Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hyperion Finished / Warmachine Year in Review

It was a fun year of playing Warmchine for me and I decided to finish it with a big hobby project. I recently finished up my Hyperion Colossal which included my first use of LEDs in a model.   It turned into more work than I originally anticipated, but I am happy with the end result.   I have included some detailed pictures of the painting and modeling techniques I used below.   But first, here is a look back on my WM gaming in 2012.

Gamer's Sanctuary ran a few Privateer Press Steamroller leagues over the year that got me me motivated to get my army fully painted.   My game play skills improved and I actually felt confident enough to play in some higher point tournaments.  I missed the summer Rampage at GS, but I did get to play in the Iron Arena at  Gencon.  Last but not least, I broke down recently and picked up War Room for my iPad, despite some tepid reviews.

I am looking forward to more in 2013!   Retribution should see the release of their first epic Warcaster, eVyros.   I have a nice cavalry themed list that I would like to try with him and some Dawnguard Destors.   I plan on taking my RoS to Adepticon to play in the Iron Arena there.  If I can get past my giant robot fetish, I might try to start a Hordes army.   Speaking of giant robots...

The fluff behind the Hyperions has them as ancient weapons that were decommissioned due to the amount of collateral damage they caused.   The main weapon channels the energy of a star into a beam of destruction.   The cannon has critical consume which removes from play all small-based models hit.   I imagine it looks something like this warmachine's weapon when it crits.

Even before my pre-ordered Hyperion showed up in October, I started collecting basing material.   My favorite find online were some Elven themed basing kits from Scibor Miniatures.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to pick them up at their Gencon booth, so I ordered online and got the kits shipped from Poland...

The Hyperion model itself required a lot more prep work than I had thought.   I had to do a lot of filing to remove mold lines and get the parts to fit.   Even after all that, I still needed to use green stuff to fill in some gaps.

I originally tried a very complicated LED kit that included a circuit board.   I was scratching my head over how to fit a 9V battery into the base when I discovered a much better option.   I ordered a LED kit from Evans Designs that used a much more package friendly 3V battery without a board.   The salesman was very helpful on the phone and made sure I had matching voltage for my battery and lighting kits before shipping my order.  I was happy to discover that their 3V LEDs have comparable brightness to the 9V ones I had originally purchased.

I left the massive shoulder pads off for the moment and worked on routing the wiring for the lights to the center gun chamber.   I did some careful drilling with the Dremmel tool to make sure the light would be centered correctly.

After priming the model, I did a few LED light tests in different positions.  I do regret not putting one in the head to light up the eyes.   I had already assembled the model with green stuff and getting another wire to go there would have required some model tear up that I was not ready to do.

I also got working on the basing material.   I wanted to do a mini-diorama for the base which showed a reactivated Hyperion charging up in an ancient, but still functional, Iosan power station.

Trying to do weathering on white paint was going to be a challenge.   Fortunately, Privateer Press has a great tutorial in the Colossal book that used a layering technique with paint and hairspray.

After using two coats of hairspray on the model, a light grey base coat was applied with my airbrush.

The next step was applying weathering with a stiff bristled brush to the edges.   I used a Q-tip to apply water first to break up the hairspray layer.   This allowed paint to fleck off the edges where I wanted the darker grey to appear.

After I was satisfied with the weathering, I sealed the model with a matte spray.

I then applied another layer of hairspray on the model.   After allowing it to dry, I applied the next base coat.   It felt weird painting over the weathering I just did.   But using water and a stiff bristled brush again allowed me to fleck paint off where I wanted the under layers to show through.   At this step, I did use the airbrush to paint the blue/green color in the center gun chamber as well.

I started to work on the base layout next.   I used some balsa wood strips to build up a mounting surface for the decorative floor.  .

Using a Dremmel tool, I notched out pockets in the bottom of the shoulder pads for the two side LEDs.

After a final wiring test, I trimmed the wires and did some soldering.   By the way, stripping 28 gauge wire is tough without breaking the exposed wire.

I did some more light tests before securing the model to the base.  I also followed the "working with LEDs tips" from the kit and gently filed down the tops to help disperse the light more.

Finally, I went through the detailed painting for the nodes and glowing runes all over the model.   I finished up the base with some cool modelling clay I found.   It was really easy to work with and dried to a nice stone finish around the base.

I left the on/off switch exposed on the back of the base.   The red/black wires were painted white to help hide them on the back of the body.

The 3V battery is easy to switch out.   Hopefully the LEDs last awhile, because there is no way to replace them.

I also painted up a second Arcanist solo because someone is going to have to keep this thing repaired in the battlefield.   Also, I need all the extra focus I can get at the higher point games to field a Colossal.

There you have it.   Hyperion... a weapon from a more civilized age where wars were won not only by who had the biggest weapon, but also the biggest shoulder armor.

Thanks for viewing, comments are welcome.


  1. It looks even better in person!

  2. Looks great... obviously you put a TON of time into it. We should get some really good pics and send to No Quarter.

  3. This is more impressive than anything I've ever attempted.

    Maybe a Heldrake with red LED lights...or maybe not until I get these other dozen projects I have going done.

    1. I lit a Heldrake with red LEDs, it isn't easy, you have to do alot of extra modelling and hollow out sections of it.

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  5. Looks awesome - Some of your best work!

    When you are ready for the next stage, I will provide the lasers... :)