Games Workshop

After getting back from the NOVA Open, I needed to work on something different than Warmachine and Hordes.  Different sculptors and model manufacturers have different aesthetics and that means they offer different painting experiences.  I needed a change of pace, so I dug out my Tau and started working on one of the new(er) XV-8 Crisis Battlesuits.  They redesigned these not long ago, and they are spectacular.  There’s detail all over, they go together really nicely, and offer quite a bit more pose-ability than the older models (which are about 15 years old):

Some of my first models, back from April of 2004.

Some of my first models, from back in April of 2004.

The Scheme

I wanted to do an urban theme this go around, as a way to practice weathering and to work on more interesting and complex basing.  The urban environment dictated a mostly grey color palette, so I got out a set of four colors and my airbrushes and started playing around.  For all of the “white” and “black” on the model, I’m using the following Vallejo colors:  Black, German Grey, London Grey and White.  Often, while working off the wet palette, I’ll mix the three intermediaries, giving me roughly seven shades from pure black to pure white.

I started with the legs, which had large areas of armor and joints/structure.  This offered a nice place to play with both black and white, and make them interesting.  I used the airbrush to do the bulk of the work and show me where highlights and shadows should go and then enhanced the extremes with brushwork.  After some edge highlighting, I was pretty happy with the factory fresh look I’d achieved.  This is the requisite first step before weathering.

Mmmmm, lookin' fine!

Mmmmm, lookin’ fine!

Once I’d ironed out the style and method I liked, I proceeded to screw it up on the torso.  Instead of using my tight beam Sotar for the final highlight of white, I used my Patriot 105 which had a larger, fire hose sized needle equipped.  It made grainy transitions and forced me to re-spray the white with the Sotar.  This made it too bright, and the white edge highlighting barely shows up.  Phooey.

Good airbrushing, bad edge highlights

Re-worked airbrushing, invisible edge highlights

As you can see above, I built an urban base.  Because broken asphalt + road markings + rusty pipes = urban, right?  That’s all you need!  The asphalt is just thick cork, and the pipe’s a plastic tube.  The rest is flock, paint and weathering pigments.  There’s a more detailed tutorial coming on how I do this kind of base, later.  It’s not difficult, but like weathering, it’s an annoying number of layers and lots of waiting for things to dry.

After getting through nearly all the edge highlighting, I really wanted to add a pop of color, so I threw down some green on the Tau icons and backpack.  These were all done by hand, using several layers and mixtures of the P3 greens. The small bits of color really pop off the more monotone armor.

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The last pic shows the back of the model, and lack of highlights on the jet pack exhaust.  Like the glow effects from the green bits, I want to wait until after I do the weathering, since those glow effects would sit on top of the weathering effects.  Additionally, I haven’t picked out any of the typical “off color” armor panels that most Tau paint schemes are known for.  Since those will be a pain to do by airbrush (especially now, with the model completely glued together), they’ll likely have to be done by hand.  Getting the highlighting and shading on those to line up and fit with the existing armor will be oodles of fun.

All of that in Part 2, whenever that happens.  For the immediate future, this guy’s going in the display cabinet.  Next up on my paint table are some commissions!

 

As the 40k bug continues to nibble away at my painting time, I find myself looking for painting videos for inspiration, tips and other nuggets of knowledge.  This video is a good hour and a half long, but goes into loads of detail on how to do what I call the “base wash base” method of painting. This method produces above tabletop quality paint jobs, and requires only two to three different size brushes and having some decent brush control (being able to “paint inside the lines”). SS82’s method is quick and can easily be applied to just about any miniature.

It’s been a slow week or two here on the blog, but not so in the studio.

I’ve had several projects on my desk after the move and subsequent setting up of the new studio (in no particular order…):

  • Relic Knights was delivered, and I wanted to get a starter set assembled and ready to try some games
  • [Fun with 40k] has rekindled the dormant parts of my brain that never stopped loving GW models
  • A few locals have been following Infinity’s V3 rules release closely, plus Spud’s been doing some cool Infinity stuff recently…
  • I need to get a pair of models finished for Clash for a Cure before August is over

As I sit at my desk, I feel a little like this:

This last weekend, I got out the airbrush and got a fair bit of the macro work on everything done.

I use my Grex with a 0.3mm nozzle for priming and base coats, before switching to my Sotar 20/20 with the 0.2 for detail work.

I only have one “finished” model to show you… Continue Reading

My buddy recently found an old flash drive of mine from college, and on it were a few pictures of my Space Marines.  These aren’t the first models I painted, but they were some of the last I was working on before I switched to Warmachine & Hordes.

If tomorrow’s post goes as planned, this will be an interesting marker of how I’ve improved in about 7 years or so.

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See how bumpy the paint looks? That’s not thinning the paint and using way too many layers. Additionally, while I had good brush control and painted “inside the lines”, there’s no purposeful shading or highlighting, save a little on the black. Look at that black lining though… That was all done manually with watered down black paint, if I recall correctly…

Fun!

Earlier, LynchPin spoke about his Tau Force and I wanted to quickly discuss my plans for Dark Angels.

In most regards, the DA are standard Space Marines, but they have a fun back story and hidden agenda:

Back in the day, when Horus pulled an Anakin Skywalker and flipped to the Dark Side, most of the DA were away from their homeworld, Caliban, fighting for the Emperor out in the fringes of known space.  They got wind of the betrayal, but arrived at the party too late to stop Horus and his chaotic crazies.  They then got word of shenanigans at their homeworld, and when they got there, the guys in charge of safekeeping the planet had turned evil on the inhabitants and slaughtered everyone.

That pissed off the non-crazy Dark Angels, who then landed at the HQ and the head honcho (Lion El’Johnson) slugged it out with his boy-hood friend and second in command, Luther.  They accidentally opened a wormhole inside the planet, Star Trek style, and the only thing that saved them was the force field around their HQ castle.

DA_&_The_Rock

This “castle-monastery” is now called “The Rock” and floats around as their mobile HQ.  To everyone else, they say that Caliban was destroyed while anonymous bad guys assaulted them.  In secret, they know that their own guys lost it and went bad.  What makes this all worse is that the crazies that got sucked into the wormhole when the planet got destroyed started popping up randomly all over known space – they just kind of re-shuffled into existence.  So, now, the DA are on a secret crusade trying to find these “Fallen” before they cause too much damage, because the DA feel responsible for their existence, and are trying to keep their messed-up history a secret lest they be thrown out of the Imperial clubhouse.

That’s a really long winded way of saying that these guys are super-paranoid battle monks with an overactive Internal Affairs department.  What’s not to love?

Continue Reading