Saturday, December 3, 2011

HUGE Hobby Progress Update and WTF have I been doing for the last month.

This pic makes me want to facepalm so hard but I can't keep myself from laughing at this every time I see it.  And now you will too.  No need to thank me.
  Found here.

Hey everybody, Chaosheade here back from another little blogging hiatus with a status update on what I've been up to that's sooo much more important than this little corner of the internet.  (If you don't care about this and just want to get to the hobby update, just skip to the break.)  I mentioned in the previous post that I've been getting a ton of modeling done and I've gotten even more done since then, but the main reason I've been out of touch with the blog-o-sphere is work.  I deliver newspapers for a living and they get pretty crazy around this time of year, especially on Thanksgiving, so work has been pretty stressful lately.  To help combat the extra stress I've been taking refuge in Skyrim which, admittedly, has also eaten up some of my potential hobby/blogging time but work remains the #1 contributing factor.  I have been enjoying the game immensely and IMO it's the best Elder Scrolls game yet.  I won't nerd out too much on the blog and go on about how awesome my lvl 52 character is and all the stuff he's got, but if you want to chat about the game feel free to email me.

Enough about that, I have lots of great stuff to share with you so sit back and enjoy the show after the break.

I think the last time I did a proper progress update all I had was 10 termagants, a couple genestealers, and a few hormagaunts that I threw together to test paint schemes on.  I've shared a few things since then like my spore pods and kitbashed zoanthropes but I've been up to a lot more than just those few things and my army is really starting to take shape.  Let's go over what I've gotten done so far.


Previously I had 10 termagants built with the weapon arms built.  I now have another 10 bodies put together.  They are cleaned up and I took off the mold lines are missing their weapons.  I went crazy with my heat gun one day and made all their tails curly so they are not all sticking straight out.  I did this with all the models in my army that have tails with varying degrees of success as you will see in the next pic.


I built 16 more termagants, bringing the total up to 20.  These need to have the mold lines removed and after trying it out on one model I decided to leave the talons off until I am done cleaning the models up.  It's just way too much of a pain to try to get the mold lines off with the talons glued on.  I also did a little tail curling on these guys and learned the hard way that it is MUCH easier to do that before you glue the 2 halves of the body together because the feet will get in the way while trying to heat up the tail.  As you can see many of these tails are only curled at the very tip unlike the termagants.

All your genes are belong to us.

I got my 14 remaining genestealers built.  2 are de-mold-lined and 4 more are partially cleaned up.  All of them need arms.  I am looking at getting some old school genestealers fairly cheap soon.  These are the only models that I have so far with no conversions.  They don't have tails to curl and I can't think of anything else that I could really do to make them unique.

Boneswords.  Cost: $0.  Awesome.

And here are my 6 warriors.  As you can see I made enough custom built boneswords for each warrior to dual wield them.  All the arm sockets on the warriors are magnetized for weapon swaps and 2 sets of boneswords are magnetized as well.  I am working on the other 4 sets as well as 6 deathspitters and 2 barbed stranglers.  Lash whips to come some time in the future... probably...

If at first you don't succeed try, try-a-gon. *rimshot*

The new kid on the block in the current codex and something that makes M4X tremble with fear.  The arms are magnetized so I can remove them for transportation/storage, the chest plate is magnetized so I can give him adrenal glands, and the mandibles are magnetized so I can make him a Trygon Prime.  No option for a mawloc on this one.  I don't see myself using mawlocs any time soon and I kind of stole a bunch of the mawloc bits for a conversion that you will see later on in this post.

Triple Zoanthropes.

My first 3 Zoanthropes. The outside ones are the 2nd and 3rd ones I built using the improved method and the middle one is the first one I built. It has been modified to match the newer zoanthropes and just needs the brains sculpted to be complete.


And now my (very close) second favorite model in the army, a counts as Doom of Malan'Tai conversion.  I used The Red Terror (eBay purchase) as a base with some Mawloc head parts for, well, the head.  I got the idea for using The Red Terror from this thread and also drew some inspiration from this post as well.  I just need to sculpt the brains and add the claws.  I already have the claws made from some extra trygon mandibles cut to 3 different lengths but I'm waiting until the brain is sculpted to glue them on because the model will be much easier to handle without them poking me.

And finally the big man on campus, Mr. Hive Tyrant Balor of the Evil Eye.

And now for the piece de resistance of my army, my winged Hive Tyrant. The arm sockets are magnetized for weapon swaps and the wings are attached via a magnet and 2 pins. I will most likely be running either 2x twin linked devourers for lots of dakka or 2x scything talons if I find that chasing down and killing tanks is more important, or if I just can't spare the extra 30 points on an already over costed model.  Instead of sticking the wings in the arm sockets like I see a lot of people doing, I chose to trim off the front 2 vent things and add the wings on to the armored carapace because I like that look better and I think it makes weapon swaps a lot easier and more WYSYWIG because I won't have to say "oh, the claws on the wings count as scything talons."  The wings are the direct order dragon wings from GW.  I did a lot of work on these shaving off all the scales and replacing the claws on the wings with tyranid bits so they don't seem out of place like the default claws.  The Big claws on the front are from some extra trygon tails and the little claws I chopped off of the small mawloc scything talons.  I need to trim them down a little so they fit better and add some green stuff so they actually look like they are part of the wings.

This is his good side.
Closer view of the front of the model. Keeping with the fluff of Hive Fleet Balor, I gave my tyrant a third eye.  I got the "eye" from the toxin sack looking things from the same trygon tail section that I took the larger wing claws from.  I carved out some space for the eye and will be adding some green stuff so it looks like it's actually part of his body rather than something that's just stuck on there.  I will also do the same thing with the wings so there won't be a big gap in between the wing and the carapace and so it will look like the wings are actually growing from his body.  When adding the green stuff to the base of the wings I will also slightly re-position the wings because they are just a little bit lopsided at the moment.

I love magnets and pins.

And here are the wings detached so you can see how I did it. One magnet in the middle reinforced with 2 pins so it sticks better without rotating around or getting knocked out of place easily. I can pick up the model by either wing and it won't fall apart unless I shake it fairly vigorously.  The model still needs a little cleanup, green stuff, and fine tuning but I am very pleased with how it turned out overall.

And that's what Hive Fleet Balor looks like so far.  I don't know why I didn't even think to post a progress update sooner.  Until the Doom and Hive Tyrant I had only worked with plastic models and now I have had the pleasure of working with both metal and FAILcast figures.  The metal model was a pain to put together and much more difficult to modify than plastic.  Also, as I alluded to in the previous post and on Twitter I had some issues with the Tyrant.  I purchased a tyrant and did a quick once-over inspection but saw only a few air bubbles and imperfections.  It looked like it was in pretty good shape overall.  As I was putting the model together I started noticing more and more bubbles and casting problems that would need to be fixed but nothing that would completely throw me off... until I got to the legs.  One leg had a huge chunk of the calf missing and there was no way I was going to be able to re-sculpt it.  Air bubbles and little bits missing is one thing, re-sculpting a huge chunk of very detailed legs is way out of my league.

It would be more funny if it wasn't so painfully true.  Source

Fortunately, GW is much better at replacing faulty Finecast models than they are at casting them in the first place.  After a short call to customer service I had another tyrant being shipped out to me on Monday and it arrived by Thursday, but the story doesn't end there.  The second Tyrant was also riddled with bad quality and imperfections.  Fortunately, I was able to take the good pieces from each kit and make one complete model with no major defects.  I still had some air bubbles, gaps, etc. but nothing that I couldn't fix pretty easily.  I do have a bonus spare plastic weapons sprue and another full tyrant and even though it has some major issues I can probably find a good use for it somehow.

So that's my massive backlog of Tyranid updates.  That's all I have for today.  I will really try to get that Zoanthrope tutorial up soon like I've been promising for the last couple months *shame* and I'll try to keep the updates coming a lot more regularly when I'm not in the middle of a rabid modeling frenzy.  Now to tackle the massive backlog of almost 600 blog posts that have been accumulating in my RSS reader.  Or maybe I'll do that tomorrow.  All right, I'm done for the day.  Catch you on the flip side.

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