Thursday, January 20, 2022

Star Schlock Astro-Guard


Psst: Did you hear that?
Hear what...?
(slight pause)...that. Better go check it out... 

The squad as a whole.

The guy with the red striped helm is the Squad sergeant/leader.

Judging by these sculpts, the sculptor apparently likes his women petite and leggy. 

The squad ID numbers are on the backs of their helmets. 

One of these is not like the others...

There are 10 unique sculpts so that there are no duplicates within each squad. However I grabbed two of the same and as such they have different numbers on them. The second set of 'twins' in the back will get the same treatment whenever I paint the 2nd squad. 

This marks the first full squad complete for me in 2022. I batch painted these which isn't much fun though is effective, and cranked them out over the course of two days. The last two days of my 'Rona quarantine in fact (the bofors turret in my prior post was also mostly a quarantine project). 

Of course I only started painting on all of these once I returned to the realm of the living. Usually I hear folks complaining that towards the end of their quarantines that they're bored out of their minds. I'd imagine that most mini painters like myself instead find themselves being rather productive.  

Sweep & clear in progress. 

I got these minis plus a 2nd squad along with almost as many robots, which sorta look like kitchen accessories with legs (think free roaming coffee grinders), out of the Star Schlock Kickstarter a little ways back. These have a bit of an old school Imperial Guard feel and I painted them to suit rather than the garish colors seen in the KS itself. 

Sergeant and the lasgun support trooper.

Interestingly, these came with 20mm bases, and I based everything on those aside from the 2 support weapon troopers per squad which are on 25mm bases (one of which was by necessity). As such these guys (and gals) now work perfectly in my cavern terrain, with only the support troopers having to stick to the wider corridors/caverns. I think that's a bit representative of their weapon's unwieldiness in tight quarters.  

Best not stop and smell those alien flowers, they're likely toxic!

The squad sergeant (denoted by the red stripe on his helmet) and 7 other basic grunts are only armed with pistols, with the support troops having a lasgun and grenade launcher equivalents. Thus I figure they're essentially Redshirts an 'away team' sent to a planetary surface, or an asteroid mining facility or whatever to investigate...something

The two likely heading to their doom that were in the first pic (and of the 'in action' pics, this one is my fav!). 

My buddy Hoss is a fan of this mini line and is wanting to try Stargrave. I'm guessing these guys along with my cavern terrain will be excellent for trying that game out (once I refamiliarize with the rulebook...).   

Another group shot, looking a bit more dynamic than they did on my kitchen counter top!


Monday, January 17, 2022

Silver Drakes Bofors turret



What's the High Gothic Translation of: "DAKKA! DAKKA! DAKKA!" ?

No it's not a servo-strike-whatever-the-fuck-GW-calls it (at least not in my house it isn't!). All this needs is to be fitted onto a WWII destroyer add a few Kamikazes coming in for the kill and...okay, so maybe an Oerlikon turret is more accurate, but how in the hell do you even pronounce that? Bofors it is!

 Due to all of the recessed areas, this was a paint as I assembled it project, but went together fairly easily. I modified the gunner's helm with an ocular augmentation lens rather than be hard wired directly into the control panel as that seemed kinda dumb to me. I mean hell, one of his arms is physically connected, isn't that enough? Save that heretical full body hard wired shit for the Iron Hands/Warriors. 

No, there's no ejection seat. With his arm plugged in like that, he'll ride this ride all the way until the bloody end!

I opted to not make his armor fully red, but rather replaced the blue portions of the other Drakes armor (the one pauldron aside) red. Leaving the rest silver as is the footsloggers' norm.

With the right arm plugged in, I'm guessing that the mechandrite is used to access the buttons for his left arm keypad?

This is my first and thus far only (sorta?) vehicle for my Silver Drakes. Rather make that for any of my Primaris marines. With a sedate 3" movement rate, I can see this slowing my Drakes foot slogging combat patrol down a bit. However with the highest strength, longest range and best rate of fire for any unit in my little army, I'm sure they'll not leave this behind. 

The '8' pertains to the company affiliation, and the chevron is self-explanatory. 


Friday, January 14, 2022

(The end of) The End of the Road

 

Corporal, we don't have time for this...

....annnnd done! Well that was fun, relatively easy, and something different all in one. This has already  taken up station in my display case though the car itself isn't glued in place meaning I might be used as a Centaur or the like at some later date. 

The car looks as though seen a lot of miles from this end.

Like the bricked road, the rooftop Aquila worked perfectly with the dust wash.

Even OD green blends well in the desert once it gets dirty enough.

For once my dirtily painted infantry look clean when compared to their surroundings.

My only complaint with this project is right here. 3 layers of matte varnish, 2 of dust wash and inexplicably nothing will adhere to that line over the decal on the fender. It can be easily explained away as one of the Guardsmen ran a gloved finger across the fender, leaving a line in the dust but still...I just find it irksome.

This is probably my favorite view of this little diorama,


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

End of the Road (pt. 4)


 Damn. That was one hellova puddle!

That turbine will never crank over like that...

Not too much to report this go round. Decals have been applied, the car revarnished, and the (potentially first) layer of dust wash applied. Once dried, blended and then varnished (which always lessens the dusty appearance) I'll see if I want to apply another layer of dust or not. To date I've not added more than one, but we'll see...

It's the 501st Legion...erm, no. Those guys are fighting for the wrong Emperor. So then 501st Transportation company? 501st Regiment? 501st vehicle? Who the hell knows. 

Unless it looks bad when dry, I may not even try and blend the back end, as that's always the dustiest part of any vehicle. 

*****

On a totally unrelated note, I spotted this seemingly pristine M-60 out in Front of the Newport Tennessee National Guard post and had to stop for a few pics. 

More close by to me is the Kingsport Tennessee National Guard post which also has an M-60 out front. However that vehicle is sadly neglected and rusting into oblivion quite unlike this one. 



Friday, January 7, 2022

End of the Road (pt. 3)


Ready for decals...or is it?

The Imperial Standard Transport Mk VII, based on a civilian pattern, is utilized for the transport of military officers, dignitaries and other persons of considerable rank. Primarily only the Guard's senior officers use the Mk VII, as wealthier persons and officials have far better options available to them!  Other patterns are also used as patrol and pursuit vehicles for Arbites, enforcers and the like. The Mk VII however was designed with military use in mind, and is thus built to a higher standard (supposedly). 

Nope the camera always finds more need for touch ups...
LOTS of touch ups!

Armor plating and projectile proof windows have been added to a sufficient level to ward off small arms fire. However heavy and/or anti-tank weaponry will easily penetrate the vehicle. The Mk VII's small size and likely the erratic path of travel due to a panicked driver are far more liable to help ward off such attacks than the armor itself would. The Mk VII has the same standard power plant of the civilian models, which with the added weight of armor makes its performance sluggish at best (if an officer needs a speedy transport, he/she'd best secure a Valkyrie). Also of note: the Mk VII's fuel consumption rate is abysmal even by Imperial standards.

Note the concealed heavy stubber just to the upper right of the turbine.

Additionally, a heavy stubber is hidden in the vehicle's front. The weapon itself is woefully inaccurate as it is fixed forward and 'aimed' via the steering wheel. It is fitted with a single ammo drum which can only be reloaded after first removing the driver's side front wheel (maintenance of the gun itself only gets worse from there...).

Instead it is intended to scatter or at the very least distract any would-be assassins or insurrectionists looking for an easy kill. That said, more than one over-enthusiastic (and posthumously court-martialed)  officer has ordered his driver into a suicide charge under the misguided assumption that the Mk VII is an effective assault unit. 

'Does it have a trunk? No need for that, we'll just strap your suitcase to the rear bumper instead!'

In terms of ergonomics, like the rest of the Imperium the Mk VII's designers don't believe in those. Laughably referred to as a 5-passenger sedan, the front seats the driver and a bodyguard or similar flunky. Whereas the cramped rear seat normally seats a single occupant, or else two in tight quarters. Passengers of above average height will find themselves sitting diagonally, or else with their knees jammed into the seat in front of them if they don't have the whole seat to themselves. 

Whilst the seats themselves are comfortable (at least when compared to those on the average Chimera), larger than civilian model tires were added to 'improve traction and off road performance'. However the wheel wells weren't enlarged to accordingly necessitating a much stiffer suspension, giving the Mk VII a (quote) 'bone jarring' ride on even decently maintained paved surfaces. Unpaved roads are best if avoided, and when venturing off road...the Mk VII usually gets stuck well before losing sight of it.



Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The End of the Road (pt. 2)


The dust wash on the road will be toned down a bit after this is matte varnished. However currently it's 30 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping so...there will be none of that tonight!

As you can see, I've finally started work on this little project after gathering the bitz necessary way back in November's part 1. Really this progressed far quicker than I anticipated, and as such only the staff car remains to be painted. Admittedly though, that will take a bit more time than the two Guardsmen and their base did (especially as the car will in the end be as dusty as this road is).

Anyways, here are a few close ups of the project so far:

Yup, it's a dead end alright. The double white lines separating the lanes of the road (which is undoubtedly much wider than this base) are almost obscured entirely by the desert sands. 

An overhead view of where the desert scrub meets the road.

I do wonder if that Uplifting Primer has a catechism of navigation? I sold my copy years ago for 3-4 times what I'd originally paid for it, so I can't consult the book to see myself. 

There doesn't appear to be any dead ends on that map, though you have to wonder just how close they are to that dashed 'front line'. 

Clearly this officer has somewhere to be. 

Another view of the same.

After the primaris ancient scrollwork debacle, I took special care in painting on the M and A, luckily the P is obscured by the driver's hand.

Hopefully I'll be able to get the staff car primed, painted, weathered, and the whole diorama varnished and complete soon! Though as I remarked to Neverness earlier, I am debating on whether or not to glue the car in place, or keep it separate to use as a (sort of) Centaur proxy.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Silver Drakes Sergeant


On my signal, unleash hell...

A few months back, I bought a squad of assembled and (mostly) base coated silver Intercessors to serve as reinforcements for my Silver Drakes due to my Ultramarines army having substantially depleted the Drakes' numbers. Naturally though, as I was on a Smurf painting kick at that moment, 3 of these new recruits were commandeered by GW's poster boys.  

Of the remaining seven, there was a sergeant model (as well as one of the aforementioned Ultramarine converts) who was painted in the prior owner's chapter colors: Silver bodies, red arms, and black pauldrons. No idea if that's a canon color scheme or a homebrew, but they stood out like a sore thumb amongst my painted, unpainted and base coated marines alike. Thus, it's likely that my last painted marine of 2021 is this repainted Silver Drakes Sergeant. 

Its curious at how a bigger scope (and presumably different ammo) change this rifle into a heavy weapon.

No doubt the Heavy Support chevron on his pauldron has likely already raised an eyebrow or two. My Silver Drakes army is a small, 500pt patrol list. Marked out as the 8th reserve company by their purple chest aquilas, all of the company's squads are intercessors.  As such this sergeant's squad is armed with stalker pattern bolt rifles, serving as the army's light fire support unit. 

I'm sure that even the mention of the stalker bolt rifles will elicit cries of disbelief as I've never once seen them fielded by anybody! Indeed, there are obviously far better options available. Still, stalker intercessors are where future Eliminators come from and besdies, it's just a fucking patrol. It's not supposed to be a well rounded force. 

Boy cutting the decal just right around that braided cord on his pauldron was a treat. Kinda hard to see due to the wash, but it does line up beneath said cording. 

If it makes everyone feel better, the Drakes are likely to get my servo-strike bofors turret, as well. Whilst that was originally planned to go to the Smurfs, Neverness had suggested that I get more Hellblasters after our last game. 

Sci-Fi City in Knoxville which is conveniently located on the route I take to my folks' house is (was?) having a 30% off everything sale. As such the Utramarines' Hellblaster corps increased by another ten, which with the removal of the turret from their list, ought to round that army out to about an even 1k. 

Some day this squad is going to cause a lot of hurt.