The Big Mek Manual

by on August, 16, 2011 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on The Big Mek Manual

Ork Mekboy

Back in 2002 I was a noob to all this Warhammer 40k hobby stuff. Oh, I played the occasional game since 1996 and had some of the models but lacked experience at the totality. I decided to learn more and hit the internet. My eyes were opened and I learned so much in those first couple of years I decided I was going to write a gigantic book/website of sorts. It was going to be the book/resource I wished I had when I started really getting into it. This, of course, was during the Wild West days the internet  when the world of miniature painting was pretty small in this brave new world.

Fast forward to present day. The internet has become a vast resource for almost anything you would want to learn about 40K and modeling. It’s astounding the dearth on knowledge now out there compared to back then. I really wasn’t kidding either about writing a book… I’ve got a ton of material I’ve written over the years – but never published it. I’ve been posting progress of my work on a lot of major forums but there wasn’t anything that comprised a consolidated resource for all of that knowledge I’ve acquired since then. That’s going to change now.

To this: Shokk Attack Big Mek

The Big Mek Manual is going to be my collection of knowledge I’ve gained over the years. I want this to be a resource for both newbie gamer/modelers and for seasoned vets alike (although I don’t propose to teach too many old dogs new tricks). I’ll be starting this out with an introduction I wrote many years ago about how and why I decided to take up this particular mantle. It’s basically a three page rant about why I think I might be particularly suited to this hobby and present myself as a semi-authority on the subjects I’ll be presenting. The meat for all the new people will start with the absolute basics – really simple stuff. Tools, working environment, places to seek inspiration (other than here 🙂 ). I’ll then move on to things like working with metals versus plastics, different paint types and primers, glues and adhesives and more.

Once I have all the articles for the basic hobby knowledge I’ll branch out into things that need those foundations like blending, scratchbuilding/kitbashing (otherwise known as Looting), airbrushing and more. I’ll also be dropping tips and tricks through out the articles as there are always little things even the most experienced modeler may pick up (even like me).

What I won’t be showing is how to win a Golden Demon or sculpt with greenstuff/putty. There’s a lot I can show you but these are two areas I don’t have experience in (yet).

If you’re still here and figure you might take a further look, the menu at right will show you what’s available as I get the articles online. I’ll also try to post in my blogs  when I add a new section or article. In time, I hope this becomes a valued resource for new and old modelers of all stripes.

If you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please email me.

Randy Tenvoorde

Finalized Ork Bommer Tail

by on July, 24, 2011 in Apocalypse, Blasta Bommer, Uncategorized - Comments Off on Finalized Ork Bommer Tail

Got some time tonight to  work on the blasta bommer. I knocked out the base shapes for the tail – this should clear up a couple of questions floating around. Badfangs suggestion about raising the tail engines up so they’re not directly in line with the front engines was a good one. I accomplished it in a slightly different manner though.

The lower tail tips are only poster tacked in place as I don’t have enough of the right size channel to assemble them the way I want to – sandwich technique much like the front wings. This shows the general shape and position of everything now.

I’m on vacation now for a week so there will be no more progress for the next 8 days as I’ll be kicking it lakeside with beer, books and food. Once I get the framework on the tail done I’ll start paneling the beast, then the detail work beginning with the Deff Arsenal in the nose. That’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Enough of my rambling, here’s the pics.

Blaster Bomma Tail

Blast bomma tail
Blasta Bomma Tail

Ork Blasta Bomma Tail


Bommer wing in for repairs…

by on July, 06, 2011 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on Bommer wing in for repairs…

Small progress last night on the bommer. Would have gotten more finished but I stumbled a few times, silly mistakes, all recoverable with a little time and grousing.

My last few large Apocalypse projects have taught me a little about “overbuilding and over engineering” these types of models. The problem comes with them usually being mixed-material things. Metals, many types of plastics, wires, rubber. The problem comes from getting some things to stick to others. PVC is a great, strong building material and it comes in tubes which is very handy for rokkets, engines, silos, aircraft bodies, etc. The problem with pvc is almost nothing sticks to it very well, hence one of the reasons it’s used on the plumbing industry.

PVC to PVC with PVC glue sticks like they’ve been welded together, but I’m not attaching pvc to pvc. Polystyrene glues don’t adhere well to pvc – super glues are only slightly better than that. Epoxies work reasonably well but are still prone to shearing effects. This leaves us with sheet screws as our absolute best methods for attaching things to pvc. Things aren’t going anywhere without a lot of force. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan on throwing this thing from across the room to come crashing down on the table (cool image though) but I do want it to be stable and durable enough to play with and move/transport without having to build in special compartments to hold it’s own glue tubes for repairs every game.

So that long winded distraction brings me around to my point/rule for building large items w/pvc. I try to attach polystyrene to the pvc with screws where ever I can and try to hide the screws afterward.Plumbers putty and two-part epoxies are my second tier adhesives. After that it’s super glues (very rarely though) and I try to use polystyrene glues only on styrene. Once I can wrap everything that’s [i]not[/i] styrene with styrene, then I can start all the details and work with the plasticard normally.

Ramble over…..

Here’s what I [i]did[/i] get done last night. I removed the outer engines, after a little cursing, and fixed the angle on the starboard wing. Then I glues large square channel to the wing panels. This channel perfectly fit over the stabilizing tubes (thank Mork), well, at least one from each side (dang Gork). The channels simply slide onto the tubes and I’ll glue everything thing down when they’re finished.

Blasta bommer

bomma wing

Ork Bomma

Most of the actual stress will be on the tubes between the second and outer engines so I’m not worried about the panels having to be super strong. When I’m done building the outer wing sections they’re get epoxied to the inner set of engines to make the best connection. The panels will add to some rigidity to the whole construction when done.

Almost done with the main wing super structure!

Blasta Bomma

I just have to finish the outer wing tips, then I’ll move on to the back end of the fuselage and fill that out and start the tail section. Once all the main structures are finished I’ll start from the nose and work my way back adding in all the details (like flying deff aresenals!)


Da Big Mek Iz In!!!

by on July, 05, 2011 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on Da Big Mek Iz In!!!

Ancient hinges, rusted from eons of neglect, moan their complaints. Sharp screeches of pain puncture the deep rumble as the massive workshop door slowly grinds open, daylight ruining the darkened calm of sleep beyond.

Huge, translucent storage containers stacked imperiously high, reaching to the ceiling of the vast factory above. The remains of ruined vehicles and buildings peeking through the clear units. Things of devastation waiting their turn to once again be committed to acts of war.

A small aerial navy mothballed in the corner. A mockery of jets, uncompleted, surround a monstrosity of mad genius. Something that surely would never fly, it’s just too big, too cumbersome… too wrong.

The smell of old grease, glue and paint permeate the gloom, harkening to a more productive era, when things rolled off the work benches in a continuous, churning stream for battle. Long undisturbed dust motes stir up at the disruption of a long sleep, marking shafts of light through the newly opened door. A series of hazy, glowing arrows pointing at the occupant at the doorway.

A figure stands expressionless. Impassioned. Alone. Silhouetted in the murky light cast through the door. A deep rumble emits from the figure, a heavy weight of voice, like that of a lumbering tank rounding the bend.

“Soon. Very soon. Hur hur.”

Army Gallery

by on June, 30, 2011 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on Army Gallery


by on June, 30, 2011 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on About

About Big Shoota

What is BIG SHOOTA? It’s a site for Orky Insparashun! After researching orks online I felt that they we’re under-represented so I’m throwin’ my three teef into the ring about those crazy orks. My warboss is Red Jack, named for his need to have his entire army wear red jack-boots.

Most of the site is, frankly, me showing off my orks. I put a lot of time into these bad boyz and I feel pretty good about them. No Golden Demons here but I’m of a mind that not only do I want a well rounded, ass-stompin’ ork army, I want it to look good too! There’s no reason a greasy, grimy ork can’t look as good as the Sisters of Battle or the fancy new (insert newest codex here).

DISCLAIMER: I know there are some great miniature painters out there and some awesome looking orks so the comments above are not general blanket statements that cover all ork sites and artist. These are just my personal opinions and I’ve got’em just like everyone else.

BIG SHOOTA.COM started as an online journal of sorts in my pursuit of mastering the art of miniatures painting. I wanted to show people the steps in my learning process. My successes and my failures. My thought was it may be interesting to see somebody in the process of learning this art. Hopefully others would use it as inspiration for themselves to either improve their current level of work or continue on and keep trying when you feel like you just can’t get it right.

While I find that I can finish painting a mob of 30 boyz to higher than average quality, I don’t quite have the tenacity it takes to remind myself to take pictures every step of the way. I get too excited to finish a project and all the good will towards showing you how I do things goes right out the window. Sometimes, as I remember though, I’ll try to show you a process or way of thinking. Otherwise, it’s just me and my orks now.

Of course I will attempt to update this site as often as I work on my skills or after every 40K match with after-battle pics, but you know how that usually works ;-P [sfwp id=2 img=closespan.png] [sfwp id=1 img=closediv.png]

New digs for hobby workbench

by on February, 20, 2011 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on New digs for hobby workbench

OK dokey. 50 Hour Trivia Marathon is over. The house is back to normal and I’ve got the lions share of the modeling stuff setup in the new hobby room. Here’s the situation before. One small hutch and a large computer desk (at left, out of frame) that I shared with my wife. Most everything that didn’t fit inside the cabinet was stashed/hidden in different closets all over the house.


Aaaaand the after.

New hobby bench

airbrush station

better painting

Starting from the left. Cutting/building station. Anything dealing with actual building is done here. I’ll be replacing this small artists table son with a metal table that’s a little larger. I have yet to unload all the boxes and tools that will be set up here. There’ll also be power strips up either side of the table so I can plug in small powertools/hairdryers/drills. etc. easily and hang them over the edge of the table.

Display case #1

Computer desk. $25 on Craigslist. I love Craigslist. Computer and gaming books are here.

Display case #2

Painting Hutch: This is the original one from upstairs only this time it houses only stuff for painting.

Airbrush Station. This is a multifunctional space. I will use this as a small photo studio for taking pics when I’m not using it for an airbrush stand. I’ve got an old range hood from a kitchen remodel my wife and I did years ago that will be placed on top with some filters placed around and on top. This will allow me to airbrush indoors as it’ll be vented and filtered. I am very, very excited about this portion of the expansion.

Now that I’ve got a dedicated work area where I can leave unfinished projects out I can start focusing on my blasta bomber project. 🙂

I’ll be finishing the painting on the two slavers and Mek Boy in the next week. I’m kinda looking forward to getting back into the swing of things 40K related.


Mek Boy and Runtherders

by on February, 04, 2011 in Elites, Troops, Uncategorized - Comments Off on Mek Boy and Runtherders

I’ve been on a http://wellmuth.de/ of a break from active modeling/gaming lately as other aspects of my life become priorities. My wife is buying an advertising agency, we’re getting ready for a 50 hour trivia marathon (which we host a 20 person team from our house), and I’m planning a 32 man bar tournament – they’ve all pretty much kept me away from the bench. I kinda welcome the break to be honest. I’ve got about a dozen projects started know and it bothers me to have so many “open” at once.

Since I don’t know when, or how much time I’ll have available to me at any one moment, I decided to grab three miscellaneous models from my unpainted stock and figured I’d putter away at them piecemeal until they’re done. I’ve chosen two slavers and a Mekboy with a KMB. All models I will be fielding more often so figured I’d gettem up to par.

Skin done.

Grot herders and Kustom Mega Blasta Mek Boy

This won’t last for long though. after the trivia contest next week my meks work/paint shop will be relocating to it’s own room downstairs (finally!). My wife is taking over the office upstairs and I’ll be taking over the “rumpus/sewing” room. It’ll be nice to spread out again and have everything I need at easy reach without having to dig through multiple closets and various storage spaces hidden around the house. This will take about a week or two so the shop will be closed till I get everything in place in the new room. I can’t wait!


Runtherder and Battlewagon Krew

by on December, 13, 2010 in Heavy Support, Troops, Uncategorized - Comments Off on Runtherder and Battlewagon Krew

Ok, quick update – I’m not dead, just really busy.

Did manage in the last three weeks to wrap up the crew for the stock battlewagon and started the runtherder for the grot mob I did a while back. The runtherder is a really nice model with lots of detail and character, much like the rest of the new ork sculpts. Very well done GW. I’m doing him in small parts as to not go crazy trying to figure everything out at once. I’m also trying to practice a little with some NNM (non-metallics metal) and still have a long way to go.

I also need to paint the deff rolla before I can call the stock battlewagon completely finished. Again, not a huge rush as I’ve got very little hobby time at the moment.

Here’s the pics!

Runtherder WIPS

Grot Slaver

And the Battlewagon Crew

Ork battlewagon crew

battlewagon big shootas


10K Ork Army – Red Jack’s Waaagh!

by on November, 27, 2010 in Apocalypse, Uncategorized, Waaagh! - Comments Off on 10K Ork Army – Red Jack’s Waaagh!

OK, as with every Thanksgiving weekend, I took a full army shot as well as assessed my army in total, painted and unpainted. Here’s the entire painted portion of my army…

Ork ARmy Waaagh!

6,800 Points of Ork Waaagh!

This is roughly 6,800 points – without pushing wargear and of course not including possible formations.

Here’s everything I have that’s assembled/field-able (meaning not in pieces or unfinished assembling)


Ork Waaagh!

Red Jack's Waaagh! 10,000 + Points

This is a total of 10,190 points. I was kinda surprised to see I had broken the 10K mark this year but as seeing there’s 4 new Apocalypse units and and addition of two more Killa Kan mobs I suppose it shouldn’t have.

Here’s a close up shot.

Waaagh! Close up

Close up of Ork Army

If anyone wants to see any closeups, I did take a bunch of shots and can post more if you all want. Just let me know.

So at Thanksgiving end of 2010, here’s the stats for Red Jack’s Waaagh!

Painted: 6797 points
Unpainted: 3393 points

Total Army Points: 10,190

Not too shabby. I’m hoping to keep the amount of unpainted work at 1/3rd or less of my total army, I guess that means more painting now and less building 😉