#Orktober Part Deux – Da Black Ork Cav – DIY Battlewagon & Command Group

So to match my comrade in blogging, I too have taken up the challenge to Paint The Sh*t I Already Own and organise (Orkganise?) it into a fully 2nd Ed legal “baddie” force to oppose Dan’s gloriously technicolour Blood Angels.

Some of you may remember these lads from the dim and distant World That Was – pre-pandemic, pre-war – and although I scraped together enough models to fight the scenarios in the 2nd Ed battle booklet, I just… left them there. In order to make a fully legit 2nd Ed force. They were going to need the most dreaded phrase in wargaming parlance – “rounding out”.

Happily, I still had a few Orks left over from filling out the ranks of the Boyz (as well as a random Grot), a copy of the 2nd Ed Ork Codex from 1994 as a PDF from what I assume is a legal source.. and of course hope (Sorry, wrong franchise).

I planned out a list with the intent of making an “armoured cavalry” themed force of mercenaries using the scratch built Ork tanks that WD 136 came with cardboard templates for – cool quirky things that would make their way into Epic like the Gobsmasha, the Lungbursta, the Braincrusha and the Bonecrusha or Bonebreaka.. only to find that these no longer had rules in 2nd Ed. So after some wailing and gnashing of teeth, I came up with another plan – although the original paint scheme left these guys as largely clan-agnostic, most of the ladz had camo trousers of some description, meaning I could legitimately run them as Blood Axes… and that meant access to Imperial hardware.

So, a Gobsmasha could be an Orky take on a Vindicator? Scans Marine & Guard codex…nope, Vindicators didn’t have rules back then. However, the Leman Russ was new to the Guard back then, and there’s no reason why a Blood Axe Mek shouldn’t have looked at that great mountain of dakka and thought “Hmm…”… so I figured I could pretty reasonably knock together a Lungbursta hull, slap a couple of sponsons on it, and hey presto – Orky Leman Russ.

I came up with a battle roster suiting the kit I had to hand – 20 odd Orks, 41 Gretchin.. keeping to the theme of austerity (Orksterity?) I figured the rest would be vehicles and Dreads because I could scratch build them virtually for free – hell, I’d already done a Dread.

So here is the roster:

2 x Mobs 10 Boyz (bolt pistol, flak armour, axe) – 120 pts each

2 x Mobs of 20 Gretchin (autogun) – 100 pts each

Da Dread – lascannon, heavy bolter – 145

585 so far..

Warboss – Flak Armour, Kustom Blasta, Kustom Forcefield -115 (700)

Gretchin Champion Assistant – Flak Armour, Autogun, Knife – 6 (706)

Mek & Painboy – Kustom Blasta, Kustom Forcefield – 68 each (842)

2 Battlewagons – 50 each (942)

Bigboss- Ork Eavy Armour, Power Fist, Frag & Krak Stikkbomz – 57 (999)

2nd 500 pt block

Ork Nob – Autocannon, Frag, Krak, Melta Stikkbomz, Kustom Force Field – 61pts

Runtherd – bolt pistol, flak armour, Kustom Force Field, Frag & kark Stikkbomz– 43pts (104)

Nuvver Dread – Heavy Bolter, Missile Launcher – 145 (249)

Yet Anuuvver Dread – Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer – 120 (369)

2x Warbuggy – Multi Melta – 130 (499)


3rd 500 pt block

2 Leman Russ Demolisher w/Heavy Plasma Guns in sponsons – 250 each – 1999

As you can see, a fair bit to do! Currently I’m painting the remaining infantry and building a retro-style battlewagon:

Remaining Orks and lone Grot stripped, based – homemade texture paste, PVA, dunk in the mass of sawdust and general Garage Floor Grit, prime white and thinned Smoky Ink wash (partly for the gradation of colour, mainly for outlining details that my aging peepers might otherwise miss)
Floorplans cut from foamboard – you can see the measurements marked on. Shaded parts are the bits to be cut off.
Stroke of genius here! X-D Stacked up the foamboard offcuts to make the fron drivers compartment and the rear mounted engine compartment… I’m thinking BIG V8!
Overview of the foamboard chassis, Ork Boy for scale
NOW we’re cooking! Card panels cover the foamboard engine & driver compartment, single corrugated card for the passenger compartment side panels, wheels are cardboard tube with cardboard added for armour plate and balsa wood coffee stirrers provide the cross bracing on the wheels
More armour panels and rear wheels built from toilet roll tube – bigger rims… “Ghazgkull sez, ride big”
Rivets! Detailed with hundreds of the bastard things, little dots of PVA added with a cocktail stick… tedious to do, but looks SO GOOD when you slap the paint on… Note as well the spikes filling in the gaps in the armour, these are just cocktail sticks trimmed to fit and held in pace with the magic combo of superglue and quick dry PVA.
Rear view..

Now let’s finish off with a few beauty shots – there’s a fair bit to do to get these up to the magic 2000pts (let alone the hefty force of Marines Dan’s Blood Angels will add up to) but I rather like this idea of a renegade Ork mercenary force with a lot of dakka for hire.. an elite cadre of Orks with the Gretchin “hired help” pressed into services as supporting fire/ meat shields.. Look out for a battle report in the near future as we get the gaming shed ready for some 2nd Ed retro goodness!

All painted up and ready to roll!
Base of red craft paint, washed with smoky ink and drybrushed up, pin washes of smoky ink and went heavy with the sponge chipping and drybrushed up some brown to represent mud
The new recruits! Boss WarBastard IV identifiable by snazzy kustom shoota (bit of lego jammed over an Imperial bolter by the eBay seller), sword and spiky armour – yes, I will be doing back banners!
Da Black Ork Cav on parade!
All together – WAAAAGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

And by my calculations I’ve got enough scraped together to field a legit 1000pt army (just need the banners) to go up against Dan’s boys in red for a proper legit retro 2nd Ed scrap – so Dan, is Captain Tycho ready to get his pretty face messed up again? Let’s do this!

As always, stay thrifty and we’ll see you again soon!

More Hyperian Wars Escalation – The Dauntless Redux!

We live in an increasingly turbulent world. Our cousin races – the Ee’la, the Stoc’d – withdraw into themselves, thinking only of their own interests. The Beasts – Orca, Grub, Virum Nascii, Lacerats – their numbers grow by the day, encroaching onto those territories claimed by Man. The Dead pour from the dark places.. and even while all this takes place, still we turn on each other.

Our Sky Marines perform above and beyond the call of duty but in the face of peer and near-peer competitors it is vital that we shore up our technological to maintain overmatch in the face of these perils. And so we are proud to unveil a new generation of Skycutters to ensure that our forces go into battle equipped the very best in firepower and protection from perils both physical and enchanted. To this end, we present our latest and best battlefield weapon – the Allied Sky Vessel “Dauntless”

Her power fields and wards will provide unmatched protection against conventional and magickal attacks, whilst a Vrilfire cannon can cut a swathe through enemy warriors. Vril-tipped missiles equipped with Artificial Cognisance can bring down threats up to and including the largest dragons employed by the Beast races, whilst reinforced liftwood levitation engines ensure maximal mobility. Noospheric networking allows the Dauntless class to network with lesser constructs such as the Whippet, as well as with platoon command sections and Masters Of Artificials on the ground
The Dauntless combines speed, protection and lethality into one construct, ensuring our society has nothing to fear from the Dead, the Beasts, or any other threat that the world of Hyperia may choose to throw against us
She can be seen here flying the colours of the 301st Skyborne, a tried and tested formation who have defended the Grand Alliance against many foes
Live fire combat testing proved the efficacy of the design, the Skyborne being highly appreciated of her concentrated firepower

Yep, I got into the recycling again…

Actually, I’ve been meaning to do this for AGES. Ever since I saw this:

This is the lid of a bottle of laundry detergent. And looked at the right way… it has an air of steampunk, Adeptus Mechanicus-style menace, doesn’t it? And given that the previous incarnation of the Dauntless was basically a toilet roll tube with pretensions, I’d long wondered if I couldn’t do something a bit better.
Filled the body with caulk and popped a ping pong ball in there to be the liftwood core
Some EPVC (I think) from an eBay purchase provided the wings – you’ll have seen the same stuff used here as base.
Bevelled the wings and glued them on using a mix of quick dry PVA, caulk and superglue.
Jet thrusters from a pair of now-dead biros
Chin cannon (thinking steampunk/ fantasy A-10 here, so something analogous to the iconic “Avenger” cannon) – this was made from a mysterious leftover part from an IKEA bookcase!
Missiles added for those hard to reach targets! These are rawl plugs, attached to the wings with the same mix of PVA and superglue
Something this big needs a base equal to the challenge! Pretty sure 2005 virus protection isn’t much use in 2022, so this CD will do, with a Tactical Rock added to cover the hole
Cardboard added for armour plating and rivets daubed on as blobs of PVA with a cocktail stick, and then we bring the primer! White, to match the Whippet
Cat litter added to the base for scenic effect
Primed and ready for painting…
And done! Painting was the same as the Whippet, and the basing mostly used the same idea – I did a little bot of leopard spotting on the rocks before drybrushing them with cream and using the tried and trusty mix of PVA and superglue to attach the ping pong ball liftwood core.. Thumb added for scale!

So there we go – I’m really, really chuffed with this build, it came together really well and I think it looks the part too… full of menace, hovering across the battlefield dispensing Vrilfire death to the enemies of the Grand Alliance… let’s see what those filthy Greenskin savages, rat abominations or misguided religious zealots can come up with to match her!

Stay thrifty out there and see you soon – we’ve just noticed that it is (drumroll please) Orctober!!! So no prizes for guessing the next few posts themes…

The Fawcett-Fairchild FV1066 “Whippet” Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform

As tensions across the world of Hyperia escalate, the Grand Alliance coalition of willing floating cities and aero-states are finding it necessary to deploy Sky Marine task forces with increasing regularity. As by necessity these task forces are small in terms of numbers, despite their high quality training and equipment they are vulnerable to near-peer competitors able to deploy overwhelming numbers. To this end, the Alliance military-industrial complex have been tasked with developing easily deployable “force multipliers”. The Fawcett-Fairchild “Whippet” class Quadrupedal Ambulatory Weapons Platform is such a device, crewed by a single Sky Marine, Vril-enabled Artificial Cognisance enabling it to track multiple targets, prioritise them and engage with twin belt-fed 1-inch canons – all the while networking with “senior” constructs such as the Dauntless-class Skycutter.”

You know that feeling when you see a piece of junk that you’re about to throw out and all of a sudden a voice in your head says “Keep me… I am destined to be more than this..”…

Yes, it’s a junk build. Missed these, haven’t you? 😉

So it was with a simple plastic cap off a bottle of guitar string cleaner – there was just something about the proportions that I thought looked right in 1/72… coupled with the fact that Dan had mentioned a new RTS called Iron Harvest that he reckoned I might get a kick out of…

OK, failed to take any pics of the build process, it seems. So – I began with the clear plastic spray top that forms the body of the mech. Next, I bored some holes in it and used cocktail sticks, snapped in half at the “knee” joints and sealed with superglue to form the legs. A mix of superglue and quick dry PVA did wonders to fix the legs in place to the body.

Next up, the cannons – two more cocktail sticks with sort of grippy bits on them (look at the pic, I don’t know how best to describe them!) – these got the superglue/ PVA treatment straight to the body. This works really well – PVA gives a flexible, sturdy bond but it takes time to dry, whereas superglue is quick drying but brittle. Mixing them seems to do wonders, and there doesn’t seem to be any side effects like Mel The Terrain Tutor describes from mixing superglue and hot glue.

The ammo belts you see feeding the cannons are cut from IDE cable (credit to Zrunelord from TMP there), chopped about 5mm by 10mm and given the magic glue mix, and the shiny thing on top is a defunct watch battery – gives the thing a nice bit of weight.

On the top you can see a chopped down superglue cap, and a couple of thin pieces of card glued to the front for armour plating, and just out of shot are a couple of drinking straws trimmed to represent exhausts:

Old brush bristle got repurposed as an aerial, and the rivets are our classic method of PVA blobs dabbed on with a cocktail stick
Finally I drew round a paint pot on a piece of corrugated card for the base. And with that, time for priming!
White, as was the style of the time..
Prewash with thinned black paint & Vallejo Smokey Ink mix

And once again, I forgot to take pics of the painting process, so here we are with some finished beauty shots:

Basecoat of Vallejo Russian Green, washed with Arm Pinter Green Tone and then thinned Vallejo Brown Ink with a pin wash of Vallejo Smokey Ink.. then drybrushed back with Russian Green, and mixed with craft tan to lighten it. Weathering was Vallejo Skin Wash streaked on to simulate rainwater and then sponge chipping with craft black and Vallejo Mithril silver for where bare metal pokes through (not too much, Sky Marines undertake regular maintenance of their armoury). The brass ammo belts were Mithril Silver washed with Skin Wash, and the base painted with chocolate brown before covered with dry soil, sand and Jarvis flock before varnish
Seen here about to kick some greenskin ass.. “They are to our right, left and centre.. they can’t get away now!”

Stay thrifty out there, and if you’re so inclined you can now follow us on Instagram! Just search “@skinflintgames” – see you in the next one

Goin’ Street Legal – Tidying Up The Guard

This was supposed to be an easy one….

So, back in the days of M2 992 when the 2nd edition of Space Marine came out, supplemented by Armies Of The Imperium, the Guard got a few tricks that haven’t endured to the present day. Crucially – as GW only had a limited number of model kits available – the Rhino was a standardised piece of kit available to Guard and Astartes forces alike.

Although your common or garden Guardsman is expected to footslog into battle and basically stand and die, under 2nd Ed Epic all Guard company HQs were all issued with Rhinos and furthermore each Guard company got issued a Commissar – essentially an independent morale/ political officer type, this is a useful unit able to act independently, handy in close combat and crucially able to reinforce the slightly inflexible Guard command structure by relaying orders and taking command over Guard units left leaderless. These units were free, and looked to be hugely useful – so in order to make the Granny Grating Guard a fully “street legal” playable force under 2nd Edition, I needed to make some.

Infantry were a piece of cake – usual cross shapes, with a slight alteration for the Commissar to represent his chainsword and a little smear of greenstuff for his cape. I painted the Guardsmen escorting him in the usual manner, while the Commissars themselves got funky red caps with black capes (I know, capes are pretty wizard) and shiny Vallejo Mithril Silver chainswords.

The Rhinos were a slightly trickier affair – I went back to the Vindicators from back in… 2019? The Before Times, the Long Long Ago and copied the dimensions, just leaving off the reinforcement glacis plate and unfeasibly large gun and adding a couple of hatches from thin cardboard (the circular ones were done with my hole punch), and the details of boltguns and exhausts were done with granny grating offcuts. I’ve got into a new technique with these – holding them with tweezers und using a mix of superglue and tacky PVA. The superglue provides the initial hold, the PVA provides are stringer more flexible bond after it dries.

I primed everything white because 1992, and painted with the same pattern of Granite Dust house paint/ Green Wash/ Brown wash/ Black wash/ Granite Dust Drybrush for the uniform bits. Craft black for the commissars, and following the “Assault On Barbarius” battle report forces I added yellow and blue stripes for the HQ vehicles.

Back when I last gave this project some love, John@justneedsvarnish mentioned that they could use some flags… now, I could have got all smug and snarky -“Oh yes, everyone knows that all sci-fi armies use banners to denote their valuable command units, totally tactically sound” – except of course, that he’s dead right. You can’t do ’90s GW without flags. So I copied the infantry company HQ flags as best I could onto paper and superglued them onto poles made from about 15mm of straightened out, snipped up paperclip.. and I also added some flags to the HQ units of the other companies and the Leviathan, using the white/red/white army ID symbol the army uses on its’ right front quarters.

So with that done, pics:

Commissars rocking the black and red finish, HQs in blue (Tactical company) and yellow (Heavy Company)
HQs – I think these came out the best tbh
Commissars, all ready and decked out to ensure faith in the Emperor
The force in its entirety, all ready to hit the table!

So that gets us to:

Imperial Guard Vindicator Company – 450pts, Break Point 5, Morale 4+ ,VPs 5

Imperial Guard Tactical Company – 600pts, Break Point 17, Morale 4+, VPs 6

Imperial Guard Heavy Company – 600pts, Break Point 9, Morale 4+, VPs 6

Imperial Guard Leviathan – 350pts, 4 VPs

Imperial Guard Sentinel Squadron – 100pts, Break Point 3, Morale 4+, VPs 1

Imperial Guard Rough Rider Squadron – 150pts, Break Point 5, Morale 4+, VPs 2
3 x Commissars – Free

So that’s a cool 2250pts of Epic to throw down with, not enough for a BIG big game, but enough for a decent enough scuffle – unfortunately Skinflint HQ is out of action for the moment (redecoration), but it’s nice to know the Hazzard PDF can throw something into the field to combat Waaagh- Bozzhog!

Slava Ukrainia, see you again soon

The League Of Who? DIY Epic Squats!

It’s been a while, this. You ever get those project ideas which come really quickly but then take forever to get stuck into? This was one of those..

..which makes it all the sweeter to be finally able to show it off!

After Dan converted me to the Church of Granny Grating with his adorable Imperial Guard, I’ve fallen hook line and sinker for the charm of the technique, and after he decided to theme his army around the force featured in the 1992 (1993?) White Dwarf Battle Report, I decided to undertake a similar project based around the Squat force that fought against Ghazgkull Thraka’s Ork horde-

-and then, stuff got in the way…..

..and then this happened!

Yup. Stop the clock, as they say.

Now, the new look Squats are very much a source of controversy, but this army is firmly old school early 90s classic feel. So, to the pics!

Here’s how we start – wine box card and granny grating crosses, note slightly different shapes for assault troops (with swords) Hearthguard (greenstuff blobs to denote exo-armour) and banner poles to denote command stands.. no point going over the construction here as we’ve done it plenty over the last few years!
Thunderers – each of these lads mounts a shoulder fired heavy weapon, a granny grating clip off superglued to the shoulder
Grand Battery – 10 Mole Mortars, 5 Thudd Guns – drinking straw barrel, cardboard shield, granny grating undercarriage and wheels made by sling a sausage of greenstuff
Not fooling anyone yet, are they? But you wait till they’re based and painted!
Primed white, Vallejo Goblin Green for the overalls, cheap red craft paint for the flak jackets and Cadmium Yellow for the helmets, flesh tone craft paint for the faces. Everything then got a thinned Vallejo Brown Ink wash.. and then it was time to tackle the metallics!
The metallics were initially silver before I checked some pics online and discovered I needed to do bronze.. so initial basecoat of Vallejo Mithril Silver, overlaid with a craft bronze (that had virtually nothing in the way of pigment) and finished with a Brown Ink wash.
Hearth guard – yellow over white primer, overlaid with bronze craft paint and washed with brown ink.. yeah, I know, but from two feet they look pretty good!
Basing was a craft brown, layered with Garage Floor Dust (TM), dry soil and Jarvis mixed flocks
Grand Battery! I actually primed these guys gold with some spray paint I had from making Christmas decorations a few years ago, happily after a wash with Brown Ink they homogenised pretty well with the infantry!

So there we are, first tranche complete! Next up I’ve got a Guild Biker force to put together, and I’ve got some ideas for that… Granny grating is this stuff, so as you can see it’s an absolute steal, and one sheet has done all these Squats, Dan’s Imperial Guard, my Star Wars armies and there’s still a fair bit left!

Hopefully this has inspired you to give this technique a go – we can’t claim to have invented it, and sadly the original creator seems to have disappeared – this is as close a link as I could find. If anyone knows anything more, please let us know!

Stay safe and thrifty out there, and Slavia Ukrainia!

May The 4th Be (Belatedly) With You Once More

So, not going to labour this as there’s another juicy battle report to get to! But in the build up towards it I did manage a couple of fun little scratchbuilds to pad out the Epic Star Wars armies which I thought I’d share. So, to business!

First up, some support infantry – these represent heavy E-Web blaster teams, able to lay down heavy fire from covered positions. I knocked up a platoon of 6 each for the Rebel & Imperial sides.

Yep, it’s our old stalwarts of granny grating & wine box card! The two crewmen were the standard infantry shape, the guns used an H-shape for bipod and a long beam for the barrel. I had the stormtroopers stood at parade ground attention, while the Rebels got to stand at ease at different angles. Hot glue to attach the grating to the card, superglue to attach the barrels to the bipod. Make sure you let the hot glue dry and cool, you don’t want to mix superglue and hot glue together! Just ask Mel The Terrain Tutor

Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos pf these guys painted, but the schemes I used were exactly the same as the first round of infantry, so let’s move on to…

Imperial AT-PT Walkers!

I put some speeder mechs together for the Rebel forces a couple of weeks ago, so it was only right that the Empire got some mechanised support too – and because I have a weakness for Return Of The Jedi and the Care Bears taking down stormtroopers with twigs, I was really psyched to build these!

Foamboard! 5mm deep, cut these shapes out. Two of them glued side on make the cab.
This is thin “modelling card” bought from The Works discount stationary chain here in the UK – cut these shapes out to wrap around the exposed foamboard. If you haven’t got access to this stuff you can always use printer paper.
Of COURSE – granny grating! Cut this shape out to form the underside assembly carrying the laser cannons
“She’s got LEGS… and here’s how you make them..” cut these shapes out of chipboard (that thick cardstock stuff at the back of A4 pads)
Here are the templates drawn out – the circles are where they’ll attach to the “hips”, the toes at the bottom will be cut out and folded in opposing ways to make sure this thing holds together and stays upright!
NOW we’re cooking! I added some PVA blobs for rivets and extra detail where the legs met the body
Based on wine box card bases (these are integral to keeping the model together, really)
Added a couple of card squares to represent armour reinforcements and crew access hatches, primed white and painted basically the same way I did the rebels – Granite Dust house paint, green wash, brown wash, black wash, drybrush. Mithril Silver washed with black ink for the metallics.
The “eyes” were just painted on, doesn’t work too well close up but works well from two feet away!
Seen here backing up the stormtrooper infantry and Lord Vader himself!
“We will destroy the Rebel scum!”

And in my NEXT report… we’ll find out if they manage to!

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay thrifty, and Slavia Ukrainia!

May the 4th Yet Be With You – DIY Rebel Strike Mechs

So after a slightly impassioned – some may even say hysterical- piece a few weeks back, it’s time for a new project. Or, more accurately, time to reopen an old project and add stuff to it.

Inspired by Dan’s endeavours with granny grating, I built a small force of Star Wars rebels and stormtroopers, as well as a teeny tiny Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader… cue much chipmunk voice “I am your father!” “That’s not true! That’s impossible!”

This was for a couple of reasons- I like Star Wars, I like Epic, and we’ve been playing with a ruleset for 6mm battles and I wanted to test out what we had.

Now, we did have The Battle Of Aberdeen planned, but honestly, savage urban battles between a cartoon villain Russian horde and the plucky defenders just felt queasy given the current situation, so we shelved the plans for now and took our interests as far away from current reality as possible…

..which for me meant building these forces up for a May 4th battle! First order of business- vehicles.

I based my design on the units shown in the excellent and venerable RTS game Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, so while the Galactic Empire has the iconic walkers from Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, with the Rebels I was left guessing a little bit, so I took this as my model:

As you can see, it’s a sort of repurposed hover car/ speeder things with jets and front mounted lasers. So with the standard fare of materials (and of course, Hope), let us get started:
Foamboard for the body, dimensions as you can see marked on them
Cardboard layer around the exposed foam on the sides, detailed with cereal box cardboard overlay frame
Now we’re getting somewhere! Cockpit made from squidgy blob of greenstuff and I had a go at etching cockpit details on with a cocktail stick. Drinking straws, cut to lengths of 1cm and glued on with a mix of superglue for immediate hold and PVA for a lasting reinforcing hold.
Granny grating lasers mounted on the nose, and we’re ready for priming!
Primed grey as that’s what I had to hand, then given a coat of Wilkinsons’ Granite Dust house paint, then washed with grey, black and brown inks thinned down. Quick drybrush of Granite dust again, silver washed with black for the metallic bits, Vallejo Hot Orange for the squadron markings. I based them on 20mm cardboard squares, painted brown and dusted with the magical mix of Garage Floor Dust (TM), earth and flock. I created the illusion of hovering by basing them on a couple of granny grating “spikes” glued into the middle of the body.
And shown with the rest of the Rebel Scum..
Teeny Luke Skywalker leads the troops forward!

Right, next up will be the Empire with a few AT walkers, so until then, stay safe and thrifty out there!

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt.9 – When You’re On A Roll…

There’s an old saying – when you’re in a hole, stop digging, but when you’re on a roll, keep rollin’! So after the first Rhino actually took me slightly less than two years….

Yeah…

After having realised (with a couple of pointers from Jim) how to crank ’em out, here’s two more:

These were built exactly the same way as the first one, papercraft template downloaded from “In The Grim Cheapness” (RIP), glued to card… ignored the fiddly bits, used straws for the exhausts, PVA dabs for the rivets and Polyfilla (sanded down with an emery board) to fill in and take care of any glaring gaps. Primed white (and pre-shaded with brown ink), then Vallejo Hot Orange base, Red Ink Wash, drybrush with Hot Orange and edged with cheap Cadmium Yellow craft paint.

Metallics are Vallejo Mithril Silver over craft black base, whites are Dulux Jasmine White house paint (!)
Notice that No. 9 Rhino has a) the variant frontal armour and b) a small dent after having been inadvertently sat on by the boy.. not to worry, what would have been £30+ quid of plastic down the pan gets a quick shake, squeeze and prodding back out with a cocktail stick and..
Good to go! Seen here with the first Rhino, Captain Tycho and some friends…
“Our aim is to create a recognisable brand to strike fear into the hearts of the Imperium’s enemies”

So there we go, more progress on the 1991 Blood Angels Tribute Act… now, to make this force 2nd Ed legal, I need to bodge together a Techmarine, plus there’s a Land Speeder, a Land Raider, a Thudd Gun, two bikes (Christ knows how I’m going to do them) and the rest of the characters still to do… so hmmm, what’s next on the hit list….

Stay safe and thrifty out there, and slavia Ukrainia, slavia heroyem – all things pass

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 8- Startin’ Up The Motor Pool!

After my compatriot’s rather heartfelt (and heavily researched) post on the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, I kind of feel a bit sheepish popping this here, but here we are – the first vehicle for the 1991 Blood Angels!

Fittingly enough, it’s a Rhino – the ubiquitous M113-battle-taxi of the far future. This was (fanfare please) a DIY papercraft build, put together from a template downloaded from the now-shuttered (sadly) blog “In The Grim Cheapness” – I’d recommend downloading the hell out of everything on that site while it’s still up.

I actually built the basic hull and treads back in 2020 (!) and pretty much forgot about it, so hauled it back out and started applying details. Hatches and armour layers were cut from thin card, and the iconic four exhausts (borrowing from Wyloch.. praise be upon him) were made from drinking straws. I plugged up the holes with greenstuff and cut down thinner drinking straws for the very top of the exhaust.

You can see the rivets – dots of PVA glue, dabbed on with a cocktail stick. I also used Polyfilla (spackle, in American) to fill in some of the gaps, and then sanded it down before priming.

In white, naturally, as was the style of the time – and I decided to get clever, adding a thin chestnut/brown wash over the primer:

Before applying the basecoat, two thin coats (naturally) of Vallejo Hot Orange, washed with Vallejo Red Ink, drybrushed with Hot Orange and edge highlighted with thinned Cadmium Yellow craft paint.

Craft black for the bits that are going to be metallic and the campaign badge, and the vision slits because no bloody way was I going to cut out raised lips for them…

You might notice that although this is based on the classic Mk 1 Rhino from the Rogue Trader but I wimped out of doing the radiator grills – I did have a plan to use nylon tulle (which we used when we made Skalk Point) but after losing several layers of skin trying to superglue the bastard stuff I gave up and went for armour layers with cardboard. So we have a beast which is neither quite fish nor fowl, but after a lick of paint, we are left with….

My First Papercraft! With thanks to Jim for a bit of assistance 😉
Freehand shapes were drawn on in pencil and then Dulux Jasmine White house paint (thinned with Windsor & Newton medium) to fill in the shapes.. I actually measured the arrow to get it geometrically right, a first for me!

In situ on the terrain mat with some friends for scale

So there we are – it’s not quite done, I need to get a couple of bolters to mount on it but riding a wave of confidence I may even scratchbuild some to stick on there!

Not perfect and I very much doubt it would fool anyone into thinking it’s a legit GW product, but works nicely for us and looks pretty good – the army list calls for another two, so that’s me occupied for the next few weeks!

On another note, we decided that one thing we could do is cash out everything we’ve earned from selling Apocalypse: Earth to the DEC appeal to support Ukraine, so from now on until all this is over all proceeds will be going there. Not much, but better than nothing. As Jim mentioned in the last post, we did have some engagement with Russia (43 readers… out of 144 million people.. still) so if you ARE a young Russian chap of draftable age reading this and conscription season is right around the corner, maybe now is time to take that gap year abroad you’ve been promising yourself…..

Stay thrifty and safe out there, and may sanity prevail before too long. Slavia Ukraini, slavia heroyem

Back To The Granny Grating – DIY Epic Sentinels

How do again world. Having built up a nice head of steam painting Captain Tycho and being within touching distance of finishing my Retro Blood Angels, it makes perfect sense to leave them once again to concentrate on something else.. but as my partner in thrift mentioned, sometimes you just want those little wins, and the idea of a quick and simple project lit a fire under me.

In these days of economic apocalypse where just heating your house seems to require working three jobs (and one of them being a hedge fund manager), the casual wargamer could be forgiven for thinking that the Epic Imperial Guard army he once coveted as a kid would remain out of reach forever…

Look at the top caption – a glorious sight, one’s heart fills to bursting with pride in the Hammer Of The Emperor

Guess again.

Some of you have already seen the Granny Grating Imperial Guard force taking shape over the last couple of years (and I certainly can’t take credit for the idea) and as the project as taken on a life of it’s own I’ve started to base it more and more on this force from the “Assault On Barbarius” battle from 2nd Ed Space Marine back in the early 90s. We’ve got the infantry component and a contingent of Rough Riders, plus a Vindicator company (the Guard could take them way back when) and of course the DIY Leviathan. The Assault On Barbarius force also called for (amongst other things) a squadron of Sentinels, and I quickly saw how a bit of granny grating and greenstuff could take care of that. A couple of evenings later – done!

The infamous “Eggs On Legs”! Granny grating frame (3 up and one across, I believe), vaguely elliptical blob of greenstuff for the cockpit, “L” shape greenstuff for weapon and pilot. Bases 20mm single corrugated cardboard from wine box. Shown here about to be primed white, as was the style of the time.
Up close and personal- these are never going to fool anyone that they’re GW originals, but it’s clear what they’re supposed to be.
The army (as it stands) deployed on the DIY battle mat..
A few units to go before we’re “street legal” but I’m pretty pleased so far
“Wow.. how much did all this cost you?” “So far? About £5”

So there we go, another unit added to the Hazzard 1977th – for free! Stay safe and sane, see you soon