Warhammer 40k

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!

 

Paint!

First, everything got primed black (except the canopy, that got primed white).

Then, I diligently and slowly put down about 3-4 layers of thinned Murderous Magenta (P3) on the spots I wanted the main color.

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Next, I mixed some Carnal Pink (P3) into the Murderous Magenta, and put this down in the brightest spots.

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Lastly, I put down another coat of Murderous Magenta, this time cut 50/50 with Matte Medium to help make it more translucent.  This tinted the bright spots from the previous step back towards the color I wanted.  They retain their luminosity and the model keeps it’s contrast, but it’s firmly magenta, rather than bubble-gum pink.

I also tossed the cockpit onto the model real quick just to see what it looked like at this stage.

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At this point, I’ve lost a fair bit of the lower end of the contrast on the top side of the model, so I went in with some Thamar Black (P3) and my brushes, and added in the low end.  I also started applying basecoats of Menoth White Base (P3) to the areas that will eventually be white / bone.

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And then, because I could, I shaded, highlighted and outlined the glass.  Shading was Cygnar Blue Base (P3) and Exile Blue (P3).  Highlighting was some of the base color, Cygnar Blue Highlight (P3) with some Underbelly Blue (P3) mixed in.  The outline’s just black right now but will get some highlights when I do the rest of the blacks.

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And that’s it for now.  Stay tuned!

A while back, during a video update (YouTube, about 4:00), I mentioned that I’d found a pair of Eldar WarWalkers on the cheap.  They were in bad shape and needed some love.  DakkaDakka’s monthly hobby challenge for April is a “Veteran” model, something that looks like it’s gone through hell and back.

So, I’m going to try out my new Eldar scheme on the War Walker, and then weather the hell out of it.

For reference, here’s the GW Stock model:

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Here’s an overview of the parts, after they were stripped and most of the mold lines taken care of:

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The main body wouldn’t come apart, so I’m left with the cockpit and glass, guns, and legs.  The leg with the foot attached to the base broke at the ankle (no surprise there), so it’s gotten a massive brass tube in that joint, since it supports the entire weight of the model.

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There’s some antennae that are supposed to jut out from the hips here, but they were broken off on my model.  So, I just clipped what was left and cleaned up the form into the familiar curve of an Eldar model.  They won’t be missed.

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The back antennae aren’t on straight, but there’s not much I can do about it.  More importantly, you can kind of see that the torso is turned just a bit on the hips.  Turned to the right.  I’m going to work with that to help give this thing some life.

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One of the gun sponsons was broken.  i rebuilt it with brass tube and plastic tube.  Also, my sponsons don’t have the wings things on the sides, which I like – those things look so dorky in my opinion.  Streamlined is more befitting Eldar.

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The pilot that I got had no helmet, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Who’d be stupid enough to take off their helmet in the middle of a war zone?  Didn’t these guys see Saving private Ryan (or any other movie flick, ever?)  So, I dropped on an Eldar Guardian head.  I have his head turned the same direction as the walker itself, so there’ll be a feeling of symbiosis between the pilot and machine.

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The grey post there is how the cockpit attaches to the torso.  It looks like they never intended the cockpit to be anything but perfectly straight with the torso, but I say differently.  I chamfered the edge, and this will allow the cockpit to attach at an angle.

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That’s the final pose I’m going with.  I think it’s got lots of life and movement.  Fingers crossed that the ankle can hold the weight…

This model’s been a blast to work on. I haven’t gotten a chance to work on a GW model in a while, and it’s refreshing to work on a model that has a completely different style and level of detail, not to mention a different material.

I wanted to give the pink a little more interest, since it was a little flat, so I mixed some Carnal Pink (P3) into the base Murderous Magenta (P3) and got something in between the two. I 2-brush blended this as a highlight. It was a bit too much, though, as it shifted the feel of the mini from deep magenta into bubble-gum pink. A quick wash / glaze with the base magenta fixed that and turned the bubblegum areas into luminous magenta instead. What I’m left with is a much brighter magenta for the highlights.

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The YT-1300 project isn’t dead, it was just waiting for inspiration and time. Since I had both this past weekend, I set to work detailing the model. I used primarily Plastruct 0.010″ x 0.030″ styrene strips. These come in 12″ sections, and so far I’ve used almost two feet of the super small stuff to detail the model. I’ve been cutting it into teeny tiny squares and rectangles and using my Tamiya Extra Thin Plastic Cement to stick them on. I’ve found a sharp hobby knife to be a huge boon. Not only does it help cut the plastic quickly, but the tip can be used as an applicator for the small pieces by gently stabbing them.

At this point, all that’s really left is to affix the back over-engine panel, and detail the remaining bits of the cover (including the bottom of it).

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