Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kitbashed Rough Rider Space Pony

Here comes the cavalry! The Ardwick 23rd have called for reinforcements, and the Royal Lancers have arrived.

I wanted to build Rough Riders for my guard, but the old sculpts are pretty goofy. I was thinking about bikes or Cold One lizards or even bears for my rough riders.

Mike has been working on mechanized future cavalry, so in contrast I decided to kick it old school, and build a space pony.

In keeping with the theme of my Ardwick 23rd, gas masks and lots of kit, seemed like the way to go.

I found this old print by Frank Murch online which was inspiring, some sort of anti government propaganda, and I thought it looked great.

I used an old Empire Fantasy horse which I trimmed a bit of the tail and mane. I used greenstuff to sculpt the mask and leg wraps and other details and a Cadian with West Wind head for the rider, cut up the legs and positioned them and filled with greenstuff.

The banner was a wood elf bit, saddle bags, blanket roll and the horse mask canister are from the Ravenwing sprue. I was lucky and found a baggie of 5 of the original power lances in the bits bin at a local store. The horses breathing hose is a bass guitar string, and the reins were made by heating and stretching plastic sprue.

I originally planned on using the las rifle carbine with folding stock from the Armor sprue, but the codex says lance and laspistol or hand weapon.

He was painted and based to match the other Ardwick troopers.

Well I hope you like this more traditional take on a rough rider, I had fun making it.


Friday, June 26, 2009

We have two WINNERS!

OK, we have two winners of the awesome Pig Iron Squads Give Away!

Just letting you all know, we use for our absolutely random number generator and came up with these two commenters:

number 8

Creative Carnage said...

Love the sculpts, especially the heads. It would be interesting to see what could be done with them.

Docrailgun said...

They look great! Thanks for showing them to us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We are giving away FREE Pig Iron squads!!

Here's our 2nd Santa Cruz Warhammer Giveaway! Pig Iron sent us 2 squads of models to give away to you, readers of our blog. In the previous posts you saw what we did with the sculpts from this little company full of modeling talent. With a little TLC, they work great in our Warhammer 40K games and give a whole new dimension to conversion and kitbashing. They could also work in Fantasy, like Empire Flagelants or Skaven Human Slaves (hmm, got to work on that one).

Anyway, here are the two prizes:
(although this picture has ten models, the squad for this prize has 5 models, with heads)

Just like last time, there are two rules:
1. be a follower of Santa Cruz Warhammer (if you are not, become one!)
2. leave a comment.

We will randomly pick two commenters and send them their prizes, FREE.

Good Luck and thanks to the folks of Pig Iron. Check out their stuff, it's really fun!
John and Mike

Monday, June 22, 2009

Penal Legion and Snow Trooper Guardsman Conversions

Well the folks at Pig Iron were nice enough to send us some of their models to check out and Mike asked me to pick some parts out and build something, I chose a body with a big coat, a big back pack, and a gas masked bald head.

First is this Penal Legion Guardsman for my Ardwick 23rd.

I used a Pig Iron Kolony Rebel gas mask head with Games Workshop Catachan torso and legs and Cadian arms.

I wanted him to look different from the rest of the Ardwick 23rd, but still have a gas mask. At first I wanted a very basic looking guy with no armor, thinking that the Empire wouldn't waste any good equipment on these troops, but after checking the stats they do have the same flack armor that the regular troops have, so I decided to give them the look of being equipped with older gear that was not uniform with the regulars of the 23rd.

So no helmet, and an old style flack vest over an orange prisoner's jumpsuit. I don't like the big muscle arms from the Catachans so I went with standard Cadian arms, also no extra gear.

I think the running pose makes him seem more desparate.

I went a bit heavy with the washes, I wanted him to look dirty, I also tried to make the flack vest look old, dirty and faded.

Here is a pic with one of the regular Ardwick 23rd trying to keep up.

I think he fits in pretty good with the rest of the lads, and still is different enough from the line troops.

My next Pig Iron model conversion, uses a Feral Pack body and Games Workshop head.

This conversion is very similar to what Mike did in his earlier post with a similar Pig Iron figure, but I was going for a different look.

I like to think of this model as a long range recon trooper geared up for cold weather and snow.

I used the Pig Iron body and back pack with a Fantasy Wood elf hooded and masked head, and I added the barrel from a Guard lasrifle.

He already had a bunch of pouches and I added a big back pack, with all the gear, he looks like he is prepared for a long campaign and plans to be out in the field for a while.

I used a blue wash on the white to give the model a cold feeling.

I had a tough time with the white paint, and If I were to do it again, I think I would add a couple Imperial Guard canteens, to make it look a bit more Guardish.

Great news for all you readers! Pig Iron was so kind to send us two squads of their models to give away for FREE. That is wonderful news for those of you who like to be creative with the hobby. At the end of the week we will do another GIVEAWAY, this time TWO of our lucky blog subscribers will be getting some FREE merchandise from Pig Iron. Be sure to keep watching our blog and in the meantime support all the wonderfully creative, little and ambitious companies around! Be inspired!

John and Mike

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Using Pig Iron to build Imperial Guardsmen

I am always on the lookout for ways to model my Warhammer and 40K armies in a more creative way; a while ago I bought some Pig Iron Feral Pack models. At first glance they look like Traitor Guard, but when you look past that, there are plenty of opportunities to use these models for your loyal Guard.
I used this guy, he is on the left. I just used his body, and part of this gun.
What's interesting to me, is that by positioning the Guardhead (from the Valkyrie box) so the model looks back instead of forward, it brings a lot of motion to the whole thing. Kind of like he was moving forward when someone called out to him from the second story of a building...
Anyway, adding the lasgun was easy, just letting you know it came from those really big IG backpacks that have the lasguns on the back. You don't have to waste a complete gun for this conversion.
And here he is painted up.

I see this as a very experienced fighter, using any and all clothing to dissapear into the surroundings. I am modeling soldiers from the Bishkek 2nd, which is fighting in a desert-like, occupied world. He might be a veteran or just an IG soldier who has been fighting for a long time..
This base is from Back2base-ix and looks excellent when painted in this gloomy fashion.

Great news for all you readers! Pig Iron was so kind to send us two squads of their models to give away for FREE. That is wonderful news for those of you who like to be creative with the hobby. Before we do the give away, John is going to do a small project on Pig Iron early next week; at the end of the week we will do the GIVEAWAY, this time we will have TWO prizes!. Check back later and in the meantime support all the wonderfully creative, little and ambitious companies around! Be inspired!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Santa Cruz Warhammer reaches 100K visits!

Hi all,
Just checked Google Analytics and saw we reached 100.000 visits since the start of Santa Cruz Warhammer in November of 2007. Wow! It actually doesn't mean anything to anyone except us two...but we just wanted to let you know. We are happy, strong and still just as obsessed and will keep on trucking.

One new feature on the right: Our Most Popular Posts, measured from the start in '07. The drop pod article has gotten over 10.000 visits so far. Let's hope that means that lots of folks have been building their own drop pods. It's not that hard!

John and Mike

Sunday, June 14, 2009

2nd Mechanized Rough Rider is painted and named!

Alright, I finally put a regiment name onto my few Imperial Guard models that I have finished so far. My regiment will be called Bishkek 2nd and this Rough Rider unit is from the 1st batallion.
I painted this model the same as my first Mech Rough Rider, although I didn't highlight this one too much with Golden Yellow, used more fresh layers of Ochre Yellow Foundation Paint.
Here is the link to the first rider unit, here is the link to how I kitbashed this 2nd model, using a variety of different models and brands.


Friday, June 12, 2009

A new design for a Mechanized Rough Rider!

After tackling my first Mechanized Rough Rider, based on a Micro Arts model (see post here), I was itching to start a different take on the same idea. Well, here is the result.

This one is based on a Tamiya Ketten Kraftrad 1/48 scale and a menagerie of different models. We will go over it so you can pick and choose if you want to replicate this project.
I really wanted to build this kit and it even came with a little tank, called Goliath which the Germans used as a remote controlled bomb (WWII Goliath >Forgeworld Cyclops...). I am thinking of using that little thing as a Tankbustas toy for my Ork Army. Anyway, back to business here:

I built it without changing anything. The only part I left out was the seat where the German soldier would sit. Instead I widened that part a little so I could fit an old plastic cog into the hole, in which the torso could sit sturdily.
I always envisioned adding the torso of the Micro Arts track model in it, but was equally determined not to remake the model I had already done. So instead of the head that comes with Micro Arts resin kit, I opted for a head from the new Pig Iron infantry squads. Looks gloomy and servitor like...
The guardman came out just as I envisioned: active, aggressive and determined. I started with cutting him up and glueing him excactly how I wanted him. John did a post on that method before, check out how he cuts up a first edition Space Marine and repositions him to make him look ready for 5th edition, it all right here.
Using this method I glued the body back together and waited an entire night. Then used Apoxie Sculpt and rebuilt his body. This is the best way to make a pose look realistic. The guy is really holding on to the rail and his legs are in active hold, waiting for the right moment to disembark.
The lance with the explosive is similar to the first model I built, using the Rokkit from the Ork bitz box. His backpack comes from a Chaos Space Marine pack, I will do a post on how to make these and other cool IG backpacks next week.
I am not a very good sculptor and will sand off most of the flaws on his leg.
The base is a nice one from DragonForge. I find a lot of pleasure in positioning the model in an active manner, using the terrain design to my advantage. It took many tries to have the model sit on there just the way I wanted it. The one thing I didn't dare to do was making the tracks look realistic, based on where they would really be on the rocky soil with real suspension...that is for the next one.
I added a couple of Imperial Eagles to make it instantly Guard. For playing, this model will of course follow the normal stats of the Rough Riders in the IG codex.

This is a good example of not letting the game rules stand in the way of a fun project. As long as you can kinda fit it in, it should be good. Make it look cool!

Hope this inspires someone out there..paintjob will follow after this weekend.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Warhammer on a Budget

With the economy the way it is, it can be hard to justify spending your hard earned cash on models for your hobby.

One way that I have been able to continue stockpiling models has been buying them for pennies on the dollar from other folks that have grown away from the hobby and decided to part company with their collection. Some of this is poorly painted stuff that needs some work to be usable, while other stuff is new in the box or still on the sprue.

I have seen plenty of folks trying to sell warhammer models for more than the store price with the logic that since they assembled it and painted it it is now worth more, or they think they have " pro painted " it and you should reimburse them for their work, the last big lot I bought I was told " there are some awesome models in there, stuff you might have seen in White Dwarf " perhaps he meant the rhino assembled with a glue gun.

With a bit of determination and some luck, sometimes you come across a big box full of stuff that Mom is trying to get rid of, that her son is just not interested in anymore, or a regular guy who's friends don't play anymore and wants to get some cash together to start air soft. This is where the deals are to be found.

Here are some pointers for bargain hunting using local adds.

1. Keep it simple. ( this works for Ebay also )
When searching, think of what you are looking for, and describe it in terms that a person that is unfamiliar with the item might use to describe it, or "think like a Mom" use search words like Warhammer , Ork, Games Workshop, figures, etc. Most moms don't know what a Tyranid is and would call it a "monster figure".

2. Be polite and to the point.
If you call or email about an ad, act like a normal person and get to the point, something like " Hi, I'm calling about the Warhammer ad on Craigslist. ", if it is still for sale, make an appointment as soon as possible to come check it out. Waiting till next Tuesday will let other buyers have a chance to swoop in on your deal, and also tells the seller that you are not too serious.

also verify that the price is as it says in the ad, this will save everyone involved some hassle if the ad's price is a typo. ( you would be surprised how often this happens) also it lets the seller know that you are aware of the cost and willing to pay it.

3. Set a meeting place, and bring cash.
Some folks don't want to have you know where they live, which is fine, pick a safe, public location that you both know ( like out in front of Starbucks at 8pm ) just make sure you are specific (especially if it is a chain that has 14 franchises on the same street.)

Have cash with small bills, so you can negotiate.

4. Keep your cool
If there is a Forge World Titan in the box of bits, pay them what they are asking, give them your email info ( in case they find some more loot) say thanks and drive of into the sunset, you can save the happy dance for when you get home, or at least down the road a bit.

Never tell the seller that you just scored on them and that they could have gotten way more for the stuff, you will just make them feel stupid, and guarantee that they will not be calling you when they find the other box in the garage.

If the box is full of Lego, keep your cool, and let them know what they have, and kindly pass on the deal, if there is only some good stuff, make them an offer, and be polite if they pass.

5. Do your homework.
If you are going to checkout some Imperial Guard , take a look at the current prices to give yourself an idea what kind of deal you are getting.

Make sure that you are not missing any important parts.

Before you leave ask if they have any other related stuff they might like to sell, you never know.

I hope this helps some of you find some good stuff. I had a good day bargain hunting on Sunday and have been sorting all the bits out for days, It's like Christmas, but in dusty shoe boxes.

This is after the first stage of sorting, and lots more to go.

Bits anyone?

You never know what might be in the bottom of that trunk full of Warhammer stuff Mom is getting rid of.


Monday, June 8, 2009

We have a WINNER!

Hi all, we have a winner of the Santa Cruz Warhammer Contest. Just letting you know I asked my youngest daughter to pick a number between 1 and 36 and she picked:

19, which makes the winner the 19th commenter, which is

Blogger semmons99 said...

Great conversion.

Congratulations to semmons99 and we have asked him/her to keep us uptodate on what will happen with that model.

Thanks everyone for being kind in the comments. We love our blog and we love modeling and we love Warhammer/40K, so you can expect more.

On a side note: Micro Arts sent us 3 blisters with bases which we will give away at a later date.


John and Mike

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We are giving away a FREE model!

A lot of you have read this post about my mechanized Rough Rider. Although the project worked out well, the resin cast from Micro Arts had many problems. Our post helped Micro Arts decide to discard this mold and make a new one. I got four more models that all looked much better and they promised to keep perfecting the new mold. Micro Arts is sending me some stuff for free because they feel bad and have good customer service.
So we have decided to give the extra free stuff away FOR FREE. Here is the model:
This is the mechanized Rough Rider I made of it
and the winner can probably do many more things with it, like a Traitor Guard vehicle or a Mechanicum unit.

Simple rules:
1. become a follower
2. leave any comment in this post

Monday night I will blindly pick one commenter, announce it on the blog and send him/her his model. Just for fun.

In the very near future we will give away more stuff in this way. Keep checking out our blog!

John and Mike

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reclaiming My Hobby Area Pt. 1

My workspace has taken over the house.
The Girlfriend is very tolerant, but I think it is only a matter of time before she snaps.

We have 4 vintage 1950s dinette sets, and most of the time they are all covered with something Warhammer, with boxes hiding on the chairs and under the tables.

I have decided to try to clean up my act a bit. So what do I do , I go out and buy another table.

Not just any table, a drafting table.

I used to have a drafting table in my room when I was in high school in the 80s it had one of those crazy lamps that clamp on and have springs on it . My Mom must have bought it for me to do homework on, and to have a place to start my future career as a draftsman or architect.

We were not rich and it must have been kind of expensive, for a single Mom. I remember she somehow saw that I had cool clothes, a boy scout uniform, a Walkman, my own room in a house in a good neighborhood , skateboards and everything else a teenager takes for granted, like a drafting table with a light. Thanks Mom, I love you, sorry for all the crap I put you through, sorry I don't call enough.

I remember I took a drafting class my first year of high school 1984, I met my best buddy Tom in that class, the teacher was Mr. Sevrin and I remember getting in trouble for talking to Tom all the time, and that I thought drafting was boring. I enjoyed art class much more. I even took a drafting class in college, I think I hated it even more then.

Sorry I never became a draftsman Mom, but thanks for the table, I never did any homework on it, but I built lots of models and painted Warhammer minis on it ( which I am sure have brought me more joy in the long run ), and when Tom would come over, we would take turns building models on the desk and talking to girls on the phone until my Mom busted in and told us to get off the phone and walk the dogs, those days hold some of my fondest memories.

So I bought a drafting table on Craigslist, and I clamped a lamp on it, actually a lamp with a magnifying lens. This will be the start of my new workstation. I have a shelf, some storage drawers, lots of Tupperware style boxes and painting tiles. I need to figure out a good way to organize my paint.

Anyone have any suggestions of things I might want to add to get organized, what do you use a lot at your modeling workstation?

I think I am going to put on some 80s music and call up my old buddy Tom, .... and my Mom.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Check out these models for 40K! Creative and original..

I started building models when I was about nine and I fondly remember taking my little bit of money and scour the Tamiya catalog, finding the perfect model to work on. I have come full circle. After years of Warhammer, I am slowly discovering all these cool models from back in the day again and realize you can use them very easily in our beloved games, for less money most of the time AND with added creativity and hours of modeling fun. Especially with the Imperial Guard new and popular and having so many new options, there is some GREAT stuff out there. Here are some examples of what I mean. let's start with something simple:
and an alternative:

This is a British tank MKIV from WWI. Anyone say Landraider or Malcador or Leman Russ? It's pretty easy to convert this very cool model into something workable in the Imperial Guard or make it into an 'ancient design' Space Marine Land Raider. Cost: $30-35. here is the link of the review of this kit, which might be useful.

On to the next:
everyone knows this one: the Forgeworld Earthshaker Cannon. Cost 30 pounds, about 50 dollars with 15 percent shipping.

Here is a model from Dragon Models:

Cost: 41.50 which is actually a brand new sculpt with lots of details and parts also to be used for other conversions. You can find that model here
Instead of a Basilisk from Games Workshop (41.25) you could use this cool model:

Not cheaper this one at $49.50 but just a little more for a lot more kit and this think looks just great. Here is where you can check out more of that stuff.

Here is the FW Sabre Defence Platform for $35.00

Here is another option:

Cost: $22.00 on Ebay

Here is a Forge World Malcador Vanquisher for about $150.00

Here is an incredible M61A model from Bandai, I couldn't find a price but there are some great reviews in the current Modeling Japan. Check this out!

This could be a nice AA gun on tracks

How about using this as a Manticore?

And here is the old Ketten Kraftrad that I will convert into another Mechanized Rough Rider. I ordered a box from Tamiya in 1/48 for $15.00

Here is a possible Hell Hound, the old British Churchill tank

and you can find some cool terrain

this was at Dragon Models

I have only looked at the tip of the iceberg. There are so many models out there that can work really well and give you a nice personalized feel to your army. Not all of it is going to be cheaper, but in general the non GW kits have a lot more to offer to the modeler and look very professional on the battlefield. Besides, fielding 3 or 4 of the same models gets kind of boring to play with and build.
The magazine that really got me inspired to check all this out is Fine Scale Modeler. Check it out, you will learn a lot!

later added:
Something to keep in mind is that the scale of the original model is only of importance if you retain obvious reference pieces, anything that might give a clue of the intended scale to the observer like handles or controls, hatches, windows, seats or tools. Warhammer uses a large 25mm scale or 28mm, which translates to around 1/66 scale where the 1/35 scale armor is around 50mm.

In 40k the vehicles are fantasy based and the sizes are not very realistic, but look good with the range of minis, imagine trying to really stuff 10 marines in a rhino or twelve in a drop pod. the other side of this is that the Baneblade is a bit on the large side, as a "super heavy" might be.

Some of the armored cars and light tanks of early WWII are well suited for the 25-28mm range as they were a bit weedy compared to the heavy stuff of the later war period, and they have a less high tech look to them.

building a 1/35 scale model tank strait out of the box and plopping it on the table( in my opinion ) might not mesh well with the style of the other models , but with a bit of creative bits use, some conversion work and some of the more Warhammer familiar items ( spot lights, storm bolters, etc.)added to an interesting kit could make a very unique addition to your army.

Of course building a model to use with Orks ( due to their scavenging nature) will be less challenging that one that will blend in well with a guard or Marine army, as they have very strict imperial forge world patterns that they follow, but a traitor guard army will use whatever they can get there hands on.