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Made in nz
Strategizing Grey Knight Chapter Master

Auckland New Zealand

Such detail, such perfectionist work. I am truly amazed at the levels you are going to.

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
Made in us
Troubled By Non-Compliant Worlds


This is amazing work. I can't wait for more!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/10/12 19:03:51

Go forth and amplify, here come the NOISE MARINES!
Sons of Cacophony: Construction Finished, Forever Unpainted 
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

~ 2-Part Mould Making ~ Part 1 (Again, how I do it, at least. I hope you like to read... this is just the beginning)

1-Part vs. Split vs. 2-Part ~ Fight! For anyone interested I'll explain the difference... (Note: Everything I'm doing is self-taught, if anyone has any input for process or technique, I'm eager to hear it.)

1-Part Mould: If you have an object with a flat back (my Trim Kit parts being a perfect example) a 1-part Mould can be a perfect simple solution. Just mount the object on a flat surface or slab of plasticine, build a mould box around the object, and pour a slab of rubber over/around the item. Once cured and the prototype is remove, you'll have a mould that is gravity fed. Read: gravity pulls/holds the resin into the mould.

Pros: Simple to make, simple to use. Shallow/short objects will work well with this type of mould. If you take the time to poke and prod any trapped bubbles with a toothpick you can even manually remove most bubbles by hand. With slower kicking resin you'll have plenty of time to get a casting 'just right', and you don't need to invest in a Pressure Chamber or anything more than some basic mould making tools and materials. Perfect for someone who just want to make a few of some creation/s.

Cons: Slow and messy to use, and more limited in the objects it can reproduce. If the object is somewhat complex you need to slowly pour/inject 'just the right amount' of resin into the entire void. Then you need to go around and carefully remove bubbles. If you're just making a few of something for personal use, this is fine; if you're making lots of something, that's far too much labour-per-item. You also need to find a way to flatten the back of the resin (surface tension will make the resin back want to 'curve'). Messy option 1; use a flat object lubed with mould release as a second half of the mould and lay it over the poured object. This usually causes some excess resin to squish out, and makes tons of flash. Messy option 2: 'Skim' or scrap the liquid resin to level the back. Not only is this messy, you can still have surface tension problems. Messy option 3; Pour a little extra into the mould to make the part bulge a bit, and remove that with aggressive sanding after it’s cured. Lots of extra work, and so... much... dust... 'Nuff said?

Split Mould: This type of mould is a lot like a 1-part mould, but for objects that are much larger and complex. You setup the prototype and pour a large slab of rubber over/around the object. Once the rubber has cured the prototype will need to be carefully cut free (Read: split) from the center of the rubber block. When you start getting into objects this large and/or complex you usually need to start considering how to deal with bubbles in places you can't even see. Again, if you're just making a few copies of an object, it may be fine to just fill and repair the bubbles each time, but it adds significantly to the labour-per-piece.

Pros: Simple to make*, simple to use, and works well with Vacuum degassing. *Once you learn how to cut a prototype free from the rubber (this does take practice to do really well) this is an easier way to make a more complex mould. Pouring the rubber is simple, since it's usually a top down gravity fed mould with a single gate/vent. Since you don't need to set up for a second half (cutting the mould open creates the two halves) all you need is a prototype with a nice large pour gate, maybe some simple venting, and pour a block of rubber around it. Vacuum degassing will cause bubbles to 'boil out' of the resin rising up-and-out of the object and into the large simple pour gate.

Cons: Mould slip, mould lines, massive pour gates. Without anything to really lock the split of a Split Mould in place, it can easily misalign and produce a significant mould line or even a bad 'slip'. Slips are when the sides don't even come close to meeting; a bad mould line that is next to impossible to easily remove, usually requiring reconstruction of some sort. I hate all of these issues, so even when I end up doing large gate Vacuum friendly moulds, I will avoid using true Split Moulds. I swear by full 2-part Moulds. And the Pour Gates, massive Pour Gates. Resin is rather inexpensive, but it's still not free. Every CC of resin lost in the Gate and Vents could have been used to make more objects. In this case, more and less is always better; more parts, less waste? Yes please!

2-Part Mould: These start much like the 1-part mould, but the process follows with a second slab of rubber to make... you guessed it, a second part. This method can make gravity fed moulds, or my preferred, injection filled.

Pros: Control, precision, consistency. You can control exactly where the mould line runs; along edges, corners, and over easy-to-clean places to avoid detailed places. I hate mould lines. I insist on trying to make them easy to get rid of. Also, if you take the time to make many mould 'pins' to lock the mould halves together, with lots of staggered pins (more on that later), the halves of the mould lock together very tightly. I rarely ever have any 'mould slip' and always have reasonable mould lines when I cast thanks to these pins; I lose many many more parts to bad bubbles and voids than slips. Finally, you also get full control of the channels and gates that you use to inject or feed the mould with resin, and you don't end up with massive Pour Gates and Vents consuming lots of resin, if you do it well.

Cons: These moulds take more labour, skill, and materials to produce. Not only does each mould need to essentially cure twice (once per half), anything other than a flat backed object takes more time and skill to make the mould. Plasticine is your friend when making a 2-part mould; it's not only used as a base on all of the moulds, but also essential filler for more complex parts. It can take many hours just to build the plasticine to occupy the negative space that's required for complex objects, but the resulting flexibility you get in the mould is worth the time.

For me, 2-part moulds produce excellent reproductions with virtually no mould lines and only a bit of flash. They also waste less since you don't need a large pour gate like the Split Mould method. The amazing quality of the reproductions is well worth the effort, if you ask me.

Ok with that wall-o-text done... on to process! First, a few key tools and materials you'll need for this method.

Lego, lots of Lego. (Mega Blocks also work well) Hands-down this is one of the most straight forward materials for making mould boxes. Modular, endlessly reusable, and prolific, Lego lets you make any shape or size mould box you need. Lots of 2x4 blocks are perfect.
Plasticine. The same stuff you played with in school, Van Aken Plasticine can be found a most craft and hobby stores. You can even pick your favorite colour.
A Rolling Board. I've taped down a square of Parchment Paper to a cutting board for this task. Parchment is use the world over as a non-stick surface for all manner of jobs. You can find it at most grocery stores.
A Rolling Tool. A proper rolling pin is fine, but I make due just fine with a short length of rigid PVC-like tube.
Spacers. Just some thin strips of wood that are even and about 1cm thick. This will let you roll an even slab of plasticine.
A poking Tool. To errrr... poke, with. More specifically, to poke mould pin holes; but more on that shortly.
A scraping tool. A long tipped painting knife is perfect.
A Long Spatula. I use an icing spatula for mixing the rubber, to be more specific. But a few Spatulas for scraping rubber off tools and out of mixing cups is a good thing.
A Strong Mixing Stick. Always mix your rubber well before you pour it. Unmixed rubber will take much longer to cure, or not cure properly at all.
Mould Release Spray. Prototype parts will generally pull free of the rubber without Release Spray, but the mould halves can be almost impossible to pull apart without some spray.
Gloves and Safety Glasses. Rubber is sticky and doesn't wash off; wear gloves and older cloths or an apron. Also, the last thing you want to do is get a splatter of it in your eye/s. Slips do happen sometimes; always wear goggles when mixing and working with the rubber.
Lots of Paper Towel. When working with RTV Rubber and Resin you’ll always need to have some towels to wipe up sticky messes. As a general side note, drop cloths and other ‘keep it clean’ considerations should be made when doing these processes. Drips, drops, spills, and all manner of things can go awry. (I once flung an open bottle of liquid plastic across the room, due to a heavy-handed slip of the hand) Be careful, protect your work area, and yourself.

First you need a slab of Plasticine that is smooth, even and large enough. Also, a mould box of Lego to fit the part.

Use the strips of wood (or other objects) Spacers on either side of the Plasticine while you roll it out. Rotate it as you go to try and get the shape you'll need. There's no problem trimming sides down and attaching them to corners to get rid of an inevitable rounding you'll get while rolling. Just blend the seam a bit with your finger, and roll them together. The Plasticine is so dense that air trapped in and under it is not affected by the Pressure Chamber. You just need a smooth flat top to mount your prototype.

Once you've got a large slab, make sure it's big enough to reach all the corners of your Mould Box. How deep the Box is will naturally depend on the object. This is a shallow trim bit, so three Lego blocks is more than deep enough.

When making the Box around the object, always remember to give the item plenty of room. You want nice thick walls of at least 1cm around the object. The thicker the mould, the less chance of warping when casting. In some cases this will mean moulds will be massive blocks, but with the right rubber, and planning in the mould, it will last long enough to offset the modest extra cost.

Just place the object lightly to use it for reference. Here's where to Poking Tool comes into play.

With a light press on the Mould Box you can get an outline to use for reference. Trim off excess Plasticine and place the prototype as a guide while you press the voids into the Plasticine that will become the locking pins. All I use is a simple rod of metal with a mark to keep them all about the same depth. You want them somewhat thin (so you can fit more) and rather deep so the really lock tight with the other half of the mould. I start with the corners along the outside edge, then add pins as evenly spaced as I can manage. Follow the Lego pattern in the Plasticine to help with the spacing.

Again, more pins = tighter locking mould. And don't worry if the Plasticine puckers a little where you press these pins in; as long as the prototype has good contact with the Plasticine base that's all that matters. You want a clean mould, but the Plasticine doesn't need to be flawless.

With the rows of staggered locking pins in place, the Mould Box gets pressed into the Plasticine base.

I stagger the pins to get as much fit as possible, and have them as close to the object as I dare. I want the mould to have no choice but relax to a perfect fit every time, and this many pins does that.

With a firm press around the edge the Mould Box is sunk ever-so-slightly into the Plasticine to create a seal. Take extra care that the corners are getting a good seal. You can use a tool to press along the outside edge of the Plasticine and help make sure the seal is tight. The odd tiny slow leak will happen, but they stop as the rubber thickens while curing, and just create a little rubber blob to remove.

Naturally, the prototype is also pressed down to stick to the Plasticine at this point. You want it to stick to the slab, but not really sink into it. A light but firm press is usually more than enough to get the part locked in place, but sometimes a spray of Mould Release will help a part stick. It tends to soften the Plasticine ever-so-slightly, before evaporating.

Now the Scraping Tool (Painting Knife in my case, but anything similar will do) is used to free the entire contraption from the board.

The Parchment Paper will help considerably when trying to get this off the board. It's a little tricky even with paper; work your way around the Plasticine and gently lift the entire piece as you go. You want to keep the Mould Box in place, so take your time. Without the paper the slab with be almost glued to most boards. Pressing the pins really bonds the Plasticine down, and you usually warp the mould when you're trying to lift it. Do yourself a favor and get some Parchment Paper. It's at your local Grocers, right by the wax paper, plastic wrap, foil, etc..

Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) Rubber, Goggles, Gloves, and a strong Paint Brush Handle as a Mixing Stick.

I'm using Smooth-On products, but there are many other brands. In this case Smooth-On Mold Star 30. This RTV Rubber flows very smooth, Pressure Casts perfectly, and is surprisingly tough yet very flexible. It is also very stiff in a good way, and doesn't need mould boxes to help it keep proper shape. A good thick mould of this makes exact copies of even the most delicate objects.

Gloves and Goggles should go without saying. Again, this stuff can be messy, you don't want it on your hands, and the last thing you want is an accidental flick of it in the eye. You might even consider an apron or coat to protect clothes; or just wear work clothes that you don't mind getting rubber/resin on. You can't plan for accidents or slips, so be prepared.

I'm trying to find something better, but for now the Paint Brush Handel is doing fine as a mixer. The chemicals in rubber will settle and make it act very strange if you don't mix them up before you pour, so make sure you mix them well.

No super exact measuring needed, just a simple 50/50 mix and it's good to go.

Use a spatula to to scrape as much of the Part A cup into the Part B. With this product Part A flows much faster/easier than Part B, so I pour it first. Don't worry if you can't get every last drop out of the cup, just try to get as much as you can. I then start with the Mixing Stick to get the blend of A and B started.

Now I switch to a long Spatula to mix, scraping the sides, corners, and bottom carefully.

The mix needs to be complete. Any poorly mixed rubber will make a soft spot in the mould. So you need to take time and care to scrape the sides of the container, and be sure to get it mixed out of the corners and off of the bottom of the cup. The RTV rubber cures very slowly, so you have a lot of time to work with it. Make sure the mix is very complete for the best results. Using cups that you can see through helps considerably, since you can actually see if the mix is compete and consistent with no streaks.

I use an up-side-down cake pan as a base for my moulds; it's stiff, fits the Pressure Chamber perfectly, and has a useful non-stick coating.

With the RTV rubber mixed, I let it sit for a few minutes to let the larger bubbles rise up and out. A quick blow on the surface will make the bubbles pop. Mixing will inevitably add lots of tiny bubbles to the rubber. Curing it under pressure will make them all completely vanish, but I give larger bubbles as much chance as I can to rise out.

Pour slowly from one corner of the mould; let the RTV rubber slowly creep over the part. Again this minimizes the chance of trapping air bubbles. But even if a small one does get caught, the Pressure Chamber cure will get it.

Lego is also great because you can build stilts for extra moulds. This time I cured a second mould stacked on top of the stilts.

Once it's in the Pressure Chamber I make sure it's very level. Liquids will always settle flat, so leveling the mould never hurts. In this case it's even more important. With my Trim parts I need to clamp the moulds in simple Mould Boxes to get good results. If the mould is perfectly level, it will clamp better at casting time.

With that, I seal the mould up in the Chamber, and apply 50+PSI of pressure during the 7 hour cure time.

Well then... this has been quite the wall-o-text, and this is just one half of a simple 2-part mould. Granted, the first half of the process is more involved, and takes more time and effort. Part 2 will be shorter, since the second half of the mould can use this first half as a base.

Thanks for reading; I hope it's been interesting.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in ca
Acolyte of Goodwin

Sunny SoCal

The quality and precision of your work are bloody ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Honestly.

If I was any kind of Chaos player I would buy every last item, no joke.

Probably the best plasticard work I have ever seen, and I have seen a bit at this point.

Not to be 100% bum-kissy I think your edge highlights on the black are too harsh, I actually liked it better before you hit it with the extreme contrast.

But eff it who cares, brilliant stuff!

Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Thanks for the kind words. I'm going to read between the lines (if you intended it or not) and tell myself to get working on some Loyalist kits. I wish I had more time at the moment. *Mutters* If only I were in the Warp.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in us
Dakka Veteran

Escanaba Mi

And I now have a new modeling god to pay worship too with offerings of navil lint and toe nail clippings.

Honestly I have to reread this thread in the morning when my mind works better but by god this has to be as professional of a thread as it can get. And you colors are nice as well.

Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Make your offerings to the Dark Lords; they are the ones to speak to me from the lost places of the Warp. But I will gladly do what I can to preach their message of creation to the masses.

~ 2-Part Mould Making ~ Part 2

After 7+ hours of curing under 50+PSI of pressure the rubber as close to perfect as you can get.

Now that the RTV rubber is solid and locked in place it's as easy as flipping the Mould Box and peeling the Plasticine away. Sometimes the pressure has a way of forcing rubber under the piece in a few places, but that can be cleaned up; I'll show some of that next...

After removing the Plasticine it's time for some cleanup.

It's not uncommon for the odd seam to leak a little. The rubber gets thick enough to stop flowing in the first hour or so in the Pressure Chamber, so it's not enough to be a problem but it needs to be cleaned up at this point. Note: If you are not careful handling your mould boxes you can break the seal it has with the Plasticine. This can cause a large enough leak that will let much more of the rubber ooze out before curing.

Also, a few spots usually get a bit of rubber forced under by the pressure. It's usually a thin film that can be easily trimmed away. A fresh #11 scalpel blade is my go to favorite for this job, but it's my favorite blade for almost everything. Carefully cut along the edge of the object and use a set of tweezers to pick and peel away the unwanted rubber.

After cleanup it's a simple matter of building up the Lego to create a box for the second half of the mould.

With the walls built up there are two final steps before pouring the second half of the mould. First, input/output gates need to be attached to the sprew. These will pass right through the second half of the mould that is about to be poured. Once they're glued in place the entire cavity is sprayed liberally with some Mould Release. Be sure to spray the rubber areas well; not having enough Mould Release will make the two halves of the mould stick together, and very hard to split apart. In some cases it can be all but impossible to split the mould at all.

Just like the first half of the mould, an even smooth pour starting in one corner is all that's needed.

Just like before, once I have the moulds poured I stack them up before returning them to the Pressure Chamber for the second high pressure curing.

Now it’s time to dismantle the Lego Mould Box and reveal the newly completed mould.

As Lego blocks are pulled away each of the seams will leave thin flash. It likes to stick to the Lego, but it peels away very easily; it’s just a bit fiddly and annoying, really. Once all of the Lego is gone it’s simple to pick this flash away by hand.

Now the Prototype needs to be freed from the new 2-Part Mould.

The Mould Release spray used earlier will help the two parts split apart. The Pins can be a bit stubborn at this point, as they each pop free for the first time. Working slowly around the part you can open the entire seam. From there just peel the mould open.

A press on the Inlet/Outlet Gates should push the Prototype away from the mould.

Slip the Prototype free and the mould is ready to use. With the pressure during curing, the RTV rubber has been formed flawlessly. Even the shine left from the glue I used during the build can be seen in the mould surface - amazing.

Now, since I created this article I’ve done many more moulds (most successful, several others… not so much ) And I figured it would be a good spot to show how this method can be taken to do larger and more complex objects. Plasticine is an excellent base and temporary filler and it can be used suspend complex objects.

It’s all in the layering; build a base slab, and place your prototypes on shelves made from plasticine.

It takes some practice, and a willingness to cut certain slabs several times until the correct shape is achieved; but fitting the object like this will let you completely control where the mould split will be. In this case I get it along the outside edge where it will be very easy to clean. Any major overhangs that could grab at the second half of the mould are filled with plasticine, and will be removed and cleaned in the next step. Getting the seal of the component to the plasticine is the trickiest part at this point. A little Mould Release brushed on along the seam can help. Getting it as clean as possible will make for clean mould lines that are easier to remove from the final resin casts.

After pouring and curing the first half, just like the simpler flat-back mould, remove the plasticine and clean things up.

Building the plasticine up is more complex in this case, but taking it out is the same principle. Getting the ‘stump’ of plasticine out can be a bit of a pin, but once it starts it usually rolls out as pictured. Traces of plasticine in nooks-and-crannies can be cleaned out with rubbing alcohol and/or Mould Release. As before, some rubber will get forced under the parts in a few places, they will need to be cleaned up. Beyond that, the Mould Box is built up again, injection vents are added, everything is sprayed with Mould Release, and the parts are ready for the pouring of the second half of this mould.

De-moulding parts from moulds like this becomes more difficult; shapes like these like to bent and warp as you try to free it from the mould. So just how complex they can get is somewhat limited, but they can easily be large enough for most war-gaming model needs.

So, that's it for now. Any questions, comments, ideas, or other general musings are always welcome.

Up next... I have no idea... But I'm sure I'll come up with a little something.

Thanks for reading.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

To get away from casting and moulds for a moment, I figured it might be interesting to show a bit of what keeps me away from my studio during the Fall and Winter months. In this case, it fits right in with miniatures and gaming, so it seemed a good subject for a small distraction post.

I've mentioned on occasion that I have recently returned to school to study for a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design; and by ‘study’, I mean draw and build, draw and build, draw and build some more… then start again. My choice in field of study is in no small part due to the war-gaming hobby and everything that comes with collecting, building, and painting. The response to my work from the community in general told me I needed to take myself seriously, and go for it. If I can do this in my basement, what could I do in a larger industry setting?

My direct goal isn’t to become a miniature designer necessarily, but I have several more years of school to figure out where I fit and what I want to do. That said, I’ll be bring all of the skills, equipment, and process that I can into my modest studio and the kits I’ll produce over the coming weeks, months, years. Huh… that’s almost a paradox. Oh well, such things happen when you’re fueled by the Warp.

So, while many of the projects I have done (and will do) have limitations on what I can choose to create, sometimes we get freedom to make larger choices in form and function. I was flipping through some older photos and a project from last year came up; we were tasked with making a Carryall for a modest selection of items important to a task. My brain immediately set on a case for miniature painting supplies…

The construction had to be made mostly of paper; almost everything is built from Posterboard, Cardboard, and Mayfair paper.

The hinges, swing arms, drawer slide, and magnetized latch are the only parts made from plastic, so that those parts would be strong enough.

I had the option of building to a smaller scale, so I could have made the build easier; but if I was going to make this, I wanted to be able to use it in the end.

The paper plastic combination in the construction makes the build a bit fragile, but it still functions well to keep all of the most needed painting supplies in one place. I can close it all up and tuck it way if I need the desk space, or if I want to move my painting location temporarily. Maybe someday I’ll improve the design (it really deserves a good handle of some sort) and try my hand at making it from plastic and metal.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Charleston, SC

Man! Every post is like a Must have tip or trick for any hobbyist. Love the updates. Please keep them coming.

Made in us
Morphing Obliterator

Orange County, California, USA

Wow, this is really some incredible work. I don't suppose you take commissions, or ever plan to sell your really great parts?
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Thanks, as always, for the wonderful feedback. I'm glad people find it useful. More is always planned, stay tuned.

My little shop, The Dark Works (click the signature banner), has the first of my kits for sale, but it's going to be getting an update in the kit selection and pricing very soon. So much to do, never enough time...

As for commissions, I am not closed to the idea, but there are many factors (too many to list casually) that would need to be considered.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

No rest for the weary, no sleep for the wicked. Been juggling quite a bit the last while and sadly the studio time has had to suffer for it. That said, I've finally got the last bits done for the first Accessories Kit, so here's a quick update...

A few extra details and some rivets finish up the linked-Bolter Ammo Drums.

I wanted to keep this more simple and neutral; it's easy to clutter something so small. I'm happy with the straight forward look it has, and there's nothing stopping me from revisiting this bit and making variations.

After a few failed attempts, the last bit in the selection finally took form, the Dirge Caster.

As I built these parts I kept thinking I'd do something more elaborate, but as the layers came together the clean vox-grill look with a single high frequency satellite speaker didn't seem to need more, in my humble opinion. By using the same curved base part that I used in the Searchlight, the parts share a nice cohesive form with the rest of the kit.

Moulds are curing as I write this, and the first casts of these final bits should be done in the next few days. If all goes as planned I'll sit down this weekend and update The Dark Works; everything shown the last while should be avaliable next week.

I've got a few more ideas and projects bouncing around inside my head, but that's another story for another day. Must... not... write... wall... of... text.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in jp
Fixture of Dakka


Damn, you gots da skillz man!

Only one complaint where are the skulls! Chaos and no skull! Heresy

Any plans for doing your thing on Chaos Dreadnaughts?

"That sound? That's the sound of me drinking all my paint and stabbing myself in the eyes with my brushes. "
My Doombringer Space Marine Army
Hello Kitty Space Marines project
Buddhist Space marine Project
Other Projects
Imageshack deleted all my Images Thank you! 
Made in us
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot

Pittsburgh PA, USA

I wish i had an iota of your tallent! Very impressive sir!

Angels of Vengeance P&M Blog

A Tale of 5 Gamers!

Blood Knights Kill Team P&M

Crusade of Vengeance - A Tale of Sacrifce and Brotherhood
Made in us
Stealthy Dark Angels Scout with Shotgun

Portsmouth, VA

Man this all looks amazing!

Watchers in the Dark 6000+
Tau 3000
The Fallen 3000
IG 3000
Iyanden 2000 
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

All work and no play makes Subtle go something something...

All work and no play makes Subtle go something something...

All work and no play makes Subtle go something something...

All work and no play makes Subtle go..

... go crazy?

Don't mind if I do! *Blragh gigergle splat bletch*

Errr... Studies have kept me quite busy but I finally found time to get all of the background work done, so just a quick late night post to celebrate The Dark Works waking from its slumber...

Something old, something new; pictures of the older kits mixed with the new Vehicle Accessories and Tracks.

The new kits are finally in proper production, and looking really good, if I do say so myself. With these smaller kits I can now offer a better selection of bundles along with single kits. I might simplify the selection in the future, but for now I think choice is good.

More coming soon (I hope) but for now, sleep ways is right ways. Thanks as always for past and future support of my work, and the modest studio that is growing from it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/11/17 18:36:12

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Charleston, SC

Those look great! Solid kits all around!

Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Thanks as always, for the kind words. My upcoming projects came up in another corner of the web, and I figured it was worth sharing. In the short term an obvious idea bubbled back up in my brain last week...

'Chaos Strong-Point'? Yes, I think that has potential; perhaps with a 'Twin-Linked Reaper Auto-Cannon' upgrade in the future.

These are really early sketches based on GWs kit to get the idea down on paper. I want to do more then just add Trim, I will be changing the form/shape to make it more unique along with other cosmetic changes. But naturally, it will retain the exact same footprint of a GW Defense Line. This project is of a much more realistic scope for the time being, so it should start taking form soon-ish.

I also recently got my hands on a new set of tools for the studio...

Greenstuff Industries ~ Tentacle Maker Tools are a welcome addition to my selection of building paraphernalia; I can't wait to start using them.

With these handy dandy little plates I'll be able to start adding all manner of tentacles, hoses, and pipes to future projects. I'll be sure to do an article-or-two about using them, once I get around to a build that can benefit from them.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

All praise be to the winter break! With the Industrial Design program I am enrolled in, the curriculum does not really suit a 'reading week' mid-term. In return we get a longer holiday break. Finally, some wide open studio time! But, before any new build projects for the studio, I'll definitely be spending some time at the painting bench...

With lots of painting projects to choose from, there's no problem filling up the painting bench with plenty of models.

Since I do have a little time to paint, and maybe chip away at an actually finishing an army that can see a table or two , I've gone back to my army list, again. Another shuffle; not the first, won't be the last. When the new Chaos Codex was released I got several of the new kits, which promptly started their wait in the long list of projects to complete. Since I had the model it seemed silly to ignore adding a 'Drake to the new list. It's not really the kind of flyer I'd prefer to add to my list, but you have to work with what you're given.

Most of the model is held together with thread the poster-tack, so at this point the pose is only 80% where it should be. Given how complex and overlapping many of the parts are, I'll be painting many parts before assembly to save my sanity some. Just too many nook-and-crannies to deal with otherwise.

Naturally, I couldn't leave the Heldrake kit stock, it needed some personalization.

Originally I wanted to do a major conversion and scratch build, to create a Heldrake that was closer to a fighter jet with a cockpit and strait lines. I still like the idea, but after dabbling with the kit the idea seemed possible, but very elaborate and involved. Later, I'll consider elaborate and involved (and maybe make a cast-able kit out of the effort), but right now I wanted to make something a little less ambitious. Adding a Magma Cutter nozzle to the mouth (Autocannon removed) for a bit of variety was a start, and Lasher Tendrils added some interest to the tail.

Taking inspiration from a Heldrake conversion by Rumplemaster Miniatures I wanted to give the model a more vertical pose and bring the head forward and down.

In the Rumplemaster conversion they chose to take a more... direct... route to cutting down the chest plate of the Drake and bringing the head forward. I chose to more carefully carve out the center armour plate with a Razor Saw, lower it, and reintegrate it as seamlessly as I could manage. This gave me room to lower the neck, and combined with a small change to the armour plate under the chin I was able to lower the head pose to add to the effect. A little brownstuff and some sanding filled in the old stand hole; I'm planning on adding a rod out of the rear foot as a stand post. I think the final pose will need to wait on the base; maybe I can get something tall enough for the foot to grip for support.

So after I take a little diversion on a few personal projects I'll be turning my gaze back on some studio builds. I want to try to keep painting no matter what, but I still have some build ideas clawing at the back of my brain that want to become real. I can't ignore the whispers from the warp, they keep calling me back to the Storm Eagle. But that, so they say, is another story for another day.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in ca
Homicidal Veteran Blood Angel Assault Marine


Really blown away by the conversions you've done. Everything from the extra armor to the heldrake pose is amazing. Can't wait to see you paint these all up!

Made in gb
Huge Hierodule

The centre of a massive brood chamber, heaving and pulsating.

Damnit, why has this slipped off my subscriptions?

Fantastic work as always. Oh, and here's an idea: parts to convert a Dreadnought/Venerable Dreadnought into a Chaos Dreadnought/Helbrute!

Squigsquasher, resident ban magnet, White Knight, and general fethwit.
 buddha wrote:
I've decided that these GW is dead/dying threads that pop up every-week must be followers and cultists of nurgle perpetuating the need for decay. I therefore declare that that such threads are heresy and subject to exterminatus. So says the Inquisition!
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

"Klaatu... verata... n... Necktie. Nectar. Nickel. Noodle. … … It’s definitely an ‘N’ word! … Klaatu… verata… N-*Cough*! … … Ok then. *Takes the book* ... Wait a minute! Everything's cool! … No really, I said the words. I did!"

*A huge portal opens and sucks Subtle out from under his rock, flinging him across several realities*

Thanks as always for the positive feedback, and no worries about losing track; the auto-notification features of many sites seem to be a bit fickle. This poor thread, I need to feed it some ration of content to remind it that better times are coming. Naturally, I’ve been very busy, but there are all sorts of things brewing in the background, I can assure you. It may get quiet, but the Basement Troll is always up to something. When we were last visited by our intrepid adventurer, a Heldrake was taking form…

The composition of the model with the base will make it a bit taller than the standard flying stand provided, but not enough to have me worried. It will loom over the army nicely once finished.

I’ve always been a fan of real stone for basing. It’s true that you can get some amazing results from a number of other products and/or techniques, but for me when I want a rock, I use a real rock. In this case, it meant I needed a very large and unique rock, and I’m enough of a collector to have a modest selection. I keep my eye open all the time for unique stones, rocks, and other potential basing materials. Even in a built up city you can find all sorts of interesting textures and objects in your environment; just one small scoop of some crushed gravel from a construction site or playground can provide ‘basing stone’ for years.

One key to working with stone is getting high speed rotary bits that can handle drilling hard rock. Dental drill bits are perfect, but there are many other bits that can handle the job. It’s not always necessary to pin a miniature down but if the only contact point/s with the base are on the stone you’re using, it really is better to drill a hole and pin the model down to the stone for added strength. In the case of the Heldrake, it needed a larger/deeper-than-average post hole for the foot to attach to the base. An extra win-win about using this much real stone on the base it that it is very bottom heavy and stable; there is little chance this model will get knocked over.

Changing the pose exposed too much of the ball-joint that is used to connect the parts; a simple cover up was in order.

It was a simple task to use some half round styrene rod and some of my ever-growing supply of pipes and hoses (Thanks to my GSI Tenticle Makers. Note: v2 coming soon) and give the offending spots a bit of a cover-up. I did file down the top of the sphere a bit before starting, just to lower the layer of pipes and hoses a bit.

The changes in this kit alter the pose and feel of the model dramatically, but they weren’t all that in depth compared to some of my projects; it came together surprisingly quickly.

A tip for filling in large holes and gaps like the original flying stand hole in the chest of the Heldrake; work in 2-3 layers. Fill the offending hole about 90% of the way with your preferred epoxy putty, and once that's cured go in with a thinner layer to finish the job. Then file, sand, and smooth the location to blend it away seamlessly.

The ‘Drake even got a good part of its paint job started before my workload forced me to put it aside. It, along with the entire army that will bask in the grim shadow it casts, are all poised to get actually finished come spring time. A few new paints and some Liquid Gold are on order to replace some ancient pots, and they should be just the incentive to get the brush going again.

Now, that’s not to say I don’t have more than a few building plans for The Dark Works. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to do a counts-as Aegis Defense Line, and it has seen some good progress…

After several iterations, this broad pattern was the final build that really worked well. To take the idea of defensive out of it, I plan to call it a Siege Line.

Obviously, there is still a lot of detailing that needs to be done. Once the main trim and rivets are done I’m going to add some cabling and some kind of Vox grill or screen. I’m still working it out and might do some sketches that I’ll show later. My drawing skills are improving dramatically with the projects I’m doing in college, so it’s only a matter of time before it migrates to my p’logs.

By popular demand, I will be starting work on a complimenting line of Loyalist vehicle kits; this Land Raider pattern is almost ready to start building once the studio wakes from its hibernation.

With this new Land Raider armour pattern I wanted to address one shortcoming of the original Chaos kit; the Sponson on the original kit is ‘locked’ in the front position by the detailing of the pattern. Now, this is my preference, but I can understand only too well that others might want it switched. So, after a bit of tweaking and adjustment, I was able to design a plate that can be swapped to switch the orientation of the Sponson. The layers of styrene that make up the side wall will need to be ever-so-slightly thicker than the current kit, but it won’t have a noticeable impact.

As always, this is only the tip of the iceberg; the voices from the warp are always chattering in my head, giving me ideas and inspiration. There are many other projects under consideration, and with my newly improving drawing skills I hope to be showing all sorts of concept sketches when I return to my studio work with more time.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/02/15 23:15:09

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant

The Drake's legs are looking a little... weency. You've got a very Wyvern look going there- no plans to push that a little farther?

Also, why not re-pose it to have it pushing off the rock spire with its foot instead of hovering just above it with a visible rod? That way you'd not have the rod showing, and possibly be able to get a much more dynamic pose and presentation out of it.

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
Made in ca
Perturbed Blood Angel Tactical Marine


I guess I'll be holding off on building that land raider now

Looking great!
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Thanks for the feedback guys; and Anvildude...

*Sticks his fingers in his ears and starts singing 'la la la... I can't hear you... la la la'*

I do this not because I think you're wrong, but because It think you're right and I don't want to hear it. Yes, the rear legs on the Heldrake are completely weency little stumps. While there is the impression of lots of flexibility in the pose of the Heldrake kit, it is actually very restrictive. It is meant to be built in one forward flying pose, with only a little bit of room to change the pose. In that stock build the rear legs are meant to dangle behind the 'Drake as it moves forward. When I considered the final pose for my converted Heldrake I seriously tried to make your idea work, but a few things came together to stop me.

The legs are so short and solid, the amount of work it would take to bend them was prohibitive to the limited change it would provide; there just isn't enough room/material to give that 'pushing off' feel to the leg/s. The swoop shape of the model really does suit a pose that says that the 'Darke is in 'full motion'; all the hoses and pipes, the bend in the back, the curve of the neck, and the wings are all intended for a model that is flying forward. Best just to keep it that way, and changing just the leg to perch on the stone would make that conflict too much with the rest of the motion of the model, in my opinion.

Also, changing all the details to better suit that more elaborate pose fits in with my overall reason to choose the simpler 'swooping' pose - preserving my sanity. I have a way of getting... distracted with details. I've learned that I need to keep things simple and actually get them done rather than make them overly elaborate and never finishing them. The most amazing idea means nothing if you never actually finish it. When I started weighing everything (including the looong list of unfinished projects for this army) I chose to keep the build reasonably straight forward so it would get done relatively (for me) quick. Finally, once it's fully painted and not being photographed on a white background the supporting post will be much less obvious.

So yeah. I glad for the feedback and like idea. Tried to make it work, but it just wasn't in the cards. I'll stop rambling now.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/02/19 08:43:17

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in nz
Sneaky Kommando

New Zealand

I'm just Blown away by this whole thing. as somebody just getting into scratch building, I really need to step up my game.

The best gun in the galaxy won't save you If your opponent is bashing your brains out with a rock.

Hey why not check out my Ork blog
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Thanks, as always for the kind words. To give a little perspective, I've been building with styrene for at least 15 years; but don't let that intimidate you, great results can be had in much less time. All I can suggest as general encouragement is to start where you are, and give it a go. Expect to make many mistakes (large and small) and to learn from them.

A few quick and dirty pieces of advice would be:

Be patient and take your time. Work in layers, and do things in a logical order. Taking time to seriously consider how it's going to come together is huge. Things can become a real hassle if you choose a less-than-optimal build order. Don't be tempted to put something together 'just to see what it will look like' unless it really is time for it to assemble. It will be done when it's done; don't rush.

In the same vein, when bonding parts together, give the solvent time to properly dry. Styrene is literally melted together with solvents that need time to evaporate before it becomes stable. Trying to sand or file an item too soon will turn it into a goopy mess. Trying to cut or drill items too soon will cause parts to shift and slide. The good news is that once the solvent is properly evaporated, the plastic is totally stable and workable, in most cases as if it was a single piece. Even minor mistakes and blemishes made from mistakes can be smoothed away with careful clean-up once it's given time to dry.

Small things will usually take exponentially more time than larger objects to assemble; work with batches of small items so things can be set aside and given proper drying time. Little objects with their tiny details are more effected by the two points above. Good results come from being very patient and learning what works and what doesn't work - many times the hard way, with a ruined object. Try not to sweat it too much when you have to start again. Pay attention to what when wrong and learn from the mishap.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant

Iysoeue.w Waenll titfo tphuatsi hnotwh yeowuo wrakn.tt irtu, swthmoe ahm aIv teoi teevlelrls ytoeue ortehdeyrowuiwzreo?ng?

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
Made in ca
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun

Toronto, Canada

Hey now! I have a hard enough time trying to keep the voices from the Warp from taunting and goading me into flights of fancy. I don't need anymore pressure. Unless you're just another... *Subtle squints and stares suspiciously at his monitor*

But seriously, that's one of the wonderful things about this hobby. It's completely subjective, and we all have complete control over what we can choose for our own collection. I appreciate all input, positive or critical, even if I don't agree or can't act on it. Many times it 'plants a seed' for future ideas and builds, and it always helps to keep me motivated.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/02/20 17:47:58

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

Made in no
Sneaky Sniper Drone


This is beyond awesome. The details, the quality, it's all just mind-boggling!
Sadly I don't play Chaos (at least not the 40k variant), but I'm crossing my fingers for future Tau/Eldar/Vanillamarines, seeing as how you mentioned something about it *hint-hint-nudge-nudge-wink-wink*?
Anyways, subbed (ofcourse) and really looking forward to the continued journey!

Tau sucks at Close Quarter? Meet the Fish Of Fury!  
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