Thursday, December 31, 2015

Holiday progress

(or Primering is progress, right??)

Betrayal at Calth miniatures WIP
Okay, so at least ONE of my models has more than just primer on him, but my lack of progress is frustrating!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holiday modeling

(or what I did NOT get done over the holidays!)

   With the end of the Holidays approaching fast, I've realized that I have not spent nearly enough time on my models!  Of course the reality is that I spent time with family and friends which is MUCH more important, but somehow it doesn't make me feel any better about the closet of plastic and resin that I am working myself through!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Magnetizing the Plastic Contemptor

(or why I must have options!)

I am slowly working my way through the Betrayal at Calth boxed set, as each of the sprues have an excellent set of options.  To take a break from building Mk4 bodies, I decided to work on the plastic Contemptor Dreadnought that is in the set.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Imperial Fists - Paint Scheme #1

(I'm so glad that painting is easy and I never mess up... oh wait...)

WIP of Imperial Fists
Here is the first test model for my 40k Imperial Fists.  I don't think I want my 30k Fists looking this nice and new.  Well maybe except for the Mk.4 kits!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

There goes the weekend

(and the holidays, and the New Year...)

Yes, my copy of Betrayal at Calth arrived.  At least the plastic sprues will fuel some hobby projects for the next few months!

I can't tell you how excited I am to have this many Mk.4 Space Marines in plastic to work with, both for my 40k and 30k armies.  That, and I'm hoping the quality of this is an indicator of things to come with the new Specialist Games division of GW.

Well, instead of continuing to type nonsense onto this blog, I'm off to assemble some Mk.4 goodness!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Desert Watchtowers

(or,  I need something to see over all that tall grass I made!)

Well, I guess I am still on my terrain building kick...

Anyone see any filthy Xenos out there?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Urban Terrain project

(or Why do we have to go visit the city? I hate it there!)

Not much of my terrain has been in the classic gothic grey tones of the grim-dark that dominates the 40k hobby.

I guess I gave in during a moment of weakness.

First urban ruin completed
A small WIP post follows:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Back to Terrain building

(Have I been busy... and NOT with Warhammer 40k!)

For those of you who think I've fallen off the face of the Hobby, I haven't.  And just to prove it, I present the following picture:

Scratch-built crater with Marine (for scale)

Okay, so it isn't the best crater ever!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Busy, busy!

(really, I DO have something to do besides blog!)

Sorry for the long break between posts, I've actually been really busy!
I did manage to get three of the tall grass bases assembled and painted.

That leaves me 3 more bases to go, but it will be a few weeks until I get back into the 40k terrain building flow as I've got lots of travel coming up. It has been good to be busy, as the OTHER half of my creative life, my aviation photography business, has been doing well.  The 3G Aviation Media photography workshop at the Atlanta Warbird Weekend was a big success and a lot of fun too!

So, I don't have much to post this week, but I figured that I'd leave you with a few images of how the three grass bases worked out.

(yes, I still have some Devastator Marines to paint...)

See you in a few weeks!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

More great blogs!

(I haven't found the end of the internet... yet!)

The funny thing about the Internet is, just about the time I'm running out of inspiration or am growing tired of seeing the SAME conversions fed to me by Google, I run across a great blog that I just have to share.  Lately, the meme below has summarized how I feel about much of the Warhammer community (40k and AoS).

If I were to re-purpose it, I'd have it say:

 "Dave, put your sword away, we're trying to play a game here!"

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Tall grasses

(or I'm still blatantly stealing ideas!)

I love the small clumps of tall, dry grass that +Paul Ward has done over at Matakishi's Tea House.  His design is pictured below:

Paul Ward's awesome grass bundles
As I was thinking about getting around to building some of these, I was cleaning up the garage and throwing out a ton of old computer CD-ROMs that my wife had brought back from her mother's place.  (yes, there was actually an AOL signup CD in there!)
A quick hit of my basic brown base color on both sides of the CDs and they were ready to go.  I put the paint on both sides for two reasons.  I wanted it to look somewhat nice overall, and I knew I'd be putting the "label" side down and smooth side up, as I didn't want my terrain to say McAfee Internet Security in bold letters...  I also wanted to provide a good surface for the glue sticks and PVA glue to grab onto, so it needed some sort of primer over the plastic.
freshly painted CD-ROMs

I threw the CD-Rom onto the paper plate (yes, to contain the mess of basing sand AND the hot glue gun sticks.)
As discussed, on this batch I mounted it "label" side down as I thought I'd want a smooth surface to put the basing sand over.  On the latter bases, I opted to go "label-up" in order to hide all of that unsightly text underneath the basing sand.  In my mind, it looks more professional with a smooth base underneath it when picked up.

So before you get all excited and start gluing grass and basing sand to the CD, place a small section of painter's tape over the center hole, so you can get a good flat glue spot there that doesn't adhere to your paper plate or work surface. (and no, I didn't make that mistake on a previous iteration!  I'm pretty proud of myself that I had the forethought to put the tape on FIRST!)
Once you get the tape in place, it is time to start adhering "grass" materials.

To properly size the "tall grass", I wanted it to be able to provide almost total cover for my modified Ironstriders/Dragoons, so I used one of them as a reference and started cutting.  I cut a good amount of the bristles to be the largest height, but then decided that the outlying bushes should be a bit smaller.

It works very well to cut all of the varying lengths FIRST, and then combine them into a grouping that you will place into the glue.
You can also see that I did make a mistake by purchasing a small hand broom instead of a larger one.  The ends are a lot more uniform and less "grass-like" than the ones in Paul's terrain.  Note to self, make a second batch that is more "grass-like" if required.  (I'll just say that this grass is more like bamboo!)

Since the CDs were a bit bigger than Paul's cork bases, I decided to NOT overload it with grass, but rather to leave room for units to move into the terrain to gain the benefits as area terrain.  To make each of the bundles, just put a half-inch circle of hot glue and press the "grass" into it and hold.  And if you bought the "regular" glue instead of "fast-set", continue to hold.  and hold.  Second Note to self - Buy "fast-set" glue sticks next time!

A liberal painting with watered down PVA glue and it was ready for my basing sand mix.  Here is another departure from Paul's design.  I didn't opt to put small rocks around the base of the grass bundles.  That was primarily due to not having any handy!  Instead I went back and re-painted several of the humps with glue to make sure that there was good coverage up to the base of the grass stalks.
It may be a bit tricky to get some basing sand in between the stalks if you have glued multiple bundles down in an incremental fashion, but most of those problems were solved by watering the glue mix down more and dropping the sand in at an angle.
(which is why the rocks would have been a good idea!)

As with previous terrain, I used the same 3-color craft basing paints (Brown Oxide, Territorial Beige, Khaki) to tie it in with my high desert terrain theme.

All three colors by step
So here is the finished product, with both a Marine and a walker for scale.  How did it turn out? Pretty good, I think. While it doesn't look as brush-like as Paul's terrain, it fits what I need for my 40k table.
Grass now provides significant cover for both the infantry and walkers

I've got a few lessons for the next 5 I have to build, but at least I think I've got a product that will look good on the table without being too difficult to manufacture. (and once I'm done with this batch, the next ones will be made from the CORRECT size broom!)

Monday, August 31, 2015

6x6 Field, Produced!

(or Static grass isn't THAT messy, is it??)

Okay, so TWO fields done.  (it really wasn't that much work, as I spent more time documenting them than I did cutting them!)

2 completed fields with a small MDF hill
Several of you asked for a detailed tutorial, so here is how I made the field of crops, MY way:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Crops and Fields WIP

(crazy ideas with a welcome mat!)

Several people have asked for a detailed tutorial of how I am going to build up these 28mm fields. (Well that ISN'T this post!!)

  The first thing I'll say is that you do NOT have to go to the level I am headed towards in order to make these fields usable.  In fact, they are pretty darn good once you cut them out of the mat and sort out the black stripes!

Two quick examples from other blogs that did just that.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Desert Pipeline - FINISHED!

(See I can finish a project!)

Here is the Counts-as-Promethium-Relay-Pipes. (with a Space Marine for scale)
At least finishing this up gave me a chance to take some in-progress pics for the coloring of the terrain.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Yet another Terrain WIP

(how many things do I have going at once?)

Supplies for my next project
Anyone got any ideas what this is going to be when I get done with them??

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Desert Pipeline

(What else was I going to work on ??)

While I realize that this doesn't look like the series of buildings I promised you, I have been hard at work!

Test section of the Zagros Pipeline to New Herat
 Did I mention I was going to build a pipeline for my village?  I didn't?  Hmmmm...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It takes a village

(or how do I keep getting sidetracked from building models?)

Just a quick update on a completed part of a much larger WIP.

No, the Marines aren't the subject of this post... but they add some color!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Painting the Tacticals

(or Green goes the Tactical Marines...)

Now that I'm fielding the goodness that is Grav guns, I need to stop proxying them with old Rogue Trader models with esoteric weapons.

A straightforward assembly from the new Tacticals box, with a custom shoulder pad from Scibor, and this guy is ready for priming.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Marine Devastators

(or Why I shouldn't be allowed to visit game stores...)

I made the mistake of walking into +Atlantis Games & Comics out on the beach while I was in Norfolk this past week.  I knew better...

Three sprues of Space Marine heavy weapon goodness!
I'm just glad I escaped with my bank account intact!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Staying on track

(Or, what is that over there?? SQUIRREL!! )

I can totally blame my friend +Matt Genuardi for this one.
Yes, that IS a 3D printed Baneblade.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dear Mr. Art Director

(Or, RTFF - Read The F@cking Fluff)

The next Horus Heresy novel "Cybernetica" is coming on the 24th of July!
<insert sound of cheering>

Wow, I'm pretty excited to read the novel of the Astartes versus the corrupted Dark Mechanicum on Mars!  But wait, what is that in the background there??

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pegasus Hexagon terrain - Painted!

(must... fight... terrain... block!)

What to do with all of this??
I'll get something built out of the Pegasus Hobbies' Hexagon Construction set, eventually!  The only way to fight through this is to just jump in, build terrain and paint it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tempting fate at GW Jacksonville

(or, willpower, I haz it!)

Just in case anyone was wondering about my trip down to the GW Jacksonville, Florida store last week. This image pretty much sums it up...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Skitarii Customization - part 2

(too... many.. bits... MUST CHOOSE!)

I showed off a test build of my Skitarii Ranger with the first post in this series of customized Skitarii. (He's the one on the right in the image above.)  I've now gone back and made some more changes to the model and we'll have to see where this ends up.

Friday, July 10, 2015

My future Gaming room

(I don't need bad influences like this)

Why me?

I have to be thankful that my wife is very tolerant of my wargaming hobby.  In fact, right now she is kind enough to travel to Jacksonville, Florida for the Age of Sigmar release event.  But that being said, she is a TOTAL enabler by telling me: "Oh yeah, you should absolutely have a wargaming space over the garage in our next house!"

So with that in mind, here is a link to my new, favorite hobby space, that belongs to +Tom Young  over at Tides Of War:

one small image of Tides Of War's space

Please go check out his AWESOME space, as the image above just doesn't do it credit.  Leave him some feedback on what you think of it,

And maybe one day, I'll have a space that rivals his!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Customized Sydonian Dragoon, pt 2

(Base is done... what, am I ignoring the riders?? YES I AM!!)

Walker and base joined
(and yes, I know I need to touch up the base edging... darn sand sticking to parts that it wasn't supposed to!!)

Actually I did get around to magnetizing the three riders I have built (one is in the background), along with the walker itself, but the rain is starting to put a crimp in my plans to primer the riders outside.

That is all for tonight!  If it dries out in the next few days I'll get the primer onto the riders and (maybe) a little detail work when the wife goes out with the girls!

  Oh and another shameless plug:

   If you are a fan of Skitarii and haven't seen the modifications and characters that +Eric Wier over at Between The Bolter and Me has done, you need to go check them out!


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Custom Dragoon Riders, pt 1

(How many different conversion parts can I put in one model?)

Here is what my first build of a rider for the Knight Household Auxiliaries looks like:

For those that are curious, here's the detailed breakdown of components:

Monday, July 06, 2015

Customized Sydonian Dragoon, pt 1

(Must. Stop. Customizing)

Here is the 90% solution for the Dragoon/Ironstrider customization.  Still working on the riders, and have a few samples assembled, ready for painting.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Skitarii Customization - part 1

(are they Skitarii or Tech-guard?)

Test Tech-guard assemblies
While I really like some of the 30k Forge World Mechanicum models, I am not enthusiastic about the look of the plastic Skitarii.  I am even less enthusiastic about the "reinvention" of the Skitarii in the post-heresy era and the revisionist history that has gone on to change them from augmented Mechanicum foot soldiers into some strange twisted state between Space Marine and Servitor.  So pardon the blue-tac and let's take a look at some of my concepts!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ad Mech walkers customized!

(You guys know me... I can't leave well enough alone)

An auxiliary Dragoon from House Themistokles marches in front of his Knight brethren

So here is my first take at my modified Sydonian Dragoons / Ironstriders. (please pardon the big globs of Blue-tac holding the rider together!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Codex - Space Marines - Aftershocks

(or Can you hook a [Battle] Brother up?)

Now that I've had some time to dig around in the new Space Marine codex, surf the interwebs for other viewpoints, leave some snarky comments and generally digest the impact of the codex update I think I have a few more observations to share.

I hope the picture above isn't how this codex turns out for the other Space Marine Chapters that have their own codices!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Codex - Space Marines

(Is that a chainsword or just the sound of Army Lists shredding?)

First off, I'll say I'm pretty happy the new codex is here, and of course there are things that I'm disappointed to lose or see changed from previous versions.

So Be it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Knights - and not mine!

(or here is a shameless plug for my friend Chris!)

If you haven't checked out his blog "Addicted to Resin", you absolutely need to!

Chris's "Tusker" Knight conversion
I think the quality of his work speaks for itself!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Digging out

I knew that March through May was going to be a busy three months, but I had no idea HOW busy!

Between a two week trip to Malaysia, teaching a photography workshop and running several photoshoots for customers, painting and modeling has taken a back seat!  At least I managed to field my Imperial Knight in a quick 1000pt game against Blood Angels.

Yes, those are Rogue Trader era Imperial Guardsmen being fielded with the Knight.  If the weapons loadout looks odd, it is because the Thermal Canon is a proxy for the Avenger Gatling Cannon, and the twin-lascannon on top is a proxy for the Icarus Autocannons.

I did find out how much I missed the D-weapon chainsword, as these Assault Marines tied up the Knight for 3 turns, even with his Stomp attack! (FNP from the Sanguinary Priest made close combat frustrating)

Still another week or two of craziness to go, so I had better stop writing now and get back to work!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Month 4 - Imperial Knight #2

(want to know what failure looks like?)

Okay, so it isn't the end of Month 4 yet... but I know I'll be traveling and will be too busy to make any more progress until April!  I am pretty frustrated with coming up short on this.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pegasus Terrain - Hexagon and Syberclicks

(or Oh looky!  More sprues to trim!)

In my never-ending quest to find some terrain that is modular, yet durable, I decided to pick up a large kit of +Pegasus Hobbies Hexagon Platformer and Syberclicks.  The reviews on the internet had been mixed, so when I ordered my second Imperial Knight from , I decided to pick up a box of each terrain kit as well. (The Hexagon comes in Large and Small kits and so I chose the large for the best set of construction options.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Month 4 - and it begins!

(or WAIT, what happened to Month 3??)

Okay, so I did take 2 months to do my Imperial Knight, but the parts for Knight #2 arrived today from the crew at .  Time to get to work!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Month 2 - Imperial Knight #1 pt 6

(Holy Cow it is starting to look like an Imperial Knight!)

Well, almost done except for a bit of the recess wash and some touch up, and of course the decals.