Friday, 24 February 2012

Apocalypse Terrain: Defence Laser 'Heretics Bane' - Pt 1

Its one hell of a Pt 1, as about 70% of the main build is already done! I've been hitting this project HARD this week, as I'm hoping to take it to an Apoc' game in March!

So, as you can see, it doesn't much resemble the humble plant pot it started off as! We now have walkways, towers and turrets!

The main entrance is from the Cities of Death Basilica set. I installed an armoured blast door in place of the ornate one that comes with it. As this is meant to be a small fortress, i thought it fitting! The sentry guns are obviously from an Imperial Bastion. I had to take a hack-saw to it to get those off, and luckily they came off intact!

Now the defence towers. Theres two of these, again made from CoD building panels, each with a custom blast door installed in place of the normal doors.

This is just a scale shot for you!

Is it just me, or are the Planetstrike Aegis guns a little...lame?! Well, i bloody well do! Originally i was going to use the cool new guns from Puppets War but two would cost me around £40 - a bit of a large outlay for a couple of guns! So i made these out of the Aegis guns:

Badass! I'm so pleased with them! Wanna know how to make them? Here's how!

Take a barrel from the CoD sets and cut out the middle. You'll need to keep the ends.

Stick the ends onto the middle support. Its almost a perfect fit.

Its a good idea to run a pin through the middle to give the guns a bit of support here.

Now onto the gun barrels themselves. Fairly straight forward here; saw off the end of the barrels and replace them with some copper rod. I would take the time here to file the ends flat, otherwise it will cause you problems later when you try to glue them in i found out! Once the barrels are on, add the ends of the original Autocannons and its done! Pin each gun onto the main support and voila - Hydra Flak Platform!

Back onto the main structure. Theres CoD floor panels running around the circumference of the building with the gaps underneath boarded up with plasticard.

Where there are no slanting building panels to support the walkway, i had to put in some small wooden supports to keep it stable! The plasticard on its own wouldn't support it on its own for very long!

As for the laser itself - well, not much has happened with that. I'm still trying to find an elusive pluming part for the main weapon! I'm hoping a trip to B&Q today will prove fruitful! I have also added a wooden base to the top platform for the whole lot to rest on.

FINALLY, the Comm's Tower! Smaller than the defence towers, this baby will supply a large portion of the installations external communications and also orbital targeting. 

The satellite dish is an old idea i saw years ago! Its a IG Dozer Blade with all the knobbly bits sawed off, with a Multi Laser barrel glued to the middle. The base of the dish is the base of an Aegis platform with a plasticard plug. The antenna array is obviously from the Planetstrike sets - perfect for this role!

I've added some thick cabling between the Sat' Dish and Antenna. I've used soldering wire for this. Its great stuff, cheap, and widely available. Its also very soft and flexible, making it easy to work with.

That's your lot for now! More on this epic project next week!

The GunGrave

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Defence Laser and Mag-Lev Terrain Projects

Now I'm back from a long weekend in London catching up with some school buddies, its time to get some terrain projects off the ground!

I mentioned an idea of a Mag-Lev Track in my last post, but first up is another long standing idea - The Defence Laser!

Since i saw the defence laser Duty's Fist that GW featured in the Apocalypse book I've been in love with the idea of making one myself! Now  I've begun to do just that! The reason its taken a while to get going on this is because i was struggling to find the right shaped plant pot for the base of the laser. It appears that hexagonal pots are heard to come by! However, last weekend i found some!

I also bought this Hamster Lab from a pet shop! The dome shape is perfect to house the bulk of the laser itself!

I'll only be using the top half of the dome. The three openings in the sides will be perfect for running power cables thorough.

I'm still waiting for some materials to arrive through the post before i can begin building. In the meantime I've started preparing what I've got. I've trimmed off the rim of the pot as well as the 'feet'.

I've also mapped out the footprint of the Laser onto some hardboard. The inner Hex is the base of the pot, while the outer Hex is going to be a raised platform running around the base. The connected squares to the top and bottom of the picture will be defence towers, and a Comm's Tower will be attached to the bottom right of the picture.

On a more tragic note, one of the cats pissed on my Xbox power cable, frying it!! I've got a replacement now, but the old cable will be great for adding detail to the Laser!

So that's it for the Defence Laser for now. I'll be pushing on with this as the week goes on.

Now the Mag-Lev! I'm at a similar stage with this as i am with the Laser, in that i have a load of parts, but cant really progress with the build at the moment. I've managed to find suitable materials for the tracks. Below is a plastic curtain rail (about £6) on which my Mag-Lev train will run! 

It comes with the plastic runners on which you would normally hang your curtains on! I'll be modifying these to fit to the base of the train so it can run smoothly on the tracks!

The plastic runners are to flimsy to support themselves, so I've bought some 6mm steel rod to run beneath the tracks and give it support.

The main problem I'm having with this project is the train itself. I cant begin building the stations until i know the size of the train! Because of this, the Meg-Lev is stalled for now. However, i have it on good authority that 'O' gauge hobby trains are around the right scale for 40K, so I'll be searching for a suitable train to convert over the next few days!

Phew, that's it for now! Hopefully I'll have made some more progress on both projects by Friday!

The GunGrave

Monday, 20 February 2012

Death Korps of Krieg Lascannon Squad

This is just a quick post to give you loyal readers something to look at while I'm away! The 'nearly complete' Lascannon teams I showed you in the last post are now done!

This is one of two squads attached to my infantry platoons for my Krieg Siege Regiment.

I've got this week off work now, which will be spent working on the next awesome terrain project: Mag-Lev System!

The GunGrave

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Death Korps of Krieg Reinforcements

These units were painted over the weekend in a mad attempt to bolster my Krieg forces for the Apoc' game - which was subsequently cancelled!

Not to worry though, as the completion of these units went a long way towads the Great Krieg Repaint, that has not seen some love in a while! Now i'm well up for getting my Krieg on for a while!

This is the 5th squad of Krieg for the Siege Regiment:

My Artemia Pattern Hellhound! I would eventually like to have 3 of these to make an Apoc' formation that makes use of the Hellstorm template! I much prefer this pattern Hellhound to the plastic version.

I made the fuel tank nice and greasy! Theres extra grease around the cap!

MIG weathering powders were heavilly applied to the nozzle of the flamer.

On the table now? A very NEARLY completed Lascannon squad!

More Krieg action soon.

The GunGrave

Monday, 13 February 2012

Photographing Your Mini's - the Essentials

Unfourtunately the Apoc' game on Sunday was cancelled! Some players had to drop out so we scrapped it.

Following the latest Elysian Showcase, i had a handful of questions about how i take my pictures. Now you can find out!

Theres no surprises here for the more experienced miniature photographer, but if your just getting started or are looking to improve, these are the things you'll probably need.

1. A Light Box

This ones home made, and they are SO easy to construct! I wouldn't even consider buying one! Take a cardboard box, cut out a large window in the top and sides, then fix grease proof paper/tracing paper over the windows. Done! Get yourself some light sources (these lamps cost about £3 each from Ikea!!) and your away.

In addition to the Light Box you'll also need some Photo Backgrounds. These are widely available for download on the Internet. Just Google it and you'll get heaps of results.

2. A decent SLR Camera

The camera i use is a Cannon EOS 1000D, a mid range SLR. Hell, if you''ve got a decent enough digital camera, that will do just fine! This one belongs to Mrs GunGrave, who i bought it for a few years ago. I also have a Telephoto Macro Lens 70-300mm for close ups and a dedicated Macro 100mm lens for super detail! The lenses are expensive and not entirely necessary for good photography. If you do have them or have access to them they can make your pictures a bit better!

3. Tripods

Mrs GunGrave has 2 Tripods that i have access to (both of which i bought her! She's spoilt rotten!) The one below is a 1.5M Tripod which i use for most of my pictures. The Tripod is so important in certain photo modes, which will blur with the slightest movement! You don't need to spend a heap on them either - you can get a half decent one for about £30.

Sometimes though you might want to get a bit closer to your minis for those super detailed, close in shots. The big Tripod probably wont allow you to do this so this Gorilla Pod is perfect for the job! Again, its not that expensive and small enough for you to get in nice and close.

4. White Balance

Having an understanding about how White Balance works will improve your photos loads, even without the other things listed above! White balance simply eliminates that horrible yellow-tinge you get on photos sometimes, and will give you brilliantly clear photos. A tutorial on White Balance can be found here.

Hopefully this will improve you mini pictures and give you nice clear results. If you do take up some of these tips, do let me know how you get on!

Finally, get some cat-proofing for you Forge! They can really get in the way and screw up your photos sometimes!

(Errr, got any Tuna...?)

The GunGrave

Friday, 10 February 2012

Battle of Martyr's Square - Sunday 12th Febuary 2012

The Tyranids are coming….

Those words echoed in his head long after the briefing at Command HQ, high up in the Spire of Hive Primus. And the shrine world of Orphelia was right in its path.
Captain Gerek had arrived on Orphelia with his Elysian Regiment a month earlier, diverted while en route to Hydraphur in Segmentum Obscurus. A tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathan was striking out to the galactic west, deep into Segmentum Tempestus, and had already decimated a dozen systems. This, surprisingly, was only half of the problem.

The presence of a Hive Fleet had scared up every renegade, heretic and Xenos in the Sub-Sector, driving them away from the Veiled Region and straight towards Imperial Systems. Cultist uprisings, mass suicides, and on Orphelia, an Ork invasion. As if the Guard didn’t have enough to worry about…..

The Valkyrie jarred wildly as it hit a patch of turbulence. Gerek instinctively look out of the viewport to the Sky Talon flying opposite. It was carrying his prized Taros, and the Orks would be the least of the pilot’s worries if it was damaged.

Gerek and his company were on their way to an out of the way township called Sable. Ork forces were massing to the east of the settlement, and Gereks company had been dispatched to rapidly secure the town. In fact, an entire armoured regiment from 141st Death Korps of Krieg as well as their superheavies had also been dispatched in support. Gerek nearly laughed out loud at the thought of all that overkill being labelled as ‘support’. Under normal circumstances it would have been called exactly that – overkill. The arrival of a Crusade Fleet of Black Templars had changed that. 

Sable was the first major settlement to have been established on Orphelia back in the mid 36M, long before Hive Primus had begun to rise from the dust, and was the site of a major Imperial victory against a Chaos incursion not long after its founding. Forces of the PDF, Black Templars and even the local citizenry had rallied against the invaders and fought with a fanaticism that rivalled the Chaos forces themselves. The enemy was defeated in a decisive confrontation in the Plaza of the Emperor Ascendant, home of the planets most sacred relic, The Emperors Aquila, said to be touched by Him On Earth.

Once the battle was done and the cost counted, the surviving planetary government ordered the construction of a monument on the site of the great victory. The remains of the fallen were to be interred within; a testament to their courage and sacrifice. They would not rest alone. So impressed were the Black Templars with the citizens courage, the few Templars that fell were also interred with them. It was for this reason that Gerek and the Guard had been sent to this backwater settlement. The Templars had cited the importance of the monument and final resting place of their ancient brothers, and would not see it defiled by the vile Orks.

(Pict capture of the Maartyr's Square monument taken by Templar Scouts, now MIA)
‘Come and defend it yourself then’ muttered Garek. Unfortunately the Templars were busy hunting down the Warboss leading the invasion, and Gerek wasn’t about to tell humanities finest what they should or shouldn’t be doing, especially when they were throwing their weight around.

No, it was up to the Guard, again, to pull it out of the fire. Although with the Orks, Tyranids and Emperor knows what else plundering the sector, Gerek wondered if It would be enough…..

Table and Deployment

This battle will be fought on a roughly square table with the major terrain pieces set up as per the map below:

The set-up is designed to encourage fierce battle in and around Martyrs Square.
The table will be split diagonally down the middle, with 12in either side of it forming No-Mans Land.


There is only one objective: secure Martyrs Square!

Objective marker: The Martyrs Square Monument

Victory Conditions

In order to secure the objective and claim victory, the players must have at least 2 non-vehicle units within 1 inch of the base of the objective.

For the purposes of claiming objectives, scoring units must be above 50% strength and not be falling back.

If both armies meet the Victory Conditions at the end of the game, then the objective counts as Contested.

Pictures next week!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

141st Elysian Drop Troop Regiment "Helljumpers" Showcase - Mk2!

Following 'A Guardsmans Guide to Glory's' second birthday post, i got a suggestion from Admiral Drax regarding my Elysians. He suggested that now i have the hang of White Balance i should re-shoot the Elysian showcase i did a while back. Looking at those pics again is pretty cringe-worthy! So i quickly set about taking some fresh photos!

For the second time, may i present the 141st Elysian Droop Troop Regiment "Helljumpers"!

Captain Garek in his Taros Assault Vehicle

Company Command Squad

Long Range Ground Scanner Team

Drop Sentinel Squad 1

Drop Sentinel Squad 2

Veteran Squad 1

Veteran Squad 2

Veteran Squad 3

Veteran Squad 4

 Valkyrie -this is one of two identical vehicles

Vendetta Gunship - this is also one of two identical vehicles!

Vulture Gunship with Twin Linked Punisher Cannons -this is (you guessed it!) one of two identical vehicles!

I'm really pleased i took the time to shoot these minis again. The last photos didn't really show them off very well at all! I hope that this set is better, and is the least i can do for the 141st!

The GunGrave

JSA - Yojimbo!!

He has a name you just have to shout every time you activate him! The mad motorcycle monster himself, Yojimbo! The JSA have very limited...