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Deathskulls Orks Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Ripfist, Skraggit, Stikkit, smoother magnetization, endlessly kitbashing Moonkrumpa

I’ve learned some lessons about drilling, magnetization, and efficient assembly over the past 14 months, and I applied all of them to “Ripfist” Gorg, my second Deff Dread for Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas.

Had I done things this way with “Facepeela,” his build would have gone much more smoothly!

Ripfist the Deff Dread and the two Killa Kans I just finished building, Stikkit (center) and Skraggit (left, about to stomp on an adorable monster snail from the AoS Squig Herd kit)

Drill bullet holes before assembly

Yeah, it works fine afterwards — but doing it first allows me to exert as much force as I like on the piece, while holding it wherever I like, without worrying about breaking an assembled miniature.

Magnetize before assembly, too

Soooo much easier this way! It involves drilling, so the above applies here as well. But working with a single loose piece also means less stuff I might accidentally glue together — and I can clean up the inside of the holes before putting the model together. My first Deff Dread, Facepeela, still has a couple shavings rattling around inside his body.

Ensure cross-compatibility

The whole point of magnetizing my two Deff Dreads (two…so far!) is to enable weapon-swapping one each model, but by matching polarities on both models I can also freely mix and match between them. While building Ripfist, I carefully checked (and re-checked, and re-re-checked, and re-re-re-checked) each magnet against Facepeela and the component of Ripfist that I was magnetizing.

I also paid attention to what went where. So Facepeela has his KMB on the right and Ripfist has his on the left. If I want one of them to have two KMBs, they’re both ready to accept that swap.

Facepeela (painted) and Ripfist’s pieces, ready to check magnet compatibility and get underway (and one of my busiest work area pics to date!)

Trim, clean up, glue

With larger models, I’m in the habit of clipping pieces off the sprue, tidying them up, gluing them, and then starting on the next section while the first section dries. But with the two Killa Kans I just built, I tried clipping 100% of the parts, then sanding/filing 100% of the parts, then gluing the model all at once — and dang, but that’s both easier and more fun!

Ripfist trimmed, sanded, and ready for section-by-section assembly

Moonkrumpa: never actually finished

It’s becoming a bit of a running personal joke that I’m constantly tinkering with Moonkrumpa. This time around the impetus was building the other Warboss in my army, “Bigtoof” Skragga (to get a Morkanaut into my list, I needed two detachments), and this incredible, dynamic sculpt screams Warboss in a way that Moonkrumpa doesn’t.

Even with Moonkrumpa 3.0’s height, banner poles, looted wargear, bulk, and customized base, it isn’t immediately clear at a glance which of the two is my Warlord. Based on an idea I saw on Reddit, I starting tinkering with him again.

Bigtoof (left) and Moonkrumpa (right)

Having done more kitbashing — and a full-fledged conversion — since I first built Moonkrumpa, I’m a bit more confident about it now. My bits box has more stuff in it, too.

This kitbash does mark the first time I’ve significantly altered the silhouette of the original model, and you could certainly argue that I’ve strayed from WYSIWYG wargear by adding a second claw — and I’m not sure how I feel about that! The original Big Mek in Mega Armour mini is bulky, but doesn’t have a huge “wingspan,” whereas — by design — my version sprawls to the top, front, and sides.

It’s not “suddenly, he’s Ghazghkull,” though, and it feels consistent with a rule of thumb I saw on Reddit: Your Warboss should be the largest infantry model in your army. To boot, I can always take the stratagem Da Biggest Boss for 1 CP (making him literally a bigger boss), or give him Super Cybork Body to represent the Killa Kan arm in game terms.

More importantly, it’s a fun kitbash, it brings me joy, and it’s exactly what the Mek leader of a Mek-driven Waaagh! should have going on.

Moonkrumpa 4.0

Now there’s no mistaking who’s in charge here:

Moonkrumpa (left) and Bigtoof (right)

As I was wrapping up this revision and re-kitbash, I looked at the time and realized that I’d been at it for five hours! But I couldn’t have done it all up front, when I first built Moonkrumpa, because I didn’t know as much about Orks, my army, or kitbashing when I started this army. Even though it’s meant more work modifying him after the fact, it’s been a fun process.

Hulking update!

My bonsai tree, Hulking, dropped a few leaves during his first couple of days with me — which Alysia said was probably just because he was adjusting to the new environment. She was right. After a little adjustment period, not only is Hulkling not dead, he seems to be thriving.

A freshly watered Hulkling

I’ve had to prune new shoots several times, and more are always popping up. I’ve got a little routine for where to place him during the day for the right amount of sunshine, including rotating which side faces the window, and he seems quite content.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Converting a looted Taurox Prime into an Ork Trukk, part 2


Part one
covered measurements (Trukk vs. Taurox), most of the cab, the chassis, and the axles and wheels. As before, the foundation of, and inspiration for, this conversion — my first — is the excellent work done by Hobbyistgirl on her Taurox Trukk conversion. I’ve diverged a bit from her build, and I’m diverging from it more in this second post.

This is the final second in a five-post series documenting this Trukk. Assembly started in part one, the color guide is in part three, a few WIP shots are in part four, and the finished product is in part five.

I want my converted Trukk to still look ramshackle (an actual game mechanic that means you can only do so much damage to the vehicle, as it’s so full of holes and gaps already), despite the pristine armored compartment for the driver. That starts with the engine compartment, which I’ve built around the idea that my Meks chopped off the front end of the Taurox and slapped in a big-block engine with a blower.

My finished Taurox Trukk conversion

Let’s get choppin’

First, I shimmed the spot where the engine will sit to make it the right height.

I think this shim is a piece of Trukk chassis
I added the exhaust pipes on the right side of the Trukk engine, but not the left

Then I cut and weathered the Taurox engine compartment panels and glued them in place. I used the Taurox exhaust pipes on both sides; on the left side, they’re intact. I also used the Taurox light on the left side, since I like asymmetry in my Ork stuff.

On the left side, I was able to keep the whole Taurox exhaust assembly

I didn’t notice the cool NOS attachment that’s supposed to go on the left side of the engine until it was too late; I’ve already partially blocked that spot. (No worries, though; I trimmed it a bit and jammed it on there later.)

Right side attached
Top of the engine compartment attached, and now you can’t see inside so there’s less to paint

I covered the unsightly gap, and the shim, with a bit of trimmed-down Trukk scrap.

Corrugated Ork scrap

Then I roughed up the grill from the Taurox and stuck it to the engine, alone with the Trukk bumper (attached exactly as the kit intends, since I left the front of the Trukk chassis intact in part one).

Taurox grill, Trukk bumper

I like the idea of my Orks being like, “Oi, let’s put dis bit back, hurr hurr,” and then sticking the grill back on because it’s funny.

Next I added the bed sides, armor, and roll bars per the Trukk instructions.

Stock Trukk bed parts, assembled per the instructions

DakkaDakka lists the Trukk’s height as 3″, and my converted Trukk is already 3″ high at the roll bars. I wasn’t sure I liked the boarding ramps, so this is a great excused to not use them as they’d make the Trukk much too tall. So instead I chopped them to roughly match the height of the bed sides.

Ork OSHA does not approve of these side panels

Next I added the turret, gunner, and Wreckin’ Ball. This pushed my Trukk up to about 3 1/2″ tall, which doesn’t seem like a huge deal. I forgot to take a photo of that stage, but I built those bits just like the stock Trukk; the Trukk turret is exactly the same diameter as the hole in the Taurox roof.

After that, it was time for greeblies, covering up holes, creating new holes, and weathering the Taurox bits so they don’t look too pretty. I also added a Squig, because I love Squigs and empty truck beds on miniatures look weird, and I stuck a sign with the Ork glyph for “danger” just below him.

Right side of the finished conversion
Front
Left side
Every pickup truck needs an angry dog in the back, right?

This was a really fun conversion, and a good choice for my first. Thanks to Hobbyistgirl’s WIP pics and guide, I had the confidence to give it a shot and a basis for diverging from her build where I wanted to achieve a different effect.

It’s about 1/2″ taller than the stock Trukk, but it’s the same width and length. The silhouette is roughly the same, although the cab is certainly more solid. I tried to make that section look as ramshackle as possible while still being recognizably a Taurox Prime. All in all, I did a pretty good job of hitting all of my initial design goals — not perfect, but I’m digging it.

After a bit of thought, I’m naming this Trukk Da Fancy Wun.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Converting a looted Taurox Prime into an Ork Trukk, part 1

One of the things that drew me to Orks for my second 40k army was the conversion potential — which goes double for the Deathskulls, who are notorious for looting stuff before the battle has even ended. When I was looking for Trukk conversion ideas that I thought I could pull off, I came across two awesome posts by Hobbyistgirl where she converted and then painted up a Trukk built around a looted Taurox.

I’ve dabbled in kitbashing but never done any proper conversion before, so this project was a bit daunting — but also quite exciting. Uncharted waters!

This is the first post in a five-post series documenting this Trukk. Further assembly is in part two, the color guide is in part three, a few WIP shots are in part four, and the finished product is in part five.

Spoiler alert: this photo is from the end of part one

Gits love maffs

Grab a shaker of salt for this bit, because holding pieces in place to measure things isn’t the most exact science, and I’m not building a stock Trukk and Taurox just to have them on hand for easy measurements. That said, my measurements/notes for the salient dimensions are as follows:

  • Length:
    • Trukk maximum (ram in place) is 6 1/8″, but the ram is optional so 5 3/8″ is also a legal size
    • Taurox with bumper but without rear door (which I know I wouldn’t be using) is 4 1/4″
  • Width:
    • Trukk measured at the widest point on the side armor plates is 3 1/8″
    • Taurox at the rear bumpers (skipping the tread units because I know I won’t be using the rear ones) is 2 5/8″
  • Height from bottom of wheel/tread to top of chassis:
    • They’re damn near identical at the highest point in the rear, so I didn’t measure

The beauty of Hobbyistgirl’s conversion is that she neatly solves two problems at once: Since the Taurox is too short, lengthen it with the Trukk bed; and since it’s too narrow, widen it by including the stock Trukk bed’s side armor. The height difference is negligible, so that’s not a problem.

I want an Ork instead of a turret, so my Trukk will be about 1/2″-3/4″ higher — in the cab area only — than a stock Trukk. The tallest parts of the stock Trukk are the roll bars and raised boarding ramps, and those will still be about the same height as usual.

As always, my goal is to do nothing that could be considered modeling for advantage. My aim is to preserve the dimensions and silhouette of the Trukk as closely as possible, and if in doubt to err on making it too large (which is a disadvantage, as it’s harder to fit behind cover).

Commence flailing about

It took me a surprisingly long time to actually glue two things together and start this project, because one significant screw-up could mean wasting two costly model kits on a failed project. I did a ton of noodling, test-fitting, measuring, and fiddling before putting glue to plastic.

When I did start, though, I started with what I knew and loved about the foundation of Hobbyistgirl’s conversion: the Taurox cab.

Taurox cab and chassis plus Trukk bed

I cut the sides of the cab at the same point she did, and then I roughed them up a bit so it would look like the Orks had done a crude chop job. I left the engine housing off because I’m doing it differently than she did; that step comes later.

I used the same two Trukk bed pieces she did to seal the open back of the cab (I have no interest in painting the interior), and snipped what I suspect is the same chunk out of the top one so I could “slot” the Taurox roof right into it. The bottom one needed a bit of shaving to sit flush. (Later on, I’ll cover the gaping holes with Ork scrap.)

Trukk bed pieces, with the top one modified to accommodate the Taurox roof
Top view showing how the Taurox roof slots into the Trukk bed

I played with tons of ways to attach the wheels, and ultimately decided that I didn’t like the idea of this fairly heavy kit being held on by tiny contact points on the chassis. So I settled on combing the chassis from both vehicles.

By cutting the Trukk chassis in half, removing most of the lateral supports from the center, and then flipping the Trukk axles upside down, I got the height and amount of glue contact I wanted. Mind you, this Trukk now has the ground clearance of an overladen minivan…but then again, 1) it’s Orks, 2) it just has to look right, and 3) Orks have a unit that’s a teleporting dragster with basically zero ground clearance. It’s fine.

I started by filling the gap between Trukk bed and Taurox chassis with a couple of Taurox bits I’d trimmed off earlier.

Does it look like crap? Yes, indeed it does

Then I added shims of scrap plastic (center supports from the Trukk chassis) where the rear portion of the Trukk chassis was going to go.

I circled the bits of shim that I added to the chassis

Next I glued on the chassis, then the axles (upside down, relative to how the Trukk kit wants them used).

Shimmed rear portion of Trukk chassis with Trukk axles flipped upside down

For now, the wheels are just friction-fit; I’ll glue them on later so I can position them correctly — because, unsurprisingly, with all the shit they have bolted onto them they’re not uniformly round.

I wanted to keep the oil drum, and it fits, so I glued the front Trukk chassis in place with that bit intact. (I also left the front ends untouched, in case they’re helpful in mounting the bumper later on.) Then I dropped in the front axle, picking the orientation that made it level with the rear wheels (even though the mechanics of this piece now make no sense in the real world).

I had to shave the boxed area with my hobby knife to get it to sit snugly around the protrusion on the Taurox chassis

I set it down to make sure all six wheels touched the level countertop, and that the Trukk itself was reasonably level (it’s not perfect).

We’ve come full circle

I wanted zero chance I’d break anything off while fiddling with my next steps, so at this point I let the undercarriage dry and cure overnight.

Next up is the front end, which I’ll be building around the big-block Trukk engine. The bed will be framed out per the Trukk kit, and I’ve already test-fitted the Ork gunner, his pintle mount, and the Wreckin’ Ball, so that should be pretty straightforward as well.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

WIP it good: Moonkrumpa’s third iteration, first time magnetizing a miniature

Even though I built Moonkrumpa on November 16, I held off priming him because I couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed a bit more…something. That proved prescient, as I kitbashed him to good effect in December — but he still didn’t feel 100% done.

Moonkrumpa 1.0 (November 2020)
Moonkrumpa 2.0 (December 2020)

Last week, I read a comment somewhere (Reddit, I think) to the effect that you should be able to easily spot your Warlord/Warboss because they’re the largest infantry model in your army. Despite 2.0’s added bulk and height, Moonkrumpa’s static, lumbering pose and masked face don’t make him stand out — and even bulked up, he’s not that much larger than a regular Meganob (which I also have in my current army list).

So I did a bit of surgery. I bent and snipped his base until I could force a razor blade under his feet, cut him off the remnants of the old base, and built a fresh base with some height and some scenery. This time, I’m calling him done!

Moonkrumpa 3.0, the final incarnation (January 2021)

Da Deff Dread

I also built my first Deff Dread over the weekend. What a great kit!

Tons of options (and pieces)
My initial building push, one session just for the body and base

While working on my Killa Kan, I watched a YouTube video in which the hobbyist drilled their own bullet holes to add a battle-worn look. It seemed simple enough, and I loved the look of the bullet holes in the Kan, so I gave it a shot. It is indeed dead simple.

Drilling more bullet holes

After waffling about it, I decided to take the plunge and magnetize the Dread’s lower arms. The first pairing went swimmingly, with 3mm x 1mm magnets, super glue, and a couple of quick shots with my cheapo hand drill.

One KMB and one arm slot magnetized!

After that, though, I messed up just about everything it was possible to mess up. I glued my fingers together (I hate working with super glue…). I glued magnets in backwards even after testing multiple times, because the little fuckers are so small that they flip around on you if you’re not careful. I also glued magnets to my fingers and to one of my assembly tools. I shot bits of plastic into the holes in the Dread’s body while drilling, so now he rattles.

All of that I chalk up to teething. This is still new, it’s all good; I’ll improve. The only real problem I ran into was weight. After messing up the first arm I tried to use, a smaller one, I switched to this larger one. But the magnets weren’t strong enough to support it, so it drooped.

Saggy arm

Later on in the process, I realized that I could have glued a stack of 2-3 magnets together, carefully inserted them into the body hole, and possibly gotten some extra oomph out of them. But at that point it was too late.

Magnetizing 1/4 of the possible slots felt like a waste of time, though; I wanted to be able to switch freely from 3 melee/1 ranged to 2 melee/2 ranged. So I chopped away at the small arm and made a flat spot that held a magnet at the right angle, and on my third try I got it right. A firm shake will make it swing down, but I can move the model around and it stays in place. Sold!

The first two of many arm options

Given his two saws and jumbo claw, I’m naming this dude “Facepeela” Snarg,

My finished Deff Dread, “Facepeela” Snarg, ready for an overnight curing session before priming

I might hold off on painting all of the other arm options (2x Big Shoota, 1x KMB, 2x Rokkit Launcha, 1x Scorcha) until I’ve built the second Dread in my list. I don’t know 1) how much swapping I’ll actually want to do, or 2) whether the extra options that second Dread — whose lower arms I’ll also be magnetizing — puts into the mix will really be all I need. Something to sleep on, I suppose.

Anyhoo: rad kit, magnetization is a struggle but also a skill I can work on, and I can’t wait to build the next big stompy thing!

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Deathskulls Orks Miniature painting Miniatures Painting tools Warhammer 40k WIP it good

A wall-mounted paint rack and some WIP miscellany

Currently working on a few too many Boyz and Gretchin at once, so I’ve been taking breaks to do some assembly.

First up, a Killa Kan:

Mukkit, leader of Mukkit’s Murda Mob

Mechanically, Killa Kan mobs don’t have a leader, so perhaps it’s more apt to say that Mukkit considers himself the leader.

I’ve heard these are terrible units, but damn this is an incredible kit. 100% of the parts are interchangeable, and they ooze character from every rivet. I was going for a sort of “Rarr! Mukkit stomp you!” pose, but wound up with more of a Macarena/posing for a tourist photo kind of deal…and I’m not even a little mad. Love this dude.

Alysia got me an Age of Sigmar Weirdnob Shaman for Christmas, so I spent a couple of pleasant hours today figuring out how to kitbash him into my Weirdboy.

Age of Sigmar Weirdnob Shaman + 40k Ork bits

On the AoS model, I test-fit the cape to see which of my arm swap ideas might work, and I trimmed off the smoke and shaved the spot under it flat. Everything else stayed.

I used the arm from the standalone Mek kit, which I snipped at the wrist; a standard from the Meganobz kit, which I stuck where the smoke used to be; two shoulder pads from the Boyz kit, which I used to camouflage the kludging I did around the smoke; and a jaw plate from the Nobz kit, which I used exactly as Gork (or is it Mork?) intended.

“Warpmek” Nakk, Weirdboy of Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas

As befits a Deathskulls army in general and Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas in particular, “Warpmek” Nakk is both a Weirdboy and a Mek (achieved by taking Da Fixer Upperz for him).

Since I’d destroyed the Mek kit’s clamshell packaging to steal one of his arms, I decided to just slap him together as well.

“Sawfasta” Grunk, Mek

Alysia also gave me a new paint storage solution, a nail polish rack that can swallow 100% of my current paint library. I believe it’s this model on Amazon (not a paid link), and as the reviews show it’s been battle-tested by fellow hobbyists. I can confirm that it does a bang-up job of holding Citadel paint pots.

Nail polish rack = Citadel paint library

I’ve seen folks organize their paints by color, but I alphabetized mine by type instead. I mainly follow GW recipes, so this makes the most sense for my approach. The top row is Technical paint and some non-paints (glue, etc.). The second row starts with shades/washes on the left and then jumps into base paints, which run another full row and the first couple slots of a third. After that come all of my layer paints.

I’ve mounted it with room for a second one, which I’ll need at some point. (I’m currently storing all my backup pots somewhere else.) I loved my previous paint storage solution, but my paint supply had outstripped its slots and I wanted to free up that corner of my desk.

Having started my paint collection back in February with the bare minimum I needed to do parade-ready Blood Angels, it feels funny to be actively using 85-90 paints now.

Happy holidays, merry Christmas, and I hope to be back in a few days with some finished Orks and Gretchin.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: modifying Moonkrumpa, Lootas, and Grots

I kicked off my Waaagh! by building my Warboss, Moonkrumpa, back in November, and ever since then I’ve been noodling about how to make him more Mek-y and Warboss-y (and whether or not to magnetize his wargear options). This morning things finally shook loose, and I busted out my bits boxes and kitbashed Moonkrumpa 2.0:

“Moonkrumpa” Grutnik, who once krumped an entire moon
Ork booty

I used a Killa Kan pauldron, a Blood Angels Dreadnought arm plate and Blood Talon, the light from a Space Marine unit (Dread or tank, I don’t recall), and two boss poles from a Nobz kit. He has to compete with an actual Warboss model (Grukk), so my goal was to make Moonkrumpa unmistakably Da Big Boss — but without meaningfully changing his silhouette, or doing anything that could be taken as modeling for advantage.

Not being able to fit the pauldrons under the sides of the Tellyport Blasta was what sealed the deal on 1) not magnetizing him, and 2) committing to the Kustom Force Field. Now all I need to do is practice a bit more armor-weathering — probably on Killa Kans — and I’ll be ready to prime and paint him!

Over the past couple of weeks, I also built a mob of Lootas, Gark’s Git-Blastas:

Gark’s Git-Blastas getting their parts lined up
The assembled Git-Blastas, with Gark (the Spanner) in the center

Getting their massive backpack/frame/gun jobbies to stay put for gluing was a bit fussy, but apart from that they’re a fun kit. And there are enough bits left over to build Burnas (by adding torsos and legs) or make a nice deposit in the ol’ bits box.

I also assembled my first Gretchin, Runt-Eata’s Grots, who are just fucking adorable:

Not pictured: Runt-Eata, my Runtherd, who I can’t afford to put in this army (because I’d rather spend the points on Mek-y stuff!)
So adorbs

I’d normally grumble about the number of mono-pose minis in this kit — three mono-piece Grots and six mono-pose models, leaving just 1/10 with minor posability — but they give you a ton of extra heads and the models are so cute that I don’t even mind. I might mind if I needed to paint more than 10, but even then the heads and paint jobs would provide a decent amount of variation.

The Grots came up at the same time as I was touching up the rest of my first mob of Boyz, Skrudd’s Krumpas, so I decided to break with tradition and paint 15 models at once. They’re actually almost done at this point, so I should be able to book them all this month.

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Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Musings on magnetizing minis and drilling barrels

Back when I got into minis in earnest this past February, I considered magnetization and boring out gun barrels, both of which share the same tool: a pin vise or hand drill. Given the outlay of cash and time to get an army rolling, and my long history of false starts and aborted attempts at getting into this hobby, adding another step (time) that required more tools (money) seemed like a bad idea — and one that might kill my momentum.

I’ve carefully guarded and maintained that momentum for eight months now, and occasionally considered magnetization and barrel-drilling but decided that the time wasn’t right. I also reasoned that if I encountered a need for a different bit of wargear on a unit in the future, since I’m building an army for the pleasure of it, buying that unit again and assembling it a new way wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Enter Moonkrumpa

But as I got my Deathskulls Ork army, Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas, off the ground, I stumbled across the rules for Moonkrumpa’s two special pieces of wargear, the Tellyport Blasta and the Kustom Force Field. With no clear date when I’ll actually be able to play 40k, I’ve held off on reading the rules; they’ll just fade away before I get a chance to play. And I make my choices almost entirely based on the Rule of Cool, so that’s worked out fine so far.

Somehow, though (probably by browsing DakkaDakka), I’ve picked up enough to understand that the KFF is probably a much better choice, mechanically, than the Blasta — despite the Blasta looking cooler. And these two parts both have a flat bottom and sit atop a single flat surface, making them perfect candidates for magnetization.

Further, this isn’t just a random unit in my Ork army — this is my first 40k character with a backstory, and he’s the leader of my entire Waaagh!. I’m invested in playing with Moonkrumpa in a way that I’m not invested in playing with Blood Angel X or Ork Y.

I’d also previously set aside my Contemptor Dread, whose weapon arm uses a ball joint that must be glued into place (rather than a peg, like the refrigerator Dreads, which allows for easy arm-swapping), to consider whether it’s worth delving into drilling and magnets for him. I have no plans to buy a second Contemptor (it’s kind of a bland kit), and in any case they can be expensive and difficult to track down.

So that gives me two units that both have what looks to be a single fairly simple spot on each that could benefit from magnetization — one of which is My Guy, to boot.

I’ve got a pin vise, some bits, and a mix of 2mm x 1mm and 3mm x 1mm magnets in the mail, and I’ve been doing some homework. There’s an awesome article on DakkaDakka, Magnetising: a Report, Tips and Tricks from a Newbie, that’s going to be my guide. I’ve also found some excellent tips on Reddit, notably about marking magnets and using bits of sprue to simplify the process and drill pressure, marking magnets, and pilot holes.

I’ll probably bore out a spare Bolter to see how that looks, and if it looks good I’ll have a minor existential crisis and then break down and drill every mini I’ve already painted…or maybe I’ll skip that, and just drill going forwards. We shall see!

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

I built my first Ork, Moonkrumpa

There’s an element of ritual and ceremony to The Building of the First Miniature in a 40k Army. When I started my Blood Angels army, I built Sergeant Karios first (on March 10, 2020). I deliberately didn’t hedge my bets with a vanilla Marine I could mess up — but I also didn’t go straight for a big, fancy figure. It was a perfect starting point for me.

But with Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas, my Deathskulls Ork army, I had to start with the Warboss himself, “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik. Last night, after a rather long day, I assembled him:

Warboss “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik and his Grot Oiler

No surprise, really, that I’ve essentially picked the Ork equivalent of a Terminator as my starting point! But it makes sense: The rest of this Waaagh! will flow from Moonkrumpa, since it’s his Waaagh!. He sets the tone.

The Waaagh! begins here

The Meganobz kit is an excellent and involved one, with plenty of customization options. From sprue to fully assembled, it took me about two hours to put Moonkrumpa together. (The other two models, both Meganobz, will stay unassembled until I buy a second one of these kits, as their minimum unit size is three and I’ve just peeled one off as a Big Mek.)

Moonkrumpa, both wargear choices, and his Grot Oiler all laid out

I’ve left his two wargear choices, the Tellyport Blasta and Kustom Force Field, off so that I can — probably — make them a magnetizing project sometime down the road. Because while I wanted to build Moonkrumpa first, to mark the official starting point for my Ork army, I’m not going to paint him first.

That first will go to Boss Skrudd, leader of Skrudd’s Krumpas, closely and some of his Boyz. I need to practice my Deathskulls color scheme, get used to drybrushing again, try out some weathering techniques, and consider whether this army will have a unifying mark that ties them together (beyond Deathskulls colors) — and then I can start tackling bigger, fancier models like Moonkrumpa.

Let the krumpin’ begin.

December 19 update: I kitbashed Moonkrumpa into a more Ork-y and Warboss-y 2.0 version.

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Blood Angels Space Marines Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Squad Ariete, Assault Bikes and an Attack Bike

I got started on my first bike squad, Squad Ariete (“battering ram” in Italian), and despite having the limited options and mold lines of an older kit these guys are fun to build — in part because I enjoy finding ways to give them more personality than they come with.

The actual sprues are super boring: three identical sprues, no wargear options (despite having them in the rules), no arm options — just a dude, both hands on the handlebars, on a bike. What makes this kit work is 1) the bikes are a great design, and 2) they’re dead simple to modify using other Space Marine bits.

As always, I started with the sergeant. He got a Blood Angels pauldron and helmet and a Chain Sword from somewhere. He strikes me as a hard-charging bull of a man, one who uses his bike to blow straight through obstacles (hence “battering ram”) before sawing your head off.

Sergeant Ariete

I knew I wanted one guy to be popped up on a hill, something I’ve seen in photos of other folks’ bikes. I’d originally planned to have him holding the handlebars with one hand and aiming a Bolt Pistol with the other, but I didn’t have any arms that worked for that pose. So I switched him up to having his bike at rest, one hand pointing at something, and an upraised pistol (plus knives from Primaris Incursors strapped to his rear fender).

I was going for a pose that could be “You’re next, peasant!” or “I see the objective, sir!” Hopefully it comes through!

“You’re next!”

This feels like a sergeant-y pose, but I was listening to Dan Abnett’s Brothers of the Snake (narrated by the peerless Toby Longworth, of course) while I built him and the first story is all about the awesome power of…a single Space Marine. Because even a single battle-brother is, canonically, an awesome, terrifying warrior capable of superhuman feats of martial prowess. Plus I like having at least one standout non-sergeant in every squad.

For the third biker, I went vanilla. Gotta have one vanilla guy to make the others stand out, right? Plus it’s a solid basic pose, just straight-on, gripping the bars, unloading twin Boltguns into whatever’s directly ahead of him. (I did add a pauldron, pistol, and grenades from a Tactical Squad box, though.)

A battle-brother of Squad Ariete

I’m not positive I want to do a full, Codex-complaint 10-man squad of these guys — 8x Assault Bikes and 1x Attack Bike, the latter with its 2-man crew — which requires buying another two bike kits but only using 5/6 of the bikes. Nor do I want to worry about whether it’s not a full-size squad when I try to finish the 2nd Company — so I made Squad Ariete the start of my 3rd Company, leaving my other close support slot in the 2nd open (probably for more Jump Pack dudes).

The three Assault Bikes of Squad Ariete, 3rd Company, 10th Squad

To bring them up to 5-man strength, though, I’m going to add an Attack Bike. This kit is thoughtfully designed to include a hidden join between the bike and the sidecar, tucked away on the undercarriage, that should make it trivial to paint it in two halves and then join them together right at the end. It’s in the mail, though, so it’ll have to be a project for a bit further down the road.

Basing steps for Assault Bikes

I didn’t see a way to follow my usual approach to basing with these guys. There just isn’t enough clearance under the bikes to properly finish the texture paint or the undercarriage, so I’m doing them separately.

  1. Blue Tack the tires in place
  2. Prime the base and the bike’s tires
  3. Remove the bike
  4. Prime the bike’s undercarriage (basically everything that will be inaccessible when it’s glued onto the base)
  5. After the undercarriage cures, prime the rest of the bike
  6. Finish the base normally, but leave bare plastic where the tires go — and apply the texture paint such that it looks like the bike has carved a track through it, extending from the front wheel to the rear edge of the base
  7. Finish the underside of the bike completely, including shading
  8. Glue the bike to the base
  9. Pack in texture paint around the tires, if needed, and paint it up normally (shade and drybrush)
  10. Paint the rest of the bike

For the battle-brother on the hill, the only difference is that for the tire-to-rock join I’ll use super glue — and smother the crap out of the rear tire-to-base join, because I much prefer plastic glue to be my anchor for every mini. (Plastic glue melts the pieces together, making an incredibly secure join; super glue does not.)

When my second-wave Indomitus box shows up I’ll be able to do up a squad of Primaris Outriders to keep these classic bikes company!

Categories
Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Feo, Redemptor Dreadnought

Thus far I’ve held strong on my plan to not work on any minis outside/beyond my initial 2,000-point army, but lately I just haven’t been in the mood to paint — and when I don’t want to paint, I assemble. So I’ve started on my first post-army mini: Feo, my first Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought.

Small box, huge figure
Sarcophagus and upper body halfway done

This kit has a ton of movable parts on it: the sarcophagus armor opens and closes, shoulder joints rotate and move laterally, elbows and wrists move, and the front guns rotate. But as with most GW kits I’ve built, I ran into two issues: either the joint was loose, which doesn’t appeal to me for a mini I’m going to transport and use in play, or I couldn’t figure out how to paint the part fully while retaining its ability to move.

Unlike the smaller OG dreadnoughts, even the shoulder rotation comes with built-in complexity: a keyed joint rather than a simple press-fit peg, and huge armor plates that all but prevent arm removal once installed. Seeing that made my course pretty clear. As I’ve done before, I treated all those glorious movable parts as posable parts.

After finding a pose I liked — a lengthy process given the size and posability of the figure — I glued everything in place. The only exceptions are the waist (until he’s mostly painted) and the mount for the primary weapon, which is a nice snug joint and gives me the flexibility of switching Feo to plasma.

Upper body complete, parts arranged for the legs
Ankle nubbins

I screwed up and glued the legs into place too soon, resulting in a marked forward cant to the body — and making the fitment of the ankles a bit sloppy. Fortunately this kit is designed to be modified, with molded-in parts you can shave off in order to achieve running poses, etc. (or leave on for a figure that looks a lot like what’s on the box). So I shaved off those nubbins and got a better fit.

Close enough for government work
Upper and lower body in one of the many stages of glue-curing

A lot of Feo’s components need to be able to hold a fair amount of weight (by miniature standards, anyway!), so the gluing process took me several days in order to allow for 12-plus hours of curing time for each stage. I’ve learned that with GW minis a fussy build process results in a deeply personalized and cool finished product, and that was true here as well.

Brother Feo

I have two Redemptor kits, and initially I figured I’d make one the plasma guy and one the cannon guy. But those parts swap nicely, so I decided to make one Dread — Feo — with his sarcophagus exposed, in a pose that looks like he’s venting heat or taking a breather mid-battle, cannon low and at rest, and the other in a buttoned-up, aggressive posture with his sarcophagus covered and all weapons at the ready. I love the look of this kit with the “jaws” of front plating open; so many cool details are exposed that way.

Who opens their outer layer of armor mid-battle, leaving “only” the Ceramite of the sarcophagus itself to protect them? A fearless Space Marine — perhaps even a reckless one…like a Marine who pushed his limits too far and took a mortal wound, landing him inside a Dreadnought. (Feo was initially named Impavido, Italian for “fearless,” but it was too long to possibly fit on the tiny scrolls on his sarcophagus.)

I’ve picked out the scenery for his base (a half-buried dead Ultramarine and an overrun Guard post) and clipped his Macro Plasma Incinerator, so the next steps are all lined up. But before I really tuck into Feo, though, I need to finish painting my last three squads.