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Vindicare

So one of the side projects I’ve been working on since February has been a Vindicare Assassin from Games Workshop. Basically a super sniper with a BFG.

I thought he’d be a decent addition to my Imperial Guard army, making up for the usual lackluster hitting ability the Guard is famous for (and my abysmal dice rolling skills don’t help with). He can also ally with my future Space Marine and Sisters army’s as well.

I also decided I really wanted to paint this guy my best, so I picked up the White Dwarf that had the relative “how-to-paint” article in it, and got cracking. Though I will say I substituted some colors (especially for the base) that looked close enough. On others, such as the Dark Reaper and Kabalite Green I picked up as I had nothing even close—which is saying something with an inventory of 248 paints…

While I see room for lots of improvement, I am really happy with how he turned out. The highlights are a bit too thick, and in someplace awkwardly placed, but as this is really the first time I’ve gone in for edge highlights, I think it’s pretty good.

I’m also really happy with base. I misplaced the original (only for it to pop up a week later) so I used a correctly sized MDF one. The kit itself came with the pillar and standing platform to glue the assassin too. but that didn’t cover the whole base. I decided to glue some grit on both the platform and the base to extend and tie everything together. I also added some of my bricks in to rubble the place up a bit more. Then everything was painted and dry brushed per the directions in the White Dwarf and Boom! A pretty nice looking base, if I say so myself.

Getting There—Project: Valkdetta

Well, after more than a year, Project: Valkdetta is mostly complete. All the major sub-assemblies are done and it looks like what it’s supposed to be. I’m missing the lower vertical stabilizers (I’ll have to look if I ever got them or not) and the front sensor array. If I don’t have the parts I’ll have to see if I can buy them reasonably or if I’ll have to plastic-card them.

Getting the booms and wings on was a bit of pain, what with the original alignment pegs having been broken in the tear-down process. It’s not perfect but I did the best I could. With the wings at least, the old mounting holes were still present, so I used the center of them to drill out holes for pinning.

Hard to see, but pins for the wings to mount to.

Hard to see, but pins for the wings to mount to.

For gluing all the major assemblies, I used JB Quick 5-miniute epoxy. I wont say it’s indestructible, but if something breaks, things have gone horribly wrong.

While I was test fitting the left wing on, I noticed the wing had gotten horribly warped. I can only imagine that it happened after I broke the model down and must have set something down on it.

You can see Valkdett's wing compared to a plastic Valkyrie wing. Just a *bit* off...

You can see Valkdetta’s wing compared to a plastic Valkyrie wing. Just a *bit* off…

Not to be discouraged (I totally was…) I decided to try boiling it and bending it back to the correct angle. Once again, it’s not perfect, but the angle is correct now (even if the wing has some ripples in it) and I decided to go ahead and glue it on.

You can see the left wing isn't perfectly straight, but...

You can see the left wing isn’t perfectly straight, but…

I still need to fill in some gaps on the wing to fuselage joint and clean up some of the JB Quick that got where it shouldn’t be, but Valkdetta is now clearly a Valkyrie. I’ll fluff her rough appearance to being an old bird with a lot of battles behind her.

A *bit* of an improvement. If I say so myself.

A *bit* of an improvement. If I say so myself.

Some Updates

So as I’m dealing with a bum ankle, I might as well post some pictures and what not of what I’ve been up too.

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Project: Valkdetta

Valkdetta is getting along. Engines and center hump-thingy are on, as well at the one boom. The other boom was a bit trickier—I had to clearance the engine to make sure it fit. That’s all settled now, so this weekend should see her getting close to completion. Just in time for the new Death From the Skies book to hit, even though it apparently doesn’t have anything about the Vendetta—or any of the FW fliers.

 

Here is my Vindicare assassin. I’m trying to follow the tutorial in “White Dwarf” as closely as I can. It’s my fist time painting anything in that style, so… I don’t hate it yet, but those edge highlights are a bit thick in my opinion.

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REPENT!

This is my ‘bits’ priest. I picked up a bag of WFB Empire bits at Adepticon for $4 and made this guy. I added boots to him, and cut the spikes of his mace. He still looked more Chaos then not though, so I added an Aquila emblem from the Imperial Tank Sprue. I like him much better now. The autogun was made from a spare lasrifle, plastic tubing and some greenstuff.

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For the Somewhat Better Good!

I’ve been working on my Tau infantry at work during my lunches (cleaning them up and such) and decided I might as well throw paint on them. These are all second hand, and let’s face it, the old sculpts weren’t so great to begin with. These will be fluffed as a backwater garrison that suddenly got reinforced with some front line units. That’ll explain the old metal stealth suits I have as well as the old Crisis suits.

More Valhallans

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.

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With Green stuff neck

 

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Side-by-side with the Kurgan head. The Ushanka head is actually taller as I left more of his built in base under the feet. But I’m not sure if I see a notable enough difference.

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Anyways, I’ll try cutting ones collar down and sticking a Ushanka down on that and seeing how I like it.

 

 

Project Valk-Detta Progress

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.

 

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As purchased. A *bit* off…

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Much better.

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.

Valhallan Ice Warriors

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.

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November 1941 Soviet army parades in Red Square before battle with Germany

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).

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From Ratgard’s site

 

 

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.

kurgan

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.

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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:

Soviet_Assault_Engineers_1

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…

 

 

Project: Destroyer Tank Hunter

OK. So I have been kind of hobbying—not as much as I would like, but things are moving along. I did get an opportunity to do some paid writing, so I jumped on it, and it has taken up a fair amount of time as of late, but I’m ready to get back to some gluing.

One project that I don’t think I’ve ever posted here is, ironically enough, the first one I started for 40K. Scratch building a Destroyer Tank Hunter. I just really liked how it looked and its fluff. I really dig Soviet casement style assault guns, so this was right up my alley

Destroyer_Tank_Hunter_0

Is that a big ol’ laser cannon on your glacis, or are you just happy to see me?

Anyways, I started this thing like eighteen months ago, and work on it (like everything) in fits and spurts.

Before buying anything, I downloaded scores of pictures and searched for anything I could on the ‘net. I discovered that the model used a Chimera top plate for the hull top, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t find anything that worked for the gun mount. So I decided to build my own out of styrene (it has only recently come to my attention that one of the various Baneblade options has something that would work pretty well). I went with something evoking that of an SU-122, and what my limited abilities are capable of.

Ok, not really like that at all...

Ok, not really like that at all…

Well, it works, anyways...

Well, it works, anyways…

I also deceided at this point that I want the tank to be able to also act as a Thunderer, which is a Destroyer that’s had its complicated laser cannon replaced with a Demolisher cannon. So I went with the obvious route and did a short length of thick tubing in which the longer, narrower laser cannon barrel would slip into. While the short tubing lacks the…we’ll call it presence, of the actual demolisher cannon, the inner diameter of the tube is almost exactly the same as the Demolisher, so it’s good enough for me.
However, This is wehre I discovered that my casement was slightly crooked. Not really noticable on its own, But it became very noticeable with the long laser cannon barrel.
Not willing to tear apart the casement, I sanded the gun mount and got it fairly close to plum.

The Thunder from Down Under.

The Thunder from Down Under.

 

No, I'm not over compensating.

No, I’m not over compensating.

I also tried magnetizing the barrel so it would stick in better. Instead, I screwed up the polarity and made a nifty shooting gun barrel. Check your polarity kids!

Succulently phrased Insane clown posse.

Succulently phrased Insane clown posse.

So now I just have to add the outer track housing, the treads and figure out what I’m going to do for exhaust. Oh, and paint. So, really it’s practically finished…