Sunday, 1 July 2012

A Volley Gun with legs?

My preparations for Convic continue. This is probably a good thing, given it's now the week of the tournament. I have not yet undercoated the 2 remaining Wolfygryphs, but they are now ready for painting - I think I've managed to give them cloaks that look OK and don't interfere with their magnetised left arms. But they're not what this update is about.

The list I'm taking to Convic contains 2 Helblaster Volley Guns. However, despite the ridiculous number of Empire models I possess, I didn't actually have 2 Volley Guns. Poor planning, right? Well, I did have one and a half. The one is an old, original model from 4th edition which is all painted up and ready to go. The half... well, it was just the gun component from the current plastic set. The chassis, wheels and various accessories were used up by my Helstorm Rocket Battery, which is the other option for what you can build with the set. I'm sure plenty of Empire players are familiar with this approach by GW - they give you the bits to make 2 distinct war machines in the box, but they only give you one set of wheels, one chassis and one set of crewmen. It's these components that stop you getting a 2 for 1 deal when you buy the set.

I had planned to scrounge a set of wheels from somewhere, and scratch build the missing chassis part, with help from the leftover parts from Cannon and Mortar kit. However, when I sat down to look at it on painting night, I was completely uninspired. Whatever I came up with was going to look a bit dodgy, and wasn't going to match my other Volley Gun at all. I jokingly declared I should just give the gun to an Ogre and let him wander about with it, Arnie-style. Of course, the people I had around me are almost as crazy as I am, so they decided this was in fact a good idea, rather than a silly one. They were meant to talk me out of it. Hard to get good help these days.

So I raided my Empire Ogre bits jar for the components I needed, and set about assembling the thing with little regard for planning. Here is what I came up with:
An Ogre with a Helblaster. Obviously a ridiculous idea. Like Ogres carrying Cannons... Oh, right. They do that already.
I gave the gun a handle at the front. I figure the bottom row is the firing one, so the handle won't interfere.

The hole at the back is for a crank handle which was used on the Rocket Battery. But I have plans to make use of it.
He looks a bit plain from the back. I might have to give him a weapon or something. Then again, I don't want to give people the impression that my Volley Gun can actually fight in combat...
Building this guy was really easy given the resources I had on hand. The legs, arms and torso were already available. I cut the left leg to twist the foot out, and I had to use a right arm with a plastic left hand (and modify it a bit) because I haven't made a straight left arm yet. The head is one I already had a master for, but I had to remake my mould of it because the last one was poorly done and put a mould line straight through the poor guy's face.

In terms of the gun, I had to remove the fancy griffon firing pins because they dragged on the ground. I might add something later, but for the moment I'm happy to leave the workings of the thing a bit of a mystery. I pinned his right hand to the main body of the gun and decided that would be enough for that end. At the front I added a handle made from wire - attached to the central (non-spinning) section and up and over to his left hand. It was a bit of a pill to then build up something solid around it with green stuff (I'm making it wood with metal corners), but it will serve.

There are a few things I would still like to do to this guy before he's done - I have the makings of a belt feed of cannon balls to run into the back of the Volley Gun (where the crank is meant to go), and I think he needs a cigar. However, I am running out of time. I only have 5 days to undercoat and paint this guy, a Knight musician and 2 Wolfygryphs. If that meant I actually had 5 days, I'd be fine. In truth it probably means 12 hours or less. As such, I think I need to undercoat the stuff ASAP and get painting. I will add the details to this guy later, but I can do that after he's painted.

I had assumed that an Ogre lugging a Volley Gun around wouldn't be a new idea, but a rough search of the internet brought up nothing similar. The closest thing I've seen is over on the Warhammer Empire forums, where Darknight built Scarface, a Minotaur toting a cut-down version (a minigun, I guess). It wasn't until the guys at painting night started making Scarface jokes that I remembered this guy. The idea is similar, but the larger Minotaur holding the cut-down gun makes the whole thing sort of make sense. Mine version is preposterous - carrying this thing around (let alone firing it) would be back-breaking. Maybe he needs a shoulder strap...

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