07 June 2013

Arts and (Space)Crafts- Lava Rock Asteroids: The Pete From Oz Method

Arts and (Space)Crafts is a series of articles here on TheMetalBikini.com where I spotlight some of the more hobby-oriented aspects of X-Wing Miniatures and share them with all y'all. 

Look at that pic. I mean, seriously- how hot is that? That's some good stuff right there, man! 

I got an email earlier this week from a guy in Australia named Pete talking to me about lava rock asteroids and the "Biggs, Wedge- Let's Close It Up" scenario. After much goading by me, I finally convinced him to let me attach at least his first name to this article, which is pretty much all him really. 

Now, I know, I know. You can figure out how to make lava rock asteroids all by yourself, but have you? Made them, I mean? Didn't think so! Lucky for you, our good pal Pete here has done all the heavy lifting for us and graciously given us directions and pics on how to get it right on your first try. With a little bit of work, time, and effort, you too can create some awesome looking and fully rules-functional asteroid lava rocks. 

All the tools needed to build your asteroids. Only thing I forgot was the stirring stick for the glue as its a two part resin requiring mixing.

  • Asteroid template
  • Cork tile piece
  • Drill with masonry bit same size as wallplug
  • Wallplug(s) This appears to be Australian for drywall anchor, like Foster's is Australian for beer
  • 5 minute Araldite (actually takes about 10 minutes) This is Australian for 2-part epoxy
  • Pen
  • Cutting tools to cut cork tile
  • Bag of lava rocks for BBQ
  • Black spray paint
  • Paint brush

Pick your asteroid template from the core box set. Trace around it with pen or pencil onto a cork tile.

Cut out asteroid with side cutters and a sharp box cutter. Make sure it's sharp. The sharper it is, the easier it is to cut. Be careful with your fingers.

Finished cutting out cork tile template. Neaten it up at this stage with the sharp box cutter.

Mix your two part 5 minute Araldite with stirring implement.

Insert one of the wallplugs into the glue. If its tapered at one end put the flat end in the glue.

Attach wallplug to cork base. Hold it for a few minutes as it can fall over until the glue sets. Took about 10 minutes for me until I was happy with it. Make sure its straight up and down and not on an angle.

With your black spray paint spray the template and wallplug until it is covered. Leave it for a couple of minutes outside to dry. Please spray outside with proper ventilation.

Turn your lava rock over until its in a position that you think looks best. Then drill into the bottom of the lava rock with your masonry drill bit. Doesn't have to be too far. 5mm or 6mm (Australian for 1/4" or sois all you need.

Test fit your asteroid on the stand. If you like the colour (<-Australian spelling) of it you are finished. Go and make another 5 with the other templates. If you want more colour or highlights follow on.

Dry brush your asteroid with a lighter colour than the asteroid itself. I used Space Wolves Grey from Games Workshop. Dry brushing is easy to do. Practise (Whoa! Another Australian spelling!) on another lava rock until your happy you can do it on the one your going to use. Dip brush into paint and wipe most of it off on a rag or cardboard box. Then lightly drag the brush over the lava rock. You'll know if looks good or it needs more. Its up to your eye.

You could use a darker grey and put it on a bit more heavily then dry brush the lighter grey on top. Depends how much you want to do. Plenty of dry brush techniques online.

Finish dry brushing asteroid. Should only take a couple of minutes to dry enough to use. Install it on the base and now go and play. Asteroids look a little more dangerous than their cardboard counterparts.

Ain't that the truth, huh boys?

I had to use Pete's email text because of the bit about "<---- Australian spelling." For whatever reason, that cracked me up earlier so it had to stay in the article.

Thanks again man! Good stuff!

I gotta say, I'm really proud of myself for only making a Foster's joke and not going down the obvious Paul Hogan path, so well done me.

And I only said "Awesome", like 38 times in this article. You can barely tell I'm American, huh? I'm like the Continental or something. Also, I love Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I'm not even joking. I even read, "And the Ass Saw The Angel", and I'm still known to utter in a decidedly redneck, inbred tone "Mah sanctum", occasionally when arriving home from work, from time to time.