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™‚

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.

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.

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.

Makari

It has been a while! After Ghazghkull I had an urge to build something (more on that soon, I hope), but it also made me want to paint all kinds of models. Painting time being at a premium these days, I decided to work on something small so that I’d have a chance to finish before the holidays. It started to look like this would be a close one, but I got Makari finished!

I think I started working on him around a month ago, but only got to work on him during some weekends. Still, I’ve put at least five hours of work on him, which is probably more than a model of this size should take. I enjoyed every bit of the occasional hobby getaway, however, and am very happy with the end result!

As with Ghazghkull, I followed the studio scheme pretty closely, just replacing red with orange. The one notable omission are the white dags on the banner flaps. I left them out partly as it cut down the painting time (though not by much, I reckon), but mostly because I don’t like them that much. For pretty much the same reason I changed the yellow glyph a bit: I didn’t like the tiny black-and-white dags, so I used a “bad” glyph transfer instead. The rest of the glyphs are also transfers; I thought about freehanding them, but transfers were the faster option.

Makari with my old metal grot. The proportions of these guys have changed!

I used quite a bit of glazing on the model, much like with Ghaz. The big horns are based with silver and colored with Nazdreg Yellow and Guilliman Flesh. The white skull is glazed with Basilicanum Grey and the bone with Snakebite Leather. I even used some OOP Bloodletter for Makari’s nose!

I’m using Makari to claim a cheeky square on the bingo card: paint a unit with unique markings to be your general’s retinue. I suspect this isn’t quite what the original intention of the square was, but I’m saying it counts! I tried to mirror some of the color scheme elements on Ghaz to Makari, such as the orange to black gradient, orange teef and white skull, yellowish bone and the use of blue as a very tiny accent color. Of course, much of it is down to following the studio schemes, but when the end result works, it works! Honestly, painting Ghazghkull and Makari has been a superb exercise both for learning painting techniques and color composition.

I think this was good practice for the eventual Zarbag’s Gitz (or Rippa’s Snarlfangs), but as much as I’d like to start painting them they’re yet unprimed and I don’t know if I’ll be able to spray them before spring. Of course, it’s not like I’m running out of things to paint! I think I’ve got a couple dozen models in various stages of completion, so with the hobby time I manage these days, I’m probably set for next year as well πŸ˜€

Ghazghkull Thraka

WAAAAGH! I’ve finished my Ghazghkull, appropriately for Orktober! If I’m only going to finish one model this month, I can think of no better one than him. I got the model as a birthday present from my wife and started working on him in June. So yeah, it took quite a while to finish (to be fair, there were a couple of other models in between, as well as some other distractions:)), but I couldn’t be much happier with the finished model! I think it might be my best work yet!

There were quite a lot of firsts and otherwise experimenting with this model. The biggest one was the black armor with multiple edge highlights, but using glazes to alter colors for fades and weathering were pretty new to me, as were the subtle OSL effects. Not to mention that this was the first model to be completed after the birth of my son!

For the color scheme I tried to replicate the studio scheme. As Ghazghkull is a legendary Goff character I wanted him to keep the black armor, but I also wanted him to tie in with my “orange orks”. That’s why I replaced the red accent color for orange on my model. I also used the same recipes that I’d used on the boyz for the skin, cloth, leather, and of course the wasteland base.

For the black armor and the metal bits I followed the recipes from “Painting Ghazghkull” article found in White Dwarf #453. That involved some paint mixing (purple-ish highlights for the armor and a brownish basecoat for metals), which was interesting and not all that scary in the end. Just for the convenience though, I’ll probably be using paints straight from the bottle for my future black armor highlighting needs. But yeah, I’m loving the final result! While painting, I thought that the highlights on black looked a bit too much like TRON, but when the model’s all together the armor looks black as it should. The highlights are a bit too chunky in places, but I’ll improve my highlighting game with future models!

The orange presented me with a peculiar challenge that I hadn’t really noticed before: orange is a color that doesn’t have a lot of tonal range. There is no dark orange like there is dark red, for example. Dark orange is brown! In the ‘Eavy Metal version the power klaw (and the glyphs) are dark red, but I didn’t want mine to be brown. I had to leave these bits more vibrant so that they would read as orange, so in that way the studio model is stronger compositionally, but I did try to punch the highlights on the iron gob so that they would draw the eye towards the face.

Ghazghkull towering over the boyz.

Weathering was done by glazing various brown tones on the crevasses and the lower parts of the armor plates. Scratches were painted pretty much only on the freehand patterns, otherwise I ended up relying on the modelled damage. I considered doing some sponge weathering as well, but in the end I left it out. Mostly because I thought the model looked great already but I was also feeling a bit of painting fatigue.

A lone Space Wolf about to be pooped on.

There are still quite a number of things that I could improve or add to the model, but I’m calling it done. Seriously, I think the more time I spend painting a model, the more I notice places where I could do better if I spent the time! My original goal was to give this centerpiece model the paintjob it deserves, but it’s not a competition piece so I’m not sweating over every tiny detail. I’m super happy with how it came out and proud to have painted such a big, initially very intimidating model! Next up, something much smaller!

Last but not least, I’m one square closer to scoring that elusive bingo. Ghazghkull qualifies as a monster, which means that I only have to build a piece of scenery before the end of the year! I’ve been thinking about going into build mode for a bit now that I’ve finished a major painting project, so maybe I’ll have a simple piece of scenery in my hands before too long!

minimattila

Alright, a quick PSA: I’m a dad now! Around a week ago my wife gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. After a few days in the hospital we came home, everyone safe and sound. It has been an interesting week full of learning new things and a little less sleep than what I’ve been used to!

I guess it goes without saying that my rate of finishing models is going to take a hit. Of course, I’ve been saying the same thing for years now, so there’s a chance you’ll not even notice! I’ll have to get used to a new daily rhytm with a lot more responsibility, and try to sneak in some hobbying whenever I can. Before the birth I was a bit worried about how I would feel about not having a lot of time for my own hobbies. But I got to say, after the baby arrived my hobbies haven’t seemed as important as they did. I’m sure this will change eventually (:D), but for now I’m getting a real kick out of taking care of my wife and my son. Of course, miniatures are still on my mind and I’m slowly trying to get that ball rolling again. Today I wrote the boy’s birthday on the bottom of his commemorative Space Wolf! Yeah, the day ended up being a day of national mourning for some, but a familial day of celebration for us!

I’ll also show a picture of my current project, Ghazghkull Thraka, and where I left him before we had to leave for the hospital. The arms are not glued on yet, I think I’ll add a couple more things before attaching them permanently.

The face and the base are already finished, actually even before the move, I just haven’t shown them here before. But here they are:

Very chuffed with both of them! Hopefully I’ll have the time to finish the model before the end of the year πŸ˜€

Necron Plasmancer; More Scarab Swarms

It’s been quite a couple of weeks as me and the missus moved to a new town. Everything’s slowly finding its place and perhaps most importantly I’ve got the painting area set up. Yesterday I finished my first model in the new home: the Necron Plasmancer from the Indomitus box!

As I’ve probably mentioned once or twice, this is probably my favorite Necron model from the box. He’s like a techno Cairn Wraith, many of which we’ve seen from the INQ28/blanchitsu community. I painted him sort of as a treat after finishing the Warrior squad earlier in the spring.

The painting was largely the same as with the Warriors, I just used thinned down Contrast paint for the black bits instead of multiple Nuln Oil washes. There were of course a couple of things which do not feature on the more basic troops, mainly the power weapon and the ribbons. I didn’t really want to use gold for the ribbons, but I think I got just about enough variation on them with the small gradients. In hindsight a few cream colored squares could’ve looked cool too, as with the hidden ribcage and no gun case the model features very little cream.

The power glaive was a first for me and I pretty much tried to copy the light placement from the boxart, just with orange instead of green. It ended up a lot brighter than the green one, but I suppose it’s an okay first attempt. I think I managed to keep it looking mostly orange instead of red or yellow, and more or less in keeping with the other orange lights. I wasn’t too concerned about smooth blending as I’m trying to keep these relatively quick to paint. And in any case I’ve got plenty of models to practice with!

I’ve also finished another trio of Scarab Swarms. I didn’t use the previous ones as reference, so the lights ended up a bit lighter. I think they look good though, I might even prefer these ones as the OSL is more subtle.

“Go forth my minions and do my evil bidding!”

In the interest of claiming every hobby bingo square I can, I’ll use the Plasmancer for “completely paint a unit before using it on a battlefield”. Feels a bit like cheating with only one small model, but it does count as a unit!

Necron Warriors; RL Developments

I’ve finally managed to complete some new models! I haven’t painted a complete squad in ages, but here goes, the first 10 Necron Warriors and their Scarab Swarms from the Indomitus boxed set.

These guys were an attempt at a good-looking speed paint and I think the project was a success. While it took me close to two months to finish these (ouch), I only managed to paint on weekends, and not even all of them. In total I probably spent 2-3 hours on each of them, but the process felt pretty quick. I noticed a couple of places where I might be able to streamline it a bit for the next batch of models, too.

I’m not going to go in-depth on how these guys were painted, as I already talked about it in my previous post. Of course, all credit for the scheme goes to Trovarion and his tutorial!

Compared to the two original test models, I think I managed to get pretty similar results with the eight following models. The one thing I have to pay attention to with future models is that I overshaded the sides of the heads a bit with the “production” models, the test models look better. Not a big problem, and I’m not going back to fix it, but I’ll try to do better with the next ones. There’ll be plenty!

I got to cross off another square from this year’s bingo card: paint a model from a faction I didn’t already have painted models for. Oh boy, the year is half-way through and I’ve just got two squares! Not only that, the total number of finished models for the year is 15! 2021 hasn’t been too productive for me…

…and it probably won’t get much better any time soon. But I’ve got reasons! I got a new job starting in August as a teacher. And not a substitute either, this is a permanent(-ish) job. I’ve got a week left at my current gig before the summer holiday, which is exciting! I’ll probably be able to do some hobbying during the two months off, but of course there’s plenty of spending time with the missus, our families and friends. Also, we’ll have to move, once again, during the summer.

But, I’ve got even bigger news than the new job! Or, smaller, depending on your point of view… Me and my wife are having a baby boy! We’re about half-way through with the pregnancy, his estimated time of arrival is in mid-September. So, quite a bit (/everything) is going to change in a couple month’s time, but it’s something that I’m very much looking forward to. Here’s hoping that I get myself a tiny painting buddy in a few years πŸ˜€