Forge World Anphelion Base project pt1

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Scenery
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been waiting to tell you all about this for the LONGEST time.  Earlier this year I actually acquired an unassembled (mostly) and unpainted Anphelion Base.  For those of you that don’t know, the Anphelion Base was an extremely ambitious piece of 40k terrain that Forge World made to accompany Imperial Armour IV  – The Amphelion Project.  These kits are very very rare.  When they were released back in the early 2000’s they were over $1,500AUD to buy, and were notoriously difficult to assemble (this one lived up to that reputation)  When I say difficult to assemble, what I mean is, during assembly, most of the time you feel like smashing it to little pieces using a hammer.

So my idea for the base was to make a table that represented some sort of abandoned Adeptus Mechanicus research station, with an entrance to an underground laboratory just nearby.  I’ve been wanting to use the Forge World Imperial Strong Point  I painted for my Carcharodons for some time.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It will act as the entrance to the subterranean laboratory.

Now, this series of blog post is going to be slightly different from my usual ones.  I’m actually going to include work in progress photos along with commentary.  I’m doing this for two reasons.  The first one is this is such an awesome model, I want you all to be able to live vicariously through this blog during the assembly of this amazing model.  The second reason is, I’ve not found many comprehensive blog post on the inter-webs on this model.  I’ve seen a few pics of other modellers here and there, but no ‘this is how I built and painted the Anphelion Base’.  So, in the interests of prosperity, I’ve taken it upon myself to provide the inter-webs with just such a post.

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The first step is to get the layout how I wanted it.  One thing I knew about this kit is that 1.  It was going to be mounted on MDF (Craft wood) and 2.  I was going to have to make molds of certain parts because with what I had, I couldn’t make the layout I wanted.

Lets start with the MDF base.  One thing that really irritates me about scenery mounted on MDF is the lip.  The base for the building or whatever gets cut out of MDF and thats it, just  really harsh shoulder between the board and the model base.  I didn’t want my piece to have this issue, I wanted to make sure that the edge of the MDF was made more into a ramp so that minis can balance properly, and its aesthetically  pleasing on the table.

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The first thing I did was draw outlines of all the various modules of the base on to MDF.  This included the ‘buttresses’

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I then added about 20mm around the module to allow for the ramped lip etc

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Then marked up the MDF ready for being cut out

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The halls were a much easier prospect…

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As was the intersection…

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Then it was time to cut them all out

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One problem I didn’t anticipate was the wide base of the hall going into the narrow base of the intersection.  I had to put my thinking cap on for this one…

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I ended up just making a small modification to the hall base to allow for a smooth transition between pieces.

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So now the hall goes into the module and the intersection smoothly.

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Next up with the very messy job of sanding the ramp onto the lips of all the bases.. epic job.  I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have a good dust extraction method and dust mask.  MDF is seriously bad stuff to breath in.  Maybe thats why no one bothers to make a better lip transition?

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Nice

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After I’d done this, I went back to all the joins and ‘aligned’ them.  Which basically involved going back to each one and making minor modifications to ensure the joints overlaped and joined smoothly.

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Just another pic of a fixed up joint

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The MDF bases of the base all organised.  This didn’t take as much time as you’d think.  The results will be well worth it in the end.

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So I also wanted some scatter terrain too.  I made a mold of the ‘containers’ so I could have a few floating around the base.  You’ll also notice the landing pad has two ramps indicated on the base.  So yeah… I’ll mold that section too.

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So I mounted the scatter terrain on MDF bases too.  I also added a few barrels etc to give it some more visual interest.

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There you go, the Anphellion base is now ready to be glued onto the MDF, then undercoated.  I don’t know if its clear in the photos but if you look closely you can see the that the layout I’ve come up with is different to the actual models that I’ve got.  So I’ll have to make molds of the pieces I need.  This will be a pretty big job too.  I won’t do a post on the mold making process as thats a series of post in its self!.  You’ll just have to believe me that it happened and I achieved the desired results.  In future posts though you’ll notice the molded sections because they’ll be white.

Ok, thats it for now, until next time.  Thanks for dropping in

John

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Comments
  1. Leeman says:

    That’s awesome work! I love the lip on the MDF base too – I think you’re right – people probably don’t bother because it’s so messy, but the effort is worth it – it looks so much better with a smooth transition.

  2. Aaron Bailey says:

    Great start mate, I always added the lip, but mine was just done with a blade cut at an angle the whole way round, your is (as always) much nicer and more professional.

    Having had a sneaky peek I can say the results are amazing guys, keep your eyes peeled for the rest of this series, I know I will.

  3. Mangozac says:

    Awesome sauce!

    Not to be nitpicky but have you ever contemplated adding some grey pigment to your resin? Just makes it easier on the eyes (and photography) while still unpainted 😉

  4. 40kterminatus says:

    That’s looking very nice. I have a very similar Forge World Strongpoint almost painted to the same colour so your expansion is just what I needed to encourage me to keep building. Keep up the good work.

  5. Dan Smith says:

    Absolutely awesome John. Just a question though, why didn’t you use the plans in the back of the book (Imp Armour IV: Anphellion) to aid your designs?
    There are templates in the back that you can photo copy and then enlarge to get the exact floor plan.
    Just though that would have made your bases easier to make if you just glued a photo copy over the MDF and the cut away?

    Either way I’m jealous of this project it’s something I wish I had bough myself all those years ago. Fantastic keep up the good work!

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