Part one HERE
So I got my Mad Robot Ushanka and Kurgan heads in the other day and immediately glued them to some Shock Troops.
The Kurgan helmet head (basically a Soviet SSH-40-ish helmet) fit perfectly. The Ushanka… did not. Due to the Shock Troop’s high collar, the bottom of the Ushanka hits it and makes the head stick up quite a bit. I made a greenstuff “neck” to prop it up, but I think what I’ll probably do is position the head and cut the collar down so the head fits right. But maybe not. I’m still mulling it over.
Anyways, I’ll try cutting ones collar down and sticking a Ushanka down on that and seeing how I like it.
While it’s been nearly a year since I’ve documented any progress on my old, second-hand Forge World Valkyrie, I have occasionally tooled around with it here and there.
Since the last update, I’ve attached the cockpit assembly to the fuselage. Now it’s still not perfectly straight, but it’s now barely perceptible.
However, there has been a crap load of filling and sanding and filling and sanding and… Well, you get the point. The transition between the fuselage and the cockpit on the bottom has been a huge pain, but it’s getting there. Right now I have the top…hump? epoxied to a sheet of plastic to make sure it’s flat and give it a bit of a height boost, as I think the cockpit module sits a bit higher than it did before—here’s hoping that doesn’t mess everything else up. I also need to figure out if the engines go on before the tail boom, or if it’s the other way around.
Here’s some more pics of the old girl, which I’m thinking I’ll name Phoenix.
So I have a ‘thing’ for World War Two and Cold War Soviet equipment. Their rugged simplicity and reliance of quantity has always appealed to me. So it’s no wonder that I’ve always liked GW’s Valhallan Ice Warriors and their Soviet influenced design.
Between the greatcoats and the Ushankas (fur hat), the Valhallan’s are dripping with Soviet imagery. It doesn’t hurt that the Imperial Guard has a bit of a resemblance to the Red Army, what with it’s Commissars and reliance on sheer numbers.
Anyways, a few months ago I saw an ebay listing for four of these, loving the BMP-1 look I put a ridiculousness small bid on them…and won them all for the princely sum of $20 (The casting is beautiful on them, by the way).
Since I now had a suitable transport for some Valhallans, I figured I should probably get some troops.
The good news is that they are still available on GW’s website, but they aren’t really cheap, not-quite twice the price of a squad of Cadians, so I was hopeful I could find something else.
I really liked the look of Mad Robot’s Kurgan but they we just as expensive as the GW stuff, though they are a multi-part kit, which has a lot of advantages.
So I kind of just sat on the idea for my Valhallans. I occasionally would check ebay, but that’s about it.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a couple of boxes of Wargames Factory Shock Troops (AKA Greatcoat Troopers) for dirt cheap, two boxes of 18 for $30. I figured if nothing else, I could use them somewhere and threw my money at the seller.
Doing some research, I discovered that Cadian arms are a direct swap, giving the figures a cheap and easy method of matching GW’s weapon aesthetic.
At this point, I still hadn’t thought to use the WGF Shock Troops as Valhallans, and was just figuring I’d use them as either conscripts of maybe a future Blood Pact force.
Then yesterday, while I was looking over some Soviet Bolt Action minis (because I need another army for another game…) I discovered these:
These guys are Soviet Assault Engineers and they were equipped with with a primitive steel body armour (not unlike World War One German Storm Trooper armor). It turns out that the WGF Shock troopers have molded on body armor not dis-similar to the above. Which is what made me realize I’d found my Valhallans.
Now, the basic troopers are pretty simple, with only a couple of poses, but they are well cast and with Cadian arms, will—I think—offer a good compromise. I splurged on some Ushanka heads from Mad Robot (like the head of the above ‘Kurgan’) and I think they will be easily recognizable as Valhallans and as their weapons will be Cadian, table top usage should be fairly problem free.
Of course this solution isn’t without issues as it turns out Warlord is taking over distribution of the old Wargames Factory line. When I messaged them asking if the Shock Troops would be re-released along with the historical ranges, I was told they would not be. Which means they may get harder to find. Luckily, as I’m using different arms and heads, there are some bits dealers selling the bodies, but I have no idea what the demand is for these guy, but we’ll see.
Now all I have to do is build a T34/76-esque turret (easier to tell what it’s supposed to be evoking rather than the /85) for my Leman Russes…
So while I was looking over my box of Scions, I noticed that the “Tempestor” (basically the squad sergeant) has quite a few arm options—options that begged to be magnetized.
Now I’ve magnetized a couple of Leman Russes, but doing something as small as a figure is a totally different ball game. I have a sample set of magnets that do have some reallllly tiny ones in them,so I was ok on the front. However, while I was looking of the model, I began asking myself why everybody always uses two magnets? While I know it probably makes the joint fairly strong, it seemed overkill—especially for something like an arm (however, please correct me if I’m over looking something). Plus there is that whole polarity thing, which has caught me once before.
So, I decided to do some SCIENCE! and see if there was a way I could get away with just using one magnet for the joint.
Idea 1: Metallic Epoxy
OK, so this wasn’t a completely honest effort—more curiosity than anything..
First thing first, WEAR GLOVES with this stuff (I know I always should, but, you know…). Anyways, this stuff STINKS. And the smell doesn’t come off for quite sometime.
Otherwise, this stuff is an epoxy putty, but it’s already kinda pre-mixed. You just cut a chunk off and work it till its all one (stinky) uniform color.
After it hardened I was absolutely floored that it actually had some (incredibly small) magnetic properties. My little rare earth magnet tugged ever so gently towards the lump of cured epoxy, and stayed put when I set the magnet on it. Now, it’s not going to hold anything on, or anything like that, it’s a verrrrrrrrrry weak bond and wont do anything for us. But, like I said, I was surprised there was actually enough metal content in the putty to do anything at all.
Idea 2: Nail Head
I found a pack of small nails that had a really small diameter head that was also quite thin. I was looking for tiny washers when I came across them. Turns out they were way smaller than any washer the store had, so I picked them up.
The head is about 3mm in diameter and half a mm thick.
I was an idiot on the initial try and placed the the entire nail on the arm, thinking it would be easier to cut the head off after the glue had dried.
Because it’s still a nail and kind of hard, when I used my wire cutters to cut the stem off, it broke the nail loose. Also, unless you have better wire cutters then I do (or find a softer nail) you’re probably going to leave a bit of a nub on the head, but that’s ok! I just drilled ever so slightly into the limb we’re magnitizing and basically pinned the nail head onto the arm. I think that will actually help the nail head stay on. I’m sure you could file the stem nub off if you so desire.
And because the nail head is so thin, you really don’t have to counter sink it into the limb if you don’t want to, which can save a fair amount of work.
So how did it work? Perfectly. I was able to pick the Scion up with the arm and even after flicking my wrist a bit, everything stayed stuck together.
Idea 3: Magnetic Sheet
This stuff actually worked better than I thought it would. I just cut a small bit out and superglued it to the powerfirst arm, and it stuck. Now, I couldn’t pick the mini up with that arm, but I don’t see it just falling off in a game either.
The Ferro-Epoxy is not going to do anything for you except stink up your hands, avoid this unless you need a super weak bond that can’t do anything.
On the other hand, the nail head is perfect, not a lot of prep work, no polarity to worry about messing up and it was dirt cheap—like a $1.50 for a couple or dozen. It was also more than strong enough.
Finally the magnetic sheet worked ok, as the arm stayed put, but really didn’t like to be handled. On the plus side, polarity wasn’t an issue, so that’s helpful (and maybe kind of weird—much like ICP, I’m not sure how magnets work). I could maybe see it being useful if you had a weird shape to magnetize, cutting the sheet would be pretty easy to match a shape and it’s fairly thin, so you wouldn’t need to counter sink it.
I’m sure someone(s) have already posted something like this, but I couldn’t find it, though there was no easy way to search—everything came back with two magnets, which is why I’m calling this single magnet magnetizing.
Well. it’s been awhile.
Sadly, due to the dreaded Real Life™ (and a cold basement), I’ve had precious little hobby time this winter. So while I occasionally would tool around on things, I was usually exhausted and my heart really wasn’t into it. It was much easier (and warmer) to put on Netflix and get sucked into “Arrow”.
The one thing I had been able to do (especially with all the overtime I was getting) was buy stuff (including a new air compressor, YAY!), which we all know, is almost as good as actual hobbying.
However, with work settling down and the temperatures warming up, I’m finally starting to get back to it. Last week I cleaned up the hobby space, and started to plan out some projects.
Including, but not limited to:
Contuining on my Tasca Fury
Building the two squads of Scions I have.
Building a 1/72 Aircraft model
Finishing Project Valkdetta (for the Scions)
Finish painting my Demaran Guard
Plus all the other assorted half-cocked ideas I have running through my head, including my Squat squad. A few years ago, Adepticon gave out a few sprues of Mantic Space Dwarves (Steel Warriors) in the swag bags, and I’ve been wanting to convert them ever since to fit in with my guard. I figure as a squad of veterans or maybe as part of an Inquisitional retinue.
Anyways, I hope to start updating this more regularly and getting some projects finished.