The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [walkthrough]

Terrain Spotlight: Toothbrush Head Wind Turbine!


Posted on Monday Jun 03, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

While fusion reactors and other super-advanced energy generation is all well and good on worlds with bountiful resources, sometimes a more low tech solution is called for.

This week's article was spawned, as so many of them are, by my reluctance to throw stuff away. I found myself looking at an old electric toothbrush head and thinking, 'That would make an excellent base for a fan!' And so the wind farm of the future was begun.





I started out, as I said, with a perfectly ordinary electric toothbrush head.



The wider circle near the base of the stem turned out to be exactly the right size to fit into the large pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. So I started out by trimming a little length off the bottom of the stem with a razor saw, so that the raised circle would sit flush with the top of the fitting when it was seated in place.



The bristles needed to go, to make room for the fan blades, so I plucked them out using a pair of clippers.



For the fan blades, I cut three strips of thin plasticard, rounding off the ends.



I added a twist to the blades by holding one end with pliers and rotating the other end.



With the blades shaped appropriately, I glued them in place using an all-plastics glue (a two-part glue that uses a primer pen and a tube of superglue to securely bond all sorts of different plastics. Useful when you're using plastics that don't holding plain superglue well).



For the turbine's hub, I cut the end off a superglue tube cap with a razor saw.



Using the all-plastics glue again, I glued the cap piece into place in the middle of the brush head.



Finally, I glued the large pipe fitting into place on the bottom of the stem.



With a little paint on, the turbine is ready for the table, either as a standalone piece of scatter terrain, or to add to another terrain piece!





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.

Terrain Spotlight: MDF Sensor Dish


Posted on Monday May 27, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I somehow managed to get through Salute this year without bankrupting myself on shiny, new models, but I did come home with a few fun-looking odds and ends. There were quite a few vendors selling laser-cut MDF kits, some of which I had seen before and some that were new, at least to me. One of the latter was Uncertain Scenery, who had an amazing industrial catwalk setup topped with a very cool sensor dish that I couldn't resist picking up.

This week, I decided the time had come to crack it open and see what I could do with it!





I have to start by saying that this was a fantastic kit to put together! It uses a mix of 3mm and 1.5mm MDF, and the design is really clever at making use of those two sheet thicknesses to create detail. Parts are cut with only a single attachment point to the surrounding sheet, so removal is easy and there's only that one point to trim up.



Because I can't resist the urge to tinker, I did make a few minor changes. As with a lot of MDF kits, the doors on the base of the structure were just a single panel with the door shapes etched into them. To give a little more detail, and to better fit in with the rest of my terrain collection, I decided to replace the existing doors with a door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. It turned out the base structure was just a fraction shorter than the plastic door, so I added some spacers cut from 0.5mm plastic strip to the tops of the interior walls. This lifts the roof piece up just enough for the plastic door to slot in place. Rather than cutting into the walls to slot the door in, I cut a strip of leftover MDF from one of the parts sheets to run up either side of the rear of the door frame, and then just glued the door onto the outside face of the interior wall.





I also decided to replace the blocky, MDF ladder with a plastic ladder from the terrain sprue, cut to an appropriate length. The original ladder used a 3mm thick ladder piece, and guardrails up either side assembled from three pieces of 1.5mm sheet. As luck would have it, the ladder and the innermost guardrail sections together turned out to be exactly the same width as the plastic ladder, so leaving out these inner sections allowed my adjusted ladder to just slot into place as if it was meant to be there.





The base section originally had doors on two opposing walls, but I decided to just go with the one, and have a pipe running in where the other should have gone. I glued the door piece on backwards, with a new panel line etched in with a panel scriber so it wasn't just a featureless expanse, and added a pipe made from a couple of large pipe fittings from the terrain sprue, a piece of a 13mm drip irrigation elbow, and half of a press-stud for a valve.



Everything else was assembled as per the nicely comprehensive instructions, although I left the dish panels off for spraying to make life a little easier, gluing them on once everything was mostly painted.



To paint, I started by giving the whole kit a coat of matte sealer, to help prevent the basecoat from soaking into the MDF as much. The base structure and dish panels were sprayed with a beige primer, and then given a rough coat of flat white.



For the rest of the assembly, I sprayed a generous basecoat of AK Interactive Rust spray, and then a light spray of Army Painter Platemetal. The bare metal parts on the base structure were given a coat of some old Citadel Scorched Brown, and then a drybrush with P3 Pig Iron.



I added weathering to the white by sponging on Vallejo heavy charcoal, and then dirtied everything up wherever seemed appropriate with a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown.



And that's it, ready (for now) for the table. I've left it unbased for now, as I have some plans in that direction which will likely wind up in a future article...





To spruce up your own MDF kits, 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.

Terrain Spotlight: Mirrored Glass Building


Posted on Monday May 20, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Metal and concrete buildings are all well and good, but I thought it might be fun to build something a little shinier for a change. Nothing says 'futuristic city' quite like mirrored-glass-wall buildings, after all!

I've had a play in the past with some clear plastic and mirror-effect sprays, without managing to achieve the effect I was after. Then I came across some lovely, shiny silver card in a discount store, and an idea was hatched.





The basic idea was to make a structure out of 5mm foamcore, using the support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue to form a framework to hold the cardboard. I started by plotting out a rough design using a bunch of struts trimmed to appropriate lengths, so I could get the foamcore dimensions correct.



After marking out the wall dimensions on the formcore, I cut them out using an exacto knife and a steel ruler.



I made a base for the structure from two stacked squares of 2mm foamed PVC. The upper, smaller square created a framework for the foamcore to sit up against, to ensure the building was square and give it some extra strength.



With the outer wall constructed, I added some reinforcement on the inside corners using some offcuts of PVC.



To create the framework for the card to slide into, I glued 5mm plasticard strips onto the walls, tracing the pattern of the support struts.



The strips are narrower than the struts, so with the strut centered on the strip a 1mm overhang was created on each side.



To help avoid the building just being a boring, square box, I left a cutaway to allow for an angled doorway. To fill this in, I cut a square of foamcore to fit across the opening, and cut a rectangle out for a door from the terrain sprue.





With the wall structure complete, I started building up the roof layers with some more PVC, cut to overhang the walls just slightly to close off the tops of the card slots. These weren't glued in place yet - that had to wait until the card was in place.



I joined the three roof levels together using angled pieces of PVC. This served the dual purpose of giving the roof an interesting shape, and also making the whole roof structure into a single piece that could be lifted on and off, which would be easier for painting than separate pieces.



At this point, it was time to paint! I decided to keep it fairly simple, as the main focus on this building was going to be the mirrored walls. I gave the whole exterior a base coat of AK Interactive Rust spray, and then a layer of a satin black spraypaint, leaving the rust in the crevasses for some natural weathering.



When the spray had dried, I cut strips of the silver card to fit into each of the wall slots.



Once all the strips were in place, I glued the roof on top.



For the final detailing, I painted the base with Vallejo Neutral Grey, drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey. I also gave the black a light drybrush with the light grey, and then added some dirt weathering with Vallejo Beasty Brown. I also added some signage, with Epirian logos made from strips of the silver card and some gold card from the same pack for the 'yellow' lower squares. All ready for the table!











You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range 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: Painting a Pa'ku using (almost) only Army Painter Quickshades!


Posted on Monday May 13, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A beautifully painted army that someone has slaved over for more hours than is healthy can be a truly wonderful thing to behold. Sometimes, though, we just want to get some models on the table as quickly as possible. Way back when I first started writing these articles, I shared a tutorial on painting with washes, as it's a really simple technique for speed painting. (Don't look at it, the pictures are horrible and I really need to redo them...)

I thought I would revisit it this week, with a step-by-step walkthrough painting a Broken Pa'Ku (almost) entirely with Army Painter Quickshade washes.





A quick note before starting: Army Painter have two different product ranges under their 'Quickshade' banner. The first are dips, which come in a tin and are used precisely as the name implies - you essentially paint the model in basic colours, drop it in the dip, shake or wipe off the excess dip, and call the job a good 'un. These are good for quickly adding shading to a bunch of models, but can result in a rather muted overall effect due to everything being shaded the same colour. The second product is what we're using here. These are washes, sold in dropper bottles. Washes are thinner than regular acrylic paint, and are usually painted on over lighter colours, where they settle into the creases and darken everything up. Instead of doing that, I'm painting directly over a flat white spray undercoat.



My previous Pa'ku was painted green, so I decided to change it up a little and go blue this time. The first step, then, is to paint a generous coat of Blue Tone all over the Pa'ku's skin. Because the wash is quite watery, this isn't a precise operation. You're unlikely to win awards with models painted using this technique, as regardless of how careful you are, a little bit of wash running into places it doesn't belong as more or less unavoidable. If it gets too messy, you can wait until the first layer dries and then touch up the rest of the model with some white paint before proceeding.



Next up, I painted the straps and bindings with a coat of Mid Brown.



I wanted the large bumps on his back to contrast with the blue skin, so used Flesh Wash. Over the white, this created a light, weathered-bone sort of colour. This needed to go on quite heavily, and required a couple of touchups after it dried, as the flesh tone is very light. In hindsight, Soft Tone might have worked better.



For some brighter colour, I painted the armour pads with Purple Tone.



That left the gun and other metal parts, and the fur around his back pad. I painted these with Dark Tone. For the metal, I was aiming for a dark grey/black tone rather than a true metallic. If you want more of a metal tone, then painting the metal parts with Gun Metal before washing would have done the trick. Instead, I opted for a couple of coats of Dark Tone, with the below picture showing the first coat.



To finish up, I applied the second coat of Dark Tone to the metal parts, and ran a coat of Strong Tone over the fur to help differentiate it slightly from the metal. I also decided that the brown was paler than I wanted, so gave it a second coat of Mid Brown. The Quickshades lend themselves well to this sort of layering - they're heavily pigmented, but over the white the effect is light enough that you can get subtle colour effects with light coats, and a more vibrant colour with a heavy coat, or layer extra coats (or different coloured washes) over the top for a darker finish.



I also went over the targeter lens with some Red Tone, and added a little Dark Tone into the other three eyes, following up with a small dot of regular white paint (hence the 'almost' disclaimer!) in the center of each eye and the targeter when the washes dried.



The base was painted with Army Green, washed with Strong Tone, and then drybrushed with Ash Grey.



The end result is a fairly basic colour scheme - If I was so inclined, I could go back over and tidy up a few small areas of splash-over from the wash, and add a few extra details here and there like the cabling on the gun.



If you're looking for quick and easy, though, it's a really handy technique to play around with, and can easily be adapted to other colour schemes using different wash shades.



If you're keen to paint up your own big, blue, artillery frog, you can pick up the resin Pa'ku 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.

Painting Spotlight: White and Gold Militus Suit


Posted on Monday May 06, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Last month saw the release of the fantastic new Militus suit for the Artarian Remnant, a brand new faction being introduced to Maelstrom's Edge. The Remnant wage war using elite Champions is advanced, armoured suits, and the Militus is the first of three suit variants to see the purplish-tainted light of day. From a modeling perspective, the Remnant are a joy. For starters, the Militus is a multi-part, articulated plastic kit with a huge range of posability (as shown in my recent Militus Spotlight article). To add to the fun, Remnant Champions are big fans of personal heraldry, with each suit being uniquely decorated with the Champion's Fire Team and House colours. So this week, I decided to write up a step-by-step painting guide for a colour scheme I chose for one of my converted Militus suits.





The model I chose to paint up was one of the conversions featured in the spotlight article mentioned above. I built this suit using a mix of plastic Militus parts and a bunch of resin components from Max Mini that I've had sitting around in the bits box for some time now. I didn't want to spoil his pretty, detailed shoulder pads by mounting a weapon up there, so I also built him a weapon drone using a modified jump pack.



Rather unusually for me, this model was painted entirely with Army Painter paints - normall I use a mix of different brands depending on what suits the current project, but in this instance I happened to have all of the colours I needed in the one range!

To start things off, I base coated the model with a spray of Platemetal.



I then painted the armour with a couple of coats of Ash Grey, and the trim with Wasteland Soil. For the base, I used a generous coat of Army Green.



The trim then received two coats of Bright Gold, and the suit's mechanical underlayer, sword blade and the drone's Incursion Blaster were all given a heavy wash with Dark Tone.



I painted the shield background and the helmet crest with Pure Red. Over the gold, I applied a coat of Flesh Wash, and also added a thick wash of Strong Tone over the base.



When the washes were completely dry, I drybrushed the base with Ash Grey, and added a light drybrushed highlight of Shining Silver to the gold. I then went over the grey armour with Matt White and Ash Grey, using pure white on upward facing plates, and blending down with Ash Grey on angled facings, leaving pure grey on downward-facing portions. I also added a wash of Red Tone over the red on the shield and helmet crest.



This just left some final detail work. A added a highlight to the shield and crest with a mix of Pure Red and Matt White, although I wasn't happy with the finishing tone on the crest - I fixed this with another wash of Red Tone. I also picked out the gems on his shoulders and sword with red, shading with Dark Tone and adding specular highlights with white. I also added a red glow to the sword blade and the drone's jets using a mix of red and white, and added some nice, bright red in the eye hollows. And finally, I painted around the base rim with black, and added a couple of tufts of grass for a little contrasting colour.



The finished suit in action, taking on some Karist troopers!





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.

Conversion Spotlight: Karist Anti-Grav Buggy!


Posted on Monday Apr 29, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A short while back, I showed off an Epirian Contractor truck that I put together using a Games Workshop Ork truck with all of the Ork bits removed. It seemed only fair to give the Karists some similar vehicular love, and so I found myself once more purloining the parking lots of the 41st Millenium, this time making off with an Achilles Ridgerunner. The moment I saw this buggy, I thought it would make a fantastic anti-grav vehicle, which was right up the Karist Enclave's alley. And so I set to for some serious wheel-removal action!





There was surprisingly little conversion actually required to make this work - I was intending for a fairly high-tech take on anti-grav, with all of the 'workings' would be internal. This helps to preserve the lines of the vehicle, and eliminates the need to build parts specifically to represent the techy stuff. So for the most part, the buggy was just built as standard. I chose the radar dish that comes in the kit instead of the open cupola, because I liked the look of it.



With the wheels being left off, I also needed to remove the axles, so these parts were all either left off, or trimmed away as necessary.



To conceal the gaps where the front axles should have been, I added a piece of thin plasticard in the wheel arch on either side, and then glued the shock absorbers running down to connect the chassis to the front armour plate. This was just intended to create a little detail, rather than having just the flat plasticard.



On the rear, I covered over where the differential piece should have gone with a couple of vents cut from the support struts on the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



Obviously, an anti-grav vehicle needs to hover, but I didn't want it sitting too high and also wanted a nice, sturdy joint for the flight stem. To this end, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the buggy, allowing the flight stem to fit snugly through, and glued a short length of plastic tube to the inside of the buggy's top section, for the flight stem peg to slot into.



To attach the stem to the base, I just drilled an appropriately-sized hole a little aft of centre, and called the job a good 'un. The stem would be glued in once everything was painted.



The original weapons needed to be replaced with Karist versions. I left off the smaller weapons that attach either side of the cab, but for the main gun, I cut the attachment joint out of the missile launcher's lower plate and glued it to a pair of Cybel Lances taken from the Karist Heavy Trooper set, with the firer's arms removed.



For the gunner himself, I used the kneeling Heavy Trooper, with a right arm purloined from the plastic Karist Trooper sprue and a hand from the Faction Expansion sprue.



From there, it was just a matter of gluing the rest of the buggy shell together. With the assymetrical cabin, it wound up looking a bit lopsided without the wheels, so I added a small pair of stabiliser wings on the rear, cut from 1.5mm plasticard.





With some paint on, the buggy was ready to fly!











If you're feeling the need for speed, feel free to pop along and share your vehicular creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the Karist range, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

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

Terrain Spotlight: 'Illuminated' Viewscreen


Posted on Tuesday Apr 23, 2019 at 05:31AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm home from Salute (which was a blast!) and a regrettably very short stay in London, and now getting caught up on everything. As a result, this week's modeling article is a short and sweet one, which also creates a little more progress on my landing pad display board. One of the features I wanted to add on was a viewscreen displaying a 'Welcome' message to new arrivals to the pad. I wanted this to give the illusion of being an illuminated screen without actually having to resort to playing around with LEDs and the like, and below is a quick rundown on how I set this up.





The frame for the viewscreen was made from a garage door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I cut the door out with a razor saw, and then sliced up the doorframe and rearranged it into a smaller rectangle. (You could also just use a rectangle of thick plasticard with the middle cut out!) This was then painted using my normal weathered metal technique.



I wanted the back of the screen to be slightly smaller than the frame, so that the viewscreen would look like it was sitting out slightly from the wall rather than having the sides sit flush against it. So I traced around the frame onto a piece of thin plasticard, and then it cut out about 1.5mm inside the line to make it smaller than the tracing. I then glued this piece to the back of the frame, and painted around the outside edge with some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal so there wouldn't be any white peeking out from behind once it was mounted on the wall.





For the image on the screen, I grabbed an appropriate picture and added some text in Gimp, before printing it out at an appropriate size on glossy photo paper.



I sprayed the picture with a light coat of gloss sealer to protect it, and then glued it in place inside the frame.



To give the illusion of a glow, I painted around the inside edge of the frame with silver, and then added a couple of coats of brush-on gloss varnish. The gloss creates a dull reflection around the edges of the frame - it's a subtle effect, but enough to convey the idea of a low-powered screen that doesn't throw out a lot of excess light.



An alternative to this effect would have been to paint around the inner edges of the frame with colours matching the adjoining parts of the picture. This can create a much brighter 'glow' than the method I've used above, but can also look off if you look at it from the wrong angle.

With that done, it's time to get cracking on the rest of the display board, since I'm getting rather impatient to see it finished!



Build your own viewscreen by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Remnant Militus Battlesuit


Posted on Monday Apr 15, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This month saw the release of a new faction, and a fantastic new multi-part, plastic kit for Maelstrom's Edge, in the form of the Artarian Remnant's Militus battlesuit. For this week's modeling article, I thought I would take a closer look at this kit and see what I could make with it.





The Militus kit comes with a single plastic frame, which includes one battlesuit, two each of the different ranged weapon options, fist and reflex shield options, two different shoulder pad options, two different backpack options, and more heads than you can poke a shock baton at, to allow for some very easy customisation between your different suits.



The Militus is fully articulated, with ball joints at ankles, knees, hips, elbows and shoulders, which allows for a wide range of posing options. The ranged weapons also have a multi-part gimble arrangement which allows both arm-mounted and shoulder-rig weapons to be positioned just how you want them.





As an alternative to the standard shoulder rig, you can leave the vertical arm off and flip the weapon over, attaching the gimbal directly to the shoulder pad.



As a handy extra, the connection point for the weapons onto the gimbal is a very snug fit, which actually allows you to leave the weapon unglued and just push them into place, so that you can switch between weapons as desired between games. Likewise, while the forearm-and-hand option uses a different upper arm to the ranged weapons, the shoulder joint is a tightly fitting ball and socket joint, so if you glue the shoulder pad on to the torso without gluing the arm, you can carefully wiggle the arms in and out of the shoulder socket to swap them.


The saw blades on the above suit are not from this kit, but came from a Warhammer 40000 ork vehicle, used here just because I thought it looked awesome!

The backpack options (a field generator and a jump pack) also slot on, fitting neatly over the suit's back. These aren't quite as snug as the shoulders, but you could easily leave them unglued and attach them when you want them with a little blue-tac or similar poster adhesive.



The fantastic thing about plastic, of course, is that it is simple to modify. So if the already wide range of posing available to the suit doesn't quite get it where you want it, it's an easy job to trim the joints a little to push them out even further. The below suit was posed by removing the top edges of the thigh armour plates, trimming the edges of the hip socket and leaving off the triangular piece that fits into the back of the shin.



Lorican Champions are highly individual souls, and love to customise their suits. For this reason, the frame includes a bunch of different heads, and we will be releasing a resin upgrade pack to add some extra options in the near future. You can also look at other 28mm resin add-ons for more distinctive customisation - the heads on the suits are more or less human-sized, although you may need to fill the neck socket with some putty. The below suit was customised with an assortment of resin parts I had laying around from an old grab bag. His weapon drone (representing a shoulder mounted weapo, rules-wise) was made from a chopped up jump pack.



Finally, you're likely to wind up with a bunch of extra heads after you have finished building your suits. As mentioned above, these are human-sized, so that opens up all sorts of potential for customising your troops from other factions!





What do you have planned for your Militus suits? Feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can pick up the Militus suit 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.

Painting Tutorial: Aged Copper


Posted on Monday Apr 01, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

For a very long time, I tried to avoid painting anything copper, as none of the copper paints I had tried ever looked quite right. Since I started getting a little more adventurous with my terrain building, though, it became harder to avoid having to figure something out that I could be happy with, and so eventually I started experimenting again to see what I could work out. This week, I'm sharing a quick tutorial showing the method I settled on.





For my example piece, I'm using a piece of a 13mm drip irrigation fitting, with the large pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue as a handy stand for it.



The first step is to undercoat with a medium green colour - I'm using Army Painter Army Green spray, but pretty much any green will do. This just gives a bit of a green tint anywhere that the copper paint winds up a little thinner, so the actual colour isn't too important.



Next, paint on two coats of copper. Here, I've used some old (very old) Citadel Beaten Copper, but again you should be able to use whatever copper you have. Copper fittings tend to vary considerably in colour, so there's no 'right' shade to look for, other than what looks right to you.



The reason that copper paint tends to not look right is that unless it's polished (which brush-on copper paint doesn't convey) copper generally isn't actually metallic copper coloured. It's more of a dull, coppery brown. So, over the copper, paint a generous slathering of Army Painter Mid Brown wash and leave it to dry.



You could leave it there, with perhaps a light drybrush of copper over the top to pick up some highlights, or carry on and add some verdigris by drybrushing with a suitable blue-green colour. As with the copper itself, verdigris can range from a pale green through to more of a turquoise colour, so use whatever colour suits the look you want. I've used Vallejo Model Colour Emerald here, mixed with just a touch of white and drybrushed wherever it looks appropriate. You can leave as much or as little of the copper brown showing through as you want to get the desired look.



Finally, you can add some scratches with thin lines of black, highlighting the bottom edge of the line with copper. Light highlights and lines of copper without the black can also be used to show shallower scrapes and scuffs.



And that's about it. Go forth and copper up your terrain to your heart's content!







You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge boxed game and model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Terrain Spotlight: Alien Forest using Silicon Aquarium Plants!


Posted on Monday Mar 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

While there is a steadily growing range of awesome terrain on the market these days for sci fi wargames, one curious gap is the general lack of alien plantlife, which results in a vast majority of 'forest' type terrain being represented on the table by variations of the same, standard green trees. This week, I'm venturing outside the shady, green box, and creating an alien forest setup using silicon aquarium plants!





Aquarium plants come in a pretty vast range of different styles, sizes and colours, so can be an invaluable source of alien flora. The plants I'm using here are some sort of anemone-looking thing made from silicon and mounted in pairs or triplets on resin rocks. You could just as easily use whatever other plants you feel like (or can find in your local aquarium supply store!), but I really liked the look of these.



Forest bases need a base (obviously!), so I cut half a dozen out of 5mm masonite. I used a scroll saw with the blade set to a 30 degree angle for this, to get nice wobbly edges, and then sanded them down smooth. You could do the same with a jigsaw, or a coping saw if you prefer to avoid power tools.



Onto each base, I glued two or three clumps of 'trees' with superglue, leaving them in the resin rocks so that I didn't have to make up some sort of alternative base for them. This also helps to give them a little more height, and adds a bit of extra texture to the forest bases.



To stretch out my collection of plants a bit, and also to help break up the identical clumps, I cut through some of the resin rocks with a razor saw to split up the tree clumps.



The cut edges of the rocks were then concealed behind stacks of foamed PVC, cut from scraps leftover from a previous project. You could also use foamcore or cardboard for this (although the PVC is a bit more durable and less likely to delaminate from use) or putty or filling plaster to sculpt up a replacement rockface.



From there, I slapped a generous coat of PVA glue on each base and sprinkled on a sand/gravel mix, leaving the glue to dry before tipping off any excess sand that hadn't stuck. I also applied a generous spray of matte sealer, both to help hold the sand down and to kill a little of the shine on the silicon plants.



To paint, I glopped on a generous coat of a medium brown as a base coat - I used a Mont Marte Burnt Umber artist's acrylic for this, with the intention of matching these bases to the air conditioner fitting bunker that I made last week.



Over the brown, I drybrushed a taupe colour ('Fawn', another artist's acrylic).



The largest of the bases had some extra space left on it, so I added some young growth using some clipped pieces of plastic rod, painted up with red and yellow to match the plants.



And that's pretty much it. If you want a more over-grown look to your forests, you could easily put the 'tree' clumps closer together, or add extra undergrowth using other, smaller plants. There's a bit of a balance to find with area terrain like this, though - You want it to look good, but you also need to be able to put models in it, so I prefer to keep things fairly simple to improve their function on the table. An alternative compromise is to mount the trees onto the base with magnets instead of gluing them in place. This lets you add some extra layers of detail, while being able to selectively pluck parts of the forest out of the way as necessary to place models in there. For now, though, this is my forest all together on the table:







Feeling like assembling your own tropical alien paradise? As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the Maelstrom's Edge boxed game and model range in the Maelstrom's Edge 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: Bunker from an Air Conditioner Fitting


Posted on Monday Mar 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Apparently even when I'm looking for something else completely, the terrain bug is difficult to avoid. On a completely unrelated trip through the hardware store for a change, I came across a rack of plastic air conditioner ducting that included a bunch of pieces that immediately jumped out as potential building fodder. Before you could say 'Get to the bunker!' I was on my way home with fingers just itching to break out the tools. The end result was a brand new ground-level access for a bunker complex!





The piece that I chose started out life as a 100mm ceiling cap, which is apparently something to do with air conditioners - I'm taking the word of the label for that! I love the idea of buildings that serve as an entryway to larger complexes below ground, and the shape of this fitting looked perfect for an atrium bunker leading to a staircase or angled lift shaft.



As the type of plastic used was shiny and of indeterminate pedigree, I started out by removing the label and giving the whole thing a light sand with fine grade sandpaper to remove the glossy outer layer. This helps the glue and paint to stick later.



The fitting is made of two separate pieces that clip together along the sides, which made cutting window holes a little easier - I popped the pieces apart, and used a shutter window from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue to trace around for the hole, with one vertical edge running along the seam. Then I cut along the top and bottom of the marked hole with a razor saw, and scored the other vertical side and snapped the resultant scrap piece out of the hole. This was repeated on the other side, and again on the front for a door hole, using the armoured door from the terrain sprue as a guide.



I glued the windows and door in place using an 'all plastic' glue combo (a two-part setup that includes a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen that is used first to help the glue stick to unusual plastics). I also added a strip light above the door for a little extra visual detail, and to cover over the screw hole that was there.



To fill in the roof, I cut two pieces of 2mm foamed PVC to the right shape to fit in the cavity. In one of these I cut a square hole for the hatch from the terrain sprue. The two pieces of PVC were then superglued together, and the hatch glued into the hole.



The fitting has a couple of handy ridges running around in the top cavity at a perfect height to form a balcony once the PVC section was glued and dropped in to sit on them. At this point I also glued the structure down onto a piece of masonite cut to an appropriate size and shape, and filled in the seam on the fitting with a little putty.



To paint, I started out with a coat of Rustoleum brown primer.



I wanted some light texture over the non-metal parts of the bunker. For this, I used a terracotta paint found in the paint section at my hardware store. This is generally used on plastic plant pots to make them look like they're made of terracotta, and has a really fine grit mixed through it to give it a sandy feel. I used a large brush and dabbed this on rather than brushing, to avoid brushstrokes showing up when I drybrushed over it.



The terracotta coat was a little patchy when it dried, with the dark brown basecoat showing through a bit darker than I wanted, so I went over it with a coat of Burnt Sienna craft paint. While that was drying, I also went over the base with a generous layer of PVA glue and sprinkled on a coarse sand and gravel mix.



The bunker was then drybrushed with a mix of Burnt Sienna and a taupe colour (actually called 'Fawn' on the bottle). The metal parts were given a heavy drybrush with P3 Pig Iron and then a generous wash with Army Painter Dark Tone, and the base was painted with a dark brown (Burnt Umber) craft paint.



Finally, the base was drybrushed with some more Fawn, and the lights painted with Citadel Ultramarine Blue, drybrushed with Ice Blue and White.



I also added a building number on the back slope, using a stencil printed out on paper and cut out with a hobby knife. I dabbed on Vallejo Light Grey with a large brush, and then a layer of white, trying not to make it too neat so that it would look a little weather-worn.



A shot of the roof:



And that's it - ready for the table!



Build your own bunker by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Painting Spotlight: Broken Forsaken Chieftain


Posted on Monday Mar 04, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time to get some paint on!

Despite building a bunch of Forsaken Chieftains for a conversion article a while back (This one!), I hadn't had a chance to get any of them painted up yet, so my Broken force has been languishing without a properly-attired leader for all this time. This week I decided to remedy this situation!





The model painted here was one of the resin conversions featured in the article linked above, with the normal Xeno Spotter and melee weapon replaced with bionic arms holding a Beam Blastgun and a grenade.



My broken troops were painted with a very quick 'base colours and a wash of brown ink' affair, which was shown in the article way back here. As a force's leader is a bit of a centrepiece, I wanted a paintjob that was going to look like it fitted in with the troops, but was a little more polished. I started out by spraying the model with Army Painter Army Green, as I had with the troops.



I then picked out the base colours, leaving the army green on the pants and shirt, and painting straps, pouches, boots and armour pads with Vallejo Heavy Brown and Beasty Brown, the coat with P3 Jack Bone, her face with Citadel Tallarn Flesh, and everything else with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal.



The next step was to add some highlights. I used Coat D'Arms Putrid Green to highlight the creases in the shirt and pants, and followed up with some touches of Jack Bone on the darker brown areas and face, and P3 Morrow White on the coat and lighter brown parts.



The green was then shaded with a wash of Army Painter Green Tone, and the brown areas and face with Army Painter Strong Tone. While that was drying, I added some white highlights to the hair, and painted the metal areas - the weapon was just given a light drybrush with P3 Pig Iron, and the other metal areas given a flat coat of the same.



Next up, the metal parts were given a highlight with Army Painter Shining Silver. I also painted the edge detail on the coat with some old Citadel Tentacle Pink, and shaded the coat with multiple light coats of Army Painter Soft Tone painted into the creases and concealed areas.



I then gave the metal parts a wash of Army Painter Dark Tone, and shaded the coat edge detail with some light coats of Army Painter Purple Tone.



That just left some final detail work - The eye was painted white and a black dot added in the middle. The bionic eye was painted with Vallejo Red and Army Painter Pure Red, with a highlight of white. For the yellow on the grenade, I started with a coat of Citadel Iyanden Yellow, a top layer of P3 Cygnus Yellow, some shading underneath with Soft Tone and a highlight of yellow with a little white mixed in. The straps on the gun were painted with Heavy Brown and given a wash of Strong Tone, as were the cross-straps on the back of the coat. Also on the back of the coat, I picked out the studs with Heavy Charcoal and added a highlight with Shining Silver.

And, finally, the base was painted with the same urban scheme that I've been using for several of my Maelstrom's Edge forces - you can find a how-to here.



The finished model, leading a Broken force into battle!







Keen to try putting together your own Broken force? You can find the resin Chieftain model and plastic Broken Infantry used here, 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 work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

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

Terrain Spotlight: Plant Pot Bunker


Posted on Monday Feb 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

One of the things that I enjoy most about this hobby is finding random things that can be turned into new terrain. This week's article is one of just those awesome little finds - a bunker made from a grocery-store plant pot!





The base for this build was one of a set of three plastic plant pots, found at my local supermarket.



As the plastic these are made of is really hard and shiny, I started out by lightly sanding the outside. This breaks up the shiny surface, and allows glue and paint to adhere better.



I decided to avoid cutting into the pot, as I expected the plastic to be quite brittle - brittle plastic breaks easily if you're not careful when cutting it, and it was easier to just not bother. As such, I took a door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and built a small boxwork for it using foamed PVC. I used the side of the bunker as a tracing guide to get the correct angle on the back of the box, so that it would sit nice and flush.



The door was then glued in place using an 'all plastics' superglue (a two-part glue that has a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen that makes it stick better to plastics that don't do so well with superglue alone), along with a square of foamed PVC cut to fit neatly around the bottom of the bunker.



I used reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue for the bunker's vision slits, shortened up by cutting the last section off each end.



To get the slits positioned right on each side, I marked out the correct horizontal position on a cork sanding block, and used that pushed up against the wall as a height guide.



To cover over the holes in the base of the pot, I cut a square of 1mm plasticard and glued it into the recess.



To finish up, I glued the bunker to a roughly-shaped piece of masonite, and trimmed up the base square of PVC to make it a less regular shape, adding some protrusions with cast-offs of PVC to break it up even further. I also added some buttresses on the three non-door sides of the bunker, to break up line of sight around the perimeter.



I painted over the PVC on the base with some Vallejo Heavy Brown before gluing some gravel mix down over the top with PVA glue - the paint layer helps to stop stray bits of white showing through once the base is painted.



The finished bunker, ready for paint:



And with some paint on:









Build your own bunker by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

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

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

Modeling Spotlight: Kitbashed Epirian Contractor Truck


Posted on Monday Feb 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Running around is all well and good, but sometimes it's preferable to travel in style. So with that in mind this week I decided to add some extra mobility to my Epirian force in the form of a contractor truck, built from a somewhat neatened-up Games Workshop Ork Squigbuggy.





The basic truck chassis was perfect for the look that I wanted, with the main challenge being to remove anything overtly 'orky'. The ramshackle look is great, but not really in keeping with the Epirian aesthetic. And obviously, the ork crew themselves had to go. The only problem there was that the driver's feet are moulded to the pedals. So job number one was to remove those feet with a chisel-blade hobby knife.



Removing the metal 'teeth' on the front grill was more problematic, so I replaced the grill piece entirely with a new one cut from textured plasticard.



Likewise, there was just too much detail on the rear tray to be easily removed, so I built a new tray out of layered 1mm plasticard, with a centre detail piece cut from plastic mesh.



I considered trimming up the doors, but was on a roll with the plasticard by this point, so quickly knocked up two new door panels and added some Epirian badges using tile-texture plasticard.



The extra plating on the sides of the front cowling was considerably easier. I cut away anything that didn't belong, and gave the trimmed surfaces a light sand to make sure they were smooth.



Humans being somewhat smaller than orks, the driver needed a seat added to fit in properly, so I assembled one out of 1mm plasticard and some more of the tile. For the driver himself, I used an Epirian contractor with the legs cut and repositioned.



The proportions had worked out all wrong to use the original pedals, so the driver's feet both wound up resting on the middle pedal. I added some pieces of plasticard over the other two to cover up the holes left from cutting off the original driver's feet.



I've been making it a feature of my Epirian conversions to include a drone head, and the intake on the hood seemed like an obvious spot to put one, with a little trimming to make it sit as flush as possible.



Rather than trying to wedge a second seat into the asymmetrical cabin, I decided to make it a single-seater and add a drone-controlled weapon in the (ahem) shotgun spot. I built this using a few pieces pilfered from the Master Bot Handler and Scarecrow kits, with a base from a Spider Drone leg piece with the actual legs removed.



To give the weapon a clear fire arc, I cut apart the roll cage and shortened the crossbar so that it would only extend over the driver's seat.



At this point, it was time to putty up any gaps, notably around the base of the drone and the driver's repositioned legs. The roll cage was left unglued for now, and there would be a little more putty filling required once I was ready to put it in place, but this couldn't happen until after I had painted the driver and cabin. (In hindsight, I also should have left the driver separate, as it proved rather difficult to paint him in place!)



The final step was to add some arms for the driver - I needed some outstretched arms, so wound up using Master Handler arms with Contractor shoulder pads added, and the hands replaced with open contractor hands to grip the steering wheel. And with that, the truck was all set for painting.



Painting used the same scheme as I have used on my previous green Epirians - Vallejo Yellow Green washed with Army Painter Green Tone, although in this case I spent a little more time layering the ink to create neater shading and highlights.





I added damage to the paintwork by sponging with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and then highlighting the lower edges of the paint chips with yellow green.





The metal parts were painted with Vallejo Basalt Grey, washed with a coat of Secret Weapon Soft Body Black, and then drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey. I followed this up with a final wash of Army Painter Dark Tone.



The next step will be to work up a rules card for this thing, probably with some homebrew rules for transporting units to make use of that trayback!

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

You can pick them up the Epirian models used here, 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: Landing Pad 16, part 2


Posted on Monday Feb 04, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time to check back in on my landing pad display board build! (If you missed part one, you can find it here)

In the first instalment, I ran through the construction of the 'back' side of the display, so this time around I'm working on the landing pad area.



When I cut the foamed PVC for the floor, I left out a curved area that would form the main section of the actual landing pad itself. To fill this in, I cut a piece of 2mm thick cardboard.



On the top surface of the card, I painted a layer of superglue, and then laid a piece of fibreglass flyscreen flat over the card. Once the glue set, I trimmed the screen around the edges.



I wanted a section of the pad to have visible pipes under the mesh, and had cut a cavity into the cardboard for this purpose. Painting this with everything glued in place would be problematic, so I cut the screen neatly down one edge of the cavity so that it can be lifted up out of the way to paint the pipes. The pipes were made from sections of an assortment of plastic rods. Once the pipes and the rest of the pad are painted, I'll glue the screen back down and add a little trim over the top to disguise the joint.



As detailed last week, I built up the walls using foamed PVC. I left a recess around the top of the landing pad wall, along with the pad's retractable roof would slide.



I added support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along the top and bottom of the walls, with an extra row of reinforcing



As I had pipes running into the wall from the back side of the board, I needed something on the pad side to match up to them. The first became a heat vent, using a trimmed down large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and a pipe end from a 13mm drip irrigation setup. I shortened the pipe fitting by cutting across it with a razor saw.



For the second large pipe, I built a fuel storage tank using another drip irrigation piece, a piece of plastic packaging that I think came from a laser printer component, and a clear plastic cap - I don't recall exactly where this piece came from, but I think it was some piece of toddler-feeding paraphernalia. I added some connection ports to the front using the small pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and some plasticard.



For the smaller pipe, I ran a matching piece of pipe cut from the side of the terrain sprue, and fed this into an air conditioning unit built from foamed PVC and an assortment of gubbinz from the terrain sprue.



To the left of the pipe I had added a square hatch, just for a little detail, with the intention of this turning into a conveyor feeding into the pad area from elsewhere. For the conveyor belt, I glued in a bunch of plastic tubes to create rollers.



I broke up the vast expanse of flyscreen on the pad with a couple of strips of plasticard, and added a curved strip around the edges to conceal the join between the screen section and the solid floor.



The rectangle cut into the pad floor was intended to turn into a cargo lift. I built the lift platform using a piece of PVC, some support struts from the terrain sprue and a piece of chequer plate plasticard.





To allow for some variation in the display, I wanted to be able to reposition the lift. To this end, I built a hydraulic lift to go under the middle of the platform using some pieces of plastic tube and a couple of pipe fittings. Thanks to the magic of magnets, this all slots together when needed. Alternatively it can be left out, allowing the lift to sit on the floor.



Ships need to recharge as well as refuel. I built a charging port using a shutter window with most of the shutters cut out. Into the resultant opening, I glued a piece of plasticard and some assorted bits and pieces. The charging cable was made from a couple of pieces of plastic tube and the chain from a fob watch I had sitting in my bits box.



At the other end of the board, I wanted some stairs and decking platforms to create some vertical detail. I cut the shape of the platforms out of 1mm plasticard, and glued on some aluminium mesh cut to the same size.





On the bottom of the mesh, I glued matching pieces of plasticard, and then added some diagonal supports using I-beam plastic rod.



The supports for the platforms we made from foamed PVC, doubled-up to give it some extra thickness.



With the legs in place, I added some extra supports for staircases, cut from more PVC. I used strips of textured plasticard for the stair treads. For the moment, I left the platforms and the treads on the lower staircase unglued, to make it a little easier to paint underneath them.



I added some more support struts around the edges of the platforms and on the ends of the legs. I also glued on some posts for handrails, cut from the energy fence piece on the terrain sprue.



Some final small details:
- I added a spray gun (for vermin control) onto the wall using a chemtech sprayer from the Epirian Scarecrow kit with a pistol grip from a Guardian pistol added. For the mounting clips, I used a couple of leftover sections from the energy fence posts.
- I pillaged a clingfire sprayer and a leg from the Scarecrow kit, and a trimmed down Spider Drone head to create a security remote.
- And I made a billboard screen using sections cut from a garage door.



And with that, assembly is more or less complete!



The handrails are just a placeholder for the moment - I'm planning on using 1.6mm aluminium rods for these, so that they can be bent to shape to go down the stairs, but these won't be glued in until the platforms are painted.

















Stay tuned for part three, where we get some paint on this little construction!



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

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

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