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.

Operation Sting 2015

OperationStingLogo

October has a lot going for it. The weather changes, apples happen, halloween, my birthday, and since last year a fantastic Bolt Action event called Operation Sting occurs! October has always been my favorite month, and this tournament simply piles more good on the good.

Have you heard the good news?

Operation Sting was truly fantastic this year. I did much better, had more fun, and really came to find an iteration of the Soviet Army which I very much enjoy playing. I’d like to share some pictures of the event as well as some stories and insights about my latest Soviet build.

The army which accompanied me to Operation Sting is based on the lead recon elements during the summer 44 offensives of Operation Bagration on the Eastern Front. The list is taken from the bog-standard Soviet selector from Armies of the Soviet Union and is built around a core of 3 Scout units, small panzerfaust tank hunting teams, and some Rota-Razvedki cruising around in their lend-lease White Scout car. This is the first Soviet Build I’ve taken to the field which didn’t include a tank, and I didn’t miss it a lot. I love tank duels in Bolt Action, but it really doesn’t fit the elite, raiding vibe of the list. That being said I did have some fairly conventional Red Army units in the list to bolster the veteran units. Here is a brief summary of what I took to the event…

  • Vet Junior Lt with a SMG friend
  • 3 Scout units, 7 strong with SMGs
  • 3 AT teams with SMGs and a single Panzerfaust
  • Artillery Forward Observer
  • Sniper
  • Tank Riders (representing Razvedki)
  • White Scout Car, Recce enabled
  • Inexperienced Rifle Squad
  • 45mm M-42 AT gun

The list was fun to play. I discovered that using a smoke bombardment to cover the advance of the scouts was pretty effective. The schtick of this army is that 8 of the 13 units can use forward deployment. This wasn’t some kind of overly leveraged special rule in my experience, but it did allow me to dictate where the fighting was going to happen and to have units ready to rock early in the game as opposed to being in reserve. I think that this could be a very powerful advantage once I learn how to use it. In several of my games I faced close-quarter badasses which outclassed my small vet units, SMGs or not. Ghurkas, large, tough fighting Senegalese units, and Armored Soviet Tank riders were tough to cope with and demanded more finesse to engage.

In the end I was pleased with my performance winning 2 games, drawing a game, and losing 2 – each one of these games was very fun, against great guys, and had their own challenges.

Some shots from the event…

Advance
Inexperienced infantry advance across the sub pen to cover the flak of the attacking scout units.
Attack
Game 4. Scouts advance through a smoke cloud (ring of white dice) to capture an objective covered by several SS Machine guns and units! Bloody and very historically accurate feeling game!
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BT7 Tank
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John Stentz’ objective for his British army which I faced round 1.
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Commissar from an inspirational Soviet army
DesertTable
Jeremy Williams fantastic desert airfield board! I played on this several times now and its always fun! A good mix of open space and cover.
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John Stentz’ British army. The two Ghurka units were a pain and a distraction while his arty and flame thrower managed to pin and punish my units. Great game and I want a rematch!!!
JohnsTable
This is the John Humphrey’s table that I helped a bit with and have played about half my Bolt Action games on!
MySub
“It is my submarine” The scouts supported by a tank-hunter team capture the sub which gave me some bonus points thanks to Operation Sting’s hidden bonus objective format.
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(I think) Jeremy Olsen’s Italian Paratroopers. I was stoked that he made it to the event! Visit his site… http://empireofghosts.blogspot.com/
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Charlie’s British army which I faced in game 5. Winning game 5 provided me some revenge after Charlie stomping me at Operation Sting last year!
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Soviet scouts ready to move to the objective to locate the intel… across the road is a line of Waffen SS just waiting to pour fire into my brave soldiers!
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Scout unit advances to objectives in the sub pen
SmilesAndSlaughter
John Stentz’ battle-smile.
SniperOnAmbush
Soviet sniper covering the road to keep the Germans honest. This was a bad play as they stayed shut up in their buildings when I should have been putting pins on them and robbing them of Assault Rifle troops. Live and learn.
SubPen
Shot of the excellent and very fun Sub pen board. I would like to get more games in on this.
Sweet Objective
Check out this amazing Objective marker! This Soviet army is one of my very favorites and has set the bar with what I hope to achieve with my own army eventually.

The TO approached me about making a show figure for Operation Sting as well. I was very excited to have this opportunity to get Horrorshow Miniatures involved in such a cool event! We decided to do something of a multi purpose Forward Observer character that people could easily use in their armies. I took some creative liberties with the character’s gear to keep him from being too clearly from a certain nation. A set of independent heads gives the modeler some options in this regard. This guy was very fun to sculpt and I really hope to see some of these models which were provided to the Operation Sting attendees painted and on the boards at Adepticon next year!!

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Forward Observer Green Componants
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British FO
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German FO

Eldar Autarch Work in Progress

I’ve been working on a new model for my Eldar collection. Eldar Autarch!

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She’s kitted out with a Banshee mask, power weapon (maybe Shard of Anaris), Fusion pistol, Hawk wings, and Faolchu’s wing. She has extreme mobility and can perform a couple different jobs on the field.

Her natural Autarch ability of governing reserves is handy for the Falcon Cloudstrike, but what she really adds to the army is mobile support for other units. She can combo charge with another unit to shut down overwatch. Her fusion pistol makes her a threat against armor and ICs. She could work as a hunter in the opponent’s backfield as well stalking weaker support units and chaff. She can practically get anywhere on the table in a turn or two with either her epic run move or deep-strike from ongoing reserves. Her threat range is massive thanks to the Swooping Hawk Jump Pack.

autarch1

She is a bit fragile, so that movement may be something used defensively as much as anything else.

Next step is to finish up the sculpting.  There are some rough areas on her legs which need to be cleaned up and some details which need to be refined. After that painting time.

Her CCW arm is magnetized so I can swap it with something else.  I am not certain that I am comfortable with her using a power halberd or some-such, so I may make a sword arm as well. The Shard of Anaris is fantastic for character hunting so I think that is something worth considering for her.  Its a pricey bit of wargear, so it may only appear in certain games.

I’m looking forward to getting this character onto the board.

Norman Warlord

Recently I dug out some Norman knight models that I had been using for Hail Caesar. The plan is to use them for SAGA. One of the models was a Norman leader made by Crusader models. The character’s horse had its weight on a single leg which was starting to bend. It was only a matter of time before the model collapsed entirely or broke so I decided to re-sculpt the leg.

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One thing lead to another and I ended up turning the model into a proper conversion. I’ve been doing lots of sculpting for Wreck-Age, and working on this guy has been a good way to use up excess putty, and to bide time while my freelance work sets up fully.

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Bolt Action Panzerpioneers

Last week I picked up the excellent Warlord games Pioneer kit based on the new plastic Blitzkreig kit.  These are a vast improvement over the previous plastic set. The metal parts that allow you to make interesting pioneer models as well are excellent.  These include more equipment on their backpacks, some new heads, and additional and more characterful weapon options. These guys are the latest addition to my force for the Adepticon team tournament which I am participating in with John at Plastic Legions.

I wanted to update the look of some of these guys to give the unit a bit more of a mid-war period look, with camo smocks, and helmet covers.  Three of the models which I modified are shown here to give you an idea what I have been up to.

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I don’t know too much about the ‘pole explosives’ which some pioneers used blow up hard to reach places.  Some photo reference shows that it is essentially a box on a stick. I added some wiring to give an impression how a pioneer may set the explosive off after put into position.  This is largely my design, I’ve not found any examples of these sorts of triggers on these things, but I get the impression that they are sort of ad-hoc, so they may come in all shapes and configurations.

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engineer_smg_1

This guy may be a NCO, or simply a trooper with an SMG. He has the camo smock that the Panzergrenadier units were occasionally given, especially as the war went on.

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engineer_flamethrower_1

Last but certainly not least is the flamethrower!  I also took some liberties with the design of this figure’s modifications as well.  Its only somewhat modeled after the flamethrower which comes with the pioneer kit.  I made some changes which suited me when modeling this. Now I can run two units with flamethrowers which should be pretty sweet in upcoming games!

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!

Fixing the High Elf Spearman

*While in the process of trying to get some pics of some of my new Chaos creations, I decided to make live a draft of a post that I have been working on for a while.

I commonly hear people complain about the plastic High Elf Spearman kit. When you consider the bizarre proportions of the models that the kit makes, you can’t really blame folks.

I actually really like this kit. It needs a ton of loving before the models will look good, no doubt. The criticism that the proportions are way off is dead on, and is pretty much to blame for the cartoon look of the HE spearmen. If you address the proportions some, the models actually start to look pretty good. Here is my prototype for a High Elf Spearman.

High Elf Spearman Work In Progress

I did 3 distinct things to this model to get it to look better. The first thing to do was to add about 1-2 mm of waist length under the torso component. This was accomplished with a simple shaped wad of fresh greenstuff. If made much longer, I would need to pin the torso to the leg piece as well. The next step was to position the arms in a more natural, and interesting way. For some reason the GW stock kit makes the elf look like he is floating in an inner-tube in the water. The last thing was to add about 2 mm of length to the space between the foot and the bottom of their skirts. This helps the legs not look too short after the waist is adjusted. After this the proportions are better, not perfect, but better.

Obviously, I also added a lot of details to this model with putty. This captures the look I want for a High Elf soldier far better than the rather bland details the existing kit has. This is a matter of personal taste, not really a criticism of the GW kit. I also wanted their spears to be longer so I replaced the shaft of the plastic one with 1/16th” aluminum tubing.  Eventually the shield will receive a press mold applique.

As I said, I really do like this kit. I think it has a lot of flexibility in the ways that the models can be posed thanks to the way that most of the major body parts are their own piece. Some of the newer kits seem to be designed to lock into a particular position, and would be more difficult to vary their poses.  Oh, and I bet you are wondering what happened to his left foot.  He lost it in a de-basing accident.  It will give me an excuse to learn to sculpt elf kicks!