Thursday, March 31, 2011

Australan Infiltrator Storm Trooper Sergeant

I bought some of the 'Kasrkin' figures - Cadian armour themed Imperial Guard Storm Troopers. Since there are 10 figures in a pack, and also got the additional special weapons, that's a total of twelve men. A default squad is one sergeant and four troopers, so I thought I'd set it up for having two separate squads, being a sergeant, three troopers and a trooper with a special weapon (five man squads) and being able to additionally add another special weapon man if desired for six man squads.

Storm Trooper Types:
The Storm Trooper details in the codex let you select from three different types of storm troopers: airborne, infiltration and scouts. I've decided to make an airborne 'elite forces' squad, and an infiltration squad. The airborne elite soldiers will be painted in standard Australan green and gold, but with all the extra armour and stuff, should look like a more heavily kitted out Australan soldier.

As there is only one 'standard' sergeant miniature in the kasrkin box, I'm customising one of the other kasrkin soldiers into a second sergeant. According to the rules in the codex, the sergeant can have a hot-shot lasgun as his main weapon, as well as pistol and normal close combat weapon, so that's what I'm going with him, even though the default sergeant miniature wields a power sword and pistol.

Customising Sergeant:
For my stealthy infiltrator sergeant, I cut the antennae off a backpack, and 'adjusted' a cloak piece from my cadian battleforce sprues, and glued on a holstered pistol as well, and cut off the metal slot-block beneath his feet so I could pose him stepping up on a rock.

Planned Colour Scheme:
I'm planning to paint the infiltrator's black, then to drybrush increasing grey from bottom to middle, up to white at the top, so the clothing/armour is a shaded gradient 'shadow'. The idea is that they are wearing 'Australan Stealth Armour' which shifts tonally to blend in with the surroundings and make it hard to spot them at a distance, so they can infiltrate ahead of main forces. I'll have to do a test paint job to see what this idea looks like before I try it on the whole squad.

cloak, holstered pistol, antennae off the backpack

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

computer consoles and lockers

Glued a couple plaster pieces together to make a console and a locker. I decided I'll paint 'furniture' stuff in yellow and devlin mud wash, as it helps make them visible against green walls and grey floors, but has a similar kind of tone and used/faded look about it, and it makes black computer screens easily visible.

Austral Remnant Profile: 5th Company Command Squad

Austral Prime: a feudal world situated in a planet-rich star system along the outward edges of the Mordant Zone, in the Ultima Segmentum region of the galaxy.

The Australan Guards were an elite fighting force of Imperial Guardsmen employed in numerous fronts during wars against chaos and alien incursions. They are known for their bravery in attacks upon local Ork held worlds in the Mordant Zone, and for fighting against Hivefleet Leviathan and Hivefleet Behemoth.

Four years ago during a lull in sector activity, only one regiment was currently on active duty: the 2nd Austral Regiment, who were participating in the defence of San Leor from an Ork invasion.

An unknown Tyranid Hive descended upon the Austral system without warning. The world was overrun - the cities sundered, entire populations destroyed. The armies fought to the last.

Now the 2nd Austral Guards are the last of their kind. They are now known as the Remnant. Their cause: to liberate and restore the Austral System, and prevent the Tyranids from conquering the other worlds orbiting that star – and more importantly to the Imperium – to keep the Tyranids from pushing further into the Mordant Zone. Their homeworld is lost, but there are people still alive elsewhere in the system, people that might yet be saved.

Thousands of space stations, mining colonies, and minor settlements are scattered throughout the star system on asteroids, moons and minor worlds. With Tyranid forces spreading like a plague, fleeing the star system is not a choice available for some. The only hope of many survivors is that someone comes to their aid and rescues them from destruction.

On learning the fate of their homeworld, the Remnants have returned to Austral to fight the Tyranids and save anyone they can.

And they are not alone.

Other imperial regiments and Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are coming to join them in their personal crusade to purify and liberate Austral… and it seems that other eyes have been watching the region. Orks from the nearby systems conduct raids into the Austral system, to loot and plunder amid the chaos of the Tyranid invasion. And there are rumors of Tau and Eldar sightings among the ranks. But are they allies, come to protect the galaxy from the threat of a new Hive, or do they have other more sinister and alien intentions?

Only time will tell…

The Austral Remnants
Mainly an infantry regiment, supported by sentinel forces and transport units, other remnants of the Australan Guards have also been found during the return to the Austral system. Small teams of specialist forces or heavy armour have joined them as a combined forces task force. The survivors that make up this combined forces regiment consist of eleven companies. The infantry companies are divided into two to five platoons, each ranging from two to five ten man squads and a platoon command squad.

General Kirill Davidenko
An aging warrior of Austral who ascended through the ranks in numerous campaigns. He bears the scars of countless battles, and the left half of his body is seared by the acidic blood of a Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord that he defeated in personal combat as a young soldier. General Davidenko is known as a hard taskmaster and ruthless toward his enemies. However, he has grown more cautious in his tactics in recent times, now that there is only one regiment of Australans remaining – with no hope for reinforcements… not unless the Austral System can be liberated, and new generations of Australans established. It is with that hope that he seeks to rescue as many civilians as he can from the remaining settlements orbiting the star.

The Lucky 5th Company: 5th Company Command
The other companies have nicknamed them the Lucky 5th, because somehow they manage to get out of horrendous situations time and time again.

Colonel Sergei Ivanski 
The youngest Company Commander, Colonel Ivanski, leads 5th Company. Ivanski is known as a bit of a risk taker, and has a tendency to ‘interpret’ his orders such that he can get around red tape and bureaucracy issues and act in the ‘Imperium’s best interest’. While such attitudes are frowned upon in the Imperium, and he is frequently reprimanded for his free-thinking actions, General Davidenko knows that if he throws Ivanski and his men into the heart of danger, they’ll find a way to turn the tide and bring victory to the Guards... and if Ivanski’s tactics don’t work out one day, the General will remain free from blame. It was through one of his 'inspired' tactical actions while fighting Tyranids that Ivanski lost his left arm. Surviving the battle, the General saw to it that he was granted the gift of a cybernetic replacement arm and a power sword to go with it. 
Major “Lucky” Komorov
Lucky, as his friends call him, is the grizzled older veteran and heavy weapons specialist of 5th Command, and one of the first soldiers to ever be assigned to 5th Company when it was formed decades ago, and the only member of the original command squad. While others have died, or moved on up through the ranks, his reckless behaviour and unsavoury personality have denied him promotion time and time again. He is something of a mascot for the company – a real soldier’s soldier. After taking numerous shots to the head, and never being killed, he has given up wearing helmets and laughs in the face of danger. Time and time again, enemy fire will sear across his face – but every time, it’s nothing but a scratch. Of course, the way Lucky’s tales of his wounds changes with every telling can lead to the notion that Lucky might be embellishing his military exploits just a bit, but hearing how he was personally able to defeat Hive Tyrants and Ork Warbosses is sure to give any young guardsman confidence in a battle to come.

Lieutenant “Stitch” Olevsky
5th Command’s medical officer, Stitch sees to the needs of the command squad, doing his best to keep them - and through them, 5th Company - in action.
Major “Grumpy” Potemkin
Another older veteran who has been around almost as long as Lucky. Once one of the General’s staff, he was ‘demoted’ to act as Voxcaster for 5th Command, when 5th Command’s voxcaster was killed in action. The men call him Grumpy – but never to his face, as he is not pleased to be back ‘among the men’ again. General Davidenko actually placed Grumpy in the command squad to spy on them, so he could keep apprised of the quick-thinking Colonel Ivanksi’s plans during the chaos of battle, and try to point the young colonel in the ‘right direction’. Everyone knows that is why Grumpy was assigned to them, but they like to pretend and emphasise their treatment of him as ‘just another of the guys’ – much to his displeasure. 
Lieutenant Revnik
Revnik is a brave young veteran of numerous battles, but while enthusiastic about defeating the enemies of the Imperium, his aim was terrible. After being passed around a couple of squads, the Colonel came up with an inspired solution – and made him the banner bearer of 5th Command. Now he wades into battle with them, waving the regimental standard of the Austral Remnant to inspire the hearts and souls of the troops, and to show them that their commanders are there with them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

command squad glued together

I glued my command squad together today. I've only painted up the custom Master of Ordnance, but for now I'm using him as my Veteran Voxcaster until I get another voxcaster figure. I'm also trying to use base features from the 40k Basing Kit on all important figures, so I stuck a custom base piece on the Company Commander figure, and I gave him a cybernetic arm with a power sword and a plasma pistol. On the right is a medic, on the left are the standard bearer and a scarred veteran with a plasma gun. I just love the model pieces - so much detail for plastic kits, and they can be put together with some great poses and expressions.

Friday, March 25, 2011

3d map doors

Painted up my first doors today. I went for mud-washed yellow with black and white stripes where the doors 'slide apart'.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

tyranid claws

I found the metal claws to be just too bright and reflective, so I washed them in red.

yet another tyranid paint scheme test

Well, I tried black, and I've tried grey, and those schemes blend well into my grasslands and ruins terrain, but my initial reason for buying Tyranids in the first place, was for space hulk style battles in corridors and rooms of a space colony. When I put black or grey Tyranids on my corridor piece, they camouflage so well with the floor and the dark/medium toned walls, that they are almost invisible - you can't make out any details of the figure when it's in the corridor.

So, I tried yet another paint scheme today, trying to think of something that would be more visible inside the green and metal corridors and rooms, but still be a dark type of paint scheme. I started by painting the whole thing mithril metal, and then applied multiple coats of purple and blue washes to the figure, leaving the claws raw metal so they stood out. The metallic undercoat beneath the colours gives it a kind of shiny reflectiveness that I feel is reminiscent of bugs, like a cockroach :) Anyway, this is the result of this paint test.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Not a lot of time today to paint things, but I whipped up three crates :)

3d sci fi map part 10: lots of casting!

What a day! I decided that since the casting is messy, and I have to wear a filtered breathing mask to avoid breathing in the hydrostone dust, and goggles to avoid damaging my eyes from the hydrostone dust, and all the mixing, and pouring, and waiting, and scraping, and waiting, and demoulding, and starting over... I'll do it maybe once a week. So, I spent the whole day and yesterday evening casting pieces, so that in a three or four days time, I can make a corridor section, and a room section. I definitely enjoy the assembling and painting part of this more than the manufacturing part, but seeing pieces finished makes it worth it.

Anyway, here's the mammoth set of pieces I cast! Now I just have to wait for them to dry. After making the corridor and room, I should have a couple pieces left over too, so less casting required next time :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

3d sci fi map part 9d: finished L shape corridor!

My first map piece complete! It felt like a real lot of work making it, but seeing it complete I just love it! It's going to take ages, but I can't wait to have a whole colony interior laid out on my tabletop!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3d sci fi map part 9c: starting to paint the first map piece

I started painting a tile by hand, the way I had on my test piece - undercoat black, drybrush metal, carefully dab black into all the holes that got metal in them during my pathetic drybrushing attempt. Then I saw how many tiles there were and thought - this is nuts! There had to be some simple, easy way, to have all the dimples and cracks black, and all the raised surfaces metal...

I found the solution! I cut a small piece of flat sponge. I brushed metal onto one part of the sponge, thinly. I lay the sponge flat on top of the tile with a quick dab, and slowly dabbed my way across the whole surface of the flooring - leaving behind a perfectly surface-painted floor! No metal in the holes or cracks! So fast! So easy! Only two holes on the whole floor, I think, that needed a quick dab of black paint.

I then painted metal on the wide rectangle border around each grate, then washed the whole floor with badab black to dirty it up a little, with some dabs and streaks of badab black on parts of some grates as well, giving the whole thing a metallic, used, kind of look about it. The badab black also tones it down a fraction, and it also tidies up the black lines that run between each tile. 

Before, the metal of the guns would be invisible against the raw metal of the floor. Now the gun stands out a touch more, making the figure more visible against the floor.

3D sci fi map part 9b: detailed wall tops

I didn't like the look of all the seams and joints on the tops of the walls, where two wall tiles would be glued back to back - and in the corners, where lots of smaller blocks were glued together to fill in the corners. After thinking of a few ideas, and seeing what others thought, the consensus is to put the industrial lining on top of the walls as well, making them look even more techy, but also reducing the number of visible seams and joints.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3D sci fi map part 9: the first map piece

I've finished gluing together my first map piece, an L-shape corridor section :) Now I'll just wait for the glue to dry properly, then I'll paint it up!

Here's some pics of the first map piece. I had exactly the right amount of wall pieces, counting my test piece which I glued into one end (the green topped wall piece) Both the inner and outer corners of the L had to be made up blockish small objects glued together. I put some decorations in front of those parts so it looked a bit better.

I thought I had enough blocks to do the corner, but turns out I didn't... So I put a small 'maintenance console'  into the inner corner of the corridor :)

3D sci fi map part 8c: Final Colour Scheme

I've picked how I want it to look. I decided that the rust was too much colour for the flooring, so I've applied a few stains in places with Devlin Mud wash on top of mithril metal to add a bit of wear to the floor. I definitely want greenish walls, so I've ended up going with blazing orange for the power cables that run along the sides of the walls in places, and the walls and machinery are goblin green, washed with devlin mud, and drybrushed in parts with mithril metal. I might use bright whites, yellows, blues, etc, to add lights/illuminated buttons to some of the machinery panels here and there, but I'll have to try that out on some pieces to see what that looks like. I quite like the orange power cables :)

3D Space Hulk style map development part 8b

I was browsing other people's sci fi maps, and saw some nice rusty floor effects, so I tried it out on my test floor piece. Now I have to decide, do I want an aged, rusted metal floor look, or do I want a shiny clean metal floor look? I quite like the texture of it, and it's still got a shiny reflectiveness about it from the metal... I got the rustiness by very, very lightly drybrushing streaks of blazing orange onto the metal, so it doesn't come out as a strong orange colour, and the metal shows through it.

I also found one of the wall pieces I cast a the day before yesterday, and it looked pretty dry too, so I tested a wall paint scheme I had in mind - which was to basecoat in goblin green, wash with devlin mud, then drybrush parts softly in mithril metal.

and this is what they look like next to each other (though there will actually be a buffer of pipes and machinery between them) In real life, the rust colour looks darker and browner than it does in this photo, so it's not as orange as this photo looks.

Friday, March 18, 2011

3D Space Hulk style map development part 8

After looking at the fantasy section of Hirst Arts molds, and seeing how they make a whole doorway that can sit on top of tiles, and be picked up to remove it, I came up with an idea for making a doorway with a door in it, that can sit on top of the industrial edging of a corridor, so a whole doorway can be inserted onto the map at any location. (again, these pieces are just balancing on each other, not glued, so that's why things aren't held together precisely). The sides and top of the frame would be a single glued-together object, that can be picked up and put down at any location on the map to add a doorway. The two doors could then be sat in it or not, depending on whether it was open or closed!

Also, being the impatient me, I looked through all the floor tiles I've done to find one that looked dry, and did a test paint of it. I tried a couple things. First, I painted metal and washed black. It was a lot of wash, and it still didn't black up the holes well, so I used tissue to dry it up, and once fully dry, I tried again. This time I coated it black, then drybrushed metal over the top. However, I'm not the greatest drybrusher, and some of the metal got into the holes. It looked okay, but not how I wanted. So then I tried method 3 which I will probably use. The idea is undercoat black. Drybrush metal. Then with a small, round tipped brush, I place a black blob of wet black paint in each hole. The paint, thinned a bit with water, spreads and covers the bottom of the hole, making it stark black against the metal brushed top. I really like the look of that, and it makes the shape of the grill really stand out, so that's what I'll probably do.

I also thought, why not paint some of my star wars figures with metal bases instead of black bases, so they blend in with the floors, and tried that out. It looks good, with metal base on top of a metal tile, so I think I'll do that for a bunch of stormtroopers and rebel soldiers for when I'm star wars-ing.

Anyway, here's a pic of the sample tile. It's a pity you can't see the glintyness of the metal paint in a photo, as it looks very metallic in real life.

3d room size

I don't have enough pieces to make a whole room yet, but I mixed and matched some things, and sat them up against each other (no gluing yet!), to have an almost complete room (didn't have enough pieces to finish the walls properly, and used two different tiles to make the floor) but it gives an idea of the physical size of the room, and how many people can fit inside. Of course, there would probably be a couple squares with computers, or crates, or whatever, sat inside some rooms while playing.

3D Space Hulk style map development part 7b

Haven't done anything new - just thought I'd show some of the pieces that come in the molds, besides the floors.
There are square panels with round holes - you can stick a fan or grate in them. There's a couple types of crates and barrels - including 'explosive' gas bottles, and a couple types of computer consoles and monitors, ladders, and bulkhead doors, and a whole bunch of other stuff too! There's another panel with a square hole in it, you can put pieces in the hole to make it look different - like a broken floor tile, or a closed hatch, or an opened hatch, or a ladder leading down, etc. Anyway, here's a couple pics :)

Heavy duty bulkhead door!

3D Space Hulk style map development part 7

Lots of tiles cast today! Here's some pics, as I've been laying tiles out to see what they might look like assembled, with an L-shape corridor section. I now have all the pieces needed to complete the L section, and most of one of the rooms as well. This pic shows how I might start gluing things together to make a section (the paper printed underlay still showing as I work out where things go). The twin-doors won't be glued onto the board, but will be free-standing.

The walls are not full-real-life-height next to the men, more like a half representation of actual walls. The doors are a proper height though, making them easy to see. I'm only doing the walls at this height though, so that the figures can always be seen.

The passages seem fine for Sentinel sized pieces as well!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3D Space Hulk style map development part 6

The pieces I made yesterday are still drying, but I'll try to make a bunch more pieces today too. Takes about 24 hours to dry, or more if the air is a bit humid, to be completely dry, and you can't put paint and glue on them until they are completely dry, or the wet plaster can go soft and come off. While still damp, I can now see darker damp patches on the pieces, as it slowly begins to turn white. Also, they are really cold when you touch them. On some forums I was told that they are cold when they are still drying. So you can tell they are dry when they are completely white, and don't feel really cold anymore.

I sat some pieces up against each other to get an idea of what it would look like 'assembled'. This is my current idea for corridors. There's some more molds I haven't cast any pieces from yet, so that on occasional walls I can stick techy decorations like screens, fans, pipes, hatches and stuff to add some more variation.