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.

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!

Silverlions Prosecutors

So far in 2021 I’ve only been working on the 40k side of the hobby, so it’s high time that I got some AoS in the mix. I have a few half-done/started models in my to-do pile and thought that I’d try to finish some of them during the summer. Amongst them were the three Stormcast Prosecutors from the AoS starter box who are now done!

These guys took surprisingly long to finish. The largest part, the armor, was of course quick and easy, but the wings, gold and the “magical toilet paper” took hours to do.. That’s probably down to inefficient workflow, but it’s the way I’ve painted this army and I’ll stick to it. I think the reason these were not too enjoyable to paint for me was that this was a “paint by numbers” affair, there’s no freehand designs, battle damage, bare faces or any other more freeform stuff, just neat painting. I tried to speed up the process by not going back to fix mistakes, instead using the next paint to cover any slips. There’s still some around, but I tried to remind myself about “tabletop standard”. The good things are that the end-result is still pretty nice and I’ve only got the Lord-Celestant to do and then this army is probably finished!

So yeah, I’m happy that they’re done and I’m just one model shy of completing this army. For the hobby bingo I’ll use the Prosecutors to claim the “to-do-pile”-square. They’ve been built and primed since 2018 and I started painting them more than half a year ago, so I think they’re well qualified. I think I have a small chance of scoring one complete bingo this year, so I try to set myself up for success. For the monster, I have two candidates: Ghazghkull Thraka and the Lord-Celestant. Hmm.. If I really get a move on I might be able to finish at least one of them before the end of the year.

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.

Corvus Cabal Shrike Talon

My Cabal is getting reinforced with another model, as I’ve finished one of the coolest models of 2019! Here’s the Shrike Talon.

As with the Cabalist, I pretty much followed the ‘Eavy Metal color scheme with this model. One of the challenges with the scheme and with this model in particular is the separation of different black elements. Following the painting guide in the assembly instructions booklet (and looking at the studio models), I highlighted the feathers with blue and the hood with brown tones. I’m not sure if the colors still read as blacks, but I’m happy either way! I guess the biggest difference to the studio scheme is that I left out the painted, diamond-shape eyes from the hood. I get why they’re there in the original – to draw attention to the head, but I never liked them that much aesthetically.

I feel some parts of this model were painted a bit sloppily. As I mentioned in the last posts, I haven’t gotten quite as much painting done as I would’ve wanted lately. I noticed that this translated into less accurate painting. After a day or two I seemed to get back to the swing of things though, and the paint started to go where I wanted it to. Last week I made a conscious effort to get back to painting, and decided that I would at least put paint on my brush (if not the model) every day. Every time I did, I ended up painting for at least an hour! Let’s see how long I can keep this up…

Oh yeah, a small PSA: I’ve treated myself to some new electronics which might affect the photos on this here blog. I got a new Pixel 4a phone with that fancy camera software, which hopefully should lead to WIP shots that have much better color accuracy than before. And from the Black Friday sales I bought a new monitor to replace my previous, 10-year-old one. The important bit is that this new one has an IPS panel which is much better with colors than the TN panel in the old monitor. So, chances are that from now on the photos will be a bit less saturated, as I probably over-saturated everything a bit with the old monitor. Shouldn’t be a dramatic change, but just a heads-up if anyone notices it.

Mollog’s Mob

Praise Gork (or maybe Mork?)! New finished models, at long last!

I painted Mollog quite a while back in June, but didn’t have time to paint his minions. They ended up sitting primed until October, when I decided that it was time for them to get painted. I guess Bat Squig counts as my Orktober project?

As with Mollog, I pretty much followed the studio scheme, just altering the colors to be less purple. Because each of the minions has a different color scheme I painted them individually to completion before moving onto the next. This was great fun, and I once again tried wetblending and other more “freeform” techniques. This group was also a great exercise in how to tie the different color schemes together: even with the box art as reference I had to really think about the color choices. I actually ended up repainting the white on Spiteshroom, as the first iteration was too white! In the end I think I managed a cohesive unit, so I’m very happy with the result.

One minor thing that I kind of messed up was the bases, which ended up a bit lighter compared to Mollog’s due to too aggressive drybrushing. And speaking of bases, my word all those mushrooms took a long time to paint!

More Poxwalkers

I’ve slowly been settling down to the new digs and the new schedule. While I’ve painted a bit less than before, I’ve now managed to finish a few new models! Here are the rest of the Poxwalkers from the ETB kit:

Not too much to say about the painting that I didn’t say last time – these guys were basecoated with Contrast paints and then refined with “regular” ones. For some reason the whole process was a lot longer than last time. I think I was a bit more careful with the painting and did a bit more back-and-forth in some areas. The extra time probably doesn’t show anywhere (I hope they’re consistent with the last batch), but nevertheless I found the painting very enjoyable and relaxing.

While some of the sculpts have room for improvement (the big guy’s pose being a prime example), I’d quite like to get a hold of the Dark Imperium Poxwalkers as well. As I said, these models are fun to paint and would make good conversion fodder, models for dioramas, or just a nice looking horde for a plague lord to boss around. But as they’ve now gone OOP, they might soon cost as much as the Dark Vengeance Cultists, at which point there are other cool models to consider. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for eBay “bargains”..

Silverlions Lord-Relictor

A couple of months ago I painted the Bloodsecrator from the AoS 1.0 starter set. Now it’s time for his Stormcast counterpart – the Lord-Relictor. This guy also counts for another entry in Azazel’s Jewel of July-August!

If you’re familiar with the original model, you’ll notice that I’ve swapped his head. I hate the stock helmet with a burning passion – what were they thinking with that ridiculous nose? As Space Wolves heads have been shown to fit very well on SC bodies (not least by the OG Silverlions by Banzai1000 / Thilo Engels), I promptly copied the trick.

For the most part, he was surprisingly enjoyable to paint. Before this model I’ve basecoated the armor on the Silverlions with GW’s Ironbreaker, which is a bit rubbish and requires a lot of layers. This time I used Vallejo Metal Color Duraluminium, which is a pretty close color match but covers better (two layers, tops!). After an Agrax Earthshade wash and a drybrush of Runefang Steel (VMC is too thin for drybrushing, I imagine), the result is indistinquishable from Ironbreaker. Well, there might be some difference, but not due to the different basecoat! Comparing the Relictor to my older models, there’s a bit more Agrax showing through, which is an effect I like. More definition and a bit more weathered look. I think it’s down to me getting on the “make-up-brushes-as-drybrushes-train” a little while ago. They really are great (and cheap!), and can produce a really smooth result. With the Citadel’s small drybrush I tended to go a bit too heavy. It’s still a good brush for small details though.

Speaking of details, they were the most fun part of the model. Once again I tried adding a bit of color on to the face, and while it’s not my best work it’s one of the better ones. I think I got the black beard relatively nice as well. For the hourglass I took some pointers from an ‘Eavy Metal tutorial in an old White Dwarf (#362). Went a bit overboard with the reflections, but I guess it’s fine for a first attempt. Also, I’m not sure if the blue-gray color is the best choice here, as it’s not repeated in other areas of the model. It certainly stands out, but maybe too much. Finally, after finishing the gold in my usual way, I thought I’d try enhancing the contrast a bit with some Guilliman Flesh. I think this worked out great, although it might’ve been beneficial to re-highlight some edges with VMC White Aluminium / Runefang Steel.

The only part that was a bit tedious to paint was his cape. Those SC parchments are pretty annoying to paint, at least the way I do it.. And as if that wouldn’t have been enough, I also had an Agrax mishap which left the whole cape glossy after the wash. Thankfully after some coats of matte varnish and Lahmian Medium I was able to fix it. Hopefully now that I’ve painted the Relictor, who surely has the most flappy bits, the rest of my SC models will be easier to paint!

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!