The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Painting Tutorial: Quick-Painting a SecDef Lieutenant


Posted on Monday Jun 17, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've been playing around with speed painting a lot lately (so much to paint, so little time!) and have been having a lot of fun experimenting with inks to achieve quick and easy shaded, table-top level results. This week I decided to see what I could do with some Army Painter Quickshades and the new SecDef Lieutenant model.





To start out, I basecoated the model with a flat, cream coloured spray.



I then gave everything except his head a coat of Military Shader.



Once that first layer of ink had dried, I went over the armour plates with a second coat of Military Shader, and boots, pouches and gloves with two generous coats of Mid Brown. On the pistol and the exo-skeleton on the arms and legs, I used Purple Tone, which over the green resulted in a nice, slightly bluish-tinged grey.



I decided that there wasn't quite enough contrast on the plates and exo-skeleton, so went over them with a coat of Dark Tone.



For his head, I painted on a generous coat of Flesh Wash.



To finish up, I painted in his eyes with fine, white horizontal lines, and small dots of black in the middle. For his beard and some characterful head-stubble, I added a thin coat of Dark Tone. I also went over the lens in the targeter and the helmet lenses with white, then a layer of Red Tone, and then a highlight dot of white. Finally, I added some fine gravel to the base, and painted it with Army Green, a coat of Strong Tone, and then a light drybrush of Ash Grey, with a couple of grass tufts added for colour.



To take the paint job that little bit further, he could use a light edge highlight on the armour plates and exoskeleton, but for a quick, rough and ready job he's all set for the tabletop.



To start your own SecDef muster, you can pick up the SecDef Lieutenant, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian SecDef Lieutenant


Posted on Monday Jun 10, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Epirian SecDef received a boost right in the Command slot last month with the release of a resin Lieutenant model. This fleshes the SecDef out into a fieldable Epirian sub-faction in their own right, as you can now build a detachment solely from SecDef units. This week, I'm taking a closer look at this fantastic model, and some of the modeling options available to it.





The SecDef Lieutenant comes in five pieces (ok, six, if you count the base!) - body, head, targeter, and two different hand options equipped with maglock pistol or carbine.



The head and targeter both have ball joints for full movement range, so you can position the targeter lined up with whichever way the Lieutenant is facing.





The head is also compatible with the SecDef plastics, so you can use a regular helmeted head for a slightly more safety-conscious leader. On the below model, I've used a regular SecDef Tactical head, and also clipped the helmet off his belt and glued on a plastic pouch from the Epirian Handler sprue to cover over the clipped detail.



You can also easily swap in alternate heads from elsewhere in the range. Here's a commander with a little more facial hair, for example, with a head lifted from the Broken Infantry sprue.



Carefully sawing through the waist with a razor saw allows you to swap in alternate legs to switch up the posing. Here, I've used a set of legs removed from a SecDef Boostpack Infantry model, and also given him a capped head from the Epirian Contractor sprue.



Of course, the compatible heads work both ways, so you can also swap in the Lieutenant's venerable pate for a regular SecDef Sergeant.





To get some of your own super-soldier action happening, you can pick up the SecDef Lieutenant, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.



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

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

Terrain Spotlight: Toothbrush Head Wind Turbine!


Posted on Monday Jun 03, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

While fusion reactors and other super-advanced energy generation is all well and good on worlds with bountiful resources, sometimes a more low tech solution is called for.

This week's article was spawned, as so many of them are, by my reluctance to throw stuff away. I found myself looking at an old electric toothbrush head and thinking, 'That would make an excellent base for a fan!' And so the wind farm of the future was begun.





I started out, as I said, with a perfectly ordinary electric toothbrush head.



The wider circle near the base of the stem turned out to be exactly the right size to fit into the large pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. So I started out by trimming a little length off the bottom of the stem with a razor saw, so that the raised circle would sit flush with the top of the fitting when it was seated in place.



The bristles needed to go, to make room for the fan blades, so I plucked them out using a pair of clippers.



For the fan blades, I cut three strips of thin plasticard, rounding off the ends.



I added a twist to the blades by holding one end with pliers and rotating the other end.



With the blades shaped appropriately, I glued them in place using an all-plastics glue (a two-part glue that uses a primer pen and a tube of superglue to securely bond all sorts of different plastics. Useful when you're using plastics that don't holding plain superglue well).



For the turbine's hub, I cut the end off a superglue tube cap with a razor saw.



Using the all-plastics glue again, I glued the cap piece into place in the middle of the brush head.



Finally, I glued the large pipe fitting into place on the bottom of the stem.



With a little paint on, the turbine is ready for the table, either as a standalone piece of scatter terrain, or to add to another terrain piece!





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

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: MDF Sensor Dish


Posted on Monday May 27, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I somehow managed to get through Salute this year without bankrupting myself on shiny, new models, but I did come home with a few fun-looking odds and ends. There were quite a few vendors selling laser-cut MDF kits, some of which I had seen before and some that were new, at least to me. One of the latter was Uncertain Scenery, who had an amazing industrial catwalk setup topped with a very cool sensor dish that I couldn't resist picking up.

This week, I decided the time had come to crack it open and see what I could do with it!





I have to start by saying that this was a fantastic kit to put together! It uses a mix of 3mm and 1.5mm MDF, and the design is really clever at making use of those two sheet thicknesses to create detail. Parts are cut with only a single attachment point to the surrounding sheet, so removal is easy and there's only that one point to trim up.



Because I can't resist the urge to tinker, I did make a few minor changes. As with a lot of MDF kits, the doors on the base of the structure were just a single panel with the door shapes etched into them. To give a little more detail, and to better fit in with the rest of my terrain collection, I decided to replace the existing doors with a door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. It turned out the base structure was just a fraction shorter than the plastic door, so I added some spacers cut from 0.5mm plastic strip to the tops of the interior walls. This lifts the roof piece up just enough for the plastic door to slot in place. Rather than cutting into the walls to slot the door in, I cut a strip of leftover MDF from one of the parts sheets to run up either side of the rear of the door frame, and then just glued the door onto the outside face of the interior wall.





I also decided to replace the blocky, MDF ladder with a plastic ladder from the terrain sprue, cut to an appropriate length. The original ladder used a 3mm thick ladder piece, and guardrails up either side assembled from three pieces of 1.5mm sheet. As luck would have it, the ladder and the innermost guardrail sections together turned out to be exactly the same width as the plastic ladder, so leaving out these inner sections allowed my adjusted ladder to just slot into place as if it was meant to be there.





The base section originally had doors on two opposing walls, but I decided to just go with the one, and have a pipe running in where the other should have gone. I glued the door piece on backwards, with a new panel line etched in with a panel scriber so it wasn't just a featureless expanse, and added a pipe made from a couple of large pipe fittings from the terrain sprue, a piece of a 13mm drip irrigation elbow, and half of a press-stud for a valve.



Everything else was assembled as per the nicely comprehensive instructions, although I left the dish panels off for spraying to make life a little easier, gluing them on once everything was mostly painted.



To paint, I started by giving the whole kit a coat of matte sealer, to help prevent the basecoat from soaking into the MDF as much. The base structure and dish panels were sprayed with a beige primer, and then given a rough coat of flat white.



For the rest of the assembly, I sprayed a generous basecoat of AK Interactive Rust spray, and then a light spray of Army Painter Platemetal. The bare metal parts on the base structure were given a coat of some old Citadel Scorched Brown, and then a drybrush with P3 Pig Iron.



I added weathering to the white by sponging on Vallejo heavy charcoal, and then dirtied everything up wherever seemed appropriate with a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown.



And that's it, ready (for now) for the table. I've left it unbased for now, as I have some plans in that direction which will likely wind up in a future article...





To spruce up your own MDF kits, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: Mirrored Glass Building


Posted on Monday May 20, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Metal and concrete buildings are all well and good, but I thought it might be fun to build something a little shinier for a change. Nothing says 'futuristic city' quite like mirrored-glass-wall buildings, after all!

I've had a play in the past with some clear plastic and mirror-effect sprays, without managing to achieve the effect I was after. Then I came across some lovely, shiny silver card in a discount store, and an idea was hatched.





The basic idea was to make a structure out of 5mm foamcore, using the support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue to form a framework to hold the cardboard. I started by plotting out a rough design using a bunch of struts trimmed to appropriate lengths, so I could get the foamcore dimensions correct.



After marking out the wall dimensions on the formcore, I cut them out using an exacto knife and a steel ruler.



I made a base for the structure from two stacked squares of 2mm foamed PVC. The upper, smaller square created a framework for the foamcore to sit up against, to ensure the building was square and give it some extra strength.



With the outer wall constructed, I added some reinforcement on the inside corners using some offcuts of PVC.



To create the framework for the card to slide into, I glued 5mm plasticard strips onto the walls, tracing the pattern of the support struts.



The strips are narrower than the struts, so with the strut centered on the strip a 1mm overhang was created on each side.



To help avoid the building just being a boring, square box, I left a cutaway to allow for an angled doorway. To fill this in, I cut a square of foamcore to fit across the opening, and cut a rectangle out for a door from the terrain sprue.





With the wall structure complete, I started building up the roof layers with some more PVC, cut to overhang the walls just slightly to close off the tops of the card slots. These weren't glued in place yet - that had to wait until the card was in place.



I joined the three roof levels together using angled pieces of PVC. This served the dual purpose of giving the roof an interesting shape, and also making the whole roof structure into a single piece that could be lifted on and off, which would be easier for painting than separate pieces.



At this point, it was time to paint! I decided to keep it fairly simple, as the main focus on this building was going to be the mirrored walls. I gave the whole exterior a base coat of AK Interactive Rust spray, and then a layer of a satin black spraypaint, leaving the rust in the crevasses for some natural weathering.



When the spray had dried, I cut strips of the silver card to fit into each of the wall slots.



Once all the strips were in place, I glued the roof on top.



For the final detailing, I painted the base with Vallejo Neutral Grey, drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey. I also gave the black a light drybrush with the light grey, and then added some dirt weathering with Vallejo Beasty Brown. I also added some signage, with Epirian logos made from strips of the silver card and some gold card from the same pack for the 'yellow' lower squares. All ready for the table!











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

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

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

Painting Tutorial: Painting a Pa'ku using (almost) only Army Painter Quickshades!


Posted on Monday May 13, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A beautifully painted army that someone has slaved over for more hours than is healthy can be a truly wonderful thing to behold. Sometimes, though, we just want to get some models on the table as quickly as possible. Way back when I first started writing these articles, I shared a tutorial on painting with washes, as it's a really simple technique for speed painting. (Don't look at it, the pictures are horrible and I really need to redo them...)

I thought I would revisit it this week, with a step-by-step walkthrough painting a Broken Pa'Ku (almost) entirely with Army Painter Quickshade washes.





A quick note before starting: Army Painter have two different product ranges under their 'Quickshade' banner. The first are dips, which come in a tin and are used precisely as the name implies - you essentially paint the model in basic colours, drop it in the dip, shake or wipe off the excess dip, and call the job a good 'un. These are good for quickly adding shading to a bunch of models, but can result in a rather muted overall effect due to everything being shaded the same colour. The second product is what we're using here. These are washes, sold in dropper bottles. Washes are thinner than regular acrylic paint, and are usually painted on over lighter colours, where they settle into the creases and darken everything up. Instead of doing that, I'm painting directly over a flat white spray undercoat.



My previous Pa'ku was painted green, so I decided to change it up a little and go blue this time. The first step, then, is to paint a generous coat of Blue Tone all over the Pa'ku's skin. Because the wash is quite watery, this isn't a precise operation. You're unlikely to win awards with models painted using this technique, as regardless of how careful you are, a little bit of wash running into places it doesn't belong as more or less unavoidable. If it gets too messy, you can wait until the first layer dries and then touch up the rest of the model with some white paint before proceeding.



Next up, I painted the straps and bindings with a coat of Mid Brown.



I wanted the large bumps on his back to contrast with the blue skin, so used Flesh Wash. Over the white, this created a light, weathered-bone sort of colour. This needed to go on quite heavily, and required a couple of touchups after it dried, as the flesh tone is very light. In hindsight, Soft Tone might have worked better.



For some brighter colour, I painted the armour pads with Purple Tone.



That left the gun and other metal parts, and the fur around his back pad. I painted these with Dark Tone. For the metal, I was aiming for a dark grey/black tone rather than a true metallic. If you want more of a metal tone, then painting the metal parts with Gun Metal before washing would have done the trick. Instead, I opted for a couple of coats of Dark Tone, with the below picture showing the first coat.



To finish up, I applied the second coat of Dark Tone to the metal parts, and ran a coat of Strong Tone over the fur to help differentiate it slightly from the metal. I also decided that the brown was paler than I wanted, so gave it a second coat of Mid Brown. The Quickshades lend themselves well to this sort of layering - they're heavily pigmented, but over the white the effect is light enough that you can get subtle colour effects with light coats, and a more vibrant colour with a heavy coat, or layer extra coats (or different coloured washes) over the top for a darker finish.



I also went over the targeter lens with some Red Tone, and added a little Dark Tone into the other three eyes, following up with a small dot of regular white paint (hence the 'almost' disclaimer!) in the center of each eye and the targeter when the washes dried.



The base was painted with Army Green, washed with Strong Tone, and then drybrushed with Ash Grey.



The end result is a fairly basic colour scheme - If I was so inclined, I could go back over and tidy up a few small areas of splash-over from the wash, and add a few extra details here and there like the cabling on the gun.



If you're looking for quick and easy, though, it's a really handy technique to play around with, and can easily be adapted to other colour schemes using different wash shades.



If you're keen to paint up your own big, blue, artillery frog, you can pick up the resin Pa'ku kit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

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

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

Painting Spotlight: White and Gold Militus Suit


Posted on Monday May 06, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Last month saw the release of the fantastic new Militus suit for the Artarian Remnant, a brand new faction being introduced to Maelstrom's Edge. The Remnant wage war using elite Champions is advanced, armoured suits, and the Militus is the first of three suit variants to see the purplish-tainted light of day. From a modeling perspective, the Remnant are a joy. For starters, the Militus is a multi-part, articulated plastic kit with a huge range of posability (as shown in my recent Militus Spotlight article). To add to the fun, Remnant Champions are big fans of personal heraldry, with each suit being uniquely decorated with the Champion's Fire Team and House colours. So this week, I decided to write up a step-by-step painting guide for a colour scheme I chose for one of my converted Militus suits.





The model I chose to paint up was one of the conversions featured in the spotlight article mentioned above. I built this suit using a mix of plastic Militus parts and a bunch of resin components from Max Mini that I've had sitting around in the bits box for some time now. I didn't want to spoil his pretty, detailed shoulder pads by mounting a weapon up there, so I also built him a weapon drone using a modified jump pack.



Rather unusually for me, this model was painted entirely with Army Painter paints - normall I use a mix of different brands depending on what suits the current project, but in this instance I happened to have all of the colours I needed in the one range!

To start things off, I base coated the model with a spray of Platemetal.



I then painted the armour with a couple of coats of Ash Grey, and the trim with Wasteland Soil. For the base, I used a generous coat of Army Green.



The trim then received two coats of Bright Gold, and the suit's mechanical underlayer, sword blade and the drone's Incursion Blaster were all given a heavy wash with Dark Tone.



I painted the shield background and the helmet crest with Pure Red. Over the gold, I applied a coat of Flesh Wash, and also added a thick wash of Strong Tone over the base.



When the washes were completely dry, I drybrushed the base with Ash Grey, and added a light drybrushed highlight of Shining Silver to the gold. I then went over the grey armour with Matt White and Ash Grey, using pure white on upward facing plates, and blending down with Ash Grey on angled facings, leaving pure grey on downward-facing portions. I also added a wash of Red Tone over the red on the shield and helmet crest.



This just left some final detail work. A added a highlight to the shield and crest with a mix of Pure Red and Matt White, although I wasn't happy with the finishing tone on the crest - I fixed this with another wash of Red Tone. I also picked out the gems on his shoulders and sword with red, shading with Dark Tone and adding specular highlights with white. I also added a red glow to the sword blade and the drone's jets using a mix of red and white, and added some nice, bright red in the eye hollows. And finally, I painted around the base rim with black, and added a couple of tufts of grass for a little contrasting colour.



The finished suit in action, taking on some Karist troopers!





You can pick up the Militus kit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

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

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

Conversion Spotlight: Karist Anti-Grav Buggy!


Posted on Monday Apr 29, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A short while back, I showed off an Epirian Contractor truck that I put together using a Games Workshop Ork truck with all of the Ork bits removed. It seemed only fair to give the Karists some similar vehicular love, and so I found myself once more purloining the parking lots of the 41st Millenium, this time making off with an Achilles Ridgerunner. The moment I saw this buggy, I thought it would make a fantastic anti-grav vehicle, which was right up the Karist Enclave's alley. And so I set to for some serious wheel-removal action!





There was surprisingly little conversion actually required to make this work - I was intending for a fairly high-tech take on anti-grav, with all of the 'workings' would be internal. This helps to preserve the lines of the vehicle, and eliminates the need to build parts specifically to represent the techy stuff. So for the most part, the buggy was just built as standard. I chose the radar dish that comes in the kit instead of the open cupola, because I liked the look of it.



With the wheels being left off, I also needed to remove the axles, so these parts were all either left off, or trimmed away as necessary.



To conceal the gaps where the front axles should have been, I added a piece of thin plasticard in the wheel arch on either side, and then glued the shock absorbers running down to connect the chassis to the front armour plate. This was just intended to create a little detail, rather than having just the flat plasticard.



On the rear, I covered over where the differential piece should have gone with a couple of vents cut from the support struts on the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



Obviously, an anti-grav vehicle needs to hover, but I didn't want it sitting too high and also wanted a nice, sturdy joint for the flight stem. To this end, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the buggy, allowing the flight stem to fit snugly through, and glued a short length of plastic tube to the inside of the buggy's top section, for the flight stem peg to slot into.



To attach the stem to the base, I just drilled an appropriately-sized hole a little aft of centre, and called the job a good 'un. The stem would be glued in once everything was painted.



The original weapons needed to be replaced with Karist versions. I left off the smaller weapons that attach either side of the cab, but for the main gun, I cut the attachment joint out of the missile launcher's lower plate and glued it to a pair of Cybel Lances taken from the Karist Heavy Trooper set, with the firer's arms removed.



For the gunner himself, I used the kneeling Heavy Trooper, with a right arm purloined from the plastic Karist Trooper sprue and a hand from the Faction Expansion sprue.



From there, it was just a matter of gluing the rest of the buggy shell together. With the assymetrical cabin, it wound up looking a bit lopsided without the wheels, so I added a small pair of stabiliser wings on the rear, cut from 1.5mm plasticard.





With some paint on, the buggy was ready to fly!











If you're feeling the need for speed, feel free to pop along and share your vehicular creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the Karist range, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: 'Illuminated' Viewscreen


Posted on Tuesday Apr 23, 2019 at 05:31AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm home from Salute (which was a blast!) and a regrettably very short stay in London, and now getting caught up on everything. As a result, this week's modeling article is a short and sweet one, which also creates a little more progress on my landing pad display board. One of the features I wanted to add on was a viewscreen displaying a 'Welcome' message to new arrivals to the pad. I wanted this to give the illusion of being an illuminated screen without actually having to resort to playing around with LEDs and the like, and below is a quick rundown on how I set this up.





The frame for the viewscreen was made from a garage door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I cut the door out with a razor saw, and then sliced up the doorframe and rearranged it into a smaller rectangle. (You could also just use a rectangle of thick plasticard with the middle cut out!) This was then painted using my normal weathered metal technique.



I wanted the back of the screen to be slightly smaller than the frame, so that the viewscreen would look like it was sitting out slightly from the wall rather than having the sides sit flush against it. So I traced around the frame onto a piece of thin plasticard, and then it cut out about 1.5mm inside the line to make it smaller than the tracing. I then glued this piece to the back of the frame, and painted around the outside edge with some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal so there wouldn't be any white peeking out from behind once it was mounted on the wall.





For the image on the screen, I grabbed an appropriate picture and added some text in Gimp, before printing it out at an appropriate size on glossy photo paper.



I sprayed the picture with a light coat of gloss sealer to protect it, and then glued it in place inside the frame.



To give the illusion of a glow, I painted around the inside edge of the frame with silver, and then added a couple of coats of brush-on gloss varnish. The gloss creates a dull reflection around the edges of the frame - it's a subtle effect, but enough to convey the idea of a low-powered screen that doesn't throw out a lot of excess light.



An alternative to this effect would have been to paint around the inner edges of the frame with colours matching the adjoining parts of the picture. This can create a much brighter 'glow' than the method I've used above, but can also look off if you look at it from the wrong angle.

With that done, it's time to get cracking on the rest of the display board, since I'm getting rather impatient to see it finished!



Build your own viewscreen by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Remnant Militus Battlesuit


Posted on Monday Apr 15, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This month saw the release of a new faction, and a fantastic new multi-part, plastic kit for Maelstrom's Edge, in the form of the Artarian Remnant's Militus battlesuit. For this week's modeling article, I thought I would take a closer look at this kit and see what I could make with it.





The Militus kit comes with a single plastic frame, which includes one battlesuit, two each of the different ranged weapon options, fist and reflex shield options, two different shoulder pad options, two different backpack options, and more heads than you can poke a shock baton at, to allow for some very easy customisation between your different suits.



The Militus is fully articulated, with ball joints at ankles, knees, hips, elbows and shoulders, which allows for a wide range of posing options. The ranged weapons also have a multi-part gimble arrangement which allows both arm-mounted and shoulder-rig weapons to be positioned just how you want them.





As an alternative to the standard shoulder rig, you can leave the vertical arm off and flip the weapon over, attaching the gimbal directly to the shoulder pad.



As a handy extra, the connection point for the weapons onto the gimbal is a very snug fit, which actually allows you to leave the weapon unglued and just push them into place, so that you can switch between weapons as desired between games. Likewise, while the forearm-and-hand option uses a different upper arm to the ranged weapons, the shoulder joint is a tightly fitting ball and socket joint, so if you glue the shoulder pad on to the torso without gluing the arm, you can carefully wiggle the arms in and out of the shoulder socket to swap them.


The saw blades on the above suit are not from this kit, but came from a Warhammer 40000 ork vehicle, used here just because I thought it looked awesome!

The backpack options (a field generator and a jump pack) also slot on, fitting neatly over the suit's back. These aren't quite as snug as the shoulders, but you could easily leave them unglued and attach them when you want them with a little blue-tac or similar poster adhesive.



The fantastic thing about plastic, of course, is that it is simple to modify. So if the already wide range of posing available to the suit doesn't quite get it where you want it, it's an easy job to trim the joints a little to push them out even further. The below suit was posed by removing the top edges of the thigh armour plates, trimming the edges of the hip socket and leaving off the triangular piece that fits into the back of the shin.



Lorican Champions are highly individual souls, and love to customise their suits. For this reason, the frame includes a bunch of different heads, and we will be releasing a resin upgrade pack to add some extra options in the near future. You can also look at other 28mm resin add-ons for more distinctive customisation - the heads on the suits are more or less human-sized, although you may need to fill the neck socket with some putty. The below suit was customised with an assortment of resin parts I had laying around from an old grab bag. His weapon drone (representing a shoulder mounted weapo, rules-wise) was made from a chopped up jump pack.



Finally, you're likely to wind up with a bunch of extra heads after you have finished building your suits. As mentioned above, these are human-sized, so that opens up all sorts of potential for customising your troops from other factions!





What do you have planned for your Militus suits? Feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

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

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

Painting Tutorial: Aged Copper


Posted on Monday Apr 01, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

For a very long time, I tried to avoid painting anything copper, as none of the copper paints I had tried ever looked quite right. Since I started getting a little more adventurous with my terrain building, though, it became harder to avoid having to figure something out that I could be happy with, and so eventually I started experimenting again to see what I could work out. This week, I'm sharing a quick tutorial showing the method I settled on.





For my example piece, I'm using a piece of a 13mm drip irrigation fitting, with the large pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue as a handy stand for it.



The first step is to undercoat with a medium green colour - I'm using Army Painter Army Green spray, but pretty much any green will do. This just gives a bit of a green tint anywhere that the copper paint winds up a little thinner, so the actual colour isn't too important.



Next, paint on two coats of copper. Here, I've used some old (very old) Citadel Beaten Copper, but again you should be able to use whatever copper you have. Copper fittings tend to vary considerably in colour, so there's no 'right' shade to look for, other than what looks right to you.



The reason that copper paint tends to not look right is that unless it's polished (which brush-on copper paint doesn't convey) copper generally isn't actually metallic copper coloured. It's more of a dull, coppery brown. So, over the copper, paint a generous slathering of Army Painter Mid Brown wash and leave it to dry.



You could leave it there, with perhaps a light drybrush of copper over the top to pick up some highlights, or carry on and add some verdigris by drybrushing with a suitable blue-green colour. As with the copper itself, verdigris can range from a pale green through to more of a turquoise colour, so use whatever colour suits the look you want. I've used Vallejo Model Colour Emerald here, mixed with just a touch of white and drybrushed wherever it looks appropriate. You can leave as much or as little of the copper brown showing through as you want to get the desired look.



Finally, you can add some scratches with thin lines of black, highlighting the bottom edge of the line with copper. Light highlights and lines of copper without the black can also be used to show shallower scrapes and scuffs.



And that's about it. Go forth and copper up your terrain to your heart's content!







You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge boxed game and model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: Alien Forest using Silicon Aquarium Plants!


Posted on Monday Mar 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

While there is a steadily growing range of awesome terrain on the market these days for sci fi wargames, one curious gap is the general lack of alien plantlife, which results in a vast majority of 'forest' type terrain being represented on the table by variations of the same, standard green trees. This week, I'm venturing outside the shady, green box, and creating an alien forest setup using silicon aquarium plants!





Aquarium plants come in a pretty vast range of different styles, sizes and colours, so can be an invaluable source of alien flora. The plants I'm using here are some sort of anemone-looking thing made from silicon and mounted in pairs or triplets on resin rocks. You could just as easily use whatever other plants you feel like (or can find in your local aquarium supply store!), but I really liked the look of these.



Forest bases need a base (obviously!), so I cut half a dozen out of 5mm masonite. I used a scroll saw with the blade set to a 30 degree angle for this, to get nice wobbly edges, and then sanded them down smooth. You could do the same with a jigsaw, or a coping saw if you prefer to avoid power tools.



Onto each base, I glued two or three clumps of 'trees' with superglue, leaving them in the resin rocks so that I didn't have to make up some sort of alternative base for them. This also helps to give them a little more height, and adds a bit of extra texture to the forest bases.



To stretch out my collection of plants a bit, and also to help break up the identical clumps, I cut through some of the resin rocks with a razor saw to split up the tree clumps.



The cut edges of the rocks were then concealed behind stacks of foamed PVC, cut from scraps leftover from a previous project. You could also use foamcore or cardboard for this (although the PVC is a bit more durable and less likely to delaminate from use) or putty or filling plaster to sculpt up a replacement rockface.



From there, I slapped a generous coat of PVA glue on each base and sprinkled on a sand/gravel mix, leaving the glue to dry before tipping off any excess sand that hadn't stuck. I also applied a generous spray of matte sealer, both to help hold the sand down and to kill a little of the shine on the silicon plants.



To paint, I glopped on a generous coat of a medium brown as a base coat - I used a Mont Marte Burnt Umber artist's acrylic for this, with the intention of matching these bases to the air conditioner fitting bunker that I made last week.



Over the brown, I drybrushed a taupe colour ('Fawn', another artist's acrylic).



The largest of the bases had some extra space left on it, so I added some young growth using some clipped pieces of plastic rod, painted up with red and yellow to match the plants.



And that's pretty much it. If you want a more over-grown look to your forests, you could easily put the 'tree' clumps closer together, or add extra undergrowth using other, smaller plants. There's a bit of a balance to find with area terrain like this, though - You want it to look good, but you also need to be able to put models in it, so I prefer to keep things fairly simple to improve their function on the table. An alternative compromise is to mount the trees onto the base with magnets instead of gluing them in place. This lets you add some extra layers of detail, while being able to selectively pluck parts of the forest out of the way as necessary to place models in there. For now, though, this is my forest all together on the table:







Feeling like assembling your own tropical alien paradise? As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the Maelstrom's Edge boxed game and model range in the Maelstrom's Edge 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Bunker from an Air Conditioner Fitting


Posted on Monday Mar 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Apparently even when I'm looking for something else completely, the terrain bug is difficult to avoid. On a completely unrelated trip through the hardware store for a change, I came across a rack of plastic air conditioner ducting that included a bunch of pieces that immediately jumped out as potential building fodder. Before you could say 'Get to the bunker!' I was on my way home with fingers just itching to break out the tools. The end result was a brand new ground-level access for a bunker complex!





The piece that I chose started out life as a 100mm ceiling cap, which is apparently something to do with air conditioners - I'm taking the word of the label for that! I love the idea of buildings that serve as an entryway to larger complexes below ground, and the shape of this fitting looked perfect for an atrium bunker leading to a staircase or angled lift shaft.



As the type of plastic used was shiny and of indeterminate pedigree, I started out by removing the label and giving the whole thing a light sand with fine grade sandpaper to remove the glossy outer layer. This helps the glue and paint to stick later.



The fitting is made of two separate pieces that clip together along the sides, which made cutting window holes a little easier - I popped the pieces apart, and used a shutter window from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue to trace around for the hole, with one vertical edge running along the seam. Then I cut along the top and bottom of the marked hole with a razor saw, and scored the other vertical side and snapped the resultant scrap piece out of the hole. This was repeated on the other side, and again on the front for a door hole, using the armoured door from the terrain sprue as a guide.



I glued the windows and door in place using an 'all plastic' glue combo (a two-part setup that includes a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen that is used first to help the glue stick to unusual plastics). I also added a strip light above the door for a little extra visual detail, and to cover over the screw hole that was there.



To fill in the roof, I cut two pieces of 2mm foamed PVC to the right shape to fit in the cavity. In one of these I cut a square hole for the hatch from the terrain sprue. The two pieces of PVC were then superglued together, and the hatch glued into the hole.



The fitting has a couple of handy ridges running around in the top cavity at a perfect height to form a balcony once the PVC section was glued and dropped in to sit on them. At this point I also glued the structure down onto a piece of masonite cut to an appropriate size and shape, and filled in the seam on the fitting with a little putty.



To paint, I started out with a coat of Rustoleum brown primer.



I wanted some light texture over the non-metal parts of the bunker. For this, I used a terracotta paint found in the paint section at my hardware store. This is generally used on plastic plant pots to make them look like they're made of terracotta, and has a really fine grit mixed through it to give it a sandy feel. I used a large brush and dabbed this on rather than brushing, to avoid brushstrokes showing up when I drybrushed over it.



The terracotta coat was a little patchy when it dried, with the dark brown basecoat showing through a bit darker than I wanted, so I went over it with a coat of Burnt Sienna craft paint. While that was drying, I also went over the base with a generous layer of PVA glue and sprinkled on a coarse sand and gravel mix.



The bunker was then drybrushed with a mix of Burnt Sienna and a taupe colour (actually called 'Fawn' on the bottle). The metal parts were given a heavy drybrush with P3 Pig Iron and then a generous wash with Army Painter Dark Tone, and the base was painted with a dark brown (Burnt Umber) craft paint.



Finally, the base was drybrushed with some more Fawn, and the lights painted with Citadel Ultramarine Blue, drybrushed with Ice Blue and White.



I also added a building number on the back slope, using a stencil printed out on paper and cut out with a hobby knife. I dabbed on Vallejo Light Grey with a large brush, and then a layer of white, trying not to make it too neat so that it would look a little weather-worn.



A shot of the roof:



And that's it - ready for the table!



Build your own bunker by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Painting Tutorial: Weathered Signs using Photo Paper Decals


Posted on Monday Mar 11, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Marking your buildings and other urban features with signs, graffiti and other appropriate splashes of colour is a great way of adding some touches of realism to your wargaming terrain. This week, I thought I would share a simple technique for creating faded and worn signs and markings using decals made from photo paper!





This technique won't get you bright, new looking signs - for that, you can use regular decals, or print your sign out on paper and glue it in place. What we're aiming for here are signs that have been out in the elements for a while, and are battered, chipped and faded.

Start by drawing up the design you want to apply to the building in your drawing program of choice (I use Gimp). The final applied image will be duller than your original, so you may need to experiment a bit to find the right level at first - If you want a fairly bright and legible sign, use bright colours. Use more muted colours for a more faded effect.
You will also need to flip the image so it is a mirror-image. Then print onto gloss photo paper, and cut out the design using a sharp hobby knife or scissors. Leave a tab of extra paper on one side, and just score lightly along the edge of the image on the tab side.



Apply a thin layer of superglue to the surface of the image. You need to keep this thin enough that it won't squeeze outside the bounds of the image when you press it onto the terrain surface. Don't worry if you don't get the image covered perfectly, as this just creates some handy chipping on the final image.

Press the image face-first onto your painted surface and hold it in place until the glue has had a chance to set.



Grab the excess paper tab and gently peel the paper off. It should peel away leaving the ink and a very thin surface layer of the photo paper behind. Gently scrape the paper layer away with a finger nail to expose the coloured surface beneath.



For any remaining scraps of thin paper left behind, you can rub gently with a damp fingertip to clean then away. The moisture will make your image look brighter for a moment, and white parts may go transparent, but it will fade again as it dries.



If the end result is a little too faded, you can pick the colours up a little by painting on a thin layer of gloss varnish. It won't make a huge difference, but will brighten things up slightly.



From there, you can go ahead and add other detailing and weathering to your terrain as desired. See my guide to sponge weathering here, or the slightly more advanced salt weathering technique here.



As noted back at the start, while the end result is intended to be faded and weathered, you will get a brighter end result if you use stronger colours to begin with. Black shows through best of all, so you can add extra definition to the image by adding thin black borders around everything.



Give it a go! Feel free to share your efforts, or ask for help on the Comm Guild Facebook page!



You can pick up the entire Maelstrom's Edge model range, including the terrain sprue used for the terrain in this article, from the webstore here.

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

Painting Spotlight: Broken Forsaken Chieftain


Posted on Monday Mar 04, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time to get some paint on!

Despite building a bunch of Forsaken Chieftains for a conversion article a while back (This one!), I hadn't had a chance to get any of them painted up yet, so my Broken force has been languishing without a properly-attired leader for all this time. This week I decided to remedy this situation!





The model painted here was one of the resin conversions featured in the article linked above, with the normal Xeno Spotter and melee weapon replaced with bionic arms holding a Beam Blastgun and a grenade.



My broken troops were painted with a very quick 'base colours and a wash of brown ink' affair, which was shown in the article way back here. As a force's leader is a bit of a centrepiece, I wanted a paintjob that was going to look like it fitted in with the troops, but was a little more polished. I started out by spraying the model with Army Painter Army Green, as I had with the troops.



I then picked out the base colours, leaving the army green on the pants and shirt, and painting straps, pouches, boots and armour pads with Vallejo Heavy Brown and Beasty Brown, the coat with P3 Jack Bone, her face with Citadel Tallarn Flesh, and everything else with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal.



The next step was to add some highlights. I used Coat D'Arms Putrid Green to highlight the creases in the shirt and pants, and followed up with some touches of Jack Bone on the darker brown areas and face, and P3 Morrow White on the coat and lighter brown parts.



The green was then shaded with a wash of Army Painter Green Tone, and the brown areas and face with Army Painter Strong Tone. While that was drying, I added some white highlights to the hair, and painted the metal areas - the weapon was just given a light drybrush with P3 Pig Iron, and the other metal areas given a flat coat of the same.



Next up, the metal parts were given a highlight with Army Painter Shining Silver. I also painted the edge detail on the coat with some old Citadel Tentacle Pink, and shaded the coat with multiple light coats of Army Painter Soft Tone painted into the creases and concealed areas.



I then gave the metal parts a wash of Army Painter Dark Tone, and shaded the coat edge detail with some light coats of Army Painter Purple Tone.



That just left some final detail work - The eye was painted white and a black dot added in the middle. The bionic eye was painted with Vallejo Red and Army Painter Pure Red, with a highlight of white. For the yellow on the grenade, I started with a coat of Citadel Iyanden Yellow, a top layer of P3 Cygnus Yellow, some shading underneath with Soft Tone and a highlight of yellow with a little white mixed in. The straps on the gun were painted with Heavy Brown and given a wash of Strong Tone, as were the cross-straps on the back of the coat. Also on the back of the coat, I picked out the studs with Heavy Charcoal and added a highlight with Shining Silver.

And, finally, the base was painted with the same urban scheme that I've been using for several of my Maelstrom's Edge forces - you can find a how-to here.



The finished model, leading a Broken force into battle!







Keen to try putting together your own Broken force? You can find the resin Chieftain model and plastic Broken Infantry used here, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

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

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