The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [conversion]

Conversion Spotlight: Kaddar Militant


Posted on Monday Sep 04, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

The range of plastic miniatures available for Maelstrom's Edge covers all of the units and options currently available in the game. There's a lot of fun to be had by taking those miniatures and exploring other options beyond the current limits of the game, whether to field with home-brew rules or just for one-off display pieces to flex the creative muscles. This week, we're looking at a model from the latter category, built just for fun, because it never hurts to have a bigger stick.



When the Faction Expansion Sprue was released, I took one look at the awesome cybel glaive on the sprue and couldn't resist the urge to create a double-ended version by sticking the head of one glaive onto the bottom end of the shaft of a second. The resultant, admittedly slightly over-the-top, marvel of blades and energy emitters needed a suitably awe-inspiring model to carry it, so I turned to the ever-imposing Kaddar Nova kit.



The head is taken from the Karist Trooper kit, with the front sanded down smooth.



Painting started out with a basecoat of Army Painter Dragon Red. From there, I built up shadows using thin, multiple layers of Army Painter Purple Tone, before higlighting the edges with white and then a final wash of Army Painter Red Tone over the top to mesh everything together.



The cloth parts were painted with Vallejo Heavy Brown, and then shaded with layers of Army Painter Strong Tone. Similarly, the black parts were painted with Vallejo Heavy Grey, highlighted with some Vallejo Neutral Grey and then shaded with Army Painter Dark Tone.



Metal parts started with some more Heavy Grey, and then a coat of P3 Pig Iron, and finally a wash with Dark Tone to give it some depth. Finally, the glaive blades were painted white and then worked up to the purple with layers of Purple Tone. The panel behind his head was given some purple light with a layer of Citadel Warlock Purple, drybrushed with a little Citadel Tentacle Pink and then a final drybrush of white.



The end result is a spiky, sinister-looking character who will probably wind up spawning yet another Karist force in my collection. I'm thinking of this guy as a 'Kaddar Militant' - a subsect of the Kaddar Priest class, who lean a little more towards brutal subjugation to get their way than is the norm for Karist forces. Stay tuned - there may well wind up being a rules card at some point in the not too distant future, tweaking the standard Kaddar Nova rules to allow for the double-ended Glaive and some revision to the normal unit selection matrix.

If this has inspired you to get creative with some plastic, 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.

Army Spotlight - Karist Strike Force


Posted on Monday Aug 28, 2017 at 12:00AM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

A little while ago I shared an Epirian bot army that I had been assembling, which you can find here if you missed it the first time. It didn't seem like the done thing to let all of those blasphemous machines hog the limelight, and so this week it's time for the pure and wholesome forces of the Karist Enclave to shine.



I wanted a Karist leader with a bit of presence - the sort of no-nonsense character who would stride about the battlefield secure in the rightness of his cause and confidence in his inevitable victory. So I took the Kaddar Nova kit and modified the legs slightly to give him a walking pose.



The conversion involved cutting some plastic away from the groin where the two leg pieces join, to bring the legs in for a more upright pose. One leg was angled slightly back by rotating at the waist joint, and the ankles were carefully twisted to straighten them out. The end result is a walking but slightly bow-legged pose, which helps to show the weight that the Nova is carrying around with that backpack!



The painting on this force is quite simple, as I wanted something quick and easy that I could expand on later as I add more models to the roster. The purple is an old Citadel metallic purple washed with Army Painter Dark Tone. The brown cloth sections painted with Vallejo Heavy Brown and washed with Army Painter Strong Tone form a nice contrast to the purple, and the weapons are painted in a no-nonsense metal scheme using P3 Pig Iron washed with Dark Tone.

While I was aiming for a fairly small, elite force this time around, I still needed a unit of Troopers to fill in the required Core slot. I decided to go for a 5-man unit, to help them stand out from the more compact specialist units I was going to include and to give help them last a little longer once they get in range of all those Epirian guns.



The Quintarch for this unit was based loosely on an early piece of Maelstrom's Edge artwork, with robes made from a leftover Kaddar Nova robe and some green stuff putty.



A unit of Tempest Elites provide some fire support, with their fearsome Hellstorm Energy Mortars.



For some extra firepower where it counts, I included a Reaper Cadre. This is a homebrew unit that I put together for an article a while back. They're basically elite troopers armed with a long rifle version of the Pulse Carbine. You can find the conversion article and a rules card here.



I obviously needed to include some angel units, and to keep them in line I also took along an Angel Keeper. He forms the HQ option for a second detachment.



The Keeper is a playtest unit offered up some time ago for those who wanted some extra angel-related shenanigans in their forces. The model is a conversion using parts from a few different kits, as there is no official model (yet!) for it - you can find the conversion tutorial and rules card here.



In the Keeper's charge are a unit of Minnows. These were converted to add some extra motion to their poses, by mixing up the pairing of the wing parts and filling in any resultant gaps with a little green stuff.



The Minnows' big brother rounds out the second detachment for now. I put together a model of a Mature Angel in its flight form a while ago, and so he had to go into this force. This model was built using the body from the Mature Angel kit, a tail made from green stuff and some wings from a demon model from the Reaper Bones range. You can find a walkthrough of the conversion here



The force all together:



This leaves me with a roster that looks something like this:

Detachment 1

Command: Kaddar Nova - 15 points

Core: Karist Troopers
- Ripper Grenade Launcher - 18 points

Hammer: Tempest Elites
- Hellstorm Energy Mortars - 25 points

Vanguard: Reaper Cadre
- 2 Pulse Lances - 15 points


Detachment 2

Command: Angel Keeper
- Ripper Grenades - 10 points

Core: Angel Minnow Pack - 10 points

Core: Mature Angel - 23 points

Total - 116 points.



If you would like to put together your own Karist strike force, you can pick up the various Maelstrom's Edge kits 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.

Army Spotlight - Epirian Bot Army, Detachment Two


Posted on Monday Jul 24, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Last week, I shared part 1 of an Epirian Bot army that I've been putting together, which you can find here. This week, I'm fleshing it out with a second detachment, to bring the force up to the 120 point mark, suitable for small games.



Unsurprisingly in a bot-themed force, the second detachment is comprosed of a whole bunch of extra robots!



To keep with the bot theme, I wanted the second Command unit to be a Scarecrow rather than another Bot Handler.



Scarecrows are shifted to a Command slot if you give them a Command Array. That's slightly problematic, since I've been using the Command Array part to put masks on my Scarecrows. I got around this by taking one of the aerials that had been cut off the array and gluing it onto the side of the Scarecrow's head, behind the mask.



The Scarecrow commander is required to take at least two Core units, so I needed another two units of Spider drones. This time around, I went with Flakk Guns instead of the Cutters, for a bit of close-range supporting fire.



To round out the detachment, I selected another Hunter for my force.



I had built this bot a while back, just to find out how the Hunter would look with a chainsaw in place of the Hydraulic Fist. The saw blade is taken from a Games Workshop Space Wolf kit. Rules-wise, it will still count as the fist.





The bases on this detachment were a slight change from last week. I hadn't been entirely happy with the bases on the first detachment, and so I changed to a slightly darker colouring (Vallejo Heavy Brown, washed with Army Painter Strong Tone and then drybrushed with P3 Jack Bone) and added some grass tufts for a little extra pop. To keep things consistent, this obviously meant going back and redoing the bases on the first detachment as well...







And so, the full force combined:



2nd Detachment:
Command: Scarecrow Sniper
- Command Array - 14 points

Core: Spider Drones
- Flakk Guns, replace Apprentice Bot Handler - 8 points

Core: Spider Drones
- Flakk Guns, replace Apprentice Bot Handler - 8 points

Anvil: Hunter-class Warmech
- Suppressor Dual Machine Gun, 2 Strike Missile Pods, Overdrive - 10 points

Total - 40 points.

Combined with Detachment 1: 120 points.

So, what's next for this force?

The obvious choice is to add some Fireflies, and I'll definitely be doing that as soon as I can. I'm also playing with some more homebrew rules, to create a spotter drone that would work in concert with heavy weapon-equipped robot units, possibly by being able to allocate a Command point to a friendly heavy unit within a certain radius that shares LOS to a selected target.



I also built a prototype for a Scarecrow spotlight article a while back, of a Scarecrow that replaces its legs with turbines from the Firefly kit. This was equipped with twin Clingfire sprayers, but I'm thinking that a unit of these equipped with twin Maglock Assault Rifles might be a fun option for encouraging enemy units to keep their heads down.



I'm picturing these guys as being able to move freely over obstacles, but being fairly slow moving and not particularly robust, due to the delicate balance required to keep such unwieldy creations airborne.

Stay tuned - I'll post another update on this force when I get these finished off!


If all of these robots are leaving you feeling inspired, you can pick up the full range of Maelstrom's Edge models 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: Giftbox Garage


Posted on Monday Jul 03, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

A while back, I shared a scifi western-themed building constructed from a Plast Craft Games plastic kit and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. This week, I wanted to have another try at that vaguely-western, raise-facade, scifi styling, but with more of a mass-produced, cheap colony building sort of vibe. Something a little more urban, but with a nod back to the frontier. This is what I came up with:



This is built from one of my favourite bases - the good old cardboard giftbox.



You can pick these up from just about anywhere that sells giftwares or from many craft shops, and they're generally fairly inexpensive. Craft shops will also often have raw cardboard versions without the printing on the outside, which does have the bonus of looking slightly less hideous while you're putting it together, but can have a rougher surface texture.

For my previous giftbox buildings, I used the lid upside down on top to form a walled-in roof area. This time, I used the lid for the facade. So the first step was to cut the lid to the height that I wanted the front of the building. I also cut away the end wall of the box, so that the hole for the front door only needed to go through the facade - The door inset is deeper than the width of the card, so would I otherwise have needed to cut a second door hole in the end of the box and hope that they lined up properly.



Speaking of a door hole: I took the garage door from the terrain sprue, sat it in place against the facade, and traced around the back of it before cutting out the resultant rectangle. The garage door was then glued in place.



The same process was used on the intact end of the box to add a small door and shutter window from the terrain sprue.



The facade was then glued in place.



I glued a couple of support struts onto either side of the building, for a little texture.



A row of lintel pieces from the terrain sprue were glued onto the top edge of the back wall.



I then layered strips of plasticard along the roof, working up towards the front of the building.



The final building, ready for painting:





Quick and easy paintjob, that will be quite familiar for anyone who has been following these articles. I started with a black spray undercoat, to give a solid layer to cover over the printing.



This was followed by a spray of flat grey, and while this was still wet I oversprayed this from above with a lighter grey to add a little bit of a natural highlight.



The metal parts were then picked out with Vallejo Beasty Brown.



Then a drybrush of P3 Pig Iron.



Then a wash of the most useful paint on the planet: Army Painter Strong Tone.



A final drybrush of silver over the metal bits and some detail work, and the newest addition to the table is ready to go.







This design can be very easily tailored to different buildings through using different sized boxes and choosing different sprue components. If you would like to build your own, 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.

Conversion Spotlight: "Silverback" Mercenary Fire Support Mech


Posted on Monday Jun 26, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

A variation on the Hunter War Mech chassis, the Silverback was an attempt by Epirian engineers to develop a mobile platform for heavy support weapons. Trading in speed for stability, initial deployments showed promising results, however over time the mech's ponderous movement began to be perceived as a liability. When this was compounded by some odd personality quirks that tended to develop in the experimental twinned bot cores used to give the Silverback increased tactical capability, the model was slowly phased out by Epirian forces. Some were sold to planetary security forces, while others found their way onto the black market, where they became a favourite of mercenaries who favoured a more blunt approach to martial engagement.



A mercenary bot handler and his Silverback charge.

The Epirian Hunter is a fantastic kit which presents some fun modeling possibilities straight out of the box. Sometimes, though, it's fun to do something a little more extreme, and it's from this that the Silverback was born. This wasn't made with any rules in mind, just something fun to build... although now of course I have some ideas percolating around for mercenary units, so this may be something I come back to in a future article.

To give the Silverback more gorilla-like proportions, I cut down the tops of the thighs level with the top of the protruding panel on the side. This also required slicing off the locating pin and reattaching it lower down. I also added a bit more of a bend to the left leg by slicing carefully through the top of the knee joint, cutting out a small wedge, and regluing the leg at the new angle.



With the torso angled forwards, the top of the existing 'head' serves admirably as a neck. To add a new head, I used a razor saw to slice a drone chassis in half.



The front piece was then glued in place on the torso.



I wanted the arms a little straighter than is allowed by the hunter's elbow arrangement. So I trimmed away the back of the forearm piece, allowing more movement in the joint.



I then took some small pipe fittings from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and trimmed the square border off.



A small piece of plastic tube was then slipped into the fitting, and this glued in place against the 'hand' end of the forearm.



The hands were constructed from the back half of the drone chassis and small pieces cut from the drone's sprue (recycling for the win!).



With everything glued together, the arm was glued in place.



I initially only had two joints on each finger, but it just didn't look quite right, so I added an extra joint when I built the second arm, and then went back and did the same to the first one.



Another couple of small sprue pieces formed the ends of the thumbs, and I added a weapon purloined from a Games Workshop Tau battlesuit kit.









I wanted a dark, slightly sinister paintjob to emphasise the brutish nature of the mech, so started with a black undercoat.



Over this I did a heavy drybrush of P3 Pig Iron.



Then I washed the whole thing with a generous coat of Army Painter Dark Tone.



Once the wash dried, I lightly drybrushed all over with some more Pig Iron, and then did the detail work. A few panels here and there are picked out in different colours to give it a bit more of a ramshackle appearance, in keeping with its mercenary nature. It's not an award-winning paint-job, but is a nice, quick method for getting a table-ready model.











Feeling the urge to hack up a Hunter or two of your own? You can pick up the Hunter, Drone or terrain sprue from the Maelstrom's Edge 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: Landing Pad


Posted on Monday Jun 19, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Terrain is a bit of a passion of mine. It can make such a difference to your games having a table full of nice-looking terrain pieces, and this is helped along with the addition of a shiny, impressive centre piece to dominate the battlefield.

With that in mind, I set to work this week to build a landing pad for my table. Landing pads look great visually, can be easily tailored from game to game with the addition of some crates, landing craft or other small terrain features on top and make for nice line of sight blockers in the middle of the table.



I started out, as so many of my projects do, with a few Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues and a sheet of 5mm foamcore. A dinner plate served as a handy template for the pad itself.



After tracing around the plate, I drew in an inset rectangle on opposing sides, to break up the circular shape a little in order to make the pad a little more visually interesting. The the shape was cut out with a hobby knife, and some guide lines drawn on for some detailing.



A round detail in the centre of the pad was created from the large pipe fitting, cut down to match the thickness of the support struts. I used a couple of spare struts as height gauges for a razor saw to cut through the pipe fitting sideways.



I then laid support struts out along the guide lines, cutting them to length so that they extended to the edges of the pad.



For some detail around the edge of the pad, I took some more support struts and rolled them carefully over a glue primer tube to give them a curve.





These were then glued around the edges of the pad, and held in place with some hat elastic until the glue set.



A landing pad on the ground is functional enough, but not much good for blocking line of sight, and certainly won't impress the neighbours. So I made a formwork from some more foamcore to go under the pad. In between each of the formwork supports, I spaced some off-cuts of foamcore to serve as guides for the outer wall.



The outer wall was made from thick card, which was bent around the outside of a coffee mug.



This was then glued in place around the outside of the support formwork, with the help of a few cardboard tabs to reinforce the joints.



A little more foamcore and some doors from the terrain sprue created the bare bones of a control tower.



This will have multiple access points, through the lower door, a second door off the pad surface, and a ladder from the ground to the control platform. The ladder can be just glued directly to the wall, but this never looks quite right to me, as it would make climbing it a little problematic unless you cut recesses in behind it. In this case, I decided to space it out from the wall instead, using some off-cuts from the terrain sprue lintel piece.



Because the inside of the upper door can be seen from the control platform, I used a second door on the inside wall. Two doors back to back are a little thick for 5mm foamcore walls, so I trimmed the inner door's back down flush so it would fit in neatly.



The floor of the platform was made from some tile-pattern plasticard, with a recess created for the inner door - this would have a short ladder up to the main platform.



I also made some computer terminals using some computer panels and lintels.



Opposite the control tower will be a lift. I wanted this to be functional, just for a little fun. So I made a wall section from some textured plasticard and glued on a couple of picture hooks that I had flattened out with some pliers and a hammer.



The lift platform was made from a rectangle of foamcore with detailing around the edges provided by some lintels and a support strut. On the bottom of one of the long sides I affixed some nice, strong, rare earth magnets. These allow the lift platform to be attached anywhere along the flattened picture hooks, and are strong enough to hold it up even with models standing on it.



The base of the platform still needed some more detail, so I made some buttresses to going around the perimeter. These are just a wedge of foamcore and some pieces cut from support struts. Normally I layer a piece of 5mm and a piece of 3mm foamcore to match the width of the support strut, but this time I decided to go for something a little more visually striking and just used a piece of 5mm foamcore with extra reinforcing pieces added on either side.



These buttresses were then glued around the base of the platform, lining up with the support struts on the platform top.



The top of the platform needed some more detail, and so I cut some wedges of card to slot in between the support struts.



These were sprayed black, and then painted with a coat of PVA glue and pressed onto some plastic flyscreen. I used a sharp hobby knife to cut around the edges.



(Spraying them black before gluing the flyscreen on makes painting a little easier, as it can be tricky to cover all of the tiny little nooks and crannies in the flyscreen)

While the glue was setting on the flyscreen, I took the time to glue the landing pad down onto a base board of masonite. A handy, nearby gumball dispenser filled with marbles served as a weight to help the glue bond everything nice and tight.



When everything was set, I glued the flyscreened wedges into place on the platform, and added some landing lights made from small pipe fittings and offcuts of sprue.



With the control tower then glued in place and a row of trapezoid windows added for controller protection, a ramp up to the lift built on the other side of the pad, and a few other little details here and there, construction was complete.











Painting was kept fairly simple: I basecoated with black spray, and then added a coat of grey for the base and walls. The metal parts were then painted using my weathered metal method shown here. Add in the details (including the obligatory hazard striping) and the job's done!















If you would like to build your own landing pad, or if this has sparked some ideas for some other terrain pieces, 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.

Conversion Spotlight - Kaddar Nova Mini-Diorama


Posted on Monday Jun 12, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Sometimes it's nice to take a break from putting together armies and just paint something for fun. There's nothing better than taking some plastic and doing something new and shiny with it for getting some creative juices going, and it's a great way to explore the rich background of the game.

When I first got my hands on the plastic Kaddar Nova kit, I had an image of him standing in some imposing fashion unleashing a minnow like a trained hunting bird. I built the bare bones of this little diorama some time ago, but only just found the time to get it finished off and painted.



This piece was assembled from 3 different kits. The balcony was assembled almost entirely from components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, with a little plasticard to fill in around the sides. The balcony floor is cut from a garage door, with the windows filled in with the gratings from the support struts cut into a trapezoid shape. The railing is made from a ladder, with one side trimmed off. The trimmed off side served for the sides of the staircase, with the stairs themselves made from lengths of support strut glued in detail-side down.





The Kaddar Nova is largely stock, although there was some small alteration of the legs (narrowing the groin area to bring his legs closer together and bending out the right foot so that his toe-tip would touch the lower stair).





Likewise, the Minnows are assembled as normal, with the one launching off the Nova's hand losing his original tail and a new one made with a length of wire and some green stuff. The wire is glued into a small hole drilled in the Nova's forearm, which is covered up by the putty.



When painting something unusual, I like to try pushing my boundaries a little as a change from the repetitiveness of painting gaming forces. For this piece, I decided to go for a nice, bright, white armour, as I generally tend towards darker colour schemes. The trick with white, oddly enough, is to not make it white. Most white things aren't actually white to look at. Shadows add layers of grey, and reflections add other shades to the mix. (This goes for black, as well!) I wasn't about to try painting reflective armour this time around, but I did use Vallejo Light Grey blended into the white to shade the armour. The end result is possibly a little more grey than white, but I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out.





The Minnows were painted using a slight variation of the scheme I used for my winged Mature Angel a couple of weeks back. They were undercoated black, and then drybrushed with dark grey (Vallejo Heavy Charcoal, in this case) and then with purple (some old Citadel Warlock Purple and Tentacle Pink mixed together). This was then washed with some Army Painter Dark Tone to smooth out the drybrushing.





The balcony was painted using the weathered metal recipe shown in the article here, with the addition of some scratches, hazard stripes and yellow detail around the window/vents to break up the expanse of rusty metal a little.





The end result is a simple little scene that I think is nicely evocative of the Maelstrom's Edge setting. If you want to try something similar, you can pick up the components used here from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore. 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: Winged Angel


Posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Nobody knows what the hell they’re even made of, never mind what they’re thinking.
- - Gladius Belaru, survivor of the Angel attack on Morningstar Station, Thusia system

The fully mature Angel is a truly terrifying creature to encounter in the flesh, and their otherworldly scream is a harbinger of nightmares across the Spiral Arm. Dwarfing even the tallest of humans, the Angel is a tapering mass of writhing tentacles, gelatinous membranes, and bristled claws, smelling of sulphur and ozone.

The plastic Mature Angel kit allows players to build angels in their combat form, which is one of the three common forms favoured by these bizarre creatures. While there is no particular need to model the angel's other forms, where would we be if we just went around assembling kits to spec? So this week, I'm building a Mature Angel in its flying form.



I started out with a length of wire glued into a hole drilled up into the bottom of the angel's torso. This was curved around to the front, with a spike cut from one of the angel's claws glued onto the other end.



Over the wire, I sculpted a tail from 'green stuff' putty, and added some tentacles down the side to make it a little more visually striking and to help represent the angel's fluid nature.



Wings can be sculpted over a similar wire armature, but to save a little time and effort here, I decided to purloin some from another model instead. The donor was a fire demon from Reaper's Bones range.



I cut the wings at the elbows, trimmed off the 'fingers' and glued the wings in place in the angel's arm sockets. A little more green stuff filled in the gaps.









Painting - I kept the colour-scheme fairly simple, as angels are basically just black. Visually, just going with plain black isn't very interesting, though, so I tried to represent the angel's internal cybel energy by adding some purple highlights wherever seemed appropriate. The eyes and mouth were similarly painted purple, but highlighted up closer to white, to help them to stand out.









'Family' shot, with some minnows for company:



If you would like to build your own hideous flying spectre of doom, you can pick up the Mature Angel kit from the Maelstrom's Edge 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: Catwalks


Posted on Monday May 22, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

As the Maelstrom creeps inexorably across the galaxy bringing Armageddon to world after world, many wars are fought in the shadow of once great cities. Where once were towering beacons of hope, the shining pinnacle of human endeavour, now lies ruin - seething hives of scum and villainy where only the strong survive.

For those inclined to less flowery prose: I thought it might be fun to explore what could be done to create multi-level terrain using the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, for games set within the gloomy nether regions of gigantic cities on those worlds where everything has just gone a little bit wrong. Within these cities would be various tall structures linked by ladders and catwalks - essential if you want to get around without having to leap onto the roof of a passing taxi!



So this week, I'll be presenting a few ideas for different ways to construct catwalks to link your buildings together. Starting with the bare bones, Evil-Overlord-thinks-minions-don't-deserve-handrails version:



This is simply a strip of 5mm foamcore cut to an appropriate length, with some panel lines scored across at intervals with a razor saw (you could do the same with a hobby knife, but the saw helps to keep a consistent width and depth). The edges are covered up with reinforcing struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



For the slightly more OH&S-conscious city builder, here's example 2:



This is another strip of 5mm foamcore, but this time I've used ladders from the terrain sprue glued sideways along the edges to create handrails.



This catwalk is also a little narrower than the first. Varying the width of your catwalks allows for some visual variety, and also mixes up how the catwalk will function in-game, by changing what can fit on it, and whether or not troops will be able to easily block off enemy advances along it.

For something with a little more texture, example 3:



This one starts with another strip of foamcore, but this time I have glued a sheet of aluminium mesh to the top. Support struts from the terrain sprue are cut to size and glued around the perimeter of the top to hold the mesh down and cover the cut edges, and more support struts run around the outside edge of the foamcore to pretty things up.

The handrails are made using the top halves of half a dozen energy fence poles, with the railings cut from lengths of 1.5mm x 2mm plastic rod.



For a break from foamcore, the base of the catwalk can be made from plasticard or sturdy cardboard:



This catwalk uses 1.2mm plasticard, with some embroidery mesh cut to size and glued on top to add some texture, interspersed with support struts from the terrain sprue. The handrails are made from lintel pieces from the terrain sprue topped with leftover window strips cut from doors I used a few weeks back for barriers in my scatter terrain article.



And finally, the freestanding version:



Back to the foamcore for this one, with the embroidery mesh once again providing some detail on the top. The handrails use the bottom halves of the fence posts used for the 3rd catwalk, with railings made from 1.6mm round plastic rod. The legs are door frames that were also left over from the scatter terrain article.



These are obviously just scratching the surface. You can easily mix up these designs by changing the dimensions or detailing. Replacing the foamcore with sturdy mesh gives you a more open, industrial style. You could even build some junction pieces and lay out catwalks on the table for a space corridor bug-fight!

Where to from here? One of my next projects will be to create some matching buildings to hang these off, based around modular bulkheads like this:



If you're feeling inspired and need more catwalks in your life, 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.

Karist Reaper Cadre Conversion Tutorial & Unit Card


Posted on Monday May 15, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Following on from the conversion article and rules card for the Epirian Scorpion Drone a little while ago, it seemed fitting to show the Karists a little love as well. Sneaky, sneaky love, in the form of the Karist Reaper Cadre. Armed with a sniper variant of the Karist Pulse Carbine, Reapers arrive in advance of the main force and are tasked with removing problematic opponents before the regular troopers have to deal with them.

Here, you'll find instructions for building the Reapers' fearsome Pulse Lance, and unofficial rules for running this unit in your games.



I've based the Reapers on the Karist Trooper, with the shoulder pads left off and the collar trimmed down to represent their lighter armour.



The unit comes with Pulse Carbines by default, but up to two models can be upgraded to have Pulse Lances. To build each lance, you will need two Pulse Carbines. You will also need some 1mm plastic rod (plastruct or similar) and some 2.5mm plastic tube.



Start by cleaning off any mould lines, and then you will need to drill a 1mm hole into the barrel of one of the pulse carbines. Use a sharp knife to prick a guide hole into the centre of the barrel, and then drill in 3-5mm with a 1mm drill bit.



Then use a sharp knife or a file to remove the barrel completely, so the front of the weapon is flat. You do this after drilling, as it's easier to find the right position for the drill while the barrel is still there.



Take the other carbine and cut the front end off just behind the front sight, where there is a groove running across the top of the weapon.



Drill a 1mm hole into the back of this piece, in line with the centre of the barrel. If you drill out your pulse weapon barrels, you can just drill all the way through.



Trim off the leftover pieces of stock around the bottom and sides.



Cut a piece of the 2.5mm tubing around 7mm long - the exact length isn't important, so long as you're consistent with it on all of your lances. There are specialist tools out there for cutting plastic rod and tubing square, but here's the quick and easy method: Grab a cutting mat with a grid pattern on it. Lay the plastic tube along on of the grid lines. Line up where you want to cut with one of the perpendicular lines, and sit the knife blade on top, also lined up with the grid. Now, gently press down with the knife as you use your other hand to roll the tube forwards across the mat. Don't stress if the knife doesn't go through in one go, just roll the tube backwards and forwards a couple of times if necessary without lifting up the knife off the tube. The rolling motion causes the blade to scribe a neat ring around the tube, and when the knife makes it through to the centre your cut piece will pop off with a nice, square end.



Cut a piece of the 1mm rod that is 3-4mm or so longer than your piece of tube. Glue this into the barrel hole you drilled in the first carbine.



Check for length before gluing the rest in place - Slide the tubing over the 1mm rod, and then dry-fit the 2nd rifle barrel to make sure that it sits flush against the end of the tube. If necessary, either drill out the hole a little more or trim down the end of the rod so that everything sits snug, and then glue it all on place.



The finished unit, ready for painting:



For an alternate take, I built the below version with a sculpted cloak and with a lance that uses one Pulse Carbine from the Trooper sprue, and a front half of a carbine from the Faction Expansion Sprue - that version of the carbine doesn't have hands modeled on, so is easier to use for this. This is a little less fiddly than the plastic tube version above, but doesn't stand out quite as much from the carbine.





If you would like to use the Reaper Cadre in your own games, you can download an unofficial rules card here, and you can pick up the Karist Trooper kit needed to build it from the Maelstrom's Edge 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 Template and Tutorial - Bunker


Posted on Monday May 08, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a template for building a small minehead structure from foamcore, cardboard and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. For something a little larger and more impressive-looking, I have put together a new template for a bunker. This builds on the basic design of the minehead to keep some design consistency on the table.





You will need some 5mm or 6mm foamcore (either will work, although the roof piece will overhang the sides slightly with the thinner foamcore), some thin cardboard - around .5mm thick, PVA glue, and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. A sharp pencil, a steel ruler and a sharp craft knife will get you by for tools.

You will also need the building template, which can be downloaded from here: Bunker.pdf

From the terrain sprue, the following components are used: one of the small doors (either will do), three shutter windows*, two corner braces, the square hatch, and six of the long support struts.



*There are only two shutter windows on a sprue, so you'll need to grab one of the windows from a second sprue. Alternatively, you can build the bunker without the rear window in order to stick to just a single sprue.

Print out the building template, and cut out the panels using steel ruler and knife.



You can then lay the panels on top of the foamcore and card (the parts are labelled for which material they need) and draw around them with the pencil to transfer the outlines. The solid lines on the parts show where you need to cut.

You need multiples of some parts - the quantity required of each is listed on the part. Some parts also say '(flip)' after the quantity. For these, trace the panel once and then flip it over to trace the second. When cutting foamcore with a knife, the back of the piece can wind up a little rougher than the front, so flipping the template makes sure that you have two 'clean' surfaces for the outside of the building.



Once you have traced all of the parts onto the appropriate material, use the ruler and knife to cut them all out. If you have never cut foamcore before, don't try to cut through in one go. Lay the ruler along the line you want to cut, and then make several passes with the knife, working deeper as you go and being careful to keep the knife blade vertical so you don't wind up with a bevelled edge. If you're building the single-sprue version mentioned above, don't cut the rectangle out of the middle of one of the end wall pieces.



The end wall pieces lean inwards, so need to be bevelled at the bottom. Use a knife to cut an angled strip out of the back of the bottom of each of the wall parts.



There is a protrusion on the bottom of the shutter window that needs to be removed. Trim off with a knife or file it down on each of the windows so that the bottoms of the windows are flat. You can then glue the windows into the end walls. They sit angled out at the top, as below. The outer edge of the window frame sits flush with the wall at the bottom, while the back edge of the window should sit against the outside edge of the hole at the top.



Take the two side wall pieces and two of the end walls and glue then together. The end walls sit inside the side walls, as shown below:



Glue the door into the door section.



Then take the door section, the third end wall and the two main walls and glue them together. The end wall sits inside the main wall sections, while the door goes across the other end, outside the main wall as below:



The two sections then slot together, and can be glued in place to form a t-shape.



Glue on the side panels. These sit flush with the front of the door panel, to cover over the cut edge of the foamcore and to reinforce the joint.



Fold the corner panels along the middle fold line, so that they form a 90-degree angle. These can then be glued in place into each of the inner corners of the 't'. You can use superglue for this step to speed things up a little, as there is no exposed foam to worry about. This helps to give the structure some rigidity while the PVA glue sets, and also covers over any messiness or gaps where the walls join.



The roof can now be glued in place.



Glue the two corner braces in place on the roof corners above the door.



Take the support struts and cut off the vent and rivet strip from the end with a knife.



These are then glued onto the end walls, covering over the cut ends of the foamcore. The vent piece goes on the roof, with the rivet strip butting up against the top of the support strut.



Finally, glue the square hatch onto the roof, in the middle of the 't', and your bunker is complete.



Let the glue set, and it's ready for painting.









For variation, you could replace the door section with another angled end wall, leaving access through the roof or underground, for more of a fortified pillbox. Or you could stack the small minehead building on top, making a balcony above the door section for troops to stand on.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can grab the template from here and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. I'd love to see what others can come up with to do with the design, so as always please 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.

Epirian Scorpion Drone Conversion Tutorial and Unit Card


Posted on Monday May 01, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The humble Epirian Drone is a robot of many guises. It was designed as a modular core unit that could have an array of different weapons or motive devices in order to create specialised roles as required. So far in the game we have two of these variants: the Spider and the Firefly. I've had a lot of fun, however, thinking about ways to modify the kit to create other variants, and of the potential things that bored or desperate engineers on frontier worlds might come up with to make their drones fit new roles.

This week, I'm presenting one of the variants that I created: the Scorpion Drone.



Armed with a hefty maglock chaingun, the Scorpion fills a heavy support role when there are no Hunters around to do the job.



This is a fairly simple conversion, using most of a Drone (legs, chassis, left-side nacelle, rear plate, base) and a chaingun and left-side magazine unit from a Hunter - You could use the right side, but I've used the left as it is a leftover part if you build the Hunter with his hydraulic fist.



Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangular pod off the right side of the drone chassis.



Assemble the drone parts as normal.



Assemble the chaingun with the magazine unit upside-down. This helps to conceal the elbow joint cavity, and means that the side glued to the drone chassis is the side with no detail on it.



Glue the chaingun onto the chassis. It should sit with the rear of the magazine unit a couple of millimetres back from the rear of the drone, and the top of the magazine unit more-or-less level with the top of the rails on the chassis. The ejection port will line up with the rear left knee.



And that's it - job's done!



A couple of painted shots of the Scorpion in all its over-sized-weaponish glory:







This was actually the second version of the Scorpion that I came up with. The first looked like this:



This version uses the chemtek sprayer from the Scarecrow kit to create more of a scorpion's tail for the weapon.



I decided to go with the second variant partly to make it an easier conversion, and partly because I thought the weapon mounted on the side looked a little more in keeping with the Maelstrom's Edge aesthetic. The tail is fun, but a little impractical.



If you would like to use the Scorpion in your own games, you can download an unofficial rules card here, and you can pick up the Drone and Hunter kits needed to build it from the Maelstrom's Edge 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.

Tutorial and Spotlight Article Roundup


Posted on Monday Apr 17, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week I'm taking a break from hacking up plastic to put together a listing of the modeling articles that we have posted so far for Maelstrom's Edge. These articles have covered a range of topics, including different options for creating scifi buildings with the terrain sprue, basic painting and modeling techniques, and conversions for new units to expand your games.





TERRAIN TUTORIALS
How-to guides for a range of different terrain, using the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain sprue.














TERRAIN SPOTLIGHTS & WALKTHROUGHS
Less detailed than the tutorials, these articles showcase some other terrain ideas using the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain sprue.
















MODEL TUTORIALS & SPOTLIGHTS
How-to guides and showcase articles on building, converting or painting your Maelstrom's Edge miniatures.




























If you've seen anything here that has lit that modeling flame, you can pick up the various plastic kits currently available in the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.

Maelstrom's Edge also has a Facebook group, known as 'the Comm Guild', where you can post any questions you have about the rules, the models, or upcoming releases, or share your modeling projects. The group can be found here. We love to see what people are working on, so whether you're a modeling veteran or a complete newcomer to the world of miniature wargaming, feel free to join in.

And in the meantime, stay tuned for the plethora of modeling content that we have still coming down the pipeline!

Terrain Tutorial: Scatter Terrain


Posted on Monday Apr 03, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue is a fantastic resource for detailing scifi buildings made from all sorts of things - You can find a bunch of different ideas and tutorials here. The terrain sprue components are also handy though for making smaller detail pieces to scatter around your gaming tables for a little extra cover. I have previously shared a tutorial for building small shipping containers from a couple of doors, some ladders and a little foamcore (you can find that tutorial here), and this week I thought I would run through a few more small scatter terrain ideas.





First up: Barricades



For this, you'll need one garage door, and two trapezoid windows.



Start by removing the door from the door frame. You can do this with a jeweller's saw or razor saw, or by running around the inside of the frame with a sharp hobby knife from both sides until the door pops out.



This gives you an open door frame that you can use on a building or ruin, and a handy detailed panel that can be cut up as below:



Throw the off-cuts into your bits box (they'll come in handy for a ruin or scrapheap down the track, and the strip of small windows is a nifty bit of detail for a building or other wall feature) and glue the trapezoid windows to the back of the lower section of the door.



Once the glue has set, you have some barriers just perfect for huddling behind and feeling all suppressed.



I've painted these up fairly plain, so that they will fit with whatever sort of table I throw them on. You can easily paint them to match your buildings, or paint on mis-matched panels for more of a ramshackle look.






Next: The Orb!



I picture this device as a 3d map tank, so the ball on top would represent either a hologram or a glass ball with a projection inside.

You will need a square hatch, a large pipe fitting, and a suitable-size marble (the one I've used is around 25mm (1") diameter).



No cutting required on this one - Simply glue the pipe fitting to the top of the square hatch, and put the marble on top. If you hold off on gluing the marble in place until you have painted the base unit, you won't need to worry about cleaning stray paint splatters off the glass.



You could also paint the marble, or use a ball bearing or small plastic ball, to make it into a planetary globe sculpture or some other artistic installation.






Next: Public Comm Unit



The little computer screen on the terrain sprue shows up all over the place on my terrain pieces. I picture it as a generic, multi-purpose unit that can be configured to display whatever information or controls are required for any given application. In this case, as a public access comm unit or data terminal.

To build this, you need the small pipe fitting, two corner braces, a computer screen, and a 5mm-long piece of 6mm (1/4") plastic tube. You also need a piece of sprue from the terrain sprue - The sprue has a thicker half and a thinner half. From the thinner sprue, cut a piece around 25mm (1") from a corner, with the corner cut off flush with the length of the sprue piece. The end result is a length of plastic rod with a rounded end that has one flat face, as pictured below.



Take the screen and cut off the wedge-shaped protuberances running along the top. Then glue the corner braces together and the screen into the middle, inside the corners and butting up against the top, so that the corner braces form a shade around the screen.



Then glue the plastic tube into the pipe fitting, and the sprue piece inside that, with the rounded end at the top. Make sure the flat face is parallel to one of the edge of the pipe fitting. Then glue the back of the screen to the flat face of the sprue piece.



Once painted up, these can be glued onto your terrain pieces for a little extra detail. They also stand quite well on their own, or you could glue them to a base for a little extra stability, and then they can be scattered around as needed - they would make handy objective markers.






And finally: Thermal Vents



No self-respecting, quasi-military terraforming base is complete without some sort of underground installation. The problem with underground installations, though, is that they need some sort of ventilation shaft, otherwise nobody has any way to sneak in!

To build some suitable clandestine access, (or just some nice, blocky, solid cover for your solo models, depending on your point of view and the specific game objectives at hand) you will need a shutter window, four corner braces and some thin plasticard - I've used .5mm sheet here.



Take the shutter window and on the rear frame, cut or file down the top edge at around a 45-degree angle, as below, leaving the raised frame at the front intact.



Cut sections of plastcard to run around the window frame. The measurements I've used are below:
Rear section - 21mm wide x 20mm tall
Front section - 21mm wide x 9mm tall
Sides - 23mm wide x 20mm/9mm, to match the front and rear sections.

If you're using thicker or thinner plasticard, you will need to tweak the width of the front and rear sections by a matching amount. You can also change the angle of the window frame by making the side pieces longer or shorter.



Check your plasticard sections for fit, and then glue them in place around the window frame.



The corner braces are then glued around the base.



As with the barricades back at the start, you can paint these up to match whatever buildings you have, or put them in more generic colours to scatter around multiple tables.






That's the lot for this week - although it's just scratching the surface of what you can do with the terrain sprue components. If you like what you have seen here and want to try building some scatter pieces of your own, you can pick up the terrain sprue in a pack of two from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.

We love seeing what people create with the sprues, so as always, please feel free to share your work on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Terrain Spotlight: Welcome to Hamilton!


Posted on Monday Mar 27, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

The frontier world listed in the Epirian Foundation directory as PG-4215 [designation pending] is a barely-habitable planet on the outer fringe of populated space. At the time the Maelstrom approached the system, PG-4215 possessed a single official settlement, known as 'Research & Terraforming Implementation Facility Alpha' by the Foundation and as 'Hamilton' by those unfortunate enough to have been posted there.

With PG-4215's few small, equatorial landmasses being hot, dry, and generally unpleasant, Hamilton's small population very early on had committed themselves to paving over and urbanising as much of it as possible.


Oblivious to impending conflict, an Epirian cargo drone shunts shipping containers for unloading.

Hamilton is the first table setup that I've finished off so far for my own Maelstrom's Edge games. I've used it somewhat as a test-bed for trying out different ideas, with the end result being a bit of a hodge-podge of styles.


Taking up position on the roof of the refectory, the squad watches an automated uplink relay trundle down the laneway.

Buildings have been constructed from a range of different materials, with the components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue helping to tie it all together into a more-or-less coherent whole. The building above is made from a cardboard giftbox with the lid flipped upside down.


In the distance, past the plantation dome, a squad of heavy armoured Karists approaches, weapons at the ready.

The plantation dome was constructed from a plastic salad bowl, with foamcore used for the enclosed area at the front. You can see how this was put together in the walkthrough here.


A Warden conducts a routine maintenance check on the exterior of the planation dome.

Trimmed-down and repainted aquarium plants were used for the plantation beds inside the dome. In the background is one of my first foamcore constructions.


A Hunter warmech on patrol.

Cover is extremely important in Maelstrom's Edge, so wherever possible I have tried to include protruding elements for models to potentially hide behind, as can be seen in the buttressing on the building behind the Hunter.


A Scorpion drone lurks in the courtyard, awaiting instructions from its Handler.

Of course, some details aren't particularly useful for cover, and are just there to look pretty.


On the other side of town, a Hunter on loan from the Swamp Research Team surveys the laneway.

Painting has mostly been kept fairly simple, with the buildings all painted white with some salt weathering to make them look like they've been exposed to the elements on an unfriendly world. I wanted a unified colour scheme to help tie the disparate buildings together, so they would look like the town was cobbled together from various sources, but would still look like it was purpose built for a single organisation.


Lieutenant Bob takes up position on the balcony.

Variations on a basic design can help create a 'kit-home' look, with some different buildings that all clearly belong together. The above building was constructed using a similar template to the first foamcore structure, but with the courtyard removed and a balcony added. You can see the construction of this building in a short video here.


The Karists advance.

If you're aiming for an urban-themed board, it's a good idea to add in some area terrain elements rather than just having a table filled with solid buildings, as this mixes things up a bit for movement and cover. The same template used for Lieutenant Bob's balcony building was used to create a ruin, just by cutting off the roof, bashing things up a bit and adding some rubble on the base.


A lone Karist trooper lurks between the buildings.

In the background above you can see another building made from a plastic storage tray. Check out the build video here.


Scarecrows move to intercept the intruders.

Playing on a themed table is a great way to bring your games to life, as it helps to create the illusion of an actual battlefield, rather than just having a random assortment of different terrain.


Despite imminent conflict, Bob can't resist trying out his new camera drone...

Still to do: I have several more buildings still on the workbench for this board, including a bot storage building and some more small multi-purpose buildings. I'd also like to add some sort of water-treatment pond. This will help to expand out from 4'x4' to a more rounded 4'x6', which is better for standard games. It would also benefit from the addition of more scatter terrain to break up the firelanes a little, which will be my next terrain project:




All of the decorative elements on the buildings shown here are from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. You can find this in a handy two-pack in the Maelstrom's Edge online store here. You can share your terrain creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!