Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dark Angel Speeders

I am showing off two Speeders for my Dark Angels 2nd Company, The Ravenwing. One is a Typhoon to give me some long range punch. The other is Sammael's personal speeder, Sableclaw.

Like many of my models, they had been sitting in storage awaiting construction. In the process of making space, these two got put together. Only to take up a different form of space by being on display now, much like kernels become popcorn! I am trying really hard to complete what I already have. Trying my best to avoid picking up new boxes of goodies.

If you follow my blog, you know when these two were originally painted up just by looking at the bases. A simple paint job, slight highlighting, a wash over the metal, sealed and ready to go. Black models are almost unfair to paint at times, too easy... until you have to highlight or show shades. The interior controls were painted too, no shortcuts there.

Sableclaw is a build from a standard speeder with the parts from the Ravenwing Accessory Pack available from GW. Being an avid Dark Angels fan, I grabbed several of these sprues, and whenever a friend didn't want his, I gladly accepted them. Besides, to use the original metal bits that GW offered before, would have made the model impossible to mount on a stand, it would have been so heavy. Imagine a metal twin-linked heavy bolter and a metal twin-linked assault cannon. Not only would they never properly stay attached to the model; it would be enough to require a warning should you ever fall in the water with the piece!

Being that this is an HQ choice, I took a bit more time detailing the piece. Giving the book some extra attention can be time consuming, but it makes a huge difference on the table. The head and shoulder pads are from the Black Knights sprue. The script decal is from the Sororitas decal sheet. 

The focus grabbing book was relatively easy. Paint the pages bone white first. Add the writing with either watered down black or to really ease it out, use a micron pen, love these things! A general square of yellow was added. It does not have to be perfectly squared. Once you outline it with the black, any mistakes disappear. A letter of choice was carefully added to the inside and voila!

Gamewise, when I have used Sammael, he is quite the terror for enemy squads or anything with an armor save of 4+. As long as you keep his front towards the enemy and out of combat, he should be fine. Just remember, he only has two hull points, so he is quite a glass hammer. Keep him sitting next a Dark Shroud won't hurt either. I'll show pics of that in next week's post.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blight Wheel Staghounds

Troopers shouldn't just walk up the field to get into contact. They need to have some kind of transport. Fortunately, Blight Wheel makes these vehicles called Staghounds. They are a 4 or 6 wheeled vehicle, your choice, with an entry point on the rear of the truck. They look awesome and are a great replacement for the Taurox. 

A word of caution on construction, the side skirts are very fragile and are only held in spot by a line of glue. They would best be served by using a small plastic strut, or three, underneath to give them some support. Hindsight being 20/20, I didn't do that. Also, the kit is all resin and the tires were a tight fit. So tight that the the resin cracked where it fit over the large pin on the undercarriage. They have updated the kit since then, I'm not sure wha has changed if anything. I used a large brass rod as a pin/axle to hold them in place. 

Blight Wheel has further updated the kit with new weapon options. The Staghounds now come with missile launchers, a new cannon, and new wheels for the 'Hound. 

Much like their troops, these are really easy to paint! A grey scheme, some slight color modulation by lightening the grey on the panels. Added the decals and painted the details. Sealed it with a gloss coat and applied the oil washes. Another great set of figures to add to my collection. I ended up with three of them!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Other Choices

I wanted to show off some guys I picked up from Blight Wheel Miniatures some time back. I believe Blight Wheel is out of France. Anyway, they make some great third party Astra Militarum figures. These guys are not a 'cheaper' alternative to the GW figures. But they are a 'standout' alternative to GW and FW. They are detailed resin pieces allowing for some really nice detail.

Admittedly, they were a bit finicky to construct. I ended up putting a pin all the way across from shoulder to shoulder for the arms to stay. Not very difficult overall, but somewhat time consuming. I will say, once they are glued, they won't come off, unless you are really pissed at them.

This ranges is Blight Wheel's Britanic Hell'ington figures. Very dark looking guys, and quite similar to Forge World Death Korps of Krieg, as in trench warfare style. The best part is, they are extremely easy to paint. All you have to worry about is the armor, the clothing, guns, and maybe some straps and what not, no skin involved. So if you are one of the guys that hate painting flesh, these guys are for you. They are not as hyper intricate as the Forge World pieces, but they still have some features.

Beginning with a black primer, I painted the clothing Steel Legion Drab added some decals, and gave it all a thorough dry brush with Baneblade Brown. Next step was a wash of Agrax Earthshade on the clothing only. By just applying the wash to the clothing, you get a dirtier appearance. This was followed by another dry brush of Baneblade over the entirety of the model, then a lighter dry brush of Kommando Khaki on top of that. I added one more wash of Agrax over the whole model, and a last dry brush of Baneblade, and that was all I needed.

To add extra bits, I painted on some armor nicks, stippled some Steel Legion and Baneblade onto the armor for effect and they were done. A very effective paint job that can work great with Cadians or Kreig. 

Really quite simple to paint up and get done fast. I may incorporate them into the Kanaks as a Veteran squad possibly with shotguns. I know shotguns suck, but they look cool and fit the models.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Destroyer Tank Hunter

More tanks that I found in storage that needed to be completed. I have been a huge fan of the Destroyer Tank Hunter when Forge World first came out with them almost fifteen years ago. I bought one originally, and that was sold with the rest of my Mordians to a friend of mine. I then bought another one along with a Thunderer siege tank. Another few have been collected via eBay and are yet to be put into production.

The paint scheme is a pre-digital camo used by the British Berlin Brigade back in the 80s. Surprisingly it is very effective when it comes to urban terrain. It's probably why most militaries have adapted the current digital style to their modern battle dress uniforms. This is not a one-to-one recreation of the British scheme as the vehicle shapes are too dissimilar. I tried to carry over as much of the scheme as I could. 

The pattern itself required several steps of painting/taping/repeating. I didn't even try any color modulation. Just went right into weathering. I did keep the colors in line with my Skull Takers though, dark grey, Dryad Bark, and white.

Other examples of the camouflage, with the middle one really showing how effective it can be. You can see something is there, but it's extremely difficult to tell what it is exactly. Here is a link to explain the theory behind it.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Painting Tutorial: Skull Takers

You want an easy way to pain some Guard/Astra Militarum guys quickly? Need to have a large number of troops ready for next month or so? Here is a very simple solution that can be carried over to other colors, or schemes, or even armies.

Colors I used:  GW Paints Link 

Mechanicus Standard Grey Base
Dawnstone           Highlight

Celestra Grey        Base
Ulthuan Grey        Highlight

Belts/Straps/Boots/Rifle Butts
Charadon Granite or Dryad Bark

Wooden Handles
Baneblade Brown

Heavy Weapon
Steel Legion Drab

Reaper Olive Skin
Reaper Olive Skin Highlight
Ratksin/Bestigor Flesh /Ungor Flesh
Bugmans Glow/Cadian Fleshtone/Kislev

Metal parts

Desert Yellow, Black


After priming in white this time, I painted the ground and all the terrain first. This is where you can be sloppy without fear of messing up your guys. I then applied the Mechanicus Grey to the pants and jackets if they had one.

Using Dawnstone, I then highlighted any folds in the pants or anything that would appear raised. If these guys had jackets on, I would follow the same steps.

Most of the time, I paint any skin first following the inside-out technique. The first layer of flesh was applied to all of the skin. This layer should be the darker of the two skin tones. If you want, you can just paint the second tone to cut out a step. Just remember, each layer you add gives the model more dimension.

Here you should be able to see the second layer of flesh added to all the raised parts. You just want to get the higher portions, any part that may be seen from above. Neatness helps, but it's not completely necessary in this case.

I followed the same technique for the whites on the shirts, any Imperial Eagles, and the horns.

Then Dryad Bark/Charadon Granite was added to boots, straps, rifle butts, anything that you want to contrast or look dark, even hair.

Steel Legion Drab was added to most of the hardware, heavy weapons and the shovel.

Ironbreaker was used to get buttons and any shiny parts of metal, like the helmet or rifle.

The hair was painted desert yellow. You could also use bane blade brown, black, etc.

I wanted to get everything basecoated with a nice layer before I moved on to the next step, the shading. Before you begin the next step, ensure you protect your clothing and/or furniture with an apron, extra paper layer, or what not. The varnish will stain anything it contacts!

The figures and weapons were then covered with a liberal coat of the Quickshade Strong Tone. Army Painter has a video on how to apply it nicely. The wall and the ground did not receive the Quickshade, just the figures. Ideally, you want this to sit for 24 hours. It should be dry to the touch in twelve hours.

Already you can see how it sits heavily in the corners, creases, and crevices throughout the piece, while also adding a nice tone to the rest of the figures. This is a thick coat that doubles as a gloss, adding a layer of protection to the model. If needed you can use some thinner to make it easier to move around or clean up.

Once it has dried, they were sprayed with a dull coat; Testers, GW, or Army Painter works fine, whatever you prefer. This concludes the painting.

The process allows for a full squad to be painted up very nicely in one night. The Quickshades allow a fast effective finish to help you get a large amount of guys onto the table fast.

This technique (aka dipping) can also be changed around to what ever color combination you want. You can utilize this with greens, blues, yellows, or whatever you need. Just realize that you may need to start with lighter shades to get the colors you want, as it will darken the overall piece. Dark colors will work with the Strong Tone, but not as well as the lighter colors. In addition, this will work great with any vehicles you have. Just be sure to add any decals before the shading begins.