Monday, 2 January 2017

Conclave of Har Hobby Archive: Magnetising the Betrayal at Calth Contemptor.

As soon as I heard about betrayal at Calth and saw the contents I knew that I would be magnetizing as much as I could. It seemed very odd to me to include multiple build options in a board game. There are multiple load outs for the models and as each of the weapon options will have a different effect in the game it seems bizarre to have not allowed for swapable weapons options, maybe using a peg system or something like that. Still they have not, and it seems obvious that these kits will be released as full blown kits later on. Had I picked these up as normal model kits it is likely that I would have just picked a load out for the terminators and gone with it but given my relatively unfamiliarity with the 30k rules i'm not sure what will be best loadout so I committed myself to magnetizing both.

And I thought ‘why not do a guide?’ after all its been all too long since the last modeling article on here and I fully intended to do some work on the Contemptor anyway in an effort to try to correct the static pose that it has been lumbered with.

Its been a long time coming but we finally have a plastic contemptor, it’s a shame then, that it is so boring. The pose is that of standing up ramrod straight and the body is perfectly aligned with the legs and looking straight ahead. At least the arms are on ball joints so posing those would be straight forward enough.

Part 1: Separating body from legs.

A simple cut at the waist is all that is required here. Take care when cutting to avoid the groin plate as this overhangs the waist a touch. I actually found it easier to cut through the two parts of the body separately but I was using a hobby knife. If you have access to a saw then it would probably be an idea to cut after assembly as this will ensure the cuts line up (not too much of a problem in any case but why make something harder that it needs to be?)

Part 2., separating legs from hips.

Again, I made the cut BEFORE assembly so I didn’t have to put too much pressure on the knife. It was a little harder to get them to line up here but given the work I would be doing it is very likely that greenstuff will be utilized anyway so id be able to hide any imperfections. You may decide to only remove one leg but in order to get any real movement in it you will probably need to do both.

Cutting at the Knees to repose the legs is a no go BTW. The way the model is designed just doesn’t really make it possible to do so. Certainly if you did manage it you would have to pretty much rebuild the entire knee joint and that is just more hassle than I was prepared to put in.

After removing the two legs and experimenting with the pose I decided I was going to have to lose the foot as well. The left foot is already bent slightly as if the dread is stepping forward but the right one is totally flat so if you move the leg the foot will be off the floor. Hence the repose. So off it came, the toe and the heel, trying to keep the cut as flush to the leg as I could. Id still have to put in some GS work but there really wasn’t any way round it.

Part 3: Posing

So the parts were separated and laid out and poses were experimented with and eventually I decided to have the Contemptor striding with its foot up on a rock. You really are quite limited as far as poses go and this is one kit out of BAC that I do not think is up to scratch for a retail release.

After doing all this with one dread ill be honest, I really didn’t want the same hassle with the other. Therefore I elected to just perform the simple waist cut and have it pivoting on the spot. After putting it all together though It really looked awkward. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had at least spread the legs a little so it looked like it was bracing itself for firing. At least then it would look more like the current dreads.

But no, its doing this almost dainty pose where it is gently stepping forward. And that just looks even worse if you swivel at the hip. However, I really didn’t want to go to all the bother of recutting the kit again and I only wanted to adjust the pose slightly. Therefore I chose to do something a bit risky. I bent the legs. Bending the right leg forward and the left leg back I managed to put a bit more of a stride into the model. BE CAREFUL. There is only a limited amount of twisting that the plastic will put up with before the two halves separate. Take it slow and do a bit at a time. In the end you will get the below which isn’t a massive change but is an improvement over the standard stance.

Part 4: Magnetizing the arms

So with that out of the way it was onto the arms. I knew that I wanted to have multiple options to field and this would involve switching the weapons from the right side to the left. Thankfully this was easy as the shoulders for the Contemptor are symmetrical which means that you can simply cut through the upper arm joint and swivel the shoulder round. The Weapons are symmetrical too so you get a perfect switch to the other arm. GREAT SUCCESS! No need to magnetize at this point either as you are simply reusing the same shoulder. The only place you can fall down here is that one of the weapon options shoulders (melta) has no trim. Keep an eye out for that and you will be golden.

So with this rather easy conversion out of the way you can then move onto magnetizing the arms. This was VERY easy. Using 5 mm magnets (anything too much smaller and you will find the arms droop) and a 5 mm drill bit I simply drilled into the body of the Contemptor from the side. The size of the hole was perfect and I simply eased the magnet in there and gently pushed it flush with the plastic using something blunt and plastic (a pen end) before sealing it with some super glue. Do this on both sides (making sure you are paying attention to polarity) and you are done!.

Now comes the relatively tricky bit, the arm joints are rounded so you need to be careful the drill bit doesn’t slip (ill be honest I was using a cordless power drill for speed) so make sure you make a little bevel at the point where you want the centre of the hole, bearing mind that where the magnet is is where your pivot for the arm will be so move it up the joint if you want the arm sticking out a a bit

Now as far as Polarity goes my favoured method these days, especially with large kits like this is to attach a row of magnets to one end and then just attach the connecting piece to the other end before sliding it off. Nice and easy and more or less fool proof. Also keeps all your magnets in one place.

After all this(and a bit of etched brass) I ended up with the below, a marked improvement over the original, bafflingly static pose. Not too much work and a respectable result out of it!

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