The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

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.

Modeling Spotlight: Converted Broken Gnolti


Posted on Tuesday Jan 30, 2018 at 07:06AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week saw the arrival of the biggest model yet for Maelstrom's Edge: The Gnolti!

A gigantic chunk of brawn and armoured hide, the Gnolti is slow to anger, but unstoppable when roused. So as impressive as the model is, I decided I wanted to build one that showed a Gnolti really letting it all out. This was the end result:



The Gnolti is a multi-part resin kit, with a little posability in the forearms due to the circular connections. One of his hands is open, and this seemed like it was just asking to be holding something breakable. So, I sliced off the forefinger so that I could close in his grip a little, and reattached it with some green stuff, and gave him a little friend to play with, courtesy of the Epirian Scarecrow kit.







The left hand is in a closed fist, and is designed to sit knuckles-down on the base. I reshaped the flattened bottom surface of the fingers to make them more rounded, and then pinned the scarecrow's left forearm into the Gnolti's grip.



To create a more upright stance, I ran the legs under some hot water and carefully bent the lower right leg out and back. Apparently, I wasn't careful enough, as I managed to snap it off through the shin, but with a little drilling and pinning, I wound up with legs positioned how I wanted them.



Adding a Hunter mech's leg for the Gnolti to stand on, I glued the legs in place on the base, and added a piece of sprue to fill in the slot for the torso's locator peg.



Taking the torso piece, I used a razor saw to slice off the right arm at the shoulder, cutting out a wedge on the top so that it could be reattached in a more raised position. I also cut a thin wedge out from his chin at the top of his beard, and then added a cut between his lips so that I could bend his lower lip down into a mouth-open position.



The torso was then glued in place, with the sprue in the waist-hole allowing the torso to sit upright.



The lower lip was padded out with some green stuff to repair the minor damage from sawing it open. I also filled in the cavity in his waist, and started added detail back in under the right arm.



Another layer of green stuff gave him some abdominal muscles, a tongue, and a single flat tusk in his lower jaw.



Finally, the forearms were glued on, and a last run of green stuff added to replace the fur trim on his right shoulder strap.





With that, it was time to paint!

I went with a colour scheme that was reminiscent of that used on the studio model shown here, but with slightly more muted colours to fit in with my quick, wash-painted Broken colour scheme.

Ready for action!











To pick up your own wee beasty of broken doom, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit the webstore here. As always, be sure to show off your work 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: Mini Hab Domes from plastic bowls!


Posted on Monday Jan 15, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Throughout the galaxy, few structures hold up as well in hostile environmental conditions as the humble dome. They're durable, efficient, and as a bonus look nice and distinctive in a universe filled largely with pre-fabricated, angular structures. So here's a simple way to make yourself some small dome structures for your gaming table, using components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, a little foam core board, some plasticard, and a plastic bowl.



As with the larger plantation dome that I made a while back, the basis for this building is a plastic bowl, in this case picked up in a pack of 8 from a local discount store for a couple of dollars.



I cut two rectangles of 5mm foam core board, about 30mm wide and the same height as the inside frame of one of the small doors from the terrain sprue. These formed the sides of the building's entrance, and so would need to be curved on the back sides in order to sit flush with the side of the dome.

Sitting one of the rectangles against the bottom rim of the dome, I measured the distance between the top corner and the dome, and marked that distance along the short edge of the foam core.



I then folded a piece of aluminium foil to made a long L-beam shape. With a pair of clippers, I made a series of cuts along one edge.



The uncut surface of the beam was then pressed against the side of the dome, with the cuts allowing it to bend to match the shape while the L-beam shape gave it enough rigidity to keep the curve when removed from the dome.



I then used the resultant curve to transfer the shape of the dome to the foam core, matching the foil beam up to the measured mark and the corresponding bottom corner of the entrance wall.



An exacto knife was used to cut along the drawn curve, angling the cut to account for the horizontal ci



With the addition of a piece of 1.5mm plasticard, cut to shape for the roof, the entrance tunnel was glued together and test fitted against the dome, with a little fine-tuning of the curve with the exacto knife allowing it to sit flush.



I wanted a little texture on the flat top of the dome, so I decided to use some grid-patterned plasticard. Not having a compass handy, I found a small drinking glass that fit neatly into the circular base of the bowl, and used this as a template to draw a circle on the plasticard. Once cut out, this circle was glued neatly into the recess.



For the windows, I took the trapezoid windows from the terrain sprue and trimmed down one side to help them sit almost vertically on the side of the dome.



To glue the windows in place, I grabbed a small offcut of foam core to use as a spacer, to ensure that the windows on either side of the building sat at the same height.



With everything glued in place, the building looked like this:



So, on to painting!

Because the dome is transparent, I sprayed a coat of primer inside to begin with. That way, if the outside of the dome gets a little scratched up from gaming use, it would show grey instead of clear.



The outside was then also primed grey.



The primer was followed with a coat of Army Painter Dragon Red.



I added a white stripe to break up the red a little, and painted some metal detail with P3 Pig Iron.



Finally, some sponge weathering and the roof tiles painted with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal, a quick wash with Army Painter Dark Tone for the metal parts and the roof, and some colour on the lights above the door, and the minidome was finished!









To build your own mini hab domes, 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 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.

Modeling Spotlight: Karist Angel Keepers


Posted on Sunday Jan 07, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Karist Angel Keeper has added his goad-wielding distinctiveness to the Karist Enclave model collection, and so this seemed a good opportunity to grab a few and have at them with the exacto knife and superglue.



An addition to the new resin range for Maelstrom's Edge, the Angel Keeper comes supplied with his angel goad and grenade launcher.



Assembly is really simple: Glue feet to base, glue head to neck, glue hands to arms. The goad also has a separate piece for the blade end, which sockets onto a convenient pointy end on the shaft.



The more eagle-eyed rules watchers may have noticed that both weapons are held in hand, but the Keeper actually comes with both by default. This allowed for players to choose which would be held in hand while still keeping the parts count down for practical purposes, and rules-wise isn't an issue since we can assume that all default gear exists whether it is specifically shown or not. If, like me, you do prefer to have all of your models' gear modeled, this isn't a difficult task.

If you have modeled your Keeper with goad in hand, just grab a spare grenade launcher from the Faction Expansion Sprue and glue it onto his back beside his pouch.



If you prefer to have the grenade launcher at the ready, you can use a piece of 1.6 mm diameter plastic rod to replace the shaft. Here, I've also removed the detail piece from the bottom, to be reattached onto the new shaft.





You can also use a shaft from the Cybel Glaive on the Faction Expansion Sprue.



OK, but what if you want both weapons in hand, you say?

Luckily, resin cuts really easily, so the easy option here is to carefully remove the left hand from the stock of the grenade launcher - just trim it down to a flat surface and file it smooth if necessary.

For the goad, cut through the shaft either side of the right hand, and then reattach the bottom of the shaft to the top.





For a slightly more complex (but more hardcore!) alternative, why not combine the two weapons into one?

Take a grenade launcher from the Faction Expansion sprue, cut off the pistol grip and trim down the stock so that it is level with the bottom of the ring around the muzzle.

Trim down the back side of the goad blade so that it is flat, and cut a small, flat inset into the end of the goad shaft where the blade normally attaches.



Then glue the back end of the grenade launcher to the goad shaft, and the goad blade to the stock of the grenade launcher.



The Keeper's head has the same ball joint neck as most of the rest of the Karist range, so you can easily swap in different heads to either customise your Keeper a little, or use the model as a specialist in a Karist Trooper or Praetorian unit. The below model has a head from a Karist Heavy Trooper.



You can also create unit champions by swapping out or modifying the weapons. Below, I've filed down the shoulder pads and added Karist Trooper pads over the top, and used a head and cybel blades from the Faction Expansion sprue to create a Praetorian Tetrarch.



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

To pick up the Angel Keeper, 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

Spotlight: Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue Tree Decorations!


Posted on Monday Dec 25, 2017 at 12:00AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

With Christmas upon us, I wanted to add a bit of a holiday theme to this week's article, and so the only sensible option was to take the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and build Christmas decorations from it!



Around this time of year you can usually find various DIY bauble kits that have plastic baubles that you can stick photos or other momentos inside, or that you can paint or otherwise decorate. This particular one I think came with some rubber stamps inside for making Christmas cards and the like.



I took four of the long reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue and gently bent them into a curve over a metal tube.





These were then glued around the bauble with all-plastic glue. I used a UHU glue that turned out to be not great for gluing these struts onto flat surfaces as it contracts when it dries, which bends the struts and pops them right off the surface they're glued onto. That very property makes it a perfect glue for attaching the struts to a curved surface, though, as it will make them fit more tightly to the bauble.



The struts don't run all the way down to the bottom of the bauble, so I took the large pipe fitting from the sprue, and used a hobby knife to carve the bottom surface out to make it concave.



This was then glued onto the bottom of the bauble.



Time to paint! A quick spray of grey primer:



Season lightly with some crushed rocksalt:



Spray with Army Painter Dragon Red:



Once the spray was dry, I scrubbed away the salt under running water:



The detail pieces were then painted with P3 Pig Iron:



I followed this up with a generous coat of my old favourite, Army Painter Strong Tone ink.



After sitting overnight for the ink to dry, a quick drybrush of Pig Iron and a little silver, and up it goes on the tree!



To build your own collection of mechanical... er... decorativeness, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain kit along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here. As always, we would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

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 Tutorial - Scarecrow-arm Bionics


Posted on Monday Dec 18, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Amongst the veterans of the savage and bloody conflicts that rage along the Maelstrom's Edge, bionic limbs are commonplace. Many (at least those who can afford it) choose high-tech limb augmetics that are practically indistinguishable from the original. The less fortunate, or perhaps just the less vain, often wind up with more obvious mechanical assistance. You can find various examples of this amongst the plastic broken models, but here I'm going to share an easy bionic arm made from the left arm of an Epirian Scarecrow bot.



The arm comes in two pieces. Start by trimming or filing off any mould lines.



Take the upper arm piece and remove the round lug from the inside of the shoulder and the flange from the top of the shoulder with a sharp knife or razor saw, and cut off the arm just above the elbow pivot and just below the reinforcing struts.



On the lower arm piece, cut the hand off just above the wrist, and the forearm just below the reinforcing struts, and then also remove the struts - leaving them on makes the forearm a little too bulky.



Assemble the arm by gluing the hand back onto the truncated lower arm, the elbow pivot onto the upper arm, and then gluing the elbow joint together.



Glue onto your model of choice, and you're ready to paint and send them off to battle!



To rebuild your own warriors into an augmented force of renewed usefulness, you can pick up the Scarecrow bot along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge 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.

Modeling Spotlight: Assembling Karist Heavy Troopers


Posted on Monday Dec 04, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week saw the release of the next Maelstrom's Edge resin set into the wild, with the addition of heavy weapon troopers to the Karist Enclave lineup. Here, we're having a quick look at how to assemble these great new models!



The Karist heavy troopers come in a pack of two troopers, with three heavy weapons between them. They also include 3 optional heads - two with helmets and one open-face, an extra left arm with a spare cybel cannister, and a bunch of extra cybel cannisters to attach to their belts.



As always with resin models, it's a good idea to give them a quick wash in warm, soapy water to clear off any residual mould release, as this can affect paint adhesion. If any of the parts are a little bent, this is also the time to drop them in some hot water and then reshape them - although the casts I received of these models were all beautiful and straight, with extremely minimal mould lines, so very little clean-up work involved.

The two bodies are all one piece, and so once the frame lugs are trimmed off the bottom of the feet, can be glued straight onto your base. Because these are resin rather than polystyrene like the regular plastic kits, use a good quality superglue or fast-setting epoxy glue, rather than plastic cement.



The arms have nice, sturdy locator pins that fit snugly into the sockets in the shoulders.



Dry-fit them first to get a feel for how they sit, and then I find the easiest way to ensure the arms fit together nicely is to put a drop of glue into each shoulder socket, a small drop on the left palm, and then sit everything into place and make any minor adjustment quickly before the glue grabs. You can glue one arm at a time if you prefer, but it can be trickier to get a perfect fit that way, depending on the angle of the arms.



Finally, glue the heads in place, and you're ready for paint!



You can add a Quintarch to the unit using a regular Karist trooper, or you can add parts from the Trooper sprue and/or Faction Expansion Sprue to another heavy trooper body to keep with the heavier armour look for the whole unit.



You could also use weapons and arms from the Trooper sprue on the heavy trooper bodies to make special weapon troopers for your regular Karist units.



And for a final bit of fun, I made some conversions a while back of some Tempest Elites with shoulder-mounted weapons (from the Spotlight article here). That conversion becomes even easier with the pulse cannon and cannister arm from the heavy trooper set!



To build your own army of Maelstrom-worshipping, explody Doom, you can pick up the Karist Heavy Trooper set, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge 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.

Terrain Tutorial: Blanket Door Coverings


Posted on Monday Nov 27, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Last week I put together the second part of my Broken settlement, with some buildings made from a cardboard gift box and an old fruit tin. The fruit tin still needed a door covering, and I wanted something that looked sufficiently rough and ready. I decided to go with an old blanket to serve as a makeshift door, which wound up looking like this:



To start with, I took a length of plastic rod and cut it to run across the doorway with a little overhang on either side. This would eventually sit in place at the top of the doorframe, poked through a couple of holes drilled into the tin on either side.



I then grabbed some crepe bandage and cut a piece a little longer than the rod, to allow it to bunch up. Bunched curtains look more interested than a flat sheet, unless you want to paint a design on, in which case a flatter surface is going to be easier to deal with.



Next I glued the bandage over the rod with some superglue, bunching it up so that the ends of the rod were sticking out, and folded over the rod far enough so that the bottom of the blanket would just touch the ground when hung in place.



Now comes the messy part - I mixed up some PVA glue with a little water. The exact amount of water is going to depend on how runny your PVA glue is, but you're aiming for around the consistency of pouring cream.



Then I dropped the bandage blanket in the glue and let it soak right in. When the glue dries, it will stiffen up the cloth, so you want it good and soaked through. If the glue is too thick, it doesn't soak in as well and you wind up with some parts of the blanket that are still soft and floppy, and others a goopy mess.



Once the bandage was nice and gluey, I hung it in place and arranged the folds to look as natural as possible, and then left it sit for two days to give it plenty of time to dry. Once dry, it will be stiff, but still slightly flexible. If it's too soft and doesn't hold its shape, you can stiffen it up a little more by painting on some additional glue, but try not to put it on too thick and fill up the weave of the fabric. If you have a brush-on superglue, you could also paint some of that onto the back of the blanket if it is accessible, but again, be sparing so you don't soak it into the weave and destroy the blanket look.



When the glue is properly dried, it's time to paint. I started out with a layer of Army Painter Strong Tone, but you could use whatever colour fits your terrain. If you use a wash or ink, make sure you give it plenty of time to dry, as the watery paint can cause the PVA glue to soften up again.



Once the wash was dry, I carefully drybrushed with some bone and white to highlight the raised parts of the blanket, and added a little more wash into the deeper creases for some extra shading.



And that's a job done!



You can also use a similar technique to hang blanket coverings over windows. On this one, the blanket is tacked onto the outside of the window frame. To attach the soaked bandage to the window, I added a drop of superglue to the top corners, let that set, and then carefully teased the wet blanket into the shape I wanted it:



The same was done here to hang a blanket inside this door frame. This is a door piece off the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue with the door cut out of the frame. The blanket is superglued in place at the top corners and down the sides of the door frame and then shaped and left to dry.



On my next terrain project, I'll also be using this to add some canvas roof coverings to a building that's seen better days... Stay tuned!

To build your own stellar refugee settlement, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge miniature range from the webstore here. As always, feel free 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.

Building a Karist temple: how not to


Posted on Saturday Nov 25, 2017 at 05:33PM in Tutorials


Originally posted on Dakkadakka by Sgt.Oddball.



What follows is a brief overview of how I built this Karist temple, inspired by the stepwells seen most commonly in India. A couple mostly water-related things did not work out at first, so here’s how to avoid those things.



1. I took the lid from one of those boxes they put wine bottles in, measured things, and glued my foam stairs to the lid. The steps are sized to accommodate normal 25mm based dudes without them tipping over. At the back: I just used scraps of foam to hold everything up. I then used foam again to make the basin.



2. I then stacked bits of foam to create the rock around the stairs and the temple entrance.



3. With fingers, a hobby knife, a serrated knife and a hot soldering iron I shaped the foam to look like rock.



4. I then undercoated the whole thing with white textured wall paint. Next, I used a hobby paint mixture to make everything rocky a yellow-sandish colour. The inside of the basin was painted a bright blue. The rock was then washed in diluted brown paint and the water area highlighted with progressively lighter shades of blue-green (lighter towards edges). The rock was highlighted with probably the base colour again and then adding in a sandy colour and white. I also used various coloured washes (reds, greens, browns) to give the rock colour some variation. All highlighting is simple drybrushing/overbrushing. In the last picture, I’ve poured Woodland Scenics E-Z water in the basin and in the water source on top, which is a resin you melt before pouring. This is the first thing you should not do. This stuff was just not suitable for this purpose. It shrunk and cracked as it cured and had a yellowish tint.



5. It’s not at all easy to remove E-Z water once it’s set, especially if you want to keep the surrounding terrain in one piece. Getting rid of it involved trying all sorts of methods, eventually a chisel was most effective. I then tried a more familiar (to me) product, which is Woodland Scenics Realistic water. This is awesome stuff and gave me a very nice pool. For the water drop and a little ripple effect I used Woodland Scenics Water effects, which is also nice.

Then I did the second thing you should not do. I figured I could add some white to the water by mixing white paint into the Water effects stuff and applying it where appropriate. However, Water effects itself is white until it cures, hence I couldn’t see how much the white paint coloured the Water effects. Of course, I didn’t bother to test my batch (all this water stuff takes forever to cure and I have no patience). Turns out I used too much white paint and all my water now looked ridiculous (basically like that picture of the uncured Water effects). The thing is, it’s impossible to get rid of. I think I tried painting over the whole thing? Not sure. Anyway, in the end I decided it was time to once again dig out the whole basin.

This time was worse, as the Realistic water isn’t as easily chiselled as the E-Z Water. It stays a little soft. After much perseverance I got everything out, but I destroyed some of the paint job and actual foam bits around the basin. I had to redo all that and also build new steps into the water (round steps this time). Now that I knew what not to do, again using Realistic water and Water effects got me the desired result (still room for improvement, but I’ll leave that for another project).



6. The final steps were making temple doors with the Karist logo out of plasticard, and detailing. The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue supplied a control panel. The doors were painted brown, then bronze, then drybrushed pewter and silver. The logo got various purple paints, washes and highlights. I used green weathering powder to colour the rock a bit in the crevices and then sprinkled on fine blended green turf for some moss, and the dried contents of some teabags around the edges of the basin to represent fallen leaves and such muck accumulating there. This muck, of, course, didn’t appear wet so I added a final coat of Realistic water (this is the white sheen you see in the last image). The colour from the tea bled a bit more than I’d like, so this is probably another thing I’d find a better procedure for next time. To finish up I glued some coarser, darker green turf to the rock to represent vines, washed that with a brown wash and then highlighted with an olive colour. I then broke a skewer in two and wrapped the ends in narrow masking tape to make two torches and planted these near the entrance, painted brown and metallic.

And that’s basically it! Apart from messing around with the water a lot (this cost me so much time, it ain’t funny), it’s a fairly simple project.

Terrain Spotlight: Broken Settlement, part 2


Posted on Monday Nov 20, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week, I'm continuing on with the construction of the Broken settlement that I started a few weeks back, which you can find round about here, by adding in another 'renovated' building and a converted water tank shelter.



I fast-forwarded a little on construction by grabbing a small building that I made some time ago for a video showing how to make a building from a cardboard gift box and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue (which you can find on Youtube here). This was partly painted as a test run for the sponge-weathering that I used on the first building for this settlement.



Clearly, this building was still far too pretty looking to fit into a Broken settlement, so I added a bunch of patch-plating using plasticard and corrugated cardboard, and added some mesh over the windows on the sides. I also built a framework on the roof to create a makeshift shelter or sentry point.



The companion building for the gift box one is made from an old fruit tin. This received a good wash and had the label removed, and then I cut a squarish hole in the side to serve as a doorway.



I cut a bunch of reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue to fit neatly down the sides of the tin.



With the addition of some patches, a hatch on the roof and a lean-to on the side, the old tank was ready for painting.



To sit the buildings on, I cut a 12" square of masonite, with a couple of smaller pieces glued on top - a rectangle for the gift box building and a square for the tank. These were cut to size and then sanded around the edges to smooth down the burrs. I then gave the top surface a light sand to break up the shine and give it some texture for drybrushing later, and then glued the building foundation pads on with PVA glue.



Everything in place, ready for painting:



Because the gift box building was already mostly painted, I could skip straight to the detail work. To check how the main bit was done, check out the first article linked back up at the start of this one.

The various metal patches were given a coat of a rough mix of Vallejo Beasty Brown and black.





Over this went a light drybrush of P3 Pig Iron.





This was followed by a generous coat of Army Painter Strong Tone.





The pipe on the back wall was painted with a coat of Citadel Beaten Copper, and then given a light drybrush of Vallejo Sick Green.





Meanwhile, the tank was given a spray inside and out with black Rustguard, to prevent it from rusting through the paint down the track.





I then masked off the detail parts of the tank building with some masking tape.



The came a coat of Rust-oleum Oil Washed Bronze. This is a rust-preventing primer like the black, so could have actually gone straight over the bare tin without the layer of black, but I wanted to make sure it was good and dark. The black base helps this without having to spray the bronze on too heavy, as it gets a bit goopy and rough.





When the bronze was dry, I sprayed lightly over the top surface of the tank with some Army Painter Dragon Red, and then flipped the tank upside down and sprayed lightly around it so that the red caught in the undersides of the tin's corrugations without coating the whole thing in red.



I then drybrushed the whole thing lightly with Pig Iron, going a little heavier on the detail parts to make them stand out a little from the darker tank. The detail parts were then washed with some Strong Tone, and a few puddles of Strong Tone scattered around on the top surface.



While all of this was going on, I undercoated the based board with some flat black, and then gave it a coat of a flat medium grey. I deliberately use a range of different greys to basecoat my 'concrete' terrain bases, to help reduce the uniformity of the vast expanse of concrete on the table. If you look around in a city that has a lot of concrete structures, the colours vary considerably depending on the age of the concrete and the specific mix used, so it creates a better sense of realism on the gaming table if you carry this across in your painting.





To finish off the base, it was given a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey mixed roughly with white, and then some patches of worn grime were added with a light drybrush of Beasty Brown, on both the base and the gift box building.





With the addition of a couple of final details (some lettering above the tank's doorway, the light above the door and the comm panel screen), this little building cluster is about done for now.





The tank still needs a blanket door covering, which I'll be going through in an upcoming tutorial, and I will go back over all of the buildings in the settlement to add some more characterful detailing once I have some more of the bulking out done, but it's at a point where it's not going to look out of place on the table as-is.











So what's next?

Aside from the door covering for the tank, I'll be moving on to another building section that will have some challenges in the roofing department and some sort of interesting detail in the courtyard.



Stay tuned for more!

To build your own stellar refugee settlement, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free 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.

Modeling Spotlight: The Angel Hellblaster (or 'Fun with Resin!')


Posted on Monday Nov 13, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Karist Hellblaster is the first of a range of resin models for Maelstrom's Edge, to help flesh out the factions with some more fun and freaky options. This week, I'm having a look at some modeling options with this great little kit.



The Hellblaster comes in a pack of two variants, with slightly different posing and tail tentacles.



Assembly is really easy - It's always a good idea to wash resin models in warm, soapy water before assembly, to clean off any mould release residue (this may affect paint adhesion, otherwise), then cut off the sprue and trim off any mould lines, glue the head piece to the front of the torso, and the rear legs into their sockets. There's a little posability in the rear legs, as the sockets allow for some movement.



If you want to branch out a little from stock poses, one of the really fun aspects of resin models is that they can be easily reshaped. Drop the part you want to reshape into some hot water for a minute or so. When the part has had time to warm through, fish it out and quickly bend it into the shape you want. Then pop it into some cold water to set it in that shape.

Obligitary safety warning: It's always a good idea to avoid breathing in fumes from heated resin or plastic, so boil your miniatures somewhere with good ventilation. And use an appropriate tool (tweezers, long-nose pliers, etc) to fish the resin pieces out of the hot water and handle hot parts with care.

Using this method, you can add a bit of a bend to the Hellblaster's torso, to give it more of a sinuous, in-motion appearance.



You can also reposition legs and tentacles to suit. It helps that angels don't have a fixed skeletal structure - tentacles are fairly forgiving when it comes to finding appropriate poses!



Note that as an alternative to the hot water technique above, you can achieve a similar result using a hair dryer to heat smaller parts. As above, through, handle with care to avoid damage to both the parts and yourself.



With a little more work, you can carefuly cut through in between the cheek sacs and the tops of the forelimbs, to allow for more movement. In the below example, I have stretched the legs out to raise the head and shoulders up higher, and added a slight forwards arch to the angel's back.



Painted up in an appropriate colour scheme, the Hellblaster fits in nicely with the Mature Angels and Minnows to add a bit more variation to an angel force.



But where to from here?

There's no reason to stop with basic reposing! Angels love nothing more than experimenting with different forms, and while the Hellblaster is a form forced on them by Karist Keepers, it also makes a good base for some different angel types, like the (very work-in-progress) examples below:

Snake-angel, converted using the front of a Hellblaster, the wings from a Minnow and a wire armature covered in 'green stuff' putty.



The snake body will be smoothed out with another layer of putty, and some exterior tentacles added for some detail.

Shrike-angel, converted using a Hellblaster body with the forelimbs and energy sacs cut off, and the wings from a Minnow.



The body of the Hellblaster is considerably bigger than a Minnow's, so this guy has a much smaller wing to body ratio, but I think it's still close enough to work, particularly given angels fly using gravitic manipulation and the wings are largely just for show anyway. As with the snake, this model still needs some putty work to join the wings properly to the torso and fill in the flat spots where the legs and sacs were removed. I may also trim down the crest a little, to something more closely resembling the head of the Minnow.

Or, for something completely different, how about angel cavalry?



(Ok, this one's stretching the background a little - chances are that anyone trying to ride an angel wouldn't be riding it for very long... But it was too fun an idea to not have a play with it!)

To build your own shape-changing army of alien doom, you can pick up the Hellblaster along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here. As always, feel free 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.

Quick-painting the Broken


Posted on Monday Nov 06, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The arrival of the Broken into Maelstrom's Edge adds a new element to the game: Vast, raggedy hordes of cheap troops swarming all over the battlefield shooting stuff and stealing all the good boots. Which, of course, means lots of shiny new models to paint! You might be happy taking your time with this, but for those a little more time-poor, or who just want to get their new models on the table as quickly as possible, here's a guide to quick-painting your Broken recruits.



I'm painting up an Assault squad that I have assembled and ready to go, but obviously this could just as easily work for any of the Broken units.



I started out with a basecoat of Army Painter Army Green primer.





To get a suitably rag-tag look, I used a range of brown and grey tones, but the specific colours you choose aren't particularly important. The idea is to create a random distribution of different coloured clothing, while keeping to a limited colour palette to maintain some cohesiveness throughout the force. Weapons were painted with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal, and skin with Citadel Tallarn Flesh.





Everybody then got a wash coat of Army Painter Strong Tone. This settles nicely into the creases to add shading, and 'dirties' everything up a little.





Once the wash was set, I gave the weapons and other metal parts a light drybrush with P3 Pig Iron.





At this point, you could also give the clothing a light drybrush or a little edge highlighting with the original colours - This will lighten them up slightly if the wash was too heavy and has left them too muddy and homogenous, but otherwise isn't really necessary.

Bases were done to match my urban board set-up. This was done with a coat of Vallejo Neutral Grey, drybrushed with Light Grey.





To finish up the bases, I added some patches of drybrushed Vallejo Beasty Brown and some puddles of Strong Tone.





At this point, you could easily plonk these on the table and have at it, but I always like to add eyes wherever possible to finish off my models. This is done with a fine detail brush and some white paint for the whites of the eyes, with a dot of black added either with the same fine brush or with a fineliner pen.





The black should cover most of the white, and touch both the top and bottom of the eye to avoid a wide-eyed, crazy look. Unless, obviously, you want a wide-eyed, crazy look.

And with that, the squad is ready for action!





To paint up your own vast, screaming horde of rabble, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge Broken Infantry pack from the webstore here. As always, feel free 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.

Terrain Spotlight: Broken Settlement, part 1


Posted on Monday Oct 30, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

With the release of the Broken adding a long-awaited third faction to the Maelstrom's Edge universe, it seemed fitting to take a break from tinkering with the shiny new models to add some appropriate terrain to the table. So this week, I broke out some gift boxes that I had waiting for an opportune moment, grabbed some terrain sprues and got to work!



The core of the first building for my new Broken settlement is a 20cm x 15cm cardboard gift box. The plan was to more or less follow the style of my earlier gift box buildings, but with the addition of some faction-appropriate wear and tear and rough repair work.



I started by cutting out holes in the box for windows and doors, using a sharp hobby knife.



To break up the box shape a little, I cut away one corner of the box, 6cm along each side. Flipped over, this corner piece fits back in place as a recessed balcony.



I cut a hole in one wall of the balcony to add a door, and cut a matching corner off the box lid, which would form the walled roof of the building.



From there, it was time to glue the box onto a square of masonite, and start detailing. To make the building look like it had been through some rough times, I modified the rectangular shutter windows from the terrain sprue. For the first one, I carefully cut out the shutter using a hobby knife, and then glued some aluminium mesh over the front of the window frame.



Rather than making all of the windows the same, I made different modifications to the other windows. On one, I glued some plastic flyscreen and a square of corrugated cardboard over the front of the frame, another had the shutter replaced with a piece of crepe bandage soaked in watered-down PVA glue, and on the last one I cut away just the lowest section of the shutter.



The terrain sprue parts were glued in place with superglue, and then I added some patches cut from thin plasticard and corrugated cardboard to the walls of the building.



The door on the balcony received a blanket in place of the original door with another piece of glue-soaked bandage, and a couple of ladders were used to create a railing. A pipe made from pieces of sprue joined with some plastic tubing and a vent made from a large pipe fitting with some aluminium mesh glued inside finished off the detailing on the back.



The building was still looking a little boxy, so I decided to break up the silhouette a bit more with the addition of a watchtower on the roof. This was constructed from a piece of gift box lid left over from a previous project, and some pieces cut from the ends of the terrain sprue. The ladder was glued in place with another couple of sprue pieces forming the hand grips at the top.





With construction complete, it was time to break out the paint. I started with a base coat of flat grey.





Over that went a thin layer of flat white. I didn't want this to be perfectly smooth and pristine, shining white, so kept the coat thin enough for the grey to show through a little. Once the spray was dry, some weathering was added with a sponge and some Vallejo Neutral Grey.



The metal patches and any other parts that I wanted bare metal were painted with a coat of Vallejo Beasty Brown, and then given a rough coat of P3 Pig Iron.



The base was painted with a coat of Vallejo Neutral Grey, and then a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey, with some patches of Beasty Brown added to dirty things up a little. A splash of Army Painter Strong Tone over the metal bits and blankets, and a rough coat of Citadel Ultramarines Blue over a couple of the metal patches, and the building was pretty much table-ready.



There is still a little detail work to go, but some of that will wait until I get some more of the settlement completed so that I can match details across the different buildings to tie everything together.







So what's next?

I will be adding a couple of smaller gift box buildings with some varying levels of damage and delapidation, and I have some plans for a large peach tin that was rather conveniently opened the other day. The outsides of the buildings will gain some awnings and banners and the like, and I'll scatter some scrap around to add some flavour (and also some handy cover).



Stay tuned for more!

To build your own stellar refuge settlement, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free 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.

Modeling Spotlight: Easy Broken Rabble Conversions


Posted on Monday Oct 23, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The new, plastic Broken Infantry kit has been out for a few weeks now, and I've been having a ball exploring the modeling options available from these sprues. With build articles now up showing how to put together your Chieftains, Rabble squads (which also serves for the Fire Support unit) and Assault units, it seemed like a good time to look at some easy ways to customise your Broken models a little.



Let's kick things off with guns. Broken have a lot of different weapons, and they're all cobbled together from whatever parts they can scrounge. You can accentuate this a little by swapping grips between the different weapons. Below I have swapped the Chem Pistol grip out in favour or the firing grip from a Beam Blastgun, given a Slug Pistol the pistol grip from a Beam Pistol, and replaced the curved handle on the Chem Launcher with the back half of a Slug Rifle.





With Broken forces being made up of refugees from all walks of life, and equipped with whatever gear they can beg, borrow or steal, the other Maelstrom's Edge plastic kits are a great resource for personalising your forces. A trimmed down Karist Trooper shoulder pad is a great way to single out your unit Bosses from their otherwise equally-scruffy charges.



Karist Trooper and Epirian Contractor arms and heads can also be used to add some extra variety when scattered through with the Broken parts. The necks may be a little tight on some of the Broken torsos, but you can shave them down with a sharp hobby knife or a modeling file to make them fit.



The model on the left below also has Contractor legs. The Broken torsos and legs have multiple belts and straps, but the thicker belt on the Contractor leg pieces can make this look a little strange and results in the model being very tall, so in this case I have removed the belt from the bottom of the torso with a sharp knife before attaching to the legs.



To venture a little out of the box, the below Chieftain model has been given a melee weapon (just for show) made from a cut-down EMP Harpoon with a blade from a knife taken from the Faction Expansion Sprue.



A gunslinger Chieftain can be made using the pistol arms from the Epirian Bot Handler sprue. You can cut the pistols off just above the tops of the hands and attach Broken weapons instead, but in this case I liked the look of the Epirian pistols so left them there, where they will probably sub as Slug Pistols for now. I also added a long coat and lifted the collar with 'green stuff' putty.



Last, but not least, the more speed-happy Broken may want a better way across the battlefield than walking like everyone else, and what better way to travel than a custom-made skyboard?



The board was made from a strip of plasticard, with some leftover turbines from Epirian Firefly Drones added onto the sides. Obviously, there are no rules for these, but the idea was too much fun to not put it together, so I'm planning to put together a unit of these guys and work up some homebrew rules for them. Watch this space!

To get to work on your own Rabble horde, you can find the Broken Infanty kit in single, double or triple packs in the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge plastic model range. As always, feel free 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.