The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [tutorial]

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.

Modeling Tutorial: Simple Marble Bases


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


- by Iain Wilson

While painted sand is quick and easy for finishing off your miniature bases, sometimes it's nice to go with something a little more unusual to set your force apart. This week, I'm sharing a handy tutorial for creating super-simple marble bases, with no painting required!




The marble texture comes from adhesive vinyl. This can be bought by the roll in a huge range of different patterns and colours, so you can find something to suit whatever colours you are painting your army.



The vinyl is made to stick to a wide range of different surfaces, and so you can just peel off the backing and stick it directly to the base. Over time, however, the adhesive around the edges can sometimes dry out, causing the edges of the vinyl to peel up. To avoid this, apply a thin circle of superglue around the perimeter of the base top.



Cut a piece of vinyl slightly larger then the base, and then peel off the backing paper from the vinyl, and press the base into place on the sticky side.



Remove the excess vinyl by cutting carefully around the edge of the base with a sharp knife.



If the cut vinyl winds up a little rough, you can smooth it out by sanding lightly around the edge with a fine grade sandpaper.



Finally, attach your model using superglue.



The final model, ready for the table. If you prefer a less clean look, you can also glue some gravel or other rubble on top of the vinyl, or drybrush on some brown to dirty things up a bit.



That's it for this week. Tune in next week for more modeling-related shenanigans!

You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge model 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.

Modeling Spotlight: Adding Arc Markers to 3rd Party bases.


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


- by Iain Wilson

Someone on the DakkaDakka forums recently asked how they could go about adding arc markings to non-Maelstrom's Edge bases, for miniatures that they're using from other ranges. This prompted me to exclaim, "How have I not made an article about that yet?!?"

So this week, while I'm finishing off my last underhive building, I thought I would put that article together - and here it is!




In Maelstrom's Edge, certain things have a different effect when a unit is approached from the front or the rear. To facilitate these rules, our bases have markers on the sides, breaking the base into a front and rear arc. If you're using different bases for your models, you can make do without them by using the model's shoulders or face as a reference, but it can be a lot easier to have that visual reference on the base.

There are a couple of different ways to go about this, but in either case the first step is to find the middle line of the base. I've found the easiest way to do that is to use a gridded cutting mat. Sit the base neatly in between the gridlines - Depending on the size of the base, it obviously won't always run from line to line. 25mm bases, for example, would just be centered with 2.5mm either side. Eyeballing this is usually accurate enough, but you can always measure it, or use a piece of 1mm gridded graph paper instead of the cutting mat if you prefer more precision.

When you have the base lined up, count in halfway on the grid, and use a pencil to make a mark on either side.



For 30mm bases, or other 'odd number' sizes, where the middle point would fall halfway between the grid lines, you might find it easier to mark on the diagonal rather than estimating halfway along the grid.



Once you have your marks, the quickest and easiest way to finish up is to draw or paint a solid line over the marks. For some extra razzle-dazzle, you can add the illusion of a cut-in by highlighting down either side.



If you would prefer to have cut-ins on the bases to match the normal Maelstrom's Edge bases, you can use a small file to etch the line into the side of the base. Try to keep the file perpendicular to the base's top surface, and stop just before you cut right through the base edge.



Do this on both sides, and you wind up with something like this:



Note that if you do accidentally file through the inner wall of the base edge, you can stick a small strip of plastic or paper over the inside of the gap to close it over again.

With some paint on, the filed divot gives you an etched arc marker that looks right at home alongside your regular Maelstrom's Edge bases!



That's it for this week. Stay tuned next week for the completion of my first batch of underhive buildings!



Pick up the Maelstrom's Edge model 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.

Conversion Spotlight: Epirian Heavy Drone


Posted on Thursday Oct 10, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

One of the best parts of this hobby, for me, is when you find yourself looking at some bits and get a little flash of inspiration on how to turn them into something completely different to what they were intended to be. I had one of those moments this week, while cutting some parts off the new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, when on impulse I put a couple of the fan pieces together back-to-back. One thing led to another, and the Epirian Heavy Drone was born!




This is actually a really simple conversion, using parts from the Epirian Hunter Warmech, and four fans from the new terrain sprue.

The first step is to take the Hunter torso and use a sharp hobby knife or razor saw to cut through the waist joint.



With the two halves of the remaining torso glued together, there's a large hole in the bottom, into which a flight stem fits quite neatly. Fill the front half of the hole with green stuff or similar putty.



The Hunter's Cutter machine guns are in two pieces, one of which has a wide flap that covers the underside of the weapon once assembled. Don't use that one. Take the other halves of the two cutters, and glue them to the underside of the Hunter torso. They sit in quite neatly, nestled in under the bulge of the chestplate.



Next, take the four fans from the terrain sprue and glue them together in pairs, lining up the fan blades, to make a pair of turbines.



Glue the turbines onto the Hunter's shoulder sockets.



One drone, ready for painting!





With some paint on, it winds up looking something like this:









Now I just need to figure out what to call it! Any suggestions?



You can pick up both the Hunter kit and the new terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

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.

Terrain Spotlight: Raised Building using gift boxes and the new terrain sprue!


Posted on Thursday Oct 03, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've spent the last couple of weeks happily playing with the new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and building up a nice collection of delapidated buildings for my Broken force to defend - or loot, as the mood may strike them! This week, however, I thought I might take a break from painting rust and see how something a little better maintained might look with the new components to hand.




I have turned to the ever-useful discount store cardboard gift box for this build. These boxes are perfect for creating buildings, as they come in a wide range of different sizes, are inexpensive, and are quite solid.



I started by flipping the box upside down, and cutting a hole in the side for the door frame from the terrain sprue by tracing around the back of the frame and then cutting with a sharp hobby knife. For the door itself, since I wanted something that wasn't all patched up, I went with a shutter-style door made from pieces cut from the support struts from the original terrain sprue.



My previous giftbox buildings have generally had flat roofs, so I decided to make this one angled, just for something different. I took the lid of the box and cut the sides away at a diagonal along the short edges.



I glued the lid upside down onto the bottom of the box (the top of the building, since the box is upside down!), glued the cut-off pieces of the short edges into the middle for reinforcing, and then stuck a piece of corrugated cardboard on top. I also added the vent windows on two walls, tracing and cutting as with the door frame.



To make this building stand out some more, I wanted to put it on a raised slab. For this, I used the lid of a larger giftbox.



On the so-far blank short wall, I gave the building some independent power using the generator from the new terrain sprue and linking it to the control box using some plastic tube and aluminium rod.



To finish up, I glued the base slab to a piece of hardboard, and added some stairs and small vents from the terrain sprue. I also fenced in the top of the slab using the upright posts and grating pieces, which fit nicely around the edge.





With some paint on, the finished building looks like this:











The new terrain sprue will be available from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here from October 7th!

In the meantime, 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.

Terrain Tutorial: Rocky Outcrops.


Posted on Thursday Sep 12, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Buildings are all well and good, but sometimes you want to get out of the urban sprawl, and wage apocalyptic war surrounded by nature! I've shared articles previously covering alien forest bases made from silicon aquarium plants and cactus clumps made from foam balls, but this week we're tackling the ever-popular stacked rock outcrops.




These rocky terrain features are made from sheets of expanded polystyrene. I've used pieces cut from an old foam vegetable box here, because that's what I had laying about. You can generally buy expanded polystyene by the sheet in various grades and thicknesses from hardware stores or foam specialty stores, but if you're more thrifty-minded it's worth asking your local fruit and vegetable retailer if they have any old boxes laying around, or you can save the packaging inserts from electrical equipment.

Expanded polystyrene is composed of loads of small balls of foam pressed together to form a sheet. For this sort of project, you want polystyrene composed of relatively small beads (under 2mm), as the larger sort is much harder to cut cleanly and is more prone to damage.



The first step is to cut a piece of foam to form the base of the outcrop. This can be whatever shape you like, just remember to leave one or more flat spots for the stacked rock spires. For cutting the foam, you can buy heated wire cutters specifically for the purpose, but generally a sharp knife will do the job - just don't use the good kitchen knives, as cutting foam does tend to blunt the knife fairly quickly.



Next, cut rocks for the stacks, starting larger and making each successive rock a little smaller, for however many you want to stack up. Rocks come in all sorts of different shapes and textures, so the actual shape here isn't too important, but I like to use largely flat cuts to create a faceted look. Avoid making really sharp edges on the foam, as these will be fragile. Make your rocks different thicknesses, and you can angle the tops a little to avoid the stack looking too artificial.



Once you have your rocks cut, glue the stacks in place with PVA glue. Don't use superglue or plastic cement, as these will melt the foam. For a little extra strength, you can push toothpicks or wooden skewers cut to an appropriate length down the centre of the rock spires. Push this in until it is sitting just below the surface of the topmost rock, and then glue a scrap piece of foam into the hole to plug it up.



Now we need to disguise the foam a little, as just painting over the foam with regular paint tends to look like, well, painted foam.

So instead, paint the outcrop with a textured paint. Again, the specific texture is more or less up to you depending on the look you want, but here I'm using a Dulux 'River Rock' textured paint. This is an acrylic, indoor house paint with a fine sand texture mixed through it. You can generally pick up sample pots of similar paint from hardware or paint stores, or check out their clearance bins for mis-tinted paving paint, which you can sometimes grab for cheap. If you can find a colour that you want to use as a base colour (as I've done here) that's great, but otherwise you can just paint over it, so the actual colour of the textured paint isn't too important. You can also just use regular paint and stir in some fine sand - silversand (sold in pet stores) is ideal for this.

Dab the paint on with an old brush, rather than brushing it. This avoids brushstrokes and helps to clump the texture. The paint I'm using takes two coats to build up the level of texture I wanted for this outcrop, but coverage will vary depending on the paint you use.



To add some visual interest, glue some sand and/or small gravel to the top surface of the base of the outcrop with PVA glue, and once the glue is dry, undercoat with a similar colour to your textured surface - a few shades darker or lighter is fine, once again just depending on the look you want.



Finally, choose a lighter colour and drybrush over the whole thing. Here, I've used Army Painter Ash Grey, as it's a nice, pale grey with a slight brownish tinge, so it ties into the textured basecoat nicely. If you're unfamiliar with drybrushing, you take a large brush, dip it in your paint, wipe it on some paper until there is hardly any colour still coming off, and then brush that over the surface to be painted. With so little paint on the brush, it just picks up the raised detail, leaving the base coat in the crevasses. You can slowly build up the colour in this way until you get the level of highlighting that you want. It's a great technique for painting rough surfaces like rocks or fur, or for getting worn metal effects.

The finished outcrop, ready for the table:



You can glue your outcrop down to a piece of hardboard to give it some extra weight if you wish - this can be a help in preventing it from sliding around the table!





Keen to give it a go? Be sure to share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can pick up the entire Maelstrom's Edge model range, including our plastic urban terrain detail sprue 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Painting Tutorial: Rusted Shanty Buildings


Posted on Thursday Sep 05, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Our new, upcoming terrain sprue is themed around Broken terrain - delapidated, cobbled-together structures either repaired from abandoned ruins or cobbled together from salvage. I've been putting together a series of run-down shanty buildings and thought I would share my method for painting them up and making them all grubby and rusty!





The building I'm painting up here is the one shown in the walkthrough in the first preview article here.



The first step is a basecoat of dark brown. The exact colour doesn't matter too much, but here, I'm using an AK Interactive Rust Basecoat.



Over the brown goes a spray of cream, sprayed downwards at an angle to let the brown form some natural shading. I'm using a Dulux Chalky Finish cream spray, as it gives a fantastic, non-glossy surface finish.



Over the areas of exposed metal, re-undercoat with a dark brown. For painted metal areas, like the reinforcing struts, apply the dark brown with a sponge. (You can find a tutorial on sponge weathering here). The exact shade of brown doesn't matter too much, as rust comes in a wide range of shades dependong on age and exposure, but I've used AK Interactive Shadow Rust here.

For areas of lighter rust, apply a sponge of dark gray over the brown. This will give the effect of old but unrusted metal showing through the rust in places. Where you want heavier rust, like on the roof, leave this off. For this building, I used Vallejo Heavy Charcoal for this step. I have also painted the base with Vallejo Neutral Grey at this stage.



On the larger rusted surfaces, like the roof and door, apply a rough drybrush of orange. This doesn't need to be particularly even - you're aiming to create a rough highlight to accentuate the patchiness of the rust.



Now the magic part! The final coat of rust is applies with Vallejo Dry Rust. This is a worryingly bright orange paint that goes on gloopy and dries down to a very flat finish. Applied over the brown, the orange is dulled down to a perfect rust finish. Use an old brush and just dab it on, working downwards so that the rust collects most strongly on upper surfaces. As with the drybrush layer, the aim isn't to evenly coat everything, but to create a blotchy effect with the rust heavier on raised, exposed areas and lighter on undersides.



Around this time, drybrush the base with Valljeo Light Grey or similar.

Once the rust has dried, it's time to add some dirt. But first, paint in any remaining details - lights, control panels, grafitti or other markings on the walls, are all best added in now, so that the weathering goes over the top and they don't look out of place with the rest of the structure.

Then, use a medium brown (Vallejo Beasty Brown here) and drybrush around the bottom edges of the walls, in any vertical raised recesses, along the edge of the roof under the corrugated card, and along the tops of doors and windows. This is also a good time to drybrush some dirty patches on the base.



Finally, use a small drybrush to add some more brown along any remaining upper surfaces, like the tops of each segment on the reinforcing struts, the rim of the light fitting and anywhere else that dirt and dust would collect. I also like to add some oil (or other fluid) stains around the base by applying small drops of Army Painter Quickshade wash and leaving them to dry.











The new terrain sprue will be available soon. In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Terrain Spotlight: New Terrain Sprue Sneak Peek!


Posted on Thursday Aug 22, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

In the time since the release of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue a couple of years ago, this useful little frame of detail parts has consistently been one of our most popular plastic kits. As good as it is, though, it was always intended to be just the start of a range of different terrain component kits. So over the last 18 months or so, we've been hard at work designing and sculpting a new sprue to add a whole slew of new building options!

This new kit will be out very soon, but to whet everyone's appetites, I thought I would take the opportunity to throw together a quick building walkthrough to show off some of the great new details!





To keep things simple for this build, I turned once more to my humble favourite: the cardboard gift box!



As with the first terrain sprue, the doors and windows are designed to slot into holes cut into the walls of the structure - although this time around, the doorframes and doors are separate components, so that you can model them open or closed!

To fit them into place, I started by flipping the box upside down, and drawing a guide line 12mm up from the bottom of one of the long walls. Then I held a door frame in place a third of the way along the wall and traced around the inset back of the frame with a sharp pencil. As I wanted two doors on this wall, representing a pair of joined habitation units, I repeated this a third of the way in from the other end of the wall as well.



To cut out the doorway holes, I used a sharp exacto blade, following the pencil line and making several passes rather than trying to cut right through in one go.



I then glued the doors in place with superglue, and cut and glued a window in each end wall using a similar process.



To reinforce the walls of your structures, the sprue includes a number of bolted struts like the first terrain sprue. These struts have some missing panels on them, with optional, separate panel pieces that can be glued on to vary the look of the struts a little.



One of my favourite details, the sprue also comes with two stair pieces, designed to be used individually or stacked up for a taller set of stairs. For this build, I was just using them individually, and also wanted to butt them right up against the wall, so I cut off the triangular support pieces from the backs of them with my exacto knife.



I glued the struts upright on the ends of each of the long walls of the building, and the stairs nestled in under each of the doors. I also glued an exhaust fan onto each end of the building for some extra ventilation.



To finish up, I covered over the rather boring top of the building with some corrugated cardboard, and build an awning using another piece of cardboard, some plastic tubing, and a couple of posts from the terrain sprue. I also added a base of foamed PVC, and some underfloor ventilation using vent pieces cut from the reinforcing struts on the original terrain sprue.



On the rear of the building, I glued a generator in the middle to service both hab units, and built a small fence to protect it and provide some low cover on the table, using some grating pieces and a couple more posts. I also added a couple of corrugated patches on the walls for some low-tech, DIY repair.



With some paint on (which I'll cover in a future article very soon!) the hab block was ready for the table!









The exact release date for these sprues is still to be confirmed based on production scheduling, but should be in the next few months. I'll be showing off some more previews in coming weeks to reveal other components included on the sprue.

In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Painting Tutorial: Old Gold Armour


Posted on Thursday Aug 08, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

If you've been following this blog with even passing attention, you might have noticed that I've been on a bit of a Militus spree. In between the assorted conversions and random paint schemes that I've been trying out, I shared a suit in a dark gold scheme way back when the kit was released, and then revisited that colour scheme with the recent Dominator conversion article. With two suits now matching, it seemed like a good idea to keep going, so right now I'm putting together a 120-point force, which will feature in an upcoming article. In the meantime, I thought I would share the method I came up with for painting the gold, using Army Painter Warpaints and Quickshade.





I'm using a Militus suit here, but obviously this technique can be applied to whatever you want to put it on. I start out by spraying the suit with Army Painter Plate Armour. That's specifically for the Militus, as it lets me run Dark Tone wash over the mechanical underlayer and then move on to the armour. You could also use a grey basecoat for a similar effect, or use white or beige if you would like a slightly brighter end result.



Over the Plate Metal, I paint a coat of Wasteland Soil. This goes on horribly over the plate metal, and looks a bit streaky and patchy, but that's absolutely fine for this effect. If it bothers you, you can give it a second coat to smooth it out, but there's really no need - the purple is just there to give the gold some depth, and you won't see it in the end.

You could use a medium-tone brown instead, but I find that tends to give a more muddy-looking result.



Next up, I paint on two coats of Bright Gold over the purple. This results in a rather strange look - from some angles, the gold will look smooth, and from other angles the purple will show through. As with the previous step - don't worry, magic happens in a minute!



Over the gold, I lightly drybrush with Shining Silver to pick up the raised edges.



And finally, I apply a liberal coat of Mid Brown Quickshade wash. This does a couple of things - it deepens up the colour of the gold, and it adds a brown tint over the purple, turning it into shadow. It's a fairly common technique when wet blending or glazing to add purple into the colour you're shading as you work into the deeper creases. This is sort of the same thing, but in reverse.



After leaving the wash to dry, the model is ready to move on to detailing. If you think it needs it, you can accentuate the highlights with some more gold or silver on raised edges, but I like it as is.

The finished model:





Want to give it a go? You can pick up the Militus battlesuit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Conversion Spotlight: Building the Militus Dominator.


Posted on Thursday Aug 01, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

With the Remnant rules released this week, players now have a range of different options for building their Militus suits. Four of the currently available suit classes are buildable straight off the sprue, but the Dominator class does require a very small (and very easy!) conversion to give it a second shoulder-mounted weapon.





The plastic militus kit only comes with a single shoulder-mounted weapon, which hangs on a rig that only fits on the left shoulder. To build the Dominator, you need two weapons. The easiest way to do this is to leave off the shoulder rig, and borrow a second mounting joint (parts L16 and L21 on the sprue) from a second Militus kit.



If you have built a suit or two with combat gauntlets, you will also have some leftover elbow mounts, which you can use instead.

Simply assemble the mounting joint on the weapon as normal, then flip it upside down and glue it directly to the top of the shoulder pad.



The rest of the suit can be assembled as normal.



With a coat of paint, the new Dominator is ready for the table!



Of course, that's just the easy way to do it. Being plastic, the Militus kit offers all sort of other conversion options if you want to get creative with clippers and glue!





Build up your own crusading force of indomitable firepower by picking up the Militus kit from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Terrain Spotlight: Giftbox Building with Removable Roof!


Posted on Thursday Jul 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

There are two common ways to create buildings for use in wargames - making them solid and either treating them as impassable structures or using abstract rules to represent models being inside where appropriate, or using buildings with removable roofs so that models can actually be placed inside and positioned accurately when required. I generally prefer to go the former route, as it makes buildings a lot simpler to put together, and is less fiddly during a game than having to take a roof off - particularly if there are models on it!

Sometimes, though, it's handy to be able to go that extra distance, so I thought I would show a quick and easy way to create a building with a removable roof from a cardboard giftbox, with a little help from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.





For the core of this building, I used a plain black cardboard giftbox, purchased from a local discount store.



Usually when I'm building terrain, I just go from the idea in my head and hope for the best. In this case, though, I sketched out a quick plan to make sure that the interior all fit into place as intended. The plan changed slightly along the way, but it provided a handy reference as I was putting everything together.



I started out by drawing around the base of the box on a piece of 2mm foamed PVC and cutting out a hole for the box to sit in. This serves to conceal the bottom edge of the box, which has a slightly rounded edge.



Next, I took a large door from the terrain sprue, sat it in place on one of the short edges of the box, traced around it with a pencil and then cut out the resultant rectangle to create a door cavity.



I did the same on one of the long edges of the box with a small door from the terrain sprue. This door is largely featureless on the back (as it wasn't really designed for use where you would see both sides of it), so I cut a piece of thin cardboard to duplicate the raised panelling from the front.



For the interior walls, I used more foamed PVC, with doorways cut in using the small door frame as a template. I checked that these walls fit where I wanted them, but didn't glue them in at this point so that I could get at the interior easier to add more detail.



The building needed some windows. I tend to default to the shutter windows on my builds and use the trapezoid windows for more interesting things, but for this building I had another plan for the shutters. So I spaced out some of the trapezoid windows on the long sides, cut holes by tracing around them with an exacto knife and then glued them in place. Using the knife instead of a pencil to trace gives a tighter fit, which is useful since the trapezoid windows don't have a flange to conceal a loose fit like the doors do.



I kitted out the interior with some bits and pieces made from an assortment of terrain sprue parts. All of this was glued in place, except for the ladder. I left that separate to make it easier to paint behind it.









And now, the important part! I took the lid of the box and glued four corner braces from the terrain sprue upside down around the corners of the lid top. These were spaced to fit neatly inside the box, so that the lid could be sat in place upside-down to create a walled roof.



Of course, this could also be done much more easily by just sitting the lid on the way it normally goes, but I like having a lot of buildings with walled roofs to allow for models to have some cover up there.

I finished up with a few extra detail pieces here and there, and another sheet of PVC on the bottom to form a base.







To paint, I gave the inside a spray with a Rustoleum dark brown primer, and then a light coat of Dulux chalky beige. The outside received a coat of Army Painter Army Green.



I gave the doorframes and windows a coat of Vallejo Heavy Brown, and then a layer of P3 Jack Bone. The base and roof are my usual urban mix of Vallejo Basalt Grey with a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey.



As I wanted the weathering to be heavier on the outside then in, I gave the exterior metal parts a base coat of Citadel Scorched Brown, a very light drybrush of P3 Pig Iron, and then a generous dabbing of Army Painter Dry Rust. The interior metal parts got the same base coat, a heavier layer of Pig Iron, and then a wash with Army Painter Strong Tone.



Everything was dirtied up with a sponge of Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown into all the crevasses and corners, again going heavier on the outside of the building.



With some final detailing and a few printed posters, the building was ready for the table!





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



As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Painting Spotlight: Militus Battlesuit painted with layered Contrast paint.


Posted on Thursday Jul 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I picked up three of the new Citadel Contrast paints to have a play with when they were released - a yellow, orange and red. This was partly just from curiosity as to how they worked, and partly hoping to plug the colour gaps not filled by the other washes (mostly Army Painter) in my current paint collection. I showed off my initial dabblings a few weeks back, with a metallic red and yellow Militus battlesuit (here, if you missed it), using the Contrast as intended, but with the orange I wanted to see of these paints could be used for a thinner, layering style instead of just glopping it on and hoping for the best. So I broke out another Militus suit, and wound up with this:





The model I started with was a Militus suit that I had slightly converted by adding some spare knee wings to the shoulder pads and a flappy cape sort of thing hanging from his belt that was taken from the Karist Kaddar Nova kit.



As with the previous suit, I started out with a basecoat of Army Painter Plate Metal spray.



Over the mechanical undersuit parts and the arm-mounted conflagration launchers, I painted a layer of Army Painter Dark Tone.



When that was dry, I gave the rest of the armour a light coat of Gryph-Hound Orange, keeping it thin enough that it didn't pool. This looked a bit scrappy, but that's ok for now.



I then started building up the orange with successive, light layers. These layers slowly work back from raised edge, building up heavier colour in creases, lower edges of plates and other shaded areas. Once the orange was about as dark as I thought it was going to get, I used a little Blood Angels Red to add some extra shading.





Once I was finished with the Contrast layers, I painted the helmet crest and the cape with Citadel Macragge Blue, and the eyes, inner strip details on the cape and some detail on the sides of the guns with Army Painter Ash Grey. I also basecoated the base with Vallejo Basalt Grey.



To finish up, I gave the blue a light drybrush with some old Citadel Ice Blue to pick up the detail and then washed it with a generous coat of Army Painter Blue Tone. Over the Ash Grey I added a highlight of white, and then I went over the raised edges of the armour with some Coat D'Arms Fiery Orange, with a final spot highlight of white wherever it seemed appropriate. The base was finished off with a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey and my usual 'urban' detailing.



Some final thoughts: Over the Plate Metal basecoat, the orange wound up more of a coppery brown. I don't dislike the colour, but a white or cream base would be needed for more of an 'orange' orange. I also found that the red faded considerably as it dried, so the final level of contrast on the armour plates isn't as high as I had intended. Some over-compensation would clearly be required when shading this way with the Contrast paints in this way.

Another minor issue is that the Contrast rubbed off on raised edges really easily with handling during painting. I had heard that the Contrast paints were a little more fragile than regular acrylics, and are best sealed for handling, and this would seem to be made worse by the thinner coats used here. A light coat of sealer between layers now and then would probably be a good idea for keeping the paint intact while working, although I'm not sure how the Contrast goes over sealer.

Overall, though, the process seems to work, it just needs some refining as the Contrast behaves quite differently to the Army Painter Quickshades that I usually use for this sort of method.



You can pick up the Militus battlesuit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Terrain Spotlight: Oily Joe's Bot Repair


Posted on Thursday Jul 11, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm venturing back inside the box this week, with a new building variant based on a couple of cardboard gift boxes, with some detailing help from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue as usual.

Need your bot repaired, pronto? Want to pick up some spare power converters to get those units in the north quadrant back up and running? Well, don't bother heading down to Oily Joe's, because he's closed down and scarpered, to try to get a berth offworld before the Maelstrom hits.





The base structure of this building uses two differently sized cardboard gift boxes, sourced from one of the local discount stores. The smaller box forms the walls, while the lid of the larger box, which is just a fraction narrower than the small box is long, is used for the awning roof.



I started out by flipping the small box upside down, and using it as a template to mark out a surround of 2mm thick foamed PVC, which I cut out with an exacto knife and a steel ruler.



Then I grabbed a large door from the terrain sprue, and held that in place on one of the long walls (remembering to account for the 2mm surround at the bottom) to draw around it, and then cut out the door hole with the exacto knife.



I glued the door in place with some superglue.


I did the same with a small door on the other long wall, and shutter windows on either short wall. I also added a large pipe fitting one the side with the smaller door.



Next up, I slathered superglue generously over the top of the upside down box, and sat the roof in place.



To help disguise the the roof isn't quite as wide as the building itself, I added a strip of reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue around the lower edge, cutting them to fit neatly. I also added a square hatch on the roof to provide access.



Finally, I glued a comm panel on the wall beside the large door, and glued everything down onto an 8" x 8" piece of masonite. I also added a fan attachment to the end of the pipe fitting - this one is a plastic bit from an upcoming kit (Shhh, don't tell anyone - it's a secret!) but you can also create a fan blade using some cardboard or plasticard, as per the tutorial here.





With that, it was time to paint!



I gave the whole thing a light coat of flat black spray, and when that was dry added a layer of Army Painter Ultramarine Blue. On the doors, I added a white strip with Army Painter Ash Grey and white, and then weathered the whole thing with a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal. (See the tutorial on sponge weathering here!) The base and roof were painted with Vallejo Basalt Grey and drybrushed with Light Grey.



For the rusted metal bits, I started with a base layer of old Citadel Scorched Brown, lightly drybrushed with P3 Pig Iron and Ember Orange, and then applied liberal dabs of Army Painter Dry Rust.



For a bit of extra colour, I printed off the sign for the front and a few smaller signs to scatter around the place after drawing them up in Gimp. These were stuck on with PVA glue, and then a dirtied everything up with a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown in the corners and wherever else seemed appropriate. A few finishing details like the comm screen, lights, and some graffiti on the walls, and Oily Joe's was ready for the table!





To build your own retail champion of the future, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.

Painting Spotlight: Remnant Militus Suit with Contrast Paints


Posted on Monday Jun 24, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

If you've been following my articles for any length of time, you may have noticed that I like using lots of ink washes in my painting. Washes are a great way of quickly adding shading to a model, and so are an invaluable tool if you want to get your models painted speedily and easily. So when the new Citadel Contrast paints came out this month, I couldn't resist taking them for a spin to see what they could do. I specifically wanted to try out a bright red and a yellow, as these are shades that weren't already covered well by my existing collection of washes, and so dug out a Militus Battlesuit from the to-be-painted pile that seemed like a good candidate for the experiment.





The model I chose to paint up was one of the conversions featured in the Militus conversion spotlight article from back in April. This is a mostly-stock model, with a little trimming on the leg joints to allow more of a crouched pose than is otherwise available to the kit.



There are a range of specific basecoat sprays available for the Contrast range, but working on the assumption that following instructions never got anyone anywhere interesting, I chose to use Army Painter Plate Metal spray as a base instead.



Red inks tend to give a richer colour over gold than silver, but that worked into the overall plan. I started out by giving the whole model a generous coat of Iyanden Yellow.



After leaving that to fully dry, I went back over the armour plating with Blood Angels Red, leaving the yellow on the suit's mechanical underlayer and a few other strategic spots.



And just like that, the model was 90% finished. I finished up by adding in some blue detailing on the weapon, chest, boostpack exhaust and helmet eye-lens, and some dark grey on the incursion rifle barrel. I also painted up the metal grating base structure with some Macragge Blue on the vertical panels, and then some Army Painter Strong Tone and Dry Rust over the whole thing. Finally, the base itself was painted with Vallejo Basalt Grey, drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey and Beasy Brown, and given a few nicks and scratches with black and some more light grey.



As with any ink-painting technique, the end result is not perfectly neat, but what it lacks in accuracy it makes up for in speed. Although if you wanted to spend some more time on it, it should be possible to get neater shading by applying multiple, light coats - This won't be as subtle, or as suitable for paler colours as when done with Army Painter Quickshades, due to the Contrast paints being so much more heavily pigmented, but it should still work ok for darker shades. I'll be testing that theory in a later article.





If you're feeling inspired, you can pick up the Militus kit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, 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.