Blood Angels Assault Intercessor Sergeant

The last couple of weeks have been mostly taken up by work, but I’ve been chipping away at a Blood Angel when I’ve had the time and energy. He’s done now!

The model was originally built last fall or so, out of a monopose Assault Intercessor and Blood Angel upgrade bits. I made the mistake of stuffing too much bling on his waist, which made the model look a bit off from some angles. Before I primed him this spring, I decided I’d re-do the accessories, and think the model’s way better for it. I also spent a lot of time deciding between a bare head and the helmet. On one hand, I like painting faces a lot, on the other I’d like to have a few helmeted warriors in my Primaris collection and I quite like the yellow helmets on Blood Angels. The helmet won in the end. The base is scratch-made, and might be my favorite infantry base I’ve done so far. I imagine he’s charging down a space ship corridor, as a nod to the Blood Angel Terminators in Space Hulk.

I wanted some variety on the normally all-red armor, so for the paint scheme I settled on an Assault Intercessor to get the yellow helmet, and a sergeant for the black shoulder pads. Although, if I’m being honest, I really enjoy painting red so I would’ve happily painted everything in it. But alas, I think I did well with the yellow and black bits as well. After I had decided on the color scheme, I considered a few different styles of painting. I really like the ‘Eavy Metal style, but painting the Ultramarine was plenty of that for a while. Richard Gray’s and Trovarion’s takes were also considered, but I didn’t think this was the right model. I ended up going with something similar to the way I painted my Dark Angel, using volumetric highlighting. I didn’t push the edge highlights as much, but paid more attention to the weathering. There are a couple of places where I’m not totally happy with the light placement or the chipping work, but nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed painting the armor.

As for the detail work, I of course saw the opportunity for some hazard striping and went for it. I actually even painted the red cable on the floor in hazard stripes, but thought that was a bit too much and changed it. All of the gems, lenses and the purity seal were lots of fun to paint and among my favorite details on the model. I also continued with the script practice, writing “Baal” (Blood Angels’ homeworld) on his right tasset plate. The “curly bits” didn’t end up quite as nice as I would’ve wanted, but nice enough, and it’s legible at least. Trying to do a fancy font myself really makes me admire the ‘Eavy Metal paintjobs. I mean, the lines on that “blood” text are so razor thin! I’ll keep on practicing…

Anyways, this Blood Angel is the fifth of nine in my Primaris first-founding chapters project, which takes me over the half-way point. That’s a good excuse for a group photo, I reckon, so here you go!

A handsome bunch, no? And to finish this post off I’ll claim another square on the bingo card. Again, there were multiple possibilities here, but I’ll go with the “model from a faction you don’t own painted models for”.

Imperial Guard Pilot

Another relatively quickly painted model today. But while it took me less than a week to paint, I built this pilot nearly two years ago!

I’ve already discussed the build in the previous post, but as it was so long ago I’ll do it again. The model is built out of bits from the old Command Squad and some tank commander (Leman Russ, I think?). I wanted to tell a story with the figure: perhaps a Sentinel pilot who lost his walker and got injured, trying to leg it back to the friendly lines after bandaging his arm. I’m very happy with the model, the only bit that’s a bit off is that the arm sling is floating a bit around his neck. I think this is because he’s not wearing a flak jacket, so not much I could do without resculpting the thing. I hope it’s not too obvious…

The paint scheme is inspired by the classic Armageddon Steel Legion, but as the model is Cadian, I had to do some adapting. The main references were Codex Armageddon and Tyler Mengel’s tutorial. The shoulder pads and pants were painted a greenish gray, and the leather cap as dark brown. I tried to keep the color palette close to the source material, but I don’t know if the inspiration is clear as the model lacks the signature coat, gasmask and helmet, which messes with the color balance. To be clear, I think the color scheme works well, it’s just that the model might not immediately read as a Steel Legionnaire.

My favorite part to paint was once again the face. Glazing on some stubble was as satisfying as ever, and I even tried to make the eyes look more tired by coloring the eyelids a bit. After I painted the face to look a bit weary, his bare arm looked too clean. I proceeded to try painting an impression of hair. I used Drakenhof Nightshade to paint tiny lines on the arm, after which I re-highlighted it. I don’t think I was entirely successful, but it doesn’t look terrible either. I’ll have to keep experimenting…

I also think that the bloody bandages came out nicely. I used Vallejo’s Hull Red (a brown-red) and black to paint the majority of it, and added just a couple of dots of Blood for the Blood God to imply that some fresh blood is still seeping trough. I also had to weather the model so that it would fit the narrative I wanted to tell, so I painted on some dried blood drips and tried to make the clothes look dusty, like he had had to scramble around in the wasteland. Still, I tried to keep it subtle. I know, that’s what I’ve been saying with most of my recent models, but this time I think I pulled it off fairly successfully!

I followed Duncan’s tutorial on the ash wastes base. Ever since I saw it I thought it looked amazing, and have been waiting for an opportunity to use it. And what better model than a Steel Legionnaire? But in any case, when I say followed, I mean the painting part. My base was built before the tutorial was released, and is just regular sand and stones. I actually have the “Dry Ground” texture paint, so it’s a shame I didn’t use it for this. Some old metal junk would’ve been cool too for the added color, but the 25mm base isn’t really ideal for elaborate bases. I think the first gray wash I did was too heavy, which made the base more gray than in the tutorial, but I still very much like how it turned out and will surely use the tutorial again.

As for the bingo card, the pilot could be used for multiple squares, but I’ll go with “accessories themed to match my army”. I’ve always kinda picture him as the original pilot of my Astra Rodentia Sentinel, and could be used as an objective marker of some sort. I don’t know if this is a 100% appropriate model for the square as my rats are not much of an army and I’m not too familiar with the rules, but I figured that this is my best chance to score one of the more exotic squares.

Imperial Fists Intercessor Sergeant

Working up the courage to paint a yellow model took some time, but using the new Contrast paint made the process almost trivial. My Primaris collection now has an Imperial Fist!

The model was built mostly from the Intercessor kit with the IF upgrade sprue. The pistol arm(+hand) are from Assault Intercessors, as I thought the pose was a more natural pair for the raised fist. I changed the “heavy bolt pistol” to a regular one though, as I like my pistols more reasonably sized πŸ™‚ I put the model on a sloped piece of cork, which made the model more upright and, to me at least, works very well with the overall pose. If you don’t count the kitbashing, the one conversion I did was to remove the IF icon from the power fist. Mostly because I felt there would’ve been a bit too many fist icons so close to each other (I mean, just look at this), but it also gave me some room for freehanding!

As I mentioned, this was an exercise in Contrast painting. I took Aidan Daly’s Imperial Fist scheme as a starting point. I zenithally primed the model with Greyseer and White Scar sprays and coated it with Imperial Fist Contrast paint. A smooth, vibrant one-coat solution! I don’t have Fuegan Orange, new or old, so I used thinned Gryph-hound Orange for recess-shading instead. I then layered and highlighted using Flash Gitz Yellow, Ice Yellow and white. While I of course had to work very thin when layering (more like glazing, really), it was actually enjoyable as I had the solid IF basecoat to work on. After finishing the armor I had to paint all the black elements, which was somewhat stressful, but I managed to do it without too many slips.

The bit I probably enjoyed painting the most was the head. I’ve been really enjoying painting the Primaris heads, they’re relatively large, very well defined and have some great expressions. This time I left the five-o’clock-shadow out as I imagine Imperial Fists are always properly groomed. I tried something new with the hair: some gray/white above his ear to hint at him being a “more seasoned veteran”, or the light gray hair that many Fists seem to have.

There are a couple of freehand elements on the model. The first one was on the aforementioned cleaned up power fist. I try to incorporate the name of the chapter/legion, its primarch or homeworld on each of these first-founding Primaris models, and went with the primarch, Dorn, here. I wanted to try a more gothic lettering than I’ve previously managed to do, and after looking at a lot of references and doing some back-and-forth fixing mistakes I had the design you can see in the photo above. The position of the letters is just a tiny bit to the left of where I’d want them (in relation to those studs), but definitely not enough to repaint a black design on yellow background! I also painted the company marking on the left knee, which was a relatively quick thing to do and brought an additional point of interest to the model. Decals were used for the other details: the squad markings and the small maltese/templar cross that seems to be a popular motif even with Primaris Fists.

I tried to keep the weathering subtle on this one, to emulate the clean ‘Eavy Metal-look. Of course, I did muddy up the legs like I always do, which went a bit overboard as it often does. I’m not super keen on the coffee staining that happened, but otherwise I’m happy with it. Likewise, I’m generally happy with the chipping. I’m not sure if it’s weird that there’s no chipping above the knees (other than on the hands), but kept it like that to mostly preserve the clean yellow armor.

As for the bingo card, I’ll definitely claim the “rarely-used color scheme” with this model. While I previously haven’t painted any models predominantly in yellow, I got to say that I’m pretty excited to work with the IF Contrast paint again in the future. Perhaps on some box art-scheme Orruks?

Bugbear

During the Easter weekend I visited a city with a hobby shop, and thought that it would be a good opportunity to go for the “finish a mini in 48 hours” square on the bingo card. As such, I picked up this Bugbear:

The model is a WizKids Pathfinder Deep Cuts Bugbear. It comes in a blister with another bugbear, a female mage(?) who is arguably the more interesting model. However, she has some trasparent flame effects modeled on her and I didn’t have a good way of doing those nicely, so I picked the more straightforward model to paint for the challenge. Quality-wise, they’re alright. The details are a bit soft but not terrible (I think the models’ larger size helps with that). The mold lines are unfortunate, but that’s what you get. These were also pre-primed, so I could get to work straight away!

I did bend the rules a bit by starting the timer only after I got home to my paints, a couple of days after purchasing the model, but I think we can still count this. There’s around three hours of actual painting time on this model; an hour spent basecoating the model with Contrast paints and metallics, and two hours or so for the detail work and the base. I knew that with the (to me) very limited painting time I couldn’t go “full ballsack” on the model, so I decided to focus on the face and the blood effects, and only highlight the upward-facing parts of the model. The lower bits are just Contrast, and additionally shaded down with some Athonian Camoshade.

I’m very happy with the model as a whole, as I think I succeeded in my goals. I got a good expression on the face and some nice tonal variation with glazes of red and blue. (I don’t know anything about bugbears or what color they should be, but I think the standard skintone works pretty well on the model.) The blood splatters are probably the best I’ve done so far. I’ve noticed that applying Blood for the Blood God convinsingly is really difficult if I try to paint it on with a brush, but flicking it on with the help of a paper clip gives you nice a splatter effect, and is surprisingly accurate as well. The model also worked as a test bed for different Contrast browns. I hadn’t really tried Snakebite Leather (armor plates) or Aggaros Dunes (pants) before, and found both very pleasing. Snakebite Leather gave a very nice look for the turtle shell-like armor, especially with some quick highlights and scratches applied. A recipe for future, methinks…

The part about the paintjob I don’t like is the hair/fur. The toes work, but otherwise it’s pretty nasty… The sculpt probably doesn’t help, but I’m sure it could look a bit better with better highlight placement. But in the end I’m not bothered as it’s not the focus of the model and it’s done. Another thing that came to mind after the model was finished was that I could’ve added some rust effects on the metals. It would’ve been very quick and simple, and added some further character to the model. Oh well, next time!

Finally, the current bingo card. I’m picking that speed up! As I said at the beginning of the post, I’ll claim the 48 hour square with this model. Interestingly, this year there’s a new, wholesome square: “paint a model for someone else”. I don’t think I’ve told you, but I gave the elf cleric I painted last summer to someone who actually plays D&D! If they have use for a bugbear, I’ll probably give this one to a better home as well. Perhaps I’ll paint the mage as well…

Silverlions Knight-Questor

I’m trying to get back to the habit of painting, and what better way is there than a quick, simple project. And this time, I actually managed to keep it so! This Knight-Questor was painted almost completely in a single weekend.

I don’t have too much “me-time” these days: an hour or two after the boy goes to sleep, and during weekend maybe two hours extra each day while he’s napping. And that’s if I don’t have work to do… But, in the week after finishing the Axes, I painted the metallic bits on this Questor and the “Getting Started with AoS” Knight-Incantor (to be continued later…) . The rest of the model was painted on the weekend, bar a couple finishing touches. And yeah, I know that “rest of the model” is basically just the cape, but still…

I’ve always loved this model, and think it’s one of the coolest SCE models available, even with all the new designs around. The pose is just so perfect: a knight imposingly scanning the scene, ready to take on whatever’s coming up, cape flapping in the wind. Rather than paint him exactly like the rest of my Silverlions, I treated him like a one-off project. The gold bits are the biggest departure, they are much simpler here and less saturated. More fun to paint and I guess it makes this guy a bit more silver! The reds got more love than usual – I took a more volumetric approach, blended the colors a bit more and added some extra highlights to improve contrast. I also continued practicing simple TMM on the sword blade. I actually had to paint it twice as the first attempt was awful. I’m not entirely happy with the scratching, but didn’t want to start over for the third time, so I called it good.

My only slight regret with this model is not doing any freehand lining on the inside of the cape, like they have on the box art. I decided to leave it out, obviously, to get the model finished sooner. As the cape is so flowy and especially with the “magical toilet paper” on the way, I knew there would be a lot of back-and-forth fixing mistakes. Oh well, there’s no reason I couldn’t come back to this some day πŸ™‚

I was struggling a bit with the bingo card on this model (can you believe that this model hasn’t been in my backlog for even a year?). In the end I decided to claim the “finish a unit for your army before gaming with it”. This being just a single model, it feels a bit cheap. But I suppose characters are considered units too and I don’t see myself painting too many full squads anytime soon, especially for “armies”. So I guess this is as good a time as any to claim the square.

Wrapping Up 2022

So this post is way overdue, but better late than never!

The class of ’22. Missing from the pic is the Elf Cleric.

All together I managed to finish 39 models last year. A slight improvement over the previous two years, which surprised me a bit as I felt I hadn’t gotten a lot done. But, as always, I’m very happy with each finished model, happily admiring them in my display cabinet even now.

The definite highlights of the year were the Gitz and the Primaris Marines. Each of the Gitz was a character in their own right, and I had a lot of fun discovering and painting all the little details, as well as coming up with the different colors and freehand patterns. And even though there were a lot of models, gobbos being small models made progress feel quick.

The Marines were pretty much polar opposites – big models that were mostly about edge highlighting. That’s not to say to say I didn’t enjoy painting them. They were actually my first Primaris Marines, and I got to say, they are a treat to paint. Can’t really pick a favorite out of the five, though the Dark Angel is a pretty good candidate on the account of winning me my first painting competition!

Despite making good progress on the hobby bingo card, I failed again to finish a complete row of five. Oh well, with 12 squares claimed it was the most completed card I’ve managed in the four years I’ve attempted this! As I said in the last post, I don’t have high hopes for this year’s card, but I’ll keep on painting and claiming squares where I can.

To finish off this post, I’d like to thank everyone who visits the blog to look at the pictures or read my thoughts. Even as the blog is less active now, there’s still a relatively steady stream of visitors and views each day which, to be honest, still boggles my mind!

Chosen Axes

Apologies for the three-month radio silence… It’s been a very slow start to the hobby year, as I’ve been busy with work and family life. I also got distracted by video games! And on top of that, some other real life stuff that I may or may not write about some other time… But without further ado, I think it’s time to talk about my first models of 2023, the Chosen Axes!

I started this warband right after new year’s with the aim of getting a quick and easy win to start the year. I’ve never been a big fan of these models, and thought that I’d use them for Contrast practice. Of course, I couldn’t just leave it at that, and layered and highlighted pretty much everything. I basically tried to follow Juan Hidalgo’s guide on applying Contrast paints, which was very helpful. There were some spots of nasty pooling, but for the most part I think I got the paints working nicely. The mistakes weren’t a huge issue, either, as they got fixed with the next paint layer.

There’s not a huge amount of hours on them, and I tried not to worry about small mistakes or obsess over every detail. I tried to be as neat as possible, and to fix mistakes with the next highlight/layer. There are some errant splotches around the models and I skipped painting the eyes, but I’m happy with how they look at a glance. (And the photos came up really nice as well!) One thing that I should’ve done that would’ve had a big impact is some glazing, for example red on the skin, black on the feet and blue on the steel, but frankly I just wanted to call them done. I suppose these models would be good candidates for touching up later, but with the amount of unpainted plastic in my closet that’s probably not going to happen…

I debated a bit on whether to even start a hobby bingo card this year, as it has taken me the whole Q1 to just get the ball rolling, but lets do it! I also noticed that Rob had updated the card slightly. I hope I can pick up the pace a bit going forward, but to be honest, this year will most likely be a slow one. Still, I’m happy that I’m now only one warband short of finishing Shadespire! I’ve even got the last warband, Magore’s Fiends, primed. Maybe one of my hobby goals for the year should be to finish them…

Ultramarines Intercessor

Long time no post, but I’m still kicking! I’ve been quite busy with work and other 1:1 life stuff (more on that soon-ish), but when I’ve had time I’ve chipped away at another Primaris marine: an Ultramarine Intercessor!

When I started my Primaris First Founding chapters/legions project, one of the goals was to build each model with an upgrade sprue to give them some extra flavor. I decided to make one exception, and that was with the Ultramarines. Being the posterboys of marines and GW, he was built as generic as possible.

In addition to building each Primaris model as an individual, another goal was to try out different ways of painting marines. For my Dark Angel I tried a combination of volumetric and edge highlights, while for the Space Wolf it was subtle volumetric shadows and edge highlights. I’ve wanted to try the ‘Eavy Metal approach for some time, and what better model for it than a box art Ultramarine! The color palette and process is also very well documented nowadays, perhaps best by Dave Perryman, an ex-‘Eavy Metal painter. I followed his YouTube video for most of my model.

There’s a whole lot of edge highlights going on, and while on the studio models all of the highlights are applied on every edge, I confess to applying the final highlight only on upward-facing edges. This is mostly because I couldn’t make it thinner than the previous one (as far as I could see), at least consistently, so I thought I’d not cover all my previous work and save some time in the process. Still, I’m super happy with the result! While on closer inspection I can see that the box art is way sharper, the highlights thinner, from a bit further away it looks like I have my own ‘Eavy Metal model! I also feel like I improved my brush control quite a bit, especially doing the knee and shoulder pads where you don’t have an actual edge to highlight.

Probably the biggest departure from the studio version are the shoulder pad markings. I’ve always liked the idea that each marine can have slightly different heraldry. This is/was often shown in Codexes and White Dwarfs, but rarely shown on models. However, the Indomitus box came with very nice Ultramarine decals, many of them a bit different from the others. I chose an Ultima sign with “XIII” on it for the left pad. For the right one, I used some “vintage” decals from the Battle for Macragge boxed set. I quite like the big squad number and the small tactical arrow, and it satisfies my need to make every model, even a box art Ultramarine, my own in some way πŸ˜€ I had some issues applying the decals and had to do them twice, plus paint over the older ones as they were more transparent/not as white as the new ones. Got it looking nice in the end though!

The base also got the box art treatment. I found it interesting that the main brown color was done without washes, just drybrushing. Efficient! I tried static grass for the first time here, and while I’m not totally happy with the result, it’s fine. I used Army Painter’s Field grass which is not quite the same tone as on the ‘Eavy Metal models (anyone know which product they use?). I washed and drybrushed the grass to integrate it more to the base, which is another deviation from the studio models, but I quite like the look. Also, this was my first base without a black rim. Back to black with my future models, I think.

So yeah, this was most likely my last finished mini for the year. Not a bad one to end on, I reckon! I don’t know what I’ll paint next, but it’ll be something a bit quicker, a bit less precise πŸ˜€ Hopefully I can get back to painting right after New Year’s!

Necron Royal Warden; Cryptothralls, Plasmacyte

No models to continue the green theme, but I could continue with the orange! I decided to go back to my Necrons and see if I still remembered how to paint them. After a couple weeks of leisurely painting, I’ve got four new models to put in my cabinet!

All were painted pretty much the same way; only the Royal Warden getting a bit of an additional accent. As he’s some kind of a character, I wanted him to have something to set him apart from the Warriors, but not so much that it would get distracting. I decided to paint the stripe on his helmet and the “necklace” in gold. It’s pretty subtle, but I think it kind of works. Speaking of subtle, I painted a few of the coffin-shaped tiles on his flappy bits cream to break up the metal. See if you can spot them! πŸ™‚ I also thought about painting one of his gun hoses orange, but in the end decided against it as I didn’t feel like wrestling with the orange color any more than I already was. Maybe I’ll go back to change the color some day, but for now it’s good.

The Cryptothralls were pretty fun models to paint, up until the big power globes. Trying to avoid all the finished parts around the globe wasn’t enjoyable, but it went surprisingly well. The globes ended up too orange (not light enough) to really read as glowing, but didn’t really want to retry painting them. The eyes on the other hand I’m pretty happy with.

Finally, the cute little Plasmacyte. Paint scheme-wise, pretty much identical to the ‘thralls, only the power globes are really visible here. Easier to paint but a shame that I didn’t get the tone right… Both the Plasmacyte’s and the Cryptothralls’ paint sheme differ a bit from the basic Warriors in that the Warriors have their rib cages painted cream and the shoulder plates in silver. As these models don’t really have rib cages, I painted the shoulder plates/carapaces in cream instead. To further break up the silver, I painted some bits with black Contrast paint.

I’ll use the Cryptothralls to claim another square on the bingo card: “add scenic bases to a unit”. Two models are not much of a unit, but it still counts. And of course, I’ve done this type of base for each of the models in the army, so it’s about time for an “achievement” πŸ˜€

Even More Ork Boyz

Appropriately for Orktober, I’ve painted the two Boyz I showed last spring.

Both of them have minor conversions, but since I’ve talked about them previously, I won’t be repeating myself (too much). On to the painting then! Well, not much to say about that either, as I tried to follow my orange color scheme and make these two models look like the rest of the Boyz. As with my Space Marine Bikers, there’s a bit of difference between old and new models. With the Orks it’s mostly in weathering and skin, which comes from developments in my brush control or painting habits. In some ways I like the old models a tiny bit more, but recognize that this is nitpicking and the newcomers fit right in with the old Boyz.

Nitpicking aside, I found painting these two models a lot of fun! It felt quick and I really like the results. Painting the metallics was satisfying as they all started out as (drybrushed) silver, and then I just slapped on some Contrast paints for the brass (Nazdreg Yellow) and copper (Guilliman Flesh). The helmet with the visor came out really nicely, and I almost forgot it isn’t a stock part. Likewise, I liked how the hat came out, and I got more practice on painting simple freehand.

Kinda want to build a few more now… And I’m only three Boyz short of a full “mob”! Realistically speaking though, as I most likely won’t be spray priming any new models before next spring, there probably won’t be new Orks from me before next Orktober πŸ™‚