Sunday, 30 December 2012

Night Lords Chaos Space Marines

I've been so busy with recovery and Christmas that my painting has suffered... Finally managed to get a few bits done in last couple of days, and hoping to resume regular service!

Hope all had a good Christmas and that New Year will be enjoyable as well.

Today's update is to show some finished Night Lords marines - these are just a small side project, but have been fun to paint.

So what's next? I have a large Tyranid project that I'm excited about, but also a variety of smaller projects I'm working on - including Predator, Batman and of course more Dark Vengeance....

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Night Lords biker

It has been far too long since I last updated my blog, but some surgery I had done at the end of November has been preoccupying my time... Sadly, painting has been a pretty rare hobby over the last few weeks. After an excellent start to my recovery, the last few days have taken a very bad turn!

Anyway, I have managed to complete a small piece which is intended as a project rather than a full army - a Night Lords Chaos Marine in a bike. The head is from Kromlech's bionic upgrade bits, which I would recommend, and the rest of the model is quite vanilla.

Other than finishing off some small pieces for myself or commission jobs, my next big project will be a Tyranid army. Very excited to get started on that - it'll feature lots of monstrous creatures, which should be great fun to paint and give me a chance to try some new techniques.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists

Today's post is a bit delayed (I've had some surgery this week which has taken it right out of me), but I recently finished some Dark Vengeance Cultists. These are probably for my Night Lords army, which is a personal side project, but I'm still undecided whether they will end up as Alpha Legion....

Overall, the Cultist models are very characterful and great sculpts. They're dripping in detail, but be warned that the "snap fit" nature leaves some large gaps in quite obvious places. For example, on the shoulders there are gaps in the hoods or necks. To get decent results, these really need to be filled with green stuff.

These miniatures also present an interesting decision for colour schemes. They are very mish-mash, and don't even qualify as rag-tag militia. Overall, the palate therefore includes a lot of colour, and the challenge for the army painter will be creating a cohesive unit which meanwhile also appears sufficiently piecemeal...

My favourite cultist - sporting a nice ball and chain weapon:

(And apologies for the awful photos - they were taken before I fixed my lighting situation...)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dark Vengeance Deathwing

Caught up in the hype generated by the release of GW's new 40k starter set, I fell in line and bought a box myself. I really didn't need it, as I have a huge back-log of models to paint, and I don't even collect (or rather didn't collect!) either of the armies included.

I thought I'd try out the "GW" method of painting these models, and promptly downloaded the Citadel painting guide on my Ipad. I'm going to do a review of the online material GW has released in the next few days, as I think this might help prospective buyers to decide whether these resources are worth the investment...

Neither of these models are quite finished, but are pretty much there so you will get the idea. First up is the sergeant with power sword.

 Next is a normal Marine, with storm bolter and power fist.

These were interersting models to paint, but I'd note two things about them/GW snap-fit kits in general:

1. The models are almost *too detailed* for starter models, and this goes for all Dark Vengeance figures (and especially the Chaos Marines). A young hobbyist, for whom DV is the first GW purchase, these models are going to be way too difficult to build and paint. Some of the Chosen have especially fine horns and protrusions, which I can see will be very fragile if the figures aren't handle with care. I actually cut off part of the Deathwing Sergeant's sword before I realised my mistake...!

2. If you intend to paint these models, don't be lured by their "snap-fit" status! Like most plastic kits, they are far easier to paint properly unassembled. The Chaos Cultists and Ravening bikers are the worst culprits here: if you put them together right out of the box, and then try painting them, there are going to be many inaccessible areas which will be impossible/very difficult to paint. This lead to some very interesting predicaments, such as the order of assembly and painting, and some annoying results (as you will see in a future post, the Ravenwing bikers end up with an unseemly seam like down the middle of their bikes).

However all in all, some very nice models to paint and I'd certainly be interested in painting up some more - perhaps I'll wait and see what happens with the new Dark Angels codex...

Friday, 23 November 2012

More Space Sharks

Today's post is to show the finished second Space Sharks tactical squad.

As before, I've mixed armour marks and used both FW and third party parts to create a diverse unit. Although the squad is tooled for close combat (using Tyberos' special rule), I decided to go with the free multimelta just in case.

Note the stud-rimmed shoulder pads on the marine on the end; this is a particularly nice and useful bit from Anvil Industry...

My favourite of the squad - nothing special about him!

I also finished two drop pods, to deliver the tactical squads into the heat of battle.

So, that pretty much completes the Space Shark project! It's a 2000 army, built and boxed up, ready to play; I decided that for this army, I would specifically choose units and models that I could get into a single box. The only additions I've thought about recently are perhaps a librarian based on Sevrin Loth, but we will see how that idea pans out in the future...

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Space Sharks: Land Raider 2

Finally managed to get some time for photography, and my AniMaq Modellismo painting station is fixed! I should do a write-up on this beast - it really is something - very glad to have it back...

Today's post is to show the second finished Land Raider for my own Carcharodons Astra army. This will also be the last Land Raider for this army. The scheme is similar to the first Raider, but I've varied some of the panelling and exterior colours to keep it interesting.

The decals are from the FW set, and I was pleased to finally find a use for the "space teeth" on the front hatch of the Raider. I tried to use those on the Storm Talon, but they were just slightly off size to look right. I went with white for the side hatches to break up the grey, which I think worked out quite nicely.

This project is drawing to a close now, and I will soon be posting finished pictures of the rest of the army. It was good to get back into a Marine army - something I have not done for a while - and it's spurned an interest in painting up some Dark Vengeance model as well as more Chaos...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Commission: Tallarn Mukaali

I've just finished a very interesting model as a small commission piece - a Tallarn Desert Raiders Mukaali commander. Made by Forgeworld, this model is basically a beefed-up rough rider. FW makes three variants, two with lances and then this commander piece.

Although many seem to dislike the creature, I'm a big fan and was really looking forward to painting this model. I got stuck in and finished the commission over the course of the weekend, adding some final touches today.

The mukaali's skin was painted using a variety of washes and also drybrushing - I looked at pictures of elephants to achieve the same finish. The FW version has some interesting blue patches, but I wanted to avoid this to make it look a bit drabber (fitting in with my clients existing army). The rider was again based on the scheme for existing models.

The rider carries a power sword, but in discussion with my client I painted this as a normal weapon. This was to keep consistency with other Tallarn infantry, and allows my client to use it as either a power weapon or just a close combat weapon. This was the only area I feel I could have improved if I had more time. The resin blade had a very grainy finish to it as well, which seemed to remain even after cleaning the model up...

In all, this is a great model and I'd definitely be interested in doing some more. FW produces some very detailed and characterful Tallarn infantry models - it seems these are often overlooked in favour of the Krieg or Elysians!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Space Sharks: a long awaited update

Oh man, I've been having serious problems updating my blog. Not on the technical side, but the photographic side. I'm lucky enough to have a mobile model station, which incorporates a pretty decent daylight lighting system. This is great for night-time painting and also for photography... The bulb recently went, so I dutifully ordered some more of the bulbs from an internet site. So far, so good. Bulbs arrived and were rapidly installed... It was only then that I realised, with quite some horror, that the real reason that the lighting rig wasn't working was that the electrical cable had actually worn through! It was a serious health hazard averted, but does mean that I'm reduced to photographing minis by daylight only...

Anyway, progress today is on my personal Carcharodons Astra project - specifically, the second tactical squad. These guys are a semi-assault unit, with bolt pistols, chain swords and plenty of melta...

As with the other infantry models, these Sharks were based on starship interior bases. I chose to downplay some of the colour elements on this squad, as I felt that they were perhaps a bit too jarring in comparison to the matte grey armour.

I just recently picked up a pot of Cermate White - the new GW base white paint - and this works wonders for an army like this with limited white elements. It is highly recommended and has great coverage.

This tactical squad sergeant is armed with a power fist and bolt pistol, and I supplemented the GW model with Anvil Industry parts. The shoulder pads, head and pistol are all from Anvil. I particularly like the pistol - called a Widowmaker by Anvil - as it is brutal and allows space for some FW decals. The pistol is a wearable glove, which can be used on either left or right hands. I bought a few, thinking that is would be a great bit for use on Flesh Tearer models as well.

Further Anvil bits and used on this marine. The head is available on a sprue of 5 (I think) and these parts work really well with FW early-armour marks. The shoulder pads are also Anvil.

This guy is mainly FW and GW, save for the shoulder pads which are Anvil. The legs are a little awkwardly posed, but I wanted as much variety in the unit as possible. My general idea behind Space Sharks infantry is that they are a bit rag-tag, all wearing individualised and sometimes ancient armour with the only unifying aspect being armour colour. Sort of like a Space Wolves unit I guess; military but very individual.

Finally, this marine has limited conversion but I really like the pose and the head (just a FW bit).

Progress continues - next update will probably be something completely different, for a small commission I have just finished...





Sunday, 21 October 2012

Savlar Chem Dogs: Using crewmen on 40k vehicles

Today's post is to examine adding interest to your 40k vehicles. I'm mostly going to talk about Imperial Guard vehicles here, because this is an army where you will see a large number of vehicles. However, equally these ideas could be applied to other armies.

When you have organised ranks of the same tank in an army, as will commonly be the case in a Guard army, it is often difficult to differentiate between individual vehicles. The easiest method is probably to use decals and number each tank, but when I put together my Savlar Chem Dogs army I chose to go a step further. As I had several Chimerae in the army, I wanted to make each stand out. My solution was to add crew and passengers to each vehicle.

The first tank was to be a command vehicle, and so I chose to mark this with a crewman and passenger. As the Savlar are a disorganised bunch, I envisaged their command tanks as being modified for purpose. In this case, the crew languish at the open passenger hatch, which has been removed completely, and a tank commander looks out of the open top hatch.

The passengers were converted from some old GW tank riders, which are now out of print but come up on Ebay fairly regularly. I removed their heads and added respirator heads from Pig Iron. My original idea was to have even more men hanging on to the vehicle, but once I had assembled it this far I decided that I had done enough. Note that the passngers are pinned into place, as they are metal models.

The second tank is a standard Chimera transport. I added two passengers to the roof, both in action. One man aims his rifle in to take down an enemy he has just spottedl the other hangs on the roof as the vehicle moves off.

Both models are converted Cadians, with parts from the FW renegade militia sets and Pig Iron heads.

Other minor additions to both vehicles included stowage, decals with division and vehicle numbers, and also unit badges.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Night Lords: Daemon Prince

What with all the Chaos-related nonsense going around caused by the release of Codex: Chaos Space Marines, I couldn't help but be caught up in the painting frenzy. I've had an interest in Night Lords for a while, and have dabbled in painting up Chaos models but never anything substantial or with a view to creating an army. The new Dark Vengeance boxed set has changed all that...

Today's post is to showcase a model I have been working on for a while but recently finished - a Night Lords Daemon Prince, complete with wings and power armour. The GW boxed set has been out for a while, and allows you to create a variety of Daemon Prince models - it has swords, wings, armour and other extras. I went with what looked good, rather than what plays well...

This model gave me a chance to try out some new painting techniques with the GW paint range. The wings in particular were drybrushed with Kindleflame dry compound, to give them a leathery appearance. The fleshy parts were highlighted with layering, but washed back with Carroburg Crimson and then the new Bloodletter glaze. Although initially I was sceptical of the glazes, in fact they give a nice matt finish which is difficult to replicate with the existing range.

What is next for the Chaos project? I have a load of partly assembled cultists in front of me, and I need to decide whether they should be Night Lords or Alpha Legion...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Flesh Tearers Assault Squads

Today is to show a project I started a while ago, but have only just been able to dedicate some time to photographing.

I've always had a soft spot for the Flesh Tearers: crazy Blood Angels successors, who are so violent that they border on heresy... When Codex: Blood Angels was released, I immediately purchased the new Gabriel Seth model and painted him up. However, devising a decent army list to go with him was not such an easy task!

I'm a huge fan of Assault Marine models and the new 6th edition 40k rules give them a nice boost with the Hammer of Wrath rules. I'm probably going to do a couple more Assault Squads, maybe a Baal Predator or two, then perhaps a Storm Raven...

I used Back-2-Basix "ruins" bases for the bases, and added grass and weeds for some extra colour. Both squads feature parts from the Forge World older-mark power armour kits, and some alternative heads from Maxmini.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Imperial Guard: Cadian Trenchers test models

I've often toyed with the idea of making a unit or two of Imperial Guard trench-fighters: specialist troopers in Brodie helmets, armed with meltas, flamers and grenades to take out armoured positions. Recently I bought some Maxmini heads with appropriate helmets, and decided to give the idea a try.

For the colour scheme, I considered a few variants but eventually decided on the standard Cadian colours. I always view that scheme as being as close to Imperial Guard "standard" camo pattern as you can get. I'm still undecided on appropriate backpacks, but will likely add pouches and other gear before I finish them properly.

I will probably finish up this squad and then Ebay them - so any comments as to equipment they shouldn could, or modelling ideas, are gratefully received. If anyone would be interested in buying a full squad, or better yet a platoon or even army of them, then drop me a line!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Space Sharks Tactical Marines

A minor update today - real life is getting in the way of painting miniatures!

These models are for my second tactical squad, for my personal Carcharodons Astra army. The recent Land Raider that I finished has spurred me on to more progress. The finished army will feature two tactical squads, and using the special character Captain Tyberos allows me to swap out boltguns for close combat weapons. I've decided to use this on this squad, as can be seen.

Note the Maxmini Steam Knights head in the centre - this mixes well with the older-mark power armour bits.

Close-ups of my favourites from the unit:

 Next up: some tester models for a new Imperial Guard army...

Friday, 28 September 2012

Mongoose Miniatures: Judge Dredd & Psi Anderson

I recently went to see the movie Dredd 3D, which I highly recommend! An excellent action flick, which reignited my interest in all things Judge Dredd and 2000AD...

These two miniatures have been sitting in my bits box for most of this year, but I decided to paint them up. I went for the "classic" comics colour scheme, although my colours were a bit more muted than some portrayls of Dredd.

The figures are from Mongoose Miniatures - they are currently running a Kickstarter and have a huge range of Dredd-inspired figures. They have a certain comic charm to them - not unlike early Rogue Trader figures!

Next up: more Space Sharks...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Carcharodons Astra Land Raider Crusader

Progress continues on the Space Sharks project, and today I have finished a major milestone...

The finished Carcharodons list will have two Land Raider Crusaders, which will be tasked with delivering two squads of Terminators into the heat of battle. Although vehicles are now more fragile than in previous editions of 40k, Land Raiders took a relative boost as they can't be destroyed by glancing hits any longer!

I used MIG Dark Was on the armour plates, and a combination of MIG Fresh Mud and Track Brown on the tracks and armour skirting. The decals are from Forgeworld.

I thought about using one of the recently-released FW heresy-era tank crew models for the top hatch, but they are pricey for what you get. So I went with an Anvil Industry head, which is a nice stand-in for a Mark III head.