All posts for the month February, 2011

Get a bag of popcorn.  This is gonna be a big one…

First, a look at the parts involved.  Here’s all the parts roughly laid out in their places.

Since it looks like everything’s there, I started from the bottom and worked my way up.  The two feet pieces have a pair of nubs and holes.  I used them as locators for a pair of pins.  Not quite satisfied yet, I also put a third pin in the back.

Despite all my pinning, there’s still a gap after assembling the two parts.  Oh well, a thick layer of superglue on the bottom takes care of it.

The two torso pieces have a nub and hole each, making it hard to put them together wrong.

Again, some nasty gaps where the small arms join the back.

I tried pins in the nubs, but with the weird angles, they didn’t work out.  Instead, I used the flat sections at the front.  They mate somewhat squarely, so it’s much easier to use pins there.

Once the upper torso was glued, I started figuring out how to get the torso and legs to come together.  Again, lots of pins.  I started with one above where the left leg is.

I put a pin into the hole and cut it about a quarter inch above the pewter.  I then used a “press technique” to see where the mating hole should be.  Basically, you line up the two pieces as best you can, and then press really hard on the exposed pin.  This should create a divot or mark.  That’s your drill location.

I ended up with three pins connecting the torso to the legs.  The drill locations are marked with red dots.

Just like with the legs, I had some large gaps.

You can see straight through the model…

Letting the torso dry, I started on the head.  I glued the jaw to the head without pins.  I just roughed up the surface and was liberal with the glue.  The two pieces had a bit of a snap when they connected, so I felt pins would have been superfluous, plus the angeled surfaces would be a paint to figure out.  Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

A pin into each tusk, and a mating pin hole in the center of each tusk hole was in order.

A bit of glue, and the head’s done.  Again, I was liberal with the glue.

This would look great mounted in a wall…

Next, I glued the head to the body.  Since the head fits into a sort of ring of armor and flesh, I again didn’t feel pins were needed.  The angles suck, and I’m having fun getting superglue everywhere, so why not?

Always with the temper tantrums…

I waited until now to pin him to the base since I wanted to be able to see most of the model to figure out it’s center of balance.  The hands and banner won’t add a ton of weight, but that head and the body determine where most of his weight is.

Since he’s so dang big, I went with two pins per foot.  I also did my best to cut them to the same length.

For positioning on the base, I put the rearmost foot as far back on the base as I could.

This left quite a big space in the front.  If it’s not covered up by his many arms, it’ll be a great spot for a cactus, tumbleweed or other desert paraphernalia.

At this point I broke out the greenstuff.  Small bits were put in where the worst gaps were and using my color shapers, I was able to blend the putty into the folds of skin.

After hitting the gaps with greenstuff, I went and glued on the four hands.  These were fairly simple.  One pin in the middle, and one pin hole in the arm.

Big Hand

Big Arm

Little Hand

Little Arm

The back banner was put on in the exact same way as the Cyclops’.

Lastly, I glued on the shoulder pads.  No pins since the pads are too thin.  Just lots of superglue.

After all the final assembly, I sculpted a bit of wrinkles and scratches into the greenstuff.  Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the finished greenstuffing, but it was fairly easy.  So long as the general shape follows the muscles and it’s not smooth, you’re fine.

Overall, some gorgeous models, but what a pain to out together.  They really do mean it when they say the Battlebox is a preview for the faction’s mentality.  If you can make it through that…

I enjoyed the challenge though.

Not much of a tutorial for this guy.  He’s only three pieces.
Like all my models, I clipped off the tab and filed his feet flat.  One pin into each foot and he’s on his base.  The left arm is pretty straight forward.  A pin into the nub and arm and that’s done.
I think the tricky part if the right arm, the one that crosses his body.  I put a pin into the flat section of the joint:
Then, I put a hole into the middle of the arm bit, aimed straight down the arm.  They meshed fairly easily.  Really look at the geometry of the joint.  It’s a weird one, but once you wrap your head around it, you’ll see the best places for the pin.
So far, that’s a 3 pt army.  That’s a lot of nasty for 3 points!  (Morghoul has 7 warbeast points!)
Up next (and by next I mean tomorrow):  The Titan Gladiator.  It’s going to need green stuff.  I’m so excited.

No I’m not.

So, this time around I’m assembling the second Cyclops Savage.  All the same pins, in all the same places.  This time, however, I put things together in a much smarter order.  Until I realized I’d mixed up right arms.  You see, I got these models second hand.  I disassembled them, stripped them and then put all the parts to make each model in a baggie.  I test fit the arms, but somehow I messed it up.  So, in the middle of working on this second Savage, I realized my mistake.  I tore apart the previous one, had to drill out holes, re-pin a few joints, etc.  It was a mess.

Regardless, as requested, here’s a more detailed walkthrough for pinning a model to its base.

First, I drilled holes in everything:

  • Eight in the body (2 feet, 2 for the banner, 1 for the tabard, head and 2 for the arms)
  • Two in the left arm, three in the right arm (for the spike)
  • Two in the weapon bit
  • Two into the banner
  • One into the head
  • One into the spike
Whew.  Lots of drilling.  But hey, it’s all out of the way now!  After that, I test fit all the pins going into the body. It looked like a pin cushion when everything was done.  Once they had all been trimmed to length, I glued them all in:

At this point, I pinned him to the base.  Be sure to have a long, straight pin in each foot.  They should be pointing directly away from the flat bottom of the foot.  Trim them to the same length.  (See the left picture above as an example).  Position the body over the base and use your best guess to put the center of the body over the middle of the base.  This guy has a sword hanging off the front, but also has a banner off the back.  If it were just the sword, I would suggest moving him back just a bit so the sword’s weight is over the base, but since the banner sort of offsets that, the middle will do.

Press the pins into your basing material so they leave a bit of an impression.  On sand, this can be really hard to see.  A sharpie or pencil helps.  Drill a hole for each pin.  Smother the bottom of the feet with superglue and slide the pins through the holes.  Now, bend them over as close to the base as possible.  You want to use the pins to sort of “clamp” the model to the base.
Some people then put a glob of greenstuff over the pin, other superglue the bent pin to the bottom of the base.  Sometimes I’ll glue the pins to the base, but rarely.
The idea is that in order to pull the model off the base, the pins have to break, the superglue holding the pins into the base fails, or the base breaks.  If any of those happen, someone likely owes you a new model because the broken one probably was pitched across a parking lot…  It’s not coming off.
After attaching it to the base, I put the arms together.  As I said earlier, I accidently swapped left arms between the two savages, so this took a while.  Luckily, there was a new episode of Castle on Hulu.  No complaints!  After the arms, I glued on the head.
All that was then left was the tabard on the back and the banner.  Done!
And there you have it.  Two very mean lesser warbeasts.  I may see about doing something so the difference in the poses is a bit more visible.
A bit of muscle and another pin (I broke the left arm) and I have one guy about to thrust forward and one guy in a high block or downward chop.  Awesome!

Hopefully this will be informative and have a tidbit or two that helps you put together what is regarded as the hardest to put together Battle Box of them all: Skorne.

WARNING:  Read this in its entirety before following the tutorial.  Mistakes were made, and you should be aware of them before assembling your own model!

To start, I’ve covered the slots in my bases with masking tape.  I’m then laying down a very, very thick payer of superglue, and finally tossing it around in my sand mixture (a blend of Woodland Scenics Coarse, medium and fine ballast).

The first thing I did (and should have saved for last) was pin the tabard to the cyclop’s rear.  A single pin works just fine.  I also roughed up the contact surfaces, since there’s just not much for the glue to grab onto.
Next, I worked on the banner.  It has two little cradles, and the banner itself has little round brackets that match up.  Perfect pin locators!  Two holes into his back, two carefully drilled holes into the banner and…

Now, I moved onto the arms.  This is the hardest part in my opinion since there are four joints that have to mesh all at once.  I started with the wrists.  Holes into the existing posts on the arms, and a matching set into the center of the holes on the hands.  I test fit my pins and glued them into the arms.

Then, I moved to the shoulder joints.  Following the same procedure, I drilled my holes, centering on the existing post and holes in order to get them to line up.  This time, after test fitting my pins, I glued them into the torso.

For the assembly, I picked the left arm to start with since it has the deepest pins.  Shallow pins are easier to maneuver into position when things get awkward later on…  I glued the arm to the shoulder, then the weapon to the arm.

Before any of the glue has had a chance to set, I put a drop onto the right shoulder pin and a drop onto the wrist pin.  I then squished the arm onto the shoulder and then maneuvered the wrist pin into place.  After that, I looked at where I had gaps and adjusted things until everything looked snug.

That final adjustment was 50% finesse, 40% brute force and 10% sticking my tongue out while I concentrated.

The only problem now, was that I’d completely blocked my ability to pin the head on.  Doh!  Alas, his head is rather protected by the banner, weapon and shoulders.  I simply scored / roughed up the contact areas and glued it on.

The last bit was the spike on his shoulder.  A nice deep hole into his shoulder and a well angled shallow one into the spike and it’s attached.

Lastly, I put long pins into his feet and pinned him to the sandy base.

 Overall about an hour of work including taking photos.  Things to do next time:
  • Pin the rear tabard on last – I bumped it several times
  • Pin the head but don’t glue it.  Glue on the arms, then glue on the head.
  • Pin his feet to the base earlier so my fat fingers aren’t disrupting everything I’ve already glued
Hope this has been informative!  I’ll be doing a similar writeup for the second cyclops and the titan.  Stay tuned!

Khador BattleBox WIP2

Assembly complete!

The magnetization went well, I like how everything turned out.  Sorscha’s weapon was a bit bent, and instead of trying to mess with bending it, I just did a pole swap.  Some brass rod, and I’m all set!  I need a cap for the bottom end of the stick, but I’ll figure that out later.  Here’s a battlegroup shot:

Not a huge change to anyone’s pose, and the conversions are minor.

When I did the pole swap on Sorscha’s weapon, I left more space between the head and her hand – In my opinion, she’s choking up on the weapon too much.  Not anymore!  It was a pain in the butt, but I was able to re-use the embelishments from the original.  The two discs – those are from the original.

She’s also on three layers of cork to elevate her just a bit.  The ‘jacks are just enormous compared to her, and really, she’s the most important thing on the battlefield – She shouldn’t be dwarfed by the ‘jacks.  Or at least… not too much…

I was able to put a bit of an angle on the Destroyer’s head by putting the magnet off-center.  A simple thing, but it adds more life to the model, which is the point of the conversions.  Also, I drilled out the Bombard barrel.  Not too deep, but enough to give the proper effect.  Drilled barrels add realism and always look good (so long as you get them centered…).

The Juggernaut saw a similar procedure on his feet, but with the other foot this time.  A lively pose is good, and two lively poses is better.  Two identical poses is bad.  Plus, the weapon I want to put emphasis on is different for the two ‘jacks.  The Destroyer is primarily a ranged ‘jack, whereas the Juggernaut is pure melee brutality.

You can see where I put alignment marks on my pieces.  I used sticky tac to play with poses before I settled on what I wanted, then just used a sharpie to put marks on the torso and shoulder, or on the hand and arm.

You’ll notice the hand and arm markings don’t line up.  I changed my mind.  It happens  🙂

Since I was able to get them for free from some generous people, I also have the arms for the Decimator.  They were magnetized also, and look pretty good on the ‘ranged’ torso.  I don’t have a Decimator head, so I just left the Destroyer head on.  It works.

Does the Decimator gun look odd?  It shouldn’t.  It should look correct.  The original gun’s sculpt puts the barrel and shell cylinder out of alignment.  If you look closely, the barrel doesn’t line up with where the shells would be in the revolving cylinder.  Oops!  Using my jeweler’s saw, I sliced off the barrel and the extra thingie attached to it and flipped them 180 degrees.  The result?  Something much more resembling a classic revolver.  It’s not perfect, but it’s leaps and bounds better than the original.

Now.  I bet you;re wondering what the magnets and lines are on top of the ‘jack.  Maybe you’ve already figured it out…  It’s for Torch!

Two magnets keeps them in proper alignment.  I used the same magnets I use for the heads – they were small enough to fit, and with two per smoke launcher, they have enough strength to hold.  Again, I magnetized the head off-center to give his head some life.

And that’s my Khador Battlebox.  My Sorscha didn’t come with a backpack, so that’s already on it’s way.  I’ll work on assembling the Skorne Warpack in the mean time.  Once I have both boxes assembled, I’ll be able to put my construction tools away and keep my work area neat.  Which will keep my wife happy.  Win.