27 February 2010

Painting Points Update: February

Another 3 points this week, with the Assault Veteran Sergeant finally getting his jump pack, and two more Tactical marines shipping out to the completed box.

After two months (or rather 6 weeks as I started mid-January) the army is starting to take shape. Seeing the completed models together is great for the enthusiasm levels – I just need to finish off units before getting side-tracked onto the more funky stuff.

Talking of which, the Drop Pod has been undercoated and the task of applying red paint begun. I'm trying out the Mechanite Red foundation to see how it compares to my usual technique. I have to admit I'm not very impressed so far with the coverage quality, but I will persevere a little longer.

Also sneaking its way onto the "to be painted" list is a Blood Angel Rhino – with Forgeworld doors! I've built so many of these things in the past I did it in my sleep almost, without thinking. However, I'm so used to adorning my vehicles with spikes, skulls and chains that I'm not sure how I'll cope with something less ornate!

Whilst on the subject of ornate, I have made a conscious decision not to apply any battle damage or excessive markings to this new Blood Angel army. The reason is that they haven't been into battle yet!! My chaos armies have always looked battle hardened and....well, battered, so the idea is that these new marines are shiny, factory fresh. As I rack up games, and heroes start to emerge, I will add markings, battle damage and honours to armour, where appropriate. This will add more depth to the army so that each marking has a legitimate history, as it would in real life. It also means I can't cut corners when I paint the figures to begin with.

As we approach March (I will get no more painting time this month) my paint tray looks like this.

The last three Tactical marines sit patiently, as do the last three Terminators. I got myself into a rhythm this week so I'm hoping the Tacticals at least don't take very long. There is a potential easy 9 points there, and given my projected monthly average in 10 points per month, March could be another mid-teen finisher – especially as there will no doubt be new purchases at the beginning of April!!

The classic Captain I featured in a recent post has been undercoated, ready to go. I will wait a while to paint him as I want to retrieve a very old copy of White Dwarf from my Mom's house over the Easter weekend (yes, I'm nearly 40 and still have boxes of 'crap' stored at my Mom's house!). It has a photo of a BA Captain that I would like to study before I get cracking.

So there we go. I'm pretty pleased with how this last month went, and if the momentum continues I'll have a force to game with very soon. Thanks for the support and comments from the 40k blogging community – you guys continue to be a source of inspiration and positivity.

24 February 2010

Seek and you will find!


I know I still have loads to paint, and a waiting/wish list as long as my arm, but I couldn't resist having a look through the attic for some more potential Blood Angel army additions.

First up was these long-OOP scouts, who were painted up (kind of) as part of my first Dark Templar army. The faces were done by a pro-painter friend of mine the night before a tournament, but they have been stuck in a box for almost 8 years. I can't think of any models more deserving to be in a Blood Angels army than these!

I also found the remnants of a Landspeeder, used and abused when I built my custom Dark Templar speeders (to be seen at a later date). Not all the bits are there, but it does create a nice modelling challenge, and it's a shame to let it go to waste or buy a brand new one.

Finally, whilst talking of brand new, I thought I'd add a pic of my new drop pod. I realise that building the whole thing in one go will no doubt cause a headache further down the painting line, but I just wanted to get a handle on the model given it's my first pod. I can learn from any painting issues when I build my next one.

Got some painting time ahead of me, then I'll do an end of month review on Sunday if I can find time.

22 February 2010

Painted BA Veteran Sergeant

As predicted I couldn't simply sit and look at my latest conversion unpainted. This has been a very enjoyable model to paint, but not without its ups and downs.

Since the work in progress shots prior to undercoating I have added a chain to attach the crux to his belt, a blood drop icon to the pistol and of course given the guy some hair! Needless to say I didn't hang about once the undercoat was dry.

The red armour follows the scheme demonstrated in a previous post, but this time I highlighted the model more – extending the coverage of orange and the final yellow highlight. The kneepads were looking over done until I added another wash of Baal Red to calm it all down.

The black has a mid-highlight that goes beyond the edges of the armour, to add a subtle two-tone depth to the black areas. Again, a black wash had to be used to calm down this highlight before the final light grey edging was applied.

The yellow…hmmm. I found that trying to paint any yellow over black undercoat is painful, in a similar way to red, so I gave these areas an initial coat of Bestial Brown to act as a base and this seemed to help. Iyanden Sun followed by Golden Yellow was next (though the yellow has to go on in very thin coats to get an even coverage). I washed it with Sepia before highlighting with yellow then white. I gave the whole area a final wash of watered down yellow to make it a richer colour.

I was looking forward to painting the face. This is by far the best plastic marine head GW have produced so far, and in true GW style it is no longer available – replaced by mannequin-like heads. There was no way that I would not paint the eyes on this guy (I skipped them on the other two vet sergeants I painted recently). Just got to finish adding a few bits to his jump pack and then that can be painted to complete my next painting point.

I'd like to think I have answered the challenge I laid out in my last 'ranting' post about dynamic postures and marine heroes fighting with conviction and emotion. This is something I intend to continue through the rest of the assault troops as there is much more scope and excuse for action-packed posturing than with a regular tactical bod.

No more characters or semi-characters now until the remaining rank and file dudes are finished. However, I did spend some of my xmas vouchers on a Drop Pod, which is now built and even has Forgeworld brass BA icons on it…can't wait!!

21 February 2010

Strike a pose!

It was the image of the new Blood Angel Tactical Sergeant (below) that stirred up an issue I have with many of the space marine models that have been on offer over the years – the lack of really dynamic poses AND the inclusion of some very awkward and rigid body shapes.

I appreciate that perhaps the simpler the pose the easier the casting process (regardless of material being used) and the less chance of imperfect reproduction and thus wastage, and as a consequence money.

However, in my eyes, not to mention the novels and artwork produced, Space Marines are warriors of great skill. They are the masters of war and dynamic by nature – seeing a marine in action would be like witnessing a perfectly choreographed dance piece, be it accompanied by tear-jerking finesse or sheer animal brutality.

Why then are we offered very static/awkwardly posed models to represent these very dramatic individuals?

It seems to me that in many cases you could replace the pistol and chainsword with a cigarette and pint of beer, such is the static nature of the miniatures on display.

It must be possible to create more movement in a figure sculpt because other companies have done it and continue to do it. HQ models seem to be the biggest problem, with many of our heroes running around on tip toes or looking so inactive they might be hoodie-clad teenagers hanging around outside a local Tescos. Other regular poses include the "feet stuck in quicksand" look. The trick is to look at what the feet are doing – if the feet look inactive the rest of the model often does too. Even if the model is not in full flow, I'd like my heroes to look a little more...heroic.

When we have such a wealth of inspiration in terms of space marine artwork, why do the finished models not match the vision?

Thank god for plastics! These kits allow anyone with a tiny bit of imagination to create something much more dynamic, and those with the modelling skills to produce something truly heroic
( I hasten to add the Scouts plastics are excluded from this statement, with their awful knife/pistol poses and heads that look like Odo from Deep Space Nine!).

So when you're deciding on an HQ to lead your troops into battle, would you rather have someone who looks every bit the legendary leader, or someone who looks like they can't really be bothered?

I implore you not to take models as they come off the shelf – swap a head, swap an arm, swap a leg! – add your own thumbprint to them and make them individuals....make them look like heroes!

Any thoughts?
Am I talking absolute rubbish? Being over-dramatic?
Are there particular models that you love/hate?

Just a few quickly gathered examples to illustrate my point...

Games Workshop

Privateer Press

Rant over, normal programme will resume tomorrow.

17 February 2010

2 more points!

Another Terminator leaves the painting table.

Don't worry, I'm not going to put up a post for every single miniature I paint but it's been a lean week on the painting front so I needed the boost, hehe.

The Assault Squad Vet Serg and the Classic Captain are now undercoated too, as are the remaining 5 AoBR tacticals. I'll be juggling those in the paint schedule over the coming weeks – though I'd lay a small wager on the Vet Serg being finished first ;)

13 February 2010

BA Veteran Sergeant

I couldn't do it!...sorry.
I tried to just build the model as it came on the sprue but I just couldn't do it!  I fell back into my "must make this model unique" mode and started with the green stuff and the extras. Hehe.

I wanted this guy to follow the style of the AoBR Tactical Sergeant, who has lots of bits attached to his armour. I also wanted it to look like he was launching himself into the air on the hunt for the next target. I raised the neck line of the armour to make him look more solid and protected, and added a blood drop on his fist where the chaos symbol used to be. I also love the idea of the helmet hanging off the belt – used to see that a lot with the Rogue Trader marines. There is a pin running from the bottom of the base, through the two bits of plastic rubble and into his leg, just to make sure he doesn't fall off. The base is weighted with a penny piece – superglued in place then sealed in with PVA.

I'm actually going to paint this guy without his jump pack and attached it at the end – something I've never done before but worth trying out I think. Just a few bits to finish off, then time to undercoat.

Two updates today – you lucky people – as there won't be anything tomorrow.

Blood Angels Dreadnought

Finally, finished the big fella this morning. Not my finest example of painting, though at one point I was contemplating binning it and managed to pull it back round. Just happy to get it off the painting tray!

To be honest I'm not sure how much I will use this guy in a Blood Angels army – unless I got him another combat arm and make him Furioso. Was looking to paint some Death Company guys, but reading through the leaked version of the new codex I'm tempted to go for something else.

10 February 2010

Classic Captain

After getting very enthused by a post on Musings of a Metal Mind I hunted around in the attic for the classic Terminator Captain featured in the article, knowing I had one somewhere and eager to give him a coat of Blood Angel Red.

Not only did I find said Terminator, but I also found this bad boy who was immediately put on a base and added to the 'To Do' list. For anyone who hasn't been into 40k that long, this Captain figure was a limited edition purchase (Games Day?) in 1991 or thereabouts – I'm sure others out there can confirm.

Speaking of Blood Angel Red, I was hoping to undercoat the other 5 marines from AoBR today but it's snowing and I can't get outside to spray – bah!

09 February 2010

Iron Warriors – part 4


More Iron Warriors from the vaults. This Lord/Champion models was one of those random conversions – the miniature was a new release Veteran, and I just thought I really want to paint that. He was intended to be an HQ choice for a Lost & Damned Iron Warrior support army (that didn't get past 3 figures).

 Then there was the case of the Iron Warrior bodyguard unit. Built to accompany my Lord before he ascended to daemonhood. Unfortunately they never got used except for Apocalypse-sized games where we didn't really care about points – just bring all your models.

 That's just about it for the Iron Warriors now, although I may show a pic or two of my IW Forgeworld Baneblade, but to be honest it was painted very quickly the night before one of the aforementioned 'anything goes' games. We'll see.

07 February 2010

Blood Angels: Terminator Sergeant


As predicted, 2 more points score quite quickly in the Painting  Challenge for the completed Terminator Sergeant. This has been my favourite model to paint so far. Having said that, I am not happy with the power sword and a couple of other bits, but it's all a leraning curve and the whole idea of this army is to get into the painting more and be a 'practice run' for the Dark Templar army.


I have worked out a good process for the stone crux on the shoulder, which I have used on any skulls/bolter details. It is slightly different from the colours used for purity seals or tabards and I may add a related painting demonstration blog at some point.

Looking at these pics, the base is not doing it for me – the scheme used for the tactical marines is obviously not enough for the larger bases. I may add another highlight, or some scenic snow (which I was intending to use on this army anyway).

Next on the list is the Dred, which I have been avoiding (dreading?...sorry) but it will give a hint of how my scheme works on a vehicle. I also undercoated the 4 remaining Terminators today so they should be underway soon too.

06 February 2010

Blood Angel update


Finally got the first combat squad complete, giving me 3 painting points for February and a total of 5 for the year so far. Very satisfying and has increased my enthusiasm – I'm struggling with self control not to go mad and start lots of new miniatures for the Blood Angels all at once!

The next stage is to complete the Dread and the Terminator Sergeant. I then have four more Terminators and 5 more AoBR marines to do. After that I'm not sure. I have concluded that I won't be gaming for a little while yet – at least not until the new BA codex comes out. I'm just enjoying the painting at the moment.

I came up with a list of models that I would really like to paint, for the pure enjoyment of painting something I have never painted before (or taken the time to paint properly before) and not whether it would be a good addition to an army list:

• Jump pack troops (I will probably try a 5-man unit next)
• Drop Pod
• Vindicator (plastic)
• Land Raider Crusader (plastic instead of metal!)
• Command Squad (with a medic and standard bearer!)
• Devastator Squad
• Attack Bikes
• Librarian (never had one!)
• Terminator Captain

I wondered whether anyone else paints models just for the fun of it, the challenge or the enjoyment, and not because it's a killer unit in a killer army list.

Let me know what you enjoy painting, or any suggestions to add to my list?

05 February 2010

Dellapina Ravenwing & Guard

As promised some more photos of George Dellapina's work, for the inspiration value. First up his Ravenwing army, which you may have seen at the UKGT in 05/06.

George's paint style always has very strong highlights, lots of contrasting colours, and bold schemes. This is due in no small part to the fact that he is colour blind – which makes the quality of his painting more amazing…and me more jealous haha!


For his Guard army George converted every Chimera-based vehicle, merging it with a Rhino to create some pretty unique vehicles. Apologies for the pics – they were taken in a rush mid-morning on a tournament day (hence the dice!), and the table decoration doesn't help. Hopefully you Guard types will get a buzz out of them. 

As I mentioned last time, if you want to see more of his work, have a look around the Forgeworld website.

Back to my Blood Angels tomorrow!

02 February 2010

Dellapina Deathwing

Before I go any further – THIS IS NOT MY WORK!

That's right, I didn't build or paint any of the models in today's post. They belong to a very talented guy called George Dellapina – former tournament team mate of mine and, up until recently, one of my closest mates. He used to work for GW at Warhammer World in Nottingham – he's been in a battle report in WD and his Space Wolves were in the back of the 4th Ed main rule book (can you imagine what that's like?!). George was painting for Forgeworld for a number of years – a lot of the large scale Eldar stuff, the Bloodthirster, and the Imperial Fortress. I have been lucky enough to play games amongst his Ork Titan Factory terrain that he built purely for himself.

The Terminator Chaplain above and Chaplain Dred below are part of his Deathwing army that he built some 5 years ago – every model heavily converted with lots of extras sculpted on. Alas these are the only pics I have of that army, but I re-discovered them at the weekend whilst sorting out my backup disc so thought I'd share them for the inspiration value.

The Dred was part of his Deathwing army, and I saw it being built through many stages. It was sent away to GW US when he applied for a job there...and never came back...so keep your eye out on Ebay or your local GW store in the States!! Forgeworld brought out their Chaplain Dred not long after this was shown to the public...hmmmm.

I found the following link to more of his stuff (My Iron Warriors have fought and beaten his Orks and his Space Wolves...on the odd occasion!) and I may add some photos of his Ravenwing and Imperial Guard tomorrow:

01 February 2010

Painting Points Challenge update

January is now over and so it's time to assess the progress on the painting front. OK, it's only two guys but I have raised the bar here in that I have never painted all the details on a rank and file model before, not to this degree with a highlight, etc. On the flip side I didn't paint the serg's eyes – maybe I'll go back to that when I have to apply the decals, but as far as I'm concerned these guys are good to go.

It's going to be a skewed result with the points in Jan and Feb for two reasons: first of all I only started painting just over two weeks ago; secondly I also completed the Dred arms and have another potential 10 points 60% painted. This means I should easily hit those 10 points by mid-Feb and get the next 5-man combat squad almost done if not complete.

That's my aim, with the four remaining Terminators to kick off March, then maybe something with jetpacks or a cheeky HQ conversion after that.

I have to say a big thank you to the blogging community as a whole – the various articles I read on a daily basis have got me enthusiastic to a fever pitch. I don't recall ever being this excited about painting!!