Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Return of the… Thing (Part III)


Not a whole lot a description required around the above in-progress item: a Forge World Landspeeder Tempest. I snagged one because I’ve migrated back to a set of Astartes which can use one (Blood Angels renegade analog), and simply because I’ve always thought it was an amazing model. Now that I have one, I am seriously considering another.

Not a lot of warping or flash, easy to assemble. Highly customizable… just replace the nose-mounted Assault Cannon with your chosen flavor of death. Best part? You can easily “hide” the integrated Typhoon Launchers for those WYSIWYG lawyers. ‘Nuff said.

Second item for your perusal is the Forge World Mk.IVc Predator conversion kit.

Of all the bits, bobbles, and pieces-parts I have acquired from Forge World over the years, this is likely the only kit I would not recommend for purchase. There’s actually nothing “wrong” with the kit, and it’s a decent deal compared to the retail Predator (as you get a full Rhino hull as well as the resin portions) but the differences between the Mk.IVc and the Mk.IVb (the standard kit) are so minor as to be almost unnoticeable to all but the most discerning eye. In fact, from a distance of greater than perhaps a few feet it would be exceedingly difficult to spot dissimilarity between the Mk.IVc and the Mk.IVb with turret (FW) Extra Armor.

I would have killed for some comparison pix when I was considering the purchase... and after scouring the interwebz I simply couldn't find any which fully satisfied my curiosity. I've taken more than a few shots of the conversion kit for your benefit if you're debating. One good deed a month... that's my motto.

Summary: the Mk.IVc turret is slightly more streamlined, the hatch has a different offset, and the upper sponson supports blend more smoothly than the standard kit’s 90-degree angle.

All the above being said: being a discriminating (read: obsessive) hobbyist, I am fond of the kit’s aesthetic and have decided to utilize it to flesh-out the Predator Which Shall Never Be Completed. This did generate some of its own challenges as the resin is cast specifically to fit the included twin-linked Lascannons, and the Mk.Dryw will sport twin-linked Assault Cannons of the new Baal kit variety. Fitting the Assault Cannons into the turret itself wasn’t too difficult after some cutting and shaving, but I soon discovered that the IVc turret sits considerably lower in the turret ring than both the standard and Baal kit turrets due to shape (the standard Predator turret has more of a wedge shape on the underside). This was resolved by completely removing the IVc resin turret insert and adhering it firmly to a modified Razorback “turret”. This allows the IVc turret to sit high enough to provide 360° clearance over all the sensor spines, viewports, etc which exist on top of the Predator hull. Also gives the turret ring a bit more character/texture... an unintended boon.

I've added the Baal front plate from the new kit (very streamlined and smooth… I like this new piece a lot) and the IVc sponsons. Of interest: the width of  the IVc sponsons is notably less, even with extra armor installed, so when in-place there is a noticeable gap between sponson and hull. A bit of putty/green stuff may be required.

The Predator Which Shall Never Be Completed may soon require a name change.

Miracle of miracles.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Return of the… Thing (Part II)


Forge World: bane of my bank account. Hard to dispute they are the Ferrari of 40K vehicles. Thankfully I have yet to succumb to the temptation of a Lucius Pattern Jackal Warhound or a Marauder Destroyer… but I’ve come perilously close on multiple occasions. During those intense moments of weakness I’ve been able to satiate my consumer daemons with smaller digs into the wallet. My sole Macharius Vulcan was one of those stop-gaps. I don’t own an Imperial Guard army, but that meant nothing as I needed to own one of these beautiful pieces of machinery.

Initially I assembled it in standard configuration. Cool, but my incessant need to tweak & customize changed that in short order. A cloud of sanded resin dust and tube of CA later, I brought a “Macharius Vulcan Annihilator” into existence. Custom sponsons with Lascannons, a twin-linked Lascannon replacing the hull Stubber mount. Final result was a great looking model.

That iteration lasted all of one month. Just didn’t make any logical sense (to me, because I think about these things) that a dedicated infantry shredder would dual-purpose as a tank hunter. Off the Lascannons came, and it was back to the drawing board. The poor Macharius was relegated to the dusty top of the display cabinet to await an acceptable customization epiphany. Her salvation came in the form of another Forge World offering… Aircraft Punisher Cannons. The minute I saw them I could envision the horrifically ridiculous end result. And… viola’!

Snapped a few pix prior to the final coat of primer to help highlight the additions. The “extras” should be painfully obvious. Punisher Cannons, Assault Cannon on the hull, two additional Storm Bolters, and the Dozer Blade. Small tweaks here and there such as sensor pods, a more modernized look, etc.

Preposterous? Absolutely. You’re not going to see me even attempt to justify this monstrosity. She’ll likely never see the table except as an objective or some wonky one-off cinematic slaughter-fest. Doesn’t matter to me one bit. As far as I am concerned, she’s perfect.

Now… paint, and a name. I’m open to suggestions on that second part. “Macharius Cheesewagon” just doesn’t have the appropriate ring to it.

In part 3: Landspeeder Tempest and possible final iteration of the favorite Predator.

Return of the… Thing (Part I)


Ok, so… CISSP test passed (thankfully) and I’m back-in-business with that which is truly important: building twenty different 40K models at once and never finishing a’one of ‘em. The poly/resin dust clouds are once again choking the air due to eternal sanding, and I have been one busy little Grot…

(Safety note: in case you were not already aware, resin dust is HIGHLY toxic and incredibly bad for your lungs. You really should wear a filter mask when doing any manner of sanding, but with resin work a mask is mandatory if you fancy continuing to be able to breathe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you)

First up we have a joint project with my bud and primary opponent. I’m thinning my extensive 40K herd and sold him a substantial number of (exquisitely constructed) Tyranid models. This new acquisition, combined with his ongoing frustration with the length of time it is taking him to acquire and assemble his Krieg Guard army, lit a ‘Nid fire under his ass. He is now all about turning me into food paste for the Hive Fleet. Gods help me…

With the models I sold him, he has roughly 1500 points in several configurations, but was short a solid HQ unit. Hive Tyrant was the obvious choice. Due to my obsession with customization of, well… everything, and through my silver-tongued maneuverings, I succeeded in convincing him to “go different”. What you see below is the result.

She started life as a Trygon/Mawloc kit. Some bits box rummaging, trimming, sanding, more trimming, some sawing, more sanding, and a gallon of cyanoacrylate… we have ourselves a highly-customized Hive Tyrant. Which, believe it or not, is WYSIWYG: complete with Lash Whip (tail), Bone Sword, Venom Cannon, and Scything Talons. We’re both pretty darn pleased with the end result. Still a WIP, but the concept is solidified.

I had initially intended to bring everything up-to-speed in this one post, but I think I’m going to have to split it up into at least two entries as there’s a lot to cover: a Macharius conversion, Forge World Landspeeder Tempest, and even possible resolution for “The Predator Which Shall Never Be Completed". And did I mention I‘m building a Blood Angels analog? Renegade, of course.

Like I said…been back at it with a vengeance. More soon.