Sunday, December 21, 2014

WIP: Cyber-Hobby USS Michigan (SSBN-727)

Now that I finally have some extra time, I'm sitting down to knock out the Dragon Models USS Maryland (SSBN-738) that will be built as the USS Michigan (SSBN-727). The kit doesn't go together all that well; I've had some issues where the missile deck meets the hull and I ended up having to do some minor surgery just to get it set properly. I'll end up needing to add some filler too. I also wound up gluing the diving planes to the sail and filling the seams because there was a nasty gap where they attached. I'm doing the same with the stern planes as well. This will make them immobile, but it will look much better.

As far as painting the model, submarines aren't known for their complex color schemes, which should make it a rather easy paint job. I had planned on doing the black with Tamiya Flat Black (XF-1) and giving it a slight highlight with German Grey. I was also planning on doing the anti-slip walkways with Tamiya NATO Black (XF-69), maybe with a little Neutral Grey mixed in to lighten it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Showcase: Nurgle Chaos Lord

This is one of my all time favorite sculpts from Games Workshop. I bought this miniature almost two years ago, painted it soon after I brought it home, and it has sat on my shelf without a base since then. I decided to use the sculpted base that came with it because I don't have any square bases. The skin is a complex mix of at least eight colors; even though I wrote them all down in chronological order, I probably couldn't recreate it if I tried. Looking at the finished product, there are some things I could probably touch up but I will most likely leave it as is. I am thoroughly enjoying my commission break, getting the time to finish off these models I have in my backlog has been a real treat. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Showcase: Raptors Master of Relics

Since I have some downtime with commissions because of the holidays, I decided to go through my backlog and find nearly complete models and finish them off. Having recently completed my Cadre Fireblade, I moved on to some of my space marines that were collecting dust. I purchased this Master of Relics the week it was released to compliment my small army of Raptors and because it was my favorite if the space marine masters released with the Apocalypse rule book. I feel that this model fits the Raptors aesthetics pretty well and will look great with the rest of my Raptors in my display cabinet. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Showcase: Tau Cadre Fireblade

I painted this miniature just for fun shortly after it was released (so awhile ago!) and it sat on the shelf unbased until recently. I didn't use that special base that was supplied with the model, instead opting to use a piece of cork painted in a desert theme. Admittedly, the base is the weakest part of the entire miniature. I hurried to get it based before the November meeting of my local IPMS club meeting, as I intended to enter it in the model contest. Unfortunately, it didn't win anything (I did take home a first place in the figures category with a Devastator Centurion and a second place in science fiction category with a Fine Molds X-wing). I don't play Tau so I have no use for this model other than to like nice in my display cabinet.

WIP: Trollbloods Mauler

I have a lull in commissions at the moment, which is actually quite nice as it is the holidays and I can get some personal stuff going. I have two requests for rather large commission that need to respond to, but until then I'd really like to get some more Star Wars models completed. I have a massive stack of various Star Wars models that need to be completed and I still hope to, but in the mean time I found this Trollbloods Mauler I had sitting on my shelf and decided it could use a nice coat of paint:

I used a variety of blues (VGC Turquoise, VGC Electric Blue, P3 Underbelly Blue, with VMA White) for the skin and added some shadows with Secret Weapon Minutes Black Red wash and ground up red and purple artist pastels. I still need to give the model a coat of Future and an oil wash before I move on to the details.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Showcase: Imperial Knight-Titan

Here is an Imperial Knight-Titan I recently completed for a client that is an active duty Marine. It was painted to match a pair of Stormtalons and a Stormraven I completed for the same client. It is painted to match modern military armor with no insignias, embellishments, or other markings and based as requested by the client. He requested subtle battle damage (much like the previous models) so an oil wash and some sponge chipping were used to add a little weathering. I would have liked to do more, but time and the client's vision for the model prohibited that. This model was sent to me partially completed and partially painted, requiring me to strip off as much paint as I could. I'm not sure what it was painted with, but it gave me fits and ended up leaving a rough texture on a few armor pieces. Surprisingly, after repriming and painting it, the rough texture look good on the final product as it more closely resembled what real armor looks like. Also, half of the pieces were missing so the client asked me to track down what I could; I managed to get most of what was needed but I was unable to procure the piece that allows the head to swivel so it was glued in place. There were no instructions supplied either, so luckily my fellow Dakka-ite darefsky was able to hook me with a copy of them, so massive thanks to you!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Showcase: Space Marine Stormraven

This is a space marine Stormraven that I completed for an active duty US Marine. It goes along with a pair of Stormtalons I completed over the summer for the same client and also an Imperial Knight-Titan that I need to photograph. This model was pretty straight forward, the only real issue was the fact that it was partially assembled when I received it so considerable rework had to be done.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Impressions: Bandai 1/72 X-wing

Along with the 1/12 Darth Vader I wrote about previously, Bandai has also released 1/72 scale offerings of the X-wing and TIE/x1 Advanced. Having built both the Fine Molds versions of these models, I was eager to get one built to compare it to the Fine Molds model.

Overall, it's a very nice kit with a couple of cool features and a few "interesting" design choices. The thing I really like is the droid socket behind the cockpit. Unlike the Fine Molds version, a fully assembled astromech droid slides into the socket, instead of just the dome. You remove the butt plate and slide the power generator trench back and out comes the droid. It also comes with two droid bodies so you can build both an R2 and R5 series droid. The detail is really crisp and quite impressive. Also, the S-foils lock together better than the Fine Molds version making it easier to display the craft in a landed position.

As mentioned by other people around the Web, the addition of the red panels is kind of pointless and adds unneeded complexity. The fuselage goes together sort of like a Lego kit with various small pieces plugged into various openings. The finished product looks fine, but I prefer Fine Molds method of keeping the fuselage in two main pieces to eliminate most seam lines. That being said, there are some gaps where a few of the pieces meet and I've had issues with the laser cannons staying on the wingtips, but this will be solved by gluing the kit (which I intend to do). 

Lastly, I took a handful of comparison shots of the two X-wings next to each other:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Showcase: Bandai 1/12 Darth Vader

I managed to get this kit put together yesterday and I must say... Impressive, most impressive. I elected not to use the stickers or decals because I am going to paint this kit. It will require a few gaps to be filled, most of which are hardly noticeable as is. The way the kit is built will make it easy to paint; everything is in easy-to-handle sub-assemblies.

The cape is still my biggest complaint with the kit. There is a small clip that the cape connects to on each shoulder, however, the cape does not want to cooperate with the clip on the left should. I will be the first to admit that it doesn't look that bad on the finished model. I have a few commissions that I am sending away this week and after that I'm going to start getting some paint on this kit.