Monday, 26 July 2010

Camping + Green Stuff = Hobby Goodness!

After my last post on Friday, I was just getting the last of the things together for camping when I had a idea. I might not have been able to do any work on my models whilst camping, but there was no reason why I couldn't practice some sculpting.

I grabbed my sculpting kit comprising of my tools, some green stuff, my little pink tin of vaseline (the one with the daemon faces) and a piece of plasticard to work on.

So, I found myself on Saturday afternoon watching the kids play and decided to break out the sculpting stuff and kill some time. After a little thinking about what I should sculpt, I settled on stowage for my vehicles. I've run out of the GW stowage and the new kits don't automatically come with the accessory sprue, so I figured making my own might be a good idea. A few hours later, I came up with this .....

First off, I had a go at getting the basic shape with the straps and cloth flap, I also tried to put some texture on it, but that turned out a bit of a fail.

After it was done, I realised that it was a bit static and didn't really look like it was hanging off the side of a tank so the next one, I worked on making it look a bit more natural. I also added some more pronounced creases by the straps.

That one turned out better, so I gave it another go trying to get more of a hang to the material.

At that point, I was quite happy with how the material looked hanging and decided to try and up my game by adding a buckle to a strap. I managed to get the basic shape of the buckle down but failed on the strap and didn't even attempt a pin.

After getting the basic shape of the buckle down, I tried to improve on it with the next. This one came out a little chunky but all the details were there. I had the buckle, pin and the strap looked ok.

Next up, I tried adding the straps separately after getting the basic shape of the cloth down. these turned out a bit chunky, so I slight fail there but I added a central strap and buckle which was a lot smaller than the last ones and ended up looking ok.

Finally, I put together everything I'd practiced earlier and came up with some stowage with double straps with buckles. I'm really pleased with how this one came out, there's room for improvement but I really feel like like with a bit more practice I'll have them down to a tee.

I always feel that close ups of sculpting show up all the flaws, much like close ups of painted models, so here's a pic that's close to what it looks like in real life (at least on my laptop screen - lol).

Another plus was the fact that they were all done with the GW sculpting tool. In the past, I've never been able to use the metal tools and so all my work was done with the clay shapers. Now, I can't see how I managed to sculpt with the clay shapers in the first place.

So my camping trip was a good weekend and gave me a chance to up my sculpting skills - double win!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Second Starstreak finished

I haven't really got back into painting yet, the paints and brushes are sitting on my paint station but right now I'm not really in the mood to paint shades of grey, so instead, I decided to put together another Starstreak Hydra.

This one went together a hell of a lot easier than the last one, although it did need fixing in a couple of places. The gun slots and the top hatch both needed a little work after the filing, I also had to fix a bit of the track but in comparison to the last one, this one was a beauty to put together.

I also seem to be getting better at doing rivets, but if I ever do any major scratch building in the future, I'll definitely be investing in a hole punch as there's a lot of work in doing rivets with plastic rod.

Anyway, it's exactly the same setup as the last with just a few changes to the stowage on the sides of the hull. Here's the pics, hope you like it.

Finally, here's a pic of the twins together. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Now all I have to do is break out the paints and get cracked on with painting them up in the Corbanian colours.

I'm planning on adding a third 'special' Starstreak Hydra to finish off the squadron but I need to do some searching for some bits before I can put it together. In the meantime, I'm off camping this weekend with the wife and kids, so I've loaded up the Ipod with a few episodes of the Independent Characters and 11th Company podcasts. I've never really listened to them before but I've heard good things.

So guys, hope you have a good weekend, I plan to :-)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Bad Dice - Gav Thorpe Interview

If you haven't already heard it, the guys at Bad Dice podcast have done an interview with Gav Thorpe. I must admit that I don't really listen to Bad Dice because it's fantasy orientated but this episode is well worth listening to as Gav Thorpe gives a real sight into games developed and how it works with the commercial side of GW. You can check out the episode at ....

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Starstreak Hydra prep'd

Sometimes, I wonder whether it's really worth picking up prebuilt models and then converting and repainting them. The chimera chassis for this hydra project was a nightmare, why do people spend good money on these kits and then put so little effort into putting them together. This one in particular had a whole host of problems. First off, whoever put it together decided to have the tracks running in different directions, so I had to remove one of the tracks which involved sweat and a lot of swearing. I also filed the top of the chassis flat as I wanted a look similar to my ambulance rather than the standard chimera.

This involved filling a few of the gun slits with greenstuff and then filing them flat after a few of them turned into gaping holes after the lasguns were cut off.

I also had to file the backdoor flat after it was put on the wrong way round. C'mon, how do you put the door on the wrong way round? Whatever the original creator was smoking when he did this, I want some!

I also put the missile assembly together, it's tilting a bit high at the moment but that because it was the only way I could get it to sit flat. The right mount is slightly warped but I planned to fix that when it got mounted on the chassis.

I did a quick mockup of what it was going to be like when it's mounted, overall I was pretty pleased at this point although the missiles definitely need pointing further down.

Once I finished filing down the chassis, I was time to start building it back up again. This meant adding a new track, a filed down cupola, vent, searchlight and some basic stowage. I also used my dremmel to cut out a hole mount for the missile assembly.

After that, it was time to add all the rivets I'd filed off whilst prep'ing the chassis. This was done with a scalpel, some plastic rod and some more profanity.

Once the rivets were in place, all that was left was to rebuild the back door. I found it quite a fiddly process but very rewarding when I saw the finished article. Must admit, I feel like I'm slowly getting better with working with plasticard. I'm a long way off the likes of Dei Greci, but I'm taking it one step at a time.

And here we have the finished article, the first of the Corbanian Starstreak Hydras. All I need to do is break out the paints and see if I can remember the colours and techniques I used on my other vehicles.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the finished vehicle, although I'm starting to wonder whether buying prebuilt models is really worth it. Yes, you can pickup a bargain but when they're plagued with problems like this one, the extra effort and bits needed sort of negate the cost savings.

Luckily, my next prebuilt chimera chassis has the tracks going the right way and the backdoor on the right way round, I'm now wondering way I didn't use that one in the first place - lol.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Gamers Lounge podcast

With my recent break from the interweb and all things 40k, I've gotten behind in listening to my various podcasts and so, this past week I've been playing catchup. Although I love blogging and spend a ridiculous amount of time checking out various blog, my other online passion is listening to gaming podcasts, mainly because they give me a way of getting my gaming fix when I'm away from the pc via my ipod.

Over the past year, I've listened to a wide range of gaming podcasts, including 40k Radio, Dice Like Thunder, D6Generation, Imperial Vox cast, Bad Dice, The 11th Company, The Independent Characters, The Warbanner to name a few. But recently, with my limited time, I've had to limit what I listen to and I've settled with just two.

There's 40K Radio, which almost always makes me laugh but with their recent issues and restructuring, there hasn't been much to listen to and I'm waiting to see what the new format sounds like when they release the first show on Thursday.

That leaves The Gamers Lounge, which has fast become my most favourite podcast. I've listened to three shows over the past two days and can't rate them enough. Hosted by Bill and Jay, two active members of the 40K blogosphere (The Dead Tau Project and Blood and Blades).

I can't really put my finger on what exactly makes this podcast so good but overall, I think it's a feeling of maturity. They've got nothing to prove other than their love of the hobby, the show's well presented and covers a range of topics in a grown up manner. Yes, the hosts disagree at times but there's no slanging match, rather a grown up discussion of different points of view. They also have a regular feature on blogging, which is insightful and full of great tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your blogging. I won't go into a full review, as I'm not really good at that sort of thing and

Saturday, 10 July 2010

One small step ...

It's been a while and although life's going to be tough, a good friend of my Tolcrothlogan made me realise that's there's no point punishing myself and you've got to reward yourself and so, I unpacked the painting station today and although I don't have the hobby time I used to have, I'm still going to see what I can get done in the limited time I do have. So guys, I'm back in the saddle so to speak.

Time for a quick recap, I've currently got three projects sitting on the painting station. First off, there's the Harker's squad project.

I've got quite a bit to do one these, I need to get my dremmel out and remove their headbands and smooth down some of their haircuts ready for their green stuff berets. I also need to give them gs camo cloaks but I want them to have thinner cloaks than Harker himself and I'm not sure how to do that (wink wink Mister Taylor - lol). Next up, we have the Hydra project, I've already started the prep work but I'll post more on what I've done in the projects next update.

Finally, we've got the Heroquest adventurers, I've already done the Red Knight, I just need to get these guys done and then I can crack on with the baddies. I'm quite up for some Heroquesting, especially since I now live closer to my brother and my mate Mike, who are both up for some dungeon delving, so I can see us getting a few games in over the coming months.

So, that's where I'm at project wise, there's still quite a few other projects I have on the go but these are going to be my main ones for the time being. Overall, I'm pretty pleased to be getting back into the swing of things, hopefully, I'll be posting updates soon.

Finally, I've mentioned in the past about how talented an artist my wife, here's a pic of her putting her talents to use in a new direction as her brother's teaching her how to Tattoo.

I'm just glad he's willing to be her guinea pig or she's be looking in my direction! Luckily, there's also latex practice skin - Thank you Ebay!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Phalanx 2010

Even thought I haven't had much chance to get any hobby stuff done recently, I was lucky enough for a good friend Tolcrothlogan to take me up to Phalanx 2010 at St Helens a week or so ago. It's was my first time at a wargames show, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the show, there weren't enough games going on for my liking but the amount of traders made up for it. There was loads of terrain on sale, so plenty of eye candy and inspiration for my future projects.

My two regrets were that I didn't take my proper camera, so I had to use my mobile to take pics and I didn't take a notebook, so I never got to write down what the games were or who made the various bits of scenery. So, sorry about the quality of the pics, but here's the eye candy.

First off, we've got some Secrets of the Third Reich pics, I just love the spider tank in the background.

Next up, we have a pretty huge sci-fi game which I think is AT43 but don't quote me on that. I just loved the table, especially the large complex.

This was the first time I'd come across hex terrain. When I saw it on a trade stand in pieces, I wasn't that impressed, but laid out, it looked pretty good, the hex's seemed to blend away.

This was a huge historical battle, shame it was let down by table. Considering the amount of really good terrain available at the show, I was surprised they couldn't turn out a better table.

Whereas this game was the exact opposite, a really small table with some cracking terrain on it. Simple but really effective.

This one just blew my socks off. I think it was a flames of war game but in all honesty, I didn't really notice the models, just soaked up the table.

Some of the trade stands now, first off we've got some resin dark age forts by Grand Manor. These were so juicy, they almost made me want to play fantasy ..... almost :-)

Some simple scifi building next, to only one's at the show in truth. I get the feeling that non GW'ers arn't really into their futuristic gaming.

Some simple terrain pieces next, these would be so easy to make up, I almost picked up a couple of their terrain bags myself.

Another set of simple terrain from TheScene, dead easy to do, but really really effective. All their stuff is handmade and unique, so kudos to them.

Next up, we have a collection of 12mm buildings. Not much good for 40k, but quite inspirational. In the right scale, they'd make one hell of a 40k cityfight table.

Finally, I spotted some dungeon scenery and it sparked my interest for Heroquest, I just love dungeon delving.

Overall, a cracking day out, I'm looking forward to heading to some more shows in the future but next time I'll remember the camera and notepad.