Wednesday 27 March 2013

2013 Forge World open day prep pt2

The Tau XV9 is a gorgeous little kit. The resin is easy to work with, the moulds are sharp and detailed, and have few production mistakes to worry about. Those that do exist are easy to fix. It does take time to prep well, though, and the usual cutting and sanding tools are needed - nothing fancy required here. There are mould lines and loads of flash and pour-hole lumps. There are a lot of pour-hole lumps. I've heard that on the larger kits, these lumps take up about 10-20% of the packaged weight. That's a lot of wasted postage...

This kit is small, though, and quite lightweight. I'll start with the main body cleanup, and then the head and upper arms. The lower arms have the guns attached, and I'll leave them until last. Back-scraping with a scalpel and brushing away the dust achieves 90% of the cleanup. After a decent soapy wash and dry, I've opted for a combination of green-stuff and CA glue to give short-term adjustment, and long-term strength.

Mould-lines are easy to remove 

Getting the pose right is the hardest part of any build. You don't want a flat, disinterested figure to work on, so do as the boys at Pixar do and try out poses in front of a mirror. Check how your 'rigging' changes if you lean one way or another, and the result will look natural and realistic.

Staring at yourself in a mirror gets results

The lumps of resin left over from casting do have their uses, however, and while the green-stuff is curing, I'll get on with the base. Gluing cut-up pieces of random resin to the plastic base gives a basic topography that can quickly be covered by Mod Roc and scatter for texture. Here, some resin is poking through, and this will be painted rusty, as if it's old wreckage worn over time.

Resin leftovers from other kits are handy, too 

in part 3, I'll pose the legs and get the arms in place. It's a juggling act, though...

2013 Forge World open day prep pt1

A week after Easter will see us visiting Games Workshop's Nottingham home for their annual Forge World open day event. Tickets sold out within the first couple of days, but I secured a pair just for Mikey and me. Typically, Mikey's at his dad's that weekend, so I'm taking my wife...

It's open from 10am, there seems to be plenty to see, and there are some on-the-day events, too.

Firstly, the new Imperial Armour book will be on sale, and the whole design team will be there to chat to. My wife will love that. I'm almost sure of it. The promise of Bugman's bar has absolutely no sway on her decision to come along.

Secondly, there's the Open Day Painting Competition. Christina and I are going all-out Tau for this one. Seems fitting, seeing as there's a relevant new release that weekend from the Mother Company.

We're only allowed to enter a single figure, so I'm entering an XV9 Battlesuit, which I bought a couple of years ago for Mikey's army, and she's going to paint up one of the Air Caste ground crewmen.

Forgeworld Tau Battlesuit XV9
But which one will she choose?

I'll write about the XV9 build in part 2 soon...

Sunday 3 March 2013

Caitlín's Trench Warfare

It's not just my stepson, Mikey, who's building and painting. His sister, Caitlín, has made me proud this week.

Usually frowning on the nerdy side of our hobby, she enlisted Mikey's and my help in a school project. The brief: to build a WWI trench in a shoebox (and not just fill it with soil!)

Adamant that this was all her own work, she only wanted help in the techniques involved, and occasionally, some elbow grease.

We started with a shoebox. It had to start somewhere, so we started there. She sketched the layout in the box and set out cutting chunks of polystyrene and glueing them in place, filling in the gaps with random bits of paper, foil and leftover polystyrene.

When the glue was dry, Caitlín cut strips of modrock, a very handy plaster-impregnated bandage, which, once soaked in water, dries very hard.

After 48hrs the Modrock was solid, and the model was ready for the woodwork. Duckboards and battens were glued down, along with gravel and grass scatter.

Airbrush time! Some nicely thinned browns to cover the whole model. Several passes to darken, and some purposeful flooding across the woodwork to stain.

We'd chosen a rough scale of 1:72, and bought some British Infantry to add to the scene. After painting them (tabletop standard at best), the men were positioned and stuck down. Pooled water was created with Realistic Water Effects by Woodland Scenics, and the barbed wire was made from twisted wine bottle wire. About 5 bottles-worth.

Some blood, gore and missing limbs, and the diorama was done. A tidy up of the box exterior, and a title and that was all she wrote.

Great job, Caitlín!