Second Intercessor Squad Complete

I’ve now completed the last two Intercessors from the second Dark Imperium squad. Both of them are wearing relic helms; a Mark III Iron helm and a Mark VI Corvus helm respectively. I think I’ve written about this before, but I imagine that Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, would have been keen to find a way to integrate the fresh influx of Primaris Marines with the weary survivors of the recent battles on Rynn’s World. What better way to do this than to share some of the Crimson Fists’ illustrious heritage with the newcomers? Or at least any heritage that has survived the recent disasters! That’s where the relic helms come in.

These Intercessor were built using the techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial. While building the Mark VI, I had the first ever case of an LED breaking once I had a fully assembled and nearly completely painted model! I’m not sure exactly what happened – a dry joint I think – but I had no choice but to open it up. This was a bit of a pain as I had to essentially break the model apart with a pair of clippers, replace the LED, reassemble and then fill in the gaps with putty. Back in school, my electronics teacher once said you me “your soldering is the worst I’ve seen this side of the war!”. I like to think I’ve improved somewhat in the intervening twenty years, but I can’t help but think back whenever something like this happens…

The resin Mark VII helmet the model had was unfortunately destroyed in the repair process, but I think I prefer the Mark VI that replaced it, so it was all for the good in the end.

So here are a couple of photos of the second Intercessor squad (click to enlarge). With 14 models now complete, my Primaris Crimson Fists are slowly but surely starting to feel like a coherent army.

 

Two More Intercessors Fresh From the Gene-Forges

I finished off two more Intercessors from the Dark Imperium box this week, bringing my second Intercessor unit up to three models. “Slow and steady wins the race”, as I am constantly forced to say!

With two young children I don’t get a lot of hobby time at the moment. It generally takes me a full week’s worth of hobby evenings to build an LED model, and then another week to paint it. But I’ll get there in the end!

The problem with these ‘Easy to Build’ models is that, unlike the last squad, none of them are in firing poses, so I can’t easily had muzzle flash flares. I could repose them, but that would be a lot of additional faff, so for the moment I’m content to have a squad that’s not firing. Just two more models to go in this unit now.

If you haven’t seen my tutorials yet and you’re wondering how the eye lenses are done, see my LED eye lens tutorial here.

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!

 

Darrakar and the Nightmare Lantern

Behold, mortals! Darrakar, Guardian of Souls is upon you! Fear his baleful Nightmare Lantern!

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Darrakar is one of the two special limited edition models that were released for a short time to celebrate the recent opening of 500th Games Workshop store. A friend picked him up as a present for me, and as it’s such an awesome model I had to bump him up to the front of the painting/LED queue!

As I discuss in my design tutorial, I always think that the best LED miniatures are like magic tricks. If someone can look at the miniature and it’s not immediately obvious how it’s done, then that produces the best reaction. But, like a magic trick, if it’s super-obvious then it’s less impressive. If you can see the card up the magician’s sleeve – or in this case the wires and battery – then it won’t garner much more than a shrug.

So how was Darrakar’s lantern done? Essentially the basic principles can be found in LED Eye Lens Tutorial, although in this case I was working with a ghostly lantern instead of a Space Marine helmet! The image below shows the lantern switched off so everything can be seen a little more clearly.

Darrakar04

The battery is in the base, as normal. The wires come up through a hole in the middle of the gravestone and then cling to the back of one of the wispy tails and from there run up into the torso. I didn’t try and drill the ethereal wisps. Instead, because they’re very thin wires, they’re glued to the back of the wisp and then further disguised with green stuff.

From there they run through the torso and up to the lantern arm. Darrakar’s original arm was too spindly to hide wires, so I essentially removed the arm and replaced it with the wires themselves. I then extended the sleeve of the shroud with green stuff to hide the wires – in this case the magician really did have something up his sleeve!

For the lantern, everything from the top of the flames downwards is a resin recast. I drilled a hole in this and inserted a green LED. I then cut away the handle of the lantern and made a new handle from the legs of the LED! These then connect to the wires just behind the hand.

So there we are, a little insight into the Guardian of Souls and his Nightmare Lantern. I’d encourage everyone to have a go at this themselves – the Nighthaunt model range are ripe for the use of ghostly green and blue LEDs!

 

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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.

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

Genestealer Patriarch

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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.

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