Friday, September 14, 2007

Braaaains...

Yes, you guessed it, the zombies are making an appearance in today's update.

The idea for the unit came to me after very much pondering, discarding what was considered unfit and generally brain masturbation. I had a major nut to crack when trying to make the zombies both in a winter theme and that bit unorthodox. The frozen river motif sprung up out of the blue really, but was in a way inspired by the zombies from one of my favourite music videos (sincerely recommend the band as a whole too, they rock). The idea of having sombies emerge from the down under was just too cool not to try.

Having said that, I'm not at all happy with how the models turned out, nor had I actually expect to be. Confused? Let me explain.

I've treated this project as a test drive for both my idea for the aquatic zombies and my skills in actually making that idea come to fruition, plus the aptitude of my workshop too. I tried two major things here, the overall unit theme and the magnetized bases, pictured left. To make the magnets (3x3 mm, 1mm thick, rare earth) work, I had to place them directly in contact with the movement tray. The underside of a standard GW base has 2mm of space left. Faced with the choice between using thicker magnets and making my own bases, I went with the latter.

You see, when dealing with plastic minis, too much magnet force could easily mean ruining the mini - they have to be lifted from the tray, right? Now, using a magnet twice the thickness would mean absolute impracticality when it came to gaming. Left with no other option, I set about to making custom bases for the zombies.

I used two thicknesses of polystyrene, 1 mm and 0,5 mm. The former is used to host the magnet in a drillout, the latter covers both the hole and the magnet and forms the surface to which the mini itself is glued.

The unit consists of twenty four models, complete with a musician and a standard bearer. To get across that water emergence thing, I modeled the ranks as literally emerging, starting from the rearmost. To the right, you can see what I mean.

The zombie skintone is not what I aimed at by a longshot, but this is entirely my fault. When I finally substitute my worn GW paints for P3 Formula or Vallejo, I think I'll be able to pull out the color I wanted for these.

The water is made out of Vallejo Still Water polyurethane disperse. I'm not at all happy with this product though; while having the shine and full transparency, it does not look like water at all. Or maybe I can't use it properly.

The movement tray is made out of a 130 mm by 80 mm steel sheet, 1mm in thickness, with balsa sides glued on and textured.

As I already mentioned, this unit is not to be considered a showcase quality in any way - it was a test drive. I have the other 24-strong unit of zombies awaiting its turn, and with the lessons learned on this project, it is my hope that I will be able to make that other one much better.

One of the valuable bits of knowledge I got from making these is the increased familiarity with the P3 Formula metallics. I realize that I scoffed at them some weeks ago, but when putting them to a diligent test, they turned out maybe not awesome, but decent, and much better than the GW ones. In my upcoming project I will put them to much more use and i think I'll be able to say decisively where do I stand on them. For now, look at the musician's bell and decide for yourselves.

This, however, does not apply to ordinary P3 paints, which are just plain great. I used 'Jack Bone and Ryn Flesh on these zombies extensively and have nothing but praise to utter about their performance. Let me just say this - I was able to achieve complete coverage of beige over black with one layer. Really.

As for the next project, I won't spill any beans today, mainly because I have to decide between the general and the Black Coach. Both, however, are going to be very involving projects and it is my intent to make each update a 'step' in finishing these.

Out of the less in-topic announcements, I have added a modest logo to all pictures posted here, mainly due to another case of theft of my work. I've rehosted all images, but haven't really got the time to resize them properly. My bad, you'll have to cope with this until I sit to them.

Righto, off to the next project. And the realization of being that one step closer to digging my teeth into the Cryx Battlegroup makes me work all the more diligently. I hope.

See you next Friday!

1 comment:

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