Archive | May 2015

Project: Valk-detta

Ah, the Valkyrie. Primary flier for the Imperial Guard (and Scions) and a sturdy transport to boot.

Uh, the OTHER Valkyrie...

Uh, the OTHER Valkyrie…

There you go!

There you go!

Late night at last Adepticon there was a gentleman selling a Griffon, Salamander and a Valkyrie with the Vendetta conversion for $60. I’m not sure if it was the late hour, the lack of food in my stomach or the allure of a great deal, but I couldn’t pass it up.

The Salamander was what I was really after, as it had the correct Forgeworld Autocannon (my other doesn’t), and I wanted the Griffon for my Death Korp Assault list. The fact that I was getting a Valkyrie with the Vendetta conversion for less then the Vendetta conversion itself was just icing on the cake.

After I had gotten some sleep and really looked at the thing, I noticed that it was one of the original Forgeworld Valkyries made out of resin and not the plastic GW kit.

Then, I noticed something else…

It's totally natural if it curves a little to the left, right?

It’s totally natural if it curves a little, right?

Well, after cursing who ever screwed up the construction of the thing, I decided to try to get it apart.

After peeling out a ton of greenstuff from the cockpit/body joint I tried prying the pieces apart. Nothing.
Then I tried to gently remove the gun/sensor pods on flanking the cockpit. Also nothing. Then came the jewelers saw to make sure there was nothing holding the parts together. The problem with that was the weird angle and the fact that I could only get the saw to go so far.

So, in my desperation I took my ‘prying knife’ (an X-Acto Chisel blade) and pushed it in the joint as far as I could, and gently tapped on the knife handle with a pair of diagonal cutters.

This should end well...

This should end well…

After doing that a couple of times, I heard a “POP!” and the cockpit assembly came off. There was also like an 1/8 of an inch worth of dried superglue glopped on there (I would have tried the freezer method to break the superglue, but the Valkyrie was too big for mine).

Sweet, sweet victory! (and no blood!)

Sweet, sweet victory! (and no blood!)

It was then that I noticed that the curved cockpit wasn’t from a construction screw up, but rather the body sizes were two different lengths!

Definitely not natural...

Definitely not natural…

There’s not a lot of ways to fix this that aren’t major surgery. Luckily the outside of the fuselage is pretty devoid of detail and the interior (which has loads of it) can’t be seen once it’s all put together. I had one of three options: 1) buy the fuselage body ‘bits’ for the plastic Valkyrie and hope that I can get everything else to ‘bolt-on’, as it were; 2) Cut the shorter side and lengthen with some sheet styrene, or: 3) just cut down the longer side and sand to it’s the proper length. Clearly, option 1 is still a viable fail-safe, but I figured it could be…fun, I guess to do the surgery and try to get everything to work. I decided to shorten the long side since there should be less filling and sanding that route.
Though I should have checked the engine pods and wings to make sure they fit and look right on the shorter fuselage side. It’s only a few millimeters, so I think it’ll be ok.

Send help

Send help!

Of course I couldn’t find my hobby hacksaw so I pulled out the old X-acto plastic saw and proceeded to cut the fuselage (and hopefully not destroy it).

It actually cut fairly well for being such a thick chunk of resin. I made sure to wear my mask and kept a small spray bottle of water around to keep the dust to a minimum.

Next step is to sand down the parts (hopefully keeping them square) and gluing the fuselage back together and filling any seems.
I’m also debating getting the heavy bolter parts and installing them, but they are pretty worthless on a Vendetta…



If you play Imperial Guard you know how much the Imperium loves the rivet. There must be entire Forge Worlds dedicated to turning the things out, judging by their prodigious use on everything.



I’ve struggled for some time to get rivets that look right. Slicing .05 rod gave almost the right diameter, but the length was hard to keep consistent and it was a cylinder shape, not the correct dome shape that GW’s stuff has. For a lot of people that’s ok, as each rivet is fairly small, and really it’s a rather nit-picky detail.

I also bought a special tool from a model show that was a series of punches that I was told would make good rivets from thin metal sheeting. There you had both the diameter and thickness correct, but you’re still missing the dome shape. It was also kind of a pain to punch through the foil with out a small hammer and a rubber backing to punch through to. It has other uses, but if I had taken a minute to really look, I’d have realized this wasn’t what I wanted.

Finally a few months ago I heard about Tichy Train Group and their line of rivets. They offer a bunch of different diameters and, more importantly for me, the correct dome shape. I finally took the plunge last Friday and ordered some .04 and .05 diameter rivets (to see which is actually closer to what is on the majority of IG stuff, see below) and some bigger hex head pieces. You get 96 for $3, or about $.03/pc.

They showed up on Monday morning—that’s some quick shipping!

The rivets are made of brown injection molded styrene and come on a sprue. They are shanked, so to mount the rivet, you can drill (1/32 drill bit is what the package said for the 3 different sizes I ordered) a hole, apply a tiny amount of plastic glue and drop the rivet in.

Hex stem sprue

Hex stem sprue

You could also just as easily cut the head off and just glue that to the surface of what you’re riveting up (though it’s a pain to move around due to its size).

As you can see (please ignore the misalignment…) they look pretty good when installed:

Yea, yea, I'll fix it.

Yea, yea, I’ll fix it.

A quick note about cutting: I’d recommend placing the sprue in a small bag before you cut so the rivets don’t go flying—kind of like cutting photoetch.

Anyways, back to size, and it looks like the .040 rivets are right about perfect.

.040 compared to Chimera glacis plate.

.040 compared to Chimera glacis plate.

.040 on Leman Russ turret.

.040 on Leman Russ turret.

Now there are plenty of other ways to makes rivets, and if I hadn’t gone with Tichy, I would have gone with one of two others:

The first is the water filter method. Brita (and I’m sure other) filters use a combination of activated charcoal and tiny round spherical…somethings to do their filtering. The spherical somethings turn out to be about the perfect size (and shape!) to make rivets. You break open one of those filters, grab out the white spheres and viola! Rivets. You’ll need to drill a slight depression on the surface so you get the proper rivet shape, but a really good solution. Here is a really solid tutorial.

The second method is Archer Fine Transers . Archer goes about things a bit differently, basically making a 3-D decal that you attach to you model. They make a lot of cool things including foundry marks for historic models as well as welding beads. Trying to find the right size rivet is a bit more difficult, but depending on exactly what your looking for, either the G-Scale railroad rivets for 7/8th (.034 actual size) or the 1.25 (which isn’t listed a size but should be right around .04″) would work.

Hopefully this helps someone with riveting related issues!

Sargent Hal

So here I talked a little about Sargent Hal, the luckiest non-com in the galaxy this side of Ciaphas Cain.

Ciaphas Cian

Ciaphas Cian

Anyways, I wanted to do something special for ol’ Sargent Hal. But I don’t know what. He didn’t kill anyone and, besides being lucky, he really didn’t do anything. He just survived. A lot.

But how do you model ‘lucky’? I had some old gasmask heads that came with one of my craigslist buys, so I stuck that on there. No so much as a kill marker, but more as a “Hey, I survived and you didn’t!” marker. And, uh, it’s really the only thing I have.

Ciaphas, he aint.

Ciaphas, he ain’t.

I realize I have to finish paining him, but seriously, how do I model ‘lucky’?


Also a short update on Project: Eradicator.

I’ve managed to glue a big ol’ ball of milliput and pewter sprue in the turret for weight. It sit’s way better now!

Mmmm, Milliput Ball

Mmmm, Milliput Ball

I also took a hatch from on old style Chimera turret—which I hate due to the fact they are so thin.  However, due to the the damage to the hatch base from prying it off, and the damage on the turret from the old hatch being taken off, it’s not proving to be an easy mating.

I sanded the hatch base to get it as level as I could and added some filler to it. I also sanded the turret, but…

So I superglued the turret onto a sheet of styrene and am hoping that will allow the hatch to properly sit on the turret. Of course I have to cut and then sand everything flush, but that’s half the fun (I think?)!

Now just to cut it out and sand it flush. Oh, and hope it works.

Now just to cut it out and sand it flush. Oh, and hope it works.

Oh, yea. In the first picture you can see where I drilled some holes in a couple of…bump thingies and put in a length of brass wire. I’m hoping to make lifting rings, but I’m not sure I can bend the wire nicely enough to pull off the look. I guess we’ll see!

More Bass…ilisk

Not much to update on Project Bass-ilisk, but I have continued on with the firing platform. I reinforced underneath with more sheet styrene and glued the treadplate to the top. Tonight I should be able to cut down the treadplate to fit correctly.



The treadplate needs to be glued as tight and as strongly as possible as I will be trimming and sanding it to match the correct proportions.

Glued Down!

Glued Down!

Everything is now nice and tight. I have those two little bare spots by the gun platform that I have to figure out what to do with. I may just build it up with some putty. The over hang of the cannon breech will be there, so I don’t think it’ll be too noticeable.
I still need to figure out if I’m going to do anything else help explain why it looks so different from the other Basilisks (besides I’m cheap and got burned on a sale…).

Oh, and I still need to figure out what I’m going to do for a gun shield. I have the paper model files that I can use as a master, but I don’t think I can get the curve right, so I’ll probably make something else.

Game 2!

So last Saturday my friend Austin came out to visit some family and we decided to do some gaming. We decided on a 1500 point game and I told him to bring his Knights.
Yes, plural.
I’d seen them in pictures but not up close, and I figured this would be a great opportunity to do so.

I was right, they look amazing.

Anyways, you may ask what I was thinking going up against two knights in a 1500 point game? Well, I was thinking a few things: this being only my second game, I knew I was going to loose, so I thought I’d do something interesting.  It also seems to me that this is where the meta is going: big, heavy hitting units flanked with a few supporting elements (obviously not true for all armies, but…), so I might as well get used to it up front.

I used my IG force since it’s the closest to being table ready (close in no way means done…). Austin used the aforementioned Knights (one Paladin and one FW Acheron), and his Death Korp Grenadiers and Chimeras.

7th Demaran Guards Muster

              7th Demaran Guards Muster

My ‘plan’ was to win initiative and do as much damage as I could to one of the Knights.

Guess who didn’t win Initiative?

Further complicating matters, I fouled up and placed my Primaris Psyker with the Battle Cannon Leman Russ, and not the Vanquisher. Where, you know, his prescience would have actually been useful…
I won’t make that mistake again.

I won’t bore you with the turn-by-turn, but I decided to charge up to him and start fighting when my turn came. It wasn’t really effective, but it felt better than hiding behind some ruins.

This will end well, I'm sure!

This will end well, I’m sure!

The middle objective was the most hotly contested, with Austin’s two Knights flanking it, and me trying to push some of my vets in there.

Bloody town Square

Bloody town Square

I also attempted to flank him with squad of guardsman. They were going to die anyways, sooo… (plus it made for a great picture!)

Affix Bayonets?  Affix Bayonets.

Affix Bayonets? Affix Bayonets!

The one cool ‘Forging a Narrative’ part came when the Sargent of an infantry squad defending a lascannon team was the only survivor of the Acheron Flamer Cannon, two autocannon shots from a Storm Chimera and bolter fire. He made his moral save and managed to ‘join up’ with the Leman Russ Eradicator.

Sgt. Hal, Survivor Extraordinaire.

Sgt. Hal, Survivor Extraordinaire.

I’m going to try to do something special for him, but I’m not sure how to model “luckiest grunt ever”…

The only damage I really managed to inflict was on the Paladin and that was from the Leman Russ Eradicator (my lesson learned from my first game!) and a squad of melta-vets that were dropped off by my crashing Valkyrie.

Austin’s DKK Grenadiers never even dismounted from their Storm Chimeras…

Throughout it all, Austin was apologizing for the whooping I had inflicted on myself and generally feeling terrible when he killed something of mine. I kept telling him I asked for it, but he still felt bad.

In the end I was happy. I learned a few things, saw some awesomely painted units and had a great time with a good freind.

Now I need my own knight. A Crusader perhaps… 🙂

Some other pictures from the game:

You first, Mr. Leman Russ.

You first, Mr. Leman Russ.

A look behind the lines.

A look behind the lines.

This is an important tree. We'll stay here and guard it.

This is an important tree. We’ll stay here and guard it.



Minor update.

Yikes, two weeks since the last post…

Haven’t been doing too much. Got my second game of 40K in last Saturday with my friend Austin. Had a good time even though he whooped me. I’ll post up a batrep tomorrow.

Really, really whooped.

I’ve also been working on my Eradicator conversion, had to add some weight to the back so it would set level.

Then there is the old FW Valkdetta I’ve been fighting with. The cockpit portion of the fuselage is glued on crooked and it’s driving me insane. It’s also not coming apart, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it.


I  managed to get another Basilisk from ebay for $25 (I just wont learn…) so I now have a full squadron of three for artillery support. I also picked up a Chimera for $12 that’s missing it’s rear ramp and a turret—but I have extras for those.

So as always, I don’t want for projects.

I’ll get something actually interesting up tomorrow.