Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hobby desk update

Here are a few items I have been working on the past few days.

In the world of Battletech

New Vehicles

Last Christmas season my good friend Masta Cheef gave me the gift of Battletech in the form of a pair of Harasser Missile Platforms. I figured I need to get these vehicles assembled and into my regular vehicle inventory so they can be used in upcoming games. Masta Cheef loves destroying my vehicles as much as I love trampling his with assault mechs.

Assembling the models was easy. I wondered if the SRM launchers were actually mounted to a turret so I stopped before gluing the launchers permanently in place. I did some research and sure enough there is a turret. Since the vehicle has a turret and I had some small magnets which would work perfectly I magnetized the turret. I have not added the hover base yet and may not at all, it sometimes gives the model balance issues on mapsheets.

The red marker gives away the presence of where I have placed a magnet. I used very small magnets which were 1/16 x 1/32 in size. The magnets stay connected quite well for their size.

Turret twisting is a go. I have no idea how these vehicles are going to fire into their left or right side firing arcs. Who needs the rear spoiler anyway.

In the world of 40K

Painting Space Marine heads

If you have read some of my previous posts featuring the WIP shots of my Space Marine Devastator squad all but seven members of the squad have their heads missing. The sergeant has a flesh head which is not a concern and two squad members have their heads attached as I could not remove them prior to paint stripping the models. Blood Angels Devastator Marine helmets are blue compared to the rest of the army so they have to be painted separately. I do this to avoid having to paint blue over the red prime coat. The two Marines with heads were carefully covered to avoid any red spray applied.

Painting heads attached to a chest is easy, but what about painting detached heads? I tried using pins in the necks so I could hold the heads in place with my fingers but this did not work. Neither did holding the pins with some pliers or even placing them in styrofoam. The heads would continuously spin which was not helpful. I was not in the mood to go purchase cork material either.

An Ingenious and Cheap Idea

Then I thought of an idea from a bit of excess sprue left over from a new model. Using the out lining portion of a sprue as a base and leaving some for holding and structure I made a pallet base to attach and paint the heads on. I originally was going to super glue the heads to the side of the sprue, but I saw the round joints on the sprue would work perfectly as a base to mount the heads upon with a bit of super glue. I can easily remove the heads at the base where they are glued and attached them to their respective models and no one will notice.

This idea has worked great. I have been able to prime them much easier as I used a brush on white primer and a brush on blue paint. I can add ink to the heads just as easy and paint them with ease. Heck I hate painting eyes, but I can hold this sprue bit steady and paint them much easier than a model in hand.

One area I am still at odds with is the blue ink I have applied to the heads so far. I could not find a blue ink which is close to the Army Painter Ultramarine Blue so I used the closest color being Prussian Blue ink. I am not using the inks as a wash necessarily, but rather as an enhancement to the overall color. The ink becomes the next layer and gives the armor the shine and color of the Emperor's finest. 

The blue heads on the Devastator Marines have a 1:1 distilled water/ink mix applied. I felt this was maybe too heavy and mostly it gives off a definite purple hint in natural light. I tested out a 10:1 ratio which appeared too light and even tested a 2:1, 3:1, and even a 4:1 ratios. Oddly enough the 2:1 and 3: 1 ratios appeared the same while the 4:1 appeared a bit dark for my tastes. I even tried mix some chestnut in as I do with red ink, but it did not work at all, however it produced a wonderful teal color i might be able to use for plasma weapons.

For clarity here is the Devastator Marines before and after the original 1:1 ratio was applied to the blue paint.

Blue helmets without blue ink applied.

Blue helmets with blue ink applied.

Replace the Sergeant's auspex with a mic and the bolter with a guitar and he is platinum.
Here is a close up of the heads on the sprue. The middle helmet and the helmets adjacent to it have had ink applied with 2:1 ratio. You can see they have a slight purple tint, but they look good. The purple tint might only be showing in direct light focus as the lower row does not have the light focused directly at them. Perhaps after painting the various other parts oft the helmet the purple may become less noticeable or naturally work itself in. There might be a way to tone down the blue ink a bit, but I am unsure of how. I could apply highlights, but I tend not to on armor. I can try to apply some water across the heads to perhaps wash some of the ink away leaving the stained portion behind. If this works it should remove the purple tint, but it loses the shine which matches the rest of the armor the ink application gives.

Heads On A Sprue!

I presume I will probably decide on using the 2:1 ink ratio as I would rater not wait longer or fall into another viscous cycle of the inability to decide. If I don't get any ideas I will either have made a decision or left the heads of as usual.

Check back very soon for a new Battletech Battle Report.

1 comment:

  1. Could be worse, i could have gotten you drillson hover tanks which have 2 turrets that not only block sight to one another, but also get in the way of each other when rotating...