BFG Admech Spear Prow Part II

Posted by Mangozac on June 28, 2011

Just a quick update for tonight: I’ve finished the first variant of the spear prow. This is the torpedo tube version: the starboard side has three tubes aligned vertically while the port side is adorned with an array of sensors and scanners as one would expect to find on an vessel of the machine god.

Next up will be a lance version, although I haven’t quite worked out how to execute it! On second thoughts maybe the Nova Cannon variant will be easier…

Tau Markerlight Counter

Posted by Mangozac on June 22, 2011

My mate Seb made a comment today that reminded me of this little project I did a few years ago. I did post pictures on ATT at the time but the image host has long since disappeared. I couldn’t find any pictures on my hard drive either, so for longevity I decided to take some new pics and document this little project.

I designed this back when I was playing a fair bit of 40k. It’s fun to use counters to represent hits from a Markerlight (like a laser target designator the Tau have), and I took the concept way too far with a marker that contains a little LED that flashes. Although I’ve got the parts and everything to make 5 of them, I only ever got around to making the one :(

Without further ado, here’s some pics:

As you can see, I had to increase the height of the base by a couple of mm to fit the electronics and battery underneath. Ignore my dodgy styrene work – this was before my days as a famous scratchbuilder 😉

The circuit design is pretty simple, but in order to maximise the life of the battery I designed a circuit with a tiny microcontroller (a PIC10F series for those in the know). Upon powerup the microcontroller flashes the LED in sequence three times every few seconds. It continues doing this for 5 minutes, after which it shuts down and enters sleep mode, drawing next to no power. It remains in sleep mode until it is woken up again by pressing the button.

Not much else to add about this one. Enjoy!

Materials: Tamiya Putty (Basic Type)

Posted by Mangozac on June 19, 2011

A few months ago I discovered that my local hobby shop was stocking a larger range of Tamiya products than it had in the past. One of these new products was the Tamiya Basic Type Modelling Putty:

This kind of putty serves a very specific purpose in the world of modelling and scratchbuilding: gap filling with a very fast curing time. You see traditionally many modellers with a wargaming background would just use Greenstuff, Milliput (my preference) or many of the other similar products available when a gap or seem needs to be filled. The problem with using such two-part putties is that they require quite a long curing time (at least 12+ hours) to get to the point where they can be further sanded or worked with. When filling very small gaps this curing time can really destroy productivity.

Enter the single part putty.

Single part putties are essentially really thick primer (think the consistency of toothpaste) that comes in a tube. They are generally lacquer based and from the moment you squeeze a portion out of the tube it begins to set quite rapidly as the lacquer evaporates. So fast, in fact, that the work time is likely to be as little as 15 seconds – enough to quickly and roughly apply the putty to the model with a sculpting tool. 15 minutes to 1 hour later (depending on the thickness applied) the putty will be fully cured and you can then continue on with the model.

Because of the relative messiness of the putty application it’s best used in applications such as filling small gaps such as along seams on larger kits (i.e. vehicles), or between joined styrene sheets when scratchbuilding. Once it’s cured you generally need to sand the seam smooth to clean it up. Unless you can apply with superhuman speed and dexterity so that there’s nothing to clean up!

Remember too that being lacquer based it can eat into the styrene a little. This generally isn’t a problem as it will fill the etched surface once it sets.

These two pictures show how the putty has been used to fill the gaps between the base prow shape and the added styrene edges:

Before using the Tamiya Putty I had been using some automotive spot putty (i.e. Bondo, but mine was a generic brand) for the same purpose and honestly it’s about the same in terms of performance. Both seem to have about the same curing time. I know it’s an ignorant way to think but I feel a preference for the Tamiya putty purely because it’s intended for modelling. The tube of Tamiya is cheaper than the spot putty, but it’s also a much smaller tube so economy wise the spot putty is better. Both types have a pretty strong smell though – if you have smelled lacquer thinner you’ll know what I’m talking about!

When you get adventurous you can also do advanced techniques with the spot putty, like creating a cast iron texture!

That’s all for now! Enjoy!

BFG Admech Spear Prow

Posted by Mangozac on June 15, 2011

To say that I’m not a fan of the stock Adeptus Mechanicus prow design would be an understatement. My mate Zelnik feels the same way and he somehow managed to talk me into doing up a new prow design that we could use on our Admech cruisers. I figured I’d do it to suit the plastic Imperial cruiser also so I could further spice up my fleet.

I also decided that this would be a good opportunity to document the process for use in an upcoming Warp Rift article. I’ll share a couple of pictures here but the rest (and a worded description of the process) will have to wait until the next Warp Rift issue.

I’m about two thirds of the way through the project at the moment. The prow weapons will be mounting asymmetrically into a big hole scalloped out of one side of the prow. Since I wanted to do a couple of variants and not risk damage to the original part, I decided the best idea was to cast the blank prow and then do the mods to the casts. I’ve just done a couple of casts so the next step is to start doing the mods. All will feature a lot of antennae and sensor masts pointing forward (again only on one side to maintain asymmetry).

Warp Rift Magazine Issue 32

Posted by Mangozac on June 10, 2011

Well once again Vaaish asked me to write up an article for the Warp Rift BFG magazine, this time detailing the construction of the Blackship commission I did late last year. You can check it out here.

I’ve got more BFG projects in the works, and I plan on documenting some of them properly for the next article!