The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

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Assembly Guide - Epirian Suppression Team


Posted on Monday Aug 07, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


The assembly guides on the Maelstrom's Edge website are missing the new units added by the Faction Expansion Sprue. So this week, we're going back to basics and running through assembly of the Epirian Suppression Team.


Assembling Epirian Contractor Suppression Teams



General Notes


Polystyrene cement - only use superglue if you want to go insane! All of our models are designed to be assembled with polystyrene cement as it gives some time to re-pose while gluing, fuses the models together and prevents brittle joins like other glues do. Make sure you have polystyrene cement in your toolkit before you begin!

We want you to experiment! We've broken our models up into lots of parts and given a fair few spare parts so that you can push yourself out of your comfort zone, learn new skills and create some really unique models. We've tried to price things so that it won't break the bank if you make a mistake, so please cut stuff up and have some fun. Start simple with a slice here and a re-pose there, and watch your confidence and skills increase until you are a master modeler!

Basing - Always make sure you glue your model to its base with an eye on the arc markers on the sides of the base. The arc marker indents should be at the halfway point between the front and back of the model to show the front and back halves of the model when gaming. See the Maelstrom's Edge rulebook for more detailed notes on this.

Dry fit before gluing! - There are lots of pose options possible, but that means there is also the freedom to screw up and make some bad poses! Sticking the parts together and seeing how things look will usually lead to a model that is fairly static and repetitive. You should consider knee, hip, torso, and arm positions when gluing and ensure that you have a pose in mind before you start gluing things together. If in doubt or insecure about your talents in the posing area, we recommend you try to copy the poses from some of our studio models found here in the gallery.

Epirian Contractor Suppression Team Assembly Notes


Three Epirian Suppression Team Contractors can be made from the following sprues:

Epirian Contractor Engineer Sprue


Faction Expansion Sprue

Assembly is straightforward and the two above sprues will make up three models with the following parts. Please note that arms are paired, so do not mix them up or you'll have a really hard time putting them in pairs again! Pairing is done by number, so A1/B1 are a pair, as are A5/B5, etc. You can choose between the rolled-sleeve versions on the Contractor sprue, or the sleeves-down arms on the Expansion sprue.


The main build considerations with the Epirian Contractors are that some of the arm poses do not work well with some of the leg poses due to the angles involved, so as always, be certain you dry fit things first. If in doubt, try to copy our studio assemblies for good effect.

As with our Epirian Handler model, the torso has a slight lean to it, and because of that, if you place one foot higher than the other when basing your models, you'll open up much more posing flexibility. This can be done easily by bulking up your basing texture underfoot, adding a pebble or slope to the base, or a multitude of other options.

Cleanup and assembly is fairly easy with the Epirians, with everything going where it should. One point of note is this little mould line on the kneepad strapping:


That raised mould line between the front and rear halves of the part looks a lot better if it is shaved down but as it is a little bit deeper than our usual near non-existent mould lines, it can be missed when trimming. Please note that in the photo above we've used a pre-production prototype piece with mould lines that are much worse than our finished products so that you can see more clearly.

Legs, torso and heads go together as you would expect.


Suppression Team members magnetically lock their 'spare' weapon to their backplate when not in use. So if you choose to have rifles in hand, you can glue the shock weapons to the model's back. Alternatively, you can glue the rifle to their back or sling a pistol off their belt, and put the shock weapon in hand. Use the rifle arms that have the index finger on the trigger, rather than the extended-finger hands - the fingers are close enough together that they still look fairly natural gripping a handle instead of a pistol-grip. The Shock Baton does have a chunkier grip than the Maul, so if you're having trouble getting it to fit, you can shave down the sides of the grip a little.


For some more ideas for building your Suppression Team models, check out the Epirian Suppression Team Spotlight article here.

You can pick up your Contractor and Expansion sprues 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.

Developing Stories for Maelstrom's Edge


Posted on Friday Aug 04, 2017 at 10:00AM in Fiction


One of the things we were most passionate about when we started working on Maelstrom’s Edge was making a new world. We love games where there are lots of stories and background material to get people excited about the context surrounding the game itself - where are the battles taking place, who is fighting and why is there a conflict between them?

As part of the initial universe design, our lead writers Stephen Gaskell and Tomas L. Martin wrote a number of short stories exploring different parts of the setting. These first insights into the Maelstrom’s Edge universe were released in our first short story collection, ‘Tales from the Edge: Emergence’. In addition, during the runup to the Kickstarter for the Maelstrom’s Edge game, we approached a number of other professional writers to provide their take on our world, including exploring new factions, planets and ideas. Now, a second anthology, ‘Tales from the Edge: Escalation’ has been released, containing a wealth of fantastic new short fiction from award-winning and bestselling authors such as Alastair Reynolds, Aliette de Bodard, Jeff Carlson and Jaine Fenn.



From the beginning we also knew we wanted to launch with a set of stories telling the backstory of our first set, the Battle for Zycanthus, and so following on from those initial short stories, Tomas and Stephen wrote the fiction that would become our first two novels, Faith and Sacrifice, set on the planet of Zycanthus. Zycanthus is a frontier planet a few light years from the Maelstrom’s Edge, halfway through terraforming by the Epirian Foundation and their robots. In the boxed game, there is a conflict between Foundation and the shadowy religious group known as the Karist Enclave, who wish to convert the people of Zycanthus to their beliefs about ascension in the presence of the Maelstrom. To set up the battles that people were going to be playing with their miniatures, our team of writers set out to tell the story of what happened on Zycanthus just before the events portrayed in the box set, when the Karist Enclave first revealed itself and the fighting began.

Initially, the task of telling this story was split into two – Stephen Gaskell wrote a series of stories set from the viewpoint of Zafah, one of the Karist missionaries who lands in secret on Zycanthus, whilst Tomas L. Martin wrote the opposing view of the Epirian Foundation, where a backwater Sheriff called Kyle Wynn uncovers the Enclave’s secret invasion. We wanted to publish the books ourselves to have the freedom of getting it to our players in whatever format worked best, but printing a book of that size is challenging and would have meant needing to charge more than we felt was appropriate, so we made the decision to split the story into two smaller novels, Maelstrom's Edge: Faith and Maelstrom's Edge: Sacrifice. You can find them in the Kindle store right now.

What follows is an excerpt from Chapter Five of the first book, Maelstrom's Edge: Faith, where a pair of Epirian lawmakers encounter the Karist Enclave, including a monstrous alien Angel, for the first time.

Kyle Wynn is an Epirian Sheriff keeping the peace in the small desert town of Venusai on the planet of Zycanthus. When he and his partner Randall get reports of terraforming robots disappearing in the desert, they head out to investigate. When they find a set of footprints and strange markings in the sand, they follow them, never expecting the dangers they are heading into...



Maelstrom's Edge: Faith, Excerpt from Chapter Five

Wynn and Randall tracked the footprints for several hours. They sent the drones a few klicks ahead of the prowler, set them crisscrossing the trail with infrared cameras. The evening had really started to set in now, and only the dull purple glow of the Maelstrom in the east gave any illumination. It cast cruel shadows in its sickly half-light.

“I hate that thing,” Randall said, staring up at the bruised sky. “Just staring down at us like that, so you never forget that it’s coming.”

Wynn wondered if the Maelstrom was all that was coming to Zycanthus. When he had been a prospector, he’d heard stories from worlds close to the Edge. Before their destruction, there had been reports of strange creatures attacking isolated outposts, shadowy coups, riots and public executions. These stories seemed to get more and more intense and confused as the Maelstrom got closer, ending in tales of destruction that Wynn had always written off as a product of the panic that set in as the planets fell apart.

Now he wasn’t so sure. The footprints continued to march across the sand for klicks, rarely breaking out of their steady pattern. Wynn thought he could spot at least five different tracks, but he also occasionally saw the imprint of something larger, but always indistinct, as if the thing making the impression was hardly touching the ground at all.

They were nearly at the location of the third terraforming drudge when the signal of one of the patrol drones winked out.

“Huh?” Randall tapped a monitor, on which the drone’s sensor feeds had been replaced by static. “Where did it go?”

Wynn said nothing. He was watching the other patrol drone’s feed. It was hovering above a ravine. In the rocks at the bottom, he could see five figures, clad in frost-white armour. Heavy carbines dangled from their shoulders, and canisters filled with purple energy were strung around their waists. They were the most dangerous looking people Wynn had ever seen on Zycanthus, and they were staring straight back at him.

“Randall,” he said, “We have company!”

Wynn flicked a switch and sent the video feed to Randall’s station. Hidden in a hollow, the group of armoured figures stood, checking heavy looking weapons. From the looks of it, they were military, but Wynn didn’t recognise their markings, two scythe like points either side of a circle, deep black against their white armour.

“Who the hell?” Randall said. “Those are not a bunch of kids. When exactly did we get invaded?”

“Apparently a few days ago,” Wynn murmured, studying the footage. The soldiers held themselves bolt upright, with the discipline of many years of training. Their armour was wickedly curved at the edges, and their helmets had only one eye, with a trio of small lenses where the other eye should have been. “They can see the probe,” Wynn said. “Why aren’t they shooting it down?”

Something flashed across the drone’s camera, blocking the view to the soldiers. Something big. Wynn took in a dark blue body, with a gaping maw above glassy, alien eyes. Below the tortured face, the structure faded away into an amorphous mass of tendrils. Wynn and Randall had one more look at its face before a lithe limb snaked out and snapped into the drone, and the video feed cut out.

“Call for backup,” Wynn said, staring at the screen. “Call for backup right fucking now."

“I’m trying!” Randall said. “There’s no satellite coverage out here, I can’t get a signal.”

“Well, keep trying!” Wynn said. He grimaced as he imagined what that creature would do to the prowler. The vehicle was tough, but it definitely hadn’t been designed to be alien-proof.

“What the fuck was that thing, Kyle?” Randall reached over and locked the prowler’s door. “What did they bring here?”

“I think they called them Angels,” Wynn said slowly, thinking back to the stories he’d heard out in the black. “I heard some spacers talk once about how they show up as the Maelstrom approaches. How the hell did it get here?”

“Sheriff,” Randall said. “How far away was that drone?”

Wynn looked up. In the gloom of the Maelstrom-tinged sky, he could see in the distance the raised silhouette of a pair of recessed cliffs, below which a ravine fell down to the dry riverbed.

“They’re less than a mile away,” Wynn said.

“Who are these people?” Randall said. “And what the hell do they want with us?”

Wynn killed the engine, and reached for his rifle.

“I don’t know,” he said, turning the headlamps and the lights of the cab off. “But I think if we don’t kill them, we’re not going to make it back to Venusai alive.”

“Wait,” Randall said. “Sheriff, what are you doing? Why aren’t we getting out of here?”

Wynn turned and pushed his deputy against his seat, his face close.

“You saw that thing, Randall. That Angel, or whatever you want to call it. Whatever it was, that thing was flying. Do you really think we’d get far?” Randall fell silent. Wynn reached over the seats and grabbed Randall’s shotgun and ammo pack, and shoved them into his deputy’s arms.

“The course they’ve taken,” Wynn told him. “It leads right back to Venusai.”

“What?” Randall’s eyes bulged wildly. Wynn had seen men taken by panic before during the hairier moments of prospecting new worlds. They couldn’t afford for that to happen today. Not if they wanted to get out of here alive.

“Now,” Wynn said as calmly as he could manage, “I don’t intend for that to happen. I intend to stop them before they can go home to Rania, Maggie and the rest of the town. So I’m going to get out of this truck as quietly as I can, move to a defendable position, and take them down. I can’t do it by myself, so I need you to calm down and move with me. Can you do that?” Randall thrashed about for a second, his eyes darting to every possible escape route. Then his body seemed to relax, and he nodded.

“Ok,” he said. “All right. I’m not going to let whoever they are get to Maggie.”

“Then let’s go before they get here,” Wynn said. He pulled his rifle onto his shoulder and cracked open the driver’s door of the prowler.”

“Sheriff, wait.”

Wynn’s heart sunk. If he couldn’t get Randall to overcome his fear, they’d be sitting ducks in the cab of the prowler. But to his surprise, his deputy wasn't cowering. He was clambering over the back seat into the control centre jabbing a finger at the controls. He passed Wynn a headset with a bud microphone curling down from its strap, and then put one on himself.

“We need all the help we can get,” Randall said. “I’m activating all the remaining drones. Even the unarmed ones can provide a distraction.”

“You can’t stay here,” Wynn insisted, pulling on the headset. “You saw what that thing did to the terraformers, we’d be carved apart.”

“I’ll stay long enough to get all the drones moving,” Randall said, stabbing at the control panel, “and then I’ll take the remote headset and move to higher ground. But it’ll take a few minutes to get them all activated, so you should get somewhere you have good line of sight, and I’ll join you later.”

Wynn hesitated for a moment, then nodded and clambered out of the cab. Randall’s plan was about the best they could hope for, and it would do neither of them any good to waste any more time.

He dropped the last few rungs of the ladder to the ground, and set off on a crouching run towards a series of escarpments leading up to a rocky bluff to the right of the prowler. As he left the vehicle he heard the whine of several drones starting up, and a couple sprung up from the rack and began buzzing about the sky, as he pulled himself up onto a prominent cluster of boulders. Wynn dropped to a prone position and unfolded the stock of his rifle, resting it against the edge of the rock, looking down at the prowler some twenty metres away. His rifle, an Ednotech maglock weapon, had been with him since his prospecting days, although he’d upgraded pretty much every component over the years. He cocked the rifle, pulled the butt in against his shoulder and settled his eye at the scope. Just like old times.

For several minutes, nothing happened, except the occasional flash of movement as a drone left the prowler’s rack. Wynn began to hope that maybe the intruders had not heard the prowler, had assumed the drones were on their own and carried on walking. But then he saw a flash of off-white armour plating at the foot of the valley and all thought of getting out without a fight vanished.

“I see them,” Wynn told Randall through the headset. "At the foot of the valley. Try and keep the drones hidden until I can get a shot off.”

“Gotcha,” Randall replied. “Three more to launch.”

Wynn tapped the microphone in reply, and settled into his position. He watched the soldiers advance, using the cover of the boulders that lined the valley, moving in pairs. There was no hope of Wynn getting all of them in one go, they were too well trained for that. His first shot had to work.

One of the soldiers peeled off the main group and crouched, aiming his weapon at the prowler. It was a larger gun than the others, with a belt that fed canisters of what looked like cybel energy into the magazine. Cybel energy, harvested from the cybel network that linked the stars, was incredibly potent and powered many of the ships and industries of the galaxy, but the stuff was so volatile that only the most foolhardy or brave would use it as a weapon.

The soldier barked a command at the other three and fired a round off. The ball of purple-white energy looped up in the air like a mortar shot, splashing into the ground with a sound like thunder. A crater exploded into being in the sand beside the prowler, rocking the vehicle and spraying it with debris but not harming it. With his range sighted, the soldier shifted position for another shot. He would not get another try. Wynn squeezed the trigger of his rifle, sending a bullet straight down the line of the valley. The shot splintered the soldier’s helmet just below the three lenses that covered the soldier’s eye, spraying most of his head onto the rock behind him. The soldier collapsed to the ground, lifeless.

The others span and aimed their carbines in Wynn’s direction, trying to work out where the shot had come from. Wynn reached forward slowly and capped the lens of his scope, hoping to stay hidden for just a bit longer.

“Ok,” he said quietly into the mic, “They know I’m here. Go crazy with the drones, and then get to cover.”

“You got it,” Randall said. A phalanx of patrol drones rose from the stones, pinging laser shots at the soldiers, sending them diving for cover. While they were distracted, Wynn risked another shot, but the soldier in his sights moved at the last moment and the bullet impacted harmlessly into the sand.

One of the drones found its mark, burning a dark hole in the back of one of the soldiers’ armour, sending him sprawling. The remaining intruders sprayed shots at the drones, sending two robots crashing to earth. Then the soldiers hunkered down out of sight and called out to someone behind them.

A tortured sound filled the air, like the squeal of metal on metal. The desert breeze carried the smell of ozone, reminding him of the workshop’s smell when Rania used her plasma cutter. Then the monster emerged from behind the shadow of the escarpment.

The creature was massive, as tall as the prowler. Its features were squid-like in some ways, and bat-like in others, but attempting to compare it to an animal could only vaguely approximate its strangeness. Its body was an elongated smooth surface, with a number of limbs stabbing out from it. Two of these furled back against its body, thin membranes hanging between them as wings. More indistinct limbs propelled the beast along the ground, while at least four more tendrils dangled in front of it, their tips armed with sharp spikes or pseudopods. It was a deep dark purple, almost but not quite black, that seemed to be eaten up by the Maelstrom-tinged shadows of the escarpment.

Behind the creature was a much smaller figure, a crooked, thin man in a hooded robe, carrying an awkwardly large satchel across his back. He had a large staff held in both hands, a large flask of purple cybel energy at its base. The man used the other end to stroke the skin of the creature, and prod it forward towards the prowler. The creature opened the maw at the centre of its body and screamed that tortured metallic sound, like two spaceships colliding.

“Skyfire,” Randall swore. “Are you seeing this thing, Kyle? Is that really there?”

“An Angel,” Wynn muttered. “It’s real all right. You better get out of there.”

“Are you kidding me?” Randall said. “Against that thing? I think I’d rather take my chances in the prowler. Let’s see how it likes a bit of the Foundation’s finest.”

Randall’s surviving drones rejoined their formation, hovering in one place to let the last few launch from the prowler. Then he sent the five robots flying at the new appearance, buzzing the creature with the lasers and light machine guns mounted on their wings and cupolas.

The Angel screeched and flinched at the impacts on its body. Through the rifle’s scope Wynn could see most of the bullets passing harmlessly through the creature’s body, the holes they made closing behind the slug’s passing like it hadn’t even been hit, as if the drones were firing through water. Then with a sudden movement, the Angel leapt forward, its wings unfolding and tendrils leaping out from its body, further than their original length appeared to allow, the creature’s flesh changing in mid-action. Within seconds the drones had been smashed to the floor, strewing mechanical parts across the sand.

“Well,” Randall said in a breathless voice, “Storms. That could have gone a bit better.”

###

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the first novel in the Maelstrom’s Edge universe. You can read more in Maelstrom's Edge: Faith by Tomas L. Martin and Stephen Gaskell - on Kindle now!

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.

Army Spotlight - Epirian Bot Army, Detachment One


Posted on Monday Jul 17, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

The Epirian Foundation utilises a wide array of different bots on the battlefield, and the Maelstrom's Edge roster system allows you to create a force that makes the most use of them in place of human troops. And really, why wouldn't you? Robots!

I had a few assorted bots put together in a weathered metal colour scheme for a few previous articles, and so I decided this week that it would be fun to flesh them out into a usable force.



An army, of course, needs a leader. There are a couple of HQ options currently for Epirian forces, but I already had a Journeyman Bot Handler that I put together a while back and then never did anything with, so decided he would have the somewhat dubious honour of being the lone human in the force.



This guy was built from the Bot Handler sprue, with a few modifications.



The head was taken from the Contractor sprue with a face shield added with some 'green stuff' putty.



I gave him the spread-leg pose by taking both sets of legs from the handler sprue and cutting them apart vertically through the groin, and gluing the opposing halves with the matching straight legs together.



Rather than having him holding his pistols, I thought a mini gun-drone would be fun, so I mounted two pistols under a single turbine taken from a Firefly drone. This little drone is pinned to the Journeyman's shoulder, to give it the appearance of flight without needing a flight stand.

Painting was kept fairly simple, to match the bots that I had already built, and so used the weathered metal process that I've shown in several articles now - red undercoat, followed by a coat of brown, then a metal layer, and then a wash with Army Painter Strong Tone.



Yellow chaps and a shiny red faceplate tie in with the more subdued highlights used on the rest of the force while letting him stand out a little from the crowd of bots.





With paint in place, the Journeyman joins the Hunter mech that I originally painted up for the weathered metal tutorial, and a slightly modified Scarecrow that I built for a spotlight article on the lanky, elite units.



The army wasn't going to get far without troops, and so I grabbed a few Drone sprues and put together two units of Spider drones. To stick with the bot-theme, I made use of the upgrade option to replace the Apprentice handler who normally accompanies units of Spiders with a third drone instead.



To round out this first detachment, I added some fire support from two units of Scorpion Drones. These are a home-brew unit that I created for an article a while back, rather than a standard Maelstrom's Edge unit - You can find their rules card and a tutorial for building them here.



That rounds out the first detachment, which comprises around half of the planned force. Roster-wise, it looks like this:

Command: Journeyman Bot Handler
- second pistol, Command Booster - 17 points

Core: Spider Drones
- replace Apprentice Bot Handler - 9 points

Core: Spider Drones
- replace Apprentice Bot Handler - 9 points

Hammer: Scarecrow Sniper
- 2 linked clingfire sprayers, Overdrive - 5 points

Anvil: Hunter-class Warmech
- 2 flakk cannons, 2 cluster missile pods - 20 points

Anvil: Scorpion Drones - 10 points
- 2nd unit (Multi-unit selection) - 10 points

Total - 80 points.

Next week: Detachment 2.



Spoiler: There will be robots!

If you would like to build your own robot army of doom, 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.

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.

Conversion Spotlight: Epirian Automated Uplink Relay


Posted on Monday Mar 20, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

The dependence on robotic units and information warfare means that the Epirian Foundation relies on electronic communication to function as an effective fighting force. When pursuing conflicts outside of its zone of control, the Foundation uses portable uplinks that link to orbital satellites and airborne recon, providing battlefield intelligence about enemy positions and weaknesses and allowing Bot Handlers to remotely interface with Epirian drones on the ground.

The Maelstrom's Edge rules include an automated uplink relay as a faction-specific objective for the Epirian forces. The uplink itself is represented with a cardboard standee, as it represents a physical object that moves around the board, but I thought it might be nice to have an actual model to represent it. And so, I came up with this:






My kitbash differs a bit from the artwork on the card - the artwork was done while the game was still in its early design stages, before the models were finalised. As a result, the drone chassis that forms the basis of the upper body of the uplink is really too small for the job. The card version also wound up with only a single gun, while the finished version of the uplink, ruleswise, is supposed to have two flakk batteries.

So after initially looking at various ideas using a drone chassis, I went with a Hunter torso instead.

The track unit was purloined from a Counterblast Mekkus Defender robot. Quick and easy to assemble - just two track units and a central hub to which they both attach.



I then took a Hunter torso and cut it off at the waist joint.



A new waist joint was constructed from plastic tubing, to slot neatly into the waiting cavity in the top of the track unit's central hub.



The flakk batteries were constructed from the flakk guns on the drone sprue. I took the two weapon mount parts and joined them together, glued a flakk gun onto each mount and added a third flakk gun, slightly shaved down on either side, inset between the other two. These were then attached to the forearm magazine piece from the hunter to create something reminiscent of the boxy 'shoulders' of the drone chassis from the original uplink artwork.



One of the big, obvious details in the artwork is the big satellite dish mounted on the uplink's left shoulder. I didn't have anything suitably rounded to hand, but in a flash of inspiration grabbed the flakk cannon from the Hunter sprue and chopped through the exposed parts of the cannon barrels. The shield section was then attached at a jaunty angle to the muzzle end of the cannon, and an antenna made from the coaxial barrel from the Hunter's chaingun.



The shoulder sockets were trimmed at an angle so that the weapon arms would sit horizontal. The weapon arms were then glued in place, and the satellite dish and an auxiliary antenna made from the 'spare' weapon on the drone sprue attached to the left shoulder. I also added a square of plasticard to the front of each shoulder to cover over the original weapon attachment sockets. These have an 'X' shape scribed into them to once again tie back to the drone shoulder design. As a final nod to the drone chassis (although this is a detail on the final drone model that is absent from the uplink illustration) I added a pair of rails running along the top of the head, cut from thin plasticard.







I decided to paint this one up to match my original Epirian colour scheme, using Vallejo Yellow Green with a wash of Army Painter Green Tone, and the metal parts painted Vallejo Basalt Grey with a couple of coats of Army Painter Dark Tone.



The tracks were given a light drybrush with Citadel Boltgun Metal (aka Leadbelcher) and then another wash, this time with Army Painter Strong Tone.



The base was urban-ised with a basecoat of Vallejo Neutral Grey and a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey. Some oil stains splotched on with Army Painter Strong Tone, some chipping, and some yellow line markings complete the scene.



And so there it is: One Automated Uplink Relay. Size-wise, it comes in as a perfect match height=wise for the card version. A little more sideways bulk, but that suits it with the size of the base anyway.

It's not a perfect match for the artwork, but I think it's close enough to be recognisable for what it's supposed to be, and is a really easy conversion.

If you would like to have a go at this yourself, you'll need the track unit from Counterblast (or something else like it - there are a fair few options out there for small, tracked weapon units), and a Maelstrom's Edge Hunter (which will also give you the base for the uplink) and two Drone sprues - You'll have enough parts left over to still build complete drones from those sprues with the other weapon options. You can find the Maelstrom's Edge sprues in the online store here.

Be sure to share your version of the completed uplink relay on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Spotlight: Epirian Scarecrow


Posted on Monday Feb 13, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Scarecrows are a mainstay of Foundation design, originally created to protect the wide-open swathes of agricultural assets on newly terraformed worlds, but since reimagined into a deadly military asset. Here, we take a look at the scarecrow kit, and some of the various ways that you can hack it up and get all creative on its shiny, robot posterior.





The Scarecrow sprue builds the regular Scarecrow, and also includes a variant head and command unit for the model's back to upgrade to the Scarecrow command variant, which lets you take an entire army of assorted Epirian robots.


Studio Scarecrow Models

This kit was designed specifically to allow as much poseability as possible, with joints at the elbows, knees and ankles.



This allows you to assemble the Scarecrow into anything from a stationary pose, to walking, running, or even kneeling down (for that extra sniper-y feeling!)


This model had some slight trimming done on the left elbow joint to allow it to bend a little further than normal, but the legs are completely unmodified

The maglock railrifle that makes up the Scarecrow's long-range firepower is designed to sit horizontally on the top of the shoulder pad. Thanks to the flat planes of the shoulder pad, however, it's easy to raise the railrifle up into a 'standby' position by simply gluing it onto the back of the pad instead of the top.



Alternatively, you can substitute the railrifle for the left forearm by cutting the elbow joint off the forearm and gluing it onto the back end of the railrifle.



For a slightly more complicated variant, the below model has the railrifle substituted in for the right arm weapon. The right shoulder was trimmed up slightly to allow the shoulder pad to swing around a little further than normal, the right elbow bent in slightly, and the left wrist sliced through and the hand rotated to support the rifle. The chemtech sprayer is on standby on the robot's back, where I would assume some handy mechanism allows him to swap out the two weapons as required.



A variant of the Scarecrow bot swaps out the railrifle in favour of two linked clingfire sprayers. Each sprue only comes with one of each weapon, so you'll need to steal the second from another Scarecrow sprue, but the weapons are designed to fit onto either arm.

This variant is also useable as a Subjugator bot, an assault mech used by Epirian Suppression squads. While there's no particular need to do anything to make a Subjugator visually different to a regular Scarecrow, why let that stop you?

The below model (which I'm calling a 'tiki-bot') is a stock standard Scarecrow with the command unit trimmed up a little and glued over the face.



If you prefer your crowd control to be more mobile, you can remove the legs entirely and replace them with a handy flight unit, made from scavenged turbines from a Firefly drone (which you'll have left over if you went with Spider drones instead).



For a slightly less out-of-the-box option, you can use a grenade launcher from the Bot Handler sprue and a force rod from the Faction Expansion sprue to make a closer-quarters version of the Subjugator.



And finally, the up-close-and-personal variant, made by swapping out the arms for legs taken from a second kit (this gives the shoulders a slightly wider range of movement) and adding some chainsaw blades taken from a Games Workshop Space Marine kit.



There are no rules for these last two options - I just thought they would be fun to build. I'd love to see what people come up with for them, though!

If you're feeling the urge to create some killer robots of your own, you can pick up the Scarecrow in a pack of two from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here. And as always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Conversion Spotlight: Epirian Mule Cargo Drone


Posted on Monday Jan 23, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

A lot of Epirian tech was originally developed for industrial or agricultural purposes and later modified and adapted for a military role. The Hunter warmech, however, was specifically designed for warfare. I thought it would be fun to see what might happen if the Hunter chassis was retrofitted back to more benign uses, and from that the Mule cargo drone was born.





One of the obvious changes is the removal of the integrated processor unit and replacement with a head formed from the core unit of a standard drone. This was intended to reflect the civilian adaptation of the robot, with the more advanced processor unit swapped out for a less robust, less advanced (and likely much cheaper) alternative. I envisage the Mule as being much less autonomous than the Hunter and more limited in function.

Adding a head ran the risk of making the rest of the robot look a little stumpy by comparison to the regular Hunter, and so I started out by bulking up the feet to give the legs the appearance of extra length.

This was done by adding some platforms under the heel and toe of each foot, and adding a kickplate on the front to help tie these into the shape of the foot. I also added some spikes to the heels, which I imagine being rammed into the ground and used to stabilise the robot when it is lifting something tricky.



For the head, I carefully removed the Hunter's original head unit with an exacto knife.



I then trimmed up a T-shaped piece cut from one of the Hunter's sprues to form the neck. This sits nicely inside the front of the torso.



Taking a drone, I cut off all of the extraneous bits, leaving just the central unit. The hole in the bottom for the Firefly flight stem was widened to the width of the neck shaft, and this was then glued in place.



At this point, the legs and torso were all assembled as normal.



A cargo drone needs lifty arms (yes, that's the offical terminology), and so I took two forearm pieces and cut them off flat on the 'wrist' ends.



Note: You only get one of these forearm pieces on the Hunter sprue. If you have built another Hunter with a ranged weapon on the left arm instead of the hand, you'll have a forearm piece left over just waiting to be used for something like this.

The parts for the forks were then cut from plasticard and glued together.



Once the glue on the forks was set they were attached to the forearms with plastic tubing, to create an assembly that looks capable of rotating, for fine control when toting those bales.



With the arms then glued in place, the Mule looks something like this:





All that's left to do then, of course, is to paint it.

A nice, bright, construction-site yellow was the only possible choice for painting my walking forklift. Metal parts were painted to be battered and weathered, and I added generous amounts of chipping and scratches to the yellow to show that this is a piece of hard-working machinery.









Game-wise, I picture this robot as an upgrade to a Spider drone unit, with minimal combat functionality but the ability to strip Victory Points from objectives at a more rapid rate than normal. It would also be fun to develop the design further and come up with other variants - perhaps a mining drone, an emergency response drone, or a construction unit.

Do you have ideas for your own drone variants? Grab some robot sprues from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore and see what you can come up with! And as always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Epirian Warden Conversion Tutorial and Unit Card


Posted on Monday Dec 12, 2016 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

In amongst my early tinkering with the miniatures released for Maelstrom's Edge, I came up with a concept for an Epirian 'Warden' - a jump-pack-equipped solo character armed with a flame thrower, built rather handily using leftover parts from the Scarecrow and Drone sprues. He proved rather popular, so I've put together a tutorial showing how to build one for yourself.

The original conversion:






Building the Warden

The original version requires a length of guitar string (or similar sized wire) for the flamethrower's fuel line and some pinning to hold the flight rotors in place. In order to keep things easier for beginners, I fine-tuned the design a little, replacing the separate tanks and fuel line with an integrated fuel canister, and slightly changing the way the jump pack goes together.

To build this version yourself, you'll need the following parts:

  • A 25mm base
  • Contractor or Bot Handler legs
  • A Contractor torso and rifle arms (in this tutorial I have used the sleeved arms from the Faction Expansion sprue)
  • A Bot Handler helmet
  • A Maglock Pistol from the Contractor sprue
  • A Clingfire Sprayer from the Scarecrow sprue
  • A Choke Grenade (part F) from the Faction Expansion sprue
  • Two rotors and the Drone side parts they connect to from the Drone sprue




Start by prepping and assembling the legs, torso, head and arms (if you're less confident about getting the arms right, leave them unglued until you have the weapon ready to go on as well!)



To alter the clingfire sprayer to be man-portable, take the sprayer, pistol and grenade and chop them off along the red lines below a knife or razor saw.



The cuts on the pistol and the sprayer should wind up at matching angles - if they don't you may need to sand or shave the back of the sprayer down a little more to make them fit together squarely. Glue the pistol grip onto the back end of the sprayer, and then glue the grenade upright onto the underside of the sprayer's casing. The end result should look something like this:



For the jump pack, take the drone side panels and remove the slight protruberance on the inside edges, where the pin-stripe trim runs around and finishes slightly past the facing of the part.



That lets the two pieces sit flush against each other. Glue them together, and then glue the rotors on. They will be upside down from the way they normally attach on the drone, and the shape of the joint piece on the rotor's connecting strut will cause them the flare backwards slightly when they're glued in. You should wind up with something like this:



The clingfire sprayer can be glued in, and the jump pack mounted onto the model's back. If you sit it on the shoulder straps on the torso back, angled up so that the top end of the pack is just touching the back of the collar, it will glue snugly in place with a nice angle to it - gluing it flat against the model's back makes it look awkward for taking off. Your finished Warden will look something like this:





You can pick up the parts you need to build your own Warden from the Maelstrom's Edge online store (www.maelstromsedge.com - You'll need the Epirian Contractor, Handler, Scarecrow, Drone and Faction Expansion Sprues, although if you already have those units (and went with Spider drones instead of Fireflies) you can probably build the Warden from your leftover parts.

If you're interested in using the Warden in your games, you can find a custom unit card in PDF format here. This card isn't an 'official' release for the game from the design studio, just something fun that I put together myself. So if you're planning on using him in your force, be sure to run it past your opponent first.



I would love to hear any feedback you have on the Warden's rules, or on the conversion and how you went with replicating or adapting it to suit yourself, so please share your creations, questions or comments on the Comm Guild Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MaelstromsEdge)!

Background Fiction - Epiran MATS numbers


Posted on Saturday Nov 12, 2016 at 05:00PM in Fiction


The Epirian foundation is fragmented into many competing franchises. Each maintains control of multiple worlds, and technology and people must be interchanged frequently. Ensuring security on these worlds requires each adult Epirian citizen to be issued with a MATS number. This unique number allows an Epirian citizen to rise to high status on one world, and have that status recognised throughout the galaxy, granting a galactic mobility that would not otherwise be possible without immense personal wealth.

MATS numbers are controlled at the system level, and as such represent an extremely juicy target for infiltrating agents. Getting some fake individuals in to the MATS system is an easy way to gain unfettered access to key Epirian institutions and facilities, and for those desperate to escape a world, can lead to a significant bump in their position on passenger manifests.

Terrain Thursday - Sgt. Oddball's Terrain


Posted on Thursday Nov 03, 2016 at 05:00PM in The Epirian Foundation


Today we share this nice compound by Sgt Oddball over on Dakka. The metals are weathered very nicely and the simple flocking at the base of the building and stencilling on the face of the building really pull the whole model together nicely.

Community Spotlight: Epirians on Guard


Posted on Wednesday Nov 02, 2016 at 05:00PM in The Epirian Foundation


Buildings, Contractors, Epirian, Maelstrom

Sgt Oddball's Epirians make an appearance once again, this time around a small structure he has built. The striking use of bright colour really helps the Epirians to stand out against the cool greys and metallics of the building.

The Comm Guild's community spotlight focuses on sharing something from the Maelstrom's Edge community each week, if you have anything you'd like to get in to the queue, please get in touch with us via the Maelstrom's Edge website

Spotlight: Epirian Contractors


Posted on Monday Oct 31, 2016 at 05:00PM in The Epirian Foundation


It feels like an eternity since we first released images of the Epirian Contractors. Our first sculpt with a new sculptor and manufacturer, getting the scale right took a number of back-and-forth attempts but after a few revisions we were able to create a model that was in scale with our Karist range and served as the starting point for the full Epirian range.

The Epirian sprue has a nice crisp level of detail and managed to cram a lot more on than we thought possible, which is why there are two pistols on each sprue. 5 heads and 5 pairs of arms opens up a lot of nice options for posing. Our Epirian models have a slight lean to them which makes them very difficult to photograph effectively but this is something we think we have continued to improve at. The lean does mean that the models look very nice when they are posed with a slightly raised leg, standing on a rock or similar.

The Epirian hats proved to be a dividing aesthetic. Some people love them, some people hate them. Fortunately, we were able to provide helmets as an alternative option for those who prefer to avoid the more casual hat look. A marmite feature!

The Epirian Contractors are our second best selling models, and are available in sets of 6 from the Maelstrom's Edge website.

Friday Photo - Official Epirian Firefly Drone Colourscheme


Posted on Friday Oct 28, 2016 at 05:00PM in Models


This firefly shows our box art colourscheme in crisp, clear colour. Equipped with dual DCLS weapons, a squadron of firefly drones can really add some major tactical flexibility to your Epirian force.

Community Spotlight: Panic's Doom Marines


Posted on Wednesday Oct 26, 2016 at 05:00PM in The Epirian Foundation


Epirian Doom Team Contracter For Maelstrom%27s Edge, Panic

The flexibility of having a plastic model range is really shown with the ease of head-swaps that can be done. This excellent example by Panic is part of his Doom force, which is a valid Epirian army, themed around the classic first person shooter videogame 'Doom'. The right colourscheme and a simple head swap really changes the feel of the model. We'll be sharing a lot more of Panic's amazing work in the future!

The Comm Guild's community spotlight focuses on sharing something from the Maelstrom's Edge community each week, if you have anything you'd like to get in to the queue, please get in touch with us via the Maelstrom's Edge website