Monthly Archives: December 2011
Field Armour, Armour Plating and Ram Plates: The most straight forward and, perversely, trickiest of the conversions are the various armour components. There are four ways to approach these types of conversion;
1) Sculpt on the armour or get someone to do it for you…
2) Use additional plates found in other kits
3) Paint the existing plate differently to give the impression of newly added plates
4) If you are using a relatively standard chassis then DP9 sell Armoured Torsos
You should also bear in mind that field armour etc… does not just have to be on the torso. In the image above Chompy has 4 additional plates added to its legs.
Upgraded Sensors: The easiest method to represent this component is to attach secondary or tertiary antenna and lenses to the sensor pod. You could also replace the sensor pod with a more complicated looking one from a scout gear. On Siobhán’s sensor pod we added the barrel of a paratrooper gun and a spare antenna.
Non Autocannon Reloads: Most of the chassis DP9 produce have a great level of addition detail on them such as grenades, additional clips and storage boxes. What happens if your gear doesn’t have an autocannon but needs to represent reloads?
The most ideal way is a bit destructive but if you have a spare version of the weapon in question take the magazine from it and replace the autocannon clips/ammo storage on the gear in question. Alternatively, in both the Southern and Northern weapons packs there are sprues of magazines and storage boxes which would serve a similar purpose. This conversion was done on both Baku and Siobhán
Improved Engines: For most light and trooper gears this is a fairly easy component to represent. Swap the small engine that comes with their chassis for the next size up i.e. A Jäger swaps its engine for one that comes with a Black Mamba. You could also us the “dark” series engines for the same purpose
If your need to clip is too great the use the addition of the fuel tanks from a flamer or part of a smaller V-Engine to represent this upgrade. This is handy for when the model would look unbalanced with a bulky engine or when there simply isn’t a larger one to swap it for.
Oil/Smoke: Oil and Smoke are great components for your gears. With them you can give yourself cover and restrict the movement options of your opponents… and you can set the oil ablaze. In terms of modeling these components the easiest is to just paint the grenades sculpted onto most chassis logical colours such as black for oil and grey for smoke.
In our team the Desert Rabbit has both oil and smoke components. We’ll use the grey painted grenades to represent smoke but we wanted to do something different for the oil so we took the fuel tanks from a Flamer and added them to the armoured skirt.
Heavy Chain Saw: Since starting this project DP9 brought out the engineering gears that come with a Heavy Chainsaw. We’re still sticking with our conversion though. We started with two Chain Swords, removed the grips and filed the back of them flat. Next we clipped the long blades off of a Vibro Claw and glued it into place between the hand guards of the Chain Swords. We then added one of the V-Engine blocks from an Iguana as the power source and the hilt from a vibroblade as the second had grip which, oddly, makes it look more dangerous…
Pauldron Swap: To represent Vider’s success at … well that would be telling… he swaps out bits of armour with those of … ehhh… suffice to say it doesn’t end well for them. The pauldron swap was pretty easy. Using a model saw we separated both pauldrons from their respective arms. we drilled and pinned the Sidewinder arm to the Black Mamba’s pauldron. This was done instead of just swapping the whole arm because the arm starts nearer the shoulder joint on the sidewinder. We wanted only the pauldron to look out of place and not the whole arm.
In addition to the pauldron swap we also glued an old style Cheetah sensor pod to an armoured plate…
Pitbull Re-Pose: The single biggest piece of conversion work on the team is the re-pose of the Pitbull. The production miniature has a sentry type stance which doesn’t reflect the Paxton speedster’s use in the Arenas. There were three main sections to the conversion;
Legs: We cut both legs at the knee joint and put to on side. We then sawed off the thigh stub of the models left leg, rotated it 180 degrees and pinned it back into place. Once dry we worked on the waist (below) and then drilled and pinned the lower legs back to the thigh stubs. We removed some of the ballistic cloth that filled the gap between the lower and upper legs. This gives it a lowered appearance and it can be sculpted back in quite easily
Waist: We removed the storage box and sawed & filed the area flat. Once the thigh stub was in its new position we glued a new storage box, found in the N&S weapons packs, into place.
Left Arm: We snapped it at the elbow, filed the joint flat and pinned it back into a straight position. After letting it dry we’ll use Brown Stuff to replace the elbow disc. This gives the impression that it is balancing itself during the swerve.
We’re working away on our Color Warz MiniZ though we have yet to decide which colour to play. Regardless we thought we would show you how we assembled or chaps ready for painting. The more experienced of you will no doubt see a better way of assembling them but this worked for us…
Mini Golem: The easiest miniature first. Simply clip the resin tags from the base of the miniature and sand/file smooth. We used an emery board for all of the miniatures that needed it. Done.
Maxi Golem: Clip the resin tags from the arms and file smooth. Use a scalpel or sharp knife to trim the corresponding holes in the shoulder joints. Be careful if you have to do this too, it would be very easy to cut yourself or worse… the miniature. Because of its “blobby” nature it had to be cast on top of a flat surface. You can either remove it or use it as part of a scenic base. We, perhaps stupidly, chose to remove it by VERY gently sawing through the base tab.
The Hunter: Clipped the catapult and grappling hook from the sprue and removed flash and resin channels. Be careful with the head of the catapult as t would be very easy to break it. we removed the channels from the base of the hunters feet and drilled a hole into one of them to take a pin. We also drilled out holes in the wrists. This is not for a pin but to give the glue a bit more surface area to adhere to.
The Shaman: the component clean up was as per the Hunter though caution should be taken with the miniatures right hand… don’t clip too high! The only additional step was straightening the Staff. We used a small cup of warm/hot water and suspended the staff in it for 15-20 seconds. We straightened the staff by hand and left it to cool on a flat surface.
The Warrior: Second simplest miniature after the mini golems. Remove the channels and file smooth. Drill out the arm on the axe-brush for additional support and assemble.
The Chief: the single trickiest miniature to assemble in the range (so far!). Clip and clean as per the other miniatures. Assembly should be done in the following order a) Stalk in the top of the head b) Berry racks into the back of the head c) Left arm d) Right arm and Paintbrush. Keep the head dress totem on the sprues until you have decided which colour you are going to play.
Here a quick shot from the rear to show additional detailing and placement of parts.
This was our first commission involving a Kingdom Death miniature. Guidance came in the form of “It’s an elf with a big hammer that glows green in the presence of Lizardmen.”. The client was using it for their Dungeon World character so apart from the elf with a green hammer thing we we’re given free reign.
After cleaning the miniature we had a look at painting it in subassemblies. given the detail on the miniature we decided on five;
- Torso & Arms: We drilled out space for a pin to mount it during and after painting
- Head: The hair came with a handy tab which we glued into a slotta base
- Hammer: : We decided to paint it as is doing one end at a time
- Loincloth/sash-thing: Again the tab was glued intoa slotta base
- Base: As this was to be used for a dungeon crawl we ruined the base up a bit…
She was undercoated in black and apart from a single black stripe on the book Umbral Umber was the darkest colour used after that point. A note should be made here of the frankly shocking photography I produced at the time. The miniature is nowhere near as washed out as she looks…
After watching Natalya Melniks DVD we went with this style of painting the flesh. Very nervous trying it out on a commission but is seems to have worked fine. Very thin layers of Midlund Flesh was brought up to Ryn Flesh and then Menoth White. Using Natalya’s method entails completely finishing/blending one area of flesh before moving onto the next.
The greens were both based with a couple of thinned coats of Cryx Bane Base. The lighter shade was brought up through Cryx Bane Highlight to Thrall Flesh and then a touch of Menoth White Highlight was added. The darker shade, on the central torso, was brought up through Gnarls Green and then a mix of Battledress Green and Iosan Green.
The hair and loincloth-thing we based with Umbral Umber to which were added increasing amounts of both Battlefield Brown and Bootstrap Leather. The red fade was done in a wet blend starting with Sanguine Base then Skorne red and finally Khador Red Base. The hair was done in the same way but was made deliberately patchy. The lace and shoe detailing was done with Vallejo Silverlight Grey and then pure Menoth White.
The book was based in Hammerfall Khaki and then multiple thin layers of Cygnus Yellow were added. The metallic components of the hammer we based in a Pig Iron and Armour Wash mix. This was brought up to Cold Steel and then thin highlights of Quick Silver were added to the edges. The green glow was achieved by adding layers of Gnarls, Iosan and Wurm Green.
The base was a spur of the moment thing while assembling her. The character was for a dungeon crawl so why not try to represent a type faded glory in the base.
As mentioned in the review the Overlord is a very simple kit to put together. All told it took 3.5 hours to do the assembly and conversions. That includes the time I spent scratching my head and looking for bits. A very enjoyable project so far.
Hull and Turret: these blocks consist of 3 and 2 parts respectively. For both of these I had to use a modelling saw to trim the underside insert for the “lids”. I decided not to put the seats into place and to just glue the hull shut for simplicities’ sake. Before gluing the turret together I put the pin in place and secured it with multiple coats of glue.
Engines: Apart from some minor filling and clean up the largest effort here was spent distressing the joints for when the engines are glued into place. This allows the bonding agent to adhere to multiple surfaces/facings. I could have pinned them in place I suppose. Lining up 18 pins on curved surfaces? You try it sometime…
Turrets: as with the engines I distressed the joints between the turrets and the barrels and glued them into place. I drilled out the hatch hinge to take a pin but this is more for painting than assembly.
Weapons Systems: To stop the little blighters flying into space I’m going to pin them. Happily this also means that I can keep them on the pins during painting.
1. Field Armour: This part was a royal pain in the ass, why did I think it would be easy? It’s small strips of ultra thin plasti-card cut to shape and filed with an emery board to round out the edges.
2. NAI Matrices: While not really necessary I thought it would be a nice touch to add something on to represent the 4 NAI Matrices. I found a bolt & plate assembly which kind of looked the part. These are just glued straight on.
3. Stowage: For the stowed netting I used the camo cloaks from the North and South weapons packs. Pieces of Medium and Heavy Bazookas were used together with stowage pieces from the Warlands and 40K ranges. The large drums at the rear of the tank represent armoured storage rather than a fuel tank. Most of the stowage was glued straight into place. The larger pieces we pinned for extra stability.
The HHT-90 Overlord
The large box held, just, the Overlord Heavy Hovertank. This massive 48 part kit is cast completely in resin and has a good level of detail. It is broadly separated into two section; the Hull and the Turret each having its own stat card. It comes with its own large hex base.
I’ve given a more detailed review of the Overlord here
Packed in a single blister the Grel Platoon is made up of 40 miniatures divided into 4 squads. In total this gives us 36 Mordreds & 4 Jans. The Mordreds come in 2 sculpts though there is no identifyable heavy weapon! The Morgana commando squad is made up of 3 miniatures. The platoon comes with standard hex bases which TBH are a bit small for the number of miniatures required per base.
The N-KIDU [C] Drones
The other blister pack contained the 8 N-KIDU comando drones. Each drone is comprised of 4 or 5 pieces, depending on wether or not you take the VLRP/32. The lower section of the hull also serves as the flight stand and slots straight into the hex base. after a couple of dry fits my only concern is placing the VLRPs at the right angle.
What is it?: A set of the first 7 resin miniatures for a board game of fantasy paintball.
Price: €55/£47.15. This works out at €7.86/£6.75 per miniature
Price within the context of the game: A player needs 5 or 8 miniatures depending on the size of the game and the number of players. This set provides 6 of the miniatures you will need.
Packaging: The miniatures come well padded in a large clamshell blister. Each miniature and it’s components are in its own Ziploc. There is a single large insert with assembly instructions on one side and a large colour photo of the startlingly well painted miniatures on the other.
The only area for concern is the width of the Maxi Golem miniature. Even though it fits within the blister it’s a snug fit and leaves little room for error.
Contents & Parts Count: The pack contains 7 miniatures. 1 Chief (12 parts), 1 Warrior (2), 1 Hunter (4), 1 Shaman (5), Maxi Golem (3), 2 Mini Golems (2). This set allows you to create a playable force from any of the 6 factions.
Quality: The miniatures are cast to a very high quality. There was no flash and only a single mold line present on the set we opened (on the Maxi Golem). Joints are clean, though a bit narrow on some components, and apart from the resin channels there were no additional casting marks.
Detail: This set was sculpted by Rémy Tremblay, of Scorpions of Dirz fame, so I found the attention to detail on these miniatures amazing. The core concept of the game is that battles are fought with paint made from magical berries and this has been brought into the miniatures. If you look closely you will see that most of the miniatures are armed with types of paint brushes & berry catapults.
The Chief and Hunter in particular need a mention. The hunter has a large catapult and a back pack full of ammo. he also has, though it took me 20 mins to work it out, a grappling hook. The miniature does indeed look like the early ranger archetypes from D&D.
The Chief is relatively heavily armoured and is armed with a large brush and a wrist mounted catapult. He also has an impressive headdress upon which sits the symbol for his faction
Ease of Assembly: Straight forward but fiddly at the same time. Unless you are a collector and do not intend to use them in the game you will need to pin some or most of the joints. Given that these are all cast in resin that’s not such a time consuming task though it’s a bit nerve wracking given the thinness of some of the joints.
Due to the level of detail on them I found both the Chief and the Hunter took the most preparation and TBH patience … I had to get up and walk out of the room a couple of times
Summing up: Given the detail and uniqueness of the miniatures I found this set to be very good value. You get 5 miniatures with “hero level” detailing and two paint splats which are … strangely compelling.
Gamers I’ve talked to have been blown away by the concepts but fell that perhaps this initial set appeals more to a) people planning on playing the game or b) people looking to expand their collections. Obviously it would be easier to get into as a collector once Fluo Games provide single miniatures.
If you want to know more about the Color Warz setting and the Paint Brawl board game Fluo Games have released a working draft of the rules set here. Paint brawl is due for release in April 2012.
HHT-90: 10-0218 “Pyre of Samarkand”
One of the few Overlords to face the ignominy of destruction on Caprice the Pyre of Samarkand fell victim to Black Talon insurgents at the clearing of Surtaz firebase. Its blackened hull, a charnel house for all but one of the crew, was lifted back to CEF headquarters for assessment. Although the turret was a write off the hull and, more importantly, the engines had suffered only superficial damage. Restored to battle ready condition over two years while still on Caprice the Samarkand didn’t see action again until it made planet fall on Terra Nova.
Somewhat controversially this Overlord has been placed under the command of the only surviving officer from the Surtaz debacle. While many analysts questioned this move Korp command felt that Major Chervenkov, besides being an exemplary CEF officer, would be more cautious with this resource than his predecessor. Assigned to the 3rd Korp, on the Downing Front, the battle group has acquitted itself well against the skirmishers on route to Rapid City. Korp Commands faith seems well paced though naysayers point out that the real battle has yet to start.
The Pyre of Samarkand went through an extensive refit on route to Terra Nova. It was given the full upgrade package including heavier weapons and increased C3 capacity together with a full suite of NAI Matrices. A Utopian officer has been assigned to oversee the operation and maintenance of the N-KIDU drones. In addition a Grel platoon has been assigned for close support and tactical flexibility. Somewhat ironically this is the same platoon that was assigned to the Samarkand at Surtaz.
Major Sepp Chervenkov
Captain Chervenkov served as the commander of the Samarkand’s Hull at the time of its destruction. Suffering horrific injuries requiring limb regeneration and extensive skin grafts it is a tribute to the expertise of the NEC that he survived. Promoted to Major and given command of the battle group shortly after the returning to active duty. He was ambivalent about the honour but embraced the second chance for what it was.
An anti-armour and siege expert he was a man of easy confidence and levity, able to inspire those around him with his unshakable faith in the NEC. He still hold his friends dear, those that stood by him in the inquiry at least, but they have seen him become a taciturn, soft spoken man. This change has been reflected in his operational tactics. Gone is the textbook aggression of the armoured cavalier. He has become more deliberate in his command style going so far as to institute the defensive SOPs on the units attached to the Samarkand, even while on the offensive.
He dislikes both the Grels and Utopians assigned to his command but acknowledges their contributions, indeed Specialist Kurzain grates on him almost as much as the Jans do. Regardless of their origins though he is fiercely loyal to those under his command. Perhaps this is just his duty or training coming to the fore but maybe it is some seed of the man he once was… this aspect and his graveyard humour are all that is left.
Drone Specialist: Command Lancer Eva Kurzain
Hailing from Olympia Kurzain is an ex-Armiger pilot bristling under an enforced transition to operations. She was raised in the bosom of the United Republic of Steelgate’s political class. Using both her skill and connections she rose through the ranks quickly achieving Command Lancer. Her family arranged a prestigious assignment within the CEF invasion taskforce though they ensured she was kept from the Armiger units she loves.
The dullness of her assignment became evident within weeks of joining the Samarkand’s command staff. Since planet fall the stress has started to affect her level of professionalism. Chervenkov tolerates these minor insubordinations as she is far too valuable an asset to remove. Kurzain commands and maintains the NAI attached to the Samarkand. When they are not in their drones she delights in sending them to irritate both the command staff and the Grels with relentless barrages of questions.
Grel Platton “The Ashen“
Used almost exclusively for point defense the platoon has an array of support options available to it. The assignment of the Utopian drones have given the platoon a greater level of tactical flexibility but they are still used primarily as a defensive force. To a soldier this is the same platoon assigned to the Samarkand at the time of it’s destruction.
Ozan-1218 the primus inter pares of the Jans feels something akin to shame about the entire platoon surviving the Samarkand’s destruction unscathed. The other Jans feel it to a lesser degree and the Mordreds are, of course, indifferent to it all. The fault was obvious with hindsight, the frailty of human command. Ozan has begun, very carefully, to push for Grel crewmembers. By rights the battle group should be all Grel with him in command, it is an obvious and tactically sound structure.
The three strong Morgana kill-team are leashed and restrained under the defensive SOPs. Patient to a fault they await their next mission with impassive professionalism. When not on duty they drill constantly in a variety of exercise regimens and simulations.
Since the arrival of the Utopian drones they hone their ranged weapon skills on the NAIs, who find it hilarious fun, and Command Lacer Kurzain has taken to sparing with them on occasion. While in transit they prefer to ride on the outer hull, constantly scanning the horizon.
On the table I wanted to create the most tricked out Overlord I could manage to construct. If I’m being honest it started out as a excersice to just to see what it would “feel” like more than how it would play. After a couple of passes in Gear Garage I hit a single battle group coming in at 1825TV. The edited highlights are;
- CEF HHT-90 Overlord Turret [4/5/4/4] HLC, 2 HATM, MACCC, HPACGL, ArmyCmdr
- CEF HHT-90 Overlord Hull [4/4/2/2] 4 HAAC, 2 HRP/48, HGLC, 4 APGL
- 4 CEF GREL Infantry Squads Turtleshell Armour, Rocket Launcher,Assault Rifle
- 1 CEF Morgana Commando Squad Best of the Best, Target Designator
- 8 N-KIDU [C] Drones VLRP/32