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.

Revelators Captain, Collection So Far

Oh yes, my marine Captain is finally finished! With that, I’ve finished what roughly equates to a Start Collecting! box plus some extras, giving me a game legal army (at least what was legal back in 4th..). I’m not planning on playing any time soon, of course, but that’s neither here or there..

This model was converted way back in November last year, and as those who were in the hobby in the 3rd ed. era might recognize, he’s based on the old metal Captain model that came in the Command Squad box. I planned the kitbash/conversion for a long time, but basically I noticed that you could get the plastic Captain to look pretty close to the old metal one just by finding an appropriate head. I think the one I used is from some Primaris kit. I also did a small alteration to the armor: I added the collar and the studs in it to get a closer resemblance to the original. There are some differences, of course, like the backpack which I like more than the basic design.

As this was a special model, I wanted to do something different with the painting. I’d seen Ben Komets’ tutorial on a 2 hour “tabletop” Ultramarine, and inspired by it I thought I’d try to do some panel modulation on the armor. Nothing like proper NMM, but maybe something shinier than the regular grunts. I also wanted to do something with the cloak, and decided to try freehanding the chapter badge in there. Needless to say, painting this guy took quite a bit more than 2 hours to finish, but I’m pretty pleased with myself anyway. Painting the armor was actually quite fun, and while I suspect it took longer than my previous marines, it didn’t feel like it. One cool thing is that I didn’t use any washes on the gray armor!

I got the freehand on the cloak done without too much issues. I did have to repaint the small triangular rays, as I initially their position was off, but that was pretty much it. White design on black had me worried in the beginning, but starting with Celestra Grey and working up from there seemed to work well. The face was fun to paint once again, and I tried some new things there as well. I tried doing the “eye liner” to define the eyes better, and used dark brown and off-white instead of black and white. I think the result is nice, although in the close-up the eyes look maybe a bit too wide. Good enough, I say!

Above you can see the Captain with his Veteran Sergeant (write-up pending), another plastic tribute to the 3rd ed. Command Squad box. And as I mentioned in a comment on a previous post, I took a photo of my fledgling Space Marine army. They’re starting to look respectable! In addition to the Captain, there’s a Tactical Squad, an Ironclad, a Devastator Squad, the Veteran Sergeant mentioned above and the Sergeant from Battle for Macragge starter set (again, write-up pending).

And last but not least, another square claimed in the bingo card! The Captain was a new version of one of my old character models (see the old version in the post about my Ultramarine army). With his power armor he also counts for Azazel’s Mechanismo May challenge.

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”.

Revelators Devastator Squad

Finally! New finished models! Time for some more Space Marines from my home-brew chapter Revelators. A theme for Azazel‘s March hobby challenge was squads, and I decided that it was time to paint up my Devastators armed with heavy bolters.

These guys had been sitting in my project queue for more than a year. The basic models were built, but needed some accessories and basing. Additionally, the sarge’s arms were in a really weird pose, raised up and almost covering his face (what was I thinking..). I cut the arms off and repositioned them, and it made a huge difference! I really love the pose now!

Modelling-wise, my favorite thing about these marines are the accessories that I added. Up until now I’ve pretty much avoided adding anything but grenades and purity seals to the models, as the pouches and holsters rarely seemed to fit, and/or seemed way too large. The trick seems to be that you have to cut one of the pouches off (so that you get one large pouch or double small pouch), and then the bits fit pretty nicely.

Of course, as you’ve probably noticed if you’re familiar with SM kits, I’ve also changed the standard armor bits with this squad. I thought that the heavy mk3 armor would fit the Devastators well, but as I don’t really like the mk3 helmets or backpacks, I decided to go with mk7 bits for those. My “lore reasoning” being that the more modern equipment would provide better optics and more efficient power.

Not much to say about the painting, it was a bit of a slog, the gold shoulder pad trims especially took a little back-and-forth (Auric Armour Gold is terrible..). My Raphael brush that I had been using for general purpose painting lost its tip (or got so bad that I didn’t tolerate it anymore) while I was painting the lettering on the banner, so I pulled a fresh one for the face. Oh my word, I think I never had this good tip on the last brush! Well, I probably ruined it right the first time I used it.. But this was the first time I could paint the eyes without having to clean up the eyelids afterwards! Makes me kind of want to try and do eyes with dark outlines, like the big boys do! Just got to keep this one in good shape..

And to top the post off, I’ll get to mark another square in the bingo card! These were proper neglegted models.

From the Archives: Revelators Tactical Squad

Today I thought I’d show a Tactical Squad of my homebrew Space Marine chapter, Revelators.

The squad was a slow project, as it took roughly a year to get from start to finish. I started it right after the Cultists from last post (well, I did some color tests in-between, more on those later), finished the first five around May-June of 2018, and then finally the last five in September, just in time to take part for the first time in Azazel’s monthly hobby challenge.

I guess the biggest reason for not getting them done sooner was the chapter symbol, that I only decided on last spring (another reason was Shadespire..). I had settled on the name Revelators (color scheme was a modification of the Revilers chapters, name would be close too), and wanted the icon to be based on light, so I had ideas of flames, torches or sun/halo emblems. However, if I chose a custom design, I’d have to freehand it many, many times and I just wasn’t/am not ready for that. I found that the Heresy-era Thousand Sons emblem looked suitable and was cheaply available from eBay, so I went with those.

As I mentioned, I did some color tests before starting on the squad. One was an orange marine done just for fun, the other one a proto-Revelator. In the final design I changed the lenses from red to blue (thanks, orange marine!), and went with a different shade of gold. I ended up spray varnishing these models, like the Cultists, with the same results. Amusingly, the orange marine’s shoulder pauldrons and power pack exhausts look exactly like orange peel!