Genestealer Hybrid with Functioning Laser

I’m not quite done with my Genestealer Cult yet. Here’s something a little different from my normal LED miniatures – a miniature with a functioning laser!

This is a concept I’ve been meaning to revisit for some time. I made a Space Marine with a lascannon built around small laser diode about five years ago. I won’t share it here there, as the laser was quite bulky and it didn’t look great. I’ve always felt I could do better – and now I have!

Genestealer Hybrid with Laser

So how was this done? Well I’m a little cautious about doing a full tutorial for this one, if I’m honest. In my day job I’m a Laser Safety Officer, so it doesn’t seem right to be encouraging people to go out and play with lasers! The laser diode that it’s built around (the brass cylinder in the WIP picture below) is Class 3R and has an output of 5 milliwatts (mW). This is basically as powerful as it can be while still being appropriate for everyday use. So if you do decide to try and replicate this, please exercise a bit of caution, and don’t expose your eyes to the direct beam!

Genestealer Hybrid WIP

The basic principle of the design is the same as for my LED plasma weapons – a battery in the base, and an optoelectronic device hidden in the weapon, only in this case it’s a laser diode module, not an LED.

You can source 3V 5mW laser diodes similar to this from many electronics suppliers, or simply from eBay. A word of caution though, when sourcing laser diodes I recommend purchasing from a supplier in the UK or Europe. It’s not uncommon for laser diodes imported from elsewhere in the world to be mislabeled in terms of their power output, whether that’s more power or less power. Neither is a good thing for this project!

Once you have the laser diode, it’s simply a case of drilling out the plastic barrel of the laser weapon, carefully gluing it to the front of the diode (don’t get any glue on the diode lens!), and then using green stuff to bulk out the shape of the laser. You’ll the power cord that runs from the mining laser to the backpack are the actual power connections of the laser diode. Sometimes things are best hidden in plain sight! The wires then run down through the backpack, through one of the legs and to the battery in the base, as per the LED plasma weapon tutorial.

So there we have it. I hope you found that insight into miniature laser weapons interesting. Whether or not your Hybrids with mining lasers have line-of-sight to their target will never be in question again!

 

Bristol Vanguard ‘Spoils of War’ Campaign Weekend

I’ve just returned from Bristol Vanguard’s ‘Spoils of War’ Warhammer 40,000 campaign weekend, hosted at Bristol Independent Gaming. This is the second Bristol Vanguard-run event that I’ve attended, and I would definitely attend a third. The games are well organised, story driven and the atmosphere is very chilled. The venue is great too – I’d never visited B.I.G before but I was impressed, especially with the tables and scenery which were all good quality and nicely themed. The attached store offers 10% off RRP on all purchases too.

The plot of the campaign weekend was themed around a Tyranid incursion into the Eastern Fringe, so all of the PCRC took Tyranid or Genestealer Cult armies. I had originally planned to go pure Cult, but failure to paint everything in time meant I had to blow the dust off my retro Tyranids as reinforcements for the first time in 8th edition. I really enjoyed using the Tyranid force with their “new” codex, although did feel that the Genestealer Cult battalion suffered slightly when I used it as a standalone force in the doubles games. Being one of the last Index armies with access to very few stratagems can be a bit painful when going up against full Codex lists!

Additional photography courtesy of Graham Gilchrist.

I may not have won many of the actual games, but I was really pleased to pick up the ‘Best Painted Character’ trophy for my Genestealer Magus! Thanks very much to everyone who voted for me.

Bristol09

So all-in-all a very enjoyable weekend! Hopefully we’ll make it back again next year.

Genestealer Patriarch

Patriarch01

The Celestial Father whispers from the shadows directly into the minds of his children, sharing secrets that would drive unbelievers mad. The Galaxy is doomed, and only those in the Cult of Cosmic Wisdom have the strength of purpose to be consumed and born anew by the Hungering Gods.

Another addition to my growing Genestealer Cult! Say hello to the Celestial Father, the Patriarch of the Cult of Cosmic Wisdom (if you haven’t already seen him on my Instagram on Saturday that is).

As I mentioned before while talking about my Magus, I don’t want to have too many LEDs in the GSC army, which is just as well as this guy took about two weeks of evenings to build and another two weeks to get a paint job that I was happy with! I had a bit of a crisis of faith halfway through as it just didn’t look right. The problem was that I had the brain area directly behind the eyes glowing, which took the focus away from the eyes themselves. But once I’d added some more paint in to restrict the brain glow it looked good again. I’m very pleased with the final result.

Patriarch02

This model was especially tricky as, since the head is integral to the body piece, I had to razor-saw off the whole head and shoulder for resin casting! The whole processes added an extra hour or so to the build time.

If you’re wondering why I went for a yellow LED, as opposed to the blue of the Magus, it was for the following reasons:

  • “Modern” Patriarch artwork tend to have yellow glowing brains and eyes (if they are pictured using their psychic powers), as opposed to the blue that the Magus’ are often pictured with.
  • I wanted to differentiate between the half-human nature of the Magus and the entirely alien Patriarch. Blue is a very “Human” (and Eldar) psychic power colour. Yellow I hope indicates that the Patriarch is exhibiting very different powers to his high priest.

Below you can see what that Celestial Father looks like with the LED switched off. Hopefully this allows a clearer view of the paint job. Stay tuned for more Genestealer Cult models in a week or two.

Patriarch03

Conquest!

Like so many others in the Warhammer 40K community this week, I grabbed a couple of copies of Issue 1 of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest. With three ‘Easy to Build’ Primaris Marines, three pots of paint and a paint brush all for the price of less than a single pot of paint, it was too good a bargain to miss!

Conquest01

The magazine looks like a great introduction for newcomers – which is obviously who it is intended for – but there’s nothing in there for veterans that we haven’t seen before. This is totally to be expected as we’re not the target market. But for those already in the hobby, the real prizes are the paints and the Intercessors. This sprue normally retails for £10 alone!

Conquest02

With their hollow bodies and nicely posed legs, the Primaris Marines are ideal for my LED eye lens treatment. Even the slotted 32mm bases will be easier to cut-up for battery insertion. When I look at all the Primaris releases, I sometimes think there’s someone in the GW design studio looking out for me and trying to make my life easier!

These guys they will be joining the rest of my Primaris force as Crimson Fists. I’ll be carrying out head-swaps as part of the LED process anyway, but I’m hoping some arm swaps might also add some variety to the duplicated poses. Watch this space!

The Road to Hellblasters

I should really be concentrating on the Genestealers at the moment, what with the pressing October deadline, but I was in the mood to tackle another Crimson Fist this week. Presenting: the first of the Dark Imperium Hellblaster squad.

I’m very pleased with how this turned out. I’ve tackled plasma pistols before but never a full size plasma rifle. If you’d like to know how it was done then you can check out my Plasma Weapon tutorial in the LED Tutorials section here.

Genestealer Magus

I’ve been a fan of Genestealer Cults since I started the hobby back in the early 90s, so I was thrilled when they got their recent plastic reboot. Now I’ve finally found the time to start work on this army, theoretically trying to get a 100 Power list ready for an event at the end of October(!).

I don’t want to do as many LEDs in the GSC army as I have in my Imperial Fists and Crimson Fists – mainly for reasons of time and expense – but there definitely will be some lighting effects scattered around. This Magus for example! My main influence for this model is this classic Mark Gibbons drawing. MG is one of my favourite Warhammer artists, and I’ve always loved this picture.

I’m planning to upload a LED Tutorial for the Magus (and psykers in general) in a few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you’d like to read some of my Genestealer Cult related fiction then you can find a bit over on my writing website.

The Church of the Astral Ascension | The Enforcer and the Neophyte