Friday, May 5, 2017

40K: Valhallan Governor/VIP

I had a request from my buddy Joe over at my gaming club PAGE, asking to borrow a model to represent a VIP objective like a Political Officer, Planetary Governor or some such, for the upcoming Sword Sworn 40K narrative event on May 13th. This is from the same guy who runs 40K narrative events at NOVA, so, plan on a good time if you are in the Philly area:

Sword Sworn: Long is the patience of the Emperor's enemies, waiting in the dark to strike at his most glorious heroes when the time is ripe. Now that moment has come for the vaunted Swords of Dorn, as one of their recruitment worlds is besieged and all their allies are called to its aid!

I have a few models that would work for a VIP already, sitting around moldering in my Valhallan collection, but I thought a dive into the bitz box would be fun and a fast aside from Bushido.

Original GW model. The cape made it onto my Valhallan Col.
Parts: The parts for this were a Solar Macharius body, slightly trimmed and cleaned, a right arm from the IG tank sprue (do they even make that anymore?) and a standard Astra Militarum left arm with a totally vintage 1980's Imperial Guard hand; almost all of these bitz are OLDER THAN MY 12 YEAR OLD SON. Weird.

After my club runs the Sword Sworn event and I get this guy back I will add a holstered bolt pistol to his right side, maybe counting him as a Senior Officer or even an Inquisitor.

The Build: I painted him up in matching colors for my Valhallans with base colors, what I call underpainting and then finished with my custom water-based stain for finishing. Check out the Valhallan tab to the left for more examples of painting with stain if that interest you, I have posts on that going back years.

Total time for this VIP was 2 hours from assembly to priming to paint and basing. Pretty dang fun. WIP pics:

Base colors down, ready for underpainting
Shading and highlights are really geared towards augmenting the toning and colors the stain produces
Dried stain, DulCote and basing

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Finished (For Now)

Part 3 is found here. She's done for now. All-in-all this was a very fun kit. A few closing thoughts on the build: This is a high-quality kit, worth the price, even to the US from the UK. It is well-designed and sturdy, and sections lift off clean during play. With building, it pays to take your time with the kit and listen to yourself about how you want to modify it, if at all. That said, even unaltered it is beautiful. And imposing! This will dominate your average game of Bushido, with a 11"x11" footprint. Verticality will have to be a house rule in some cases, depending on the game system but for Bushido, well, we will have to have a batrep and see how it changes the game. Lastly, after the roof was together, I plan on running a bead of dark caulk underneath where each of the roof tiles meet, to strengthen it just a bit, and keep flex from warping or popping the tiles; just a suggestion.

I am really looking forward to some Bushido games with this... well done TTCombat!

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Build Log 3

Part 2 can be found here.

At this point, the Pagoda is very sturdy, mostly together and I admit that I wasted one night moving figures around on it making ninja noises in the basement. Pretty damn exciting for me. The wife probably died a little inside.

The instructions have the doors either glued open or closed. The doors themselves are 2 parts, a front detail layer of laser cut grey board and a backer to make it rigid. I wanted two things with these doors: 1. keep the detail to let light through and 2. Make them movable.

First I tackled the detail/light issue. That was fairly easy, I simply backed the painted detail layer pieces with parchment, glued with matte Mod Podge and left the original second backer off. Sorta flimsy but ok and beautiful with lights showing through.

Then I spent another night finding a way to make the doors move. I prefer a more forgiving design when it comes to making 6 sets of doors movable.

I finally settled on a design where the door hangs via a metal track on the wall, and a magnet attached to the door, allowing the doors to move around and also simply detach when gamer hands smack around inside the buildings.

My design was mostly because I could source all the parts from what I had laying around and reproduce it over 12 doors. The tracks were size 2 jeweler's saw blades, tooth-down, which happen to perfectly span the width of the walls, sorta like a lintel. I used Mineral Spirits to de-grease the blades and then used, you guessed it, matte Mod Podge to glue down the tracks.

I cut a length of the backer to lag over the top of the door and leave a space for a flexible magnet. Getting them all together only needed some trimming by eye to get the magnets on top of the door flush and square. Flexible magnet ribbon is best for this, about US$3.00 from the DIY. I just had to use Mineral Spirits to get the adhesive off for the super glue to adhere.

So that's it for the doors! The lights are simply flickering LED yellow lights from Amazon placed around the inside of the Pagoda, keep it simple.

Then I weathered the roof but you see it too much in the pics. It warms the grey sufficiently so it looks good next to the trees and such.

I then set about making some planters of flowers using wooden bobbins primed grey and weathered a bit after drybrushing greys to off-white, Woodland Scenics green sponge and flower flock.

So that is pretty much it for now. I plan on detailing the inside of the pagoda at some point, especially after I get a few games in with it.

Up next: GLAMOUR SHOTS and final thoughts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Build Log 2

This is a continuation of part one, found here.

Okay, where we last left off I had the unfinished pagoda separated parts out from sprues, cleaned and wiped with a cheese cloth (aka tack cloth.) This grabs all the soot from the laser cutter and sawdust from sanding parts, which keeps the painting clean.

I marked up the instructions with all my colors
For the record, these downloadable instructions are good overall, just a heads-up that the first floor awning assembly is tricky with the keys for the corners... make sure you dry fit them the right way, they go in a particular order.

Beware. Be read. Be ready.
I decided early on to paint these pieces as I went, thinking that the time taken to paint with rattle cans will save a bunch of grief in the long run. So, all prepped, I took several evenings to spray prime all parts with Rustoleum Grey sandable auto primer and then Army Painter spray colors.

Pro tip, if you are spray painting a bunch of stuff and the day is sunny but low humidity, you can put your painted parts in a dry cardboard box and it acts like an oven to speed up total curing. So, spray paint, once dry to touch, throw that stuff in a sunny box and let it do it's thang. Keeps grit off the dry-down too.

I kept the colors on this simple. 3 colors plus weathering at the end (excepting the roof, which was a grey I had laying around.) I used Army Painter colors Army Green, Leather Brown and Necrotic flesh spray with matching brush on paints (which are extremely close matches.) In the end, I used 1.5 cans of spray primer and 1 can of each color, more-or-less.

I used Mod Podge Matte finish to glue everything together, except for the base, which I used Gorilla Glue for extra bond strength. That beautiful base will bear a bit of weight so it is smart to used a stronger glue for that. All parts sprayed together, I proceeded to fit pieces together and glue. Note that with the tabs, it helps to round off the edges to make fitting easier.

Laying up the parts, facade added as well... painting them separately makes for a clean finish.

You better cheese cloth the hell out of the gray board. Test fit looks good. Tip: Use blue painters tape when you glue the roof down. Apply glue, adjust roof sections until they are level and use the painters tape to hold the parts together as it dries. Since the roof parts tend to bend and not line up exactly, the tape really helps pull everything square.

Roof parts primed black then sponge/dapple painted with grays.

Up next, modifying the doors so they move, finishing details, lights, final assembly and glamour shots!