Sunday, 23 October 2016

More Eldar: Windriders & Dire Avengers

Managed to photograph some miniatures that I've been working on for a while today: another squad of Dire Avengers, as well as some jet bike Windriders.

First, the Avengers...

No Exarch for this squad (or the next one), as I think these will be used to bolster one of the squads I've already. Overall, I'm painting five units of these guys.

As I've said before, the Spiritstone Red gemstone paint from GW has really been useful in the painting of these miniatures. I love they way it produces a candy-apple red colour that pops across the squad. The Avenger miniatures have definitely grown on me as I've painted them...

Meanwhile, my client has a single squad of Windriders in this army. I really like these simple and characterful pieces, and this is the sort of unit I always find myself using in my own army lists (generally units that are nice looking but don't perform very well in the game!).

These models are fully magnetised with both magnets on the flyer stems and underneath to hold the weapon options. Not shown here, but painted as well, are several weapon choices for the jet bikes.

So, what's to paint next on the Elder project? I have another five-man squad of Avengers, then I'm waiting on the last few models from the client before the whole commission is finished!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

WIP Genestealer Cult: Neophyte Hybrids

Genestealer Cult was one of those armies that got be into Warhammer 40,000 back in the day. In an experience that reflects that of many older gamers, the Cult really grabbed my attention. These weird aliens with six limbs being worshipped by a doting mass of ignorant cultists... The army had the weird appeal of having armour, guns and also monsters, which at the time felt very novel. There was something macabre and frightening about the Cult, even if my mismatched gaggle of Space Hulk miniatures didn't really reflect the awesome background...!

So when Games Workshop brought out Deathwatch: Overkill, I eagerly snapped it up. The models are fantastic; harkening back to the original lead hybrids, but with a modern twist. I don't think I've ever seen such detailed infantrymen (and certainly not in plastic!). 

The recent release of the Codex: Genestealer Cults pretty much cemented my decision to build a new army. My first step was to build up and paint some of those Overkill neophytes, and here is the result:

I'm pretty pleased with the result. I followed the painting receive given in the old White Dwarf issue 110, with the exception of leaving out the Druchii Violent wash to the heads. Although I might decide against this, my thinking was that these hybrids aren't supposed to look that alien. So instead they have very pale skin, and a more uniform look.

At this stage, my approach is really to look for proof of concept. Do I like these models enough to paint up an army of them? Will I get bored with this colour scheme? Will I be able to get through an army painted to this level, or should I be leaving out a level of highlighting etc? Those are the questions I ask myself at this stage. I find it's better to be honest with yourself early on, as there is nothing worse than getting two or three squads into an army and deciding that you just don't like the colour scheme, or that every figure seems to be taking too long to get through.

I've decided that yes, I definitely do want to proceed with this army! These figures are really good fun to paint, and despite the level of detail they actually finish up quite quickly once you get started. I probably could drop a highlight or two in some places, but I'm not sure that I will: they're just really nice models, and it would be a shame not to give them the best job that I can.

But decisions abound as to whether I will go with the Broodcycle or the Neophyte Cavalcade... I think that the bonuses for running the Cult Insurrection detachment are just too good to pass up, but I'm not convinced by the Broodcycle formation as a core choice. It contains many models that I have, or that I know might be useful, but if I'm going to be taking lots of Acolytes, I'd much rather they were in the Subterranean Uprising rather than the Broodcycle.... The alternative Cavalcade option doesn't have much new in it though, and I'm not incredibly keen on doing more Chimeras (Chimerae?) and Leman Russes. I guess I'll work through the Neophytes and make that decision when I need to!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

More commission work: Space Sharks' Tyberos & Eldar Crimson Hunter

Although I might've been slacking updating the blog, I've been very busy on the workbench! Several projects have been started or finished this week, and I'm working ever closer to completing the large Eldar army that I took on earlier this year...

First up, I finished an incredible Eldar Crimson Hunter. Although there are some Eldar kits that feel as though they've aged badly (or even prematurely!), the Crimson Hunter is not one. The model is sleek, very Eldar, and great fun to build and paint. 

I struggled a little to get the model into my photo booth, so forgive the clipped images: suffice to say, this is a big model. It feels both alien and also very much like a jet fighter, and I really enjoyed this kit.

Another view of the main hull:

The engines and rear of the flyer:

A shot of the vehicle pilot and interior:

Another shot of the complete model:

And also the base, with optional accessories so that my client can swap out the weapons or run it as an Exarch or standard Hunter:

This week I also managed to finish off the alternative turret for the Fire Prism/Night Spinner tank that I started a couple of weeks ago. Here's the Prism turret all ready for delivery:

I discussed with my client whether to leave the crystal pieces unpainted, but I thought that they would look better painted up. The crystal at the end of the cannon in particular came out well I think (there's actually nothing much to paint on the other crystal, but it looks unfinished without a colour I feel!).

An interior shot:

Next for the Eldar will be six Windrider jet bikes. They have been basecoated and bases are now drying; I'm about to start the riders today or tomorrow, so hopefully they will be finished soon as well. 

On other projects, I also finished the Tyberos conversion I was asked to do for a Carcharodons Astra (aka Space Sharks) army:

The idea behind this conversion came from DakkaDakka, and the original thread can be found here: Credit where it's due, as this is not my idea! I'm also aware that in the Forgeworld fluff, Tyberos is rarely seen without his helmet (and when he was, his face doesn't reflect this conversion!). Those disclaimers out of the way, this is a really nice idea and my client wanted me to replicate it.

So here are the results...

I decided that if I was going to build a Tyberos conversion, it was going to be brutal and horrifying. The head was made with a combination of a Chaos Marauder horseman head and a Chaos Possessed head: I simply cut down the middle, and added the Possessed's lower jaw to the horseman. The pieces were then green stuffed together, and I made the other extra parts to suggest interface components with the Terminator armour.

I've envisaged that Tyberos is badly scarred, perhaps undergoing bionic reconstruction. The right side of his face is particular is badly damaged, whilst his lower jaw is distended and filled with shark-like metal teeth. The eyes, as you'd expect, are cold and black: again, like a shark.

The rest of the piece received some minor weathering here and there, with a Space Sharks decal to the shoulder pad:

And here's Tyberos with the rest of the squad - the "Red Brethren".

That's enough pictures for now: I should be back next week with the finished Windriders...

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Eldar: Fire Prism/Night Spinner

Some more progress on the Eldar project this weekend, and I've almost finished this Fire Prism tank...

As you can see, I used the same scheme I've used on the rest of the army, and the same weathering techniques as well (just some minor staining). I used more bone white on this model than earlier vehicles, just because I actually really like this colour. I think that the blue panels work best when they are used sparingly.

A couple more angles on the tank:

Here are the additional parts that will eventually make a Fire Prism. I've hit a slight flaw here: the transparent components have :"fogged" slightly. This is a really unusual reaction for these parts, as I usually use a small amount of plastic glue and it doesn't cause any reaction at all. My online research suggests that it might be because these are closed components; the fumes are what has caused the change. In any event, I've asked my client if he would prefer if I painted these parts - I think they will look much better with the same gem-effect I've used on the tanks.

What's next? I'm waiting on some parts for a Tyberos conversion for a Space Sharks army, and I'm also undercoating the bits for a Crimson Hunter (the last vehicle for the Eldar commission - woo hoo!). Meanwhile, I'm hungrily eying the new Genestealer Cult release: I'm pretty sure that I've decided on my next 40k army...

Sunday, 11 September 2016

More commission work: Carcharodons Astra Terminators and Eldar Rangers

I spent a lot of time on commission pieces this week, and the result was that I managed to finish off the squad of Terminators that I recently showed WIP on the blog and also complete some Eldar Rangers. 

Let's start with the Eldar miniatures: a five-man squad of Rangers...

I enjoyed painting these models, and they were a welcome respite from the rank-and-file Eldar troops. Although they share some attributes with the Dire Avengers that I fishiness during the summer, the Rangers also have just enough variation to mark them out as specialist recon troops. 

The downside to this little band is that they are one of the legacy Finecast moulds... I can still remember GW's hype when metal started to go plastic, and the fantastic promises model-makers were given as to better detail and better materials. That didn't quite pan out! These guys had absolutely tons of sprue vanes and some very invasive mould-inlets; they took an age to cut, file and then file with greenstuff. Oh well, at least most GW models are now in plastic!

I went with a similar palette to the Dire Avengers, and in particular I used bone coloured armour so that the models tied in with the Eldar tanks I've been painting for the same army. I decided to use a lighter blue for the camo-cloaks, and used a darker grey to mark out some patterns on the cloaks: nothing too extreme, but a muted scheme which I felt was inkeeping with the Eldar's war-ethos. 

In other news, I've also now touched up and finished off the Space Sharks Terminator squad that I finished a couple of weeks ago. 

 It was a lot of fun returning to this scheme, and I'm pleased with how the models worked out.

The largest change between these images and the lost ones I posted are that I've added some scraping and minor damage across the models. Using Rhinox Hide and a small sponge, I added small bits of battle damage across the models. It's not that easy to make out on these photos, but it's a characterful little technique which reinforces the Space Sharks' crusading nature.

I also added gloss varnish to the lightning claws. The show below shows the effect I achieved on the claws.

So what's next? I'm about to start work on an Eldar Fire Prism, and I'm also garnering bits for a Tyberos model to lead the above squad. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A diversion: Some Khorne Blood Warriors

After the summer holiday, I'm now back and painting again. To get back into things, I decided to finish painting up some Khorne Bloodhound miniatures from the Age of Sigmar box that has been sitting under my painting desk for the better part of a year...

Got to say, these miniatures were great fun to paint. They have so much detail that they're almost intimidating to paint. I tried to make the best of them, and I'm very pleased with the result. 

Although Games Workshop also produces a boxed set of just Blood Warriors, I actually think that the Warriors from the starter set are nicer. Just be aware that if you decide to paint these guys up yesterday they have a lot of sharp points... I'm a little sceptical about whether some of these spikes to weather the game table, but I'm also eager to get them into an army list.

I decided to take the bold decision of adding Blood for the Blood God technical paint the weapons and gore-fists carried by these Blood Warriors. I was quite pleased with the result; the paint gives a highly realistic finish with minimal effort. However, as with all paints like this it's important not to go over the top. Hopefully I got the balance about right!

Bases and other details were finished in the same way as my existing Khorne models...

So, I only have some Skullcrushers and the Mighty Lord of Khorne left to finish then my Bloodhound army is finished! Yeah, right. Since when is an army actually ever finished?!?!

Next project: I'm returning to work on the Eldar commission, and will be finishing some Rangers.

Monday, 15 August 2016

More Eldar War Walkers

Managed to finish off two more Eldar War Walkers this weekend.

As I said before, I really like these models. Although they are reasonably simple sculpts, they have a nice aesthetic to them and remind me lots of the Imperial Guard Sentinel. In fact, whilst I was painting them, I started having thoughts about building a super-retro Guard army around Ogryns and Sentinels...

Back to the War Walkers for now!

Although the Walkers have basically the same colour scheme, there are some variations across the squadron. I imagine the Walker pilots as being a little maverick: maybe having a little more individuality than some other Eldar crewmen, and being given more leeway as they operate behind enemy lines... The models remind me a lot of racing vehicles.

I love the ivory scheme on the armour panels for these Walkers. It was a good choice!

I discussed with my client varying the poses of these models, and it was agreed that I would try to make them look as though they were moving. The sculpt doesn't have fully poseable legs, but as the main Walker body is lightweight and there are a couple of foot options, you can achieve quite a few variations on the pose. This Walker is running cross-country...

Another view:

And yet another view:

And a final view:

Both new Walkers have weapon options, which I forgot to photo, but you've probably seen these on the earlier pictures anyway.

Here's a shot of the squadron in formation, ready to attack.

Next up will probably be some more Eldar vehicles...