Monday, February 24, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii Trooper Part I

Coms silence is due to catching the “crud” (read flu) going around, which then turned into a sinus infection and finally morphed into Pneumonia. I cannot recommend enough against getting pneumonia, it sucks. Besides the coughing and nonsense the antibiotic I am on causes tremors, muscle spasms, and arthritic like symptoms so no real hobby time for the last couple weeks.

So, instead here are some photos for a squad of 10 Adeptus Mechanicus troopers I started months ago and finally finished in January. The start of the project can be found here

The goal is a whole 100+ figure foot guard army, maybe in 2016? ;-)
More WIP, projects and painted stuff soon

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ironheart Artisans Paint Brush Rack

Ironheart Artisans Paint Brush Rack.

Let me start this review by admitting there will be a little bias in this article. 
Besides being friends with Alex, the owner of IronheartArtisans, I actually asked him to make this!

The idea for this started in late December, when prepping for a 2 day miniature painting workshop with Meg Maples (Awesome class, she was a studio painter for P3!). I was cleaning up my neglected paint desk, sorting brushes to pack a travel kit and clumsily shoved a large drybush in the coffee cup I used to hold all of my brushes and in the process I managed to inadvertently crush the ferrule of one of my Windor&NewtonSeries 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes completely wrecking it.

Besides being frustrated with my carelessness I was crestfallen at the prospect of replacing an almost new, high end brush the night before the class. To add insult to injury this was not the first time a brush had been damaged by the "coffee cup" (read my carelessness).

The story came up during the first 5 minutes of class, as I asked around to see if anyone had an extra brush I could purchase as Huzzah Hobbies was completely sold out. Alex happened to in the class, had an extra brush I could purchase, and over the course of two days we discussed the prospect of designing and manufacturing a brush rack. The idea was to try and mitigate the frequent ham handed bumping of the bristles and let the brushes rest in a more natural fashion, hence why they rest Horizontally!

And this is the Result!

The Brush stand is about 6 inches tall, made of MDF, and comes as pictured in 5 pieces
The assembly process was a snap, however it’s important to note it requires a little bit of glue (about 6 spots). I asked about this, and was told it is to avoid the common breakage problem that occurs during the assemble of laser cut MDF kits. Alex avoided this completely by adding extra tolerance to the cuts.
The design has a slight stair-step to allow for easier access to the brushes (see photos below). I really like the fact the spacing of the grooves is far enough apart to allow even ham-fisted Neanderthals like myself to access each group with ease.
A small unintentional bonus was the depth of the grooves allowed me to stack 2 brushes in each tier This allowed me to sort by size and set of wet blending brushes. You could also use it to keep track of spares, or have groupings based on projects or common usage, etc. It's worth noting I was able to get several different size brush handles on the rack without any problems.
It might be hard to see, but a couple tier have multiple brushes on them.
Excellent design, good weight, easy assembly, and affordable with a target suggested price of around $10

Slight “Burned Wood smell”… I actually like it (and so did a friend I mailed one too), but my wife who shares the office complained until it had aired out a bit.

Overall, I think it’s worth a solid 5 stars, I plan to purchase one more for personal use and give a few away as gifts. They will be available off his website in roughly a week.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus Inquisition Lord Part II

Well 3 posts in a row, improving, let us see if I can keep this up!

Again the base of this conversion was The Necron Lord VargardObyron I acquired via trade. I know this model has a fairly static, but in my mind’s eye I see an Inquisitor Lord leading from behind, controlling the battlefield like a chess master, and only entering the fray when his or her “force” would be the critical turning point justifying the risk.

One of the first things I visualized was a nice tattered cloak, with the hope some freehand could be pulled off. Now I understand my limitations, especially with scratch building, and after a couple horribly wasteful attempts at green-stuffing a flowing cloak I fell back to my old standby. KITBASHING! (BTW Did you know Wikipedia has a entry for everything?) Anyway digging though my bits boxes for a solid base I came upon the Chaos Terminator Lord cloak, exactly the solid base I was looking for. Clipping it a bit to remove the Terminator back plate, and trimming with a dremel down for a flush fit to Obyron’s back I had a solid start. Greenstuffing the cloak, following the lines already started was much simpler, and using a couple Purity Seals from the newer Space Marine Vehicle kit gave me a nice looking clasp. Additional I found a good sized Adeptus Mecanicus Icon to brand the Salvaged Body as Imperial.




 His arms were also a wreck it turns out as well, and oddly Necron warrior or Immortal arms were not a good fit. A quick size comparison and I found the older metal Ustabti’s were however, and using the joints from a couple extra Warriors made it work. I carefully drilled out the right hand to allow it open, so I can place his pole-arm in a at rest position.  


Next I cleaned up the head, removing the miscast eye and replacing it with from Optic from a Servo-skull. The grasping Arm can also be seen, using the Forearm from the Ustabti. I wish I had a set of the Finecast Ushabti’s with Great Weapons, but I only had the metal models. BTW as a note for scale the newer Ushabti’s with Great Bows are about 25% larger than the older figures.

The Final set of conversions slash repairs included dremeling out the tabard, part of the abdomen and replacing it with greenstuff cables, and you’ll see two stages of final abdominal armor I went with. In the end I am not in love with it, but it’s good enough for now. I also added "lifts" to his feet. For some reason, either additional miscast or pose, the front of his feet were wafer thin, causing him to lean forward, ruining the deliberate, strong pose I wanted.

As always feedback and suggestions welcome.