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Friday, 23 September 2016
185 - WIP Hydra Conversion: Part 1

185 - WIP Hydra Conversion: Part 1

Greetings readers. Once again I jump from project to project like a flea looking for a better meal. Well the new project involves me doing some more creation and conversion which I haven't gone near since following instructions to create my set back Chimera's Calyx and Crepitus.

The project is something I've hinted at before, first when I was trying to find a different Hydra option and then again when I bought a Pegasus AA kit from Puppets War to create the alternative. My plan was to take a Chimera kit and then build a platform/compartment on the back for the quad autocannon turret to sit on.

First thing was to build up the Chimera chassis but I didn't add the top piece or the rear floor part.

I knew that I didn't want the any overhang off the back of the chassis. So with the second part of the floor resting in place, I made a rough mark where I wanted the back to end, just behind the round detail.

I grabbed the saw and cut the section apart before sanding the edge smooth. I didn't glue it in place right away though. A quick mock up of the vertical back plate showed I'd have to get rid of some of the guide pieces - the image above shows where I removed one. Once I'd tidied this removal up, the floor was glued in.

I added a couple of pieces of sprue across the floor. This is to stop the vertical plate from moving and to give it something else to glue on to.

I also glued in a piece on the back of the crew compartment. After a bit of careful manoeuvring, it should support the top armour piece. I could have probably used a smaller bit of plastic but it was a convenient scrap lying around.

I measured out the top section and then cut out a piece of plasticard to fit. I used a plastic scriber this time round and it was much neater than my previous attempts at cutting plasticard.

A section of plasticard was also measured and cut out for the back as well.

I also measured and cut out some triangular pieces that will fill the gaps on the sides. These are big enough to sit on the guide pieces on the sides. I used a few square "things" I had lying around to make sure everything lined up nicely - magnets and a metal ruler were helpful!

Here is the compartment all glued together, but I haven't glued it to the chassis yet. Square things, the magnets and metal ruler were all very helpful again. I'm waiting on a set square to turn up to make things simpler next time round - it also makes it simpler for figuring out if my cuts are straight.

The new compartment is all very square and boxy which is kind of appropriate for Imperial vehicles.

I used a few bits of sprue to strengthen the new compartment. I may add some other bits if I feel the support is needed.

I quickly put the turret in place to get an idea of how the tank will look. Very imposing and the turret is quite large.

And here it is with the guns trying to kill something.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for some more updates where I add a little bit of detail to the box.

Comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
Sunday, 21 August 2016
184 - To Proxy or Not To Proxy

184 - To Proxy or Not To Proxy

I, like those before and those after me, started off my modelling obsession with 1/72 aircraft from World War 2. I built and painted an iconic Spitfire and then carried on with several other aircraft, including a Bristol Blenheim, IL-2 Sturmovik and a nice modern Panavia Tornado. Once the Warhammer virus had taken over, I have never gone back to military models - partly due to the need for realism and partly due to preferring the sci fi element.

Recently though, I've been looking at military kits to act as proxies. Zzzzzz at Devos IV modified an Empress Miniature Warrior (about half way down the link) in 1/56 scale for the liaison project a few years ago - which can be seen unpainted and painted. Size wise, the Warrior isn't far off a Chimera, so a good proxy match.

This led me to think about proxies for other vehicles and specifically for the Basilisk, which incidentally you can only get direct from GW online now - not even stocked in store! I only have the one Basilisk but want to add more and keep hovering over ordering a standard or FW Armageddon Pattern one. Instead of splashing out £30-£60 though, I did a little bit of searching trying to find a 1/56 or 1/48 or 1/35 scale self propelled gun/howitzer to see how they would scale against GW.

I settled on 1/35 scale as they seemed the closest to the Basilisk's 9.2cm width and most are close to the 20cm length of the GW model. I can''t find any height measurements for the proxies, but the Basilisk is about 9.3cm high. I went with enclosed self propelled howitzers so I can add GW stowage etc to try and make them look more 40k. Here are the options that are almost the same size:

Trumpeter Soviet 2S3 - 24.0cm long, 9.3cm wide and unknown height - £32.39 (eModels)

Trumpeter PLZ-83A - 19.3cm long, 9.5cm wide and unknown height - £23.39 (eModels)

Trumpeter Russian 2S1 - 21.2cm long, 8.2cm wide and unknown height - £34.19 (eModels)

Tamiya German M109A3G - 25.0cm long, 9.0cm wide and unknown height - £32.39 (eModels)

But then there are the absolute beast options which are longer mainly due to the gun barrel:

Trumpeter JGDF Type 99 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer - 32.0cm long, 9.4cm high and unknown height - £26.99 (eModels)

Meng Model Chinese PLZ05 - 31.2cm long, 9.7cm wide and unknown height - £35.99 (eModels)

Meng Model German Panzerhaubitze 2000 - 33.9cm long, 10.2cm wide and unknown height - £35.99 or £44.99 with extra armour as shown above (eModels)

Academy R.O.K. K9 - 33.0cm long, 10.1cm wide and 8.8cm high - £23.39 (eModels)

Trumpeter Russian 2S19 - 33.9cm long, 10.3cm wide and unknown height - £52.20 (eModels)

All pictures were used without permission (except my own Basilisk) and the prices were correct from eModels on 19/08/2016. eModels is a 10 minute drive from me so makes sense to use them and they had everything in stock.

Most of these tanks look similar as there really is only so much you can do when strapping a 152mm or 155mm gun to a tank body. I'm leaning a bit more towards the Russian 2S1 or the German M109A3G on the "smaller" tanks. And I don't have a preference on the big ones - as they are all suitably impressive - maybe the German or Chinese version.

So what are peoples opinions on proxies? And which of the alternative kits would you use?

Bear in mind that I very rarely actually game and that they are purely for building and painting.

Comments, ideas and choices are appreciated.
Saturday, 30 July 2016
183 - Sandpaper and Continual Punishment - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 3

183 - Sandpaper and Continual Punishment - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 3

I had a bit of spare time so continued with a tiny bit of progress on the Hellhound. In case you've missed the start of this, take a look at Part 1 & Part 2

The promethium tank has been glued in place and only required a small amount of filing on the bottom in order to make it sit flat. The track guards were also tidied up and glued in place.

The green stuff filling was given a quick going over with some fine sandpaper to remove the worst of the rough finish. I didn't spend ages on sanding so hopefully that won't come back to bite me later on. The turret is still loose and will not be glue in place - though I may magnetise the guide peg. I've still got to tackle that wonky barrel as well. Some careful bending will be required as it seems a bit twisted as well.

Not content with one ForgeWorld model to deal with, I bought another one. 

This time round though it's a discontinued Vanaheim Pattern Griffon Mortar. Not a bad find and still a cool looking model.

The Chimera base had been put together and the only resin that has been attached is the base plate/side thing. My only concern is the alignment as the resin isn't level with the inner parts of the Chimera which could make adding the gun shield tricky. Has anyone built one of these before and could offer tips?

Thanks for reading.
Thursday, 28 July 2016
182 - Glue and Green Stuff - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 2

182 - Glue and Green Stuff - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 2

I knew that putting the Hellhound back together was going to be a bit of a pain - see part 1 for more info. All of my dryfit tests showed there would be gaps in a lot of places which no amount of filing or cutting would easily get rid off. Instead, it would be a battle with green stuff and superglue.

The underneath of the tank was where some of the biggest issues were. I used superglue to attach everything and had to hold it together for a few minutes as the side sections kept trying to detach themselves from the hull.

Once the super glue had dried, I used some green stuff to try and fill in the rather large gaps. I'm not really sure where the tank has joined properly so I went with filling as much as I could. The biggest gaps were at the rear where the resin section was not as wide as the Chimera base. A bit of green stuff later and most of the gaps were taken care of - though I will have to revisit some.

Things on this side of the tank weren't quite as bad and only required s small amount of filling. There was a chunk missing at the front that was more challenging to fill, but I used the flat edge of my knife and the flat edge of a sculpting tool to get the green stuff as square as possible.

The other side was more difficult and there was a substantial gap between the resin and the track unit. Some of the green stuff fell through the gap and is now rattling around inside the tank which is a tad annoying. I took a bit more care after that and managed to get the gap filled in.

Where the resin top joins to the hull also needed some filling which wasn't too bad. At this point I had run out of mixed up green stuff so didn't completely fill the gap. Once everything has dried/cured I'll gently sand it down to tidy up my attempts.

As I know the clean up will never be amazing, I will cover up some of the issues with some track armour. To get all three pieces to fit right, some modification needs to be done to the medium piece. In the right hand picture there are some faint cuts where the piece will be sawn off.

A little bit of sawing later and I'm left with a flat (ish) edge which will connect nicely to the larger track guard.

A quick mock up using some blu tac to hold everything in place. Obscures the view of the green stuff quite well whilst giving the tank a bit of a more rugged look.

And here is the join. I need to smooth the edge's down to get a better fit before gluing anything in place.

The promethium tank will be attached next and I also need to try and straighten the Inferno Cannon.

Thanks for reading.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
181 - From a Sorry State to Just a State - H47 Artemia Pattern Hellhound : Part 1

181 - From a Sorry State to Just a State - H47 Artemia Pattern Hellhound : Part 1

A few months ago I purchased a built and painted ForgeWorld Artemia Pattern Hellhound off of a well known auction site. The tank had been painted to a decent standard and looked like it wouldn't require much work once I'd stripped the paint.

Here is the Hellhound soon after it's arrival on the desk of untidiness. Not too bad a job but requires a bit more work. There were a few bits that hadn't been put together too well but I managed to gently separate most of them without any major damage. I then grabbed the brown Dettol and a few old tupperware containers and left the model to soak for a few hours. After a bit of scrubbing pretty much all of the paint came off, leaving just a few stubborn areas to deal with, but overall a decent result - or so I thought.....

Turns out the person who put this little flaming barrel of death together had a few "issues". Unfortunately, it appears they used a combination of green stuff and superglue to fix these "issues". I'm not going to complain about their model making abilities as I know mine weren't brilliant and probably still require improvement - I just have to spend more time on the prep rather than the painting.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the pieces before my attempts to put it back together again.

 I've only got round to putting the front plate, bottom and slab of resin that makes up the top piece and fuel tank tub which coincidentally is the piece that needs the most work (look at the battle damage!).

Nevertheless I will persevere and hopefully something will get finished soon.

Thanks for reading.
Thursday, 30 June 2016
180 - A Chimera And A Pegasus Walk In To A Bar....

180 - A Chimera And A Pegasus Walk In To A Bar....

Just another quick update here (really quick). I have literally done nothing this month hobby wise - unless you count playing Total War: Warhammer as hobbying.

I made a couple of new purchases - another Chimera and a Pegasus AA vehicle from Puppets War (image above used without permission). I bought the Pegasus off eBay as it worked out cheaper than buying the turret on it's own and I want to build my own Hydra, which is why I've bought the extra Chimera.

I also sold off my Empire army in drips and drabs through eBay and have made enough money to partially fund the new LEGO Ghostbuster's Fire Station - to go with my LEGO Ecto-1.

Hopefully next month will be more productive. Thanks for dropping by.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
179 - Marching On - Imperial Knight Part 3

179 - Marching On - Imperial Knight Part 3

With a bit of spare time and some motivation, I continued my glacial progress with the Knight - and actually got something done!

First up, I finished painting GW Leadbelcher on the armour plate trim - very fiddly and somewhat nerve racking to think that I could quite easily mess up my purple airbrushing (and did have a few tiny errors). These pieces were then glued on to the already drybrushed legs.

With the glue dry, I carefully applied a wash of GW Badab Black to the silver, waited for it to dry and then gently drybrushed the metal with GW Mithril Silver - although in this photo, I hadn't actually done this to the "shin pads". I also applied some GW Badab Black to the recesses, rivets and certain areas of purple.

When the black wash had dried (left hand picture), I gently drybrushed GW Lucius Lilac over the crotch armour (right hand picture) as a test before moving on to the rest of the leg armour. The drybrush produced a very light highlight on the first couple of passes. I'm not sure if I want to build this up a bit more, but it gives me a good starting point.

The leg armour was much trickier to drybrush as I was trying to avoid getting lilac all over the metal. But here is the finished shot of the legs. I'm not going to be attaching the testicle banner as I don't like the way it looks. Sorry if the picture is a bit bright - I've been playing around with my painting lamps, but I hope you can see the details.

And that's it on the legs for now. Thanks for reading.
Comments/suggestions/advice are always appreciated.
Monday, 25 April 2016
178 - Back on the Train

178 - Back on the Train

This weekend saw me back at my parents house to add some additional bits and pieces to dad's train set. Both myself and my brother-in-law were there and we had a list of things to do: finish the background scenes, motorise more points, build and fix two display cabinets, tidy up power sockets and wall mount the hifi and speakers.

All very exciting stuff, but mostly things that my dad is not able to complete himself. We managed to get the cabinets, hifi & speakers and the sockets sorted but didn't have time to do the point motorisation.

We were quite successful with the background scenes (after a quick drive to get some extras that we were missing!). Copydex was our adhesive of choice and worked well with minimal bubbling.

Starting by the tunnel and swing out section (hence the line on the board). We used some 2mm board with 2"x1" battoning as support. The background scenes are by Peco.

We had to cut the board so we could still open the door but that wasn't too much of a problem.

These scenes were mountain lake and mountain countryside.

This is on the curved corner which was a bit trickier to get the scenes to stick. This one is country seascape going in to a market town with extension pieces. Some moss and rocks were added to cover up a slight gap at the bottom.

We bought some additional fence pieces that will be added to the platform and another station canopy set to double up the width to cover all of the tracks.
Here is the other end of the station with the market town going in to the old industrial town, again with extension pieces.

Here is the marshalling yard with the industrial town. We used two sets to really extend the town.

And finally the scenes by the village on the hill. The paper has curled over annoyingly so we'll have to try and fix this.

There will be some more background scenes added behind the village and along the blank wall but unfortunately we didn't quite manage to get this done.

Thank you for taking the time to look through these.
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