Sunday, July 23, 2017

Leave it to Reivers (Part 1)

When this new edition of 40k arrived last month, I was excited, but not so excited that I had to have it on launch day. Thankfully I had a look at a preview copy to see how little rules content was actually in the $60 hardcover book and decided to pass on getting just that.

The big boxed set had some cool looking models but nothing I felt I had to have. But with the arrival of Know No Fear, a half priced starter set with a smaller book, a lot of the new models and some easy to teach intro scenarios, I decided to go for it. The discounts I got at my local hobby store enabled me to get a a free box of the new Primaris Reivers as well, so I figured that was a win. They are kinda neat and, weirdly enough  I am more interested in them at the moment than I am anything else I purchased that day (although I am thinking a lot about Papa Nurgle). Now let's look at these Reivers...

Little box, big hopes.

I am always happy to see art work on a box as opposed to photos of the models. There is just something about that I appreciate more. Cracking open the box and laying out the contents we get a single blue sprue, 3 bases, decals and a booklet.

For monopose snapfit models they sure have a lot of bits! And the instructions you'll quickly realize are surprisingly vital. Althougn they are easy to comprehend and within a few minutes, give a little bit of time for flash and mold-line clean-up, and presto you got 3 completed marines. Also it is nice to FINALLY see GW produce some 32mm slotta bases. I hope they make these available seperately at some point.

The 3 Reavers assembled.
 That's three completed BIG marines I must stress. Compared to their traditional older Battle Brothers, they are freak'n huge!

Freak'n huge!
But the heads remain somewhat scaled with the older marines, which in turn makes their proportions something like refrigerators, on stilts, with helmets on top of them. Oh, and while I am thinking about their heads I have got to gush about my favorite aspect of these minis: their heads actually MOVE! How cool is that? Oddly pointless as far as the game is concerned, but neat as heck as far as models go!

"Look to the left! Look to the right!"

Ultimately, I think I like these guys even though they seem to be armed somewhat strangely for such big guys. But now I must make the ultimate choice of picking how to paint them. I have 2 Codex Chapters: Ultramarines and Celestial Lions. I am about 85% in favor of the Ultramarines at this point. We shall see in Part 2 which way I ultimately go...

"You all come back now, y'hear?" (In booming speaker-voice).

Friday, July 14, 2017

Celestial Lions Kill Team (Part 10)

And finally, we have arrived to the last man of this unit:

The Sgt with all his bitz.

After finishing the plasma pistol and touching up the red skull decal, it was time to finally create the final componet of this miniature: the back banner. After a few attempts free handing the approximate dimensions of the banner and the lion icon on a piece of notebook paper (hey, it was the only thing I had on hand), I combined the two images into this:

Rough banner drawing.
 I used the same paints that I use on my Lions, but while doing so I had to go outside the margins I set to make the lion mane bigger.

Rough painting.
 I tightened up the painting, added a few minor highlights, and put some stars in the background. I then painted the back side of the paper with black paint. It was now ready to be cut out.

Finished banner art. 
It seems like this whole aspect of back banner making is something of a lost art. Damn near every model in the '90s had a banner. But this went from empty banner poles you had to customize to pre-embosed banners by the time 3rd edition was over. Granted this banner isn't my best work, but it's not supposed to be, it's just a Sgt back banner. The more ornate banner belongs to the Celestial Lions Terminator Captain, and of course, it should.

Cut out and free.

Anyway, after I cut out the banner with an exacto blade, I had to make few minor trims before folding the tabs around the banner pole and glueing them to the back banner. I used Elmer's glue (my favorite flavor since 1st grade -yum!) to glue it down.

Watching glue dry.
It was now time to put him all together:

Arms on.

Backpack with banner attached.

View from behind.

Profile shot.
 And ta-da!
He is finally done!

Next, I will revisit the entire squad (pride?) of Lions and add flock and some battle damage along any other finishing touchs before declaring this project over.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Space Wolves Iron Priest (Part 1)

Back in May of last year (2016) you may recall I painted my Eversor Assassin in a fairly fast and focused painting session. I was quite proud of myself in fact and was sure that I could do it again. That weekend I decided to take part in a local painting competition, which stipulated that you had to buy the miniature from their store during the contest window with all entries submitted by May 31st. It was May 22nd, and I knew that if I focused on this model I could knock it out. But I was woefully unprepared for just how complex this model was, but pushed on anyway.

I had decided long ago that my Space Wolf Iron Priests would wear the traditional red armor of the Adeptus Mechanicus - at least to some degree. Either in full suits or just their helms, the red would appear somewhere. You can see where I did this with the gunner on my Space Wolves Landraider (below). Either way, this extra color palette was going to add additional time to my painting deadline.

Land Raider gunner.

I launched right into this project and didn't take any pics until I was past the base-coating stage. The pic below shows how I like to paint loose heads.

Head on a spike.

When painting models that haven't been assembled yet, I often drill a hole into the bottom of the head with my pin-vice and glue it onto a brass rod or wire. This allows me to hold the wire or rod and get to the details with my brush that I might not be able reach if I were holding it with my fingers. If I don't need the pin-vice for anything else I'll leave it on it and paint it just like that. Which is what I did in the pic above.

Above is the model at the base-coat stage.

 I was making decent progress on this when suddenly the person running the painting contest announced on FB that he wanted to see some entries and started posting entries that were already submitted. There was a bit of a back and forth online over it which left me feeling odd about the whole premature showcasing of early entries, so I dropped out. And instead of continuing on this model I put my focus onto a different model that I needed to use in an upcoming game instead.

The state this was in for about a year.
As the year came and went, I found myself once again considering painting and working on some Space Wolves and as I looked upon this model in it's exploded state, I felt a keen yearning to press on and complete him. There has been additional progress on this model, but we'll save that for part 2.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Celestial Lions Kill Team (Part 9)

Following on from Part 8, I have been working on finishing up the one model that is magnetized. He is a Special Weapons Trooper that I have magnetized three special weapons arms so I can adjust his options as needed. You can see how I did the work of integrating these magnets into this model in Part 5.

I had to decide on the final position for the left arm, as it will be bracing and securing the weapons when attached. I settled on a 'firing' position.

Brace arm attached.
The next few pics shows how the weapons arms attach:
Grav gun.

Melta gun.

Melta gun, lower perspective.

Plasma gun.
Finally I added the head which I positioned to appear to be looking in the direction that the gun is aiming. I also attached the shoulder pads and if you compare the following pics to the ones above you can see how well that they cover the magnet joins and surgical scars left over from the conversion.

Grav gun finished.

Plasma gun finished.

Melta gun finished.

And with that, our Multi-Option Weapons Specialist is completed! The next, and ultimate post, will be about the Veteran Sergeant who I am very much looking forward to completing.

The assembled unit...but where is Sarge?!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Celestial Lions Kill Team (Part 8)

Welcome to Part 8 of this series, which we could subtitle as Icon and Decal Hell. After finishing off a side project or two, I got back to the grind of trying to finish off these guys. After a few touch ups it was time to focus on those Chapter badges, which I am doing by hand and with aid of a stencil.  The first thing I do is hand paint the basic shape, then I go over that with the stencil to guide the rest of the shaping process. I continue to tighten it up until I am satisfied with results.
The Chapter Icons, halfway thru the process.
The other side is also a time consuming process even though it looks like it shouldn't be. What I do is apply the Tactical Icon decal and paint over it. However those Space Marine shoulder pads are not at all welcoming to decals, and without Micro-Set I would go mad fooling with them.

Tactical arrows applied.

Next I added the '2' icons to their left knee pads, again using Micro-Set.

'2's added to knees.

Then using Folk Art English Mustard I paint over the white Tactical arrows. I had to do this in multiple layers which unfortunately made some of these appear 'muddy' or splotchy. Hopefully this won't appear so obvious after I seal the minis.

Arrows recolored.
After a few more touch-ups and detail chasing, it was time to glue on the backpack and bolter to these two guys below. They are to the point were I feel that I can declare them as 'done'.


The other guy with the magnet arms, I am focusing on him next. Then the Vet. Sgt. After that I will only have the Land Speeder left to complete and I will be done with this Celestial Lion project. So close, yet so far... :)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Space Wolf Scouts (Part 2)

Progress continues on my Shadow War: Armageddon Space Wolf Scout Kill Team. In the first part of this series I showed a painted example of the late Rogue Trader era Space Wolf Scout paint scheme. The iconography at this time had the scout pack markings as being red on white, colors one would not typically associate with covert operations. But then the scouts from that time were just weird (puffy shirts, moon boots, etc.).

Current basecoats. 

With these guys I just dove into base coating them in a typical scheme close to how we often see these models painted. But I keep looking back on those older minis and thinking that I like the brashness of it all; the 'in your face' fearlessness of that attire. And I ponder if maybe it would be cool to just paint them that way for the hell of it. Granted I wouldn't go all the way with it (no white gloves or green boots) as over all I think that scheme can look a bit too "rhinestone cowboy" for it's own good. Anyway, I am weighing all of this 'out loud' per se to hear if anyone has an opinion on the matter before I go crazy with this...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Deadly Assassins (Part 3)

Choosing a new spot for sniping.
It's been about a year since I turned my attention onto my Imperial Assassins, And I decided to do so again this time on mister firepower himself the Vindicare Assassin!

Sniping Dreadnoughts.

This is the first Vindicare Temple Imperial Assassin produced by GW. He is 20-21 years old now. This model has a strange pose but it does have a virtue of being able to see and identify each wargear item. The alternate sculpt that came out a few years later is actually in a shooting pose but has one leg propped up on a skull which looks silly in hindsight.

I base coated the whole model black and using the paint guide for White Dwarf Weekly #25 (the Execution Force issue) proceeded to follow the suggested steps.

A layer of Dark Reaper. 
This was my first time using Dark Reaper as a tone on black and I thought it worked out great as it has a subtle "electric" vibe that plays with your eyes. This was highlighted with Fenrisian Grey and that is where the WD Paint Splatter article stopped but I thought the colors popped a bit too much so I toned it back a bit with Nuln Oil. That result pleases me quite a bit and I think I will use this scheme again on the rest of my Assassins.

A layer of Fenrisian Grey then a wash if Nuln Oil.
Next was the face mask and Eye Lenses. These steps again followed the WD steps. The Lenses were based using Mephiston Red, a wash of Nuln Oil, a layer of Evil Sun on the lower parts, a very thin layer of orange on the lower area of the Lenses and then topped off with a dot of White Scar in the top corners. It was a lot of steps for such a small part of the model but I liked the results. The Mask itself was easy in comparison: a medium Grey, a mid-coat of Ulthuan Grey and layer of White Scar.

The completed Face Mask steps.
Next came the straps. This model has more straps than a S&M freakshow. But I liked the palette that the WD team chose to use as it contrasts nicely with the black areas without blending in or clashing. These were painted in Khorne Red (I used Scab Red which seemed like the perfect analog), washed in Nuln Oil and thinly high lighted with Pink Horror.

The guns were painted using Caliban Green for a basecoat layered with Kabalite Green. I decided I liked this over the WD example as this was darker and less distracting.

With a few other details finished this guy was done. Added some grass tufts to the base and the model was truly done.

And done!
On the backside of the model you can see a cable the runs up to his mask. I painted this using Averland Sunset and hand painted the black stripes over it in even bars.

The backside.
And that is a wrap! I look forward to seeing him on a tabletop again striking fear into my opponents with his nasty shots. it too late to add Dreadnought bits?