Monday, October 30, 2023

A (no doubt hijacked) Colossus Heavy Transporter roars onto the tarmac

 Ah the joys of 3D-printing, it masks as a way to feed your hobby and turns out to be a hobby in and of itself. I should really update my attempt at a 3D-printing for wargamers faq soon. With that said, here's another painted 3D-print: the Colossus Heavy Transport with Container by Print Minis.

You have to wonder: are those future delivery people or high-tech porch pirates? 

Printing more and more miniatures by different designers has netted me a nice insight into the intricacies of modelmaking. Some designers plunk down a digital blob of clay and sculpt a model out of it. This works, but it makes for difficult to clean and uneconomical prints. Print Minis takes a different tack and goes for cleverly designed, highly detailed 3D-parts. Assembling these into models comes very close to the experience of cutting bits off of a sprue and sticking them together (occasionally following the manual). It leads to very good looking models that require surprisingly little resin to print.

Weathering can be such a bundle of good fun. 

The Colossus is fully customizable. You can add more wheels to increase the length of the flatbed, add tracks, change the cab, add a rear cabin, remove containers, add a tow and a trailer, stick on gun positions and more if you feel like it (and have the STL's required). After painting this model my finger's been itchy on the 'add to shopping basket' button for all the expansions, but I've managed to show restraint (for now (it won't last)).

I found a few old Word Bearer transfers in my collection and couldn't resist sticking them onto this truck.

I used salt weathering and hairspray to paint both the truck and the container (another 3D-print that looks quite inspired by a familiar STC (to put it in more Warhammery words)). In other words: I started by painting everything in red brown and rust tones, varnished it with gloss varnish and then added a layer of hairspray. As I stood reminiscing about the glorious eighties (the smell of hairspray is a powerful memory trigger) I quickly added pinches of salt to the models. The salt promptly got stuck to the hairspray. It also started raining (any person who has ever gone to the trouble of styling a punk mohawk knows that rain is activated by the smell of hairspray and sugar water). 

It's tempting to make a truck with twenty wheels, just to add the 'we brake for no one' joke from Spaceballs.

As the next step I painted the actual 'original' color on top of the rust, let it all dry and then used my fingers, a wet sponge and a cocktail stick to distress the paint layer. Salt falls off and water reactivates the hair spray, causing the top layer of paint to fall off. At that point you get quite believable splotches of rust through the paint.

I failed to mention anywhere that I took a dremel power tool to the 3D-print prior to painting, just to get it looking a bit more beat-up.

After covering the fragile layer of weathered paint in a protective coat of matt varnish I started adding details, highlights, transfers and (finally) more layers of weathering. I printed a total of four containers, three of which I weathered with salt. On the fourth I tried something else (and it didn't quite work out). The light green container, loaded on onto the heavy transporter on the picture above was damaged during printing (a worn FEP sheet for those wondering). I solved this problem (like I solve most problems) by adding more rust :). 

I suspect there are at least of dozen holes in the ceiling, they'd match the 'trigger discipline is for wimps' sticker on the passenger's pistol. 

As a final step I painted most of the inside of the cab and two crew with appropriately hairspray hairstyles. I practiced a bit with extreme make-up ('I've been crying for the past three months'-eyeliner and 'aspiring clown'-lipstick to be precise). The models looked reasonably okay in real life, but turn out quite awful in the photographs (imho). Luckily the removable cabin top makes them neigh impossible to see anyway. All in all this was a nice project thanks to an amazing 3D-print. I've already printed a second one for a slightly different take on the Colossus. For now, I'm going to rejoice at finding another lost hour to actually blog (and desperately make more will power saving throws to avoid buying all the expansions). 


  1. Oh, wow, this is so cool! I love this monster, it's beautiful, and it's good to know it's so customizable. Awesome work!

    1. Cheers, it is quite a wonderful model indeed :)

  2. That's a nice vehicle. Great paint work.

  3. Rusty bits well used! I like the sort of utilitarian paint job, makes it seem even more believable.

    And are they Word Bearer allies? ;)

    1. I would say they are Word Bearer adjacent: not so much into the Book of Lorgar, but more into the Road Atlas of Lorgar or perhaps the Insurance forms of Lorgar. Oh dear insurance companies in 40K, I may just have made a dystopian future even bleaker ;)

  4. This looks great. I really like the dirty feel of the body and cab. The design is really nice, too: it's at least as good as the GW equivalent (and probably much cheaper!).

    1. Cheers, it's a wonderful model (and when it comes down to resin and electricity a very cost effective alternative to GW (to put it mildly :D)).