Thursday, April 28, 2016

Aperture Rapture

Plasma Annihilator. An awkward sort of gun. There are a few design details shared by most imperium plasma weapons. There's the suspiciously bulbous front bit, and then some ribbed coils behind that. Anyone familiar enough with the warhammer 40k universe can see that and recognize what type of gun it is. It's futuristic. It's sciency. Sometimes it overheats and explodes. What's not to love? 
This update involves important decisions, fiddly work, and some whining because I cut my finger.

Important Decision: I want the sciency coils, whatever they're called. The blue electric box that makes up the mid-section of the gun is disrupting the vibe. It's too boxy. Can't put coils there. However, I soon discover I never sealed the pvc pipe connection threads. What luck! With a half-twist, the gun rotates upside-down. Next I use a hacksaw on the expanding foam gap-filler to cut a horizontal plane.

I glued a deodorant stick onto this new flat area. That gives me the slope I need for the coils. I should have been excited about the progress at this point, but gluing and positioning each coil was fiddly. Near the end of this part I slipped up and cut a finger with the cutters. Despite that setback, I soon reached a good stopping point for pictures and an update. 

I may need to add more plasma coils.

I'm not sure if this is art with a capital A, but it feels important to me with a capital I.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Disarm - Rearm

Hello, again. I've been tightening up some of the colors on the vengeance cannon since the last post. There's more I want to get done, but project burn-out is starting to creep in. I will continue to work on it, but it's time to focus on the plasma annihilator arm.

First off, here's today's paint progress on the vengeance cannon. There's still quite a bit to do here, but I need a break from it.  

Okay, now here's the plasma annihilator in all it's disturbing phallic glory.

It's somewhat cringeworthy at the moment, but at least I've got a starting point.

Where to start? Jeff (lack0fbettername) suggested beefing up the elbow, I could get started there.

Coffee break, and then let's get to work on this thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Retrograde Ejecta

Well, I've already gone and contradicted myself from last week, when I was throwing around words like sleek and minimal. As it turns out, I'm still sloppy. That may sound bad, but I do get stuff done. I'm just not a precision guy. To compensate, I tend to experiment and throw stuff out until something (hopefully) works.

So forget everything else I said before. This week I like my chaos ridiculous, over the top, and awesome.

There wasn't a natural stopping point to stop and take pictures, so just took a break halfway through painting so you guys can see what's going on.

Yesterday, I began roughing up the gun arm with the rotary tool, obliterating some of the details I wasn't happy with. After hosing off the debris from that, the next step was green-stuffing some nurgle yuck. I'm not sure how effective this will be. Some things have been lost. The clean lines that brought the gun together have been disrupted, and there's a small voice telling me it's now a jumble.

Papa Nurgle sneezed on this.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Wistful Oxides and the Rust Within

Work has begun on the base colors. I mixed each of the colors 1:1 with Vallejo matte medium since I'm used to these particular colors gumming up pretty quick. 

After some testing I've decided to go with a red oxide for the Legio Mortis red (Vallejo cavalry brown). 
More intense shades of red appear be too jarring. I experimented with both warmer (wazdakka red) and cooler (khorne red) layers over the red oxide, but was dissatisfied with the results.  

The metallic base coat is Leadbelcher. Once it gets smoothed out, I'll finish up with a layer of Ironbreaker. 

While researching, I found some examples of red and black stripes on some of the Legio Mortis armor panels. It looked interesting so I’ve tried to replicate the effect. The stripes need a bit more work, but I like it so far.

I’ve started thinking of the riveted panels as field repairs. They help make the transition between the basic titan details you would expect to see, and the full-on chaos corruption happening in other parts of the model.

I used Vallejo German Field Grey as a base for the panels. It’s a nice neutral color with a hint of green. The rivets have yet to be painted, so that’s why those are black.

I used Liquitex Rich Bronze as a base for the trim and some of the decorative bits. That may see some brighter gold highlights, and some dark wash concoction.

I found the old Emperor Titan datasheet today. It's a bit outdated, but a good reference all the same. The carapace weapon options all say "See Reaver & Warlord datasheet for stats." The really great bit is that I found out the name of the weapon I've been working on for the past few weeks. It's the Vengeance Cannon! Can't believe I forgot that...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Anomalous Productivity Surge

I think I've reached a stopping point on this left arm weapon. There's more I would love to do with it, but my gut feeling says it's time to wrap it up. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's good enough for me. There is a tipping point where a project becomes so overworked that there's no place for a person's eyes to rest. For the time being, I will err on the side of "less is more." 

The weather was warm and clear today, so I could spray-prime outdoors. I always look forward to this part. Nothing is quite as cathartic as seeing all the bits in monotone. 

But then, that cathartic moment passes, soon replaced by panic as one wonders what color scheme to use. 

As mentioned in the previous post, there is not much detail on the right side. It will be obscured by the titan's torso once attached.

I'm glad I stopped with the rivets here. My loose style (or impatience) lends itself more to Ork aesthetics. Hoping to tighten up my technique as I go along. Getting back into the groove of things.

There is less chaotic corruption on this weapon arm than the rest of the titan overall. I've got a couple of thoughts on that.  

First, I wanted the guns to look functional, emphasizing their destructive capability. At the same time this would deemphasize the heavy-handed chaos craziness that I've done in the past. This new thinking comes straight from Forgeworld's aesthetic approach to equipment during the Horus Heresy. Their models are minimal-- not to say they're lacking in detail. No, they're just Sleek. Practical. Galaxy-Crushingly Lethal. 

My second thought is that I want this titan to have a home, so to speak. It needs a legion to call it's own. When I started working on it all those years ago I was satisfied calling it "the nurgle titan." Now that the 30K community has exploded onto the scene, and there are primarchs and warlord titans running all over the place, I want to get in on that. 

Some day, maybe years from now, we will be shoulder-to-shoulder laying siege to the Emperor's Palace. Legio Mortis Will Be There.

For now I need to research their color scheme and come up with a plan.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kit-Bashin' Shootout

I got more work in over the weekend. Drilling rivet holes was starting to get tedious. In a strike of (bad?) luck I dropped my pin-vice and the drill bit broke. I didn’t have a backup handy, and I was getting bored drilling anyway. It was a good time to look through bits boxes and old sprues for kit-bashing materials.

I'm leaning towards Legio Mortis for my titan legion. That choice leaves plenty of options open for iconography, war banners, and such. I can use the Legio Mortis skull & portcullis insignia, the Eye of Horus markings, and the (obvious) mark of Nurgle.

Nurglings playing on the gantry. 

The right side of the gun has less detail since the titan torso will obscure most of it.

Eye of Horus to commemorate Legio Mortis joining the Sons of Horus 63rd expeditionary fleet.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Plastic Anvil

I made more progress on the left arm cannon this week. Due to some persistent health issues I am behind schedule, but overall feeling good about things. 

The gun barrels were extended out a bit using empty pill bottles. Those are still a bit plain so I’ll need to add more rivets and detail. I haven’t undertaken a serious scratch-building project for a few years now, so my collection of interesting and useful bits has shrunk. That said, I do have a lot of plasticard laying around in various thicknesses. The thick stuff is better to work with, but also makes the model heavy.

I built this guy sturdy, so I think it can handle the extra weight. Though in the future we may need to make sure the game table can support it. I think my nightmare would be the titan falling over and landing on someone’s army!

I added some slanted armor panels to the front of the gun, hiding the shot-trap where the barrels attach. Seems to look better.

You can see a bit of the head and torso in some of these pics. They will need a lot of work. I was suffering from project burn-out when I started on those parts. The head was a source of much frustration.

I need to pick a titan legion for this guy. I was thinking Legio Mortis, though I could use some advice in that regard. I'd like to use it in both 30k and 40k games. The former may be a bit of a stretch since it's already so corrupted.

Although I could say it spent some time in the warp? And then showed up for the Siege of Terra? I'm mostly interested in any titan legions that fought alongside the Word Bearers since they're my principle legion.

Things are looking up.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Storm of Glue: The Reckoning

So let’s fish this half-finished Emperor titan out of the basement and see what’s left to do. There are some good bits, some bad. I see why it’s taken me so long to get back to this project. Much needs resolving.

There’s a place where wit meets work, and I admit I’ve been short on both these days. For now I’m happy with working on this arm cannon. What was it called? Lasma-fragolator? Twin-linked Hurrican-Boltinating-Melta Thing?

I want to replace or subdue a lot of the organic aspects of this titan. Or at least find a middle ground between Robotic and Slimy. I forgot to mention it's a CHAOS titan, hence the slime.

Today we have some detail work on the gantries. Diamond tread plates and handrails were a good place to start.

I underestimated how curious my kids would be once I started working on this. "Dad is working on a Thing! Come see!" 

Look at this little space marine running around. Having the time of his life. 

In that last pic this space marine is hiding from our kids (background). A moment after this picture was taken they set upon the scene like wolves. I'm glad they like this stuff.

Sometimes I feel useless because I don't have a trade. Yes, I have some art degrees, and a background in painting should have equipped me with basic carpentry and woodworking skills. Really, though, I never felt at ease in the wood-shop. Too many loud, exciting ways to lose fingers. So cross that off the resume.

What other skills might I press into service? I'm surprisingly buoyant. I once got a compliment in that regard while swimming at the Y. That's a good one. Floating is important.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Penitence Crusade

Once a very long time ago there was a man, an engineer by trade. He designed things. Fascinating things. And he created free templates to serve the worldwide gaming community. His AutoCAD templates were for all sorts of wonderful models to be used with the Warhammer 40,000 game system. The most famous being his Warhound and Reaver titan STC’s. This man called himself Lack0fbettername.

I was blown away by the scope of his visions. I stalked him through his various project blogs and discovered he lived in the same city, and even frequented the local game store! I had to meet this man.

And so we embarked on an awesome journey. He was actually pretty cool to hang out with. I temporarily shelved my plans to eat his heart to gain his strength. And thus we began collaborating on new projects, setting the bar higher and higher as we went along.

On one fateful night of drunken boasts, we swore a pact to each build an Emperor titan. We would then play an epic game of Warhammer 40k, titan vs. titan. It would be awesome.

Lack0fbettername finished his Emperor titan years ago.


The time has come to atone for my failure.


Thus begins my Penitence Crusade...

--April 2nd, 2016--

I began construction of some external gantries on one of the titan's primary arm-mounted weapons.

Warhammer 40k is a tabletop miniatures game in 28mm scale. Titans are large bipedal machines that carry an over-the-top arsenal of doomsday weaponry. Due to their powerful abilities, these titans are often only used in large games where there will be teams of several players facing off.

Fun Fact: When we started working on our Emperor titan project, neither I nor Lack0fbettername had any children. Now that I've started my penitence crusade I have three kids, and he has two! So quite a lot has happened over the past few years.  

Fun Fact: The ubiquitous Space Marines, Warhammer 40k's most recognizable and iconic models, are celebrating their 30th birthday anniversary this month. I think I started collecting and painting these miniatures when I was in 9th grade.  

Fun Fact: As of this writing, Lack0fbettername and I are separated by 480 miles. We have made this exodus only a few times. Once he drove all the way up here with a trunk full of beer, a jar of peanut butter, and a loaf of bread to subsist on. This man is an Eagle Scout.

More Facts to Come.