12.29.2015

Defiler Weapons

Whoa!  I wanted to get one last post in before the end of the year and realized this is post #150.  Many thanks to the seven of you who bother to keep checking in...

Anyway, in these last days of the year,  I thought we could go over the final weapons options for the Defiler.  Yeah, only three years late.  Or a few weeks late, depending on how you look at it.  Either way, not too impressive, I know.

           
A quick recap.  I built the hull and legs of a Chaos Defiler entirely from cardstock.  The only non-paper part is the ball-and-socket joints, made from some wooden balls I got at my local hobby shop for about two bucks. I designed one to be more of a Nurgle firebase while the other was going to be a Khorne close-combat monster.

First off, I’m not going to be doing the weapons for my Khornate one, despite the current wave of Khorne madness.  Games Workshop changed the options for Defilers since I first worked on this project, and I think it doesn’t work out that great for an all close-combat version.  Power fists and dreadnaught close combat weapons are not the same thing, alas.
           
That’s just one of my many problems with the current Chaos Marine codex, though.  Maybe it’ll all go away someday soon and we’ll finally get one that shows the ruinous powers some love.

But I’m not holding my breath.
           
Anyway...
           
As I mentioned above, I’d always planned on going much more range-oriented on the Death Guard Defiler.  As such, I decided to skip close-combat arms altogether and go with an autocannon/ havoc missile launcher set-up.  Ranged firepower on the move, plus the battle cannon when stationary.

So, here’s what a bit of experience and R&D can teach you. 

The twin autocannons are using the template from Newobmij‘s Imperial Knight—it comes with a heavy stubber, and a few subtle tweaks will let it work as an autocannon.  That template’s available in the STC archive if you want to check that.

Now, I used this template twice for the Knight, and the only issue was that it doesn’t work as well with thicker material.  So I looked around for something a little thinner-than-cereal/pizza box cardstock that would curve well.  It being the holidays, I realized the mailing envelopes I was using to send out books was maybe 30-40% thinner.  Also plentiful and cheap (don’t be greedy—some folks need these envelopes to mail presents and end-of-year business stuff).

That gave me two barrels.  The body’s just a basic 1” square box, 1/2” on the sides.  I sketched it out, added some tabs, and out ti together.  If it was a little loose, no big deal (I'll explain why in a minute).  I glued the barrels on the cleanest side, putting them together and closer to the top. I held it for about three minutes, then added another line of glue where the two barrels touched.  If it was a little messy, well... it's Nurgle.  I stood this on end and let it dry for about fifteen minutes or so before I started handling it. 

While the main body was drying, I made a simple axe-blade by cutting out a chisel shape and then layering smaller chisels on either side of it. If you really wanted to go crazy, you could put more of a curve to this, but just remember it's really important to make the curves on all three pieces line up.  I mounted this on the bottom barrel of the autocannon as the standard chaos underslung blade.

Normally each autocannon would have big ammunition drums or at least dangling belts.  I decided to work around those by putting an armor plate over the whole thing.  It was just a matching 1” square that I extended by 1/2” in the back and 1/4” in the front.  Then I put a top and bottom on it and gave the whole thing 45 degree corners.  That might all sound a little odd, but by doing it this way I’ve got a bit more weight towards the back.  Which is cool, because the Defiler’s “abdomen” is already a little front-heavy with the battle cannon. 
 
I cut some 1/8” strips and added trim along the edges of the armor, and also a few little Chaos “barbs,” or whatever you might like to call them.  The little jags and triangles that show up on most Chaos armor and weaponry.  I used the 1/16" and 1/8" hole punch to create a bit of "corrosion" on one corner of the armor plate.  As a final touch, I used some 1/4" discs to add a Nurgle icon.

I thought about building a traditional, six-barreled missile launcher like the one that comes on the Chaos vehicle sprue.  But then I realized I could do something fun and a little more custom with a seven-barreled missile launcher.  Because all the true believers know how much Papa Nurgle loves his sevens...
 
I started with a 3/4” x 3/4” box and drew an X across it, corner to corner.  Then I used discs from the 1/8” hole punch to mark out five spots—one at the center and the others equidistant out from the center one.  The whole thing looked a lot like a D6 when I was done.

Helpful Hint—When laying this out, remember that you’re not going from the center point—you’re measuring from the edge of the center disc, 1/16” out from the center point. If you don’t take that into account, you D6 face will look a bit squished.

Once I had the five spots, I just mirrored them above and below to give me a 1-2-1-2-1 pattern.  Seven silos.  I added a 45 degree line off each corner and that gave me the front plate of my Nurglesque havoc launcher.  I cut it out, traced it, and now I had a back plate.  Measuring the edges gave me the lengths of all six faces of the sides (which were 3/4” and just a hair over 9/16”).  I’d be more exact about it except the whole body is going to be covered by another armor plate.  I gave it the same trim, jags, and icon as the autocannon.

For the shoulders I traced a 25mm base and cut out 14 circles.  These were stacked and glued until I had two discs that were seven layers thick (there’s those sevens again).  I put clothespins on these so they’d glue flat and let them sit for a bit.

Important Note—in retrospect, these are a little small for Defiler shoulders.  Not horribly so, but just enough that it gnaws at me a bit.  It wasn’t clear until the whole thing was together.  If you wanted to use this same method, I’d use a 40mm for my tracing template.  I still might pull it apart and do new ones before the warm liquid goo phase.

While the shoulders were drying I decided to go back and add some rivets to the whole model.  Looking back, I guess I never got to the rivet stage before.  I know I had the 1/16” hole punch at that point because the corroded effects were done with it. Anyway, I glued a few rivets on at some key points.

I also decided to bulk up the blast plate that sits behind the battle cannon.  The one from the original template is kind of puny.  So I built a larger one and added some more trim and rivets.  It gave the center a bit more heft.

I glued the shoulders onto the central hull. Again, I tried to center them back a bit to help counterbalance the battle cannon.  Once they were dry I added the weapons.  Because all of this is straight connections, I was able to stack the whole thing and use my phone for a bit of weight.

And there’s a range-loaded Defiler, just like that.

(ignoring the three year gap)

11.18.2015

Cheap Helbrute Conversion

So, lots of people are already talking about the new Horus Heresy plastics. I might at some point in the future, too.  For the moment, though, I wanted to look back at the last big sci-fi set...
           
(okay, seriously, how do we describe the connection between 30K/Heresy and 40K?  Are they just the #0K games? Imperium-based games?  Grim Future games?)
           
...their last box set from mankind’s grim future, and show something fun and cheap you can do with that.
           
You can still find lots of Dark Vengeance stuff online, most of it at half to 1/5th what you’d pay for them as individual units. A full tactical squad is about twenty bucks.  A lot of HQ characters are just two or three dollars.  And you can usually find the Dark Vengeance Dreadna—sorry, old habits—Helbrute for under ten bucks.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a reason for this.  Like most of the Dark Vengeance models, the Helbrute’s a block of plastic that takes some serious time and effort if you want to do any major conversions (that said—I’ve seen some great ones).  But it is possible to do some neat looking ones on the cheap without half as much effort.
           
For example...
           
This particular Helbrute is going to be named Occulus Blight, and it’ll be joining my Death Guard.  Before I even started putting him together, I rolled up a little ball of green stuff.  A little bigger than a pea, a little smaller than a marble.  I rolled this back and forth between my fingers until it was as round and smooth as I could get it.  Then I very carefully pushed it into the hood/collar hole where the little face piece would normally go.  I didn’t want the teeth/claws around the hole to gouge the surface of the ball.

Once this was in place, I stretched the putty out on either side to help hold it in place. Again, I had to be careful so I didn’t force it into the teeth/claws on the other side. This was tricky and I had to try twice.  Fortunately, on something this simple, messing up just means pulling the blob out and rolling it smooth again. So don’t panic too much.  It maybe took ten minutes from starting to mix the green stuff to having it in place.  I let it  dry for another fifteen minutes—face up! I didn’t want its own weight to make a flat spot on the ball—and then assembled the Helbrute as normal.

Look at that.  One big eye in the socket.  Much Nurgle.  So pestilent.
 
I did a few quick detail things.  An old scenic rubble piece went on the base.  I snipped off the chains that hang from the power fist and added some “tentacles” made from the horns of a Chaos Marine helmet.  It’s hard to tell, but I also added a big tentacle to his power plant—one of the ones from the old mutation sprue.  It looks really good there, and it’s got me thinking some of those bulkier pieces might work really well on other Chaos dreadna—sorry, did it again—Helbrutes.

I didn’t glue the front plate-armor-hull piece in place because I want to paint the eye without too many extra bits around it. So I’ll prime those seperately and assemble them later.  As one last bit of detail, I added a centered horn to the armor plate.  It’s something I pulled from the bits bins at one point—I think it might be from the Chaos Terminators set.  Central horns are distinctively Nurgle in 40K (and related games).

All in all, maybe an hour to make a distinctive Helbrute.  And about a third of that was just digging up parts and mixing drinks.

(Primed and basic paint pictures coming this weekend)

11.11.2015

New STC Data Discovered

Just a quick post this time.

As has been noted, I haven’t added the templates for the past few projects into the STC archive.  Sorry about that.  There were some password problems, now resolved.

(and, as a reminder to myself, the new password is now in the original document for this post...)

Anyway, everything should be current now, including templatesfor the promethium pipes and the Kroot tents (there's a whole Scenery folder in the archive now).  I’ll try to be a lot better about keeping it up to date.  Maybe even pre-updated, so the templates are uploaded before I start new projects.

Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to finish off an old project that’s been sitting here for... well, about four years waiting for final touches.  Maybe dabble with some cheap or easy conversions.  A few tricks and techniques.  And I’m going to get back to a basic Paperhammer tank.  Something to deal with all the Knights and Gargants.

11.04.2015

Warm Liquid Goo Phase

Austin Powers reference.  Only eighteen years late...

I know one question a lot of people have about paperhammer stuff is “but how durable is it?”  We hear paper and think of fragile origami birds and the soaked, floppy newspapers we just primed some models on.  Nobody wants to spend two or three long weekends building something that won’t even survive getting painted, let alone moved around the tabletop for one game.

Speaking for myself, I almost never build with paper, always with cardstock.  So the models I’m building are very rigid and solid in that sense.  Some of them I even reinforce a bit more with very simple supports.  Everything I’ve ever shown here at In The Grim Cheapness of the Future... is pretty close to its plastic counterpart as far as sturdiness goes.

But there is another process I take some models through.  It adds a few bucks to the final cost, but makes for an even sturdier model in the end.  Behold...

This Imperial Knight might look like it got wet, but I’ve actually given it a coat of thin superglue.  The glue soaks into the cardstock, dries, and the resulting material has the  consistency of plastic.  I try to hit all the joints, broad surfaces, and the points that are going to get bumped on a regular basis.

Helpful Hint—make sure you’re using thin superglue, not regular and definitely not the thick, gap-filling stuff.  It needs that watery consistency to flow smoothly and soak into the cardstock.  Thicker glue will just sit on the surface and form blobs or runs.

Now, a word of warning.  The superglue will make all the surfaces rigid.  If there’s some coarse or ragged spots where the cardstock peeled or a paper template didn’t come off in one piece, the glue will make them like that permanently.  I’ve used this to my advantage a few times, turning those rough areas into patches of rust or battle damage (on the Plaguereaper, for example).  But if the end result’s supposed to look super-clean, it’s worth taking some extra time with a hobby knife to scrape and polish all the surfaces.

 Helpful Hint II—Thin superglue gives off some powerful fumes.  Hard to believe I know, but... they’re not healthy for you.  At all.  When you start a project like this where you’re going to use a lot of glue, make sure you’re either outside or in a well-ventilated area.

A bottle of thin superglue is about five or six dollars, depending on where you get it.  I used about half a bottle on the Knight, maybe 3/4 of a bottle on the Plaguereaper, and a whole bottle for all the different Gargant components.  Add that to the dollar or two that some of these paperhammer models end up costing (or even the higher Gargant price tag), and you’re still getting a fantastic deal on a model that would usually be $75 or more.

10.28.2015

Halloween 40,000

Wanted to do a quick post today to help make up for the long absence.

So, if you bought a Games Workshop demon set it usually comes with multiple bases. Round ones for 40K, square for Fantasy.  I ended up with a large base this way, and there were a few more that I found in the bits bins.  And one day an idea for a scenery piece started tickling the back of my mind.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a fair-sized army of Plague Zombies (almost 140 of them).  The zombie sprue comes with a tombstone you can use for... well, anything. I’ve picked some out of the bitz bins, too, so I have a lot of them.  I also have a fair number of the plastic tombstones from the old skeleton set.  And even a handful of metal ones I picked up at Games Day many years ago, back when GW would bring the “wall of bitz” with them.  And when they had Games Day.

So... large bases.  Tombstones.  Halloween.  Anyone see where I’m going with this?  Even in the grim darkness of the future, bodies get buried somewhere.

I spaced out the tombstones so they were wide enough to fit a 25mm base between them side to side.  A 40mm base can fit between them front to back.  This gives me a lot of flexibility as far as where models can be placed on the scenery piece.  I took some old, flat Epic bases, cut and shaved them down a bit, and put them in front of some of the stones . These are going to be my fresh graves that haven’t settled yet.

Helpful Hint—I used different tombstones to sell the idea of an older, public graveyard.  By the same token, using all the same tombstone would really sell this as a military graveyard, like the Cadian one Dan Abnett wrote about in his Eisenhorn books.

I did two bases “horizontally” and one “vertically.”  I can now use them as sides to mark out a larger area as a “graveyard” for purposes of special rules, area effects, and so on.  I’m hoping to find another big base somewhere for another vertical piece, just so I can make a solid square (or rectangle, as the case may be).

Helpful Hint—If you happen to be an Age of Sigmar player (especially a cheap one like me), three or four of these bases and a simple statue are a fine “counts as” for a Garden of Morr.  Instant big scenery piece with free special rules. Can’t beat that. 

I glued some dirt to the fresh graves. Just enough to give them a different texture from the rest of the piece.  And at this point they’re ready to be primed and painted.  Quick graveyard scenery from leftover bases and bits.

Happy Halloween.

10.23.2015

Kroot Encampment

Very sorry for the long delay.  As mentioned before I had copyedits. And then I was a guest at New York Comic Con.  And then I came home to a week’s worth of emails and messages and it turned out my publisher already had layouts done.  And all of that finally got squared away... well, yesterday.

Anyway...

Some of you may remember this little tent template from about fifteen years back.  Games Workshop actually just gave it away on their website at one point, no strings attached.  I went looking for it but couldn’t find it anywhere there.

(For the record, it should be up in the STC archives shortly after I post this)

This template was originally designed for the Kroot.  There’s a large one and a small one, but they don’t look that different side by side.  I think it might be a 1/2” difference, tops.  Even on this scale, that’s not much.

The template’s pretty solid and can be built as-is with no problem.  I put together five tents (two large, three small) in about two hours.  That’s printing them out, gluing them to some old frozen pizza and cereal boxes, cutting them out, and assembling them.

It’s goes together very easily, too.  My only suggestion might be to make the tab on the tent body a bit wider.  I scored the corners, pre-folded, and then clamped the tab with a few clothespins.  I let those each tent body sit for about ten minutes as I assembly-lined through them.

I glued the entryway and the front panel together as a separate piece.  I tried this template back when it came out and this is where I had trouble with it.  I decided to assemble this first, then attach it.  The tabs fit in the slots, then I folded them over and glued them for extra stability.  Again these sat for about ten minutes each with  a clothespin holding them together.

Once they were dry, I glued the flaps of the front panel, set the tent body over it, and wiggled it until everything was in the right place.  This helped me make sure that entrance sat flat on the ground and didn’t end up “floating.”  Again, maybe ten minutes for the glue to dry.  I didn’t glue them on to bases, but really any irregular piece of foamcore or cardstock would work.

Helpful Hint—If you want to do a cardstock base, stack two or three layers on top of each other, glue it, and let it dry under a stack of books for at least half an hour—preferably longer.  Wrap it in wax paper, too, in case glue squeezes out onto the books.  This will give you a heavier and much more solid base that won’t bend or flex when things dry on it.

Here’s a large and small tent side by side.  As I said, not much difference in size.  That’s a pretty solid little Kroot camp, though, and three or four can cover a good-sized space on the gaming table as an obstacle, objective, or whatever you want to use them for. With the assembly line and drying time, I ended up building four tents in just over an hour.

Now... let’s look at some options and variations.

I wanted to make the tents look a little more unique and handmade, and I remembered something from way back when the Ogre line was first released for Fantasy. There was a great article in White Dwarf (remember those days?) about how to scratch-build oversized yurt-like huts for an Ogre village.  And there was a great detail idea in there...

Get a paper towel or some textured paper.  Or get some better cotton paper (dollar store envelopes work great), crumple it up, smooth it out, and repeat until the paper has some fine texture to it.  Then trace out some simple “pelt” shapes on the material.  They don’t need to be exact, but I try to average most of them closer to 1” long.  I glued these around the tent at a few places to help hide seams and add to the “primitive” feel of the whole tent.  The texture contrasts the smooth cardstock and will look like fur or hide when it gets painted (in an appropriate color).

Helpful Hint—When you’re gluing the pelts in place, don’t put the glue on the pelt or the tent.  Put it on your finger and wipe it on the tent that way.  This will keep it from getting too thick and wet and soaking/flattening your material.

Helpful Hint II – do not do what I did.  Some of you may have already noticed the material in the above picture is actually toilet paper, not paper towels.  My paper towels had a very distinct linear pattern to their texture, so I decided to use a few squares of toilet paper.  Problem is, toilet paper’s made to dissolve once it absorbs... well, not much moisture.  So once my pelts touched the glue they turned into... well, mush.  I managed to salvage them, but it ended up taking me almost twenty minutes per pelt.

Save yourself a headache.  Do what I say, not what I do.

On a more positive note...  I didn’t do it, but it’d also be easy to cut a small opening off the top of the tent and put some round toothpicks up there as tent poles.  Just flip the tent over and glue the toothpicks into the interior creases.  It’s a tiny detail, but it’ll look really cool and makes the tents look even more handmade.

The Imperial Guard... sorry, Astra Militarium... use tents, naturally.  I’d just build the template as-is so they look more mass-produced and use a color scheme that works for your army or whatever scenery you use often.  Jungle tents, desert tents, arctic tents, or just a flat-looking canvas.  With such a big expanse of flat surfaces, it’s an easy place to practice your camo painting, too. 

Once that’s done, there are so many decals available to make this look Guard-issue.  A large aquilla or a few stencils pretty much sell it.  You could make a larger scenery piece by putting two or three of these in a row as if they were in-the-field barracks.   Or base them individually and just set them up that way.

They could also work for traitor Guard, naturally, but you’d want different symbols on the tents.  And maybe lean even more toward the primitive.  Perhaps a blood splatter or three.  And there are tons of skulls and ruinous symbols on the Chaos Marine decal sheet.

What about the Tau?  It makes sense that Fire Warriors would have temporary housing of some kind for exploration missions, but I’m sure the Earth caste wouldn’t send them out with something as flimsy as fabric and poles.  So what about using this template as a sort of pre-fabricated, lightly armored outpost?

It actually wasn’t hard to do this.  The two different sizes of tent are identical except for the scale.  I printed up one of each size and built the large one as is.  While that was drying, I cut up the small tent into its individual panels.  I mostly wanted the sides of the tent body and the top two panels from the entranceway.

Each component was centered on the corresponding panel of the larger tent (remember, it’s the same template) and glued in place.  Once they were all attached, it gave the whole thing kind of an “armored” look that made it feel more assembled.  Giving it a bright color scheme will make it look more like hard plastic than fabric.  And, again, a few spare decals will look fantastic.

Last but not least, if you’re a Fantasy/ Age of Sigmar player, I’d imagine a tent like this would work for a bunch of armies.  Brettonians peasants and Empire troops would definitely be sleeping in simple tents, if they had anything.  So would Chaos Marauders.  Even Orcs could manage something simple like this.  So they’re a quick set piece for lots of armies.

Tents. Fast, cheap scenery for almost any setting, almost any army.

9.22.2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Very sorry for the delay.  Unexpected copyedits showed up in my inbox last week.  Well, I mean, I was expecting them, just not right at that moment.

Anyway, I wanted to give you all a little heads up, as I have once or twice in the past.  We’re approaching Halloween, and we all know what that means.  Cheap decorations!  For the next few weeks, discount stores will be filled with little bones, skulls, coffins—I’ve seen all sorts of things.  You’ve probably seen some great stuff, too.  They make fantastic detail bits, or sometimes even whole scenery pieces, for either 40K or Age of Sigmar, depending on which way your tabletop swings.  I mean, have you ever really seen too many skulls in the grim darkness of the future...?

And, best of all, they’re all usually for a dollar or less.

Actually, looking at that photo, it just struck me that I could make a really cool fallen giant/ skeleton scenery piece, all overgrown  with vines and grass.  Or maybe even a Bone Giant, if I felt really ambitious...

Hmmmm...

9.09.2015

Gargant X-Ten

One last, quick post to show some basics with the painted gargant.  It’s by no means done, but I wanted to give the seven of you who follow this (thanks for sticking around, Mom) a quick idea of how it turned out.

So, first things first...
  
Helpful Hint—Foamcore and spraypaint do not play well together.  The aerosol will eat away at the Styrofoam(TM) like acid and make things, well... a lot less stable.  Always coat and/or cover exposed foamcore.  Several times while I was building the gargant I would either add cardstock edging or coat exposed foam with white glue.  And even after all of that, I went back and covered most of the foamcore with black acryllic paint.

Don’t let all your hard work go to waste!

Once the acrylic paint was dry, I primed the arms, shoulder weapons, and head.  Then I traded them out and did the assembled body.  It’s worth noting this ate up a lot of black spraypaint.  About a can and a half.  Used up all the black I have and there’s still some unprimed bits below the skirts. 

Once all the black had dried, I did a very light dusting with the silver-aluminum paint I normally use on my Necrons.  Since this model is so big, the idea was that the dusting would act a bit like drybrushing and give me a bit of metallic texture across some of the big, wide spaces.  Alas, it didn’t work quite that way, mostly because it was very easy for “a light dusting” to become “Ork tagging” if the can got just slightly too close.  It isn’t horrible, but if I could do it over again... I’d probably skip this step.

I also used the silver spraypaint to give the jaw, horns, and deffkannonz a good base.  They’re all going to end up some version of steel/gunmetal, so this was a way to get ahead quickly.

I let these base colors dry for almost two hours and then dove in with some other colors.  I painted the big skull icon blue to tie the gargant to my DeathSkulls.  I also made a few random panels on the sides and back blue as well.  They do love painting things blue to show ownership.  What do you mean, one of the Goff gargants went missing a few hours ago?  I find your insinuation insulting, sir.  Highly insulting.  It reeks of low character...

I did some dark red on all the rokkit tips and covers.  Eventually there’ll be some brighter red over that to make them really pop.  Maybe a few ork glyphs, too.  And names for all the supa-rokkits.  I also used the red on that little “horn” at the center of the head and to pick out a few engine details.

I used a bunch of brass and some old Tin Bitz across the engine, the megakannon, and the gaze of Mork.  I drybrushed it onto about 80% of the rivets, which made them stand out a bit against the dusting of silver spraypaint.  Also used it on the “hydraulics” of the bamboo skewers on the arms.

For the record, this was the stage that convinced me the silver spraypaint had not been the best idea.  It did give the gargant a nice, metallic sheen, yes.  But one thing I discovered is that on this scale detail can vanish against the sheer size of the model.  That “dusting” is lots of tiny dots of silver, so a lot of the rivets are almost invisible against it—one brass dot in a cluster of ten silver dots.

Might be worth mentioning that I bought a little pot of GW’s “drybrush” paint and, well, it really did nothing for me.  Maybe I just got a bad batch of Necron, but I felt it really clumpy and overly dense.  I haven’t been terribly impressed by any of the new function-specific paints—bases, drybrush, and so on—but that may just be me. I’d hoped to use it on the remaining rivets and weapons.  All things considered, it’s probably worth adding another ten or fifteen bucks just for paint to the overall price tag for the gargant.

The last touch before marching off to the Labor Day war was to paint the faceplate white.  Yeah, I know it looks a bit silver in the picture, but it’s classic Skull White.  This is another visual link-up with the color scheme of my Stompa.

And that was all I had time for before the Imperial Guard and the Blood Angels showed up with a Knight company backing them.  But you can read about all of that over at Atomic Warlords, and learn how the gargant was dubbed Great Morkzinga.  I’ll probably still do a lot of touch-ups and more detail work, so expect to see it again in the future.

Next up...  a smaller project.

9.02.2015

Gargant -- Part Nine

 Okay, to paraphrase Mark Watney... let’s mekanik the Gork out of this thing.
  
When I left off, I’d just made some basic exhaust pipes/ smokestacks.  They had some patches, but I wanted to do a little more to make them each stand out.  I cut some narrow triangles, gave them a bit of a curl, and glues those around the end of one.  For another I made a slightly larger cylinder and glued it on a bit crooked (which also made this smokestack about two inches taller).

In a moment of inspiration, I repeated the grid I’d done for the rokkit launcher.  This time, though, I used the hole punch on every other section rather than gluing pieces there. The result was the nice little ventilator topping the last pipe.

Helpful Hint—As I’m adding all these patches and decorations on the smokestacks, I want to keep in mind which way they’re going to be facing.  About 3/4 of each cylinder will be against the gargant’s back, so I’m going to have the seam face that way.  What this means, though, is that’s the side that will be visible at the top. So decorate (and hide things) accordingly.

I put a cross-tab in the base of each smokestack (just like I’ve done for gun barrels) and then glued them in place on the engine piece I built last week.  I let this whole thing dry for a bit.  I wasn’t super-worried though—these would be straight up-and-down joins, so there wouldn’t be a lot of stress on them.

In the meantime there was something else I wanted to do with the back.  Forgeworld put out their Warlord Titan a few months ago (don't look at the price tag), and one of the things I really love (well, I love all of it, but...) is the whole beautiful boarding port with a doorway, catwalks, sentry guns, and more.  Very Pacific Rim.  It’s a fantastic piece of detail, and I decided to copy it here.  Sort of

First, though... that means it’s time to glue the two body sections together.  Which also means it’s time to glue the feet in place.  I put the arms in place and played with the feet a bit until I found a good, solid balance point.  I glued the feet first. A few books on top of the abdomen let them dry flat and solid.  Then the torso went on top of that—again with the books pressing down.  With that done... back to our boarding area.

The doorway was a  pair of cardstock panels  I gave them some detail strips and rivets.  Normally I’d do this a bit later in the process, but I knew this would be a little tight and awkward once it was all in place, so I just did them now.  Then I made a foamcore arch by cutting a 5" x 3 1/2" rectangle and then cutting out the inside of it.   This was edged and glued over the door panels.  Solid entranceway, just like that.  I glued the whole assembly in place down at the base of the thorax’s back, right next to the engine sections.

I made a simple catwalk with some foamcore and a few triangles.  I edged these with cardstock and added some plates and patches along the surface.  I considered adding a safety rail.  But the more I thought about it, a safety rail seems like a very un-Orky thing.  I’d buy it in something they looted, but not something they built pretty much from scratch.

I placed the catwalk so it stretched from where the engine section will sit to the natural walkway along the gargant’s “hip.”  Now it’s all one long walkway.  If the boss needs to kick someone out to do repairs, this entrance gives access to both arms and even some front sections.

I liked the look of this area so much that I used the inside piece from the arch to make another, slightly smaller arch and add a door to the back of the gargant’s head.  I built it the same way except I designed this one as a single door not a double.  Again, all the rivets and edging was done before I attached it to the head.  Now the meks and grots have easy access to the shoulders and upper weaponry. 

By this time the smokestack/engine assembly was pretty solid.  I glued it to the larger foamcore piece on the back of the abdomen.  Then I added a few “straps” across the different stacks.  They looked good and actually added a degree of support.  A few big cardstock circles below the engine block finished this off and gave it a nice look.
 
You may remember earlier this year I built a nice little promethium pipe scenery piece to make up for the very limited GW one.  I haven’t used that piece for anything, so I decided to add it to the gargant, too.  I put a “patch” on it to give it a more Orky look, then glued it in place next to my engine piece.  The last smokestack went on top of that.

A few last details...

I added on some random plates here and there to visually fill up some of the bare space.  I also added a few bamboo skewers to the arms as pistons and on the back as thin pipes.  It was all more texture than detail.

I decided to make another supa-rokkit.  But I decided to cheat a little bit.  Rather than making a full rokkit like I did before, I decided to make a “sheathed” rokkit in  a launch pod, like the extra one I used on the Skullhamma.  This meant the rokkit was just a rectangular box with circles on either end and an extra panel or three.  To be honest, this worked well enough—and was so quick—that I might make a second one for the other arm. We’ll see...

I also felt a little odd about the deffkannonz not having an ammunition belt like the Stompa model does.  I’d been mulling over way to make twin belts, and I came up with a pretty solid (if time-intensive) way to do it.  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt it wouldn’t look quite right.  Something like a belt needs to hang just right to get the sense of mass across, and I didn’t think I could manage it

What I could do, though, was a big pair of drum magazines, one for either side of the deffkannonz. To make them stand out a bit (and to add to that Orky sense of asymmetry), I decided to make one round and one octagonal.  Also, clearly, because I hate myself and feel the need to suffer more...

The octagon was the harder of the two, just because I had to do a bunch of math and measurements to get it all just right.  Geometry wins again, even if a few of my measurements were a bit off... Hey, Orks, am I right?  I glued tabs around one of the octagons, putting a tab on every other edge.  Then I cut a 1 1/4” strip of cardstock for the body, measured and scored it, and glued it onto the tabs.  All of this got clothespins to keep it tight and solid.  While it dried I added tabs to the other octagon and connected them.

The round drum was pretty straightforward.  Two discs about 2” in diameter (I traced the lid from a baby food jar), each with the same notch cut out. Well, mirror-cut on one.  Once I had those, I put the drum together just like the octagon.  I attached both of them, and then put the new supa-rokkit on top of that.  What was once the scrawny arm is starting to look a little bulked up.

And now, it’s time I grew up and admitted something to myself. 

The rivet fairy isn’t showing up.  I’m going to have to put all these on by myself.

I used my 1/16th hole punch to make about four hundred or so rivets and... well, got to work.  The engine.  The weapons.  The odd panel here and there on the body.  Lots on the head.  I spent about six solid hours on rivets (four SyFy movies worth).  They’re definitely the big time-suck in a project this size.

Helpful Hint—I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating.  Rivets add so much to these Paperhammer models, but there’s something worth keeping in mind.  You’re making a piece that’s not much wider than it is thick, so the cardboard  tends to “flake” a bit.  It’s not unusu

al for a rivet to peel apart into two or three sections of paper, only one of which is glued to the model.  It happens I’d say it happens to about one out of five.  Make extra rivets, use a little extra white glue so it soaks through, and be patient.

And I think... that makes this done. 

Three-fourths as many posts as the Imperial Knight, but about 1/3 the time.  Maybe actually one fourth.  The joy of going fast and loose with Ork engineering.  I think this was really a solid week of work, maybe ten days, tops, interrupted by a lot of editing and a few conventions.

Total cost... Well, there was about twenty dollars worth of foamcore. I went through three bottles of white glue at a dollar and change each—call that four dollars.  The bamboo skewers were leftover from another project, but even if they weren’t they were a dollar at the 99 Cent Store.  All the cardstock was pizza and cereal boxes which were bought for their contents.  So altogether, the Gargant cost around twenty five dollars (and the bulk of it was foamcore which you might have better access to than I did).  I think that makes this my most expensive project here at In The Grim Cheapness of the Future... since the Grotesques.

Now... I need to get it primed and painted for this weekend.  I’ll try to get some in-process shots up before then, and maybe one last post about names and color schemes next week.

8.24.2015

Gargant -8-

So... more dakka.  And some other stuff.  This one’s going to be kind of huge.  I had a week off and I did a lot...

I mentioned before, I built a simple arm for the rokkit pod based off the same design as the gargant’s actual arms. I fastened it to a square plate on the bottom and a round plate (a “swivel joint”) on the top. 

Then, back to the flakkgunz.  I tried something new and actually wrapped the cardstock barrel sections around my hobby knife when I glued them.  There were plusses and minuses to this, as I discovered.  On the plus side, it let me put clothespins right on the seam without deforming the barrel, so the seal here was very solid.  Minuses, they were clamped so tight that every non-clamped area became loose almost by default.  Also, I realized this meant the knife and clothespins kept getting tied up on single items while they dried.  Needless to say, this slowed production down a lot.

So... maybe only use this method on single, specific things.

While the barrels were drying, I  sketched out two simple boxes to be the bodies of each flakkgun.  It’s not far off from the way I made the deffkannons, just smaller.  I put these together and then made a slightly more complex shape—think of it as a cube with a triangle on top of it.  This is going to be the central “mount” for the flakkgunz.  I’m sure someone reading this knows the real term—feel free to put it in the comments.

I glued the barrels to each other, turning them so the seams were between each pair of barrels.  Once they were dry, I mounted them on the bodies.  And while those were drying, I added a few details to the center of the mount.  Once the guns were in place, it was going to be tough to reach between them, and I’d rather do it now when it was easy.  So I put on some rivets and plates, made a simple Orky targeter, and glued the whole thing to a foamcore base made out of a square piece of scrap.

Once both of the flakkqunz were dry, I attached them to the central mount.  I didn’t want to dig out my larger clamps, so I just walked around holding the whole assembly for about ten minutes, checking it now and then to make sure nothing slipped.  I wanted them to be as close to aligned as possible, but I wasn’t sweating it much.  Like much of Ork technology, their anti-aircraft guns don’t work on accuracy as much as volume...

Then I cut some long strips of cardstock for the scaffolding/gantry that’s going to hold up the flakkgunz.  The wider ones are going to be uprights, the narrower ones will be diagonals.  I doubled these up, clamped each of them, and once they were fairly dry I stuck them either under books or the cutting board itself.  These need to be solid and straight.

Once they were all dry, I set them out and built one side of a 2” wide scaffolding gantry.  I used my steel ruler/straight edge to keep all the connections pressed flat.  At this point, there’s a lot of glue and cardstock here, and it’d be very easy for it to warp or bubble.  So, pressing flat and straight the whole time.  I let this all dry, then flipped it over and built the other side.  I added a foamcore square as a top platform and let that dry.

Alas, my three-legged scaffolding was not as stable as I’d hoped.  The triangle it makes is strong, but not enough to counter the leverage of the square platform.  So, in true Orky fashion, I rolled some cardstock into a tube, glued it, held it tight with rubber bands, and then stuck it on the side when it dried.  Done.

Except... well, now I had a new problem. I’d been thinking I’d leave the gargant’s head unattached to make it easier to transport.  But if I’ve got two towers growing off each shoulder, the head’s kind of a moot point, isn’t it?  Plus, that means the towers are going to be subject to a lot of stress riding in the back of my car—odds are they’ll tear off the first time I make a turn.  So I needed to figure out a way to make them solid, but also make them removable.  Like the arms.  Except I’d planned to build the arms that way...

After a bit of fret and worry and a few discarded ideas with magnets (which are too expensive for a cheap project like this) I came up with... gravity.  The gargant’s shoulders are flat enough, and it’s not going to move that often on the tabletop.  Really, once it’s placed it’ll probably just blaze away.  So if I can make these shoulder-mounted weapons stand on their own, they should be fine.

I ended up taking two pieces of foamcore and cutting them to fit across the back of the gargant’s shoulders.  There was some deliberate overlap where the pauldron connected with the torso.  I added a small foamcore block at the overlap point.  It’s going to fit right in the corner behind the pauldron and make sure these “baseplates” always sit in the same spot, so I can build around them.  The weapons mount to the baseplates and these are done.

Fun Bonus –It also struck me that all four weapon systems are removable, which means they could be swapped out if I decided to build something else.  The gargant is unexpectedly modular.

With that taken care of, next up was the Gaze of Mork (or possibly Gork).  I knew I wanted it to have a vaguely Zzap gun look to it.  It also needed to fit inside one of the eye sockets, but I also didn’t want it sticking drastically out.  I made a small cylinder about an inch and a half long and maybe 3/8” wide.  It was wrapped in a few strips of cardstock, and then I wrapped narrower strips on top of those. It gave me a nice, simple, Tesla-coily look.  I glued a 1/4” disk from my hole punch in the front as a lens, then added a simple hood over that, and the Gaze was done.

Actually, one other thing.  Because of how I’d built the head, the surface behind the eye socket is at an angle.  So I needed to build a little base for the Gaze of Gork that would be able fit through the socket and counter that angle.
Once again... math and science pay off.

The head is a hexagon.  That means each of the outside angles is 60 degrees (360 divided by six sides).  My tiny little craft toolkit comes with the standard 30-60-90 triangle.  Even if it didn’t, 60 is such a commonly-used angle it’s even marked on my cutting board.  So I sketched out a quick triangular box that was also 30-60-90.  It was small enough that I just held the whole thing together in one hand while it dried.

Now, with all the weapons done, it was time to think of some details for the back.   Most Ork walkers, from killa kans up to stompas, have some degree of exposed engine workings in the back.  I didn’t see why the gargant would be any different.  So I wanted to do something that gave the appearance of half-covered machinery.  But I also wanted to keep it simple—In The Grim Cheapness of The Future... has never been about super-insane-realistic detail that takes days of work.

I plotted out a few simple shapes on cardstock.  Two triangular boxes and another one that could be described as a cube with another triangle beneath it.  It’s lot like the one above I made for the flakkgunz, but I assembled them a bit differently because of how they were going to attach to the main model—that one sits on its square base, this one will essentially hang by its rectangular back. 

Question—At some point I may do a post just on how to build some basic shapes.  I skim over that a lot because it seems basic to me, but that might just be me.  Would anyone be interested in a quick geometric shapes post?

I cut out the sections, glued them together, and let them dry.  Again, simple forms, not much measurement past making sure the sides lined up.  Then I actually glued the three of them together to make a larger, engine component-ish-looking thing, then slapped on a few simple detail "plates" that also helped hold it together.  A good block of tech for the back of the gargant. And it gave me a broad horizontal surface for smokestacks to come out of...

Helpful Hint—Here’s another little quick geometry tip.  If I want to make a cylinder and it doesn’t need to be exact, figure that it’s going to be about 1/3 the size of my piece of paper or cardstock.  A three inch piece of cardstock will roll into about a one inch cylinder.  A six inch piece of cardstock will make a two inch cylinder.  If I need it to be exact, do the math, but this is a good rule of thumb for this scale.

Another Helpful Hint—Don’t forget to leave a little extra space for tabs, too.

All that being said, I cut some 4” wide strips of cardstock, trimmed one side into a tab, and rolled them into large smokestacks.  Because of their length, I couldn’t put clothespins on the middle, so I ended up wrapping them with rubber bands.  And—much to my surprise—it turns out I don’t have a lot of rubber bands in my house.  So things kind of ground to a halt as I essentially did one smokestack at a time.

At which point, as I mentioned at the start, I realized how much stuff I’d done.  This is going to be a huge post as is, so I’m calling it done.

Next time... everything gets assembled and the rivet fairy shows up!

(the rivet fairy probably will not show up—it’s just going to be me)