Do the unbelievers think that being surrounded by hostile blips just happens? No! It takes skill and dedication to have our brethren coming out of the goddamn walls!
– Kelbrech, Genestealer Nexos
The Genestealer Nexos is a model that I’ve been keen to give the LED treatment since the day it was released. Actually, since before it was released, as this was the one-and-only time I’ve correctly guessed an upcoming model from a Rumour Engine preview (fun fact, the Nexos design is based on an unreleased Genestealer Cult model from the early 90s)!
Nexos LED Hololith
So how was it done? I mostly followed the process detailed in my own LED Hololith tutorial, but with a few differences. I’ve detailed the important changes below.
1. Rather than resin cast a small section, I found it easier to simply recast the whole top of the hololith map table in resin. If you’d like to know more about resin casting for LED effects, take a look at my tutorial here.
2. I drilled a number of 4mm holes in the underside of the resin cast to allow the LED to sit snuggly in the component and to ensure the resin was thin enough to allow the light to shine through. This needs to be done slowly and carefully to ensure you don’t accidentally drill all the way through! If you do drill all the way through, then I’m afraid you’ll need to make another cast.
You can see in the image above that I drilled seven holes. This was just as result of my experiments to find the best position for the LEDs in relation to the detail on the map. You only actually need to drill one hole for each LED.
3. Next I inserted my three LEDs, holding them in place with tiny dots of superglue on the side. At this stage it was important to ensure the legs of LEDs all had the same polarity on the same side, as this makes connecting them easier later. I used TruOpto 1.8mm red LEDs instead of the nano chip LEDs I specify in my hololith tutorial. This is because I wanted a slightly greater brightness and a larger angle of dispersion for the light, plus I had more room to play with on this project.
4. Next I drilled holes in the plastic base of the hololith map table to allow the LED legs to pass through.
5. I glued the top and bottom halves of the hololith table together, filling in the very slight gap around the edge with modelling putty. Then I trimmed off the excess length on the legs of the LEDs and wired them together in parallel. Then I attached two trailing leads which will connect the table to the base.
6. Next I used modelling putty to hide the soldered connections of the LED legs. The putty looks a bit rough in the above image, but I tidied it up later, adding detail so it just looked like part of the machinery of the table.
I removed the plastic ‘wires’ that connect the table to the plastic ‘power pack’ on the model and replaced them with the actual wires. The wires pass out of a hole I drilled in the bottom of the plastic power pack and connect to the switch and battery under the base.
7. Next I glued the plastic power pack into position and then hid the wires with the base texture material that I use. This texture material is pumice paste, but PVA and sand or any other texture material will also work.
8. I covered the actual map with a lump of blu-tack and then undercoated and painted the model.
9. Finally I applied a very thinned down coat of Citadel Contrast Flesh Tearers Red. I was careful to avoid pooling on flat surfaces and to keep the contrast paint in the recesses as much as possible. This is stage is just to give the map detail some definition and make the model look better when the LED is switched off, and shouldn’t actually effect the final brightness.
I’m sure a lot of people know about this fun Easter Egg, but in case you don’t, the hololith map actually shows an aerial view of Warhammer World!
That’s it for this week, I hope you found all that informative. Revisiting my Genestealer Cult has reminded me that I could do with some group shots of the Cult of Celestial Wisdom, so perhaps that’s something I’ll get around to soon. Please don’t forget that if you’re interested in following my work then you can also find me on Instagram and Twitter where I give regular updates on my various projects.