Friday, November 30, 2012

Converting the Helbrute With No Plan .. Part 1

The helbrute is a fun model. I don't know what the general consensus is regarding the sculpt, but I rather like it. The way it fits together is clever without being crazy (I'm looking at you Chosen.) Still, his dynamic pose is way to distinct to field more than one without them looking like they are background dancers. He's not the most egregious example of this I've seen, but being plastic I decided to chop him up and see what happens.

Oh, yeah. I don't have a plan. Oh, well. Let's get cutting!

First step, cut off that power fist arm! I assembled it and then sawed as straight and cleanly as I could to make a flush connection on the body. Next, I cut the multi-melta barrels off. I want to be able to interchange the weapon but don't want to lose the option of the multi-melta so I tried to cut as clean as possible. What was left were two holes big enough to glue styrene tubes into. There! Pegs!

I put the original barrels on the pegs and glued a tiny square of sprue between them to keep them together. They stay pretty well. Okay! Gun mount ready to make more guns! But what?

I put the front of the 'brute on just to see how it all fits, and the armor plate on the front doesn't intrude on the place where I cut the arm off. Hmmm. Maybe I'll convert that into a power scourge. That would give me a very different looking model.

Next I'm going to have to do something about that lopsided pose. But what? I don't know! I don't have a plan!!! I'm just cutting and guessing and gluing!

More in part 2.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Want: FW Chaos Sorcerer and Spawn

I don't experience ForgeWorld lust.... often. Sayl the Faithless and Nightmaw on the other hand is 90% ooooooh and 10% whuuu? Slap Ahriman's backpack on this guy and he would be an amazing CSM Sorcerer. That left arm though is a mystery. Check out the FW page I linked for closeups. Never have I seen such a "I rolled some green stuff and wrapped it around a staff" sculpt at FW. I almost expected to see fingerprints left in putty. So if I get this guy I might chop off the staff and replace it with something better. Maybe a Kromlech Technomage staff.

Is $35 a little steep for this model? Maybe, considering I still have quite enough Chaos Sorcerers to last me a while.

Plague Toads as spawn though? That would make me really happy like.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Great" Unclean One? Not so much.

I assembled and based the crappy recast Great Unclean One that I thought was such a great eBay find a few months ago. He is tiny, to say the least. Next to my Slaaneshi Sorcerer the lack of mass is rather obvious. Sure, he's pretty porky but he doesn't have much more heft than terminator armor. He certainly doesn't seem to inspire "greater daemon" status. If prowess as a daemon was measured in the number of mouths you have, this fellow would rank pretty high. I think this model has at least 10 mouths in various places, including fingers on the left hand.

So now I'm wondering what to do with this fellow. I just liked the model when I acquired him and had not started Chaos Space Marines at the time. Now I'm thinking either Daemon Prince of Nurgle (sans power armor, maybe add psychic levels) or as just a spawn. Spawn-hood seems an ignoble end for a former greater daemon model. I already have a Daemon Prince of Nurgle in the form of an Ultraforge resin model, so this guy would only really be useful if I wanted to run two DP's as my HQ.

Here's the comparative sizes. Now that I'm looking at it the basing may be accentuating the differences somewhat. Then again, the Ultraforge Greater Plague Daemon dwarfs the Ultraforge model I'm using as my DP.

I keep adding photos to this post... Okay, here is the Ultraforge greater daemon for comparison.
The Ultraforge model is easily 5x the volume of the metal one. Even if I end up starting a Chaos Daemons army to ally with my Chaos Marines, I would use the Ultraforge model for my greater daemon over the recast. I just don't know where he fits best.

So... thoughts?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Guide For Selling Recasts On eBay

Old miniatures can be hard to come by, and often collectors want an exorbitant amount for them, so if you do find a rare gem why not reproduce and sell the thing yourself on eBay? There's no reason why you can't profit on things that people can't buy directly from the manufacturer, right? Of course, nobody wants to knowingly buy a knock-off of the original so you'll have to make sure you avoid mentioning the mini's origin. Here are some handy tips for the aspiring recaster:

1. Make sure you have plenty for sale
Nobody can buy something if it isn't for sale, right? Make sure you have lots of stock ready to roll. Scarcity is an artificial concept in this global economy, right? If anyone is suspicious as to how you just happened to have 30 Games Day minis to sell, concoct a tale of getting them surplus from a GW store that closed or something.
2. Don't worry about cleaning the original model
Mold lines and vents are just part of the original sculpt, and you want to reproduce the original sculpt as faithfully as possible, right? Leave the original in exactly the same condition you acquired it in to preserve the integrity. Smash vents as flat as possible to the surface of the model rather than trimming them off before making your original mold.
3. Don't worry if the recast isn't as good as the original
Most people buying these probably haven't even seen the original, so how are they going to tell? For all they know the original sculpt had that deformed hand or was missing that spike. Most people just paint detail on anyway.
4. A little "used" look goes a long way
Make sure to soak the finished recast in simple green for a few hours to tarnish the surface, or put a three color paint job on the model so thick that details are obscured. If it looks like it was painted up many years ago or just sat around tarnishing in a box people are more likely to accept that it's an original model.
5. If you take a photo make it a bad one
For your eBay auction, make sure you take the worst possible photo that still shows what the mini is. Using a web cam or an old camera phone with a flash are the best ways to do this. Alternately, include no photo of your own but just use a photo from the manufacturer's web site.
6. When confronted, feign ignorance
"I didn't know. I got that in a trade a few years back from some guy at a bit swap," you can claim. Most buyers will just bite the bullet and accept that you sold on good faith.
7. Enjoy life to its fullest
...because there's a special hell for people like you. Special hell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Crusade Sale (35% off GW)

Check this out. is having a Black Friday Crusade sale. All GW regular stock items are 35% off until December 9. I don't typically post ads here (Kickstarter posts aside) but I think there will be a lot of interest in this and I know the owner.

Email and you'll be shared a personalized Google spreadsheet for your order. Fill it out and email them again when you're ready to buy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Trying DIY Havoc Autocannons

After assembling my new box of Finecast Havocs, I find myself drawn into the trap of wanting four of every field-able Havoc weapon. Since GW has not deigned to release a Havoc box yet with the value of the Space Marine Devastators I have the option of buying four boxes of Havocs (ouch) or converting my own. Cheapness ... uh, I mean creativity! won out.
 Here is iteration #1, based on (what else) the heavy bolter that comes with every box of CSM. I would still like to mount an ammo box under it and re-position the ammo feed to look like it's feeding into the cartridge ejection point, more in line with the "official" autocannon.

You can see that they really aren't dramatically different side by side.
I pretty much free-handed the holes in the barrel, which leaves them a little wonky. The square mount at the front is just a section from a chainsword with the sides filed down. If there's one thing I have plenty of it's chainswords.
 Okay, so for the next one, I wanted to try to make the holes more even. To that end I created a fixture of plastic to lay the tube in and mark the holes. I pinned it to increase strength.
The next step was to mark the placement of the holes, based on the original Fincast Havoc.
 To mark the holes I laid the barrel tube into the V of the fixture, then laid a small rod next to it. Getting a straight line would have been hard without that extra spacing. I used an awl to poke holes at the marks.
 After drilling out each of the marks, I can't say I'm entirely happy with the results. It's certainly closer to being in a straight line, but not quite there. I was able to make both barrels look better with a little selective pin-vise work, but of course didn't take a picture. I'm thinking maybe gluing a small square piece to act as straight edge instead of the rod. If I make the square piece 1/2 the diameter of the barrel that would give me a very precise spot to mark. Of course by the time I get this fixture perfected I will be done converting autocannons. I suppose I could use them to make Ork big shootas or something.
I still have two more to go, so more improvements should be made. I plan on trying a pistol arm for the next one that should more closely resemble the official autocannon's grip.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Slaaneshi Helbrute WIP 1

Fresh off my victory with the new Chaos Space Marines army, I put a little time in last night on the Helbrute. You can't give them specific marks of chaos, but I decided to paint mine up Slaaneshi. I will probably convert another one to be Nurgle at some point.

So here it is at present, press fit for the picture. The only conversions currently are the power fist and the head, which I wanted to have a helmet rather than the crazy face that comes with it. 
 I'm using human flesh tones for him, and given how much exposed flesh he has it should be a little disconcerting. I put a random shatter pattern on the purple armor plates but I'm not happy with how indistinct the lines are. I will probably go back and edge then with darker purple to clean them up. The base is cork and corrugated styrene (my new favorite basing material) and styrene tubes with Vallejo black lava fill.
I'm just going for a non-specific industrial ruin look. I'm doing the whole army like this. 

The power fist on the Helbrute is a little stubby for my taste, so I modded it to have longer claw fingers. You can see the severed fingers on the left. The new fingers are the horns from one of the CSM heads on the accessory/champion sprue. It actually the same head that I used for the Helbrute's head-swap. I really like the longer claw look.
Future plans include adding a Slaanesh icon somewhere on the model. Not sure where at this point. Also, I am looking at that multi-melta and I think I could saw it off and leave a generic weapon mount there that could accept various weapons. I know people like to magnetize, but for things like this pins work just as well for me.

Chaos Triumphant!

I have been playing 40k since late 4th edition. In all that time I have, maybe, played a dozen games. I am not a frequent gamer, to say the least. I also lose a lot. A whole lot. As in "Man, you really stink at this" a lot.

But I am getting better.

It started with Warmachine. We play small games about once a week on lunch hour, and I had a terrible record when we just lined up and beat face. My Khador opponent would regularly disassemble my poor Menites with gusto. We started playing with scenario rules, and my entire focus changed. Suddenly I am maneuvering to score VP rather than just weather the armored onslaught. Come to think of it, it probably started when I was playing Malifaux, the only game I've ever played where you can get tabled and still win. Your mindset is all about the VP in Malifaux. Anyway, my Warmachine opponent was shocked to see that I was actually starting to win games.

This Saturday I played my first game of 40k 6th edition, and won 5 VP to 0. I was playing my shiny new Nurgle/Slaanesh list against a plasma cannon heavy Dark Angels army. There was definitely some dice luck involved, especially since I stole the initiative and got first blood from his aggressive deployment, but I had a plan and executed it. The units that I intended for various jobs did them, for the most part. I suppose the dice luck went both ways... his making 9 power armor saves and 14 terminator armor saves in a row defies the odds.

I played a list very similar to the once posted here. Those zombies last forever against a regular Devastator squad. I can imagine a dedicated assault unit giving them a hard time, but when you only get 10 or 11 attacks against them it's a slow grind to kill them all. Typhus was worth taking just for that.

The positioning of models was a challenge for me. I was able to protect my Havoc heavy weapons just fine with the extra marines in the unit, but getting my aspiring champions into combat gave me problems. I was hesitant to put them up front for fear of removing them to shooting (look out sir notwithstanding.) I lost a whole unit of marines to sweeping advance without the champ taking a single power fist swing. Granted they were swept by terminators, which I pretty much know can't happen but I didn't feel like making the guy look it up since it was already late in the game and this fight was not in a crucial area of the board. I simply commented that normal terminators can't sweeping advance, but if Deathwing can then that's an awesome advantage over regular termies. Discussion over. He was already thinking about ditching his army by the end of the game ("Marines suck ass" I believe was his rationale) so I didn't want to add fuel to the fire. As it is, running out of hull points wrecking his land raider took him entirely by surprise. They're not nearly as unstoppable as in 5th, especially if you have a habit of rolling 1's on the vehicle damage chart like I do. I really tried not to be a jerk about winning either. I am a gracious loser, but have less experience being a gracious winner. Or any kind of winner.

So! Next game... when? Who knows? I get about four games in per edition it seems, so no hurry. I have my heart set on playing a friend's Blood Angels. My veterans of the long war look forward to their re-rolls.

Oh, and Warp Kittens cleaned up. Seriously. Whole squads dead before they could strike back. I love that  mark of Slaanesh,

Friday, November 09, 2012

Birth of the Warp Kittens

My kids and I, for reasons I cannot quite remember, came up with this idea of Chaos jump troops with tiny cat heads. Warp Talons seemed the perfect use for this, and so the Warp Kittens were born.

It's a work in progress...
Rough, I know. I haven't sculpted much, especially something like cat heads. These are the first attempts, and will get some changes before they are final. I put them in the Warp Talon bodies for their debut in this weekend's 40k gaming fest.

Silly? Yeah, sure. I mean, come on. It's chaos. If you don't have a sense of humor about the spiky adolescent power fantasy army then go play...uh... well, Marines I guess. The non-spiky adolescent power fantasy army.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

2k CSM List... Thoughts?

I have a 40k game day lined up for Saturday, the first game if 6th ed. I will be playing and maybe the third game of 40k in the past year. Yeah, I don't get out a lot.

Anywho... I have a limited number of models to work with, so I am trying to build the best list I can. Here is what I own and what I plan on fielding. Any input or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Oh, one more thing. One model in the CSM unit can take the icon... can that model be the aspiring champion? I'd sure like to have that "look out, sir" roll if that model get's sniped.

I own:
  • Dark Vengeance (Lord, 6 Chosen, 10 Cultists w/ pistol & ccw, 10 Cultists w/ autogun, Helbrute)
  • Typhus
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle, flying, with Burning Brand of Skalathrax
  • Sorcerer (terminator armor)
  • 20 Chaos Space Marines (aspiring champ w/ plasma pistol & power sword, 2 plasma guns, icon)
  • 30 plague zombies (Wargames Factory)
  • 20 Cultists (WHFB Flagellants, some assembled and some not)
  • 18 Cultists w/ autogun (Wargames Factory)
  • 10 or so assorted Chaos Space Marines (assembled, 1 heavy bolter, 1 lascannon, 1 missile launcher, 1 icon bearer, 2 w/ ccw & pistol, some bolters)
  • 10 Chaos Space Marines (box set, not assembled)
  • 6 Khorne Berzerkers (not assembled)
  • 9 Plague Marines (not assembled, includes champion and plasma gun)
  • 5 Warp Talons assembled, 5 unassembled
  • Havocs (box set, not assembled ... 1 missile launcher, 1 heavy bolter, 1 autocannon, 1 lascannon)
  • Chaos Vindicator
My Nurgle/Slaanesh list (1994 pts):
  • Typhus (230)
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle (wings, power armor, Burning Brand of Skalathrax) (260)
  • 7 Plague Marines, plasma gun, champion has power fist, Veterans of the Long War) (215)
  • 10 Cultists (autopistol & ccw, 1 x flamer) (55)
  • 10 Cultists (autogun, 1 x heavy stubber, champion has shotgun) (65)
  • 18 Cultists (autogun, 1 x flamer) (101)
  • 30 plague zombies (130)
  • 16 Chaos Space Marines (+ccw, 2 plasma guns, champion has power fist, mark of Slaanesh, icon of Excess, VotLW) (370)
  • 7 Havocs (2 missile launchers w/ flakk missiles, 2 lascannons, mark of Nurgle) (191)
  • 5 Warp Talons (mark of Slaanesh, VotLW) (190)
  • Chaos Vindicator (daemonic possession, destroyer blades) (150)
It has 5 troops choices, which should be useful for objective grabbing, including the large fnp zombie block and a pretty good sized csm unit with fnp that swings before regular marines with potentially 49 attacks on the charge. I'm guessing most of my opponents are going to be MEQ, so the Havocs and Warp Talons will work as nice anti-3+ options. The Vindicator... well, it's hard to argue with that gun if you can get a shot off. 

So, any suggestions as to what I could/should change or substitute, based on what I own? I can build but I won't be buying before then. I suppose I could swing a rhino too, by using a loyalist model I have built....

Chaos Cultist Likes Chaos

I am converting flagellants to be chaos cultists for my CSM army. They all seem pretty wild, so not a stretch. I figured some would show their allegiance openly, while others would just pile on in turn 5 when the game seemed to be going their way. Everyone's a fan during the playoffs.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day

Hooray! The day is finally here when Americans of all status, creed and legal voting status get to choose which political party will lead Our Great Nation into a shiny future of hope and prosperity and reject the one that will lead us down the path of destruction into servitude and the abandonment of everything we hold dear. Choose wisely, voter. It's only paradise or complete societal breakdown at stake. No pressure.

And if you want to know who wins, the Gregory Brothers already prognosticated the outcome:

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Chaos Sorcerer from box + extra bits

In the GW tradition, the Chaos Lord/Sorcerer in terminator armor box contains almost enough parts to construct two models. I figured I'd convert one up from the parts left over after building the Lord using bits I had lying around.

What you'll need:

  • Sorcerer parts from Chaos Lord/Sorcerer in terminator armor
  • Black Reach Terminator Sergeant body 
  • Chaos Spawn bits
Specifically in this case, the Black Reach Terminator Sergeant is in the middle, with the imperial doodad removed. The spawn bits are off to the left and the chaos termie lord/sorc bits I used are off to the right.

First off, cutt off the veteran symbol on the sergeant's' left knee and the purity seal from his right leg. You'll need to mask those areas a little, so choose bits to go there. In my case I picked the little arrow with skull to cover the knee and just cut the leg to be not too unsightly. 

In an act of kindness, the front of the sorcerer termie armor fits perfectly into the black reach termie armor, so no conversion needed there. The chain loin cloth thing needed a bit of carving down on the inside to fit halfway decently in front of the leather straps that were there, and the skull from the belt buckle needed to be shaved off. Using different bits to chaos-it-up I don't see why you couldn't leave those as they were.

The big challenge here is that the Lord/Sorcerer box contains two left arm shoulder pads but only one right arm should pad, which the Lord got. To compensate for the missing shoulder pad, we'll be using spawn bits to create a warped and mutated (a.k.a. "The Chaos Crutch") right arm holding that book bit. Just for fun, I decided to add these very useful looking wings as well.

You can see here that I carved the spawn spikes down shorter so they would add some bulk to that area while not impeding on the wings too much. I used styrene glue to mush everything together, and then reshaped the joins to look better. Before I paint I will putty some to smooth transitions.

The wings are pinned into the back corners of the square on top of the termie armor. Save yourself heartache and pin things like this. PIN EVERYTHING. REGRET NOTHING. Especially in plastic, it takes almost no effort.

The book was adhered with a tiny spot of super glue in the hand and tentacle to keep it in place. 

So there you have it. Other than a bad case of "loyalist legs" he's perfectly passable.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Space Marine Casualty for Daemon Prince Base

This poor fellow is destined for the base of my Nurgle Daemon Prince (an Ultraforge Lord of Pestilence.) His legs are from a ... ready for this? ... Battle for Macragge marine. I had one that I had lost the gun for, so he was the lucky candidate. All the rest of the pieces are basic multi-part marines. I really don't remember where that skull is from. Hollowing out the receptacle for the bolter magazine was fun.  
I'm not sleeping. I'm just resting my eyes.
 And here he is placed on the base. I will likely paint him separately and place him after the fact.
Under the boardwalk...out of the suuunnnn.