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”.

Visiting the Hobby Shops in the Capital City

One of the perks of moving down south for work is that Finland’s one and only Warhammer store is now quite a bit closer. As in, a 45min drive instead of seven hours! When Games Workshop recently announced that each of their stores would sell Sergeant “Ripper” Jackson from 12th-20th of September, I thought what the heck, I’ll go and get her. And while I’d be in Helsinki I thought I’d check out a couple other hobby shops as well!

The result of my shopping spree

I ended up going to four in total and buying an item or two from each. First stop was Poromagia, an independent hobby shop / gaming club. Not only did they have a great supply of GW’s products, they also stocked a lot of AK Interactive and Greenstuffworld products. This is great, as I’ll be able to get all the cool things without waiting 2-3 weeks for a delivery! But the highlight of the store for me were the many display cases, all filled with beautifully painted models. I even found the “Orange Mechanicus Orks” I saw in the Warhammer store a couple years back, and stupidly didn’t take a photo of. They were a big influence on my own orange Orks, so I was very happy to be able to correct my mistake and take a picture of them. I bought some GSW barbed wire and a bottle of VMC Gold.

Noa Kaistinen’s Orks @Poromagia

Next I visited Hobby Point, which is a big crafting and model making store. It doesn’t sell wargaming miniatures, but scale models and model railroad stuff (among other things). They had a lot of Noch stuff, which could be useful in the future. Now I just grabbed a trio of paints and additives before proceeding to the Warhammer store. It’s a rather small space, and with Covid-19 there wasn’t as many gaming / display tables as there used to be, but it’s well stocked with minis and the staff was friendly and helpful. I got my Ripper and grabbed a copy of Helsreach novel too (I’m a bit excited about Black Templars at the moment).

Finally, I decided to check out Fantasiapelit as well. They are a bigger company and have a store in many/all of the big cities here, but I guess this one in the capital is the biggest. Certainly well stocked with GW kits! The biggest surprise was stumbling on some really cool models in an unassuming, largely empty display case surrounded by manga books. I saw the models and thought to myself “whoa, someone’s really pulled off the Blanche style..” I then circled around the case and read the card beside the models – “Creator: John Blanche”. So now I’ve seen genuine models from GW’s creative mastermind in plastic and paint! Of course, while I was surprised, I remembered that mr. Blanche visited Helsinki for Mordheim 2019, so that’s how the models got here. Apparently, the models were gifted to Tuomas Pirinen (the creator of Mordheim), who then loaned them to Fantasiapelit so that everyone could see them. Kudos, Tuomas!

John Blanche’s Nighthaunt models @Fantasiapelit Helsinki

I almost made it out of Fantasiapelit without buying anything, but then I noticed a copy of Gretchinz!, a board game which I remember reading about quite a while back and liking the look of. As the price wasn’t too bad I grabbed it. Don’t know when I’ll get to try it out or with whom, but that’s beside the point!

So yeah, four really cool shops with amazing inventory. I’ll surely be visiting them at least a couple of times before my eventual move back north. Oh, if only I’d have the space and time, I’d buy all the things..