Monday, July 31, 2017

A Better Small Flying Base

This is a common sight for my Tau at least, and it pisses me off how much it happens. All it takes for one to drop a mere 3' from the table, and the shattering happens. Having clear acrylic bases to be invisible on the board is nice, but not worth all this trouble. So I have found a better solution.

GW's 32mm plastic bases are the same diameter as the small flying base! This is important because of the following steps:
Start by taking a large paper clip and straightening it out. Then using some pliers, form a little shape like this. Find a drill bit with about the same size as the paperclip, then drill a hole directly in the center of the 32mm base.
The shape you made in the paperclip is to provide strength for it to glue into the inside of the base. I used some superglue for quick place. Superglue is not strong enough in this case, but it works for holding it there.
Next I filled in the whole bottom of the base with hot glue. This did 2 things: hold the paperclip in place even better provided some really good weight to the base. Flying models can tend to be top heavy and prone to tipping over. This will counter some of that.
Once the hot glue cools and sets, you should have penty of wire for mounting. You merely need only to cut it short to the height you need, and drill into the bottom of the model and glue the wire in it with superglue.
I am eventually going to do this to all my drones. Even my planned Drukhari will have some Hellions in which I am basing them this same method. In case any of you are wondering about the strength of this, I have had models based this way fall from the table several times, and the bits of the model break before the basing does. I'll take it!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Treating Reaper BONES minis

If you have been following me for a while, you would know I actually really like Reaper's BONES line of minis. They are cheap, there's a huge variety, and have a decent amount of detail, but there are problems with them, namely the soft plastic they are made of. But I don't fret over that as with a little creative hobbying, you can get around the flaws. So here are some tips I have found for preparing BONES minis for tabletop.

TIP 1) Replace Bendy Bits
 A common complain are the bendy and warped weapons. Some guides will tell you to stick them in hot water, bend it back, and let it cool. But for me, don't be afraid to replace them with whatever bits you got. Superglue works best for this as plastic glues don't work on BONES materials.
In this case I simply chopped off the spear bits, drilled holes in the hands, and fed in this bit from the Drukhari Venom kit. Common fantasy orcs are different than the 40k Orks are some of us used to. A spear with skulls on it seemed to fit.
TIP 2) Base them on Washers
BONES minis are made of a very light weight material, and have little bases built into them already, but they are rarely big enough and for especially tall minis they are prone to tipping. So put them on something cheap and weighty. Put them on washers.
I got these at a local Home Depot. When looking for good washers, you want ones with the right size on the outside and as small a hole inside as possible. The washers also don't need to be especially thick. I got these ones because I can use them for 25mm, 32mm, and 40mm bases respectively.
For gluing them on, I would recommend E6000 or GOOP. You can get either at any hobby story and they are essentially the same things. They are very strong but have a long set time and cant do detail gluing very well. But it is great for gluing BONES to washers. Hot glue isn't strong enough and doesnt glue to metal very well, and superglue is too brittle. E6000 does great with metal.
This gives us a decent amount of weight on the bases and holds them upright fairly well for cheap. Again, E6000 works great on metal, so even one of my old Reaper metal minis has a nice stable base now. But what about the leaning model syndrome?

TIP 3) Prop them up with Paperclips
Some models have weak ankles. Literally. They lean forward too far or back too far. Again others will tell you just to put them in hot water then correct them, but I found the strongest solution is to use the same stuff I pin models with. Paperclips.
When painted up in a flat black, the pins should be fairly invisible.

TIP 4) Transport them on Magnets
With metal washer bases and light plastic minis, they have a very good advantage with magnets and transportation. I found a cheap plastic container with lid at my Walmart. I wanted something about 3" deep, so it could hold my bigger bones minis.
Next I got this magnetic tape. I hear you can buy sheets of this stuff instead of the tape, which may have been better. Crafters usually use this to make refrigerator magnets.
Line the bottom of the container with the magnetic tape. I found the sticky material on the back of the stuff to be incredibly weak, so I just glued the strips down with the ultra strong E6000.
And now you have a decently stable carrying case for your minis without having to bother with foam trays or liners. Granted the magnets are not strong enough to hold the minis when they are really shooken around or bumped upside down, but for normal jostling and transportation, it's definitely good enough.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Harvester Preparation - Tau Painting

I haven't had much to show off the past couple weeks because I have been working entirely on getting the following painted:
I had built this back when the Ghostkeel model first came out. I liked the look of a larger stealth suit, so I wanted to give one a go. Again, not being satisfied with regular posing, I tried to build the kit in a very dynamic run-n-gun action pose. I also wanted to make sure the preserve the ability to open the cockpit. The head is actually the bare head from the Shadowsun kit. I wanted a female to be piloting this suit. It just seemed to fit. Haven't thought of a name or story for her yet.
My counts-as Technical Drones from Forgeworld are painted. Again with drones, using 32mm bases and wire rods is a significant improvement over the brittle clear plastic GW flying bases. The main drone bodies are from the Hammerhead SMS sponsons, and some other drone bits. I decided that little mechanical arms for repairs fit the technical drone better, so these are from some Adeptus Mechanicus bits I got from a bits site, I can't remember which kit they go to.
Ethereal Commander Aun'Mei is complete. I am proud of the way this one turned out. I hope it conveys the Ethereal inside (with the blue and tan and tall hat), as well as the Honor Blade. Of course the model itself is not considered to have an honor blade, it's mostly there for aesthetics. Here it is in the Coldstar Battlesuit configuration, which is likely what I am going to run at the Harvester. The Coldstar is a fun model. It has a 20" movement, with the ability to double that for an advance move. I played a game against my brother's Necrons, dropped her down on one far side of the table, then on the next turn, ended up completely on the other side to contest an objective. That's what the Coldstar is for, to get a model to where you need it FAST.
My tacticool fusion suits are completed as well, painted normally in the pattern of the rest of my battlesuits. The main difference is on all my other Crisis suits, they are completely magnetized, but here the guns are set, because of how they are held and converted. But I'm not worried. I have plenty of other magnetized crisis suits already, and the Sunforge configuration (2x fusion blasters) is a weapon set I don't see going out of style this edition, or even the next ones.

These combined with some of my existing painted Tau, I have the current iteration of the army I plan to bring to the Harvester, unless through playtesting I swap a few things out. We will see though. But with this done, all I need to do is create my display board, base these new minis, and finish painting my brother's Necrons.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Harvester Preparation - Necrons and Tau Commander

I've been working on 3 total models since my last post. Starting off with my brother's (James) Necrons.
I saw a really cool idea for a cryptek. You can imagine this guy's tendril getting him around the tombs. I think the final result turned out, and will really come together when painted.
The monolith I wanted to build to where it definitely looked like a monolith, but different enough to set it apart. So I made some extra plates with paneling (out of plasticard) for each of the corners and built the parts a little different. I think this thing will definitely sell the look when it's painted.
This is going to be one of the commanders for my Tau army. I have always toyed around with the idea of a battlesuit ethereal.. With my Sept, and teasers for the new T'au fluff in 8e, I wanted an Empire friendly sept that has to adapt to a unique circumstance. I will touch more on that later, the story of the Fi'rios sept since the fate of the 4th sphere expansion. For now, this may be Aun'mei. She suffered a fatal accident in a previous battle, and she needs to live on life support. Luckily she can do that while inside a battlesuit so she can continue to have a battlefield presence. Above is a configuration I am planning for the harvester (3 missile pods and a velocity tracker), but this thing is magnetized, so...
I can do the coldstar commander configuration if I wanted to. Some of my fingers got in this shot because I didn't have her based yet and my hand had to hold the stand up while I took the shots.
Some eary concept art my brother, Jarom, did for a battlesuit Ethereal. This helped inspire the project above.