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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Spatha Gunships

I acquired some more ships for my ever-increasing fleets back in the summer, these being some Spatha Gunships (the subject of this post), a pair of Cataphract battlecruisers (oooooh!) and a pair of Raptors for my Relthoza. Oscar has also got a new pineapple, sorry, Kraken Dreadnought to add to his monstrous Medusa, together with its attendant escorts. Since I've had almost no time for any posts in the months since I got them, it's time to put that right.

So as I said, I'll start with the Spathas. I shouldn't have to describe the format to anyone who's a regular reader of the blog by now - sturdy cardboard box with nice glossy full-colour card sleeve holding its contents in;

The Spathas come in a standard cruiser-size box, which is a nice compact size. Inside the box all the components are held in bubble-wrap or press-seal bags for their protection. Unpackaging all this produces the following array of parts;

The Hulls are single-piece mouldings, which is an impressive achievement given the complexity, depth of some of the detail and undercuts present. Added to each of these are two handed engine blocks, each sporting two universal drive exhausts. The final part is the flight stand peg, in similarly standard format (it's the same piece as on the cruisers).

The engine blocks do need some trimming with the faithful #10A blade in the Swann Morton, as you need a nice snug fit onto the recessed moulding on the hull;

This includes the rear, as there's not a lot of room for play.

The engine exhausts (same on the Cataphract etc) do need quite a bit of tidying up as well.

This generates a fair bit of resin spoor!

Whilst we're talking about trimming, be careful when you're looking over the front section, as there are two panels that overlap the forward diagonal sweep of the hull - these are meant to be there, so make sure you don't trim them off!

Once trimming is done, however, the Spatha goes together seamlessly, and in no time at all you have three of the beasts!

Here she is in all her glory;

That's a lot of guns!

Nice view from the bow...

 Side view showing the upper and lower broadsides;

Here she is dwarfing a Gladius (forgive the unfinished paint scheme) - she really is a HUGE bulk!

The Spatha is a beast of a ship - both in-game and in model form. It's a great model, with fantastic detail, and I'm glad to have some available to my fleet now. Until next time!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Planetfall Quick Painting Guide - Dindrenzi & More Complex Schemes

Following my prior post on quickly painting up a basic camo scheme on the Planetfall 10mm Terran Valkyrie and getting it to the tabletop, I thought I'd balance the equation by popping a guide on for the noble Dindrenzi as well. In addition, as the basics of the technique remain the same for a more complex scheme, I thought I'd demo that as well, since that's exactly what my Terrans needed (being fielded in a derivative of modern Russian armour camo).

Let's start with the Valkyrie again, and show how to quickly put up a camo scheme that isn't a single block colour. This time I primed the resin in auto spray primer as a base, and quickly blocked in the base brown (I had 15 of these to do!);

As I'm going with a three-tone camo with grey, green and black, the primer served as my base colour. Next up I blocked in areas of green - the important thing is to ensure you're using paint thinned enough to flow but still provide good opacity;

After this it's onto black - or actually dark grey - to finalise my paint scheme.

Once that has thoroughly dried, I covered the entire model in diluted black wash (1:1 Vallejo black wash: diluent), exactly as the Umber wash used in the desert scheme. The trick with this is that the wash needs to be dark enough to provide definition without darkening the model too much overall - it's also one of the reasons you should use lighter shades than your final intended scheme, as this will pull them down a little.

With 15 of these plus the Dindrenzi to wash, the early ones were actually almost dry by the time I'd finished them all!, Next step, as before, is dry-brushing. You want a lighter shade of your base coat, so I used some old GW Foundation Astromican Grey which is suitable stodgy. The most important thing here is to make sure the brush has hardly anything on it, as over dry-brushing will overpower your camo scheme.

So here we can see we've caught the edges of the model without eradicating the underlying colours. The next steps are all exactly as before - tyres, detail painting, base dry-brushing and flocking. Viola!

I'm quite happy with the scheme - here he is with the rest of his tyrannical buddies - reconnaissance in force!.

Ok, so to balance this Terran onslaught we need some Dindrenzi freedom fighters! This comes in the lovely little package known as the Dagger. I used exactly the same principles for the Dindrenzi as for the Terrans, but as the base colour was black I simply primed and went straight to drybrush...

Tracks next;

Side panel detail, vision ports, lights & track wash;

Drybrushing base and weathering vehicle;

Flocking & final brown wash on tracks;

No turret was painted for the Dindrenzi - these are only stand-ins for testing purposes, but there's nothing magic about the turret - same principles apply.

So I hope I've shown that complex camo on PF minis is not that hard to do, I painted up all these minis (38 in all - including Black Rain, weapons platforms, heavy tank....) using only an hour or so on intermittent days over the course of a week. Not hard to do, no long laborious painting sessions and no airbrush (just to show it's possible - my main forces WILL be airbrushed! :-) ).

The cost of paint and materials used probably can't be measured in most currencies (maybe Yen...), and I think the look of the finished minis is pretty good. If you want to spend a bit more time on yours, I'm sure you can make some incredible forces! Now we just await the release announcements :-)