Converting The BaC Dreadnought (part 2)

Part 2 of a multipart series of posts on converting the Betrayal At Calth dreadnought.

The most time consuming and difficult part of this project so far has been the legs of the dreadnought. I think I will be working to find ways around doing this much resculpting for the other models. I like how this is turning out, I just don’t want to go through an involved sculpting process for each one.

I’ve switched to a procedure for converting which requires less sculpting and which uses more of the components that are part of the original model.

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Repositioned Knee after a bit of careful cutting and gluing.
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A bit of hose made with a tentacle maker was used to add some detail to the exposed leg area.

The leg can be repositioned pretty easily once you detach the upper and lower legs. The cutting can be a bit rough if you aren’t careful, but this can be easily cleaned up later. Here I put some additional detail on the inner leg which helped fill the void created by cutting the leg up.

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The gap was filled in and some detailing added.

I rebuilt part of the hip joint and created some more interesting detail on the front part of the leg. This still needs some clean up, but is looking pretty good.

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Extra details added to the hull of the dreadnought

I’ve started to add some additional details to the dreadnought’s armor. These pipes may have been part of a field modification or repair. My intention is to convert the dreadnoughts to give each one of them a unique character.

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Legs attached and posed.

The dreadnought is starting to come together. A bit more detailing work and it’ll be ready to be primed! Next up I will share some of that as well as the finished conversion work on it’s arms.

Gore-grub

For Adepticon I’m building a 1000 point Nurgle Warriors army for tge Rodgepodge event. The Gore-grub chariot will be a centerpiece to this force. 2015/01/img_4715.jpg

Rather than have a Gore-beast pulling a chariot in a conventional manner, I think that a massive resurrected swamp-grub, enslaved in undeath by the foul magicks of Nurgle, toting a Howdah would be very in theme with a highly mutated Nurgle army.

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The body of this model is made from a tinfoil armature and layered with super-sculpy and Apoxie-sculpt. The details are primarily done with Greenstuff.

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Check out my insect leg tutorial to see how the legs were achieved: Sculpting Insect Legs

The crew for this beast are coming together. More on them later!

Escalation Projects

I have a impulsive and spontaneous nature. It is very easy for me to drop one thing to start another. My work-space is covered with projects in limbo because of this aspect of my personality. Recently I’ve broken down several of my projects into an escalation style build up of completed minis. I’ve also jumped on the Kanban board bandwagon for organizing these projects.

This is a screen-grab of the Kanban Flow screen of my rebooted Warriors of Chaos project.
This is a screen-grab of the Kanban Flow screen of my rebooted Warriors of Chaos project.

I am using this method to chip away at my Eldar project for WH40k and will eventually use it to reboot my Warriors of Chaos for WHFB. I’ve got a Kanban board for Flames of War stuff as well, but that is more of a simple Kanban implementation, not an escalation project.

The uses of a Kanban board are pretty new to me, so I am still learning the best way to implement one for my projects. I have learned that it is good to not overload the things with too many items. That can make the overview a bit too much to handle and stifle the feeling that anything is getting accomplished. This small bite approach seems to work best for me, and having the separate columns which show what phase a miniature or unit is in meshes well with my workflow.

I am approaching each of these projects in 250-500 point chunks. The objective is to not start anything new until the present chunk is complete.

Lets Make Bases

My favorite basing technique over the last year or so has been to sculpt a surface directly onto a base prior to attaching the model.  This is similar to other basing techniques that I have written about, but rather than gluing a tall bit of material onto the base, I add details to a thin layer of greenstuff or other 2-part putty.  This technique is a bit (only a bit) more time consuming than gluing on layers of rock, cork, or super-sculpy, but allows for much greater control in the design of the base.  This is also a great way to get a handle on the properties of greenstuff if you are just starting out as a sculptor.

One of the excellent things about putting the time in to really craft your miniature’s bases is that it gives you another way to tell their story to the viewers.  The Eldar that I have been working on are scouring a rusted wasteland of a planet in a region littered by centuries of wreckage and scrap.  Having a distinct idea about the environment that your minis are in can add a lot to the miniature itself.

Here are some of the tools and materials needed for this project. Note that the primary sculpting tool will be a dulled and polished hobby knife blade. This thing is not sharp at all. Its great for creating deep divots or lines in putty.
When I do these bases I like to mix greenstuff, but add some super sculpy to the putty as I mix it. This changes it’s sculpting properties slightly. I only add about 10-20% to the full volume of the putty. So long as the sculpy is less than either the blue or yellow component of the putty, it should set just fine. The resulting mixed putty is slightly softer and stickier. Great for adding the rough type of detail we will need later.
Smooth the putty out across the base. Don’t worry too much about overlap. That will get cut off later. Start breaking up the surface of the putty with some bold lines. The position of these lines will only be determined by experience. Play around with it, find what you like the best. Keep in mind you can always press out the lines and start again if they don’t look the way you like.
Join the lines here and there to create a broken surface, not unlike a dry creek-bed. You could stop here and add some fine sand to get an interesting looking base. With these I kept going…
Using the handle of a clay shaper or paint brush (or whatever you have laying around) press in some indents to break up the smooth surface of the putty. I would alternate the angle that I was using to make a natural and random pattern.
Using the tip of the same handle I created pits in the surface of the putty. This finalized the dry rocky ground look I was going for.
One of the things I like about this form of basing is that you can integrate as much detail as you like. In this case I am trying to capture the feeling of a wreckage strewn wasteland. Here I pressed a bit of a model into the putty to give the impression of some steel emerging from the dusty ground.
Once the putty has fully set, carefully do any edge trimming with a sharp hobby knife blade. This step is optional and I didn’t do it on every base, depending on how much putty was spread around.
Here is an example of a base that has been painted and slightly weathered. The next steps are to paint the base edges and to add weathering powder once the mini is attached. When attaching the mini I do a shallow pin past the plastic of the base. This gives just enough strength to keep the two parts together. I don’t trust the paint to be a good surface to attach the mini to alone.
Here is a finished base with the mini attached.
Here are all the bases for the unit. These took a few hours to do including painting and set time.

 

I like making bases this way, especially if I am working on some other sculpting.  This gives me a way to use spare putty that would otherwise set up and go to waste.  Its also relaxing to work on these as the level of detail needed for them is not very fine.  Of course you could simply purchase some resin bases from one of the many manufactures out there.  If you want your own design or style, this is a great way to go about it.  Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section!

Project Update

Bolt Action – I have plans for a panzerpioneer platoon for Bolt Action and have scored some armored infantry & a Panzer IVh model!  I am doing some light conversions on these to give some of the panzergrenadiers camouflage smocks and helmet covers.  The Warlord Games German halftracks are fantastic models!

Warriors of Chaos – I am revising several of my Warrior units to add some large model unit fillers to bulk out these units.  I also am aiming to getting my blood Demonprince finally painted!!

11th Hussars for Flames of War – The 14 odd Humbar and Daimler armored cars for my British in the Desert army are mostly assembled.  These should be a blast to play.  I need to finalize my 1500 point list and get some games in while I am painting this.

PAVN for Flames of War ‘Nam – I’ve been painting a bit of PAVN armor which has been fun.  What I really need to do at some point is to get my support teams for the infantry locked down.  I have some materials for some Vietnam Terrain as well which  needs to be built.

Slannesh Chaos Space Marines – I got these guys up to a table basic paint scheme for Adepticon, but they are taking a back burner until I get some of these other items settled.  They are off to a great start however so I can’t wait to continue on them.

Warriors of Chaos: Return of the Prince & Chariots

There is a new Warriors of Chaos book out for Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  They have dragged me back in!  The good news is that this has motivated me to get back into some of the half-baked models that I created for previous incarnations of my WoC army.  Several of the previous conversions and sculpts that I created are going to get some attention, some new details, and finally… painted!  The two first items in the hopper will be the winged Tzeentch (sometimes Slannesh) Demonprince.  I love this model.  It’s one of my favorite creations and now with the new book actually has a great deal of utility in the game.  The flying Tzeentch DP was my MVP in the one game that I have played in the new army book.

One new item added to the book is the Gorebeast Chariot.  I have the perfect model for this unit!  When I initially got into doing WoC I determined that having chariots pulled by evil looking monsters would be fantastic, so I made this guy;

Apparently GW agreed with me and gave the warriors a new type of chariot.  This guy is going to get a bit of an overhaul.  New base, new riders (who don’t look like they are about to fall off the chariot) are going to happen.  I will probably add some more armor here and there to give the chariot some more meat.

It has been very satisfying to get back into the WoC, I am not going to lie.  It is also good to get back into this army and try to get it completed after many years!

New Tutorial: Sculpting Bird Wings

This tutorial was actually an experiment. It was initially published on Twitter in a series of tweets. It was a struggle to fit the text detail into a tweet after the image was attached, but I believe that the descriptions were effective.

Check out my tutorial on how to sculpt bird wings with greenstuff putty! Click Here!