Friday, February 25, 2011

DIY Honor Guard underway and Techmarine

DIY Space Marine Honor Guard squad
This week saw me removing all the Blood Angel iconography from these guys and adding some skulls and swords where appropriate just like I did for the previous Vanguard unit. The most fun was building or rather fixing this conversion. In jest, I asked my friend when Space Marines started carrying Ork stikk bombs as soon as I saw what he sent me.

He gave it a go at making the model look like he was holding a chalice and then decided to send it to me to fix. I had to switch the arms once I went to the bigger chalice because I was having issues with the size of the cup and the shoulderpad clashing. I needed the arm to be outstretched more to allow both pieces to fit.

The unit has since been primed and I'll most likely be starting on them in the coming weeks. We figured out a color scheme for them that will allow hem to stand apart (like the Vanguard squad) and still fit in with the overall scheme of the army.

DIY Space Marine chapter Dante conversion
Another model that's part of the same commission is this guy. He's a real simple conversion requiring that all the Blood Angel iconography be removed. Not a big deal usually... unless the model is PEWTER! Then it is a big deal. And boy do those Blood Angels like their icons to be all over everything.

When it comes to removing mold lines, I use and X-Acto knife exclusively. But that's all good and well on plastic models. Dealing with pewter models is another story all together. The X-Acto knife works for resin models just as well, but pewter requires a different touch.

Now I don't have any brand name files, I just have a few small ones that were given to me by a friend way back when.

For the longest time, I left them sitting on my desk preferring to use my blade to clean mold lines on anything pewter that came across my desk. It wasn't until I hit a particularly tough model I broke out the files for the first time. I have a few different shapes, but the one I use the most and the one I would recommend to anyone would be a half-round shape. One side is flat and the other is curved. I use this one 99.999 percent of the time.

It takes a little while to get used to using a file as opposed to a blade to clean mold lines off pewter, but once you get the hang of it, you won't go back to the blade. I used the file for the whole Dante model here except for the tiny portion where I could not get the file into. Only then did I reluctantly resort to using the blade.

Raven Guard Tactical Squad touch ups
I did some more minor work to the Raven Guard Tactical squad I finished up the other week too. My friend asked if I could paint some plasma coil effects onto the combi-plasm gun the Sergeant was carrying.

Normally I do this kind of thing towards the beginning of the paint job so I can clean up any mistakes, but I figured since it was a combi-weapon, it didn't have the "glow coils" like a regular plasma type weapon has.

That being said, it normally takes a basecoat with a quick wash followed by a light drybrush of the lighter color to get the effect. Since I couldn't really drybrush this part, I had to paint each rib individually and try not to get it in the recessed areas.

Techmarine with thunderfire cannon repairs
One other thing I touched up was a Techmarine I'd done a while ago that came back for repairs (chipped paint). My friend asked if I could add some color to the backpack coils and make the shell casings brass. Seems like an obvious thing now, but I missed it the first time around. Kinda like the coils on the combi-plasma gun.

Mortis pattern dreadnought follow followup
With my post the other day on Mortis patterns, I couple of commenters were kind enough to share some of their links. I think it's important that I recognize the efforts of those who are willing to share their hobby related stuff here. So often, posts come and go on blogs and there are invaluable little gems left in the comments that are lost in time.

The photos below are from the respective sites listed and are not mine. I would encourage you to check them out if you've got more questions about what they've done.

Gyro from over at Mik's Minis shared his mortis pattern dreadnought conversion made from some Imperial Guard autocannons.

I really dig the side by side barrels on this guy and I'm tempted to try it on mine when I get to building them. I like the over/under look, but the side by side has a certain feel about... a bit more Pre-Heresy in some ways.

I also like the fact that the ammo drums are much more visible on his version. You can see them and they add some variety to the arm instead of them being slapped on the side or tucked on the bottom like we all seem to do with them.

Blackhand also posted his solution to getting the autocannon arms the same length on DakkaDakka.

While it's a bit more involved and requires knowledge in the secret art of resin casting, I can see where this would be helpful if you're running a number of them like Blackhand is in his army.

And once you've got something like this cast, I'm sure there is no end to what you can do with it. Combine it with magnets and the possibilities are endless.

You'll need to cut and paste the link because I don't want to deep link into the DakkaDakka forums.


  1. Looking good, Ron! I especially like the apothecary toting the Space Hulk chalice. Can't wait to see it (and the others) painted up! The updated glow-y coils look awesome on both the combi-plasma and the techmarine. Awesome stuff as always!

  2. Mordian7th: The chalice from Space Hulk was my friend's idea. I just had to make it work.

  3. Nicely done on the apothecary. I love the "take a drink, NOW!" pose he's doing. Never even thought about the Space Hulk chalice.

  4. Brian: Thanks. Sometimes it reminds me of a Christmas bell ringer, but that's just me.

    I was worried the Space Hulk chalice might be too big in the end, but I think it scales up to "40k size" nicely.

  5. ugh...
    im sorry but i cant stand it no more...
    people, remember this:

    White metal is what GW minis are made out of, not pewter.

    White metal is an alloy of aluminium (al-oo-min-ee-um, not al-oo-min-um) and tin from memory. This is white the miniatures are light, but strong.

    Pewter is a soft metal, easily shaped and deformed, light but dark in colour.

    please remember this, its doing my head in...

  6. Mephistopheles: Excellent, thanks for letting me know, I just figured it was pewter.

    Weren't they made of pewter way back when or has it always been white metal?

  7. Back in the day yeah they were i think, but due to the fact i think its lead based, they stopped.
    That or they were made out of lead, im not 100% sure on that part, but i know lead was in there somewhere...
    Also due to the softer and more breakable nature of pewter they swapped to white metal.
    At least thats the reasoning for it i find...

  8. Well, I won't make the mistake again.