Monday, December 26, 2016

Destroyers Done!

These guys are done! Not much to say here, but i really like Destroyers. This was a lot of fun.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Destroyer Lord Conversion

So I got around to converting my Destroyer Lord. It was.. harder than anticipated.

Originally I wanted to put an Overlord torso on a Destroyer and call it done. Specifically, the torso of the Overlord that comes in the Barge kit, the one with a nice cape. However, this was not working out for two reasons: first, the cape just didn't fit the Destroyer well. It was too long, I couldn't bend it backwards without ruining it. Second, and I didn't see this coming, the torso was tiny compared to normal Destroyer torsos! Those things are huge.

I definitely wanted to do something special with the Destroyer Lord, a normal torso with a different head and weapon just wouldn't look... royal enough. So I experimented with using a Lychguard back on a Destroyer front chest piece:

As you can see, the size difference is obvious. I used Milliput (a white putty) to fill up the stark difference size in the bottom parts of their torsos. I prefer Milliput to Green stuff when doing stuff like this because it's much more.. powdery, less rubbery. Once dry, it's almost ceramic hard, but it sands and cuts smooth. Great for stuff like this, although I wouldn't recommend it for freehand sculpting.

I definitely liked the tall collar and the spine thing. I obviously didn't like the split shoulder pads, and the collar really needed to be extended to go all around his head cavity.

Again, Milliput to the rescue. I used Milliput to roughly fill up the empty spaces, let it completely cure, then applied one more layer using the previous layer for support. Once that was done, I sanded everything smooth, cut the lines using a hobby knife. I also rounded the outer edge of the shoulder pads a bit, because they're very rectangular on a Destroyer and I felt like this would look more royal.
Finally, I used some liquid green stuff to fix minor imperfections in the surface left over.

I'm sorry, I wasn't taking many pictures along the way, and those that I did turned out to be out of focus. Here's one work-in-progress pic:

And here's the final result! I build the weapon from a Lychguard sprue, using a normal Lychguard can-opener and another can-opener blade for symmetry:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wraiths pt 2 Done!

Not much to say here, but I like how they turned out considering I was rushing them as much as I could. And hey, my space bugs shelf looks richer now, so that's good.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Should GW worry about 3D printing?

After my Monolith got featured on (thanks!) there was an interesting discussion about how 3D printing can, or will, change wargaming in general. This is my take on that topic.

There are several steps needed to get 3D printed bits onto the tabletop. The first step is to make or find a design. The second is to get it printed, which includes getting a fine quality capable 3D printer and the materials.

First, designing bits isn't easy when you're starting out. I was watching tutorials for days, and would more than once go to bed stressed out because I just can't get something to work. I learned how to use Blender and FreeCAD, including python scripting.

You can bet emperor's firm, toned buttocks that GW will stop us from sharing designs. I feel this is where they can, and will, stop us from making our hobby better. Oh well.

Design aside, what about printing itself? As of right now, no consumer grade printer can print bits this fine and with so much detail. Shapeways exists as a way to effectivelly rent out printers that are out of reach to most people, and I'm a very happy customer. But forget about printing this stuff in your garage, certainly for a few years.

Then there's the cost. Shapeways charged just under $100 for the Monolith bits. And yes, I made them as hollow as possible. This is steep, and I don't expect many people to be happy to pay so much for bits. Having your own printer would have made this cheaper, yes, but then there's the cost of buying a printer.

But, had I made a design error and had to reprint a new version of these bits, I might have cut my losses. And even though the dimensions weren't ideal out of the box, putty and sandpaper patched everything up just fine.

Finally, there's putting them on the model. I must have spent at least 20 hours over the course of two weeks, just sanding and applying putty. A lot of that work was due to the inherit horribleness of the Monolith itself (if you look at GW studio Necrons, you'll see clear seams where panels meet), but printed bits weren't easy to work with. That plastic is much harder than GW plastic, making sanding uneven.

In summary, no, I don't think GW should be worried. The amount of work and risk is too high for most people (I believe), and that's if it were cheap and if you had designs ready, both or which are problems on their own.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wraiths: Then and Now

Ok, this batch of Wraiths is painted and done, but I'll be taking fancy pics some other day. Today I want to compare the 3 Wraiths I painted during the last week or two to the 3 Wraiths I painted a year and a half ago.

Painting these now and while looking at the old batch, I find the difference staggering. I just want to show you how far I got in the meantime with it comes to layering paints, blending, and precision. Also, if you watched any of my recent streams on twitch, you will have observed that I don't like painting Wraiths. I was trying to get them done and off my desk, not do a careful job.

For example, here are some of the magnetized bits. I'll let you guess which ones are old and which ones are new:

The first thing I notice is - how less textured my paint is now! The old paint job makes me cringe. The orange spheres actually have an orange peel texture to them! Ew.

It doesn't end there. Here are the wraiths themselves. Again, guess which one's which:

It's... gah. Unbelievable. And I'm using the same technique as before: a lot of drybrushing and only an occasional blend. Certainly the key steps are the same.

So what's different? I am using sable brushes as opposed to synthetic. That probably helps with keeping things precise. Second, I'm using a wet palette. That probably helps apply thinner layers of paint. Other than that? I'm definitely more controlled when it comes to drybrushing and cleaning up mistakes, and I probably make fewer mistakes now than I did before.

Anyway, I'd like to repaint those knife edge weapon bits to better fit with my current army scheme. The rest I'll leave as it is, as a memento of how far I progressed.

And maybe I'll paint another batch in 2018, look back at this one and cringe? Maybe, but probably not. I hope to finish this project by then, but hey, who knows.

Thanks for reading!