Saturday, November 29, 2014

Vylka Fenryka to the rescue!

As promised, here is a small update showing what I was doing with my hobby time over the past couple of months.  I acquired through a series of trades some Forgeworld Primarch figures and decided to add them to an old project from two years ago.  During a previous (and long defunct) Deathwatch 40k RPG campaign, I decided to model some marines in "true scale" that showed off how they would really look next to humans as 8ft tall steroid freaks in power armor.  I put those models away a while back when the RPG campaign fizzled out but I decided to add the primarchs to the largely Space Wolf segment of that project.  I picked up the new codex and found a way to make a very small force of Space Wolves to use along side my Guardsmen.  The idea for this came partly from reading the Blood of Asaheim 40k novel where a single squad of Space Wolves assists an order of Sisters of Battle in defending their shrine world.  My force at its minimum would consist only of two to three marines with the rest of the figs as filler to make the small army legal.

The first model is my Logan Grimnar conversion from the Horus Heresy Warmaster figure.  I added some more wolfie bits to his existing Luna Wolves ones as well as magnetized his right arm to allow him to still be used as Horus counts-as Leman Russ during Apocalypse games.  I also replaced his maul with a more proper axe and made his scenic base a part of my chariot conversion in case I want to use Logan Grimnar in his alternate chariot-rules form shown futher below.  He is partly primed and blue tacked to the scenic base as I've reworked him several times in a row and even stripped the base as well over the past few months.  I had initially glued and primed him before I decided to expand the project.

The second figure is the Primarch Ferrus Manus that I decided to turn into a Master of the Forge for the Space Wolves.  Unfortuantely, no rules exist for the upgraded techmarines (or Iron Priests as they are known in the chapter) so I had to look elsewhere for the rules that would adequately convey the sense of power that the figure has.  There are no techmarine special characters in normal 40k so I had to look to Forge World for hopefully some choices.   I found two possible characters there that I could use.  One was an Iron Hands special character from the Horus Heresy books and I felt he may not be accepted by random players due to the double whammy of being both FW and HH and having a different weapons loadout than the figure.  The other was from the Badab War books and was a Sons of Medusa special character from the relatively current era of 40k called Valen Cal.  Valen Cal seemed to be a better fit as he had both a thunderhammer just like the figure as well as had the bulky rule which meant that his base size was correct as well.

I decided to use Valen Cal and proceded to add multiple wolfie bits to Ferrus Manus while shaving off the Iron Hands ones.  I added a cape from the official Logan Grimnar kit which meant that I also had to convert the servo harness to fit it which required a lot of effort and a few more bits.  I couldn't use the big backpack that came with the model as it protruded way to far backward along with the wolf cloak.  Here is my Ferrus Manus counts-as Valen Cal.

And finally, Logan Grimnar with his two Thunderwolves in chariot rules form.

I've converted a bunch more figs as filler to make up the compulsory Force Org slots but I don't think I'll post pictures of them just yet as they've still got some work to do.  I've got some chapter serfs, servitors, and even a Land Speeder made from the hover chariot in the official Logan kit as well as some wolves.  The focal points for the small force though are the two marines and they're ready to be painted.  

I'll likely wait on painting them though as I'd like to get another delayed project done hopefully.  I've decided to try and finish my 28mm Heavy Gear VOTOM squad before 2014 is over as a sort of very late New Year's resolution.  I hope to have some pics of the first test model posted here on the blog within the next week.  Also, I should be playing my first Robotech Tactics game next week so might have an update on that front (the rules specifically and how the game plays... not so much the actual models).  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's been a while...

Sorry for the lack of updates but I've been slowly working my way through a bunch of different projects over the past couple of months after some initial delays.

Starting with the last topic I covered, I managed to get a full squad of VOTOMs to use as Gears in a 28mm Heavy Gear game.  It took me a few weeks but I finally got them from overseas.  Because the plastic felt different, I decided to test my planned green base coat on one of the rifles I wouldn't be using (due to the bazooka conversions) and the plastic in the figure reacted strangely to the spray paint.  I suspect that the figs are vinyl due to their feel which should (according to the label) work with the paint I chose but unfortunately it remains "sticky" for weeks.  The only slapdash solution I found was to coat the spray with normal acrylic paint but I'm not sure if whatever the chemical reaction is will eventually leech through the second layer of paint.  I've tried instead hand painting with acrylic over the VOTOMs and, while not visually as good, serves the purpose of dulling the sheen on the figs.  I'll post pics of the results (I tested washes on the figs as well as repainting) in the future when I finish all five.

In the meantime, I finally got my wave 1 box from the very delayed Robotech kickstarter. Due to the unfortunate backtracking and intentional misleading of pledgers by Palladium in the intervening 18 or so months, I frankly don't have too much interest in putting together the dozens of minis at this point.  Another local gamer at my FLGS got in on the KS as well and we'll be trying out a game in a few weeks hopefully.  I'll try putting together my resin Miriya QRaus and he's planning on putting together his battlecry pledge so we should have enough figs.  The KS, even with just wave 1, gives you an impressive amount of figs for the price.  Unfortunately, the sprues for the figs seem badly designed with tons of very tiny and easy to break parts seemingly unnecessarily broken down into multiple parts.  When the other gamer was assembling his command pack models, he lost a part and broke off two more when cutting them from the sprue.  I suspect most Robotech models will be modelled with "battle damage" after only a few games regardless of how much care you take in storing them.

Also in Kickstarter news, Heavy Gear is currently running a KS for plastic minis to accompany their new edition.

The KS went through some serious rejigging during its multiple previews on the official DP9 forums and is probably now at a good point.  The initial ideas were frequently downright bad but it has improved significantly since then.  It funded (admittedly to my surprise) in less than a day and is fast approaching what I consider to be a good value in the realm of plastic starter sets.  Once it reaches around $105k, you'll have a color starter rulebook along with four armies to play with (Caprice, CEF, North, and South).   While you'll need to combine them into two armies to play the optimal sized game of HG with the new beta rules, the KS gives you four average sized forces using the Blitz rules.  At $130 CAD (including shipping), that's a pretty good deal compared with current metals and even other plastic starters.

Finally, this isn't mech related but I did start working on some 40k models.  I picked up my first GW kits in a few years and decided to make a small ally force of Space Wolves.  I had gotten some primarchs a while back in a trade and figured I'd try to make them into "true scale" Space Wolves characters.  Horus has become my Logan Grimnar whereas Ferrus Manus is now an Iron Priest.  I picked up the Logan Grimnar boxed set despite my dislike for the stupid Santa sleigh idea for the wolves to accompany Horus.  I plan on turning the sled into an Iron Priest land speeder and to turn the Logan model within into another Iron Priest.  I've got some work to do on that but within a week or so I should be able to post some pics of that.

Once again, sorry for the delay and the above wall of text but I should have some visual indications of progress on a few different fronts to post in the near future.