Monday, November 30, 2009

Adeptus Mechanicus Guardsman tutorial

I have been building an Adeptus Mechanicus army for several years now. It first started for use with a home grown Adeptus Mechanicus codex put together by Tim Huckleberry of GW fame. The codex was ( and still is) a work in progress. Some units ended up needing to have weapons changed as the codex evolved so I came up with a system that would let me easily change around weapon options. Some of the local players aren't too keen on home grown army lists so I set up my AdMech to play as an Imperial Guard army too. This was back during the third edition of Warhammer 40k and you needed three squads to field a basic guard army. The first two squads were for an infantry platoon with two squads and the third squad was for an armored fist squad. It was a basic army but before I finished the first three squads the 4th edition guard codex came out and brought us army doctrines. I latched onto chem inhalers and cybernetic enhancements. These two really embodied the Admech force was building. A bunch of drug charged cybernetic servitors walking into the enemies guns.
It prompted me to finish the conversions for a full army and then play the worst game of 40k I had played until then and since. I fielded my fully painted and 95% converted army against a unpainted optimized tournament army. By games end, my army was wiped out to the last model. While in return, I had managed to stun my opponents dreadnought and that was it. I didn't kill a single model and was wiped out. Back to the drawing board and the conversion table. I sacrificed a chunk of my Catachan army to reengineer them into the Admech force adding more special and heavy weapons. I added more tanks and still lost more than I won but was able to at least give my opponents a run for their money.
Then came the newest Imperial Guard codex and the latest growth of my Admech army. I love the new Guard codex. It has finally given guard players the tools to make other players fear playing a guard army instead of of thinking "easy win" when they see Guard across the table.
Enough history, here is a tutorial on how I build my Adeptus Mechanicus Guardsmen.

First I start by assembling a basic Catachan legs and torso. I then round up a plastic gift card and break out my standard paper hole punch. I then punch out as many discs as I need for the current project. Then I glue one disc to each left arm on the torso. This will be the base of the weapon arm.
A group shot of the current set of reinforcements.
Then drill holes in the neck area of the torso and and the center of the disc. Glue a piece of wire in the disc's hole leaving about 4mm or so exposed.
To prep the head I carve down the neck to a point to make the join easier in the torso. I prefer to use space marine or chaos space marine bald heads with rebreathers but have used different heads as long as they have some bionic bits on them.
Use a hobby knife to slowly carve out the neck in the torso using the pilot hole previously drilled there. I basically put the point of the knife in the drill hole and turn the knife so it leaves a cone shaped hole.
I dry fit the head and the cavity in the torso so that the head will set more natural. Sometimes I have to either carve the hole larger or whittle the neck down to get it to set right. Then put a bit of plastic cement in the hole and set the head in. If you did it right it should set right but usually I have to go back and add a bit of green stuff to fill some of the gaps.
Next add the weapon rail. Take a piece of 2.5mm styrene rod and cut it into 5mm sections. Drill a hole in one end and then glue it onto the wire glued into the shoulder disc. The 5mm length is fine for lasguns but I have had to vary the length to fit various weapons.

This is the cut down Catachan lasgun. Remove the stock and pistol grip and smooth down the cuts.
Before adding the weapon I trim the back off of a space marine bike wheel hub cap and then glue it to the end of the styrene rod.
Then I glue on the cut down lasgun to the rod, completing the weapon mount. I use superglue for this join. This gives me the option of changing the model's weapon. Over the years and through three codex rewrites I have had to reequip several models and the superglue allows an easier break than plastic cement.

Here is a view of the half way completed guardsman.

The claw arm is made from the Catachan arm carrying a lasgun by the handle. I cut the hand off a little above the knuckles and then square the stump off.

Then glue the cut down arm on and leave it set up.

While waiting for the arms to cure, I start cutting out the basic claw components from styrene strips. I need two strips of 0.8mm x 1.5mm 5mm in length and two strips of 1mm x 2mm 3mm in length. This takes a while but I usually knock the strips in batches so I can assemble a few and let the glue cure while I work on the next batch.

I sort the strips and pair up a set of two 1mm x 2mm and two 0.8mm x 1.5mm strips. One thing to be said about tools, I use two sets of tweezers. The pair pictured is a set of spring tweezers I use to hold one of the 1mm x 2mm strips. Then trim the corners off of the two 0.8mm x 1.5mm strips. I put a drop of plastic cement on the base strip and then use a second set of tweezers to place the trimmed strips on to the glue. I place the trimmed corner against each other and then use the tweezers to press the two strips flat. The trimmed corners give the angle for the claw. I then ad another drop of cement on top of the trimmed strips and add the remaining 1mm x 2mm strip on top. I then press the top strip down and slide the claw out of the tweezers. I set the claw aside and adjust the pieces to get them level before the glue sets.
A completed basic claw.

After the claw has set I glue it to the stump of the Catachan arm. Sometimes the arm has to be trimmed down and/or be filed to get it level. Once the join has cured I go back and trim down the corners of the claw to make it look more like a pincer.

An almost complete trooper.

The sixteen new reinforcements, almost ready to roll off the assembly line and bolster the Adeptus Mechanicus legions.

The final touch is a band of green stuff to finish off the claw. Once this is painted up it will look like the mount grafted on to the arm's stump.

Here is a completed Guardsman ready to be painted.


Chuckaroobob said...

You, laddie, have gone completely around the bend! I remember that hellish game you played. I still wake up screaming.

In my own progress report, I've got to paint another 120 figs in the month of Dec to be even for the year. Could be tough! C'ya, Charles

ColKillgore said...

120 Figures! That is less than 4 models a day. You need to immediately go and buy some more models to make it a challenge.

Chuckaroobob said...

I just ordered 4 more vehicles from Old Glory. Let's see how the Huns like SU-100's!