Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How I do Power Weapons

Hi Guys!

I often get asked how I do the 2 types of power weapons that people see in my armies, well today I will show you.

The first type of power weapon I do is using the normal GW model as a base. here's an example
using a squad of Honor Guard and Calgar that I did for a friend of mine.
Step 1) Paint the model's weapon (or area you would like to be shiny) chainmail or another bright metal.

Step 2) Go to your local hobby shop and see if they carry Tamiya paints. Tamiya paints are acrylic just like GW paints so they'll thin and clean up with water. For this tutorial I will be using Clear Green and Clear Red.

Sadly my clear green bottle broke so I had to transfer it into another bottle.

Step 3) Paint ONE side of the weapon in the color of your choice.
Be VERY careful to not try and paint both sides of the weapon at once, and try to tease any air bubbles you may see off onto your brush. This paint takes about 10 minutes to become tacky, so during that that time you can experiment with it. After you start noticing the paint becoming tacky STOP working on your piece and put it aside to dry for 1 hour. During the tacky stage, 10-60 minutes, touching the object or trying to brush on it will cause it to keep that shape and look horrible.
It may take 2-3 coats to get the correct sheen you want on your weapon. If the first completely dried coat does not look right put another one on top. Just like normal painting, its better to put multiple light coats than one heavy coat.

If you've done everything right this is how a finished blade should look.
Step 4) Repeat step 3 on the other side of the blade.

Now don't think that this can be exclusively used on blades. I use it for eye lenses, gems, plasma gun coils, displays, readouts, and anything else I think needs a glow to it. Here's another of those honor guard with his chest gem and helmet lenses painted in the Clear Gloss Red.

And here's some green gems on Calgar's swordIf you look closely the power coils on this techmarine's backpack, plasma pistol, and auspex have all been painted using this method. I also used it on the thunderfire cannon's sensors.

Now lets say you don't like the "lego" blunt butter knife look to your power weapons. The next method I use for power weapons will make your weapons sharper (but sadly more breakable). You can see this technique on my chapter champion.
This process is a little more involved so please bear with me.
Step 1) Paint your model as normal.
Step 2) Go out and find some cocktail skewers shaped like swords. Most restruant supply stores, cooking stores, liquor stores, and some mass market stores will have them. Be sure you like the colors on the swords, I usually go for a deep red (not light red) or a light green. You can often find them in packs of 50 or so for $2-3. You'll probably have to buy a bunch of different colors to get the ones you want but them's the breaks.

Step 3) Sharpen your sword.
This is a little harder than just painting the weapon and can take some practice to get right. It's a good thing you've got a ton of extra swords to practice on.

Step 4) Cut the cocktail sword off to the desired weapon length.
Step 5) Cut the model's sword off at the hilt.
Step 6) Attach the cut-off cocktail sword to the empty hilt.
Step 7) Coat the cocktail sword in Future non-wax floor finish or any other high gloss sealer for that extra "glow."

Here's a comparison of both the methods side by side.
As you can see the cocktail skewers are a lot sharper than the normal GW sword, but will of course be easier to break off as it is a separate piece. They will also be missing the normal details that come sculpted onto the weapon such as power feeds or other embellishments.

Now I don't think these techniques will win you any Golden Demons but I do think they look great on the table top, and can make people really stop and take an extra look at your models.

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