11/02/2024

The roar of the boar

 It's been some weeks since I don't post. Please insert regular excuses about real life here.

I took this old mini that needed some refurbishing. Silly me, as I'm currently working on different stuff at the same time, I totally forgot to take WIP pics of this until it was really too late to make any sense.

It's an old Rogue Trader Ork cyboar rider, which had the boar's head missing, so I had to sculpt it. The result is... crude, but fun nevertheless. Here you have the only pics I've taken:

Colour blast

I'm not particularly strict about Ork Clanz, as my current army is more Rogue Trader than 2nd Ed, so I felt more or less free about colours. Bone white for the armoured parts of the cyboar looked nice, and I built it colour-wise from that point on. You can see the army marking on the pic above, the horned skull over red field.

Alien boars look like that. Very alien boars

The sculpt didn't end up as well as I would have liked, but it can pass as some kind of furry xenos of the same family as boars, which is enough for me. In fact, as the whole body is mechanical, I could have sculpted literally any kind of animal. A camel would have been nice, now that I think of it.

Anyway, not a nice fella to mess up with

Even not using Snakebite Clan colours, I painted a snake on the boar. It's in a Celtic fashion, I guess, making a design and biting it's own tail. I wouldn't dare to call it Beithir nor Ouroboros, but it simply looked nice in that way, along the trimming on the rider's coat. I mean, there's not much more to it.

There's also another snake on his back!

I currently don't have more cyboars, so I faced this one as some standalone project, something feasible while I do some other stuff. I'm finding it fun to get these old minis back, so take for granted I'll be doing more RT in the near future ;)

17/01/2024

Large Shark beakies

 It had been quite long since I last visited my realscale Space Sharks project. I think it's time to get back to my grey large marines!

I recently bought one of these Horus Heresy Mk.VI Tactical Squad boxes. It was kind of love at first sight, I can't emphasise how much do I love the Mk.VI (I guess that as much as any of you. I hope so). It encompasses everything that has to be said about nostalgia. It brings me back to the RTB01 times, when I got on board of this Warhammer madness. When it was called Rogue Trader. I believe I could write a whole essay on the subject, but don't fear, I won't. If you share the feeling, there's no need of it. If you don't, there are no words that can make you understand how it feels.

No more digression. The Mk.VI Corvus armour. The beakies. The models are a little bit larger than the previous Space Marines, so I thought I could just assemble the models and make them fit in with my previous Carcharodons. However, they are not as large as the Primaris models (if you remember, that's what I used for my latest unit). So I had to re-scale these too! Below you can see a regular marine from this box and a converted one:

Little difference, but enough to be perceived

Funny thing, once you start to enlarge your marines, you cannot just leave it at the legs or waist. The lack of neck seems alarmingly obvious:

He didn't appreciate being called Brother Shorty

So I had to work on knees, hip and neck. There's no need to do anything with arms, shoulderpads or anything else. Well, unless you want some kind of conversion, like the Sarge here:

The gauntlet comes from a metal Chaplain. I prefered the classic sword instead of the new provided with the current kit

As I wanted to keep a relative old school vibe, I used this Missile Launcher from Space Crusade:

Looks like a heavy thing to carry

Once again I took the same path I used with the heavy weapons operator in my previous squad. In case you don't remember (you don't have why), I built a harness to help the marine to handle the weapon while not holding the whole weight solely on his arms, kind of the Aliens thing:


I did this to my previous marine:

Archive pic

And I did it again now:

The guys from Prevention of Occupational Hazards approved it

There's not much else to it. From this point on it's all a matter of smoothening the green stuff work and painting the whole thing in the very same way I've always done.

If I can bring something new is that I changed my mind from my previous works and decided to put a back banner on the Sergeant. Of course, if I was doing it with this Squad, I also had to do with the other one. So I came up with these:

A little bit smaller than I anticipated, but it works

The banner on the other Sarge

The Horus Heresy box comes with a back banner for the Sergeant, but instead I used it on my Captain, as I think it looks best there:

He didn't have any banner until now

Here you have the whole squad, in all their Mk.VI glory:




The only thing I regret is the breathing vents on the helmets preventing me from painting shark mouths. Trust me, I tried. But there's not enough room for that. Sigh.

They are missing the Chapter symbol on the shoulderpads. I have ordered some custom decals, but until they arrive, they look good to me :)

I really do have to work on a backdrop

What can I say. I totally love these models. They finally are what I was waiting for. I think these are the true evolution of the old miniatures. They keep the aesthetics, they are not over the top, haven't fallen on the gruesome baroque nonsense we sometimes see nowadays. It's simply an update of the old models and I love it.

The box brings enough sprues to build two squads, so you can bet I'll do some more stuff in the future (probably not more Carcharodons, but I'll see what to do).


BONUS! As I was painting grey and black, I thought I could work on something else too. I could have made a post of its own, but I think it really belongs here. I had a Rhino re-scaled and 3D printed, so it matches my realscale Space Marines:

OK, right, this is BIG

I'll be honest, I wanted it even larger, the size of a Land Raider. I made some rough numbers and it looked like the size it needed to be to make ten realscale Marines fit into. But I was finally persuaded and now on a retrospective I'm glad. Let me show you how I turned this from this tone of grey to a totally different tone of grey.

Ta-daa. Easy. I collected some useful bits too

Now to the fun parts. I planned to use decals too, but the hatches don't really allow it. So I had to make it the hard way.

If it goes wrong, I'll have to name my Chapter the Space Herrings

Space Eels will work too

A thing I was missing was some lights. I cannibalised an old Rhino and did this:

Fortunately the size difference wasn't an issue

I faced some issues when painting the decorations on the side hatches. The separation between the two doors didn't allow me to paint the Shark, as the awful hollow space in between really ruined it all. At first I toyed with the idea of three stripes with Maori style symbols:

However it looked weird at tabletop distance

Then I moved forward and painted the rest of the empty spaces:

Too much. Looks like the blackboard at my school when I was a kid

It wasn't working. Sometimes less is more. I realised I had to take what I call the Epic approach. When you see a Rhino at a distance (i.e., little Rhinos in Epic), you have to understand what you are seeing. If it's all a blur, you are doing it wrong. And this was exactly what was happening here. Whatever symbol was to be depicted on that door, it had to be readable. I could only breathe and take the wise decision. Paint black again over it and start again.

It was a hard decision, but it brings peace and joy to my hart

As a compensation, I painted some of my Maori mandalas on the upper hatch

The final touch was to add a couple of banners on the back. If there's something more Old School than that, I don't wanna know. It's still missing some symbols here and there, but I plan to use decals for that. When they arrive I'll take more pics, but for now this is it:





Just in case, another size comparison pic, with a regular Rhino (the donor of the lights and some bits):

Daddy?

So a realscale Rhino to meet my realscale Marines:

At this pace I'll soon need a realscale board

I promise an update when I get the decals. Until then, let's keep on moving forward!

04/01/2024

New year, old mini

 Happy new year to everyone!

I hope all of you are doing fine after the season excesses, I'm coming bact to normal too.

First of all, a (not so random) tought about Blogger itself. I've been experiencing annoying issues when trying to comment on other blogs. Either the system doesn't allow me to publish anything or directly doesn't even allow me to sign in. I suspect it has something to do with cookies, but I'm experiencing it randomly and on different browsers, so I cannot say for certain what the problem is. I sometimes write the comment and try to publish it for ages, until I have to give up. That's why I'm commenting with such delay on some of your blogs, or even I cannot comment at all. It has also happened on my own blog when trying to answer your comments. I know I'm not the only one, but well, it sucks anyway.

But enough rants! You came here for minis!

These holidays I made a trip through nostalgia road and I rescued this monstrosity from oblivion. The infamous Manticore from the Dark World board game:

Painted in... 1992?... 93?

I had this beast totally forgotten for literally thirty years. I had it in a bits box and these days I decided to tidy it up a little. I don't think that WIP pics will add much to this post, but anyway I made just this one:

Still hurts at sight

I honestly couldn't be bothered with stripping it, so I have to confess I simply primed it again and painted over it. The pics below are quite overexposed, I'm afraid, but will give you an idea of what I achieved:


That's all I could get out of this mini!

Glorious 90's hair!

It has clearly working out at the gym

The tongue remains a mystery to me afrer all these years

Of course the sculpt is what it is. I believe (I have no proof, but also no doubt) it was an attempt to reproduce the Manticore by Citadel (I may be wrong, haven't checked it, but I believe it's a sculpt from 1987 or so). Well, there was an attempt. The head obviously doesn't belong to a lion, but some other kind of anthropoid monster. I tried a lighter colour on the snout, yet not fully reproducing a lion.

There's some kind of convention about painting the lion's mane darker than the rest of the fur, but after checking some reference pics I have to say I've been fooled all my life, manes are quite in a similar colour to the rest of the animal. Anyway, I went with the convention.

The same goes about the scorpion tail. There's some kind of convention about scorpions being red, and I haven't ever seen an scorpion other colour than black. I've seen pics of some other colours, but definitely not bright red! So you can see I went mostly for red, but turning into darker tones, almost black, on the upper side. And this is it!

I don't have any immediate use for this beast, but I'm pretty sure there were homemade rules for Manticores in HeroQuest, for example, so I may try those.

Random encounters in the wild

Well, this feels weirldy calming, after three decades! I think I still have some other Dark World minis somewhere, so who knows, I may try to recover some of them!

I don't think I'll buy the current model from the Cities of Sigmar ranges, but I'll leave it here for your own consideration, if you want to compare this mini with my own Manticore.

Find the seven differences. I dare you

Well, I guess I can declare that 2024 has officially started! Let's see what projects does it bring!

Cheers!

23/12/2023

The "Laika", explorer flying ship

A whole new project today, to end 2023!

The title should give you a hint ;) For so many years I've been obsessed with those modellers who build sci-fi or steampunk flying vessels from scratch. After a long, long time I've made my mind up and I'm giving a step ahead. Let's see what happens!

First of all, I wouldn't like to put the cart before the horse. Or whatever vehicular allegory can apply here. I'm starting with the base. Just al old CD and two pieces of good, old school metal, who knows where from. I just happened to have those at the bottom of a box for decades. You can also see a brush, but don't be deceived, I'm not really using it:

Look at its case, though

Ah, there it is

You see, just some DAS clay and the top of the brush case. While all this gets ready, let's move onto the case itself.

And this strange piece of a tube I literally got from the works on a building close to home

I'm wrapping the case in plastic...

...and filling the outer space with green stuff

You'll see where this is heading in a minute. Let it cure. In the meantime let's get back to the base:

Pretty standard stuff

Sand, sand everywhere

Well, you can see I'm showing the project in chronological order. Some days were involved, but I hope you won't lose interest. Let me keep on and show what was the green stuff thing about:

Take the excess away...

Ta daaa! The hull of the ship!!! (Stay with me, please, don't close the tab yet!!!)

So, if I glue the metal rod to the hull, I can have a detachable base and can start to work on the ship itself:

Or else I'll have the most glorious, flamboyant cup of wine ever

I hope the process is understandable!

 A little bit morea bout the base:

Looks quite barren

Please let me introduce GamersGrass. Awesome beyond anything I could say

Told you

OK, time to start with the ship! I made some portholes with card and cut a round piece as the lower deck:

Weirdest recipe ever

A second round piece will serve as the upper deck, and a slush cup, conveniently adapted, will be the cabin:

Leela shown for scale. She however may pilot her in the end

So this is more or less the idea:

But... why two decks?

Because I'm opening an access between the two of them, so part of the lower deck will be visible:

I toyed with the idea of two rudders, but in the end I took another path, you'll see

OK, let's build some stairs:

Cheap and easy, just as the rest of this project

Will have to do


Hmmm

Awful, but will be barely seen, so it works!

I also worked on a little space under the upper deck, letting some stuff uncovered. A couple of tubes, a stopcock, whatever:

Difficult to see in this stage

Oh, better, but where does it fit?

Oh, there

Right, all this absurd work for a couple of tiny, narrow spaces barely to be seen. I know, I know


But I know they're there

I've seen enough horror movies to know I must not walk those stairs down

You see? You see? I told you could see the lower deck! I'm not crazy!

Now I have the basic structure. As you can see, I grey primed it all. Working with the transparent bowl was kind of confusing:

Looks like the face of a robot in disapproval of your life choices

The cabin is pretty tight, but some stuff can be done. I recovered a mdf door I got like centuries ago, in the elegant shape of the doors in the Serenity. The rest is just cardboard:

Pretty rough, I'll have to add some stuff later

I also added pieces from an old kids toy (I believe from one of those ball machines) as the engine. Let's see what can be done of this stuff:

Don't worry, I'll take the brush itself away!!!

So, with some additions here and there...

That's more or less the idea!

However, the engine look a little bit... bland, I don't know how to put it into words. At this point I was going towards some kind of Ghibli-like design (which of course would be lovely, but not my current aim). I recovered this other broken toy...

Not everything here will be needed...

...but the pieces will be put into good use

It was in need of something else. Something that visually added some volume, to avoid the Ghibli-esque sense of tiny, fragile bubble. I found that an absurdly oversized helm was the answer:

But now I'm getting some kind of Star Wars vibe, hmmm...

Whatever. I have to move on. I then faced a problem. The base was not resistant enough to support the weight. So I supplemented the fix of the plastic cane

Again, I didn't want the greenstuff to get stuck to it!

I needed acces to the inner space

Now the cane can get really sturdy and fixed

I glued it to the base and added quite a lot of more plants to hide the ugly union:

Less desert, but more natural

OK, base is definitely finished and problems solved. Where were we? Oh, yes, additions to the hull:

Nice smell to the room and three... gravitic stabilizers

It was these ot felt pen caps

 It looks like all the lower structure is done! OK, to the upper deck then! I added some more stuff to the cabin, including a mast:

Now it looks a little bit more crowded

But not too over the top

Again, it's all just pieces of broken toys, some wire, green stuff, nothing out of the ordinary. On the next pic you have more of that. A piece from a firemen truck, a lollipop stick and an atenna from an old helicopter I had whan I was a child (from the Marvel Secret Wars ranges, back in the '80s)

OK, this is definitely Ghibli no more

One man's trash can be that very same man's repository of bits

An idea I had since the beginning was adding a platform on the prow, from where the crew could shoot harpoons. I had kept this piece from an old router from some time, and I knew it always was meant for this project.

However, I originally kept it thinking about some Star Wars thingie, look at that design!

It ook a whole night's work to cut and shape this with my poor cutter

But I think I was getting to where I really wanted:

General view

I hope it will hold on!

I then faced one of my most dreaded problems. How to add a handrail there. Anything I could think of was too fragile and simply wouldn't resist. Then I found this other piece, forgotten for ages too:

Originally kept for some kind of cage/castle portcullis/something

Oh, but it stands! And it's resistant! Phew!!

You can also see I added what (if you have some imagination) can serve as a gangway (only for bold people!). You may think I misplaced it. It's natural place would be totally on the port side, close to the stairs down. Why did I place it there? Because I'm placing these at both port and starboard:

What do you mean these don't make any bloody sense? Of course they make sense!

A ship needs sails!

Of course they are functional! As much as the rest of the boat!
At first I was a little bit hesitant, I feared they added too much volume to the general shape of the boat, but in the end I feel thay have some kind of steampunk quality that makes them feel in place.

Then I built the harpoon thrower:

No, most definitely not Harpoon missiles

 The light below comes from another toy of old, a Playmobil ship of my youth. In my mind it rotates with the harpoon thrower, so it can bring light to wherever the gunner is pointing (Yes, in fact I even though of doing it functional and rotable, but the project was just out of hand as it was!).


You 'll have to use your imagination, sorry

I think this covers all the basics. I could call it done (at least the scratch building!):





There are some more details to add, but I need to paint it before. So... spray primers!

First time I ever use three different primers on a model

Upper deck remains white. Well, dirty, of course, but "white" in a broad sense

For the hull I had some choices. My first idea was going into some deep turquoise or dark green. However, I was convinced towards red or warm tones. I did so and I'm happy I did it!

The colour is debilerately brownish/reddish... dirty

The yellow stripe broke monotony

Yellow and brown here and there
 
I though of adding some design on the sails, but I'm happy I didn't. This is not a sports ship, it's an explorer/fishing boat. No budget to make it nice and comfy.
 
Plain sails. I could have added more texture though

Some decals and painted details and she looks better!

Oh, I called her the Laika because she's small, stinky and she's a pioneer of exploration. Really didn't want any cheesy Warhammerish name.

Anyway, she looks too clean for a backwater world desert explorer

Ahhhh, much better

Now you can tell this beauty has seen some action

Once I had it all painted I added the final details, such as the harpoons on the handrail, the rope...

It was kind of tricky to get all that rope look like it falls natural!
 
The purity seal below comes from a Titan, I believe. I thought it was a fun thing to add, even if it looks totally out of place. It brings the ship together with the Rogue Trader/WH40K universe. After all, every engine and vehicle has to be blessed and supervised by the Mechanicus,

I guess it states that the ship has the ISO 40,001

These may be the cleanest items on board

Then with this litte addition you are about to see, I declare the Laika finished:

Of course there are flags! What were those threads for if not for flags?
 
This was another idea I had in mind from the beginning. When it came to actually drawing them (this very afternoon), then I thought that I could of course make them up. But it took the same effort to make things right, so I consulted the actual International Code of Signals. So below you can read something in the mood of : "I'm a fishing boat engaged on trawling, keep clear of me. You are running into danger. I am carrying dangerous materials. Keep clear of me; I am manoeuvring with difficulty".
 
Fun with flags
 
I haven't provided a crew of her own, but for the pics these minis will do. They are from Astropolis or from my old sci-fi civilians project:

Ahoy!

This is it! Here you have different angles on the whole airship:




A group shot among her peers:

Someone who didn't know me could think I'm planning to build some kind of spaceport or something

Exploring the desert and the wastes can be hard and risky. The small vessels who dare to enter the solitude of sand try to catch some of the elusive fishing banks that fly from here to there, or sometimes they try to pursue and capture some moist from a storm. Harsh people, the airsailors. Always errand, always searching what they cannot apprehend. From time to time an airship wanders too far and ends up exploring mysterious places and discovering things that should have better left alone...

Dammit, Bob, speed it up! Told ya we shouldn't come here!!!

(Excuse my three minutes of photoshop, but I couldn't avoid it!!)

This is it for today and, given the date, I guess I won't be able to update the blog during the rest of the year! So please let me wish you merry Christmas (or Io Satvrnalia if you are feeling more classic today) and my best wishes for 2024!! See you all on next rotation!

All the best! Cheers!