Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stormwall

Picture heavy post. Can't help myself. This project was a real delight.

So this marks my first Cygnar warjack, and what a way to fully commit to the faction it was. There's a load of posts out there about how people assembled and painted their Stormwalls, and the whole process therein. So I'm going to skip all that here and focus more on what I particularly enjoyed. Sort of getting back to my roots on a proper project review.

First, yes, the whole kit is amazing. Great articulation ability in the joints so that it can be positioned in many different ways. And on the whole, it was pretty clean. A few mold lines that were a bit ugly, but most of it was fine. Parts that should be metal were metal, and parts that should be resin were resin. Anything that had fiddly join points tended to be hidden away from normal touching. And the joins between parts went together quite well. In short, probably my favorite huge-based kit to put together.

Now there are plenty of places where I didn't gap fill at all. Close inspection will find several of these without too much of a problem, but I opted to skip gap filling in most cases because I felt the gaps didn't particularly detract from the look. They tended to be at places where different elements were coming together and a little gap actually accentuated the flexing of the joints, so I left them.

I did this project in essentially 5 parts: base, legs and hips, torso, and each arm. I worked my way upwards and as I finished parts, I put them together. I found this to make the entire process both relatively easy to manage and motivating which kept me moving forward on the project pretty quickly. The airbush made short work of all the base coating steps. From there it was just a matter of building up on top of the metal layers, finding the right balance of black and red, and then doing all the details.

So when it came down to details and freehand, I wanted to put several insignias on different red plates to really drive home the look of a machine that's maintained more for performance than appearances. It was also a great way to start practicing freehand but on a larger scale model to get more into it and try out some ideas. I feel like most of them worked out pretty well for my first solid attempt. Some of the insignias are not as sharp, but the provided good learning experiences. I actually did a lot of research online for military insignias but didn't find much inspiration. I found that warning signs and reference photos of planes was more valuable. Google image searching continues to be one of my most valuable tools on the internet when it comes to planning projects.

This particular insignia on the one side (SH1-0151) is a reference quote. I haven't been telling people what it is to see if they know, but a resourceful search online will quickly find it. It's just fun to me to see if people recognize it offhandly when I'm at the LGS. Painting this one was actually a good challenge. I needed to space out all the letters properly, keep the height relatively consistent, and work around the already mounted cannon. Despite the challenges, this one worked out well. I did learn a trick here too...

When it comes to freehand, I read a tip long ago (source long forgotten) that basically outlined this process:
  • Use well thinned paint.
  • Put dots of paint to create a "constellation" of the design.
  • Start filling in the details of the design.
  • Use the base color to go back and "erase" overpainting parts or even to create the design itself.
  • This process definitely helped me a lot here.

    Oh yeah, and then there were Stormpods as well. These were quick. I painted simple numbering insignias on them. Nothing particularly fancy. I do however like that I can leave these parked on the Stormwall's base when awaiting launching. With these I had to trim off all of the "broken ground" that is sculpted around their points. They do look a little odd on these bases, but I'm not going to sweat the small stuff here.

    So what could have been better? Well, lots of stuff. Gap filling, better deep shading, more and better insignias, and lots of little blending smoothings. But this was a tabletop quality project. And honestly, i think I cranked this whole thing out in probably a week and a half of evenings, so I'm pretty proud. I would totally consider doing a second one of these, and that's really saying something.

    Aaaannnd... More pictures!

    1 comment:

    JediAnakinSolo said...

    This looks fantastic! One of my favorite stormwalls yet.