2023-07-14 heavy gear / hgb-cef / showcase / hobby /
I set out to make a late first invasion hovertank formation of the Colonial Expeditionary Force, and through tribulation wound up with something more like an early mutinous Port Arthur Korp free GREL company, or badlands raiders. Let me tell you what happened.
I modified a few details. On the larger HT-68s, I flipped the missile pods over so they wouldn't clip the stowage during rotation, and because I thought they looked a little goofy underslung. This necessitated some filing and shaping of the tubes. The smaller HT-67 tanks other than the basic loadout both have custom missile pods. One is made from a combination of a Terra Novan medium rocket pack combined with a CEF frame sprue anti-tank missile pack cover. The other one, the 'Assault' package, came with these boxy orthogonal frag cannons. So instead, I decided it would use flechette grenades so used some angled light rocket packs. The HPC-64s are pretty much stock.
I wanted to use clear acrylic bases, so I magnetized the bottoms so they can be stored separately. The 68s took a LOT of filing to get them to sit well. The 67s I just filed the body down thin enough the magnet in the turret socket could pull through the resin to hold it to the base. It could be stronger, but it's probably adequate, and none of these models are particularly dainty.
The Brilliant Idea: Two Layers of Chipping Medium at the Same Time
That about sums it up. I thought I could get a better effect with the chipping if it was two layers at the same time, so the chips wouldn't have spots where they obviously overlap but rather more natural transitions.
It ... didn't work.
The top layer was coming off in huge sheets and curls with very little (or rather, inconsistent and spotty) adhesion to the middle layer (which worked wonderfully as usual). So instead of subtle, I had tanks that looked like they were consigned to the scrap yard, stolen, lost in a sandstorm, then sold to some badlanders. I don't mind a good scrappy looking tank, I actually quite like them, it's just not what I was aiming for here and I don't want to pigeon hole myself with a style.
Slapped a filter wash (1:1 water and AP Flesh Wash) on the model to the left (the right side is immediately after chipping) and was much happier with it. So, rolling with it.
Detail work; barrels, missile hatches, optics, stowage. Love me some stowage.
Then scratched up decals, some pigment on the bottom for a dusty look, and a nice matte varnish. And done.
The main battle hovertank of the CEF, with a heavy particle accelerator main gun, and racks of anti-tank and anti-infantry missiles. Also a GREL commander unbottoned and having a look around. You'll be seeing more GRELs soon.
HT-68, Raider Loadout
This is an optional front turret bit from the DP9 store I added in to an order I made well before ever owning a CEF model. Linked pulse lasers, for fast moving targets.
Just a lighter fater smaller basic HT-68
HT-67, Anti-Air Loadout
Sporting a laser cannon and anti-aircraft missiles. Varis beware.
HT-67, Assault Loadout
The closest to a TN gear of the hovertanks, equipped with the versatile rotary laser cannon and twin flechette pods.
A hovering APC, with light rotary laser turret and a whole host of comms gear, as well as a hold large enough for two complete squads of GREL soldiers. I actually have two of these, but they look basically the same though I slightly prefer this one.
CEF/PAK GREL Taskforce
This is how I envision using the models, as a combined arms infantry and tank formation. I wanted to emulate that first invasion experience of a CEF not yet adapted to Terra Novan warfare, with no mechs of its own. Gear Grinder Link
-- FS --
MHT-68 - GREL Crew, Commanding Officer
MHT-68 Raider - GREL Crew
-- RC --
LHT-67 - GREL Crew, Combat Group Leader
LHT-67 Assault - GREL Crew
-- GP --
HPC-64 - GREL Crew, Command Suite, Combat Group Leader
- GREL Squad
- GREL Squad
HPC-64 - GREL Crew, Second in Command
- GREL Squad
- GREL Squad
The GREL are cleaned, prepped and stuck on some popsicle sticks. I just need a break in this awful Texas summer where I can spend some time in the garage with the airbrush priming and base coating them. They may not be the next blog post, but they'll certainly be the next Heavy Gear post.