Thursday, May 30, 2013

Retaliator-class Grand Cruiser

So, I apparently missed the memo on how the Vengeance-class hull assembles really poorly.  I'd chalk it up to rubber mold fatigue and years of production, but some of the gaps are so far off they had to have been bad even when this thing got started.  So, here's all the parts laid out.  I'm not using the weapons in the lower right-hand corner, but they're part of the kit:

The problems start appearing once you try assembling the ship.  Test-fitting the prow only reinforced my decision to scratch-build my own custom prows for my Vengeance hulls anyway.

There's no way I'd be able to attach this without 2-3 pins for stability and a whole lot of modelling putty... so I'm going with plan b:  scratch-build my own prow, attempt to replicate it as best as I can twice more, and then install them on my Retaliator, planned Exorcist, and planned Vengeance/Avenger swappable kit (because it won't be hard at all to design it so I can pop off four magnetized lance decks and replace them with four magnetized weapons batteries).

My first bit of advice if you try building one of these on your own:  put two blobs of paint on the engineering/bridge section of the grand cruiser and then mate up the gun decks to that section like I did in the image below.  That'll make it really easy to drill in 4 aligned holes and pin the ship together.  I use paperclip sections for this;  it's a nice thick solid bar that isn't going to bend or break anytime soon, and will help secure the ship sections nicely.

I'm still working out the exact shape and dimensions of my replacement prow.  I'm thinking I want it no wider than 7/8 in., and about 1.5 in. long.  The Veangeance's prow is about 1 in. wide and about 7/8 in. long, not counting its ram spike, and for comparison, the Repulsive's prow is about 7/8 in. wide and 1.5 in. long.

Of the two, I'd rather go with the Repulsive's dimensions and holding it up to the model out of curiosity, the ship definitely benefits from the narrower, longer profile. I'm a little torn between whether I want to have the prow flare slightly like the plastic chaos cruiser, or whether I want to simply bring it back flush with the gun decks and use something very similar to the Repulsive.  The more I think about it, the more I like the latter option.  I think I'm going to make the sides a little less steep than the Repulsive's, just to bridge the design gap a little between the Imperial and Chaos ship designs.  I'm also debating on whether I want to mount the torpedo tubes in the prow, or under it (the BFG:R ship rules allow you to upgrade the Vengeance-class hulls with torpedoes or an improved sensor array if you want), but for the Retaliator I'm definitely going with the sensor array and I'll be running a bunch of antennas out of the prow's sloping armor when I'm done with the basic shape.  I also want to splay the arms of a chaos star across the prow on the chaos version, and sculpt the imperial aquila (or maybe a winged skull) onto my eventual imperial ship prows.  I feel like they need something to link them in, and some of the original Battlefleet Gothic artwork in the book depicts chaos ships with massive chaos stars on their prows, and I'd like to try my hand at that.  I'd show you my progress on a plastic scratch-built prow, but I've already junked it after realizing I'd built it way too wide.  Something to pick up with and work on tomorrow night!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Painting In Progress

So, Nostramo's Lament is coming along!  This is that Chaos Blasphemer-class Battleship I mentioned in my introductory blog.  I'm delaying publishing my guide to Warp Rift Online until I have her painted up to include in the guide as a finished product, along with a brief snippet of lore.

I need to put on another thin layer of the gold where it's necessary, and I think I want to darken the red some more; it's a bit more brilliant than I had anticipated, and I think I have too much bright paint on the model relative to the darker hull.  Speaking of the hull, my cobalt blue tone is itself, I feel, too bright, so once I have the gold consistent and solid, I'll be doing some blue touch-ups and then running a darker blue ink wash over her to bring the blue back down darker.  I was considering pushing the gold highlights brighter, but at most after a dark wash on them, I'll probably just bring them to a medium brightness in a few areas in an attempt to keep the scheme more muted and menacing.  Wow, I never thought that, on top of a black basecoat, I'd actually find myself trying to mute my colors back down.  Ah well ;)

Also, I'm experimenting with figuring out how I want to do the engine flares on her.  I'm thinking it's going to end up being a red-tinted plasma burn, but the Imperial engine nacelles on her stern don't really lend themselves to easy painting in that regard.  I may need to put a little putty in them, carefully, so I have something to hit with white and a red corona ring...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Well, if you're reading this, welcome to my little corner of the web! I plan to use this blog to keep a record of my model wargaming projects, whether crafting, painting, or list-building and recapping gaming events. I'm definitely more of a hobby gamer than a competitive gamer, so if I were you I wouldn't expect a whole lot of in-depth list-building and strategic discussion here. That said, I'm quite cheerfully plowing onward through trial and error in a few projects of mine, so hopefully I'll be able to pass along some useful advice as I go too.

Currently, I have a few projects going on, and most of them will get short articles on here as my blog catches up with me. Currently, I'm painting a scratch-built Blasphemer-class battleship for my Battlefleet Gothic Chaos fleet (I'll be submitting my building guide for that to Warp Rift Online soon, so stay tuned!), I'm working on designing some alternative weapons plates for the Chaos cruiser models, I have a few seriously back-burnered Epic Armageddon projects (one of them involves quite a few Titans), and I have a gift Word Bearers Dark Apostle miniature for Warhammer 40,000 that's about 66% finished that I really should get around to completing for a friend. Expect to see posts about all of these projects coming in the near future!