The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Terrain Spotlight: Landing Pad 16, part 1

Posted on Monday Jan 21, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

This week, I'm kicking off something a little different for the new year. It's a bigger project than normal, so I'll be spacing it out over a couple of articles, with the aim being to build a detailed display board to use as a backdrop for photographing miniatures. I wanted something that would have plenty of open areas for placing miniatures, and a few different contrasting areas to allow some variety in backdrops with just the one piece. And so 'Landing Pad 16' was born:

Normally when I'm building terrain, I have a rough idea in my head of what I'm going to build, and I just wing it from that. Because this one was a little more complicated, I started by sketching out a rough design, and then translated that into a 1:1 plan on a sheet of cardboard.

For the bulk of the structure, I chose to use foamed PVC sheet. This is a lightweight, but strong plastic material that is easy to cut and shape, and takes extremely well to superglue, which allows it to be used to build solid, detailed structures.

I took my plan and drew up a neater version on the PVC, and then used an exacto knife and steel ruler to cut it out.

I had a slight measuring mishap when scribing some panel lines on the floor piece. Rather than starting over, I just flipped the floor over, making the build a mirror image of my original design. The floor was layered, to allow for some depth in the detailing. With the floor marking out the basic shape for the structure, I could start adding the walls, shaping the PVC to the outline of the building.

The foamed PVC is quite flexible, but I added a curve to the landing pad wall by heating the PVC in boiling water, curving it around a biscuit tin and letting it cool. This wasn't super-effective, but gave it enough of a lasting curve to let it bend more easily to the required shape. Having the natural bend in there means that the PVC isn't trying to spring back as hard against the glue line, giving a more solid joint.

As with all of my Maelstrom's Edge buildings so far, detailing on this one is added courtesy of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I created two hexagonal windows for the landing bay freight access corridor by gluing together pairs of trapezoid windows along their long edges.

As I built up the structure, the plan changed a little from the original sketch. I added extra access between the two sides of the board, and brought the detail on the 'reverse' side down from the roof to a first-level courtyard.

The courtyard needed some depth to allow for some staggered model positioning, so I added a couple of descending platforms on the rear, using layers of PVC to create the steps between levels.

I had planned for a groove to run around the top of the landing pad wall, which would theoretically serve as a runner for a retractable roof - I'm not building the roof, but wanted it to be implied for completeness. For the roof groove to have depth, this needed to protrude into the back facing of the wall, so I built up a box structure using layers of PVC.

The doors on the terrain sprue have detail on both sides, but as they're intended to be used on external structures they only have the framework on the one side. I created a double sided doorway by removing the frame from the rest of the door using a razor saw. On a second door, I cut the door itself out leaving the frame intact, so I could have an open doorway for the freight access.

However carefully you cut and glue, you wind up with some gaps and rough edges. I used some putty to fill in wherever necessary, and once set used some fine sandpaper to smooth it down.

To give the walls some structural detail, I built up a recurring pattern using the support struts from the terrain sprue, and glued this on along the top and bottom of each wall. For curved walls, I carefully bent the strut to shape before gluing it in place.

Rather than having bare cement floors everywhere, I added tiles to the courtyard area using textured plasticard. By cutting out squares of tiles in a regular pattern, I inserted some decorative areas of smaller tiles - these will be painted up with the Epirian Foundation logo.

Using ladders from the terrain sprue, and posts cut from sections of the sprue itself, I added a handrail around the courtyard.

I left the handrail open in a couple of places, to allow some avenues for displaying models and show where the terrain would theoretically continue past the confines of the display board. I did extend the rail part of the way down the stairs, by cutting a piece of 2mm plasticard in a pattern matching the rungs of the ladder.

Down the other end of the board, behind the landing pad, I built some nice, hefty pipes using the large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and some 13mm garden drip irrigation fittings.

I scattered some smaller pipes around the place using the small pipe fitting, some plastic tubing, and some more scrap sprue from the terrain sprue.

With all of that done, this side of the board is more or less done. There is still a little more gap filling and sanding to be done, and probably some more small details to add here and there. I'll need to add some sort of trim around the bottom edge to neaten everything up, but that will wait until the other side is finished so I can make it consistent.

Stay tuned for part two, detailing the landing pad side of the board!

You can pick them up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian Boostpack Infantry

Posted on Monday Jan 14, 2019 at 05:00PM in Models

- by Iain Wilson

Following on from my improbably-mobile Pa'ku conversion, I'm continuing the jetpack theme this week with a bit of a closer look at the Epirian SecDef Boostpack Infantry models released last month.

Released in a pack of three models, Boostpack Infantry take to the table as a SecDef Rapid Intervention Team, where their boostpacks and twin carbines allow them to get in close to the enemy and lay down a withering hail of fire.

The high quality resin kit comes with the body and head as a single piece, with separate weapon arms, boostpacks and grenades. The unit's rules card also gives them access to a couple of special weapon options - these will be coming in a separate release very soon!

Assembly is really straightforward - the boostpack goes on the back, with a handy locator pin slotting into the model's backplate, and the arms go where you would expect, and are fully interchangeable between the three models.

There is no specific mounting point for the clingfire grenades - you can glue them to the belt, chestplate, thighs, or wherever else seems appropriate.

While the armour is the same as the regular plastic SecDef models (aside from the head!), the shoulders are slightly different to allow for the boostpack mounting plate extending up over them. You can sub in arms from the plastic sprue though by removing the small shoulder pad piece shown below in red.

With a little more work, you can create gasmask-equipped SecDef Tactical Teams, by using the plastic arms and filling in the boostpack mounting point with a little green stuff putty.

For a little more leg variety, you can use a sharp hobby knife or razor saw to cut through the bodies just below the belt. This allows you to glue on legs from the plastic SecDef to mix up your boostpack models, or use the resin legs on your regular SecDef teams to add some running models.

SecDef Sergeants have, from time to time, been known to requisition the best gear for themselves. This sergeant has given himself a bit of a boost with a twin-turbine boostpack, made by trimming off the locator pin on the pack and gluing two boostpacks side by side to the model's back.

Finally, why should SecDef have all of the fun? While boostpacks are notoriously unreliable and difficult to keep operational, it seems likely that some Broken chieftains or techs with the right technical knowledge would be unable to resist the lure of the extra speed afforded by a scavenged unit!

To add a Rapid Intervention Team to your Epirian force, you can pick them up along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Conversion Spotlight: Jet Pa'ku!

Posted on Monday Jan 07, 2019 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

Pa'ku are generally regarded as slow, deliberate creatures, rarely rushing into action and often waiting on the sidelines of a battle pondering the best course of action before deigning to lend their (once they get going) formidable skills to the fray. While playing with the resin model, though, I happened upon a conversion idea that was just too much fun to not do it - and so the Jet Pa'ku was born!

I originally put this guy together for a spotlight article on the Pa'ku model when it was released (which you can see here), and in his unpainted state he looked like this:

The conversion used most of one Pa'ku model, the main part of the gun from a second, two auto sluggers taken from the Broken Infantry sprue, and the bottom of an energy fence piece from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.

I had to make some changes to his pose, so repositioned his arms by soaking them for a minute in boiling water, bending them into the shape I wanted, and then dropping them in some ice water to 'set' them in that shape. To fit the hands onto the guns, I trimmed away some of the webbing between the fingers, widened the trigger space by cutting away a small piece at the back of the gun, and gently bent the fingers around the grips. I also cut a wedge out of the front of his neck with a razor saw, and bent the head forwards using the same hot/cold water treatment. The minor gap that was left behind was filled in with a little 'green stuff' putty.

The Pa'ku's feet are very flat on the bottoms, to attach to the base. That just wouldn't do here, so I used the above hot/cold water treatment to add a bit of a curl to the toes, and then sculpted some detail onto the bottom of the feet with more green stuff.

For the jetpack, I used the main sections of two quad mortars. I trimmed the fittings up so that they would attach sideways to the Pa'ku's backpack, added a turbine from the Epirian Firefly Drone on the front where the weapon barrels normally go, and filled in the gap in between the two new jets with the energy fence base, some green stuff, and a small piece of plasticard over the top to neaten it up.

With everything else assembled, the final detail was to add the smoke trails from the jetpack. For rigidity, I cut a couple of pieces of plastic sprue to the right length and glued them bases for ease of working. Then I covered these in a mix of shredded cardboard (made from small pieces of cardboard box run through a spice grinder) and PVA glue. This was a bit experimental, but looked the part once done, so I crossed my fingers and just hoped it would work out right when it was painted.

Speaking of which, painting started out with a basecoat of Army Painter Army Green spray.

I drybrushed over the skin with Coat D'Arms Putrid Green, and went over all of the metal and leather parts with Vallejo Beasty Brown. The leather straps then got a coat of Vallejo Heavy Brown.

I drybrushed the metal areas with P3 Pig Iron, and then washed the metal and leather parts with Army Painter Strong Tone. I also went over the skin with a generous coat of Army Painter Military Shader wash, and when this was dry, picked out the fur around the backpack, the weapons, claws, targeter and the smoke trail with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal.

Since making the smoke trail clearly wasn't getting experimental enough, I had also decided to try painting a flame effect into the smoke. I did this by picking out sunken areas near the jet nozzles with white, then painting in some yellow and red, leaving the brighter yellow deeper in and fading out to red closer to the surface. Then I drybrushed over the top with more Heavy Charcoal, and highlighted with Vallejo Light Grey and some white.

The weapons, claws, fur and targeter were given a light drybrush with Vallejo Neutral Grey and then a wash of Army Painter Dark Tone. I also added some Dark Tone patches on the jetpack to break up the metal tone a little, and painted the bumps on his back with some old Citadel Tentacle Pink, washed with a couple of coats of Army Painter Red Tone.

This just left some finishing touches - I gave the weapons a highlight with a very light drybrush of Pig Iron, picked up the cloth bindings with the old Citadel Liche Purple with a Tentacle Pink highlight, added some highlights and scratches to the metal bits with Army Painter Shining Silver, painted in the eyes with Citadel Iyanden Darksun, and finally popped some Army Painter Pure Red onto the targeter lens with a white highlight spot.

And there he is! There are no game rules for this monstrosity; it was purely an exercise in conversion for the sake of it. Sometimes it's fun to take a break from assembling game-ready forces to just build something cool!

To add a Pa'ku (or a Jet Pa'ku!) to your own Broken force, you can pick him up along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

2018 Maelstrom's Edge Roundup!

Posted on Monday Dec 31, 2018 at 06:00PM in General

It's been a huge year for Maelstrom's Edge! As 2018 draws to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a moment to have a look back at what we have achieved over the last year.

Our biggest focus for this year has been to expand the model range, to give players more options for their games. We rolled this out with regular model releases in either plastic or resin.

As the new kids on the block, the Broken received the lion's share of new models, with a slew of non-Core options to expand the force. These included two Chieftain variants - a Forsaken Chieftain with a Xeno spotter, and a Tech Chieftain variant with bionics and custom weapons, a Sig Jammer to mess with an opponent's technological capabilities, the ever-impressive Gnolti, our largest model to date, and the quad-mortar-carrying Pa'ku.

We also introduced a new category of unit to the game, with two 'Add-on' unit options joining the Broken ranks. The Marsayan Hypnotist and Hakoyu Grand Master can replace a normal squad member in regular Broken infantry units, adding different capabilities and tactical options to the unit.

The Epirian Foundation also received some reinforcements, with a resin Contractor Drone added to the mix, changing up how Contractor units are formed. The original Contractor unit was replaced with Contractor Defender and Contractor Scout units, with new battefield roles defined by the drones that accompany them.

A new Command option also joined the fray, with the release of the plastic Master Bot Handler kit. This fantastic kit allows you to build a mech-suit enhanced commander with a wide array of different weapon configurations, and accompanied the release of a new sub-faction for the Foundation: The SecDef.

The SecDef are the elite troops of the Epirian Foundation, and take to the field with the best weapons and equipment money can buy. We kicked off this range with another plastic kit, SecDef Infantry, used to build SecDef Tactical Teams, and have added to this with our latest release, in the form of resin Boostpack Infantry for SecDef Rapid Intervention Teams.

Through the Comm Guild blog, we continued to release weekly modeling articles, covering a wide range of different hobby-related topics including painting techniques, conversion ideas and tutorials or spotlights on different terrain projects. There are too many to list them all here, but you can find them all in the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website.

There have also been some big changes to the Maelstrom's Edge website over the last few months, with the addition of more content and some rearranging to make things easier to find. We also added printable PDF versions of all of our rules cards in the Rules section, to supplement the online-viewable cards in the Force List viewer.

SO where to next?

We will be continuing with our regular release schedule, with new models coming over the next few months for the Epirian Foundation and the Karist Enclave. The usual onslaught of modeling content will continue through the Comm Guild, and we'll be looking to add more gaming material as well in the form of battle reports and tactics articles.

We will be attending Salute in April, so the start of the year will also be busy getting models ready, and all going well, we'll have a couple of big previews to show off over the Salute weekend...

Our thanks to everyone who has supported us through the past year. We're looking forward to sharing new and shiny things with you in the year to come!

Have questions about the Maelstrom's edge models or rules? Need help with a modeling project? Have conversions or painted models to share? Head on over to the Comm Guild Facebook page to discuss and share everything to do with Maelstrom's Edge!

It's Christmas - time to build something!

Posted on Monday Dec 24, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

Last year, just for something different, I made a Christmas ornament out of a plastic bauble and some components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I thought it might be fun to continue this each year, and so with that time of year upon us once more, I broke out the sprues and some foamed PVC, and came up with this:

For the main part of the star, I cut two stars out of 3mm foamed PVC - a single 6mm star would have been easier, but the 3mm was what I had to hand.

I glued the two stars together with superglue, and trimmed around the edges to make sure they lined up.

In the middle of the star I drilled a 13mm hole, and glued a marble in the middle.

To run around the outside of the star I took ten support struts from the terrain sprue and cut them down into segments.

The long segments were trimmed up to fit and then glued around the outside. I used the short segments to add internal bracing, and cut the vents into wedge pieces to fit into the points of the star. Finally, I added a large pipe fitting on either side to bracket the marble.

To paint, I started out with some Rustoleum Oiled Bronze spray.

Over that, I added a heavy drybrush of Coat D'Arms Bright Gold.

I used a drybrush of Vallejo Emerald to add verdigris wherever it looked appropriate.

The final step was to paint the marble. I went with red to keep the Christmas vibe going. I used a blend of Vallejo Red and Army Painter Pure Red, with a highlight of white and a little Army Painter Purple Tone to shade around the outside.

To build your own festive constructs of doom joy, you can pick up the terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Modeling Spotlight: Hakoyu Grand Masters

Posted on Monday Dec 17, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

Hakoyu Grand Masters are masters of close quarters fighting, lending the experience of decades of training in combat skills and their exquisitely-crafted energy weapons to the Broken Federation's cause. This week, I'm taking a closer look at the model for this fearsome melee veteran.

The Hakoyu Grand Master is a multi-part resin model, with the body cast in one piece and all four arms joining at the elbows. Two of the forearms are equipped with the Hakoyu's shields, while the other two hold the Phase Weapons - a sword and an axe.

The elbow joint is a ball-and-socket affair, which allows for a decent range of posing, and also allows you to choose where to put each forearm.

Of course, that also means that you can mix and match arms between models - for the below model, I swapped out the shields in favour of doubling up the weapons. The second axe and sword were switched to the opposite side simply by slicking them off just above the hand and switching them, gluing each weapon onto the hand the other had been removed from.

Phase weapons take many forms, at the preference of the individual Grand Master. For this model, I replaced the sword and axe with a double-ended polearm - presumably this Grand Master would be skilled enough with this weapon for it to have the same effect as fighting with two separate blades! The hands were swapped out with plastic hands from the Broken Infantry sprue - as the Hakoyu only has three fingers, I resculpted the fingers on the left hand with a little 'green stuff' putty. The right hand is bionic, so I left it as is - ill-fitting bionics would be just one of the difficulties faced by alien races amongst the often poorly-equipped Broken.

Life on the Edge is hard, and emergency surgery and appropriate bionics are not always available when needed. It would be expected that this might take a toll on veteran Grand Masters, who spend so much of their time in the thick of the fighting. This Grand Master has at some point lost two of his hands, and rather than replacing them with bionics has had his Phase blades strapped directly to his wrists. I also put this model into a slightly more crouched pose, but cutting through the lower knee joint, bending the legs and then filling in the remaining gap with some putty.

Finally, while known primarily for their fearsome skills in melee, I would expect some Grand Masters to take pride in mastering all aspect of warfare. This Grand Master has eschewed the usual Phase weapons (aside from the one still strapped to his back - you can't turn away completely from tradition, after all!) in favour of a long rifle converted from two slug rifles from the Broken Infantry sprue. The forearm (another bionic) is also taken from the Infantry sprue. I also doubled up the larger of the two shields, but cutting the small shield off the right forearm, and the arm off the large shield, and then gluing them together.

What have you done with your Grand Master? Feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can pick up the Hakoyu Grand Master along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

New resin Epirian unit: SecDef Rapid Intervention Team

Posted on Thursday Dec 13, 2018 at 06:00PM in The Epirian Foundation

This week sees the release of some new, fast-moving reinforcements for the Epirian SecDef - the Rapid Intervention Team!

SecDef forces excel at rapid insertions and mobile strikes against enemy positions. Sometimes though, even these elite troops run up against opposition that is too well entrenched for a normal assault. Against these targets, boostpack-equipped Rapid Intervention Teams are brought to bear. Selected from amongst the most skilled SecDef veterans and armed with twin Araldyne CB22 Assault Carbines, Rapid Intervention Teams use the greater mobility afforded by their boostpacks to outflank and surprise enemy defenses, quickly overwhelming them with a hail of deadly short-ranged firepower. Where an extra punch is required, Rapid Intervention Teams are equipped with Araldyne CF13 Clingfire Sprayers or FG19 Flakk Guns: more effective and streamlined versions of these ubiquitous weapons, typical of the improvements Araldyne is able to create.

-Click here for the full rules card-

While undeniably effective, many commanders on the Edge are reluctant to deploy Rapid Intervention Teams other than as a last resort, due to the extreme costs involved in training, equipping and maintaining them. Not only are their compact boostpacks incredibly expensive and notoriously difficult to keep operational, the extensive training required to master them makes a fully trained Boostpack Infantryman almost as valuable as their equipment. On more affluent worlds this is less of a concern, and Rapid Intervention Teams are often found spearheading engagements, striking at critical targets behind enemy lines and crippling the foe's ability to properly organize a defense against the might of a full SecDef deployment.

This high quality resin kit contains three Epirian SecDef Boostpack Infantry models armed with twin Araldyne CB22 Assault Carbines and Clingfire Grenades, and three 25mm plastic bases, and is available now from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here!

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian Contractor Drones

Posted on Monday Dec 10, 2018 at 06:00PM in Models

- by Iain Wilson

The addition of the Contractor Drone to Epirian Contractor units gave them some new tactical options, with heavy weapon options for the re-titled Contractor Defender units, and supply drone options for the new Contractor Scout unit. This week I'm looking at some modeling options for the multi-part, resin Contractor Drone model.

Building one of four different options, the Contractor Drone kit comes with three different weapon options - a maglock chaingun, twin cluster missile pods and twin flakk guns. It also includes the Resupply Package for the Contractor Scout unit.

While sharing a superficially similar configuration, the Contractor Drone is a distinctly different model from the Spider Drone, with a chassis that is bulkier and taller. It also has weapon mounts situated beside its off-centre sensor unit as opposed to the Spider's side-mounted set-up.

The drone's legs all fit into any of the four shoulder sockets, with a barrel pivot allowing them to be positioned through a wide range of movement.

The equipment options slot in with a large locator tab. If you want to keep your options open, you can use a small piece of blu tac or similar re-usable adhesive to temporarily fix them in place and swap them out as you want.

Since I have problems assembling things the way they're supposed to be, I couldn't resist taking a knife to the kit to see what I could do with it. For a taller profile, I repositioned the feet on the below drone by soaking the legs in hot water and then bending them. I also cut through the legs right beside the shoulder assembly and glued them back on at a shallower angle.

One of the weapon options - Strike Missile Pods - didn't make it into the kit for the initial release. There are a couple of fairly easy ways to get around this problem if you want Strike Missile-equipped drones. For this one, I took a pair of Strike Missile pods from the Hunter Warmech kit, trimmed them up a little to fit onto the Contractor Drone front and glued them together.

If you don't have a Hunter kit to hand, you can also take the Cluster Missile pods, trim the missiles flush with the front of the pods, glue a 1.5mm hole into the front of each pod and glue in two pieces of 1.5mm plastic rod trimmed to points.

For a closed version of the Resupply drone, I cut through the supply cache directly behind the front panel using a razor saw, and then glued the panel directly to the front of the drone.

Legs are all well and good, but sometimes a more stable platform is called for. On the below drone, I replaced the legs with a skirt made from sections cut from a lintel piece found on the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. Under that, I added some tracks purloined from an old Mechwarrior tank model.

The Contractor Drone chassis also makes a nice, solid foundation for a remote turret assembly, to be installed on fortification walls or vehicle hulls. In place of the legs, I added a mounting column cut from a length of plastic tube, and inserted that into the small pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.

You can pick up the Contractor Drone along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Yoghurt Tub Observatory

Posted on Monday Dec 03, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

A side effect of building a lot of scratch-built terrain is that you sooner or later find yourself eyeing off all of your rubbish, trying to decide whether to throw it out or put it in the 'terrain fodder' box. This week's article comes from seeing an empty yoghurt tub sitting upside-down on the sink and thinking 'Hmm... I could totally do something with that!'

With the addition of half of a plastic Christmas bauble, and some bits and pieces from the terrain sprue, I built an observatory:

This all started, as I said above, with a 700g yoghurt tub. I was undecided at first as to just what to do with it, but when I went fossicking around in my potential terrain bits collection, I came across half of a plastic bauble that my wife bought a couple of years ago with Christmas stamps or somesuch thing in it. It looked a perfect size to combine with the tub, and so an idea was born.

I decided to keep this one fairly light on extra detail, for a clean, functional-in-a-sciency-sort-of-way building. The first thing to do was add a door, so I grabbed one from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, traced around it on the side of the tub and then cut out the doorway rectangle carefully with a sharp hobby knife. After checking the fit and making some slight adjustments with the knife, the door was glued in place with an 'all plastics' glue (a two-part superglue that includes a 'primer' to help the glue grab to plastics that can otherwise be problematic for a strong glue bond).

I added three support struts spaced around the building, just gluing them in place where I wanted them.

For the dome, I took some more support struts and separated the small square sections with attached rivet strips by cutting through the strut with the knife. I gave these a slight curve by bending them carefully over the handle of the hobby knife. On the bauble, I drew a guideline through the middle and then glued the strut sections and a large pipe fitting along the line.

I then glued the bauble in place on top of the yoghurt tub, and added two more support strut pieces halfway around each side, to help reinforce the glue bond, as the edges of the bauble are fairly thin.

Finally, I cut an 8" square of masonite, and glued the tub in the middle of it. I also added a couple of steps cut from an off-cut of foamed PVA, and a little strip of plasticard to cover over the doorstep, where my doorway cut had been a little untidy.

A couple of coats of spray and a little detail work later, and the new observatory looked like this:

A quick tip on painting clear containers - it can be a really good idea, particularly if you are using lighter colours, to spray the inside of the container black or grey before gluing it in place and painting the outside. This helps to make the end result more opaque, as the painted building can otherwise go a slightly translucent or look a little glowy if there is a strong light behind it. It also helps keep the building looking good if the paint gets scratched on the outside.

To build your own yoghurt tub science building, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Modeling Spotlight: Pa'ku Artillery

Posted on Monday Nov 26, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

This past month saw the release of the Pa'ku for the Broken faction, taking to the field with their gigantic Quad EMP Cannon strapped to their rather large backs. This is another brilliant model in a slowly growing collection of characterful alien creatures for the faction, and so in my usual style, I figured it would be fun to take a hobby knife to it and see what happened!

The fantastic studio model below shows the Pa'ku in all his warty glory. He's big, he's ugly, but nobody's going to tell him that so long as he has that gigantic quad cannon pointed in their general direction!

The Pa'ku is a resin model, and comes in 6 pieces, along with a 45mm base. The arms are on ball joints that allow for a bit of posing movement, and the cannon barrels have a round locator piece, so can be swivelled around to whatever orientation you prefer.

The immediate, obvious conversion opportunity is to replace the quad cannon with a larger-bore, single cannon. On the below model, I added a ring of plastic tube over the rear tube assembly, and replaced the barrel section with a new, larger, single barrel made from layered plastic tubing, with some plastic rod struts on the sides to give it a little extra detail.

As an extra bonus, you can also put him on the table with the unofficial rules card in the Force List section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here. You could easily leave off the side detailing and just use a single piece of 10mm tubing for a less detailed but much easier conversion, or use a different gun entirely for other heavy weapon variants.

Venturing a little further outside the box, the slow moving, steady Pa'ku seemed like an ideal candidate for ferrying around notable Broken characters who prefer not to dirty their own boots any more than necessary. With that in mind, I took a Pa'ku and assembled it without the gun, and then added a platform onto the back with a little plasticard, and added a rider built from the Broken Infantry sprue. The handrail is cut from a ladder from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and the sheath of extra harpoons is a piece of plastic tube filled with offcuts of 1mm rod, attached with a rivet piece from the previously-hacked-up ladder.

Of course, it's possible that not all Pa'ku are as slow and deliberate in their actions as the species is renowned for. What happens to those more headstrong, battle-hungry Pa'ku? I'd like to think they turn out something like this:

The jetpack was made from the main section of two quad guns, with help from a little putty, Epirian drone parts and plasticard. The head was repositioned by cutting and bending the neck, and the forearms twisted in hot water and guns added from the Broken Infantry sprue. I'll be sharing a more detailed build of this one in an upcoming article, once I get some paint on him!

To add some giant-cannon-goodness to your own Broken force, you can pick up the Pa'ku along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Flight Base Shipping Crates

Posted on Monday Nov 19, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

This week's modeling article came about more or less by accident! I have a bunch of flight bases left over from the Epirian Drone kit, as it comes with both 45mm bases for Spider Drones, and flight bases for Firefly Drones. I discovered when sorting out some bases in a mixed box of bits that the 25mm round bases fit quite neatly inside the bottom of the flight base, creating a pretty neat little detail effect, and I thought: I need to do something with that!

And so I did - multi-purpose shipping crates:

This is a really quick and easy build. You'll need two flight base bottom pieces, two 25mm bases, some thin cardboard (I'm using part of a manilla folder here, but cereal packet or similar thin card or even some thin plasticard would do just fine) and a computer terminal from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. That last bit is optional, as the crates will still look perfectly functional without it, but it does help to finish it off and give it that definite sci-fi stamp!

First, cut the cardboard into a strip - the width of the cardboard is the length of the crate. I've gone with 50mm long crates, as that seemed like a good size, but you could make them longer or shorter (or even do a mix of sizes) if you choose. Mark out six 15mm increments along the strip and lightly score with a sharp hobby knife, and cut the cardboard off about 5 or 6mm past the last one. Cut the corners of that last, shorter increment off at 45 degrees, as below:

Fold along each score line to create a hexagonal tube.

Apply superglue to the inside of one end of the tube, and wrap it around one of the flight bases, with the base bottom facing out, so that the end of the tube lines up flush with the bottom of the base.

Repeat for the other end, and this time also glue the short tab on the end of the cardboard inside the corresponding edge of the tube.

Glue a 25mm base, bottom facing out, inside each of the flight bases. The arc markers on the 25mm base line up with two corners of the flight base. If you're not using Maelstrom's Edge bases for this, it still works, you just won't have the extra bit of detail from the arc markers. Some bases also have branding stamps on the bottom - you could use these the other way around, for a slightly different look.

Finally, glue the computer terminal in one end.

Add some paint, and your cargo crates are ready for the table!

Printing out some shipping company names and gluing them on the sides is a great way to add some extra detail and make them look authentic!

To build your own shipping crates, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue (and 25mm bases!) along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Maelstrom's Edge Fiction

Posted on Monday Nov 19, 2018 at 12:00AM in Fiction

When creating the Maelstrom's Edge game, we wanted a universe that felt real and 'lived in', and that people would want to revisit and build in their games. With that in mind, we set about creating a wealth of background material to guide the creation of the game, and then expanded on that by approaching various authors to flesh out the Maelstrom's Edge setting. The end result of that is a slowly growing collection of fiction that we're extremely proud of.


Our first releases were our novels, 'Faith' and 'Sacrifice', which tell the story of two of the factions battling it out for control of Zycanthus, a planet a few tens of lightyears from the Maelstrom's Edge. The corporate Epirian Foundation owners of the world are trying to extract what resources they can in the last few decades before Zycanthus is destroyed by the Maelstrom. The secretive religious extremists of the Karist Enclave however, have identified Zycanthus as a key world for conversion to their beliefs - that the Maelstrom is not the end of everything, but the beginning of a new age for mankind - that if they prepare their souls for the Maelstrom's embrace, they will ascend to a new plane of existence.

In the first novel, 'Faith', Epirian Sheriff Kyle Wynn is ambushed in the desert by a Karist landing party and left for dead. He begins to uncover just how deep and wide the Karist infiltration of Zycanthus goes - and how dangerous it might be. Meanwhile Karist priestess Zafah has travelled to the world to try and teach people of the salvation that Ascension can bring - but the reaction of the Epirian security forces to her missionary work forces her to consider more direct methods of teaching the people the Karist Way. With both sides adamant that their way is best, the stakes are raised for a cataclysmic battle for control of the Zycanthus star system in the second book, 'Sacrifice'.


Our short story compilations, 'Tales from the Edge: Emergence' and 'Tales from the Edge: Escalation' take a closer look at an assortment of different settings along the Edge.

'Emergence' includes eight short stories stories by Tomas Martin, Stephen Gaskell and Andrew Everett, which explore the conflict and intrigue amongst the stars near the Maelstrom's Edge.

Stephen Gaskell's novelette 'Transit' tells of a young boy discovering the Maelstrom is coming to his world, whilst 'The Kaddar Nova' depicts the devotion and fanaticism of the most dedicated of the Karist Enclave's apocalyptic priesthood.

Tomas L. Martin's stories 'The Shipyard', 'The Scarecrow' and 'The Hunter' delve into the background of the corporate Epirian Foundation and their robotic guardians.

'Scraps' by Andrew Everett, 'Crisis Point' by Stephen Gaskell and 'Static Prevails' by Thomas L.Martin explore the conflict and intrigue amongst the stars near the Maelstrom's Edge.


'Escalation' is the second short story collection, and goes even deeper into the chaos of the Edge with stories by Alastair Reynolds, Aliette de Bodard, Liz Williams, and other accomplished scif-fi authors.

'Remainers', by Alastair Reynolds follows the return of a starship captain to a world doomed by the Maelstrom on the behest of a mysterious client.

In Rob Ziegler's 'Little Bots', a group of orphans scheme and sneak their way into a plot to escape their dying world, whilst Jeff Carlson's 'The Spaces Between Us' looks at the challenge of the Maelstrom's approach from another direction - if a world is lost, do we have a duty to save what makes it unique?

Jaine Fenn's 'Over You' and Tomas L. Martin's 'Fleet Champion' explore the honour-bound existence of the Remnant Fleet's Champions. The Remnant is all that's left of the Artarian civilisation fleeing the destruction of their homeworlds by the Maelstrom, and rely on their exo-suited Champions to secure the resources they need to survive - by force if necessary.

Nebula, Locus and SFWA award-winning author Aliette de Bodard tells a tale of the aftermath of an attack by the Karist Enclave on an Epirian Foundation world in 'Losses We Bear'. The topic of the Karist Enclave is also explored in Stephen Gaskell's 'A Keeper's Duty', where a young apprentice must learn to control the power of the unpredictable aliens known as the Angels.

Jonathan Cooper's 'The Daughter of Arin' presents a challenge when a Comm Guild courier arrives with an unexpected package, whilst stories from Philip K. Dick Award nominated authors Karin Lowachee and Liz Williams explore the ragtag rebels of the Broken and the challenges confronted by those who have nothing but the clothes on their backs in 'The Flesh of the World' and 'Moon Desert'.

The stories within this volume explore the tangled and desperate politics of the civilisations on the Maelstrom's Edge, from passionate revolutionaries to devout missionaries. The array of bestselling and award-winning writing talent will take you on journeys to planets where every decision can be the difference between survival and destruction.


These four books are all available in print through the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here, or you can find eBook versions on Amazon here.

The Maelstrom's Edge webstore also has available Audiobook versions of a selection of the short stories from 'Tales from the Edge: Emergence', with two more chapters in the story started in 'Transit' to come in the near future.

With so much more of the Edge still to explore, we hope you enjoy diving into our galaxy as much as we did creating it!

Website Update - Printable Unit Cards!

Posted on Thursday Nov 15, 2018 at 07:08PM in Gaming

The Maelstrom's Edge website has an online unit card viewer (which you can find here), allowing you to see the stats, options and special rules for each uit in the game.

As part of our ongoing upgrade to the website, we have now also added printable PDF card compilations for each faction. You can find these in the Rules section, along with the summary sheets, samples force rosters and gameplay tutorials!


Conversion Spotlight & Rules: Gnolti Berserker!

Posted on Monday Nov 12, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

Big, burly, slow to anger but nigh on unstoppable when they get rolling, the Gnolti is an impressive sight on the table, and is one of my favourite models. A while back, I got to thinking about the different ways that the ongoing battles around the Maelstrom's Edge would affect these massive, generally peaceful aliens, and started exploring this with my 'Longhorn' conversion. At the other end of the scale from the implacable veteran, I thought it would be an interesting contrast to have a much younger Gnolti who handles the constant call to arms in a much more direct fashion - and so the Gnolti Berserker was born:

As with my previous Gnolti conversions, this was built from the standard Gnolti model.

I wanted to give him a charging pose, as this guy was definitely not the 'sit back and take a breather' type of fighter! So I started by cutting the left leg off with a razor saw, and then reattaching it with the leg pivoted to the rear.

In place of the Gnolti's normal field generating bucklers, I thought it would be fun to give the berserker an array of scavenged blades to fight with. Using a sharp exacto knife, I cut off the existing detail from the shields, added some cracks and dents, and glued on some blades cut from the resin casting tab that the parts came on. (Waste not, want not!) As the left hand's fingers are slightly flattened on the bottom where they normally sit on the base, I also reshaped these by carefully rounding them off with the knife and adding in some knuckle lines.

For my Longhorn, I had gone with the idea that the Gnolti's horns would grow as they age. Running that idea backwards, a younger Gnolti would therefore need shorter horns. I figured that reducing his beard would also be fitting, and so I cut away the back couple of sections of the horns, removed all of his beard, and also sliced open the mouth with a razor saw and, holding it under some hot water, carefully bent it open.

I used 'Green Stuff' putty to replace the missing detail around his neck where the horns and beard were originally, resculpted a smaller beard and added a layer over the lower lip to reshape it.

Similarly, I filled in the gap created by re-posing the leg, and also removed the blanket roll from the Gnolti's back just to create a little visual difference from the others, and sculpted in new draped cloth in its place.

Finally, I glued on the arms and did a little final gap-filling where the reposing of the arms caused them to not fit flush at the elbow joints.

Painting was largely the same as my original Gnolti conversion, although I used a very slightly darker grey on the scales and made his beard a brighter orange.

Conversions are only part of the fun, of course - What about getting the models on the table? You can find unofficial rules cards for the Gnolti Longhorn and Gnolti Berserker in the Force List section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here, or download a printable version in the 'Unofficial Cards' PDF compilation here.

If you want to give them a try but aren't as confident in your converting, you can very easily use the standard Gnolti model as a fill-in - for the Berserker, paint him without the light on the shields and maybe make him a bit dirtier, and for the Longhorn just glue on an appropriate gun in the right hand, and you're good to go!

Family Shot!

To put together your own mountain of xenos rage, you can pick up the Gnolti kit along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Generator Made From Bubblegum Tape Dispensers!

Posted on Monday Nov 05, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

One of the most enjoyable aspects of terrain building for me is to find everyday things that, with a little bit of tinkering, suddenly turn into something that looks at home on the battlefield. This has resulted in me spending more time than is healthy wandering through hardware stores and discount shops looking for new fodder for the workbench - it's often a little surprising where that perfect next project piece will show up.

This week's build is based on an idea that I have come across in several different incarnations online, and thought it looked too cool to not try it out. So after a quick trip to the local grocery store, I found myself building a generator out of bubblegum tape dispensers!

I picked up two packs of grape-flavoured Hubba Bubba. Obviously, the flavour doesn't make any difference to the build, but if you're buying bubblegum anyway, is there any logical reason to buy any flavour other than grape?

The first step was to remove the bubblegum from the packs, and remove the labels. The labels mostly peeled off easily, but needed a little cleanup with some Tea Tree Oil to remove the sticky residue - If you don't have access to Tea Tree Oil, use whatever local equivalent you have for cleaning sticky residue off things.

Then I may have got momentarily distracted...

One side of the pack has an internal ridge running down each long side of the opening, and a pair of tongues that close over into the other half. These needed to be removed, which I did with a sharp exacto knife. They're made from a fairly soft plastic, so cut easily.

This left four almost-identical, semi-circular pieces.

To join the segments together, I took four 25mm bases and cut them in half with a razor saw. The arc markers on the Maelstrom's Edge bases serve as a handy guide for this, but if you are using different bases then some measuring and marking would be involved here.

I cut a piece of masonite to an appropriate size for a base, and then a smaller piece of foamed PVC for the generator to sit on. I could have used another piece of masonite here, but figured the plastic gum dispenser would glue better to the PVC. On the PVC, I marked out where the dispenser pieces would sit, and added a 25mm-wide centre strip to serve as a guide for gluing the base pieces on.

Then, I sat each dispenser piece in turn onto the marks and glued the base sections in position on both sides using an all-plastics glue.

(The 'all-plastics' glue that I use is a 2-part system that has a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen. You prime the contact points on both parts to be glued before applying the glue, and it creates a super-fast and extremely strong bond with just about any type of plastic).

It was around about this time that I noticed that there were small recycling symbols embossed on two of the dispenser pieces, so I carefully shaved these off with the exacto knife and lightly sanded down the surface. Then I moved on to the ends. Due to the dispenser having that tongue that I cut off back at the start, one side was left with a flat plate, while the other had a hole where the tongue originally slotted in. I took the cut piece of tongue and glued it into this gap.

Then I took eight support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and cut off the vent sections on their ends. These were glued in pairs into the dispenser opening.

The four sections of dispenser were then glued down onto the base, with the 25mm base sections on each touching the matching section on the next.

I felt that the generator needed a control panel, so quickly threw one together using a console and two trapezoid windows from the terrain sprue, with a square of foamed PVC as a base.

With that glued in place onto the masonite base, the generator was ready for some paint!

I painted it up using my normal weathered metal technique (which you can find in the tutorial here).

To build your own generator, you should be able to find the bubblegum tape just about anywhere that sells bubblegum, and can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.