6.09.2012

Silver Towers of Tzeentch, Part VI


First off, I must bow to marketing and plug my new book.  14 just came out this week from Permuted Press.  You can buy it in paperback, for your Kindle, your Nook, and in another week Audible.com will have the audiobook version, read by Ray Porter who a bunch of you might remember from a bit part in the LOST epilogue.  This is how I pay the bills. so it's a great way to support In The Grim Cheapness and still come out ahead.

But now, to conclude with the Silver Towers.

I’ve got all the bulk stuff done.  At this point I just wanted to add a few little details here and there.  The thing is, I don’t want to overwhelm it with details.  There’s something very unnatural and appealing about the clean lines of the original Epic model.  Plus the fact that none of the towers have doors or windows...

On the original model, each tower has one or two big cannon barrels jutting out of their walls. Common courtesy (and rules) said I should have something that counts as a “fire point” for the Towers’ random Bolts of Change.  I didn’t want something as crude as a  barrel, though.  I toyed with the idea of simple gargoyles made of card triangles and also with having mystical banners hanging off the towers.

In the end, I decided on stacking disks from my different hole punches.  I did a 1/8’ on top of a 1/4” one.  They don’t distract from the sleek lines of the towers as much as gargoyles or banners would.  I can also paint them blue to help tie them to the Thousand Sons a little more.

Helpful Hint—If you wanted to drop another buck or two and had a hobby store nearby, you could get a few small fake jewels that would work, too.  Figure out if you’re going to want them as-is or if you plan on painting them so you can decide when to attach them.

Remember way back when I drew the horizontal lines on the towers?  This is why.  Now I can add these fire-points across the tall and short towers and keep them level.  It gives me a nice symmetry that helps to tie them together.  I put them all around the model since the Bolts are random and also “turret mounted,” effectively meaning they can fire in any direction.  I used the lower line on the short towers, the higher one on the tall towers.

This left the Beam of Power.  It’s a single weapon, also turret mounted.  I decided to do three more fire points for the main tower and put them higher up (on the highest horizontal line).  It makes them stand out, and my gaming group is relaxed enough for them to count as one weapon.  I also traced three small 1/2” circles and cut those out, so these points are three discs deep.  They went on the highest of my horizontal lines, which also added to the sense of “the big gun.”

I added a bit of sand (plain old sand from the alley—not modeling sand or textured earth or anything like that) around the base of the towers.  It’s a hair more support.  I left it tight around the bases because I really want a lot of the top to be grass.  Some of the sand got a little too high and I scraped it back down.  These are mystical towers, after all.  I added a bit on the underside of the plauteau as well, to break up the textures there.

I decorated the base with some sand, some pieces of broken cork, and a few big rocks, too. That will help hide the ridge of the plate.  I briefly toyed with the idea of a big Tzzentch symbol “burned” into the ground, or maybe a chaos star, but it didn’t really work with the odea of a moving tower.

I spray painted the whole thing black to start.  Base, cylinder, and towers.  The towers took two coats, because I wanted to make sure the rocks on the bottom were all done, as well as all the spaces between the towers.

Helpful Hint—I decided to leave these three separate pieces unglued.  It makes for much easier transportation, and for touch-ups if it ever needs them.

To do the silver, I used spray-paint again.  First, thought, I wrapped the entire plateau-section in paper (another use for junk mail) to mask it.  I did two coats to make sure they got covered from every angle.

Another Helpful Hint—Never do heavy coats of paint with Paperhammer models.  Getting them wet is one of the worst things you can do.  Take your time and do light coats.

I haven’t finished painting (this is an early-on photo), but when I do I’ll add a picture to the bottom.  Here’s how it’s going, though...

The plateau is just lots of Camo Green and eventually some grass.  The bottom and sides of the plateau got a few drybrushes with Space Wolves Gray and Fortress Gray.  Yes, I’m still using the old names.  Sue me, I’ve got paint to use up.  I touched a few places with different browns to give the appearance of loose soil clinging to the granite.  I did the same on the base of the stand.
           
The vents on each tower are done in black.  Nice and simple.  From a distance, it even makes them look a bit like they’re cut into the surface, not sitting on top of it.

I painted the fire points as gems, using the gem technique from the old Codex: Eldar.  On the larger ones for the Beam of Power, I made the outer ring gold to help it stand out and  look a little more impressive.  The gold also gave it another link to the Thousand Sons.

And there you have it (or them).  The Silver Towers of Tzeentch.  In retrospect, I might’ve made the island a tiny bit smaller—maybe just an inch or two across—but overall I’m pretty happy with how this came out.  It’s a bit bigger than a Monolith, a bit smaller than a Warhound, so that puts it in a good size range for 400 points. 

Helpful Hint--If you’re into Warhammer Fantasy as well as 40K, you could probably do also this all at one-third the size and make a nice Arcane Fulcrum of some sort.  Just get a square tray or plate for the base and leave off one or two towers so you’ve got room to place a figure or two.  This is a very easy model to scale down.

Final cost for this Grim Cheapness project was probably around eight bucks.  A dollar each for the plate, wine glass, pens, and glue.  Call it four dollars for the spray paint (even though I already owned both colors).  Even if I’d had to buy the foam core for the plateau, I think it only would’ve been two or three dollars more.  So we’re talking ten bucks and maybe twenty hours of work (if you count drying time) for a 400 point model.

Next time I’ve got some more simple, cheap Dark Eldar conversions to show off.  After that are a few Necron and Ork ones.  And I might try to cash in on the popularity of this whole Summer of Fliers thing with a new Paperhammer project.  Hopefully before summer’s over.

Oh, and a few posts down I added an in-progress painting shot of Gigan.

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