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.

From the Archives: Ork Dreadnought

So this is a bit of a special one: the last model that I got before dropping the hobby in my teens. And it was a Christmas present too, so it always bothered me a bit that I didn’t finish it. But here it is, in its finished glory, an Ork Dreadnought (yes, from time before Deff Dreads)!

The Dread was completed a year ago for Azazel’s mechanically themed November challenge. It was basically a full build too, as I had hardly started working on it all those years ago. The first thing to do was to make a base as the box didn’t come with one. As you might be able to tell, I used cork and tied to replicate the old Space Marine Dreadnought base design. I did add a couple of details like the tank trap bit and the Ork helmet to add some flair of my own.

After the base was done it was on to the Dreadnought itself. I could instantly remember why I didn’t finish this model: this is a metal model and basically none of the parts fit each other without a lot of filing. I think I spent 2-3 days just fitting and pinning the model together. While I was at it, I magnetized the big shoota so that I could swap it for a rokkit launcha in the future. The burna is glued on as usual due to it’s more difficult position.

Then I had to decide on a paint scheme. I kind of wanted an orange scheme, but painting the whole thing orange would’ve been too much, and I couldn’t come up with anything else that I would’ve been happy with. In the end I decided to try and replicate the box art scheme, which is a kind of first since my teens, and I’m happy that I did since the scheme is awesome, and was very fun to paint! There is absolutely no “standard” edge highlighting on this model, all the edges are defined by sponging or drybrushing. Freehanding the skull design on the front was a great exercise, and I found a pretty good way of painting dark (coated?) metal that’s common in real world guns.

So yeah, this project was a fun one! I think the design of this Dreadnought has held up really well, maybe I’ll get some plastic Killa Kans to accompany it. Some day..

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!

Revelators Ironclad Dreadnought

It has been a bit too long since my last update, but I’ve finally got something new to show! I’ve finished an Ironclad Dreadnought for my Revelators. This is my main entry for Azazel’s Armoured April challenge.

I’ve loved the Space Marine Dreadnought ever since I first saw it when getting into the hobby back in 3rd edition of WH40k. While it doesn’t look very functional with those stubby legs, there is something special about the boxy hull and the small vision slit. In the 3rd edition days there was only the standard Dread, I think the Ironclad and the Venerable variants came slightly after my miniature hobby went on a long break. And of course, there’s now countless other Dreads as well, like the Primaris Redemptor and all those weird ones from Forgeworld. I’m not too hot on them myself, but luckily the old Castaferrums are still available. I’ve still got an unbuilt Venerable kit and I’m looking to get the classic Dread into my collection as well!

This guy took quite a bit longer to paint than I though it would, it’s a fairly simple model after all. But I did lose two weekends to travelling, and a couple of days to a flu (insert a Nurgle joke here). And layering the armor took ages! Well, it’s ready now and that’s all that matters. Overall this was a fun project. I tried a couple of new things and learned some important lessons.

This was my first vehicle in my current Space Marine collection, and I thought I’d have to do some battle damage so it wouldn’t look too boring. I’d have to keep it from going too extreme though, as my marines have no weathering. I think I overdid it a bit, again, but I’m happy with most of it. Another new trick I tried was masking: I did the soot on the flamers/exhaust pipes after finishing the (clean) armor, and not wanting to mess up that I tried some Faskolor tape that I have left over from my RC hobby. Worked out nicely!

What did I learn? One important thing: MicroSol softens acrylic paint too! So don’t be lazy like me, and apply gloss varnish before laying down the decals and chemicals! Another thing that I’ll be paying attention to in the future is how to handle sub-assemblies, as now I got some minor metal flakes on the arms by holding them with my fingers. Not super apparent, but annoying.

Modelling-wise, this Ironclad is pretty much as barebones as it gets. The only accessory I put on him was the smoke launcher. I did consider purity seals and other decorations, but I kind of wanted to keep him looking very utilitarian, a brawler without any bells or whistles. The one minor conversion I did was cutting out his “toes” and putting the feet on backwards. If I would’ve thought about it a little sooner, magnetizing some bits could’ve been nice, but I’ll just leave that for some other project. And in hindsight, I probably should have improved the base a bit with some fine sand and such. Well, at least I’ve got an example of the OG (at least to me) pre-molded scenic base in my collection!

I wasn’t too happy with the faceplates in this kit, but as I don’t have any better ones currently, I just attached one with a tiny blob of super glue so that it can be switched later. I think I’ve warmed up to it now though, so it’ll probably stay. In my quest to name all my Revelators units after cool video games, I dubbed the Dread ‘Ruiner’, though part of the name/callsign is sadly obscured by the purity seal.

Above you can see him duking it out with my other Dread, done for last Orktober. Is the washing machine a tiny bit shorter than the trash can? More on the Ork Dreadnought later. And, as with most of my models lately, I was able to claim a square in the hobby bingo: “paint a vehicle”.