LED Powa – Ork Lifta Droppa

Hey guys, Beast here with another modeling project out of my mancave.  MBG asked me to put my small brain and limited skills to use and see what I could do with Powered Play’s Programmable Effects Micro-controller.

After much deliberation, I decided to pimp out my custom Ork Lifta Wagon.

This conversion actually makes use of Powered Play’s Alpha Kit as well because I would need more than the 3 LED available plugs on the Programmable Micro-controller.  The two are easily connected with the supplied jumper string so one battery and one switch controls all the lights.

My Ork Lifta Wagon (and sometimes Battlewagon) was already a ‘completed’ model but since the crew and passenger compartment tops were not already glued in place, it would make things much easier.

The Lifta–Droppa gun on this model is an old Armorcast Wave Canon that I wanted to light up for some extra special ‘Ummie Lifting and Dropping.

As with my other LED projects, I found that planning the circuit board placement and wiring scheme ahead of time helps prevent unnecessary cutting and frustrations.  I know, I know- that’s not very Orky of me- real Meks would just go willy-nilly on it.  But the ‘Ummie in me hates wasted modelling time.

The Ork Battlewagon kit has plenty of space in the crew compartment and a lot of hidden area under the hull- all of which is perfect for mounting and hiding the battery, boards and wiring.

I mounted the master switch inside the crew compartment with the switch accessible from the bottom of the hull.  This only required a small opening in the back of the crew compartment floor and a blob of hot glue to hold it in place.

I also glued both the Alpha circuit board and Micro-processor board to the bottom of the hull and connected them with the jumper cable (the photo shows only the micro-processor in place).  All the connections would remain easily accessible after the conversion was done in case I want to change the LED strings for other colors (Mork and Gork are so fickle).

Wiring the Lifta-Droppa canon itself required a bit of creative drilling and a dozen or so lengths of fiber optic wire from an old Christmas tree of all things.

I made LED sockets out of short lengths of plastic tubing- these would align and hold the ends of the fiber optic cable against the LED.The micro-processor is programmable and you can set each of the 3 LED string channels to a different lighting pattern with the included instruction card.  I wanted one set of fiber optic cables on the canon to be solid red (cuz Orkses love red and it makes everything go faster) and the other set flashing blue (cuz it makes the Meks happy). But the beauty of the programmable board and the quick connect LED strings is that whenever Gork/Mork want new or different flashy bits, it is very easy to change.

Lastly, for the crew compartment, I made a crude armature to fit over the 9v battery which will hold the LEDs from the Alpha circuit board in place to illuminate the windows.  I used lengths of clear sprue in the visions slits to capture and disperse the light.  For the crew compartment I used white lights (Orks don’t need no stinking night vision!), but again, if Gork/Mork decide some other color is more Orky that week, then I can easily swap the LED strings.

So that’s it- not an overly complicated conversion, aside from the use of fiber optic cable.  But I think it gives my Lifta-Droppa that bit of extra bling that it deserves.

Cheers from the Beastcave!

This entry was posted in Beast, LED, orks, PoweredPlay Gaming. Bookmark the permalink.

Angron vs Ferrus Manus? Army of One

Welcome to Army of One, where I display a great looking painted model from stuff I’ve done or amazing figures I’ve seen around.

If you click on the Army of One label you’ll be able to scroll through some great looking figures, all at once.

Today we take a look at Jkin’s Angron vs a converted Ferrus Manus by Beast.  -Enjoy MBG

This entry was posted in Army of One, Beast, Chaos, Horus Heresy, Jkin, Space Marines. Bookmark the permalink.

Hobby Showcase- Sisters Vertical Launch Exorcists

Checkout these cool looking vertical launch Exorcists for Sisters of Battle by Beast.

They are the normal plastic rhino kits with Hunter Killer launchers mounted in the troop bay.

Pretty quick and easy conversion, if you have the old missile canisters! -MBG

This entry was posted in Beast, Conversion Corner, Conversions, Sisters of Battle, Videos, wahrammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

Light It Up- Upgrade Your Rhino With LED’s

Hey all, Beast here again with a modeling project that can light up your day, or night, or something…

MBG asked me to follow up my original LED kit article with another one of a similar but slightly different flavor. This project used the Blood and Skulls Industries LED Illuminare Kit  that is specifically suited for Rhino chassis conversion.

The kit can be purchased with a variety of LED strings. This sample kit had blue LEDs. The kit itself comes with a battery holder/power switch, two wire nuts and four leads with one LED on each.

It also comes with a resin cast headlight shroud of the same basic dimensions as that found in the Rhino kit, but this shroud has custom-made LED sockets for easy install and perfectly aligned headlights.
I started the conversion of this Stalker kit off by planning where the leads would run and test fitting the headlight shrouds. They fit nicely where a normal headlight shroud would mount so I decided to cut access holes for the wires behind this section.

Then I cut access holes through the inner Rhino access doors.
I intended to glue the side hatches on the Rhino anyway, so this didn’t cause any problems with the exterior of the finished model.

Here are the finished LED wire cutouts that can now be routed through the Rhino door so all the leads could be attached together inside the passenger compartment.

Stripping the ends of each lead and then using the wire nut to hold them is a simple process, just be somewhat careful when removing the wire sheath as the internal wire strands are delicate and can easily be ripped off as well.

 Once all the wires are connected together (including the lead to the battery holder/switch, I just stuffed them all into the passenger compartment and finished building the rest of the Rhino as normal. One nice thing about the wire nuts included in this kit is that they will accommodate many more LED leads should you decide to go crazy and add other lighting effects to the vehicle.
The CR2032 batteries that this kit requires- 2 of them- are pretty expensive ($4-6 each) if you just buy them at your local hardware or electronics store. But, they are very cheap (about $1 for two, plus shipping) if you plan ahead and buy them on e-bay or some other online site.

 Once the batteries were installed and I turned on the lights, I was stunned at how bright these LEDs seemed. I don’t recommend looking directly into them straight on… But they create a really cool looking headlight effect on the kit I built. Night fight first turn? Pfft…. These things could light up the entire board if you actually turned the lights out.

Overall, it is a simple kit and easy to incorporate into a Rhino-chassis vehicle. Other applications obviously include other vehicle kits, however the included headlight shrouds may or may not be useful in those cases.

The battery holder/switch is fairly thin but is kind of long so definitely plan where you want your battery/switch to be prior to starting your conversion- it may not fit just anywhere. You will also need easy access to the switch so you can change out the batteries and turn on/off the LEDs. So that’s it, a simple yet cool looking conversion using the Blood and Skulls Industries lighting kit.

 Cheers from the Beastcave, be sure to checkout the video below for a closer look!

This entry was posted in Beast, Blood and Skulls Industries, How To Guides, LED, Space Marines, warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

Let There Be Light!- Making a Fire Prism Glow

Hi all, Beast here with a random modeling project hopefully at least one of you will find interesting…

So when Rob (MBG) asked me if I wanted to try out my modeling skills with the new PoweredPlay Gaming LED lighting kit, I jumped at the chance.

 I love modeling and converting the entire range of Warhammer 40K kits so I chose an Eldar Fire Prism because it has plenty of clear plastic parts that would lend itself to the lighting effects of the PoweredPlay kit.

My first thoughts were to illuminate both weapon crystals, both cockpits, engine exhausts and several of the ‘jewels’ on the model. But after looking at the kit and the nature of the LEDs, I decided to forego illuminating the jewels and just focus on the weapon, cockpit and exhausts (I didn’t want it to end up looking like the Griswald house at Christmas after all).

Opening the PoweredPlay Alpha Kit revealed the circuit board with sockets for battery lead, switch lead and four LED leads. I noticed that each LED lead has two LEDs wired onto it in series so that would give me exactly what I needed to illuminate both weapon crystals, both cockpits and both engine exhausts in their own colors- blue for the crystals, green for the cockpit and red for the exhausts. I know what you are thinking- blue and green don’t play well together on the color palette, but I wanted a bit of diversity in the lighting. The other options in the kit were white and yellow LEDs and neither of those grabbed me as a great option for any of the effects I wanted to create.

 I wanted to keep the model as clean as possible and didn’t want any exposed wires running down a flight stem or anything like that. Looking at the hull of the Fire Prism, the obvious choice for battery mounting is the passenger compartment. With a little simple cutting, the space was perfect for the required 9v battery. The floor of the passenger compartment has a perfect section for mounting the power switch and required a simple cut-out and a little hot glue to fix it in place (I did compromise on my clean look by having the switch exposed on the belly of the model).

 The circuit board posed a slightly more challenging mounting problem. The 9v battery takes up nearly all of the available space in the main hull compartment so a little creativity and space management was required to mount it where all the leads can be easily routed into it without stressing the wires on each lead with excessive bends or kinks. I noticed that the roof of the rear cabin area has a little space left after the battery is in place, and with a little Dremel shaving just aft of the turret pivot hole, I could create a great spot for the circuit board that would allow the leads to run freely to it while keeping it accessible yet still making the battery easy to replace.

 I figured that lighting the two weapon crystals would be the most challenging part of the project (apart from just planning how all the wires would run through the model) so I decided to dive right into that first. And I was right, it was definitely the most difficult from a modeling perspective. The LEDs themselves (these were the 3mm ones) are quite small but they have a lip at their base which is just a bit too large to fit through any hole I would be able to safely drill through the end section of the weapon barrel. I also quickly realized I would have to cut the weapon barrel apart in order to drill the holes as accurately as I needed. I cut the barrel end away from the center crystal support webbing.

This allowed me to drill through the barrel without worrying about breaking the delicate crystal support structure. Drilling through the barrel was a challenge in itself though. I can’t stress enough the importance of starting with a small drill bit and stepping up in gradual stages until the hole is large enough (and accurate enough) for your needs. I needed to use a bit that was just slightly smaller than the diameter of the barrel in order to make the hole large enough to let the full force of the LED light through to the end crystal itself (the LED itself is just too large to fit through any hole I could ever hope to drill through the barrel).

This means you have to be very patient and accurate that you drill through the barrel as close to dead center as possible. It also means the barrel will end up having a thin wall and will be somewhat delicate. I ended up filing down the lip on one of the LEDs so I could pass it through the crystal and into the end barrel section a short way, allowing as much light as possible to the tip crystal. (Safety note: the LEDs appear to be glass, and glass dust = badness for your lungs and eyes so use safety glasses and a mask if you are going to file down the glass lips of the LEDs)

The other LED I mounted at the base part of the center crystal after drilling a large hole (starting with a small bit and working up again) through the weapon barrel’s base section.


When re-attaching the barrel sections, there was not much material left to glue together due to the size of the holes I had to drill, so I made a little plasticard ‘washer’ to re-create sufficient gluing surface area.

I found that spraying the crystals with dullcoat dramatically increases the light dispersion from the LEDs across the crystal surface and greatly enhanced the effect I wanted for the crystals.

The cockpits were a slightly easier problem to solve for lighting. I wanted the sensor screens in each cockpit to glow and also wanted a ‘general glow’ throughout the cockpit. I drilled and cut out the display screens on each crew’s dashboard and inserted a section of clear sprue (from the Fire Prism kit) into it since they transmit light nicely. I filed and scuffed the end of the new sprue ‘screen’ to create a similar effect to that of the weapon crystals so it would look like the screens were uniformly backlit. 

The general glow through the cockpit was achieved by gluing another piece of scuffed clear sprue on the floor of the cockpit under the dash. I had to Dremel out the very bottom of the crew’s legs to make enough room for the bit of sprue. The dashboard covers all of the cut away area so nothing is visible. Lastly I drilled a hole in the front wall of the cockpit, under the dash, to mount the LED.

Running the wires from both the weapon and gunner’s cockpit down to the main hull required drilling an angled hole up through the length of the turret pivot pin and out of the turret baseplate in front of the gunner’s cockpit.

It also required some creative routing and minor carving to get the wires where they needed to go efficiently and with minimum stress on the electrical connectors. There is a bit of extra wire length that you will have to bundle up and stuff into empty space. But that extra wire length is very nice when you are working with the routing of the leads. Once I began to glue the turret hull together, I just stuffed it around the back of the cockpit and hot-glued it in place.

The exhaust LEDs were the simplest to mount. After drilling and cutting a hole for them, I mounted them centered in the ‘front’ wall of the exhaust section and hot glued them in place along with all the extra wire I didn’t need (I had absolutely no desire to cut the leads to length and re-solder them…).

Mounting the turret to the hull required me to cut down the normal stopper cap into just a ring around the turret pivot pin. This allowed the wires routed through the center of the pin to exit into the passenger compartment (conveniently right next to the circuit board).

In order to run all the leads to the circuit board, I cut pass-thrus from the passenger compartment into the ‘engine areas’. This was required because the battery takes up all the available room in the main compartment and would not allow the volume of wiring to pass through. Once this was done, I routed all the wires to the circuit board and op-checked everything.

Lastly I glued the lower hull sections together and added all the ‘fiddly bits’ like shuri-cannon, antennas, jewels and the Fire Prism vehicle add-ons. Overall I was pleased with the effect (despite blue and green not playing well together). The PoweredPlay Alpha Kit is excellent and very easy to use. As I said before, the Alpha Kit has a variety of colored LEDs (red, yellow, green, blue, white). The LED leads were plenty long enough for this project and all the components were small enough to feasibly fit in the Fire Prism’s available spaces (just barely). At the end of the project, I would say this level of customization is not for the novice modeler though (at least not on a Fire Prism).

Much of the cutting, drilling and wire routing was what I consider to be ‘varsity’ modeling that requires a wide range of hobby tools and techniques (and a bit of engineering background helps). A larger model such as a Baneblade or other super-heavy sized model would be much easier to wire up for illumination, although this project was still within my moderate capability.

 Likewise, Rhino varients, Valkyries, Stormravens, Leman Russes, etc ,etc would all be easily wired up with this kit. I give Chris at PoweredPlay a big thumbs- up and thanks to MBG for the chance to try out this cool new option for 40k modellers!

 Cheers from the Beastcave!

This entry was posted in Beast, Conversions, How To Guides, PoweredPlay Gaming, warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

Adeptus Mechanicus Magos & Servitors

Check these guys out!  The more and more I look at these Mechanicus models, the more I am impressed by the conversion work.

Ad mech always seems to have a special place in everyone’s hearts.  When you see conversions, they are either pretty much terrible, or off the wall amazing!

Beast’s Ad Mech command squad thankfully, is pretty cool looking!

This is the leader of Beast’s Adeptus Mechanicus themed Imperial Guard Army.  I featured his similarly themed Terminus Ultra Land Raider awhile ago, that he uses in Apocalypse Games when he needs more firepower.

The Conversion(s)

Beast converted the servitor retinue off of Cadian Torsos, High Elf Archer Legs, and bits of armor plating / mechanics from Micro Art Studio. He used a ton of guitar wire for the power feeds as well.

The leader is the basic Techmarine model, with some mech bits thrown in, and no harness to make him more “human”. 

Checkout each individual pic below as most hide a surprising amount of conversion work.

You can checkout all of Beast’s featured work here. I also have a Mechanicus Label link as well that showcases all our Ad Mech posts. -MBG

Need New Bits? Get the new TYRANID and SPACE WOLF Bits for 20% OFF, with FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!! Over at the Spikey Bits Online Storeall bits are 20% OFF, and most ship for FREE, Worldwide!
This entry was posted in Adeptus Mechanicus, Beast, Conversion Corner, Conversions, Imperial Guard, warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

Adeptus Mechanicus Terminus Ultra Conversion

Check out this sweet converted Terminus Ultra Pattern Land Raider.

Beast made this big boi up a while ago, and I just got the opportunity to show it off.

He wanted this vehicle it to have a sweet Mechanicus feel, so made sure to tech it all out with extra vents, coils, cogs, and more!

Ad mech always seems to have a special place in everyone’s hearts.  When you see conversions, they are either pretty much terrible, or off the wall amazing!

The Conversion

Since the Land Raider wouldn’t be transporting anyone, Beast just mounted the two single Lascannons into the front to allow for more cooling systems to be added into the side hatches.  

Additional targeting systems were added, as well as the necessary amount of Lascannons to make the Terminus Ultra variant itself.
It is hard to see, but the best (and quite possibly hardest) part IMHO is the recreation of the treads from plasticard to feature Cog symbols. 

You only really need to create just a few symmetrical treads, and then cast them in resin if the work is your own. 

It takes a lot of time and patience to make that many identical features like he did, but in the end it can pay off- a whole fleet of Land Raiders can be customized.
Three Sixty below.

How do you like the Mechanicus tweek? -MBG

You can checkout all of Beast’s featured work here. I also have a Mechanicus Label link as well that showcases all our Ad Mech posts. -MBG

Get 20% OFF Bits, and FREE SHIPPING??!! Over at the Spikey Bits Online Storeall bits are 20% OFF, and ship for FREE! We also have reduced shipping for overseas customers, as well as a special rate for shipping to Canada!
This entry was posted in Adeptus Mechanicus, Beast, Conversion Corner, Conversions, warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

Black Templars Drive By- Speeder Conversion

Welcome to Army of One, where I display a great looking painted model from stuff I’ve done or amazing figures I’ve seen around.

If you click on the Army of One label you’ll be able to scroll through some great looking figures, all at once.

Today we take a look at Beast’s Templar Land Speeder Conversion. -Enjoy MBG

Be sure to check out Beast’s other featured work here.

Get 20% OFF Bits, and FREE SHIPPING??!! Over at the Spikey Bits Online Storeall bits are 20% OFF, and ship for FREE! We also have reduced shipping for overseas customers, as well as a special rate for shipping to Canada!

This entry was posted in Beast, Black Templars, Conversions, warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

Flashback Friday- The First Baneblade

Welcome to Flashback Fridayswhere I dig deep for something cool that I have from back in the day.  Which according to the comic Dane Cook was a Wednesday.

You always hear the question: “How did you get into the hobby?”, and for me it was getting bored with assembling fighter jet models.

I could never afford the good jet kits either. Plus those things had a ton of components, we’re spoiled by Games Workshop when it comes to piece count, believe me.

Okay well it’s not really the first Baneblade, because Armorcast came first. It is however the first one Forge World released and this venerable design lasted a about ten years.

For those of you that aren’t savy on the history of the resin side of Warhammer 40k, Armorcast had a license with Games Workshop to product large scale 40k kits back in the nineties mostly based of Epic 40k models.

And produce they did, from Tyranids to Titans, Armorcast cranked out these big boys for nearly a decade.

However the late nineties/ early 2000′s Forge World came along, acquired the licensing from Games Workshop , and starting casting their own creations. One of which was this Baneblade Super Heavy tank, and shortly thereafter its cousin the Shadowsword.

The Imperial Armor books shortly followed, giving rules for all these baddies and the rest as they say is history.

Beast purchased painted up this model back in the day, and recently broke it out for a big Apocalypse game we had.

Unfortunately you can no longer purchase the Baneblade from Forgeworld, as it has been replaced by it’s newer sexier twin, in plastic. But there are still resin plastic hybrid kits available there featuring variants not covered in plastic.

Have a great weekend hope you enjoy the flashback. You can checkout Beast’s other work here.

Check out this comparison shot between the FW resin version (rear) and the GW plastic release (front).

What’s you favorite large scale model? -MBG

Get 20% OFF Bits, and FREE SHIPPING??!! Over at the Spikey Bits Online Storeall bits are 20% OFF, and ship for FREE! We also have reduced shipping for overseas customers, as well as a special rate for shipping to Canada!

This entry was posted in 40k Flashback, Apocalypse, Flashback Friday, Imperial Guard, warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink.

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