Tuesday, July 8, 2008

MODELLING: Mantis strikes!

I got a lot of work done on my Mantis Stalk Tank yesterday and I have the photographs to prove it.

The most tedious job was going around the existing body, neck and limbs and scraping off the mold lines. The front claws in particular were a nightmare and took ages to finish. At the end of it all the model looked exactly as it had when I started. Harrumph. I'll greatly appreciate having done all this when I come to pint it, though.

The two main areas of new assembly were the head and the Scorpion cannon. They actually fitted quite well into the regular body of the Defiler. If I had taken my time and used counterweights and more careful modelling I could have probably made each element poseable. However I wanted to to finish as quickly as possible and I also knew I would be attaching the scorpion to a base. So instead I glued the head and neck at a slight angle and made the cannon slightly smaller and offset. I think the juxtaposition works well.

I'm really pleased with the head after many days of prevarication and procrastination. First I fitted the Hellmaw cannons on the side (Defiler heavy flamers) then I glued the sensor clusters above the snout (I think they are supposed to be smoke launchers on the Defiler sprue). Next I stuck an armour plate on the top and the smoke stacks behind. I added the stablight as a direct take from the Stalk Tank sketch in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade book. The only thing missing is something for the snout, maybe a leering face or a vox to represent a mouth. I'm not sure yet, so I'll leave it for a bit and come back to it.

Are you looking at me?

Once I'd finished the head I went straight on to the Scorpion cannon. This was relatively quick and easy.

I used a spare piece of leg structure to build the arm up from the body. Then I cut all the ammo feeds from the Defiler autocannons and glued one pair on top of the other. I took great care to get the all aligned perfectly, both horizontally and vertically. When that had dried I attached the cannons to the arm with some judicious pinning and a bit of greenstuff. Miraculously it all held together. Now it just needs a bit of tarting up, especially regarding the ammunition. Maybe I can use some of the ammo feeds to run into a box somewhere? Again that's just detailing and can wait a bit.

My next task is to work on the back carapace and then the base (gulp!).

Meanwhile, I'm still ploughing through my old Daemonhunter battle reports (nearly finished!) and I've added another over on my Battle reports blog. This encounter was against Steve's toasters of doom.

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