Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Hobby update - Tactical squad 1 built! And drop pods suck your hobby mojo!

Greetings all, welcome once more to a glimpse of the projects on my hobby bench!

This week I've mainly been concentrating on a couple of things - first up the drop pod, which I'm progressing slowly with as I'm figuring out the details of the scheme as I go along. And second, construction of the first squad, which has been taking considerably longer than would normally be the case as I've put a lot more effort into things like conversions, magnetising and bases.

First up, I've got to say that I'm a big fan of the latest tactical squad kit, there are loads of options, almost no duplicate pieces and some really nice subtle variations that I'd not seen in the older kits I've built.

I've already showcased a few of the models on previous updates, but the above squad is finished (I may add a few more purity seals, grenades etc) so here are all the pics of the squad members. Just a quick note though - you'll notice none of them have shoulder pads, which is because I paint them separately to make sure there are no missed parts.
So these guys are both mounted quite high up, which will make them more visible. they are both decorated marksmen, so I've included the bolt shell honour on the guns. The model on the right showcases one of the subtle updates I mentioned, the arms that allow you to pose the gun as though it's being aimed. These boltguns have all been magnetised at the wrist now that the gun itself comes with a sculpted hand (a qualified win I think, the only downside being there are not many left hands available for conversions) so I can always switch them out for special weapons if I want, giving me variety in what the squads will actually look like on the tabletop.

As I mentioned, there are rarely any duplicated pieces and the helmet on the left demonstrates this, the studs over the eyes setting the helmet apart from the 'standard' marine helmet I'd grown to know so well. I've used the aiming arms again on the model to the right, but angled them in such a way that it really looks like the marine is shooting over the barricade and down towards something behind it (trust me, the angle of the gun does emphasise this, even if the picture doesn't make it clear.

On the left I've sculpted a few broken concrete spars from foamboard, and used one of the alternative arms to show the bolter held in a single hand, and picking the knife for the alternate hand. On the right I've brought a beaky helmet in, and used some etched brass I had to simulate a grate. This will then get some effluent draining into it from between the legs of the marine.

This is the flamer bearer for the squad and even though I do say so myself I love the subtle connection between the flamer and the jerry cans.

This is quite clearly the most extensive conversion in the squad (and quite possibly my favourite), and even though I've not re-positioned the legs at all (my previous attempts at this have taught me how difficult it can be) it's still a convincing conversion detailing a marine vaulting over a wall. I've used the missile launcher arm before to do something similar with an assault marine but this is a far superior effort.

Ok, so I've got a marine wielding a heavy bolter in one hand and a power sword in the other. Oh yeah, and stamping down on a manhole from which something is trying to crawl, probably a zombie though it could be a renegade guardsman...

The heavy bolter is from the old sternguard conversion sprue, and I just love the sword too much not to use it.

And finally, the sergeant, completely built from parts within the kit. He's sculpted onto some steps, once again made from foamboard.

Here's the almost final step for the drop pod - I've been working hard on getting some new techniques into my repertoire, so I've done hazard stripes, two different washes and some drybrushed stippling into the doors. I've also worked on getting a much smoother highlight onto the drop pod edges, it's still an extreme highlight, but not quite so sudden as my earlier efforts.

Here's the detail of the door, with agrax earthshade and nuln oil washes over leadbelcher. I've then drybrush stippled abaddon black into the recesses before running a dry highlight of ironbreaker onto the raised parts. The hazard stripes are simply averland sunset washed with a heavy wash of agrax earthshade

Erm, yeah, so having spent several hours in total already, there's, erm, 4 more doors to do along with all the chips/scratches. Eek.

Till next time!

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