Boost Your Bases!

When I decided to start a team of Dark Angels about half a year ago I was hoping for cool, realistic poses with my conversions and a very gritty, kick-ass look. I started with a plasma gunner and…

…well, I couldn’t resist the joke. I wanted the figures to look very grimdark at first glance, but I’m not really that grimdark of a guy. So I gave a zombie head some plasma-glowing eyes and glued it on there.

This gave me the idea of doing bases on the figures representing the various foes the team had defeated. I have a somewhat developed backstory for the Eremoi (Hermits), which I may share at some point when I need a break from fantasy town.

These are gaming figures, so the tiny dioramas had to be both tight enough to fit on a normal tactical marine base and sturdy enough to withstand (minimal!) abuse.

Some are very simple. A cool hand holding a bloodthirster head led to the inclusion of the bronze Khorne symbol lying in the dirt. A skull, a bit of wire, and a little plastic cutting adds some more 40k atmosphere.

Sometimes I like to break off the base a touch, using the black rim as a cheeky little zone for scenery. The plague zombie’s arm does protrude a bit, but the stout metal I-beam gives it a pretty safe nook to hide in.

Sometimes it’s as easy as painting something funny onto an unaltered base. It’s hard to read in a static shot (it’s easier if you can turn it in your hand), but the barrel says ‘KRILL.’ I thought it would be appropriate if the suffering millions of the 41st Millenium ate… tiny little gross shrimp and stuff.

This guy’s a real go-getter, so he’s bounding over a half-buried jug of Guilliman’s X-Treme Ultra-Ade. I think Ultramarines are pretty stupid, and I think the ridiculous names of sports/energy drinks are pretty stupid, too. Seemed like a good fit.

Sometimes the base & the figure are one! This was a really fun challenge. I had to fit a whole prone tactical marine onto his base. The key was to use plenty of nubbins to cover up the parts that would shatter the illusion.

This is definitely one of my favorites. Again, the challenge was getting the right arrangement of goblin parts beneath the foot that’s squashing him as he crawls out from some hole in the ground.

My brother-in-law Will, whom you’ve met in numerous battle reports, started his Kill Team collection with T’au. Well, he had to be trolled, didn’t he?!

This one uses the rim, features a nice bit of chopchop to create the casualty pose, and sneaks quite a bit of scenic ‘information’ onto the base.

But why stop there? A little Greenstuff easily gives a lolling tongue on a dead T’au. It doesn’t really matter if the head looks almost like a hood ornament for the model, it looks cool and the goal is storytelling, not verisimilitude.

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Thanks for taking a look at these fun little mini-scenes that live on the bases of my Eremoi. I have a lot of fun solving the puzzle of building a complex, ‘readable’ scene on such a tiny surface, and I’ll bet you will too!

From the Darkness

My sergeant is coming along, a little more slowly now that vacation is over.

He has two additional base colors of green which the other Dark Angels do not. I want those areas out of the light to be very dark, but still fairly green.

Here the reds have been reworked after washing everything, then using washes selectively to exaggerate certain dark areas.

Shish Kebab Sergeant

My progress has been a little slower than usual over the last couple of days, but I’ve made a start on this fellow.

He’s fighting me every step of the way. I did a terrible job cleaning him up! I think I must have failed to complete the job, to be honest.

I’m trying to overcome the challenge and get a good result, though, both because he’s an important member of my team (he’ll probably be the default leader) and because I really like the actual conversion.

I’m trying to balance two priorities on this guy. He needs to look cohesive with the group, but I’m also attempting a few subtle changes to the ‘formula‘ that I hope will give him a distinctive look. We’ll see if I can pull it off!

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Frequent visitors to the ‘Chap will have noticed that the typical background of monkeys, knickknacks, and a teapot has changed. I’m moved into a new painting & hobby space in my attic. At 6’2″ I need to watch my head in the reading nook but… I have a reading nook! I’ve now got a huge desk, shelf space, and enough distance between me & the rest of the house to jam out pretty hard when the mood strikes. I’m also going to add a small square table that will be perfect for Kill Team, card games, small board games, and whatever else you do with tables.

I’ve still got a lot of organization to do and the cats have to figure out who’s claiming it for him/herself, but it is already much nicer to spend time here than in my previous corner of a laundry room. Laundry’s easier, too!

This is a task/goal I’ve had for months, with nothing really stopping me but my own sloth. Some projects did actually take priority, like Eldritch Elf & Tom’s GK. Had I spent a day or two simply moving into my new space, I could have improved not only my overall productivity and my enjoyment of the hobby. Had I waited until I had finished the ‘next’ project to move, I’d never have gotten up here!

First Mini of 2019!

Well, the future is here and I’ve finished a mini on January 1st. This is surely an omen of productivity in the coming year!

“Who forgot the bean dip?!”

This angry boy is an intercessor comms specialist with an auspex and auxiliary grenade launcher. So he’ll be throwing out buffs to hit & wound and throwing grenades out 30″.

He’ll be in about every game.

These primaris figures are well-proportioned and don’t need a lot to look great. I also think I can get some cool conversions out of them.

Like the rest of the team, his face is strange looking. This one’s not as technically strong as some of the others, but I like the look of it. The hair is purple and the face, well, sort of blue. So be it!

I’m always aiming to mix such crazy, sort of impressionistic parts with ultra-precise, absolutely flat ‘comic book’ style sections like the kneepad & grenade launcher. In other parts, I’m aiming for realism.

For Christmas he got a glowing backpack with antennae, a must-have for a spruce comms specialist like this one!

Lights, Camera, Action!

…almost. Still working on the comms specialist, but I had to share with this with you.

Pretty bright, right?

Yeah! It’s a photo-reactive pigment so potent that it glows in daylight. Powerful enough to glow through green ink, apparently, also!

This is the product I used. My brother-in-law found it and gave it to me for Christmas.

It’s amazing and I can’t wait to experiment further. Plasma weapons might be getting a touch-up soon!

Do You Copy?

I’m working up an intercessor comms specialist with an auspex & an auxiliary grenade launcher. He should be a real clutch performer on the tabletop, and I expect to use him pretty much every game.

I’m thinking I may do little insignia on the knees (or elsewhere) indicating the various specializations on my command roster. Two combat or heavy specialists, though different in game mechanics, would share certain distinguishing marks.