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: 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.

Astra Rodentia Standard Bearer

The first model of the year is finished and we’re not even halfway through February! Sigh.. But here he is, a standard bearer (/fanatic) for my Astra Rodentia!

He’s been a long time coming, as I built the model nearly a year ago! I guess a big part of why he took so long to get painted was the banner. I had to come up with some kind of a color scheme, something to write on the parchments and then figure out how to do something like NMM on the symbols. The original idea was to also put on a graffiti-style text on top of the design (“Gutter Runners”) to show that these rats have taken some other regiment’s standard and made it their own, but I kinda shot myself in the foot with my chosen color scheme. I couldn’t use yellow, white or red for the lettering, as it would’ve gotten lost and I didn’t want to introduce any further colors like blue, green or pink to the model. Oh well, maybe I’ll get to realize this idea on some other model.

On the whole I’m pretty happy with how the flag came out. The left side of the flag seems to be a bit lighter, I went a bit overboard with the dirt splattering on left side, and I clearly need a lot more practice with NMM, but as a whole I think the banner looks nice.

As for the rest of the model, there wasn’t much that was different from the other Astra Rodentia I painted before. I painted on some wood grain to the banner pole, which was more successful on the left side, and glazed Skrag Brown on the yellow hazard stripes, which looks really nice. One new trick I tried with this model was to use a brush and a toothpick for the splatter effects, rather than a toothbrush and my thumb. Much more accurate! I also used AK’s Ultra Matte Varnish on all the non-metallic areas. It can be used with a brush straight from the bottle and works really well. Maybe a little too well for my liking.. 🙂

Okay, so new year and a new bingo card! Maybe this is the year to complete at least one bingo? We’ll see. I count this model for the “technique you haven’t mastered”.

As a bonus, I though I’d show you the finished bases that I’ve made for upcoming Astra Rodentia reinforcements. There’s the six bases I showed unpainted in the last post and a seventh one (with the T-pipeline and chain) that I built and painted ages ago for my last couple of rats. I’m pretty happy with most of these – the only one giving me pause is the one with the knife. The floor ended up looking too messy – not an unlikely scenario in the real world, but I’d like a little more definition. I might end up repainting it before using it.

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.

Nurgle Lord of Plagues; PSA

Today I get to show a model which I’ve wanted in my collection for a long time: the Lord of Plagues. As he’s a bit of a bucket list model, I’m also entering him in Azazel’s Destino December challenge.

I bought the model last month after a pretty insane work week, deciding I had earned something nice 🙂 The Lord was on stock in my FLGS, and as the price isn’t as extortionate as GW’s more recent character models I picked him up. I know this model is often used for all sorts of cool (INQ28) conversions, but as the basic model is so close to perfect I wanted this one to remain in stock form. I did however build him a bit more elaborate base to make him stand out a bit more.

As this model was bought purely for painting and not for an existing army, I thought it would be a good platform to try out some new things. Firstly, the model got a zenithal undercoating, which was a first for me. I can’t really tell if it has a lot of effect on the finished model, as I might have still painted with too thick paint, but it certainly helped me to position shadows and highlights more easily. It’s definitely something that I want to come back to in the future though.

Secondly, rather than trying to paint the armor smoothly, I wanted to use stippling both for easier color transitions and to give an impression of the armor being pitted and banged up, which I think work well as there is already quite a lot of sculpted damage to begin with. There’s still room for improvement in my stippling, but I’m pretty happy with the light-to-dark contrast that I achieved.

For the paint scheme I wanted to do something a bit different from the default green. I had seen Andrew King’s rather wonderful blue Nurgle army in White Dwarf, and decided to try something like that. Andrew used Thunderhawk Blue as the basecolor for his armor, but as my local shop doesn’t stock it I used Stegadon Scale Green. The color was a bit more green than I’d have liked, but glazing some Guilliman Blue on top worked out well to correct this.

To complement the colder blue tones of the armor I wanted the base to have warm red dirt on it. Happily, WHTV recently published a tutorial on the new Underworlds Goblin Riders. I used the basing recipe (with some alterations) in it and got a really nice result. Some weathering powders could probably take it to the next level, but I’ll leave experimenting with those for another time.

I’m using this model to claim a square in the hobby bingo: paint a model from an army you don’t already collect. Now, while I don’t expect him to grow into an army anytime soon, I might just get some Plague Bearers for him to broodingly watch over. Or maybe his little brother, the Lord of Blights!

And with that, my 2019 hobby year is pretty much over. I might try to sneak in a bit of building before the new year, but definitely wont be finishing anything. I still want to do a wrap-up post for the year, but in case I don’t get it up before Christmas Eve, happy holidays to everyone!

Lastly, a small service announcement. A couple of days ago Krautscientist pointed out to me that commenting had been switched off for a couple of my latest posts. This was not intentional, and I have no idea why it happened. It’s been fixed now, so if you want(ed) to comment on those recent projects please do!

From the Archives: Ork Dreadnought

So this is a bit of a special one: the last model that I got before dropping the hobby in my teens. And it was a Christmas present too, so it always bothered me a bit that I didn’t finish it. But here it is, in its finished glory, an Ork Dreadnought (yes, from time before Deff Dreads)!

The Dread was completed a year ago for Azazel’s mechanically themed November challenge. It was basically a full build too, as I had hardly started working on it all those years ago. The first thing to do was to make a base as the box didn’t come with one. As you might be able to tell, I used cork and tied to replicate the old Space Marine Dreadnought base design. I did add a couple of details like the tank trap bit and the Ork helmet to add some flair of my own.

After the base was done it was on to the Dreadnought itself. I could instantly remember why I didn’t finish this model: this is a metal model and basically none of the parts fit each other without a lot of filing. I think I spent 2-3 days just fitting and pinning the model together. While I was at it, I magnetized the big shoota so that I could swap it for a rokkit launcha in the future. The burna is glued on as usual due to it’s more difficult position.

Then I had to decide on a paint scheme. I kind of wanted an orange scheme, but painting the whole thing orange would’ve been too much, and I couldn’t come up with anything else that I would’ve been happy with. In the end I decided to try and replicate the box art scheme, which is a kind of first since my teens, and I’m happy that I did since the scheme is awesome, and was very fun to paint! There is absolutely no “standard” edge highlighting on this model, all the edges are defined by sponging or drybrushing. Freehanding the skull design on the front was a great exercise, and I found a pretty good way of painting dark (coated?) metal that’s common in real world guns.

So yeah, this project was a fun one! I think the design of this Dreadnought has held up really well, maybe I’ll get some plastic Killa Kans to accompany it. Some day..

WIP: Imperial Skaven Sentinel

After finishing the Orks in my last post I’ve been building stuff for a change. The biggest and most involved piece has been a Sentinel to accompany my space rats!

I’ve always loved the look of Sentinels, but this was the first time that I’ve actually bought and build one. I’d heard about the great posability of the model, and the kit did not disappoint! To showcase the posability, I decided to model the Sentinel descending a ruined factory floor. The right leg is at its shortest, while the left is extended as far as it goes. A “flex” pose if you will. I also cut off and reposed a couple of the toes to better conform the feet to the base. The cockpit was angled down a bit to further enhance the descending motion.

To integrate the Sentinel to my Skaven, I obviously had to convert the pilot into something more appropriate. I cut off the pilot’s torso and replaced it with one of the unused Plague Monk torsos from making the regular infantry (oh yes, a use for them!). This had two benefits: I got the hunched pose that would’ve been lacking with the human torso, and the head fit with without any modifications (I did greenstuff the neck joint a bit after taking the photo). The arms slotted right in like they were made for it, however I did remove the small screen from the other steering stick. I was a bit worried if the Skaven head was going to fit under the cage, but luckily I had zero problems. The pilot fits in with good clearance around him. If I have one regret it’s that I used the original pilot legs for this model, as you can’t really see them at all when the chassis is assembled. If I’d do this again, I’d just put a blob of greenstuff or some other spacer under the torso, and save myself a pilot for some other projects..

Building the base was fun, though I hope it won’t be too far from the infantry bases, aesthetically/thematically speaking. Unpainted it doesn’t look too industrial, but I’m hoping that paint will fix it. Oh yeah, and just before priming the model, I added a giant rat from the Plague Monk sprue to the base!

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).