Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Magnetizing and Painting Raveners

Raveners have been one of my favorite units look and fluff wise since they were first released in third edition. When I came back to the hobby, one of the first things I noticed was the new ravener models, which made the old ones I'd liked look pretty terrible. And yet, I'd never picked up any. A few months ago, I picked up 8 (2 boxes, 2 metal) off eBay, but then they sat in my bits box as rumors of a new Tyranid codex swirled.

With all the torso weapons, it's hard to definitively assemble them without the worry that the build would be terrible in a month. That said, they're also hard to distinguish, and one benefit of tyranids is that generally most people aren't sure what things are supposed to look like anyway.

I am on travel for business, which is often a great time to get some hobbying done. With the bad weather on the East coast, I'm getting to spend a lot of extra time in the hotel room.

My workspace while on business
So with the free time, I decided to get started on my Raveners. After surveying the options, I liked the look of the Spinefists torsos, and they were subtle enough to be ran as vanilla, while could arguably work as devourers too I think.

Too. Many. Bits
The one question I did have was whether to have the second set of Scything Talons or to go with Rending Claws. Both have their positives and I haven't had a chance to playtest which I like more, not to mention it could change in a month. So with that I decided to magnetize the middle arms. It took a couple trials, but I eventually came up with a pretty painless way to do it I think.

I started with the two torso haves unglued. I then simply carved out the lower arm slot with a hobby knife.

I had to scrape a bit beyond the thinnest portion, but eventually I got it to the point where the carved portion would cradle the magnet.

Once this was done for the back piece, the same was done for the front, though much less needs to be carved out here. Once that was done, I test fit the magnet and then glued the pieces together.

Next up were the arms themselves. I would be using a smaller magnet for these, so started just by drilling a pilot hole with my hand push drill (a nice, cheap little pickup).

Once I had the pilot hole, I widened it with a hobby knife until it was big enough for the magnet.

For size comparison. The larger magnet was used in the torso, the smaller in the arm. 

And just like that I had five Raveners. For the two metal models, I opted to glue arms (one rending, one scyTal). I also glued one of the plastic raveners with Scything Talons since 1.) that's probably the more common configuration and 2.) I messed up trying to magnetize this one and just needed to glue it after my failed attempt.

As I prepared to paint the Raveners, one cool thing I picked up from JJ at H2lat40k, was to use the magnets to hold the arms on one place for airbrushing. Being on the road, the best thing I had to hand was a file, which worked perfectly.

I opted to base the minis with sand before priming to try to seal the sand a little.

Primed with my airbrush and Vallejo's Surface Primer German Panzer Grey.

After touching up the prime coat with some black from the airbrush. I did a light teal airbrush (very thin coats on highlighted areas) which gave very subtle first highlights to the skin. From there I painted the carapaces Khorne Red. Highlighted the carapaces with Mephiston Red using a feathering technique.

Following the carapaces, I did a second highlight of my teal on the flesh, followed by a 1:2 White:Teal mix on the upper highlights. Next was the fleshy bits with Putrid Green, with a highlight of 50:50 Putrid Green and White.

Some touch ups, drybrushing the bases grey, painting the teeth bone, and then affixing static grass, and they were done.

These guys were kind of quick and dirty, and I finished them in probably about 8 hours all told. I was a little sloppy, but was able to go back and clean most of it up without too much added time. In the end, I am happy with them, and very glad to have another unit ready to go. I have a game scheduled for tomorrow and I'm shooting to have my Hive Guard ready, but that could be a stretch.

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