Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mysterious door

What is behind this mysterious door? What was above it before war struck the building? No one knows, but it's there...

This smallish building made at random from foamboard, cardboard and sprue rubble came out quite nicely (I think). As a gaming piece it is a bit too small, but as a test piece for making big bunker doors out of pieces of cardboard it worked out fine. I used a laser printer to print the posters on the door and on the back, for what better way to simulate a poster than by making a small poster. The roof is made from thick paper soaked in PVA and dressed up with a bit of left over balsa wood (as per GW's How to make wargames terrain book).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Building a Warhammer 40K Tactica Control

After completing my Plasma Generator I was planning to go back to Sketchup and design the next building. But as all my hobby stuff was just lying around anyway and I only had little bits of foamboard left, I decided to just start cutting and gluing and see where I would end up. I started out with a picture of the Tactica Control from Dawn of War.

So I replicated the support pieces and tried some different angles to see if I could space the building correctly.

The next step was making the big round thing in the back. I used an old plastic christmas decoration and cardboard. I painted the cardboard with a few layers of watered down pva to make it very solid indeed.

The next step involved gluing on some random bits from the bit box, squeezing in some Green stuff to close the gaps en more amounts of watered down PVA to seal the building.

For the next step I covered the building in glue and sand, made a base and forgot to take pictures.
After applying some paint, some weathering powders and a freehand I'm very satisfied with, this is the end result:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finished the Warhammer 40 Dawn of War Plasma Generator

So here it is, another project done. Now the question is do I continue with the Dawn of War copies, might be fun to make a base to fill the table with. Or do I go for one of the other project ideas I have. One thing is sure, I will need to buy more 5mm foamboard, more 3mm foamboard and more blades (foamboard eats blades).

Painting the Warhammer 40K plasma generator

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening applying layers with my airbrush to the model (and to some Basilisks that have been waiting for their camo for quite some time). I spent quite a lot of time masking the cooling ribs. This is the stage right before the masking tape came into the equation.

I also painted the yellow/black striping on the roof and found a nice technique (imho) for the glowing blue plasma vats on the back of the machine. I also finished the basic paint job on the base so I could glue my model to it. And I covered the top of the wall with glue as it had an awful tendency to chip bits of plaster off. Hopefully this will stem the tide.

So now my building is at this stage and ready to be weathered as soon as the PVA glue dries. Man I hate waiting for PVA glue to dry....


I weathered the wall first. I started with Vallejo Sepia Wash then Vallejo black wash (these two are available in extra large sizes, which is very handy if you build a lot of scenery). After these washes I followed with a bit of Thrakka Green and finally with a glaze made from Catachan Green. I pool both the washes and the glaze at the bottom of the wall and then use an extra large brush to pull the wet paint (or wash) up.

After the wall it was time to wash a lot of crevasses and all the other bits of random plasticard I glued on to give some texture. I also gave all the pipes/power cables a black wash to make them stand out from the rest of the generator. I could have use a different color, but I rather like the way the blue of the plasma tanks captures the eye and I didn't want to ruin that effect by adding more color. I did use some Tin Bitz followed by an edge highlight of Dwarf Bronze to make some patches on the power cables indicating the paint has peeled off.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Grandfather Nurgle lends an (un)helpful hand

This part of the project brought quite a few fascinating mistakes, some Nurglesque spillage and one or two good things.

As I left off last time I was about to cut the rear platform to size because I thought it too big. Before doing that, I decided to go to the local store with random cheap stuff (or as it is known around here, the Action) and found these bottles of 'Glitter Glue' if only my Eldar army was unfinished......

You can't call yourself a true Dire Avenger if there are nog glitters on your uniform!
Having paid the gigantic sum of 1 euro (1,31 dollar) for the entire set of bottles I proceeded to empty the bottles in a plastic cup. I always use a plastic bag or cup while building scenery or modeling to throw my trash in. It keeps the workplace (relatively) clean and makes it easier to find little pieces that 'blast off' as you apply the scalpel. Anyway gloop for Nurgle!

So now to cut the bottles apart, and then cut them to glass cylinders on the back of plasma generator thingies:


And the finished result. I placed one of my Catachan Heavy Flamer people on top to give a bit more sense of scale to the entire model so far:

Now the next part was redoing the big boxes on the side. I tried building it with foamboard, but the scale is so small that all attempts to properly cover the sides ended up making the boxes extremely ugly. In the end I went for plasticard and plastic glue. On the upside, I finally am able to cut plasticard without the stuff flying out from under my metal ruler (and over the table as I grasp my bleeding hand and curse (but I'm getting carried away here)):

In the end this assemblage was finished and glued to the model. This is one of those 'it looks better in real life' shots.

On to the heavy duty power cables (also known as drinking straws). I learned quite early on that plastic glue does not work on drinking straws. In the end I used the transparent hobby glue/universal glue I also use on my foamboard. It is very cheap, it gives a quick 'in place dry' (after which your stuff stays in place, but you can move it without destroying anything) and the end result is tough enough for gaming (in my experience). Added bonus: it also works on drinking straws.

So now my plasma generator is looking like the end product should look.

As the next step, I wanted to use some water effects like stuff in the clear tanks, with some blue paint mixed in to give it that Plasma generated electricity feeling. I used a two part slow drying epoxy with some Ice Blue and Regal Blue mixed in. I put this mixture in a spare bit of plastic glue bottle fitted in kneading eraser (from the same cheap stuff emporium).

It started out looking at least a bit interesting:

And ended up an unmitigated, leaky, sticky glob that is crying for the garbage can. If only I could move this mess!!! Is that grandfather Nurgle's burbling laugh I hear?

Meanwhile the wall section (which I forgot to photograph being build) is drying nicely in its first plaster cast (to give it that concrete-vibe). In the background a sticky mess:

As an aside, this is one of my plaster/glue/other horrendous stuff brushes. I picked it up in a bundle of ten (guess in what store). It is so incredibly shoddy, it is hardly good enough to smear plaster on walls with. Every time I see it, I feel a deep sense of love for my real brushes. So if you ever have a chance to pick a set like these up, they are worth it (if only for comedy value).

In the end I got carried away and made and beveled my MDF base as well. I also gave the main model a first coating of Gesso/PVA mixture. The mixture is yellow because I add colorant to it (so I can see where I have already been on my white model). Next shot a Gesso'ed generator with a painted Catachan on top and a beveled base below:

So now it is on to taking off some annoying bits that are sticking out (for want of a better term), applying a second coating of Gesso and doing some interesting things with the base. Then a Chaos Black basecoat and finally we will see how painting goes. The most difficult question for me right now is what to do with the plastic cylinders. I don't want to paint them, I most definitively won't go for the epoxy filling and I'm too old school for led's. Ah well we'll see if inspiration hits.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Building plasma generator coils

I started cutting and gluing the plasma generator coils yesterday and discovered quite early on that a) my sizing was off and b) I was almost out of 0,5 mm foamboard. Well I still had plenty of 0,3 mm and I decided to just make the model about twice as broad.

I started by cutting the base of the main generator and the 'concrete' spines.

The second step was cutting the cooling ribs from 0,1 mm plasticard (yes I recycle old plates used for my airbrushing course).

I proceeded to make the required fifteen cuts in the base of the generator, intending to stick the plasticard cooling ribs in. The attempt to do this in 0,3mm foamboard ended in a mess of broken foamboard, so I used a bit of the scarce 0,5 mm foamboard....which also ended in a mess of broken foamboard (pictured right)

As this was quite obviously not the way to go, I switched tack and decided to alternate gluing 0,3mm foamboard strips with 1mm plasticard ribs in a new base for the generator. I started with half a foamboard strip to get the spacing of the first rib right with my drawing.

Now this, in my very humble opinion, actually works. By smearing some glue to the top of the housing I actually managed to keep it all more or less in order and upright (glue stained fingers and frequently shifting plates not pictured).

This went on at a reasonable pace until I wanted to start with the third row. As even my untrained eyes quickly spotted that there was no way to fit it. This is a bit strange. Every set of ribs consists of five 1mm plasticards ribs and five 3mm bits of foamboard (actually six, but the first and the last are 1,5 mm). So that would give me three ribs at 6 cm and two concrete spines at 1 cm (0,5mm each). The entire base is 8 cm big, so it should all fit. But somehow it doesn't. Personally I blame Tzeentch, but it probably has more to do with some space lost due to the thickness of glue (or a massive measurement/calculating error on my side).

Anyways I decided to close of the third compartment with some plasticard (will make this look better when the glue is truly dry.

As you can see I also started working with the decorations on the side. The power cables are made from oversized drinking straws. I also had to change the scale here a bit.

The final bit I'm working on is the platform on the back, in the new oversized state it is slightly too big for my taste. And I'm working on the boxes that will go on the right (also slightly too big, and these have been glued together badly, so I will probably redo these (or decorate them).

Next step, finding a clear plastic tube with a diameter of around 2 cm. Then making a wall (the easy part), more power cables, and a base (the very easy part).

Oh as to the scaling. The wall is intended to be about four centimeters high. That makes it big enough to hide a dreadnought behind it. The roof of the generator should be big enough to give a 5 man squad an elevated position for shooting and the base should not exceed sizes of around 8 cm by 16 cm so it doesn't dominate the table.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Designing a Warhammer 40K Plasma Generator based on Dawn of War

I felt like making some buildings from the Dawn of War computer games. Scouting around the internet it seems that most people go for the Infantry Command or the Space Marine Chapel Barracks. Although both of these are nice, they are also huge and I would like to go for some smaller buildings. So I decided on the Plasma Generator. First step for this project was Sketchup. These are my first sketches. More news and info as I start cutting the foamboard.