Saturday, January 26, 2019

Dark Angels Primaris Intercessors squad one

Well... it has been a while. A whole range of real life genuine issues has meant that I have barely done any painting.

However, I managed to recently finish off the first squad of Intercessors, following the same format as the previously posted HQ miniatures. Next in the queue is the Primaris Ancient, to include a tutorial of how I paint my Primaris Marines.

Short and sweet.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dark Angels Primaris HQ

I've had the Dark Imperium box set since the day it came out, but hadn't done much with it, other than build all of the Death Guard stuff (to sell on), and one Intercessor, just to see what it would look like. However, I have taken a break from the Warhound Scout Titan I've been painting to try and get the contents of Dark Imperium out of the way, as I have a whole bunch of other Primaris stuff still in the boxes that I'd also like to start.

Now, I know that the Primaris Marines are a divisive subject, and although I think they were a little bit shoehorned into the storyline, I have to say that I really like them, at least from an aesthetics point of view, to the point that the rest of my Dark Angels (entire 3rd Company plus lots of supporting units) probably won't be getting much love from me - sorry guys, but the new Marines just do it better! They are sized how I always thought they should be (in comparison to regular humans), the weapons look cool, the armour is more refined, and because they're new (digital) sculpts, the design and plastic is so much nicer and fresher, especially as some of the old Marines are looking incredibly tired - how long have we had that Azrael model for?!

I've come up with a quicker than usual painting scheme that revolves around an airbrush basecoat for the armour and furniture of the firearms, with brushed in details on everything else. I have gone against the trend that I had with all my other Dark Angels and decided against the extreme line highlighting - to be honest I actually think the effect is a bit goofy, and time consuming - it was the part of painting a miniature that I always disliked.  I plan to do a step-by-step guide as I build and paint the rest of my Primaris stuff. Until then, please enjoy these photographs of the Captain, Lieutenants and the solitary Intercessor:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Warhound Scout Titan - part two - painting the legs

The Warhound has now started to shape up. I covered the build in my last post, and have moved onto painting. I was incredibly concerned about paint adhesion, despite washing the resin multiple times, so I hit the whole thing with some Testors Dullcote matte varnish, then with some grey car primer spray. I use these two sprays exclusively on everything that I paint, although the varnish only usually gets used once painting has finished. I love the finish it gives, as it seems to give a final stage of blending - I hope that laying down a basecoat of it first will help. Anyway...

The base for each foot had been detailed with small stones, various grades of sand and gravel, some resin skulls from Secret Weapon Miniatures (highly recommended bits and company!), and a small piece of wall surrounded by some generic debris - the Warhound's right foot has smashed straight through this.

During the build, I had made sure to keep the armour panels separate, to aid in ease of painting. Everything that wasn't armour was airbrushed Abaddon Black, then Leadbelcher (trying my best to spray lightly in areas of shadow, to leave some of the black showing through). I wasn't confident that I coud pull off a cool looking airbrush only paintjob on the metal parts, so I moved onto brushwork. Ultimately, I wanted the metal to look tarnished and worn, which would make sense for a war machine that could be thousands of years old. Everything got a Vallejo black wash (only because I had ran out of Nuln Oil), and I drybrushed Leadbelcher, Chainmail and Brass Scorpion liberally over everything. The pistons and feet ball joints were picked out with Chainmail, as these are major moving parts that would remain shiny, with a touch of Seraphim Sepia near the bottom to represent blessed lubricant (all praise the Omnissiah!).

As for the toes and the armour panels, these were a little bit more delicately airbrushed than the metallic parts. I used Abbadon Black, Mechanicus Standard Grey, and Dawnstone - these were sprayed on in that order, with each colour leaving a little of the previous step showing through at the edges, giving what I think is that typical airbrushed tonal variation. The metallic trims were picked out with Leadbelcher, washed with Devlan Mud, then the rivets shaded with Nuln Oil followed by highlighting with Chainmail. The central rivets were picked out with Retributor Armour, adding a bit of a difference to the paint scheme, which to be honest, I was concerned would end up looking a bit bland. I'm not a huge fan of the bright and colourful aesthetic that the 40K universe often has, and decided not to align the Warhound to a particular Legio, but that said, I still don't want it to look... boring. I hope that by the end of this project, this won't be the case. Speaking of which - the Mechanicus detail on the groin armour was painted in 'full colour', almost as if it was a decapitated Tech Priest head that had been mounted there - another little splash of colour, and an interesting detail.

The bases used my standard colour scheme of Mournfang Brown, various dark washes, drybrush brown again, then a final drybrush of Zandri dust - this means that the Warhound will match the rest of my miniatures. The wall section and skulls were picked out in appropriate colours - I made sure that the skulls were all a little different in shade, rather than brushing them all with Ushabti Bone, for example. The feet were lightly airbrushed with brown, to represent kicked up dirt and dust - since some of the toes have been sunken into the Milliput 'ground', then it wouldn't make sense for the feet to be clean. I'm slowly embracing weathering and dirt in all of my minatures (where necessary), as everything I used to paint would be 'factory fresh' - therefore once the Warhound is finished, I will decide if weathering and damage is appropriate.

Finally, the armour panels were glued on, and the whole legs assembly was liberally sprayed with Dullcote. All done, now on to the torso, which I think will be a lot more challenging. Thanks for looking, and as a colleague of mine always says:

"Don't get lost or killed".

Monday, August 20, 2018

Warhound Scout Titan - part one - building and basing

So, almost two years ago I received a Warhound Scout Titan as a gift from my partner. I do have experience with Forge World miniatures, but like most people, this was the biggest kit I have ever had.

Now, this post is a bit like going back into the past, as clearly I've had it for some time. I made sure to check all the parts as soon as I got it, in case I needed to contact FW so they could square away any issues - it turned out that I was missing one of the toes - a replacement was promptly sent to me. I was eager to build it ASAP, so that I could actually use it in a game. I washed and scrubbed everything twice, then cleaned up all the parts, and washed and scrubbed them again before moving onto assembly, which was a very messy process. I made a mistake in building it, which resulted in botched attempts at trying to fix it, and eventually had to cut off one of the hip ball joints, and cast another from the other leg. The cast wasn't perfect, but was good enough. All I can say is, if you're building one, is make sure that the pistons have enough room to be fitted, as I certainly didn't.

The entire miniature is heavily pinned with 2mm brass rod - a Dremel rotary tool was essential for the amount of drilling that was required. I decided to not magnetise the weapons, so there is actually only four magnets fitted, meaning that the torso and legs can be separated for transport. I also made it so that the cockpit armour can be removed to show the internals - I decided not to bother with leaving access to the rest of the internals. I generally don't bother with painting the internals of miniatures, as I can't really see myself staying up at night peering into them.

The first game I played with it (it got blown up, of course!) proved that it was a bit unsteady, meaning that it had to be propped up under the chin to remain standing, meaning that I would need to base it, and sort out some of the weight distribution. I ordered some of the large round bases that GW make, and filled the bottom of them with car body filler and 1p coins. The bases also had some large fishing weights built into them - it was essential that the legs of the Titan were heavier than the torso, otherwise physics would win every time, and the Titan would forever be faceplanting the battlespace.

With all that done, I was content that the Titan was built (I have yet to fit the cables/hoses that connect between the weapons and torso), and I could leave it in storage for a time when I felt better able to commence painting, which will be covered in later posts.

Monday, July 30, 2018

New blog, new kit, old armour

So, as well as being new to blogging, I'm also new to airbrushing... well, technically I'm not that new to airbrushing, as I've had an airbrush and compressor for about five years, and painted a handful of miniatures with it, but it's safe to say that I am inexperienced. I use an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS, which is probably a bit like giving a Porsche to a new driver.

I very recently realised that my old setup, which was a cheap and cheerful featureless Clarke Wiz Mini Air compressor, just wasn't good enough, and I found myself getting frustrated when airbrushing. Ultimately, I probably only needed a moisture trap to attach to it (I know, I should've had one from the beginning), but I recently stumbled across a review of the Sparmax Arism compressor (purchased from Element Wargames for £135), and it seemed like it would be better than the Clarke one. In fairness though, I will fit the moisture trap to the Clarke compressor and see how it performs - it may still be useful. The Sparmax arrived this morning, and this evening I was eager to give it a test:

I've had this Taurox part built (minus the tracks) and undercoated for ages. I actually really like the model (it's reminiscent of modern military mine resistant vehicles), but unfortunately I built it prior to all the wheeled conversion kits coming out, plus I decided to follow the instructions and stupidly put the autocannons on the sides. I have a small force of Tempestus Scions, so I plan to use this one as a test (then probably sell for far less than it is worth on eBay), then possibly purchase and convert more of them in the future to act as their ground-based transport.

All in all, I was pleased on two fronts: the new compressor really did provide a more manageable and pleasing airbrushing session, and I'm pretty happy with the camouflage pattern that I sprayed on. I did pre-shade the lower half of it in black, but I guess I haven't quite figured out how to make that work properly yet.

Top-tip: whenever I paint something, and I think I might forget which paints I used, I take a photograph of the miniature with the pots of paint. It certainly takes the guess work out of returning to an old project, or adding new units to an existing force.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

10min a day can make all the difference

How does the title relate to the photo?

I'm a firm believer in doing 'little and often', in regards to painting - although I'm not opposed to an all day session. My lifestyle and occupation often means that free time is a luxury, or plans have to change quickly - therefore, if I have a spare 10-30min, I will try and get a bit of painting done. You'd be surprised at how much you can achieve in that time - for instance you could smash out the line highlighting on five tactical marines, then the next chance you get, the bases could be painted. Now if you were able to do this every other day or so, you'd soon make some progress, rather than putting it off, and then in a week, those five miniatures are finished. Better than nothing!

So... here's the essential part, in my opinion: you need a dedicated hobby space for this to work. I recently moved from a house where I didn't have this, to one where I do, and my productivity is through the roof, all because the barrier to those quick painting sessions was having to unpack everything, paint, then repack it all - it hardly seemed worth it. Plus, it just makes it a more comfortable and pleasurable experience.

I'm always fascinated by other hobby spaces I've seen online, and a bit envious, so I'm proud to present mine, which is still in it's infancy, and definitely a work in progress:

The desk itself is an Alex from IKEA, which is sturdy and a good height, with handy built in drawers. I believe they also sell a shelf that fits onto it, which would go where my paints are.

The Games Workshop paints, brushes and other bits and pieces are stored in the Modular Workshop System from HobbyZone in Poland. I ordered them on a Saturday and they arrived on the Monday (if I remember correctly). Building them all took the majority of an afternoon, but it was time well spent. Every module has magnets, which keeps the whole thing tight.

Close up illumination is provided by two OTTLite desk lamps that I got for less than £30 each from Costco (sorry, no link, I did look) - these lights provide multiple 'temperatures' of realistic daylight - I always have them on the coolest setting.

Finally, two glass jars, that many years ago contained pickled mussels, and have since remained my water pots. I feel like they're a bit of a lucky charm, and wouldn't paint without them. If they ever got broken, I feel like my miniatures would spontaneously combust, much like the monarchy falling if the ravens fled the Tower of London.

I'll do a more in depth look at my hobby space in the future - if you've been putting off taking the plunge and setting one up for yourself, start small, and make it permanent, and you'll soon see your productivity increase.

Blood, Paint and Tears

I've been building, painting and gaming with Warhammer 40K miniatures for over twenty years. I took a bit of a break during my twenties, but life has changed for me, to the point where that hiatus is now over. I don't get to play often, but my real passion is painting, and having been inspired by the many other blogs out there (primarily Ron's 'From the Warp'), I thought I could share my passion with you all. I can't say right now how often I will post, or even exactly what I will have to say, but I figured that it will find a natural flow eventually.

As for the name of the blog: clearly it's a play on the phrase 'blood, sweat and tears', and I feel like that's what I've (not literally) put into painting over the years, especially when I've lost my mojo, like many other painters, hitting a bit of a slump. This blog is dedicated to those of you struggling to pick up a brush - quit whinging, and get painting!