PAINTING AND CONVERTING - Power Weapons

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As many of you know, I've been running power blobs for awhile. This means that I've had to upgrade a bunch of sergeants to holding power weapons. I thought I'd put this together to show not only how I've been making them, but how I've been painting them.

MAKING POWER WEAPONS:

Swords are just about the easiest things to fabricate. Really, it's as simple as cutting out a sword-shaped piece of plasticard and gluing it on. Power swords, on the other hand, require a little more work.

The first step that I do is to make a power pack for my power weapon. Most of the time, power weapon leads just appear to go to nowhere. In my case, I wanted a clearly representable power source. Given that I'm running Imperial Guard, it made all the sense in the world to have the sergeants jerry rig las-packs to power their power weapons.

To do this, I did the following:

1.) remove a single lasgun ammo pack from one of the many you get on your belt pouches.
2.) bore a hole in the top. I use a hobby knife.
3.) cut off a couple inches of thin-gauge steel wire (however long you think you need).
4.) fold the wire in half
5.) put some superglue in the hole you made in the laspack, and put the looped end of the wire in.
6.) pack it in with some greenstuff, so that it all looks flush.
7.) LET THE GREENSTUFF CURE.

Then, you prepare it for the model:

1.) place the laspack with the wires coming out roughly where you want the laspack to be on the belt.
2.) bend the wire so that the two ends loop down to the bottom of the handle of the power weapon.
3.) glue the laspack in place.
4.) bend the wires so that they actually touch the bottom of the sword handle.
5.) glue wires down.
6.) carefully wrap with greenstuff.

Now, for most of my power weapons, I used a hand holding a chainsword. I cut off the sword just above the hand, and then cut off the hand to attach to an arm (where appropriate - I only built a couple of power weapon sergeants from scratch. Most of them were existing models that I hacked down.) Once you've got the leads going into the handle, it's time to put the sword on:


1.) cut out a sword-shaped piece of thin plasticard. Taper the edges.
2.) Glue it to the nice, flat surface you got from cutting the chainsword off ABOVE the hand.
3.) prepare a small, rectangular piece of greenstuff.
4.) wrap this piece of greenstuff around the blade in such a way where it also touches the plastic handle. This will help the piece of plasticard stay on.
5.) carve in grooves for heat sinks and/or wait for the greenstuff to cure and add more widgets as desired.

Here are a couple of examples. The top was from a pair of dudes holding onto chainswords that used to be part of my officer's retinue, and the bottom is a power weapon sergeant I made from scratch:

PAINTING POWER WEAPONS

Once you've got the power weapon made, it's time to paint it. I highly recommend that you paint the entire rest of the model first, before painting the sword. Not only is it because the sword will get grabbed a lot in the painting process and wreck your pristine paint job, but also because you don't want to get blue paint mixed in with the rest of your color (or green, if that's your fancy - both colors are hard to get out of brushes).

Once you've got your model painted, break out the "enchanted blue" and "ice blue" (or whatever colors are your fancy. These are just the ones I use). Start by painting a solid coat of your darker color.

Then, carefully drybrush on your lighter color in a few steps. Brush diagonally up and back from the sword edge. Note that occasionally instead of doing this, I'll paint the blade in the lighter color, and then drybrush back on the darker color down and toward the blade.

Once you've got the pattern down, it's time to go back and darken the back of the blade. Don't do this if you want lighter color, lower contrast power weapons. In this case, I put down a VERY watery layer of enchanted blue down the top half of the blade.

Then apply another drybrush of the lighter color. Don't go all the way back up to the top of the blade, though. Only go about half way. Do a final coat of light color just right on the blade edge.

Spray seal your model and let it dry. This is critical. If things aren't dry enough, either the paint or the spray seal, the next step might rip up chunks of paint and you have to start all over again.

Once dry, go over it with a coat of clear fingernail polish. Once again, keep the diagonal when you apply it. Apply a second coat if you want them to be REALLY glowey.

And there you have it, a whole mess of power weapons. Time to kill me up some terminators!