Saturday, 25 February 2012

Current Projects

The auto cannon turret
 As of today, I'm STILL waiting for my latest GW order which seems to have been lost in the warp, so no shiny Ratling snipers to post up I'm afraid.  To procrastinate for a few more days, I'll share some of the other projects I've been working on over the last week.

Firstly, after playing a bit of Company of Heroes, I was pleasantly astounded by the performance of my Ostwind Flakpanzer tanks in the anti-infantry role (including wiping out a platoon of Rangers in a matter of minutes).

So I set about trying to replicate this success on the 40K battlefield.  A cursory look through my bitz box showed I had most of the necessary components for at least a turret, if not the rest of the tank.



So, it began (as these projects so often do) with some idle - or as I call it, 'dry' - tinkering without any glue.  I did try just putting a pair of autocannons into a Leman Russ turret, a la Exterminator, but I wasn't happy.

Interior detail, with the Green Stuff shell casings
Apart from being mind-bendingly unoriginal, the Leman Russ chassis represented a direction I wanted to move away from: invincible, 14-armour tanks that can annihilate squads of infantry and still shrug off most lascannon fire; an uber-tank.  I liked the fact on the game, that the Ostwind needed a certain amount of TLC, with a squad of engineers to keep it repaired and some grenadiers with panzerschrecks to keep those pesky Shermans off my back.  I wanted a thinking-man's Exterminator, so I decided to go with a Chimera chassis, and an open topped turret.


The best way to achieve this came about with the simple expedient of flattening the top of the turret (filing off the cupola), and flipping it upside down.  Although it looks odd at first, it well-represents the 'hexagonal' turret of the real Ostwind as you can see from the picture.

Rear view, with the closing 'car bonnet' lid
Now, weapons ... I'm lucky in having a good supply of heavy weapons from the old Heavy Weapons Sprues, so a pair of autocannons were no great strain.  A co-ax heavy stubber and a radio completed the internal detail, as well as some shell casings made from a long Green Stuff sausage chopped into 3mm-long sections and scattered inside.  I turned what was the base of the Leman Russ turret into a roof, that folds closed or is held open.  To complete the picture, a PVA + loo paper tarpaulin is strapped onto the side with Green Stuff straps.  You can't really see it because of the white background, but it's on the front right of the turret.  I stuck the whole thing onto a Chimera turret ring, so that I can interchange the turret with a normal Chimera one at will.  Painting to follow soon ...

The original Ostwind; the distinctive turret shape was
something I wanted to keep a hint of without being a
direct rip-off
Next up, some of the late-war SS troopers I've been doing in readiness for a WWII campaign.  Further to my last post (which covered the subject of bases in some detail), I've had a go at some painting.  Results are below for scrutiny.  An adjective my opponent used to describe them was 'inky', which they are.  Rather than build up the layers of paint with different shades, I used one or two colours at most to make a basecoat, using a liberal wash of either Ogryn Flesh, Devlan Mud or the Black Ink to bring out the shading.

This is the first time I've painted historical minis without a black undercoat, and I'm quite pleased with the result.  The colours are much more defined, and it makes you think about what colours you're painting, as you have to make a conscious decision on every last bit of the model to cover up the white.  I find with black that I often get lazy and leave the recesses undercoated black, but I think it's safe to say I'm a convert to white undercoats now.

"This isn't Hyde Park Corner!  The war's
over there!"
Another lesson learned for these is how much better a model looks when you take the flash off properly.  Many modellers will scorn me for my years of carelessness in this regard, as I often didn't bother (due to laziness).  But after spending a lot of time cleaning up these models properly, I can testify it to being well worth the effort.  I learned the hard way.

The verärgertfaust, or 'angry fist' is seen here being
used by a grenadier to fix his troublesome
MP-44.
Well, that's a few of my thoughts on this lovely sunny day (observant readers will notice the better lighting in these pics, thanks to a bit of fang shuei rubbish from a friend who helped me move my living room around, a consequence of which was moving my modelling desk right under the window.

If GW get their rear in gear and deliver my bloody Ratlings on Monday, expect an update on those as well.  For now, TTFN!

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