Thursday, October 30, 2014

Truescale 40k Marine Legs without Terminator Parts

Following on from my earlier post about making some truescale 40k space marines, I decided to have a go at this technique without using terminator parts. Whilst I certainly agree that terminator legs readily make up for the loss in proportionality in "heroic scale" models, they are pricey and potentially more time consuming to produce than making best use of normal space marine (and chaos space marine) legs.

One of the critical choices to make in creating some true scale conversions is where to add extra height. In general, I think avoiding the central regions of the thighs and calves is a good move if you're not the most expert model convertor (or perhaps: don't have ready access to plasticard for adding the appropriate extra height and are worried about obtaining a good smooth finish to sliced in half greaves). 

For me, this means selecting between:
(1) The knees;
(2) The hips;
(3) The waist.

Or some combination of the above.

This is with or without potentially bulking out the torso so that the marine looks beefier. I decided against this latter point as I wanted to use some Anvil Industry and Forge World parts for my torsos are I really don't want to be hacking apart resin in a vertical slice -- particularly on terminators.

So, for these models pictured below, I went for a slice just above the knees. This has the added bonus of being able to re-position the legs in a more dynamic pose (which is one aspect that I really like about these kinds of conversions, as evidenced by my Gun Kata style marine). All I've done here is break the legs above the knee using a knife and then pin them with an added gap of around 3mm (ish). The emphasis here on the ish is fine as not every human being is the same height, therefore I'm not too concerned if some of the true scale marines vary in height a little bit: just so long as they're taller than regular marines. And: adding height to the thighs ensures that the hands reach down the appropriate length of the body, rather than implicitly being able to touch the ankles from a standing position. (I also checked this assumption by measuring the ratio of my own thighs to calves length, and comparing to average human data: the space marine legs really do have calves that seem a little too long in ratio to the thighs.  Yeah, I know, that was probably going a bit too far for 40k conversions). 

Cutting at the hips is also viable, but (as I discovered) takes extra effort when one greenstuffs up the gaps as these locations are pretty close to one another; meaning that the greenstuff really needs to dry on one side before tackling the other. With cuts at the knees, I can work on both legs without waiting for the other one to dry so long as I'm paying a reasonable amount of attention. But perhaps one leg cut at the hip, and one just above the knee might also work well -- I'll have to try that at a future date.

I do intend to add a touch of extra height at the waist with these guys as well: once I've filled in the gap above the legs with some greenstuff. I intend to do this by simply adding another 1mm of flattened greenstuff on top of the legs (in the convex hole at the bottom of the torso) when I glue the torso on. This at least won't make the belt be out of place and require more labour intensive work to set right. 

Finally, the observant amongst you will notice that the legs on the right are chaos space marine legs. I worked hard on these to scrub away the general chaotification and make them appear a bit more like Mk.IV or Mk.VI style armour. 

Time to get out the greenstuff now!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gun Kata - A Dynamic Space Marine Conversion

Following on from the under-arm melta gun conversion from yesterday, this is the upper body torso of the space marine that I built with it. 

I've built in a good quantum of dynamism to this model. Not only is the left arm raised and looking like its firing, but the arm has been significantly swung out from the body, at just over 45 degrees from the solar plexus. This has been pinned in to the torso with a (partially bent) paperclip and is ready for some greenstuff to fill in the gap.

The right arm is simply a bolt pistol from the chaos space marine range. But as with the melta gun, I've swung this out from the body more than was originally designed (note the bent paperclip pin in place again here). The two arms make an angle of about 90 degrees from each other. 

I've positioned the beakie head to look in the direction of the melta gun. What is interesting with this pose is that it seems like the marine is taking his shot with the melta gun at an immediate target. But he also is seemingly taking a shot to finish off something else to his right hand side. 

Dual wielding in a "gun kata" style, this marine certainly maintains my maxim of "no marine unconverted" in my forthcoming army.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Under-arm Melta Gun Conversion

In the constant quest for new poses and following the maxim of "no model unconverted", I decided to start looking at original poses for weapons. Inspired by terminator reaper auto cannons, I thought about creating an under-arm slung special weapon grip: in this case a melta gun.

In the image, I have take two components (yes - its that simple!): a plastic melta gun, and the heavy bolter left arm from the chaos space marine range. 

For the melta gun, I trimmed and filed away the top part of the gun so that it would lay flat against the fist, as well as the back of the gun where a recoil buffer might sit, so that the angled portion would also lay flat against the chaos space marine arm. You can also see that I've trimmed back the excess chaos embellishments to the melta gun such as the bits that drape off the bottom of the corrugated wire at the bottom of the gun. This was mostly aesthetic, but also provides me with more room to play about with modelling when I finally connect the shoulder to a marine torso.

For the heavy bolter chaos space marine left left arm, I also ensured that the bottom of the fist was filed right down so that it would make a solid contact with the melta gun when glued together. The second major change was the slice through the wrist, perform a wrist rotation and slight angling, and re-pin it in to its new position. This is absolutely necessary as the arm is positioned very awkwardly for a single weapon such as a melta gun. In effect, I've made the arm look like its straight!

The final conversion is that of a melta gun operated by the left hand and under-slung. This makes it look fairly unique and will make a terrific visual impact in a group of marines that otherwise looks fairly standard (or even in a group of marines where every one of them is a conversion!). 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Tarantula Sentry Gun Battery

This is a remarkably interesting unit for 30k, and I think one that will be (sadly) overlooked in favour of other Fast Attack choices. But to be clear from the outset: I think this option could be excellent in the right situation and for the right Legion. For those armies that are wanting to deep strike or push right up in to the enemy deployment zone (as well as ones without a particularly strong / under-utilized set of Fast Attack options), I could see these batteries being used in the mid- and back-field to secure objectives, or provide a dis-incentive for enemies to move forward. With multiple over-lapping killing zones that could be set up with these batteries, the possibilities are good.

The only real draw-back is the BS3 in the profile. But considering that most weapons (apart from the multi-melta option) are twin-linked, this is not so bad. Even with BS3, the probability to hit with a twin-linked option is 75%. That's better than a none-twin-linked BS4 weapon (66%). To balance this, they're T6 with 2 wounds each -- that makes it terrific as it will require substantial weapons fire to take them out (meaning that you opponents have to make a choice where to concentrate their firepower: at the battery, or at the assault elements like terminators that are coming for them!).

As for the weapon options, I probably would not take the rotor cannon, even if there's two of them. Its just not that fantastic against legion enemies. Particularly the Iron Hands!  The twin-linked heavy flamer is an odd choice, but would be fantastic for close choke points that enemies have to pass through. But if you're not playing cities of death or some kind of space hulk / zone mortals game, then I'd leave them alone. The final thing to note is that the hyperios option provides one of the valuable anti-aircraft options available to the legion.

Here's a few ideas for batteries.

2 Sentry Guns, each with twin-linked lascannons, forward deployment (90 points)
Much cheaper than a dreadnought with two twin-linked las cannons and potentially less of a target as well. Several of these can create amazing overlapping fire zones. Depending on position, both point defence mode (back-field, inside buildings) and sentry mode (in the open, deployed with forward deployment) could be superb.

3 Sentry Guns, each with twin-linked heavy bolters (90 points)
This is a unit to place next to valuable heavy support squads in the back field. They will use the sentry mode to counter-act infiltrators and outflankers. Take concealment to taste.

2 Sentry Guns, 1 twin-linked lascannon, 1 twin-linked heavy bolter (70 points)
The las-cannon has the point defence mode, and the heavy bolter the sentry mode. The lascannon is the primary gun here, the heavy bolter is simply a deterrent for enemies that get too close. An interesting mixed mode.

3 Sentry Guns, Hyperios air-defence missile launcher, 1 hyperios command platform (160 points)
An excellent, if pricy way to provide an anti-aircraft option (well: still cheaper than heavy support squads still). But with split fire, and the 48" range, this could be a terrific choice and life-saving option against an all-flier army.  Optionally, replace one sentry gun with the heavy bolters and remove the command platform to save on costs. Forward deployment and concealment are also valid options here, depending on taste. 
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