Showing posts with label Converted. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Converted. Show all posts

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Skitarii, Mashal, and Tech Priest Dominus

Just finished these 12 minis, all with a similar palette. I only paint right now, so they are probably not playable on the tabletop, lol.

different Dominus is the mini that got me back into painting 5 years ago, so it was refreshing to take another crack at this mini after having learned so much! I have learned a ton about blending and layering since then. The robes are richer, the metals poppier, and I am much more precise.

The marshal was a little disappointing, honestly. I wanted so much more from this mini in terms of greeblies and detail. It ended up being a scaled-up squad leader with a scepter. Literally, their leaders are just taller? Maybe I'll take another crack at his robes and add some trim to liven up the back of the mini. Big sigh.

The squad is where I took all my chances. Again, I painted a squad of these guys about 4 years ago, so the second chance brought many opportunities for improvement. I loved the purple glow, but I still think I can improve my technique. Tips appreciated. I'm not sure I have the heart in me to do a third squad. Going to try some Sicarians and other Ad Mech units instead.

A bit anxious about what to do to make my Next units stand out but mesh with this scheme:

⁠Sicarians can basically echo the black jumpsuit with metallic bits, but I feel like going with that will lack some pop. Maybe leaning into the purple energy on their blades and finding accent pieces to pop with yellow and green?

⁠Pteraxi are the same conundrum, but a wing vein with a green on yellow pattern might be fun. I intend to do the flamer squad. I can really amp up the muzzle burn with purple hues rather than make them glow to match.

⁠Dunecrawler, ironstrider, and robots: I still haven’t done any armor. I don’t want green tanks. I need a good primary color. Was thinking a brown would pull in the base colors, but drab armor is not very 40k, but I’m planning a smooth ivory for my knights. That would tie all the big boys together visually. I’ll have to think on that.

Regardless, no more AdMech for a bit! After painting a big batch like this, I am going to take a break and paint some one-off RPG figs and smaller squads with more painting variety and skill-tests. A batch of Harlequins with their diamond tights and trailing streamers would do me well.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Star Wars Legion - Clone Wars Core Set and Commander Rex

 After painting Rex with my son, he convinced me to get the core set (what a fool I am). The kit was good for a first offering for new players and new collectors. And I got to take Citadel Contrast for a spin to add another skill for my painting belt.

The models were decent. ObiWan and Clone Troopers were supplied in bags, basically clean except for mould lines.  Owing to their spindly bits, Grevious, two Droidekas, and the  B-1 Battle Droids were still on sprue. The plastic is definitely different from Games Workshop sprue. It was less solvable than GW plastic when using Testors and Tamiya plastic glue. Parts kept coming unwelded, but a little super glue put it right. Detail was tight and almost always movie/animation accurate, and the extra parts for Grevious even allowed for some simple conversions (see below for an extra surprise; you can blame my son for it). After assembling them, I realized the 28mm accurate scale is so much more fiddly than the 28mm heroics I'm used to.  Hands and guns are smaller.  Weapons are smaller too. But the accurate proportions make for great squads. In a crowd, they look like right even when base to base.

I was not interested in spending months painting these minis.  Especially since my son had lost interest in playing almost immediately after purchase. I was delighted to find Sorastro's painting guides for Legion.  He helped me get from prime to table-ready in less than a month. This was my first adventure with Citadel's Contrast paint, and the advice to thin with medium and how to handle flow was excellent.  His colors were spot on too. After spending the pandemic bemoaning my mistake, it was refreshing to go so fast from concept to finished product.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flames of War - SS Army Pics

This weekend, I returned briefly to the world of miniature war gaming.  My father is putting up his Flames of War army for sale locally.  He's a history buff, and I learned a lot about the German WWII army composition by helping him catalog these.  I built some of these pieces, but mostly I just took the pics.  No detail shots, unfortunately.
I love the frozen ground effect on these bases

Misc Infantry
Misc Command 

Heavy Machine Guns 

 Mortar Half Tracks


Reconnaissance Car/Tanks 

PIVHs with Skirts 


Mechanized Infantry
 Platoon 1

Platoon 2 

Platoon Command 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Obi-Wan Kenobi Light Saber Mod into an E-cig

Recently helped a friend modify an Obi Wan Kenobi .45 scale light saber into an e-cig.  The model is similar to the one in this Ebay listing, and is getting pretty rare.  They got the idea from a forum post that did a much less elegant job, but contains a slightly bigger battery.  Here are brutal steps for our build:
  1. Get the model disassembled.  You should end up with:
    • An end cap
    • Chromed plastic 6 spoke pommel cap
    • A die cast metal shroud
    • Plastic insert for metal shroud
    • Belt loop with screw
    • Red and brass buttons with screw
    • Die cast fore end
    • Plastic insert for metal fore end
    • 3x chromed plastic pins that hold the plastic insert inside the metal fore end
  2. Find a battery.  We were able to fit a 180mAh long cylindrical 3/8" diameter one into the case.  It had a button on one end that fit just right so the fitting just comes to the fore end and a hole can be opened in the plastic insert for the metal fore end to allow access.
  3. Vice the metal fore end by the wider cap (and not the base) into no-mar jaws and drill out the central hole with a 3/8" bit.  I would suggest a drill press for this operation, though a hand drill will do in a pinch.  A Dremel did not work for this due to hole size.  The metal is aluminium, so it shouldn't be too rough to do on most metal bits if you go slow and break your chips.  NOTE: we busted the spindly base off the wider fore end and snapped the 3  connecting bars by holding the fore end in the vice by the body of the fore end and not the cap.  They went back on with superglue after we matched up the shear patterns, but avoid this if at all possible.
  4. Gently vice the plastic insert to the fore end and drill it out to 3/8" as well.  While you have it disassembled, drill the hole for your the button on your battery as well.  NOTE: be careful not to deform the plastic insert in the vice.
  5. To reduce rattle inside the case, wrap some electrical tape around the parts of the battery that don't precisely fit (and are hidden in plastic).
  6. Attach a wooden or metal extension on the battery cap and drill it so the belt loop screw can be reinserted.  We used wooden dowel screwed onto the plastic cap at the end of the battery, then epoxied in place. The belt loop screw holds the metal shroud and plastic fitting to the battery in the same manner as the fitting and battery button hold the fore end tight to the battery.
  7. Attach your fitting and vape!
Fully Assembled

Coil Removed

Side View with all Vape connectors removed

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heirs of Vulcan Heavy Support

Land Raider Crusader "Throne of Vulcan"

This centerpiece model is the culmination of all my bitz and conversion work. I didn't drastically alter the hull of the model, though I did deck it out with little detail bitz that keep me looking at it from all angles.

The most noticeable conversion is the dozer blade.  Though no longer providing any benefit while playing, this adds bulk to the model (though it will be tough to paint).  As a smal;l detail, I added an extra row of frag charges to the front (because I had them, that's why), fuel/promethium tanks and spigots on the rear (including an externally stored hose), ventilation fan, an extra comms unit, and a set of winches and chain to the top/rear. 

I like to call this the fire truck.  Not sure if it is putting fires out or starting them.  However, it is well kitted to do either.  In addition, the dover blade and winches make it the perfect lost technology recovery vehicle.  All around, the Fabricator General's personal vehicle will make all your battlefield woes vanish when he and the Vet Squad comes tearing out of it, followed by his personal servitors sporting power fists.  Ah, it's good to be king...


The floating tank concept is very impractical.  To this end, I gave stabilizers to the artillery.  These Whirlwinds have custom payloads and optics only to be surpassed by their custom feet.  They fly with armor down, but the armor hinges out as they touch down, and provide much needed ground support when launching endless barrages of hell fire.

The conversion itself is very simple: hinge up the extra armor from the Vindicator kit, add several pistons from dozer blades as well as 2 dozer mounting kits (easy to come by should you be copying my plow blade design for the Vindicators) make one Whirlwind.

The conversion really speaks to me, and the model itself is static while telling a dynamic story.  That is a recipe for miniature love, right there.


This was the first vehicle model I converted.  The FW extra armor and smoke stack from Cities of Death's Manufactorum fell into my hands at Blue Table, and somehow I conned Shawn into giving me two dozer blades to mutilate.  This was also the inception of replacing the front plate of the Rhino chassis with CoD vents.

Together, it makes sense.  The wildly inaccurate mortar chell lobbed by a Vindi could only come from a mobile, floating mortar  Extra bling in the form of a pop-up HK Missile and custom floating using superglue caps and specialized flying bases rounded out the conversions.

When I started this army, I had no intention of building a coherent force out of it.  However, the concepts that appeared here wormed their way into every inch: ubiquitous geared skull, floating EVERYTHING, Storm-bolter positioning, on and on.  Not only is the Rhino chassis preserved, but it is enhanced in a way that is not totally outlandish and quickly recognizable.  In other words, I am not putting down a Dr. Pepper bottle and calling it a Carnifex, I'm building my own little corner of the universe, related but unique.

Thunder Fire Cannon

OK, so I saw the newest Space Marine swag before Games Day oine year and said to myself, "Self, you're broke.  Make a choice."  Instead of buying the Thunderfire, I bought the limited edition Techmarine which became my beloved Librarian HQ, the Archivor General.  This piece was then started to fill the new slot.

Clearly, the scale compared to the real thunderfire is way too big.  This makes it a sitting duck.  Stripping the battery cells (Leman Russ Wheels) down to the single large cell and reducing height and width would give it a much needed playability bonus.  However, as far as goofy contraptions goes, this is it.  This could easily serve as an Anti-Aircraft Mount for Apocalypse or be re-engineered as the big gun on a converted Bane Blade.

Heirs of Vulcan Fast Attack


Not quite jetbikes, not quite ground bikes, these were a work of love. The innumerable hours collecting bitz, pouring over conversion articles and rice rocket pictures, gathering the courage to chop up a figure that costs $15 a pop...

1) Obtain a bike, new or used, remove rider
2) Cu off the front hub and reattach almost eactly 180 degrees rotated
3) Attach foot plate at high angle and to the rear.
4) Attach Land Speeder engine between the exhaust pipes
5) Using top plate off Rhinos, attach a section of the notched portion underneath to cover from footplate to engine
6) Add AC muzzles, LC muzzles and old Leman Russ LC muzzles to exhaust pipes for more thrusters.
7) Chop rider off at the knees
8) Attach rider
9) Greenstuff knees to reconnect. Expert sculpting of the crotch and seat to get them to ride just right as well as greenstuff smoothing skills are required to keep this from looking goofy.

The techmarine has a conversion beamer, the sarge has a clampy thing that could be a power weapon or power fist, depending on their battle role. One thing I love about conversions, they make sense no matter how the points are bought.

Assault Squad

"Gee, those Elysian grav chutes look awesome. I wonder if you got enough together if you could lift yourself off the ground..."

This squad majored in dramatic posing during Ass Kicking University. The gung-ho sarge is always jumping off something while the rest are going around, over, off of and into another thing. We have superman taking off, in flight, hovering, and landing.

The theme base, piping, became clear from the start. If you don't see it on the base, expect it running underneath the tiles and out the sides. The Mega Man guns here are AC muzzles that have been turned into Bolt Pistols with small chain feeds or energy feeds or whatever. The blades are again vibro blades concealing a nano-wire suspended in a stasis field. This is the only known weapon held in more respect at AKU than the chainsaw sword. An 2 Elysian grav chutes are used per model. One set is placed on the backpack, another on the legs.

Land Speeders

The inspiration for this model is obvious: Forge World's Tempest. The Tempest is a very simple conversion of the Land Speeder chassis and I wanted to combine the single seat cockpit with the integrated weaponry of the Rhino front ends.

The demise of a few speeders in a tragic PineSol incident left me with passable wings I converted into the tail wings. The cockpit itself is mostly plasticard jointed at just the right angles to make a passable crew compartment without leaving exposed rough edges.

Overall, I think this could translate well to the Storm by taking some cues from the Thunderhawk or similar.

Heirs of Vulcan Troops

Tactical Squads

These 10 man squads were started before Combat Squadding was even a twinkle in GW's eye. Each features a decked out Sarge with a heavy weapon and assault weapon deputy. The rest of the troops use Mega Man arms for counts as Bolters and various cool poses. I started to run out of my supply of multi-lasers when IG was rereleased. The flood of unused ML tips was a godsend and helped me to finish my army post-haste.

In addition to Mega Man bolters, this is where the weighted and tiled bases as well as guitar wire came into its own. Every base has a nickel (5c coin) or chunks of pewter to give it heft even thought it's plastic. All bases are tiled with some accessory unique to the squad, and guitar wire speaks to the experimental (and thus heretical) nature of the Chapter. Lastly, each squad has their own personal fetish: a scroll or book at the hip or a power connector at their feet. This unifying theme helps to tie the squads together amongst the chaos of their wacky poses and non-standard styling.


Bog standard. These scouts are bog standard. Except when they're not. I mostly experimented with posing here. The spotter sniper, auspex sniper, weapon swaps, metal tabs clipped to integrate into tiled nonslotta bases. I used every construction trick I knew to add variety.

The only custom bit I added is an Ad Mech geared skull plucked lovingly from the tank commander marine torso piece. This gives them a winged geared skull. The only problem is I build about half of these guys before I decided to add the skull. Some ended up with just a painted gear instead of an actual bit adornment.

All of the above gets thrown out the window when we talk about the squad leaders. One is a Sergeant Telion stand-in with a custom bolter, the other is my father's favorite conversion which is now counts as: Thunder Hammer and Stomr Shield Scout! The other two are simple conversions meant to show the bulk of experience: Apothecary sergeant is looking for unstable neophytes and Crouching HQ Hidden Fist sergeant is waiting to snipe a BA Chaplain or Demon.


Ah the servitors. Simple conversions with leftover power claws (hard to come by in this army. I buy in bulk and am still left wanting...). Some are over the top, some are simple yet graceful. I tried to limit myself to one conversion. On one or two, I just couldn't help myself.

The weapon balance needs to be addressed under the new codex, but overall I give a good mix of options to confront any foe.


3 Rhino chassis displaying all the characteristics of my other Rhino CHassis conversions:
  • No tracks, instead, hover plates.
  • Emblem on the side signifies their branch: Archivum. These are nicknamed Book-Mobiles.
  • Single grate from Cities of Death Manufactorum sprue replaces Rhino front
  • Storm Bolters mounted low and in front, not in the pintles. Searchlight mounted to replace one headlight
  • Smoke launchers mounted low in front
  • Top turret ring not swappable. Razorback to Rhino conversion replaces turret with Damocles style comms equipment.
  • Rear hatch flipped to show grating instead of blank hatch.
  • These suckers float too (see Vindicators for illustration)
These conversions have a problem with WYSIWYG unless your opponent is generous (No top hatch = no shooting from it. No rear hatch = difficult to disembark. Low storm bolters = LOS sucks). But who wants to play with idiots anyways.

Otherwise, they drawe oohs and ahhs more often than not.

Heirs of Vulcan Elites


This is the absolute first figure made for this army, if you can believe it. In all my painting, I never finished him...

You can see the genesis of many conversions: replacing the bulbs on the backpack with servo-arms, Mega Man arms, Epic Killa Kans on every HQ base, and the tile base. I particualrly enjoy the wrist mounted plasma pistol. It just feels cool to me, but then I'm a big nerd.

"I believe I can fly" Dreadnought

The flying dread was the most whimsical piece in the army. The idea of getting this beast off the ground is emphasized by the "repulsors" and pipes that look jerry-rigged. I chose the bit as it looked like an up-scaled version of the grav chutes I used as jump repulsors on the Assault Squad. Finally, the cockpit is a popular conversion I learned from the net to get the appearance of a FW dread without the cost: Terminator Torso + Brettonian Head + Upside Down Shoulder Pad.

This one always elicits oohs and ahhs. The custom assault cannon was mostly an attempt to bulk it out and could use some tuning up, but I'm satisfied. The joints have been modified to make him appear much more flexible: each arm has been swung outward and each toe has even been reattached a different angle to give the appearance that they are hanging limp during the jump. I added an Epic Killa Kan and a control console to give some context to how high he's jumping.

Front Lines Dreadnought

This was begun as a dread I could pod in and forget about, but as I began to model it, he became so much more. On the base of a metal (you read that right, metal) dread, I adjusted leg and arm position to be as dynamic as possible. I only had the abundant 45mm base, so I built a nice little set of stairs for him to run down, intent on making contact, he'd had tank armor jerry-rigged to his chassis: track guards on top, frag grenades up front.

The story goes deeper with the sculpted chalice and right leg guard scene. This dread is the last of his chapter: the Flame Wardens. Originally a crusading offshoot of the Imperial Fists, the wardens were injured or aged marines left behind to govern and protect newly cleansed worlds. Their Chapter Master was mortally wounded in the flight from their last home world as a Hive Fleet descended. Having successfully escaped in the armory barge, he was interred in a dreadnought that was inscribed with the symbols of his Chapter. He may not agree with the heretical direction the remnants of the Flame Wardens have taken, but he can't deny the crusading spirit they invoke nor the thud of their munitions against the enemy.

Heavy Support Dreadnought

Wow, this guy is kind of a disaster. He's got a certain charm often evoked by a toddler whose dressed himself. There's just too much going on that makes no sense at all. If I had it to do over again: no satellite dish, no winch, bu;k out stock missile launcher.

The only saving grace of the mini is the supplemental weight pistons in the back. This was a fun conversion and was hard to get right. This conversion was completed before the heavy attack dread with assault drill was released, too, and could be converted easily should bitz allow.

Veteran Squad

Very fun squad that could double as an Assault squad without jumps. All chainswords have been converted to vibro-blades a-la Larry Niven's Known Space: Nano-wires encased in a stasis field to make them able to cut through anything.

Also, the squad's bolt pistols are represented with auto cannon front ends stuck on their wrists Mega Man style. All characters have Terminator Honors shoulder pads in addition to their AdMech torsos and pad.

The poses really help this group. Basically stock veterans come alive in various stances, and head movement shows deliberate purpose.

The squad leader seems a little problematic right now. The Thumper he's got in his right hand counts as a Thunder Hammer, but the single LC looks dorky. Maybe a more deliberate punching stance and attack with the Thumper?