Arcanists – Ice Golem final!

I finished this guy up just after GottaCon, and I’m stoked with where he ended up!

I did a lot more with this guy than I originally thought. I used the Drakenhof Nightshade wash in the recesses. When it dried, it looked like a “skin” over the model, so I used ‘ardcoat to re-shine it, successfully. I put the Secret Weapon snow on, which I still love, but I think I used too much. 😛 Then I drybrushed white on top and over his face and called it done.

Until I saw a post on A Wyrd Place talking about re-varnishing over the white drybrush…

The LED isn’t as noticeable in these photos, because it’s a photo, but it’s really cool in person. 🙂


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Arcanists – Children of December Final

And here’s the whole crew!


Without a wendigo…not a fan of the model, and I think it’s even worse in translucent blue. >.>

Same paint scheme as for the Ice Golem, just without the LED in their torsos. 🙂 I thought about painting Rasputina like how I painted Tara, but decided I was pretty happy with leaving her blue.


Arcanists – Ice Golem, gluing the back on

I was brave and glued the back on the model.
wpid-imag1100.jpg wpid-imag1101.jpgThis was kind of scary, since I don’t get to touch the wiring ever again and hopefully it’s solid.

I sculpted a icicle on his arm where a particularly nasty white section was from where the sprue attached, and a few more icicles on his butt where I drilled into it to get the wires through. I painted these with a Vallejo white primer that I picked up a few days ago, as opposed to the Imperial Primer that I used for the Nothing Beast.


Arcanists – Ice Golem, UNLIMITED POWER

Got the LED wired up inside the golems torso today!


This was also the hardest part of this project.

Holy hell, there have been a lot of hardest parts.

The problem here is that I’m trying to do really small detail work inside of a narrow area. I have both needlenose pliers and good tweezers and I used both, switching tools whenever I needed something strong or something agile, because you can’t have both! At one point I feared that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I ended up pulling the LED out and using the tweezers to pull loops into the inside wires. Then I turned those loops so they were face up, and dropped the LED into the two loops. Then, I carefully tightened the loops around the LED leads.

Once I got the LED wired up, I tested it again.

Then I soldered it in. Also the hardest part. Here the challenge is to get the solder onto the wires with a hot iron, without letting the hot iron touch anything plastic. Inside of a plastic box. A narrow, plastic box.

After I got it soldered, I worried that the metal bits were to close together. I’m about to glue this thing inside, and I never get to touch it again. If the wires ever touch, I’ve created a short and I don’t get light anymore. So I went back and adjusted the solder and pulled the leads further apart and…


Now I have a light inside of a torso. 🙂 From here, it gets real simple – glue the rest of the golem together.

And don’t fuck up the paint job. >.< I have to sculpt icicles to cover the holes I made while drilling for wires, and paint those icicles. A fellow on A Wyrd Place used washes to provide contrast in the recesses of the transparent model and I think I might do that. Then I’m going to use the Secret Weapon snow mix on parts that might have snow.

Still a long way to go!


Arcanists – Ice Golem, stuffing it all in.

Time for glue! I first glued the feet onto the base, because their positioning was the most important. Then I dry-fit the electronics six or seven times to make sure it all worked, checked the connections again (placing the LED against the wires). I glued the top piece of cork to the two pieces of cork on the front and back, as well as the top and bottom of the switch to the top cork and the base. These were the second most important parts. Not as much holding and stability as I’d like, but it’ll improve as we go.

I let that sit for a few minutes, then started filling. I pulled apart small pieces of cork and glued them into place where ever I could see into the insides. When this is all dry in the morning I’ll use oxid paste to fill all of the remaining gaps, but it works best if you don’t have to fill more than a few millimeters of hole.


Here’s a photo of where the LED will end up inside the torso. I’ve left the wires long for now, but will obviously be cutting them down to fit the light in.


Here’s what the underside looks like. You can see the switch on the right.

When I’m completely done, I’m going to fill some of the bottom with white glue to keep the battery holders in place, but for now they are snug-fit against all of the cork on top.



And here’s the next morning, with all those gaps filled.


Arcanists – Ice Golem, basing it up

I lied, before, when I said that other part was the hardest part. This is the hardest part. Putting all of this shit into the base, making it fit and hoping you didn’t screw something up.

Here’s a photo of Gypsy playing with my stuff, before we get into the technical!


I started by chopping the crap out of a 50mm base. I knew that most of the inner plastic was going to have to come out, so that was a decent place to start. Eventually I got enough out that I figured I could fit two batteries under it…and I was wrong. These are bigger batteries than I thought. I ended up cutting away almost the entire middle part, as well as cutting away part of one of the battery holders itself, before they would fit side by side inside. This part got a little scary, because it was really starting to look as though side-by-side was not going to work, which meant I didn’t actually have a plan for how this would work.

I took some cork, tore it up and set it down on the base until I could convince myself that I only needed a single layer to hide the batteries from the top. I glued the cork down, and nothing else.


A larger piece of cork to go on top. I needed this because I’ve cut away most of the inner plastic, and I need something to “hang” more cork from to hide the electronics. Once I’ve glued everything down, I’ll glue some more cork to the underside of this large piece.


Then I got to wiring everything together, and soldering.

I took the legs from before and drilled the wires through the cork to appropriate places. I wired together the two batteries, the resistor and the switch. The switch is placed so that it will be under the longer edge of the top cork, slightly hidden.

After I twisted the wires all up, I touched the LED to briefly create a circuit again to make sure it worked. As I’m working, I do this a lot. I don’t want to find that a wire has broken somewhere after I’m done. Check frequently.

I haven’t soldered anything since I was 16 and trying to install a backlight into my GameBoy Advance, and my dad had to help me. I was pretty certain I have more skills now, even though I haven’t soldered anything at all, really. Hobby skills are occasionally transferable, and the steady painting/converting hands helped to ensure that solder didn’t get everywhere and didn’t melt any plastic or set anything on fire.


At the end of the session, most everything is good. The circuit works, the base looks good, the batteries fit and it’s all connected. I had to put it on pause for a bit to paint some stuff for a game, but we’re back on track!


Arcanists – Ice Golem, Running the wires

I had some legs to run wires through. It turns out that 90 degree angles suck, and that I haven’t used my hands to really and truly pin something for years. My fingers hurt to type. >.<

In the end, I said fuck-it to the 90 degree angles – despite drilling connecting tubes, the wire wouldn’t bend and flow that way no matter how shallow I made the angle, and there’s only so much space to try to shallow it out more. Instead I drilled out in straight lines with the bends outside of the model, and then ran the wire through the tubes. Once it was in both sides, I pulled on the wire to bring it as close to the model as possible. I’ll sculpt something over it, it’s fine.

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I think this is one of the harder parts of this whole project.

Arcanists – Ice Golem, Lighting

It’s been a while since I did any hobby stuff, but with my Black Friday order coming in I have a new project! I’m getting on the translucent lighting train! I had planned to try this for the Wyrd Winter painting contest, but the cat is to far out of the bag and to many other people are doing it to make a big splash, so you get on time posts instead. 🙂

Here’s the starting point for the project, some electronics.

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That is:

  • 2 3V button cell batteries, with holders for easy replacement.
  • 1 tiny little switch
  • 1 1/4W 180Ohm resistor
  • 1 3.6V 20mA “super bright” LED
  • some thin wire

I had thought to use the PoweredPlay solution, but after looking at the price including international shipping (no ocean to cross, guys…) I decided, with some help to do my own thing. Turns out there are some knowledgeable people in CHOP!, so they helped me re-figure out the mathematics required to make it all go. (Last time I looked at any of these formulas was grade 12…)

Next post – figuring out how the hell to get the wires into the Ice Golem!