Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Mad Maximillian 1934 - Gaslands in the Jazz Age!

Well, maybe it's a little after the Jazz Age per se, but close enough... Mad Max 1934 is a Gaslands/Car Wars type game set in the Dystopian 1930s, and is played with 1/43 cars and heroic 28mm miniatures. When founding Conscript Curt told me about this game a couple months ago, it sounded like an awesome project to have a go at! So I did!
First off, I fired up eBay and ordered some suitable diecast 1/43 model cars from Brumm, then headed over to Eureka to get crew models and bits. First up was this 1928 4 1/2 litre Bentley. I weathered it a bit with some steel wool (made necessary because the plastic hood straps broke and my attempts to glue 'em back on marred the paintwork), followed by an allover wash of Nuln Oil and a targeted wash of Agrax Earthshade over the lower part of the car. I also rusted up the exhaust system.

I painted this suitably mad-looking driver from Eureka and secured him in place. The Eureka drivers come with steering wheels so I cut the wheel off the Bentley.

The gunner is from the same pack. I used a gun mount from the Eureka accessories pack and a length of wire to mount it to the car. The "flimsy" petrol can is also from Eureka.

Looks pretty cool I think.

Next up is a 1936 Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car, in dual-wheel "hillclimb" configuration. This was a bit more involved as a conversion because I wanted the model to be displayable without the machinegun as a legit historical racer. What to do? 

Well, magnets to the rescue of course... I attached an ammo box from the spares bin to the Eureka MG and sculpted the cartridge belt from greenstuff. A 5mm disc magnet was attached to the bottom of the mount before painting. I took the car apart and superglued two more 5mm magnets in series to the underside of the front of the car so the MG magnet would adhere to the outside. Sorted!

Paintwork was as per Bentley - Nuln wash followed by Agrax. I think it looks suitably road-worn.

The Auto Union cars were the apex predators of pre-war motor racing... mid-engined like modern race cars, but with antiquated suspension and tire technology... the hillclimb cars needed four rear wheels as those rear tires took so much punishment from the 520 horsepower V16 powertrain they needed to be doubled up. 

Here's Hans Stuck madly sawing away at the wheel of his Auto Union in the 1938 Deutsches Bergmeisterschaft (German Hill-Climb Championship)... sadly machineguns were not permitted. In any case the cars went up the course one at a time anyway.

Lastly here's a 1939 Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix car with a fetching female driver, also from Eureka. Not so successful as a racer, it looks great in French racing blue and brings some heat with twin Lewis guns.

The paintjobs on these Brumm models looked so good I couldn't bear to repaint them, so I used the Nuln/Agrax formula on all three. 

The Lewis guns were mounted to the car via a plasticard cross-piece (connecting the guns) and a short length of wire. I made a small round mount out of greenstuff and stuck that to the car hood, and glued the MG wire mount onto that.

Looking appropriately deadly, no? While I haven't picked up a copy of the MM34 rules, they look pretty fun and I love the setting and working on the models. Hopefully we can give it a go someday but even if not, it was a fun little project and I think the cars turned out nicely.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Star Wars: Legion 3D Rebel Speeder Bike and Imperial Naval Troopers from Ham Solo

So in preparation for this year's Battle of Hoth game at PrairieCon in Brandon, I'm painting a few more models for the Rebel and Imperial forces. And in keeping with the recent vogue, these aren't licensed minis from Fantasy Flight (or whatever they're called nowadays), but rather 3D prints from excellent online vendor Ham Solo!

This model is super-cool - two Rebels on a captured speeder, the rider concentrating on driving the thing and the pillion passenger leaning off ready to drop a mine. 
The model is a 3D resin print and came in several parts, but wasn't too tough to assemble - some of the parts are fiddly though and care is required in assembly. It also comes with the Legion base and clear and opaque printed support pegs.

I painted the riders in my standard Hoth Rebel colours - Rakarth Flesh, XV-88, Zandri Dust, Corax White, White Scar, and Ushabti Bone.

Great character evident in the sculpts of these two dudes. The file is from Squamous Miniatures and was printed for me by Ham Solo.

Gotta have some more Imperials to fight those Rebels though right? This is a unit of Imperial Naval Troopers designed by Raven X Studios and again printed by Ham Solo. I really like these guys too, they're equipped with the distinctive "cheesegrater" helmets (so called by the Star Wars costume design department) and lead by an officer in a standard Imperial Navy soft cap.

Not a great deal of variety to the paintwork on these guys - Vallejo Dark Rubber, Mechanicus Standard Grey, and Dawnstone mostly, with Leadbelcher for the metal details.
The models are a bit on the large side, even for Legion, but they'll be OK. These are basically the "grenadiers" of the Imperial Navy and will be used in my game as Vader's personal bodyguard.

Officer to lead the group.

The group even includes a comms trooper with backpack comms unit. 

I might try a last push to get another squad of Rebels done, but we'll see. Playtesting will happen this Thursday. We'll be using a conversion for the Bolt Action ruleset from the Jay's Wargaming Madness blog and I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Fly First Class - Sokar Pattern Stormbird

Sokar Pattern Stormbird for the Horus Heresy. Model from Forge World. Assembly, priming and base courtesy of Markam Painting Studio, UK.

When you think of Space Marines making their big, dramatic assaults from the orbit of a target world, you usually think of the troops blasting down through the atmosphere in drop pods. But when it absolutely, positively, has to get there, the Space Marine Legions send in the Stormbirds...and I am very excited to have one of these join my Horus Heresy collection. This is a Sokar Pattern Storm Bird from Forge World, painted in the noble colours of the XVI Legion Astartes, the Warmaster's own Sons of Horus. 

I should note that other entities deserve credit here. After all, people who know me know I would be hard-pressed to build a kit this complicated. The model is huge, and so is the base that holds it while "flying". It weighs in at 6kg or so. There was no way I was ever going to properly figure out how to assemble one of these things. So credit where it's due: this marvellous beast was assembled and primed for me by the excellent UK-based Markham Painting Studio.

A Long-Term Project 

The beast in flight...ready to deliver the Sons of Horus to the heart of the battle...or just go pick up a Starbucks, whatever...

Stormbirds are the assault craft of legend from the times of The Emperor's Great Crusade. I remember hearing about and seeing references to "Stormbirds" amid little snippets or lore well before Horus Heresy gaming in 28mm ever became a thing. In this sense, I feel the model is an iconic piece of 30k kit. Drop pods had always had their place, of course, but during the Great Crusade, the Space Marine Legions would sweep into the battlefield on these huge Stormbird gunships. They are magnificent war artifacts from the times of the "Dark Age of Technology". The "Thunderhawks" familiar to 40k players came along as a means to fill gaps in the Space Marine air support caused by the gradual attrition and loss of the Stormbirds through The Great Crusade - their means of manufacture already being lost at that time.  

Flight crew at their stations.

Another view of the flight crew and the cockpit.

All this to say, when Forge World released the Stormbird model in 2016, I was immediately intrigued, and really wanted one "one day"for my collection. About a year ago, I was fortunate that circumstances were such that I had a chance to acquire one. It was during the pandemic, and before any credible news of the Horus Heresy 2.0 had leaked - in fact, it appeared at the time that GW might be preparing to abandon/move on from the Horus Heresy (as they have done with many other games in their time) and I thought it was "now or never." So I reached out on Facebook to the Markham Painting Studio. Usually they do complete projects, fully painted with custom bases (you can see their mind-blowing work on their Facebook page), and I wasn't sure if they would be OK with a more basic "please just assemble, prime and prepare a very basic base" request, but they were happy to do so! 

Lascannons to provide fire support for the Sons of Horus.

Underwing ordnance, primed for "problem solving".

Of course, one has to wait one's turn. The folks at Markham Painting Studio had lots of work to keep them busy, and had to navigate their own ongoing challenges etc. during the pandemic too. But they provided good communication, were up-front and honest about how long things would take, and were generally excellent to deal with. 

Plus, they are clearly model-building ninjas. Markham Painting Studio built the Stormbird model replete with magnets so it can be taken apart for transport! The missiles, the turrets, the wings and struts are all magnetized and can come off! Markham also made the necessary modifications to the hull to tolerate a custom flight stand, and prepared a basic round flight base of sufficient size and strength to support the thing "in the air". All of these features make this beast of a model relatively portable, a notable - and quite welcome - achievement given its size and weight. After the assembly, the whole thing was primed black, and shipped over to me, arriving in early March of this year.

A Little Bit At A Time

First assembly here in Canada, just testing things out...note how I managed to put the forward wings on upside down...

The components were packed with care and precision...still, we are talking about Canadian parcel delivery here, so a way was duly found a way to cause some damage - one of the landing struts was broken, and the mounting fixture in the flight base was somehow snapped out of its two-part-epoxy home...@#@!#!@#  I got to work, making the repairs by fixing up the damaged strut, and with the help of my brother-in-law, drilling out the damaged base and re-installing the mounting section with a fresh application of epoxy. 

Broken landing strut on the top right, snapped during shipping...

Of course there was the painting to consider! Curt's Painting Challenge was still underway at the time, and part of me thought it might be a heck of a final entry to do some kind of crash project, and maybe finish this bird in time for the Challenge conclusion? I didn't take that path, obviously - the closing weeks of the Challenge are such a cacaphony of entries that it would likely not have made much of a splash. And besides, while I generally paint fast, the model was just too big to get done even over a couple of weeks.

Small bits first...started with the landing struts...

WIP on the pilots...

Work on the cockpit in the early stages...

Some bases coats on the main body completed.

So the painting began, a bit at a time instead. I started with the relatively small components - the struts, the void shield generators, the crew. I moved on to the smaller wings, then the missiles and the turrets. As to the large and heavy main body section, I started with the segments for the landing struts, and then painted the cockpit detail. In all of the areas of the model, I just used my basic painting approach, nothing fancy at all. This was not the time to crack out and try and airbrush or anything like that...I wanted the Stormbird to fit in terms of look with the other models and figures in my Sons of Horus collection.

Control surfaces for the wings...needed to be painted, then glued on.

WIP on the massive base to hold the "flying" model.

The underside of one of the main wings, showing the various magnets that were placed to keep the beast together.

WIP on the underwing ordnance - "Dreadstrike Missiles" - fun for everyone!

This all took many weeks. The hardest part of the painting the main body section - even without the wings attached, it is large and quite heavy, not easy to hold while you paint. One other bit of work that calls for some specific venting involved finishing the cockpit canopy - that was a bloody challenge. Forge World provides you with clear plastic to cut out and affix to the various canopy sections, and Markham had duly passed this along to me. But Forge World's always gonna Forge World...the segment of plastic you receive is risibly small, and the template they provide includes a couple of sections that don't match the actual design of the canopy! took a lot of trial and error, and I have to thank Dallas for his suggestion that I use plastic from blister packs for the job. It just so happened I had some of that kind of plastic around in the wake of another recent project, and so I was able to do a not-totally-half-assed job finished the canopy, fixing the "window" segments into place with white glue.

Buzzing a friendly armoured column...

The waterslide transfers came from a variety of sources. The Sons of Horus sheet from Forge World obviously provided a number of them. The name of the craft - "Fury" - came from a sheet of transfers for the Elysian Drop troops. Others were from Mechanicum sheets, and some of the script-writing and numbers came from a third-party decal source - "The Mighty Brush" (they have great decals, check them out!).

Anyway, it got done, and I'm excited to have this beast on the collection shelf. 

Sokar Pattern Stormbird in the Horus Heresy Game

A Sons of Horus delegation organizes their thoughts after disembarking...

While this is primarily a collector's piece for me, it can, of course, be used in a game. There are rules for the Sokar Pattern Stormbird and as you might expect, it's a pretty terrifying asset in the Horus Heresy game. Armed with a battery of missiles, three twin-heavy bolters and for twin lascannons, the Stormbird can transport 50 Marines (or a mix of Marines, Dreadnoughts and even a Rhino) to the table in style and comfort - while shooting up anything on the ground that might cause trouble. As an added bonus, the craft has a pair of void shields, which can be expanded to protect the Marines on the ground as they disembark and begin their assault. To add to the fun, it can also coordinate orbital strikes from above as the Marines fan out and move to their objective. Given all of that, you can see how this isn't exactly a model you show up with for a regular 2,000 point game.

The good guys move out! Horus for hope!

That said, I hope to use it once or twice - certainly a scenario where the Stormbird has just landed, and the Marines on board must deploy and seize objectives in the face of enemy resistance would be a lot of fun, and might be something I try and organize around the time that "Horus Heresy" 2.0 finally drops.

Anyways, that's all for now - thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Imperial Army Force Commander

 I've been having fun playing around with the Militia & Cults list for 30k and made an entire army in the form of the Inferallti Hussars. To give the Traitor Legions some cannon fodder valued support, I'm adding some units to my existing 40k Imperial Guard army. I don't need to add much as the two armies use much of the same equipment, but they do have to be slightly reorganized.

First up is the all important Force Commander. This model is from Knightmare Miniatures and pays homage to a piece of Rogue Trader art of Rogue Trader Joff ZUCKERMAN "Hero of the Kynblax Genicide." You know it's Grim Dark when genocide can be considered "heroic." 


This model won't be representing old Joff, but I'm sure he's a suitably nasty character in his own right. He fits well in the traitor force as he's already displaying a desiccated head! Unfortunately, he's wearing power armor without a helmut, but maybe that head band contains a refractor field or something. He also has a tattered rag wrapped around him which I painted up the same color as the guard army uniform. I figure he wrapped his original uniform around his power armor as a show of solidarity with his men...or maybe he's just nuts.

 Last up is a goofy conversion of an earthshaker cannon. The Militia & Cults list doesn't allow Basilisk tanks (those are for the Legions), but they can have the immobilized gun. I had the gun in my bits box (thanks to another conversion for an ork army that never got off the ground) and mounted it on a small chassis I was able to cobble together. It's a bit rough, but I think it helps represent how poorly equipped the militia were compared to the legions during the Horus Heresy.

The last thing I'm going to add are some Grenadiers to represent the Force Commanders elite guard. Hopefully I should have those done in a few weeks.

Thanks for visiting.