Monday, February 28, 2011

More Commissions: Tyranids

Just a quick post to show some more commission work (and to get us through post #99): Tyranid Warriors, along with angry little cohorts, the Ripper Swarm. I'll bet from that last post you were expecting more Dark Eldar, weren't you? Well, check back at or around post #101.

I both did and didn't want to go all out and make their weapons pulpy, squishy organs of death, because I felt it might detract from the overall model. Being as how they are the aforementioned organs, I did my best to make them pulpy/squishy without going completely overboard. I wanted them to have appear more hard with the membrane at the end, sort of like a... well never mind. 

I was sorely tempted to leave them eyeless, like the Xenomorphs from Aliens, but with the lighter Hive Fleet Leviathan paint scheme, it just wouldn't have worked out. Plus, I needed to stick to the conventions I'd already previously established with his Genestealers and Gaunts. One thing I changed, though, was not weathering their chitinous plates up to white; that made the Gaunts look too speckled and dirty, and their masters have a cleaner, more refined look (although I still couldn't exactly see them preening themselves like birds). 

As with all newer-version GW models, these do have their expressive qualities, although I'm still quite alright with the inorganic approach I took to my own. 

I don't know why, but I quite enjoyed painting these little bastards more so than their larger fellows. There's just something about a swarm of little minis on a larger base... I suppose it's because it's a bit to a diorama than just an individual mini. Oh well. 

Next time, the 100th post! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Commissions: Angels of Flame Wrap-Up.

A short post today, wrapping up the rest of the Angels of Flame commission work whilst I grind away at the Dark Eldar on my painting bench; and I do mean grind, as there's a fair amount of it involved in making the Craftworld French look more like their evil kin. As far as list-building goes, I keep advising my client to get himself some Rhinos/Razorbacks to safely taxi his troops around. We played a 1000-point battle last week, his SM vs my IG, and I virtually exterminated all of his units while only suffering damage to my Demolisher (immobilized) and Vendetta-mounted squad foolish enough to think they could take on 5 marines. In addition, I had two objectives held and one contested to his one and one. It was only his second game ever, and I tried to teach as much as I could, turn by turn. Hopefully my lessons on movement and target priority sunk in. 

As the LR kit he'd bought was a Chaos one, there were  lots of useful bits left over, such as the combi-flamer bit that made it onto this secondhand Landspeeder. It came to him with the sensor spine sheared off, so filed away the frayed parts of the nub and turned it into a sensor optic. 

The bikes also came to him secondhand, and were painted all kinds of garish in thick as hell paint; a bath in some Simple Green solved that problem, but I prefer to paint bikes largely unassembled. They're just too fiddly to properly detail otherwise. Luckily the riders were separate, having come as bits from his LR/bit box purchase. There are still LR hull sections in there that I want to turn into a Stormraven for him, but he's rather resistant to the idea. Hopefully the DE Razorwing conversion will warm him to the wonders of the shop. 

Being that this was the first Dev box I've ever worked on, I must say I think it's quite a good deal. With a few extra leg/torso bits, you get enough to make fully two squads of Devs, albeit with only one Signum pack for a sergeant. Thus, I had to improvise with a tank bit and an ammo hopper. Even so, there were tons of fiddly bits left over (including servo skulls). 

I shot them separately because we had to wait for extra robot pants to come in for assembly, so they were finished a while after their charges. While wish he'd stick to one army until it's built out, I am glad of the color palette switch that the Dark Eldar bring, and it's such a cool army that it's been a real pleasure to work on.  At the same time, working on these guys has been a valuable experience because it's exposing me to kits that I'd otherwise not had the chance to work on, if at all. Hopefully it'll continue to deliver. 

Till next time, Happy Thursday, people. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

WIP: Dark Eldar Razorwing

My regular SM client had a bunch of Eldar stuff, and we thought it'd be cool to make him a Dark Eldar army out of it. Here's the Falcon from the battleforce box, cut up and repurposed into a Razorwing fighter. As you can see, there's still a great amount of greenstuffing that needs to be done, but I like the way it's come out so far. 

What's making this a real challenge is that there are no actual DE bits, and any jags or huge fanged things I add to this only detract from the overall design. Plus, I need whatever smallish blades I have in my own bits stores for the Venom and Jetbikes in the box, so I can't go crazy making this thing a barbed nightmare. Sigh.  

Still on the workbench for this project:

20 Kabalite Warriors 
6+1  Wyches (Banshees) 
3 Scourges (Swooping Hawks) 
3 Jetbikes
1 Talos (Oh, this one came out really fucking cool. Trust me) 
1 Haemonculous (A Warlock with a few extra arms and green stuff robes)
1 Venom

And it's all for cash, so I'll be back-burnering my other projects, including my Knight Warden, which makes me very sad. On the other hand, thanks to the shit economy I haven't had a steady 9-5 since '09, and I really, really, really need the money. 

Speaking of which, I've just put up a resin Super-Deformed Aliens kit on eBay.

It's a neat little item, and would make funny addition to someone's Nid army. The model is cast in yellow resin, and when assembled is about 3 1/2 inches tall by about 2 1/2 inches wide; perfect MC size. If you want a weird Hive Tyrant or just need a bizarre new buddha for your house shrine, then this one's for you, and it's a steal at $20. 

Happy Monday, People. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tau'chikomatic Days: Along Came A Major....

For Valentine's Day, we have a love-letter to Shirow Masamune from Statuesque Miniatures. Though she's officially called Mei-lin Mayfair, that's Motoko Kusanagi, right down to the Seburo C-25A. I originally discovered her by way of a posting on Massive Voodoo; they did a different (and by far more intricately detailed) paint job of her, but I recognized the gun and stance right away. She and her sisters on the Statuesque site are quite well sculpted and reasonably priced, and moreover, really really small. That right arm was just big enough to accept a pin, which is good, because I wasn't sure whether it'd stay on, otherwise. 

Here she is lecturing the Fuchis on something or other; probably why they can't have that long sought-after organic oil... 

(FYI, in the comic, the oil breaks down too quickly and their joints lock up. Sorry, Fuchis) 

Her trademark shrug isn't really sculpted on, but a trick of the painting around some of the sculpted lines on the torso. It actually hangs just below her shoulder blades, but I wasn't about to sculpt a tiny hair of green stuff for accuracy's sake. I liked the look of the model, and wanted to present it as stock as possible. It's really an excellent little figure, as are all the others. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you click on over to Statuesque's site and check them out. 

She's also in scale with GW Astartes armor (this is one of 8 Devs that I just finished for a client) , which was a pleasant little surprise. Here's another pic from a (slightly) different angle: 

She only looks as tall as the SM because of her pose; she's up on the balls of her feet, which is kind of an awkward pose if you try it yourself (of course, we're not all cyborgs with enhanced equilibriums)  I have a Corvus Belli Guija (which looks just like an Appleseed landmate) that she's in perfect scale with as well, although it hasn't been converted yet, so no pics, so sorry. As a consolation, here's another family photo:

Next time, more commission stuff. Hopefully I can get to that Knight Warden before the contest deadline, otherwise he'll have to stay on the back burner awhile....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh. My. God.

It's so..... I just.... Kwi-Chang is FUCKING AMAZING. If that's not enough? He also did THIS:

Jesus fuck I just horked out my fucking gum. When the hell did this happen to Legos? My GOD this is good stuff. You want variety? There are many, many more mecha, some of which transform with zero parts-swapping, a spider-tank, powered suits for cute anime girls, and even ships from well-known shooter video games. Seriously, the man has been blessed by Lego Mecha Jesus. 

His missile hatches, they ALL OPEN TO REVEAL MISSILES. 


Well, every fucking model that has them, anyway. 

Some of them don't. 

Browse his site. Yes, it's in Japanese. Use Google Chrome and it's no sweat. You will not be disappointed. Oh, and people? 

Happy Tuesday. Now what'd I do with those old Legos...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Tale of Two Land Raiders....

When I'm wrong, and I know it, I'm willing to admit it. 

However, first, thing's first. By way of a commission from my favorite client, I finally got to work on a stock Land Raider. 

Here's Infernus in all his glory. Like all GW kits, assembly is slightly a pain, but overall a pretty solid build. Since the client had a Chaos kit, Infernus got the sexier belted-ammo Storm Bolter, and the flamer bit went to adorn a Land Speeder. 

I was soooo tempted to hinge those side doors, if only to show off the fully painted interior more. Unfortunately, my tiny drill bit broke a while ago, and I haven't gotten around to replacing it, so those doors will remain fused, and relatively spacious interior largely unseen.  One of the things that troubles me the most about this design is the utter lack of a driver's position. If you'll recall my earliest LR effort, the Refutor, based on an M113, the assault hatch runs right by the driver's seat:

Note that while this tank is perfect for power-armored ladies, it's smaller then Infernus, being shorter and having less headroom. Awww. At least it makes a little more design sense, anyway. While we're looking at assault ramps:

Infernus happens to have an actual magnetic lock on his. This is because the damn thing wouldn't shut all the way after assembly. If they'd taken the trouble to make the mechanism out of say, tool steel or something, you'd have a much more robust build. The flimsy plastic mechanism makes me sad. The damn thing just wouldn't shut, so I had to put the mag-locks and little metal plates for them to glom onto in there. This makes Infernus look like a yawning hippo when his doors are open. I'll call it a net win and leave it at that.

I have to say, I thought the LR kit would be smaller than it is. For  GW tank, it's refreshingly large and chunky. Large enough to accommodate 10-16 (or 8 terminators)? Therein lies the comparison. Now we put on our Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear hat, and do a comparison of Infernus side by side with Fortinbras

Fortinbras is longer. Much longer, thanks to his tracks and slightly larger (if not as well ventilated) engine section. In case you care, that runs up to that panel with the shovel on it. The crew section starts under the panel with the stowage bag on it and runs forward to his stubby (by comparison) assault ramp. So, there's a bit more crew room, but the driver inside Fortinbras is presumably sitting suspended in a gimbal sort of chair under one of the two hatches. 

While Fortinbras has much better ground clearance,  he also has a bit less headroom. The middle section is about the same width on both tanks, but Fortinbras appears slimmer because his tracks are narrower, and he lacks burly treadle units (something I intend to fix on the plasticard clone). He is a bit taller than Infernus by virtue of his heavy bolter turret being higher up, and thus having a better field of fire. Unlike Infernus, he has to turn slightly to fire his lascannon sponsons directly behind him, and thus can only blast away with one and the heavy bolter. 

Poor ungainly Fortinbras. He is a MK-1a, after all, and that newer MKII has its perks.

Like being driven by someone apparently not actually inside the tank.

And I'm not talking about the Machine Spirit. 

So I suppose I was wrong, and Fortinbras isn't actually large enough to comfortably fit the appropriate number of Astartes in either regular or Terminator armor. They'll fit a bit better, but not comfortably. If, like my Rhino clones, a Fortinbras clone is more burly, eschewing ground clearance for interior room, things might shake out a bit differently. Which do I prefer? That's a toughie. Despite the lack of driver's position (something they even manage to work into the lowly Rhino kit) the GW kit is pretty nice, and something I wouldn't regret spending money on, unlike its flying counterpart. 

Happy Wednesday, people.