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Terrain Tutorial: Hack the Terrain Sprue!


Posted on Monday Oct 15, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue contains a slew of assorted plastic bits and pieces that can be used to pretty up your home-made scifi terrain, including a bunch of essential elements like doors, windows and pipe fittings. This week, I'd like to share a few tips and tricks for squeezing a little extra versatility out of the terrain sprue and adding some extra touches of detail to your buildings.



The terrain sprue in all its glory! While it's loaded with all sorts of interesting bits that can be clipped off and glued on to your buildings as-is, a little careful cutting and some extra materials will go a long way towards adding that extra detailing that helps to finish things off just right.


Handrails

An easy one to start with! The ladder from the sprue can be used for making railings for balconies or walkways, by cutting off one side along the red line shown below, with a razor saw or exacto knife. The lintel piece, cut down to length, is perfect for filling in the corners:



Alternatively, you can just glue the intact ladder sideways onto the outer edge of your walkway or platform, like this:



Ventilation Ducts

The large pipe fitting can be used for creating ventilation ducts with the addition of a fan blade made from plasticard or thin cardboard. Use the fitting itself as a template for the fan, by holding it upside-down against your plasticard or cardboard and drawing around the inside with a sharp pencil:



(In case you're wondering, you use the fitting upside-down for this because it flares out at the bottom. So if you draw around with the fitting right-way-up, your fan is going to wind up too wide to fit in)

Next, you can flip the fitting up the right way, and use the buttresses as a guide to make six marks around the circle:



The join the marks across the circle, and along each of the resultant radial lines make another mark 2mm out from the centre.



Then cut out the circle, and cut inwards along each radial line up to the inner marks. Dry-fit it inside the pipe fitting to make sure it goes in, and sand around the edge if necessary so that it goes in easily - you don't want a tight fit, as it will deform slightly in the next step.



Now gently twist each of the segments around the circle to create a fan shape. If you're using plasticard, go gently here to avoid snapping it - cardboard is a little more forgiving at this step. Obviously, you also need to make sure that you twist each segment the same way, otherwise your fan is going to run into some operational issues.





Your fan blade can now be glued in place inside the pipe fitting by applying a small amount of superglue around the edge and pushing it into place.



Once it's been glued into place on your building and painted, you ventilation duct can look something like this:



You can also create a more compact version using the smaller pipe fitting and a rotor assembly from an Epirian Firefly Drone. Simply trim off the mounting strut and fin from the rotor piece to make it circular, and glue it to the back of the pipe fitting, as below:



You'll need to cut a small hole in whatever surface you're mounting this on for the rotor assembly to sit in, so that the pipe fitting can sit flush.

Chimney Pipes

I always try to look out for ways to make use of all of the leftover sprue that builds up from all of those plastic projects. The round sprue used on this terrain set is particularly useful with just a little help from some plastic tubing. Take the small pipe fitting, an 'L'-shaped piece of the thinner side of the terrain sprue, a square cut from the bottom of one of the support struts, and a couple of short pieces of 7mm (1/4") plastic tubing (Plastruct, Woodland Scenics or the like).



The 7mm tubing fits nice and snugly into the small pipe fitting. In a happy coincidence, the thinner section of the terrain sprue fits just as neatly into the 7mm tubing. If you remove any extraneous casting gates and mouldlines from the sprue piece and fit it all together, you can do this:



This can be then glued in place wherever seems appropriate, and can be easily reconfigured to match your terrain using different combinations of sprue sections and/or extra bits of tubing or support strut sections.





Trouble-free Doors

Some people have been using various plastic containers, storage trays or home guttering sections in conjunction with the terrain sprue to create some interesting buildings for their MEdge tables. One of the big problems with some of these options, though, is that the doors need to be inset into the walls, and cutting some plastics easily and cleanly in order to do so can be problematic. So I came up with this solution:

Take a door, and three support struts.



Trim off the support struts along the red lines in the below diagram, keeping just the middle pieces. Note that the top piece in the below picture is slightly different to the other two, which have a rivet strip left on one end:



The glue them in place around the back of the door frame. The strut piece from the top of the diagram goes along the top, and the other two (which, unless something's gone horribly wrong, will be identical) go down either side with the rivet strip at the top.



This can then be glued in place on the wall of whatever you're using to make your building, with no cutting of the wall required.



These are just a few ideas that I've found useful when constructing terrain. One of the great things about a product like this is the more-or-less limitless possibilities opened up through the ease of working with plastic components and the open-ended nature of the construction allowed by it. It's always great to see people take the sprue and find new and unexpected ways to use the components on it. So why not give it a go? You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: Building made from foamed PVC and the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue


Posted on Monday Sep 24, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've showcased a couple of customised Plast Craft Games buildings in the past - a scifi-d up pagoda, and a similarly modified western building. These kits are made out of a foamed PVC board which was really fantastic to work with, so I decided to track down some similar board to have a crack at putting together some of my own designs with it, with the below result:



Slightly unusually for my projects, I started this one by sketching out a plan to see how everything would fit together. This was partly due to my desire to take advantage of the flexibility of the PVC by adding a curved front wall to the building, so I wanted to make sure that I had my dimensions correct before I started cutting.



Once I was confident that I had it all worked out, I pencilled up the various panels that made up the building onto the sheet of PVC, and then used a steel ruler and hobby knife to cut it all out. The foamed PVC cuts really easily with a knife, and also sands well. It feels almost like something halfway between cardboard and foamcore*, without the inherent frailties, like the risk of damage from moisture or spraypaint.

*For the uninitiated, Foamcore, also sometimes called Foam Board, is a material made up of a thin sheet of expanded polystyrene sandwiched between layers of paper or thin card, and is a common building material for wargaming terrain and scale building construction.



Once everything was cut out, I did a quick dry-fit to check that everything slotted in where it should.



The curved panel on the front was made by cutting the piece to the right size and then laying it over an old baby formula tin while heating it with a hair dryer. This achieved the desired curve, but I suspect the hair dryer was a little too hot for the material as it caused it to swell on some of the cut edges. Next time around, I'll try just immersing it in hot water for a minute instead.



The door and windows are taken from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I cut the holes in the wall panels for those by sitting them in place, drawing around them with a pencil, and then cutting the resultant rectangles out with a hobby knife.



I wanted a walled roof area for troops to take cover on, so marked down 20mm inside each wall and glued in some strips of leftover PVC to act as support.



The walls, door and windows were all glued into place, and the roof dropped into place with a little more glue. I used superglue for assembly - this grabs really well, and quite quickly, on the foamed PVC.



As the last step before painting, I took support struts from the terrain sprue and glued them over the exposed joints on the walls.



That left me with the building itself assembled, and a few details to add on once the walls were painted. For some added sturdiness, I glued the building down to a square of 5mm masonite.



To kick off the painting, I sprayed with red right around the top of the walls.



I then applied a line of masking tape over the red paint, just below the tops of the walls. I lined this up with one of the panels on the support struts, to make it look neater.



The whole building received a coat of a nice, sandy brown colour.



This was followed up with a spray of white from above, leaving the sandy brown in the crevasses and undersides of the detail.



(And yes, it does feel a little absurd to take a white building, and apply three different coats of paint just to wind up with a white building again!)


Once the spray was dry, I peeled off the masking tape, and painted the base and the roof with Vallejo Basalt Grey.



Everything was weathered with a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal (for a how-to on sponge weathering, check out the article here!), and the base and roof were drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey and a little white.



I dirtied everything up with a generous drybrush here and there with Vallejo Beasty Brown.



The lower edges of the weathering on the red strips was highlighted with a little Citadel Tentacle Pink and Army Painter Pure Red, and I blacklined some of the deeper detail lines on the terrain sprue components. The 'puddle' stains were added with Army Painter Strong Tone and Dark Tone, by dripping small drops onto the board and leaving it to dry.



For the finishing steps, I added a fan on one wall using the large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue some plasticard, built a small pipe coming out of the back wall using some more terrain sprue pipe fittings, a couple of short pieces of plastic tube and a piece of sprue cut from the terrain sprue, and hung a ladder on the back wall. To add handrails to the top of the ladder, I trimmed away the top rung, and cut a couple of pieces of sprue that looked about right, added a ninety-degree bend with by bending carefully with pliers, and then gluing it all in place. The ladder was painted using my normal weathered metal technique.

The end result looks like this:














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

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian SecDef Heavy Weapons Team conversion & rules!


Posted on Monday Sep 17, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The addition of the SecDef to the Epirian lineup adds a much more 'military' feel to the faction, and I've been having a lot of fun exploring that with the models. I previously added my own homebrew SecDef Lieutenant and Scout Walker unit cards to the force builder (and if you missed the article, you can see how they were built here), and this week, I'm fleshing them out a little more with the addition of a dedicated heavy weapons team, based on the Master Bot Handler exo-suit.



My idea was for a slower-moving, but more heavily-armed team variant, for those situations that call for a little more firepower. With that goal in mind, I grabbed some parts from the SecDef and Master Handler sprues, and went to work!

From the Master Handler sprue, I took a torso and backpack, the weapon support arms and two weapons (I used the flakk guns, but it doesn't really matter which you use as you only want the mounting ring on the back of them). From the SecDef sprue, I took a head, two arms, two legs and a pair of machine guns.



I didn't want these guys to be quite as heavily armed as the Master Handler, so the first step was to remove the missile racks from the top of the backpack. I sliced them off using a razor saw, and cleaned up with a hobby knife to get rid of any rough cut marks.



As the SecDef arms have small shoulder pads on them, I removed the ridges that sit directly over the Master Handler's shoulders on each side of the torso. Otherwise, the arms would wind up sitting too low.



For the weapons, I cut the mounting ring from the back of the Master Handler's guns, and the grip and trigger assembly from the top of the SecDef gun, and then glued the mounting ring to the back of the machine gun's butt.



From there, the body was assembled pretty much as you would expect...



And finally, the weapons were glued onto the outside of the forearms - I didn't bother adding any specific mounting for them, as I figure they would magnetically lock to the SecDef exoskeleton's wristbands. Then I glued the support arms in place, and the model was ready for painting!



The same process works with the chainguns on the SecDef sprue, although in that case I also removed the weapon butt before attaching the mounting rings, to avoid the weapon looking too long against the model's arms.

For the team sergeant, I used a pointing arm, and for something different I put the gun for that arm in a 'standby' position. When he needs it, the support arm would drop it down and it would maglock to his wrist, ready for action.



Of course, pretty models are only half of the story! I have also generated an unofficial rules card for the heavy weapons team, which you can find in the Force Builder section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.








To build your own heavy weapons team, you can pick up the Master Handler and SecDef sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: 'Honest' Pete's Trading Post


Posted on Monday Sep 10, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of packs of scifi shipping containers from a company called 'Laser Cut Card'. They produce a range of different vehicles and building kits that are laser cut out of stiff cardboard, which are much cheaper and easier to work with than the more common MDF kits, and are surprisingly sturdy when assembled. I built four of the six containers I received as normal shipping containers, but then couldn't resist doing something a little different for the fifth one. And so for this week's modeling spotlight, I'm running through the construction of 'Honest' Pete's Trading Post!



The shipping containers come flat-packed in a set of three, with some pictorial building instructions on the back of the package insert, but assembly is essentially to roll a sheet of pre-scored card into an octagonal tube and then glue other bits onto the outside of it. I assembled mine with superglue, although you could use wood glue if you wanted to allow a little more working time to make sure you have everything lined up.



Obviously this wasn't going to be a particularly large shop, so the idea was to have a servery-style counter and awning rather than have customers go inside. So I began by cutting one of the large sections off the main body piece of the container, and then gluing the ends on to the result sideless tube.



A shop needs somewhere to put their merchandise, so I threw together a set of shelves from thin plasticard, to run along the back wall of the container. An angled bottom on the uprights allowed the shelves to sit flush against the container side.





Next up I cut another couple of strips of plasticard to create a counter, about a third of the height of the space in the container wall, and glued this in place.





For the finishing touches, I cut some 'concrete' stands for the container out of 5mm foamcore. These serve to lift the container up very slightly to allow a little extra head-clearance for the awning, and make the structure look more stable. The exposed foam center was sealed with a generous coat of PVA glue so that it wouldn't dissolve when hit with spray paint.



I added some corner reinforcing to the bottom of the front edge of the awning piece using some scrap card pieces, and built some corner support posts using the small pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, some plastic tube and a couple of lengths of plastic cut from the sides of the terrain sprue itself.



Finally, I took a large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and added a fan cut from a piece of thin plasticard. I trimmed the edges of the pipe fitting away so that it would fit neatly over the circular detail on the roof of the container.



At this point, the trading post was looking like this:



With an MDF base added, and some paint on:



The sign on the awning was a last-minute addition. I was originally going to have the trading post sign on the front of the counter, but realised that this wouldn't be hugely visible on the gaming table, so built a quick rooftop sign from some more scraps of card. I also added a mesh grill above the counter after painting inside the container, to make the interior of the store less accessible.



The container was sprayed with black and then Army Painter Army Green, before being sponge-weathered with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and dirt weathering drybrushed into the creases with Vallejo Beasty Brown. The text for the signs was created in Gimp, printed, and glued on prior to weathering so that it would match the rest of the container.



I added grafitti on the back and sides of the container to give it a little character and to make sure that all the interesting bits weren't on the front.



The grafitti was sketched in with a black fineliner pen, and then painted in whatever colours seemed appropriate.



The roof was left plain, with just the weathering to break up the green.



As an extra little detail, I printed up a shipping carton and some bottle labels using Gimp, adapting the fronts I made for my Vending Machine templates a few weeks back (article here). The shipping carton was cut and folded, and then weathered with a little Army Painter Soft Tone, while the bottle labels were glued to some bottle bombs taken from the Broken Infantry weapons sprue with their rag wicks cut off.





And with that, 'Honest' Pete's is ready for the table!




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

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

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

Conversion Spotlight and Rules: Broken Skyboarders


Posted on Monday Sep 03, 2018 at 06:00PM in The Broken


- by Iain Wilson

Back when the plastic Broken Infantry kit was released, I cobbled together a conversion of a broken warrior riding a hovering skateboard-type affair, which featured in my 'Easy Broken Rabble Conversions' article. At the time, it was just something made for a little fun, but I found myself thinking that this would make for a cool unit option for the Broken, and so decided to sit down and write up some rules for them. Below you''ll find some ideas for building your own skyboarders using asorted components and some plasticard, and a link to the (unofficial) rules card to use them in your own Maelstrom's Edge games!



The primary consideration when putting together any sort of vehicles for the Broken is that they rely on scavenging and trading for whatever they can get, for the most part. As a result, there is very little uniformity in clothing and equipment, and I really wanted to carry this across to the skyboard unit. This meant coming up with three different designs for the three models in the unit, although you could just as easily stick with a single design and custimise them with additional bits and pieces stuck on, or simply with individualised paint schemes on the boards.



The first board is the one I build for the original article. I didn't take any in-progress pics of this at the time, but it's a fairly basic constructions - I glued two rectangles of textured plasticard together for the board itself, and then took four turbines (two left and two right) from Epirian Firefly drones, cut away the mounting pins and glued them onto the sides of the board. The rider was assembled from standard broken parts, posed to look like he is balancing on the board, which didn't actually require any converting.



My second board was also based on Firefly turbines, but this time I used two of them with the mounting pegs and trailing wings removed with a sharp hobby knife, as below:



I measured out the board on a piece of 2mm plasticard, allowing space for the turbines at either end with room for the rider to stand in between them. Then I drilled out holes the size of the turbines using a spade bit - a 10mm bit was very slightly too small, but was all I had. A little sanding after drilling the hole pushed it out to the right size.



I cut the board shape out, sanded down the edges, and glued the turbines in place in the holes. I also added a 'motor' piece using the heat shield cut from a torch (flamethrower) and a trimmed down overcharged powercell, but found on the Broken Infantry sprue.



For the final board, I made use of a part of a pipe fitting piece I had left over from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, from a building project a while back. I had cut through the pipe fitting to make it shorter, which left a nice circular piece that looked just perfect for a turbine surround. I cut a matching hole in a piece of 2mm plasticard using a 12mm spade bit, and then cut the plasticard to the shape I wanted.



I made the turbine fan itself out of a circle of 1mm plasticard, and added a circle of mesh to go over the top side of the hole, and a strut to hold the fan, using an injection point cut from an old model sprue. With all of this glued in place, I finished up with another overcharged powercell added for some sort of nod towards functionality.



After building riders for the two new boards, again just using components from the Broken Infantry sprue with minimal modification, I drilled holes in the bottoms of the boards to attach flight stems at suitably jaunty angles. With some paint thrown on, the skyboarder unit wound up looking like this:



Obviously, this is only a starting point - you can let your imagination out for a run and come up with different skyboard designs using whatever components you have on hand. The sky's the limit! (Sorry...)

As promised back at the start, I write up a rules card to include these guys as a Vanguard option in your Broken force. You can find this in the Force Builder section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.








To build your own Skyboarders, you can pick up the Broken Infantry kit along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: PVC Pipe and PC Fan Cooling Towers


Posted on Monday Aug 27, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

On one of my periodic rambles through the plumbing department at the local hardware store (because how else would I spend my weekends?) I came across some pipe fittings that I thought would be just perfect for some different line-of-sight-blocking terrain to break up the sea of square buildings on my urban table setup. With the addition of a couple of old computer fans and a few components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, I had a trio of cooling towers ready for the table.



The part that I used for the main body of the tower is a 'round socket downpipe' intended for rain guttering on a house.



As the downpipe is made of PVC, and is quite shiny, I started out by giving it a light sand with some fine grade sandpaper. This provided a better surface for glue and paint to adhere to, and also allowed me to remove the embossed manufacturer logo on the side.



Cooling towers tend to be largely featureless constructions of plain concrete, but that's a bit boring for a gaming table. So I grabbed four reinforcing struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and chopped off the two square sections from the end, so that the remaining length would fit neatly onto the wider portion of the downpipe. Then I glued the pieces on using an 'all plastics' superglue, which is a two-part superglue that has the normal glue plus a 'primer' that goes on first to help strengthen the bond. For a more flush fit, I could have sanded down the side of the downpipe where the strut pieces would sit to form a flat strip on the curved surface, but the struts are narrow enough that the gaps that result from gluing them straight to the curved side aren't really noticeable, so I didn't bother.





To add some detail to the inside of the tower, I dug out an old computer fan from my box of assorted 'probably use this for terrain one day' rubbish hobby material. Using a pair of heavy-duty clippers, I snipped through the struts that held the case on the outside of the fan.



On the inside of the downpipe, there is a ridge where the thinner and thicker sections meet. I cut a piece of 2mm thick plasticard to fit neatly onto that ridge, providing a platform for the fan to sit on. I glued the plastic strip in place, but left the fan unglued for now, to make painting easier.





Painting went through a process that is probably familiar to anyone who has been following these articles. I started by undercoating with flat black spray.



Next I sprayed with a medium grey, and to add some texture to the flat surface added a light spray of light grey while the first coat was still wet. This creates a nice, dappled, concrete-like effect. As I only had gloss grey sprays on hand, once the grey was dry I gave the tower a generous coat of Testors spray lacquer. This both kills the gloss and protects the paint from scratching off the PVC as easily.



Next, I gave the strut pieces a coat of Vallejo Beasty Brown...



...followed by a quick drybrush of P3 Pig Iron...



...and finally a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone. While all of this was going on, I also cut a square of Masonite for a base, sprayed it grey, drybrushed with light grey and white, and added some hazard stripes that I created in Gimp and printed out. These were glued in place with PVA glue, and then weathered with a sponge and some medium grey (you can find a tutorial on sponge weathering here).



The fan was sprayed with some Rustoleum Aged Brass, and then given a light drybrush with Pig Iron, before being glued in place inside the tower.





The tower was glued onto the base - I lightly sanded the bottom of the downpipe to remove any spray paint, and then used the 'all plastic' superglue again. Finally, some weathering was added with a large drybrush and some more Beasty Brown.



I had bought three downpipes, but found that I only had two computer fans that matched. Rather than use a mismatching fan in the third tower, I decided to make one battle-damaged by cutting away a chunk of one side. I left a part of the fan platform to provide a place for a model to stand, and glued the pieces of the tower side inside and underneath the platform to give it some support. Obviously the tower was hit with some sort of implosion device, or a cleanup crew sorting out the damaged tower just threw all of the rubble inside to get it out of the way until the tower could be replaced.



The three towers together, ready for gaming:





To build your own cooling tower, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Karist Shadow Walkers


Posted on Monday Aug 20, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm taking a little break from new releases this week to have a look back at another of the original release units - The Karist Shadow Walker!




The Shadow Walker sprue contains two different torsos (twisted in different directions from the front) and two of each arm in different poses. This allows you to create two very different, dynamically posed models from those parts. You can find the general assembly guide on the Maelstrom's Edge website here.





Somewhere along the design process, the sprue went from being intended to create a single model to including parts for two full models with the lack of only a second head. Luckily, several other Karist kits come with extra heads, so it's not too difficult to purloin a leftover in order to build that second Walker. The right hand model below uses the bare head from the Karist Trooper sprue, and there's another bare head available on the Faction Expansion Sprue.



Alternatively, the resin Karist Heavy Weapons set comes with two troopers and three heads - two helmeted, and one bare. The helmeted heads are very similar in style to the Shadow Walker's, with a couple of extra eye lenses. The model below has also been reposed slightly, with the right arm extended and filled with 'green stuff' putty, and the right shin repositioned so that his front foot matches his line of fire.



While we're reposing our models, it is really easy to add a little more motion to the pose by cutting off the bent leg just below the knee and reattaching it at a sharper angle and off the ground, to create a 'lunging' pose. The below Shadow Walker has clearly just Rifted in and is charging into the action:



Borrowing parts from different kits does, of course, work both ways. The Karist Praetorians below were given Shadow Walker legs to help them stand out a little from regular troopers and to create a more dynamic pose than is possible from the Trooper legs. The added loincloths are from the Faction Expansion sprue.



As I was working through these models, I found myself wondering what it would look like if Shadow Walkers had their own specialised mini-factions. From there, I wound up with the 'Shadow Dancer', carrying a regular cybel blade on place of the usual Shadow Walker's wrist-mounted version, and with an added prehensile, mechanical topknot which, I expect, would whip around as the Dancer flips and whirls about his opponents, and shoot out toxic darts or hallucinogenic gas from the emitter on its tip. The cybel blade was taken from the faction expansion sprue, and the topknot made from a piece of guitar string and the muzzle from a Karist radwave emitter.



By contrast, the 'Shadow Stalker' eschews close range combat where possible, opting instead to carry out his work from afar with his nox rifle. This model has an assault rifle arm taken from the new Broken Forsaken Tech Chieftain model with the bayonet and muzzle removed and a silencer made from a length of plastic tube attached. The head is the bare head option from the Karist Heavy Weapons pack.



I don't have a name for this next one yet (feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!) but how about a Shadow Walker sect that has found an alternative to teleporting? Using arcane science to fuse Angel DNA to the human form, this Shadow Walker variant is equipped with void-gel wings!





Of course, if you're going to have bizarre sub-sects of the Karist Walker breed, it wouldn't be too surprising to have a clandestine offshoot of the regular Kaddar priesthood overseeing them. And so the Kaddar Noctis was born - like the flying Walker above, this model fuses Human and Angel DNA, with the traditional Shadow Walker cybel blade replaced with an Angel's void-gel tentacles. The legs and torso are from the Kaddar Nova sprue, with most of the Cybel reactor removed and replaced with a modified cybel glaive head from the Faction Expansion sprue. Arms and head are from the Shadow Walker sprue, with the small tentacle parts taken from a pair of Mature Angel models.








To add some sneaky, pointed 'negotiation' to your own Karist Force, you can pick up the Shadow Walker along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Converting Broken Chieftains


Posted on Monday Aug 06, 2018 at 06:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

This week we released the second of our resin Forsaken Chieftain models for the Broken faction. These two models allow Chieftains to take a few extra options that weren't available from the plastic kit, and are a wonderfully characterful pair of models. However, since I find it physically painful* to assemble models the way they were intended to be built, I thought I would take this opportunity to slice a few of them into pieces and see what interesting conversion possibilities they opened up.

*May not be an actual medical condition, but why take the chance?



Built straight out of the package, the two models each come with a pair of weapon options. The 'regular' chieftain has a xeno spotter perched on his/her (it's deliberately ambiguous) raised right hand, and also has a two separate left forearms, one with a poisoned blade and the other with a trophy melee weapon. The 'tech' chieftain has two separate right arms, with a custom beam blastgun and a custom slug rifle.



You can easily double-up your command options by using the leftover weapons on plastic Broken Rabble bodies. On the below models, I equipped one with the leftover slug rifle by slicing off the locator peg and gluing it on in place of a regular plastic arm. The other has the leftover trophy weapon in place of the plastic forearm, which just requires cutting the lower arm off just below the elbow and gluing the weapon arm piece in its place.



Parts can also be mix-and-matched onto the resin Chieftain models to switch around the available options a little. On the below tech Chieftain model, I left off the resin right arm and equipped him with a plastic arm and beam pistol from the Rabble sprue, and cut off his left arm at the elbow and attached a trophy weapon from the other Chieftain model.



On the regular Chieftain below, I replaced the right forearm with a plastic one, and added a regular blastgun from the Rabble weapon sprue. I also cut off a plastic left forearm and added a grenade.



For a more action-posed Chieftain, I cut the legs off this one at the waist, using a razor saw. Then I glued on a pair of running legs from the Rabble sprue, added a slightly modified slug pistol hanging off the belt, and glued the xeno spotter on tilted just a little bit forwards.



Since I now had a pair of leftover Chieftain legs, I did the obvious thing and glued them to a Karist heavy weapon trooper torso I had left over from a previous conversion. This Chieftain has the right arm with custom beam blastgun from the tech Chieftain, and a left arm and alien head from the Rabble sprue.



Mixing things up a little more, I added a xeno spotter and trophy weapon to a Broken Sig Jammer body, to create a less ostentatious Chieftain model. A head and left hand from the Rabble sprue finished the conversion off nicely.



And finally, a Chieftain equipped with a trophy weapon from a more civilised age, which is apparently less clumsy and random than a blaster. The laser sword is made from an overcharged powercell from the Rabble sprue, with a cut-down blade stolen from a Star Wars figurine. I also cut the left arm off, carefully cutting around the cape so that a plastic arm would fit in neatly underneath it. This Chieftain will no doubt take to the battlefield and display his displeasure at the lack of faith shown by his underlings...





Hopefully, that's inspired you to have some fun with your own Chieftains. You can pick up the resin Chieftain models, the plastic Broken Rabble sprues, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, from the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: Cardboard Tube Storage Tank


Posted on Monday Jul 30, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

It's been a few weeks since I built any terrain and I'm starting to feel withdrawal symptoms, so this week I have busted out the foamcore and terrain sprues, raided the recycling bin, and built a quick little storage tank for my newly assembled elite Epirian SecDef units to hide behind.



The main body of the tank is made from a small Pringles can. This of course requires you to remove the Pringles from said can, which my wife was happy to take care of for me. If you don't know anyone willing to make this sacrifice for you, you could use any other appropriately-sized tube. For the tank on my plantation dome, I used a metal tin. You could also use soft drink cans, cardboard postal tubes, or even roll your own out of cardboard or plastic sheet.



I used foamcore for the end supports. For the uninitiated, foamcore (also sometimes called foamboard) is a craft board that is comprised of a thin sheet of expanded polystyrene foam sandwiched between two sheets of stiff paper or thin card. Because it's lightweight but fairly strong, it's a fantastic material for building terrain.

I marked out the shapes that I wanted on the foamcore with a pencil, and then cut them out using a sharp hobby knife and a steel ruler.





As I wanted a worn concrete look for the ends, I used the hobby knife to roughly shave away the edges along the top and sides, and then used fine sandpaper to smooth the cut edges of the paper down.



For the access port on the top of the tank, I took the square hatch and corner reinforcing from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and cut a piece of plasticard sheet to an appropriate size to fit them all on it with a little room to spare for visual effect.



I then cut four strips to run around the outside of the top plate. To replicate the curve of the tank for the two strips that would run across it, I positioned the bottom of the Pringles can on the plasticard lined up with the bottom corners of the strip and traced around it with a pencil, and then cut along the resultant arc with my hobby knife. Because the bottom aluminium strip on the can is slightly larger in diameter than the actual can, this doesn't create a perfect fit, but it gets it close enough that you can sit it in place to see where it needs a little shaving with the knife to sit flush.





The strips were glued in place with plastic cement, and when that was set I flipped the construction over and glued the terrain sprue components in place as well.





To add a little detail to the outsides of the tank ends, I cut some sections off the long support struts on the terrain sprue, and also assembled a little computer terminal by trimming down the comm panel and cutting a piece off the end of the lintel piece.





One end got two of the support strut pieces, and the other end another two strut pieces, the computer terminal and a small pipe fitting, all glued in place with superglue.



I then glued the foamcore pieces onto the ends of the tube with superglue. One end of the tube is rolled cardboard, which glues just fine to the foamcore. For the tube's aliminium end, I gave the superglue a little extra help with a primer from an 'all plastics' two-part superglue.



A little more superglue was used to stick the access port in place on top.



The final step before painting was to paint the exposed foam on the foamcore sections with PVA glue. This protects the foam when the base coat is sprayed on, as most spraypaints will partially eat the foam. If you're painting with a brush, or with a specific foam-friendly spray, this step is unnecessary.

I basecoated the whole tank with a Rustoleum quick-drying grey primer to get a consistent base for painting over, and then hit the tank itself with a spray of Army Painter Dragon Red.



I could have saved some repainting here by masking off the ends to avoid overspray from the red, but it didn't really seem worth the bother. I just used a large, flat brush to add another coat of grey (in this case Vallejo Neutral Grey) over the end pieces, added some weathering to the red using a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal (you can find my tutorial on sponge weathering here) and added a layer of Vallejo Beasty Brown over the terrain sprue components.



To create a nice concrete look, I drybrushed over the end pieces with Vallejo Light Grey, and then added a highlight with a lighter drybrush of P3 Morrow White. The brown components received a heavy drybrush of Citadel Boltgun Metal (now called 'Leadbelcher', but I'm still working through a lot of old paint!)



Next up, I gave all of the metal parts a generous wash of Army Painter Strong Tone, and put it aside to dry.



While the wash was doing its thing, I cut an 8"x8" square of masonite, sprayed it with a coat of grey primer, and drybrushed with the Light Grey and some white. I also marked out a square in front of where the pipe fitting would sit on the end of the tank, and painted in some hazard stripes. (If you are interesed, you can find a tutorial on painting hazard stripes here.) Then I glued the tank in place using some superglue on the bottoms of the end pieces (this was fine as I had included the underside edges when I painted the exposed foam with PVA glue. Don't put superglue directly onto expanded polystyene - it doesn't end well) and added some patches of drybrushed Beasty Brown to dirty everything up. Which left the tank looking like this:













To build your own storage tank, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: 120-point Epirian SecDef Force


Posted on Monday Jul 16, 2018 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

With this week's article, I'm continuing the SecDef love because, well, they're awesome!

As nice as it is to include some elite supertroops in amongst the Epirian bots and contractors, I thought it would be fun to build an entire SecDef force. Obviously, with only a single Hammer option currently in the official rules, this required a bit of creativity, but two mocked-up new unit cards and a bunch of sprues later, my first 120 points were assembled and ready for painting.



To build even a bare-bones force within the army selection rules for Maelstrom's Edge, a Command unit is required. While there will no-doubt be a SecDef officer option released down the track, I'm far too impatient to wait for that, so I ran up an unofficial unit card for a lower-level officer, a Lieutenant, to command smaller SecDef strike forces. The aim was to create a commander on about the same level as the Journeyman Bot Handler, and one that could be built from existing parts with minimal conversion required. So I took a bare bones SecDef trooper built from the sprue, on the assumption that SecDef field officers would likely look little different to their troops, and just swapped his rifle for a pair of pistols taken from the Contractor sprue.



To allow for a viable force, the Lieutenant has the 'SecDef Commander' rule, which allows him to take up to two SecDef Tactical Teams as Core choices instead of in their usual Hammer slots. In the interests of fielding as many big guns as possible (because the SecDef heavy weapons look cool) I choose to give each of the Core teams two LM14 Machine Guns, and added two extra warm bodies to each to bring them up to full strength.





The models throughout the force are assembled largely straight off the sprue with minimal conversion. I switched around some of the leg pairs (as explained in last week's Modeling Spotlight) and changed around the left hands on the unit Sergeants to add some variety to their poses without having them all holding their rifles twp-handed like their troops, to help them stand out a little.

With the two available Core options filled, I decided to include a sniper unit in the Hammer slot (because why wouldn't you?). To keep them extra sneaky and to stay within my chosen 120 points, I went with the base unit of three, and gave the two troopers each a sniper rifle.



There was clearly not enough firepower on the table here yet, which called for some Chainguns! Rather than fill up my last remaining Hammer slot for the detachment, I made use of the Tactical Team rule that causes teams equipped with two CG100 Chainguns to become Anvil selections, and built up two five-man units accordingly.





To round out the detachment, I liked the idea of a SecDef force having access to a light vehicle that would serve as an advance scout, and potentially as a beacon to guide in teams arriving by Aerial Insertion. After some searching online, I found the Heron Light Battlewalker, a resin kit from Hexy-Shop. This is a small walker with an enclosed cockpit but a detailed interior, which allowed me to cut away the roof and part of the sides to create an open cockpit.



I replaced the Heron's original weapons with a pair of CG100 Chainguns glued together side-by-side, and added a driver by cutting up a pair of SecDef legs, re-assembling them in place in the seat and then filling in the resulting gaps with 'green stuff' putty.



There were no controls in the Heron's cockpit other than a screen down between the driver's feet, so I added a control loom made from a leftover resin piece and the pistol grip from a SecDef assault rifle. I also added some roll bars on the sides of the cockpit (these pieces normally go on the platform on the rear of the Heron), but these are only sticky-tacked in place so I can take them off for painting - this should make it easier to get into the nooks and crannies in the cockpit.



The final touch was to shorten the legs slightly, as the Heron turned out to be a bit taller than I had expected and wanted it to be. This was done by cutting out the lowest section of the legs and reattaching the legs to the ankle ball-joint.



All up, with an 11-point Lieutenant and 12-point walker, the above force comes in at 119 points - perfect for getting started, and ready to be taken as a detachment in a larger Epirian force or fleshed out later if and when more SecDef units are added to the roster. If you would like to build something similar, you can find the unit cards for the Lieutenant and the walker in the Force Builder section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Next week - Painting!



To start assembling your own SecDef force, you can pick up the Secdef sprue, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian Secdef


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


- by Iain Wilson

Last week saw the release of the awesome new plastic Secdef to bolster the Epirian battleline with some elite military muscle. If you missed it, you can see the release article here: https://www.facebook.com/maelstromsedge/posts/2244261785589396, and you can also find an assembly guide here: http://www.thecommguild.com/roller/thecommguild/entry/assembly-guide-epirian-secdef.

This week, I'd like to go through some quick and easy modeling ideas to tweak your models. Novice modelers, fear not - nothing here requires extensive conversion experience or special tools!



To (ahem) kick things off, you may have noticed in the assembly guide that the sprue comes with 3 sets of legs - one in a walking pose, and two slightly different standing poses.



The left and right legs from each pair have matching locator pins to help them go together neatly, and these are different sizes for each pair to help you keep them sorted during assembly. You can easily mix-and-match the pairs to create some variation in the posing, though - the smaller pins will fit into the larger locator slots, and for pairings where the locator pins don't fit in you can just cut them off with a sharp hobby knife and glue the hips together without them.



One of the ongoing design goals for the Maelstrom's Edge range has been for the various kits to be compatible wherever possible to enable parts swaps. This is particularly useful for increasing the pool of available heads for any unit, and the open-hand design that has been adopted for weapon arms likewise adds extra options for switching gear around. On the below models, some slightly more hi-tech than usual Contractors have been made by using Contractor heads and weapons on the Secdef bodies.



You can also use heads from the Broken Infantry sprue to add unhelmeted human heads or aliens to your Secdef's ranks.



For an enclosed helmet option, you can use a spare head from the Epirian Bot Handler sprue.



The left arm on the above model has also been modified, removing the pointing hand at the wrist and replacing it with one of the open-palm left hands that normally hold the Secdef heavy guns. The heavy weapon arms are also useful for putting on Sergeants to show tactical hand signals.



Secdef troopers are equipped with a G20 pistol along with their assault rifles, although this isn't included on the sprue. As with other pistol and grenade options that come as standard on various units, there's no specific need, rules-wise, to show these. If you do want to show the pistol, though, the G20 is a variant of the standard Epirian Guardian pistol, so you can use the pistols included on the Contractor sprue to represent them, as has been done on the 'Lieutenant' model below.



(Lieutenants aren't an official unit option currently, although a HQ unit for the Secdef is in the pipeline. I'll be working up an unofficial rules card for this guy to go in the Online Force Builder for those who might want to try out an all-Secdef force.)

Finally for this week - While the designs are slightly different, the strength-boosting exoskeleton makes Secdef legs similar enough to the legs of the Master Bot Handler that you can make a walking Master Handler by simply swapping in the Secdef legs for the normal Master Handler legs, as below. I couldn't resist also taking the opportunity to replace this Master Handler's usual weapons with a modified pair of CG100 Chainguns taken from the Secdef sprue.





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

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

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

Assembly Guide - Epirian Secdef


Posted on Wednesday Jul 04, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


We are very proud to announce the immediate availability of our latest plastics - the Epirian SecDef. These guys have exo-augmented armour, allowing them to be a much more powerful and effective fighting force than their contractor allies.

Available now at https://www.maelstromsedge.com/store/41/3x%20Epirian%20Secdef%20Infantry, along with details of their history and background.

Below, you can find instructions for assembling these great new models!

Assembling Epirian Secdef






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 Secdef Assembly Notes


Three Secdef models can be made from one sprue. The sprue includes the following weapons: 2 x AR60 Assault Rifle, 1 x SR40 Sniper Rifle, 1 x CG100 Chaingun and 1 x LM14 Machine Gun.



Legs have three different poses and are paired, left and right, with differently-sized locator pins to keep them straight. Leg 5 goes with leg 7, 8 with 4 and 6 with 9.



The three torsos have two different designs (two with chest pouches and a backpack, one without), but the chestplate is identical for each, and any of the three torsos fit with any of the legs.





There are five 'sets' of arms, including two that have right hands with fingers together, and three with the fingers more splayed and the trigger finger separate. The closed-finger version works best for the Machine Gun or Chaingun, while the more open fingers work best for the Assault Rifles or Sniper Rifle. These are more-or-less matched with the extended left arms for the rifles and the left arms with more bent elbows for the heavier weapons. The pointing left arm obviously works with whichever right arm you choose, although there is one rifle arm that has the weapon held out to the side rather than across the body.







There are two small parts labelled as part 24 on the sprue. These are optional, and can be glued in between the belt and the heavier weapons as a support strut.



Finally, the three heads all fit with either of the two torso variants.




For some more ideas for building your Secdef models or to share your own creations, head on over to the Comm Guild Facebook page.

You can pick up the Secdef sprue, and the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge miniature range, from the webstore here.

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

Terrain Spotlight: Sci-Fi Temple


Posted on Monday Jun 18, 2018 at 03:05PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week, I'm showcasing another terrain build, but for a change of pace I thought it would be fun to build something in a more unusual style.

I've been eyeing off the Japanese building range from Plast Craft Games for some time, and in particular a three-level temple that was just screaming to be turned into a table centrepiece. So I grabbed the temple from one of my regular go-to online stores, broke out some Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues, and set to work!



The Plast Craft Games buildings are flat-packed, assemble-yourself-style constructs in a similar vein to the various MDF offerings out there, except that instead of MDF they're made from sheets of die-cut, foamed PVC. This material is somewhere in between styrofoam and plasticard in density, and is nice and easy to work with and surprisingly sturdy once assembled.



My plan was to not get too crazy with modifying the building, as I love the general design of it. It just needed some sci-fi-ing up to fit on my table. So with that in mind, I discarded the resin screen doors that come with the kit in favour of the single doors from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. The existing doorways on the temple were exactly the right height for the plastic doorframe, but a little wider, so I filled in the gaps on either side with strips of scrap sheet cut to size. Other than that, the bottom level was assembled as per the instructions.





Similar treatment was given to the second level, although this level only has doors in two walls instead of all four.



The top level has a smaller doorway in a single wall. Rather than cut out the door hole to fit another full-sized doorframe in there, I filled in the doorway with some leftover sheet bits and glued on the square hatch from the terrain sprue. I also replaced the spire on the roof peak with another square hatch.



The railings that came with the temple were a little low, and a little low-tech for my liking, so I replaced them with ladders from the terrain sprue. This required some fudging to make it work, as I discovered when I started gathering ladders that I had run out. Luckily, I was able to cobble together a few discarded cut sections to fill the last of the railing on the second level. It's a little rough if you look too closely, but I can always pass it off as a rushed repair job (those lowest-bid contractors at work!).







I wanted to do the bulk of the painting before adding the roof sections, as I figured that would be easier than trying to work around them. So the building was given a basecoat with black spray, and then a top-down spray with grey, leaving the black in the lower recesses for natural shading.



I then picked out all the metal parts with Citadel Leadbelcher, before giving them a wash with Army Painter Dark Tone.



The balcony levels were painted with Vallejo Neutral Grey and drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey, and the wall panels were basecoated with Vallejo Heavy Brown and drybrushed with P3 Jack Bone. At which point, it was time to add the roof sections.



I'm not sure if it was my slightly rushed assembly, or a flaw in the temple kit, but I found that the roof sections for the two lower levels were actually too short to reach the corner beams. Luckily, I had some corrugated cardboard that matched the card used for the roof almost exactly. Cut to size and with tile-grooves added by 'scoring' across the corrugations lightly with a sculpting tool, they were a close enough match to hold up to all but the closest scrutiny.



My improvised roof sections were painted black before gluing in place, and then all of the roof pieces were drybrushed with Leadbelcher and washed with Dark Tone. Finally, I picked out the lights above the doors with a drybrush of Citadel Ultramarine Blue, Ice Blue and then white, and added a masonite base sprayed with grey and white for a quick concrete effect. If I have time later, I may go back and replace this with a tiled slab to pretty things up some more.

The finished building:







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

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here, or for help or advice, or just to share your work, feel free to visit the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Terrain Spotlight: Cardboard Gift Box Ruin


Posted on Monday Jun 11, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

If you've been following my hobby articles for any length of time, you may have noticed that I'm rather fond of using cardboard gift boxes to make buildings (If you're new here, you can see examples here, here, or here). But while intact buildings are all well and good, a balanced battlefield should include a mix of line of sight blocking terrain and area terrain, and so this week I'm breaking out the old gift boxes and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue for some good, old-fashioned ruins.



The structure for this build comes from two cardboard gift boxes, bought from a local discount store.



The lids were flipped over to create a walled roof, and I removed a corner of the smaller box with a sharp hobby knife so that it nestled in neatly against the larger box.



I used a door and a shutter window from the terrain sprue to mark out positions for doors and windows, by sitting them in place and tracing around them with a pencil.



Then I used the hobby knife to cut the door and window holes out, and marked out a rough plan for the building damage - the line around the building shows where the walls would be cut down, leaving more raised areas on corners, where the structure would be stronger.



The hobby knife was put to use again, as I cut along the ruin line all the way around the building.



Once done, the cardboard structure went together like this:



As a handy side-effect, the pieces removed from the tops of the walls can be saved and used to create other ruins later...



Because the ruin line wound up around the bottom of all of the window frames, I just left them bare. For the doorways, though, I chopped the door panel out from the surrounding doorframe, and cut the frame into shorter pieces to match the height of the ruined walls.



The doorframe pieces were then glued in place, and I also added some support struts on the corners of the walls, also suitably cut down to height and with the cut ends messed up a little with some clippers to simulate explosive damage. With these all in place, I glued the whole building structure to a base board of masonite.



If you're just after a quick and easy ruin, this is the point where you can call the job a good'un and go and slap some paint onto it. For some extra detailing, though, I chose to glue some chopped up card from the gift boxes and some leftovers from the cut terrain sprue bits around the building, and then using a generous amount of PVA glue added some gravel and sand.





After leaving the glue to dry, it was time for paint!



I started with a basecoat of grey spray, and then a light spray with white around the walls and the bigger rubble patches.



The exposed sections of the baseboard and the building floors was then re-based in Vallejo Neutral Grey, and then drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey.



Everything was then dirtied up with some Neutral Grey sponge-weathering and spots of drybrushed Vallejo Beasty Brown.



I added a couple of extra details for colour - the number on the roof railing by dabbing through a number stencil with a large brush and some red paint, and a little graffiti on the back wall painted with yellow and some blue ink straight over the grey wall to give it a faded appearance.



The final step was a quick blast of black spray into the interior of the building to create some contrast.



And that's it - one ruin, ready for the table!

If you're keen to try this for yourself, you can pick up the giftboxes from gift stores all over the place, or online with a quick Google search, and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here, or for help or advice, or just to share your work, feel free to visit the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Modeling Spotlight: Converted Gnolti Longhorn


Posted on Monday Jun 04, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Slow to anger, but difficult to put down once roused, Gnolti form an implacable, craggy backbone of the Broken forces. As awesome as a regular Gnotli is, I thought it might be interesting to explore the different ways that being forced into warfare might affect different Gnolti. I thought it might be likely that younger, more headstrong Gnolti would be more ready to turn to anger, while older, experienced veterans would be more prone to careful consideration and strategy. With the seeds planted, I grabbed some putty and a few extra bits and pieces, and the Gnolti Longhorn was born!



Obviously, the core of this model is the fantastic, resin Gnolti model.



To make him stand out a little, I wanted some suitably scavenged-looking armour, although this would be more for decoration than anything, given the Gnolti's craggy hide. So I grabbed the front half of an Epirian Hunter Mech torso and removed the lower section.



With some battle damage and careful trimming added with a hobby knife, the torso front fit nicely on over the right shoulder.

To create the eponymous 'longhorns', I drilled into the ends of the horns, and glued in some curled lengths of steel wire.



I reshaped the locator pin on the bottom of the torso a little so that I could twist the torso slightly to the side. Then I heated the right leg in hot water and bent back slightly, allowing the legs to be posed on a low piece of rubble.



The Longhorn was going to lack the shield generators worn by regular Gnolti, but removing the forearm shields completely would have required considerable resculpting of the arms, so instead I removed all of the tech details and added a bunch of battle damage, turning them into ordinary, garden variety bracers.



To allow the left arm to be angled closer in to the torso to rest it on the left knee, I hollowed out the elbow joint with a hobby knife, and slightly reshaped the elbow end of the upper arm.



At this point, it was time to break out the putty. The horns received an initial bulking-out layer.



Once this was set, I added additional putty and smoothed it into the horn shape, and then added striations to match the existing horn sections using a silicon clay shaper.



Rather than worrying too much about getting the horns identical lengths, I made one shorter and squared off the end, to make it look like it had been broken off.



The right hand needed repositioning to hold the gun properly, so I sliced through the wrist with a razor saw, and reattached it at a better angle. The gun itself was borrowed from a Mantic Veer-min Nightmare, with some grips added from plastic tube. I'm picturing this as a Chem Cannon, but haven't fully settled on rules yet.





After final assembly and some minor gap-filling here and there, the Longhorn looked something like this:





Painting was very similar to my previous Gnolti conversion, although I went for a slightly more stark highlight on the scales and a white/grey beard to help convey his veteran status.



The skin is Citadel Liche Purple, drybrushed with P3 Jack Bone and then washed with Army Painter Purple Tone. Scales were painted with Vallejo Neutral Grey, washed with Army Painter Dark Tone and then given a careful drybrush of white.



The harness, cloth and leather armour plates were painted with various shades of brown and washed with Army Painter Strong Tone, and the metal armour was painted with Vallejo Beasty Brown, drybrushed with P3 Pig Iron, washed with Strong Tone and then given a drybrush of Army Painter silver. The darker tone on the weapon was from a black basecoat, a heavy drybrush of Pig Iron and then two coats of Dark Tone.



With basing in my standard Urban theme, Grampa Gnolti was ready for the table.



The other end of the spectrum is, of course, the young, impetuous (relatively speaking) Gnolti. Stay tuned!

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

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

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