Ultramarines Intercessor

Long time no post, but I’m still kicking! I’ve been quite busy with work and other 1:1 life stuff (more on that soon-ish), but when I’ve had time I’ve chipped away at another Primaris marine: an Ultramarine Intercessor!

When I started my Primaris First Founding chapters/legions project, one of the goals was to build each model with an upgrade sprue to give them some extra flavor. I decided to make one exception, and that was with the Ultramarines. Being the posterboys of marines and GW, he was built as generic as possible.

In addition to building each Primaris model as an individual, another goal was to try out different ways of painting marines. For my Dark Angel I tried a combination of volumetric and edge highlights, while for the Space Wolf it was subtle volumetric shadows and edge highlights. I’ve wanted to try the ‘Eavy Metal approach for some time, and what better model for it than a box art Ultramarine! The color palette and process is also very well documented nowadays, perhaps best by Dave Perryman, an ex-‘Eavy Metal painter. I followed his YouTube video for most of my model.

There’s a whole lot of edge highlights going on, and while on the studio models all of the highlights are applied on every edge, I confess to applying the final highlight only on upward-facing edges. This is mostly because I couldn’t make it thinner than the previous one (as far as I could see), at least consistently, so I thought I’d not cover all my previous work and save some time in the process. Still, I’m super happy with the result! While on closer inspection I can see that the box art is way sharper, the highlights thinner, from a bit further away it looks like I have my own ‘Eavy Metal model! I also feel like I improved my brush control quite a bit, especially doing the knee and shoulder pads where you don’t have an actual edge to highlight.

Probably the biggest departure from the studio version are the shoulder pad markings. I’ve always liked the idea that each marine can have slightly different heraldry. This is/was often shown in Codexes and White Dwarfs, but rarely shown on models. However, the Indomitus box came with very nice Ultramarine decals, many of them a bit different from the others. I chose an Ultima sign with “XIII” on it for the left pad. For the right one, I used some “vintage” decals from the Battle for Macragge boxed set. I quite like the big squad number and the small tactical arrow, and it satisfies my need to make every model, even a box art Ultramarine, my own in some way 😀 I had some issues applying the decals and had to do them twice, plus paint over the older ones as they were more transparent/not as white as the new ones. Got it looking nice in the end though!

The base also got the box art treatment. I found it interesting that the main brown color was done without washes, just drybrushing. Efficient! I tried static grass for the first time here, and while I’m not totally happy with the result, it’s fine. I used Army Painter’s Field grass which is not quite the same tone as on the ‘Eavy Metal models (anyone know which product they use?). I washed and drybrushed the grass to integrate it more to the base, which is another deviation from the studio models, but I quite like the look. Also, this was my first base without a black rim. Back to black with my future models, I think.

So yeah, this was most likely my last finished mini for the year. Not a bad one to end on, I reckon! I don’t know what I’ll paint next, but it’ll be something a bit quicker, a bit less precise 😀 Hopefully I can get back to painting right after New Year’s!

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 😀

I guess it’s only fitting for the First Legion

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 á 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! 😀 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

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…

Black Templar Initiate

I’ve painted my first Primaris Marine! I built this model at the tail-end of 2020, and he finally has his Black Templar livery on.

I started the hobby back in the WH40k 3rd edition days, and like countless others, was awed by John Blanche’s Black Templar cover art. Even so, I didn’t paint my first marines as Templars, and up until now that has continued.

The inspiration and the actual color guides for this model came from Maxime Corbeil (who in turn was inspired by Blanche). I’ve admired his BT army ever since seeing it in a White Dwarf (2017 Tale of Four Warlords), and dreamed of having models like that in my own collection. The black armor and all the edge-highlighting intimidated me for the longest time, but after I decided to just get on with it, I actually found it pretty fun. Highlighting the black armor took around two hours all together. Funnily enough, somehow I spent around 4,5 hours on the rest of the model, and one more on the base…

But even if I clocked in quite a number of hours on this lowly troop model, at no point did it feel like taking very long. Well, other than painting the shoulder pads white. That took quite many layers… Other than those, everything else was rather quick(ish) and enjoyable to paint. In the future I’ll try to keep the pads separate and prime them white to speed up the process.

Now that’s a properly sized marine!

More than anything, this model was a test piece. While I’m extremely happy with how it came out, I do see plenty of room for improvement. Mainly the (spot)highlight placement. I’ll have to study mr. Corbeil’s work a bit more before the next Templar. There will also be a more obvious change with the future models: I’ll follow Maxime’s guide for the bases as well, to get that classic orange-y dirt look (and hopefully a tad faster basing). This model was always going to join my Imperial Cult collection, and hence got the marble base.

I use this model to claim another square in the hobby bingo: paint a model in a color scheme you don’t normally use. Now, as I said, I haven’t previously painted any Black Templars, but even if the scheme was “black”, I would be OK. Ghaz was black, sure, but one model doesn’t yet mean “normally”.

WIP: Nu-Marines, More Cabalites; Magnetized Storage; Molds

I’ve been on build mode again, and let me just get on record and say: I’m as slow with my modeling as I am with painting! I had the whole weekend for hobbying, and managed to build a grand total of three and a half models, plus their bases.. I’ve also been working on a storage solution and some rudimentary mold making.

So first up, the new models! Well, new-ish. I bought the ETB Intercessors triple pack (now OOP, it seems) last spring during the lockdown period and even started working on one of the models (the guy on the left in the pic above). I’m not a huge fan of the bolt rifle design, much preferring the old bolters and pistols. Likewise, the mk7 helmets and backpacks look better than mkX to me. Thankfully they’re all more or less interchangeable with the Primaris kit! So yeah, the first guy got his bolter, a mk7 backpack and a custom mk7 helmet. It might not show well in the photo, but I’ve carved the helmet a bit to join the two eye lenses into a single visor. It’s actually a conversion I first created back in my teenage years, inspired by Doomguy (/Doom Slayer).

The second Intercessor also got some mk7 weapons, but a mk3 helmet and backpack. I don’t really care for those on mini-marines, so I’ve still got plenty of them left after building my Devastator squad. They look great on the Primaris bodies though, especially for the more knightly chapters. This one will be a Black Templar! One additional modification I did was shave his chest (:D) smooth for some extra freehand room. (Cawdor ganger for a size comparison.)

I also built two more Corvus Cabalists, this time the characters in the gang – the Shrike Talon and the Shadow Piercer. I think the Talon is one of the coolest models in the GW’s current lineup, and was built accord to instructions. The Piercer received a tiny conversion: I clipped off the tip of her sword to give it a bit cleaner lines. For both of their bases I added some plasticard tiles to hint at a ruined city. The Shrike Talon’s 40mm base maybe could’ve used some more decoration, but I didn’t want to give the model any more height (with cork board or such), as he already towers over his mates. Maybe I’ll add some discarded weapons or other bits before priming..

Then on to the magnets and storage! A couple of months back I decided that it was time to build a magnetized container to store/transport miniatures in. I bought a plastic tub and a big sheet of 0.7mm steel, which I cut into smaller ones at my workplace. I ended up with six 25x33cm sheets, so plenty for future boxes as well. A good thing, as I switched jobs and don’t have access to a proper quillotine anymore! I attached the steel sheets to the plastic tubs with nuts, bolts and some washers (see here for a closer look). There’s plenty of room for “regular” sized models (9-10cm), and taller boxes are available should I ever get myself an Imperial Knight! These boxes are stackable and the lid locks securely with kind of clips, which are easy to open.

I got a pack of 3x2mm magnets from GreenStuffWorld and attached them to models’ bases with Milliput. I’ve seen people do this with Greenstuff, but Milliput is cheaper and can be used as an adhesive itself. I was able to pry of a magnet attached with Milliput, but I’m hoping they won’t fall of with normal use. If they do, I’ll super glue them.

Of course, one always mixes up too much Milliput (/Greenstuff)! I used the extra to finally try out a Blue Stuff mold I made a couple months back. The molds are not perfect (one’s okay, the other pretty bad) and the casting added further imperfections, but I reckon they’ll be fine for some terrain! I think I’ll try to do the wheel mold(s) one more time, but then I really need to take the (plastic) wheel and get on building my final biker!