Thursday 6 February 2020

Building a better Nemesis Dreadknight

Towards the end of 2019, a friend from the local gaming club send me a link and wanted to know if I could print something like that for him. The link went to an ArtStation page:
Nemesis DreadKnight Conversion Parts for 3D Print, Antonis Bouras

While the page didn't offer a download for the 3D models of the cool parts visible in the rendered pictures, I pointed out the option to just ask nicely. It turns out that Antonis was kind enough to provide my friend with a link for the model, so that maybe turned into a YES!

I really like robot models. Objectively too many Iyanden, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Titanicus and Imperial Knight models in my display case are testament to that. So while I don't play Grey Knights, I long lamented the baby carrier design of the dreadknight. Fixing that seemed a worthwhile fun project.

The project was made more interesting by the fact, that Antonis had made the models for a friend of his, but didn't have the chance to test their fit to the plastic kit. As a result there is a bit of work needed to make the parts mesh on the hobby bench. More on that below.

Unfortunately, my friend had some delay in providing the dreadknight kits. So my first steps were to print the chestpiece to a size approximated from the render mockups made by Antonis and hold an assembled dreadknight model of another friend - who's not ready to make that change - next to it and eyeball it to get an idea. That resulted in a firm go-ahead.

A while later I got the plastic kits in my hand. Key was to make the upgrade chestarmour sit well on the plastic torso. With the clear guideline that losses are acceptable, I got my drill, dremel, clippers, hobby knife, sanding sticks and sanding paper ready and carefully approached the fit.

As it turns out, there is a fair bit of changes needed to the front half of the plastic torso. To make it easier for anyone else who wants to take a shot at this conversion, I took some pictures of two torsos next to each other. The left one has the bits that need to go maked in blue and the cutout for the head marked in black, while the one on the right has already endured the procedure.

Note: Please watch out for your fingers while laying waste to offending protusions of the torso. Blood for the bloodgod was the opposing team.

In addition to the hole and the trimming on the torso, the protuding lip on the torsos bottom and the matching lip on the hips need to be trimmed back. Also, the stirrups on the legs need to go.

Some notes on printing the parts. 
I printed the parts using one of the popular DLP resin printers, more specifically the Anycubic Photon, using the Anycubic green resin and a 0.025mm layer height. In other words, nothing special as hobby resin printers go.

I used Chitubox to set up the kit for the build-plate of the Photon, choosing the orientation of the parts manually and placing the supports manually. The skull decoration on the parts needs to be considered when chosing the orientation, since the wrong orientation may start the teeth in thin air.

For me the parts appeared very tiny sized both in MeshMixer and in Chitubox, but that's just real world dimensions missing as far as I can tell. The meshes look good and clean. So it is only a matter of setting absolute size using Meshmixer or the scaling functions of the slicer software.

For me, that was 854% of the size set in the files for all parts, except the loincloth, tight plates and iron halo. In case Antonis changes the files, that means I end up with the following dimensions for the chestplate: 32,91mm x 23,24mm x 24,07mm.
I scaled the loincloth to 5,11mm thick, 41,53mm long and 17.02mm wide.
The tight plates are 24,88mm high, 18mm wide and 4,13mm deep.

The pauldrons look great, but they need to go further out or collide with the exhaust-backpack the model carries. If they are moved out far enough apart to leave space for the backpack they are floating in thin air. Also, that exposes the recesses in the model's roof that is meant to take the goofy arm support mechanics. 

I made covers for the roof recesses and attached a support for the pauldrons to them.The placement also creates a gap between the chestplate and the pauldrons. That kinda problem with armour is typically sorted with a little floating plate inbetween the bigger pieces. I made simple shields to take those places. You can see both pieces below and I posted them to Thingiverse.

That brought me to the combination of the original kit, Antonis' parts and my own humble parts:

I repositioned the legs slightly, using pins for stability. The sword/hammer and ranged weapon noses are magnetized for flexibility.

The next step was blocking in some colours with the airbrush.

Then a bit of gold and shade.

To do are water transfers and basing.

Thursday 2 February 2017

Belisarius Cawl completed

I used him the first time in a holy requisitioner formation the other day with good success against a vehicle heavy AM list, a lot of potential with enough drawbacks (threat-range and vunerability to force-weapons) that I feel ok fielding him.

Some illustrations for an online discussion.

Thursday 20 October 2016

Mechanicum Cerastus Knight-Atrapos Showcase

This model is pretty done. I'm open to tips and pointers, but it looks great to me.

Mechanicum Cerastus Knight-Atrapos WIP

At the Warhammer European Open Day in Amsterdam I picked up a Knight-Atropos as an implus purchase. I really like the model's look for a Mechanicum LOW. I also count it as a plus that it doesn't toss around multiple pie-plates.

Be that as it may, I have a tendency to let big Forgeworld models sit for a while after reaching a milestone. That isn't necessarily bad, since I find myself wanting to redo models before I finished their army, since my skill improved and I don't really want to see the previous result anymore.

Friday after work I saw a YouTube video by Moggy displaying a Knight-Atrapos. I loved the paint job. I had also picked up the new Horus Heresy themed Forgeworld Master Class book, which has a red candy-paint Knight on the cover. This pushed me to get started on the model, so I washed, trimmed and sanded the parts. Then I assembled the torso with epoxy glue. I hesitated when looking at the legs. Four toes, two parts for the foot, then the lower leg, upper leg and hip joint. I did a quick and dirty pile of cork and hot-glue with some plastic pipe and I beam sticking out before slapping the first foot down. That got me going to where I left the model with the legs glued up to the hips overnight. For that, I wedged them in and used a metal strip to hold it up by the magnet I had put in the hip for the torso.

The next morning saw me happy that the glueup had gone as intended! I reinforced the hip to leg joints with 2mm brass rod and did the same to firmly anchor the lower leg through the feet in the base. Then I merrily built on until I arrived at the model fully built - with the armour plates only placed, but not glued in position.

As soon as I got there, I primed the model and all the armour plates black with Vallejo Airbrush Primer. I had to get something else done, but continued in the evening with Vallejo Gumetal all over the metal parts and a highlight with Steel, following Moggy's scheme.

Next, I followed the Forgeworld book and preshaded the armor panels with blue and a little bit of green.

Today, Forgeworld offers more hobby materials. Back with the previous Masterclass books, Tamiya Clear Red is still used instead of the now available FW product. So - did a test piece for that. Based on that I just use the thick Tamiya paint as is - without thinning it - and applied it pretty much in a single coat, maybe a coat and a half. I have a habbit of using higher pressure than you find recommended, in this case 60psi through a 0.4mm needle.

After that, I went after the trim and painted that with steel, which then got knocked down with Drakenhof Nightshade, which I thinned a lot. I liked the blue tint, so I liberally applied it to the metal parts. This turned out to have one nasty sideeffect. This mix dried pale yellow in recesses, so instead of a deep blue shadow there is a little light spot. I followed up with a clear coat and oil shade, which took care of any shadows nicely.

In retrospect, I find that I didn't take pictures documenting what I did to the base.The base is cork, hot glue to attach the cork and also the toes to the base and cork respectively, plastic parts sticking out from the cork and as fence posts. I liberally applied hot glue to the flat area of the base, because I like the wobbly, muddy effect this gives, expecially when combined with the regular PVA glue with  sand/gravel mix.

I went over the base with primer, then used dark red followed by a heavy Zamesi Desert drybrush. Then I started messing about with pigments, a sand colour and a darker brown at first, later also adding a black/oil pigment for machine bits.

While I was really happy with the result, the armour plates are darker than the FW approach left them which makes the whole model relatively dark, considering that I also washed and dulled all the metal.
I figured that attaching some decals would brighten it up some and contacted a friend who has a bunch of Knights as support for his Space Wolves. He was kind enough to spare me a transfer sheet from a plastic knight.

Saturday 2 January 2016

Battle Report: Imperial Knights vs Necrons 2500 Points

A fellow player my local tabletop club wanted an opportunity to field his Imperial Knights. He has been encountering reluctance or refusal from other players to face these warmachines. Granted, I cannot come up with many lists made up with commonly used units that has reasonable odds against these things. AV13 with ion shields, loads of ordnance with strength D and Stomp in Melee isn't easily brought down with shooting or melee.

Since I recently picked up to piles of Necrons, I decided to use the Gauss rule to my advantage. A decurion detachment with 4x 10 Warriors in Ghost Arks, 2x20 Warriors on foot, a Monolith, 2x3 Tomb Blades, 5 Immortals and a vanilla Overlord and two Harvest formations was my force. This was my first time playing Necrons.

The Imperial Knight force was a detachment of five knights led by a Cerastus Knight-Lancer with a Cerastus Knight-Castigator, a Cerastus Knight-Acheron and two plastic knights. These all had their BS and WS improved to 5. A sixth knight came along vanilla. All knights were equipped with the weapons as modeled, except for the carapace weapons, which were all 8/3 missile launchers.


Turn 1.1

Turn 1.2

Turn 2.1

Turn 2.2

Turn 3.1

Turn 3.2

Turn 4.1

Turn 4.2

Victory (by points) 9 : 7 for Necrons.
The Lancer had 1 hull point left, the lone other remaining knight was at 4 hull points iirc.
Three decimated warrior units, a unit of tomb blades, two ghost arks and a unit of immortals were remaining of the Necron force.
The Imperial knights had no achivable objective cards, the necrons did.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Paint job: Bloodthirsters and Bloodcrushers

The other day I played Iyanden Craftworld against Khorne Deamonkin. My opponent had all three variants of the new(ish) plastic Bloodthirster at hand, but they were all unpainted. Feeling tempted myself to buy this kit even though I don't really need (ha!) a new bloodthirster when I hardly play with my old metal one, I offered to assist with priming and base colour. This led to the question if I'd paint them up.

Here you can see the result. The idea was to stay close to the paint job that these have in the KDK codex. The owner wanted these guys to forego their armour and had built them without it. I magnetised the wip and chain-hammerthing to ward against breakage and hit the models with black primer followed by zenital light grey primer.

Since the models are big, but fully assembled, I opted to do the remainder of the paintjob without the airbrush to avoid masking or overspray hassle.

I used Vallejo Model/Game Air colours, well thinned with Vallejo Airbrush thinner to retain the pre-highlight. I followed this up with dry-brushing, a semi-gloss coat and oil shade. Leading to this look:

Also lacking proper Khrone colours were a bunch of blood crushers, which received the same treatment, apart from applying the base red colour with the airbrush.

I finished this almost a month ago, but got lazy with this hobby diary. I am now sorting pictures for a bunch of battle reports ;-]

Sunday 29 November 2015

Vraks Unending Host Update

As part of a 250 points a month panting challenge of my local gaming club, I took on the first platoon of renegades in my unending host.

Since the last picture, I covered all the bases with black Vallejo Primer, separating the minis from the bases which were hit by the same zenital highlight.

Expecting some serious motivation fatigue as numbers mount, I decided on a minimal paint job. I used VGC leather brown to pick out gloves, boots and rebreathers, as well as a bunch of straps and the nub on the back which is meant for a backpack that came with the Warzone minis. It makes a decent looking rebreathing unit in a pinch I think. I mixed some VGA chainmail silver and black for the gunbarrels. VGA pale flesh hit the few bits of skin for the weapon teams.

I used VGA gory red, dark fleshtone, cold grey and Citadel squig orange to split the platoons and squads from another.

I will weather those models when I got all of them on the level of the first platoon.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Deamons of Slaanesh

Looking for something different to paint, I took a look into my hobby queue and fished out some deamons. I had Zarakynel waiting for some attention and intimidate me a bit with the slender resin bits and the work required to make it come together organically.

I used plasticard, chaos vehicle icons and brass clips to make armbands and shoulder pads. That's because I didn't want to glue all those extended parts into place and have them break at the earliest opportunity. Since the arms do not fit seamlessly to the body, some gapfilling would be needed - so I went for a coverup.

The result are the four arms and the head being attached with magnets. The magnet link is flexible, permitting the limbs to bend with any force applied rather than break off. That also goes for the heat-bent dreadlocks. The horns didn't have a clearly defined fit, so I used tiny magnets there as well.

Looking at some gaps in my Slaaneshi infantry, I also picked up a box of deamonettes to sort another unit and a spare banner and grabbed a box of seekers to bring my total up to 18 and get two banners and an instrument out of it. Below you can see the result of those efforts for my deamon forces.

While at it, I also finally slapped some paint on two metal deamon HQs that I had picked up off ebay OVP some months ago: Be'lakor and Kairos Fateweaver as well as a keeper of secrets which was built, but bare metal.

I went with thinned VGA black over a zenital grey highlight. Sticking more black on the wings. VGC glorious gold took care of the gold applications. I followed that with a clear coat and black transparent oil shade.

 Kairos was easier than expected, except for the tangle of limbs to work around. I used Vallejo Air colours thinned with Vallejo air thinner to slap two coats of blue and white respectively on the model, going with some gory red for the book cover and using browns for the paper and the scrolls. Gold, clear coat and oil shade as before with Be'lakor.

The keeper was a quick and dirty job just ahead of a game for which I needed him in my mono-god list. Nothing much to report here, just thinned airbrush paint on pre-highlight followed by a clear coat and oil shade.

While I'm at documenting what I did without taking pictures a the time, I also grabbed this line-up of all my current Slaaneshi forces.

Clearly, what is missing are chariots to round out these forces. I'll however first pay some attention to other unfinished deamon minis before blowing money on more stuff ;-]