I think there's a sweet spot that's worth aiming for when chopping up models to kit-bash. It's where the original set provides enough interesting parts to form the basis of two or more new models. It's like maximising the return on investment, where the investment is tiny bits of plastic, and the return is nerd-fuelled, children's toys.
In an earlier post (about making urban scatter terrain), I mentioned I had removed a few extraneous parts from some cheap toy cars I was turning into abandoned wrecks. One of those parts was easily interesting enough to help me reach that aforementioned sweet spot. If you've just clicked on the link it was the bright red crane section on the back of the black, police tow truck. It looked like a fairly decent component on which to base a more sci-fi-esque model crane, but add in the Turret Platform and one of the turret kits from Puppets War and the model practically built itself.
In what is fast becoming the norm with all my one-off projects, Games Workshop released their own model crane, last month, just as I was getting started on mine. Normally, seeing them whip out something amazing, just as I'm planning my B-list version, is quite demoralising. But, fortunately, on this occasion it just motivated me to plough on and get the thing finished.
So the Aedes servoloader was born. It's a mobile mini-crane which I've added to the other vehicles and scenery that represent civilian/industrial life in my Imperial Hive City, Kruenta Karoliina Arx Rotunda.
Once it was built I decided to use it to practice both my airbrush and freehand painting skills. These two techniques seem to cause me untold problems, and I'm always a bit nervous about trying them in case they end in abject failure – especially now that I document everything with this blog.
And, although both attempts did indeed end in abject failure, I was at least able to hide most of the airbrushing mistakes by adding plenty of weathering. Alas, my kindergarten freehand was not so fortunate, and there wasn't much I was able to do to make it look any good. I'm referring mainly to the letters MMXV on the jib, although I'm sure the discerning critic will find plenty of other things to dislike.
Could MMXV be some kind of instruction to anyone having to service or operate the thing? Or is it perhaps short for Mechanised Motive eXtraction Vehicles, a competitor to a firm I've mentioned in the past, Kruenta Demolition and Construction?
Or is it simply the year, in roman numerals, that my youngest child was carried forth into this world?