Friday, October 23, 2009

Finished Alien Plant Terrain

As promised here are some shots of the alien plants I was working on. I started off by spraying them with black primer. Once that was dry I gave them a second coat with Model Master Medium Green (spray can). Below are some of the progress pics.

For the most part the look was achieved by dry brushing lighter shades of green for the plants or brown for the base.


  • Orkhide Shade
  • Goblin Green
  • Camo Green
  • Bilous Green


  • Graveyard Earth
  • Orc Brown (Desert Tan?)
  • Vomit Brown
  • Bleached Bone


  • Scab Red
  • Blood Red
  • Fiery Orange


  • Liche Purple
  • Liche Purple + Imperial Purple
  • Imperial Purple
  • Imperial Purple + Skull White

The spikes and roots where done with a bit more care - layering with thin coats. Some of the details on the base where picked out with Scorched Earth, Codex Grey and Ash Waste Grey.

Another view of the finished piece.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Old Plastic, New Life

I have a set of old Eldar guardian plastics. These are the ones that came in 3 parts - the main body, lasgun with right forearm /hand and left hand molded as one piece and the base. The reason the hands/weapon came separate was so that the figures could be repackaged with the hands holding a shuriken catapult cast in metal which can be seen in this earlier post.

Anyway, what do you do with a bunch of lasgun holding guardians that you can't use? Convert them into Storm Guardians instead. Scrounging my bits box I have many Eldar arm and weapons frames. The conversion itself is a simple matter of removing the lasguns and arms altogether and swapping in new plastic arms with the appropriate weapons. Gotta love plastic minis.

Side by side of original mini with lasgun
and converted Storm Guardian.
For this particular figure I did even less surgery. I left the arms in thier original position and just removed the lasgun part. After cutting the lasgun away from the right hand, I added a shuriken pistol from the weapons frame and re-attached the right forearm at a slightly different angle. For the left side, I cut a fist from one of the arms from the Eldar arm frame and attached a sword from the weapons frame, cut the little nub off the arm and glued the fist in place. By adding different arm and weapons combinations and a head swap or two you end up with a diverse group.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dangerous Terrain!

Literally! I remember seeing these 'death-world' cacti in a White Dwarf a long time ago and have been meaning to put some together myself. They are very easy to make and inexpensive to boot.

Tools + Supplies

  • 1 pkg 2.5"/6.5 cm styrofoam balls
  • 1 pkg 1.5"/4 cm styrofoam balls
  • toothpics (the kind that's pointy on both ends)
  • ready to use wall filler (I used LePage Polyfix)
  • art board, stiff card board or masonite (I used art board)
  • assortment of small stones, pebbles, sand and other debris
  • sandpaper
  • hobby knife
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

The first three items on the list came from a dollar store and you end up with enough for several projects. The biggest expenses on the list are the filler and art board but again the materials will last you many, many projects. I figure this particular project costs less than a buck.

Start by cutting some board to the appropriate shape. Bevel the the edges with a hobby knife and sand smooth. With a hobby knife shave one side of the ball flat. Attach the ball to the base using liberal amounts of hot glue. Add a smaller ball in a similar way by cutting one side flat and making a corresponding flat cut on the larger ball. Stick together using the hot glue gun. Next coat the entire piece (base and all) with a thinned layer of filler. I used an old wash brush. If there are any gaps between the balls or the base pack in some filler. While the filler is still wet add some rocks, pebbles, sand and debris. Let the filler dry a bit then using an old brush stipple (jab with the brush) the surface of the balls to add some texture.

Next use a toothpick to poke some guide holes into the balls. Break the ends off the tooth picks and insert into the guide holes. The length of the spike depends on the size of the ball for the half ball I used just the tip of the toothpick to represent an immature plant, while the spikes on the large ball stick out a lot farther representing a mature specimine. One note though, I really should have blunted the ends of the toothpicks by running them on some sandpaper but I was on a roll and didn't think of it.

I played around with the glue gun and came up with a couple of effects that I thought were cool. By carefully applying a blob of glue and then slowly teasing it out I created a root. By adding some smaller blobs the effect is pretty convincing. Also just applying simple blobs of glue creates another form of plant life or perhaps seedlings of the bigger ones. Once I get these painted up I'' post some pictures of the finished product.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Banshees WIP - Repair and Update

I had planned this post to be about painting my Howling Banshees. As seen above I decided not to strip them down and started off by applying a thin coat of Scorched Earth. However, when I took these initial photos I noticed a problem. Banshees are no longer armed with laspistols but instead carry shurikan pistols. Some basic weapon swaps to update the gals were in order.

For this I am going to need:
  • a cutting board or some other protection for the kitchen table
  • a pair of cutters
  • a file (or two)
  • Eldar weapons frames x 5
  • super glue
  • modelling putty/gap filler (just in case things don't go as planned)

I also had to do a repair to the sword arm of one of the Banshees so I also need:

  • thin wire
  • a pin vise
The operation is pretty straight forward. 1) Cut the old weapon away using the cutters. 2) Use a file to smooth out the top of the fist. 3) Remove the shurikan pistol from the frame, trim off the grip and clean up any seams 4) Dry fit the join and attach the new weapon using a dot of super glue (I found it easier to put the glue on the pistol). Done.
Repairing the sword arm was a bit more involved. After cleaning up both sides of the break and dry fitting to make sure there would be a good join, I used my pin vise with a bit matching my wire thickness to dill a hole about 5mm into the wrist. I keep a large sewing needle in with my bits to use to make a starting dimple. I just put it into my pin vise and push it into where I want to drill creating a guide hole. This helps to keep the bit from slipping. Once this hole was done, I repeated the process on the hand/sword. It is also important to stop and check your progress as you are drilling to make sure you are not going off course. You don't want to end up drilling out the side and causing a bigger problem ('bin there done that). Again I went in about 5mm.
At this point I put a dab of super glue on the end of my wire and inserted it into the wrist hole. When this dried I trimmed the wire down to about 5mm, applied another dab of super glue and attached the sword hand.

The whole repair and replace job took about 20 minutes. Now I can proceed with updating the gals' wardrobes.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rangers Lead the Way!

Well I suppose that'd be true if these were the first Eldar figures to be finished but there you go. My Eldar Rangers are finished and this time I did take some in-progress pics. I wanted to keep the main army colour scheme of green and purple but at the same time set these guys apart in keeping with their independent lifestyle. To do this I toned down the colours and added more earth tones.

I started with a black primer and applied the base colours:
Dark Angel Green for the armor, leggings and gloves, Liche Purple for the shoulder plates and helmets, a 50/50 mix of Graveyard Earth and Liche Purple for the the long coats and Graveyard Earth for the weapons and leather accessories.
Faces where painted Bronzed Flesh, followed by a wash of Dark Flesh then highlighted with Elf Flesh with higher highlights added by adding Skull White.

At this stage I wanted to make the leggings and gauntlets look like green leather to contrast with the green Il-Kaithe armor even though I used the same base colour.

BC - DA Green
H1 -DA Green + Goblin Green
H2 - Goblin Green
H3 - Bilious Green

BC - DA Green
H1 - Imperial Strike Green
H2 - IS Green + Kommando Khaki
H3 - Kommando Khaki

At this stage I worked on the purples and leathers.

Long Coat
BC - Graveyard Earth + Liche Purple
H1 - BC + Kommando Khaki
H2 - H1 + more Kommando Khaki

Shoulder Plates/Helmets
BC - Liche Purple
H1 - BC + Skull White
H2 - H1 + more Skull White

BC - Graveyard Earth
H1 - Snakebite Leather
H2 - Vomit Brown

Finishing off with a funky Eldarish camo pattern inspired by the GW Biel-Tan Rangers. To start off I traced a zig-zag pattern using Catachan Green. However, once this dried it was extremely difficult to see. I would skip this step next time. Over top of this line I put down a line of thinned Camo Green. To finish off I added some highlights with a mix of Camo Green and Kommando Khaki.

BC - Graveyard Earth
H1 - BC + Bleached Bone
H2 - Bleached Bone

To imply the Rangers being in a forest or some other cover I add bits of twigs, lichen and dried cedar needles along with the grass mix to the bases.