WIP: Prep Work

Between recent painting projects I’ve been building a lot of stuff in preparation for the “priming season”, which has now finally arrived! I’ll show some of these models in this post.

First up, a couple of Orks. Both of them are something of a bucket-list model for me. The one with the shoota has an OOP WHFB Orc head, which I’ve always loved but didn’t get to buy before it got discontinued. I finally acquired it from eBay, probably for a bit too much money… The big shoota gunner on the other hand has a custom helmet (inspired by a Meganob head). I tried out brown stuff (less sticky than the green), and practiced sculpting a bit. I sculpted the visor shape first, let it dry and then drilled the holes with a pin vise. To finish the helmet off I added some bolts from a plastic rod.

Next up, it’s on to the Indomitus box and its Space Marines. These guys will be painted as Black Templars, something like my test model. I’ve converted these character models slightly with parts (mostly) from the new BT upgrade kit. The Chaplain I left unchanged as I felt he’s an excellent model as is, and wouldn’t be improved by doing a headswap or adding more accessories.

The Bladeguard Veterans and the Lieutenant were likewise built according to instructions. Superb models, though I’m a little concerned about painting the eye lenses on a couple of the models, as the heads pretty much had to be glued on with the rest of the model. The shields however are not glued on yet, should make painting much less frustrating. As a final note, drilling the barrel on the Volkite pistol took some effort, but I think I managed it well enough.

Then it’s on to the Necron side of the box. No real conversions here either, the only thing I did was to clip the bayonet off of the Warden’s gun, as I did with all my Warriors. The models are shown mainly for their bases, especially on the Reanimator. As it’s supposed to be a repair machine of sorts, I thought I’d use the Necron corpse, originally meant for the Primaris Captain’s base, here.

Speaking of bases, above you can see some new Imperial cultists / Cawdor. The models themselves have been done for quite a while, but I finished their bases only recently. The standout features are the resin books and candles I got from Greenstuffworld.

The final group of models is a set of 10 Poxwalkers. Nothing special with these ones, they’re all stock, but they’ve been zenithally primed. I used Citadel cans this time – expensive, but they haven’t let me down so far (knock on wood), and seem to be a bit smoother than the automotive ones I’ve used. I’ll be painting the models with Contrast paints and some additional highlighting, like my previous ones, but this time I’m planning on varying the skin tones and cloth colors a bit more.

To finish up this post let’s return to the hobby bingo card. This is anachronistic as I’ve already shown a more recent version with one more square, but let’s do it anyway… The ork helmet visor scores me the “sculpt something on a model” square. Fairly unimpressive as sculptures go, but it’s something more than just gap-filling, and I’m very happy taking these baby-steps in my sculpting journey.

A Couple More Revelators

Huh… In the last post I said that felt like painting some more Revelators, and I actually ended up doing so. Right away! Odd… But here they are, two mini marines painted much more simply than the Primaris of the last post.

I’ve previously said that I don’t much enjoy painting this scheme anymore. Happily, I had done a large part of the annoying work (carefully layering Dawnstone) previously, so now I got to start with the more fun stuff. Doing just a single highlight on just the upper edges of the model was pretty quick, the metallics were fine and using Contrast paints instead of washes felt like a good call. The yellows were annoying though… Always seem to get some grit in the paint, and don’t really understand why.

Painting the sergeant’s face was the most rewarding bit. Modern Space Marine heads are always a treat to paint – expressive, very well defined and relatively large – and this applies especially to the Primaris ones like on this model. Once again I added some color to the face with thinned-down Carroburg Crimson, but I also tried doing stubble. This was just (very thin) Drakenhof Nightshade, and it worked out really well! I think it’s about the best face I’ve painted. I’ll keep on practicing with the glazes on future heads, and I think the next step will be some tattoos.

The other bit which I thought was successful is the glow effect on the power sword. It was done by glazing with a couple of blue paints and white. I probably should’ve gone even thinner, but I think the effect is convincing enough.

These two marines are not yet part of a larger squad, just two models I liked the idea of and kitbashed. If you know your Space Marine markings, you’ll see they’re the beginnings of a Tactical Squad, though when I’ll get to making the rest of the battle brothers is anyone’s guess. First I’d have to get some more running legs!

Primaris Revelator

After painting the Black Templar I got the urge to paint some more Primaris. Luckily I had one started: he’s now painted up in my Revelators color scheme.

This model was built at the same time as the Templar, and as discussed previously, he’s converted a bit and is a mix of Firstborn and Primaris Marines. I’m very proud of the helmet modification, and now with paint on it you can actually tell what’s going on.

As he’s not a part of my existing army (of mini marines), I painted him a bit differently. I wanted to practice painting volumetric lighting rather than just edge highlighting everything once or twice. It took a bit of back and forth to get the shadows and highlights looking appropriate (ish), but I’m very happy with the result. My goal was to get the armor looking matt, not reflective with the extreme value contrasts of NMM. I think I managed to pull it off pretty nicely, and the gray armor reads more or less as Dawnstone, which was the target.

In addition to paying attention to the volumes, I tried a couple other new things as well. The first was a new recipe for the gold bits. It requires less paints, is more pleasant to paint and, with the additional contrast, looks better too. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the method and will be using it for all future Revelators. Previously I had been using Auric Armour Gold in the recipe, which is just a terrible color. I mean, is it just glitter in transparent medium? I think I can toss the pot now…

The other new thing was subtle weathering of the armor. I’ve noticed that I often go a bit overboard with weathering. Not necessarily in the sence that it would ruin the model or be unrealistic, just doing more than what I set out to do. This time I paid more attention to it, and again, think that I managed pretty well. There are areas that are really nice and some places that are not so good, but overall I like the effect.

Comparison of Revelators painted at different points during my hobby journey.

Huh… Now I feel like painting more Revelators. Funny how inspiration (/hobby-butterflying) works – it doesn’t really matter what I paint, I end up wanting to paint more similar models. I even have a few Revelators models started ages ago that need finishing. But of course, for whatever reason I’ll probably end up picking something different for my next project…

To finish off this post, I’ll claim another bingo square with this model: “incorporate a technique you haven’t mastered”. Volumetric lighting and the weathering both count, as I’ve still got a looong way to go before I start to approach “mastery” in either.

The keenly-eyed among you might notice there’s another new filled square in the card. More on that later…

Black Templar Initiate

I’ve painted my first Primaris Marine! I built this model at the tail-end of 2020, and he finally has his Black Templar livery on.

I started the hobby back in the WH40k 3rd edition days, and like countless others, was awed by John Blanche’s Black Templar cover art. Even so, I didn’t paint my first marines as Templars, and up until now that has continued.

The inspiration and the actual color guides for this model came from Maxime Corbeil (who in turn was inspired by Blanche). I’ve admired his BT army ever since seeing it in a White Dwarf (2017 Tale of Four Warlords), and dreamed of having models like that in my own collection. The black armor and all the edge-highlighting intimidated me for the longest time, but after I decided to just get on with it, I actually found it pretty fun. Highlighting the black armor took around two hours all together. Funnily enough, somehow I spent around 4,5 hours on the rest of the model, and one more on the base…

But even if I clocked in quite a number of hours on this lowly troop model, at no point did it feel like taking very long. Well, other than painting the shoulder pads white. That took quite many layers… Other than those, everything else was rather quick(ish) and enjoyable to paint. In the future I’ll try to keep the pads separate and prime them white to speed up the process.

Now that’s a properly sized marine!

More than anything, this model was a test piece. While I’m extremely happy with how it came out, I do see plenty of room for improvement. Mainly the (spot)highlight placement. I’ll have to study mr. Corbeil’s work a bit more before the next Templar. There will also be a more obvious change with the future models: I’ll follow Maxime’s guide for the bases as well, to get that classic orange-y dirt look (and hopefully a tad faster basing). This model was always going to join my Imperial Cult collection, and hence got the marble base.

I use this model to claim another square in the hobby bingo: paint a model in a color scheme you don’t normally use. Now, as I said, I haven’t previously painted any Black Templars, but even if the scheme was “black”, I would be OK. Ghaz was black, sure, but one model doesn’t yet mean “normally”.

Blood Warriors

Whoops! February went by without a single post. I haven’t been completely idle on the hobby front however, as I’ve managed to finish a project that’s sat on the to-do pile for years. Here are my Khorne Blood Warriors from the AoS starter set!

These guys have been built since 2018, and I laid down some basecoats in 2020, but only now mustered up the courage to properly start and finish painting them. That Chaos trim is notorious for discouraging painters and not without reason! I wouldn’t say it was difficult to paint, just very time-consuming. All together, these five models took around 20 hours of painting time.

The Warriors continue my Khorne army project which started out as a “speedpainting” exercise, though I don’t know if that was ever the right word. “Not-to-the-best-of-my-ability” would probably be more apt. Basically I painted the Reavers to GW’s “battle-ready” standard and the rest of the models more or less “parade-ready”. Heh, I don’t even know if it would be possible to speedpaint the Warriors with all that trim!

So yeah, painting these guys was a bit of a slog. I’m happy enough with the end result, but getting there was a paint-by-numbers affair which got a bit dull at times. Painting the red was probably the most fun, as I tried some very simple volumetric highlighting and subtle gradients. The models would really benefit from from one final highlight on the red (and on black, too), and it wouldn’t have taken much time either. I think I’ll try that with the Lord of Khorne model first and, who knows, maybe I’ll update these models and the rest of the army too.

Speaking of the Lord, it’s the last model from the starter army, which means my Khornates are in the same state as my Stormcasts – only missing the Big Boss. Maybe by the time AoS 4.0 rolls out I’ll be done with the first starter set 😀

My AoS starter set so far

Even More Necron Warriors

In what feels like a record time for me these days, I’ve finished the five remaining Necron Warriors and hence completed the squad. Here’s the lot with the accompanying Scarab Swarms:

The painting went pretty much as with the last batch. The OSL ended up a bit different from the previous ones (again), but I think it’s the best one yet. This time I tried to be a bit more accurate, especially with the eyes, rather than flooding everything with the fluorescent paint. I think I’m slowly but surely getting a hang of how the paint behaves and when to thin it, when not to. I’m still not satisfied with the actual glow on the gun barrels. It’s patchy and rough, which I believe comes from thinning the fluo paint (too much). I might have to try using regular acrylics, as they’re more predictable and easier to glaze with.

While painting these models, I tried something new. Not with the actual painting but I tried out an app called Brushrage. It’s designed to keep track of your painting projects, where you’re going with each and how much time you’ve spent on them. It’s got a bunch of other functions as well, but they’re not currently of interest to me. Now, my reason for taking up the app wasn’t to clock how much time it takes me to finish a certain mini, but to see how much painting time I actually manage these days. Quite a bit, as it turns out. I painted on nine days out of the last ten, around 30mins to an hour per day. Hopefully I can keep this up at least semi-consistently! And of course it was nice to see how long it took me to paint the Warriors too. I hadn’t yet taken up the app when I started these guys, but clocked in just over seven hours on them. I’d estimate that ten hours should be enough for the whole project (after priming, at least), which means around two hours a model. Pretty much what I was expecting, and not bad at all!

I’ll be taking a small break from Necrons now, as I’ve painted all the models that I built back at the start of 2021. I’ll get on building the rest of the Indomitus force before too long, but again, as it’s winter I’m not sure if I’ll get to prime them for a few months.

Finally, as I said in my previous warrior post, now that the whole unit is finished I’m claiming a bingo square with it. “Paint a unit before using it on the battlefield” on this one.

Corvus Cabal Shadow Piercer

After finishing the last five Necrons, I still had a couple of free days before work started. I wanted to work on something that I could most likely get done quickly, and picked up the Shadow Piercer. She took me about a week longer to paint than I’d have hoped, but she’s finished now.

Painting the figure was pretty fun, and largely similar affair to the last two Cabal models. In some ways I still think that the first Cabalist I painted is still the best one, probably due to overall contrast, but I tried to push it here with the clothes and think that the result is pretty good. I’ve improved in painting skin, ironically by reducing contrast there! I even added some light blue to the eye lids and lower parts of the severed head, which I think was successful. Some pink tones could work well to make the (Cabalist’s) skin more interesting, but I have wanted to paint this warband mainly in cold tones. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind in the future and come back to experiment with these models…

Speaking of keeping the color palette in the blues and blacks, I made a little concession with the Blood for the Blood God. I pretty much had to add it to the trophy head and its sculpted blood drips. I debated on whether to add it to the sword as well, but it seemed appropriate in the end. The additional spot color also works to differentiate the Shadow Piercer as the leader of the Cabal.

In addition to the blood, the other new feature on this model compared to the two previous ones is her armor. This presented me with another dilemma – in the studio version gold is used to separate elements. I was very close to caving in and painting the armor trims and the beak gold, but I think I got just enough contrast in there to make the model not look boring.

For a minute I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to claim any bingo squares with this model. And then I realized that yes, this model too has been in my to-do pile, and even started for more than a year. That’s my hobby bingo card started for the year 2022!

More Necron Warriors

I had some time to paint during the holidays, and managed to finish five more Necrons. These guys narrowly missed the New Year’s Eve deadline to be counted for last year’s minis, but now they provided a great start for my hobby year 2022!

Not much to say about the painting that I haven’t said in the previous Necron posts. The painting felt quicker than with the last squad, which of course was welcome. When I compared these new ones to the previous squad, the paintjobs are pretty much indistinguishable from each other, apart from the OSL effects. On this new batch the light is brighter, less saturated. I think I had a better idea about what to do now than before, and went a little easier with adding red. I still have ways to go with OSL, but I think I’m going in the right direction.

Hopefully I’ll make short work of the remaining five warriors too, though I’m taking a quick(-ish) detour to work on something else before returning to the robot skellingtons.

Sadly no bingo square with this lot – yet. I’ll claim one when I finish the other half of the squad.

Wrapping Up 2021

That’s another year done and dusted. This one felt like it whizzed by very quickly, a lot happened but unfortunately not many minis got finished… Still, some progress was definitely made on the painting front: here’s my 2021 output.

Seems like I was pretty firmly in the 40k side of the hobby… That’s 25 models for the year, and while that’s not a lot by most standards, I’m once again super happy with how they came out. Well, the Prosecutors are a bit “meh”, but they’re done! I painted my best model so far (Ghazghkull), started yet another collection and practiced new things like OSL and power weapons.

Looking back at the previous wrap-up post, it seems I achieved what I set out to do, that is finishing some Astra Rodentia and working on the Indomitus box. Of course, that was pretty much it. Whereas in 2020 I added something to pretty much all of my collections, now only my Orks, Stormcasts and space rats got new models, in addition to the new collection of Necrons.

This was also the year that I scored a bingo on the hobby bingo card! Kind of ironic as the model count was lower than ever, but I guess it shows that I focused a bit more. I’ll continue playing the hobby bingo with a fresh card in 2022 and trying my best to score another five across.

I’m not going to set any hobby resolutions for 2022, as I know myself and my painting speed. Not to mention minimattila’s around now (26th mini of the year?), so trying to maintain any sort of painting discipline is pretty much off the table 😀 Right now I feel like I’d like to paint more greenskins and finally start that Black Templar collection. Going back to the Imperial Cult would be nice as well and maybe painting another Underworlds warband for a change… Oh my, there are still so many cool projects to choose from!

Well, better get on with it then! Have a great 2022, hobby- and otherwise, and a big thank you to everyone who takes a look at this blog every now and then!

WIP: Ruins; Bingo!

Merry Christmas everyone! Today I’ve got something a little different to show you. It’s not a finished model, that’s for sure, but a piece of terrain! It’s basically my first try at scratch built scenery, and I went with the most classic of subjects – a corner piece of a ruined building.

I’m a sucker for good DIY-scenery, but haven’t really tried doing it except for a couple of very humble attempts in my teens. Of course, me being primarily a painter, I don’t have much use for scenery, at least for gaming purposes. Display boards, dioramas/vignettes or photography backdrops would be really cool however, so I thought I’d see what scratch-building was like.

As you can see, I decided to start my terrain-making journey with a staple of scratch-builds, the ruined corner piece. I’m not super happy with the result, but that’s fine as first and foremost this was an opportunity to try out different materials and see what they’re like to work with. For the building I used XPVC sheets for the walls and the tiling, cork for the floor bases and some ABS pipes and paperclips for detailing. Greenstuffworld putty was used for some gap filling. The base was made out of foam board, some sort of wall filler and sand.

Trying out all the materials was an educating experience: if/when I make more buildings like this, I’ll probably use foam board for the building and XPVC for the base. XPVC doesn’t warp and it’s great for making bullet holes and such details, but it’s too hard to cut the main shapes. That being said, making tiles from it was great and I’ll be using it for basing in the future, instead of ABS plastic sheets!

I wasn’t too happy with the GSW putty, I felt it dried way too quickly. I don’t know if Tamiya or any of the other alternatives work any different, but I might try another one some day.  The wall filler I used to smooth the base on the other hand worked pretty well – it’s super light, didn’t shrink and dried quickly (but not too quickly). It was pretty expensive though, at least if I don’t end up using the rest of the jar…

So yeah, not a complete success, but I think I learned a lot. I also feel like the build is missing some crucial elements, mainly heaps of rubble and broken tiles around the base of the building, but it’s finished for now. I can always come back to it later, but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure if this model is ever getting painted..

But again, it’s all fine, since the second reason for building this piece was to score one more square on the hobby bingo (“scratch-build a piece of scenery”). Even if the build is not a triumph it counts, and the square doesn’t say anything about painting! With that, I’ve finally scored a bingo! 😀 This is the third year I’ve attempted it, so it took some time, but it’s done now. Let’s see if I can repeat the feat next year!