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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? It has been a bonkers weekend for me, and this is a pretty eclectic post as a result. First up, I had the privilege of attending Salute this weekend – as a trader! I was helping out my pal Mark (Heresyofus) on his Mag Bellum stand, along with Ed (aka E.J. Henries of Malific Design). It was a real eye-opener being on the other side of the table, and was brutal on the voice, (I completely lost mine), but wow, what an experience! We didn’t sell much, but we got a whole lot of positive feedback on the Mag Bellum system, and on the prototypes for the next phase of the product. We also learned a hell of a lot about running a stand in the process, and we will certainly be better prepared next time! It was also great to spend some time with Mark and Ed – great company & we had a proper good laugh, (Ed faking an orgasm was a thing of absolute beauty). Here they are, looking tense (Ed?) prior to the punters coming in:

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The rest of the show mostly passed me by to be honest, but I did get to say hi to a few pals from the OldHammer scene, (Geoff, Paul, James, the Wargames Foundry team), and I got to say a quick hello to Annie from Bad Squiddo too. Dave ‘The Imperfect Modeller’ kindly stopped by to say hi – lovely bloke, great to meet him & put a face to a name! He had some of his minis with him too, so I had the bonus pleasure of seeing some of his work in RL – (the photos on his blog really don’t do him or his minis justice at all!)

I also had the chance to have a brief natter with John Blanche, (gasp!). I’ve met John before, but only very briefly, and I was a bit too star-struck to say much on that occasion! It was great to have more interaction with him this time, and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him at BOYL later this year. I also met & had a really good chat with GW designer Maxime Corbeil – wow, what a lovely guy! His enthusiasm for his work is just brilliant to see, and he’s such a cool dude to chat with.

On a personal level, the highlight was probably bumping in to Kev Adams. We had a good talk about sculpting, and I got to show him some pics of my attempts at Ork power armour –  I was quite nervous, but he was so kind and positive! He gave me loads of encouragement & some top tips on how to do a better job of edging and detail, so it was brilliant to meet him again & so decent of him to take the time to give feedback and advice. He really is a top bloke.

It was also my Birthday over the weekend, so my only purchase at Salute was a slightly indulgent paint brush set from Artis Opus – I used some B’day money I received from my folks, so thanks M&D!!:

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I had a quick spin with them last night, and they are bloody lovely to use… Not revolutionary, but they are certainly nicer in the hand & more accurate than the brushes I am used to. I also saw a demo of their new KickStarter Drybrush set, and I had to completely revise my view on what you can do with a drybrush… I saw a piece in hand that was so subtle that it almost looked like airbrushing. Seriously guys, go check Artis Opus ‘D’ series on KS – it’ll blow your socks off! Needless to say, I’ve now backed that project for an early Christmas pressie to myself ;-)

Speaking of painting, I did manage to finish one of the characters for the final scenario of Wolf Time in amongst all the chaos! Doc ‘Bits’ Spleenripper is the first out of the blocks – he’s basically a proto-painboy. From the Book of the Astronomican:

“Doc is fond of ‘experimental surgery’, as many of his patients have discovered. It was whilst cleaning his chainsword that he lost his right arm, and whilst many surgeons would have taken this badly, ‘Bits’ merely saw it as an opportunity for further experimentation. His arm is a marvel of Ork bio-engineering ‘know what’. It doesn’t work all that well but… by grumblat! …it’s impressive.

Doc’s arm is bionic and includes all the gadgets listed below. To represent the fact that this piece of technology is rather haphazard, roll 1D6 immediately before any phase of hand-to-hand combat:

1 – the arm goes wild, attacking any randomly selected model within 1” (including Doc Spleenripper himself)

2 – the arm simply fails to work for that combat phase

3-6 – the arm works normally

Doc Spleenripper is armed and equipped as follows:

Flak armour, Mesh armour, Bolt pistol

Plus

Bionic arm: Chainsword; Power-glove; 4 Jokaero digital lasers.”

So quite a specific and tricky modelling challenge! I started with an ‘Ere we Go era Painboy, (the one with the surgeons mirror to match the artwork from the book), and I looked around for a suitable bionic arm to graft on, but I really couldn’t find one that worked for me so I ended up having a go at sculpting one over a wire frame. I wanted it to look like it would work as a hand/power-glove, yet have a chainsword that could be extended out as required. I also tried to suggest some digi-lasers on the knuckles as well – not the easiest of things to represent! While I had the putty out, I just did the left arm as best I could, and sculpted on one of my ‘standard’ bolt pistols:

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Paint-wise, I kept to a blue theme for his scrubs – for reasons that will become apparent in the near-future. I also deliberately added less rust & gunk compared to the Ork Guards, but I did slap some ‘Blood for the Blood God’ around to really push the crazy surgeon vibe. Finally, I added a suitably ‘Painboy-esque’ glyph to the back plate – back plates & glyphs aren’t strictly a Rogue Trader thing & came a bit later, but I thought it a nice nod to the Doc being the first example of what has since become a standard part of Orky law.

I’m really happy with how the Doc came out – there are probably a few things I’d do differently if I were to do him again, but he certainly fits the brief admirably I think. I’ll be continuing to finish the remaining characters this week – they are all basecoated & shaded, so it’s a quick evening on each to highlight, add detail etc. You can expect a series of smaller posts as the week progresses, and hopefully the Orks will be finished by the weekend!

Onwards and upwards :-)

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