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!

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

May The 4th (Still) Be With You…. You Rebel Scum!

Yep, more granny grating.. but just LOOK at them! Aren’t they CUTE!

So as an OPFOR for the stormtroopers and Lord Vader, I created a company of rebel infantry using the same techniques as in the previous post. I mirrored the organisation of the Imperials – 3 platoons of six stands each, a command group of two stands, a pair of scouts on jetbikes, and a hero commander – in this case, Luke Skywalker himself!

And yes, a great deal of “I am your father…” “That’s not true! That’s impossible” squeaked in Chipmunks style falsetto has been going on here recently.. I’m blaming lockdown.

As before, a simple painting process – sprayed with cheap grey primer and given a base coat of Wilko’s Granite Dust house paint. Then a wash – I alternated between Vallejo Smokey Ink, Black Ink, and Army Painter Green Tone because I wanted a clear difference between the uniform pristine white of the Bad Guy Empire and the grungy guerillas of the Good Guy Rebel Alliance. I did the same for skin tones too – after all, diversity = good, and Rebel Alliance also = good, so Rebel Alliance must = diversity, right? So you’ll see a mix of skin tones – pinkish washed with Vallejo Skin Wash, dark brown washed with Smokey Ink, Goblin Green washed with Green Tone and Wilko’s Duck Egg Blue house paint washed with.. well, I squeezed a drop of blue ink from a nearly dead biro and mixed it with water and matt medium!

Basing was more or less the same as the stomtroopers, but this time I added some really fine dusty earth from the garden along with the sand and flock. I’d notice a patch of this in the garden and thought it might prove useful as a basing material.. it’s not world changing, but I like the effect.

Right, then – pics:

The lads on parade – as with the Stormtroopers, 3 platoons of infantry, an HQ, two speeder bikes and in command (featuring the BLUE lightsaber) – Luke Skywalker!
Scout bikes
Rebel infantry
All together: “I am your father!” “That’s not true! That’s impossible!

So next is figuring out what to play with them – as I mentioned, Hell By Starlight, which I fund a VERY dusty copy of in the attic will be getting a go, and we’ll bodge some stats for them in Epic – not forgetting our “epic scale” take on Future Force Warrior which hopefully we can get back to developing further now lockdown seems to be easing… Let’s keep the masks on and the fingers crossed people, we’re nearly there!

Stay safe and thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon

May the 4th Be (Belatedly) With You

Hmm…. I think I may have been in lockdown too long…

Anyway, followers of this blog can’t fail to have noticed Dan’s experiments with granny grating, and I think I’m probably the biggest fan of all – I’d already picked up a sheet of the stuff to see what I could use it for, and it wound up helping to detail our DIY Space Fleet ships and my WW2 Sci Fi trooper (must make him some friends…) and it was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the temptation to copy Dan’s idea (well, not Dan’s, this guys’ – but you get the drift).

We’ve floated the idea of an “Epic Scale” take on the Apocalypse: Earth system for a while, and I figured let’s just make some figures to test it…. what theme shall I base them around…

Yeah, that should work.

I should add, there is no real logic to this, it’s not like we’re planning to buy the franchise off Fantasy Flight Games – I just like Star Wars (yes, even the new ones… and even Phantom Menace!), and I like Epic. So these little fellas will serve as test beds for Apocalypse: Earth Armageddon rules and look ADORABLE while doing so! Further inspiration was gained by finding one of my old favourite RTS PC games on Steam for the princely some of £2.99 back in February:

I decided to set up two identical forces – Imperial and Rebel, each with a company of infantry (3 platoons of 6 stands each, with two command stands), a hero and two scout bikes. I also stumbled across this old relic from the 90s:

I got this waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when as a kid and never really understood the rules, but a cursory flick through it shows some interesting concepts involving reactions and fatigue that should be fun to play through.

So, what did I make? Come and see!

Stormtroopers! Spray primed grey, painted with Dulux Jasmine White house paint, black marks for the blasters and the armour gaps, and each platoon has a shoulder flash with it’s colour on for identification purposes. Bases were 20mm squares of single corrugated cardboard from a box of Morrison’s Shiraz, painted brown and then painted with PVA, drizzled on sand, dry dusty soil from the garden and flock.
Stormtrooper HQ! No banners here, as Star Wars is at least slightly more sensible than 40k in this regard..
Vader!
I sense a disturbance in the force… the army assembles!

I love these little guys – yes, up close and personal they don’t look much, but from two feet away the illusion is complete and I absolutely love the sense of having effectively got something for nothing.

I’ve just finished doing the Rebel force and they’ll be featured soon, as soon as I can pull myself away from Teeny Darth Vader and Teeny Luke Skywalker re-enacting all those classic scenes from the films.. and of course it’s not too long before we can think about actual in-person, face-to-face gaming once again (fingers and toes crossed)… until then, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty!

Terrain Talk Pt. 18 – Building A Battlemat

With the Teeny Weeny Kings Of War project starting to come to fruition, I’ve hit the point where the lads need somewhere to do battle – the kitchen table will have to do for now, but it doesn’t exactly lend itself to any beauty shots. Realistically, it’s still a couple of months before we can regularly get back to face to face gaming, and Jim has custody of the big 6×4, so I’ve taken a different approach.

Now, full disclosure – this whole project was made possible by the genius of Mel The Terrain Tutor, and pretty much everything I needed to know I gleaned from this video, so I urge you to go check this out if you’re considering making one of these yourself (and I recommend you do, it’s actually not too tricky and very satisfying).

You’re going to need the following:

A plastic backed painters drop cloth/ dust sheet (terminology may vary from place to place – this is what I got off eBay). The good news here is that these things are frickin’ HUGE, 12′ x 9′, so that’s plenty of 6’x4′ surfaces you can cook up – desert, snow etc. (EDIT – make sure it is plastic backed, otherwise the caulk will permeate through and stick your cloth to whatever surface you’re working on)

Acrylic decorators caulk – I got through two tubes making this cloth.

Acrylic paint – I used black and brown for this. You want cheap acrylic craft paint here as this stuff will stay flexible and bend.

Sand and grit.

A plaster spreader (decorator’s tool – here’s an eBay link)

Flock and PVA glue.

A bucket or similar (I used an old paint pot)

I began by cutting out a 4’x 3′ shape to cover the dining table. and then gaffa taped that down firmly to keep it flat, and then emptied two tubes of caulk into an empty paint pot, and then squirted a tube of black and brown cheap acrylic craft paint in to make sure that I wasn’t going to have any patches of white coming through.

Delicious.
Delicious-er. Be aware, it takes a LOT of paint to get to this shade – we’re talking a tube of brown and a tube and a half of black craft acrylic (and you want acrylic because this needs to be flexible)
In goes the texture – sand and grit. The plan was to get everything down in one coat, a nicely mud-coloured, textured base that would be flexible and roll away nicely when not in use..
And now smeared on – I used a decorators scraping/ spatula tool here, picked up off eBay for a few quid – absolutely invaluable for this job.

After leaving that to dry for a couple of days, it was time to drybrush – I used two or three layers of brown mixed with bone, each time adding lightening the mix with bone and using less paint on the brush:

Not perfect, a few creases, but overall I’m pretty satisfied. Next came flock and dust to finish the product, and (fanfare please):
In situ! In the finest traditions of kitchen table wargaming, there’s a few books underneath to represent hills.
Creases :-/ but I can live with it, and not bad for a first attempt.
And in a sneak preview of my next post… battle is joined!

Must admit, I enjoyed this and I honestly didn’t think I’d get anything close to Mel’s results, but in the end I’m quite happy with this – thinking about doing a couple of overlays for the 6×4, maybe a desert or a snow theme? I now Jim’s got something in the works that could make use of a winter snowscape…

That’s all for now, stay tuned to see a proper look at my home made Dwarves next time, and maybe even a KoW battle report! Stay safe and thrifty out there folks.

The Lost Patrol… DIY Spacefleet Battle Report

The bridged was wreathed in darkness. The faces of the crew and officers frozen, eerily distorted in masks of terror as the vast Gothic class battleship was buffeted like a toy by the extradimensional forces beyond the flickering Gellar field.

With a deafening silence, the ship exploded beck into realspace and the bridge erupted with warning klaxons, sparking consoles and the raised voices of hundreds of terrified bridge crew. The captain fought in vain to get his voice heard before reaching for his laspistol and shooting the nearest panicking crewman in the face.

Immediately, the hubbub subsided.

Better.

“Report!” bellowed the captain. “First Officer Volodsky.”

The XO shivered involuntarily. “My Captain, it would appear that we have been knocked off course by unexpected Warp activity. Navigator DeSalle has suffered a mental collapse due to whatever malevolent force caused our diversion.”

“Damage?”

“Largely cosmetic, it would seem, some limited damage to manoeuvring thrusters and life support but secondaries coming on line now. No hull breach.”

“The Gellar field generator?”

“It would seem to be suffering a minor intermittent fault, my Captain. I shall despatch tech priests to investigate

The Captain grunted. “Very good. Now, our next concern is where we are – and what of the Agamemnon?”

“My Captain, she was information with us and auspex indicates she translated close by. Communications should be re-established in moments. As to our location-“

“Contact!” shouted a crewman, peering intensely at his scope. “Long range auspex reports two contacts, definitely not Imperial. Energy signature matches no known human ship, our auspex returns are distorted.”

Captain Fong drew a short breath. Auspex distortion was too sophisticated for orks, and the lack of warp shadow ruled out Tyranids. The Tau had a crude version of this technology, but the main suspects had to be eldar. This could be a friendly encounter – or deadly.

Agamemnon on vox, Captain, they have detected a missile launch!”

“Confirmed, Captain, the second vessel has also launched!”

So, the Eldar had made the decision for him.

“Battle stations! All hands brace for impact! Power to shields and weaponry! AVE IMPERATOR!”

Welcome to the brave new world of remote gaming! With COVID still wreaking havoc left right and centre, it’s pretty clear that despite the heroic efforts of the NHS vaccination program (something like 200 jabs per minute, last time I checked), lockdown isn’t lifting any time soon. Now, we have tried playing conventional games like 40k, Apocalypse Earth and so on remotely before but we’ve really not been that successful as the freeform movement makes it difficult to interpret exactly where you’re supposed to move units too (“No, left a bit, behind that tree.. no not that one – my left.. no, the other left… ” for twenty minutes to move one bloody squad, Dan X-D ), plus “model’s eye view” doesn’t translate too well (“Can I shoot that guy? No, next to him…. no, the other side… no, the guy in front of him” “That’s a bush”).. so in order to maintain our mutual sanity, we both decided something more of a boardgame nature was probably a better idea.

Continuing our love affair with 1991 and the bold primary colours of the grimly dark far future, and thanks to this awesome website full of retro gaming goodness, we followed the trail taking us back to the precursor of Battlefleet Gothic, the short lived Space Fleet. In fact, White Dwarf 139, Dan’s first ever issue and the inspiration for his retro 40k Blood Angels, contained a slew of rules to expand on the basic boxed game. With a bit of research (thank you Snipe & Wib at Codex Compliant), we figured out what you needed, built a board and some spaceships, cut out the endearing Helm Computers, and after a few practice games over Zoom with beers on hand to figure out exactly what we were doing, we were ready to give you guys a proper battle!

In this scenario it’s a straight up fight between two Imperial Gothic Battleships (mine – “Ajax” and “Agamemnon”) and the two Eldar Wraithships (Dan’s – “Mikael Khaine”, “Khainenabel”) as the Imperials have unwittingly strayed into what the Eldar view as their territory. Of course, all the Milky Way Galaxy are belong to the Holy God Emperor, and so battle was duly joined.

The fleets deploy – Eldar weaponry forward facing and better at a distance, the Imperial ships really need to get in close and rake the Xenos with powerful broadsides to get the upper hand
The fleets advance to contact, Eldar more cautious, keeping their distance while both Imperial ships barrel Ahead Full and open up with Vortex Torpedoes..
To absolutely NO effect.
Eldar plasma torpedoes are similarly ineffective
However the Xenos’ laser batteries do manage to cause some damage, stripping shields off both Imperial ships and causing critical damage to Ajax, denuding her of her right broadside
In the second turn the Eldar prowl cautiously forwards while both sides reload the torpedo batteries – Imperial ships break both left and right to pound the Eldar with broadside laser cannons
These strip some frontal shields from the Eldar but cause no real damage. Poor old Ajax takes another battering though, a magazine flashback reducing her to 2 damage points while Agamemnon loses her left broadside!
Turn 3 and with torpedo tubes reloaded, the Imperials blast Vortex Torpedoes at he Eldar and hit…. nothing. Return fire from the Xenos knocks out Agamemnon’s shields, reducing her to 3 damage points! Both Imperial ships are in a bad way and yet to cause any significant damage to the Eldar :-/
Turn 4 and the Imperials get in close, attempting to turn their remaining broadsides on the Mikaelkhaine, in no small measure because of it’s bloody silly name
Finally we inflict some real damage, stripping off flank shields and reducing it to 3 damage points, but at a terrible cost , as another critical hit causes a flashback to Ajax’s magazine and the proud battleship is destroyed in a vast thermonuclear explosion!
With her last broadside, Agamemnon avenges her fallen sister, destroying the Mikaelkhaine, but in doing so is reduced to a single point of damage!

It was at this point we called the game – Dan had a still largely functional Wraithship (with a slightly more sensible name) whereas I had a limping, listing Agamemnon with no shields left and a mere one damage point left. I felt at this point the interests of the Imperial Navy were best served by getting my warship to safety for repairs, and Dan agreed to let me go while searching for survivors from the Mikaelkhaine wreck! Result – solid Eldar victory, well done Dan 🙂

All in all a fun game, and well suited to remote gaming – I can already see how we might expand things… bigger board, add in some of the different spacecraft GW did rules for, plus the Tyranids who apparently play completely differently to the other factions….

Of course, as is often the case with GW, the Imperials got the vast majority of the support – different ships, rules etc.. but thankfully in the 41st millenium it’s not difficult to envisage a scenario where two loyalist sectors wind up fighting each other… so look out for more Space Fleet, and maybe we can even cook up some sort of Spacefleet/ Epic/ 40k mega campaign once we’re all free again? Here’s hoping….

Stay safe, sane and thrifty, we’ll see you again soon!

DIY Space Fleet – Spaceships!

You’re going to like this. Grab a beer, this is a big one.

So, as you’ve seen over the last few weeks, our lockdown game of choice recently has been the short lived 1991 predecessor to Battlefleet Gothic, “Space Fleet”. This game was a bit of an oddity, in that existed as a small box set before being not just expanded but essentially entirely rewritten over the course of about half a dozen White Dwarf issues, now available from various sources online… legitimately, we assume…

I downloaded the relevant WDs, printed out the rules (I will compile them all into a PDF at some point, but right now I have NO idea how to do that) and got stuck in to making a board. Counters and helm computers were cut out and stuck to bits of cardboard and away we went, with cardboard silhouettes taking the place of the models.

And much fun was had, although it didn’t make for much of a spectacle. Certainly the squared board and the helm computers really lent themselves to a remote game via Zoom, which gave us both a bit of a morale boost. However, I quickly got the bug and decided to build us some proper models… and this is where our story begins!

This is where we begin – DIY disposable razors!
See where we’re going?
I canz measuring!
Here we see our two cheap knackered disposable razors, cut in half and the bottom part of the handles glued onto a cardboard base – fuselage and wings for the Imperial Gothic battleships!
Detail added – the rear conning tower is a superglue tube lid, the broadside cannons made from granny grating (the miracle material Dan introduced me too) and the engine tubes are from the plastic tube inside a defunct old Biro! Same for the chin mounted vortex torpedo launcher. Held together using a mix of superglue and greenstuff. Forward tower was from some bizarre bit of plastic packaging I’d kept because of the interesting shape. For about eight years.
So much for the Imperials – what about their adversaries, the two Eldar Wraithships? Well… let’s take the other halves of those razors, shall we? Add the unused bit of our bizarre piece of plastic packaging for masts, granny grating for forward laser cannons, bit of sprue for the forward plasma torpedo launcher, cut the solar sails from paper, some greenstuff bodging to represent wraithbone smoothing out any too-straight lines.. Eldar ships are “grown”, not manufactured – according to 1991-era fluff, at least!
Doesn’t look like a ride fit for Eldrad Ulthran yet, but let’s see what happens when we throw paint at it…
But before we get to that – bases! These are important parts of Space Fleet, holding shield counters, damage markers, critical damage info and so on. I began with this octagonal shape cut out of single corrugated card (yes, from a wine box. How are YOU coping with lockdown?!?)
Second layer of single corrugated card – this is creating the spaces where the counters will sit.
Third and final layer – a 25mm square of chipboard with the edges trimmed. It just looked better that way! I used tacky glue (basically PVA mixed with isopropyl alcohol to make it fast drying) to stick it all together. Hot glue would probably work too, but my hot glue gun was playing up and I couldn’t be bothered taming it’s machine spirit. Regular PVA would do the job too, but will take a thousand years to dry.
Ships primed! White for the Eldar, Imperials sprayed gold, holes drilled in the bases and 1 1/2″ lengths of kebab skewer used to mount them on
The famous dice tray! In this instance a pizza box, measured into nine equal squares, Sharpie and ruler to the rescue here.
All set up and ready to go! Eldar ships painted with craft bone paint, washed with Vallejo skin wash and then drybrushed back up, the blue pastel done with blue grey house paint and washed with thin craft blue. Imperials sprayed gold, washed with brown ink, drybrushed silver – the reds are craft red and Vallejo German Grey washed black for the blacks. The bases were sprayed black, painted craft black and then varnished… and we are good to go!

And there we go! Got to say, I’m really chuffed with these, the Wraithships particularly – the broken razors were a heaven sent flash of inspiration! And although the Imperial ships look nothing like the Gothic battleships of 1991, they do look pretty close to later iterations (Battlefleet Gothic), and they having a pleasing pulp fiction Flash Gordon “War Rocket Ajax” look to them…

The above pic is from the battle we played last Friday via Zoom, so battle report soon, and as Dan has custody of our Betrayal At Calth set I’m looking forward to a bit more virtual gaming this coming Friday, as even with 12 million+ vaccinated (including Shakin’ Stevens!) it doesn’t look like lockdown is going anywhere anytime soon….

Still, hang in there folks, we’re on the home stretch. Stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty and we’ll see you soon.

Do You Like My Leetle Tanks? DIY Imperial Guard Vindicator Company

EDIT – I began this post before Christmas, but life kind of got in the way.. hope you enjoy this belated post!

Two sleeps til Christmas – but amidst the festive lunacy, we’ve still found time to complete a project! These lads are one of the first steps to having the Epic Imperial Guard Army I always wanted but could never (and still can’t afford)..

Anyone interested in the build process should check here first, a this post is going to be all about the paintjob and finishing off the last steps of this project. Now, I’d struggled with a camo pattern for these lads for a while, and regular visitors to the blog might notice some changes since their last appearance.. So I’d hummed and hawwed about how to paint them and eventually decided on an 80’s BAOR/ NATO inspired three tone camo. A few simple steps:

Prime grey.

Basecoat with Vallejo Russian Green.

Stipple With Vallejo German Grey.

Detail with Vallejo US Olive Drab

Wash with thinned Vallejo Black Ink

Drybrush with bone craft paint

Metallics with Vallejo Silver

Pin wash with Vallejo black ink, and wash the metallics.

Tactical symbols freehand with bone craft paint

Drybrush mud with GW Bestial Brown or craft paint equivalent.

And the results?

The lads on parade! Note the red hatch and antenna on the HQ tank – because nothing is more tactically sound than making it totally plain to the enemy which one is your command tank…

Spot the real GW Rhino! Commissar rhino, and artillery company command Rhino shown for scale..

Squadron markings on the front mudguards – red, blue and grey

These lads got a lashing over on Dakkadakka, but TMP members seemed to dig them, and personally I’m quite pleased – they’re a bit darker and more indistinct than I intended, but it’s a relatively “believable” colour scheme and the tactical symbols (which I copied from Google Image search for “FV432 camouflage”) give them a bit of life. They’re sure as hell not perfect, but from two feet away they look pretty good, and I’m looking forward to getting them on the table!

Meantime, Happy Christmas to one and all out there in the blogosphere, here’s wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year!

Another Epic Scratchbuild – Imperial Guard Vindicator Company

Presenting just the CUTEST scratchbuild ever!

I always had a thing for the Imperial Guard as a wee youngling, and it often occurred to me that it was very wrong the way they were portrayed as almost a “fringe” army in 40k – after all, it was the teeming trillions of plain old GI Joes and Janes that held the line against the countless horrors of the 41st millenium, amirite?

But it was always the Space Marines who got included in the boxes…

I always fancied having a Guard army for Epic- the idea of massed tank and infantry suited the Guard absolutely perfectly! But then the cost – GW ain’t, never has been, and most likely never will be, cheap.

So, if I was going to make this idea happen, I was clearly going to have to MAKE it happen, if you catch my drift.

Yup, scratchbuild time again.

Normally I’d go in all all guns blazing and try and build something like a company of Stormhammer super heavy tanks out of cardboard, Blu-Tack and straws with nothing but blind faith in the God Emperor guiding my hand, but we’ve done that sort of thing before and this time I had an idea I wanted to try. I started with the idea of a Vindicator company – back in the early 90s, the Guard could take them, and Predators – and although the model itself got a bit of stick for looking blocky and cartoonish,  it was those very properties that appealed to me for ease of building. If the original model looked like it had been carved out of foamboard and cardboard by a cretin, it should be easy for a cretin to build one out of foamboard and cardboard!

Let us begin:

We begin two blacks of foamboard – I measured an old Epic Rhino to get the dimensions right and came up with 24mm by 11mm

Next, trim these to form a parallelogram – 6mm back from the front and back to create the slopes, again copied from the Epic Rhino I used as my template.

Now we turn to cardboard – or chipboard, for our friends across the pond (looking at you, Wyloch!)

Note the measurements in millimetres – these would form the first layer of the sides and track units.

Another shot of the side units, cut out and showing their shape

Next layer of side armour – again, note measurements in millimetres

Rear hatch cut from cardboard – 12mm wide by 10mm tall rectangle

12mm by 12mm square for front glacis plate

Front glacis plate with edges trimmed

And installed – that 2+ save doesn’t come out of nowhere!

Measuring out the side and top panels on thin modelling cardstock

And applied, bulking out the classic Rhino silhouette into something more intimidating..

 

Ain’t no Vindicator without the unfeasibly big gun! Drinking straw filled with tacky glue…

Glued in place on the front glacis plate. Hatches punched from chipboard with hole punch.

Final detailing! cylinders cut from granny grating to represent the side exhausts

And DONE! ready for priming….

Next up, painting – and that’s still a WIP so right now you’ll have to make do with this for now 🙂 Stay thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!

Another Epic Scratchbuild! DIY Great Gargant

Yeah, so the other day we were meant to be working on our entry for the DakkaDakka League Of Extraordinary Riveters terrain competition… and then something went wrong..

(by the way – if you’re reading this, Wyloch, then this is for YOU! 😉 )

Must.. glue.. things…

Must.. glue..more.. things.. yoghurt pot, bottle caps, glue lid, cardboard

Armour plating complete

“Eyes” done with green stuff, rivets done with fast drying PVA applied with a cocktail stick

Chainsword and gatling cannon added

More rivets….

Feet! Actually carved from foamboard and then wrapped in cardboard… then more rivets added

Primed! Now it’s looking like a model…

Attempt at zenithal highlighting… yeah….

And prewash with Vallejo black ink – didn’t quite go to plan…

…..aaaand who wants to see it in red?

Red basecoat, smokey ink pin was – white undercoat for the yellow areas, which then got a thin wash of Vallejo Skin Wash.. weathering was sponge chipping, first black and then boltgun metal

Side view

Pipework on the rear, courtesy of some sprue offcuts 

Chainsaw arm reinforced with more sprue offcuts

Hmm… what could make a Warlord princeps think “oh, sh*t” 

Yeah, I’m going to have to go and build my Imperator after all

Hmm… something of a scale issue…

But there again, weren’t gargants and titans always undersized? I’m sure we’ll figure something out..

We’ve really got the bug for scratchbuilding Epic stuff now, so stay tuned for more! Till next time, keep hoarding that recycling….