Monday, 28 January 2013

Skies of Blood : Stormraven Build Pt I

Some modelling progress at last, my two Stormraven kits have made it onto the Forge workbench; construction motivated by a recent big game played up at Warhammer World with my fellow gaming buds from our League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (a report and some pics may follow if I can bear reliving the pain of such a total arse whooping).

These Stormravens have been sat around in storage for a very long time now, mainly due to time constraints but also because I was deliberating whether to proceed with the standard GW construction or opt for a bit of cosmetic conversion work. After my initial stalwart defence of the ugly spuds less than flattering looks, see here, a few events had begun to chip away at my loyal resolve.

Firstly Chapter House Studios brought out their Tru-Scale Stormraven extension kit and then Forge World released the cracking looking Storm Eagle. Both kits addressing the main flaw of the original model i.e. there wouldn't really be enough room to swing a Gyrinx inside the stumpy little tub!

Well as you can see from these pictures, my resolve did indeed crumble and I bought two kits from Chapter House (as I already had the 'Ravens, getting the Storm Eagle wasn't cost effective, but don't rule out a purchase in the future, I've already pencilled in a slot on my Painting Chart).

I'd always been underwhelmed by the look of the products on the Chapter House site, but these kits got good reviews elsewhere and I was happy to find that I had not been wrongly informed. They required very little in the way of clean up/reshaping and they go together fairly easily with the GW parts. The online instructions aren't as clear as they could perhaps be; but taking a little extra time to play around with a dry fit will see you right.

Never liked the clunky looking servitor slaved turret gun
so on goes a hatch instead and the guns get mounted on the hull.

The extended hull section really beefs up and rights the wrongs of the original kit but has a side effect of making the tail section look a bit clunky and redundant in my opinion. So following a hefty dose of inspiration from a excellent conversion by #2501 featured on his Blog Musings of a Metal Mind, I played around with the configuration, settling on this much sleeker and meaner looking beast.

Forge World Rhino doors fit well and really add to the model, just remember to ensure
the Hurricane Bolters have stopped firing before exiting the vehicle!

I'm very happy with how it's going so far, this first 'Raven, the 'Heart of Darkness', is pretty much ready for painting up in Death Company livery. The second, 'Thunder Child' is well on the way to build completion with only one minor hiccup along the way; in my rush to get it assembled enough to use for the game I glued the top engine cowling's onto the wrong engines, only realising my mistake when it came to fitting the wings and therefore too late to rectify without the risk of incurring significant damage.

Now it's got a top hatch, why not a boarding grapple? Also useful for
rescuing reckless youths who come a cropper whilst doing a bit of DIY on cloud city aerial arrays.  

I've managed to tweak it enough that it fits together fairly well, with only very minor disruption to the level of the wings, most people won't even notice, but you know how it is when you're aware of a flaw, it glares at you accusingly; I'm hoping a good paint job will appease the Thunder Child's offended Machine Spirit as it sure as hell showed it's displeasure during our game!


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