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Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Skaven Stormfiends: Making More Gauntlets
When I left off with the Stormfiends, I had converted the two rattling cannon poses into swappable, warpstone-armored melee monsters:
Now to finish them up by converting some doom-flayer gauntlets and magnetizing their remaining weapons. Two of the models will use the original gauntlets. The other two will wear converted gauntlets made out of the cover plates from the warpfire projectors.
Magnetizing the Original Gauntlets
To start, I needed to magnetize the gauntlets so they could be interchanged between doom-flayers or shock gauntlets. The attachment point within the gauntlet for the two options was too small to house a magnet, so I cut it out and fit a plastic tube inside. It is thick styrene tube with an interior of 1/8-inch (perfect to hold the magnet) and an outer diameter of 1/4-inch.
One magnet went in the tube and the other in the doom-flayer mace ball.
For the shock gauntlet, the 1/8-inch magnet barely fit, so I built up some material around it with modeling putty.
To keep the parts from spinning I added a small pin that would lock the part in place when attached.
Viola! Because of slight variances in the magnet positioning, some of the parts were a tiny bit crooked if improperly matched up. I numbered all the gauntlet parts to ensure the correct pieces fit together.
Scratch Building the New Gauntlets
I rounded the corners of a length of square basswood, and then glued it into the warpfire projector covers to form the core of the gauntlet. This was then carved with a hobby knife to create the tapered shape.
I glued a piece of etched brass to the underside.
The shape of the gauntlet was then sculpted around the grill with modeling putty. I built up the basic shape and then added the flange at the end once the first layer of putty had cured. The rivets were made by pressing a mechanical pencil (with the lead removed) into the putty. In this photo, the front end needs to be trimmed flat, and I have also added some brass tubing to either side. The tubes will be the attachment points for the whirling blades and hoses.
On the top of the gauntlet, I added another tube and covered the outer edge with putty to blend it into the surface of the armor.
Here are the finished gauntlets. Magnets were added into the back end where it would attach to the arm of the Stormfiend.
The mace-balls were a little tricky. I thought about using marbles, but couldn't find any the right size. In the end, I used a simple press mold to replicate the detail, one half at a time. They turned out a little rough, but they're of Skaven design, so that's okay. Between the two kits, I had enough whirling blades to fill out all four pairs of gauntlets.
The largest set of blades went into my parts bin. They are perfect for the sides of a doom-flayer weapon team, so I'll hang onto them until I decide to scratch-build one.
Attaching and Wiring the Weapons
Hobby Tip: When making a magnetized attachment that will accommodate multiple weapons, position the magnet in the arm first. Then fit the weapons' magnets to the arm. This will ensure that the weapons all sit correctly. (If you put magnets in the weapons first, you may find that their corresponding positions on the model are all slightly off center. Then, once you have the magnet in the arm, one of the weapons will be correctly positioned and the others will be slightly shifted.)
Once the arms and weapons were magnetized, I set about building the cables for them. I used 16-gauge floral wire for the cables. The wire fit perfectly into the brass tubes, and I drilled corresponding holes in the attachment points on the Stormfiend's back.
One set of cables fits the gauntlets. The windlauncher and warpfire projector's attachment points are further forward, so a sexond set of cables was made for them.
The warpfire projector's three-pronged splitter was further separated and rebuilt with thinner wire.
This setup will allow me to remove the splitter and attach the projector directly to the cannon mount on the third pose in the event that I want to field four models, two with windlaunchers and two with warpfire projectors.
Brain Rats and Basing
With the weapon combos finished, I attached the brain rats to the back of the Stormfiends and glued their tails in place.
Then, it was time to attach the models to their bases and make sure they rank up properly. This step was an absolute nightmare! These models are so bulky it was almost impossible to get them positioned so they would rank up base-to-base, and not be facing completely sideways. The best I could come up with was to either have their shoulders facing front, or their heads looking to the front, but not both. I know that the unit Skirmishes, and can move around in a loose formation, but the models need to rank up when engaged in combat. (And this unit should be spending most of its time in combat if used effectively.)
It might be a little while before I have these guys painted. First, I need to finish them off with some rattling cannon options.