Crimson Fists Battalion

Battalion01

Two years and ten months after posting my first LED Primaris Crimson Fist from the Dark Imperium boxed set on my Instagram, I’ve finally finished painting a minimum sized Battalion of two HQ choices and three Troops choices! I felt that this momentous occasion called for a group photo and a quick retrospective.

I was on something of a roll with my painting last week and completed Brother Isario and Brother Merius (don’t forget, LED helmet eye lens tutorial can be found here).

Traitors are a cancer, and cancer requires a blade to excise. – Brother Isario

I relish the dry click of an empty magazine. It tells me another thirty Orks are dead. – Brother Merius

With these two Intercessors complete and added to Brother Lyrast, Comms Specialist Cleulis and Sergeant Galvéz, this in turn completed Squad Galvéz…

Battalion08

Battalion09

Battalion10

…which in turn, when added to my other two squads, Lieutenants and Captain, completed the minimum-sized battalion!

Battalion01

Battalion11

Battalion12

Battalion13

I’m pleased with how they’ve turned out, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far! So what next? Well that’s not the Crimson Fists finished by any means! It’s probably time to start thinking about the Elite and Heavy support slots so I have a little more firepower on the tabletop. Plus there’s the Reiver and Hellblaster squads to finish, and ‘Armies on Parade’ to think about in the autumn…so plenty more to do!

Gregor Dessian, Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists

Gregor01

Being a Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists is not about being the lord of one thousand Space Marines. It is about acting as a servant and shield to all Humanity.

– Gregor Dessian

A fun little side project this week, with my take on Gregor Dessian, current Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists. This is for the ‘We Paint Minis‘ #ChapterMasterChallenge on Twitter.

This is one of those very rare occasions (for me anyway) when the miniature survives its translation from my brain to the finished model almost entirely unaltered. When the Chapter Master Challenge themed around the Imperial Fists came up, I knew I wanted to do a ‘modern’ Primaris Chapter Master. I also knew that I didn’t want to give him a power fist or thunder hammer. As much as I love these two iconic weapons of the Fists, I thought that was probably a route that a lot of other people participating in the challenge would go down. Instead I wanted something that wasn’t necessarily commonly associated with the Imperial Fists, but still implied this was a hero with access to rare and valuable equipment. In the end I settled on twin custom plasma pistols as they satisfied these criteria, plus it was a chance to get some LEDs in there too!

Gregor06

Gregor’s master-crafted twin plasma pistols, Brick and Mortar are a rare treasure from the armoury of the Phalanx. Their power cells are charged directly from plasma vented from the battle station’s reactor, ensuring the Chapter Master always carries with him a direct link to the beating heart of the Imperial Fists Fortress monastery.

Gregor07

As you can see in the image above, the connections for the LEDs (in this case Nano Chip LEDs) run through each arm, through the torso and down one of the legs into the coin cell battery hidden in the base. If you’d like to have a go at a similar conversion, then I used the techniques detailed in my Simple Plasma Weapons tutorial.

That was a fun diversion for this week. Next week, back to the Crimson Fists!

Crimson Fists Intercessor with LED Muzzle Flare

Lyrast01

I’ve never met a xenos my bolter couldn’t kill. But for the day I do, the Emperor has blessed me with a grenade launcher – Brother Lyrast

After a busy couple of months working on real-life non-hobby stuff, I’m back in the game with Brother Lyrast. This Intercessor is the third member of my third Intercessor squad.

I used my standard LED muzzle flare technique on this model, as detailed in the tutorial here. The only difference was that I used the Nano SMD Chip LED (Amber 3V) from Small Scale Lights, rather than the slightly larger 0805 chip referenced in the tutorial.

Lyrast05

I wanted to experiment with the Nano SMDs as they are even smaller and easier to work with, in terms of inserting it into the model, than the 0805s. The downside is that they’re not quite as bright when hidden under the resin muzzle flare. I’m not especially sold on one of these types of LEDs over the other though, so I think I’ll pick and choose depending on the needs of individual models.

I’m now firmly in the habit of painting my resin muzzle flares with a wash of Fuegan Orange and a glaze of Lamenters Yellow. This makes the miniatures look better in the display cabinet when the LEDs are switched off, as shown below, and doesn’t seem to impact the LED brightness (based off previous experiments).

Lyrast06

That’s it for this week. My current goal is to finish off this third Intercessor squad, so please drop by again soon for more Crimson Fists!

Crimson Fist Comms Specialist with LED Hololith

Hololith16

The Master of Recruits once asked me what makes a good comms operator. I told him that if he could find an aspirant who could make himself heard over an Ork Kill Kannon, then that was a good start. – Cleulis, Crimson Fists Comms Specialist

The latest Primaris to join my Crimson Fists is Brother Cleulis, an Intercessor by day and a Kill Team comms specialist by night!

Comms01

My original plan for this model started as an idea to use internal LED illumination on the wrist-mounted screen from the Intercessor sprue, essentially making a tiny back-lit screen. Then it occurred to me that a “hologram” projection, i.e. a 40K hololith, would be even cooler!

Comms04

The hololith figure is a resin cast of an old ‘Epic’ scale Space Marine Terminator. I wanted to have a figure that represented a senior Space Marine officer so to make it look more like a Terminator Captain, I sculpted on a cloak before casting. This also made the hololith figure a bit more solid and easier to sneak the nano LED into! I then painted the bare resin with a GW shade to “filter” the white LED light to my chosen colour of green, which I decided was the most “hologram” colour.

Hololith07

From the start I knew that I wanted my comms specialist to appear as if he was shouting to make himself heard over the din of battle. So I went for a shouting Space Marine head (there are plenty of those) and also reposed his arm and hand so it looked like he was pressing the button on the comms bead in his ear. This used the empty Intercessor hand with the two finger “signalling” pose. It was quite time consuming to get it looking right though. As you might be able to spot in the picture above, I basically had to cut it up at each joint, pin it back together in the required pose with wire, and then sculpt in the gap areas with Pro Create modelling putty.

 

Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out after all that! If you’d like to have a go yourself you can find a brand new full step-by-step tutorial for creating your own LED hololith on my LED tutorials page here.

That’s all for this week, but stay tuned for even more Crimson Fists and of course the rest of the Lamenters kill team!

Lamenters Breacher with LED Explosion Effects

Breacher01

I find our enemies often make mistakes. The most common is believing that they can hold the breach. – Brother Achillus

Here is Brother Achillus, the second Space Marine in my Badab War Lamenters Kill Team project. Brother Achillus is wearing MkVII ‘Imperator’ armour and is equipped with an ‘Umbra Ferrox’ pattern bolter, auxiliary grenade launcher and boarding shield. He will be the demolitions specialist in the Kill Team.

LED Breacher Shield Explosions

So how was the explosion effect achieved? This is an idea that I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while. Essentially it is the process detailed in my LED Muzzle Flare Tutorial. The wires still run from the base and up through the body and arm, but in this case the LED connections terminates on the front of the shield rather than on the end of a gun barrel.

Breacher07

I hid the connections at the back of the shield under some Green Stuff putty. I deliberately made sure the connections ran in straight lines so that the putty I built up to hide them would look like additional reinforced bracing on the back of the shield. The LEDs used in this case were TruOpto 1.8mm Yellow LEDs.

The resin explosions themselves were simply cut-down versions of muzzle flares that I had previously cast. I gave them a light shade of Fuegan Orange and then a light glaze of Lamenters Yellow (appropriately). This doesn’t inhibit the light getting through, and actually makes them look better when the LED is switched off, as shown below.

Breacher08

I may revisit the resin at some point and sculpt and cast specific explosions, rather than the re-purposed muzzle flares, but that’s something for the future.

True Scaling

As with my Lamenter in MkVI ‘Corvus’ armour, I was trying to keep this model both retro and ‘true scale’. So again, although this model is based around a plastic Primaris Marine, I was careful to remove and resculpt any details that were obviously ‘Primaris’, such as the rims around the knee pads and the stabilisers on the ankles. He also has a MkVII appropriate backpack, and his bolt rifle has been swapped out for a more traditional bolt gun.

Breacher09

Painting Lamenters skin tones

When choosing the skin tone for the Lamenters, I new I wanted to go slightly pallid  rather than tanned. I find that I tend to paint human skin differently each time; partially because I never find a technique I’m 100% happy with, and partially because I paint skin infrequently and forget what I did last time! However I do normally try and paint Space Marines with tanned skin. To me a lifetime of warfare waged under a thousand alien suns kind of implies a decent base tan.

But in this case I wanted to go pale. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, to hint at the Blood Angels heritage (Blood Angels are often depicted as pale and vampiric). But also I wanted to imply that this was a team that had spent a lot of time inside space ship corridors, fighting boarding actions away from natural light. The other reason of course is that a healthy tan and a square jaw often indicates the faultless hero in western culture. While I definitely don’t see the Lamenters as bad guys in the Badab setting, I didn’t particularly want to set them up as out-and-out blameless heroes either. Classic 40K shades of grey!

Breacher10.jpg

This was a very simple technique. A base coat of Rakarth Flesh, a shade of Reikland Fleshshade, then two highlights mixing greater amounts of Flayed One Flesh into Rakarth Flesh. I’m pretty pleased with the results and will definitely duplicate this on other helmetless Lamenters.

That’s it for today, stay tuned for more Lamenters, more Badab and of course more Crimson Fists in the not-to-distant future!

Everchosen – 3rd Place at Warhammer Nottingham

I’m pleased to say that my Reiver Sergeant picked up enough votes to come in third place in the Everchosen contest at the Warhammer Nottingham store this weekend!

Everchosen

Sadly not enough to progress to the next round, but to be honest the quality of entries at the Nottingham store was so high that I was honoured to place in the top three at all! Thank you very much to anyone who was there and voted for my miniature, if you happen to be reading this!

Nottingham isn’t actually my regular local store, but I was in the area visiting family, so it was the store I was closest to on that particular Saturday. I must say I enjoyed the Everchosen experience; it’s quite different to Golden Demon with the public vote and different rounds. The atmosphere in the store was very friendly – while I was there at least! I hope Everchosen goes on to becomes an annual event. In the meantime I’m looking forward to casting my online vote in the next round!

Conductive Paint – New Product Coming Soon From Green Stuff World

The guys at Green Stuff World, providers of many useful hobby supplies, will soon be selling a new Conductive Paint, and they got in touch to ask if I’d like to try it before it goes on general release at the end of August. Of course this is right up my alley, so I said yes please! Full disclosure, this article isn’t a paid add, but they were kind enough to supply the bottle for free.

ConductivePaint

So what is it?

As the name suggests, Conductive Paint is a paint that conducts electricity, which is useful for either creating electronic circuits from scratch or repairing gaps in existing circuits. So how does it work? Detailed ingredients aren’t listed – fair enough – but it is apparently water based and also contains silver particles, so I imagine it’s simply a high concentration of silver particles suspended in an acrylic paint medium. It seems quite similar to ElectroDAG or silverDAG, if you’ve ever used those, which are basically conductive adhesives.

Conductive Paint 02

The only GHS symbol is ‘Harmful to the Environment’, which stands to reason. Although it’s not listed as ‘Irritant’ or ‘Harmful’, I can’t imagine you’d want to get this in your eyes, so do be careful! During the course of testing I got a bit on my skin, but it easily washed off with soap and water.

One word of warning – this product is supplied in a dropper bottle. I gave it a good shake before removing the lid, and attempting to dispense some of the paint. Only a very small drop came out, so I assumed it was quite viscous and squeezed harder, at which point the spout of the dropper bottle flew off and the paint splashed everywhere! So please exercise caution when dispensing. As an aside, if it gets on your clothes, you can rub it off by hand scrubbing it in water when it has dried!

Conductive Paint 03

Testing properties

My background is in science, so the first thing I felt compelled to do was test the properties of the paint. I painted two lines on a 10cm strip of plastic card – one over bare plastic and one over an undercoat spray. This was intended to check whether the paint needed an undercoat to key to and if not having an undercoat effected its conductivity.

Conductive Paint 04

The lines are a bit wonky as I used an old brush. I wasn’t sure how easily this stuff would clean off and I didn’t want to ruin any of my good brushes. But as it turns out, it cleans off very easily under running water. Just be careful about cleaning it in a water pot, and then using that water again with normal paints, as you’re likely to contaminate your brush and the other paints with the silver particles.

Once the paint had dried I measured the resistance with a digital multi-meter. It averaged at about 5.5 Ω per cm of track. This will obviously vary with the thickness that the paint is applied.

What can we use it for?

Basic tests out of the way, what can we actually use this conductive paint it for?

Conductive Paint 05

It can definitely be used for completing circuits and connecting LEDs. The LED shown above is simply held in place by applying the conductive paint thickly over the legs and allowing it to dry. No solder used!

Conductive Paint 06

You can also use it in place of solder to connect wires to a battery holder, again applying a thick layer of the paint. The LED shown above is a blue Nano Chip LED from Small Scale Lights.

Conductive Paint 08

It can also be used for mounting tiny chip LEDs without any wires. The chip shown above is a Kingbright KPHHS-1005PBC-A Blue Low Profile LED mounted in a standard 0402 chip package from Rapid Electronics. These things are small, in case that’s not clear from the photo. Each chip is 1mm x 0.5mm x 0.5mm, so make sure you have some very fine tweezers handy if you’re going to be working with them. These chip LEDs have pads on the bottom at both of the narrow ends, so you just need to leave a break between the two sides of the circuit that is slightly narrower than the length of the LED, then press the chip into the conductive paint while it is still wet. When it drys, it will hold the chip in place and complete the circuit. In the image above I have added the chip to the palm of a plastic space marine arm and then attached two wires using the conductive paint, one on either side of the arm.

Conductive Paint 09

Combing these tiny chips and the conductive paint with a bit of resin casting, you could potentially use this to make cool effects like magical flames, psychic lightning or Iron Man style hand blasters, for example. On a complete model, the connections between the conductive paint tracks and the wires could be hidden inside the body. It could probably also be used as an alternative method of completing a LED muzzle flare circuit, rather than drilling out the barrel of the gun and passing wires through.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I really like this product! It’s certainly not a magical solution to all my circuit needs, but it definitely is a useful tool to have at my disposal. The ability to use it to mount chip LEDs and using it to make solderless connections is especially handy.

Where it doesn’t compare to solder is in long-term durability and strength of the connections, but in effect you’re trading that off for the speed and convenience of applying the paint.

The other potential downside is the resistance. The 5.5 Ω per cm may not sound like a lot, but when you compare it to the resistance of 0.1mm copper wire, which will be about 0.02 Ω per cm, it soon adds up. When I first started testing the conductive paint I envisaged using it to mount LEDs on a model – such as the chip LED mounted on the arm shown above – and then painting tracks all the way down the side of the model (hidden under the top paint coat) to connect it to the battery in the base. However on reflection that might be tricky, as if you layer on the conductive paint too thick then it will be hard to hide under the regular paint, but if you make it too thin then the resistance could be too great. It would effectively be like adding a 50 or 100 Ω resistor into the circuit, which would be a problem.

Having said that, it definitely seems to work as intended for short connections, and I’ll certainly buy more when my free sample runs out! Conductive Paint will be available from Green Stuff World at the end of August.