Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial day- no tutorial dern it!

Despite not having a tutorial ready for today (had some pottery glazing to do for the wife and then felt no desire to be cutting things up), I decided to share with you all the images I took of the finished Blight Drones, Rhinos, and Vindicator.

I think I the effects turned out perfectly and love the paint scheme underneath showing through in all the right areas.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rust effects are a go!

A bit of a short post today...

After reading Bigred's post on Bell of Lost Souls covering Sophisticated Finishes easy rust effects, I decided I really wanted to use this in my mostly Nurgle Chaos Space Marine themed army.  However, I would need a test...

I am simply blown away by how fantastic this turned out.  Two coats and a liberal application of the enacting agent and overnight you get fantastic rust effects.

The randomness of the rust and the simply realistic look of it all has me excited to see how this will turn out for the actual models in the army (yes, I have more than a couple scratch built blight drones... 9 to be exact).

I decided on the 4 oz. bottles since I would be covering a large portion of my army with rust and decay.  Now the only test will be if I can keep the iron focused enough to give diversity to the model without it becoming overwhelming!

I'll be spending all day applying this to my 2k point Chaos Space Marine army.  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The hardest scratch build projects- annoying curves

Ask any scratch builder what the most difficult piece to replicate is and without a doubt they will bemoan the curved edges in the xenos vehicles of 40k, specifically the Tau and the Eldar.  I myself have made an attempt on a few occasions to replicate the vehicles of the Eldar in order to save cash in this wondrous hobby of ours.

Behold, my only Eldar model success to date (sorta).

I can hear what you are saying in your minds; "Krisken, there is no way that is finished!"  This is absolutely true.  There is a ton of work to do on this piece, especially the base, but I think it shows what a little dedication and hard work can accomplish if you put your mind to it.  The toes, legs, arms, and gun barrels are all made out of resin, which was poured into molds made using Instant Mold (which I got from here).  The shoulder pads, waist and chest pieces are all using plasticard For Sale signs.  The fins in the back are card stock pieces cut to an appropriate size.

 Much of the model isn't perfect, though.  There are places I wish I had been more exacting.  The head was constructed first to resemble the actual Revenant Titan head, but I soon realized how my poor sculpting ability wasn't going to hold up vs scrutiny.  Instead, I decided I would attempt to emulate the Wraith Guard and Wraith Lord heads of old, focusing on the Iyanden style that appealed to me early in the first place.

And that, as they say, is that.  Unfortunately, since curves are so hard to replicate and give proper instructions for a model as subjective as this (and this involved a lot of sanding of a toxic substance- wear breath masks when doing so, folks!), there won't be a tutorial on this model.  It's just too complex and cumbersome to try to give precise instructions.  Don't let that stop you from trying, though!  It's our failures that drive us to excel and improve upon the designs of old.

I look forward to beginning the Dreadclaw instruction post on Monday.  Have a pleasant weekend folks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Modeling for the week

Welcome back hobby enthusiasts!  Since creating new instructions tends to be time consuming and very involved, I decided this week will be a hobby week, where I go over what I'm doing and share with my readers my thought process in my choices.

Currently I am priming and painting the Vindicator I had previously made and the two Rhinos I built the past few weeks for this list.  As you can see, I am sticking with a simple paint scheme right now until the rust effects kit shows up (which I ordered this week).  The rust will be the brown and oranges which will help to diversify the color of the army.

After these elements are ready, I need to paint an old Space Marine Chaplain model I had lying around and converted to be a Chaos Sorcerer.  As you can see I have added a couple bits to his hand and chest while giving him the staff from the Chaos Terminator Lord model.  I also have a back pack as well, but I have found it is much easier to paint the model first before adding accessories which can get in the way of a paint brush!

 After this is completed I plan to add the rust effects to the home made Blight Drones I built quite a while ago.  For those who are unfamiliar with the model, a Blight Drone is a fast attack choice made available in the Imperial Armory books.
The rest of the army includes Plague Marines, Terminator squads, another Chaos Sorcerer, and 4 Obliterators I created using the Chaos Daemon Prince model and a lot of green stuff.  Still have a lot of painting to go on those as well!
This is the core of my Chaos Space Marine army that is a work in progress.  I'm working very hard to keep the budget on this very reasonable and may have to attempt some trades to get the rest of the pieces I need to finish the army up.  Wish me luck!

I'm curious what projects, if any, my readers are currently involved in.  Let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Troop Transport part 6, final

Well, this is the last one!  We've reached the final steps to make a fairly easy to build Transport which will serve your troops well.

Scrap Warhammer sprue materials
For Sale Signs
Warhammer bits (twin linked bolter, hatches

Super glue
Straight metal ruler
Hobby knife
Hand drill

We begin by gathering all those left over Warhammer sprues we have lying around which have been amassing from all the troops we have purchased over the years.  Cut 4 pieces which are roughly 1" long.  At a diagonal angle, cut so that the bottom is sloped so the narrow side is shorter than the wider side.  Using the hand drill, make two indents 3/16" and 3/8" from the top of the piece.  Choose a place on both sides of the plastic which is between those two holes and drill there as well.  Now drill a hole 3/16" down from both of those holes.  they will look like the image provided.

Using super glue attach the pipes to the outsides of the tank as it appears in the image.

Taking the left over hatch bits, glue these to the top circles placed on the top of the Rhino.

Using the For Sale sign and this template cut two pieces out to make the doors which go on the side of the tank.  Score the center line but there is no need to cut all the way through the plastic- it is there simply for aesthetic purposes.

Cut a rectangular piece for each side of the door.  Glue these pieces onto the door frame, then carefully drill two holes, one above the other, on either side of the door.  Place a pin in each hole and secure it using glue.

Now your tank is ready for priming and painting!  Good luck with it on the battlefield!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On Games Workshop and their newest self-destructive policies

As some of you readers may know, Games Workshop has a history of shooting itself in the foot.  Years ago they would require enormous orders from small stores, blaming them if they were unable to order thousands of dollars in product each month (I know, I dealt with these reps on a weekly basis).  Then, the internet began to flourish and GW decided that anyone selling product cheaper than the suggested retail price would no longer be able to buy from them, essentially shut out of their product.  Today, in classic Games Workshop fashion, they have taken it one step further.

Kirby of the popular (much more popular than this tiny little place) blog 3++ is the new black

To Games Workshop,

Why? No seriously, why? I'm sure the excuse of cutting off Australasia and other countries (Canada, India, Korea, South American countries, etc.) to benefit the independent and GW store sales in Australia sounded good but unless you cut the prices here to not be a ridiculous 200% higher price than overseas, it's not going to happen. Let's look at this logically. You've stopped us from buying from stores like Maelstrom and Wayland with an embargo agreement in your Terms and Conditions (remember globalisation? how's that going btw?). Does this mean we are going to now buy at RRP in Australia or other countries? No.

There are other outlets overseas we can buy from which are still much cheaper (hi America), other companies which you cannot touch without raising a helluva lot of crap (hi eBay) and people who are willing to ship to us overseas (hello family and friends) without the 200% tax. We won't be getting as huge a discount as before but it's much better than buying here at RRP. The other option is of course going to be quitting which I imagine some people are going to do. Check out this thread on WargamerAU where a lot of people are indicating they are. The ultimate bottom line? Your bottom line suffers (more people leaving) and the retailers in Australia do not benefit.

Now I'm all for one in supporting the locals. I buy all my products such as spray paint, paints, plasticard, magnets, drills + bits, modelling putty, brushes, etc. from Australia. As an aside, do you actually stock good quality merchandise for all of those options? I don't see you selling plasticard, magnets, good sized drillbits, custom bases, etc. I'd be happy to pay a 5-10% premium on these objects compared to other stores to support your business but then again, I don't really want to support your business currently do I? The point of any business is to make a profit but the problem with your business model is you do not do this whilst concurrently supporting your customer base. We don't ask for much but a short list would look like...
  • not raising prices every year, without fail, regardless of the economic situation or inflation rates
  • basing prices around the world upon exchange rates (I wouldn't be averse to paying 20% more in Australia compared to the UK or America locally but I am adverse to paying twice as much) - there are circumstances in each country that make operating there more or less expensive but you need a base retail price for your product which is then translated by exchange rates at a given time (i.e. quarterly) rather than a price set many, many years ago. It's part of being in a global market.
  • regular and quick FAQs - you've done a fantastic job IMO of creating some pretty balanced books for 5th edition, fix the grey areas quickly.
  • official erratas - man up and admit you've made mistakes (hi Tyranids) and work on erratas that are official and re-print the books with these amendments. Admitting a mistake and fixing it isn't a problem and I'd applaud you for it. Ignoring a problem is.
  • fix Fantasy - you did it with 40k, why go backwards with Fantasy?
  • don't think your customer base is moronic - the resin re-cast to be cheaper than metals whilst hiking prices, not fooling anyone.
Ultimately people in Australia and other countries go overseas for their Games Workshop products for a reason: it's significantly cheaper (I.e. half price). What motivation is there to therefore buy from our locals when you aren't treating your customers with loyalty and support? People will walk away and your bottom line will hurt. A simple solution: care about your customers. Change the Australian (and other countries) prices so they are at least similar to the UK and US. This doesn't have to be the exact same price but some parity would be greatly appreciated.

Here's a quick example. If you could buy a similar product for $45 compared to $150, what would you do? How about if the product was the exact same but if you ordered it overseas it was $80 compared to $150 by the time it reached your door step? I'm pretty sure you'd want to take the cheaper option correct? For you as a company, you make your profit margin through the reseller regardless of where it is purchased. You may make more money off a direct sale at an Australian store compared to an Internet sale from the UK but you have already achieved the profit margin from the Internet sale already. The Australian stores may be hurting but this is down to the initial price you have set, not market trends. Simply put, you are alienating customers from a large and developing market.

I and many of the readers here obviously enjoy your game. We've played it through thick and thin (4th edition...) or come back thanks to an improvement game balance (5th edition) and don't want to leave. We will though sooner or later if you keep piling on idiotic choices on us. Other companies like Privateer Press did very well in the early to mid-2000s for a reason and people will migrate to other gaming systems if you continue to mistreat them and their loyalty.

As it stands I question why you do the things you do. Raising prices every year annoys me but I cannot complain too loudly as your products are a luxury item but you do not provide excellent customer service one usually expects with such goods. I certainly find minimal fault with your staff or when your product is damaged/faulty but your overarching business model seems counter-intuitive to maintaining a customer base. Even if you are getting a large amount of new customers imagine how much better off your company would be if you had maintained a significant portion of your repeat customers. The model you are running currently to me does not seem sustainable as your turnover rate in customers is just too high. I applaud your efforts in making 40k 5th edition a more competitive game but what you've done to Fantasy 8th edition doesn't bode well for the future.

Please, look to satisfy both the shareholders and the customer rather than just the former.


P.S. Anyone who agrees with this, I would greatly appreciate this being re-posted on your blog so we might actually garner GW's attention and hopefully move forward together. That is the ultimate goal, I want Games Workshop to succeed as a company so I can continue to enjoy the gaming systems I do but to do that, Games Workshop must look at altering their business model in the long run to maintain a steady customer base.

Personally, I find it fascinating that any company in this day, facing concerns about revenue income, would essentially price out entire continents in such a fashion.  Canadian and Australian gamers have been paying obscene amounts of money for their products, even when their monetary values are essentially the same or even stronger than the Dollar.

Very disappointing, GW.  This site is already dedicated to trying to make playing this game more reasonably priced for those who choose to do so.  This action by GW will only drive players away from them to look for better priced games.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Tie!

Well, that went differently than I anticipated!  We have a tie in our poll on what will be the next project here at Scratchbuilt 40K between the Chaos Space Marine Drop Pod and the Space Marine Dreadnought.  Voting closes again in 1 week, so be sure to vote and help break this tie!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Troop Transport part 5

We’re getting awful close to finishing this tutorial!  On to part 5…

For Sale Sign
Stick pins

Hot glue gun
Hobby Knife
Cutting mat
Sand paper
Hand drill
Scotch tape

Now we’re going to work on the hatch which goes on the top of the tank.  Cut a piece out of the For Sale Sign which is 2 ¼” by 2 ½”.  Use the template provided here to complete the door hatch.  Glue the pieces slightly separated to give the appearance it can be opened on the top of the Transport.

Cut the template for the exhaust ports out and cut 4 pieces out of the For Sale sign.  Be careful not to bend the plastic so far as the pieces come apart.  After cutting them out, use scotch tape to keep the form.   Use hot glue the inside crevices.  After these 4 are cooled, remove the tape and hot glue the exhaust ports on either side of the tank as it appears in the image.

Very carefully sand all the edges of the tank.  This will remove much of the scratch built look and lend a natural smoothness to the model.

After this is completed, drill holes tiny holes in all the areas you want rivets to appear.  Anywhere the pins appear to be too long the pin will need to be cut using a wire cutter.  If the pin is loose fitting, be sure to glue it into place.

With that, we complete the 5th piece of the tutorial.  Our tank is nearly complete and only requires a couple more details before it is ready to prime and paint!

Monday, May 9, 2011

New post delay

A new post may not be up until tomorrow instead of today.  I could come up with a thousand reasons why, but it all boils down to me being a lazy bugger.

Remember, voting for my new project will close in a couple days, so don't forget to vote!  The Chaos Drop Pod is narrowly leading the Space Marine Dreadnought, so who knows what a few surprise votes could do!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Troop Transport part 4

Part four will consist of beginning the detail work on the Troop Transport.

For Sale Sign

Hobby knife
Self healing cutting board
Metal ruler
White glue (Elmer’s, etc)
Hot glue gun

Print out this template and use it to make 2 wheel rim detail pieces out of the For Sale sign material.  This will help to give depth to the Transportchassis.  After cutting the two pieces out, fit them to either side of the Transportby spreading the white glue from one end to the other.  Be sure not to overdo the glue.

Along the top-front angle and top-back angle of the wheel rim, cut and place pieces of the For Sale sign material to create the raised area as seen in the images.  There will be a total of 8 pieces which need to be made for this purpose.

Now cut a piece of the sign to make a rectangle that is 2 ½” by 1 ½”.  Score the piece between the 1” and ½” mark.  We now have the beginnings of our viewport.

Cut another strip that is ½” by 2 ½”.  Design the piece so that it resembles the piece in the picture below.  Glue it below the viewport just as it appears in the image below.

That pretty much covers this week.  On Monday we will start to finish up some of the detail work such as the hatch for the top of the Transport, exhaust ports, and finishing up the viewports.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some scratch built stuff...

Hey all.  I don't have a tutorial post ready for the day, so I figured I'd focus on a scratch built unit I've created in the past and share it with the lot of you!

This is my Skull Tower of Khorne.  As you can see, I used a lot of bits from various tanks and made great use of the much loved For Sale signs.

The hardest bit was the patches of skulls you see all over the tank.  I did this by using some GW skulls and chopping the back of the skulls off.  I then glued them in a pattern onto a plastic piece and then made a rubber mold of it.  By the end I made 36 patches of skulls!

The front gun is magnetized for ease of transport.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Troop Transport part 3

Picking up from where we left off, the hull, we’ll be covering the wheel rim covers, wheels, and tank treads.

For Sale Signs
Black cheap acrylic paint

Paint brush
Hobby Knife
Self healing cutting board
Metal ruler
Circle cutter capable of ¾” diameter

Again we will be using our For Sale signs as building materials.  We will begin by measuring the width of the Rhino’s wheel rims.  Using your straight edge, cut a long strip to the width you measured.  Cover the front, front angle, top, back angle, and back portions of the wheel rim.  Duplicate this for the other wheel rim.

Now take a small scrap piece and cover the area on each side which is still exposed.  Trim away any excess after the glue has cooled.

To create the wheels, I use a circle cutter which creates ¾” diameter circles cut from the card stock used earlier.  Double these up and glue them together.  In all you will be cutting 28 card stock circles.

Now before putting the wheels on the Transport, grab your paint brush and paint the wheel wells and the bottoms of the expose Styrofoam.  The reason we do this is once the wheels are glued in, it will be very hard to get a paint brush in those areas and any exposed Styrofoam which isn’t properly painted over will get eaten away by any spray primer you use.  Do this a couple times to ensure a good coat and exposed areas are protected.

After that is finished, glue your wheels at each exposed slanted edge in the front and the back.  Then evenly space the remaining 5 wheel rims, exposing roughly ½ of the wheel.  After the glue is dry, again grab your paint brush and paint the wheels a couple times.

Now we can create the Transport treads.  Measure the width of the openings above the slanted wheels.  This will determine how wide your tank treads will be.  We’ll be cutting 2 strips at that width roughly 8” long.  For mine the opening was 3/8”.  After the piece is cut measure a section which is equal to 3 7/8” in the center of the strip.  Mark the edges of this and then mark 1” on either side.  Continue to mark at 3/16” intervals until you reach the end of the piece on both sides.  These points will mark where we will be bending the track to fit with the wheels on the Transport.

Lightly score between these points with the hobby knife across the 3/8” width every 3/16” or so to create the illusion of individual treads.  Gently bend at the places we marked earlier and glue the tank treads into place.  Be careful or the treads will pull apart!  Since we scored it, the treads should wrap around the outer wheels very easily as seen in the image.

Well, that’s all for today.  Wednesday will see the side, front, and top detail plates.  Afterward we will tackle the exhaust ports on the side and the escape hatches.  Again, any questions or concerns are welcomed.