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˜€

Space Wolves Assault Intercessor; Painting Comp Win!

Okay, my Space Marine project is moving forward! I’ve finished another Primaris Marine, this time a Space Wolf.

Around a year ago I painted a mini-marine Space Wolf to commemorate the birth of my son, and went with a 2nd edition inspired color scheme. The idea with this new Primaris was to try the contemporary studio scheme which is slightly darker. I took the main palette from some Youtube videos (Russ Grey for midtone, Fenrisian Grey for highlights, Fang for shadows), but added some contrast with additional point-highlights of Blue Horror and made the shadows deeper with Wyldwood. If I were to paint this scheme again, I’d go with brighter highlights (Blue Horror all over, white on corners), but it’s fine for now.

This being a close combat oriented model, I decided it was an Assault Intercessor and as such would get red-and-yellow pack marking on the shoulder. This had me a bit worried, as yellow would be difficult to clean up if I splotched with red, but thankfully I needed to do very little fixing. Another bit of freehand was the “Fenris” text on the sword. I pondered between using the actual runic alphabet and just runic script for a bit, but went with the script so that anyone (me included) could read the text.

I happened to pose this model’s head in a way that allowed me to try something new with the eyes: to paint them not looking straight on but to the side. Not only does the face look more interesting/expressive, it’s also a whole lot easier to do!

As with the Dark Angel, I built the model using an upgrade kit. I did have to convert him slightly though, as the left arm drawing a knife wouldn’t fit the Assault Intercessor body I wanted to use (for the running pose). The issue was those thigh plates, which were happily very easy to remove with a knife from the multi-part kit bits. I didn’t even need to do any putty-work to fix missing details, as some accessories hid what little damage there was. Oh yeah, and I scraped off the aquila for a more utilitarian look which I think fits the Wolves well.

New and old side by side

With those small alterations I can claim the conversion square on the bingo card! Almost at a five-across, but that display board isn’t happening this year…

And to finish the post off: hot diggidy damn! I’ve won the painting competition I entered with my Dark Angel! (link to a Facebook post with the top 3 of both categories) Needless to say, I’m super pleased that people liked my work. I also got a 50€ gift card as a prize, which might well be used for the next year’s entry πŸ˜€

I guess it’s only fitting for the First Legion

Revelators Bike Squad

So I really took my time with this one, but I’ve now finished the last biker in my Bike Squad. I showed the two other bikes back in… 2020. Yeah…

This guy, and his bike, sat on my desk for the two years pretty much with the first basecoats applied. Now that I’ve found myself enjoying painting marines, I thought I’d finally bite the bullet and get the model finished and off the table. After a week or so of painting, he’s ready to join his biker buddies.

I still quite like these models, even though they’re really showing their age. The whole bike seems to be skewed a bit, and the mini-marine has even less waist than, say, a current Tactical marine. And I guess it’s telling that on GW’s website the biker model has it’s helmet antenna broken off… But, with some minor conversions/kit bashes, a nice paintjob and base they still look cool.

Speaking of conversions, I built the meltagun arm from Tactical squad bits, adding a pistol grip cut off from a pistol holster, and even went so far as to reposition the little aquila trinket to look like it’s flapping around in the wind. As you might have picked up on, the pose is inspired by the old metal biker with plasmagun.

Painting-wise, there’s not much to say. I tried to paint it as similar to the previous bikers as I could. There are some differences that come from not batch painting and leaving the project for two years, but they’re very minor. The only really new thing was the heat burn effect on the melta barrel. I’m not really happy with how it came out, I rushed and didn’t let the different colors dry properly, so I got some coffee staining which I of course couldn’t really fix. But it’s serviceable, and I’ll try the technique again with some future model.

And hey, that’s a vehicle painted!

Elf Cleric

This little model was painted almost a month ago, but didn’t get photographed before now due to work starting again and me wanting to finish another model (coming up soonish…) before setting up the camera gear. When I dropped off my Dark Angel to the painting competition, I also decided to buy a small mini from the game store. I thought I’d have a chance to complete another square on the hobby bingo by finishing a mini in 48 hours after acquiring it. And while it took me a while to take the photos, I managed the painting in time!

Now, I knew that of the 48 hours, I’d only have maybe 4-5 hours to work on the mini, so I didn’t want to get a GW model that I’d obsess over, taking a couple of hours just to clean, build, base and prime. Good thing that the store had some cheap Wizkids D&D models. I picked up a “Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures: Female Elf Cleric”, a blister with two models. They’re made out of some bendy plastic and the details on them aren’t great, but not terrible either. Perfect low-stakes models then, and they even came primed! I tried to clean the mold lines a bit, but the bendy plastic didn’t want to cooperate so I didn’t bother. Out of the box and straight to painting – I felt a bit like a kid again!

The model was finished in two sessions of around two hours each. In addition to finishing the model quickly, I wanted to try out some new paints and practice new techniques. During the summer I bought a bunch of new paints (some of the new Contrast pots and some Vallejo Model Color bottles). Among them were VMC Dark Sea Blue and Pale Sand. They seem to be all the rage among YouTubers, and I decided to try and use the blue for all the shading and the sand for all the highlights. I think it mostly worked, though I still need to practice some more with this idea of universal shadow and highlight colors.

On the technique side, I tried to paint a worn leather texture on the coat. I remember seeing Vince Venturella doing this by painting small scratches and dots on the basecoat with quite a bright color and then glazing over them with the basecoat color. This was then repeated multiple times, which resulted in a very interesting(/realistic?) layered effect. Again, I think I got the right idea and a pretty nice result for a first try, but some repetition is required on future models!

I also tried to do some simple OSL on the model. She’s got some kind of a spell going on, which was cast from transparent plastic. I wanted to color it, and thought that a Contrast paint could work well. I first painted the transparent bit with matte varnish, in the hopes that it would help the paint stick. I then used very thinned down Siegvald Burgundy to paint the spell and the surrounding areas. I then used VMC Pink and Off-White for some quick highlights, both on the spell and the model. The spell was then given a coat of gloss varnish. I think the final effect is pretty cool, retaining some of the transparency.

And here’s the bingo card with the cleric added. The square says “paint and base”, and I’m aware that my base is probably pushing it a bit. But hey, it’s my card and I say it counts! πŸ˜€

Dark Angels Intercessor Sergeant

I’ve finished another one-off mini, an Intercessor sergeant of the “First Legion”. It’s also a bit of a special model, as it’s the first one I’ve entered into a painting competition. More on that at the end of the post…

For the longest time I’ve had an idea of painting an example of each of the 18 original Space Marine legions, or their 40k equivalents. Not much has happened with the project, other than the retro-scheme Space Wolf. But now I’ve taken a step forward with a Primaris version of a Dark Angel. The model is built with a mix of bits from Intercessor, mk3 and mk7 bits, as well as the DA Primaris upgrade set. Going forward, I’d like to customize the rest of the Primaris Marines in a similar way, but that depends on if I can find some good deals on the chapter upgrade bits.

For painting the figure I mostly followed a Tale of Painters tutorial, but added some extra highlights and a bit more volumetric highlights. The goal was to have a well defined model with high contrast edges Γ‘ la ‘Eavy Metal, but also explore the volumes a bit more. Now, while my edging is still waaays off of the gold standard, I’m getting more confident with it, and am very happy with the final look. Painting the volumes was also interesting and a learning experience, as I did quite a bit of back-and-forth adjusting the tone by glazing and layering.

While most of the model was painting the armor – a paint-by-numbers affair – I did a couple of freehand details as well. The main one is the company marking on his left knee. As this is just a one-off, I picked what looked to be the most complex one, the 4th company. I got to say, painting it would’ve been a whole lot easier if I’d kept the sword separate. Would’ve also helped with the backside of the sword… The other detail was the “Caliban” text on the left shoulder. I’m still struggling with doing an interesting font, something other than just block letters. Maybe I should practice on paper first? Anyway, good enough I say.

For the markings on the right shoulder pauldron I used transfers. They were from my stock of vintage 3rd edition era Space Marine transfer sheets, from back when they came with more than just Ultramarine markings. The decals still work fine, but the film on them seems to be pretty thick and MicroSol doesn’t seem to get all the wrinkles out of them. I ended up scratching the wrinkles off very carefully with a hobby blade, and smoothing everything up with a layer of gloss varnish. Of course, as there are two decals there on top of each other, it was very slow work setting up those transfers. I might have to look into getting a stronger decal solvent…

There are a couple of things that I’m not a 100% happy with. His one eye is one of the weakest I’ve painted. I think I used a little too thick paint and lost the sculpted detail, not knowing exactly where the eye and the lower eye lid were supposed to be, and that’s why I didn’t repaint it. It’s not horrible, but should’ve been better. (Again, need to leave bare heads as sub-assemblies in the future!) The other thing is the plasma coils on the pistol: I did the contemporary “inverted” glow and like the sides very much, but the top of the coils doesn’t really work. I’m not sure if there’s some way to make it credible, or if the old boxy flat-top coils are just unsuitable for this effect. I left the effect be, however, as the blue color makes a nice triangle together with the bionic eye and the sword’s power node.

Happily, I get to claim another bingo square with this model. There were a couple that would’ve applied, but I went with the “paint a model from a new army or faction”.

Finally, the competition. It’s my old hometown’s game shop’s annual painting competition, which I always missed when I lived there. What better time to enter than now that I’ve moved away! πŸ˜€ The comp has two categories (“big” and “small”), and the winners are decided by customers’ votes, so it’s not all that serious. The voting goes on until the end of August, and I’ll go pick up my model then and see how the Dark Angel has done. I don’t know about my chances of winning, but I was really excited to get to show off my model live, and to see what others have done. There were a lot of cool models and a few superbly painted ones. My personal favorites on both categories were converted Nurgle models with awesome NMM effects and really cool display bases.

The “small” models
My favorite of the “big” models

Zarbag’s Gitz

And here’s the whole gang! (more about the squigs in the previous post) When I initially started painting the gobbos I thought they’d be pretty quick to finish. Once again, I was wrong πŸ˜€

Zarbag’s Gitz

The main inspiration for the paint scheme came from a classic Adrian Smith painting of Night Goblins. The main take-aways were the blue, black and red robes, as well as the freehand patterns on the hoods. My colors are obviously quite a bit more vibrant and cartoony than the artwork, but I’ve noticed I like my miniatures like that!

Prog da Netter, Dibbz, Stikkit and Redkap

The robes were finished pretty quickly, and painting a rough fabric texture by hashing is always fun. To contrast the robes I tried painting the skin smoother. While the light green paints have pretty bad coverage, I’m once again really happy with how they came out.

Then it was on to the details, of which there were many. Each model also seemed to have their own special things, which made batch painting difficult. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it! Even painting all the rope textures on the net was quite enjoyable, relaxing even. There were a few details which were a bit more intimidating (those involving blending), but once I started doing them they all came out great! It was funny actually, at first Drizgit da Squig Herder was my least favorite of the bunch (the mushroom on his mouth doesn’t really work for me), but after painting the fire effects he’s one of my favorites.

Drizgit da Squig Herder, Zarbag and Snirk Sourtongue

I quite like the bases on this warband, they have various small details that add to the narrative of the group. I actually started this painting project with the bases, something I don’t often do. As painting the bases was mostly drybrushing, I thought I’d have to repaint a lot less if I started with them (looking at Zarbag and those mushrooms!). Of course, I then had to lightly drybrush the bottoms of the robes after finishing the models, but thankfully that went without issues.

I’ve got one regret with this warband, and that’s not doing gap-filling properly. Thankfully it’s not (very) visible on the photos, but especially on Zarbag’s cowl it’s raining on my parade a bit, after painting him up so nicely. Painting-wise, there’s one or two things that I could’ve improved or added, but as fun as they’ve been to paint, it’s time to start working on something new.

I also get to cross off another square on the bingo card, this time it’s the “warband for a skirmish game”.

Zarbag’s Squigs

After building and priming all those models shown in the last post, I promptly went on to paint something different. So now, more than a year after building and priming them, I’ve finished painting Zarbag’s Gitz. In this post I’ll show you the two squigs, which I painted before the rest of the warband, and in a couple of days I’ll show the actual Gitz.

These two angry red balls were fun to paint, and quite quick as well, with so few elements to them. I tried some new recipes on these, mainly on the red skin and the teeth/bones. I shaded the red with Contrast paints, Blood Angels Red on one and Flesh Tearers (FT) on the other. Not much difference in the final product, FT provides a bit more contrast. Otherwise the process was the same. I used a flesh tone for highlighting, which was a first for me.

I wanted to try something different with the teeth as well, especially to provide contrast between the giant bone and the teeth on Bonerakka. I took inspiration from the studio models and tried Rakarth Flesh (RF) as a basecoat, shaded very carefully with thinned Nuln Oil. Highlighting with Pallid Wych Flesh (PWF) finished off the teeth. The bone was likewise RF, but shaded with Seraphim Sepia. I then layered with Flayed One Flesh and highlighted with PWF. Finally, I glazed on some color with a mix of Reikland Fleshshade and Carroburg Crimson. Very happy with the result!

One final note about painting the details: the brands on the squigs’ sides had me scratching my head for a bit, but happily one of my go-to sources, Tale of Painters, had me covered. Stahly has painted this warband very nicely and provides recipes for most of the colors, including the scarred flesh. Also helped with the mouths! I didn’t get mine to look quite as nice as the reference, but that’s fine.

I’m also sneaking in my hobby bingo card, as a week ago I built two new magnetic storage cases. The construction was exactly the same as the previous ones, so didn’t feel the need to post a picture of them. But with those, I should be set with storage for quite some time!

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.

Primaris Revelator

After painting the Black Templar I got the urge to paint some more Primaris. Luckily I had one started: he’s now painted up in my Revelators color scheme.

This model was built at the same time as the Templar, and as discussed previously, he’s converted a bit and is a mix of Firstborn and Primaris Marines. I’m very proud of the helmet modification, and now with paint on it you can actually tell what’s going on.

As he’s not a part of my existing army (of mini marines), I painted him a bit differently. I wanted to practice painting volumetric lighting rather than just edge highlighting everything once or twice. It took a bit of back and forth to get the shadows and highlights looking appropriate (ish), but I’m very happy with the result. My goal was to get the armor looking matt, not reflective with the extreme value contrasts of NMM. I think I managed to pull it off pretty nicely, and the gray armor reads more or less as Dawnstone, which was the target.

In addition to paying attention to the volumes, I tried a couple other new things as well. The first was a new recipe for the gold bits. It requires less paints, is more pleasant to paint and, with the additional contrast, looks better too. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the method and will be using it for all future Revelators. Previously I had been using Auric Armour Gold in the recipe, which is just a terrible color. I mean, is it just glitter in transparent medium? I think I can toss the pot now…

The other new thing was subtle weathering of the armor. I’ve noticed that I often go a bit overboard with weathering. Not necessarily in the sence that it would ruin the model or be unrealistic, just doing more than what I set out to do. This time I paid more attention to it, and again, think that I managed pretty well. There are areas that are really nice and some places that are not so good, but overall I like the effect.

Comparison of Revelators painted at different points during my hobby journey.

Huh… Now I feel like painting more Revelators. Funny how inspiration (/hobby-butterflying) works – it doesn’t really matter what I paint, I end up wanting to paint more similar models. I even have a few Revelators models started ages ago that need finishing. But of course, for whatever reason I’ll probably end up picking something different for my next project…

To finish off this post, I’ll claim another bingo square with this model: “incorporate a technique you haven’t mastered”. Volumetric lighting and the weathering both count, as I’ve still got a looong way to go before I start to approach “mastery” in either.

The keenly-eyed among you might notice there’s another new filled square in the card. More on that later…

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.