Large centipedes freak me out whenever I see them scuttling around. Somehow, I don't mind this one, especially since I intend to crash him into some nice, squishy Eldar/orks/whatever. Happy Sunday, people....
Well, really, the factory never closed, but I took a break from doing things for a while, an when I felt like it again, I opened up some new projects. The Necron army still needs some bits and bobs, so I finished a second Triarch stalker kit and started on another Grievous-sized general. Up there's his rifle/scythe. If you seen the new Apocalypse doorstop book, you know how cool the new C'tan are, so there you go. Of course, I've played exactly one Apoc battle since it first came out, so this fellow might end up being a Hive Tyrant long before ascending to godhood.
The other WIP is a gaggle of Crypteks. I already have two prototypes paint, so there'll be a total of ten. I figured I'd do one or two of each discipline (there are ten) with glowy staves that color-coordinate to each. I'm still on the fence as to whether to convert up some orks to hold objectives for me. Might have to sell off a fantasy army to justify that first. As to other projects down the line we'll see. I do sort of want an Avenger fighter to run interference for my Vendettas, but on the other hand it might be nice to have two gunships supporting the marines instead of just the one... Happy Sunday, people.
Some clever chap made a posable Atlas model from the new in-game models using a 3D printer. More here.
I'm not going to bore you with wistful talk of it being a brave new day for the medium. Just that I'm taking a hard look at saving for a 3D printer, and which 3D package for the Mac maps best to my 3DS skills. Cuz, you know, I like making cool things. On a related note, Battletech was what got me into minis and wargaming in the first place, and, strangely, I sold off 98% of my large collection of 200+ mechs before I started this blog, because I was unemployed and hadn't played Battletech for years. Who knew a $5 lead Marauder went for $18 these days? I had 3 Atlases, but never actually fielded them all at once. Probably would've been fun to, though. Anyway this feels like something coming full circle somehow. Happy Monday, people.
So as you can see from this compilation of the plastic works of the late Nate "nnenn" Nielson, there are A LOT of alternate Viper color schemes to choose from. Almost.... no, not almost, there ARE too many. In the coming weeks, I'll select one for the resin kit and go from there. The reason I'm not painting the kit stock colors is simple; the highly collectible Revoltech will be coming in (yes, I caved) and the two will stand shoulder to shoulder. So, the kit will need to not only reflect its Gradius forbears, but also its ZOE incarnation. Sigh.
Because, when one reaches a point where one's 40k habit plateaus, and there's nothing new or exciting, that is what one does. The Vic Viper here is almost completely self-contained with no parts-swapping, except for the head, which is magnetized (a joint wouldn't fit in the slender torso with the shoulders and back assembly there) which swaps out with the main computer-nub in the chest when everything folds up. Now all that's left is the sanding and painting. The inspiration for me to finish this project came, in part, from Tears of Envy's Tumblr, which is full of all kinds of awesome. Also, I wanted to beat the toy's release, which is scheduled for April, and does require the swapping of hip joints and such. Happy Saturday, people.
"Doesn't it look like a Kondoh-type Rik Dom?" Marc-Alex Vezina, creator of Jovian said to me in an email. The year was 199- something. (Do keep that in mind when you see the paint jobs, please, I was still finding my way) 1996? '95? Doesn't matter. I had originally struck up an email conversation with him through their fanzine, Mecha Press, beginning a relationship that would eventually get me a gig writing for Votoms rip-offHeavy Gear. Marc-Alex was gushing about his pet project and its skillfully derived artwork bitchin' designs. Now, having been exposed to a bevy of anime and yet only had Battletech's terrible designs as gaming pieces, the Jovian Chronicles mecha and their RAFM minis were a breath of fresh air. So, I decided to follow along with theme and paint the enemy mecha squadron of Wyverns along the lines of its Gundam counterpart. Moreover, I would have one for each Rik Dom model.
The personal machine of enemy ace Char Aznable. was always painted red, and needed a confidant, aggressive pose, so I chose to model it calling out the enemy (or questioning the falsehood of his cause; Char did that). The Wyvern Commander Type also had a sensor dish mounted on its shoulder for some reason.
The Wyvern was supposed to had a propellant tank, but for some reason, they left it off the mini. RAFM's quality control was also atrocious. Missing parts, weird miscasts... oh well. They're out of business now, I think.
The standard, soldier type Rik Dom was in the purple of the Black Tri-Stars, a squadron of Zeon Aces who specialized in blowing apart capital ships. Their paint scheme somehow spread to every Rik Dom ever issued to a grunt.
I'm torn between loving and being mortified by the old paint, honestly. The more I stare at these photos, the better weathering looks. Maybe it's just me?
Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory brought the Dom Tropen variant in desert colors, not to mention the longer armor skirts and blast shield on the bazooka. Unlike the other three, this one was painted relatively recently, even though it sat, primed black, in its box for an eternity.
I wish these things had been around during the heyday of Battletech. I feel like whatever appreciation they would have gotten on the gaming table is gone forever. Oh well, at least they're collector's items.
Lastly, this Colony Marine version came about due to RAFM's terrible quality control, which led to weird warps on the armor skirts and a missing bazooka. Luckily I had some grenade racks in the bits box, not to mention a weapons upgrade sprue from the large-scale Votoms Heavy Gear line, which included this fantastic gatling cannon.
Yes, that ammo belt is the tail from the old pewter Queen Alien. The massive ammo drum was a capsule that pencil erasers came in. Reasoning it would run out of ammo quickly (look up the rate of fire on a vulcan some time) I also gave thing a backup rifle slung on its rear skirt. Nowadays I'd drybrush up from that atrocious green wash job.... oh well, the past is the past, and there are other things to do than strip and repaint old minis. Aren't there?
Dreap Pod 9 has announced that it's discontinuing its Jovian Chronicles line and retiring (read, "breaking") the molds. (read all about it here). This is kinda sad, because Dream Pod 9 really, really, really wanted to make a Gundam game (just like they really, really really wanted an Armored Trooper Votoms game with Heavy Gear.) Their problem, however was threefold in that 1) their rules set went from so-so (Mekton) to not-so-good (their own), 2) they changed their designs from pretty damn good to absolute shit:
Third, the scale of the above model is ultra-teensy-weensy (smaller than a Space Marine) which allows for next to no customization, not to speak of detail at all. You can see the horrors here. Really, they were also doomed by the fact that giant robots never really caught on past Battletech (which also went under for a time) as far as gaming was concerned, and that what they were trying to do in the first place (tell a Gundam story) was done, and in a better medium, by the people they idolized (you know, the folks who actually MAKE the Gundam anime). Their Heavy Gear line seems to be going the same way, which makes me sad, since I wrote some copy for their RPG books.
If it's not, do correct me, because I haven't seen anyone play Heavy Gear in a gaming store, ever. Not once.
Anyway, the demise of Jovian Chronicles has left us with some AMAZING artifacts; the entire first line of models, which I happen to own a set of, because I absolutely bloody love giant robots, and had a ready source of cash during the 1990's. In addition, I purchased a few extras for conversions. You'll recall this fellow:
But I neglected to introduce you to his friends, namely this chap:
I neglected to blacken his base, and I should have. Originally, I had planned to have all of the Jovian models in flight, partly due to the fact that they were all too wide to fit on hex bases. Oh well.
Yes, that's a large rifle stowed between those two propellant tanks, yes, those are Assault Marine jump packs on his legs as extra thrusters. Peer closely at the rear shot of the right arm and you'll see that weapon is mounted to on the side of his forearm instead of replacing it. I'd like to add I'd never have done this nowadays, as the joint is tremendously flimsy. Whatever he doesn't demolish with the bazooka or saw in half with the underslung vulcan, he can slash in half with the beam saber hidden cunningly inside the shield, or blast apart with his stowed rifle. His mate, on the underhand, is comparatively under-armed:
Although she is carrying a rather large beam rifle, she's not meant to get into great big battles with lots of nasty suits that are larger than her, anyway. Like her brother unit, the legs were cut and extended, compared to the stubby originals (see the B&W art, above). What? The pink is an abomination? Yes, well, you know, we all do stupid things in our youth. Plus, it was the 90's. Pink was in for femme-bots.
These models both received a bit of airbrush weathering because I was doing that sort of thing to everything back then, although by the time I did these the poor contraption was at the end of its life cycle.
Next time, the villains of the Jovian Chronicles universe, who are probably responsible for a lot of Japanese staring daggers at Montreal....
I'm slowly eking my way through the characters in the IG Codex, and I wonder why I haven't made (or used) Harker (or HaRK3R) sooner. A BS4 relentless Heavy Bolter? Yes please. It took a bit of bits box digging to make him work, however. I'd quite forgotten I had some Maxmini bionic bits left over from some time ago, including these fantastic kneeling legs. His left arm is from an old Battletech Banshee-S that was in a container not meant for such things. As such it was a godsend when I found it and the reason the whole project went forward.
I am, however, now severely low on machine-y looking backpack bits, and am having to make do with scraps. I suppose I could cobble together an alternative and send it to a recaster, but my AdMech army's pretty much finished as far as infantry models go, so is it worth it? Hmmm....
The mounting for the right arm is from a Micro Arts Iron Brotherhood mini. There's a metal rod running down the center of it from his body to the HB. Looking back, I supposed I should have done a drum and a chain feed, but really, he has to fit into a Chim with the rest of his squad, so it'll have to be clip-fed.
He, of course, doesn't have a power fist in the rules, but I gave him one anyway. Punching an enemy with your cannon arm is an awfully 40k thing to do, so why not? The fingers are made out of pewter daggers from the old RAFM Heavy Gear line, and held on by CYA glue and prayer. I tried to go Weathered Penny while painting his metal bits, but then decided to bring the higher areas up with some silver and boltgun metal to distinguish him as a good guy (as opposed to those nasty copper Necrons...)
This is a bit of a cautionary tale; not because of the Puppetswar head-bike, which itself makes a wonderful Ghost Ark Prow, as you can see from Command Ark Charon, here:
Rather, the caution comes from the other task he and his sister (brother?) ark encompassed; a magnetized conversion to Doomsday Ark. Choosing not to do as others have done (the magnetized flipping and switching of little guns) I instead took the less wise path of painting and modeling TWO MORE HULLS, which, as you can imagine, takes absolutely forever and tests the limits of human patience. Charon, as you can see, is also a bit longer than the average Ghost Ark:
And thanks to the addition of coupling bits and the Head-bike, rather off-balance. Nonetheless, I recommend the Head-bike as a nice prow bit. I think it lends the right bit of character to an already wonderful model. GW did a disappointing job with the viking-like prow bits, which is why I whipped up something different for the Doomday Arks altogether:
I thought the Doomsday cannon needed something more substantial than those underslung orbs, and so fashioned an imposing-looking bit from Annihilation barge backings (since my "barges" have legs on them; see the Tyrannocrons from a year ago).
Now they have more a living insect look that matches the rest of the army. The magnets sit at the opposite end of the hull, tucked into the spine and gun.
As you can see, this necessitated a bit of fabrication for the Ghost Ark hull, which just plain didn't have a second contact point and was too damn heavy to hang on without one. I rigged up a sort of Resurrection Orb out of a hull piece and some plastic tubing, and anchored it with a metal rod cut to size. Now both of the command sections are these lovely detachable pods. Maybe the Necrons have other war machines for these to attach to? I understand the next Imperial Armor is Necron-oriented, which may prompt me to buy on of these super-expensive tomes after all...
The stalk nestles quite well between the back ranks of the Necron passengers, and makes these models quite a bit more solid than their counterparts. I also altered the operators a bit, giving them the cyclops targeting eyes of the Deathmark/Crypteks to differentiate them from the steersmen of the static arks from so many posts ago.
One of them suffered a fractured crown, but really, any minor breakage like this only lends character to the Necrons anyway, so it doesn't bother me. What did bother me was the excruciatingly long process of painting not two, but FOUR HULLS full of little gauss flayers, which is something I don't recommend, at all, ever. Whew! Also, Happy New Year!