Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith

I’ve finished another model for my fledgling Inquisition collection. A model that I’ve wanted ever since I saw it as a kid, the good old Uriah Jacobus.

I got the model at the same time as the chainsaw preacher, and from eBay as well. This was right after GW had pulled Jacobus from sale, so I rushed to eBay and managed to get him at an acceptable price, albeit of course more than what I could’ve bought him for a week before. The model was properly old though, as it came in an unopened 3rd edition era blister pack, which was pretty cool.

Even if the model is positively ancient, I think it has aged really well. There are some details that are a bit clumsy, such as all the skulls, the fur, and the comically large hands, but overall ol’ Jacobus still holds up. Of course, just the pose and the concept of a “shotgun preacher” are cool enough!

Painting the model was largely similar to the last preacher. I chose to go with the studio paint scheme with this model, as I wanted to see if I could replicate the awesome skull design on the banner. While it’s not as nice as the original (big surprise, right?), the important thing is that the proportions look good to me and I’m happy with the result. Two other things I practiced while painting this model were the hot coals on the banner top and the more refined hazard stripes on the chainsword. I’m very happy with how both of these things turned out. Especially with the stripes, I feel like I’m approaching a good amount of weathering, and not over-doing the chipping.

And finally, I managed to claim another bingo square with Jacobus, this time for using a technique I haven’t mastered yet. I mean, really I could claim it with any model as even my basecoating could surely be improved, but this one is for practicing freehanding.

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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!

New Stuff, New Job

No miniatures today, but some updates for my hobby table and a development in the real life.

The old setup

First up, I’ve updated my lighting setup. My old setup had two lamps, but they were wildly different from each other. The other was a desk lamp with really warm, comparatively dim light. The other was a floor lamp with a bright white light, but the light cone was so tight that at times it was difficult to keep the model under it. The differences meant that I often had (harsh) shadows on the figure, and that when I was taking photos I had trouble with white balance as I had two lamps with different temperature values.

The new setup

I’ve thought about the update for a while now (well, basically since I got back to the hobby a couple years back), but after I recently saw a video on the subject and noticed how affordable the update could be, I decided to pull the trigger. I got two Tertial desk lamps from Ikea and two led bulbs from the local automotive store. These bulbs are nice as they have three temperature settings: warm, white and daylight. After installing the two lamps (had to modify the clamp on the other one slightly), I’ve gotten rid of most of the shadows. This obviously makes painting, as well as photography much easier. I think the lights could be even brighter (the video recommended 13W, whereas I found 9W bulbs), but for now I can certainly get by with these. They’re a big improvement!

My photography “studio”

Secondly, I’ve made myself some new brush pots! Okay, this is probably not that interesting, but whatever.. Some time ago I found some very decent (good even?) cheap brushes from the local super market. They come in packs of five, and I’ve bought four so far. My old Coca Cola cup started to get a little small for the lot, so I decided to get a second container for them. I then realised that I could make it myself, and ended up doing a bunch! I’ve worked as an insulator (/scaffolder) since last summer, so I’ve got access to all the aluminium that I could ever need and the tools to work it. Now, these pots could be described as prototypes, and aren’t really too nice. But they work as intended and are a nice memento from the insulation work. I made some others as well, a bit neater even, but my wife took them to her work before I could take a photo of them ๐Ÿ˜€

New pots, some new brushes and a sneak peek of an upcoming model

Never one to pass an opportunity to fill a hobby bingo square, I’ll claim the “something for the hobby that’s not for battlefield” with these pots!

Finally, I’ll be starting a new job next week, and this time it’s on my own field of work! I’ll be a substitute English teacher until the end of May, which should be interesting. While this is definitely a good thing for my career, it probably means that I’ll have less time to work on hobby projects. The job is also on the other side of the country, so I’ll lose access to some equipment for some time. I’m taking some minis and paints with me, however, and we’ll see how it goes. Expect fewer updates though, especially on new finished minis.

Preacher with Eviscerator

I’ve finished another bucket list model! This time, it’s GW’s out-of-production Preacher with Eviscerator.

I actually had a hard time finding info or a picture of the studio paintjob of this lunatic (maybe someone can help me out here?). The model’s tab said it’s from 2002, but even with a couple catalogues from the era I couldn’t find an official image of him. Rules-wise, I don’t know which faction he belongs to these days, but I’m guessing Sisters of Battle. Not that it matters too much, it’s just an awesome model! I’ve wanted it in my collection for a long time, and after seeing Heretic Tom‘s awesome (and growing!) collection of Imperial Cult miniatures the temptation just grew too strong. I bought the model from eBay and it arrived around Christmas.

My goal with the model was to achieve a “blanchean” color scheme, with mostly warm palette, a lot of red and some classic motifs like the checker pattern. I also wanted to try and push my skills on certain areas, as well as try out new things. The main things were the red robes – I wanted to push the contrast by shading with purple and highlighting all the way to orange; and the face – adding a bit more color than I’ve previously done. I also tried painting marble on the base, and experimented with some new metal paints.

There’s not much to say about the red itself, but painting it was surprisingly fast and I really like the result. I got to say though, that it’s amazing how much each successive highlight, or the final details, add to models. Each little dot and hash adds so much to the final model, and as you’re always painting smaller and smaller areas, it takes almost no time at all! Looks like the law of diminishing returns does not apply to miniature painting.. Case in point, I painted the face first as I normally would (base/wash/layer/highlight), but then added some thinned down washes below his eyes (purple) and nose/cheeks (crimson), as well as a couple of lines to his lower lip to imply cracks. A lot more character with very little effort!

Now, the metallics. I recently stumbled on an arts/crafts store that stocked some Vallejo Metal Color and bought myself two pots. I had heard good things about them from Vince Venturella (as in, they’re the only metallics he’s using), and I can confirm that they’re totally worthy of the praise. So thin and smooth, but the coverage is still unbelievable. I actually already used them on the Farstriders, but thought that I needed to experiment further to say anything. With the chainsaw blade I got to do some rudimentary wetblending, which works pretty well. I’m definitely getting some more Metal Color pots in the future, and changing to them instead of GW’s steel paints.

I wanted the preacher to have a thematic base, and what could be a better fit than a crumbling chapel? I cut down some thin plasticard to make the stone tiles, and glued down a few patches of sand so that the base wouldn’t look too sterile. I was a bit unsure about the skull at first, as it’s a bit bigger scale than the preacher, but in the end I really wanted it there and just called it a space marine skull! The tiles got a marble effect following an old WHTV tutorial, and I added a roman numeral on the skull for a bit of extra detail. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, as a reference to some amazing old pieces of 40k art such as this one. To finish the model off and tie it to the base I drybrushed and stippled some bone color on the robes/parchment/base, which was as harrowing as ever, but seemed to work as it always has.

As has thankfully been the case with all my other models this year, I can claim a square in the hobby bingo with this one as well. I’ll take the “model from a faction that I don’t already own any painted minis for”. Although I’m not exactly sure which faction this model belongs to! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Farstriders

My Shadespire collection grows by yet another warband! This time, I’ve finished the Farstriders! That makes six finished gangs, and two more to go to complete the first season of Underworlds.

Now, to be honest these could’ve been finished a lot sooner, had I not bought myself Hades from Steam. I’ve sunk so many hours into it during the last month that had I used them all painting, I’d probably have my Shadespire collection finished right about now.. It’s a pretty good game though ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, the Farstriders. I decided to change my default SCE color scheme to something else for this group. At first I toyed with the idea of going with the box art golden boys, but then I felt that I needed to change it a bit to make it mine. I thought I’d just change the blue to red, but then I decided to change the gold as well, to a more weathered looking brass. I came across a cool Space Marine Minotaurs tutorial on FromTheWarp ages ago, and finally got to try it out. Well, loosely speaking. I used Citadel paints and their brass triad, just adding verdigris effects before all the drybrushing. I’ve used Nihilakh Oxide a couple times before, and have been a bit unhappy with the results, thinking that the paint went on too opaque, even with 1:1 thinning with medium. This time I diluted the wash even further, to 1:2, and think that it looks good to me (as long as I only go over areas once). Well, I erased most of the verdigris with the drybrushing anyway, so it didn’t really matter even if I put too much on.

My favorite part of the models to paint were the capes. As you might have noticed, I’m a bit of a sucker for differentiating my warband models in some way, and here I decided on making the capes in different colors. I used around five base colors for the initial pattern in each cape, which I then washed with different washes and drybrushed them to finish them off. While painting the initial pattern, I mixed the paints on the borders to achieve a smoother transition, either by mixing an intermediate color on the palette or by wetblending on the model.

There are a couple of things I’m not totally happy about on the models. One is that I probably should’ve pushed the highlights on the reds a bit more, as compared to the black leather bits they look a bit flat. Speaking of red, with these models I tried to make the reds on the topknot, pauldrons and the loincloth(?) a bit different, and brighter on top to draw attention there. Success, I think? I’m also not sure about the color choice on the bird: I tried to mimick a golden eagle, but brown and white doesn’t really stand out from the brass armor and white cape. But these are considerations for future models, I’m calling these ones done.

Last but not least, I’m claiming a square on the hobby bingo: a team painted specifically for a skirmish game. Seems like the year has started well on the bingo front, one month down and two (/three) squares completed! If I can keep this up, I’ll be finishing the whole board before the end of the year! (Yeah, fat chance..:)

Lieutenant Varras

Alright, let’s get the hobby year 2020 started! I wanted to pick a small project to ease myself back to painting after a bit of a hiatus, so here’s Lieutenant Varras from the Battle for Macragge box.

I didn’t get any hobbying done during Christmas / New Year, due to not being home for the majority of them. But since then I’ve slowly been building and prepping models to eventually paint, and during last weekend and Epiphany Monday managed to paint up one of them. Varras had been sitting on my table for pretty long, and of course he’s been in my possession since the release of BfM in 2004. I had actually painted the model back then, but as he wasn’t really a part of my Ultramarine army, and I was never really happy with how he looked, I decided to strip him and give him a new paintjob.

Painting was rather straightforward, I used the same palette as for my Revelators, with the difference that I painted the pouches and holsters brown instead of black to bring in some additional color. I also tried out Citadel’s new paint triad for dark skin, and am very happy with the result. Definitely using it for some other models as well!

Painting this model pretty much finished the Space Marine side of BfM, as I have already painted the objective markers and a Tactical Squad (will have to do a marine with a flamer at some point). The squad is of course not the one from the box, but that’s fine as, to be frank, the BfM marine sculpts and casts were mostly terrible. I might get to the Tyranids at some point, as I think I’ve got most of the minis still in my possession. I’ve also tried to get hold of the Aquila lander terrain pieces (I still kick myself for binning those as a teenager), but so far the prices have been a bit too much.

Finally, I’ll begin filling the hobby bingo card as well. The card is a bit different than last year, as Rob redesigned it just this month. Let’s see if I’ll do better this time! I’ll cross off the “to-do pile model”, I think Varras qualifies.