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We are on the final run to finishing the Macharius Salvation repair, just some filling and surface work to do.

First up we take a look at the exhausts on the back of the Macharius ..

As you can see not a good fit at all, not to mention irregularly cut. I considered using a hair dryer to bend the pipes for a better fit, but was worried the curve would end up looking wrong/compressed if I did.

I decided finally to use procreate to rebuild the point of contact for the pipe as you can see below at point C. Only one done so far, but the other one is scheduled for tonight, on an interesting note often with green stuff / procreate it is better to let things which are near to another harden and dry first in case of accidental damage on finished work when working on the second item.

As you can see above at point A the track replacement is in place, I had to fill an enormous bubble hole in the resin below and let it harden. One fitted I added 1.5mm plastic rod to make the track joint, now it is all dry I have to fill the small gaps between the track and the white rod to make it accurate.

Point B. shows more filling for the cracked corners. Because of the size of this hole I had to create an initial filling, recessed from the surface slightly in all directions, which will harden and act as a base for the final smooth coat.

As you can see the rear of the vehicle rapidly approaches completion, I for one will be glad when the “filling” is complete.

Moving to the front we can address the front “joint” for want of a better description. The joint/fit was terrible as you can below, this one was/is hard to hide.

You can see in the bottom of the picture, the gap that needed concealing. First I tried to remove the bar to tidy it all up, that was not going to happen, it was well and truly glued into place. None of the support struts on the bar even touched the tank at any point either. I finally decided to employ a physical trompe l’oeil technique to fool the observer, using a square strip of plasticard to create a much straighter line which the eye would latch onto instead of the irregular drifting line it concealed, basically misdirection. It would not be perfect, there was just too much movement, however it would look better than the previous joint. Once the plasticard was in place I filled in behind the struts (see point A) so they all looked like they joined on to the hull correctly, I then subtly used a scalpel to make them all look roughly the same depth by re-cutting the front on the protrusive ones (once again a depth illusion). All that remains is some minor filling work around the new strip to finalise.

Now we move back towards the middle.

I replaced the damage hatch and tidied up some at point A, there was lots of spilled super glue. The edge of the viewport at point B was damaged and chipped off, so I cut it back a little to clean up and then sculpted it back using procreate. Finally there was a long edge where the cover for the stubbers didn’t meet the hull which I filled and smoothed. There is a small amount of filling to do, but not much :)

To give you a more cohesive view here is the current work in progress shot, it almost looks finished :)

Notice how the plasticard strip at the front makes the straight line illusion work!

I am pleased with the way its looking now, but I am want to get it off my desk to make way for the next sub project!

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My original plan had been to make more repairs and modifications to the Macharius Salvation sub-project. However I had some Forgeworld stuff and a surprise in the post today which demanded a small post.

Firstly here is a picture of the forgeworld haul …

Two Ryza turrets and a Leman Russ Mars Alpha pattern hull including trench rails.

I have long been a fan of the look of the Mars Alpha pattern hull, for its extra detail and length. You can see below the difference between a normal GW Plastic hull and the Forgeworld one … its a Beast :)

When you add in the nicely detailed hull mounted front weapons … you get a good looking model! … note however no Heavy flamer .. guess who is going to have to make that!

With the Mars Alpha were the remaining weapons I needed to complete the set for the LRIWS sub-project. The normal looking Battle Cannon and a replacement Conqueror pattern (its actually an alternate battle cannon, but it looks really like a conqueror to me!). In addition I got a couple more turrets for my collection.

Also in the post was something I had been interested in from the states.

I had been wanting to add some panniers to my various vehicles so this tempted me also. I had seen some models with them on and thought I would give them a try!

Lastly and definitely not least … There is one single Steel Legion figure I did not have in my collection. The ultra rare Necromunda Sniper … who actually was a Steel Legion trooper kneeling. This figure is really rare and out of production, I have been scouring ebay for four years looking for him, when one came up in America a couple of weeks ago. I bid sniped like crazy to get him and I am ashamed to say paid what felt like a small fortune for a single figure (whoever sold him will be happy I am sure). But he is MINE NOW!!

There are few alternate heads/faces/alternate poses in the Steel Legion, I had them all but this one … Now I am very happy :)

I also got something else in the post … this one from the far east … but that bit will have to wait till I start that sub-project … next week I suspect!

Busy weekend … got quite a lot done on the Macharius Salvation sub-project.

To start with I repaired the storage bins at the back of the turret. The original strip around the bottom was damaged so I removed it, I tidied up the damaged three supports by removing them and generally sanded down the damage areas to a clean surface. I then measured the remaining supports and reproduced three them using plasticard.

It is important to note that these models were mainly constructed out of plasticard to begin with, therefore reproducing them should just be a matter of measuring the thickness of card used and then cutting to the appropriate size. Below you can see me starting to glue into place the replacement supports, I tend to use self locking tweezers for the job. They hold the item so all I need to do is place the item (with the glue of course). I tend to find normal tweezers where I need to apply pressure to hold the item start to shake slightly at precisely the wrong moment.

Also you can see the finished supports in place, this other half of the image shows the damage to the “edge” of the box we will cover with plasticard “angle” strip. In addition you should be able to see two damaged brackets on the large face, the hidden face also has a damaged bracket.

We skip forward in time for about three hours and can see the final results of our work. The points of interest are labelled: -

A - A tarpaulin was added from the normal Tank upgrade sprue, I decided to do this as it adds some extra detail to the model, making it seem more life like/used, it also conveniently hid the damaged surface nicely. Sometimes there IS an easy way out! One small point of added detail in the magnified section was the removal of the “solid” part under the curl of the fabric. The plastic moulding process demands that no overhangs / obstructions can occur, therefore they “fill” these little areas with plastic. By removing the plastic carefully with a scalpel / hobby knife we can increase our level of realistic detail, these things are hard to see, sometimes almost imperceptible but they can make a difference.

B - The banding on the lower edge of the storage bin was replaced and extra rivets added. Note the triangular arrangement of the rivets at the corners, I decided to use this arrangement as it was the standard used on other parts of the tank. Often when repairing or modifying a vehicle it is important to achieve a sympathetic or similar style to “fit” in and not look out of place, something that ruins a lot of excellent work done by beginners without them realising it.

C - The struts we covered above, however please not they appear very slightly thicker than the originals. This is almost always caused by shrinkage at the moulding stage, if a master model is not kept and used for the mould, then often first run duplicates are. These duplicates are themselves slightly smaller, when they are used for making a replacement for an old / work out mould the size once again decreases. If you do mould your own work at any time, always remember to keep the original and try not to destroy it in the moulding process, I keep boxes of my originals safely stored away incase I get mould failure.

Tracks are often a pain on resin vehicles and as I am sure you remember from the early photos we had an almost completely missing track at the back. I needed to replace this track with something, so I set about making a new one from plasticard as you can see below. Once again measuring a normal track piece gave me all the dimensions I required and about an hour later I had the replacement made as you can see. A cut up chimera (more on that sub-project later) supplied the rivets and all the rest came from my store of plasticard. If you plan to do any serious modelling with tanks / vehicles, I can only suggest you invest in a broad selection of plasticard strip, tube, sheet etc from Evergreen and/or Plastruct, you will NOT regret it.

I was pleased with the replacement track and have not put it into place yet as I might actually mould it, still have not decided yet.

Luckily the end of the damaged track was used to replace one that had been sheared away at the front of the tank, waste not!  It still needs a little filing, to smooth the procreate used to join / support it, but I wanted to get this post done at the end of the weekend and not waste time filing till tomorrow.

Trying to keep the same “turret” theme I planned for the Leman Russ turrets, I took the cut up turret from the demolisher and carefully cut away the filtration systems from the side and top. These two pieces were then added to pretty much the only clear space on the Macharius turret. The first picture shows the side mounted component already stuck into place and you cannot see underneath it where it has two plasticard struts for support.

I then ran / shaped two small ribbed cables (from Dragonforge) from the side mounted component, up and over onto the nearest clear space on the top. Support brackets / ties made from plasticard were added with bolts for realism / detail and I must remember to get some photo-etch brass strip which would have been much easier.

Finally I added the top mounted component for the filtration and drilled it to receive the ends of the two ribbed cables. Once glued into place (both cables and component) I proceeded to use procreate to create “covers” for where the cables joined the components.  Once again I used procreate not because of preference over green stuff, but because it was already grey in colour and I preferred that.

Lastly we move onto the finished sponson with heavy bolter.

Here we can see the cuts and nicks of the sponson on the left hand side, have been repaired with procreate, which I also used to fill the gap between sponson and vehicle. When the not cylindrical turret is added the finished result finally comes together nicely, overall a lot of work, but it makes such a difference compared to our original greenstuff packed version.

With the turret finished and the sponson .. we are focused on the tracks and the leading edge of the Macharius. The LRIWS sub-project is on hold at the moment as we await the delivery from forgeworld (currently marked as dispatched on friday, thanks FW).

I am anticipating another 5 hours work to finish the modelling phase of the Macharius Salvation, then she gets put aside for a while as we move onto the Airbrush and Oil Wash work. I want to practice on a dead old Leman Russ to get the finish I want right before committing it onto the Macharius, as with all things it is better to practice on something you don’t care about first before ruining hours of work on a great model.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I will be working up at the British Museum in London. I am hoping to get enough time to finish the Macharius though :)

@ Inquisitor NicolePyykkonen : I hope my work is inspirational, I try and make my thought process clear and give the detail required for others to follow it.  I definitely hope I it is NOT humiliating, we all have different degree’s of experience and as you said I hope you can and will learn from wherever you can :)

@ Max_Dammit : They are still running in Mexico, but I cannot seem to find a supplier!

@ StrayCatt : I tend to find I can get a reasonable edge onto procreate and it will sand ok. I used to use milliput but stopped as I found I didn’t like the texture / way it was worked (most probably a personal thing I suspect), I should get some and give it another try.

@ Orkdung : Lets hope I can get a good chunk of it done :)

@ Isiah : Its just practice … I am confident you could easily reproduce it with time!

@ DasPanzerIstUber : You do not know home many times this project has made me feel depressed / not good enough. Enjoy the Cadians, they are cool looking and have tons of good addons from Forgeworld!.

Just a quick update on the Macharius Salvation.

I started work on the Green stuff filled turret. Here you can see midway through and almost finished.

As you can see some minor damage was done while removing the greenstuff. Given the force required to remove hardened Green stuff its lucky in many ways it was not worse.

I will be tidying the gouges and nicks in the resin using Pro-Create for no good technical reason other than it is grey coloured and matches the model.

In addition I made a new cylinder style turret out of plasticard tubing. The size of the original turret is 10mm in diameter so I used a 10mm plasticard tube cut to the correct length for the sponson.

The original turret had an oval recess cut into it to allow the Heavy Bolter to be fitted. To get the same look I tested using the next smaller diameter plasticard tube inside, it was a nice tight fit and would form the “base” of the cut out. I then removed the smaller tube .. and proceeded to carefully drill out the oval using larger and larger diameter drills from 1mm - 5mm. Once I had the circular ends correct, I merely used a scalpel to remove the section between them.

Once this had been done I started to glue smaller and smaller diameter tubing inside to “fill” the cylinder. You can see this in the photo above, and the variant sizes of plasticard tubing I used for the task. I was pleased with the result, which looked very similar to the original resin piece.

My next task will be to fill the small gaps in the end of the cylinder with green stuff and file them smooth. I am not quite decided yet whether to magnetise the weapons, however given my previous track record it is likely.

Tonight I will be starting the turret clean-up, I have taken pictures “before” starting and will take some pictures “after” for comparison as I work.

Leman Russ Integrated Weapon System : LRIWS - Continued

Below you can see the collection of most of the variants

The demolisher for some unknown reason was cast as a solid part of the turret by forgeworld. As you can see at the bottom of the picture below I needed to cut the end of the turret off and work away at the resin till I had the cannon separated and tidied off. I need to build a small plasticard plate to sit on top of the gun when it is fitted to the modified Ryza turret.

In the same image you can see the Punisher Gun in place. I must say I was pleased with the look, I think it looked good with the different turret :)

Using the same gun mantlet component we can also fit the Plasma gun to the turret. This finally gave me the chance to comparison the Forgeworld Plasma gun with the GW one in the same turret.

I think I prefer the GW one to the Forgeworld turret, given its similarity to larger weapons on Titans and Super heavies. What do you think?

Lastly I cut down the FW conqueror gun and used it as the base of the GW Nova Cannon. I found the inside of the GW cannon had a 6mm diameter space which could take the appropriate sized plasticard tube. I drilled a similar size hole into the resin of the FW gun “base” and slid the tube into both parts. Once I checked fit and ensured everything lined up correctly I took the picture below. Looking closely at the picture, I think a plasticard collar should be fitted to the point where both items join, with rivets on it, to match the FW style.

All that now remains is to order a new Conqueror cannon and the forgotten normal Battle Cannon from Forgeworld.

Well that is my second project started. I have also done some work on the Macharius and will hopefully have some pictures to show progress for the weekend.

Leman Russ Integrated Weapon System : LRIWS for short.

I have always enjoyed modelling as much as I have done wargaming. As a modeller, my aim is to make a pleasing and often historically acurate model to the best of my abilitiy. The bit I enjoy about mixing that with wargaming is that you have multiple potential options with most vehicles. Like most “Magnet Boyz” I love magnetising my models and vehicles to enable them to have multiple tactical uses, different weapons, options etc. Well with so many potential variants of the Leman Russ, it becomes a bit of a challenging conundrum!

It breaks down into numerous subsets …

1. Sponsons or Not  - Weapons variants (Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Melta or Plasma)

3. Forward Mount Weapons variants (Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Las Cannon)

4. Pintle Mounted Weapon or Not - Weapons variants (Storm Bolter, Heavy Stubber)

4. Camo Netting or Not

5. Extra Armour or Not

6. Dozer Blade or Not

7. Hunter Killer Missile or Not

8. Turrent Mounted Weapon Variants (Battle Cannon, Exterminator Autocannon, Vanquisher Battle Cannon, Eradicator Nova Cannon, Demolisher Siege Cannon, Punisher Gatling Cannon, Executioner Plasma Cannon, Annihilator Las Cannons,  Conqueror Battle Cannon)

9. Named Crew (Knight Commander Pask & the Forgeworld named variants)

As you can see its quite interesting to try and to build a single Leman Russ which can accommodate all potential variants. But hey … why should it being hard stop us from doing it …

Initially we are going to tackle the Turret Mounted Weapon Ssystems as per LRIWS mentioned above. To make things slightly more complex I really REALLY like the Modified Ryza Pattern Turret from Forgeworld .. As seen in the picture below.

Well last time I was working on my Steel Legion I collected almost all the variant turrets from Forgeworld. But if you were following from before you know I sometimes throw money at my solutions!

I somehow strangely had not got the Battle Cannon variant (doh) … and obviously I needed a solution for the Eradicator Nova Cannon & Punisher Gatling Cannon (both came with the 2010 Leman Russ which I did not have).

Well after a trip down to my local GW (Croydon), I became the proud possessor of a brand new 2010 Leman Russ Box!  The Eradicator Nova Cannon would take a little bit of work, mainly obtaining the FW conqueror turret again and fitting the two together (the barrel size was closest of all those I checked). The Punisher however was going to take some work, it had a wide gun mantlet and a cunning fitting system to make it work. While I was also looking at the Punisher, I could not help but notice the Plasma cannon GW had included in the Demolisher Box. Wow, it was so much cooler than the Forgeworld variant, and best of all matched the look of the super heavy vehicles that FW did too.

So the problem then became one of making a gun mantlet that would enable me to mount a Plastic Plasma Cannon & Punisher Gatling Gun into the same turret. As the pieces were basically compatible with each other I needed to create some kind of cut down mantlet that fitted the same space as that used by Forgeworld on the modified Leman Russ turret, therefore giving me the weapon swap out capability I sought.

Here is my succesful attempt, yes there was a failed version (curse you Forgeworld) but more on that later.

First off I duplicated the original fitting in a scrap mould (a mixture of other small one or two off parts needing casting but not needing to be cast many times) which would be cut up into small pieces and used in other moulds as filler. I then cut the moulded gun mantlet down so that it was the width of the Modified Ryza pattern Leman Russ Turret. Then I proceeded to make a surround out of plasticard that looked similar to the ones made by FW. This is where the first variant bit the dust, if you take a careful look at the picture of the second attempt, you will see that the “back” is not square with the front (as shown by the greenstuff “shim/wedge”). The first attempt was perfectly square, naively assuming that forgeworld had made the gun hole “square”. Uh-huh … it wasn’t square on the first turret I checked, nor the fourth … Which is where I started checking the guns themselves, they were not “square” either. Hence the second version that matches the “irregular” fit of the gun hole :)

Once this was right I merely needed to test for fit and trim the plastic parts.

More in the following post .. The trials of the Demolisher Cannon, ordering yet more Forgeworld, did the Punisher work? …

Monday morning and I spent the weekend relaxing and thinking about what sub-projects are part of this lumbering behemoth that is this log.

The next few posts will show the key sub-projects and give a description of what I want to do with them.

So, in no particular order of importance.

1. The Macharius Salvation

Some time ago a fellow gamer contacted me regarding a forge world purchase that had gone badly wrong for him. Even though he was an good modeller I think he had given up on this purchase as a bad deal and he wondered if I would like the vehicle in question. We decided on a price and I eagerly awaited the arrival of a Macharius Heavy Tank with Vulcan Mega-bolter.

When it arrived I could understand why the gentleman in question had most probably wanted to sell it on.

Some parts had arrived broken from Forgeworld orginally and in a moment of enthusiasm the original owner had decided he could model his way around the problems. One of the original sponson guns was missing its cylindrical housing and an attempt was made to use Green Stuff to replace it.

Tracks were broken and the result was “Hidden”

Super glue and green stuff were generously applied around the model (with added fingerprints)

and finally .. as is often the case with Resin models the fit was poor.

These are possibly the worst aspects of the vehicle, however just generally there is a lot of excess superglue and poor fitting around the entire model.

“The Macharius Salvation” will be the recovery of this vehicle from its poor current state into something I could use on the battlefield. Initially it will be focused around filing down the excess superglue, filling in the cracks and gaps where possible and recreating the missing sponson cylinder from scratch.

Once that is done I will then try and add some new features and upgrades to the model before giving it the distinctive Steel Legion camouflage pattern!

It is a shame for such a lovely forge world model to go waste .. so its a unique “fixer upper” opportunity.

The next project I will be posting about later on today is codenamed “LRIWS” … Any guesses as to what that stands for ?

I am not sure where to begin … so I suppose some form of overview is important.

What Happened?  

Two years ago this project consumed me and spat me out. It was the most ambitious project I had ever undertaken and in the end it burned me out. I stopped painting for a year afterward and didn’t return to 40k for another year on top of that. When I did it was to work on my Iron Hands.

So What is Different Now?

I had some bad news recently, I have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, I had three haemorrhages in my left eye in the space of two days, the effect on my vision is significant. I have impaired colour, depth perception and fine detail focus with my left eye.

Suddenly I run the real risk of losing some or all of my sight. Knowing I might lose the ability to paint and model .. is driving me to do it. Holding tightly onto what I have, frightened I might lose it.

I desperately wanted to find out what I had lost so far, I personally believe that my steel legion is the high watermark of my hobby activity, therefore the logical place to test against. So I started to paint another steel legion trooper, it was harder than I hoped, however as you can see from above it is of a similar quality to my previous work, although to be honest much slower to do than before as I had to correct many more mistakes.

Simple stuff suddenly got harder, without good depth perception I don’t know where brush is in relation to the surface I want to paint. Time after time I would approach the model with the brush only to bump against the surface because I didn’t not perceive the distance correctly. I could go on and on, but a simple way of you understanding is to paint with one eye covered next time you paint anything. Its a steep learning curve.

The final result as can be seen above, was I hope within 5% overall quality difference of the previous work (next to it). With an improvements on the goggles (as I have done some significant lens work in the time since I did the Steel Legion last time.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

I will NOT be working at the same pace as before, it is physically impossible for me now.

I will TRY to learn new things as it might be my last opportunity.

I will ATTEMPT to narrow my focus to Steel Legion only projects.

There WILL be times this blog goes quiet as I undergo treatment on my eyes, I will try to give notice of this.

This project WILL almost certainly not finish, but it will move forward. I have a number of new ideas and techniques to discuss.

Initial areas of interest we will be looking at are …

Airbrush work

Using Oils on vehicles

Pigments on vehicles

Using Enamel Washes on vehicles

Laser Cutting for small detail parts

3d Modelling and production

I want to get more troopers made and painted, so that means the old favourites of sculpting and modelling will also feature heavily.

If you are a previous watcher of this thread, welcome back. If your new, then spend the three hours it takes and read the previous hundreds of posts to catch up!

If you have any questions your welcome to ask :)

There should be more images and discussion of some of the above techniques later today and over the weekend.

Some progress on Venator Faisal, my first Hunter of Sirius:

Basecoat all over, a quick Badab Black wash and some highlights everywhere except the left arm which is basecoated only.

The P3 paints are proving a little awkward to work with, or perhaps just different to my usual GW/Vallejo paints. They go on smoothly, consistently and with reasonable, if not great, coverage, all perfectly acceptable until at some magic instant the dreaded chalkiness appears mid stroke.

I’m thinning the paints with my usual retarder/flow aid/acrylic medium mix and it works fine fresh from the pallette but I have to work very quickly and wash the brush out much more often compared to other paint brands to avoid chalkiness. As you can probably see from the mini that’s making Faisal here look a little low rent and making highlighting my usual way (lots and lots of slightly lighter layers covering progressively smaller areas) a little tricky to pull off with consistency.

Still, I like the colour scheme, the grey-green and bone works nicely and the leather is OK, a little rich maybe, I’ll try to leach a little life from it with some washing and shading I think. Altogether I think it’s quite a suitable scheme for the Astartes.

But the real question is what colour the sword should be, I like the red pistol, I’m keeping that but I based the front of the sword purple on a whim and I’m not so sure it works. I had planned to try out the old ‘lightning’ effect on the purple to indicate the power-swordiness of it but the alternative might be a deeper, richer and glossier purple to try and achieve a crystalline effect.

Some progress on the Exorcist:

Just the details left, plasma coils, a final highlight for the jump pack and the details on there (purity seals etc.) also need doing. The servo-skull also needs a highlight or two.

OK, so it won’t win a Golden Daemon, even here in Australia,  but I think it’ll end up a few steps above table top and I’ve learnt from painting it so I’ll finish it, take some decent photos and move on…

To this guy:

Not much to see, a couple of licks of Privateer P3 Bastion Grey and a slathering of Badab Black wash and that’s it so far. Doesn’t seem anywhere near as brown as the hex code I found for P3 Bastion Grey does on the Space Marine Painter image in the previous blog…