The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

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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.

Painting Spotlight: 120-point Epirian SecDef Force


Posted on Tuesday Jul 24, 2018 at 12:49PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Last week, I built a 120-point force using the fantastic new Epirian SecDef models. If you missed it, you can find the article here: http://www.thecommguild.com/roller/thecommguild/entry/modeling-spotlight-120-point-epirian.

This week, my aim was to get this force painted up to a basic tabletop standard. This can be helpful for getting past the 'sea of grey' stage and allowing you to field a painted army faster than might happen if you're painting each unit up to a fully detailed level, or if you just want a quick and easy paintjob on your army and aren't interested in getting bogged down in detail work. The end result isn't going to win any painting awards, but looks fine on the table and can be updated later.

So, the painted force:



For painting up armies quickly I tend to rely heavily on ink washes, as they are so handy for adding shading quickly (if sometimes a little messier than doing it by a more manual and time-consuming method would allow for). This force was no exception to that. I started with a basecoat of Army Painter Army Green spray, and when that was dry added a wash of Army Painter Military Shader.



When the wash was dry, I went over the armour plates with Army Painter Ash Grey, the exo-skeleton sections in Vallejo Basalt Grey and the weapons on Vallejo Heavy Charcoal, before adding a layer of Army Painter Dark Tone over these areas with a detail brush. Any slight spillover onto the green is fairly unnoticeable, but excess wash was quickly removed with a wet brush where necessary.

On the Ash Grey armour plates, rather than covering them completely with the wash, I just painted a thin coat of the wash onto the lower surfaces of the plates, or on the innermost half of the thigh plates.



I then painted the face and neck with Citadel Tallarn Flesh, chosen by virtue of being the first flesh tone I came across in my paint box. I also painted the flesh tone over the goggles, to provide a nice base layer for the red that would come later. The pouches, straps, rifle stocks and boots were painted with Vallejo Heavy Brown and then the flesh and brown parts were washed with Army Painter Strong Tone.



Finally (for now) I painted the base with Vallejo Neutral Grey and the goggle lenses with Army Painter Pure Red. The helmet chinstrap had originally been painted in the Heavy Brown, but after the wash I found that the tone was too similar to the flesh colour, so I went over the brown with black, and also used a black fineliner pen to darken the lower frame of the goggles, around the bottom of the lenses and up the nose. I also used the Neutral Grey to add a quick drybrush over the black on the weapons to pick out the detail - I wanted them dark, but to still be recogniseable on the table.



At this point, all of the main colours are in place and they're ready for the table. To finish them off later, I can add a highlight to the green with some light green, some light brown or bone on the brown parts, and add some shading and a reflective spot on the goggle lenses, which gets something that looks more like this:



I will also need to go through and drybrush the bases and add some detail so that they match my other urban bases.

So, the 'finished' units:

Lieutenant



Tactical Teams





Snipers



Annihilator Teams





Recon Walker





The gang all together:





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: 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.

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.

Terrain Spotlight: Knights of Dice Desert Residence meets the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue!


Posted on Monday May 28, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A few weeks ago, I showcased a dice tower made from a Knights of Dice MDF blank and some bits from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. This week, I'm giving a similar treatment to a desert building from the KoD 'Tabula Rasa' range.



The Tabula Rasa terrain range is specifically designed to be fairly basic, both as a cost-effective way of filling your table and to serve as a base for people to add their own detail... which obviously makes these buildings a perfect match for the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue!

The building I've started with is the 'Desert Residence 1', which when assembled straight out of the pack looks something like this:



Before gluing the building together, there were a few modifications to make. To begins with, the doorways are a little small for the Maelstrom's Edge doors to fit in. So I sat the door over the doorway, traced around it with a pencil and then carefully cut the resultant enlarged doorway out with a sharp exacto knife. MDF cuts fairly easily, so this isn't too onerous, but if you would rather avoid it you could alternatively build a boxwork around the door, as I did on my watch tower) and just glue it over the existing doorway.



There are two differently-sized windows scattered around the building. The larger of them, like the doorways, is a little small for the shuttered windows from the terrain sprue, so I repeated the door process, using the top corner of the window hole to line up the plastic part, and then tracing and cutting a larger hole. Again, if you would prefer to avoid cutting MDF, the shutter windows work quite well just glued straight to the wall.



For the smaller window holes, I covered over two of them using the cast-off MDF pieces from the larger windows, and to this I attached part of the energy fence pylon from the terrain sprue to make some sort of mechanical gubbin (I have to admit, it looks a little like a high-tech toilet cystern to me).



For the third small window, I took the large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue, and glued a small circle of plastic mesh into the back of it. This was then glued over the window hole to make a covered vent.



As a nice little touch, all of the Knights of Dice kits come with a little crowbar-sort-of-thing in the top corner of the MDF sheet, which can be used for prying parts out for assembly, or pulling removable roofs off. With a little bit of trimming up, they also serve quite well as upright bars for attaching ladders. I trimmed the ladder from the terrain sprue off so that it was short enough to work on either of the two building sections - the hooks on the top allow it to be hung from any free stretch of roof railing without needing to glue it in place.



With the leftover piece of ladder and a couple of MDF cast-offs, I made a smaller access ladder to hang between the roof sections.



The final touch was to add some support strut sections from the terrain sprue to cover over the joint holes where the roof supports attach to the walls. I could also have removed the other joint gaps by filling with some filling plaster or putty and sanding it down smooth, but I actually like the wall joints for creating a pre-fabricated slab-assembly look.





With some paint and weathering, the final building winds up looking like this:











Some Karist troopers, taking up station:






To tech up some buildings of your own, 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, be sure to share to see your creations, or pop in with any hobby questions to 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 Bot Handlers


Posted on Monday Apr 23, 2018 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Bot Handlers serve as unit and force commanders amongst many Epirian forces, with their neural interfaces allowing them unparalleled access to tactical information and the ability to control bots at a distance. The Maelstrom's Edge Bot Handler sprue comes with parts to build two Bot Handlers, and this week we're having a bit of a look at just what you can do with them.



There are two different types of Bot Handlers in the game at the moment - The Apprentice Bot Handler, and the Journeyman Bot Handler. Apprentice Handlers lead units of Spider Drones in battle, while the more experienced Journeyman Handlers serve as low-level army commanders. These serve below the Master Handler, who will be added to the range soon with a new model and rules card.


Apprentice Handler (left) and Journeyman Handler (right).


The Apprentice Handler is equipped with a Maglock Dominator Pistol (a more powerful version of the Maglock Guardian Pistol used by Epirian Contractors) and uses a Tactile Bot Interface on one arm to interface with the bots under his direct control.


Apprentice Handler. The left arm has been slightly converted to look like he is motioning with the tactile interface gauntlet.


The Journeyman replaces the tactile interface with a more sofisticated Neural Interface, which frees up his hand to take a second pistol, or a forearm mounted grenade launcher.


Journeyman Bot Handlers (right).


Thanks to the modular nature of the Maelstrom's Edge kits, making small modifications to your models to personalise them a little is extremely easy. The standard Handler helmets can be swapped out for heads from other Epirian kits, or even from other factions.


Bot Handlers with heads from the Broken Infantry Pack.


Journeyman Handler with arms taken from the Broken Infantry Pack and the more streamlined helmet from the Faction Expansion Sprue.


Getting slightly more advanced, the below model was given a new pose by cutting two sets of legs apart at the groin and swapping halves to create a wide-legged, braced stance. A visor was added over a regular Contractor head with 'green stuff' putty, and the dual pistols were built onto a mini-drone made from a Firefly Drone turbine.


Converted Journeyman Bot Handler.


Or for something more outside the box, this Handler was reposed slightly by bending the legs outwards and replacing the right hand with an open Karist hand from the Faction Expansion Sprue, and was given a Drone Bike made from an Epirian Drone chassis and a Games Workshop bike.


Born to ride.


To pick up the Epirian Bot Handler kit, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit the webstore here. As always, we would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

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

Epirian Sentinel Bot Conversion Tutorial & Unit Card


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


- by Iain Wilson

The Epirian faction in Maelstrom's Edge includes a number of fantastic robot options, and with some careful planning it's even possible to field an all-robot force. I went for an almost all-robot force with my starter force, including a lone Journeyman to lead them. I thought it might be fun to add some robot 'not-contractors' to the army for some extra firepower, and so turned to a conversion that I put together for a spotlight on the Scarecrow kit some time ago, which I dubbed a Sentinel bot.



The Sentinel uses parts from the Scarecrow, Drone and Contractor kits.



From the Scarecrow:

  • Head
  • Torso
  • Left Arm
  • Left Shoulder
  • Right Shoulder
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Chemtech Sprayer
  • Base

From the Drone kit:
  • Turbines
  • Turbine-mount side pieces
  • Flight Stem

From the Contractor kit:
  • Maglock Assault Rifle


Start by gluing the two Drone side pieces together and attaching the turbines, as below. There is a small ridge of plastic on the inside faces of the side pieces that needs to be shaved or filed down so that they sit flat against each other. A couple of pieces of spare sprue serve nicely to hold the turbines in place while the glue sets.



Take the Scarecrow torso and cut through it just below the top of the hips.



The torso then glues neatly into the middle cavity created by the two side pieces.



The left arm is assembled as normal. For the right, cut the pistol grip off the maglock rifle, and also cut the back of the rifle at an angle matching the ridge along the top, as shown below. The take the chemtech sprayer and cut the elbow joint off the back. This is glued onto the back of the maglock rifle, and then the weapon be glued to the upper arm.



To keep the unit with a similar silhouette to the contractors they are replacing, take the flight stem and cut it a little above halfway up.



This is then glued to the middle of the base. You will need to drill a corresponding hole in the bottom of the turbine assembly for the peg on the top of the flight stem.



With head, tanks and arms glued in place, the bot can be glued onto the flight stem (or left separate if you're planning on spraying a basecoat, or just if you're a messy painter!) ready for paint.



Scale shot with a Contractor:



Painted up, the Sentinels are ready to take to the field. I have added a command unit to one model to create a unit leader, and equipped the third with the auxilliary grenade launcher version of the Maglock Rifle.



You can find an (unofficial) rules card for fielding Sentinel units in the Force Builder section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here. Alternatively, you could just field them as Contractors.



To pick up kits you'll need to create your own Sentinel unit, visit the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.

We love to see what people are doing with their models, so be sure to also visit 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 Light Carrier Drone


Posted on Monday Mar 12, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A few weeks ago, I published a spotlight article on the Epirian Drone, showing a few different ways the kit can be assembled or converted. One of the conversions shown was a Light Carrier Drone, made up from a drone chassis and the hull of a 15mm plastic tank from Flames of War, that I think came out of an Adepticon swag bag. This week, I'm going to run through how it was made, using the tank (I think it's some kind of Stug, but I'm no tank expert and so it didn't really matter beyond looking perfect for what I wanted to do) and the chassis piece from an Epirian Drone.



Like the bipedal 'Mule' cargo drone shown above (for which you can find an assembly article here) there are no rules for using this drone in the game - it will most likely just be used to add some flavour to the table. But I find that sometimes venturing off the beaten track and building something different just for the fun of it can really help to keep the creative juices churning over.

SO, I started by grabbing the main assembly parts of the tank - top and bottom of the hull, and the two track pieces.



I used a razor saw to cut most of the top of the hull away, leaving just the gun mount and the front armour.



The tracks had some armour plating that extended up over the sides of the tank. I wanted these to be a little more low-profile, so I sawed them off level with the track guards.



Then I assembled the hull and tracks as per normal, just with a newly-formed great, gaping hole in the rear.



With a slight bevel added to the underside, the drone chassis slotted nicely into the gun mount.



Finally, I filled in the back with some plasticard to create a cargo deck.





To paint it up, I turned once more to the technique shown in my weathered metal tutorial. I kept the palette fairly limited, to emphasise the bare-bones industrial nature of this machine, and made the yellow panels on the sides worn and battered to show a history of hard use.





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

To pick up the Drone 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.

Model Spotlight: Epirian Drones


Posted on Monday Feb 19, 2018 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Drones - the ubiquitous workhorse of the Epirian Foundation. Built around a standardised chassis that can be bolted onto a wide array of different locotion and weapon options, the humble drone can be found all over Foundation-settled worlds performing a wide range of tasks. Particularly valued by Contractor military units, the Drone's various weaponised configurations are found at the forefront of any engagement harrassing enemy units and getting into those hard to reach places. Here, we'll take a closer look at the options available on the plastic Drone sprue.



The Drone kit comes with parts to build either of two variants: the flying Firefly drone, or the agile, ground-hugging Spider drone.



The Firefly is the fastest drone in the Foundation's arsenal, and the lightest armed. Held in the air by two dorsally mounted rotors, the Firefly is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and can travel up to 150 km/hr. Its primary purpose is as a forward scout, using its advanced sensor and communications suite to send information back about enemy positions. Its armour and weaponry is minimal and the Firefly can be easily taken out by even small arms fire - providing the shooter can hit its rapidly-moving frame. The Firefly is equipped with a Drone Class Laser System.



Slower than some of its drone counterparts but fitted with heavier weaponry, the Spider Drone is a popular choice for automated defences inside buildings where a Scarecrow's range is limited. Originally designed to operate within the rough terrain of mining tunnels, the Spider moves on multiple armoured legs, allowing it to keep its balance on the most unsteady of terrain.

The steadiness of its body allows more powerful guns with higher recoil to be added, and most combat Spider variants forgo the sensor suite used in Firefly, Rover and Stalker drones to accommodate more ammunition and heavier armour. Spiders can be equipped with Cutter Light Machine Guns or Flakk Guns.





Because the sprue was developed before the rules were finalised, there wound up being a couple of extra parts on the sprue that were originally intended to be another weapon option, but which also serve nicely as antenae for identifying 'leader' models, or for converting your own different drone classes, like this Sensor Drone:



If you would like your drones to look a little more mobile, the thin legs of the Spider lend themselves well to conversions. You can easily repose them by either carefully bending at the joints, or by slicing through the joint and reattaching at a different angle.





For those wanting the Drones to pack a bit of punch on the battlefield, you could try out the reasonably simple Scorpion Drone conversion detailed here, which takes the Spider Drone and equips it with a Maglock Chaingun from the Hunter Mech kit.



Getting a little more adventurous with the converting, I like to think that the Drone chassis would find its way into all sorts of different applications where having some robotic assist might make a task easier or more efficient. Like this Light Carrier Drone, converted from a Drone chassis and a Battlefront 15mm plastic tank kit, with a little plasticard.



Or this (work-in-progress) Journeyman Patrol Bike, converted from a Games Workshop bike and an Epirian Bot Handler, with the Drone chassis up front for steer assist and targeting.



You can also use the Drone chassis as a head for larger bot constructs, like these 'Silverback' and 'Mule' Hunter Mech conversions.



All of that can, of course, leave you with a bunch of leftover flight turbines, which can be used to build a jump pack-equipped Epirian Warden, or some floating 'Sentinel' Drones, using the turbines and the top of a Scarecrow - tutorial coming soon for that one!



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

To pick up the Drone 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.

Modeling Spotlight: Converted Broken Gnolti


Posted on Tuesday Jan 30, 2018 at 07:06AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week saw the arrival of the biggest model yet for Maelstrom's Edge: The Gnolti!

A gigantic chunk of brawn and armoured hide, the Gnolti is slow to anger, but unstoppable when roused. So as impressive as the model is, I decided I wanted to build one that showed a Gnolti really letting it all out. This was the end result:



The Gnolti is a multi-part resin kit, with a little posability in the forearms due to the circular connections. One of his hands is open, and this seemed like it was just asking to be holding something breakable. So, I sliced off the forefinger so that I could close in his grip a little, and reattached it with some green stuff, and gave him a little friend to play with, courtesy of the Epirian Scarecrow kit.







The left hand is in a closed fist, and is designed to sit knuckles-down on the base. I reshaped the flattened bottom surface of the fingers to make them more rounded, and then pinned the scarecrow's left forearm into the Gnolti's grip.



To create a more upright stance, I ran the legs under some hot water and carefully bent the lower right leg out and back. Apparently, I wasn't careful enough, as I managed to snap it off through the shin, but with a little drilling and pinning, I wound up with legs positioned how I wanted them.



Adding a Hunter mech's leg for the Gnolti to stand on, I glued the legs in place on the base, and added a piece of sprue to fill in the slot for the torso's locator peg.



Taking the torso piece, I used a razor saw to slice off the right arm at the shoulder, cutting out a wedge on the top so that it could be reattached in a more raised position. I also cut a thin wedge out from his chin at the top of his beard, and then added a cut between his lips so that I could bend his lower lip down into a mouth-open position.



The torso was then glued in place, with the sprue in the waist-hole allowing the torso to sit upright.



The lower lip was padded out with some green stuff to repair the minor damage from sawing it open. I also filled in the cavity in his waist, and started added detail back in under the right arm.



Another layer of green stuff gave him some abdominal muscles, a tongue, and a single flat tusk in his lower jaw.



Finally, the forearms were glued on, and a last run of green stuff added to replace the fur trim on his right shoulder strap.





With that, it was time to paint!

I went with a colour scheme that was reminiscent of that used on the studio model shown here, but with slightly more muted colours to fit in with my quick, wash-painted Broken colour scheme.

Ready for action!











To pick up your own wee beasty of broken doom, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, visit the webstore here. As always, be sure to show off your work 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 Victory Point Tracker


Posted on Tuesday Jan 23, 2018 at 11:19AM in General


- by Iain Wilson

Victory. The elusive mistress that haunts our gaming hours. How do we capture her? Well, in Maelstrom's Edge, we do it by counting up Victory Points, and hopefully winding up with more of them than our opponents. The Battle for Zycanthus box includes Victory Point trackers along with the plethora of tokens and markers found within, but I decided that I wanted something with a little more spectacle, and so I built myself a VP tracker for my Epirian force.



This all started with a rough concept sketch, to get an idea of how things should fit together.



I then made a quick mockup in cardboard, as a sort of proof of concept, and to get a better feel for the size it needed to be.



The main body of the tracker is made from layers of 2mm thick plasticard. Each layer was marked out in pencil and then cut out and the edges smoothed down.









To show the current VP total, there are two dials with the numbers 0-9 marked around the edge. These are cut from thinner plasticard, with a spacer added on the top surface so that the face with the numbers on it doesn't rub against the inside of the tracker's front.



The windows for the VP display are made from a couple of trapezoid windows from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I used a razor saw to slice through the windows just behind the interior bracing, to make them a little thinner and so that the bracing would sit flush against the front plate of the tracker.



From there, I cut a couple of trapezoid holes in the front plate to match up to the large openings in the windows, and then added a bunch of detail with various pieces of plasticard.



In the bottom corner, I added a rotary switch for tracking how many times the special faction objective has been tapped.



With detailing complete, it was time to paint!



I basecoated the tracker with Army Painter Army Green spray, and used some flat black spray on the VP dials and the rotary switch.



I wanted some metal detail on the tracker to break up the colour a little, so re-basecoated some appropriate spots with some black. I also added a little black inside the side openings for the dials, just to avoid having the white plastic showing through when it was assembled.



The metal parts then received a drybrush of P3 Pig Iron, and some weathering added with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal applied lightly with a sponge.





The numbers for the VP dials were drawn up on black circles in Gimp and then printed out, cut to shape and glued onto the plastic dials.





Finally, the front plate was glued in place, and the screen painted with some Ultramarine Blue and shaded with Army Painter Blue Tone.



My plan is to make up some smaller versions of the mission cards to sit in the screen cavity.

And then, of course, the next step will be to make some similarly themed trackers for my Karists and Broken!

Have you built anything unusual for your Maelstrom's Edge games? We would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the entire Maelstrom's Edge range in the webstore here.

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