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Monday 31 December 2018

RandomArmyChallenge - xmas 2018 (Part 2 - finished!)

It took some doing, but I've completed the Deathshroud unit I decided to build and paint for the "Random Army Challenge" over on MeWe.

If you recall from my previous post, I  had an old unit of plastic terminators and some Forgeworld Manreaper scythes that I was going to hack together. Some greenstuff would be added to scabby them up a bit.

So I did, and this is what I ended up with:
The Unit
Individually, they look like this:




And finally, this:

These guys are a bodyguard unit for the Death Guard Primarch, Mortarion. So here they are with the boss-man (it's a "counts-as" model rather than the Forgeworld original):

More Heresy Death Guard stuff:

Thursday 20 December 2018

RandomArmyChallenge - xmas 2018 (Part 1 - preparation)

This one took me by surprise.

Historically, like a lot of other people, I tended to share a lot of my blog posts over on Google+. With the impending demise of the G+ platform, many of us have migrated over to MeWe.

So, I'm happily burbling along, painting stuff, posting stuff and sharing stuff and I receive a message inviting me to participate in an event on MeWe called the "Random Army Challenge".

The basic idea is you pick something 40K-shaped that you haven't worked on before and are challenged to complete a model, squad, kill team or army before 2018 winds itself up on New Years' Eve.

I got this message a couple of days ago.

No rush, no pressure.

The closest thing to hand was a handful of minis I bought off eBay ages ago when I was getting excited about Horus Heresy and collected a bunch of ancient models to build a Death Guard army out of; I grabbed a load of RTB-01 Space Marines and 1st Edition Rhinos, Predators etc. I figured it'd make a good force and decided to - as far as possible - stick with vintage minis. Death Guard needed a Mortarion. Mortarion needed a Death Shroud unit. So, I bought a bunch of old plastic Terminators and some Forgeworld Death Shroud scythes.

I did a test paintjob on this guy over a year ago, and painted a dreadnought for Dreadtober in 2017. And there the project lay with no further progress. Until now. The terminators are what came to hand when I was invited to join the challenge, so, at the moment they look like this:

As soon as I get a moment, I'll get some texture on the bases and get the spraycan out and then the real work can begin.

More Heresy Death Guard stuff:

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Warhound Titan Revamp - Part 3 (Head)

I'm not going nearly fast enough - there's no way that I will complete renovating this model in 2018.

From that perspective, I will fail my New Years' resolution.

However, at least it has left its box and is being worked on now. I'll keep plugging on until it's done.

Over the last week I turned my attention to refinishing the model's head.

This has involved adding some detail (Nurgle's rot, some gashes etc.) with greenstuff and a repainting job. The crew are sealed inside so they haven't been touched, but that's no biggy IMHO.

I had a choice to make when working on this fella. The head was already one of the most detailed parts of the model in terms of construction. Did I want to model more detail (like armour plates) or not?

I elected "not". But when I'd finished "rotting it up" I felt that it could have benefitted from a few more bits, so I painted on a few panel-lines here and there. It worked, I think.

And this is what it used to look like before the renovation:

More Titan stuff:

Friday 9 November 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 17 - Scenics: Large Hills)

Following on from my previous post about small hills, I thought it might be good to make some big ones!

So I did!

A couple of 3-tier hills

And an experimental cliff as well:

The cliff is basically a 2-tier hill, but the "cliffy-bit" has been made from tree bark, PVA'd on, filled with decorator's caulk and painted up. It's an experimental item - I'm not sure if I like it. The bark works well as rock, I think, and it's certainly sturdy enough. I think if I build more, I'll pay more attention to the view of the extreme ends as seen from the cliff-side. At present it's just a random-looking oblong of rock that seems to be there for no particular reason.

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday 5 November 2018

Thursday 1 November 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 16 - More tiles)

I've finally got around to completing the remaining seven tiles for my games table project!

So now I have fourteen 2' x 2' tiles as follows:
  • 6 x flat tiles
  • 2 x beach tiles
  • 1 x pond tile
  • 2 x straight river tiles
  • 2 x "L" river tiles
  • 1 x "T" river tile
The range of layouts I can create on my 6' x 4' table is brilliant!

And - the best bit - I'm only halfway through (previous statements about having completed the work notwithstanding) because all of these tiles are built to be DOUBLE-SIDED!!

So each flat file, has a depression on the other side for a river section, for example. If you go right back to my first post on tile design, you'll see how it will work.

So, now it's time to flip them all over and do it all over again with a more traditional "grass" finish.


More Modular Tiles stuff:
More Wargames Table stuff:

Monday 29 October 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 15 - Scenics: Small hills)

More work has been done on the ever-growing gaming table project!

Also, as a matter of interest, this is my 400th published blog post!

This time, I've turned my attention to producing some hills.

Love 'em or loathe 'em, I've gone for the "tiered-hill" approach.

Sure - they don't look very realistic, but at least the models will stand on them without toppling. I find that infuriating, personally. My gaming surface is fairly hard and a lot of my models are lead (and Gravity is a long-standing nemesis of mine and takes every opportunity to stitch me up): I didn't want my models rolling off and getting dinged and damaged.

So, tiered hills it is.

I've split my hill-building efforts over two blog posts - this one showing "smaller" hills and the other showing "larger" hills.
Single-tier hills

Two-tier hills

These are just made from polystyrene sheets (bought from a local DIY store and intended for use as insulation). They some as 8' x 4' sheets and cut readily with a knife and hot-wire cutter. Textured, painted and flocked using my usual recipe and they blend in to the table surface pretty well, I think.

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday 22 October 2018

Nurgle Knight Titans - Part 15 (Fourth Knight Finished)

Papa Nurgle is back with more corrupty-goodness!

He's corrupted another Imperial Knight to join the ranks of House Putrefacio.

This time it's the first of a pair of Armiger Helverins that I picked up when they were released.

I like these guys. In fact, I think if I was a pilot of a Knight I'd prefer one of these to their bigger cousins.

More Nurgle Knights stuff:

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 14 - Scenics: Difficult Ground)

The scenery train keeps on rolling.

We've built some "difficult ground" bases to represent broken, rocky terrain.

Hardboard bases were dressed with chunks of foam to represent larger rocks, gravel and sand. Painted with a mix of PVA/Black Emulsion/sharp-sand to add texture. Another coat of black paint, grey paint to pick up the larger rocks and then heavily drybrushed with white paint.

Add modelling snow (a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate), static grass and "Bob's your uncle!" as the saying goes.

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday 8 October 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 13 - Scenics: Craters)

I've built a few more scenery pieces to add to my growing collection. This time it's craters.

Construction was as simple as can be: A hardboard base, to which I added a thick ring of PVA glue and laid on top of that a ring of gravel. When dried, I added another layer of PVA and another ring of gravel.

When that was dry, I smothered the gravel in PVA and scattered on some sand, massaging it into the cracks with my fingertips.

When that was dry, I painted the whole thing with a mix of black emulsion, PVA and sand to add texture to the whole base area.

A bit of drybrushing and some paint/snow/static grass and the result is as shown below:

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday 1 October 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 12 - Scenics: Rocks)

Now that I have a gaming surface I'd better add some dimension to it, right? To that end, I've made a few rocky outcroppings for my growing scenery collection.

Unfortunately, my hurriedly-taken photos were a bit pants, so I can't show them all to you on this pass. I'll retake some newer pics and show you the others on another occasion.

The same method was used throughout:

  • Cut a hardboard base, 
  • PVA some randomly snapped chunks of polystyrene to it,
  • Hot-wire cut the polystyrene into a "rocky" sort of shape,
  • Add some gravel to the base for texture,
  • Paint the whole model in a couple of coats of black emulsion mixed with PVA & sharp-sand,
  • Paint the rocks grey,
  • Drybrush the hell out of it,
  • Add snow/static grass & clump foliage to taste.

Sorry about the blurry photo

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Monday 24 September 2018

Warhound Titan Revamp - Part 2 (Turbo Laser Phase 2)

I'm too easily distracted - I set myself the project of revamping my very tired, unprofessional-looking scratch-built Warhound as a New Year's resolution and so far all I've managed is to add some Nurgley-gloop, grilles and tubes to one weapon and paint it up.

It's a huge improvement to what the weapon originally looked like, but the rate of progress has been virtually at a standstill.

I think I'm a little daunted by the prospect of moving past the weapons and onto the model proper, if I'm honest. It's a massive canvas to have to work on and is also quite fragile.

I need to "man up".

Anyway - this is the finished article (except that when I get to working on the body I'll probably add some hoses connecting the weapon to the carapace):

More Titan stuff:

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Wargames Wasteland HQ (Part 11 - Starting on some scenics)

As usual I'm jumping about from topic to topic. So, notwithstanding the fact that I've not yet completed work on my modular tiles, I've started working on some scenery pieces to add some height.

This is a WIP post so there are no finished products to be seen yet.


I've built a few different types of hills. All are made from polystyrene sheets. The polystyrene used is the dense kid - fairly robust and not easily dented/damaged. All will be painted firstly with a mixture of black emulsion/PVA/sand to give some texture and strength to the surface. A second coat of black emulsion will then be applied before drybrushing etc. In the images that follow, some have had that first coat, some haven't.
Single-tier hills

More single-tier hills

two-tier hills

3-tier hills

And a two-tier cliff - the cliff face is difficult to make out but it's a few chunks of tree-bark.
It'll be easier to see when painted.


The rocks are chunks of polystyrene hacked into shape, based on hardboard and will be textured with some gravel and the same paint/PVA/sand mixture as was used on the hills (and everything else!).
Rocky outcrop

Rocky outcrop

Difficult Ground:

Randomly scattered chunks of foam and gravel, textured with sand/PVA/paint etc.
Difficult ground


There's no foam in the craters. These have been built by gluing a ring of gravel onto a hardboard base with PVA. A second ring of gravel was added once the first had dried. Once that was dry, I applied a final layer of PVA and then "smooshed it around" with my fingertips, working it into the cracks and crevices between the gravel I'd previously applied. I then covered the gravel with a layer of sharp-sand and allowed that to dry. Once dry, I removed all the loose sand with a 2'' paintbrush and then painted with the same mix as used on all the other pieces above.

There's clearly more work to do here - the pieces all need another (and in some cases - a first) coat of black paint and need then to be highlighted and dressed.

The pictures above also show only a fraction of the pieces I've built so far - there are a couple of dozen items in total.

More news as it comes in...

More scenery stuff:
More wargames table stuff:

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Quick Tip: Hotwiring a Hot-Wire cutter!

In a minor diversion from the norm, I thought I'd post something showing a quick 5 minute hack I made a short while ago.

As you may be aware if you look in on my blog I've been working on building a modular-tile system for a wargames table.

I have a small attention span, so as always I get distracted. Despite not having finished all the tiles yet, I've already started building some scenic pieces to add dimension to the table surface.

Inevitably, this has lead to building some hills.

The hills themselves I'll cover in another post - this one is all about the hot-wire cutter I used in the process.

When I got my cutter out of storage (it hadn't been used in a while) I was irritated to find that the battery had gone flat.

My hot-wire cutter may differ from yours - it#s basically a handle with a twisted pair of cables which end in spade connectors: order to attach to the terminals of a 4.5v battery:

Now I honestly have no recollection of the thought-process that led to this, but I ended up devising (probably via wondering if I could buy a PSU of some sort) a means of safely mains-powering the cutter using an old USB cable and a discarded phone charger.

It goes like this. The hot-wire cutter requires a 4.5 battery. USB runs at 5v. "Near enough for Jazz" as the saying goes. Cut the Micro-USB end off the USB cable and strip off the outer insulation. You'll find four very thin wires inside. You're interested in the red and the black only. You can ignore/chop off the others.

All I did was solder the red and black wires to the spade connectors, wrap a bit of tape around them in order that the spades can't touch each other and - JOB DONE! You can see in the photo below where the red wires from the h-w cutter join the green USB cable, wrapped up in a bit of masking tape.

It works like a dream. Not only do I never have to worry about flat batteries again, the spade connectors weren't that reliable anyway and my cable is now 1m longer to boot.


More "quick tips":