Sunday, October 25, 2015

Imperial Reinforcements: The Xhorik 87th Drop Troops

While the space marines of The Red Brotherhood have borne the brunt of the early fighting, due to their permanent garrison on the planet and their ability to strike quickly, the great gears of the Imperial war machine have finally begun to turn, bringing the massive armies of the Imperial Guard to bear on the enemies of mankind.

The first regiment to respond are the Xhorik 87th Drop Troops on their way back home after a long campaign against the forces of Chaos. The 87th are a highly-mobile specialist force, well-suited to fighting in rugged, inaccessible terrain such as the mountains and badlands of Xhorik Prime where tank-heavy armored regiments would struggle to maneuver. Instead of being disbanded as planned after six long years in a combat zone, these grizzled soldiers will be redeployed to defend their home. 

Shown here is a typical veteran of the regiment, armed with an Antax pattern lascarbine with non-standard-issue silencer picked up sometime during the campaign. He is equipped with a grav-chute and fully-enclosed helmet in order to execute high-altitude drop operations from above AA range. The enclosed helmets would prove extremely beneficial in the hostile climate of Xhorik's fierce radioactive dust storms that would choke and slowly poison anyone who breathes too much of the fine particulates, which are tainted with the remnants of the destroyed Ork Rok from many years ago. 

Their carbines are longer and bulkier than the Accatran Mk IV pattern used by many Drop Troop regiments, including the famous Elysians, which makes them more difficult to wield during drops and at point blank range. The Antax pattern is also less sophisticated and  more prone to breaking down. Their main positive attributes are that they are more accurate at long range, much cheaper to manufacture and simple to repair and dress in the field. These features make them common in the secondhand market with mercenaries and militias, meaning there are many blackmarket accessories and variations, some of which the X87's veterans took advantage of on their last campaign. They received these weapons upon formation of the regiment with the official explanation that this is what was available at the tme, although some of the enlisted men grumble that some greedy general probably received a nice bribe to take these and issue them to the regiment. The men have no trouble justifying their use of non-standard-issue components and field modifications. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Big Toof" - Bad Ork Bikeboy

I finished painting my first model since Ava was born. It took awhile, but I am happy with the result.

I call him "Big Toof", a very large and tough Ork with a kustom warbike with his red teeth icon pole. He is almost nob-size, but too much of a loner to lead a mob. He joins a warband when he is looking for a fight and leaves when he's got all the loot he can carry. Right now, he is part of Filgakk's Evil Sunz army invading Xhorik Prime.

I love the way this model turned out. He has so much personality, he could be an RPG character.

He is ready to crack skulls with that big pipe and lug nuts.

Instead of just edge highlighting, I tried to experiment a bit more with highlighting the upper surfaces and shading the lower areas like the light source is above him. 

I dig the over-sized front tire. It gives the bike a laid-back, cruising look.

Lots of exhausts! I have no idea why a bike would need four, but an ork probably figures "If one is good, four is better!"

I love that he is carrying all his gear with him, including his shoota, so he can join any warband and leave when he feels like it. He strikes me as a loner.

The shocks are the springs from two mechanical pencils. The handlebars are a papreclip that I spent a long time shaping (and it still looks crooked)!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

More Warbiker WIP

Not much of an update, but with my slow schedule I will be posting any little bit of progress I make just to keep this blog alive!

Here is the biker boss nob's body with power klaw and the rider of the tread bike (arms to be painted separately and added later). The Forge World nob biker kit comes with awesome bikes and nobs, but the only weapons are a choppa and slugga. So I used a klaw from the plastic nob box set, but the arm is a little small compared to the resin biker boss and the pose had the claw right at his side, which doesn't work too well with handlebars in the way. So I went for a more dynamic pose of holding the arm up and back, ready to strike while zooming past on the bike. This also had the benefit of making the arm longer and more similar to the resin arm holding the handlebar on the other side.

I tried to fill the gap with some green stuff, but it looks pretty rough. If I can't fix it up to look more like a muscle, then I might try to cheat and cover it up a bit with a chain running from the shoulder pad under the arm pit.

In other news, I finally applied paint to an Ork for the first time since Ava was born! I didn't make much progress, but I at least put the first touch of color on the warbiker with the pipe in his hand. It will be a slow process, but I'm happy to be painting again.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Warbiker Nob WIP

I finally had a little time to myself and so I started working on a nob for my warbikers. Here is the bike mostly done. It is one of the Forge World nob bikes. The only thing to be added to the bike is a big spiked guard on the front wheel (just waiting to add it later for ease of painting).

I am converting the rider to have a power klaw, but I'll be painting him in pieces and then assembling it because of how crowded everything is.

The big trike with wheel scythes - total Ben-Hur / Bugs Bunny chariot racing style!

Here is the nob biker I am using. He looks pretty brutal with iron plates riveted to his face! Ork Band-Aids!

I just undercoated these items along with my other biker (the one with the visor helmet carrying the lead pipe). I'm looking forward to painting something besides touching up that terrain, which is boring and down in the basement, so not very accessible.

The tread bike still needs a little work to configure the driver and handlebars. The driver is going to have to be leaning down low over the handlebars in order for the arms to reach and I am going to struggle to get his head to be looking forward instead of down. It is going to take some more work, but that is the challenge and fun of conversions: lots of little things that don't quite fit or don't quite work the way you pictured in your head.