Posted by: tribalbob | March 30, 2010

Even in death… I still surf.

I present to you, the second most badass Blood Raven Captain (behind good ol’ Gabe): Davian Thule:

This model was a lot of fun to paint; as you can no doubt tell, I’ve left the OSL off (for now).  My feeling is that I could take him to Astro as is, but I still have a metric ton of other minis to get painting.  I originally had a simple blood-red highlight on him, but decided it was a little too subtle; so I mixed up some blood red with white.  The result?  Well, pink; but honestly I think it looks just fine; I used it on specific edges that would receive lighting anyway.  Finished the base (hard to see in this lighting, but it’s muddy) and he’s good to go.

The next to-paint is my drop pod and the 10 tactical marines that are sitting around half-finished.  Additionally, I need to re-do all the shoulder pads on my marines to incorporate the new technique as seen on thule’s bone white sections because I think it looks just so much nicer.

Posted by: tribalbob | March 20, 2010

Venerable Dreadnought Davian Thule WIP

Ok, I have some pictures of my Dreadnought as he is thus far… he’s not 100% base coated yet, but he’s almost there – I just have the sarcophagus, the engine and the melta gun to do.  Additionally, his power fist is the result of my very first attempt at OSL painting (Object Source Lighting) and while it came out… not quite how I wanted, it did teach me alot, so I plan to go back and re-paint the lighting effects.

For those that don’t know, OSL is the technique used when one wants to create a light source on a model without actually putting a light source IN the model.  Below is an excellent example of OSL:

Pretty cool, eh?  As you can see – the two flamethrowers on the Seraphim are casting a glow that falls on the killa kan (or is that a deff dread? I can never tell)  The lighting is most intense at the point of impact; right on the kill kan’s ‘face’.  It then gradually tapers off the further away it goes (note the ground has a very soft glow).  Additionally, the model itself casts very realistic shadows from this light source – there is no glow BEHIND the kan as the light is on the front.

When I saw this, and I looked at my Astro list which pretty much has every sergeant with a power fist, I figured adapting this technique would be a really cool way to add a little bit of ‘oomphf’ to my minis.  Once I get it down pat, I also plan to use the same thing on heavy and assault weapons (power core on plasma guns/cannons, perhaps the ‘melta’ containers, etc).  So my first pass came up with this:

I want to go on record as saying I’m VERY happy how the fist itself turned out – I started with a base coat of Vallejo Andrea Blue and then slowly worked my way up to highlights of Vallejo Sky Blue.

I just want to mention that I’m falling in love with Vallejo paints – they’re so much thinner compared to GW, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I had almost 30 GW pots that were still good, I’d replace them all with Vallejo.

Anyway, the fist itself turned out great; I plan to use the same technique on my other power weapons.  The OSL… well, not so much.  The washes I made ended up being more a splotchy mess than a smooth gradient, that was the first thing.  The second is that my shading and directions are way off; there’s glow where there should not be any (past the knuckles, for example.)  Anyway, as I said; I think the first attempt was important to learn how it all worked; once the dread is fully painted, shaded and highlighted, I plan to paint over the armour with another coat of red and try again.

On the flip side; the gun shoulder mount came out VERY nicely, I was VERY happy with it.

It’s a little dark here – but as much as I prefer Vallejo paints, I really DO love the GW washes.  The shoulder came out very parchment-y with a nice, gradual blend from dark to the bleached bone.  The letters stand out great and I was pleased with the wreathe.

The left side is unfinished, of course.  As you may have noticed, my purity seals are green and the lights that are on the dread itself are green.  The Blood Ravens are really red.  Really, REALLY red… with some white, but mostly red.  It’s really ugly imo, but then I feel the same way about the Ultramarines (blue), Imperial Fists (yellow), or the White Scars (white); or really, just about any chapter that has a single, overpowering colour to it.  The Salamanders I actually like, I’m not sure why – but my favourite colour scheme of all has to be the Space Wolves.  I think the grey-blue with yellow shoulder pads combined with the brown wolf pelts really make the models nice to look at… Blood Ravens, not so much.

Therefore, I’ve taken to adding some contrast colours when I possibly can – and green is one of the best contrasting colours to red, therefore I’ve been working it in where I possibly can and I think it’s definitely helping.  Luckily, being a Venerable Dread – Thule has some gold on his hull too, which helps a bit.

My original plan of having him done by Monday isn’t going to happen; I was really busy today and will be tomorrow – but he should be done by mid-week at the latest; at which point I’ll start in on the drop pod.

I looked at the calendar; it’s March 20th… meaning it’s almost April… which means I have 4 months until Astro.  I still have 5 scouts to pain, a commander, another dreadnought, another 20 marines… then I want to touch-up my 10 current marines and two razorbacks.  Going to be very busy.

Posted by: tribalbob | March 8, 2010

Dreadnought Delivery Device of Death! ™

It’s mine now, you can’t even think about that name without paying me a royalty.

So I’m going to try to get some of my previous projects up on here, along with some how-to’s, but in the meantime you’ll have to settle for current work.

Tonight, I finished off two conversions; one easy and one slightly not-so-easy.  I’ll start with the easy one.

You know how you a nice, thin tray of foam that carries most of your medium-sized models?  Say, your terminators fit perfectly in there; and in the interest of wanting to save space, you figure there’s -just- enough room to fit your dreadnought into a corner.  But, oh no! The foam is tall enough for a 30mm base, but the dread’s massive 60mm base is too bloody tall!

Well, you should have thought ahead and did what I did.

He's all left-feet.

Wait for it…

See where I’m going with this?

RARRR! With this very simple application of the modder’s best friend, rare earth magenets, my dread can now detach from his… feet for easy transit and storage.  Look how happy he is! Look how happy his base is!  Look how happy we are for not having to put an extra foam tray in our case for ONE model.

“But Ryan,” you ask, “Why did you not magnetize his FEET to the base?  That’s a stupid question – is it not obvious? I want to incorporate the feet into the base’s scenic design (forthcoming).  This way, I can have mud or trees or whatever over one of his feet and it won’t look like he’s just following the footprints of the dread in-front of him.

So, that was the easy one – now onto the only slightly harder one; the drop pod.


Can you see the conversion?  It’s subtle.

Issue: My upcoming Astronomi-con list is set to contain a Venerable Dreadnought loaded into a Lucius Pattern Drop pod so he can come into play, shoot some stuff – and then assault it if it’s not dead yet.

Problem: Forge-world drop pods are a bloody rip-off for an overly fragile block of resin

Solution: Make my own dread drop pod

Second Problem: I want to be able to use it as a standard drop pod if I so chose

Second Solution: Magnets! (Sort of the universal solution to most modding problems)

So yes, I suppose I could have just brought a standard plastic drop pod to ‘count as’ my dread’s drop pod and no-one would have cared.  However, considering my list is going to be ‘fluffy’ containing the Dawn of War II heroes, I figured that Davian Thule doesn’t just make do with ‘count as’.  You think the guy bringing Abbadon isn’t going to have some blinged-out landraider, or the guy taking Kharn the Betrayer won’t show up with a throne of skulls for him to sit on?

I wanted a drop pod that could double as a standard drop pod or a dreadnought drop pod – the solution was easy; having the central console and harnesses be detachable.  Unfortunately, there were some issues with that.  First off, you couldn’t get the damn piece through the small doors – secondly, how would a dreadnought walk through those doors?  I guess he could sort of side-step, but having Thule enter battle screaming “I will purge the aliens from this world.”; only to then have him turn sideways and start scooting through a doorway like that guy getting up in the middle of the movie to get another box of milk duds – it just didn’t scream ‘badass’.

Thus, I had to take some drastic measures.

I glued three of the five fins on.  The last two are magnetized on.

My plan is that the drop pod will come in, fully in-tact and hit the ground – dead on target (because my scatter rolls will be perfect).  The doors will then clammer open; while two of the five fins will blow RIGHT OFF and land a few feet away to either side.  Thule screams “I will purge the, yadda yadda yadda”; comes out, blows up a leman russ/kills a demon prince/trips up a soulgrinder, I win the match; piece of cake.  Alternatively, I’m thinking about adding an extension onto the doors so that I would leave the fins off and the pod would come in with no gaps.  I haven’t decided yet, but I’m liking the current idea just for the sheer coolness of pulling a few parts off my model and plunking them on the table.

The last little bit of modifications I needed to do was trim the harnasses; too hard to describe, but I’ll document them when I do another pod.  The final step was to magnetize the storm bolter/missile launcher – but that’ll have to wait until I get some more magnets of proper size.  For now, this puppy’s ready to be primed up.

Next up; I have to return to my dread to do a few more things.   First off, I need to magnetize the storm bolter and heavy flamer – should be a piece of cake.  The problem is he’s going to have a multi-melta for taking out armour early in the game; unfortunately, the only plastic dreadnought multi-melta arm is in the Assault on Black Reach set; which I do not own.  I could order a forge world resin model, but let’s be honest – I’m cheap and impatient.  What I DO have is a leman russ multi-melta weapon for a side sponson, hmm…

Have to wait until the next blog post to see what ? equals.  Oooo the suspense!

Posted by: tribalbob | March 8, 2010


Pfft, blogs.

“People who blog are full of themselves – they post stories on some page in some corner of the internet and expect their opinion to be oh-so-important that people will actually give a damn and read it like they’re some sort of messiah.”

What a small-minded quote made by a small-minded person.

“People who blog are full of themselves – they post stories on some page in some corner of the internet and expect their opinion to be oh-so-important that people will actually give a damn and read it like they’re some sort of messiah.” – Ryan

Right… Well, sure that’s how I felt a few years ago, but that was before I decided I started modding Warhammer minis.  Once I started playing with magnets and other neat little ways to add some uniqueness to my armies, I started thinking ‘Hey, I bet people on that interwebs thing might find this useful’.  Truth be told, the major reason I add magnets and modular-ize my army units is to keep Games Workshop’s grubby mitts off as much of my money as I can ensure I can play my armies WYSIWYG.  What started out as a means to allow my Rhino to become a Razorback… or a Predator… or a Whirlwind soon escalated into ‘If I can find a magnet small enough; I could totally let my squad sergeants swap up between a chainsword and a powerfist!’.  It has since turned into this ridiculous obsession in which each time I get a new kit, I sit down and spend a good hour trying to figure out how I can NOT lock myself into a particular load-out.

So I figured you’re probably here because you have nothing better to do, or you’d like to get some tips and tricks on how to ensure your assault marine can change up a chainsword and bolt pistol for a flamer; or how one can turn an unassuming plastic Drop Pod into a Dreadnought Delivery Device of Death! (Oh, I liked that one – I think I’ll use it for my next post title.)

Well, read on and maybe you can learn a thing or two.  Or maybe you won’t… tough, I’m not here to entertain you.