Saturday, December 29, 2012

Doomsday/Ghost Arks and the magnets that bind them...

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!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Sculpt from Christmas Past....

Has it really been that long since I've posted? October? Mortarion? Well then. 

This girl (her name is Sirius) has sat on the shelf overlooking my hobby area for well over ten years, and despite being a conversion that required some effort, has never occurred to me to feature here until recently. 

No, really, an hour ago this entry was going to be about Ghost/Doomsday Arks. 

Yes, I've already had Christmas morning. My family celebrates in the afternoon. 

Anyway, a recurring character in sketchbooks of mine throughout the years, her appearance has changed slightly, but overall she's remained quite the same. The figure itself I made for a 3D design course where we were required to make character maquettes prior to CG modeling . I bought a quantity of Green Stuff and delved into my bits box, then set to work running a coat-hanger armature through some parts. A few days of sweat and cursing later and you get this. 

The face is rubbish, I know. I never claimed to be a great sculpting talent, plus there was a deadline, and I was in a "how hard could it be?" mood. The ankles are kind of awful, too. She's based around bits from an EVA model, along with a few other odds and ends. I textured the wraps on her thighs with the handles from my sculpting tools, and there are fingerprints on some of the rougher spots (which turned out to be a blessing, as they lend a rough look to some of the armor bits). Her pose is meant to be halfway between guarding and coming around for a strike with that wicked forearm blade, and she stands freely quite by accident. 

Yes, by accident. Really, I should build a base for her, because she's not that stable. In fact, the blade shown here is the second one, installed quite recently, after she took a tumble off the shelf and the original one broke. Green stuff is so wonderfully flexy that it doesn't break after a big fall, like everything else in creation, and a figure incorporating much of the stuff, it turns out, is quite durable. Not that I'd go tossing it around, mind you.

So much of her weight is on that front leg, though, and she really should be bending a bit more at the waist, but oh well. As imperfect as she is, she's probably my most favorite creation, simply because she came from a sketch. Because of the bits I used, she doesn't even follow most of the details, so she is, in fact, another iteration of the design, and probably my favorite one. 

Even now there are a dozen things that I would do differently if I had to make another one, and yet, there are so many other things to do I wonder if I'll ever find the time? This thing is ten years old, after all, and here I haven't made enough time for regular blog entries. Well, shame on me. I'll try to be more timely, with everything. After all, if you never make time, you'll never have time, right? 

Anyway, Merry Christmas, everybody.