Apr 19, 2015

WIP: Bolt Action German Panzer IV Prep & Undercoat

It's great to be back from vacation! I kid.

After experiencing hobby ennui over the fall, the busy season (read January through April) at my new job kicked in and I got little time in front of the ol' worktable.

But the fall wasn't a complete waste. While I didn't get paint on my Chaos warband in time for Oldhammer Day, I was able to attend the event and had a blast participating in the huge Warhammer battle. That's me in the first picture; handsome devil, ain't I?

In the interim, I decided to jump into Bolt Action (BA) after watching from the sidelines for some time. My parental units, the wonderful people that they are, gave unto me the D-Day Firefight starter kit as a Christmas gift.

It just so happened that Warlord Games was running a sweet deal over the holidays on the Firefight boxset, offering either of BA's newer plastic U.S. Sherman or German Panzer IV kits for free with the purchase of the starter kit. I chose the Panzer.

And while I had several projects sitting on the shelf waiting to be finished, including a couple Cawdor gang members and a Grot tank, I decided to break open the Panzer kit after being inspired by this gorgeous Panzer IV Ausf H by Giuseppe Artqdp (pictures used w/o permission).

The Panzer will be the beginning of a small 500- to 750-point German force I'd like to paint so I can play BA games at my FLGS. The Firefight kit comes with a handful of German infantry and a Hanomag half-track that will be useful for filling out the ranks.

To give the Panzer that lived-in feel and mimic Giuseppe's tank as best I could, I picked up some BA accessories. From left, we have the German Stowage Pack, Jerry Cans, and the Tarps and Rolls Stowage Pack.

The Panzer IV kit itself is fantastic. Both fit and finish are wonderful, and, other than some fiddliness around the turret schürzen, the tank went together like a breeze with the easy-to-read instructions.

And after a couple months buildout, voila:

With my inspiration being 1/35th scale and BA models being 1/56th, some compromises were necessary, but I think I managed to capture the spirt of Giuseppe's Panzer.

To achieve the look I deleted the front fenders, right headlamp, and side doors on the turret schürzen, and roughed up the track guards and rear fenders with a Dremel. I used white plastic styrene pieces to build a front bar  to hold the extra track links and the side schürzen connector bar.

I also magnetized the turret (forgot to take pictures of this) for ease of storage and transport. Stripped down picture-hanging wire became tow cables and I removed the plastic hangers on the extra road wheels to lay them flat on the front of the tank.

All the metal pieces are from the BA accessory packs. I used Instant Mold and Brown Stuff to make additional track links. And only because I'm a perfectionist did I also chose to fill in some gaps with Green Stuff.

And here is the Panzer after being homogenized with a fresh undercoat in the spray booth:

I'm excited to get some paint on that canvas.

Up next: Could be anything, we'll have to wait and see.

So until next time, keep painting!

Aug 30, 2014

WIP: Oldhammer Day USA Warband

I'm a little late to the party, but I've decided to paint up a Chaos warband for Oldhammer Day here in the states.

Though this will be my first foray into Oldhammer, I've really enjoyed watching enthusiasm build behind the movement over the last couple years.

I got into this hobby around 1991, which seems to be the tail end of what's now considered the Oldhammer period.

And as I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of late 80s/early 90s Citadel sculpts, so the idea of enjoying the old game systems and minis of that time strikes a chord with me.

With Oldhammer Day USA taking place just south of me, I thought I should take advantage of this opportunity to paint up some old models and throw some dice around.

I used Oldhammer in the New World's warband creation guide to put together a gaggle of Chaos followers. As a good sport, I rolled for everything, and this is what I got:

My first roll was a 31, so my champion is a Dark Elf. Second roll was a 57, so my Dark Elf is a Level 10 Hero.

After thinking about what models I had to represent my champion, I rolled a 6 for equipment, and with 8 points purchased a shield, a horse, a spear, and a crossbow.

Taking into consideration color schemes, as I am wont to do, I thought it would be appropriate for my Dark Elf champion to worship Slaanesh.

It doesn't hurt that Dark Elves outlaw the worship of Slaanesh so that also helps generate an interesting backstory for my champion.

Rolling for attributes, my first roll gave me a crest, which I accepted as my cosmetic attribute. My second attribute roll gave me an evil eye that was good for my positive attribute (+1 Fear Point). Of course, the Mark of Slaanesh provides my champion with +1 Will Power.

Rolling three times for his retinue, I got an 80 (D4 Ogres), a 50 (D6 Goblins), and a 67 (2D4 Mercenary Band and Captain).

On the subsequent rolls, I got 2 Ogres, 4 Goblins, and 5 Mercenaries along with their Captain, who is a Level 5 Hero.

Digging around my lead pile, I pulled out some models to represent these characters.

This great Marauder Dark Elf Cold One ridder was one of the first blister packs I ever bought as a kid and it's just been sitting around for ages:

I also located one of the old shields he came with, which I think I'll do in a tarnished bronze:

These beautiful Goodwin-designed Ogres, Gutlagg Executioner and Warlord, will provide the muscle:

The pack of Goblins will include an Iron Claw model (#5) and a few old GW sculpts (GSB #1, GWS #23, and GWM#1):

The Mercenary Band and Captain will be represented by a mixture of Alan Perry's Imperial and Brettonian Crossbowmen (#2, #3, #8, and #12), an old Norman Man-at-Arms (Etiennes), and a model from GW's Mercenaries line (Ben):

It's a diverse group to be sure, but I think they mesh well and will look great properly painted up.

But, first things first, I need to strip the figures with old paint jobs, clean up some mold lines, and start fleshing out a good backstory for everyone.

Up next: Some progress on the Grot Command Tank.

So until next time, keep painting!

Aug 3, 2014

WIP: Grot Kommand Tank Prep & Conversion

After finishing the first Grot tank, I got the itch to start another.

So, instead of working on the piece from my miniature-painting-related travel back in April, I've been putting time in to prepping this Kommand Tank:

My plan has always been to outfit this tank skwadron with either Grotzookas or Big Shootas. I scratch built one of each for the Kommand Tank:

As the kommanda is allowed to carry two armaments, I initially thought I would be able to use them interchangeably: Whichever armament the skwadron choose, the other could be the kommanda's secondary weapon.

But I quickly realized that interchanging them would look odd because they're both so big:

So I constructed smaller secondary armaments to compliment each main weapon.

Grotzooka with complimentary Big Shoota:

Big Shoota with complimentary Grotzooka:

The two Grotzooka muzzles came from the Grot tank kit's megaphone bit:

They were separated, hollowed out, filled with scrap, and attached to sheet styrene turret mounts. See here for more info on scratch building turret mounts.

Forge World's (FW) Ork Weapon Set supplied the Big Shootas again. I simply cut the barrels from their receivers and mounted them to their turret mounts.

The weapon set, which I've found to be invaluable for customization, also provided the mount and pin for the pintle-mounted Shoota:

I just sandwiched a piece of resin sprue that I heated and bent into shape between the two FW pieces. See here for more info on constructing a pintle-mounted shoota.

Because a kommanda needs to stand out in the crowd, I added an Ork nob's banner pole and threw on an extra glyph:

Of course, everything is magnetized for easy swapping and storage:

And after a trip to the spray booth for undercoating...

I'm ready to start laying down base coats.

Next up: Pictures of something with paint on it! Not sure if it's going to be this tank, more Cawdor stuff, or the travel-related piece; will depend on what I'm in the mood for.

So, until next time, keep painting!
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