Thoughts on the painting of, and playing with, toy soldiers.


It Is Among Us…

More photos (done properly with a decent camera with a macro lens and tripod) to follow. This picture doesn’t really do it justice: I think this is the best miniature I’ve ever produced.

I’m still working on a name, and accepting suggestions!

Warmonger Update #8: Painting the base

I had to wait a few days, but finally the weather has cleared up enough to allow me to start undercoating the various parts of the Warmonger titan. I decided to go for the “low hanging fruit” first and made a start on the base:

The base was sprayed black, and then drybrushed with several shades of grey, getting progressively lighter almost up to pure white. To distiguish the ground surface from the building rubble, I drybrushed it with a mix of black and tan to give it a muddier colour.

I have made quite good progress on the main body of the titan, but I think I’ll hold off on posting more updates until the “reveal” when it’s all finished. Then you will be able to see it in all its glory :)

One More Thing

Now’s your chance to help me: this beastie needs a name. Something impressive, menacing, powerful, and preferably in Imperial Gothic (or Latin, if you prefer). Any suggestions?

Warmonger Update #7: Building a Base

I decided that I want the Warmonger to have a base to stand on: it doesn’t really need one thanks to its enormous bastion feet, but I think it nicely finishes off a model.

I cut a 50mm x 100mm rectangle of 5mm polystyrene sheet, using the razor saw, which makes doing dead-straight precision cuts a doddle. Then I rounded the edges with a file. this gave me a solid foundation for the base.

I decided to go for an “urban warzone” style base, so I used some offcuts from the amazing (but now out of production) Epic buildings sprues, and a bit of finely chopped cork and gravel to create some rubble. Finally, I painted superglue onto the base and dipped it into some fine sawdust, being careful not to go over the outlines of the titan’s feet, which I drew onto the base with pencil.

In one corner, I sculpted a crater from “green stuff” (epoxy putty), which I finished up with a space marine figure lying face down. When the base is finished, I’ll use some water-effect liquid to make it look like he’s lying face down in a puddle.

I’ve taken this week off as holiday, and getting on with painting the Warmonger is my main priority for this week, so expect more updates soon!

Warmonger Update #6: Installing the Radar dish, first assembly

It’s taken me a few weeks to find something suitable to serve as a radar dish for the tower of the Warmonger. My first thought was to use the radar dish from the Ordinatus Golgotha, but I wasn’t about to ruin a rare (and extremely cheesy) miniature just to scratch an itch.

I decided to consult the wizened battle-brothers of Warseer and ask for their advice: a number of excellent suggestions were made, such as the radar dish from the 40k-scale Whirlwind, but then I got a PM from my new best friend yabbadabba offering me — you guessed it — a radar dish from an Ordinatus!

The piece arrived in the post this afternoon, and I decided to waste no more time and to install it on the titan:

The mounting is made from an old Warlord titan extension arm and the base of one of the Hydra platforms that I used for the AA guns. Looks pretty damn good, if you ask me.

What’s, that? Did I hear you correctly? Did you say that you want me to zoom out? OK, then:


If that’s whet your whistle, you can see a bunch more pictures below.

Warmonger Update #5: Test fitting the Hydra turrets

As predicted, the Hydra turrets from Forgeworld were waiting on my desk upon my arrival from Paris, so I wasted no time in prepping them. Here’s a photo of what they look like when mounted on the fortress of the titan:

Rather awesome, I think. The resin barrels of the AA guns are extremely delicate and I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to break them, so I’m glad I have a couple of spares left over to provide replacements for the inevitable breakages.

I also ordered some small link chain that I will attach to the underside of the fortress and to the main weapons to provide things to hang banners from. After that, I just have to fill all the gaps with putty and find something to serve as a radar antenna on the tower, and I’m ready to get painting!

Warmonger Update #4: Building the Landing Pad

I’m still waiting for Forge World to dispatch the hydras that will form the AA-platforms on the towers of the fortress, so I’ve been making progress on the other pieces of the titan. I’m still working out where to get the radar dish for the rear tower, that will replace the defence laser: if anyone has a suggestion, I’d be pleased to hear it. Scratch-building is always an option, but it’ll never look as good as converting something else.

The landing pad for the spotter aircraft has turned out pretty well: as I am sure you can see, it’s a standard GW slottabase, sanded smooth, with an etched brass aquila and another piece of the ARC starfighter to serve as an antenna.

I’m catching a Eurostar tomorrow morning to go to Paris for the 32nd International ICANN meeting, and I’m staying for the weekend to visit with a friend, so hopefully by the time I get back, the hydras will have arrived, and I can put the finishing touches to the titan. I’m really itching to paint it!

Warmonger Update #3: Building the Doomstrike Missile Launcher

As promised, here’s the doomstrike missile battery which is the secondary weapons loadout for the Warmonger titan:

The missiles came from a model kit of an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter, which carries eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The missiles in the kit were just about the right size for the Warmonger titan.

I attached two missiles to the top and bottom of a small piece of styrene I-bar, and then used another piece to attach them to a piece of tubing: my intention is for this to become the barrel of an additional weapon: one that can’t be used if you use one or more of the missiles in the same turn. The end of the tube is slightly mitred to make it look like the muzzle of a cannon.</p

I then mounted the entire assembly onto the breech of the Hellstorm cannon (once again, the razor saw made short work of would have been a difficult job — removing the barrel of the Hellstorm). A small rectangle of plasticard and an etched brass imperial finished off the job.

This week I decided to just order the Hydra turrets that I will use for the AA guns on the towers: once they arrive, I will only have the landing pad and the radar dish to build before I can start making the final preparations for painting! There is still a lot of filing and putty work to do to fill the gaps left by the previous owner, but once that’s done, I can give the thing an undercoat.

More updates next week, hopefully!

Warmonger Update #2: Building the Vengeance Cannon

This afternoon I went down to my local HobbyCraft store and had a very successful trip: I picked up a couple of model kits in a clearance sale that should help me build the Warmonger’s primary weapons: the battery of eight deathstrike missiles, and the vengeance cannon.

One of the kits was a simple snap-fit model of the ARC Starfighter from the Star Wars movies. The engine pods attached to the barrel of the plasma annihilator make an exceedingly evil-looking weapon:

I also found a kit of an Apache helicopter that has the right number of missiles to make up the deathstrike battery: I’m scratchbuilding the mount for this weapon from plastic tubing and I-bar: but I’ll save that for a future update :)

So far I’m really impressed with the razor saw: it makes a whole range of very delicate cuts very simple indeed. I recommend you get yourself one.

Warmonger Update #1: Dismantling the Imperator

This saturday morning I found myself in the unusual situation of being awake before noon and not hung over, so I made the most of the time and picked up the razor saw that I talked about in my last post. Once I’d taken a look at it I realised that it would be narrow enough to do what I needed it to do.

So I took it home and it made pretty short work of the carcass of the Imperator:

The various components came apart pretty easily, so I can now start filling in the gaps left by the previous owner, doing various customisations, and building the components that turn the Imperator into a Warmonger.

Whereas the Imperator has the tower guns mounted on the upper fortress, the Warmonger fields four anti-aircraft guns. I’m thinking about using the turrets from the Forgeworld Hydra platforms: unfortunately they only come in multiples of three, so my choices are either to try to sweet-talk Mail Order into letting me have the bits that I need, or buying two sets and selling the spares on eBay. But I think that if I can’t do the former, I might try to scratchbuild the AA guns instead.

The first piece of customisation I did was to remove the Main Battery at the front of the fortress and replaced it with an imperial eagle taken from a Battlefleet Gothic ship. I think that it will make a nice centerpiece to that part of the titan.

I also had the chance to put the finishing touches to the troop stands that will form the final three companies of my space marine chapter, here they are, waiting to be undercoated:

What you see here is two companies (18 stands + HQ in Space Marine 2nd edn. and NetEpic) of tactical troops (one company in Mark VI “corvus” armour and one in Mark VII “Eagle” armour) and two detachments of scouts (I already have another detachment of scouts that are base coated). Once these stands are painted, I will have a full space marine chapter: ten infantry companies, including a full Terminator company (that’s 20 stands, not just three 20-man detachments) and the aforementioned scout company. When that’s done, I’ll be posting photos, so stay tuned!

I’m quite pleased with the way the scout company HQ turned out, here’s a picture:

To make the scout standard-bearer, I removed the blade and pommel of his combat knife, and then filed a narrow groove through his enclosed fist. I used a tailor’s pin to make the banner pole (anything else would have been too thick): the imperial eagle at the top is taken from the Forgeworld etched brass sheet.

Razor Saws

Dear Lazyweb, I am thinking about picking up a razor saw, to help me dismantle the carcass of the Imperator titan that I mentioned in my last post. The titan came (poorly) assembled and I want to break it up into its component parts without causing too much damage.

That basically means that the thickness of the blade is key: if it’s too thick, then the blade will excavate too much plastic and it’ll deform the two resulting pieces. Looking on Google, it seems that the most common blade thickness is 0.2mm (about 1/150th of an inch for you septics): is it possible to get razor saws that are thinner than that? And do you know what thickness the blade of Games Workshop’s razor saw (pictured) is?

My Summer Project

This week an item arrived in the post that is going to be a sort of summer project for me:

When I told my friends that I had acquired this choice item, they all had the same reaction:

not another one!

because, you see, I already have a fully operational Imperator class battle titan. Behold the “Fearsome Engine”, Machinator Formidabilis:

(By the way, if the above image looks familiar, it’s because the Wikipedia article on titans uses photos I took of some of my titans.)

The reason for their consternation is that Machinator Formidabilis has, in the ten years since its commission into the Legio Pantera (my titan legion, the Black Panther Legion), never even come close to being destroyed: not once. Even a massed rank of Gargants with their ultra-cheesy, shield-stripping, automatic-hit-on-the-legs GutBuster Cannon, has not managed to do it serious harm. So the thought of another indestructible castle robot on the battlefield fills them with dread.

Tempting though the thought is of fielding a 4,500 point army consisting of just two titans, that is not my plan: over the course of this summer, and described in depth on this nerdy gaming blog, I will be taking the above artifact and attempting to do what Christian Salling did and convert it into a Warmonger: a cousin of the Imperator, with a lower points cost, and a specialisation for long-range firepower and anti-aircraft support. Games Workshop used to produce a conversion kit, but they’re as hard to find as an honest politician, so I will probably end up scratchbuilding the bits that I need.

Stay tuned for updates!