Saturday, 30 March 2013

Second Tervigon finished

The Tyranid project continues! I've just finished the second Tervigon for this army, and here are the results...

The second Tervigon has an urban hive base from Secret Weapon miniatures. To ensure some differentiation between the Tervigons (which is actually tough as there is little opportunity for posing them), I made the middle leg parts slightly raised on this model. She is supposed to be in an attack pose, but that didn't really work out - even so, she looks different enough to the first one.

Here's a "nice" shot of the birthing gant - that's gotta hurt....

 ... and another close up, showing the glossy/water effects I mentioned in my post on the first Tervigon...

Here are a few shots of the beast from different ages - moving the middle leg bits slightly back allows more of the birthing sac to be revealed. I particularly like the detail on the sac - using drybrushing and washing, you can really bring this out...

Lastly, the poisonous spines on the Tervigon's back. These are black, sealed with gloss - in real life, they look very menacing, and the gloss sets them apart from the rest of the carapace.

This is a great kit. I usually get bored painting multiples, especially on larger kits, but bizarrely I'm not really tired of painting these. I have one more to do - which will be King Tervikong (get it!?!) - and I'm even thinking of buying a couple for my own Tyranid army... Maybe I'll await the alleged up-date to the Tyranids before I do that....

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Finished Belial & Deathwing Knights

Today's post is to showcase the finished Belial commission. I managed to do some work on the sword, and also finished the back banner last night.

(Just noticed an error on the back of the base - oops! Why do photos always show these things up when you miss them in person!?!)

This is an interesting model to paint, with lots of detail. I must say that I prefer the Deathwing Knights, but Belial is suitably imposing as well.

A comment on the Finecast though - it leaves a lot to be desired.... This is an original resin sculpt, not a metal port, and so the quality really should be much better than it is. When I received the model from my client, I actually went into my local GW to try to exchange it for a better sculpt but this was the best one available. Some errors are very difficult to put right (in particular missing "rivets" and minor details which are beyond my abilities with green stuff to fix). It really shouldn't be so difficult to paint up an expensive piece like this, but since the introduction of Finecast this seems to be the norm.

Here's a couple of shots with Belial with his posse...

So, what's next? The Belial and Deathing Knights are finished, but the Tyranids are not! I'm going to try to finish the next Tervigon, and then maybe have a little break and do a few Ravenwing bikers for my own project.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

On the workbench: More Belial

Today is show some more work in progress painting I've been doing.

Belial is now highlighted, and his stormbolter arm is finished and attached. Basing is nearly finished as well, which is consistent with the Deathwing Knights I finished recently.

The sword arm is the next piece to be completed. My client and I have been in discussion as to how best to paint this up, as the non-metallic finish of the GW version will be outside of the limits of this project. Two options were either a lightning effect, or alternatively going with standard metal - I think that this idea worked out quite nicely.

Next up will be the (extremely fragile!) back banner, and the (very detailed) shield bit to go on the sword arm.

Monday, 25 March 2013

On the workbench: Grand Master Belial

Today's post is to showcase a project that I have been working on for a while, but was on recently able to make any proper progress! This model is for a small Dark Angels Deathwing project I've been commissioned to paint.

Still a way to go yet, but the basics are there...

Friday, 22 March 2013

One and a half Tervigons done....

I'v just finished the first of three Tervigons for a Tyranid commission I'm painting. These are excellent examples of the newer-style GW plastic kits, and are great fun to build and paint.

It's difficult to see properly on these shots (my lighting is suffering badly due to the appalling weather here in the UK!), but the little gang bursting out of the egg sac is slathered in water effects. This is a nice and messy way to recreate a little gunk for the newly-born critter...

The second Tervigon is in process - as you can see, the constituent parts are now painted up and awaiting assembly.

So, that's what I have been painting recently - next up will be more Tyranids, a Belial commission, then (I hope) some Ravenwing...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Book review: Death of Antagonis by David Annandale

This has been a slow week for painting, with very little opportunity to put brush to model, but I have just finished the new Space Marine Battles book "Death of Antagonis" (or just Antagonis for short). I'm an avid reader, and these books often spark modelling projects, so thought I'd do a short review.

Firstly, as a Space Marine Battles book - similarly to most Black Library fiction these days - Antagonis is very action focussed and the plot is very linear. I must add a disclaimer that of late I'm moving away from Black Library as a source of new books and I don't generally hold them in high-regard; many of their stories just seem so fight-oriented so as to lose all characterisation. The major exceptions to this are Dan Abnett (whose work I make an effort to track down - he really the 40k universe come alive, usually through humanising the inhuman), Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Graham MacNeill.

Secondly, Antagonis is actually a really good book. David Annandale might well be an author I'll follow in the future - I write myself, and I know he is quite new. I think he did a good job of characterising the major players of the Black Dragons, and in describing this very unique Chapter.

The story follows the Black Dragons and their response to a distress call from Antagonis. This call has also attracted the attention of an inquisitor and other Imperial agents. They find that a plague of undeath has claimed Antagonis, and are quickly required to evacuate Imperial survivors. The opening sections are gripping and well written, with some interesting descriptions. I don't want to give way too much of the plot, but the Dragons must eventually follow the cause of this plague (which isn't what it seems...) and track a Chaos Space Marine chapter and a rogue cardinal...

The real stars of the show are obviously the Black Dragons Space Marines. Despite having a cult fan following, the Dragons have little cannon source material and so Annandale has an almost clean slate - other than "loyalist Marines with bony protrusions and blades on their arms", he has free reign so far as a backstory goes. I enjoyed the juxtaposing of the mutant, degenerate Black Dragons alongside the pristine, beauteous Swords of Epiphany. Annandale's message is clear and simple: appearances can be deceptive, and outwards appearances of purity do not equate with loyalty.

We also get to see the fighting organisation and methodology of the Black Dragons, and in particular their elite assault units - the Dragon Claws. These were the focus on the original Black Dragons Chapter Approved article back in the day, and Annandale describes them accurately and well. I don't really approve of the Wolverine-style retractable claws approach, but I understand that this had actually been introduced in an earlier description of the Dragons in a Salamander series so I won't hold this against him!

All in all, a really good book and I'd definitely recommend this to fans of 40k. Annandale is an author to watch and I was pleased to have purchased the book.

Of course, having finished Antagonis I started thinking about how I could make a Black Dragons army.  It's a project I've considered before, going so far as to even build and paint a test model.

I built this model with a Chapterhouse Studios shoulderpad, and it doesn't match the Dragons insignia, so I hit a stumbling block. The "official" scheme is as below.

So, this book as certainly encouraged my interest in this intriguing chapter - I would recommend it! I'll be writing a post shortly on my ideas for running the Dragons as an army...

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

On the workbench: Tyranid Tervigon

This model has been keeping me busy for a while! The new(isn) plastic Tervigon is an awesome model, really nice to build and paint. As you can see, I always try to build and paint larger models in separate bits if possible. This allows you to get into the various inner workings of the model without messing up your paint job!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Final days of the Raptors auction...

Only a day or so to go before the Raptors Chapter biker auction finishes!

Grab yourself a bargain - a 1500 point, well painted all biker Marine army!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Deathwing Knights commission

Today's post is to show a squad of Deathwing Knights I have just finished, for a commission of a single squad together with Belial.

The models were great fun to build and paint, and literally drip detail. They have so many interesting bits - such as the Dark Angel iconography on the shoulder pads (reflected in each shield).

Here is the squad front and back.

The sergeant is a particularly imposing model, equipped with an intimidating flail. I can see the cape being a sought after bit for loyalist captain models in terminator armour....

And here are the close-ups of the rest of the squad - the first is my personal favourite; this marine wears a rebreather and you can barely see anything of his face, and I think that captures the moody nature of the Dark Angels...

Next up will be the Belial model...