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...