The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian Bot Handlers


Posted on Monday Apr 23, 2018 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Bot Handlers serve as unit and force commanders amongst many Epirian forces, with their neural interfaces allowing them unparalleled access to tactical information and the ability to control bots at a distance. The Maelstrom's Edge Bot Handler sprue comes with parts to build two Bot Handlers, and this week we're having a bit of a look at just what you can do with them.



There are two different types of Bot Handlers in the game at the moment - The Apprentice Bot Handler, and the Journeyman Bot Handler. Apprentice Handlers lead units of Spider Drones in battle, while the more experienced Journeyman Handlers serve as low-level army commanders. These serve below the Master Handler, who will be added to the range soon with a new model and rules card.


Apprentice Handler (left) and Journeyman Handler (right).


The Apprentice Handler is equipped with a Maglock Dominator Pistol (a more powerful version of the Maglock Guardian Pistol used by Epirian Contractors) and uses a Tactile Bot Interface on one arm to interface with the bots under his direct control.


Apprentice Handler. The left arm has been slightly converted to look like he is motioning with the tactile interface gauntlet.


The Journeyman replaces the tactile interface with a more sofisticated Neural Interface, which frees up his hand to take a second pistol, or a forearm mounted grenade launcher.


Journeyman Bot Handlers (right).


Thanks to the modular nature of the Maelstrom's Edge kits, making small modifications to your models to personalise them a little is extremely easy. The standard Handler helmets can be swapped out for heads from other Epirian kits, or even from other factions.


Bot Handlers with heads from the Broken Infantry Pack.


Journeyman Handler with arms taken from the Broken Infantry Pack and the more streamlined helmet from the Faction Expansion Sprue.


Getting slightly more advanced, the below model was given a new pose by cutting two sets of legs apart at the groin and swapping halves to create a wide-legged, braced stance. A visor was added over a regular Contractor head with 'green stuff' putty, and the dual pistols were built onto a mini-drone made from a Firefly Drone turbine.


Converted Journeyman Bot Handler.


Or for something more outside the box, this Handler was reposed slightly by bending the legs outwards and replacing the right hand with an open Karist hand from the Faction Expansion Sprue, and was given a Drone Bike made from an Epirian Drone chassis and a Games Workshop bike.


Born to ride.


To pick up the Epirian Bot Handler kit, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit the webstore here. As always, we would love to see your creations 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: Epirian-themed Dice Tower


Posted on Monday Apr 16, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

There's nothing worse than throwing a bucketload of dice on the table and having a stray ricochet take out that carefully-painted model sitting perched on the edge of a piece of terrain, or having to launch an expedition under the table when the dice decide to go on an adventure. There are a few common solutions to this problem - dice trays, rolling on another table, never painting anything, ever - but this week, I decided to build a dice tower from a Knights of Dice blank and some bits from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



For the uninitiated, a dice tower is a box or tube that has some angled ledges inside. Instead of flinging your dice all over the table like some sort of uncultured barbarian, you drop them into the top of the tower where they roll down from ledge to ledge, eventually rolling out into the tray at the base of the tower where their predilection for wanton destruction is safely contained.

The KoD tower that I used as a base for the build is a plain, laser-cut MDF affair, that when assembled as standard looks like this:



I wanted something that would look like it belonged on the table, and so dug out some terrain sprues and tools, and went to work.

First step was to pretty up the opening at the bottom. I took a garage door from the terrain sprue, and found that it would fit into the existing arch with some cutting for the top corners, and something to fill in the top of the arch as it was higher than the door frame. So I marked out the door frame against the front wall of the tower, and also marked the scrap piece that was cut from the arch to leave an arc that would fit in above the door.





I then used a razor saw and exacto knife to cut the door out of the door frame, and glued the frame and the MDF arc in place in the archway.



With a dry fit of the tower, I discovered that the dice were sometimes getting stuck behind the sides of the door frame, as the plastic addition made the opening for the dice narrower than was originally intended. I fixed this by taking a lintel piece from the terrain sprue, cutting it in half, and gluing the two pieces on either side of the doorway, creating a bevel to funnel the dice out the door.



One of the less pleasant things about dice towers is that they can be rather loud and echoey when the dice are working their way through. I fixed this by taking some craft foam and cutting it to the size of the ledges, and then gluing it on top.



At this point, I also sprayed the interior of the tower black to match the foam. This would also make it relatively unobtrusive on the table.



I assembled the walls of the tower, and started adding detail to the outside. I took a piece of scrap MDF, and cut it to serve as a balcony. I used the top halves of a bunch of energy fence posts and some plastic rod to make handrails. (You can find other ideas for handrails in my catwalk article here!)



To support the balcony, I cut the sides off two trapezoid windows, and glued them in place on the back wall of the tower.





Finally, two ladders and some cut down corner reinforcing pieces made an extending ladder that could be hung from the balcony, fire-escape-style.



To add a little extra detail to the front of the building, I made a large Epirian Foundation symbol using pieces from a reinforcing strut from the terrain sprue.



With the addition of a few more bits on the sides to hide the ends of the interior ledges, and a sign board made from the cutaway garage door to disguise the filled-in archway, the tower was ready for painting. To avoid getting spray on the interior, I filled in the top and the doorway with some cardboard and a piece of foamcore.



Painting was a quick and easy spray with a grey primer, and then a quick downwards spray with some white to leave the grey in the recesses and shadowed areas.



The metal parts were painted with P3 Pig Iron and then washed with Army Painter Strong Tone, and the white parts given some weathering with a sponge. (You can find a handy sponge weathering tutorial here!)



Once the wash was dry, everything was dirtied up a little with a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown.



A little detail work here and there, and the tower was ready for the table.




Feeling inspired? You can pick up the Maelstrom'd Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the model range, from the webstore here. As always, we would love to see your creations 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.

Epirian Sentinel Bot Conversion Tutorial & Unit Card


Posted on Monday Apr 09, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Epirian faction in Maelstrom's Edge includes a number of fantastic robot options, and with some careful planning it's even possible to field an all-robot force. I went for an almost all-robot force with my starter force, including a lone Journeyman to lead them. I thought it might be fun to add some robot 'not-contractors' to the army for some extra firepower, and so turned to a conversion that I put together for a spotlight on the Scarecrow kit some time ago, which I dubbed a Sentinel bot.



The Sentinel uses parts from the Scarecrow, Drone and Contractor kits.



From the Scarecrow:

  • Head
  • Torso
  • Left Arm
  • Left Shoulder
  • Right Shoulder
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Chemtech Sprayer
  • Base

From the Drone kit:
  • Turbines
  • Turbine-mount side pieces
  • Flight Stem

From the Contractor kit:
  • Maglock Assault Rifle


Start by gluing the two Drone side pieces together and attaching the turbines, as below. There is a small ridge of plastic on the inside faces of the side pieces that needs to be shaved or filed down so that they sit flat against each other. A couple of pieces of spare sprue serve nicely to hold the turbines in place while the glue sets.



Take the Scarecrow torso and cut through it just below the top of the hips.



The torso then glues neatly into the middle cavity created by the two side pieces.



The left arm is assembled as normal. For the right, cut the pistol grip off the maglock rifle, and also cut the back of the rifle at an angle matching the ridge along the top, as shown below. The take the chemtech sprayer and cut the elbow joint off the back. This is glued onto the back of the maglock rifle, and then the weapon be glued to the upper arm.



To keep the unit with a similar silhouette to the contractors they are replacing, take the flight stem and cut it a little above halfway up.



This is then glued to the middle of the base. You will need to drill a corresponding hole in the bottom of the turbine assembly for the peg on the top of the flight stem.



With head, tanks and arms glued in place, the bot can be glued onto the flight stem (or left separate if you're planning on spraying a basecoat, or just if you're a messy painter!) ready for paint.



Scale shot with a Contractor:



Painted up, the Sentinels are ready to take to the field. I have added a command unit to one model to create a unit leader, and equipped the third with the auxilliary grenade launcher version of the Maglock Rifle.



You can find an (unofficial) rules card for fielding Sentinel units in the Force Builder section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here. Alternatively, you could just field them as Contractors.



To pick up kits you'll need to create your own Sentinel unit, visit the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.

We love to see what people are doing with their models, so be sure to also visit 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: The Broken Marsayan Hypnotist


Posted on Monday Apr 02, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This month sees the release of a new type of unit to Maelstrom's Edge, with the addition of the Marsayan Hypnotist to the Broken faction. Rather than a unit in his own right, the Hypnotist is fielded as an upgrade to other units - an idea that will be carried across to other factions later to help mix things up a little. While he doesn't have any weapons or ability to directly hurt enemy units, the Hypnotist uses his inate abilities to interfere with enemy attacks directed towards his unit. Here, we have a look at some modeling options for this great resin model.



The Marsayan Hypnotist is a two-piece resin model, and comes with a 25mm base. If you haven't worked with resin models before, you might want to check out the handy guide here.



Assembly is simple - cut the model from the frame, glue his feet to the base with superglue or a fast-setting epoxy (I use superglue with an all-plastic primer, for some extra grip without messing about with plastic.



The assembled model is a little taller than a human, but slightly more slender.





Due to the nature of the Broken as scavengers and refugees, it can be fun to mix up the models a bit by using components from other kits. Here, I replaced the Hypnotist's legs with the legs from a Karist Kaddar Nova.



For something slightly more ambitious, on this one I carefully cut through the resin where the fingertips touch the model's head, and then cut through the neck. The neck was trimmed away and replaced with a new one sculpted from 'Green Stuff' sculpting putty, and the head reattached facing to the right instead of the left. I also cut the left hand off at the wrist and reattached it at a slightly different angle, so that the fingertips still touch the head.



Some worlds are less comfortable for some species than others. On this model, I cut through teh left arm at the shoulder and rotated it downwards to cross the model's chest. I also removed the head and repositioned it slightly, flattened off the top of the shoulders, and added a domed helmet from Bombshell Miniatures.



Finally, bionic limbs are a common feature amongst the Broken. While these have no specific in-game effect, they're a great way to add some character to your models. Here, I have replaced the Hypnotist's lower leg and left arm with parts taken from an Epirian Scarecrow bot.



What have you done with your Hypnotists? We would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

To pick up the Marsayan Hypnotist, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit 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 Broken alien - The Marsayan Hypnotist is available now!


Posted on Saturday Mar 31, 2018 at 04:58AM in The Broken



The Marsayan Hypnotist is the next resin release for the Broken faction in Maelstrom's Edge. The first 'Add-On' unit type available for the Broken, the Marsayan Hypnotist can be added to different Broken squads to help protect them from enemy fire, as detailed on the model's profile card in the online unit card section of the Maelstrom's Edge website.

Marsays are not naturally gifted fighters, nor are they a particularly good shot. With their long limbs, clumsy gait and large bulbous eyes, Marsays don't seem a threat. Disguised behind those eyes, however, is their remarkable ability to influence the mind of others. This is a slumbering ability that most Marsay cannot consciously steer, only presenting itself when the Marsay is angry or fearful. There are some, however, who can exercise this power at will, giving them frightening control over those around them. At a distance, a Marsay can subtly suggest to the enemy to perhaps choose a different target to fire at. Up close, they can create much more intense hallucinations or make an opponent become violently ill.



There are rumours that a great Marsayan empire existed, comprising dozens of worlds, stretched across multiple systems. Driven by the most influential telepaths, the Marsayan Empire was thought to be deeply unequal and aggressive towards other cultures. Neighbouring human worlds, either threatened or jealous of the Marsayan abilities, banded together to attack, and most of the Empire was exterminated. The surviving Marsays fled their home worlds and learned to hide amongst human populations. All official records of the Marsayan civilization were wiped out by the arrival of the Maelstrom. Today, Marsays are mostly black market merchants by trade. Common sights in bazaars across the Arm, they are respected for their business acumen and the quality of their wares. Marsayan Ranja is an especially popular liqueur. Equally well known, however, is the Marsayan Swindle. Many an unsuspecting buyer at a Marsay market stall has suddenly felt a little nauseous and returned home with a purchase they can't quite explain.

Marsays still hold a deep fear of being imprisoned or killed for their gifts, and deny or downplay their telepathic potency. This fear of human government drives them to hide amongst the shadows of society, and even with the approach of the Maelstrom few are willing to risk being caught influencing their way onto an evacuation ship. Marsays are naturally drawn to Broken Freeports, where humans and xenos peacefully intermingle away from the sight of authoritarian government. Marsays often join Broken fighting forces to procure plundered goods they can later trade on the black market, and it is on the battlefield that their hidden talent for manipulation is often revealed. Marsayan hypnotists are valued on Broken patrols, as they can silently neutralize threats and do not care for even the thickest armour. Whilst these slight, frail creatures are not physically imposing, when they delve into the minds of their enemies, they can make the most hardened warrior flee in terror.

Pick up your Marsayan Hypnotist from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here!

Painting Tutorial: Sponge Weathering


Posted on Sunday Mar 25, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

We can wind up spending a lot of time painting miniatures for our games, so it can often be tempting when it comes time to paint terrain to just slap on a quick coat of spray and call the job a good'un. There are a number of quick and easy ways to add a little more detail (and subsequent awesomeness) to your terrain, though, and the difference it makes on the visual impact during your games is well worth making that little bit of extra effort. With that in mind, I would like to share a simple sponge method for adding chips and weathering to your building paintwork.



You will need a craft sponge - something fairly soft and fine-weave. I like to use a painting sponge like the one pictured below, as the pointed tip helps to get into difficult corners where necessary. You will also need something to put some paint in or on, some newspaper or paper towel, and (obviously) some paint. This method looks best when applied as dark chipping over a lighter shade of paint. I tend to use Vallejo Heavy Charcoal as a bit of a catch-all. It's darker than most of the colours I use on my buildings, and is indeterminate enough to cover for cement or aged metal. I avoid metallic paints for this sort of weathering, as they can look a little weird unless they catch the light just right. If you want some metalic touches, you can always use a dark grey and then highlight the bigger patches of chipping with a little metal colour.



The weathering is applied once you have the basic colour and any higlighting done on your building, and the process is really simple - Drop out some paint onto whatever palette you are using and dip the tip of your sponge in the paint.



Rub the sponge on the paper to remove any excess paint. You want the sponge to be wet, but not have any gloopy patches of paint. If in doubt, press the sponge against a clean section of the paper and check the result - you're aiming for small specks of colour, not big blobs.





Press the sponge onto your terrain, using a straight up and down motion. You want to dab the paint on, not brush it. Experiment with turning the sponge different ways and using different amounts of pressure to vary the way the chipping is applied, reapplying paint to the sponge as necessary. Apply heavier weathering to places on the terrain that would naturally get knocked or abraded more, like protruding corners of walls or the edges of doors and windows.



Keep going until you have worked over the whole building.



Here's the same thing on a green building.



If the sponge starts to get tacky with drying paint, you can wash it out, squeeze out as much water as you can, and then squeeze it between a couple of sheets of paper towel to get it as dry as possible before going back to the paint.



Once you're happy with your chipping, you can add other details or weathering as required. A strategic drybrush of brown in high-traffic areas, or just here and there for a bit of added grime, can go a long way to complete the weathered look.



Here's some finished examples of the technique in action:

Broken Settlement building (Tutorial)


Park Bench (Tutorial)



Sleeper Caskets (Tutorial)


Hab Dome (Tutorial)



You can find the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the game range in the webstore here. As always, we would love to see your creations 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: Scatter Terrain 2 - Urban Details


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


- by Iain Wilson

Cities are more than just a collection of buildings. There are a whole host of other little details, many of which we don't even notice because we're so used to them being there, that fill in that urban sprawl. Streetlights, hedges, park benches, statues, gardens, all go towards making a city look lived in and give it character. And yet these things are so often overlooked when we put together gaming terrain. So many urban tables are just a random collection of buildings in various levels of disrepair, which may look good, but are missing those crucial details that make them look right.

I've covered how to make some of the above mentioned details in previous articles, but this week I thought I would run through a few more, using components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and a few assorted odds and ends.



To start things rolling - Park Benches

The bulk of the bench is made up using the long segments from three support struts, and two of the short segments. Use a sharp hobby knife to cut through the struts on either end of the long, middle sections, and cut away the two short segments leaving the rivet strip on one side.



Two of the long strips and the two short segments make up the base of the bench. Glue these together as below using plastic cement.



For the seat, I have used a piece of embroidery mesh (which you should be able to find at a craft store or haberdashery), although you could choose to use plasticard or cardboard instead. I cut the mesh to fit over the top of the bench base, fitting inside the river strips on the tops of either end.



The mesh was glued in place using an 'all-plastics' glue, or a superglue with a plastic primer - just using plain superglue can work, but because the mesh is a rather rubbery plastic it sometimes doesn't hold the glue well without the extra help. On top of the mesh, I glued the third strut section, level with one long edge of the base.



While this comes out just about spot-on for size compared to a 28mm miniature, terrain features often look a little undersized due to the visual discrepancy created by the model's base making it look taller than it actually is. To help mitigate that, I glue a rectangle of 2mm plasticard under the bench to lift it off the ground a bit, which creates a similar illusion of extra height without actually having to make the bench over-sized.



Add a little paint, and the bench is ready to go on the table.




Next up - Let's inject a little art into the scene!

In my first scatter terrain article, I made an orb that I pictured as some sort of holgraphic map tank. I borrowed the same design to make a sculpture using an old rubber ball that I dug up out of the back yard.

The base for the bauble is simply the large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue, glued on top of the square hatch.





On top of that, you can stick a marble, as with my original orb, or any other round-ish thing that strikes your fancy -



In this case, though, as mentioned, I used a battered old rubber ball. The outside of the ball when I found it was cracked and dirty, and chipped away over much of the ball, leaving a semi-transparent, crystaline shape with a dark crust around it and a blue glow in the middle when the light hits it just right. It was too interesting a shape to not do something with it, and so I promptly glued it onto the pipe fitting base with some all-plastics glue.




Moving right along - let's add some greenery!

If you paint a lot, sooner or later you wind up with empty paint bottles. I found myself looking at my collection of empty dropper bottles and thinking that the lids were just asking to be turned into something. So I took a lid, washed it out, and cut a small pipe fitting from the terrain sprue.



The tip of the lid turned out to be exactly the same diameter as the outside of the hole in the pipe fitting (ie: just a bit bigger than I wanted it to be!) so I scored a line around the top about 1.5mm from the end, and used a hobby knife and a file to narrow down the end to that line.





I used an all-plastics glue to glue the reduced lid tip into the pipe fitting. As with the embroidery mesh used on the park bench, superglue alone isn't likely to bond as well with the lid, so the all plastic glue or a primered superglue is a better option.



I filled the inside of the lid with some 'green stuff' putty, and added a fern made from the leaves of a really dodgy-looking palm tree that came with a set of dinosaur toys bought for my daughter (It's ok, she said I could have it). A quick lick of paint, and the planter is ready for action.




Finally, what sort of city doesn't have statues scattered around to remind people to feel all embiggened?

For a quick and easy statue plinth, I took two shutter windows from the terrain sprue, trimmed off the two protruding parts of the frame on the ends and the rivets on the front surface.



The two windows were then glued together face-to-face, using plastic cement.



I added a statue assembled from some leftover parts scavenged from the Epirian Bot Handler and Broken Rabble sprues, and a base of 2mm plasticard for stability.



Some paint and weathering, and he was looking suitably statuesque, ready to inspire the city's defenders or enrage the rampaging invaders.



All of the above can be easily modified to suit your own table. You can use the individual pieces as scatter terrain, or glue them to building bases to add extra detail without having loose little terrain bits floating around. Be sure to also check out my first scatter terrain article, and also my tutorials on hedges and street lights



Want to share your terrain collection? We would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

To pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit 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.

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian Light Carrier Drone


Posted on Monday Mar 12, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A few weeks ago, I published a spotlight article on the Epirian Drone, showing a few different ways the kit can be assembled or converted. One of the conversions shown was a Light Carrier Drone, made up from a drone chassis and the hull of a 15mm plastic tank from Flames of War, that I think came out of an Adepticon swag bag. This week, I'm going to run through how it was made, using the tank (I think it's some kind of Stug, but I'm no tank expert and so it didn't really matter beyond looking perfect for what I wanted to do) and the chassis piece from an Epirian Drone.



Like the bipedal 'Mule' cargo drone shown above (for which you can find an assembly article here) there are no rules for using this drone in the game - it will most likely just be used to add some flavour to the table. But I find that sometimes venturing off the beaten track and building something different just for the fun of it can really help to keep the creative juices churning over.

SO, I started by grabbing the main assembly parts of the tank - top and bottom of the hull, and the two track pieces.



I used a razor saw to cut most of the top of the hull away, leaving just the gun mount and the front armour.



The tracks had some armour plating that extended up over the sides of the tank. I wanted these to be a little more low-profile, so I sawed them off level with the track guards.



Then I assembled the hull and tracks as per normal, just with a newly-formed great, gaping hole in the rear.



With a slight bevel added to the underside, the drone chassis slotted nicely into the gun mount.



Finally, I filled in the back with some plasticard to create a cargo deck.





To paint it up, I turned once more to the technique shown in my weathered metal tutorial. I kept the palette fairly limited, to emphasise the bare-bones industrial nature of this machine, and made the yellow panels on the sides worn and battered to show a history of hard use.





What have you done with your Drones? We would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

To pick up the Drone kit, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit 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.

Terrain Tutorial: Sleeper Caskets


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


- by Iain Wilson

As entire planetary populations attempt to flee the destructive advance of the Maelstrom, many ships pressed into service as evacuation vehicles that not equipped with the facilities to carry large numbers of living, breathing passengers any distance. The obvious answer, where such technology is available, is to put at least some of the passengers into hibernation in sleeper caskets. This solution is not without its risks, however, as poorly maintained and over-used caskets may fail in transit, causing the interned to either wake up early or not at all. And, of course, in systems where the demand is high, the casket can easily wind up being worth more than the poor soul inside, resulting in unscrupulous captains selling off full caskets to equally morally-questionable Edge-dwellers. These new owners will either use the caskets themselves or sell them on at an even higher mark-up, sometimes back to the former occupant.

I hit on the idea of making sleeper caskets from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue a while back, for use as scatter terrain or as part of a larger terrain project, and I was keen to give it a go. This relatively easy build uses a few components from the terrain sprue, some plasticard, and some clear plastic. Read on to find out how it's done.



To start, take the two trapezoid windows and two reinforcing struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



You only need the long middle section of the strut, so use clippers or a hobby knife to cut through the rivet sections on either side.



Using plastic cement, glue the ends of the strut section to the trapezoid window frames as below. The inside surface strut should be flush with the inside edge of frame, so that the 'glass' top will sit neatly inside.



While the glue is setting, cut a rectangle of 2mm plasticard to fit inside the bottom. Bevel off the long edges so that they sit neatly against the inside surface of the struts. You can also add a layer of textured plasticard on top to provide a little surface detail to the inside of the casket.



If you're intending to use sprays or an airbrush to paint the casket, now is a good time to stop and do that. If you're brush-painting and think your hands are steady enough to not get paint over the 'glass' then you can easily leave painting until the end, although it may still be easier to do it now, particularly if you want to paint the inside - I've just left mine grey to provide some contrast against the white exterior.



When you're ready to proceed, take some transparent plasticard or other thin, clear plastic (blister pack plastic would probably work fairly well) and cut a 30mm wide rectangle that is just a fraction longer than the strut pieces. You want just enough overlap to glue (half to 1mm on either end) - if you make it too long, you'll have trouble getting it into the casket.



Use a ruler or other straight edge to fold two 10mm strips lengthwise down the plasticard, leaving another 10mm in the middle.





You can also cut pieces of plasticard to fit inside the trapezoid windows, to close in the ends of the casket. If you're not too finicky about details, you can leave this step out - the missing glass won't be too noticeable on the ends.



From there, wiggle the top glass into the casket (it may take some squeezing and a curse or two to go in) and glue it into either end. Add any final painting detail, and glue in the bottom.



Note - as an alternative to the above, back during your initial assembly you can just glue the struts to one of the windows and glue that assembly down to the back plate, and then glue the other window in place once the 'glass' is in.

To add a little extra detail to your casket, plastic models can be easily repositioned to fit inside the casket. The 'glass' can also be given a very light frosting of white spray, for a frozen look.



You can use stacks of caskets as line-of-sight blocking scatter terrain...



...although individual caskets will also make handy objective markers.



Of course, now that I've made up a bunch of caskets, at some point I need to make whatever might have been carrying them... Stay tuned!

To make your own sleeper caskets, you can pick up the terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here. As always, be sure to share your creations 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.

Magnetizing Karist Heavy Weapon troopers


Posted on Wednesday Feb 28, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


Originally posted on Dakkadakka by Sgt.Oddball.

Hey all,

When you buy Karist Heavy Weapon troopers, you get two guys a pack, with a selection of 3 weapons. I want to be able to use all the weapon types, but I dón't want to paint three guys just so I can use any of the three weapon types (my chosen way of painting Karists is slow...). Magnets are the answer. Luckily, these guys are quite simple to magnetize. Here's how:



What you get in a pack. I love these sculpts and the model quality is fantastic. Very crisp.



Long thin resin bits can end up bent.



This is easy and quick to fix: dip in hot water, straighten, dip in cold water.



All the bits for one guy, without the ammo I forgot at this point.



I drilled a 3mm hole in the torso. The sculpt is such that you know exactly where to drill. If you go too deep you may end up making a hole on the other end where the head goes. You won't see this with the head in place.



In the hole goes a 3x2mm magnet. Try to match the amount which the magnet sticks out to the amount the original resin stuck out. If you want to use the left arm that holds the gun, it's critical that the magnet doesn't stick out too much, or you won't be able to line up the gun with the left arm.



Then put a magnet in the gun arm in the same way. The sculpt shows you where to drill. Don't drill too deep or you'll go out the shoulder guard. Also, if you lay the arm down like this and then press down hard with your drill, you could deform the shoulder guard a little.



As with the torso, you want the magnet to stick out as much as the resin did, or else your left arm won't line up. It's not just the amount by which the magnet sticks out, but also the angle. It's better to have the magnet in a little too deep: it'll still catch and your alignment will work. Of course, if you just use the left arm that holds the ammo, alignment isn't a problem. Easiest way to get it right is to have the left arm glued in place and then dry-fit.



The other guns get the same treatment. Beware of polarity ;)



Here's the missing ammo, which I glued to his belt. Also, you can see the torso and arm line up nicely on the rear.



Front alignment also works out with the left arm in place.



Ravager gun works too.



As does the grenade launcher.



Four guys with interchangeable weapons.

Once I paint these, they'll show up in my 'painted stuff' topic on Dakka :)

Modeling Spotlight: Assembling the Broken Sig Jammer


Posted on Monday Feb 26, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Broken Sig Jammer adds some elite tech skill to the Broken faction, taking to the field with Tech Disruptor and Targeting Scrambler in hand to make life awkward for oppressors and invaders alike. This week, we're having a closer look at this fantastic resin model.



The ramshackle fleets of the Broken don't possess extensive R&D departments or mass production facilities, but what they lack in investment, they make up for in unregulated ingenuity and daring invention. The Broken is a haven for technological savants and rebellious hackers, rulebreakers ostracised and hunted by a society scared of their technological prowess. Whether driven to the Broken by the Maelstrom or the authorities, these maverick inventors are encouraged to experiment and tinker. These 'Jammers' soon thrive among the Broken ranks, using their skills to break into computer networks, disrupt signals, and generally set technology against their users. It is a rare mercurial talent to be able to invent the kind of disruptive equipment the Jammers carry, and sending a Jammer Savant deep into enemy territory is not a viable strategy. Instead, Broken leadership encourages anyone with a natural aptitude for technology to become an apprentice, or 'Sig Jammer'. In peacetime, these neophytes are a mixture of servant and apprentice, taking care of a Savant's every need, or searching for the particular parts needed to complete the Savant's latest technological masterpiece.



The Sig Jammer model comes in 5 parts - body, head, Targeting Scrambler and the shaft and emitter for the Tech Disruptor.



Assembly is nice and easy, although if you haven't built resin models before you might want to check out my handy guide to working with resin.

The emitter piece for the Tech Disruptor glues neatly on the end of the shaft with a locator socket to seat it firmly in place. The bottom end of the shaft then glues into the haft, and the left hand joins to the extended arm. It's worth dry-fitting the disruptor before you try to glue it in place, just in case the arm isn't sitting quite right - if the disruptor doesn't fit neatly in place, check out the "Nothing to get bent out of shape about..." section in the article linked above.



The Targeting Scrambler is designed to glue onto the model's left forearm, but goes quite neatly on either shoulder, on the model's leg, or even on the back.



Finally, the head sockets into the torso, with the ball joint allowing for a wide range of movement.



The head is compatible with the rest of the Broken range, so you can easily mix up your Jammers a little by using any of the plastic heads from the Broken Infantry Pack.



You can vary the posing a little with the addition of some other parts of the Broken infantry sprue as well. The model below has the Scrambler attached to the haft of the Distruptor, and an aerial-style Disruptor made using part of an EMP harpoon and a left hand from the infantry sprue.



In keeping with the scavenging nature of the Broken, you can also mix-and-match parts from the other factions. The below model has legs from a Karist Heavy Weapon trooper and the torso from an Epirian Contractor, with arms and head from the Broken Infantry Pack.



With a little creative trimming and chopping, the Jammer model also makes a great fire support team member. Here, I have used the front half of a Longbeam Rifle in place of the Disruptor.



Do you have a Sig Jammer model to show off? Need help with assembly, painting or gaming? Pop along to the Comm Guild Facebook page and share your work!

To pick up the Sig Jammer or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit 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.

The Broken's first Elite - The Sig Jammer available now!


Posted on Friday Feb 23, 2018 at 11:15AM in The Broken



The Sig Jammer is the latest resin release for Maelstrom's Edge and helps the Broken counter the technological superiority of their adversaries. As usual, the unit's rules can be found in the online unit card section of the Maelstrom's Edge website, where you are able to learn about the specific rules of the Tech Disruptor (pile on those Suppression Tokens!) and the other equipped weapons of the Sig Jammer.



The ramshackle fleets of the Broken don't possess extensive R&D departments or mass production facilities, but what they lack in investment, they make up for in unregulated ingenuity and daring invention. The Broken is a haven for technological savants and rebellious hackers, rulebreakers ostracised and hunted by a society scared of their technological prowess. Whether driven to the Broken by the Maelstrom or the authorities, these maverick inventors are encouraged to experiment and tinker. These 'Jammers' soon thrive among the Broken ranks, using their skills to break into computer networks, disrupt signals, and generally set technology against their users. It is a rare mercurial talent to be able to invent the kind of disruptive equipment the Jammers carry, and sending a Jammer Savant deep into enemy territory is not a viable strategy. Instead, Broken leadership encourages anyone with a natural aptitude for technology to become an apprentice, or 'Sig Jammer'. In peacetime, these neophytes are a mixture of servant and apprentice, taking care of a Savant's every need, or searching for the particular parts needed to complete the Savant's latest technological masterpiece.



Once the Broken go to war, Sig Jammers are given disruption tech and thrust towards the enemy to cause havoc. A Sig Jammer's average lifespan doesn't tend to be terribly long, yet there is never a shortage of souls looking to become one. In fact, in some Broken societies, a lottery has to be held to select new Sig Jammers from amongst all the hopefuls. This is easier to understand when the alternative is being drafted into a Broken Rabble unit, which is roughly akin to being thrown into a meat grinder. In battle, Sig Jammers sneak near enemy lines and wage short-ranged technological warfare on the enemy, degrading their weapon systems and disrupting their broadcast frequencies. Sig Jammers project a localised disruptive field from their Tech Disruptor beam weapons to hamper electronic devices, disorienting or shutting down enemy targeting and support systems. Sig Jammers also use their arm-mounted targeting scrambler for protection, sending out dozens of false positives to enemy targeting computers, causing additional confusion and pandemonium amongst their adversaries.

Model Spotlight: Epirian Drones


Posted on Monday Feb 19, 2018 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Drones - the ubiquitous workhorse of the Epirian Foundation. Built around a standardised chassis that can be bolted onto a wide array of different locotion and weapon options, the humble drone can be found all over Foundation-settled worlds performing a wide range of tasks. Particularly valued by Contractor military units, the Drone's various weaponised configurations are found at the forefront of any engagement harrassing enemy units and getting into those hard to reach places. Here, we'll take a closer look at the options available on the plastic Drone sprue.



The Drone kit comes with parts to build either of two variants: the flying Firefly drone, or the agile, ground-hugging Spider drone.



The Firefly is the fastest drone in the Foundation's arsenal, and the lightest armed. Held in the air by two dorsally mounted rotors, the Firefly is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and can travel up to 150 km/hr. Its primary purpose is as a forward scout, using its advanced sensor and communications suite to send information back about enemy positions. Its armour and weaponry is minimal and the Firefly can be easily taken out by even small arms fire - providing the shooter can hit its rapidly-moving frame. The Firefly is equipped with a Drone Class Laser System.



Slower than some of its drone counterparts but fitted with heavier weaponry, the Spider Drone is a popular choice for automated defences inside buildings where a Scarecrow's range is limited. Originally designed to operate within the rough terrain of mining tunnels, the Spider moves on multiple armoured legs, allowing it to keep its balance on the most unsteady of terrain.

The steadiness of its body allows more powerful guns with higher recoil to be added, and most combat Spider variants forgo the sensor suite used in Firefly, Rover and Stalker drones to accommodate more ammunition and heavier armour. Spiders can be equipped with Cutter Light Machine Guns or Flakk Guns.





Because the sprue was developed before the rules were finalised, there wound up being a couple of extra parts on the sprue that were originally intended to be another weapon option, but which also serve nicely as antenae for identifying 'leader' models, or for converting your own different drone classes, like this Sensor Drone:



If you would like your drones to look a little more mobile, the thin legs of the Spider lend themselves well to conversions. You can easily repose them by either carefully bending at the joints, or by slicing through the joint and reattaching at a different angle.





For those wanting the Drones to pack a bit of punch on the battlefield, you could try out the reasonably simple Scorpion Drone conversion detailed here, which takes the Spider Drone and equips it with a Maglock Chaingun from the Hunter Mech kit.



Getting a little more adventurous with the converting, I like to think that the Drone chassis would find its way into all sorts of different applications where having some robotic assist might make a task easier or more efficient. Like this Light Carrier Drone, converted from a Drone chassis and a Battlefront 15mm plastic tank kit, with a little plasticard.



Or this (work-in-progress) Journeyman Patrol Bike, converted from a Games Workshop bike and an Epirian Bot Handler, with the Drone chassis up front for steer assist and targeting.



You can also use the Drone chassis as a head for larger bot constructs, like these 'Silverback' and 'Mule' Hunter Mech conversions.



All of that can, of course, leave you with a bunch of leftover flight turbines, which can be used to build a jump pack-equipped Epirian Warden, or some floating 'Sentinel' Drones, using the turbines and the top of a Scarecrow - tutorial coming soon for that one!



What have you done with your Drones? We would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

To pick up the Drone kit, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit 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.

Terrain Tutorial: The Foam Ball Cactus!


Posted on Monday Feb 12, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

You may have noticed by now that I make a lot of buildings. Sometimes, though, it's nice to get away from the urban sprawl, and venture out into the untamed countryside where enemy troops may wind up being less scary than the native flora and fauna.

If you were gaming back in the '90s, you might be familiar with some of the scratch-built terrain that was featured in White Dwarf magazine back then. One of my favourites, and a staple on many a scifi gaming table back then, was the foam ball and toothpick-spine cactus. It was a little goofy, but also really easy to make and looked rather effective on the table in place of all those mass-produced train set trees. So I thought it might be fun to revisit the idea, and see what I could do to modernise it a little and maybe remove some of the danger of taking out an eyeball while checking line of sight. And so I came up with this:



Staying true to the original, I found a bunch of different sized expanded polystyrene balls at a local discount store. To replace the old-school toothpick spines, I dug out an old toothbrush.



The first step is to give the foam balls a little touch-up with some fine sandpaper. This removes the mould line around the middle of the ball, and roughs up the outer surface a little to help the paint stick.



To make the ball easier to stick down to a base board, use a fine-tooth breadknife or other sharp knife to cut a slice off, making a flat surface for the bottom of the cactus.



Next we need to pike some holes in the ball to add the spines. Serendipitously, I used a toothpick, but anything pointy will do the job. Make the holes at least 5mm deep, although it doesn't hurt if they go in further. They're spaced around the ball in rough layers, without being too neat about it - slightly haphazard spacing adds to the organic look.



Toothbrush time! Take your toothbrush and, using a pair of pointy pliers, rip out a bunch of bristles. Try to hold them together - they tend to scatter if you're not careful when you let go.



Depending on how many bristles are in a clump, you might want to split the clump into halves or thirds, or use the whole thing as a single clump of spines. It's entirely up to the look you want.

In most toothbrushes, there is a small piece of metal in the fold at the base of the bristles that anchors them into the brush. Tease this out and discard it, and then separate the bristles into the size clump you want, being careful to put the extras down so that they stay together for later.



Dip the base of the bristle clump in some PVA glue, and then insert it into one of the holes in the foam ball. Mine have about half of the bristle inside the ball, to give them a good anchor and to stop them from splaying out too much.





Repeat until you have all of the holes filled with bristles.



For an older cactus, you can add extra nodules by slicing off a section on the top of the first ball and gluing the flat bottom of another ball into place on top. Reinforce with a toothpick glued in the middle, if you want a little extra strength. When that's set, poke in the holes and add bristles as above.





Mixing in some different configurations and different sized balls will help create a nice, varied look on the terrain piece.



To paint, first work around the holes with a pointy brush and a dab of brown wash or thinned brown or green paint to mask the white interior of the holes. (If you're more forward-thinking than me, you could alternatively do this before you glue the bristles in, which might be a bit easier!)



Then paint the rest. I've gone for standard green cacti, with red spines for some contrasting colour, but for alien flora you could obviously use whatever colours you please.



From there, glue your painted cacti onto a base board, and your cactus grove is ready for the table!







Do you have ideas for your own alien area terrain? We'd love to see them! Come along and share 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, and you can find the Maelstrom's Edge model range and boxed game in the webstore here.

Modeling 101 - Working with resin models


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


- by Iain Wilson

The addition of resin models to the previously all-plastic Maelstrom's Edge collection has allowed for factions to receive some new and characterful unit options to their ranges. Working with resin is a little different to plastic, though, and so I thought it might be helpful to run through some basic pointers on how to build and assemble these fantastic new models.



So, er... what's this, then?

Resin looks a lot like plastic. With good reason: It is plastic!

In the miniature modeling world, though, we tend to use the term 'plastic' to apply specifically to High Impact Polystyrene, which is a particular type of plastic used in injection moulds. The raw plastic is melted and then injected at high pressure into a metal mould. This sort of casting is fast, but the moulds are expensive and require specialised machinery. 'Resin' instead refers to polyurethane, which is a two-part compound that is mixed together and then poured into rubber or silicone moulds. Resin produces crisper detail than polystyrene and the moulds are cheaper and easier to create, but is more labour-intensive to cast and the moulds wear out with use. As a result, resin tends to be used for smaller runs of miniatures, while polystyrene is used for models that are cast in high volume.

So, where to start?

Clean ALL the things

Resin models can sometimes have a bit of an oily residue on them from the casting process. This can affect how well the paint adheres to the model, so it's a good idea to remove it before you start painting. The easiest way to do this is to just wash the model in soapy water, lightly scrubbing with an old toothbrush to clean out the creases.



Flash! Ah Aaaaaahhh!

Flash may be the saviour of the universe (if just a man), but it's also a side effect of the casting process that can spoil an otherwise great paintjob. The moulds used for Maelstrom's Edge's resin models are replaced regularly, and so mould lines are minimal and are often minimised even further by running along edge detail rather than flat surfaces, but you should always go over the model before undercoating to catch any that might get in the way later. As with plastic or metal models, you can use a small file or emery board for this, but I find a sharp exacto-style knife blade does the best job, and works well for getting into creases and following detail. Just scrape gently along the mould line to flatten it out.



Nothing to get bent out of shape about...

During the casting process, resin will shrink slightly as it cures. This can cause thinner parts to develop a slight bend if one side cools faster then the other. With plastic or metal, you can often fix warped parts by just carefully bending them back into shape, but resin needs a little extra preparation to avoid having the part snap. Luckily, resin softens with heat, so the easiest approach is to dip the part in some hot water until it is warmed through, and then carefuly shape it to how you want it. Then dunk it into some cold water to 'set' the part again - resin has some 'memory', so will try to revert to its original shape while it's still soft. Cooling it quickly helps to avoid this.

Note that you can also use this method to reshape models to change their pose. It's particularly useful for organic shapes, like the tentacles on Karist Angels.





He's half the man he used to be...

Maelstrom's Edge resin is a little harder than plastic, but is still quite easy to cut with a hobby knife or clippers. For larger parts, or to get a nice, clean cut, I recommend a razor saw. This has a super-thin, flat blade that is just perfect for slicing through models while minimising the loss of detail from the cut.





It's worth pointing out that if you're doing a lot of sawing, sanding or filing, it's best to do it in a well-ventilated area. That's not really specific to resin models - it's always a good idea to not fill your lungs up with rubbish!

Stick with me, kid!

Plastic glue, also sometimes called poly (or polystyrene) cement, doesn't work on resin models, as it's specifically designed for polystyrene. You will need superglue or a quick-setting epoxy glue for the best bond. Epoxy, even the quick-setting kind, can be a bit of a pain to work with due to needing to mix it and having a longer 'grab' time, so I prefer to use a superglue with a plastic primer. The primer is used to prepare the surfaces to be glued, and helps the superglue to grab tightly to plastics that superglue on its own doesn't adhere to as successfully.



Use the same glue for sticking resin parts to plastic or metal. Wherever possible, make sure that the surfaces being glued are smooth and flat. There's a common misconception that scoring or roughing up the surfaces gives a better bond, but superglue actually works better the thinner it is. Having surfaces as close to flat as possible ensures that the glue spreads out super thin between them - thicker glue just creates a brittle bond.



You're not pinning that on me!

If you are concerned about larger parts going astray with use, you can use thin wire to pin them into place for some extra durability. Use a pin vice to drill matching holes into the parts to be glued, add a piece of wire that fits snugly into the drill holes and glue in place.





Some people like to use paperclips as a source of wire for pinning. I wouldn't recommend this, as superglue tends to stick rather poorly to stainless steel. Thin copper or galvanised wire, or brass rod are the best options for a secure bond.

Mind the gap!

With well-maintained moulds and some clever part break-ups, the resin models for Maelstrom's Edge go together with no real need for gap filling. If you're converting models, though, you can sometimes wind up with the odd gap or slip of the saw that needs some filling in. Kneadatite (usually referred to simply as 'Green Stuff') is your friend here. This is a two-part modeling putty than comes with a blue part and a yellow part. You mix together equal parts of each colour and then use the resultant green goo to fill in holes or sculpt extra detail. This is all a little more involved than will fit into this article, but I'll put together a 'Green Stuff Basics' article in the near future.



All the pretty colours...

There is no particularly special treatment required for painting resin models. Normal acrylic model paints will do just fine. A light spray coat of primer will help the paint adhere, and gives you a flat base colour to work with, which is particularly important when you have a mix of resin and plastic models (or converted models with mixed components or green stuff involved) and want to keep your army colours consistent. You may also want to finish with a coat of sealer to protect your paintjob, although resin tends to hold the paint about as well as plastics, and so isn't as prone to the edge wear from handling that tends to be a feature of well-used metal models.



OK... so now what?

Hopefully, all of that has been of some use in demystifying resin models. There are some great resin models in the Maelstrom's Edge range already, with plenty more still to come, so why not dive on in and have a play? You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here, and as always, be sure to share your creations 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.