Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Black Knight


So this one was a long time in coming. I have such a backlog of models to shoot and put up, you wouldn't believe. Add to that my old homemade lightbox bought the farm, so I thought "hey, let's order an actual one!"

Mistake.

Oooooh the problems this caused. I'm still working on getting the lighting right, so if some of these shots are a little off, please forgive. I'm working under entirely new conditions, and really, I just want to junk the stupid lighting tent and go back to cardboard boxes lined in matte shelf paper. 

Anyway, apologies also if some of these break the bounds of the blog columns. The extra width is worth the sloppy amateurism, and I plan to change the narrow template soon anyway. 

So ze Knight, he is dark!



He is also covered in so many damn pointy things, the camera has a hard time focusing. I've shot planes, tanks, tiny figs, all sorts of things, but this sucker? Sheesh! He's also the tallest model in my collection by far. Taller than even the Warhound. 

Also, again, sealing this thing killed the paint. It had so many subtle tones in the metallics before, and now it makes me sad. I need to find a better seal. Anyone? Ideas? Tips?



Those legs owe their existence to some heavy pinning, green stuff, and Defiler legs (which are perfect for extensions, by the way, especially if you think the FW ones are too damn tall, which, sorry FW, but I do). Once you get to cutting, the Knight kit is super posable. Yes, the hips get a little narrow, but quite honestly, the originals are splayed pretty darn wide, and would best be mounted on larger ball joints anyway.  Lengthening the legs is super easy, even the pistons are just plastic rod and pipe, with the bog-standard kit ball joints on the end, filled out with green stuff:



Being a mysterious disinherited knight, he carries little in the way of heraldry save his battlefield honors. 


The Imperium above all, with the Emperor at its center, a Knight Charter Honoriam at ht e bottom, and to the left and right the fleur-de-lis of the Ecclesiarchy and a Bell of Lost Souls honoring fallen comrades-in-arms. As for personal heraldry, that's all been scrubbed. He carries nothing identifying save the little cog-horse on the banner which itself only says "Mechanicum Knight" (and yet, not a shred of red on him... oh, the mysteries abound). 


The FW lance on their model looks so depressingly underwhelming to me. This lance is courtesy of a Modeling Support Goods Kotobukiya kit that costs like $5 from Hobbylink Japan. Looks like it could do some damage, eh? It spins on its mounting, too. The MSG kit is so well engineered, they made it so you could take the little wind-up rotary engine from their gatling gun and stick this lance on it to make it spin menacingly. I swear, I love the Japanese. Their hobby industry is the cat's meow.

Yes, the clip from the battle cannon is on there; I thought it made a better power pack than, say, the set of tanks from the stock kit. Besides, this sucker is, of course, modular.


As you can tell, he also lights up. More on that in a second. I magnetized the weapon arm so everything's replaceable (what a pain the ass that was). So, he can go from this to the melta cannon as needed for anti-tank duty. What's more, everything clicks into place satisfyingly. I also fitted a ball joint inside the torso, so it rotates better. Really, I should've just found some huge ball joints for the legs and made the whole damn thing posable....


Oh hey, somehow this one is perfectly lit. Can't think how that happened. Speaking of lighting......


Our eyes light menacingly. This is achieved with some drilling, and the running of fibre-optics back into the torso where the lights are bolted down (somewhat). The faceplate is also magnetize. I'll get around to painting the other helmets someday....


Our engine plate also ignites, because it's so cool. I can't believe none of the other folks who lit their knights haven't done this. There's two bulbs behind there with some semi-transparent plastoc over it for diffusion purposes. 

 If I hadn't run out of LED's I would've run on into that little boiler underneath. 


The volcanic under-lighting of the vent plate. I know, it's a terrible photo, but I couldn't for the life of me, get it to photog right. More experiments to follow, and probably a junking of the lighting tent. 


I debated contacting Hi-Tech miniatures to see if I could get the command chair to their Mechanicum dreadnought-looking thing as a bit, to put in here. Instead, I borrowed from another modeler's solution and put the switch in here under a magnetized hatch. The rest of the carapace is also removable so I can get to the battery, replace burnt-out bulbs, etc.


So, we come to the gauntlets. These began life as parts of a WM Menoth colossal. A bits reseller sells them separately, and I do have the rightie as well, ready for the Questoris sword once I find one. The sculptor didn't know how fists were made, however:



I used a bit to hide it, but those fingers aren't fully closed in a fist; there's just blob of bare resin there. Be advised, if you ever buy them, this is something you'll have to deal with by either covering it up (looks like he's holding a roll of quarters or something) drilling out the resin area (so his fist will only be half-closed) or.... shit, I dunno. Nevertheless, when I saw this on the original sculpt  I was way disappointed. That little internal piston was added by me as well; the forearm bits are actually reversed, because the Menoth arms were meant to have bigass shields on them which I didn't want to spend another $10 or so on. Plus, the shields were.... eh, not heavy and 40k-looking enough. 

The Ion Shield projector was once the property of a Gundam F90-2 mobile suit. It's held onto the arm by a magnetized pylon so I can stick a gatling cannon on later. It's also one of the few parts that's left unglued, so I can do this:


Again, I like it better than the FW spider-web thing. I know what they were trying to do, which is this. I just wish they'd put a bit more thought into it, because it needed the translucent plastic sexiness. 


Oh, and someone commented about basing before:


I got that old knight model as part of a bits buy, and he's been sitting in a bits box for years. He was unusable as a mounted fig because the lead horse's legs were sheared off, and would've been a pain to re-sculpt and re-mount on a base. Plus, my D&D group rarely fights mounted. So, he got the bronzing treatment (green with bronze drybrushing, plus black and green washes). Yes, the plinth is from FW mechanicum models. The little plaque says "Games Workshop Ltd." 

Yes, I am also making an artistic statement. 

Happy Saturday, people. 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rise of the Black Knight Part II: Getting there, getting there....



Things continue apace, which is good, because I have a bunch of AdMech stuff just sitting in boxes waiting for assembly. Weathering like this actually goes faster then the Weathered Penny technique, for some reason. Maybe it's because of the Ghost Arks and all their little crevices, maybe because after doing it so much I'm faster at it now. Anyway, still haven't figured out his heraldry yet. The way his shoulder plates look, it'd be a shame to just put a wet-transfer decal on there. 

Maybe I'll do something by hand...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th! (Rise of the Black Knight?)


I started working on the metallics of the Knight Lancer with the intention of making the armor parts a split dark green/black (a darker version of the Forgotten Knight). 

Then I noticed this happened. 

Usually we black over this to start the next color, but I'm really digging what's going here. 

Thoughts? 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Imperial Knight...


Battletech veterans will recognize this pose. 

I really need to revamp my blogger layout, because tiny photos really don't do this kit justice. Of their products in the past year or so, I have to say the knight is my favorite, even considering its obvious flaws (how about some posable hips and knees, eh?) when compared to, say, a master grade mobile suit kit from Bandai. Maybe it's because it's a huge mecha, maybe it's because he's that much more posable than a dreadnaught, or maybe because it has that much more potential than other offerings to come from GW, I don't know. I do know I bought another one to convert into a Knight Lancer. 


Rulebook adherents will notice the he looks remarkably similar to a House Raven armour, but I've eschewed the iconography (though you can't see it here, the other half of that shoulder plate is a half-aquila on red) simply because I like none of the houses they've created. Their writing really has fallen by the wayside a bit and lacks something of the char the older stuff used to have. Oh well. Anyway, I suppose that makes him a Freeblade, but in terms of theme and palette he belongs alongside my Warden and Warhound, so I'm sure I'll generate some fluff eventually. I wish I'd had the decal sheet ages ago for my IG forces, but, oh well. 



His cannon arm isn't magnetized, sadly. At the time it seemed far to fiddly a thing to do to, and when I sat down to do it to the Lancer's weapon arm, it was. If  didn't have three different sizes of magnets sitting around, I never would've been able to do it. 


A lot of what I learned from this kit I applied to the Lancer, and still more from that build... well, I don't know if it's worth getting a third one, but cutting and repositioning the leg hydraulics is much easier than one thinks, given some plastruct piping and rod. At the time I built this, I was already thinking of what I'd do, and when I finish and post the Lancer, you'll see what I mean. One of the major things people have to get their minds around is cutting away those super-wide hips. Most other hobbyists I read haven't been doing so, and they end up with too-wide, off-balance stances that end up looking nearly like the original despite all the effort they put into it.  


I do regret not putting more into the base other than the parched volcanic landscape I've been using on my other AdMech stuff, but I've also been running low on ruined bits to tack on there. I thought about putting the old Epic Knight Paladin on the base as a fallen statue, but that strikes me as being a bit obvious and trite. Plus, I was too lazy to strip the old mini's paint. 


Until next time, folks. 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Crypteks....



Before we move on to the Knight stuff, photos of a gaggle of themed Crypteks have been fermenting on my hard drive since... well, since that Tomb Stalker post. Then there's the Roboute model, some more Mechanicus stuff, and so on. No, I'm not going to do any ork stuff, ever. I despise the damn orks. Overpowered, undercosted, showing up in hordes and punching my perfectly good Leman Russes with their Deathrollers... ugh. Anyway, let's do some Space Egyptians. 


The Storm-teks were my prototypes for the rest of the range. I worked out the color-coding for the different staves early, and figured I wanted different Crypteks to also have subtle differences according to their specialties. These and the Destruction-Teks are all in aggressive stances, and have different cowling than their brethren. I don't know if you noticed, but the staff bits are awfully brittle. As a result, half of these have metal pins in them, and the rest will probably get them after they've been used a bit. 


I thought these and the Storm-teks would see more use, so I made three of each and fewer of the others, reasoning I'd use them as rank fillers or one-offs, depending on the type of Cryptek. I wanted to cover all of them for the sake of doing so. 


I had fun making the ascetic-looking Chrono-Teks. I was tempted to work-in some other kind of clock imagery, but they're aliens, and so any imagery we equate with time wouldn't fit the branding. So, I made them less aggressive and more scholarly than the others. 


Who knows what a Harp of Dissonance looks like? I reasoned it glows green and looks like a staff. Probably should have made one or two more of these than the others, but I was running out of bits, so...


No, the Veil of Darkness isn't literally a veil, I just wanted to give him a dark cloak to play up the whole despair theme. The purple staff didn't work out as well as I'd liked, sadly, but I still think he looks sufficiently gloomy to carry it off. I though about giving him a white skull mask, but that would've been shifitng too far into Nightbringer territory, wouldn't it? 

Next time, something big and stompy. 

Happy Wednesday, people. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Halfway through the factory....


Now all he needs is some armor, and I'm torn between Mechanicus red and Freeblade something else. 

And I'm in search of a new blog template, because this thing needs a facelift. So, if anyone sees anything cool, do point it out. 

Happy Wednesday, people. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Time for a little X-Wing....




This Falcon, after much cutting and scrapingwas lit using Poweredplay Gaming's lighting products, which, true to their word, are easy to mess around with and install. If I have a complaint, it's that they don't (yet) have a coin-battery cell that fits into FFG's Slave-1


Cringe-inducing, isn't it? There's enough room in there for the board and switch, but the big honking 9v cell just won't fit. Not to worry, though; I found some on Amazon, complete with wiring, which will hopefully fill the bill. The FFG ships are made of a resilient plastic with the right amount of form-holding bendability, so once I took the battery out and clamped the bottom plate back in place, she looked like she'd just come out of the box. The Falcon's rear plate clamps back on its little peg quite snugly as well, without the need for magnets. I honestly wish FFG would come out with a hobby series of unpainted ships on sprues, but oh well. They pull apart easily enough if you're determined (and bold), but do be careful. 

My foray into X-Wing also marked my first Shapeways order, which resulted in this: 


Better pics to follow, I promise. FFG neglected to package a senatorial shuttle with its starter set, probably because it would've been huge. Nonetheless, you too can buy one from Shapeways, no doubt incurring the wrath of Disney/Lucas/FFG if you do. I honestly have no idea how those brave sculptor/sellers haven't been hit with a cease-and-desist yet, but wow, talk about having great big pirate balls. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just when you thought the Tyracrons were done....

"Bring me that fellow's head. I'll be taking my tea in the parlour."

In the spirit of taking my ideas back from Forge World, I decided to make a couple of nasty death machines to fill out my gleaming multi-legged horde. You'll be delighted to know that you too, can have a metal centipede for the mere price of three sets of Wraith legs and three sets of Wraith bodies (and a smattering of other bits). 


My first foray was this scuttling fellow, the rather underarmed Tomb Stalker. The real thing costs you about twice as much as the parts I found on eBay ($36 all told for the legs and bodies). I had the Necron arms, and the basis for the head plating was from a Warmachine Cryx model, although you could use anything suitably knobby enough (or, if you're feeling flush, a Spider or Wraith head). I can't imagine why FW thought a pair of infantry guns was a good idea instead of, say, the better Heat Ray, Death Ray, or a Storm Cryptek haywire thingie. And, to keep with the fluff, it needs to be able to assault from DS/reserves. (as do most Tyranids, who also don't, correct me if I'm wrong). At least the toughness is there, although they also nerfed the number of attacks from the prototype. Oh well. 


He's super bloody long. I mean really long. Plus, I ran out of legs for the back section, which is why I was forced to use Necron Warrior arms. As a result, he has this sort of lobster tail ending in a Tomb Spider claw:


While the pose is alright, he's less than as serpentine as I wanted, and I realized too late that I should've built him along a wire spine. Nonetheless, he came out so well that I ordered up parts for another one....

Despite having fewer CC attacks, he manages to come off looking like more of a close combat monster than the first one. He also has a nice steel spine courtesy of a wire coat hanger, so his pose is far more bendy-twisty:


Not to mention the excellent posture that a spine brings. I also ordered a set of Tomb Spider legs, which brought the price up to.... within $20 of the FW kit. Still cheaper than you FW, so sorry. I like mine better as well. He's brawnier, has glowy bits and nasty claws, and doesn't have those stupid looking antennae. I was less lazy with the basing, too, due to my having rediscovered a container full of skulls from my undead Skaven army build. 


Still short enough to get some cover, too, but tall enough to lay into a Leman Russ with that otherwise useless strength-test cannon. Wait a minute, the Necrons are doing something better than the Tyranids here? Put him in a list with Mad Doc Grotsnikk and you can give him a Cybork body with a 5+ inv save to go along with It Will Not Die. 

Except when someone shoots their entire army at it, It Will Die, but oh, he's one hell of a distraction. Advance him behind an Ork Boyz screen and he'll get there, alright. Hm....

Someone doesn't quite understand who's in charge here. Can you guess whom?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ultramarines A-3 Aggressor....



Playing FFG's fantastic X-Wing game got me thinking about fighters, so with the itch to build one firmly in place I set about making some air support for the Ultramarines. Of course, currently the only air support around that's strictly Astartes is the Storm Raven/Raptor, Thunderhawk, and the reprehensible Storm Talon. Oh well. At least we can fix an otherwise awful kit a bit, can't we? Hence the Aggressor, my nod to the modern-day A-6 and A-10. After all, the Marines can use all the ground-attack support they can get. 


As you can see, the Aggressor (Storm Aggressor? That sounds rather awkward)  is long. Long enough, in fact, to be by far more believable than its ugly little parent kit. At an early point in its construction, I despaired somewhat, thinking it too long, but once it got bulked out a bit and painted up, I was rather pleased with the end result. Lop off those wings, and it's even a passable gunship. Yes, it's sporting six missiles courtesy of my Valkyrie squadron. It looks better with them, and plenty of other Imperial Navy fighters sport bomb/missile loadouts, so I figured why not? 


Of course, everything is magnetized for storage and swapping purposes. I may never get around to all of the Storm Talon options, but if you've ever seen the stats for a Thunderbolt, this thing might be picking up those guns to serve as a substitute. It's also fun to swap in other magnetized weapon options, such as Valkyrie missile pods and Vendetta lasers. 


One thing I neglected to model, and shame on me, were the landing gear. Logically, they'd extend out of the wing pods, or slightly further in where those lascannons are, and from midway back down the fuselage. 


Of course, it can still go into hover mode, for when I want it to loiter about the battlefield and get shot at. 

These updates are going to go rather back to front, since this place was finished after some Crypteks and a couple of Tomb Stalkers, but oh well....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Enter a competition, win an airbrush compressor.... (UPDATE)



Because everyone likes free things, you should head on over to Air Supplies dot Co dot UK and post a link to your favorite model, because they're hosting a competition whereby you can win one of these contraptions. Airbrush compressors aren't cheap by any means, so take the opportunity to try for a free one, gang. Entries close on the 31s of Jan.

I've been busy these months, but there is painted stuff coming soon, I swear.

[UPDATE]

Yes, the competition is over and done by now, won by someone who entered an entire battlefield, apparently.  Nip over and take a look at the entrants. Lots of pretty things to see there.