Saturday, October 29, 2011

Warhammer Movement Tray Tutorial ... Part 2

The following is my new way of constructing the trays, but keeping a similar look to what was done previously. Below you see that I laid out the tray dimensions using a marker and my steel carpenter's square. I'm building two at once here for my 6-wide Chaos Knights units.

Nowadays, I just use strips on the front and sides, leaving the back open for the expansion of the unit or addition of a character model.   I also build the trays slightly wider than the bases usually one or three tenths of an inch wider to help fit in that odd conversion, a bit of slop if you will. If you have messed around a bit with GW's modular trays, you'll note a bit of play in them also. Using the thick plasticard and strips you can also add magnets to them. On the pictured VC Bashin' Orcs tray in the previous post, the commissioner instructed me to use GF9 bases, so that tray has magnetic sheet in the tray to work with the GF9 bases, as does my Knights Hospitaller unit.

So now we have the below, the general layout of what the trays will look like.  The 0.2" lines are the general guidelines for the strips that will come later.  The 0.3" is the outside of the tray.  I normally make that a bit larger nowadays (out to about 0.4-0.5"), but with these I'm trying to somewhat match what I had done previously.

If you have not worked with plasticard before, all that needs be done with it to cut it to shape, is to score the cut line with your razor knife. Here I use the steel edge of my carpenter's square as the guide for my xacto blade.
Then take the plasticard and bend it all that scored line.  
The card will snap along that scored line.
Do this a couple times, now I have the two tray bottoms.
Next up, is the strips.  Similar procedure as the above.  Score the strip, bend and snap it along the scored cut line.
Here you see a bunch of the pieces.  One thing to do that make things go much quicker is to glue the sides on the tray.  Then lay the front strip on the tray, mark it to the right size and cut it, no need to even measure it out.   
Then glue the front strip into place, and you get what we have below.  Wow...very square, uninspiring, and just plain boring when placed next the end goal.  We have to fix that.
First thing is get rid of that square shape, there is enough square corners in Warhammer, we don't need to add more to that.  What I'm looking for is a softer shape.  So below I took my clippers and clipped the corners.
Next up I will round off the corners, which you can do that with a file or sander.  Here I have cheated and used my power tool, a dremel.
The above is still kind of boring, but you may have noted some of the pictures had the Aves Apoxie Sculp pictured, we'll soon fix all of that boredom.

But first...I'm still attempting to mimic what I have done in the past, so I have to do a bit more work.  Nice irregular, and semi-random edges.
So there you have it...the basic tray construction.  Next up...I will breakout the Apoxie Sculp.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Introduction to My Method of Making Movement Trays for Warhammer

Well here we have it, a long awaited and promised tutorial on how I make my movement trays. The materials that I use have not really changed that much over the years since I began playing Warhammer, but the way I build them has evolved over the years. This is just one way to make these. There are many other methods, and it is not the cheapest method. If you are looking for cheap, then you probably want to look elsewhere at say GW's modular tray kit or Rendra. This method is my favored method for building trays that can display a very high end detailed army.
 I like using making my own because it allows me to do a number of things in addition to personalizing my army. 

I like my movement trays to serve two purposes:

1.   Accentuate the basing scheme and/or theme of the army.  For example, my Chicago GT, Khorne Demon army was about blood and an over the top demonic like pits of hell thing.  The basing needed to emphasize that  for the bloodletters and other models.  So I even extended that further to the movement trays.  Painting internals of the tray to match the bloody pattern.

Another example, the VC Bashin' Orcs, the theme is beating up skeletons and zombies.  I try to add to the detail of the army by doing this.

2.   Have width to protect the miniatures (It seems there is always a game in a tourney, whether intentionally or unintentionally where your opponent slams his all metal unit into yours. When you spend lots of time on conversion and paint work, you do not want this to happen, especially to your crazy front rank conversions.)

In this particular tutorial, I'm building the movement trays for my Warriors of Chaos army. This is an army that I started several years ago. So now that I'm expanding this army, I am going to build the trays very similar to what I did in the past, ie. the one pictured below.

The main materials:

  • 1.5 mm or 2 mm plasti-card or sheet styrene (Evergreen and Plastruct are just two popular hobby suppliers of this material)

  • 3.2 x 4.8 mm plastic styrene strips.

  • your favorite glue for plastic

  • Aves Apoxiesculp

  • The tools:

  • Ruler/triangles, steel ruler / Straight-edge, carpenter's square

  • Marker

  • Cutting tools

  • Here you see a picture of one of my existing Warriors of Chaos movement trays. This was built for my Chaos Hounds or a 5-wide Cavalry unit.

    The next picture is the underside of the tray. Here you can see the randomness with the Apoxie sculp exposed in areas adjacent to the plastic. When I built this tray, I actually first built the tray and then drilled some wire into the plastic styrene strips on the edges of the tray. The wires are what hold the apoxie sculp in place, similar to the reinforcing steel in concrete. That's a very time consuming and somewhat tedious way to construct the tray.
    In the next post, I will begin walking through my new way of constructing the trays, but keeping a similar look as we build movement trays for my two Chaos Knights units.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Old Stuff Wednesday - October...The Warboss

    Hey...I'm finally back from my self-inflicted hiatus.  Soon I'll be back up to speed, settling in to the new place.

    Still Wednesday here in the midwest, so for Old Stuff we have an Ork Warboss that I painted several years ago.  This miniature painted the same year as the Crimson Fist vs Grot from last month.  I remember being quite pleased with the results, I thought the conversion worked well.
    This was my first real click with painting red.  When I finished the red with the helmet, I felt like I finally captured that color the way I wanted.
    The grot in the little crow's nest was something that I had always thought really fit for this grot.  The flesh came out well, the crow's nest I think turned out pretty decent.  Lot of little scrapped bits went in to that.
    I also think this the first miniature where I started understanding corrosion and use of really thinned paint washes.   Not a single ink was used in this miniature, its all acrylic.
    The base certainly could have been better, but that's how it goes sometimes.

    So up next the start of the long awaited and promised "How I Make My Movement Trays" for fantasy and WAB.  Need to work on a better title...