Space Wolf Grey Hunter

After a week or so of painting, I’ve finished the Space Wolf Grey Hunter that I built in honor of our firstborn, due in a month or so.

The whole model was built and painted around the idea of “baby blue”, and as WH40k already has an excellent baby blueish color scheme on the Space Wolves, I thought I’d make a model out of it! (read more about the build in a previous post) The main color of the armor has changed somewhat during the years, from a blueish gray to a more neutral one, but I tried to go for a second edition look that in my mind is quite iconic with its happy, bright and bold colors. Of course, I did mix in some more modern elements like the base color scheme and some minimal weathering of the lower legs to tie the model to the base, but overall the goal was to paint the model very cleanly and neatly.

Unfortunately, painting the model started with almost ruining the model, as the automotive can of white spray primer I tried to use had gone bad and the model was blasted with gritty paint. Thankfully I didn’t spray it on too thickly and was able to brush and poke almost all of the unwanted paint specks off the model. I then bought a can of Corax White which, while expensive, worked perfectly. After the priming the painting was enjoyable if a bit time consuming. I’m not in a hurry to paint any more Wolves in this scheme, but I’m very happy with how this one came out!

For the armor I followed another tutorial on Tale of Painters (thanks Garfy!). It uses the same basic paints as in the Games Workshop’s guides, but is lighter. The process was also a bit different than the default basecoat-wash-layer-highlight, so I got to try my hand at recess shading a Space Marine armor. I don’t know which is faster, all-over wash and re-layering or just recess shading, but the recess shading didn’t feel too tedious. I kinda have a hankering to paint some other marine scheme with this method! Maybe get that “walk of the legions” project going! If nothing else, I’m sure my brush control and edge highlighting skills would improve.

I spent quite a bit of time on the face, trying to incorporate some color on it – a bit of red on the nose, cheeks and ears to suggest a colder environment and a bit of blue-gray on the eyelids for that weariness. I think the face could still use some more definition, but it’s good enough for now! I was also happy to be able to use an old water transfer on the left shoulder pad – the decal comes from the same box as the bolter. It took quite a lot of decal softener to get flat on the pad, but I think it came out great in the end!

The only thing on the model I’m not super happy about is the freehand on the chainsword. I thing the triangle motif is more appropriate for the Wolves than the hazard stripes, but with the orange shading on the yellow the sword reminds me of cartoon tigers! Oh well… Let’s call the model done and get back to Ghazkhull.

WIP: Space Wolf

A quick post today to show you a model I started working on – a Space Wolf Grey Hunter.

Now, I’m not going to start an army of Space Wolves, this will most likely be a one-off. But this one’s a bit special for me, as it will be in honor of our firstborn, due in around two months! My wife actually gave me the idea, as she asked if (or what) I’d paint baby blue for our baby boy. A great idea, I thought, and after giving it quite a bit of thought (I thought a blue-skinned cherub would’ve been too macabre and a grot might’ve sent the wrong message..) I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to paint a second edition-inspired Space Wolf!

I spent quite a lot of time planning and building the model, but I’m happy how it turned out. Most of the build time went into “refurbishing” and attaching the second edition bolter on to his arms. I still have a couple of these bolters from one of my first kits that I bought, and I thought one of them would complement the second edition paint scheme really well. To be honest, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t ever use them on anything, as they’re showing their age a bit, but after seeing OSJC using one for his Space Sharks I knew I had to borrow the idea! Obviously, the scale is better for primaris marines, but it’s not bad for mini-marines. The conversion is pretty simple, if a bit time-consuming: the main body from a second edition bolter, the hand, magazine well and the nub over the barrel from a mk7 bolter and the magazine from a mk3 one. As the body of the gun is quite a bit thicker than the modern ones, I had to do some cutting with the hand. The anatomy is not the greatest, but will do.. As for the rest of the model, it’s pretty much a standard mk7 tactical marine. I don’t have many Space Wolf bits, but found an appropriate head for him at least (is that Paul Sr. from American Chopper?), and to top the model off I gave him a mk3 chainsword. Kinda looks like a furry tail! 😀

I’ll use this model for the “conversion” square in the hobby bingo. Since the last post I’ve also crossed off another square by making a few storage boxes with steel bottoms in anticipation of the upcoming move.

WIP: Astra Rodentia Reinforcements; Imperial Pilot

After finishing the Necron Warrior squad, I switched to build mode. Other than some basing work, I hadn’t built anything after the New Year’s, so it was about time! Not that I had painted a huge lot, either, but that’s neither here nor there… Anyways, I’ve now got three more rats queued for painting and joining my Astra Rodentia force. Also, I built a disembarked Imperial Guard (Sentinel/tank) pilot.

The three rats that I built were some more specialists: a shotgunner, a plasma gunner and a medic (inspired by Pomander Cask’s medic model). The ‘gunners got different body armors, to reinforce the idea of a ragtag group also in modeling in addition to painting. Of course, rules-wise the plasma rat could be used as a Scion. I’m pretty happy with each of them, though there are a few nitpicks. The biggest of these is the weapon sling on the medic. I practiced greenstuff sculpting but this wasn’t one of my better attempts. Still, it’ll probably stay like that and in any case it’ll hardly even be visible in photos 😀

From the rear you can see some of the equipment I once again stuffed on their belts and backs. I think it adds a lot of character to the models and also helps to blend the body and the legs together (though there’s not much to hide – the join is really clean). One bit I’ll note is the backpack on the plasma gunner. The Scion bodies have big square slots in their backs, and my original plan was to fill it with putty. Of course I forgot to do it when filling the other gaps, so I thought I’d hide the slot with equipment instead. As the original Scion backpacks were used for my Space Marine Scouts, I grabbed a resin one from Kromlech. I got two of these as a freebie a long time ago (the other’s on the Astra Rodentia sharpshooter), and they fit really well. They even have camo cloaks strapped on like the Scion packs! Still, I made a slight modification: the original had a couple of grenades and a canteen hanging of the backpack – I cut these off and changed them to GW bits. It’s not a big change (the GW parts are just slightly larger), but I think it keeps the aesthetic closer to a GW model this way.

Then on to the Imperial Guard pilot. As I have quite a lot of IG leftover parts from making the Rodentia, I thought I’d use some of them for a one-off “marker” model, kind of like Lieutenant Varras. I imagine his ride got destroyed or disabled and he was injured in the process. After bandaging his arm and fashioning a sling he’s looking for a way back to a friendly outpost. The bits are mostly from the Cadian Command Squad. The head and the holster are from a Chimera, I think. I thought of a neat trick with the holster: after removing the pistol handle I carefully cut under the holster flap to make it curl a bit, like it was open. I’m sure I wasn’t the first to come up with this, but I think it’s pretty cool! The model still needs basing, probably similar to the ones on my Necrons. The paint scheme will most likely be Steel Legion inspired.

I’m claiming another square on the hobby bingo with the medic model. It’s the “sculpt something on a model (other than gap filling)”, and while the weapon sling is so shoddy I feel a bit guilty about this, I have to score squares where I can! Might have considerably less time for it soon!

Finally, I’ve made some hobby acquisitions. Yesterday I received a package from Japan, containing a Tamiya pin vise and a side cutter. I’m yet to give them any real action, but I tried them on a piece of sprue and they’re definitely an upgrade over the Army Painter pin vice and Citadel cutter that I’d been using before. I’ve also bought a pair of X-acto-type knives with #11 blades to see if I like them better than retractable Stanley-knives. And finally, for my birthday my wonderful wife surprised me with “something small”, which turned out to be the new Ghazghkull Thraka model! That thing’s huge, I tell you!

Astra Rodentia Vox-caster; Groupshot

Okay, long time no paint. I’ve been pretty much out of the hobby loop for nearly a month now, so let’s try to get back on track. Once again. Here’s a Vox-caster for my Astra Rodentia, finished back on my winter break.

As I said in my last post, finishing this guy was delayed because I didn’t like my original scratch-built handset on the vox-pack. So I pulled it out and replaced it with one from a Skitarii backpack. I was instantly much happier with this one, I think mostly because the “connector” between the pack and the cable. And the much more detailed handset doesn’t hurt either!

Painting-wise, there’s not really much to talk about – very much the same process as with the rest of the rats. I’m chuffed with the white checkers on his orange cowl, I did those one squeare at a time without the help of a grid. And I meant to paint the vox-pack’s speaker as brass, but should’ve gone with a more yellow, golden color as now it ended up looking like rusty steel. No matter though, looks alright!

Now that I’m starting have quite a collection of these Astra Rodentia (almost a full squad’s worth, hehe!), I thought I’d take a groupshot of them. Even with their mishmash of colors and equipment, I think they look like a cohesive group! For future models, I think I need some more guys with brown/gray armor, so that the sniper and vox-caster won’t look like they’re special..

Astra Rodentia Standard Bearer

The first model of the year is finished and we’re not even halfway through February! Sigh.. But here he is, a standard bearer (/fanatic) for my Astra Rodentia!

He’s been a long time coming, as I built the model nearly a year ago! I guess a big part of why he took so long to get painted was the banner. I had to come up with some kind of a color scheme, something to write on the parchments and then figure out how to do something like NMM on the symbols. The original idea was to also put on a graffiti-style text on top of the design (“Gutter Runners”) to show that these rats have taken some other regiment’s standard and made it their own, but I kinda shot myself in the foot with my chosen color scheme. I couldn’t use yellow, white or red for the lettering, as it would’ve gotten lost and I didn’t want to introduce any further colors like blue, green or pink to the model. Oh well, maybe I’ll get to realize this idea on some other model.

On the whole I’m pretty happy with how the flag came out. The left side of the flag seems to be a bit lighter, I went a bit overboard with the dirt splattering on left side, and I clearly need a lot more practice with NMM, but as a whole I think the banner looks nice.

As for the rest of the model, there wasn’t much that was different from the other Astra Rodentia I painted before. I painted on some wood grain to the banner pole, which was more successful on the left side, and glazed Skrag Brown on the yellow hazard stripes, which looks really nice. One new trick I tried with this model was to use a brush and a toothpick for the splatter effects, rather than a toothbrush and my thumb. Much more accurate! I also used AK’s Ultra Matte Varnish on all the non-metallic areas. It can be used with a brush straight from the bottle and works really well. Maybe a little too well for my liking.. 🙂

Okay, so new year and a new bingo card! Maybe this is the year to complete at least one bingo? We’ll see. I count this model for the “technique you haven’t mastered”.

As a bonus, I though I’d show you the finished bases that I’ve made for upcoming Astra Rodentia reinforcements. There’s the six bases I showed unpainted in the last post and a seventh one (with the T-pipeline and chain) that I built and painted ages ago for my last couple of rats. I’m pretty happy with most of these – the only one giving me pause is the one with the knife. The floor ended up looking too messy – not an unlikely scenario in the real world, but I’d like a little more definition. I might end up repainting it before using it.

WIP: Nu-Marines, More Cabalites; Magnetized Storage; Molds

I’ve been on build mode again, and let me just get on record and say: I’m as slow with my modeling as I am with painting! I had the whole weekend for hobbying, and managed to build a grand total of three and a half models, plus their bases.. I’ve also been working on a storage solution and some rudimentary mold making.

So first up, the new models! Well, new-ish. I bought the ETB Intercessors triple pack (now OOP, it seems) last spring during the lockdown period and even started working on one of the models (the guy on the left in the pic above). I’m not a huge fan of the bolt rifle design, much preferring the old bolters and pistols. Likewise, the mk7 helmets and backpacks look better than mkX to me. Thankfully they’re all more or less interchangeable with the Primaris kit! So yeah, the first guy got his bolter, a mk7 backpack and a custom mk7 helmet. It might not show well in the photo, but I’ve carved the helmet a bit to join the two eye lenses into a single visor. It’s actually a conversion I first created back in my teenage years, inspired by Doomguy (/Doom Slayer).

The second Intercessor also got some mk7 weapons, but a mk3 helmet and backpack. I don’t really care for those on mini-marines, so I’ve still got plenty of them left after building my Devastator squad. They look great on the Primaris bodies though, especially for the more knightly chapters. This one will be a Black Templar! One additional modification I did was shave his chest (:D) smooth for some extra freehand room. (Cawdor ganger for a size comparison.)

I also built two more Corvus Cabalists, this time the characters in the gang – the Shrike Talon and the Shadow Piercer. I think the Talon is one of the coolest models in the GW’s current lineup, and was built accord to instructions. The Piercer received a tiny conversion: I clipped off the tip of her sword to give it a bit cleaner lines. For both of their bases I added some plasticard tiles to hint at a ruined city. The Shrike Talon’s 40mm base maybe could’ve used some more decoration, but I didn’t want to give the model any more height (with cork board or such), as he already towers over his mates. Maybe I’ll add some discarded weapons or other bits before priming..

Then on to the magnets and storage! A couple of months back I decided that it was time to build a magnetized container to store/transport miniatures in. I bought a plastic tub and a big sheet of 0.7mm steel, which I cut into smaller ones at my workplace. I ended up with six 25x33cm sheets, so plenty for future boxes as well. A good thing, as I switched jobs and don’t have access to a proper quillotine anymore! I attached the steel sheets to the plastic tubs with nuts, bolts and some washers (see here for a closer look). There’s plenty of room for “regular” sized models (9-10cm), and taller boxes are available should I ever get myself an Imperial Knight! These boxes are stackable and the lid locks securely with kind of clips, which are easy to open.

I got a pack of 3x2mm magnets from GreenStuffWorld and attached them to models’ bases with Milliput. I’ve seen people do this with Greenstuff, but Milliput is cheaper and can be used as an adhesive itself. I was able to pry of a magnet attached with Milliput, but I’m hoping they won’t fall of with normal use. If they do, I’ll super glue them.

Of course, one always mixes up too much Milliput (/Greenstuff)! I used the extra to finally try out a Blue Stuff mold I made a couple months back. The molds are not perfect (one’s okay, the other pretty bad) and the casting added further imperfections, but I reckon they’ll be fine for some terrain! I think I’ll try to do the wheel mold(s) one more time, but then I really need to take the (plastic) wheel and get on building my final biker!

WIP: Cawdor Heavy Stubber

Time for another work in progress post, and a pretty exciting one at that! I’ve finally built my first model from the wonderful Cawdor box, and I’ve jumped straight to a conversion.

I wasn’t around when the original Necromunda was available, but after seeing some of the old metal Cawdor cultists with heavy stubbers (thanks, Azazel!) I got the idea of making my own, modern and plastic version. Now, I know there’s a heavy stubber in a Forge World weapon set, but as that costs almost as much as a new box of gangers, I can’t really justify getting it. Plus, making your own unique model is always cool! I ended up ordering a Chimera stubber from eBay for a couple of bucks, as it was the cheapest option and the scale looked about right.

In the Cawdor box there wasn’t a complete body that would’ve worked “as is”, so I needed to combine the body and arms from one assembly with the legs from another. Thankfully the sawing and glueing went much easier than expected, and the seam doesn’t stand out. Attaching the stubber was a bit fiddly and required slightly trimming the body/noose for the gun to fit as well as it could. The barrel was also shortened quite a bit, about a centimeter, to make it look more manageable (there’s “heroic scale” and then there’s “silly big”). The barrel might still be just a bit too thick, but as I don’t have the materials to scratch-build a new one, I say it’s close enough. The original ammo box was likewise way too big to use, but I found an ancient SM vehicle storm bolter from my bits box, which seems to fit very nicely. I finished the gun with a piece of an equally ancient CSM heavy bolter ammo belt. Finally, to balance the model a bit more I gave it a GSC heavy stubber backpack, which actually has ammo boxes on it quite similar to the storm bolter box!

Now, I don’t actually envision him to be a Cawdor ganger, strictly speaking, but an Imperial cultist wreaking havoc with Uriah Jacobus and friends. So rather than going with a stock Necromunda base I built a chapel-themed, tiled base. For added scene-setting I glued on some kind of a hose made out of greenstuff. Hopefully it’ll add some 40k techno flavor to the (eventually) white marble floors.

Looking at the pictures now I see there’s a couple of small things I need to fix/add to the model, but on the whole I’m really happy with how it has come out so far. The pose looks feasible and the gun functional, now I just have to think about the specifics of the color scheme!

Revelators Bikers

This project has taken waaay longer than I would’ve thought, but the two bikers I built a month ago are now finished! There’s still one more to build and paint for a complete squad, but I think I’ll paint something else before that..

I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. I don’t find my Revelators power armored marines much fun to paint. All the main colors – gray, yellow and gold – are more or less a struggle to paint. Well, maybe “struggle” is a wrong word, tedious would be more apt. The base paints cover well, but the layer ones are terrible. I very much like the end result, but getting there is mostly dull, very time consuming work, and I feel that I could use that time better on some other model. But I’m kind of locked in with the paint recipe now, and as I’d like to see some kind of a “finished” army at some point, I’ll continue to add a unit every now and then.

And oh yeah, if you see any out of place silver spots (hopefully not) on the models, that’s because the Vallejo Metal Color bottle caps are the worst! For some reason they occasionally leak while shaking them, resulting in a spray of silver droplets all over the place! This time a couple hit my models, of course in a way that required three paints to fix each splotch. I need to remember to cover the caps with a paper towel while shaking the bottles..

It wasn’t all bad, of course! The detailing and light freehand work (check out the “navigator” screens below) were enjoyable, as was the basing and even edge highlighting the gray armor. I’m pretty happy with the chipping as well. The goal was to do a very light application to the bikes only and leave the riders clean, to echo the rest of my Revelators. All in all, again, I think the finished models look great and are a cool addition to my collection, even if there are one or two mistakes on them..

Another great thing is that these bikers also qualify for a couple of hobby challenges: firstly, they’re my submission for Azazel’s Jewel of July-August. I’ll try to paint a quick character or something before the month is over for an additional entry, but yeah, we’ll see how it goes.. Secondly, they count for the vehicle square in the hobby bingo. Heh, I’m really setting up those sweet bingo rows, aren’t I? Hopefully I can actually follow through on at least one of them!

WIP: Building Bikers

I haven’t had much hobby time in the last couple of weeks, but I’ve slowly been building a Space Marine biker squad for my Revelators mini-marines army. Here are the first two finished riders, a third will follow later.

I got these bikes from my wonderful wife as a b-day present a little while back. She doesn’t really know anything about the armies or rules of the game, i.e. which units are part of what armies, which would be good for games, or what models I have in my collection already. Well, I too am not really familiar with the rules, nor do I care, and I’ve said to her that if she wants to get me minis, she can buy anything that she thinks looks cool. She ended up with these, as the marines looked familiar and one of my other hobbies/interests is motorcycles. I really appreciate her putting thought into this, rather than just picking the first box she sees!

I quite like the models, even though in practical terms they’re a bit silly with the wide tires and low ground clearance. They look brutal though, and fit the marine aesthetic splendidly. However, there’s no denying that they’re getting on a bit.. Assembling the models was rather fiddly, and getting the bike halves to align satisfactorily took some work. I was also worried about the seamline in the middle of the bike, but I read a good tip on TaleofPainters: when putting the halves together, use a lot of (plastic) glue! Then press the halves together so that some of the glue goop oozes out. When it’s dry, the seam can be scraped clean, leaving a smooth surface. I primed these fellas last night and the trick worked out great!

I wanted to individualize the riders a bit, so I did some light conversion/kit bashing work on them. The sarge’s head is from the SM Commander kit and the fist is from a Tactical Squad. I also added a banner top from the same box to further mark him as the squad leader. Both of the riders got some pouches and grenades, and some purity seals on the bikes. The chainsword on the other bike is from the mk3 marine squad. As it’s originally meant to be holstered/strapped to a backpack, it was a bit shorter than a normal Tactical Squad chainsword and already had some straps so it looks like it’s actually secured in place. The idea for the sword came from photos of Imperial First bikers in an old 3rd edition SM Codex.

I wasn’t happy with the stock bases, and ordered some plain 75mm oval bases from eBay. I don’t think they’re exactly the same shape as GW’s (the oval looks like it has slight “corners”), but in the photos it seems to be okay. They also had to be washed as there was some black goo on them. So yeah, the quality’s not quite up to GW standard, but okay. As they’re bigger bases, I wanted to decorate them a bit more than just plain sand and the occasional skull and tuft. Of course, as some of my models have bases that are just sand, I didn’t want to go too mad. The sarge got a slight “ramp” made out of cork, while the other marine got a piece of H-beam and some DIY-barbed wire. Just something to hint at a battlefield, but still keep it in the desert/wasteland style.

So where’s the third squad member? He’s still unassembled as I want to try something new: I recently got a package from Greenstuffworld, and with it a pack of Blue Stuff. I’m trying to make a mold of the bike wheels and copy them for terrain/basing projects! I made a couple of tries already, but wasn’t satisfied just yet, so I’ll try some more. The copies don’t need to be perfect, but I’ll try to get them as good as I can. When I get to the actual assembly, the rider will most likely be a meltagunner, but he’d require some work on arm posing, so we’ll see how it comes out.

Revelators Scout Squad

I’ve finished some more models for my own Space Marine chapter, the Revelators! This time, a squad of shotgun-wielding Scouts.

So yeah, they’ve been a relatively long time coming, and I’ve shown them unpainted a couple of times already. As the construction has already been discussed, I’ll focus on the painting in this post. I’m glad to say that painting the Scouts was for the most part an enjoyable process. It was also a bit different from my other recent projects: I tried to keep them consistent with my other Revelator models, which meant no weathering and less highlights than with, for example, my Astra Rodentia or Inquisition models.

This is not to say that I don’t like the look! I’d describe the look as vanilla-GW-tabletop, and the slightly cartoony look is neat if a bit uneventful. I did however try something new with these guys, as I try to do with every project: I did their cloaks in six-color desert camo, which is about my favorite camo design. Well, to be frank, it’s more of a four-color desert, as I simplified it for the miniature form, but I think it reads well for what it should be. Might try all six colours for the sniper Scouts when I eventually get there, as there’s more room in their cloaks..

A note on the color scheme as a whole: I’m really liking that my chosen armor color of gray and the desert basing scheme allowed me to create a somewhat sensible scheme for scouts. I was a bit worried about my standard accent colour yellow, but then I realised that as Scouts don’t use company colors, I had no issues! Yeah, there’s some gold, but there always has to be some bling in Warhammer.. All in all, I think they look like an effective bunch of commandos ready for some close-quarters action.

I’m entering these guys to Ann’s April hobby challenge along with the Ork Boyz. Turned out that April was a very productive month for me, as I managed to finish eight models! Can’t even remember the last time I was able to do that. Thanks for the extra boost of motivation Ann!