Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stripping old primer off metal models

John did a test a while ago on how to strip off paint on old models, both metal and plastic. A link to that article is here. His conclusion was that using Simple Green and letting the models sit, submerged, for 48 hours would get good results.
This week I received a purchase from Ebay: the old set of Commissar Gaunt and his cronies, a really cool set from the nineties. Anyway they came partially painted and completely primered; here they are:

Using the Simple Green did not prove to work with these models. I am not sure if it had to do with the kind of primer that was used or what, but I had it sit for two days and still had hardly any luck. So I went to Kragen's and got a can of carburetor cleaner for 3 bucks.

It is highly nasty and toxic and you want to use it with all kinds of precautions: rubber gloves, well ventilated OUTSIDE area (this time really do it) and maybe a little face mask. It is NOT RECOMMENDED for kids, ADULTS ONLY on this one, I should say. Anyway, getting back to the story. All that effort paid off handsomely for me: I sprayed into an old glass cup until it was half full and then had these models sit in their bath of carb cleaner for 30 minutes. I soaked them in water and brushed off all the paint without the slightest effort.

(Of course, I would not use this on plastic figures)

So when in need, you have to sometimes go for the big gunz and get the job done right (and quick).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Christian's Birthday Battle

In a celebration of Christian's (our anonymous 3rd SCW-member) annual aging, (and also to celebrate the fact that he will always be older then the rest of us) an Apocalyptic Clash.

In an unlikely alliance, Mike's Orks and my Dark Angels joined forces to go up against the unholy union of Jake's (Christian's brother) Traitor Marine and Christian's Guard.

16000 (8000 each) points of giant table crowding superheavies desperately duked it out over a battle torn city to take control of vital objectives.

The Orks were surprisingly eager to join forces, perhaps all the Dark Angels big green things induced visions of Gork (or Mork), the promise of big explosions or post victory debris to be looted, or even the chance to show some Humies how to smash stuff proper, was enough to overcome years of hatred and violence.

With new rules books in hand, we set out to rid the the planet of the Chaos invaders , and put Mike's Ork Superheavies to work.

Mike's Trojan Horse, Giant Squiggoth and Stompa all make great lascanon magnets while my stuff moved around unnoticed.

After a full day of fighting for glory and bumbling along with the new rules (or was it fighting over the new rules and bumbling along for glory) we were able to complete 2 turns.
We are determined to finish this game and will play later this week in the evening and will probably need one more evening to finish the whole thing off.

proof of Christian's Chaos Possession

The Stompa somehow still standing as a Predator burns. The Stompa must have taken 7 or 8 penetrating hits but no one rolled the needed 5 or 6 to finish the behemoth off. It still lives!

Stompa before being immobilized in the first turn.

Chaos marines advancing.

Orks high above the crowded battlefield.

Baneblade's eye view of the Giant Squiggoth

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Using the New Citadel Washes on the Forgeworld Fighta Bomma

After some initial hesitation, I am now totally sold on the new washes. They dry up beautifully and the matte finish is exactly what our models needed. Here are some closeups of the Forgeworld Fighta Bomma.

I basically dipped this entire top in Devlan Mud and it looked pretty bad while still wet. But after drying and some extra yellow highlights, everything came together just great. The idea was to make the plane look dirty and war torn; basically this one has been service for decades, flying through polluted environments..

The gun turret got a wash of Sephia, which is a little redder than the Devlan Mud.

Here's a wire on the bottom of the plane. Used the Black Wash for the bottom, including on the bombs.

If you don't use these washes, do it soon! The price for eight of them is 20 dollars, which is good, but hopefully they will split up the colors in bright and dark, because my browns will be done long before the red and the blue..
And here is the hero of the day:


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Making a $10.00 toy plane into a great Ork Fighta

Recently John went to the Battlebunker in L.A. and picked me up a Forgeworld Fighta Bomma. It cost me about 160.00 dollars and it was well worth it. The model is great, has exquisite details, in short a joy to put together and paint. But most of us can only afford one FW model in their lives and I am certainly on of them. So instead, I went to the local hobby store.
I looked around for good, inexpensive planes that I could use for 40K. And what a find I made: a beautifully detailed plastic, painted plane for $10.00 (!). Here's the box (more info at the bottom of this post):

and this is what is looks like, put together. The model is designed for novice modelers and doesn't need glue; I did glue the whole thing though.

I totally like the bi-plane-propellor idea for the Orks and resisted demands from John and my buddy Christian to change it to a turbine engine. Nice stand by the way..the pilot was not included.

After putting it toegether, it was time for the pilot, which was simple. I rotated his hand but struggled with the bomb I wanted him to have in his hand, this was the first one I tried. In the end I used a different one: a Forgeworld Bomb that I looted from my Fighta Bomma. I guess it's the most expensive piece in this model!
Then I put on all the Orky pieces.

rebuilt the tail (my wife said Orks would never have a nice, rounded tail)

and worked on the bottom a bit.

Then added the weapons. This model already comes with a double hull mounted machine gun (perfect right?), so I just had to create the wing mounted one. I had one gun in my bitz box, the other one was made of a couple of straws and some plastic. The bombs were left over from the Robogear conversion

Then the paint job. I wanted to match the colors to the Stompa and the FW Bomma and stuck with the yellow look.

Added a daring grot...

Here's that expensive bomb..

After that it was a smooth ride to the end. The paint job was pretty unsophisticated:
Green primer, Golden Yellow blotting, Sunburst Yellow blotting, Devlan Mud Wash and a final highlight with Sunburst again.

Here's the FW Fighta Bomma next to the remodeled version.

For info on the plane or other ones, go to: Wowtoyz or buy them at Capitola Hobbies Ebay Store
(we don't get a cut by the way, just like shopping locally).

In the end the fun challenge of modeling for Warhammer 40K is going into any store and trying to think outside the box. There are a lot of completely unrelated things for sale that can blend into our world seamlessly. If you keep an open mind, a lot is possible.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Santa Cruz Warhammer is evolving...

Hi folks, a couple of thoughts before I will post another toy-to-warhammer conversion, a plane this time. In the last 30 days we were visited about 4300 times (over 12000 pageviews; thanks everyone!), which is some pretty good growth compared to a couple of months ago. Not surprisingly, most come from Google and people all over the world use it. It seems most people visit our site because they need more info about a certain conversion, technique or paint method and then they move on to the next thing Google has to offer them. We always had a different picture in mind when we started: a local blog for the Santa Cruz area and small amounts of regular visitors. But because of Google Analytics we quickly learned we got hits from everywhere, including Russia, South Africa and India. No one has been more surprised and impressed with that; the power of the internet to bring together so many different people all liking the same kind of stuff is pretty amazing. As we moved along we changed our plans and now we feel like we are becoming a modeling vault, full of different projects that people can try their hand on. We like it this way better and we are SO GRATEFUL for all the comments and emails. We will keep doing what we love and hope you will be inspired.
Lately readers have been requesting to present their work on our blog and yes, that is possible, as long as the photography is a good quality. The armies might end up on a separate site called
Armies of Santa Cruz, so if you have great pictures and you think you can inspire other people with your work, let us know! Armies of Santa Cruz is still completely undeveloped but when it starts rolling we will let you know.
For the coming year, I will start working on different armies and use those to showcase some interesting topics: I will finish my dwarf army and revamp my blood angels into ultra marines. Of course my love for the Orks will NEVER cease, so expect the random entry about those guys as well. John will keep plugging away at the Deathwing and his 10.000 other unpainted models, so it will be a great journey.


Monday, July 14, 2008

The Stompa is Painted

A while ago, I showed off my scratch built Ork Stompa, built out of a 10 inch juice bottle, a bunch of cardboard, green stuff rivets and tons of bitz. Here's the original post:
Scratch building the Ork Stompa

I built it for the big Apocalypse game we are playing in a couple of weeks (16.000 points), so the pressure is on to get everything painted. I finally got the Stompa table top ready.

I painted him in the same colors as the one in the Apoc book, I really liked that yellow color and think it looks very spiff on the battle field. (After I was done with this guy, I decided to paint my two Ork planes also in this color scheme: green undercoat, golden yellow dapples, sunburst yellow dapples, a very liberal wash of Devlin Mud, more light golden yellow highlights.)
Here's a dapper warrior, giving his life for the glory of Gork (and good to give indication of scale of this model)

The Tangram design of the massive icon...

The titan close combat weapon with strength D..

My buddy Christian painted a couple of panels in his Imperial Guard urban camo design. After that I weathered the pieces.

Here's a view of the back with some icons on the gas tank

I'm not very good at fancy stuff, this flame painting came out indeed very Orky

The old fantasy bitz box always comes in handy..

Here is the front one more time:

And the back..

This model was a great challenge for me and I am pretty stoked with the result. It will be 600 points of mayhem...
Hope it inspires someone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ork Warbike's easy conversion now painted

A while ago I put together 3 warbikes and did some small conversions. You can find that post here: Orks: Warbike Conversion made easy
I finally painted them and decided to put one up.

First of all these bikes didn't come with bases, not sure if that's normal. So I made a base out of WHF movement tray, which is also the basis for the side car.

Then did the tilt, a little ornamentation and voila.

Easy and fun, that how I like it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More Toys into War Buggies...

A lot of people liked the post about my Ork Warbuggy that was made from a defunct Russian Toy called Robogear. You can find that article on the right in our content list. The Label is the same: Orks: Converting Robogear into a War Buggy.
I wanted to make more and being pretty obsessive AND with the blessing of the readers, I went to Ebay and bought 3 more models, two that are similar to the one already posted and one that was different.

That new one is an awesome model, again with the trakks and the twinlinked rokkits, this one looks a little bit more beefy.

In its previous life it was called the Varan, so if you want one, check out Ebay and look for this one.

In order to make it good enough for Warhammer, I added some things here and there and made an enigmatic driver.

The other two models I tried to make look different from the existing one, here you can see how I fared. I did not do anything except put the pieces together in different places, it's fun to see you can make 3 different models out of one sprue, using the exact same pieces.

One of the drivers here I gave a seatbelt, very un-ork-like, but a nice challenge, the belt came from the Burnaboyz box.

And this one is looking up, waiting for that Thunderhawk to swoop down..

And here are the three new additions one more time.

All in all for about 45 dollars I have 4 outstanding and hard hitting warbuggies that look perfectly fine on the battlefield.
Hope it inspires!