Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Void Dragon Phoenix

Hi folks, I said that the next post would be Corsair shinies didn't I? Oh, and what a shiny it is:

The Void Dragon Phoenix is one of my favourite Forgeworld designs, it just 'works'. The lines are so elegant, the ratio of plane to engine feels right and the weaponry is neatly designed. I will say that there was one massive dissapointment on this kit and that was despite my every effort I was unable to correct a problem that occurred during assembly. Due to Forgeworld's total lack of instructions - a perennial infuriation of mine - a casting plug, exactly the size of the bottom of the cockpits, neatly cast, with no indication that it's removal was required, caused the pilot's heads to be 1.5mm too tall to fit under the canopies. There is no way to seperate resin once superglued. Believe me, I tried. Acetone can soften superglue but the join was too perfect to allow the acetone in. In total frustration I ended up having to remove the pilots heads and paint the canopies (mercifully, the cockpits aren't up to much).

I'm afraid Forgeworld's much vaunted customer service was completely absent here. I wrote to them explaining the problem and expressing my frustration that a £69 model could be spoiled by so small an error and that as a result the lack of instructions was damn near unforgivable. All I got in return was "oh, we hadn't run into that one". Seriously Forgeworld. Get someone to build your overpriced kits and photograph the steps. Write a note or two. If you can't bear to pay for a couple of sheets of A4 in a kit then put them online as totally free to you pdfs. You have to assemble them to sell them. Do this. Earn your price tag. Harrumph, enough of this, on to more edifying things:

The paint scheme for the Phoenix is the same as the other corsair vehicles, the usual airbrushed basecoat, edging and then very Eldar asymmetrically applied red panels which get their hex scales. The canopies fit in with the red because the highlight colour for the red is achieved by mixing Hashut Copper with Mephiston Red. The canopies are Hashut Copper, I took the view that these vehicles are used in space as well as in atmosphere so a NASA style film coating of metal over the glass would prevent radiation damage and reduce blinding stellar light. On their own, they looked a bit plain so I added a suggestion of horizon lining (reflected landscape in the windows) with brown ink and then thin glazes of blue and green on the respective areas. You hardly see the colouring but it helps the illusion. Two layers of wet effects give it a high gloss shine.

It's worth mentioning gemstones on Eldar vehicles. There are two theories on them. Some people like to paint every single gem-shaped object on a vehicle as a gen. I think this is overkill. The designers say that most of the blisters are just armoured domes containing equipment. Areas that get a gemstone on vehicles that I paint are those that feel like there should be some sort of psychic control or detection. so on this one, the weaponry gets one each, the engines and rudders have them and the large sensing arrays are stuffed with them. I figure the gemstones are attuned to the crew and allow them to see through them or detect what is going on around them. It also means that you don't have to paint what can be an enormous number of gems. On a Wraithknight - apparantly - it is almost FOUR HUNDRED. Choose life, choose sanity...

I deliberately kept the underside plainer than the top. It isn't seen as much and somehow having a dark surface to not show up too much against the night sky (I see corsairs doing a lot of night raids) felt right. The air-to-ground missile pods got red accents and a whacking great sensing gemstone to aim them with! The underslung starcannons I painted like the nightspinner weapons, the wraithbone toned weapons encased in grey painted armour.

The four squares around the flying stand hole are not on the model. Those lovely cross-shaped flying stands didn't exist when this model was made and they have not made a retrofitting piece to fix this. Sadly, the stand will not support the model on it's own. Instead I made a few thick plasticard shims to create a cross-format shape for the stand to squeeze into. As a result we have a tight fit that allows the aircraft to be firmly on the stand without gluing.

I decided that the base needed a little bit of "extra mile" work as those whacking great oval bases are normally filled with some girt great beasty. In this case it is totally empty. Knowing that the client's basing is all for urban environments I thought that digging out some spares from the cities of death buildings would provide an accent. Adding this to some cork rubble and secret weapon mini's bricks led to a nice, rubble strewn environment for the Phoenix to strafe.

So with that, I shall leave you, until next time folks



  1. Well done m8. Love the overall look. Can you share your technique for the hex pattern? I would be very interested to learn it. Cheers...

    1. Sure thing! A while ago I worked it up as part of the hornet's article:

      but it would be useful to have it linked here!

  2. Epically shiney. That whole army makes zooming noises when you just look at it.

  3. I love the color scheme, the black is just as it should, with a gradient and perfect lighting.

    A great job, clean