Thursday, September 19, 2013

6 Plague Drones Completed in 1 Week+

Hey, Folks.

Here’s the latest group of models to join my Daemons of Nurgle forces:  6 Plague Drones of Nurgle, which I can run either as two units of 3 or one larger unit, up to 6.

Several months ago as I was planning out what I would be building and painting, and when I’d be doing it, I was also trying to plan out how I would be transporting both my Chaos Space Marines army and my Nurgle Daemons army.  I use Battle Foam P.A.C.K. 720s for each army, but the trick was how to configure the trays of foam that I would need for each army.  One problem that was particularly prickly was how to transport these Plague Drones once they were finished.  I pondered how to magnetize the wings, or the legs, or both, as when fully assembled these models are a bit bulky, and look a bit fragile.  Nothing seemed to work in terms of magnetizing the wings and/or legs to the bodies so that they would not droop due to gravity pulling the pieces down, rather than having them positioned properly.

As I was working through this problem, my friend Josh Howery suggested that we try to see if we could magnetize the two halves of each of the Drone bodies together, and if that worked then I could glue the wings and legs into whatever position I wanted to on each body half.

As it turned out, there are on the insides of each half of each Drone body two round, flat spots that line up exactly with each half.  That is, there are two round, flat spots on inside of the left body half that line up exactly with the same sized round, flat spots on the inside of the right body half.  The following picture is a bit dark, and in it we’ve already glued magnets onto these spots, which happened to be the exact diameter of magnets that I had on hand.

It’s almost like GW planned on you being able to magnetize the body halves.  Hmmmm…

In any event, and to make a long story short, it worked.  Josh glued a magnet onto the circular spots on both halves of each Drone body, put in enough magnets on each half so that they would meet in (or nearly in) the middle of the Drone’s body when the two halves were put together. 

Simply gluing the magnets in place wouldn’t hold them when the two body halves were put together and then separated, so Josh then filled in the space around the magnets with Apoxy Sculpt, which is a two-part modeling putty similar to Green Stuff but less expensive and easier to work with.  (The problem with Apoxy Sculpt is that it takes overnight to dry, and comes in two large containers, but for large projects, it’s more cost effective and easier to work with than Green Stuff.  Josh used Apoxy Sculpt to make the custom Nurgle Chaos Spawn as my 5th Spawn for me a while back, which I wrote about a few months ago here.)

Taking this approach also allowed me to magnetize the two different styles of heads that come with the Drones.  As I hadn’t played any games with these models, I wasn’t sure if I would always (or ever) use the Rot Proboscis option, which makes the Plague Drones’ close combat attacks Poisoned 3+ instead of their standard Poisoned 4+, at a cost of 5 points per model.  Certainly Poisoned 3+ sounds good, but I wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to take all the time.  So I shaved down the plastic on the inside of each half of each drone where the heads would attach, and glued a larger diameter magnet there on the inside.  Then it was a simple matter to flatten the ends of all of both types of heads and glue a corresponding magnet onto them.  Of course, I made sure that the polarities of all of the magnets were working in the same direction, so that I could use any head on any Drone at any time.

After that, it was easy to glue the wings and legs into the positions I wanted them for both sets of 3 Drones.

That was several months ago, and I’ve been holding off on painting the Drones and their Plaguebearer riders for one of the last tasks that I had to accomplish to get ready to go to Valhalla.  Two Fridays ago I finished up the Nurgle Biker Lord, so on that Saturday (September 7th) I was able to get started painting the Plague Drones and their riders.

The process of painting them (well, washing them with Citadel shades, mostly) went remarkably quickly, and I was able to get them all finished in seven days of painting over 8 calendar days, committing a total of 45.5 hours to the task.  Wow, that was a lot of work for one week.  I ended up getting 10 hours of work done on that first Saturday, and then had problems with my work laptop where it needed to be rebuilt by our IT department, and that took more than a day, so I had a lot of free time on my hands late last week to put into getting these Drones finished as quickly as I could.  Also, the wife has eased up on giving me a hard time about spending so much time working on my stuff to get ready for Valhalla, and my daughter has had more rehearsals for her upcoming shows, so I’ve had more time in the evenings during the week to spend working on painting that I have had in previous weeks.

One problem that I ran into as I was finishing up the Drones’ bodies and started working on the Plaguebearer riders’ bodies was getting the riders to stay on top of the posts on the tops of the Drones after each Drone’s body halves were put together with the magnets.  These guys really were meant to be glued in place on these posts, so I was faced with a late problem that I had to address pretty quickly. 

What I ended up doing was drilling a hole into the posts of each of the Drones’ and inserting and gluing a thin brass rod such that it was anchored inside one body half with superglue and Green Stuff, and stuck up far enough above the post on the outside of the body so that any rider would stay in place when mounted on the post + brass rod rig.  This was a bit challenging and very delicate work, but with patience and perseverance I was able to get all 6 Drones drilled out and the brass rods installed and anchored with Green Stuff in the same night.

With the brass rods in place, the riders stay put and don’t fall off their perches when being moved around the battlefield.

With a lot of time and working very quickly, I was able to finish up these 6 Plague Drones and their Plaguebearer riders by last Saturday, which was a huge relief.  And with the heads magnetized, I can swap them out depending on whether I want to use the Rot Proboscis or not and by WSYWIG.

I’m really happy with how they turned out, and would love to hear your opinion of them!

1 comment:

  1. Looks amazing... you've done a good job with these guys - they are difficult to transport when they are all built as one solid piece. I did my first three that way and they are never easy to transport now. I'm building 6 more right now, and wondering how to magnetize them up - might try what you've done here and see how it goes.