The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [tutorial]

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!

Terrain Spotlight: Expanding Foam Trees!


Posted on Friday Aug 28, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Most of my terrain building focuses on buildings and other urban-styled features, because tinkering with plastic terrain sprues is just too much fun. Sometimes, though, I like to venture outside the urban sprawl and into the forest. Previously, I've dabbled with old-school, polystyrene ball cacti and alien forest bases made from silicon aquarium plants. This week, I'm working on some boab-inspired trees made from expanding foam!




There are various tutorials floating around for expanding foam trees, but all of those that I found were using twigs or plastic tree trunks with the foam used for filling in foliage. I wanted to turn that idea upside down, using plastic plants for foliage, and the foam used for the trunk. (For the uninitiated, expanding foam is sold in hardware stores for filling holes in walls and the like. It comes in an aerosol can, and when you spray it out it expands to around 300% of its original volume, setting into a lightweight, hard-shelled foam)

My first attempt used large bases with a piece of sprue stuck vertically on them as a support, with the foam sprayed around it, but this wasn't overly successful - they just settled into giant blobs of foam. So instead, I hit on the idea of using a mould for them. I took a screwdriver and used its handle to make a number of vaguely-conical holes in some damp playsand, and then sprayed the foam into these holes, leaving it to set.



Once the foam was set, I pulled the pieces out of the holes, brushing off any loose sand. Because the foam is quite sticky when it is setting, they wound up with a layer of sand quite firmly glued to the outside, which made a nice texture on the trunks.



I used a mitre saw to cut the blobby excess bits off the bottom of the trunks, and then glued them down to some hardboard. A knife probably would have done this job, as the foam is quite easy to cut, but the deep-bladed saw made it easy to get a nice, flat cut.



After texturing the bases with some light gravel and sand mix, I tried painting the trunks with a coat of the same charcoal wood stain that I used for last week's wood stain painting tutorial. While it worked great on the models, here it just tinted the sand but left the lighter, yellowy foam peeking through, so I painted over the top with a coat of Army Painter Ash Grey, and also basecoated the base with some Army Painter Leather Brown.



I then went over the whole lot with a generous coat of Army Painter Strong Tone.



To finish up the painting, I gave the bases a light drybrush with some more Leather Brown, also painting the edges with the same colour. Then I glued on some patches of static grass, and a few bushes made from plastic indoor decorating plants - these come from large sheets of plants that are sold for making artificial garden walls.



At this point, these terrain pieces could easily pass for rocky outcrops or some sort of giant insect mounds, but I decided to go the final step and foliage them up. Using some more decorative plastic sheet plants, I pierced around the top of the trunks with a spike, and then glued clumps of plants on to form a canopy.



The end result:







And the forest cluster, all together:





The texture on the trunks winds up a little unusual for bark, but given that they're intended for a sci-fi table it could easily be something other than wood as we know it - maybe some sort of calcium deposit, or a silicon-based extrusion on which the plants grow. It might also give an interesting bark effect to paint over the sand with some crackling, desert-earth texture paint.



If you feel like building your own alien forest of water-retaining doom, be sure to show your results in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Meanwhile, don't forget that you can pick up the entire 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.

Painting Tip: Quick-painting with Wood Stains!


Posted on Thursday Aug 20, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Back in the dim, dark times before Army Painter Quickshades were a thing, gamers seeking to paint their armies quickly had to find other resources to achieve results. One discovery by a hero whose name (so far as I'm aware) is sadly lost to history was this: You can use timber stains as a wash!

Like most 'get'em painted quickly' methods, this likely won't get you a paintjob that is going to win trophies, but if your aim is to get a force painted up as quickly as possible with reasonable looking results, here's an easy way to go about it:




I'm running through this tutorial with two different models, to show the effect over a 'bare metal' model, and one with a multiple-colour scheme - my guinea pigs here being a Karist Trooper and a slightly converted Epirian Contractor Drone. I started out by spraying the drone with Army Painter Platemetal, and the trooper with Army Painter Wolf Grey. Over the grey, I gave the armour plates a coat of Vallejo Emerald, and the straps, pouches, and the strip down the middle of the facemask a coat of Army Painter Ash Grey.



Now comes the magic ingredient: Wood Stain. The particular brand here isn't particularly important. These stains come in a huge range of different colours and finishes, so find one that gives you the effect you want - a black or dark grey stain will give you a dark, shadowed wash, while a dark brown will give an effect more similar to Army Painter Strong Tone or Citadel Agrax Earthshade. I chose a charcoal here, because I thought it would go well over the metal on the drone, and went with a water-based stain to make cleaning up simple. This also made it easier if the stain wound up being too dark and I needed to dilute it, but this turned out to not be necessary in this case.



You can brush the stain on like a regular miniature paint wash, but for the super-speedy option, give the wash a stir to make sure the pigment is all mixed through properly (this is better than shaking it, as it results in fewer air bubbles), and then grab the bottom of the model's base with a pair of pliers or tweezers and just dip it straight in the tin, up to the base. Ideally, don't do this at the kitchen table, as the next bit can get a bit messy...



After dipping the model, pull it out and turn it the right way up to check how much stain is sticking on there. If it looks a bit heavy, give it a shake (I did say this bit can be messy) or blow on it to disperse any big puddles of stain. You can also use a brush to add a little more stain if there is anywhere that looks like it needs some more - use an old brush for this, as the stain can be rough on them. Then set it aside to dry.



It can take a little practice to tell how much stain is 'right' as it settles (gravity works!) and fades slightly as it dries. As mentioned up top, if the end result is too dark, you can dilute the stain - just make sure you check whether you have a water-based or oil-based stain, and thin with the appropriate liquid!



Once the stain has thoroughly dried, you can go back and add any highlights or final details that you want. For my test models, I've added in some pale pink and white on the trooper's eyepieces and the power cell on his gun.



The drone received a light drybrush of silver before I painted in its lenses and insignia. I also painted up a second, tracked drone, which was painted exactly the same way, but also has a layer of Strong Tone over the tracks.



And there you have it! The dipping is slightly less precise than applying a wash by brush, but it can save you a lot of time if you are batch-painting a force in a hurry. A tin of stain also potentially winds up being considerably cheaper than an equivalent amount of bottled washes!



To build your own speed-painting strike force of doom, you can pick up the entire 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 - The Beginner Painter's Toolbox


Posted on Thursday Aug 13, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Last week we ran through the basic necessities for your modeling toolbox. This week, we're having a similar look at what you need to get started painting your miniatures! You can find the article 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!

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!

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!

Painting Spotlight: Colorshift Shadow Walker


Posted on Thursday Jun 04, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A few articles back, I painted up a Mature Angel using Colorshift paints, as a bit of an experiment. That was actually the second model I attempted with these paints, but I hadn't been entirely happy with the first one. This week, I had a little inspiration though, and so I dug him out and, with a final tweak to his face, wound up with a shiny green/blue Shadow Walker!




The model I painted here is a stock-standard Karist Shadow Walker (No conversion - I know, I'm as surprised as you!). As with the Angel, the armour was painted with Colorshift paints from Green Stuff World. These work best over a gloss black base, so that's where I started, with a quick spray.



Over the armour, I started painting thin layers of 'Emerald Getaway' Colorshift, slowly building up the colour. For the undersuit, I wanted a lighter green, so started with a basecoat of Vallejo Heavy Brown to work down gradually from the black.



I went over the brown with Coat D'Arms Putrid Green, and the belt and weapons with Vallejo Basalt Grey, while continuing to add layers to the Colorshift - It takes a lot of thin layers!



Once I had built up sufficient colour with the Colorshift, I added just a touch of silver on the edges of the armour plates, and some black into the creases, to try to lift them a little, as the shiny Colorshift tends to wash out the detail a bit. I also used some Army Painter Green Tone in multiple, thin layers to shade the undersuit, added a wash of Dark Tone over the weapons and belt, and picked out the helmet lenses and weapon blades with white.



To finish up, I painted the base, added some Basalt Grey highlights to the belt and weapons, and used Army Painter Purple Tone to add an energy shimmer effect to the blades (you can find a tutorial for that here) and shade the lenses.



This was the point where I put the model aside to begin with. While the Colorshift paint was quite effective, if slightly subtle and almost impossible to photograph, on the Angel, on the smaller armour plates on the Shadow Walker it was far more subdued, looking more like really dark shading in weird places rather than a color shift, and making the whole model a bit featureless and dark. I had the idea, though, that picking out the faceplate in a different colour might help to give the model some character. It was fine for the rest of the armour to be a bit dark on the sneaky, teleporty assassin, but I thought this would give him a nice focal point. So I whipped out some more Heavy Brown to re-basecoat over the green, and then used Army Painter Skeleton Bone and white to give him a nice, bone-coloured faceplate!





To give it a go yourself, you can pick up the plastic Shadow Walker kit, 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.

Quick and Easy Painting with Washes, redux!


Posted on Thursday May 14, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Not everyone has the time to spend paintstakingly blending, shading and detailing their models. Sometimes, you just want to get them on the table quickly, so I thought it might be useful to explore some options for fast and painless army painting.

My guinea pigs for this article are some Epirian Suppression Team models, painted exclusively with washes! This is a really easy technique to get to grips with, and while it won't get you an award-winning work of art, it does give you perfectly serviceable-looking models that look great on the table.




For those unfamiliar with them, washes are thin paints designed to sink into the model's crevices whilst leaving less colour on the raised detail (Also sometimes called 'inks' - Not to be confused with 'glazes' which are translucent paints that tint the surface they're painted onto evenly). So while it's a little less precise than blended highlighting or 'juicing' (applying super-thin coats of increasingly dark colour to build up shadow or colour transition), we can use washes over a pale base colour to highlight and shade a model all in one fell swoop. There are a wide range of different washes or inks available, but for this article I'm using Army Painter Quickshades.

I start by giving the model a base coat of white.



Now I'm going to start applying washes to build up the colours I want, leaving the model to fully dry between each. On this model, I've started with a coat of Soft Tone over everything except for the weapons. This is pale enough that other colours will go ok over the top - if you're using darker tones, it's best to try to keep them strictly on the areas where you want them, otherwise you'll need to touch up your basecoat to cover up the overspill before painting each part of the model. Apply a generous coat of wash and leave it to thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step.



Next, I've gone over the armour and chaps with Green Tone, and picked out the boots, belt, kneepads and weapons with Dark Tone. If the colour is lighter than you would like, you can let it dry and then add another coat, as I did with the Dark Tone - this isn't a particularly strong wash, so several coats were needed to get the weapons as dark as I wanted them. You can speed this process up by painting parts that you want to be really 'black' with a medium grey colour before using the wash, but for this article I just stuck with the wash by itself.



I left the tip and front facing of the Shock Baton free of the black wash, as once the black wash dried I applied a coat of Blue Tone to those, which gives a nice energy-glow effect over the white. I also went over the exposed skin areas with Flesh Tone. At this point, I also stuck some sand to the base with PVA glue, washing it with a coat of Strong Tone once the glue dried. Then, to finish up, a quick coat of black around the base edge - you could skip this step by masking off the base edge with tape before painting and then just peeling the tape off at the end.



You can vary the look of the washes by using different base coats. The model below was painted using the exact same process as above, but over a bone basecoat instead of the white.



If you prefer a little more detail, you can go over the washed model with regular paint, picking out features like eyes, belt buckles and the like, and of course you can use different wash colours to suit your preferred colour scheme.





Why not give it a go? As always, feel free to share efforts, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can pick up the Epirian Suppression Team, 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Sprue Kitbash: Escape Pod


Posted on Friday May 08, 2020 at 02:11AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

It probably won't surprise anyone who has been following my articles for any length of time that I spend a lot of time looking at sprues and figuring out different ways to fit parts together in new and interesting ways. This week, the power generators on Terrain Sprue #2 caught my eye, and I decided it was time to get away from it all, with a compact escape pod!




The main hull of the pod was built from two generators, and two reinforcing struts split into two and three segment pieces.



I glued the longer strut pieces, detail-side in, along the long edges of the back of the generator, and then trimmed the short pieces to fit neatly along the short edges, before fitting the second generator onto the other side.



For the jet nozzle on the rear of the pod, I used two large pipe fittings from Terrain Sprue #1, glued back-to-back. The inside piece needed some slight trimming on the flat edges to fit neatly between the protruding ends of the struts.



The viewport on the front of the pod was built from more parts from Terrain Sprue #2: a light, a round window and the base of the weapon mount with the sliderail trimmed down.



As a final step, I added some extra detail over the flat strut backs, using the energy fence posts from Terrain Sprue #1 with the bases cut off. For the bottom of the pod, I clipped off the energy projectors and sanded the post face down flat, gluing it with the back of the of the post facing out. On the top, I wanted a couple of clamps to hang the pod with, so I cut the top and bottom energy projector segments off the post, and then just trimmed, sanded and flipped the middle section.



That just left painting. I used a basecoat of Army Painter Necrotic Flesh, and then a wash of Citadel Iyanden Yellow Contrast, followed with a sponge of Vallejo Heavy Charcoal to weather it. For the metal sections, I used Citadel Boltgun Metal with a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone, followed by a light drybrush of Army Painter Shining Silver, and AK Interactive Pure Black over the jet exhaust. The viewport was painted with a mix of Army Painter Matt White, Ice Storm and Ultramarine Blue, and the lights on the rear panels with white, Army Painter Pure Red and AK Pure Black.













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.

Painting Tutorial: Lenses, redux!


Posted on Thursday Apr 16, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

To the new painter, eye lenses, targeting sensors and other shiny 'glass' details on models can seem a little daunting, but it's actually really easy to paint them up to provide a nice focal point on your models. Below, I'll run through five different techniques for painting lenses!




#1: We let an ink do most of the work, here! For all of these techniques, I'm using red. You can easily just subsitute whatever colours you want to paint your lenses to suit your colour scheme.

  1. Paint the lens with a nice, bright red.
  2. Add a small dot of pink in the middle of the lens.
  3. Paint a coat of red ink over the whole lens - I've used Army Painter Red Tone here.




#2: This one's very similar, but lets you create a glass effect on the surface of the lens. This works best for inset lenses. If you seal your models with a matte spray, do that before painting the lenses in this case.

  1. Paint the lens with a nice, bright red.
  2. Add a small dot of white in the middle of the lens.
  3. Dab a small dot of superglue on top to fill the lens cavity. The easiest way to do this is to squeeze out some glue onto a tile or pallet and use a pin to transfer the right amount. It can take a little practice to get just as much as you need. If you get too much and it slops over the sides, you can use a tissue to soak up the excess glue before it dries.




#3: Similar to the first technique, but letting metallic paint provide the contrast for us.

  1. Paint the lens with silver.
  2. Paint a coat of red ink over the whole lens - I've used Army Painter Red Tone here.
  3. This is the same thing, but using Citadel Blood Angels Red Contrast instead of Red Tone. This gives a brighter red, but the silver doesn't show through as much.




#4: Getting more precise with the shading.

  1. Paint the lens with pink.
  2. Using a fine detail brush, add a small amount of red ink to the upper right or left of the lens - Once again, I've used Army Painter Red Tone here. Leave it sitting upside down to dry, if possible, so the ink stays at the top of the lens.
  3. Add a small dot of white in the middle of the ink-darkened area. If the transition from pink to red is a little harsh, you can use a little more pink on a detail brush to gently blend over the line.




#5: The more traditional approach.

  1. Paint the lens with red.
  2. Using a fine detail brush, paint a small crescent of pink onto the bottom left or right of the lens, and a similar crescent of black or dark red into the opposite upper of the lens.
  3. Add a small dot of white in the middle of the dark area. As with the previous technique, if the transitions between colours are a little jarring, you can use a little more red to gently blend them together




And there you have it - five different ways to paint your lenses. Fee free to experiment with these to find the way that works for you. By using different colours, you can adapt these to whatever models you are painting!





Got Robot? We would love to see what you are working on in the Comm Guild Facebook group!



You can pick up the various Epirian robots, 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Crystal Outcrops!


Posted on Friday Mar 13, 2020 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I recently picked up the fantastic Xenos Jungle terrain mat from Deep Cut Studio, as I really loved the unusual colouring. It shows an alien world covered in rocks, sinister looking ground mist or liquid, some yellowy-green plants, and large, shiny outcrops of purple crystals, and I was instantly in love when I saw it. The only problem with it was that I didn't have any suitable terrain to go with it, so I set out this week to rectify that problem, creating some crystal-encrusted rocky outcrops!




There are a large range of different ways to make crystals, or facsimiles thereof, for the table, but I decided to go the easiest route and just use something that already looked the part. After scouring the internet for a while, I found some acrylic 'ice crystals' on Amazon that looked like they would fit the bill. I wound up buying three packets from three different sellers, due to some unexpected one-per-customer rules on them, which netted me three packets of purple crystals that, while identical in shape, were all slightly different shades of purple. As this just winds up with a more natural overall effect, I couldn't have planned it better if I had tried!

As the crystals were all the same size, I glued some together using an all-plastics glue, and took some others and belted them with a hammer to break them down into smaller pieces (Wear eye protection if you want to try this!)



For the bulk of the outcrops, I decided to use expanded polystyrene, as it's quick and easy to cut to shape. I used an old kitchen knife to roughly cut the polystyrene to the shape I wanted, and then used small spots of PVA glue to glue it down to a piece of 3mm foamed PVC to give it a solid base. Using small amounts of PVA rather than covering the whole piece helps to avoid the base warping when the glue druies.



To cover the polystyrene, the common choice would be filling plaster. I'm not a fan of this, hoever, as it chips easily, so I decided to try something experimental. I ran a bunch of old cardboard boxes through a cross-cut paper shredder, to make a nice pile of tiny cardboard pieces.



I soaked the cardboard in water overnight in the hope of softening it up a bit, and then drained and squeezed out as much water as I could, before mixing it into a slurry with PVA glue, some cheap, black, acrylic paint and a little plaster to bind it all together. Then, I slopped the resultant mess over the polystyrene, smoothing it down as much as possible.



While the cardboard mess was wet, I took crystals and applied clear craft glue to the bottoms. These were then pushed them into the wet surface, so that they would be partially submerged. I then left it overnight for everything to set.



The cardboard slurry dried with a fairly obvious, rectangular texture, which was going to look a bit odd for a natural outcrop, so I painted over the whole thing with a generous layer of PVA glue and sprinkled a coarse sand mixture over it, leaving this to set.



After shaking off the excess sand the next day, I gave the rock surface a coat of black paint.



My intention was to drybrush it grey, to try to match the rock on the mat, but my test piece wound up far too dark and grey looking, so I wound up going back over it with a rough coat of a sandy brown craft paint.



Over this, I applied a generous layer of Army Painter Strong Tone.



When the wash had dried, I set to work with some Coat D'Arms Bone and Bilious Green, and some Vallejo Light Grey, drybrushing all over the rock. The colours don't show up well in the pic here, but the aim was to replicate somewhat the different tones found on the different areas of the mat, so that the terrain wouldn't look out of place wherever it was positioned. I finished up with a final highlight of white to tie everything together, and then added a purple blush around the crystals. This was again matching the style of the mat, and also hopefully adding some more colour under the small crystal pieces I was intending to add at the end.



Finally, I dabbed some more PVA glue around the crystal outcrops and sprinkled on some of the small crystal gravel that resulted from my earlier hammering efforts. I also added some statuic grass and some plants cut from plastic home-decorating sheets to break up some of the boring rock bits.



With a few bits together on the mat, it wound up looking like this:



It's not a perfect match for the terrain on the mat, but it's close enough to work! The next step will be to finish off the rest of the outcrops and a building that I have in progress (as soon as I finish panic-buying some more Strong Tone!), and then work up some sort of 'forest' bases to flesh out a full table.



Stay tuned for more!



In the meantime, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.