Saturday, 25 January 2014

Space Marines, shoulder pad moulding and the Tally's (inevitable) first hit of the year...

So, I ran into someone I hadn't seen on a train the other day, and we ended up discussing GW. Despite the conversation involving a lot of fist-shaking and cries of 'I know, they want how much for three figures!?', I came away with a refired enthusiasm for 40K, and some half-formed thoughts about painting up a 600 point skirmish force of Space Marines.

as you may or may not remember, a while back I mentioned that I already had plans (and the bits) for a custom Space Marine chapter - but then I thought to myself 'hey, Space Marines with metallic colour schemes look pretty snazzy, no?', and after a little playing around on an online Space Marine painter I came up with this colour scheme:

Fairly similar in concept to the original scheme, but with the addition of dark metallics and the two-tone helmet, purely because I think that they look quite striking. As you'll see later, I decided to keep their chapter logo as a book (due to my profession and general nerdity), which started me thinking about what sort of Chapter they'd be. Maybe they're a mysterious Dark Angels successor chapter, or have a higher occurrence of Librarians like the Blood Ravens? With all these ideas and more bubbling round in my head, I couldn't decide, and in the end decided to run them as vanilla Marines, maybe try out a few different chapter tactics to see how they feel, and worry about fluff and background until later, so for now, they shall be known as my Nerdmarines (TM).

The proof of the pudding is in the eating (or in the case of our hobby, painting), so I set about digging out a test model from one of the old starter sets:

After a quick clean up, having his bolter drilled out and a few dabs of glue, he was ready for basing and gesso-ing, and left overnight to dry.

Finding myself with a couple of hours spare today, I thought I'd see about giving him a lick of paint to see how the colour scheme looks when used in anger... Before I managed that though, I remembered that a while ago, I'd bought some Grey Knights shoulderpads with a mind to making a press-mould of a book themed chapter logo (because hey, it's easier to make uniform than trying to freehand something), and thought I might as well have a crack at it on the test marine (since if I like the results, he's going to be part of the force, so he might as well match his brethren). Unfortunately, I'd apparently had a tidy up,or they'd grown legs and wandered off, but I eventually managed to hunt down the sprue:

Once a suitable donor was selected, I carefully shaved off the ridge to make it match a standard Space Marine shoulderpad (the idea being that the mould will slip snugly over a standard shoulderpad, reducing the potential for misaligned insignia)

 And then carefully shaved and filed off the sword, to leave me with just the desired book:

As is traditional, I mounted the part on a square of plasticard (for ease of handling and to provide a flat surface for the edge of the mould):

 And then (after eventually finding my Blu Stuff after a ten minute search, as apparently my wife had also had a tidy up), following the standard instructions, I set about making a one-part Blu Stuff mould:

Which came out looking like this:

And with a little trimming to make it easier to handle (and more likely to actually slip over a plain shoulderpad) it ended up looking like this:

As I'd already undercoated my test marine, I set about scraping off some paint (so that my dinky green stuff book would be able to stick directly to the miniature rather than getting a less secure hold on a layer of paint):

Which was the point where I realised that, trying to dry fit my newly made mould onto the newly nude shoulderpad, having already glued my marine together, his bolter was massively in the way. Rather than trying to cut him apart (or more sensibly, just going and getting another marine out of the box and starting afresh), I set about making a new, skinnier mould, that would fit inside the shoulderpad's outer ridge, rather than covering it in its entirety:

(luckily, my slightly wonky cutting on the right hand side won't negatively affect the results, as it's only the raised book that will be transferred, the outer edge is purely for alignment purposes...)

A little (incredibly cold and dried up but still just about workable with a lot of kneading and swearing and prayer) Green Stuff later and we have a result!

He's currently sat on the radiator to cure, but I'm pretty happy with that result! Once he's had another dab of gesso he'll be ready (again) to test out the colour scheme on (although I'm not sure how I'll paint the book - should I paint it like an actual book, or metallic, or some other option?).

As you may have guessed from the title of this post though, that's not all. As usual, I made myself the vow that this year, once the tally reset over the New Year, I'd paint some miniatures before I bought anything new, to give myself something of a positive buffer (before Salute hits and the tally takes a nosedive). Somehow though, yesterday I found myself in Games Workshop with my wife, buying toys:

I think the logic was that she'd bought herself a new bag because it was (literally) shiny, and I said 'hey we have that in my hobby too but shiny-bloody-itis is usually more metaphorical' and the Starbucks we were in was just around the corner from GW and so yeah I bought these. I'd been looking to pick some Fenrisian Wolves up for a while now, to use as Dire Wolves in my Song of Ice and Fire Project (as they're quite frankly just the nicest dynamically posed wolves on the market, and not badly priced all things considered), and I picked up a pot of the new Technical Paint 'Nurgle's Rot', as an incentive to myself to paint the Nurgle Path to Glory warband that's been sat undercoated for a number of months...

Which, with a heavy heart, leaves the tally for 2014 at:

0 vs 5 = -5

I think what I really need is another WOMP...

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