pts per vow. You can make up to 5 total vows. The trick is, you can only make vows for a single faction. There is no splitting your vows between Dark Angels and Astra Militarum for example. All of your vows are aimed towards a single faction. 

Your first vow must be stated before the end of May. This gets your foot in the door in the competition. Otherwise you will not be able to take part in the campaign. The ETL ends on the 1st of August. Any vows you have made that are not complete are then void. All of the work you may have done would then be for naught. Do not bite off more than you can chew. 

To accompany your vows you must show a Before picture. The photo has to be of the item/s you are vowing. An After picture must also be shown to complete the vow. The reason behind the shots are to prevent any shenanigans. With this in mind, I was unable to claim my two recently completed Sentinels as I did not issue a vow before I started them. So, I decided to start my vow big! 

Previously unfinished Baneblade

Back in 2007 GW released Apocalypse for Warhammer 40k. If you are somehow unfamiliar with it, the rules allow for any and all your models to be used for a massive game of 40k against a like armed opponent. To go along with this spectacular ruleset, Games Workshop put out a plastic Baneblade tank that had previously been only cast in resin. Forge World had also got on the bandwagon and had a sale of three Baneblade variants for 300 British Pounds or so. I jumped at the chance and purchased a trio, two Shadowswords with the Titan Killer, and a Stormblade with the massive Plasma cannon. Not too long after they arrived at my door, GW came out with their version of the myriad variants for about the same price... but in plastic. Deflated about this, the tanks then sat in their box for the next seven years.

I have gotten over that. Since I have been in the process of constructing models that haven't moved in years: this was the perfect opportunity to get these guys out and onto the table! I have vowed all three tanks for a total points value of 1,560. 

Since the vehicles are based upon the plastic Baneblade chassis with resin structures and accoutrements, there will be warpage. And there appeared to be quite a bit of misshapen parts, especially of the larger pieces. 


Fortunately, if you have a large enough container with which to microwave water for about three to four minutes, then you can change the angles of the resin parts. I had a large cast iron casserole pan specifically for this moment. Any pieces that needed to be reset were dunked into the water for a time until I could see the piece in question actually bend and flex when I moved it in the water. From that point you can easily reset the part, let it sit for a few moments or even place it into cold water to set it.

I constructed the chassis to start with in order to have something with which to gauge the depth of the warping. During the process of setting the piece after sitting it in the hot water, I was also able to use the chassis to act as mold of sorts. Heat it up, set it place, and let it sit until it hardens. 

I will be building all three tanks first. They will then be painted simultaneously to get a similar paint scheme across the three. The goal is to paint them in line with the Forge World example. Something with a sharp light to dark border that then blends into the dark, then repeats with the hard differentiation. I will post more WIP pics as I advance.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kanak Sentinels


The Armored Sentinels are my heavy hitters. My Armored Sentinels are up gunned to Lascannons. As my tanks are mainly geared for anti-infantry and my infantry the same, I need something to help pop any vehicles I encounter. I don't always bring my Heavy Weapon teams, but I will always make room for my Sentinels. Depending on who I am facing, or if I am going second, I may hold them in reserves to prevent them from being hit early. These guys will aim for whatever threatens them first, gun-wise. Otherwise, whatever big-nasty is available will be their main target. I'm lucky enough that they usually connect on the first volley. But that is not something to rely on at all. That's when they start dancing away and keep shooting. Their armor of 12 is a real boon for their survival. Beyond the weapon upgrade for my, they do not get anything else.

My other unit of Sentinels simply Scout to the enemy's backfield and cause havoc. They are very basic in cost and build. The multi-lasers don't really do much damage, but they always get my opponent's attention. The strength of the multi-laser pretty much means they can harm anything short of a heavy vehicle. These little walkers can also tie up units or be used to charge other heavy weapon teams. In practice, they are usually a throw away unit. In use, they more than make up for it.

As for painting, I had some old Sentinels sitting around in their old jungle green coloration. Old as in from 2001 or '02 when I was really into the Imperial Guard. They looked pretty good in general, but didn't really fit in with the rest of the company scheme-wise. When I got another Catachan Battalion box that had a Sentinel inside, I figured I would go ahead and get them all in line with the rest of the Kanak units.


With the newest sentinel, on the right above, you can see the slight lean toward corruption taking place. The pilot is from one of my old lascannon Sentinels that received an armored canopy. I simply pulled the pilot out. It was simply to save time. I get lazy.


The one in the middle used to be open topped. Just a couple of clips and glue down an old metal piece I had laying around, POOF! I am so glad GW started making the plastic version. The metal parts never really fit that well and made it very top heavy to boot. Games Workshop has really upped their game, pun intended, with their new sculpt across the range. Everything is coming out nice and sharp with a great fit.


Here are the walkers after their layers of grey. All of them were primed in black, then Tamiya Light Grey Surface Primer. A few pieces of Tamiya masking tape were added and a layer of Mechanicus Standard Grey was airbrushed on. Following the regular steps, I did all base painting followed by decals. They were all then sprayed with a gloss coat from Testors and the weathering began. Starting with a filter for grey german tanks and sponging some dark paint onto it. The basic dark brown oil wash was applied to every crevice and rivet.  I then used Mig weathering products on these guys to see how it works out. I can say I was very happy with them. The streaking rust was strategically placed in locations that water would stand or spots where I added damage. Then some of the Mig Streaking Grime onto the hydraulic areas or places where there could be a gasket leak on a leg or so.

Those are the basics steps I used. There were others in between depending on what I thought they needed. Much of modeling is finding a way of doing something and growing from that.