Hobby Flashback – Looted Imperial Knight

This is one of the more fun projects I have done, a looted Imperial Knight!

ImperialKnightBox

This project started out as an idea for some heavy hitting power for my Ork army.  I didn’t really like playing Orks since they did away with clans, but I was already deeply invested.  My solution was to play my Orks as Astra Militarum, or as I call them Blood Axe Boyz.  This solves two problems – it makes my Orks enjoyable to play again, and also gets rid of the alliance issues since both are now technically Imperium units.

Eventually I would like to find a way to ally my Blood Axes and my Orks into something fun to play in a casual setting.

For this project I used the Imperial Knight kit, a faceplate from a Deff Dread, trukk tires, and a Gorkanaut Klaw from Games Workshop. I also used a Field Cannon, Goblin Artillery Crew, and a Goliath Mine Operator from Kromlech.  I kept the design simple and clean (for orks) since historically, the Blood Axes maintain their gear and openly trade with the Imperium.

I started this by assembling the legs, torso, and arms, but not gluing the three sections together.  The pegs on the dred faceplate matched up to the eyes on the knight head perfectly, taking out any guesswork as to whether or not it was glued in the ideal spot. One of the jaw pieces in the dred kit also made an awesome spiky shroud.  I used half of an ork trukk tire on each side of the knee joint and to replace the shin plate that comes with the model.

All of the assembled bits were then given a primer/base coat of Krylon Olive Drab Camouflage paint.

Imperial Knight step 1

I decided that the rapid fire battle cannon would be a lot more orky than the thermal cannon (boom > whoosh).  I wanted a more orky gun shield on it, but then I noticed that the shield that comes with the kit is also what couples the barrel to the mount.  Undeterred, I broke out my hobby knife and tapered the bottom of the barrel so that it would fit directly into the mount.

knight3

knight5

The field cannon gun and shield ended up fitting almost perfectly on top of the main gun, its rear nestled neatly between the hydraulic pistons which helped to hold it in place.  It almost looked like it was meant to be there!

Next, I needed to come up with a suitable beefy left arm that would complement the size of the right.  The reaper chainsword was a little too wimpy for my guy, so I tried a few different things to make it look more ferocious.  I wasn’t happy with any of the results, so I looked around for something that would be a suitable replacement.  The Games Workshop Gorkanaut kit had just what I was looking for – a big ol’ klaw.  I ordered the part only on eBay, and once it arrived, I was back in business!  I did a straight cut across the chainsword to mount the klaw on, and it was a perfect join!

knight4

I also swapped out the tilting shield for a radiator from an ork trukk.  While looking for stuff on Kromlech’s site, I stumbled across the Goliath Mine Operator.  This took me back to the old days where orks used a crude remote control to operate mobs of tinboyz.  I thought the idea of an ork operating a knight with a remote control pretty amusing, so on he went!

knight6

All that I have left on this project is to finish the base, and I’ll have a pretty cool model to support my army!

Adepticon Flashback: Grot Infantry Platoon

This was another fun project that was full of character!  My Grot Infantry Platoon was made up of products from Kromlech, Secret Weapon, and Games Workshop.  For the troopers I used the Soviet Goblin Attak Mob.  These guys are awesome, they have a lot of character in their faces, the uniforms are totally cool, and the castings were great!

infantry squad wip
Infantry Squad
Infantry Command Squad
Command Squad

I decided to forego the use of special weapons in this squad as it was a static gunline and the bodies were just protection for the lascannons.  In retrospect, flamers may have been a good option for receiving charges and cheap.  I ran three squads of them which was 26 infantry and 4 heavy weapons.

As has been standard with most of my army, I started out with the primer/base coat of Krylon OD Green Camouflage paint and let cure for 24 hours.  I then painted all leather and other brown parts, buttons with tin bitz, and applied a sepia wash.  Next I painted the skin with Goblin Green and washed with Coelia Greenshade, and then highlighted with the base color once the ink was dry.  Lastly, the red and yellow was painted along with the black with metallic chipping.

Unfortunately, the mob came with slottabases, so before I flocked them, I covered the slots with masking tape before giving them a coat of watered down PVA glue and a dunk in the sand bucket.

based platoon
It’s all about that base.

Next, I had to figure out how to do my heavy weapon teams – I wanted to do something fun and keep the army in character.  I could have just put down heavy weapons and grots on a base, but I wanted something more interesting.  In a very old Blood Axe list, one could take Ogryn Mercenaries – light bulb lit up!  I bought an Ogryn box set and started trying to figure out how to attach the heavy weapon of my choice to them.

The ripper gun makes a great base for mounting a heavy weapon, all I had to do was cut off the barrel, and cut along a natural line down the weapon.  I next drilled a hole on the underside of the remainder of the upper receiver and glued in a magnet.  The sentinel lascannon almost fit against this perfectly, so I magnetized it as well.

Infantry heavy weapon
Lascannon mounted to ripper gun – note where the join occurs.

This setup allows me to swap it out for other weapons if I want. The HWT autocannon also fits in this setup really well if I invert it.

I was pretty happy with the end result of this conversion!

Heavy Weapon

Heavy Weapon

Heavy Weapon

After a playtest, I learned that my squads didn’t have much to hit back with once they were in assault. To fix this, I added power axes to my sergeants. This gave me a little extra hitting power since they each have two attacks in assault and two close combat weapons. This gave me a total of 9 power attacks, which can inflict some hurt!

Sergeant power axes

Overall, this was a pretty fun unit to paint and convert. In the future I may add more squads and a conscript mob.

Finished Platoon

Adepticon flashback: Vendetta Gunship

I chose the Vendetta Gunship for its tankbusting abilities, and because it’s just a cool model.  Unfortunately, the only way to get the parts to convert it is from Forge World which also comes with a minimum order of £250 to get free shipping.  So off to look at third party vendors to see what I can find!

I ended up getting the lascannons for under the wings from puppetswar, and a pair of sentinel cannons from eBay for the nose, which came to less than the Forge World kit, even with shipping.

As with most of my models in this army, I started out with a coat of the Krylon Olive Drab Camouflage paint which claims that it has better adhesion with its “Fusion Technology”.  I have found that this stuff really does stick well to plastic, especially if you give it 24 hours to cure.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures prior to slapping some paint on, so here is the earliest one I have:

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Once the base coat was primed, I gave it a coat of sepia ink which gave it a suitable grimy and stained look.  I did the same with metal pieces to make them look worn.  Once the ink dried I did edge highlighting with Castellan Green to make it pop a little more.

Vendetta Gunship
I used a drill to make some battle damage dents. These were then painted with Leadbelcher and washed with Nuln Oil. Kill markings were also added.

Next was the patterns on the wing and tail.  I use a pencil and draw on my model so I have a guide. Any mistakes I make in this process can be erased and drawn again.  It’s important that you make sure that your paint is completely dry before drawing on it! If you draw too soon, you will end up peeling paint off with your pencil or your eraser.  I would let your drawing surface cure for at least 12 hours before writing on it (I usually wait 24)!

Vendetta progress
The best way for painting this white is multiple thin coats with plenty of drying time between them.

 

vendetta2
Right wing pattern drawn on, also shown is some of the battle damage.

While I waited for layers of paint to dry, I would paint rivets – I used Tin Bitz as a nice complimentary color.  I only painted the rivets on the parts I wasn’t going to touch that day – again, letting the paint cure is key to prevent it from rubbing off.  I learned this the hard way when I handled it too soon and wondered what happened to all of the rivets I picked out.

Once my patterns were satisfactory, I started painting them in, using the guides I had drawn.  I know you are probably sick of hearing it, but thin layers of paint is the key to success with these patterns!  You may have to do this several times to get coverage, but I promise you will be more satisfied with the result!

Vendetta Progress
This is the first few passes at the checker patterns, they aren’t perfect, but I touch them up once I am done painting black
Vendetta Progress
Once the black was completely dry, I touched up the patterns. I then weathered the patterns slightly with streaks of sepia ink. I did the same technique for the sawtooth pattern on the tail. Aside from the base, this model is complete.

While the patterns dried I edge weathered the lascannons by using metal paint to give the appearance of chipped off black.

The Vendetta was a pretty fun model to paint. I still have two vulture gunships to add to my air support, and I look forward to painting them for Adepticon 2017!

Adepticon flashback: Rough Riders

My last progress post was about my Blood Axe Rough Riders unit.  This was a unit for bonus points in the friendly tourney; it’s a pity that they aren’t as good on the table as they look.  My initial design had a spear tip, but I decided to model it to bring it in line with the description in the codex.  The rough riders are equipped with explosive lances which detonate when the unit initially strikes.  I took some brass tubing and cut it to length, then took an ork stikkbomb and wrapped it in wire against the tubing.  I then added a little bit of glue to make sure it stayed in place.

lance construction

I painted the pieces prior to assembly – this definitely made it easier.  On the downside, it is way more time consuming.  I feel like the amount of customizing I did on this unit warranted it though, as I doubt there is another unit like it.  Ironically, the unit I put the most time and money into was probably the least effective in my army.  “Rule of cool”, right?

painting pieces
Painting in parts definitely helped pick out details.

 

The models ended up being a bit top heavy, so I had to flatten some lead sinkers and glue them to the underside of the bases to keep them from tipping.  The grenades on the end of the lances were lead, which made them front heavy.  In retrospect, I probably would have looked for more stable bases, but I made do with what I had!

I bought an airbrush and compressor and did a simple enhancement to the bellies to make them look more lizard like – this was super easy and gave them a little more color.

airbrushing the belly

Here is the end result of this unit:

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Overall, I am extremely happy with how this unit turned out.  I love having access to so many after market bits for making my army unique!  The mounts from Blight Wheel were ace, and Kromlech always delivers with its awesome ork bits!  Though this unit didn’t perform very well, it got lots of compliments and is full of character!

 

Time Flies….

Wow, it’s been almost a year since I added anything to this blog.  Well, let’s do the condensed version for the year…

I ended up finishing my Blood Axe army a few days before Adepticon and played in the 40K friendly.  Unfortunately, my army was way too friendly and ended up getting stomped on – A LOT.  🙂

Adepticon game photo
The Rough Riders attempt a suicidal charge!

I did manage to tie one game and got several compliments on how my army looked.  Next year I will have something a little more competitive but not over the top!

Also, the Michigan GT is coming up in 6 weeks, if you are in the Great Lakes region or if you don’t mind traveling, be sure to sign up for one of our many events!

Over the next few days I will post how my army progressed until Adepticon and some of the other projects I have been working on over the last 10 months.  These projects include a 30K Raven Guard army, and some Bolt Action stuff.  I am also in the process of working on some gaming aids, and will share more as I get closer to having them ready to test.

 

Playing catch-up

Once again, months have gone by since my last post, but it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy!  The past few months have been spent preparing for the Michigan GT, which was a resounding success – we doubled our attendance this year and gave away a ton of cool stuff as prizes!

My 1500 Blood Axe ork project is also coming along, I managed to get a lot of stuff done.

I finished a prototype model for my rough riders, which I am pretty happy with:Blood Axe Rough Rider

It’s not in the photo, but I added a stikkbomb to the end of the lance to  reflect the explosive charge of the hunting lance.  I’m now working on putting the rest of the models together so I can get them painted up.

More Rough Riders

My looted knight is also coming along quite well – I have the pilot mounted along with a grot crewman.

My two squads of veterans only need the bases done:

Veteran Squad One

The other squad can be seen in the photo with the cavalry…

I only have the tracks and dozer blades left on their transports to finish as well…

Tanks

At the rate I am going, I might be able to get finished early!

Building the Perfect Beast

In part one,  I went over my motives for building my unit of rough riders, where I found parts, etc.  Now that I have everything to do a prototype model, I’m going to put the parts together and see how it looks.

As I figured, the Blight Wheel casts were pretty simple to clean, mostly just cutting down the spot where the sprue attached.  I used Kromlech Orc “Afrika Korps” Heads and ork torsos that I ordered from eBay.  Everything seemed to go together really well.

First stage assembly
First stage assembly

I couldn’t wait for my 40mm bases to come in, so I stole one from a meganob so I could see how well it would stand.

Model affixed to base.
Model affixed to base.

I then got some 3/32 brass tubing and cut a 3″ section off to make a lance pole.  I then drilled through the choppa hand to accommodate the rod.  I’m still debating whether or not I want to attach a stikkbomb to the lance.

IMG_1437[1]IMG_1438[1]Once I get that detail sorted out, I’ll go ahead and paint a test model!

 

Blight Wheel Miniatures Mutant Steed – Part 1

I plan on playing in the WH40K friendly at Adepticon next year, so I looked at the rules from last year and discovered you could get bonus points for including a full strength unit of a unit that isn’t used much.  The choices for guard were a full unit of ogryns or rough riders.  Ogryns would have been the easier route as far as models go – however 3 boxes of them would have been nearly $150, and eat up 400 points of my 1500 army list.  That’s a big investment both financially and points for a sub-par unit.  So my next option was rough riders, 10 rough riders with two melta guns weighed in at 130 points – this seemed to me like a no-brainer, they were faster than ogryns, better armed, and might actually make back their points if I was lucky.

Now the next problem – I run my IG as Blood Axe Orks, so I had to figure out how to model this unit.  I looked at GW’s Warhammer Fantasy orc boar riders, but these just didn’t feel right – Blood Axes wear modern military garb; chainmail and sabatons were just not going to cut it with the way my army was themed.  Bikes are bikes and not cavalry, so I tossed out that idea as well.  So to Google I went.

I found some cool stuff for a human IG army, the monowheel from Tobsen77 would be awesome for Rough Rider for humans, or even squats.  Unfortunately, these things weren’t beefy enough for Orks – then I found an image from a site called Blight Wheel Miniatures that looked like a giant squig!  Much to my disappointment, there were only 3 riderless ones in stock, so I emailed the site owner, and he quickly responded and enabled me to buy the 10 models I needed.   I paid for my minis and prepared myself for the wait (the vendor is based in France, and I’m in the US).  Considering the distance, the package came fairly quickly – it was delivered in a sturdy box with plenty of tape.  Inside, the package was lined with plenty of bubble wrap, and the base model components and special components were in individual bags.packages of miniatures

The scuplts were awesome, very clean with hardly any flash or mold lines – I’ll be able to get right to the fun stuff – assembling my squad!

imageimageAt 12 Euros apiece, they may seem a bit expensive, but it includes postage, and you get a lot of bits with them.  The detail on these minis is also top-notch! Plus, as I mentioned before, there is minimal work involved to clean these up.  I also like that the legs are permanently attached to the beast.  I’ll be using the standard 40K ork bodies and arms with heads from Kromlech for my rough riders.

Next, building the perfect beast!

Mail Call!

My minis from Blight Wheel miniatures arrived in the mail today! I took one out to look at it, and they look like very high quality figures – I didn’t see any mold lines to file off, and the casts were very clean! I will write an unboxing article when I have time!

Rough Riders

The guys at Blight Wheel got back with me right away to let me know that they would get me the models I need.  They have a lot of cool stuff, be sure to check them out.

Now I need to figure out how I want to theme this unit.  I have a few to pick from, so I am going to list them here:

Desert:

Russian:

Pith Helmets

Boonie Hats:

or Kromlech’s Russian hats:

Any suggestions?