The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [modeling]

Painting Spotlight: Mature Angel Conversion


Posted on Monday Nov 23, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Last week, I added another Hobby Basics article to the Maelstrom's Edge website, covering some general information and quick tips for working with modeling putty. As part of that article, I wound up converting up a Karist Angel with more tentacles than is generally considered safe, and I couldn't resist taking the time this week to slap some paint on it. I've painted up a few different angels in the past, playing with different techniques each time to create a suitably inky-black and cybel-purple alien appearance for them. For this one, I decided to try something new once again, and broke out the Army Painter paints for a quick experiment. Here's a quick walkthrough of the painting process!




Before we get the paint on, here's a proper look at the converted model. It's based on the plastic Mature Angel kit, but with the claw arms modified slightly to form crab-like legs, and lots of tentacles added with 'green stuff' modeling putty.



I gave the model an initial basecoat with white, to get a consistent colour for the next steps. Over that, I used Army Painter Alien Purple. Then, grabbing a nice, big brush, I painted three coats of Dark Tone over the entire model, leaving it to dry between each. This darkened everything up to an almost-black, while leaving hints of purple showing through.



I then used a mix of Wasteland Soil, Warlock Purple and white to add highlights. I didn't highlight everywhere, as I didn't want to brighten the model up too much, and wanted the details to be slightly shadowy to accentuate the fluid nature of the Angel's body. I just added the highlights in places where they would add a little 'snap' to the model, accentuating specific features. I also painted in some lightning-like effects on the larger flat areas, to show the cybel energy coursing through the Angel's void gel, and painted the smooth top of the angel's head with black, and then a coat of gloss varnish. The base was painted similarly to my Greatcoat Karist Trooper kitbash, using Ash Grey and a generous layer of Dark Tone.





To paint up your own squidgy alien of tentacled doom, you can pick up the Mature Angel kit along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.



What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Kitbash Spotlight: Greatcoat Karists!


Posted on Monday Nov 09, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a kitbash of some Trogyl Scouts - alien hunters based on the Wargames Atlantic 'Einherjar' (space dwarves) kit with alien heads from the Maelstrom's Edge Broken plastics. Well, this week I threw together another unholy fusion of Wargames Atlantic and MEdge kits, to create some Karist troopers in greatcoats!




When I bought the Einherjar kit, I couldn't resist also picking up a box of 'Les Grognards'. This is a plastic kit that comes with a slew of different heads to allow you to create a number of different, laser-gun-toting, sci-fi soldier regiments. It also includes the aforementioned laser guns, and a range of heavy weapons, but I wasn't really interested in those here.



As with the Trogyl, assembly was fairly straightforward, using bodies from Les Grognards, and heads and arms from the Maelstrom's Edge Karist Trooper kit. The heads for the Grognards only have short, stubby neck attachments, so I used a drill to enlarge the neck cavities to accommodate the Karist heads.



From there, it was just a matter of gluing everything in place. The torsos match Karist Trooper bodies in width, so the arms went on with no argument.



Regular readers of my articles will no doubt have noticed that I tend to use whatever paints I have on hand, but just for something different I thought I'd try sticking to a single brand, and painted these up using Army Painter paints exclusively. I started with a basecoat of Skeleton Bone spray, and then went over the armour plates and weapons with Plate Mail Metal, and the boots, belts and webbing with Leather Brown. Over that, I applied a wash of Light Tone to the bone areas, and Dark Tone everywhere else.



To finish up, I added some highlights to the coat and leather using some more Skeleton Bone, and picked out eye lenses and weapon energy blisters using Warlock Purple and white. The bases were painted with Ash Grey, and then given a generous wash of Dark Tone before I painted the edges with black.



Not content with basic troopers, I also had a tinker with the Faction Expansion sprue to make a greatcoat-clad Praetorian, and also plundered a Shadow Walker sprue to add in some teleporty, assassiny backup!





Now I'll have to see about expanding this little starter force into something table-ready!

Put together your own Karist force of zealoty doom by picking up the plastic Trooper kit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.

Then pop on over to the Comm Guild Facebook group to show us what you're working on!

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Kitbash Spotlight: Trogyl Scouts!


Posted on Monday Oct 26, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Wargames Atlantic have been releasing a steady stream of assorted plastic miniature kits over the last little while, and amongst their recent releases was a box of 'Einherjar' - space dwarves! I couldn't resist picking up a box to have a tinker with, and while most of them will probably be built as intended just because they're great models, I thought it would be fun to build something from them that fit in a little better on the Edge, and so came up with these: Trogyl Scouts!




As mentioned above, the base for this conversion was the Einherjar kit. The kit comes with several weapon options, and different (suitably Dwarfy) head designs, but I wanted something alien, instead. Turning to the Maelstrom's Edge Broken kit, I chose the fanged head, which has an open and closed mouth variant, so they don't all wind up identical.



I didn't bother documenting the assembly, as it was pretty straightforward: Everything except the head was assembled as normal. The necks on the Broken models have a longer ball joint and a deeper socket on the torso for it, so I had the choice of either trimming down the necks on the alien heads, or drilling out the necks on the Einherjar torsos. I went with the latter, using a 2mm drill bit to make a deep enough hole for the alien heads to slot in neatly.



For comparison, here's a scale shot with Drinky McStagger of the Broken, and Trooper Anonymicus of the Epirian SecDef:



I envisaged this unit as being fairly stealthy, so wanted their uniforms to be nondescript. I started out with a basecoat of Army Painter Wolf Grey, then went over the exposed skin with Citadel Iyanden Darksun, weapon casings and pouches with Army Painter Army Green and armour plates and other metal areas with Vallejo Basalt Grey. The green was then washed with Army Painter Military Shader, and the grey areas with Army Painter Dark Tone. Over the yellow, I added a coat of P3 Cygnus Yellow, and then added a light drybrush of the yellow mixed with some white over the face and knuckles, before adding a layer of Army Painter Flesh Wash. The armour plates then received a light highlight with Vallejo Light Grey on upper edges, and the green areas a similar treatment with Coat D'Arms Putrid Green.



The final steps were to add in eyes with black and a tiny dot of white, and teeth with some more white, and then detail the base. I glued on a layer of sand, painted with Army Painter Leather Brown, washed with Army Painter Strong Tone, and then gave it a final drybrush with some more Leather Brown.





Since they're intended to be a scout unit, I couldn't resist adding in a sniper option as well, either to replace the flamethrower or as a unit-wide upgrade (I haven't decided yet!). I used a rifle from the Epirian SecDef kit, trimming off the shoulder stock and gluing it onto one of the Einherjar rifle arms with the weapon trimmed off just in front of the stock.



The next step will be to work up some (unofficial, obviously!) rules for these chaps. I'm thinking of a Mercenary-type faction, that can be 'hired' by any of the other factions, possibly using up two non-Core slots for the privilege. More on this once I can get something written up and tested on the table a little!

What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

If you're running short on plastic fodder, you can pick up the full Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Junkyard!


Posted on Monday Oct 19, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

When you do a lot of conversion work on models or terrain, you tend to accumulate an ever-growing collection of discarded remnants - model or terrain components that have been cut up to use specific parts or them, leftover parts from different kits, random off-cuts of plasticard or cardboard, and other odd bits and pieces collected because they were interesting. Unless you have bottomless storage, it's handy to clean these out from time to time. Since I hate throwing anything away, however, I wanted a way to make use of these parts that I otherwise might not have an immediate project for. And so, I decided to make some junkyard terrain!




I wanted junk piles that would, at least in part, completely obscure human-sized models, so needed a bit of bulk to get started. For this purpose, I used some military vehicles from my daughters' toy soldier collection that had broken parts that couldn't be easily fixed. Cutting these more or less in half diagonally provided some interesting shapes to build on, and also doubled the number of terrain pieces I could potentially make from them!



The vehicle parts were glued down onto some irregular pieces of hardboard, using Power Grip (a 'glue anything to anything else' sort of glue). I used some small hardboard off-cuts to add a little more bulk as well.



From there, it was simply a matter of grabbing interesting bits of this and that and gluing them on wherever seemed appropriate. As mentioned above, this included model and terrain parts, in some case chopped up a bit, bent, or otherwise cut or dented up in places to make them look more junk-worthy, and also whatever other scraps of building materials I had to hand, including plasticard, foamed PVC, plastic tubing, corrugated cardboard, flyscreen, and a few other odds and ends.



I kept piling up bits until I was happy with the amount of detail and cover on the base.





To finish up, I glued on some light gravel and sand mix anywhere on the hardboard where there was empty space.





That just left painting. There were a few different potential ways to go here: painting everything up as heavily rusted and old, making it a newer junkyard with lots of shinier metal and painted parts, or something in between. To help disguise the mix of different building materials used, I decided on the first option.





For the most part, I used the same rusted metal technique as for my shanty buildings and elsewhere. Some panels have some weathered paintwork still showing, and I couldn't resist adding in some aged copper pipes for a little extra colour, using the same method as in my copper tutorial. The gravel around the junk was painted in the same style as I used for my crystal outcrops, to provide some contrast to the rusty metal.







To get in some terrain action of your own, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues along with the rest of the model range from the webstore here.

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.



What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Terrain Spotlight: Light-up Grill


Posted on Monday Sep 28, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've had a bunch of battery-powered 'tealights' sitting in my 'cut this up for something interesting' pile for some time now. They're cheap and dodgy, and would be absolutely useless as an actual light source, but I thought they might be useful for making some illuminated explosion markers, or something similarly unnecessary but pretty. Being Australian, the thought of standing outside, cremating anything within reach on a hot barbeque is always present in my mind, and so it occurred to me that a lit up grill would be a fun modeling project.




The tealights in question are a plastic shell with an extremely convincing and lifelike 'flame' on top, containing an orange LED hooked up to a large button cell and a basic switch that just moves a wire on and off the side of the battery. The first step was to extract the useful parts from the outer shell.



Rather than pulling all of the parts out and rewiring everything, I decided to leave the interior of the candle mostly intact, just trimming away as much as possible of the protruding parts to slim it down. Then I build a platform using parts from the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue #2 to make a platform, under which the battery compartment would be concealed.



For the grill, I used an assortment of parts taken from the terrain sprue. A generator piece with a hole cut in the middle for the LED to poke through formed the main section of the grill. This left the LED a fraction too tall, so I used a razor saw to trim the top off the clear outer casing, being careful to leave the working parts of the LED intact.



I cut a matching hole in the platform's floor, and painted the candle parts black, so that they would hide more-or-less invisibly underneath the platform.



The LED isn't particularly bright, so to give it a helping hand I lined the inside of the generator with some aluminium foil to serve as a reflector. My hope was that with another small piece of foil glued on top of the LED, this would bounce the light around enough to spread the glow down the length of the grill interior. To go over the top, I took a piece of clear plastic, painted it with transparent red paint, and glued some gravel sprinkled across one side.



With some more transparent red on the outside of the LED, it was time to get some colour on the parts before gluing everything together. I also added a little putty around the LED, to close up any gaps where the light could shine back down where it doesn't belong.



With the top glued on, and the final rust effect layer in place, the platform wound up looking like this:





The glow doesn't show up particularly well under the photographic lights, but less bright, ambient light, it looks something like this:





The next step will be to see what else I can add to the platform to bring it to life a little. Stay tuned!

To build your own cookplate of charcoaled doom, you can pick up the terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Hobby Basics: Working with Plastic


Posted on Monday Sep 14, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week in our series of hobby basics modeling articles, we're taking a look at what's involved in building plastic models. This article, intended for the beginner modeler, can be found here!




Stay tuned for more!

Hobby Basics: The Beginner Modeler Toolbox


Posted on Thursday Aug 06, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week's article is the next installment in our series of basic hobby tutorials, taking a look at the tools that you need to get started building models. You can find the article here!




Stay tuned for more!

Terrain Spotlight: Paint Bottle Fuel Pylon


Posted on Friday Jul 17, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Building as much terrain as I do, I go through a lot of paint. Going through a lot of paint obviously results in a lot of empty paint bottles, and it always seems a shame to just throw them out. It's handy to hang onto a few for mixing colours. I also use an Army Painter dropper bottle for adding water to my palette, and another for dishwashing liquid for wet blending colours. This week, though, I thought I'd see what I could come up with for using up a few more of the bottles piling up in my 'I really should throw this lot out' box. This fuel storage pylon is the end result.




I use a lot of Army Painter Strong Tone in my painting, so had accrued a pile of empty dropper bottles. These, I decided, would be the bulk of the structure, as I love the shape of the tops.



To jazz them up a little, I took a bunch of reinforcing struts from the 2nd Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. These, trimmed down to three sections each, fit perfectly up the sides of the bottles.



For the core of the pylon, I took an old P3 paint bottle, and a tub of glitter from a pack I bought a while back as I thought they were a useful shape. After emptying out the glitter and purging it with fire (the only sensible thing to do with glitter) I glued the two together with some 'Power Grip' glue, and also added an exhaust fan from terrain sprue #2 to the top. This created a tall pillar that I could glue the dropper bottles onto. I initially used the Power Grip to glue the dropper bottles onto the glitter tub, but found that the much softer plastic of the droppers didn't adhere well - they fell off if knocked at all. So I reglued them with superglue with an 'all-plastic' primer, which seemed to do the trick.



To finish up, I took a spare base and added a control panel using part of a reinforcing strut and a computer panel from terrain sprue #2, and a trapezoid window from terrain sprue #1. I also trimmed the tops off six posts from terrain sprue #2 to glue onto the tops of the dropper bottle lids.



With some paint on, the pylon looked like this:







With the paint on, the origin of the parts is still rather obvious. That's not always a problem, particularly for those of us who started off our terrain collections back in the day by just spraypainting whatever interestingly-shaped junk we came across... I would possibly consider adding a ring of plasticard around the top of the dropper bottles, or some piping running from the bottles to the core, if I build any more of these.

To build your own paint bottle fuel pylon, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

What are you working on? We would love to see what your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Terrain Spotlight: Hamster Igloo Environment Dome


Posted on Friday Jul 10, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Pet supplies can be a fantastic source of supplies for terrain projects. Previously, I've shown some alien forest terrain made from silicon aquarium plants, and more recently a spherical space ship constructed from a plastic rodent ball with detailing from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues. For this week's article, I came across a plastic hamster igloo on Amazon that looked just perfect for turning into a hazardous environment building.




The igloo is a single piece of moulded plastic. They come in a few different sizes, but this one seemed like a good starting point for a small habitat building or utility building.



This build really didn't need a lot of detailing, but at the very least it needed a door. I took a piece of 3mm foamed PVC, and sat it against the doorway of the igloo. This formed a handy guide for me to trace around with a pencil, about 5mm out from the doorway.



Using an exacto knife, I cut along the pencil line at an angle, so it would sit neatly inside the doorway section. Then I took a door from Terrain Sprue #1, used it as a guide to cut a rectangular hole for it in the middle of the PVC panel, and then glued the door in place. I also cut a small piece of plasticard to size and glued it into the window hole.



Using a heavy duty 'Power Grip' glue, I glued the door in place inside the igloo doorway. I left the rest of the structure as is, to keep things simple, aside from adding an exhaust fan on the roof to conceal the plastic injection point from the manufacturing process. This was made from the large pipe fitting from Terrain Sprue #1, and the fan from Terrain Sprue #2.



That just left painting. I sprayed the whole thing inside and out with AK Interactive Rust Basecoat. This gave a consistent colour base for the rest of the paint, and including the inside was intended to make sure the plastic igloo was fully opaque. I then sprayed with Army Painter Gun Metal, and then added a light coat of Army Painter Platemetal to highlight everything. While I wanted to keep things fairly shiny overall, I added a light drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown in to the creases to give things a little definition. With some blue and white for the window and door light, and a final red lens on the door sensor, the building was ready for the table.











To build your own environment building, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.



For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

What are you working on? We would love to see what your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Modeling Spotlight: Christmas Bauble Ball Tank


Posted on Thursday Jul 02, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Sometimes, it's fun to build something just for the sheer joy of building it. This week's modeling project is one of those. I have always loved the rather silly and impractical design of the ball tank, and it occurred to me while looking at some bits that it wouldn't be too difficult to make one. And so I did.




The core of a ball tank is, rather unsurprisingly, a ball. For this one, I used a DIY Christmas bauble that I picked up a while back.



For the tracks, I used a whole bunch of square segments cut from the support struts on Terrain Sprue #1.



To help the paint and glue stick, I gave the outside of the ball a light sand, and then I sprayed the inside of the ball with primer. This helps to make it more opaque, and stops things from looking weird if the outside gets scratched. Then I glued the track segments in pairs around the join line.



A tank needs guns. I took two weapon mounts from Terrain Sprue #2, and added a couple of pulse cannons taken from the Karist Tempest Elite sprue.



I wanted some obvious viewports on the front, so took a pair of portholes from Terrain Sprue #2 and pressed them down on the top of a paint pot to make the back concave.



With the portholes and weapon sponsons glued in place, the tank was ready for paint!



I painted the tank with Army Painter Army Green spray, adding weathering with a sponge of Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and highlights of Coat D'Arms Putrid Green. The tracks were basecoated with Vallejo Beasty Brown, drybrushed with Citadel Boltgun Metal and then washed with Army Painter Dark Tone.



The viewports were painted with a blend of Army Painter Ultramarine Blue and white.



The weapons were painted with Army Painter Heavy Charcoal, drybrushed with Boltgun Metal and washed with Dark Tone.



For the final details, I added the tank number on the side using a decal I printed and cut out, stippling over the stencil with Army Painter Ash Grey and white, and then added a light drybrush of Beasty Brown around the edges of the tracks and the sponsons.





To build your own ball tank, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

For other kitbash ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

What are you working on? We would love to see what your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Hobby Basics: Types of Glue


Posted on Friday Jun 26, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Continuing on with our basic tutorial series, this week we're having a look at the common types of glue used in the hobby. This article explains what the different glues are like, and what you can and can't use them for. You can find the article here!




Stay tuned for more!

Terrain Spotlight: Tissue Box Building


Posted on Friday Jun 19, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The big joy of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, for me, is that wandering around the house turns up an endless wealth of items just waiting to be turned into wargaming scenery by slapping some bits on it and painting it up. This week, I turned my attention to the recycling bin, where a humble tissue box was just calling out to be saved from the weekly rubbish collection. With a little cutting and gluing, and a lick of paint, I had Atmospheric Modification Plant #14 ready for the table!




The base for this building, as mentioned above, was an empty tissue box. This isn't as robust a structure as some of my builds, but it does have the benefit of being inexpensive and with two small children in the house we have an endless supply of these to hand!



As I just intended this to be a quick and easy build, I didn't get too carried away with detailing. To be a functional building, however, it obviously needed a door. I used a door from Terrain Sprue #1 for this one, as the height of the doors on that sprue fit the box sides better than those on the newer sprue. I cut a hole for the door frame using an exacto knife, and also built a small landing using a couple of stair pieces and floor grates from Terrain Sprue #2, with a little trimming to make the solid floor piece fit neatly into the bottom of the doorway.



I added some reinforcing struts from Terrain Sprue #1 on the walls of the building, setting them in slightly from the corners. As well as adding some visual detail, this served to conceal the sides of the box flaps on the ends. The original sprue's struts were perfect for this as the vent pieces on the end could be easily trimmed down to make the strut the right height.

Spaced along the rear wall, I also added a pair of vent windows from Terrain Sprue #2. To avoid weakening the box structure any more than absolutely necessary, I just glued the windows directly onto the wall, rather than cutting holes and insetting the frames.



Plain box-shaped buildings are easy to build, but can be a little boring on the table, so I decided to add some raised detail on the roof to break it up a bit. Rummaging on my desk, I found a blister packet from some tubs of glitter that I picked up for a different project, that seemed like it would be an interesing shape with some paint on. So I glued it to the roof, added some industrial reinforcing struts from Terrain Sprue #1 around it to conceal the edges of the plastic, and also glued on some exhaust fans from Terrain Sprue #2.

Having cover on the roof is obviously not much use if models can't get up there, so I also added a ladder from sprue #1 on the end wall. I trimmed top couple of rungs off to make an extended handrail above the roof surface, to make that clamber onto the roof a little easier.



I could have also added some corrugated cardboard or textured plasticard to the remaining roof surface, but chose not to for this build. Instead, I painted the cardboard parts with some textured brown paint, drybrushing with a little bone. The metal parts were painted dark brown, drybrushed with Citadel Boltgun metal and then washed with Army Painter Strong Tone. With a little final detail work, the building looked like this:











To build your own tissuebox building, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

What are you working on? We would love to see what your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Hobby Basics: Miniature Materials


Posted on Thursday Jun 11, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm going back to basics this week! Bunging together structures from assorted odd and ends, and showcasing conversions is all well and good, but for those just getting into the hobby it can all be a lot to take in. So I'm launching a series of articles on the Maelstrom's Edge website aimed at beginners, covering a range of basic modeling and painting related topics. This week, I'm breaking down the different materials commonly used for making wargaming miniatures, and the differences between them. You can find the article here!




Stay tuned for more!

Modeling Spotlight: Rodent Ball Spaceship!


Posted on Thursday May 28, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Kaiser Industries OR-8 'Gaterunner' was originally designed as a small freighter. Sales were initially poor due to its limited cargo space compared to other ships in its class, combined with a lack of artificial gravity and other 'non-essential' crew-comfort systems in the interests of keeping the ship's mass as low as possible. Despite its ungainly appearance, the OR-8's speed and manoeuverability were excellent, however, resulting in the ship becoming popular with short-ranged couriers who used them primarily for 1- or 2-gate hops between systems. With the coming of the Maelstrom, many of these couriers were pressed into service as evacuation craft, with their non-pressurised cargo holds retrofitted to accomodate sleeper capsules.

This was a project spawned by a rodent ball habitat dome idea shared by Patrick Keith a while back on the Counterblast Facebook group. I had originally intended to do something similar, but when I received my ball it turned out to be a little smaller than I had pictured. While I was figuring out whether or not I needed another small hab dome alongside my salad bowl domes, I decided that the markings on the ball made for nice detailing for a cool ship design. And so the OR-8 was born!




As mentioned above, this all started with a plastic ball for exercising pet rodents.



I started out by giving the outside of the ball a light sand with fine sandpaper. This breaks the shiny outer surface of the hard plastic, giving glue and paint a better surface to which they can stick.



Next up, I sprayed the inside of the ball with a grey primer. This doesn't have to be a flawless coat, as it won't really ever been seen - it just provides a grey surface instead of a clear one, so if the paint on the outside gets scratched over time, things don't start to look a bit weird. Once this paint was dry, I also stuck strips of duct tape on the inside to cover over the vertical airhole strips.



From there, it was time to start detailing. I used some parts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues and a little plastic tubing to construct three telescoping legs, which I glued onto the ball just above the access hole. I also cut the top strip off a door and used a few more parts from terrain sprue #2, positioned above and below two of the longer airhole strips to make a closed access ramp.



Rather than trying to cut multiple holes in the ball for the trapezoid windows that would form the forward viewports on the ship, I decided to shape the windows to fit flush on the curved surface. I did this by laying a piece of sandpaper on the ball, and sanding the back of the window down to the height I wanted. This nicely replicated the curve of the ball onto the window. A piece of reinforcing strut from terrain sprue #1 served as a handy, bendable guide to mark out consistent spacing for the windows above the tops of the airholes.



I then carefully glued the windows in place, and added a round porthole from terrain sprue #2 in the middle.



Into the middle of the porthole, I built an antenna array using various pieces scavenged from the bits box.



For each of the engines, I took a pair of generators, a pair of iris doors, a fan and a weapon mount base from terrain sprue #2, and a large pipe fitting from terrain sprue #1. On the generators, I cut out the bottom to allow them to sit flat inside the iris door once glued back-to-back, and then sanded down the top surface to create a flat area for the pipe fitting to attach.



The weapon mounts have a naturally concave back surface, which sat quite neatly on the sides of the ball.



Finally, I glued the engines onto the weapon mounts, adding a pin of aluminium rod to help hold them in place securely.



With some paint on, the OR-8 was ready to fly!











To build your own orb ship of sphericalness, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

What are you working on? We would love to see what your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!



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

Painting Spotlight: Escape Pod Diorama


Posted on Thursday May 21, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

There are a lot of examples out there in internet land of huge, sprawling, super-detailed dioramas that you can pore over for hours and dream of one day having the time (or the storage space!) to make something like that yourself... This is not one of those. Dioramas can also be just a quick, simple exercise in putting together something different to whatever else you're currently working on. I love putting together armies, but sometimes I just want to do something unrelated, or I'll have a little flash of inspiration for a mini scene, and letting that out and building whatever it leads to is a great way of flexing those creative 'muscles'.

That's sort of what happened here. When I put together my kitbashed escape pod a couple of weeks ago, I had the idea to throw together part of a launching bay for it, just to give it something to hang from for the photos. I hadn't originally even intended to paint this, but looking at it sitting on the table afterwards, I decided that it would make for a cute little mini-diorama. So, I broke out a few extra parts, slapped on some paint, and this was the end result:




To get started, I had to snap the escape pod off the hanging struts, as it had been glued in place to photograph it for the previous article. Luckily, I had used superglue here, and it snapped away cleanly without breaking anything. I then finished detailing around the door by adding a thin strip of foamed PVC into the gap between the door and the floor grating, and fleshing out the sides of the doorway with some more PVC and a couple of strut pieces from the terrain sprue to widen it out to match the floor.



A lot of my terrain tends to be rather worn and dirty-looking. I wanted this piece to be old and worn, but not as dirty, simulating a ship or station interior rather than a planet-based facility. To that end, I began painting with a base coat of Army Painter Wolf Grey spray, following by a downwards spray of white. This is sometimes called 'zenithal painting', and is used to allow the spray to natural add highlights and shading as the second spray catches raised areas while leaving the darker basecoat in the crevasses and undersides of detail pieces.



I used Citadel Boltgun Metal to pick out some exposed metal pieces, which I then washed with a layer of Army Painter Strong Tone. On the middle strip on the door, I applied a a coat of Vallejo Heavy Brown and then a couple of layers of Army Painter Pure Red. This was a little messy around the edges, due to the difficulty of painting around the protruding floor piece, so I had to clean up around the edges of the red with a little more grey and white.



At this point, it was time for detailing. I printed up a small sign for the middle of the door and stuck it in place with some PVA glue. On the upper edges of the red door strip, I added a highlight with some old Citadel Titillating Pink, and then applied some sponge weathering over the white and red areas with Army Painter Heavy Charcoal. I went back over the red on the door with some more pink to highlight the edges of the weathering, and blacklined around the white parts with a finepoint black pen to help pick out the details.

My initial intention was to have the floor painted the same as the walls, to accentuate that cleaner spaceship look, but in practice it just killed the detail on the floor grating and made the whole think look a bit bland. So I went back over the floor with some Army Painter Dark Tone, and then gave it a light drybrush with white.



While I wasn't intending to cram a whole heap of docking bay detail into this little diorama, I did want something other than the escape pod in there. I decided to throw in a service robot, assembled from most of an Epirian Scarecrow, with clamp-hands taken from the Master Handler kit and a head made from a trimmed down Firefly Drone' turbine, with an eye lens cut from one of the Scarecrow heads.

The robot was painted with a spray of Army Painter Plate Metal, then a wash of Strong Tone. Over that, I gave it a light drybrush with some more Plate Metal, and then picked out some red bits using the same steps as the red on the door. Finally, I painted in the blue eye lens using some Vallejo Electric Blue, black and white. (You can find a handy tutorial on painting lenses
here!)



The final detail before assembling everything was to print out a picture of the Maelstrom, to glue in behind the door to provide a nice view out the windows. I played around with various orientations of this for a bit to find what looked best, and then trimmed it to fit behind the door and glued it into place with some superglue. With the robot and pod glued in position, the diorama was done!









To build your own escape pod, you can pick up the terrain sprues, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

What are you working on? We would love to see what your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!



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