minimattila

Alright, a quick PSA: I’m a dad now! Around a week ago my wife gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. After a few days in the hospital we came home, everyone safe and sound. It has been an interesting week full of learning new things and a little less sleep than what I’ve been used to!

I guess it goes without saying that my rate of finishing models is going to take a hit. Of course, I’ve been saying the same thing for years now, so there’s a chance you’ll not even notice! I’ll have to get used to a new daily rhytm with a lot more responsibility, and try to sneak in some hobbying whenever I can. Before the birth I was a bit worried about how I would feel about not having a lot of time for my own hobbies. But I got to say, after the baby arrived my hobbies haven’t seemed as important as they did. I’m sure this will change eventually (:D), but for now I’m getting a real kick out of taking care of my wife and my son. Of course, miniatures are still on my mind and I’m slowly trying to get that ball rolling again. Today I wrote the boy’s birthday on the bottom of his commemorative Space Wolf! Yeah, the day ended up being a day of national mourning for some, but a familial day of celebration for us!

I’ll also show a picture of my current project, Ghazghkull Thraka, and where I left him before we had to leave for the hospital. The arms are not glued on yet, I think I’ll add a couple more things before attaching them permanently.

The face and the base are already finished, actually even before the move, I just haven’t shown them here before. But here they are:

Very chuffed with both of them! Hopefully I’ll have the time to finish the model before the end of the year 😀

WIP: Space Wolf

A quick post today to show you a model I started working on – a Space Wolf Grey Hunter.

Now, I’m not going to start an army of Space Wolves, this will most likely be a one-off. But this one’s a bit special for me, as it will be in honor of our firstborn, due in around two months! My wife actually gave me the idea, as she asked if (or what) I’d paint baby blue for our baby boy. A great idea, I thought, and after giving it quite a bit of thought (I thought a blue-skinned cherub would’ve been too macabre and a grot might’ve sent the wrong message..) I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to paint a second edition-inspired Space Wolf!

I spent quite a lot of time planning and building the model, but I’m happy how it turned out. Most of the build time went into “refurbishing” and attaching the second edition bolter on to his arms. I still have a couple of these bolters from one of my first kits that I bought, and I thought one of them would complement the second edition paint scheme really well. To be honest, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t ever use them on anything, as they’re showing their age a bit, but after seeing OSJC using one for his Space Sharks I knew I had to borrow the idea! Obviously, the scale is better for primaris marines, but it’s not bad for mini-marines. The conversion is pretty simple, if a bit time-consuming: the main body from a second edition bolter, the hand, magazine well and the nub over the barrel from a mk7 bolter and the magazine from a mk3 one. As the body of the gun is quite a bit thicker than the modern ones, I had to do some cutting with the hand. The anatomy is not the greatest, but will do.. As for the rest of the model, it’s pretty much a standard mk7 tactical marine. I don’t have many Space Wolf bits, but found an appropriate head for him at least (is that Paul Sr. from American Chopper?), and to top the model off I gave him a mk3 chainsword. Kinda looks like a furry tail! 😀

I’ll use this model for the “conversion” square in the hobby bingo. Since the last post I’ve also crossed off another square by making a few storage boxes with steel bottoms in anticipation of the upcoming move.

WIP: Astra Rodentia Reinforcements; Imperial Pilot

After finishing the Necron Warrior squad, I switched to build mode. Other than some basing work, I hadn’t built anything after the New Year’s, so it was about time! Not that I had painted a huge lot, either, but that’s neither here nor there… Anyways, I’ve now got three more rats queued for painting and joining my Astra Rodentia force. Also, I built a disembarked Imperial Guard (Sentinel/tank) pilot.

The three rats that I built were some more specialists: a shotgunner, a plasma gunner and a medic (inspired by Pomander Cask’s medic model). The ‘gunners got different body armors, to reinforce the idea of a ragtag group also in modeling in addition to painting. Of course, rules-wise the plasma rat could be used as a Scion. I’m pretty happy with each of them, though there are a few nitpicks. The biggest of these is the weapon sling on the medic. I practiced greenstuff sculpting but this wasn’t one of my better attempts. Still, it’ll probably stay like that and in any case it’ll hardly even be visible in photos 😀

From the rear you can see some of the equipment I once again stuffed on their belts and backs. I think it adds a lot of character to the models and also helps to blend the body and the legs together (though there’s not much to hide – the join is really clean). One bit I’ll note is the backpack on the plasma gunner. The Scion bodies have big square slots in their backs, and my original plan was to fill it with putty. Of course I forgot to do it when filling the other gaps, so I thought I’d hide the slot with equipment instead. As the original Scion backpacks were used for my Space Marine Scouts, I grabbed a resin one from Kromlech. I got two of these as a freebie a long time ago (the other’s on the Astra Rodentia sharpshooter), and they fit really well. They even have camo cloaks strapped on like the Scion packs! Still, I made a slight modification: the original had a couple of grenades and a canteen hanging of the backpack – I cut these off and changed them to GW bits. It’s not a big change (the GW parts are just slightly larger), but I think it keeps the aesthetic closer to a GW model this way.

Then on to the Imperial Guard pilot. As I have quite a lot of IG leftover parts from making the Rodentia, I thought I’d use some of them for a one-off “marker” model, kind of like Lieutenant Varras. I imagine his ride got destroyed or disabled and he was injured in the process. After bandaging his arm and fashioning a sling he’s looking for a way back to a friendly outpost. The bits are mostly from the Cadian Command Squad. The head and the holster are from a Chimera, I think. I thought of a neat trick with the holster: after removing the pistol handle I carefully cut under the holster flap to make it curl a bit, like it was open. I’m sure I wasn’t the first to come up with this, but I think it’s pretty cool! The model still needs basing, probably similar to the ones on my Necrons. The paint scheme will most likely be Steel Legion inspired.

I’m claiming another square on the hobby bingo with the medic model. It’s the “sculpt something on a model (other than gap filling)”, and while the weapon sling is so shoddy I feel a bit guilty about this, I have to score squares where I can! Might have considerably less time for it soon!

Finally, I’ve made some hobby acquisitions. Yesterday I received a package from Japan, containing a Tamiya pin vise and a side cutter. I’m yet to give them any real action, but I tried them on a piece of sprue and they’re definitely an upgrade over the Army Painter pin vice and Citadel cutter that I’d been using before. I’ve also bought a pair of X-acto-type knives with #11 blades to see if I like them better than retractable Stanley-knives. And finally, for my birthday my wonderful wife surprised me with “something small”, which turned out to be the new Ghazghkull Thraka model! That thing’s huge, I tell you!

WIP: Necron Test Models

I’ve been trying to get my hobby mojo back and during the last week and a bit I think I’ve got it! I’ve had a lot of fun painting the first couple of models from the Indomitus box: two Necron warriors and two scarab swarms.

Now, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not the most imaginative of artists, and the paint scheme on these guys is no exception. I was pretty close to going with the default Necron speed-technique of wash/drybrush/done, but when I saw Trovarion’s tutorial on “easy 9th edition Necrons” I knew I had to try them out! Trovarion’s own take on the scheme was right up my alley – mostly neutral colors (steel, brown, cream) with one bright and bold accent color (orange). I wonder what the dynasty’s called… Trovakh?

Necron painting tutorial by Trovarion Miniatures

I actually started the models by painting up the bases. The bases I made for the Necrons are once again wasteland-style, but I wasn’t sure on the color. I tried a reddish brown and my usual bone-recipe, and while both of them work (and are surprisingly close to the Necron’s paint scheme), I’ll go with the reddish ones. At some point I might experiment with some orange washes or pigments to make the bases more vibrant, but I think this is my starting point!

A note on making the bases: the idea was first to just do my default “sand and stones/skulls”-type of wasteland bases, but as I had more time during my winter break I thought I’d add “just a couple” of details to suggest a battlefield surrounding. In addition to rocks and skulls I put on various pipes, steel beams and barbed wire. I also had the idea to put on some left-over Necron arms and Space Marine helmets, but forgot about them.. I’ll do those with the bigger character models! But all in all, I’m very pleased with the bases. I think I got a good mix of different textures and details (maybe a few too many pipes if you think about it…) and they didn’t take all that long to make.

Painting the actual models was pretty relaxing, and for the most part didn’t require much accuracy. Two basecolors (steel, cream), some dark brown chipping applied with a sponge, and then a lot of selective washes. After those a few quick highlights and painting the glow-y bits white (a mix of ink and paint makes quick and smooth work of this). Finally quite a lot of layers of orange fluorescent paint and a tiny bit of red (the normal kind) to finish the model off.

I’m mostly very satisfied with the result. More importantly, I enjoyed the painting process, which is great as I now have quite many Necrons to paint. The OSL effects are not quite there yet (which is fine, it was my first try), but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it after a couple dozen models… Now I’ll repaint/finish the bases on these models and perhaps finish a couple more before taking some showcase photos for you guys.

WIP: Building Necrons, Industrial Bases

I started my hobby year 2021 by assembling a big bunch of Necrons from the Indomitus box. This was my holiday project – I was on the move and decided that I wouldn’t bring my paints with me and instead concentrate on building and priming some models.

As you can see, I got all of the 20 warriors done, as well as their 6 scarab swarms. They’re all built pretty much according to instructions, the only modification I did was to clip off the blades from the gauss rifles. I’ve never liked them visually, or even conceptually, and there’ll be less to paint. Win-win! Finally, I also assembled one of the characters, the Plasmancer. Señor Skorpekh is cool and all, but for my money this floating dude is the coolest Necron model in the box!

My goal was to base these too and as mentioned, to prime them. As they’re going to be basecoated with steel paint, I decided to buy the very expensive Leadbelcher spray and save myself some time. Unfortunately, my FLGS didn’t have it in stock so the priming had to be put on hold. As I didn’t have to hurry to prime the models, I left the basing undone as well. I’ll continue working on these guys in a month, during my winter holiday.

But even if I didn’t get the ‘crons based, I did work on some bases! I made six new industrial style bases for my future Astra Rodentia models. Overall, I’m really happy with them, especially the two in the middle. Starting to get into real scratchbuilding territory! The bases might’ve used some more wires and maybe a bit of sand, but I ran out of time, and they’re now primed (still have my black can). I’ll probably add some texture during painting..

Okay, now to finish a pair of rats so that the bases will have something to stand on them! And obviously to paint the bases too..

WIP: Nu-Marines, More Cabalites; Magnetized Storage; Molds

I’ve been on build mode again, and let me just get on record and say: I’m as slow with my modeling as I am with painting! I had the whole weekend for hobbying, and managed to build a grand total of three and a half models, plus their bases.. I’ve also been working on a storage solution and some rudimentary mold making.

So first up, the new models! Well, new-ish. I bought the ETB Intercessors triple pack (now OOP, it seems) last spring during the lockdown period and even started working on one of the models (the guy on the left in the pic above). I’m not a huge fan of the bolt rifle design, much preferring the old bolters and pistols. Likewise, the mk7 helmets and backpacks look better than mkX to me. Thankfully they’re all more or less interchangeable with the Primaris kit! So yeah, the first guy got his bolter, a mk7 backpack and a custom mk7 helmet. It might not show well in the photo, but I’ve carved the helmet a bit to join the two eye lenses into a single visor. It’s actually a conversion I first created back in my teenage years, inspired by Doomguy (/Doom Slayer).

The second Intercessor also got some mk7 weapons, but a mk3 helmet and backpack. I don’t really care for those on mini-marines, so I’ve still got plenty of them left after building my Devastator squad. They look great on the Primaris bodies though, especially for the more knightly chapters. This one will be a Black Templar! One additional modification I did was shave his chest (:D) smooth for some extra freehand room. (Cawdor ganger for a size comparison.)

I also built two more Corvus Cabalists, this time the characters in the gang – the Shrike Talon and the Shadow Piercer. I think the Talon is one of the coolest models in the GW’s current lineup, and was built accord to instructions. The Piercer received a tiny conversion: I clipped off the tip of her sword to give it a bit cleaner lines. For both of their bases I added some plasticard tiles to hint at a ruined city. The Shrike Talon’s 40mm base maybe could’ve used some more decoration, but I didn’t want to give the model any more height (with cork board or such), as he already towers over his mates. Maybe I’ll add some discarded weapons or other bits before priming..

Then on to the magnets and storage! A couple of months back I decided that it was time to build a magnetized container to store/transport miniatures in. I bought a plastic tub and a big sheet of 0.7mm steel, which I cut into smaller ones at my workplace. I ended up with six 25x33cm sheets, so plenty for future boxes as well. A good thing, as I switched jobs and don’t have access to a proper quillotine anymore! I attached the steel sheets to the plastic tubs with nuts, bolts and some washers (see here for a closer look). There’s plenty of room for “regular” sized models (9-10cm), and taller boxes are available should I ever get myself an Imperial Knight! These boxes are stackable and the lid locks securely with kind of clips, which are easy to open.

I got a pack of 3x2mm magnets from GreenStuffWorld and attached them to models’ bases with Milliput. I’ve seen people do this with Greenstuff, but Milliput is cheaper and can be used as an adhesive itself. I was able to pry of a magnet attached with Milliput, but I’m hoping they won’t fall of with normal use. If they do, I’ll super glue them.

Of course, one always mixes up too much Milliput (/Greenstuff)! I used the extra to finally try out a Blue Stuff mold I made a couple months back. The molds are not perfect (one’s okay, the other pretty bad) and the casting added further imperfections, but I reckon they’ll be fine for some terrain! I think I’ll try to do the wheel mold(s) one more time, but then I really need to take the (plastic) wheel and get on building my final biker!

WIP: Building Bikers

I haven’t had much hobby time in the last couple of weeks, but I’ve slowly been building a Space Marine biker squad for my Revelators mini-marines army. Here are the first two finished riders, a third will follow later.

I got these bikes from my wonderful wife as a b-day present a little while back. She doesn’t really know anything about the armies or rules of the game, i.e. which units are part of what armies, which would be good for games, or what models I have in my collection already. Well, I too am not really familiar with the rules, nor do I care, and I’ve said to her that if she wants to get me minis, she can buy anything that she thinks looks cool. She ended up with these, as the marines looked familiar and one of my other hobbies/interests is motorcycles. I really appreciate her putting thought into this, rather than just picking the first box she sees!

I quite like the models, even though in practical terms they’re a bit silly with the wide tires and low ground clearance. They look brutal though, and fit the marine aesthetic splendidly. However, there’s no denying that they’re getting on a bit.. Assembling the models was rather fiddly, and getting the bike halves to align satisfactorily took some work. I was also worried about the seamline in the middle of the bike, but I read a good tip on TaleofPainters: when putting the halves together, use a lot of (plastic) glue! Then press the halves together so that some of the glue goop oozes out. When it’s dry, the seam can be scraped clean, leaving a smooth surface. I primed these fellas last night and the trick worked out great!

I wanted to individualize the riders a bit, so I did some light conversion/kit bashing work on them. The sarge’s head is from the SM Commander kit and the fist is from a Tactical Squad. I also added a banner top from the same box to further mark him as the squad leader. Both of the riders got some pouches and grenades, and some purity seals on the bikes. The chainsword on the other bike is from the mk3 marine squad. As it’s originally meant to be holstered/strapped to a backpack, it was a bit shorter than a normal Tactical Squad chainsword and already had some straps so it looks like it’s actually secured in place. The idea for the sword came from photos of Imperial First bikers in an old 3rd edition SM Codex.

I wasn’t happy with the stock bases, and ordered some plain 75mm oval bases from eBay. I don’t think they’re exactly the same shape as GW’s (the oval looks like it has slight “corners”), but in the photos it seems to be okay. They also had to be washed as there was some black goo on them. So yeah, the quality’s not quite up to GW standard, but okay. As they’re bigger bases, I wanted to decorate them a bit more than just plain sand and the occasional skull and tuft. Of course, as some of my models have bases that are just sand, I didn’t want to go too mad. The sarge got a slight “ramp” made out of cork, while the other marine got a piece of H-beam and some DIY-barbed wire. Just something to hint at a battlefield, but still keep it in the desert/wasteland style.

So where’s the third squad member? He’s still unassembled as I want to try something new: I recently got a package from Greenstuffworld, and with it a pack of Blue Stuff. I’m trying to make a mold of the bike wheels and copy them for terrain/basing projects! I made a couple of tries already, but wasn’t satisfied just yet, so I’ll try some more. The copies don’t need to be perfect, but I’ll try to get them as good as I can. When I get to the actual assembly, the rider will most likely be a meltagunner, but he’d require some work on arm posing, so we’ll see how it comes out.

WIP: Modeling for days

All right, it’s high time for an update. For the last three weeks or so I’ve been on build mode whenever I’ve had some hobby time, and have now got a couple of models to show you. First up, a couple of Ork boyz! (click the pictures for slightly larger/complete versions)

The two unprimed boyz are built from bits fresh off their late-90s sprues, while the primed one is a rescue job (parts are still from the same box, though!) that I did ages ago. He’ll be painted along these two new ones, whenever I’ll get to them 😀 The shoota boyz are pretty stock builds, while the slugga boy has a number of minor adjustments, such as reposing the hands and the horns on his helmet.

Next we have my latest creations, two more members for the Astra Rodentia. These guys take me a plenty of time to create as I fiddle with most of the parts. Getting a chainsword on a right hand was quite an exercise, I can tell you! Another conversion/scratchbuild was the radio pack: I wasn’t happy with how thick the antennas were, and made some new ones from paperclips and thin wire. I also added a phone(?), haphazardly hanging from its cable. While building it, I noticed that the Skitarii backpacks would’ve had the same elements, but I didn’t want to wait for an order to arrive.

Finally, a bunch of Space Marines. The two tacticals above were actually built around six months ago, and have since been based and primed, and the sarge on the left has got his banner. I’m using this old image as I have a couple of subassemblies on them, here they’re reasonably assembled. Fun fact: the sarge was actually built around the right, open, hand that was found in the Devastators kit! I’ve also built two more shotgun scouts, which completes the squad I started building.. last summer? (where does the time go?)

I’m using the scouts to claim the conversion square in the hobby bingo. The slugga boy might’ve been a more ‘optimal’ choice, but fug it, I’ve made more progress than expected already!

WIP: Skaven and Scouts

Okay, definitely too long since last update, and not much to show for it.. But here goes anyway – I’ve built a couple more 40k Skaven, and also begun working on a SM Scout Squad.

First the Skaven. I’ve built a sneaky sniper and another riflerat, though with a small conversion this time. To reflect the idea that these guys are using any old hardware that can be mustered, I wanted some autoguns in their hands. I converted one from a Cadian lasgun by changing the magazine to one from a bolter, and took a barrel from an old Catachan lasgun.

The sniper was a bit more involved conversion. I wanted to use a Skitarii rifle, and with it would come the hands and arms as well. I did want to retain the Cadian shoulder pads though, so I needed to do some cutting. It didn’t go quite as nicely as I’d envisioned, and before greenstuffing I was a bit unsure if I had botched the arms. After the sculpting I reckon he looks good, no need for a redo. Which is good as all the Skitarii rifles are unique, so I couldn’t get the same pose again.

I originally thought that the sniper wouldn’t be carrying a lot of equipment on him, “traveling light” instead. But he seemed to need something on his back to balance the rifle on the front. Happily I recently received my small order from Kromlech (more on this later), and they had put in two freebie backpacks as well. I felt the other one was perfect for the sniper, and it even fit without any cutting.

Then on to the Scouts. I’ve actually had the Scout kit and the Scion heads to go with it for a long time, but before I got to building them, I saw West_minis’ brilliant Crimson Fists Scouts, that used Scion backpacks as well as the heads. Naturally I had to put the project on hold until I could get my hands on the rest of the Scions kit. This happened last week, and I set to work. The shotgunners were pretty straightforward, requiring only cutting down their back humps and a bit of greenstuff on their necks. Though I got to say that the arms were a right pain to get aligned. Still not sure if they’re how they’re supposed to.. I’m pretty sure I won’t be building another Scout squad after this (other than the Sniper squad I’ve got in my pile of shame..).

The sergeant on the other hand required more cutting and fixing, as I once again wanted to retain the original shoulderpads. With a bit of creative cutting and some putty, the Scion bolt pistol and power fist arms fit the Scout model pretty great! He’s also got a regular Space Marine head from the mkIV kit. It took some effort to attach, as I didn’t have a correct drill bit, but I got there in the end. I also cut off the service stud from his forehead.

I’ll have to get on painting these models as soon as possible, as I’ve got to get something done for Azazel’s August challenge. I’ve got three weeks though, minus the weekends, so I should be okay. Even if I don’t get all of them painted, I should be able to do at least a couple.

WIP: Imperial Skaven

Another week and no new finished models.. Oh well, maybe next week. But in the interest of showing something more recent than stuff from my teenage years (there’s still some to share!), take a look at my most recent models! I know I said in my first post that I’d only showcase finished models (as in “painted”), but let’s count “assembled” as a finished state, shall we?

A good while ago I came across a a tutorial on how to build a WH40k Imperial Skaven by Eric Sexton. I liked the idea very much and eventually got some Cadians and Plague Monks of eBay. Last week I actually started assembling them, and built three test models: a sergeant, a riflerat and a rat with a flamer. I’m very happy with how the little group came out, I like the poses and the bits that I used, everything fit without problems and the anatomy (neck, specifically) seems pretty natural.

I did have to repose the riflerat’s head, as it was originally too high and looked awkward. It was also facing to the left, which I changed in this second/final version. I did end up sculpting the neck twice, but it didn’t take too long, was good practice, and again, I’m much happier with the result. I’m now debating on whether to resculpt the sarge’s neck and give him a collar like the two others have.

I’ve got bits for two more Skaven, but I think I’m saving those for now. My eventual goal for these guys is to create a Kill Team-sized group, so around 10-15 models. I don’t play the game though and don’t know much about the rules, so they might not be a legal team. “Rule of Cool”. I’ll paint these guys up before building any more (and probably have to get some new bits..). Still haven’t settled on a paint scheme, though I’m currently leaning on something Cadian-esque. I’m open to suggestions!

Oh yeah, what’s up with the bases? With these models I thought that I’d go into a bold, new direction, and would paint the models separate from their bases. For ease of painting I superglued the rats to some spare bases. For the actual bases I wanted to try something other than my goto sandy bases, and went for an industrial look. They were really fun to build, and should be equally fun to paint!

Finally, I’m counting these guys for a square in the bingo card. They could’ve worked for a lot of different squares, but I went with “sculpt something on a model”, as doing the necks was more than just gap-filling (not much, but still).