Thursday 21 February 2019

Tyranid Tunnels


I took a break from the Orks in order to do a bit of terrain building! These terrain pieces are to serve the purpose of entrances to a Tyranid tunnel network in an upcoming narrative game (that may or may not be the finale of a narrative campaign I'm part of on YouTube) though they could easily work as generic rocky crater things.

This is the finished product. I'm happy with how they turned out for relatively minimal effort. I think they will look good on a table swarming with Tyranids, pouring out of the ground to overrun the pathetic defences of the Cadian 404th. Or indeed, any enemy force...

This is how it started, some roughly cut segments of hardboard with chopped up chunks of dried bark slapped on in a loose circle. The bark is the stuff you can buy for vivariums presumably from pet shops - I got a big bag of the stuff off eBay ages ago for pretty cheap. It needed a bit of a clean up before hand - note that if you are going to do this you will want a mask to cover your mouth and nose for this, there is a LOT of dust. Chopping it up does have the advantage that you will have a flat-ish surface to attach to the board. The chunks were liberally glooped with PVA, and with a bit of superglue added to the least stable ones to keep them in place while the glue dried overnight.

Next stage was to fill gaps and make the shape with Polyfilla (or other brand of quick drying filler substance). If I were making nice smooth hills I would have sanded these areas down afterwards, but this is supposed to be the result of a huge monstrous snake creature rupturing the ground from below, so it is lumpy and uneven.

Next, I added a load of modelling slate, gravel, sand or whatever (plus more globs of PVA), and when that had dried, sprayed it all black. I mainly focused the rocky stuff around the base of the bark and over the filler, making sure that the centre of the tunnels was left bare.

Some drybrushing of light browns and assorted greys, and it's starting to look the part. 

Finally, a bit of a wash of Agrax Earthshade semi-randomly of the gravelly bits, and a bit of static grass around the edges, and we're done! It took a few days to put together, but most of that was waiting. Probably about an hour's work in total, and most of that was preparing the materials.

And here's what it looks like 'in action'. I think they look about the right size for Trygon tunnels, and are appropriately sized to allow small to medium bugs through. Hopefully they will look good in game, and if you like them, hey, now you can make your own!

Thursday 14 February 2019

Da Ork Project Part 5.5? Half da Boyz is done!


I'm working my way through Da Boyz, one mob at a time!

First there were Da Yellow Wuns...

Then they were joined by Da Pink Wuns...

And now there are Da Red Wuns as well! All based up and ready to go! That's 80 Boyz, half of the Troops in the collection.

You don't mess with the pink boyz! Especially not Ugg in the front row there. The pink unit consists of 30 boyz with choppas and sluggas, including 3 tankbusta bombz and a Nob with powerklaw.

The red unit are similar to the yellow ones, 25 boyz with shootas, included two with big shootas and two with tankbusta bombz. There is a Nob among them with a powerklaw and an alternative with a kustom shoota. You might notice that some of these boyz are notably better painted than the rest - these were a gift from a long time ago. They have been put to good use over the years, though I have not yet managed to meet their standard myself!


Sunday 10 February 2019

Da Ork Project Part 5 - Da Boyz!


This time I've finally gotten round to the actual rebasing stage of the Great Rebasing. At this point I'm working through 160 Ork Boyz, doing a few repairs and repaints along the way to sort them into 6 units of 25-30 with squad identifying warpaint. At the time of writing, I have finished one 25 Shoota boyz unit (Da Yellow Ones) and have started on 30 Sluggas (Da Pink Ones). If you've been following you'll know I've gone with 32mm base adapters from Tabletop Adapters, so this is kind of a review I guess?

Here's the yellow boyz with their new base adapters attached. The front rank are special guys with two big shootas, two tankbusta bombs and two Nobz - one with a powerklaw and an alternative one with just a kustom shoota in case I want to field a nice cheap objective holding unit. At this stage you can see there is still work to be done!

Sand on the bases immediately makes them look better, but having to paint all that sand black again before drybrushing is a bit of a pain. I've experimented pre-spraying some slate and rubble bits for the next batch to speed things up a bit, we'll see how that goes.

The TTAdapters are certainly faster and easier than ripping off the bases and starting again, but I have found that they are not usually a perfect fit. Possibly because the bases they are going on are already painted and they are designed to fit nice and snug over unmodified bases? Or maybe older GW 28mm bases just vary in size slightly? In any case there is a gap on most of them that needs filling.

Green stuff over the gaps. It's not super smooth but it should make it less obvious in the end. At this stage the sand has been painted as well which really hides the fact that the bases have been extended.

First mob finished! Boom! Yellow markings on the base for ease of identification, and dags on the special ones in case opponents have trouble picking them out. Looking at them all done, I think the bases look pretty good. Definitely hare to tell they were expanded unless you know what you are looking for.

A close up of one of the gaps. It's not been filled perfectly but once painted over I don't think it stands out at a glance. Perhaps I'll put a bit more effort into hiding it on characters and elites, but this is a standard I'm happy with for 160 troop minis!

Finally, a comparison between new and old bases! I hope you'll agree they look a lot more stable on the new ones! I think it's a big improvement, and definitely worth the (relatively little) effort involved!

Saturday 2 February 2019

Da Ork Project Part 4 - Da Really Big Stuff


This is the last part of project 'update Orks for 2019' that does not involve basing. It's the big boys, the lords of war, the Stompa and the Gargantuan Squiggoth!

Here's what they looked like at the start. All painted, but with a couple of repairs and modifications needed (most notably that arm at the Stompa's feet.)

Stompa first. Known as 'Da Toof Krusha', the Stompa really only needed his arm sticking back on. When I built him I installed several magnets so that he could be used as a kustom stompa with various additions, but I was never very pleased with the bits I made for him, so he's pretty much just standard at this stage. I might go back and add some more options, but given that the Stompa is somewhat over costed, I can't see myself using him with enough regularity to justify more upgrades. Though there is a cheeky belly gun hiding under that glyph...

Stomp me closer so I can hit them with my tiny hammer!

Next up, the Gargantuan Squiggoth aka Nipper. He's had a bit of paint here and there and some magnets added on in order to mount the bonus big shootas his datasheet allows. I did some washing and drybrushing over some of the armour and the slightly modified howda to tone down the brightness a bit and make it more in line with my current Snakebite style (everything is dirty, rusty and probably broken). I also finally did some proper basing on the chunks of resin under his feet, and drybrushed on a bit of dust and mud around them. Finally I reversed the lobba on the back of the howda, so that it's facing backwards. I think it looks better that way, especially with all the big shootas giving the impression of guns firing in all directions.

So there he is, the big squig himself. Though he has never yet survived a game of 40k (and I have owned him for well over ten years) he is a lot of fun, and I'll try and squeeze him into lists as much as I can now that in 8th he is more reasonably costed than ever before.

That's that then. All the big stuff finished, just the Boyz and their bases left to go. Luckily I had a package from Tabletop Adapters arrive in the post today...