No enemy shall escape either my sight or my wrath!
Paulo, Eradicator Sergeant
This week I’ve been working on another Indomitus Eradicator. I didn’t use the LED melta weapon effect technique on this one as I felt his weapon wasn’t really in a firing pose. Instead I decided to focus on his bionic eye – if you’ll excuse the pun!
This was mostly achieved using the basic techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial, with one key exception; instead of recasting the head in resin I used the plastic original. I drilled a 1mm hole into the bionic eye of the plastic head, and then a larger hole up through the neck to meet the eye hole in the middle of the head. I then fed the wires of my 3V red ultra nano SMD chip LED in through the eye hole and out of the neck, then gently pulled the LED into the hole. I then ran the wires through the torso and legs – again, as described in my LED eye lens tutorial – to connect to the battery in the base. Then I applied a small blob of Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World to fill in the hole. Finally, once the gel was dry I applied a shade of Citadel Carroburg Crimson and three successive glazes of Citadel Bloodletter to give the eye some colour when the LED is off and also to prevent the LED being too bright. Bloodletter glaze is sadly discontinued, but a watered-down glaze of Citadel Evil Sunz Scarlet would do the same job.
So why do this rather than my normal method of recasting the head? For a start this is far less time consuming than making a new silicon mould for this one head. But also one of the reasons I use casting rather than drilling for helmets is that it allows you to easily retain the non-circular shape of helmet eye lenses. With bionic eyes this is not as important as they tend to be circular and therefore they lend themselves well to drilling.
Here’s Sergeant Paulo with his fellow Eradicator from last week. As you may notice from the image above, the other thing I did this week was to switch out the incorrect ‘battle line’ symbol on Brother Eliseo’s shoulder for the ‘fire support’ symbol. I had a complete brain-fart while applying transfers last week and for some reason thought that Eradicators were a differently armed variant of Heavy Intercessors – which would have made them ‘battle line’ – rather than being their own thing. Ah well, it was fairly easy to make the change. Anyway, that’s all for this week, see you again soon for more LED action!
If the Emperor had meant us to show mercy, he wouldn’t have granted us the Total Obliteration protocols.
Brother Eliseo, Eradicator
This week I decided to return to the Crimson Fists for a bit. I haven’t added anything to this army since “finishing” them for Armies on Parade. But the still mostly unpainted Indomitus set is nagging at me from my ‘Shelf of Shame’, the three Eradicators in particular. They are one of those units that I had a very clear vision for from the moment I saw the models. I don’t have any other melta weapons in my army, so this would be the perfect opportunity to try out some LED effects on this type of weapon.
LED Melta Weapon Tutorial
So how do we make LED melta weapons? I’m not going to do a full tutorial, as most of the process is very similar to my existing LED Muzzle Flare tutorial. The steps below essentially replace steps 11 – 13 in that tutorial. For this project I used a 3V Blue Ultra Nano SMD Chip LEDs available from Small Scale Lights, rather than the 0805 yellow chip LED mentioned in step 12 of the LED Muzzle Flare tutorial. Also I used a 175Ω resistor in series with the TruOpto 1.8mm red helmet LED, rather than the 100Ω resistor mentioned in step 15 of that tutorial. This is due to the different current requirements of the blue ultra nano LED. All paints used are from the Citadel range. As with all my tutorials, I recommend reading all the way through to make sure you have the necessary skills and tools before you get started.
Begin by drilling the melta barrel. I found a 2.5mm drill bit was just right. You may find it easiest to cut off the wide front of the barrel at the point where it reaches the narrow “neck” with a craft knife and then drill it separately. You can then use a sharp craft knife or scalpel to cut the remaining thin layer of plastic in each of the four vents on either side of the barrel.
2. Now you will need to drill a hole through the gun and arm to run the wire for the blue ultra nano LED. I found a 1.5mm drill bit was about the right size for this. For weapon effects I normally run the wires through the right arm, but in this case I found it easier to go up through the top handle and left arm due to its position and how straight it was. Another valid approach would be to go through the front of the chest at the point where the back of the melta rifle is held against the chest eagle. Once you have drilled your hole, run the wire through. This can be connected to the rest of the circuit inside the miniature as detailed in steps 14 – 17 of the LED Muzzle Flare tutorial.
3. Assemble the model, as detailed in steps 19 of the LED Muzzle Flare tutorial. Make sure the blue ultra nano LED is setting as centrally as possible in the barrel so it can be seen evenly through all vents and also the muzzle. Test that the circuit works and that you haven’t damaged any components or connections during assembly by switching it on.
4. Cover all exposed LED areas with blu-tac (or similar) and then apply your spray undercoat of choice. If you are following this tutorial to the letter then the critical areas to cover are the helmet eye lenses, barrel vents and the muzzle. Once the undercoat is completely dry you can remove the blu-tac. I find either using a pair of fine tweezer or fresh blu-tac can assist with this.
5. I’m just going to discuss painting the melta barrel itself. The rest of the model you can paint to your own colour scheme. Firstly, paint the barrel with Leadbelcher, being careful not to clog any of the vents or get any paint on the ultra nano LED.
6. Shade the barrel with Nuln Oil and edge highlight with Stormhost Silver.
7. Apply a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade starting at the muzzle and going about halfway back along the barrel. This is the start of a ‘scorched metal’ effect that will give the impression the barrel has discoloured due to the extreme heat of the melta weapon. If you don’t want to paint this effect, ignore this and skip straight to step 10 instead.
8. Apply a narrow ring of Druchii Violet where the blue shade stops.
9. The final part of the ‘scorched metal’ effect is to apply a ring of Seraphim Sepia below the violet shade.
10. Now it’s time to build-up the melta ‘flame’ effect. It’s not really a ‘flame’ in the same sense of a flamethrower burning internal fuel. Rather, I wanted to give the impression of the air being ionised by the incredible energies in the vicinity the barrel. Picture the blue flame on a bunsen burner, but taken to extremes. To make the ‘flame’ I applied the ever-useful Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World. There is a small amount emerging from the side vents, but the majority is coming out of the muzzle. This gel is milky-white when applied, but don’t be alarmed as it dries clear. You can’t sculpt the whole flame immediately, it needs to be applied in layers. The product instructions recommend 24-hours between application of layers, but in these small amounts I found that around six hours was plenty. Once it’s clear and hard, you’re good to go.
11. Continue to build-up successive layers to enlarge the muzzle ‘flame’ until you are happy with it.
12. Once the gel is completely dry, you can apply some thin paints to give it a bit of colour when the LED is off. Apply a thin shade of Drakenhof Nightshade and once that has dried apply a light glaze Guilliman Blue (or another watered-down mid-blue).
And there we have it, the finished effect! I hope you found this tutorial useful, or at least interesting. That’s all for today, see you again soon!
Yesterday I was lucky enough to have my models make it onto Warhammer TV for the sixth time! My Armies on Parade 2020 entry ‘No More Last Stands!‘ featured alongside the work of other hobbyists on this Thursday’s ‘Community Hobby Round-Up’ on Warhammer TV (Thursday 21st January episode, around the 21 minute mark, if anyone would like to see it).
I’m very honoured to once again have had my work exhibited in this way, and a big thank you to Nick, Wade and the rest of the Warhammer Community Team for their kind words and high praise!
“We are surrounded, Brother-Captain,” said Lieutenant Alehoc, gesturing at the frothing sea of greenskins around their position. Captain Grimstone nodded curtly.
“Excellent, that means we can launch the counter-attack in any direction, as the old proverb says.”
Alehoc grinned, then began issuing orders.
“Forward brothers! Show these xenos what it means to face the Crimson Fists! Remember Rynn’s World!“
The fourth company surged forward, bellowing their new battle cry.
“Remember Rynn’s World! No more last stands!”
Here we are then. Three and a half years after starting this project Captain Grimstone and the Crimson Fists fourth company are now at 60 Power Level and submitted for my first ever entry to the ‘Armies on Parade’ competition. I call this entry “No More Last Stands!”.
I’m very pleased with how this project has turned out. The display board was made from a picture frame with a hill built up from layers of foam card and putty. I deliberately selected quite a compact display board as I’ve found it easier to photograph LED models when they are close together, although getting these photos took over an hour! The other factor that made me want a compact board was so it would fit in my display cabinet once it was done.
The impression I wanted to create was of the hill from the iconic Rogue Trader cover art, only this time the Crimson Fists weren’t making a last stand, but breaking out and surging forward in their new Primaris forms. Basing the board around a hill also made it easier to display the models in a compact space without them obscuring each other too much.
Don’t forget, if you’d like to have a go at LED miniatures yourself then I have my tutorials here and FAQ here. I now also have handy lists of suggested tools and consumables for anyone who is just getting into miniature electronics, which can be found here.
There are various debris scattered around the battlefield, including ork and human skulls, and some original RTB01 Space Marine helmets that I had in my bits box.
That’s all for today. Do check back in the future for even more Crimson Fists, as well as various other side projects. Don’t forget you can keep up with my latest work on Instagram and Twitter.
This galaxy has a million ways to kill you. I simply never found one that suited me.
Ancient Santec, Dreadnought
Most of my recent posts have started with a lament about how many years a given unit has taken to make and paint. But although this Redemptor Dreadnought has been sat on my ‘Shelf of Shame’ since 2017, once I actually picked it up and started work the assembly and painting only took about three weeks. Behold Ancient Santec, Redemptor Dreadnought of the Fourth Company of the Crimson Fists!
The banner was a little addition to echo the dreadnoughts of the past and give a bit of a retro vibe. I was particularly picturing the metal dreadnoughts with large banners that were very common in second edition Warhammer 40K. The fist on the banner is one of the Forge World Imperial Fist brass insignia set (sadly now OOP I believe), and the banner itself is the company banner from the Company Command box.
‘Onslaught’ Assault Cannon
Of course it wouldn’t be a new addition to my Crimson Fists if there wasn’t some sort of electronics involved. There are the LED lights on the chassis and also the LED muzzle flare which are obvious from the photos. But in addition to these there is also the motorised assault cannon…
So how was this done? I’m afraid the looming Armies on Parade deadline has prevented me from finding the time to write a full tutorial, but perhaps this is something I’ll come back to later. However I have included a quick summary of parts below, as well as a photo so you can see how it all went together.
The motor is a 3V DC micro miniature motor (6mm x 10mm) that I picked-up from eBay a while ago. These are the sort of motors used in model helicopters. The supplier I got it from has gone, but a quick search of eBay or Amazon will turn up many similar items.
The motor is connected to a 3V battery in the base via a circuit that has two switches in parallel. One switch is a standard sub-miniature toggle switch that I use in most of my projects. This is for turning the assault cannon on for extended periods when it’s on display. The other switch is a miniature ‘push to make’ switch which I added to the top of the base that I could use to activate the assault cannon for a quick burst during gameplay. Activating either switch independently will activate the assault cannon. I had originally hoped to find a latching push switch that would have fulfilled both roles, but I couldn’t find one that was as small as I wanted.
A length of 2mm square hollow tube was used to make the lower ‘support’ below the barrels and hide the muzzle flare LED wires. Again, this was sourced from eBay.
The resin muzzle flare was made using the casting techniques described in my tutorial.
As you can see in the picture below, the ‘push to make’ switch on the top of the base is hidden under an Ork skull. It seemed fitting somehow – if you want the assault cannon to fire, press down on the dead greenskin!
So that is 60 Power of Crimson Fists complete! I’m really pleased with Ancient Santec – not just with the electronic effects, but also the paintjob, which I think is one of my neatest to date. Now it’s onwards to Armies on Parade 2020, and I feel like I’m on the home straight! All that remains is to finish the display board…