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Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

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faultie

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Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 10:15 pm

I recently started a project log on Lost Hemisphere, and figured I'd start one here too. The LH link reads much more like a blog article, but here I want to track a lot more of the background and WIP of the DZC and DFC forces I'm working on.

In this log, I'll be assembling and painting my unconventional Resistance (DZC) and PHR (DFC). I'm hoping to have enough backstory to tie these two forces together, so that they at least seem somewhat cohesive. The first step in this was coming up with a premise.

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DOSSIER 1964-67 – SEC.LEV. 6+
REPORT – ONI RECON OPERATION “AXIOM”

What follows are the details of a fateful trip, begun at a port on Earth, and the ship known as the Astro Queen.

Originally commanded by Captain Li Shang, a renowned skipper from the old Earth Navy, veteran of multiple battles with the Shaltari, the Astro Queen set sail with over 5,000 passengers for what was intended as a three week tour of the Outer Cradle.

When the Scourge invaded the Cradle Worlds, chaos broke out on the ship, and only by the steady command of the Captain and crew was it not lost in the tumult of the initial invasion.

Identified personnel:
Garrigan – Helmsman
Jonas Li – Lord Captain*
Thurston Backus IX – Paymaster**
Ginger Summers – [role unknown]
Elroy Hinkle – PHR Technical Liaison
M.A. Grant – [role unknown]

*”Lord Captain” appears to be a now-hereditary title passed down through the lineage of Capt. Li Shang. Equal parts warlord, diplomat, and judge, the Lord Captain’s command is absolute while aboard the Crimson Queen.

**”Paymaster” is a somewhat nebulous role, but predominantly appears to be a social liaison to outside groups, including the PHR and Resistance groups. The Backus family were well-known industrialists before the Scourge invasion, with ties to defense contractors, shipbuilders, commodities production, and financial markets.

Obvious WALL-E reference aside, I got to thinking that a converted Princess Liner was the best way to go. I made the above poster as the initial inspiration, a ship launched long ago and drifting int he void like the Axiom, its passengers and their progeny slowly changing from their lofty pre-war lives of wealth to cautious, ruthless spacefarers. The build process is already pretty well tracked in the LH article, so I'll just post a finished photo:

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I'm currently taking more photos of individual models, but I spent last night finally getting my DZC Resistance forces assembled. The idea behind these Resistance vehicles is that (for reasons only half fleshed-out right now), they are fresh, new vehicles that haven't suffered the ravages of time and 160 years of war. Each model was painstakingly (and I really do mean pain, given the sharpness of the XActo blades I needed) relieved of its metal plates, rivets, and other hodgepodgery, and filed/sanded/cut to look fresh off the assembly line. As such, I'm also limiting (as much as possible) the more feral/primitive vehicles in the force, confining them to "allied Resistance" or "auxiliary" forces. Heck, maybe I'll even snag the civilian vehicle pack and just mount weapons on those, so that even their Technicals and Battle Buses look snazzy.

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The next thing I did, as can be sen some below, is to magnetize every model's mounting points so that the Lifthawks can physically carry whatever they can carryin the rules. A step further, I also magnetized the tank's turrets so that they could traverse 360*. The Alexander's side-cannons are also magnetized so that they can swivel in their mounts. Even further, I magnetized every turret type (Hannibal Hull, Gun/Rocket Wagons, Lifthawks, etc.) so that the hulls could share their weapons around, giving me the ability to swap Hannibals for Zhukovs or Mehmeds, or quickly convert Storm Wagons into Gun Wagons. Not seen here is a (still-unassembled) Thunderstorm Custom, which gives me access to some addition turrets of the same style as the Wagons. And lastly, I also magnetized the various other assemblies on the aircraft, including the engines for the Lifthawks (so they can VTOL-hover), the blades for the Cyclones (for easier transport), and the missiles/fuel tanks on the Hellhog (to swap payloads).

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Hopefully in the next couple of posts, I can get some better shots of the magnetized joints, and individual models, and start in on the painting and backstory side. I'm still not entirely sure which direction I'll go for paint scheme, so if you have any ideas of what coloration could really tie the forces together, I'd definitely like some help on that. Shiny new tanks and planes in the pristine cream & metal of the PHR is a strong candidate, but I also really like blue. Hmmm...
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SwordOfJustice

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostSat Jan 14, 2017 12:41 pm

Very cool. I love armies with a theme.
We have evolved beyond mere flesh and bone. We are the Post Human Republic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBC9LIUpKeo
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostSat Jan 14, 2017 2:26 pm

I look forward to seeing this progress! Cool idea having clean Resistance.
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faultie

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 3:57 pm

Well, the most recent blog article went up on Lost Hemisphere, so I figured I'd drop in here and add a few comments in addition to that.

Conversion and Assembly
For the ground forces, I'm now done with everything except the Thunderstorm Custom for a few reasons.
1. It's huge, highly detailed, and imposing
2. I don't even have enough models to fill it up were I to field it
3. I don't really want to field it, I just want the model for reasons (see: 1.)

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But otherwise, the ground forces are done with the exception of a few models I'm waiting on (got an order for some Mehmeds and Scout Bikes in with the LGS). You can't tell as well from the photo above, but the removal of the rivets, plates, etc. actually went fairly smoothly (hah!). For the most part, I was able to use a sharp Xacto and just slice the offending plate right off, with minimal impact on the other details. In a few places, the seams and minor gribblies of the model would have been "under" the plate, so I either attempted a minor etching of the details, or removed them symmetrically on the other side of the model so that it would not show as well. I think at this scale, and with paint, I should be able to disguise any other unintended disfigurement.

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Magnets
For the magnetic hardpoints, I used a total of 122 1/16" diameter, 1/32" thick magnets from K&J (here), as the slots were almost exactly 1/16" (I presume it's a mm measurement, so it's not exact. I was initially concerned that they wouldn't be sufficient for holding up some of the larger tanks, but they have plenty of strength for just 1 to hold up a Hannibal chassis. Even the Alexander's chassis easily holds to its turret when the turret is connected to the underside of a Lifthawk, although the turret does have to face aft in order to physically fit underneath. The magnets also well hold the engines on the Lifthawkl (even if you are in a hurry and your drilling gets a bit dodgy, although I certainly wouldn't know anything about that, ahem, excuse me I have to go answer the phone).

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I want to give a shout-out to Hawk Wargames here for designing these parts so well. The dropship mountings actually fit perfectly with the mountings of the tanks and APCs, and the dropships can carry as many of the vehicles as they claim. Also, the universality of the weapons makes things really easy both from a conversion/assembly standpoint, and from a list building perspective, as I can mix and match turrets to make whichever vehicles I need. I only have a handful of Wagon chassis, for example, but between the starters, the Thunderstorm Custom, and a few blisters, I've got the turrets I need to configure them any number of ways.

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faultie

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 6:35 pm

Audience Participation Time!
So, I have 3 things I need input on, and 1 of them I can't really progress beyond assembly without..

Thing 1 - Paint Scheme
I'm still building and converting, and I'm about to start on my PHR for Dropfleet Commander. I've got a few weeks until I'm ready to paint, but I still don't know which route to go for paint scheme. Anybody got some clever ideas? I'm starting to think maybe blue, but a more cerulean than the muted navy that Resistance models are often in. When they commit their forces, it's not usually in a sneak-around fashion, but a quick-strike in and out, trying to make as big an impact as possible, so camo isn't really that necessary. Alternately, still thinking standard PHR style. Halp?

Thing 2 - List Building
Using what I have, is it possible to build out a viable list. I don't mean the most competitive list, but one that can answer questions that common lists ask. Other than the DZC forces above, the only other models I have coming up are a pair of Mehmeds, a Thunderstorm Custom, and some scout bikes. What else should I be looking at to fill rolls I might be lacking? I'm wanting to get a pair of Typhoons, or convert my Cyclones to Typhoons, because I prefer the chainguns to the missiles/rocket pods. Is that a good move or a bad? Should I run both Cyclones and Typhoons in the same list? And what are the minimum numbers of Technicals, Wagons, and Buses I can get away with? Given my penchant for the pre-war designs, are there any heroes I should look at buying (or building) that will alter army composition and help out a restricted list. Do I need Freeriders for grabbing objectives? Halp!

Thing 3 - Backstory
In addition to the Gilligan's Island themed dossier in the first post (it's littered with references), I further developed a backstory to explain why these new Resistance vehicles are cruising around in a militarized cruiser liner supporting PHR fleet and planetary actions. It's listed below, and I don't really want to know if it's "good" (I'm not a phenomenal fiction writer, I write legal and technical papers), but more is it plausible. Do you read it and just go "No way!" or do you think "Hey, I mean, Salakahn has a PHR-refit Alexander, and so maybe we'll do it for a ship? Any recommendations?

The plans of the Post-Human Republic are mysterious and unpredictable, and their methods equally as cunning. Their strikes are often swift, sudden, and overwhelming, fading away before retaliation can be mustered. However, in the Tlalocan theatre they have employed an altogether different approach, directly assaulting Scourge-held worlds and beginning a massive construction effort on two moons. On Asgard, they coordinated with Resistance groups on the ground to cut-off the system from UCM intervention. And on Eden Prime, their support for the warlord Salakahn inflicted one of the largest losses suffered by the UCM and Scourge forces. There are still other, lesser-known PHR-supported groups that make their homes among the stars. This is the case of the corsair ship known as the Astro Queen.

Launched in 2505, the Astro Queen was barely outfitted for her first voyage when the White Sphere appeared. Among the most luxurious vessels ever commissioned, those that could afford to book interstellar travel on such a liner were scarcely concerned about whatever fate awaited the common man. Wars had come before, and these captains of industry had long profited much and suffered little. However, the Scourge’s war was one of extermination, and the passengers and crew of the Astro Queen escaped that fate only through daring action on behalf of the captain and crew, fleeing to the far rim of Asgard.

With nowhere else to dock and no jump-nodes detected, they cruised at low-power for months before finally arriving at the New Mauna Kea Observatory (NMKO), a remote military station built within a large asteroid in the system’s Far-Kuiper Region. Destroying the beacon, they brought the station’s crew into their own and established a refuge, waiting for either the Scourge to destroy them or the Shaltari to raid them. But the attacks never came, and laying low they managed to pass the decades without contact with the outside world.

This paradigm changed when the Asgardian node activated. Suddenly the system was alive with activity, but in all the tumult it was not fellow humans or vile aliens that they first sought out —it was the waiting battlefleet of the PHR. After more than a century barely scraping by, the Lord Captain decided it was time to take a chance and risked sending a small shuttle to contact with the fleet. What transpired in this meeting is unknown, but resulted in the Astro Queen and NMKO pledging their support to the PHR. In exchange for the supplies and technologies of the Republic, they agreed to liaise with other disparate survivor groups, bringing them under the sway of the PHR. This work ultimately led to the collaboration that undermined the UCM’s invasion in the system and shutting down the jump nodes.

As part of this arrangement, the Astro Queen was rebuilt in her berth as a militarized vessel, formerly elegant lines and opulent accommodations marred by advanced armaments. With a payload roughly equivalent to a Perseus cruiser, the relaunched Astro Queen began its grisly work raiding unguarded Scourge supply convoys at the outset of the PHR’s campaign in the system. As the Scourge scrambled to deploy their forces to combat the PHR in the Asgard and Tlalocan theatres, while reacting to the UCM’s invasion of the other Cradle Worlds, the Astro Queen wreaked havoc wherever the Scourge could ill afford to spare heavy combat vessels. On a few occasions, the Astro Queen has even been seen in PHR naval formations, although seldom in the heavy center of a fleet. It is suspected that the Astro Queen also participated in the naval action that ultimately led to the near-total destruction of the UCM forces over Asgard.

In addition to the Astro Queen’s refitting, the PHR have supplied NMKO’s dormant production facilities with raw materials. The small but still-functional foundry has begun production of the first new military hardware seen in the system for 160 years. Combined with the pre-war arsenal left at the station, the NMKO has slowly begun to arm several disparate Resistance groups with pre-invasion technologies. Although the Republic saw fit to militarize the Astro Queen with modern armaments, they have so far refused to provide them with any PHR military units or the means to produce them.

As the Reconquest grinds on, the Astro Queen’s infamy has grown, even earning a place on the UCM’s Priority Kill List. Whatever the ultimate fate of the Cradle Worlds, the Astro Queen’s future ultimately involves fire, death, and mayhem.
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W0lfBane

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 10:28 pm

Hey mate.
I have similarly magnetized my PHR army but with bigger magnets and i just wanted to give you a little warning be careful when you paint over your magnets. Although unpainted the hold on the magnets was strong as i put a layer of paint it got weaker. They still hold on fine but I definately notice that it is easier to pull them of their dropships now.
I'm only mention this because you said you're worried about the strength of the magnets and you're using smaller magnets than me.

I love the project btw.
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fiddlerboy

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostTue May 23, 2017 6:44 am

I like the story tying everything together. Please continue as you develop your lists and the story.
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Mike Mee

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostTue May 23, 2017 1:54 pm

Deffo following this project!
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Bistromatic

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostTue May 23, 2017 5:16 pm

This looks really neat so far!

Have you read or watched Snowpiecer? The divided nature of the Resistance immediately had me think of first class/second class passengers. Or perhaps security forces/second class passengers :lol:
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Ljevid

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Re: Astro Queen and the Corsairs of Asgard - Project Log

PostTue May 23, 2017 6:49 pm

Very nice story :D

To your first question: These are the two blue PHR schemes I know

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