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Primaris Outriders: a critique of the sculpt compared to the old Space Marine Bike

Primaris Outriders are finished!

These models were quite annoying to assemble and paint. Due to the overlapping armor plates, I did a sub-assembly procedure as follows:

  • Central bike body plus wheels
  • Left Bike Armor, leg, and exhaust
  • Right Bike Armor, leg, and exhaust
  • Torso, head, and arms
  • Backpack
  • Chainsword (one model only)

My initial gripe was that the pins that make this model a snap-together break exceedingly easily, especially the thin pins that slot into the larger pins for the side armor. However, I consider this to be a blessing rather than a mistake. If you are building these models, BREAK THESE PINS OFF. You don't need them.

My sub-assembly procedure was also not a good idea for this snap together in terms of pieces fitting. Before priming, the model dry-fit together snugly. With the added layer of primer, these became too tight to fit without a pin vise gently scraping the inside of the holes. Even then it was so tight that excessive force was needed.

Excessive as it was, it was not enough for the front armor plating. All three models had to have a gap in this plating filled with green stuff and filed smooth.

I also had trouble with the incredibly thin join between the foot/pedal and the side armor. This bent a bit too often. If I had to do over, I might have used a modeling knife to completely separate these two parts. It would have made painting and assembly easier.

As a final note, I'd like to compare these to the original Space Marine Bikes. Here is a stock photo below:

The old bikes were 90's sculpts, and it shows. What doesn't show is that these bikes had a similar problem to the new Primaris ones. The halves of the main body met in the middle, sometimes leaving a gap that needed putty. Not shown in this stock photo is the join of the riveted armor moulding where it comes together on the back of the bike. This was almost always mis-cast. The moulding itself was annoying to paint (I like the lack of it on the Primaris models).

All in all, the new Primaris are a huge step up from old bikes. However, they still have significant flaws. Use caution and think ahead when assembling and painting yours.

Next: I like the idea of alternating between Primaris and Firstborn. I'm going to finish up my Devastators with Multi-Meltas and Grav-cannons. With Multi-Meltas having 2 shots at D6+2 damage, I can revive my old failed Melta drop strategy to assassinate a knight (or two!) Plus with two wounds on all firstborn, I'll need those Grav Cannons in working order.


Intercessor Interruption

So, recently I finished my Eradicators and wanted to find a place for them in my case.

When I opened it, a squad of half-painted Intercessors glared at me, accusingly.

Fair enough. I started painting these when I planned to use them on a vacation to visit Lexington of Red Wunz Go Fasta (and soon the owner of a new Space Marine Chapter: The Ashen Swords). However, COVID happened and then a lot of other stuff too, which made me less inclined to paint.

However, I'm back in the saddle and pleased to present the squad, finished!

The Sergeant's hammer and brassiere are from the Salamanders Primaris upgrade sprue, and the flame is painted with the new Talassar Blue Contrast paint over white, with a bit of drybrushing at the edges.

From a modeling standpoint, I've painted three Primaris units, and I noticed a significant difference from the design philosophy of the older Space Marines.

Firstborn Marines are, of course, multi-part which allows greater posing and customization. You can choose to add grenades, pouches, or holstered pistols at your discretion.

Primaris Marines are mono-pose. They're going to look a bit same-y in larger armies (which should be combated with extensive conversion IMHO). Also, they have pouches, pistols, etc, sculpted directly onto their belts. While this takes away your choice, I have to say these pouches look more real to me. The older glue-on pouches never perfectly matched the curve of the waist, and always left a bit of a gap at the front or back. These look like they're really on the belt, which is a bonus.

Next, more Indominus marines! I may even get off my ass and do an old-fashioned On My Plate post!


Bio-Plasma Beauties and Tyranid Paint Scheme

I converted up some Drone ships with Bio-plasma, and dropped more than $45 on contrast paints! Time to get going!

Below, see my first three test subjects.

To the left, my first attempt. This is a base spray of Wraithbone with straight Shyish Purple for armor, Gulliman Flesh for the body, and Mephiston Red for details. However, the colors were too dark for my taste. I tried a simple highlight of edges with a vallejo brand magenta but it didn't do anything for me.

To the right is my second attempt. After picking up some Contrast Medium from AFK Games in Holt (door service, I maintained social distancing) I mixed 50/50 Medium with the purple and flesh. This was too light. Mephiston Red was not dilluted.

Finally in the middle, is a mix of 2 parts purple or flesh to 1 part medium. Like Goldilocks, it is just right, but without the home invasion or devouring children.

Next, I strip the non-standard minis above, re-prime them, and finish the squadron, then on to the rest of the fleet!

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Tyranid BFG – More ships and Design Philosophy

In my last post, I showed off the members of my Tyranid fleet that I could make with just spare bits. However, I did not have the materials to make something as big as a Hive Ship and I quickly ran out of flying bases.

To badly paraphrase Tolkien, "the fleet grew with the building."

It's sort of out of control because I've been ordering lots of bitz from ebay to shore up where I was deficient.

Now, here are the latest additions:

First, some Krakens with torpedoes.

Next, Krakens with Feeder Tentacles

I added on to one of the previous cruisers to model its torpedoes and add some antennae.

Now, for the chonky bois: Hive Ships! My first has 8 Launch bays and 8 Torpedoes. It is a bit hard to see with the grey, but the underbelly is studded with Genestealer armor plates that represent orifices from which lifeforms can launch and/or be born.

Next, this Hive Ship has nothing but Pyro Acid to make sure that I don't immediately lose against Eldar.

There's more to come, but before I share them, I wanted to touch on the design philosophy I am adhering to during this project:

  1. All ships will be made with plastic bitz from the Games Workshop Tyranid line. No finecast (too bendy) and no pewter (too heavy). Epoxy putty sculpting is acceptable only to fix flaws in the conversion process (this is a kitbashing project, NOT a sculpting project).
  2. Ships with different armaments will look noticeably different to aid in play (i.e. no using generic looking craft and using "counts as" to explain their weapon loadout)
  3. Hive drones will use the Termagant or Hormagaunt bodies as a base, but all other ships will lack uniformity from class to class or type to type. This makes the fleet more visually diverse.
  4. Ships must be converted in ways that do not look easy or cheap. (i.e., no pinning a Fleshborer to a flying base and calling it an escort)
  5. Ships must look like they can navigate in the void. (i.e. they must have some sort of thruster looking area and ways to turn. They must look like they belong in the void.)
  6. No wings. Only Eldar can sail the solar winds. Nids are nowhere near that graceful.

Using these guidelines, I hope to have a final fleet of:

  • 2 Hive Ships
  • 4 Cruisers
  • 24 Hive Drones
  • 7 Vanguard
  • 16 Krakens

Note that as I acquire more bitz from low-cost auctions and/or get more flying bases that these numbers can be adjusted upwards.

Next: the last of the Tyranid fleet for now and the beginning of painting them, plus painting Primaris and updates on other projects!

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Tyranid BFG Fleet: A Beginning

Recently at the finale to the Highland Gaming Club I walked away with a paper ream box of Tyranid bits. Sadly, these did not include a lot for things worthy of making a ship. However, subsequent bitz orders to fill in the gaps and some creative kitbashing have yielded a very promising beginning:

First, a cruiser with two sets of Massive Claws! This is both threatening and dirt cheap. If it can survive to close (a risky proposition) it can make four attacks and if any two hit, it's lunch time!

Here's the same ship from the back.

Another cruiser, this one doubling down on Bio Plasma Spines. Short range, but terrifying to high armor foes.

This cruiser is all about the Pyro-acid, making it a nightmare for Eldar. It has some torpedoes to add a bit of ordnance to the fleet.

Here is the same cruiser from below.

The final cruiser also doubles down on Pyro Acid, but trades torpedoes for one set of Massive Claws, making it more of an all-rounder.

Here are some repurposed Gaunt bodies sporting pyro acid batteries to become Hive Drones. I tried to vary them a bit, as most other races have varied escorts.

My first creations, these kitbashed ships are a bit big for escorts, but make excellent Krakens with either Pyro Acid or Massive Claws.

One in ten Hive Drones can be upgraded to a Fire Ship. Insanely devastating, I could not help but make a few. Granted, I'll need to field 27 Drones to field all three of these bad boys, but even one can be an unpleasant surprise to anyone who strays too close...

Finally, (at least for now) some Vanguard with Feeder Tentacles to put the smack down on heavier or faster foes.

Next, Primaris and more Nid BFG goodness!


Lieutenant with Jump Pack and Combi-weapon

The hits just keep on coming! This Lieutenant has a magnetic combi-weapon. It seems like a silly idea but it's perfect to play around with those last few points in a list.

Next: Sergeants, Primaris, and Devastators, oh my!

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Farewell Swap Meet at Highland Library, and Sweet Acquisitions!

Today was the last day of the Highland Library 40K club, and they finished it off with a HUGE swap meet! I brought my disused Orks and traded for some wonderful treasures, but first, the festivities! Actually documented thanks to my new phone!

Age of Sigmar was played for the entire duration. It's pretty popular in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti groups!

My good buddy Paul offloaded a boatload of Space Marines and other stuff from Age of Sigmar.

In a heated game of 40K, Salamanders fought traitor beastmen guard! The star of the match: a Leviathan Dreadnought who took multiple quake cannon shots to the face and devastated multiple tanks!

Here, Dawn and Ian celebrate 10 years of the club at the library with a wonderfully decorated cake, complete with the Golden Rhino logo. It was chocolate.

...and here is the beginning of my haul! First, a set of craters bought from Dominique, a former student.

Next, a bunch of Primaris models! Sadly one got lost in the shuffle, but hopefully Dawn can find it and I can pay her to mail it to me.

Finally, the sweetest deal, an ENTIRE PAPER BOX of leftover Tyranid bitz for $20! This is the beginning of my Tyranid Battlefleet Gothic fleet!

It's sad to see the Highland Library Club gone, but I have a feeling that there will be more gaming coming soon.

Next, painted Aggressors!

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Proof of Concept: Primaris Aggressors

Thanks to Lexington's extremely generous xmas spirit, I am the proud owner of a new Primaris Aggressors kit. Naturally, I wanted to see how the kit went together. As the Azure Flames are a Salamanders successor, I of course went for the Flamestorm Gauntlets.

The kit is designed very well. My one big gripe is that the arms are mono-pose. However, this is inevitable because without one specific pose, the ammo feeds for the gauntlets would be impossible. The back and backpack are not glued on for ease of priming and painting and...

...oh a second one? Wait. That's the same pose... how...


That's right, even the grenade launchers can be modular! Sadly this is the weakest of the joins as the only magnet small enough to fit in the launcher is the smallest magnet made. This size magnet is also on the ammo feeds on the lower left and right of the backpack, but the direct contact with the magnet inside the feed provides extra strength.

All in all, the finished product will have 6 pieces. The main body (with head, back, and backpack all permanently glued), the grenades, and the four guns.

Sadly, I cannot make the other two right away as I am almost out of the smaller magnets. But I plan to put an order in today!

Next: More Aggressor fun! I also plan to get a new digital camera for more batreps!


I Scouted




So, I've been a bit busy.

More than a year ago, Lexington dumped his Space Marine army in favor of Chaos.  I inherited his bitz box which contained a wealth of plastic Scout bodies but no arms.

Several weeks ago, AFK games in Holt had a bitz trade.  I gave a unique model I don't know where I got (a con?) and ten bucks for some plastic sniper scouts in pieces and an incomplete regular scout sprue.

I put together a few of the snipers, but then I realized I could do more with Lexington's bits.  So, I made:

  • Four Scout Sergeants with Sniper Rifles and Chainsword/Combat Knives, and Camo Cloaks
  • Five Scouts with Sniper Rifles and Camo Cloaks
  • One Scout Heavy Bolter with Camo Cloak
  • Three Scouts with Bolters and Camo Cloaks
  • Four Scouts with Bolt Pistol/Combat Knife and Camo Cloaks

A total of 17 more Scouts to add to my 10th company, bringing the total to more than 60!  Plus, with Camo Cloaks on all, it will let me have more variety when choosing cheap troops to hold objectives.

To keep it from being too same-y, I did some conversions for the poses.  This required partial rebuilds of the arms with paperclip pins, and putty work to rebuild the sleeves.  I like the result.

That being said, although the plastic Scouts are much better than the two poses of the old 3rd ed pewter scouts, the poses are still extremely same-y and static.  I wish a few of the arms had been a pistol pointing at the enemy, or a bolter upslung to the sky so that the other arm could be free to dramatically point, or perhaps a combat knife held upside down in a dueling fashion.

Oh well, the new plastics are still nice.  Next: painting!  Is it too late to strip and re-paint the Flames using contrast paints?  YES.  But is it too late for the Orks? We'll see...


Ork Big Mek on bike with Kustom Force Field




I haven't been active on fourstrands lately because my camera is broken, but I just finished this and thought it was awesome, so I used my iphone camera.  It's a Big Mek with Kustom Force Field on a bike, based on the old Skorcha!  I got a KFF bit from a friend at AFK Games in Holt, a Skorcha from ebay, and kitbashed the rest.

I'll have batreps and painted stuff soon, but I might look into a new camera first.

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