10.18.2017

Based On... What?

One of the biggest issues I’ve been dealing with lately is rebasing. The move from Warhammer Fantasy to Age of Sigmar meant all those figures had to be moved over to round bases (although my Empire and Undead armies have decided to stay on their square bases... because sweet Jeebus that’s a lot of figs). In the workd of 40K, we’ve seen Space Marines of all types and flavors move over to these new 32mm bases, finally gaining a sense of the size and mass they’ve always supposedly had.

For most of us, this is a huge project.  I have four major Marine armies—Relictors, Alpha Legion, Thousand Sons, and Death Guard (plus a few others...).  On a rough guess... that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 models that need to end up on larger bases.  And they’re all connected to their current bases in a variety of ways.

Some of you may be in the same boat.  Here's a few options I came up with.  You may have poked at some or all of them...

Well, my first option came to me from WarGamma, a fun after-market site I’ve bought stuff from before.  He’s a sculptor who’s done some wonderful items for “heroic scale” gaming, and he jumped on the rebasing issue less than a month after the introduction of the 32mm base.  Check these out—base expanders.  Just drop your model in, add superglue, and done.  They work out to .70 cents each. 

At first I’d planned to split them between my Relictors and my Alpha Legion, just dropping them on (or under) HQ units, squad leaders, and other key figures.  Then I realized their best use was metal figs on slottabases. Which is only a few Relictors and Alpha Legion guys, but a lot of my Death Guard and Thousand Sons.  And Necrons.  So the priorities shifted a bit there.
As an added bonus, these adaptors make a minifig about a milimeter or two taller.  On a regular base, I think it’d be one even, but the raised area in the middle means slottabases sit a little higher. In these days of size-creep... that’s not a bad thing.

Helpful Hint—These adaptors are great, but they’re ever-so-slightly too high on the edges, even for the slottabase models..  I ended up sanding them down just a bit—maybe a millimeter or two—so they’d be flush with the GW bases.  It took maybe six back-and-forth swipes across
the sandpaper.

Now, rebasing option two’s the classic one. Cut the model off the old base, remount it on the new base.  Straightforward, and only costs you the new bases.  I think you can buy a bag of 32mm bases from GW for about .40 cents per base, but that’s if you buy a hundred of them.  For a ten-pack, they’re .50 each  You might be able to do slightly lower than those prices if you dig around on eBay stores for dealers like Blackdagger or Hobby Titan.

The catch here is that it means wrecking any basing/scenery you might’ve previously added.  Plus... well, I don’t know about you. but the knife’s slipped a few times for me or slid off path and suddenly a marine’s missing part of their heel or toes. It’s a minor thing, but it grates at me.  I did maybe a dozen Relictors like this a few weeks back, carefully cutting off one foot at a time.  Only one lost a bit of his heel.

And this led me to option three.

At one point that past weekend, I got a bit frustrated and just took the clippers to the base of a hapless Alpha Legionnaire and cut off the edges of the base.  I worked from underneath, so the top stayed the same. I filed down what was left and ended up with a figure standing on a flat, decorated disk. And I glued the whole thing to a 32mm base.

End result—all my basing and scenery transferred over.  There’s never any risk to the figure itself, so it’s faster and easier.  Plus, the model ends up being about 2-3 mm taller because the old base and basing transfer over and stack on the new base. I was going at a nice, leisurely pace and rebased about twenty Death Guard marines this way in a little over an hour.

You can even do this with plastic slottabase figs.  I picked out some of my Relictors with missile launchers from the Battle for Macragge/ Black Reach sets.  It takes a little more work to clip the slottabase off, but it works exactly the same.  Clip, file, glue, done.  Faster, safer, a little taller.

And there you go.  Three quick, easy, and relatively cheap way to make your old models new and even a little bigger.

Got to stand up to those Primaris somehow...

9.19.2017

In Other News...


Sorry... need to mention my other art projects for a minute.

Next week I start touring up and down California with my new book, Paradox Bound, plus a little trip out to the east coast for New York Comic Con.  If I’m going to be near you, please stop by and say hello—there’s still time to reserve a copy at your local book store.

And if I’m not going to be near you... well, most of these stores take orders and ship. Some of them even ship internationally!  Give them a call, request something for enscribbling, and you can still have a personalized copy in your hands in just a few days.

(and there’s also a kick-ass audiobook narrated by Ray Porter, which means you can listen while building and painting... just saying)

Hope to see you there.

9.12.2017

Knight Missile Pod

So, a few years back you may remember I spent ages working on a Paperhammer Knight.  It’s a fantastic model from Newobmij, and I’m still very proud of how mine turned out.

That said, a while back you may remebember GW put out their Renegade box set, with Imperial Knights vs Traitor Knights.  Big shock—I loved the idea of Knights that had fallen to Chaos.  Plus, it meant I could now do fantastic giant robot battles with Marcus.  One of the online bitz sellers I deal with frequently bought a bunch of Renegade sets and put a lot of Knights up for sale at about half off. Just bare-bones Knights—not the expansion/ Warden sprue—but still really cheap. Almost half-off.

I may have made some poor choices.

Anyway, so... now I had some Traitor Knights. A few careful bids on eBay got me some weapon options without costing me too much (it’s more about patience than anything else).  A small traitor household began to come together.

The one part that kept eluding me, though, was the missile pod. People were willing to pay big bucks for one.  I’d see them routinely go for $28 or $30. And I told myself I wouldn’t pay more than a third of that.  After losing a dozen or so auctions, I turned to my bitz jars.

And here’s what I came up with. 

These two boxes will be the base of our rocket pod.  They’re from the classic Rhino set (normally they’d go on the back slope of the treads).  I glued the open faces together to give me a solid box.  If you don’t have these exact pieces—no worries.  There are enough random boxes and blocks kicking through the various lines that will work. You could even just scratch-build a box from scrap plastic.

Next, I very, very carefully found the center point on one of the narrow sides and drilled a hole there. My post is the bottom half of a Lizardma—sorry, Seraphon standard pole.

Helpful Hint—whenever I need to do a hole, I start small.  I use a thinner drill bit than I need, because it’ll be easier to place the hole, or to clean it up if you’re a bit off.  Then I can expand up to the larger size, using the initial hole as a guide.

I checked that post from every angle. It’s very important that it be as straight as possible—perpendicular to the surface of the box.  I checked it multiple times from every angle.

Okay, so, while that whole thing was drying, I built two Havoc Launchers from the Chaos vehicle sprues.  These were just straightforward, standard builds.  The only thing worth noting is that I didn’t use the bracket that normally holds them—just the bare launcher. I also cleaned the heck out of them as far as mold lines and sprue marks. By nature of being a weapon and a conversion, I knew this piece was going to get a lot of attention.

Once they were relatively dry, I glued them onto either side of the box.  This took a little bit of work and patience.  I wanted them to be flat across the top, but they also needed to have a lot of surface area touching the boxes for the glue.  It required some wiggling.

Helpful Hint—once I had them more or less in place, I flipped the whole thing over, letting it stand on its head to dry.  That way the top of the piece would dry flat, even if things slipped or settled.

Now, the next part was tricky.  I had a post that fit in the top socket of the Knight, but I needed a bracket to hold the pod upright and stable.  I dug through some random scraps and found some plastic tubing that was just about the right size to fit in the ring around the socket.  A little work on the edges with a file and it fit perfectly!  I could cut a short section and set it around the post, so the two elements would each lock into place.

But... it needed to be perfectly centered.  Even a little bit off and nothing would fit.  I’d have to cut it off and try again.  I mulled on this for a few minutes and then realized the answer was right in front of me.  The ring and socket on the knight were already there. I just needed to fit the tube section and pod into place and they’d center themselves.  The only worry was being cautious with the glue so I didn’t accidentally attach the whole thing right now.

So, I set the pipe section into the ring, carefully applied a thin coat of glue to the top, and then slid the pod’s post through it into the socket. The whole thing settled snugly into place, and I waited about ten minutes before checking to see if I’d messed something up somehow.

And look at that.  A perfect little bracket for mounting on top of the Traitor Knight.  Exactly lined up and centered. It keeps its place so well I can take it on and off with no problem at all. it's solid when it's in place, bu tpops right off for transport.

Anyway... at this point the missile pod was more or less done, but I wanted to add just a few details to make it look more solid, more like the original pod and even more Chaos-y.  So I dug up another one of those vehicle sprues and clipped off a few more things...

The big Horus eye plaque for the Land Raider fit almost exactly across the top of the missile pod. That helped to tie it all together so it looked a little less cobbled together. I also added in a strip of plastic here to fill a small gap.  Next, the regular missile launcher has a sort of antenna/sensor array that wraps around one side.  I wanted to imply that, and found out that one of the curved spiky bits (usually used to line hatches and turrets) worked like a dream for this.

For a few final details... a spare lens from the bitz bins (I think it might be from the basing kit) helped fill up some space in that center section. 

And there you have it.  A $30 missile pod for... well, one afternoon of rooting through my bits.


8.15.2017

Primaris—an Introspective

Okay, this isn’t really a hobby/modeling post.  More of an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for a few weeks now. A few meta/in-world thoughts about the new guys on the scene in Warhammer 40K, and I figured this was as good a place as any to let them all roll out...

So, a while back I came up with a rationalization for why Roboute Guilliman  would send a company’s worth of Primaris Marines to the Relictors to help bolster their near-decimated chapter.

I bring this up because I was at SDCC last month and got to sit in on a panel given by Titan Comics. They’re the folks doing the Warhammer 40K comic (really great—you should check it out), and as such they’ve got a hotline to Games Workshop. And they had some interesting information they shared about the Primaris Space Marines, who’ll be showing up in their stories soon enough...

Three fun facts. 

One is that every Chapters was offered Primaris marines to fill holes in their ranks.  Are you missing a key person here or there?  Maybe a squad.  Maybe a whole company or two?  Here are some troops to fill those gaps. Not everybody took them, but everybody got the offer.  Guilliman had plenty to spare.

Two is that every Chapter also got the how-to technology to make their own Primaris.  No more regular Marines for you.  From here on in, every new inductee will be two feet taller and broader.

Third is this...  Primaris gene seed can also be used to turn current, regular Space Marines into Primaris. Yep.  A few new glands, a little bit of downtime, and you’re one of the cool kids again.

Between two and three, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Primaris versions of most of the major Space Marine characters over the next year or three. Tigerius.  Dante.  Lysander.  Shrike. You could save time now and just convert an Aggressor into Primaris Marneus Calgar.

(try saying that five times fast...)

Although this does leave me wondering where—within the story of the game—this’ll leave the many, many relics and historic items each Chapter has in their respective armories.  We suddenly have a thousand suits of power armor and/or Terminator armor—each individual component with a long, storied history, some of them stretching back to the Heresy—and now none of them fit our new recruits.  All those bolters that are near-relics?  They’re all second-rate weapons now that we have bolt rifles.

But as I was thinking about all that, something else hit me.

How are any of the Primaris from that first group (point one) dealing with this?

Let’s look at a few of our First Founding chapters, shall we?  We’ve got the Dark Angels, who don’t even tell their Chapter’s true history to three-quarters of their own members.  The Iron Hands, who more or less all have surgical addiction and  mechanical fetishes.  The Imperial Fists have their OCD scrimshaw habit.  The Blood Angels are about two inches from being vampires and have a tendency to go into berserker rages.  The Space Wolves are about one inch from being werewolves, and ignore most of Gulliman’s rules about how a chapter should act.

And then, out of nowhere... new guys.  New, fully formed Space Marines who share the same gene-seed but haven’t gone through the chapter’s various indoctrinations.  Who’ve been re-engineered to get rid of all those pesky “defects.”

How are they really going to fit in? How are they going to react to their super-secretive Dark Angels brethren or the savage, bestial Space Wolves they’re now training with?  It’s easy enough to repaint your armor, but how do you go against the twenty-forty-sixty years of training you’ve had to deal with these... these other people and their way of doing things?

Plus, there’s one other important thing we all tend to forget sometimes.  Space Marines are these huge combat monsters now... but they were born human.  They had mothers and fathers, maybe siblings.  They got carried around, wrapped in blankets, burped, and even on the worst of worlds they played games with other kids and laughed.  Y’know, before being sent off to work in the adamantite mines for their fifth birthday.  No matter how much training and indoctrination they go through, there’s a core of humanity there.

The current Primaris don’t have any of that. They were all machine-raised.  One of the guys at the Titan panel made a great example—put a Space Marine in a room with a crying baby, and he’ll do his best to quiet it, probably try to find its mother or some suitable guardian for it, and protect it the whole time. 

Put a Primaris in a room with a crying baby and... he’ll probably just stare at it.

Some interesting food for thought, if you like thinking about such things.

Anyway, next time, I wanted to show you this cool Knight missile pod I made for just... well, nothing.  It was pretty much free.  I made it out of bitz I had laying around.

And then I might finally finish that friggin’ Destroyer..

8.04.2017

Quick Dark Imperium Conversions

So, I’ve mentioned before (in a few places) my plan to use the Primaris Marines from the Dark Imperium set as my new Relictors second company.  Naturally, the Relictors Conclave isn’t going to tell the new guys everything about how their Chapter functions, but I still wanted to make a few small tweaks to some of the higher-ups, something to show just a small hint of... well, you know.

Here’s the Primaris Captain.  One of the first thing that struck me—a running theme I’ve noticed with the Primaris—is that he’s actually designed with a reliquary (a philatory, if you want to be exact) hanging at his waist.  That’s a good start.

I added a few skulls to the base.  It’s a habit I got into with Age of Sigmar models, because it’s an easy way to make characters stand out (and if you’ve been playing this game for a while, odds are you’re not short on skulls). It also helps fill some space, since Primaris are on 40mm bases.

I added more purity seals, because the Relictors love purity seals.  Some on the shoulder, a few on the cape.  I like them because the Chapter has such an overall simple color scheme that it isn’t always clear to some folks that they’re actually painted (I had once had a tournament judge comment on my “primer gray” army). So purity seals also serve to add some color and contrast to each model.

Finally, the biggest tweak, but it’s still kinda subtle.  Using a very sharp knife, I sliced the pommel off the Captain’s power sword and replaced it with a skull.  A deliberately large—perhaps even life-sized—skull.  He also got another purity seal on the back of his hand, as close to the sword as possible.  It doesn’t scream “Chaos weapon,” but it maybe mumbles it under its breath. I may give the blade a red-orange paint job, just to make it a bit more iffy.

Not bad, I think.

7.17.2017

SDCC Schedule

So, between a bunch of writing commitments, some medical stuff, some work stuff, and actually playing a game of 40K (haven’t done that in a while) the past three weeks have been kind of a blur.  I don’t have an actual post for you. 

However...

If you’re into that sort of thing, I thought I’d mention my San Diego Comic Con schedule.  This kinda snuck up on me in a couple ways.  I hadn’t planned on going, and my big plans for the coming weekend involved putting together my Lizardman/Seraphon army for Age of Sigmar. 

Anyway, turns out the folks at Random House had some clever ideas for early Paradox Bound stuff and they asked if I wanted to be part of them, sooooo... the Lizardmen will have to wait.  So if you’re going to be at SDCC and wanted to tell me what a crappy painter/ gamer I am... well, here’s what I’ve got for you...

Thurs 7/20, 1:00-2:00 – I’m doing a signing at the Crown Booth (1515).  It’s going to be cool. If you happen to be a fan of my writing, you really don’t want to miss this, okay?  Seriously.  Please be there and hop in line.  It’ll be worth it, honest.

And that’s all we’re saying about that...

Friday 7/21, 3:00-4:00 – Some random giveaways at the Crown Booth (1515).  Odds of being given something increase if you tell them "The road beckons."  I’m not officially there, but I’ll probably be informally hanging out/lurking a bit if you had something you wanted me to scribble on.  Or if the booth folks handed you something you wanted scribbled in.

Saturday 7/22,  1:00-2:00 – There’s a big cross-genre panel in room 28DE. I’m up there on stage, but so are a lot of better, classier authors like Sarah Kuhn, Charlie Jane Anders, Vic James, Daryl Gregory, and Pierce Brown.  It’ll definitely be worth it to see all of them.  And one of us may something wise and clever about writing.  Or at least funny.

Saturday 7/22, 2:15-3:15—All the folks from that panel are going to be under the sail for a signing.  And Mysterious Galaxy will be there with piles of books from all of us, so it’s a great chance to get something scribbled in without having to lug it around for half the day (and to fill in those holes in your collection).

I don’t have anything official scheduled for Sunday, so—to be horribly honest—I’m not sure I’ll be there or not.  I may try to sneak off with that life sized Spider-Man LEGO sculpture.  We’ll see how that goes...

Hope to see some of you there.

6.28.2017

Dark Imperium, Week Two

So, spent the weekend putting some of the Dark Imperium models together.  Let’s go over a couple observations and impressions, from the modeling and customizing point of view

First observation... A complaint I had with the DarkVengeance set was that all of the Space Marines were firmly Dark Angels.  All the iconography was sculpted on the models—sometimes quite a bit of it.  It was gorgeous, no question, but it was also a lot of work if you wanted to use them for anything else.  Despite the prominent display of Ultramarines colors and heraldry on the box and promo pics, Dark Imperium avoids that issue, and the Primaris look fantastic without being pinned down to any particular Chapter.  Which is cool, because I plan on using them with my Relictors.

Of course, the flipside to this is that the opposing team is... well, 100% Nurgle.  There’s not a single model here that’s even vaguely something else. Which is great if you have a Death Guard army, or have been wanting one (it is a full army, after all), but otherwise... it’s a bit limiting.

Past that...

Another DV issue was that many of the models (especially the Chaos Chosen) went together in really bizarre ways.  Heads and arms would be a single piece connected by the trim on a shoulderpad.  Legs would be split lengthwise through the kneecap.  It was almost as if GW went out of their way to cut the models in the most bizarre ways possible.

The Dark Imperium models go together in much more basic standard patterns. Heads and arms are separate on a lot of the models—standard connection points, although it’s worth pointing out that the arms tend to be complete-with-shoulder pad, just in case you had clever ideas.  This means there’s a bunch of easy tweaks to do that can customize the army without resorting to cuts or filing or putty. 

The simplest one is head swaps within the set. Many of these models have separate heads, and they all use the standard neck-ball that Space Marines of all types have used for the past... what, almost twenty years?  I swapped the heads of these two Plague Marines and didn’t have to cut or trim a single thing.  

Also, because of that standard socket, most older head would fit on these models, too (and without too much of a scale problem).  Yeah, it wouldn’t make much sense for a Primaris to wear a Mk 7 helmet, but it’d be simple to work a lot more bare heads into the army to give them a less straight-out-of-the-box look.  I bet some of the Space Wolves unhelmeted heads would look good, too.  Or if the Plague Marines look a little too Nurgley for your particular army, it would be easy enough to swap in some regular Chaos Marine heads to bring them down a notch.

Helpful Hint—I’d perhaps avoid heads with bionic implants for Primaris soldiers.  After all, they’ve been in so few battles at this point, how many of them would have lots of replacement parts...?

The PoxWalkers worried me a little.  There’s ten variants (two of each in the set), and they all have pretty extreme horns. Silly as it may sound, they’re so extreme that it actually makes them all very distinctive.  It felt obvious they were repeating poses/models within the squad (to me, anyway). So I shaved off a few of the horns and spikes. It helped break them up a bit, and it also helped to inch the whole squad a little closer to my existing plague zombies.

Worth noting—I tried to make those cuts as smooth as possible, and I saved all the horns and spikes.  We’ll see how the final rules (and squad sizes) shape up for PoxWalkers when that new codex comes out in the hopefully-near future, and then I might move some of the spikes and some old skeleton horns over onto my zombies so they all look good together.

Also, one last thing to consider. All the Primaris Marines wear Mk X armor.  Every one of them.  Which really means the only difference between the troops, the sergeants, and the lieutenants is the paint jobs.  Want to give all those guys helmets?  Just trade with friends and give that guy a red helmet.  Want to use that unhelmeted Lieutenant as another sergeant?  Done!  Silly as it may sound, the uniformity gives us a bit more space to mix and match

Is there a lot of room for making this model  into that? Well, we may need to see the full Primaris book before knowing that for sure.  But there’s definitely lots of conversion and cutomizing possibilities within this set.

Next time, I may show off a few of them.

6.20.2017

Dark Imperium

Well, it’s been about five years since the last Warhammer 40K starter set.  A bunch of us from the Atomic Warlords site sat around this weekend with some rum, the new Dark Imperium set, and a few of the index books. We had many thoughts. Most of them positive.

Marcus was going to talk about the revised game mechanics over at Atomic Warlords. Very short version—they’ve moved 40K a lot toward Age of Sigmar.  Not all that way, but if you’re somebody who really loathes those game mechanics, you’re not going to be happy with the grim dark future...

I wanted to talk about the value, though.  I know a ton of people have already broken it down in different ways. I juat wanted to do a nice, simple "how much does this save us" sort of view...

We’ve got two HQ units (the Primaris Captain and the Lord of Contagion).  Going off the average clamshell prices for single figs, it wouldn’t be outrageous to say these would be $30 to $35 each.  GW’s been getting slightly better about pricing, though, and there’s some online retailers who offer nice discounts, so let’s say they’re only going to cost $25 each-- $50 for the two of them.

There’s two more character figs for the Plague Marines, so there’s another $50.  There are three more Primaris characters, too, but Marcus pointed out it wouldn’t be surprising to see them as some kind of command squad.  Let’s conservatively call them $40 altogether.

There’s also that Foetid Bloat-Drone. It’s dreadnaught sized, so I don’t have trouble believing it could be a $35 or $40 set once we get one with options.  We’ll call it $35.

At this point, we’re already over the box set’s price tag of $160.  We haven’t even added in the three five-man Primaris squads, or the jump troops, or the Plague Marine squad, or that twenty-man PoxWalker squad (probably another $40,easy).  Heck there’s a full-sized, hardcover rulebook, which sells for $60 on its own.

Also, something we realized late Sunday night.  This is a very complete, balanced set.  It’s two actual, viable armies that are pretty fairly matched, not a couple random things that look good individually but don’t really match up (y’know, like a bunch of cultists vs Dark Angels terminators...).

This set is a freakin’ amazing value, even using my very conservative prices.  Half price on everything, if not more.  Split the box with someone, Chaos and Primaris, and get an army for $80.  Heck, let them keep the rulebook, haggle a bit, and get your half for $60 (heck, GW’s giving the basic rules away for free).  That’s maybe a third what you’d pay for either set.  Literally 66% off!

If you don’t have a ton of money to spend (been there, believe me) but really want to get into the game... this might be worth saving up for.

6.15.2017

Counting the Hours...

            Tick-tock, tick-tock...
             I’ve got to admit, I have high hopes for this new edition.  No idea if they’ll be met, but I have high hopes.
            I don’t know about you, but the past few editions have been... well, a bit of a letdown for me.  Honestly, at times it felt like someone at GW really had it out for me. 
            Chaos had become a mess on so many levels (although the Traitor Legions book did help with that a bit).  That pretty much put the Alpha Legion, my largest army, out to pasture.  But at least I still had my beloved Relictors!
            Well, until someone declared them Excommunicate Traitoris in the fluff.  Stupid Inquisition...  Yeah, that doesn’t affect day-to-day games, but it still just felt like getting kicked when you were already down.  Imagine if it had been the Space Wolves.  Or the Blood Angels.
            Heck, I never even finished my Dark Eldar army.  They came out, sold a ton of models, and then the entire army took a hit to their saving throws with the new edition.  I already have an army that runs around with thin armor.  But at least the Catachans get real tanks...
            Plus, the game itself had become so bogged down.  Pages and pages and pages of rules, rolling dice again and again and again for what should be simple results, units that were so randomized they were effectively useless.
            And let’s not forget—the whole reason I started this page was because GW effectively priced me out of the game.  I needed to find newer, cheaper ways to play that didn’t involve models which had practically doubled in price.  Paperhammer was, if I may be so bold, Emperor-sent at a time when I didn’t have a lot of good things going on in my life.
            If it weren’t for my friends at the Atomic Warlords, I’ve got to be honest.  I probably would’ve dropped this game a year or five back.
            Anyway...
            I have high hopes for this weekend.  I really want this game to be fun again.
            What about you? What are you hoping for?

5.16.2017

A Shameful Moment of Self-Promotion

             Hey, so sorry.  I know I haven’t done much here in months but... I need to take a minute to make a sales pitch.
            It’s kinda how I make my living.
            I’ve got a short story collection coming out from Audible.com next week—Dead Men Can’t Complain.  It’s a bunch of short stories that I’ve had published in various places over the years, plus a trio of all new ones that have never been seen (or heard) before. Most of them are stand-alones, although you may find hints to a few things I’ve written in the past (or may be planning for the future).  It’s an Audible exclusive—no print, no ebook, no special kanji edition—it’s audiobook only. 
            Because they wanted to publish it and they do fantastic work, that’s why! 
            You can pick it up using your Audible credits (if you’re a member) or straight through Amazon.  And one of the great things about audiobooks—you can listen to them while you build and paint.
            Hint-hint.

1.22.2017

Genestealer Cultists

So, let’s try to get this year off to a better start...  Not paperhammer, but here’s a money-saving tip—one we’ve probably all tried at one point or another.

One of the wonderful-yet-frustrating things about GW sets these days is options.  So many of these kits are just packed with options.  Phenomenal-looking options (even if some of them are a bit silly).  And we end up with lots of leftovers.

I had some extra neophyte weapons for my genestealer cult, and I wanted to use them all up. My lovely lady had gotten me the Armored Claw for Christmas, so I figured I could put them on the Cadian bodies.  Extra weapons, plus the change of arms and shoulders helps to move them a bit further away from Guardsmen and closer to mine-workers, visually.

However... the Cadian torsos have really narrow shoulders. I tried a few different ways of putting the weapon-arms on them, but no matter how I angled it I ended up with a sizeable gap.  Then I tried a couple of spare Catachan torsos I had—not much better.  They were wider, but that gap was still pretty big.

You can spot potential genestealer cultists by shoulder width. It’s a fact. Who know?

I played with a few different ideas of bulking out shoulders with plasticard and putty, but then I had a thought that tied back to one of my (very few) posts from last year. Maybe I had some older figures I could repurpose with a bit of cutting and scraping...

Meet some of my old, scratchbuilt genestealer cultists.  They’re built from the original plastic guardsmen, circa 1994 (I think).  I found a couple of them floating in the bitz bin way back when and used them to bulk out my (at the time) all-metal Genestealer Cult army.  Which, believe it or not, also came from the bitz bins...

A few quick slices and those old cultists had all new arms on them. Heads were a bit trickier—I needed to make some neck sockets. I used the thinnest drill bit I had for my pin vise, found the center, and gave myself a pilot hole (maybe just 1/8” deep) on each model.  Then I swapped out bits to my largest, which gave me a nice, centered socket.

Helpful Hint—when you need to center something like this, take your time.  Check and double-check.  Heads are always going to be a focus point for a model.  We all know how bodies go together, so even on this scale we’ll pick up on things that don’t line up.

After that, it was just gluing heads on and... done.  Some heavy weapons guys who will blend in nicely with the rest of the cult.  And all it cost me was some older models I wasn’t going to use anymore.
You may notice (like I mentioned above) that the new limbs are slightly out of proportion on the older body.  The arms, notably, are a bit long.  There’s a few ways to adjust for this, but I’m not going to worry about it much in this particular case.  Genestealer cultists have a lot of distorted body parts, so these won’t stand out much.

Next time—swear to Tzeentch—I’m going to finish up that Destroyer.