WIP: Modeling for days

All right, it’s high time for an update. For the last three weeks or so I’ve been on build mode whenever I’ve had some hobby time, and have now got a couple of models to show you. First up, a couple of Ork boyz! (click the pictures for slightly larger/complete versions)

The two unprimed boyz are built from bits fresh off their late-90s sprues, while the primed one is a rescue job (parts are still from the same box, though!) that I did ages ago. He’ll be painted along these two new ones, whenever I’ll get to them 😀 The shoota boyz are pretty stock builds, while the slugga boy has a number of minor adjustments, such as reposing the hands and the horns on his helmet.

Next we have my latest creations, two more members for the Astra Rodentia. These guys take me a plenty of time to create as I fiddle with most of the parts. Getting a chainsword on a right hand was quite an exercise, I can tell you! Another conversion/scratchbuild was the radio pack: I wasn’t happy with how thick the antennas were, and made some new ones from paperclips and thin wire. I also added a phone(?), haphazardly hanging from its cable. While building it, I noticed that the Skitarii backpacks would’ve had the same elements, but I didn’t want to wait for an order to arrive.

Finally, a bunch of Space Marines. The two tacticals above were actually built around six months ago, and have since been based and primed, and the sarge on the left has got his banner. I’m using this old image as I have a couple of subassemblies on them, here they’re reasonably assembled. Fun fact: the sarge was actually built around the right, open, hand that was found in the Devastators kit! I’ve also built two more shotgun scouts, which completes the squad I started building.. last summer? (where does the time go?)

I’m using the scouts to claim the conversion square in the hobby bingo. The slugga boy might’ve been a more ‘optimal’ choice, but fug it, I’ve made more progress than expected already!

Astra Rodentia Sentinel

Alright, I finished the Sentinel that I showed at the beginning of the month, and just in time to enter Azazel’s Mechanovember, too! As I’ve already spoken about building the model, this post is dedicated to the painting.

But first things first! If you read the title of the post, and have seen my previous posts, you noticed that I’ve got a new name for my Imperial Skaven: the Astra Rodentia. This was suggested by amazingturtles over on DakkaDakka, thanks to her! At first I thought it was a bit too noble sounding for this abhuman rabble, but the more I’ve been thinking about it the more sense it makes. Propaganda and all that..

And on to the painting! I’m super pleased with how this one came out! The first thing I needed to do was to decide on a paint scheme. As my rats are supposed to be a ragtag group of fighters using kit from various sources, I could basically choose anything I wanted. I didn’t want to go with the default Cadian scheme, but due to most of my models so far have green flak armor, the scheme could have some green in it. The rats are also fighting in an industrial setting, so some sort of urban camo would be appropriate. With this in mind, the classic Steel Legion vehicle scheme seemed like a perfect fit, and I’ve always liked the scheme too!

It took a bit of research to figure out what colors to use for the gray and the green. Some sources said that the gray was Fortress or Codex Grey, and the green was Rotting Green. While the latter seems accurate, the gray was surely something darker, or something’s up with the old photos of Steel Legion vehicles. But anyway, I used Dawnstone and Nurgling Green for my model, and I think it works pretty well. The camo was painted by first painting the basic shapes on the model, after which the two colors were mixed together and painted on the borders of the two colors to blend them in. The old sources suggested drybrushing for this blending, but the shape of the Sentinel didn’t really work for that so I just painted it in the normal way instead.

In addition to painting a camo scheme on a vehicle, this project was also a great opportunity to practice some new(/ish) techniques. I’m very happy with how all the lights and lenses came out, and had lots of fun doing all the freehand scribblings and weathering. Speaking of weathering, I finally got myself Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust (largely inspired by davekay and Azazel), and used them for the exhaust pipes and various other bits. Fun stuff! Painting the base was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to have a bit of color in there so that it’s not just all solid gray, but at the same time I didn’t want the base to steal the show (which a bright red barrel could easily do). Some yellow warning stripes, the red barrel and the wonderful little rat took care of the color, while drybrushing the whole thing with light gray for highlights / dust effects pulled the base together nicely. I also used some other white-ish colors afterwards to introduce a bit of variation, which worked wonders. Now, traditionally speaking, there’s probably not quite enough contrast between the base and the model, but we’re not letting that bother us!

Finally, I’m using this model to claim a square in the hobby bingo: paint a unit and add scenic bases. I’m perhaps cheating a bit, but a single Sentinel can be a unit so I’m counting it. It’s pretty clear now that I wont be getting a single bingo this year. Looking at the grid now, I think I could’ve claimed at least a couple more squares with the models I’ve done so far, but even with those, no bingo. That’s okay though, the card has been a fun additional motivator and I’m sure to try again next year!

WIP: Imperial Skaven Sentinel

After finishing the Orks in my last post I’ve been building stuff for a change. The biggest and most involved piece has been a Sentinel to accompany my space rats!

I’ve always loved the look of Sentinels, but this was the first time that I’ve actually bought and build one. I’d heard about the great posability of the model, and the kit did not disappoint! To showcase the posability, I decided to model the Sentinel descending a ruined factory floor. The right leg is at its shortest, while the left is extended as far as it goes. A “flex” pose if you will. I also cut off and reposed a couple of the toes to better conform the feet to the base. The cockpit was angled down a bit to further enhance the descending motion.

To integrate the Sentinel to my Skaven, I obviously had to convert the pilot into something more appropriate. I cut off the pilot’s torso and replaced it with one of the unused Plague Monk torsos from making the regular infantry (oh yes, a use for them!). This had two benefits: I got the hunched pose that would’ve been lacking with the human torso, and the head fit with without any modifications (I did greenstuff the neck joint a bit after taking the photo). The arms slotted right in like they were made for it, however I did remove the small screen from the other steering stick. I was a bit worried if the Skaven head was going to fit under the cage, but luckily I had zero problems. The pilot fits in with good clearance around him. If I have one regret it’s that I used the original pilot legs for this model, as you can’t really see them at all when the chassis is assembled. If I’d do this again, I’d just put a blob of greenstuff or some other spacer under the torso, and save myself a pilot for some other projects..

Building the base was fun, though I hope it won’t be too far from the infantry bases, aesthetically/thematically speaking. Unpainted it doesn’t look too industrial, but I’m hoping that paint will fix it. Oh yeah, and just before priming the model, I added a giant rat from the Plague Monk sprue to the base!

More Imperial Skaven

Alright, so August was pretty abysmal in terms of painting, but at least I got these two ratmen finished. Still, progress is progress is progress.

I got most of the paint work done during this past weekend, when I got to spent a night on each model. In a couple of hours, I was able to get them from “basecoated & washed” to basically finished. Sometimes it’s nice to just concentrate on one (small) figure at a time: seeing the progress and getting it done quickly is so satisfying.

While painting the robes I learned that you can actually over-thin your paint when doing the toothbrush flicking technique. Because of that, there’s less spattering than on the previous Skaven models, but I think they should fit in quite nicely anyway. I also tried painting the cloth on the rat with the autogun slightly darker than on the sniper, but the effect ended up being too subtle after the washes and the drybrushing. Will have to try other colors next time.

I wanted to try and paint some sort of camo cloth on to the sniper, and as I have gone for industrial basing, urban camo seemed appropriate. I think it came out pretty nicely for a first try, though the wash and the highlights might have blended the colors together a bit too much. What do you think? I also tried to do some intricate freehand work on top of some decals, and have hopefully pulled it off without making a huge mess.

These two models are my submission for Azazel’s Awesome August. I hope that I’m within the challenge parameters – they are a bit on the small and puny side, but are definitely converted models, and a lot of effort went into the painting. Plus they’re sci-fi Skaven, that’s awesome in my book. And hey, with this submission I’ve participated in Azazel’s monthly challenges for 12 months straight! My first, pre-blog entry was for Neglected Model September ’18. A big thank you to Azazel for all the hobby motivation!

WIP: Skaven and Scouts

Okay, definitely too long since last update, and not much to show for it.. But here goes anyway – I’ve built a couple more 40k Skaven, and also begun working on a SM Scout Squad.

First the Skaven. I’ve built a sneaky sniper and another riflerat, though with a small conversion this time. To reflect the idea that these guys are using any old hardware that can be mustered, I wanted some autoguns in their hands. I converted one from a Cadian lasgun by changing the magazine to one from a bolter, and took a barrel from an old Catachan lasgun.

The sniper was a bit more involved conversion. I wanted to use a Skitarii rifle, and with it would come the hands and arms as well. I did want to retain the Cadian shoulder pads though, so I needed to do some cutting. It didn’t go quite as nicely as I’d envisioned, and before greenstuffing I was a bit unsure if I had botched the arms. After the sculpting I reckon he looks good, no need for a redo. Which is good as all the Skitarii rifles are unique, so I couldn’t get the same pose again.

I originally thought that the sniper wouldn’t be carrying a lot of equipment on him, “traveling light” instead. But he seemed to need something on his back to balance the rifle on the front. Happily I recently received my small order from Kromlech (more on this later), and they had put in two freebie backpacks as well. I felt the other one was perfect for the sniper, and it even fit without any cutting.

Then on to the Scouts. I’ve actually had the Scout kit and the Scion heads to go with it for a long time, but before I got to building them, I saw West_minis’ brilliant Crimson Fists Scouts, that used Scion backpacks as well as the heads. Naturally I had to put the project on hold until I could get my hands on the rest of the Scions kit. This happened last week, and I set to work. The shotgunners were pretty straightforward, requiring only cutting down their back humps and a bit of greenstuff on their necks. Though I got to say that the arms were a right pain to get aligned. Still not sure if they’re how they’re supposed to.. I’m pretty sure I won’t be building another Scout squad after this (other than the Sniper squad I’ve got in my pile of shame..).

The sergeant on the other hand required more cutting and fixing, as I once again wanted to retain the original shoulderpads. With a bit of creative cutting and some putty, the Scion bolt pistol and power fist arms fit the Scout model pretty great! He’s also got a regular Space Marine head from the mkIV kit. It took some effort to attach, as I didn’t have a correct drill bit, but I got there in the end. I also cut off the service stud from his forehead.

I’ll have to get on painting these models as soon as possible, as I’ve got to get something done for Azazel’s August challenge. I’ve got three weeks though, minus the weekends, so I should be okay. Even if I don’t get all of them painted, I should be able to do at least a couple.

Imperial Skaven

Okay, back to miniatures! I’ve finished the Imperial Skaven that I built back in March. As I’ve discussed the modelling in the previous post, this one is dedicated to the painting and my thoughts on how these vermin fit the 40k universe.

Painting the Skaven was a lot of fun, and I tried to keep it “fast and loose” (with varying success..). I decided to go with the vanilla Cadian scheme, but make the clothes really dirty and the equipment scratched and worn. I started with the beige cloth, borrowing the idea from Jeff Vader’s brilliant Nighthaunt. The dirt was spattered on with a toothbrush, and afterwards the cloth was drybrushed and washed to give highlights/shadows, and also to further the weathered look.

As I’m doing this project as a sort of a Kill Team, I wanted to further differentiate the models, so identifying them would be easier. I decided to do this by painting the hoods in different colors. I reckoned yellow would suit the leader, and red would fit the flamer. As the plain colors looked a bit boring, I thought I’d do some simple freehand designs on them. Worked nicely enough, even if they’re a bit Orkish.. Good practice for the eventual Underworlds Gobbos!

I used a number of decals on these models, and it was great to see that they worked as they should, considering they were something like 10-20 years old (the “31” on one of the bases comes from a Dark Angels sheet in the Warriors of the Imperium box!). As you might have noticed, there are a couple of different designs on the shoulder pads. I’m not too familiar with the Imperial Guard identification conventions, and went mostly with what looks good to me. I also scribbled some “graffiti” on the models, to hint that the equipment might not be meant exactly new, or suitable for combat..

So what about the “lore”? These days, as far as I know, the Imperium considers nearly all abhumans as abomination to be shot on sight. Nothing wrong with that (narratively speaking), but this was too good a modelling opportunity to pass up. Back in the third edition days, there were mentions about various abhumans serving in the Guard, and I thought that even with the contemporary Imperial policies, there would be some backwater planets out there that would find it necessary to recruit outside the “pure” human genepool. Not many men would willingly fight with the filthy vermin, but they could be given any old equipment that happened to be in the storage and made surprisingly effective fighters, especially in confined spaces.

I enjoyed this little project very much, and have plans for many more figures. I’ve already ordered a couple of bits for the next models, but we’ll see when I get my hands on those. Anyway, my next task will be to delve back into the Underworlds, and to finally start the Nighvault models that have been sitting on my desk for almost a month!

WIP: Imperial Skaven

Another week and no new finished models.. Oh well, maybe next week. But in the interest of showing something more recent than stuff from my teenage years (there’s still some to share!), take a look at my most recent models! I know I said in my first post that I’d only showcase finished models (as in “painted”), but let’s count “assembled” as a finished state, shall we?

A good while ago I came across a a tutorial on how to build a WH40k Imperial Skaven by Eric Sexton. I liked the idea very much and eventually got some Cadians and Plague Monks of eBay. Last week I actually started assembling them, and built three test models: a sergeant, a riflerat and a rat with a flamer. I’m very happy with how the little group came out, I like the poses and the bits that I used, everything fit without problems and the anatomy (neck, specifically) seems pretty natural.

I did have to repose the riflerat’s head, as it was originally too high and looked awkward. It was also facing to the left, which I changed in this second/final version. I did end up sculpting the neck twice, but it didn’t take too long, was good practice, and again, I’m much happier with the result. I’m now debating on whether to resculpt the sarge’s neck and give him a collar like the two others have.

I’ve got bits for two more Skaven, but I think I’m saving those for now. My eventual goal for these guys is to create a Kill Team-sized group, so around 10-15 models. I don’t play the game though and don’t know much about the rules, so they might not be a legal team. “Rule of Cool”. I’ll paint these guys up before building any more (and probably have to get some new bits..). Still haven’t settled on a paint scheme, though I’m currently leaning on something Cadian-esque. I’m open to suggestions!

Oh yeah, what’s up with the bases? With these models I thought that I’d go into a bold, new direction, and would paint the models separate from their bases. For ease of painting I superglued the rats to some spare bases. For the actual bases I wanted to try something other than my goto sandy bases, and went for an industrial look. They were really fun to build, and should be equally fun to paint!

Finally, I’m counting these guys for a square in the bingo card. They could’ve worked for a lot of different squares, but I went with “sculpt something on a model”, as doing the necks was more than just gap-filling (not much, but still).