Category Archives: model

Trashbash Competition 2017

I apologize for the lack of frequent posts but this time there was a good reason, I had to work in secrecy on this. Now that the contest is done (and I placed 2nd!) I can share it with you all also big congrats to Asslessman over at Leadplague for his well earned firstplace entry!

I’ve never been one to pass up a challenge and have always loved kitbashing from whatever I had on hand, so when I found out Brian Roe from Roebeast’s magical house of sunshine was organizing a new edition of the Trash Bash competition I had to jump into gear. It was a bit late when I discovered it, I only had a couple weeks, but few things are as motivating as a deadline…

These were the full rules for the contest, but the idea was to use some kind of medicine package in a miniature build which somehow relates to the theses siege/assault. Other than that the sky was the limit, any scale, any world and any other parts were fair play!
When the siege came on the Knight’s forge, the Nobles of the house were unprepared and practically undefended. With a crash, the breaching scav vessel crashed the main gate and the greenskins spilled in.


 The tried to maintain a perimeter from the on-coming Horde, which had until now been limited to a few small tribes. Their wall of servitors failing under the Ork’s assault. Two mighty Warlords, with great warmachines laid claim to the structure. There was no reasoning with these beasts.  The only choice was to make a break for space.  The heirs to their houses and upper eschelon in the house fleet, Canopus, Antares, and Alphard fell back to the shipyard and the FTL Frigate, FNORD.

  While a non-com craft, specked for transport and cargo hauling, the FNORD is a fine craft built to combine speed and maneuverability with durable hauling. The primary pilot’s chamber provides a full 180 sphere of direct holo enhanced view and it’s starboard and port bays are equipped with dual escape pods.


For a little while now I’d been chomping at the bit to make a dropship inspired non-com craft, and while the two weeks or so I had to do this didn’t seem like nearly enough time to do the fully interior detailed ship I had in mind, this was a good excuse and deadline to do a bit of exploring and experimentation.

I knew it was going to be 28mm to fit with the rest of my miniatures and I already had a crew in mind.


The first step was to gather parts. Fortunately I always keep a stockpile of bits so all I really needed was to make sure I had enough medicine packages to fit in with the competition. I gathered all of mine, my wife contributed a bunch more and my mom even had a bag of empty bottles to kick in. Soon I was well-stocked and ready to build, so I laid out all the gathered material and laid it out on the workbench.

I began brainstorming by blocking out a shape, just getting a feel for scale with a few prescription bottles, a multipack toothbrush package, some half round  ikea hardware parts, and a few random model kit bits. I was really liking the clear canopy from the toothbrush holder, and the idea of twin side pods, a bit like the Serenity from Firefly.

Looking at the canopy I realized I wanted a free-floating pilot’s chair, and   I rescued an abandoned deffkopta body I’d started many years back from some city parts and an old epic stompa which seemed to fit the bill nicely. I considered looked at adding battleship parts to detail it, but ultimately decided againsed it,

Next I worked out the main mass around a plate from a Matrix toy, TIE interceptor wings, traintrack struts,  hatches from a broken German tank kit, and some pill blisters. also in frame a couple possible ‘grav tanks’ and a spice harvester, at this stage everything could have been something and I needed to start to focus.

Wasn’t quite feeling the main fuselage yet so I rearranged the parts, putting the Matrix toy part on the bottom as a frame and a birthcontrol package for the top, starting to see the main body as a box rather than a tube. I cut the tank plate with the hatches in half for the sides and started thinking about details in the engines. I swapped out the two engine pods for smaller medicine bottle engines and moved the bigger ones out using the TIE wings to nest the side pods;

Starting to think of the side nacelles as smaller craft themselves, like escape pods, I also roughed out another single man scavenger craft from three pill bottles, a toy animal skull and some Lego parts. Since I wasn’t sure if the big build would be finished in time at least I could have something done, so I warmed up the glue gun and started tacking stuff together!

Now the parts were coming together. All the stuff was becoming a thing and I could pick it up and look at other angles. I dropped the back of the toothbrush package off in favor of the boxy opening and started thinking it might still be possible to have an interios space after all! Two birthcontrol boxes made for good interior decking.

The escape shuttles needed a bit of love so they got some textured plates some lego worky tail bits and an indication of where the airlock attaches and disconnects;

For a bit of play-ability I magnetized the roof, so it could open and reveal the interior and  made the side escape pods removable with magnets from cabinet doors. I made the back cargo bay sliding pocket door from a birthcontrol pill box some granny grate and foamcore.

Now I had the main shape all constructed, and I was pretty excited about the features!

Once the shapes were there it was just a matter of filling gaps and greebling; platformer and chemplant sprues, some tank wheels and tread, a hinged part off a transformer toy, and a some foamcore.

I waffled about the skull quite a bit all the way up until painting, when I decided it was just too ‘feral’ and not non-com enough for the story I wanted to tell. I couldn’t keep my hands off of this at this point.

Once again, the deadline looming, I knew I could keep detailing, cleaning and playing, but I had to call it. So I brought it down to my backdrow and shot some unpainted pics;

It was hard for me to move past the priming. Theres this thing that happens with the first coat of primer, when everything becomes unified and anything else I did to it would be a distraction…

It also took awhile to settle on a paint scheme. Again the deadline pushing me, I decided for a dirty white, and construction yellow. I set up the airbrush, got a big ball of silly putty to mask with and set to work;

In hind sight I maybe should have stopped painting it there, but I have some weathering powders from Secretweapon minis and just couldn’t resist…

And here are the finished pics! I was proud of myself for the little red/white caution markings, made from glued in place strips of paper with stripes painted on before attaching.

Did you really read this whole thing! wow, thanks!

Never suffer the Witch.

Created for the contest; The Inquisitorium/INQ28 ‘Never Suffer the Witch’ Miniature Challenge!



Here is the full gallery of high res images, enjoy!

Rather than just make a single mini, I decided to finish up a whole squad of #Greyknight terminators, as well as a crashed #derelict ship for terrain and something for them to encounter, the mysterious #Cogitor, the living brain of an ancient being, preserved for millennia aboard the ship.


  1. MFP 57 Chevy Pursuit. I’ve been wanting to do up a few cars in the classic #MadMax MFP colors for some #Necromunda ash waste Aribite bronzes for awhile now, but haven’t been able to track down a good #ford falcon kit, so I found this at CVS and figured the bronzes would make due with the best they could get ahold of. I did a quick rust/primer base coat, chipping medium, then airbrushed the colors in 3 passes, I started with a darker yellow, did a lighter more pure yellow second coat with just a bit less coverage, and a stippled a bit of the pure yellow with a sponge, then chipped it back and hand painted the letters #art #40k #madmax #miniature #chevy
  2. .  .  .


Found this toy truck at CVS, pretty excited about the paint job it came with. I’m thinking it’d make a good transport for my #travelingtraders
#art #40k #kitbash #modeling #ashwastenomad
Found this toy truck at CVS, pretty excited about the paint job it came with. I'm thinking it'd make a good transport for my traveling traders #40k #kitbash #modeling



This was a collaboration I did with Wayshak in 2007.

IMG_4133   IMG_4136

full gallery

Von Neuman Moderator Animatronic Robot (pt2)

Vacuum former; part 1

Years ago I had a freelance gig building a proof of concept model for a type of modular part. I whipped together a rapid prototyping machine out of a drawer, a bit of wood and aluminum scrap, my shop vac, some binder clips, and oven.

Not a bad test pull for hacking together a vacuum former from scrap on hand.

It was crude, cost almost nothing to make and worked pretty well. I ended up making a bunch of things with it, because it was fast and easy.

bianca armor

The lightweight armor for this puppet was pulled from solid resin prototypes in the course of an evening.

Eventually when the oven was replaced, I was asked not to put plastic in the new one anymore, since I had no immediate need for fast hollow plastic forms, I boxed it all up and put it in storage.

Returning to the former

Recently I found reasons to to develop a larger one, partly for some of the larger Drab Future models and partly for a friend, so I brought out the old machine and hacked apart an old space heater I’d had lying around along with some more scrap materials to try it out. Think of it as a ‘proof of concept’ basically to see what I ccould do in a night to get this up and running.

This looks like the heater;

Wired the whole thing into some frame made from aluminum.

And this is the arrangment with the new frame and binder clips

Once the plastic starts to droop, lift it off and drop it onto the platen and flip on the vacuum.

Things to look out for; As you can see the heat is a bit uneven, so I need to build a better insulated box and better distribute the heat over the entire surface and I don’t think the shop vac I was using had a very good seal.

It’d be nice to get this mini machine working, but it is hardly a priotity. I’m going to need something better, bigger, and more modular, but I’ll keep it around and use some scraps to fix it up.

Design Goals

  • Armor factory, want to be able to quickly form wearable suits of armor, estimate a maximum 2×2 foot max size needed.
  • Small foot print, Not a lot of room in the studio, so looking at an overhead heater, and storage space below the table.
  • Work surface as multi-use work bench table, large forming surface, want platen for 2” square frame and interchangeable for 1” squares as well as single hole for mold rubber evacuator.
  • Started drawing up some designs, based on a few ideas I’ve seen online;



    So I’ve begun by making the platen from parts I had on hand and looking at the size/shape of the work surface to see what will be useful and comfortable, mostly just holding up poarts to visualize and get the feel for it at this stage.


    I opted for 2×2 because that seems to be a standard size of available plastic sheet, and should allow me enough working space for even large parts of armor.


    This is about as far as I’ve gotten so far, and will need to consider picking up parts and materials to go any further.

    Parts List

    Looking at this list the estimate is about 300$ in parts, I’m hoping to make that less by being inventive…

  • ½-¾ MDF for table construction
  • ¼-⅜ Hardibacker for oven box
  • wood/metal support to elevate oven box
  • wood/metal frame to hold plastic
  • frame hinges
  • tracks for frame
  • clamps from track to frame
  • Heating element
  • Source of Suction

  • Expendable Materials

    24×24 sheets of ABS and/or HIPS at 1-1.5mm thickness
    Currently it appears that they run about 8-10$ a sheet, not too bad, but considering the ammount of test pulls I need to do… yeah.

    Heating element

  • Quartz patio heater
  • 50$ (might need two)
    26.5 x 5.2 x 14.2 inches

  • Modular Heater Kit and protoform plans
  • $235 (220 volt)

    Vacuum/suction source
    Looks like there are two options here, need to look at shopvac vs pump/tank. Shopvacs seem to be sorted by two factors, size and horsepower. I don’t need a very large one, but one that has a large force behind it. The advantage of a Ahopvac is that I won’t need to spend more time/money on plumbing and filters, and I’ll have an new additional tool for the shop. The downside is that it’ll never create as much force as a smaller pump/tank arrangment, and wouldn’t be able to pull double-duty de-gassing mold rubber.

  • Shop vac
  • I’m unsure what constitutes “enough” suction in terms of hp, it’d depend on the gauge of the plastic and other factors, but I doubt a shopvac could ever give “too much”.

    3hp 44$
    4.5 66$
    5hp 80$
    6hp 100$

  • Air tank + pump
  • I have a pump which should be rated pretty high, but needs testing as its been stored for awhile now. This solution will also require more set up for addign valves and fittings, but ultimately will be higher quality. Additionally plenty of pumps available online, ranging from $40-300+. The ratings for them refers to how many CFM, cubic feet per min, they can evacuate.

  • 3CFM $55
  • 33$ 5 gal tank
  • additional valves and fittings
  • Reference Notes

  • Can’t start a build like this without crediting Doug’s plans here;
    His machines represent the “right” way of doing this, and most of the examples you see online are modeled after his designs.
  • Another build worth mentioning is from Volpin prop’s blog
    He has built two and documented the builds for both of them, but I’m particularly impressed with the DIY nature of this first smaller build.
  • I’m very impressed with James of’s super simple Vacuum former tutorials here; It was his use of the Quartz heater that convinced me that it’d be a good idea.
  • Lastly I wanted to make note of this thread:

    It appears he is using the same heater I have been looking at and a similar format and has been running into the same problems I would be, i.e. the wood oven box heating, so it’ll be good to study how he has solved them.