Tag Archives: Electronics

Circus Daemon prince “The Ringleader”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mortals and Immortals, Daemons or All Ages!
May I have your UNDIVIDED attention!?|
We proudly bring to you the greatest show, this side of the Great Rift!
Be amazed by feats of strength and speed! 

This much CHAOS could drive you mad! This show will CHANGE you, just as planned! We will overwhelm your senses to give you excessive PLEASURE! You’ll be so ANGRY that it has to end!  You’ll laugh until you’re SICK!
After all, laughter is the best medicine. Or was it slaughter? Well, you can’t spell slaughter without laughter!

Presenting a new Chaos Space Marine Daemon Prince with Wings. I’m thinking of calling it “The Ringleader”. It will be a central part of my new circus-themed army and display board. It is a continuation of the ideas started with the Ice Cream Truck and Undead Zombie Daemon Clown Poxwalkers

An obviously distinctive feature is its top hat. I made it using some plasticard, a piece of heat shrink, and a bit of green stuff. Its bow tie is also made of plasticard. 

Image of Daemon Prince focusing on Top Hat and Bow Tie

As with many of my models, I incorporated electronics. This Daemon Prince’s eyes light up from a flickering green LED installed in its head. I used clear silicon kitchen caulking as a diffusing medium for the light. There is a switch on the back of the base, and a battery in the base. 

Daemon Prince’s Warp Bolter with a “bang” gun flag.

I’m particularly proud of the “bang” gun in its left hand. The gun is an Ogryn ripper gun that represents its Warp Bolter. The bang gun with a flag is a classic prank, so I thought it was a nice way to add some levity to the model. 

I’m also particularly proud of its wings. I tried doing a wet-blend gradient between Fulgrim Pink and Genestealer Purple. It has a wash of Magos Purple contrast, and then it’s topped off with Green Stuff World’s Red Goblin Colour Shift Paint. 

Image showing my attempt at gradient in the Daemon Prince’s wings.

And the balloons… I love the balloons. I think most of the characters in this army will have balloons. I found these on Amazon. They are described as “Dollhouse Balloons.”

Daemon Prince with Wings: “The Ringleader”

I’m planning on running “The Ringleader” as an HQ in a Creations of Bile Chaos Space Marine Army, so it will have +1 strength and +1” movement. I will probably use the Supreme Creation: Prime Test Subject stratagem to give it +1 toughness and an additional +1 strength. It has a Hellforged Sword sheathed on his side, which will be hitting at strength 9. I’m also planning to give it the Living Carapace relic which improves his armour save to 2+ and allows it to regain 1 lost wound per turn. 

I posted a work-in-progress picture and someone mentioned that it reminded him of Rakdos. In the Magic the Gathering (MTG) and Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) lore, he is worshiped by chaotic cultists who emulate gruesome performance art. A chaotic circus? Sounds about right!

Death Guard Chaos Rhino Conversion: “I Scream Truck”

Here’s an over the top project of which I’m pretty proud: A conversion of a Chaos Rhino to resemble an Ice Cream truck. More specifically, it is meant to emulate “Sweet Tooth”, the iconic vehicle driven by Needles Kane in the Twisted Metal franchise of video games.

I had purchased a Chaos Rhino kit a few months ago with the intention of adding a 3rd to my Death Guard force. It sat in my to-do pile for a while. When I finished my Foetid Bloat Drone with MOTORIZED fleshmower, my wife remarked that it seemed like it needed music or sound. I’ve done sound in my models before, like my Red Gobbo conversion that sang “Jingle Bells”, and a Land Raider that sings “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. Thinking of the motorized fleshmower, I somehow got to thinking about the spinning pole of a barber shop. 

Barber’s pole kind of inspired me

From the barber’s pole, I somehow started thinking about ice cream trucks. Then I made the connection to Sweet Tooth. For those that don’t know, Sweet Tooth is a vehicle in the “Twisted Metal” video games driven by a clown-themed serial killer named Needles Kane. It is a weaponized, beat up ice cream truck. And, in the games, it plays an ice cream truck melody that seems creepily out of place.

Needles Kane is the flagship character of the Twisted Metal games. He is depicted as an insane, violent, crazed killer full of rage. He seems to be more of the Khorne type of Chaos. But, I am instead playing on the clown/circus element of his persona. From there, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine undead crazed zombie daemon clowns. And, in a truly Nurgle fashion, how better to spread Grandpa Nurgle’s gifts, than Ice Cream. 

Rhino I had previously painted, and the paper Ice Cream Truck centrepiece I used as a reference

I started the project by getting a reference: I bought a paper Ice Cream Truck centrepiece that was roughly twice the size of a Rhino. This gave me a reference for scale and shape. 

The next thing I built was the iconic macabre clown head that would go atop the vehicle. Ice cream trucks can have giant ice cream cones or clown heads on top, but I decided to go with the clown head. I started with a leftover head from the Great Unclean One kit. I installed a big red LED on its nose to look like a clown nose. I replaced its eyes with flickering purple LED’s to look like bulging eyes. And I wired five flickering LED’s around the head to be the flames later. The circuitry also involved two batteries, a switch, and a resistor. I balled the whole thing together with a large wad of Miliput. After priming and painting it, I strategically used clear kitchen caulking as a medium to represent the shapes of the flames. I’d like to think that it diffuses well is a fine Warhammer interpretation of Sweet Tooth’s clown head. 

After the clown head, I made the two characters to put in the vehicle. I converted a Chaos Cultist to be the driver. I replaced the head with a clear resin head and installed an LED in it. I am trying to emulate the techniques of one of the best LED modelers, Chris Buxey. Now the driver looks sort of demonically empowered. 

And I converted a Poxwalker to be the ice cream server. I replaced his weapon with an ice cream scoop, and made an ice cream cone for his other hand. 

The body of the vehicle took a lot of work. This is my first time ever working with plasticard. It is rather hard to cut, but I’m glad I had a self-healing mat to absorb errant knife stabs. The sheets are a bit imprecise, and I used a lot of Green Stuff to fill in gaps. But it seems acceptable considering how run-down the truck is supposed to be.

Cutting plasticard
Starting to take shape

I start by making a scale template of the side of the ice cream truck reference. It’s exactly half the size (1:2). I used that to trace the side walls of the truck out plasticard. Then I cut the side sections of the Rhino to fit the plasticard walls. I use the original Rhino roof and back door. The rest is even more plasticard. 

The whole thing is coming together
Back view of partially built truck
Assembled and primed. Head is attached to the top with a magnet.

The interior has two barrels with some glowing, noxious substance inside. I suspect this what they are serving as ice cream. I used a couple of LED’s to really make them glow. The headlights also light up, as does the drivers’ eyes, and there is one internal light.

There’s a lot of wires
Interior view before sealing it. I weathered it a lot. And you can see some of the wiring.

The model also has its own internal sound system. I’ve used a similar programmable circuit board before. It has 3 different songs: The first is “I scream – you scream – we all scream for ice cream” by Harry Reser’s Syncopators (1927). I don’t know the second song, but the third is “Turkey in the Straw.” I sampled the last two songs from a youtube video that extracted the songs from the Twisted Metal games. I have shared the music as a youtube video:

There are few interesting attachments to the truck. I used wooden letters I got at Micheal’s for the large side. It spells “Ice Cream”, but I’ve had the “CE” fall off and an “S” is scrawled in blood so it now reads “I SCREAM”. There are boltguns on each side of the truck matching their positions on Sweet Tooth. And there is an awning over the serving window, supported by two missiles. The front grill is from a Taurox Prime kit, modified slightly with some sprue bits. The license plate simply reads “VII”. 

Nurgling in the back window. The button labelled with the “music note” triggers the music.

I used plastic for all the windows. There is a Nurgling hiding in the back window. The technique for the cracked window in the front is from this youtube video. Actually, I learned a lot from that video about weathering too. 

I had fun decorating the truck too. It is supposed to be a white truck with pink polka-dots. Then I covered it in ice cream stickers. That’s how it started, then I weathered it like crazy. Many layers of Apothecary White Contrast, Plaguebearer Flesh Contrast, Typhus Corrosion, Ryza Rust, Nuln Oil, and Agrax Earthshade. I even did some highlighting in Corax White to try to get the edges to pop. 

Side view: “ICE CREAM” or “I SCREAM”?
Front view: I broke out my “Sophie’s Garage” display board for a background
Passenger / serving side
Serving ice cream side
Back view
Front / driver-side view

I have been teaching myself how to use VSDC Video editing software. I had some fun splicing together photos of the finished model, the music, and some video effects. 

Video featuring the “I Scream” truck and accompanying music

Now I’m considering making a full 20-model squad of Poxwalkers as undead zombie daemon clowns.

Display Board: “Ritual to extend 2020”

After my modest success in 2018 with my “Sophie’s Garage” Display Board, I upped my game in 2019 with “Sophie’s Choice Rock Concert” Display Board. I entered that board into Armies on Parade at my local Games Workshop store and got “Best Themed Army” and 2nd Place overall. I wanted to go even bigger and better for 2020 and started planning immediately. The end result is not what I thought I’d have, but I’m quite happy with it.

2020 has been a complicated and memorable year, to say the least. I had been very focused on my two Loyalist armies: Imperial Fists and Astra Militarum. When the first COVID-19 lockdown hit home in March, I found myself not worrying about painting to play, but instead having the freedom to try something new. That’s when I started painting Death Guard models.

My 2020 Display Board: “Ritual to Extend 2020”

To match the bases I had been giving the Death Guard models, I decided it would be a more forest/nature-like environment. My two previous boards had been urban environments, so this was quite a departure for me. But, it was a nice opportunity to try something new.

Now, on the actual construction of the board. The base is actually a bamboo drawer organizer from Ikea. I wanted to have a variety of heights and different levels, so there are lots of boxes and platforms. All of the shapes are boxes from Dollarama that I have disassembled, cut and re-assembled as I needed. Once I had a layout I liked, I added the steel.

LED’s added to the upper platform.

It wouldn’t be one of my boards if it didn’t features lights. The lighting on this board was actually rather modest: Just two flickering green LED’s on the upper dias.

LED’s on the upper platform

There are a lot of practical elements to this board. First, it fits perfectly on the foldable cart that I bring to tournaments. I installed handles to make it easy to transport. And, every horizontal surface is clad in sheet steel, so that models with magnets in their bases stick to the board.

Early construction photo of my 2020 display board. The sheet steel is still quite visible.

I used an “ebony” wood stain to make it really dark. Then finished it with three coats of a shiny polyurethane.

Staining the board

The board has lots of corkboard for texture. And I used the bases of the trees from the Souldrain Forest kit.

I wanted to add some texture to the steel. I mixed sand, white glue, and water and intended to smear that over all the horizontal surfaces to mask the steel. I didn’t get the ratio quite right, so that sand started collecting into bands. That turned out to be a nice, rippling effect.

Adding texture


I used spray paint on most of the board. It’s like a poor man’s airbrush.
As you’d expect of me, there are lights on the top balcony flanking where the Great Unclean One would go.
The band is set up with their own little nook. I was planning to have them on top of the Land Raider, but didn’t have time to finish the stage properly. That Land Raider will get some more interesting treatment and I’ll share that soon.

After spraying some layers. I even managed to get a bit of gradient.

I had custom nameplate engraved for the board. It’s a brass plate reads:
“Ritual to extend 2020”
Nurgle Daemons / Death Guard
by Paul Radcliffe
The gentleman at the engraving store gave me the funniest looks when reviewing the order…It’s very tongue-in-cheek, but I think the Noctilith Crown, and instruments, and green waterfall and daemons running amok fit them theme of wanting this pandemic year to continue. And Chaos / Nurgle Daemons / Death Guard are supposed to be the “bad guys” right? So they’d have some sort of sinister plot like this!

Engraved plate for my 2020 Display Board

Another little touch was the adding of a leather banner. My neighbour has a leatherworking business and I commissioned her to laser-etch the Nurgle symbol into a piece of leather. I then weathered the heck out of it and hung it from the upper platform of the board.

Laser-etched leather banner by Springbok Craft Co

A definite focal point on this board is the Nocticlith Crown featured on the upper platform. I painted it to look more Nurgle-like and rusted. I like that the crown looks like some sort of malefic portal or stargate. To play on that, there is a plasma disk suspended in the middle of the ring. It’s actually supposed to be a belt buckle. It is hung on fishing line which very difficult to see.

Noctilith Crown terrain features on my 2020 Display board with a plasma disk suspended in the middle. I used fishing wire which is almost invisible.

There are a lot of great models and elements on this board. But I think one of my favourites is some Nurglings on the base of the Great Unclean One overseeing the “procession.” In a very ironic twist, these little daemons that serve the Daemon God of Disease and Decay, are wearing masks.

Even Nurglings wear masks in 2020, apparently.

The board features a few trees that also came from the Souldrain Forest kit. I painted them to look like cherry blossoms, because my wife loves cherry blossoms. She was less impressed with the tree that I converted to look more like a Feculent Gnarlmaw. They had magnets installed in their bases so they would attach to the steel sheets on the board.

Work in progress pictures of trees for the 2020 Display Board. The one on the left has a bit of an infection….

This display so features a sort of ragtag Nurgle Band dropping some sick beats:
-Spoilpox Scrivner on lead vocals
-Tallyman on guitar
-Sloppity Bilepiper on bagpipes
-Plaguebearer on drums
-Noxious Blightbringer on bells (naturally)
-Nurglings on French Horn, Trumpet, Flute, and Strings

Nurgle band dropping some “sick beats”

I wanted to exceed the Rock Concert from last year. The previous board had lights and sounds. So, to exceed that I decided to add RUNNING WATER! I bought a terrarium piece meant for lizards that has a built-in pump. This was always going to feature on the board. For the final product, I put green food colouring in the water. The effect is green water coming out of the glowing skull!

Picture of my 2020 display board, with glowing skull and running water featured on the left.

There was music too from a speaker in the display. It’s playing the Red Hot Chili Pipers‘ cover of “Highway to Hell”. Not Peppers, Pipers, as in the Celtic Rock Band that features bagpipes. It’s a nod to the Sloppily Bilepiper’s bagpipes.

My 2020 Display Board
My 2020 Display Board: Predominant in this picture are a lot of Nurglings, A Daemon Prince, Poxwalkers, Plague Marines, a Hellbrute, A Myphitic Blight Hauler, and a Land Raider
A view of the upper levels of the board featuring a Great Unclean One, Typhus, Malignant Plaguecaster, Lord of Contagion, and Foul Blightspawn.
My 2020 Display Board: A horde of Nurgle Daemons

The board regrettably win any prizes from Armies on Parade 2020. But, It did was featured on an article by Warhammer Community.

A picture of my 2020 Display Board that was featured in an article by Warhammer Community.

Master of Possession to Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion

I already have a Malignant Plaguecaster model for my Death Guard army. But, like many others, I think the model doesn’t match the awesomeness of its rules. 

My first Death Guard Malignant Plaguecaster. I think I did a pretty good job, but I think the model itself could be more exciting.

I’m working on a Death Guard list that uses the Poxmongers Plague Company. I’d like to have a model carrying the Poxmongers exclusive relic, the Ironclot Furnace. This relic is supposed to spout some sort of smoke that helps protect one unit of Daemon Engines. So, I felt the model carrying this relic should look like it’s producing smoke.

The Master of Possession model as done by GW as a Black Legion.

I saw the Master of Possession model and the flaming skulls on its back made me think it was a great model to be converted to a Malignant Plaguecaster with Ironclot Furnace. But, I would add some personal pizazz with flickering LED’s and creative use of clear resin and diffusers.

Starting point for this model

I started by drilling out 3 clear resin skulls and one clear resin flame from Zinge. I drilled them so I could put an LED inside each of them. 

Drilling to hollow out the skull

Then, a lot of soldering later, all 4 were wired up for lighting.

Wired and ready to go

I also replaced the model’s head with a Plague Marine head, so it has the same Mk.3 feel as the rest of the Legion. I drilled out its eyepiece and hollowed it out to put an LED in too. Now its eyes light up!

Getting “a head” on this project :p

Instead of my usual, bulky 24AWG wires, I used much smaller 28AWG wires. They were much more fragile and difficult to work with. But, with an infantry model rather than a vehicle, I needed to use these smaller wires.

I’m particularly proud of the base. I wanted it to represent undead plague zombies and suggest the Plaguecaster was a sort of necromancer. This base has the torsos of a new Plaguebearer, old metal Plaguebearer, and a Poxwalker. I wanted them to look like they were bursting out of the ground.

A diseased undeed daemon base

I also replaced the tip of the Master of Possession’s staff. The symbol is from an old metal Plaguebearer banner.

Finished model with the LED’s off

I spent a lot more time than usual shading and edging this model. I think the quality is pretty good. The skulls even look good with the LED’s off.

Comparing the Master of Possession to my converted Malignant Plaguecaster

I think it will pop nicely on the tabletop. 

Finished model with the lights on
Finished model with lights on with a white background

Death Guard Models

I got the First Strike Warhammer 40k Starter Box several years ago. I painted the Space Marine models quickly, but the Death Guard models stayed in the box for years. Something about the COVID-19 pandemic got me thinking about plague, disease, and the Death Guard / Nurgle models. And, since I was prettymuch where I wanted to be with my Imperial Fists tournament list, it seemed like a good time to try something new.

For those that don’t know, in the fictional Warhammer 40k universe, Nurgle is the Chaotic Daemon god of disease, decay, death and destruction. Death Guard and the Poxwalkers are thralls or servants of Nurgle. Seemed a bit appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And The Hooded Goblin friendly local gaming store (FLGS) was running a painting competition, so it was even more incentive to paint them up real good. And, the Rhino won me second place in the category!

So, I actually have 4 different batches of models painted for 3 different categories:

  • Squad of Death Guard Marines and Poxwalkers
  • Large: Myphitic Blight-hauler (vehicle)
  • Character: Daemon Prince of Nurgle
  • Large: Death Guard Rhino “The Goober Uber”


Death Guard Chaos Space Marines and Poxwalkers

I wanted to really push my painting abilities with this new little project. So, I decided I would try all the “tricks” of contrast paint and washes. And using a brand new very fine brush for details helped too.

I started by making really fancy bases. I bought a box of 340 skulls, so I put 3 skulls on each base as a nod to the Nurgle symbol. The bases for the Space Marines even feature bodies of fallen foes, like a Dark Angel on one, and an Imperial Guardsman on another. And then each base got some “texture” from Milliput putty.

I took my time painting them. I started priming them white, then a spray coat of Gray Seer contrast primer spray paint. Most of the skin of the poxwalkers was done in Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint with the pink sections in Magos Purple contrast paint. The pink highlights were done with Emperor’s Children. I used a bunch of different colours for the other highlights. Then everything was washed in Agrax Earthshade and sealed with Army Painter Matt Varnish.

The Space Marine models were even more detailed than the Poxwalkers. I used a similar formula to the Poxwalkers. But I added shading of Death Guard green on armour, and lots of brass-looking parts I painted Balthasar Gold. And I actually did use Dark Angel Green contrast paint for the body on the base.

I’m really happy about how they turned out. I kind of begrudge having to paint more. I did such a detailed and careful job on these that I realize I will have to spend a lot of time on future to finish the squads if I want to keep up the quality.

Fancy shot of the Death Guard models in an organic background


Myphitic Blight-hauler

I bought this on a bit of a whim. I had so much success painting the Death Guard models, I thought I’d try it with a vehicle. And the Myphtic Blight-hauler model is actually pretty cheap as far as Games Workshop models go, and looked pretty fancy.

Myphitic Blight-hauler On the sprue before assembly and painting

But, as with all of my favourite models, I wanted to add some electronics to really make it stand out. I decided the “eye” in the front would be a little more sinister and used a red/green/blue flickering LEDs from Zinge. And in the multi-melta I put two yellow flickering LEDs. Getting them IN the barrel of the gun was quite a trick. I had to drill a lot of small holes, but then it still wasn’t enough room, so I sort of expanded the gun and filled in the gaps with Milliput.

The model was actually quite a bit smaller than I expected, and I didn’t have room for the batteries to be in the model. So, I put them and the switch in the base and masked it with a lot of Milliput.

The base features a dead Space Marine like the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines. This time an Ultramarine because I had lots of Ultramarine decals to use. It was actually one of the bodies ripped out of the Land Speeder for Da Red Gobbo project.

The paint was similar to the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines above. But there was a lot more “organic” parts, so those were done more like the poxwalkers using lots of Magos Purple.

It was kind of liberating to paint such “dirty” models. The imperfections of using putty actually resemble the “fleshy” parts of the models. And pooling and splotches in the armour look grungy, which is a feature. A far cry from the clean, prim and proper loyalist Space Marines.

I am overall super-happy with how it turned out. I’m considering getting two more to make a full squad!


Daemon Prince of Nurgle

I got a Lord of Contagion model on eBay, but I wasn’t too excited about its rules and use in the game. I was much more excited about potentially adding a Daemon Prince with Wings to my list. But the Nurgle Daemon Prince model doesn’t look so great to me. So, I made a conversion!

I started with the Lord of Contagion model. The head is from a different Death Guard Chaos Space Marine. I added wings I plucked off of a Tyranid Gargoyle. And the “malefic talon” is a lightning claw pilfered from a Space Marine Terminator model from the Space Hulk boxed set. The rest of the Terminator is a corpse on the base.

Converted by not yet painted Daemon Prince with Wings

Painting this guy took quite a bit of time. He’s a BIG model too! I used prettymuch the same colour scheme for the Space Marines. Magos Purple was the main colour for the wings and cape. The “green fire” from the censer hanging behind him is many layers of Biel-Tan Green shade.


Death Guard Chaos Space Marine Rhino “The Goober Uber”

I started this project almost by accident. I was thinking about how much I enjoyed painting the Blight-Hauler. And I realized that if I was going to every play with the Death Guard Marines, it might be nice to have a transport. Well, I have two or three Rhino hulls lying around, so I decided to try my hand at another conversion.

Oh old loyalist Razorback. You will have new life…

So, I’m starting with a very old Ultramarine Razorback. This is one of the first models I painted back in like 1997. I actually base-coated it yellow already in anticipation of adding it to my Imperial Fists.

I had a lot of fun “decorating” the tank. I don’t have a Chaos vehicle upgrade sprue, so I improvised. I used the original bulldozer spikes as trophy racks. Then many skulls from the aforementioned skull pack to adorn the doors and front. And LOTS of Milliput for tentacles and some sort of brain/puss thing growing in the back.

The Lord of Contagion model I converted to the Daemon Prince had an icon of sorts that I removed to make room for the wings. I attached that to the top of the Rhino with magnets, and I think it looks pretty sharp.

Waiting for your Goober Uber

I posted the above “work in progress” picture on a Facebook group. Someone commented that it looked like someone waiting for his Goober Uber. I think that name is going to stick.

The colours are the same idea as the oher models in this post. I was surprised how good the Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint looked on flat surfaces like the tank. The tentacles were especially fun to do with Magos Purple, because the contrast paint really highlights the “imperfections.”

Post on The Hooded Goblin’s page showing that my entry won 2nd place in the Warhammer 40k: Large category!

Overall, I’m quite happy with my little Death Guard collection. I’m itching to buy more, but I have most of the Death Guard side of the Dark Imperium box to paint. I am just not looking forward to having to paint all of them so well!

Death Guard “family picture”

Da Red Gobbo and “Slay Ride”

In Fall 2019, Games Workshop’s Christmas Marketing was centered around the (re-)release of Da Red Gobbo model. It’s a Gretchin/Grot revolutionist, who in this iteration has a Santa-like motif. I haven’t painted an Ork since 2nd Edition, and currently had no Orks, and had no plans to get any Orks, so I thought I’d safely ignore the whole thing.

In late November 2019, I went to my local Games Workshop store (now called Warhammer Heartland) to buy some paints and supplies. The gentleman there said there would be a painting competition and events for Da Red Gobbo model. I wound up buying Da Red Gobbo model.

I got home, looked at my pile of things to get tournament ready, and yet decided to start painting the Christmas-themed gremlin thing.

I said I wouldn’t buy it, I said I wouldn’t buy it…. I bought it

I knew I wouldn’t be able to win “Best Painted.” I know there are much, much more talented painters at my local GW store. But, I know my strength lies in creativity and electronics. So I put my creative juices to work .

I dug through some models that have been languishing in a box and found a Space Marine Land Speeder that I painted back in my 3rd Edition Days (circa 1997). That got me thinking that this could be a Grim Dark Santa Sleigh that Da Red Gobbo and “Da Revolushun” commandeered. I had a couple of Grots lying around that came with a model I bought second-hand. I decided those guys would be the co-pilots.

I had some garlands and trees left over from a terrain piece I started and never finished. And, to light-up Da Red Gobbo’s star and flame to his gun, I went to my stockpile of Zinge flickering LEDs and transparent flames.

Then, a trip to the store (mostly Dollarama) for supplies. I found some ornaments that looked like Christmas Gifts would were almost the right scale for the sleigh. I also found a necklace that had light-up Christmas lights.

I felt like It needed to be more than just a creative conversion and lights. It needed MORE. And so the piece de resistance was adding festive music! I went to Wal-Mart and greeting card that had the electronics to sing “Jingle Bells” with chipmunk-like voices. Perfect!

The “before” picture with the raw ingredients ready to go!!

First, I had to break down the Land Speeder: Rip out the Space Marines, chop off the “spoiler” on the top to make room for the presents, and drill a bunch of holes for the electronics wiring. I felt kind of bad mutilating the marines, but they would get life again… as bodies on enemy bases :p

As for the Red Gobbo, I decided I wanted to have the option to remove him from the Land Speeder, so I hid the battery and switch in an extra-large base I disguised as a Christmas present. His “Icon of da Revolushun” has a star at the end. I replaced that with an LED and made a translucent star around it so the whole star would light up. From the muzzle of “Kustom grot blasta” I wired a flickering LED inside a translucent flaming lens.

The hardest part was probably the music. The circuit board and speaker were actually quite large, about the width of the Land Speeder, so I couldn’t fit it inside. It did fit below, and in the final product you can’t see it unless you turn the vehicle upside-down.

Painting the vehicle, naturally it had to be red for Santa, and because “red wunz go fasta.” The plow in the front is really for a tank, but Santa’s sleigh transitionally has some sort of plow. The candy cane striping makes it festive. The sharp pointy bits make it grimdark.

With a final festive nod, I named it “Slay Ride”

Video of Da Red Gobbo and “Slay Ride”. You see the festive lights and hear the “music”

I entered it into the painting competition at the Games Workshop Heartland Town Centre store and won for Best Conversion! Yay!

Winner of Da Red Gobbo Painting Competition – Best Converted at Games Workshop Heartland Town Centre December 2019

Motorized Chaplain Dreadnought

I sent a link to this blog to a friend’s husband, then realized I haven’t updated in almost a year. So I thought this would be a good time to do some updates. Also, if you’re reading this, hi Tom!

I’m particularly proud of this next project. I have had a lot of success putting lights in things like my two last display boards, this chimera, this Leman Russ Tank, this Basilisk Tank, and many others (like this…. thing I won an award for). But I wanted to up the ante even more. What if a model had actually moving parts!

For an upcoming 2000 points Imperial Fists list, I decided I wanted to include a Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought model. 1d4chan calls it one of the best models Space Marines can field. It is from Forge World, and a discontinued model, but I was able to get one from eBay. It didn’t come with arms, but fortunately I had one for sale. I also bought the Imperial Armour book so I could legally use it in tournaments. I’m a little concerned that the Forge World units will be getting new books soon, but hopefully I can make use of that rulebook I bought.

The popular meta is to give it two close combat weapons (CCW), or a CCW and twin-lascannons. But I didn’t feel like I could put a motor on either of those. So, it has the option to take an assault cannon, which I see as a rotating gatling kind of gun, which would be fun to motorize.

Assembled but unpainted Venerable Dreadnought Chaplain model

I started by going all out with the lights. First, the four exhaust ports at the back would have the flickering flames that worked so well on my hellhounds. I use these flickering LED’s and transparent flames from Zinge Industries. I also wanted the eyes of the “skull” head to light up. Unfortunately, instead of drilling out the eyes, I drilled out the whole skull. Fortunately, Zinge had a solution for that too: A Transparent Flaming Skull.

I had an oversight putting the skull light and flickering lights on the same battery, because the light for the skull drained so much current that both lights wouldn’t work at the same time. So, I re-wired them onto different batteries but the same switch.

Finally, the motorized assault cannon. This was SO much harder than I thought it would be! First of all, the arm space I have to work with is tiny. Fortunately, I was able to find a motor that would fit in the arm. It’s meant to make cell phones vibrate. I broke 3 of them trying to get it wired correctly. Then, I realized the CR1220 batteries didn’t have enough power for the motor and weight of the “gun barrel part”. So, I added a CR2032 battery.

See, it’s a really, REALLY small motor

That left me with a spare switch and battery in the base. I wired that to a light in the front of the base. I think I’ll use that to indicate if the Chaplain’s canticle is in effect for that turn.

I’m very happy with the end result. I can’t wait to bring it to a tournament, and when someone says “it would be even more awesome if the gun worked.” Then I’ll hit a switch and watch the jaws drop!

Video of the lights and motorized motor in action. My hand gives you an idea of how small the model is.

I shared this on a few Facebook groups, and below is my favourite comment:

Chimera “Mako”

I had a lot of fun building this Chimera.  I had fun building the Chimera “Dauntless” and updating the Chimera “Eaton,” but this one was more fun because I got to give it more personality and electronics like this Basilisk.

Like most of my models, I got this model through eBay. Actually, I think this was part of a Armoured Fist set that also included 10 guardsmen.

I’ll start this post with a photo of a toy truck. I know that must seem really strange, but this toy truck is really important. I got it at a garage sale over a year ago for $2. The buttons on top made noises so I decided to use the electronics inside to make a special tank.

 

Toy truck which the circuity was removed-from for Chimera "Mako"
Toy truck which the circuity was removed-from for Chimera “Mako”

 

Despite being such a big toy, when I stripped out the electronics I was left with very small parts. Most of this very large toy was hollow. The sound generation and buttons were on a single small circuit board. It was powered by three really small “button” battery cells. Rather than re-wiring AA batteries to match, I decided to just cut out the battery holster too and put it in the tank.

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Circuit board and battery holster scavenged from the toy truck

 

 

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Chimera “Mako” posing with a Leman Russ Exterminator and Leman Russ Punisher

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I plan on running this tank with a veteran squad I’ve called the “Irregulars”. I got most of Colonel Schaffer’s Last Chancer’s from eBay and decided they make a rather interesting composite squad. I imagine them as the remnants of a much larger company that has whittled down over the years, and they’re the remaining hardy, grizzled veterans. And I imagine their ride would be similarly non-uniform.

And, their ride has a loud horn, and plays rock music. Seemed appropriate.

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Tactically, as an objective secured troops unit, they’re going to be prettymuch auto-take for me in every game. In the pictures above I have have 3 meltaguns in the squad, which seems to be heavily preferred in the 7th edition meta.

 

 

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Name Origin

The name for this tank, “Mako,” has several inspirations:

The first and most obvious is thata Mako is a shark, and the Orky, teethy dozer blade is definitely shark-inspired.

Another part of the inspiration is the tank from the first Mass Effect Game is the M-35 Mako. It’s a jalopy of a tank that gets constantly beat up, but incredibly important in the gameplay.

One of my favourite recent TV shows is The Legend of Korra. A major character in that series was a firebender named Mako . In addition to the practicality, the fact that this tank has a heavy flamer is supposed to be a reflection of that character.

And the last reference was largely unintentional. One of my favouite recent movies was “Pacific Rim.” This isn’t a giant monster-fighting robot, but Mako Mori is a powerful character in the film and so I suppose this tank is also something of a homage to her.

With all the homages in the name of this tank, it will certainly see a lot of deployment in games I play.

Basilisk “Bertha”

I first mentioned my new Basilisk in this post. This has by far been my favourite model to build so far.  

Basikisk parts as they arrived from the eBay order: Partially assembled and unpainted
Basikisk parts as they arrived from the eBay order: Partially assembled and unpainted

 

Partially assembled Basilisk
Partially assembled Basilisk

As I mentioned in this post, the parts weren’t complete so I had to partially disassemble and re-assemble the Hellhound and Basilisk so that there would be  enough parts for both. Part of the puzzle was that they supports for the Basilisk’s Earthshaker Cannon weren’t included.  So I improvised using some spare parts.

I started by painting it with similar colours to my infantry modelschimerataurox, and hellhound. A lot of Administratum Grey,  and all the metal parts were primed with Imperial Primer and then highighted with Leadbelcher.

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First rough paint coat on Basilisk

After I started painting, I realized I wanted to do something special for this tank. The Earthshaker Cannon is so iconic of the Imperial Guard Astra Militarum that and unsubtle that I felt it needed something. I wanted to make it something I would be personally proud of. And that meant going back to my Engineering roots and adding some electronics and circuitry.

I wanted to make the gun light up and make sounds. The simplest way to do this would be to scavenge the speaker, light, battery and control circuitry from a Dollarama Toy Gun.  I got the below toy for $3 (plus tax).

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Dollarama Toy Gun that was scavenged for parts

 

I must admit, I had a lot of fun exploring the device. It was kind of like an autopsy or a dissection of a mysterious object.  

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Dismantled toy gun showing speaker, integrated circuit, vibrating motor, light, and wiring

 

Taking it apart, I discovered it wasn’t very complicated. There was a tiny integrated circuit that handled the noise generation. Connected to the circuit was a simple speaker and a LED. There was also a motor that made the gun vibrate. I wanted to use that to make the tank shake, but it was pretty bulky and heavy.

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Detail of internal parts of Toy Gun

 

Toy gun's integrated circuit I scavenged for the lights controller and sound
Toy gun’s integrated circuit I scavenged for the lights controller and sound

 

I decided I wasn’t going to use the vibrating motor thing. But the light and sound were very necessary and I was looking forward to using them.

Simplified circuit of lights and sound for my Basilisk tank
Simplified circuit of lights and sound for my Basilisk tank

 

Actually fitting the electronics into the tank was trickier than I expected. The inside of the tank is actually quite small, so there isn’t much room to work with.

The tank came mostly assembled from the person I purchased it from on eBay, so I actually had to break the tank apart to get inside. 

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Disassembled Basilisk Tank

 

I mangled the battery holder from the toy gun and shoved it into the tank. The batteries are surprisingly bulky! At the same time, I slid the speaker into the forward section below the ‘hatch’, positioned the integrated circuit chip behind the battery, and made sure that the control wires and LED light were free to reach the outside of the tank.

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Crafting the battery holder and other parts into the inside of the tank.

 

I punched a crude hole int he top of the tank so that the light and control wires would come out. The idea was that the wires would come up just below the Earthshaker Cannon so that they could go into it with minimal distraction.

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Crafting station

 

The LED went into the cannon from behind, and I installed a momentary pushbutton on the back of the cannon. I rather like the way the barrel of the cannon lights up!

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It lights up!!

 

After all that fancy assembly, I needed to finish the paint job to make it presentable. It’s mostly just Administratum Grey with Auric Armour Gold highlights, like the rest of my army. However, I’m proud of how the wash on the skulls and wings on the top of the guard turned out.

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New basilisk, front view

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New basilisk, left side view. You can see the pushbutton on the back of the cannon.

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New basilisk, rear view. The pushbutton doesn’t stand out much, which was the idea.

 

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New basilisk, right side view

 

Why did I name this tank Bertha? Well, it’s a very unsubtle tank, so I thought it deserved an unsubtle name. And, there’s the historical Big Bertha.

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Basilisk “Bertha” nameplate

 

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Clockwise from left: Chimera “Dauntless”, Basilisk “Bertha”, Chimera “Eaton”, Hellhound “Cerberus

 

I really enjoy that it’s an ‘active’ electronic model. I plan to incorporate electronics of some sort into future tanks.

My biggest regret is probably that the battery is inaccessible inside the tank. Changing the batteries is all but impossible, and I’m worried about a leak eventually. It’s something I’ll keep in mind for future projects.

 

Basilisk Tactics:

Both Grumpy Guardsman and Imperator Guides agree that the Basilisk is iconic but not particularly competitive. The main blast is a very impressive S9 AP3 large blast. However, the barrage rules give it lots of trouble. Its minimum range is a whopping 36″ which means it can’t use the Barrage rule within that distance. And scattering 2D6-3″ means it’s pretty likely to miss its target.