By Agatheron.

Prologue
In August of 2002, I entered a large-scale diorama called "Blue Thunda" into the Battle Scene category at the second Canadian Gamesday in Mississauga, Ontario. It was a scene of an Ork Bommer making low-altitude flyby of a rival observation platform and gun emplacement. Much of my hobby time of the previous two months had been devoted to creating what would be my most ambitious modeling project to date. That having been said, I had no huge aspirations of bringing home a trophy. My only hope was to make the first cut… a more realistic goal for those of us who are mere mortals in the hobby of miniature painting. I had been painting for all of two and a half years at that point, after having picked up the paintbrushes for the first time since my late teens/early 20s. Hoping for anything more was really a pipe dream, and I had not intended anything more than a good solid showing.

Upon surveying the other entries in the Battle Scene category, there were approximately 20, give or take. At the Canadian Golden Demon, Battle Scene also encompassed entries that would be classified as "Duel" at larger Gamesday events. Of these, there were some very nicely done pieces that encompassed both elements of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. At first glance, I thought it would be a distinct possibility that I would make the first cut with my entry, and was pretty happy about that.

As they day progressed, friends of mine were keeping me posted on how I was doing. Someone mentioned that I had actually made the first cut. Excellent, I had reached my goal. However, others were saying that given the entries that I'd be taking something home. I wasn't so sure. There was a Skaven piece that was amazingly well painted that was certain to take first place, and several others that I was sure had me beat. I had played a few games here and there, and had disappeared into the Forgeworld Seminar to learn, much to my relief, that there were no planned major Ork releases for Forgeworld in the 2002-2003 business year that I was seriously interested in. Earlier that day, I had just forked over a large sum of money for a Battlewagon, Zzap Gun and a Deathroller. To top it off, I had a Gunwagon sitting at home unbuilt from the previous year's Gamesday. Only the Ork Bommer that was part of the Blue Thunda display was a Forgeworld piece that I had built and painted. Tony Cotrell and company had quite enough of my money…

I emerged from the seminar, I had missed a game that I was scheduled to play, but I figured the Forgeworld stuff would be much more interesting. So went down to watch how the Bitz Box wars were doing, as Soylent Bob was taking the lead there and then began making my way back towards the Golden Demon display. My friend Tom met me, reached out his hand, and said "congratulations" and nothing more. He had a big grin on his face. As I made my way back to the display, I saw that mine had "First Place" in front of it, with that awesomely painted Skaven piece in Second. I must admit, I was stunned. I had come to simply make first cut… and I came home with a Golden Demon: the ugliest trophy I've ever been privileged to own.

Since then, many people have asked me how I actually created the piece, and what techniques I used to put it together. Hopefully what is detailed here is something that other Ork Players might find useful in developing their own techniques and armies.

A History
Blue Thunda was never intended to be a Golden Demon entry when I began. Even the name of the piece didn't emerge until much closer to its completion. When I first got into playing Warhammer 40,000, I developed an Ork army that was fun to play, but decidedly mediocre in its painting quality. I painted stuff up quickly in order to play with it. I hadn't met Sarah (my wife) at that point, so much of my social life was around the hobby. My Orks had a decidedly blue look. I liked the paint scheme, and since blue was often associated with the Deathskullz clan, I guess I inadvertently became a deathskullz player. As a result, I also tried my hand at converting. While they weren't the greatest things in the world, they were admittedly a lot of fun. I bought a Land Raider Crusader, and converted it into a multi-decked battlewagon. I looted a Leman Russ Demolisher as my main battle tank, and I had even gone so far to loot a Space Marine bike for one of my Warbikers. I discovered I liked converting a lot.

That having been said, my Orks were the first army I had ever built. I then made a foray into Fantasy by buying, building, and painting a Dwarf army. Yet the Orks continued to call me back. I then made some killer kans out of some sentinels that I had won at the local GW for a Tyranid painting contest. That summer, I had helped out the local Games Workshop store by letting some of their employees use my garage to build an 8'x4' beach-landing table. As a thank-you, they offered me in on a store-based internal Forgeworld order. I had always been fascinated with the Ork Bommer model, and decided to order that. I didn't have to pay for it until it arrived, and it would take a little while for it to come in.

I then began to develop an Imperial Fists Space Marines army, which began to occupy a lot of my time. Weeks grew into months, and more and more the boys in yellow occupied my modeling time. During this time I also met Sarah, my wife-to-be, so much of my hobby time diminished. Some eight months later, in April of 2001, I got word that the Ork Bommer had arrived. Great… now what do I do with it?

Concept
The Forgeworld model was a great piece, and would be a lot of fun to paint. My skills, when painting my Imperial Fists, had improved considerably since I had originally done my Orks, and I did want to take the time to do this up properly. There was one slight problem, however, is that the Forgeworld Bommer did not come with any type of display stand, or even a gaming base. Initially, all I wanted was a gaming base; something sturdy that could hold the resin plane in the air even while gaming. I had visions of curved stands, all of which were probably more complex than they needed to be. I then thought about doing some sort of diorama for it. Someone had mentioned that the Golden Demon was coming up in August, and given that it was now May, it might be something to work towards as a goal to get everything painted. An added "benefit" so to speak was that I would be having my Gallbladder removed in late June of 2002. According to my doctor, I would need two to three weeks off work in recovery time, but since it was considered day surgery I wouldn't be spending even a night in the hospital. I would need something to occupy my time, and this modeling project certainly fit the bill.

Ever since I had read them for the first time, the "Deff Skwadron" comic series in the Inferno Magazines has been a favourite of mine. Starting in issue #10, and continuing intermittently, the stories are hilarious, but also show that Orks can be technologically sophisticated, even if a bit crude in their construction. They're also entirely Ork vs. Ork stories. One of these tales was "Sink da Grimlug" in Issue #17, where commander Uzgob and his band must sink a new sea-based battleship of a rival Ork Warlord. I had developed visions of the Ork Bommer of mine launching from an aircraft carrier. The first working title that came to mind was "Top Gunz" but after shuddering at the thought of "Tom Krooze" I decided to drop that. The aircraft carrier idea was cool, having the plane careening over the edge of the deck, with the launch trolley being caught in some sort of large net. I toyed around with the idea of the Bommer being refueled on deck, but that wasn't really a battle scene.

After talking with a number of people, I settled on the basic idea of an Ork Bommer buzzing an Orky observation tower at a low altitude. I switched from an aircraft carrier to a desert setting, perhaps visualizing the scene hinted at the end of "Sink the Grimlug." Figuring out how to mount it would come later.

Design
Since the display was now going to be an entry into the 2003 Golden Demon competition, I took a closer look at the entry guidelines. Frankly they were pretty broad, could be from any aspect of either the Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 universe, and a minimum of two models arranged in a combat pose. While Orks fighting Orks was something not often seen, for me it was entirely fitting and would work quite well. Oh yes, to top it all off, and it had to fit within a 12"x12"x12" cube. The latter part was going to prove difficult: the wingspan of the Bommer is 11" on its own.

I sat down with some graph paper and began sketching some possibilities, because of the wingspan of the bommer the only way that I could fit it within the cube is to have it flying through the scene at an angle, and quite low to the ground. I was also continuously trying to visualize a story for this piece, so that one could at least get an idea of the narrative leading up to this snapshot of the action. The other difficulty was finding a convincing way of mounting the aircraft doing such a low pass. I had originally envisioned the tower as being a "four-poster" type, with a structure not unlike the Forgeworld Imperial Outpost. It would be made out of plasticard with a brass rod frame. The mounting of the plane would be some sort of hook apparatus that would extend out from the tower and be hidden by cotton or some such thing.

The trouble was, this idea was too complicated. When buying the brass mounting rod at a local model railroad shop, I had mentioned the trouble of finding a way to mount the aircraft in the way I wanted. I didn't want it to look like it was attached to anything. The proprietor there suggested having the brass rod hidden in a nearby tree, with the plane looking like it was skimming the tops of the forest. Given that I my head was already locked in a desert scene this hadn't occurred to me. Suddenly the setting had gone from a desert, to a temperate climate. The narrative continued to grow.

I imagined an observation tower high on a mountain ridge, overlooking a critical pass that needed to be guarded. The bommer would be making a strafing run across the ridge. Originally, the cliff face was going to be towards the back of the display, and a wartrakk would be parked in the foreground. In conversations with some others, including Soylent Bob, the visual narrative needed a bit of a push. Many wouldn't see the cliff face, and wouldn't "get" the mountain setting. Not only that, the wartrakk is a "fast" model, and to have one parked in the scene wouldn't really make much sense. That's when the idea of a gun emplacement came into play. The cliff was brought to the front of the scene, and it would be much easier to make this look like a surprise attack on an Orky forward observation point with a large gun platform. With that narrative now clear, the building became much easier.

The tower went from having a complex superstructure to a single large pole up the middle, reminiscent of the steel pillars that support ski-lifts in the Canadian rocky mountains. This would also give me much more room to fit the aircraft onto the display. I developed some ideas for creating the look of motion into the project, namely in having the trees bent in an appropriate way, perhaps having an Ork flying off the tower from the shockwave of the plane. Ideas continued to simmer. During this time, I had also acquired a wooden plaque from a local craft superstore that was 9"x12". My dimensions were set, now it was actually time to build this monstrosity.

Materials List
Forgeworld Ork Bommer
Forgeworld Ork Twin-Linked Big Shoota
40K Ork Boyz
40K Obstacles and Barrels Sprue
WHFB Fantasy Orc Command Sprue
WHFB Goblins
1 40K Grot in an aimin' pose.
40K Ork Lobba + Krew
Zzap Gun Telescope Grot
Seat from a Dethkopta
Dethkopta Pilot
Classic Rhino Shell
2 Stormboyz Nob Rokkit Jetpack
Grot Gunz sprue

Evergreen Plasticard of varying thicknesses
Evergreen Plastic Rod of varying thicknesses
Evergreen Large Plastic Tubing in telescoping sizes (wide)
Thin brass rod for model pinning
1/4" Brass Rod; 3/8" Brass Tubing
scale-model chain

Floral Wire
Modeling Paste

Sand + Rocks from the Driveway
Surplus molded rocks from an earlier project
Woodland Scenics Flock: Earth, Light Grass, Dark Grass
Woodland Scenics "Dark Green" & "Medium Green" Foliage (also used for leaves)
Woodland Scenics "Fine Leaf Foliage" –Medium Green

Celluclay
Foamcore
9"x12" wooden plaque; spray stain & spray varnish.
Greenstuff

Construction
Much of the construction took place concurrently, working here and there on material as it developed. This is only in a rough approximate order, but even then, it is not accurate in the overall evolution of its construction. It should be noted that all of the "actors" in the scene, the Orks and Grots were all built and painted separate from their location in the battle scene.

The Base Part 1:
On most projects, the base is usually left until last. In my case, I needed to have a place to mount the bommer first in order to build everything else up. From the plans I had drawn up, I drilled a 3/8" hole through the wooden plaque and put a 2" length of the brass tube into the hole. This would create a sleeve for the 1/4" brass rod that would be used as the mount. I then sanded the plaque down, stained it, and sealed it.

The Bommer:
The Ork Bommer kit was quite an enjoyable piece to build. Typical of the Forgeworld Resin kits, it needed some minor trimming of vents and sanding here and there. I was also fortunate enough to acquire a bottle of "Resin Prep" which is designed to clean the mold release from resin models. This is absolutely essential in working with any kind of resin. Earlier that year I had built a Landraider Prometheus kit, and had not adequately cleaned off the mold release. The paint still chips (grrr). I washed the individual pieces, along with the Twin-linked Big Shoota that would be on top of the tower. Once washed and prepped, the bommer came together quite easily. The GW superglue works quite well, but I also have some Zip-Kicker (superglue accelerant) around to help things along. As I built the bommer, I would use a pin vice to drill through parts already glued together. I then inserted a brass rod deep into the hole, gluing it into place. Virtually everything was pinned into place for added security and stability. I left the bombs, cockpit, pilot and seat, and gunner turret off the model. I would prime and paint these later, securing them on once the whole piece was done.

To mount the bommer, I had selected a point on the underside of the plane that was near the center of gravity. As with the wood base, I drilled a 3/8" hole partway into the model. I used my wife-to-be's battery-powered variable-speed drill to slowly drill a large hold about a 1/2" deep into the resin. Hers is only a 4.5V drill, anything more powerful would have easily split the model in half. I then inserted the 3/8" brass tube into the location, creating a mounting sleeve. Truth be known, I actually did this twice: once for the mounting sleeve for the display, and one for a mounting sleeve for when I got around to building a gaming base. I simply covered up the other hole with a glyph plate.

I did a test mount, and was quite happy how everything turned out. I took a piece of 1/4" brass rod, used bolt cutters to cut a 6 1/2" long piece, and slid it into the mounting sleeve on the base, and placed the bommer on top. It fit perfectly, and remained within the 12"x12"x12" dimensions as required by the rules. So far so good, now back to the base.

The Base Part 2:
I used foamcore to create contoured layers on the surface of the plaque. I cut a hole through the foamcore to make sure the mounting sleeve poked up through it. I also glued down some pieces of surplus plaster rocks that were left over in my garage from when the guys from the local GW store had built the beach-landing table. This created the artificial cliff edge. The foamcore was simply to give some slight hills on the piece, Soylent Bob suggested I use celluclay on top of that to give it a more deliberate earthy texture. Once the celluclay was in place, I used modeling paste mixed with sand to put down the next layer of the base. Towards the back of the display, I took a wad of greenstuff, flattened it out, and ran a few tires across it to make it look like there had been some vehicle activity.

Once all this had been done, I began working on the tower foundation, and the base of the gun emplacement. The tower foundation was a flat piece of 1"x1" plasticard glued down to a flat piece of thicker plasticard that I had already white-glued to the surface of the foamcore. I used a 2" long section of tubing that was slightly smaller in diameter than the tower support tube. This would allow me to slide the tower onto the base to check height without gluing it down. On the 1"x1" piece of plasticard, I glued four large nuts sliced from a GW tank trap sprue. The gun emplacement base was made from one of the wheels from the Lobba, with three plasticard legs splayed out beneath it. These were flush with the surface of the base, and hardly noticeable, but present nonetheless. The gun assembly would go down on top of this platform once the whole thing was painted and flocked.

The trees were made by using floral wire wrapped tightly together, and then inserted and glued into the base. Around the aircraft-mounting rod itself, I constructed a larger tree by the same method: wrapping floral wire in twisted patterns around the rod to create an "invisible" stand. Once the wire was in place, bent it into a slightly windblown pattern, and used modeling paste to cover the wire. The nice thing about modeling paste is that you can continue to bend the wire and the paste remains flexible. Handy for finishing touches.

The Tower:
The tower was constructed in three main parts. The large superstructure that would be a 3"x3" octagonal platform, a second tier on which the twin-linked big shoota would be mounted, and the very top of the platform, including the gun mount. I built the top part of the tower in such a way that the upper platform could simply be inserted and glued into place once built and painted. The main octagonal platform was built out of plasticard and square plastic rod. I used greenstuff to seal up the edges, and give it a rough-welded look. Around the edges of the platform, I used a number of Fantasy Goblin shields, and glyphs from WHFB Orc shield sprue. I also had a few metal glyph plates on hand. The spikes on the tower are the spears from the WHFB Goblin sprue. I poured a bit of polystyrene cement onto the surface of the larger platform and used a toothbrush to smear it around and rough up the floor of the tower. The top tier would use a platform that included some treadplate, so it was less of an issue. I mounted the twin-linked big shoota by building up several plastic dwarf shields to have the mounting plate workable, plus to make it convincing that this had a 360? field of fire… It was more of what I had on hand than a deliberate choice. Otherwise I would have constructed something out of plasticard. I then cut thin pieces of rod and scattered them in various directions to look like spent shells cascading down from the big shoota. I would end up painting the big shoota separately and fit it all together once the pieces had been painted.

The Big Gun Emplacement.
The big gun emplacement was built around the metal Ork Lobba model. The intention was to show this as a large emplacement overlooking the valley. Since the foundation of the gun emplacement was already in the base, all I had to do was make the gun itself look convincing. Instead of using the existing barrel on the Lobba, I used the same widths of plastic tubing that I used as the tower foundation. I then used plastic rod to create the effect of rivets and thin plasticard to have a metal patch repair on the gun itself. The shelter around the gun was a surplus shell from an old Rhino kit. I found that the Lobba could slide into this quite easily once I cut the prongs from the wheels off of the Lobba base. I pinned and glued the cockpit from the Dethkopta onto the side of the unit, and then shaved down some Stormboy Nob Rokkits to stand in for the shells. I also made sure to appropriately dent and scratch the emplacement, but not too much, given that this is a static emplacement rather than a vehicle that comes under frequent fire. Some Glyphs and shields, along with a Nob Bosspole Icon, and the emplacement was set.

Da Boyz and Da Grotz.
I treated the figures in the scene as actors, each with a specific role:

On Blue Thunda:
Da Ork Bommer Pilot: Required no conversion at all. As this boy was resin, I had already cleaned him with the same parts above. On looking at him though, his face was almost entirely gums and teeth. I would have to learn how to paint gums very well…

Da Poor Grot: Early on in the process I had a sick idea of having a grot strapped to one of the bombs on the underside of the plane. I had acquired a box of Fantasy Goblins much earlier in my collection to try for some ideas for making Gretchin for 40K. Not much came of it, but the bits proved useful in making this diorama. I may still use them for riggers later on. That having been said, I sought out and found some thin thin thin model railroad chain that I could use to actually chain this poor grot to one of the medium-sized bombs. I had to carve out the back of the grot to make him look like he had been tightly attached. Secondly, I used the screaming goblin face, but puttied up his eyebrows to make him a bit more worried looking rather than somewhat fierce. I used the goblin wolf rider legs provided in the box rather than the regular legs.

On the Tower (from the top down):
Big Shoota Boy: I wanted this guy to have a pretty raw look. I used the one-eyed screaming head with a tooth missing from the Fantasy Orc command sprue, along with the bare torso, and one of the leg sets that came with it. The arms are the resin cast arms that come with the Forgeworld Big Shoota. I made sure that he fit with where the Big Shoota would sit, but kept it all apart until everything was painted.

Grot with Nerves of Steel: Standing on the other side of Big-Shoota Boy on the top of the tower, this grot had a minor conversion of removing his hairpiece and using putty to smooth down the top. I wanted this particular model to be an "Easter egg" of sorts. Also trying to draw a bead on the plane, but not readily visible, unless you looked closer at the display itself.

Radio Boy: A fairly simply conversion, radio boy was intended to look like he's shouting on a radio about the surprise attack, not noticing that his radio has been, well… obliterated by incoming fire. I had his slugga strapped to his side. His right arm is a standard shoota arm, with a Space Marine Auspex unit cut off at the top to serve as the top part of the handset. The wire is simply thin modeling wire wrapped around a piece of rod to give the spiral effect. His left arm was the challenge. Cut from the Savage Orc Shaman, it was pinned in place and puttied up to make it look like he is gesturing over the non-visual (and now destroyed) com-link about the incoming aircraft.

Shoota Boy: Only his torso came from the Fantasy Orc command sprue, everything else is a standard Orky shoota boy.

Legs-dangling-in-the-air Git: I wanted to at least show some motion of the aircraft making such a close pass to the tower. Realistically, this Ork's pose would not be like this until after the aircraft had passed by, however, it's sometimes worth sacrificing realism for visual effect. I used the banner-carrier arms from the WHFB Orc Command Sprue to give the illusion of the arms hanging onto the ladder. I also built the ladder around the arms of the Ork, and would secure it onto the tower, rather than building the ladder and trying to fit the Ork onto it later. Using a piece of brass rod, I pinned the magazine of the Ork's Shoota to a point on his rear end. Combined with a small length of modeling chain, I wanted to give the look that the gun was also pulling away from him. The legs were the Boar-riding legs from the Command sprue as well, cut and repositioned to give the legs some motion, the underside of the legs was filled in with green putty.

On the Ground:
The Running Grots: There are three grots running away from the roar of the aircraft. The two in the front are gretchin from the Ork Lobba blister pack. The conversions on these two was simply bending the metal into different positions to give the illusion of them running and covering their heads, and pulling their legs into a running pose. The third Grot towards the back is a FB Goblin, with wolfrider legs cut and repositioned into a running stance. I had a grot weapon kicking around, so this one ended up with a pistol.

The Gunner and SpyGrot: The Gunner is simply the Dethkopta Pilot with a right hand swap. The SpyGrot is from the Zzap Gun blister pack, with no conversions whatsoever.

Painting
I had developed Blue Thunda as a way to improve my painting techniques, as well as applying some tricks I had learned for my Imperial Fists back onto Orks. It was also trying different techniques that friends had suggested or synthesizing some different ideas together. They are all straightforward techniques, with no deep and dark secret behind them.

Priming: Basecoat of Chaos Black Spray. I used masking tape to cover up the wood portions of the base, and sprayed everything black. All of the Ork and grot figures were painted separately, including the pilot of the bommer. The bombs were kept separate from the plane, as was the components of the gun emplacement, and the observation tower.

A note on Future Floor Polish: I use this wonderful substance in a number of key places throughout this piece. It functions as a paint extender in many ways, being liquid clear acrylic. It interacts with pigments in such a way that it draws it into the cracks, and can pull out detail quite nicely. While I do use it extensively, I caution against its overuse, as it can make shadows very glossy. I've since learned that matte varnishes can be used to counter this, but since I didn't use any varnish on Blue Thunda, I've had to be careful. I learned about using Future from an article by Jennifer Haley, winner of the Slayer Axe at the 2002 Chicago Gamesday. Here's the link, check it out - JEN HALEY. Scale modelers have been using this stuff for years to achieve different effects on their works. For my purposes, I use a few drops of future into an existing wash mixture to achieve some very striking detail-enhancing effects.

Ork and Gretchin Skin, faces, and teeth.
While sounding more complicated than it really is, my technique is a basecoat, shading wash, and then highlights. I use snot green as my base, and then shade using a watered-down mix of black ink, dark angels green, a small drop of snot green for consistency, and future floor polish. This gets into the dark areas and brings out the detail very nicely. I then go back with snot green, blending up using bleached bone... depending on my feeling, I may then do a very light wash with severly watered down green ink and a touch of snot green.

The idea is to keep the base colour in the mix at all times, that way there are generally no stark contrasts between layers that often happens in multi-coloured blending layers... If I always keep a bit of snot green in the mix, then there will be consistency. Also... between the shading layer and the highlight layer (step 2 and 3) I paint the eyes... Makes life easier.

For Gretchin Skin, I use exactly this technique, except substituting Goblin Green for Snot Green.

The pilot model on the Bommer is a dream to paint, but he presented me with a new dilemma for painting. The Pilot looks like he's in a high-G turn, the pilot's teeth and gums are very exposed as the lips are being peeled back. I had to find a good way to do gums, with so much of them showing. I decided to try using Scab red blended up with Tentacle Pink. I was very please with the results. The teeth started out with bestial brown mixed with black, straight bestial brown, and then blending up with bleached bone. A bit of Skull White was mixed in for the final highlight. I applied this across the board for the rest of the models, and I now use the skin, gums and teeth technique on all my Ork models.

Some Additional Highlights on painting the Orks:
1. I painted a flame motif on the helmet of the bommer. I painted the patter first in white, and then with red, blending up to yellow.
2. The check patterns are pretty standard, except that a fine line of Shadow Grey is added to give a small highlight to each black check.
3. The Orks on the tower and gun emplacement were to be obviously Goff in appearance. Lots of reds and blacks, brown leather, and checks.


Blue Thunda:
After priming, I stuffed cotton batting into the open cockpit areas, took a spray can of Ultramarines Blue, and sprayed the entire plane down. I then did a shading wash using regal blue watered down, with a bit of black and blue ink, and Future Floor Polish. This was a way to make sure the cracks were themselves darker. I then went through and painted the panels randomly between Ultramarines Blue and Regal Blue to give an uneven feel to the building of the craft... So it looks like some panels were newer than others. Any place that was to be metal, I painted chaos black. Tin Bitz provided the first layer, with a thinned down mixture of boltgun metal over any areas that were to be steel. Since it wouldn't cover as well, the metal looks slightly rusty this way. It is further enhanced later by a "Gunk Wash" that was added after the cabling was painted up. Gunk Wash can be any number of things, designed to make something look oily or dirty. I use a modified version Soylent Bob's technique, using black and chestnut inks mixed together, watered down and enhanced with Future floor polish. Cabling was done with Liche Purple and Golden Yellow.

The large lightning designs were painted in geometric shapes for the outline, and filled in with Ghostly Grey, and then blended up to white. The leading edges of the wings were painted in the same way, with the red dag patterns painted in Red Gore, and then blended up with Blood Red. A final edge highlight of fiery orange was mixed in, and painted in a thin line inside the dag pattern. I then took a very thin black micron pen and a ruler and carefully outlined the dag pattern to give it a bit more distinctiveness. Any place that I blobbed too much ink would be integrated into the metal dinging and denting.

The skull pattern around the head was also painted using Ghostly Grey, although I added in a shadow grey "gunk wash" to bring out the detail around the bolts before coming back with Ghostly Grey and blending up with Skull White. I extended the teeth into the intakes for the engine to give it a more three dimensional appearance.

The metal "dings" are really straightforward. I used the same technique as described in the Space Marine codex on tanks. I painted small to medium-sized blobs of Chaos black in strategic places to simulate wear and tear on the aircraft. Bullet holes, chips, old panels, and places where the paint would have been worn off by pilots and crew walking across the body of the aircraft. I then painted Boltgun Metal over these areas, leaving a thin edge of black showing. I then drybrushed a bit of black around the ventilation shafts and gun barrels, giving the appearance of soot. A further gunk wash was painted from various parts across the bodies and wing, but in such a way that it was moving back across the aircraft. The leaks and stains giving the impression that this aircraft is in flight a great deal. Looking at pictures of WW2 Bombers and such reveals these patterns quite nicely...

Once the bombs were painted, they were carefully glued and pinned to the underside of the bomm rails.

The Gun Emplacement and the Tower.
I had originally thought to do both the gun emplacement and the tower in metallics... but realized that in a temperate climate, most metals would rust substantially. As a result, I kept the tower and the emplacement black, with distinctive goff markings: Checks with red highlights here and there.

I began looking at the bases of signs and anything that had rust on it, and thought of ways to simulate it. What I came up with was to use a stipping technique. I took an old drybrush, clipped down the bristles so that they were 2-3mm long. Then using first Dark Flesh paint, I wiped some of the paint off on a towel and then dabbed the brush all over the black primed model. I then went back with Blazing Orange and did the same thing. The net result gave an orangy-rusted look that would actually provide a good contrasting dark orange colour to the blue of the aircraft.

The Base:
The base itself was largely drybrushed, scorched brown, bestial brown, and then vomit brown. The tree trunks were drybrushed up starting with Scorched brown and then mixing in Codex Grey. Once painted, I used a light mixture of water and PVA glue to paint the areas where I wanted the flock to stick. I used Woodland Scenics, starting with "Earth" flock, sprinkled over the display from a height of about 3-4 feet. This allowed the flock to distribute evenly... Makes one heck of a mess, but the end result is worth it. I kept adding additional flock of both light and dark green to provide the grass.


I then added ungrowth by gluing larger clumping flock to the ground around the base of the trees and in various strategic places. The trees were enhanced by using clumping flock on the branches, as well as a "Fine Leaf Foliage" which gave a nice final touch to the trees. All the trees were bent in the direction of the motion in the piece to lend the appearance of the shockwave from the aircraft.

Everything was glued into place into their final positions with just small amounts of superglue. Only the Bommer itself can be fully removed from the display itself. Thanks to my wife's advice on the final placement of the running gretchin crew.

Lastly, after this much work, I decided it needed a nameplace. For $10 CDN, I had "Blue Thunda" done up as a title plate... The whole piece was completely finished approximately 5 days before the 2002 Canadian Gamesday.

RETURN TO GALLERY.