Monday, September 18, 2017

Custom-cut Resin Leviathan Dreadnought Base

I'm using these bases for my army. I love their design and I think it compliments the Black Templar look well. However, they don't come round in sizes big enough for a Leviathan Dreadnaught.

So I got the idea to buy a bigger base and cut it down to size. Should be easy, right?

After asking around for help online and locally, a friend stepped in. Warren did this for me and he wrote a little post on how he did this, take a look!

There's even a little clip on how the resin base got cut. I couldn't link to it directly, but here's what Warren said:
I mounted the base on small backer plate in a lathe, using some
double-sided tape. This particular base has some writing and rocks /
rubble, so keep that in mind when figuring out where the center should
I then plunged from the face at a relatively low RPM, using a (cheap)
carbide single point threading tool to cut to diameter and get the
bevel. The plastic / resin turned really easily, and came off in
really long, soft ribbons, not dust. I ended up using a shop-vac to
suck these off, just so I could easily see the work. The surface
finish was good, with no melting or chatter.
Anyway, that's it! Here are some more pics. Thanks for looking, and thanks for doing this Warren!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fixing Storm Raven exhaust Rotation!

Hey, here's a weird one. So you know those little stabilizer jet exhausts that come with the Storm Raven kit? At the tip of the wings and just under the cockpit? Turns out they can swivel.

It's a bit difficult to see, but the two models below show it okay. The first Storm Raven has 4 jet exhausts pointing sideways (towards the camera), and the second's exhausts are pointing down:


Well I hate stuff like this! Assemble them too stiff and moving them becomes grindy. Assemble them too loose and they start to rattle and move on their own. The best solution might be to just fix them in a certain position.

Unless you use magnets to keep the little things fixed in their extremes? And then you can switch between the two with a light touch and a satisfying click? Oh yes.

Use a sprue bit to create a girder down the middle of the exhaust bit and use it as a platform to add two magnets. The magnets should have the same orientation with regards to polarity. I used 3mm magnets.

Now use a sprue to place a magnet inside the wing. I used a 6mm magnet here:

This might take a few tries, but align the magnet so that it hits against the sprue when the exhausts are pointing sideways. If you place it correctly, the big magnet will catch either magnets as you rotate the exhaust:

And here's how it looks like assembled:

It works great. However you have no idea how satisfying it is to switch the exhausts between the two configurations. You just nudge it and the other magnet picks up on it and snaps it in place with an extremely satisfying click. This is worth doing just for the click, trust me!

That's it. Thanks for reading!

Also here's a teaser of what I'm working on:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Custom Biker Wheels!

So I've been looking into Space Marine Bikers lately. I like the idea and I'd like to have some of my own, although I'd prefer if there were a melee option.

But! The models are ancient and awful. They need a lot of work to look good. So I better start with something! And here's the inspiration:

As usual, I had them printed at Shapeways. I'll be putting them online for sale once I have the design finalized; this one's good but it'll need a bit more work. The print is a bit rough on the sides but that will be easy to sand.

My plan is to get Forgeworld Outrider bits, extend the plastic bits a little bit to make the bike longer, truescale the riders and move their butts backwards, extend their torsos and lean them forward, and use custom wheels. We'll see how it turns out once I have the models in hand.

As for why I haven't been posting - I've been painting a lot but have not been doing any photo sessions. Taking nice photos and editing them takes quite a few hours that could be spent on modelling and painting! I converted and painted quite a lot since my last post. I should probably take a family photo one of these days.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Magnetized and Converted Stormhawk/Stormtalon

Hey, sorry for the long hiatus. I actually have several units painted that I didn't post pics of, I just didn't get around to taking pictures and editing. It's work and I'd rather paint! Anyway, this is worth posting about.

Here's the end result. This is the same model, of course. Note that I'm holding them by the wing - even though they're held together by magnets, they're very sturdy.

So here's how that works. The main chassis is littered with magnets. There's two 6x1mm Neodymium magnets on the roof to hold the cabin, two more just under the wing mount to hold the floor, and 6x4mm Neodymium magnets in the center of where the Stormtalon engines attach.

Wings have 6x4 magnets each. These magnets extrude and actually enter the rotor hole that the Stormtalon engines hold onto. If you have the model in your hands it will be obvious how this works.

Each cabin has two 6x1mm magnets on the roof and two 5x2mm magnets on the nose. These attach to the floor piece.

Finally, the floor piece has two 6x2mm magnets under where the wings would be, and a circular steel plate on the front where the tip of the cabin attaches.

I cut the little cheek extrusions from the floor piece to move the two weapon platforms closer to the model. The weapons that attach to it are magnetized: this can be a bit flimsy in case of the Lascannon as there's not enough surface area to mount strong magnets there.

I also modified all bottom-mount weapons to be very flush to the body, and they attach to the little steel plate on the bottom of the body.

Finally, I extended the tail piece just like this guy did. Kudos for the idea! It's brilliant. Look at his blog for instructions, I'm not stealing the thunder for this one.

And that's it! The model is very strong when put together. The chassis holds the cabin and the floor piece, the cabin holds the floor piece too, and it takes some muscle power to separate them. The cheek parts of the chassis are flexible so attaching and reattaching is very easy, apart from the muscle required. The wings, similarly, aren't going anywhere once they snap in.

I think I'll glue the floor piece to the acrylic stand, just to keep that from moving. Put it in some nice dynamic angle or something. Also, considering that this version of the model is significantly longer, I'll need to flip the stand so that it's leaning forwards. It looks like it'll look good.

So much about that! Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Razorback Done!

Here's some pics of my Razorback! Fully magnetized, but I didn't paint any alternative parts. I can swap them out when the new edition comes out, if I feel like I need to.

The turret is from Forgeworld. The side doors and the front panel I got on Ebay but I believe are part of the GW Black Templars Upgrade kit.

I used Secret Weapon Miniatures Exhaust Black and Ash Grey pigments for weathering. It turned out.. ok. Nothing to write home about. I didn't really figure out how to use them properly, or subtly. Oh well.

Onto the pics, and thanks for looking!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3D Printed Thunder Hammers!

They're done and looking great!

I already wrote about how I designed these. In short, I think regular Thunder Hammers are a bit goofy. This looks hefty and fits the Black Templar theme much better.

Here's a few pics of what they might look like on a model.

As before, if you're interested in getting some of your own, you can get them on Shapeways. They're up for the same amount I paid, plus less than a cup of coffee. Hey, just above 20 bucks for a set of 12 is pretty good when it comes to bits. And if you'd like them tweaked a bit for your purpose, feel free to reach out to me on Shapeways.

And thanks for looking!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Custom Black Templar Thunder Hammer Heads!

Why did I do this? Because I don't like the look of normal thunder hammers. Their heads are way too long and too spindly. Your mileage may vary, but they really don't work for my taste.

So I designed my own! The dimensions of the block are 8mm long, 4mm wide, and 5mm tall. That makes it have very similar profile to a normal thunder hammer, but it's not as elongated. It's also not as goofy and I hope that it will communicate heft really well.

The hole in the bottom is 1.25mm wide, matching the diameter of Privateer Press brass rods I like to use for pinning. They're thin enough to drill into the haft of an existing thunder hammer.

Here's my best attempt of a true-to-scale attempt at what the hammer should look like:

As before, I ordered these from Shapeways in frosted detail plastic. A set of 12 cost me just over $20 with shipping. That's not too bad. 12 is more than I'll ever use, including putting them on Termie characters.

And of course, credit where credit is due, here's the inspiration:

So much for now, thanks for taking a look!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Truescale Termies Converted!

I've converted my Terminators a little bit!

Here's what I've done. I padded the front half of their thighs with Milliput, to make them look less like they've been missing out on leg day. Other Terminator truescale efforts did way more than this, but this seemed enough to me. Their legs, even like this, are bulkier than normal marine legs.

I extended their shins by 1mm using plasticard. I tried to do it differently this time compared to how I treated my Marine legs - I used plasticard that is wider than the outer rim of the leg, and after the plastic cement has set in, I'd cut it down to size. It didn't turn out that well because you could always tell that there was something done over there. I ended up covering those areas with milliput and sanding it down until it was smooth. I'll have to keep experimenting until I find the least painful way to do this.

Oh, and the back of their shins look completely misfigured. I did my best, but there's no easy way to reach those areas and make them look smooth. I don't have any pictures and I've already moved on as of writing this; I'll try to cover it up with paint as much as possible. Ugh.

I also extended their torsos by a whole 3mm. I used milliput to give them a stomach-area armor shape, some plasticard and guitar wire on the front to give them something that resembles abs, and finally used green stuff to cover up most of that mess with sashes.

To compensate, I lowered their shoulders by about 2mm. This means that their heads are slightly above the shoulder line. They look much more human this way, but still outsize space marines. All their hands are magnetized using a giant 6x1.5mm magnet in each arm, and an even larger 6.3mm magnet in each shoulder. This means that you can grab each model and lift it by its arm without anything moving. Pretty cool!

Some day I'll make them arms for thunder hammers and storm shields, hence the magnetization on all of them. I'm not sure what look will I prefer as of right now.

After that, I made them garments out of green stuff. I'm getting better than this, I did all of these in one short evening after work. I should take pictures next time and make that into a tutorial.

As for their heads, I experimented with various designs. Terminator heads, trimmed terminator heads that resemble Gray Knights (tutorial here), normal tactical marine helmets, my converted crusader helmets, as well as Forgeworld Templar Bretheren helmets. These looked the best to me: not medieval, but still knightly.

Anyway, here's some more pics. I'm really looking forward to painting these guys.

Thanks for looking!