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...



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.


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.