This week has been one of those truly great weeks where everything just seemed to fall into place. Having sterilised the teeth marks left by UPS and Customs after they extracted their pound of flesh, my other packages arrived in short order unmolested. These included some excellent Tech Deck and Wasteland bases from Dragonforge Designs as well as a few items for future projects, a number of Bruce Hirst’s superb ‘Castlemolds’ and some materials I couldn’t source locally.
Starting off new projects is always exciting and although I didn’t get as much painting done due to two of my evenings being spent drawing up component casting requirements, I did manage to press on further with the Necrons.
The remaining two blocks that made up the thirty or so warriors were finished and I have now started on three Destroyers and the rest of the Scarabs. The Destroyers are about half complete and similar to the warriors I have gone for a darker more tarnished finish to the living metal, but still with the gleaming white skull mask. I also made use of the Necron transfers this time both on the chassis and pauldrons. These were applied early on in the painting, straight after the basecoat in fact as it allowed me to slowly weather them into the model during subsequent stages. These should be finished by the end of the weekend as they just require the final highlight layers now and the finishing weathering, which I can do in between casting runs.
On the subject of casting, I spent most of yesterday evening and today testing out the new molds and mix ratio/timings. Normally I work with resin which is easy as it is always 1:1 ratio, but this particular project requires literally hundreds of components and resin would dehydrate and degrade the molds far too quickly for the volumes I require. For that reason I have been using a fine casting plaster; Herculite 2 in this instance as it can be de-molded in around 25 minutes and is highly resilient. The first few casts came out pretty much exactly as I wanted them and the molds performed spectacularly well, far in excess of my expectations and admiration really must go to Bruce Hirst for his phenominally great molds.
The next stage is to produce ten key master components with the magnets mentioned earlier cast inside them. These will then be used to produce a custom silicon mold specifically to act as a harness for holding the rest of the magents in place making casting the other three-hundred odd blocks a more manageable affair. Effectively the wear and tear will then be on this expendable temporary mold instead of the original and more importantly it will allow me to cast ten at a time instead of just one.
These are pretty much the key components for the whole project, not to mention the most expensive, so it is critical I get this stage right first time. If you have figured out what it is I am making, kudos to you (the clues are all on this blog, honest!). If not, don’t worry, all will be revealed soon once I get the first couple of test sections fully assembled.
Until then, have a great weekend!