Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Adventures into 40k: Mercenaries for Helsreach

Aside from a few bolters and my scratchbuilt Freeway Fighter model, I've always steered clear of 40k. Partly because my mind is only capable of being immersed in one fantasy world and partly because I quite simply prefer swords and chainmail to Lasguns and Exo-Armour (I'm not sure if that's even a 40k thing). But inspiration found in the blogging sphere and also my new-found love of sci-fi/post apocalyptic films (in particular Firefly and Mad Max), I've slowly been seduced and convinced myself it's time to embrace Rogue Trader and all it's possibilities. Well initially some if it's possibilities as I explore the setting.

To make this be more than a hollow promise to myself, I've signed up for Whiskey Priest's: Logan's World - Helreach at BOYL 2016. So I now have a specific deadline and outline for which to work towards. So here's what I'm going to do; a band of Mercanaries with a Mad Max-esque car:

From left to right, Copplestone, Foundry, Copplestone BOYL2015 mini, Hasslefree with Citadel dragon (very much inspired by illustrations from the Rogue Trader rulebook and JB's wonderful version), Hasslefree, Foundry and Copplestone.
I don't have any 40k figures lying around, so the idea was to quite simply choose some of my favourite sculpts from a range of online retailers, focusing on characterful and dynamic sculpts. It feels satisfying to buy from small independent companies and I didn't want to scour Ebay for old Rogue Trader models, mostly because I don't have any nostalgic attachment to the old sculpts.

I'll be painting these up with a dusty, worn and battle-hardened appearance.

But this crew need a vehicle, or at least I have the itch to kitbash and modify a model car into something dark and futuristic:

1:43 scale works best I've found and I got hold of this Heller Peugeot really cheap. I'll use the chasis and futurise it with some wheels and exhausts from the plastic Ork Warbikes. Amongst this lot you can also see some guitar wire (perfect for tubing), some old computer components (perfect for raised engines), some platicard, plastic rods, my tiny collection of 40k guns, some gauze and some Zinge Industry bits to help modify the car.
 For inspiration I've been looking at the following inspiration from Google Images (apologies for giving no credit to the original owners):


So my version will be loosely based upon these, but generally made up as I go along with what "feels" right within the limitation of the bits I have gathered. The biggest modifications will be raising up the vehicle, cutting away the back to create a gunning platform and adding a roof rack.

My very first obstacle was that the plastic Ork bikes come with 4 different wheels and only one of them seemed suitable for making the car more of an off-road, raised buggy. Initially I was exploring just buying the bitz separately, but then I remembered I had some InstaMold lying around. Perfect opportunity to use it again (last time was to mold some plaguebearer stomachs for my beastmen):

Hot water to soften the Instamold, the bitz embedded in the mold and some tweezers.
The impression left by the wheel is pretty sharp. A little bit of detail is lost but these wheels will be weathered and muddied when painted, so no biggie.
And with the cured greenstuff removed from the molds, crisp enough for me. All I need to do now is smooth down the backs, join them together and fill any gaps. Another couple of sets to do, enough so I have  spare wheel to add to the baggage.
Next up I'm going to paint a few of the figures and cut and build the shit out of that car!