'nother sculpt  

Posted by Hal'jin in , , ,

I've been toying a bit with my veterans, now they're mostly done, so I moved on to the next thing - the Psyker Battle Squad. I do not yet have models to convert into psykers themselves, but I can make the other fella. The iron-willed man, that's there to save the poor psykers' souls if something goes wrong - the Overseer!

Here's how he looks now, still an early WIP:

Now, there's something that is still "meh" about that sculpt. Not quite sure what exactly is that, but it's not lack of detail, for sure. He is slightly static, using the tank commander parts from vehicle accessory sprue, but it fits this person rather well.. What is wrong! I'd love to hear your opinions and suggestions on this man.

A little background: This is an agent of Adepta Astra Telepathica, not a psyker himself, that's been trained for this one purpose. Seeing to psykers' souls purity and instructed in recognising when there is something wrong happening. The hood he's wearing is actually a weak version of a psychic hood. While it wouldn't stop a psychic power thrown at him directly, it does help against the minor turbulences that occur around the psykers when perils of the warp happen. He could also be some kind of a weak Blank, but I suppose that would interfere with psykers' powers way too much.

As for IHRH, part two is coming somewhere around Friday! Also I'd like to thank you all for positive comments.

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I Hate Right Hands - Part 1.5 - The Halan pattern Plasma Gun tutorial  

Posted by Hal'jin in , , ,

At long last, the much anticipated plasma gun tutorial is here! A complete tutorial with photos on how to make the gun most of you seemed to like quite a bit. Just a side not, I'll give credit where it belongs. The first person to come up with that is Mistrz wałków at the gildia.pl forums. I took his idea and modified it a bit to my liking. Anyway, here goes!

First, a list of things you will need:
-A lasgun, can be with an arm attached or not, whichever you need/want.
-A Space Marines plasma pistol.
-A vox caster backpack - Which might not be too feasible if you use voxes, they might be considered too similar. This bit is actualy optional, but looks better with it, especially if you do not use the real voxes.

-And some wire, not too thich, prefereably quite flexible, unless you want to go through the pains of adjusting it so that it looks realistic.

You will also need:
-Some green stuff
-A modelling knife
-Some files
-A modelling drill helps nicely too.

Okay, first take the lasgun and cut off the parts marked red. As a general rule in the tutorial, red marked parts can be thrown away, unless you can find a use for them, green one are needed and should be kept.

The lasgun should look like this (minus the glue stains!):

Notice the bottom is cut a bit too. Disregard that for now.

Next, the vox caster backpack. As above, cut off the red parts, but do not damage the green one! It will be needed.

You should cut off the green part and glue it to the spot marked with green line. It should look like this:

Third step is to prepare the plasma pistol. Basicalle cut the hand out and then cut it along two lines. Keep all the parts but the hand.

Here's the desired effect:

Now use, the files and flatten the the top surface of the cut lasgun and stick the cooling system part onto it:

Now using the knife and file flatten the front of both parts connected. Then glue the top part in front:

Now you should cut the bottom of the lasgun so that it fits the shape of the plasma pistol. In the end file the seam a bit.

Now take the final part of the pistol left. File off the recrangle at the bottom of the lasgun and stick that part there this way:

Now you're more or less done and you could just fill the gaps with green stuff and stop there. But if you want to go further:

Drill the holes in the plasma gun and the backpack as shown below:

Here where the red dot is.

Now take some green stuff. This is about the right ammount, it ended up being slightly too much, but that's okay. You can do gap filling at the same time too.

Make a blob out of the green stuff and stick it on top of the gun's butt. Shape it more or less like that:

Now it's actually advisable to wait till the green stuff cures a bit. Once that is done, the "tough" part. Your knife has to be sharp and wet for this to work, or you'll ruin it. Though don't worry, you can always recreate the blob and try again.

Cut off the excess putty and shape it better. Also try to make the outer rim matching the plastic one:

Now just make some cuts as though the outer rim continued:

You don't have to be perfectly accurate with flattening the putty actually. Once it cures completely you can just use a file to finish it.

Now all that's left to do is to put the wire into both drilled holes. Adjust the length of the wire accordingly. Not too short, or the guardsmen wouldn't be able to use the weapon properly. Not too long or he could trip over it!

Here you go, that's everything. Thanks for reading and I hope you'll find it useful!

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I Hate Right Hands - Part I - The Basics  

Posted by Hal'jin in , , , , , ,

Here we go. First part of I Hate Right Hands will cover the basics of converting the veterans. General pointers, nifty ideas and the basics of working with plastic models to make your tiny men look different from the other tiny men.

There are multiple approaches you can take when making your veterans. You can give them an exceptional paintjob, you could make their bases stand out, you could put them together in different, more dynamic poses, you could use various elements from different kits to make them further stand out. I did them all. Possibly what I'll write here is obvious and you knew it already. But maybe you don't and maybe you will get some nice ideas. I sure hope so. Here goes!

  1. The concept
    It's very important that you actually take time and think over what are you going to do with your veterans. Remember, that all in all they're just regular guardsmen that just survived a few battles (unusual!). On the other hand, they're really badass guardsmen for having survived those few battles!

    You will have to think, what do you want your veterans to be? Are they specialised stealth troops, hidden withing the woods with sniper rifles? Are they outfitted with the best weapons that Imperium can provide to deal the deadly blow to the enemy? Are they crazed, fanatical close-combat specialists sporting fiery death? Are they just a line squad that survived for longer? Is there a heavy weapon team within the squad? That does depend on the fluff and concept of the regiment you play. Also, take a look at this:

    May purchase any and all squad Doctrines for 30pts each: Demolitions – Grants the squad Melta Bombs and 1 demo charge Forward sentries – Camo Cloaks + Snare Mines (Defensive Grenades) Grenadiers – Carapace Armour

    Obviously if you decide to go for one of these doctrines it would be nice to model it appropriately. Take your time and come up with a concept for an army list and decide wether you will take on any of these. While the first can be shown in a minimalistic way, the other two will require some more converting work.

    My initial concept for veterans was they're the elite soldiers delivering surgical strikes. Deployed with grav-chutes from the Valkyries (They always were in my fluff!) were they are needed most to deal with the biggest threat to the rest of the army.
    The concept is only slightly changed now. They'll be riding around in Chimeras, still having the best equipment - plasma guns. Supported by an anxious Company Commander they will still deliver surgical strikes, but also hold important objectives.

    What I wanted for my veterans is that they simply stood out. You would look at the army and see straight away that this squad is different. I was actually planning on giving them a different paintjob. Rather than the yellowish fatigues and brown armour they would all be painted Bleached Bone with a camouflage pattern on it. I moved away from the idea however. I'll keep that for Stromtroopers if I ever get any!

  2. The gear
    Veterans would often carry unusual equipment. They had time and they sure had more than enough bodies around them to grab some additional gear. As such they will usually be kitted either with additional equipment or gear that is not usually issued to the given regiment. After all Guard armies usualy consist of a huge mixture of various regiments and I'm sure Guardsmen would trade the gear between them in the back sometimes. Or loot it, after all what good would those shoes be to the dead comrade? Especially the sergeants, being the bosses of the dirty lot that the veterans are and overally experienced with the ways of Departamento Munitorum works surely have ways of accessing equipment through the backdoor. Examples of such equipment include:


    Non-standard issue lasguns, las-carbines and such.

    ..and not only that, special weapons as well.

    Weapons of unknown origin.

    Veterans are also usualy fielded to do specific tasks, rather than to hold the gunline. For that they might also recieve additional, special equipment.

    Ammunition box, since they might be operating away from the main body of army.

    Backpacks with rations, blankets and other equipment, who knows how long will they be out in the forward positions, alone.

  3. The preparation
    Before you begin, take your time and prepare for it. Scour all your boxes, drawers and everything you ever kept minis or sprues in and take all the parts you can find. For veterans you will want to use everything you have most likely.

    It's actually a good idea to plan in advance. For instance, take the Heavy Weapon Team sprues. There's lots of unusal bits in there, isn't there? You don't have to use those heads for heavy weapon team, you surely have spare regular guardsmen ones and those are unique! Same goes for backpacks, are they really needed on your team? Perhaps you can find a better use for them.

    Do you have friends playing Space Marines (Impossible you don't ;)) or a different variant of Guard (Well that only works for Catachans and Cadians, metal ones don't really provide bits)? Shuffle through their pieces and check what can be handy for you. Things like purity seals, bags, combat knifes, Catachan body parts (my friend uses Catachan heads on Cadian bodies for vets for example), their lasguns and vox caster (if you plan on having one). I'll cover this more in detail in Part Two.

    Last but not the least, check out what ForgeWorld has to offer. You can also consider what the new Cadian/Catachan Command Squads have in them. Some of these parts would make excellent veterans.

    Once you've got everything you need, you can start working!

  4. The work - Posing
    You would be really surprised with poses you can get from the regular Cadian box. All it takes is a little bit of imagination. Take for example this fella:

    Quite static, isn't he?

    That one is slightly better....

    While this one is a lot better!

    All you have to do is look at the various parts and think what else can you do with them? You will have to think about the entire mini as a whole however and match the pieces appropriately. For example, did you know you could do this:

    With the regular Cadian parts? The other thing is to remember what I've said before with planning use of bits from other kits. If you happen to buy a Basilisk there is a single heavy weapon crew sprue. But you also have the tank commanders on vehicle accessory sprue right? Well that gives us spare kneeling legs... While the arm usually holding binocular could as well shield the guardsmen's eyes from the sun!

    Remember to think if you want a uniform concept for the entire squad. Take a look at ForgeWorld Krieg squads. They all perform the same action, that helps to bind the unit together. Perhaps you could build them all advancing, while one is shooting , laying covering fire for others? Maybe they are charging into melee? Or forming and impenetrable wall of guns?

    Gunline (Don't have a lot of those, not planning on such a squad)

    Advancing squad

    Assaulting squad

    Note: If you have a veteran squad that fits the above criteria or has its own, unique way, and you would want them to be shown, drop me a word in comments and I'll give you my mail.

  5. The work - Arms
    And now we get to the thick of it. The arms. The hands. Right hands. Argh! What's wrong with right hands? Okay, take the Cadian sprue and look at the right hands we've got. Okay, there's one, two... five... carrying lasguns, okay! Now... one with a laspistol and... one throwing a grenade and... Um.. well. Oh yeah, pointy finger from the heavy weapons sprue! Wait that's it? So if I want to have the guardsmen carry something in his left hand (And there are plenty options there...) I am limited... to pointy finger. Wow.
    That is the biggest letdown of the sprues, but hey. We certainly can do something about that...

    Take for example the grenade-throwing-arm.

    This part is a hard one but it can be done. Carefully cut out the grenade from the hand. It might take you a few arms till you get this right (It did for me. :p), but you don't really need to drill it out entirely. Basically, cut out the grenade, you might damage the thumb a bit, it won't be noticeable. Just be careful not to cut to deep or the fingers might snap off. It will look like this:

    What's next? Just put whatever you want in that hand! Like this:

    Or even this!

    If it's a gun, make a tiny blob of green stuff and put in the trigger. It will work perfectly as the missing finger. The only issue is that it's quite limited. Not many things you cut put in there as the pose mostly suggests it's being thrown.

    What else can you do with that evil right arm? You can use the pointy finger of course. But how many guardsmen in the squad can be pointing their fingers at something? Of course ForgeWorld offers an alternative, so does the new command squad, but let's have a look at what else can you do with standart Cadian bits.

    One of the things is the lasgun arm that doesn't have the second hand on the lasgun, as it's intented for use with that one left arm that has a hand. Take a look here, the kneeling legs make a suitable base for the gun:

    Just as though that guardsman got a bit tired and put it on his knee while doing something else with the other hand. It doesn't really need the kneeling legs, it looks feasable and realistic for the regular standing pose as well.

    What else? You can of course recut the lasgun holding arm. While I do not advice cutting out the lasgun, as the arms are poorly bend to be doing much else and you would need to fill some parts with green stuff, but you can do somethign else. Cut off the arm at the base of the shoulderpad and rotate it slightly, then reglue. That's exactly what was done on the fella below:

    He's holding his lasgun in the air while advancing, carrying ammo for his squad. It's feasable, today's gun if leaned on the elbow can be held like that and somehow I think the lasgun is even lighter. On this picture however you can see the slight problem that emerges from twisting like that:

    So the butt of the gun isn't on one side of the arm, but isn't on the other either! Don't rotate too much as this will become obviously visible and a bit silly. Also it won't be seamless, you'll need to scratch and cut both parts a bit and use some green stuff to make it look proper.

    Here, a quick summary of the non-standard right hands:

    What about the left hand? There's much more choice there. First of all you can use the lasgun arm with the hand to hold more or less anything. Including the gun of course:

    There's also the heavy weapon team arm that can be used to hold things or not, as per binoculars and the kneeling veteran above. Now, take a look at this part:

    There's actually a lot you can do with it. Cut down the handle on one side a bit and... Here are two examples:

    The chainsword arm:

    is quite adaptable as well:

    Generally speaking, left hands are a dozen times easier to customize. That's why I hate the right ones! I'd be very happy if GW released a holstered lasgun arm, like the FW kit one. I was quite excited at the command squad sprue, till I realised that holstered lasgun is... left arm...

  6. The work - Heads
    The second tough part is the heads. Why? Because the kits offer only so much. You don't want your veterans to look like everyone else, do you? You salvation might come from the loose helmets on the sprue. With enough cutting you can make a different head fit into it, like this one:

    Actually, I have no clue where is it from, looks a bit WFB-ish. I will cover the methods of obtaining unique heads in the next part. Unfortunately I do not have any heads I could demonstrate it on anymore.

    Of course, there's also your own work, you could modify the existing heads to look different. This requires a bit of green stuff work. How is this done will be covered in another part, for now I'll just show you a few examples. Two different faces of the Cadian Sergeant:

    And others:

  7. The work - Additional accesories
    What are the other things the veterans might carry? Everything. Ranging from additional clips, grenades, bags to trophies. I have one nifty idea about a guardsmen with a belt going across his chest and several lasgun clips attached to it. Haven't don't it yet, it might go on the second veteran squad. I also always wanted to put a knife on someone's leg, just like on that artwork in our codex (The one with the guardsman and kasrkin standing). Unfortunately the size of the knife just won't fit.

    There is one accessory however I really like and put on every single veteran. Purity seals. I bet Marine players have loads of those spare, ask them! It makes for qutie a characterful unit. After all the Emperor did indeed grant them mercy and helped them survive these battles, so they sure are more zealous!

  8. The work - Sergeants

    This one is a huge topic, actually. I'll only touch it slightly, maybe expand in some future installement.
    Anyway, a sergeant of a veteran squad is definitely a standing out individual. You should aim to make him unique. You could use the officer cap, instead of bare head or helmet, as it stands in the old codex, they tend to wear these caps, much to the dismay of the real officers. Second thing is they have different gear. Actually, quite a lot of gear choices! If you can't make up your mind, I suggest using magnets. Like this:

    That way you have interchangeable pistol! You could do the same with the other hand, replacing the regular ccw with a power weapon or a fist. I'm not however, as I have some of these fancy metal cadian lieutenants still, that will come to play instead if I ever will field him that way (And I doubt I will, at least not for this squad).

  9. Medic!
    Just one more note. Be careful with knives, glue, drills, whatever. Sometimes the part you're cutting is hard and won't give in till you use more force and then... My fingers looked qutie scary, and to be honest blood on models isn't a great idea. So, careful!

And that's it for today, thanks for reading! I really hope I didn't say just obvious things and you've got some ideas from the article. Coming up next, part 1.5: The Halan Pattern Plasma Gun tutorial!

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