Wednesday, 12 October 2011

My-Mycetic Spores...


In all the armies I build I have to have units that come on by Deep Strike and Outflank, I just do, it's how I play. So when building my Nid army this left me with a bit of a problem. Tervigons are easy enough to build as shown in Grazer's article here but Mycetic Spores need to be big, alien looking and easy enough to make a few of them.

Now there are a few companies out there that make some in resin, and a quick search on Google will show you, but having looked at them, I'll be honest, I really didn't like the look of them. Couple this with the cost of them and I knew I had to find a cheaper alternative that I liked. In any project I draw up a plan, and would encourage everyone to do the same, it doesnt have to be set in stone, but it will help you keep on track. What I needed for my pods was the following:

  • Size: Big, big enough to house 20 Gaunts, a Fex or a Brood of Warriors
  • Cheap: I was going to want between 5 and 10 of these so I could do an all pod army if I wanted
  • Cool: They had to look good and attract attention from people passing by

During my search I stumbled across these:

Now I'm sure most Nid players will have seen or heard of these by now and they tick all three of the requirements I outlined above. However, those that know me know that a) I cant just use something out of the box and b) I always have to go one better than the next person (hence my £100+ custom Blood Bowl team).

So I picked one up and went to work. Initially I thought about green stuff for the inside but a) I suck at GS and b) it would take a lot of time and probably not look that good. Wandering around a local DIY Store for ideas I came across this and the solution quickly formed in my head:

(Note, this is the can after I've used it...when working on a project I'm not tidy in the slightest)

Expanding foam is sold at all DIY shops, is relatively cheap and easy to work with. Not only that but it would make all the pods look unique. All very good points.

Building

So, start by taking the Plasma Hatcher toy out of the box and clean off the mold lines with a sharp hobby knife and file. It's quite a difficult plastic to work with but well worth it in the long run. There are a couple of lips/tabs on the two harves as well that need to be trimmed off so look out for those. Following this a quick wash in some warm soapy water will get off any excess dust or release agents.

Here is a shot of my test pod where I failed to remove the tabs/lines and when painted you can see them:


Once this is done I pin each pod half to a large oval base, or use a quick squirt of the expanding foam to secure it. Super glue doesn't work on the plastic the toy is made from and so that's why I recomend pinning or foam.

Then simply spray some foam around the inside of the pod half and wait for 5-10 min for the foam to expand and become sticky/tacky and workable. Less is more in this case, you'd be surprised the first time you make these how much the foam will expand, and you can always go back and add more. I generally find if you make them in batched of 4-6, by the time you've come to squirt the foam in the last pod, the 1st will be ready to shape. I recomend using latex gloves when you start working with the foam, and you'll get through several pairs of them so have a good stock.


By pinching, pulling and molding the foam you can create a truely grim and alien inside to the pod. That's pretty much it, quick, easy and cheap. When shaping them just have fun with it, try new things and don't be afraid to add more foam where needed. It's likely you wont have got a full coverage with the first application.




You can fit both halves of the Pod onto one base, but it's a bit of a squeeze so it's up to you. If you want to add a bit more detail you can add gaunts, rippers etc into the foam or parts from your bitz box on the outside such as bio weapons, claws etc.

Painting

Before you paint your pod you need to coat the entire thing in PVA glue, otherwise the paint will flake off and ruin all your hard work. After that paint it however you want that fits in with your army. The easiest way I've found to do it is to undercoat them white, and then use the GW washes on the inside (Devlan Mud and Baal Red work wonders).

 Here is a shot for scale:
...and thats it. The most fun you can have with expanding foam and latex without having to pay £1000 an hour for...ahem...

Top Tips

  • Take the time to clean the Pod
  • Secure the Pod with pinning
  • Less is more, you can go back and add extra
  • PVA glue before applying paint
  • Latex Gloves

Now, since making my first few and other people seeing them I've had several orders from other gamers. If any of our readers would like some please contact us and I'll get in touch with a price.

4 comments:

  1. Looking really yucky and gooie the Darren - so good job!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those look awesome. Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow.... I used the same eggs...but dude, that is the best spore I have seen yet

    I might have to do something similar.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great idea! One comment, however: make sure you use a maximum expanding foam. The minimum stuff doesn't work as well.

    ReplyDelete

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