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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.
Thursday, 31 March 2016
177 - Voss Pattern Lightning: Part 3

177 - Voss Pattern Lightning: Part 3

I've made a promise to myself that I will do everything to write a post at least once a month. I've set this target so that I really push myself to do some hobbying as recently I just haven't had the motivation - and with The Division being out, my time is spent on my PS4.

So this months offering is an update on the Voss Pattern Lightning. Having done all of the cleaning, prep and building, I undercoated the fighter with Vallejo Model Air Grey.

With the undercoat done, it was time to try out GW's own airbrush paints. The first one up was Calgar Blue (Air). Only the top of the Lightning was painted using this so the underside would be a different colour.

A few light coats were sprayed on and I tried to make sure everything was covered nicely. Once the paint was dry, I applied some Classic Camo stencils from Anarchy Models HD range.

Yet again I forgot to take a few photos. So the one above shows after I've laid down the stencils, then applied Lothern Blue (Air) and then applied the next layer of stencils. The stencils weren't really playing ball - I had a few problems getting them to stay down on certain areas. It just meant I was a bit more careful when laying down the next colour.

And here is the next colour laid down and with the stencils removed. The final paint was Caledor Sky (Air) and was again laid down in a few light coats. With this being the last layer, I did put it on a little heavier to make sure the coverage was nice and even.

Top down view - quite effective, though the Calgar Blue is a bit more purple than I was expecting.

View from the other side. Unfortunately, I did suffer one spot where the paint came off when removing the stencils. This is right towards the front of the wing tip. A bit of weathering or a repaint will cover this nicely though.

Side view - nothing too complicated here. I tried to carry the patterns over the edges of the wings.

Other side - makes me realise there is a big area of Caledor Sky that I may need to break up on the back edge of the wing.

My plan was always to paint the underside of the Lightning a flat different colour to the top camo. So using some Tamiya masking tape, I taped all around the wings, fins and edge of the fuselage to protect from overspray and get some nice clean lines.

And here is the underside painted in a nice flat Russ Grey (Air). I was really impressed with the coverage and smoothness of this paint. I do need to go over a few areas where it didn't quite cover the blue overspray.

The tape did an excellent job of keeping the camo safe and really did give a nice line - I might use this for all my fliers in the future. Unfortunately, I did have another couple of tiny spots on the front of one wing where the paint came off with the tape - annoying, but very much a quick fix.

This was my first experience of using Games Workshop's new Air range of paints and I quite like them. The coverage is good and even without any airbrush thinner, I didn't experience too much dry tip on the airbrush - something I'd had with the Vallejo Primer.

I neve got around to ordering some empty Vallejo dropper bottles so I had to pour straight from the pot. This was a small inconvenience as the lids kept trying to close, but there wasn't a huge amount of wastage when I'd finished pouring. Trying to get paint that hadn't been used back in the pot was more challenging.

Next up will be weathering and painting the cockpit and weapons.

Thanks for reading!
Thursday, 18 February 2016
176 - Build, Build, Build

176 - Build, Build, Build

Has only one seen my mojo? My painting mojo? Nope, didn't think so. Never mind. Luckily my building mojo is here and it's been in full flow.

I started off with something simple and added some ForgeWorld armour plates to my Capricorn Chimera conversion.

Nothing too fancy but gives this Chimera a bit of a meaner profile and works nicely with the autocannon turret.

Next up was another Capricorn Chimera conversion. This one again wasn't anything too complicated. I built the Chimera kit up as per normal and then added the Capricorn rear hull piece.

I also added a ForgeWorld rear door.

I did have some issues with the Chimera turret fitting. I started off by removing the locking pieces to just have the circle plastic left. Unfortunately, the turret kept wobbling and wouldn't stay up properly, even with a bit of weight in the back. To fix this, I bought some nylon washers off eBay which had the right size cylinder to fit in the Capricorn turret hole (after some gentle (aggressive) sanding of the hole). With the washer rotating easily,

I completely removed the plastic nub from the bottom of the turret and stuck the turret to the washer. Now the turret fits nicely and doesn't fall forward.

For once I took some pictures of how I magnetise things. To start, I mark off how much space the magnet will need and then remove the plastic that is in the way using a combination of hobby knife and file. Once the plastic has been removed, I dry fitted the magnets and removed some more plastic if necessary. To make sure the magnets were placed the correct way up, I marked the top using a blue pen before applying a large amount of super glue and carefully placing them down.

While waiting for the super glue to dry completely, I started on the underside of the tank chassis. Using one of the magnets, I marked out how much of the guide plastic I would need to remove at both the front and back. With this removed, I checked the fit for the magnet and removed more if needed. It was a bit trickier getting the guide off due to it's location - hence it being a bit untidy.

To get the magnets in the right place on the inside of the tank, I held the dozer blade in it's correct position and then placed a magnet in each corner. Using a pen, I drew around each magnet and marked the visible side of them. I removed one magnet and applied some super glue, then went to the opposite magnet and did the same and then repeated for the remaining 2. Once the glue had dried, the other side of the tank is glued on.

As well as getting on with building, I've also been buying and I grabbed a ForgeWorld Artemia Pattern Hellhound off eBay. The paint isn't too thick so it shouldn't be too bad to strip off.

The Inferno Cannon needs a bit of straightening out and there are a couple of gaps on the chassis, but this should be a relatively quick clean up. I'll be going for a camo pattern on this one instead of leaving it plain like the other hellhound Ambustio - it might even get a bit of extra armour.

The Hellhound wasn't the only purchase off eBay. I grabbed 42 built guardsmen with a variety of weapons. These guys need their mould lines removing and it will be a test for me to paint something that is already constructed - these will be added to the mound of infantry to be completed.

There are also two Taurox (Tauroxes?) waiting to be built and another Valkyrie.

I've got an urge to finish off the Purple Knight so I may finally get some painting done.

Thanks for reading!
Thursday, 11 February 2016
175 - Hellhammer/Stormhammer Conversion: Part 1

175 - Hellhammer/Stormhammer Conversion: Part 1

In the pile of unbuilt models, I've had a Baneblade kit sat staring accusingly at me for a while. I have a plan for this kit though and bought the sponson sprue from GW as I wanted to make this a proper heavy hitting Hellhammer with 2 sponsons on each side.

Having built the main body of the tank, I blu tac'd the sponsons together to see how the tank would look, and it looks pretty good. My plan is to have one set facing forward and one facing backwards as shown above. Good plan I thought, but this still leaves an area that cannot be covered by the twin linked weapons. So the next idea was to turn this Hellhammer in to a hybrid Hellhammer/Stormhammer.

So I wanted to create a massive weapons bank that looks like my crappy picture above. This would be 3 top mounted turret lascannons and 3 sponson mounted twin linked heavy bolters or heavy flamers (9 weapons per side!). This seems to be a bit of overkill in my opinion and that central lascannon turret would be more of a hindrance than help.

Rather than cracking on and chopping up bits of plastic card or the current sponsons, I grabbed some card I had from the glass doors I had recently put on my shelves and measured up the space.

Once the card was measured and cut out, I scored along the fold lines and put in place. Please bear in mind this is a very rough design. A bit of blu tac is holding it in place and I placed the turrets on top just to see how it looks.

From the top view I don't think I would have been able to squeeze the third turret on. I may nudge the turrets closer together and see how they look, but at the moment they have really good fields of fire.

I will still be sticking with the 3 sets of twin linked weapons and need to work out their fields of fire. I'll probably do this by using the physical weapons and swizzling them around. I definitely know I'll have to build gun shields for the middle weapons but this can wait.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for further updates.
Sunday, 24 January 2016
174 - Replace or Repaint?

174 - Replace or Repaint?

The other day I bought another new Ikea Billy bookcase, just the small 100cm x 40cm one to go on top of another unit that was currently just a dumping ground for all the random crap that seems to end up in the study. This has led to me rejigging where my models and LEGO are displayed and I spent some time cleaning the dust off them.

Within my pile of Leman Russ' that needed dusting are a couple of my original tanks (circa 2007/8). One is a bog standard Russ with heavy bolter sponsons and hull lascannon and the other is a part metal Demolisher with plasma cannon sponsons and hull lascannon. The Demolisher has the metal plasma cannons, demolisher cannon and extra bits so it weighs a fair amount.

Standard Russ - with expertly painted (?) splodge camo.

It's other side, just the other side.

Lets all wave to the new guys

Demolisher from the right

Demolisher from the left

While dusting these two tanks off, I was looking at the paint scheme and began to ponder if I should repaint the two or to sell them off and fund some new kits and start again. So I put the question to you, my fellow hobbyists. Would you: a) strip and repaint the models completely? b) freshen the tanks up by weathering the hell out of them? or c) sell them and start again? Answers in the comments below please.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
173 - Christmas Distraction

173 - Christmas Distraction

I hope that everyone has had a great Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year. As well as my GW collection, I am also very fond of LEGO and have a decent collection of City, Star Wars and TECHNIC sets. Each year I'm always after something and this Christmas my wife certainly delivered.

And this is what I got! This it the 42042 TECHNIC Crawler Crane, a 1400 piece beast of a kit.

So after work this week I spent some time putting this giant thing together. This is after about an hour and all of the pieces from bag 1. The tracks consist of 45 individual links per side!

Fast forward another 2 hours and this is how the crane was looking with bags 2 and 3 out of the way. Bag 2 contained all of the pieces for the gearing and bag 3 was the outer shell.

This kit does have power functions - the power cable is sticking out the back. It also has 4 different functions which hopefully you can make out on the tiles at the bottom of the picture.

After another hour (so that's at least 4 hours total build time), I am left with this! It is an absolutely massive kit and really does look awesome!

Here is a close up now that all of the outer pieces have been attached. When I first tried to use the power functions, I had a panic moment as they didn't work. Then I realised that the battery pack took 6x AA batteries, not the 3 that I had put in. After the extra batteries had been added this crane trundles around, turning and lifting loads - I used it to steal the remote from the missus.

For anyone that likes building LEGO or construction kits, this is well worth a go.

Thanks for reading! See you in 2016!
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
172 - Voss Pattern Lightning: Part 2

172 - Voss Pattern Lightning: Part 2

Just a smidge more progress on the Voss Pattern Lightning Strike Fighter. Last time round I had attempted to fill some of the gaps using liquid green stuff. This resulted in a bit of a mess - as you can see in Part 1.

I spent quite a bit of time sanding down this foul up and making sure that the surface was smooth with minimal signs of the filing/sanding. I also had to use a small drill bit to mark out the original joining holes.

To make things a little less untidy, I used regular green stuff to fill the gaps on the other wing section. Once left to cure for a few days (just to be safe), I trimmed and filed the excess before using some fine sandpaper to smooth the join.

The gap on the underside of the wing was also filled. This was a much harder piece to sand down and is a little less tidy than the top. I had already glued/green stuffed the manoeuvring thrusters in place which impeded my sanding space.

There was a slight gap on one of the tail pieces, so this also got the green stuff treatment. I'm hoping that the surface marks look worse than they actually are.

Now I'm planning on using some of my Anarchy Model HD stencils to create the camo pattern on the Lightning and I've got a choice between Hexocam, Digi Camo, Tiger Stripe, Shattered or a Classic Camo. I've used the stencils before on my mega bastion and the 4x4 Bear scout cars. This time round I'll be deviating from my greens and going for blue, aiming for something along these lines:

All images used without the owner's permissions.

I've already gone ahead and bought a selection of blue's and grey's from the new Games Workshop Citadel Air range. I will update this post once I get home with the names of the paints I bought EDIT: I purchased Russ Grey, Calgar Blue, Lothern Blue and Caledor Sky. I want to see how these hold up against the Vallejo Game Air and Model Air paints I normally use - though I do see a problem of them being in regular GW pots rather than dropper style bottles, but I've ordered some empty Vallejo style ones to combat this.

What do you guys think of the blue camo schemes? I want something that will really stand out against my normal green version.

Thanks for reading and an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
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