Take a look at this image:
Here we see the list of armies we had only a couple of years ago, and what we have now. Just a couple of years ago, we had half the amount of armies available to us that we do now. Ok, so some of them should probably have an asterisk next to their name. We always had the Inquisition and the Assassins, but they were rolled in the Grey Knights book. And are the renegade knights really an army in the truest sense? Really, yes, but I know you know what I mean here.
What’s big, red and smashes through fortress walls that it’s just set fire to? Yup, it’s my Blood Angels Leviathan Siege Dreadnought – the latest addition to my Heresy Era, 2nd Ed Inspired Army. And I’m very happy with this guy. Let’s take a closer look.
Firstly, it’s a lovely kit. Another Forge World cracker. What’s really nice is that it comes with instructions that I sort of followed (sort of). It’s not cheap, but when you see the size of this thing… well, for those of you haven’t seen one in the flesh, this is what it looks like next to a Contemptor Dreadnought:
Yeah. Chunky. As I said, it’s a lovely kit, and so are the weapon arms – also massive. I based him simply on stone/ash that ties in well with the rest of the army. I equipped my Siege Dreadnought with a phosphex launcher, two heavy flamers, the frankly “ridiculawesome” Cyclonic Melta Lance and the Siege Claw with inbuilt Meltagun. So that’s four melta shots, a wall of flame and a claw that will act like a tin opener to most tanks. Not bad, though having worked out the points cost, ‘not bad’ is the least it should be!
While the Contemptor is a shiny, venerable hero of legend, the Leviathan is a hulk that wades into oncoming fire and thinks little of it. For this reason, I haven’t given him any gold trim or intricate freehand. Also, along with the dust kicked up on the lower legs, there’s a lot of weathering throughout, from oil on the metal areas to the black blotches indicating shots that did nothing other than make him grumpy. You won’t like him when he’s grumpy.
The one bit of embellishment that I did give him was the white flames. These are close to the flame weapons, primarily because of this guy:
He’s on the 2nd Ed box art and I really enjoy the idea of everyone in my army using heavy flamers having these white flames as part of their armour. Yes, the guy above is technically using just a flamer, but I intend to have a lot of heavy flamers and I’d like to use this idea for them as if will highlight the importance of this weapon within this legion. On this Siege Dreadnought, I weathered it up a bit too – scorches from the flamers and few points where the white paint has come off to reveal the red underneath – I’m pretty happy with how it looks.
You can see more examples of that weathering here – the kicked up ash, the black marks of gunfire and, in this case, the exhausts. This was done with a knackered old brush applying Rhinox Hide and then Abaddon Black. There are so many details in this kit – it really is a joy to paint, even if its size and intricacy make it seem a little daunting too.
This weapon really is gloriously ridiculous, both in terms of its rules (although 6″ more range would have made it amazing) and its looks. I want to meet the Tech Priest or Magos who picked up a multi melta and said ‘hey, we should strap a few of these together to see what they can do’. That’s my kind of thinking.
So there you have it. Done and on to the next project which, true to form, I have no idea what it will be yet – though keep checking back to find out. My guess is it will still be Blood Angels related but we’ll see. This guy was a treat to paint and I’m very happy with how he turned out. A true monster that can weather just about anything the traitors and heretics of the time might throw at him. And for those of you still trying to work out how big he is, I’ll leave you with a shot of how big he is compared to a standard dreadnought. Onwards!
This week, we’ve been treated by Games Workshop to a brand new Kharn The Betrayer model and I for one think it looks brilliant. Dynamic and full of character, the new sculpt captures the true madness of Angron’s equerry and his brutal, rampaging nature with violent bloodlust as well. Gorechild looks like a Primarch’s weapon now too. It’s a big win for me, and a lovely treat to the much beleaguered (though not for much longer if all the rumours are true) Chaos Space Marine players.
However, and I mean this in no way to be moan, there are still some characters kicking around the galaxy of the 41st Millennium that could definitely do with their own resculpts. One might even argue that they needed updating before Kharn had his turn. I for one always quite liked the old Kharn model (though the new one is a lot better of course).
The cocked head, the ‘come on, I dare you to come closer to me’ stance and the raised axe were all pretty cool. All of those features I just mentioned (and plenty of others) do look better on the new miniature, but I suppose what I’m saying is that Games Workshop have plenty of other fish to fry in this area. And to that end, I’ve picked out five miniatures that definitely need an update, and the faster, the better. In no particular order…
Now, in fairness, I could have picked half of the characters in the Blood Angel range at the moment to fit into this list, but rather than stick them all in here, I’m going to restrict myself to just Mephiston. I remember when the model was released in metal the first time round and I loved it back then, but now, one of the most legendary Sons of Sanguinius is looking somewhat static, and while many of the details make for a cool mini, imagine how much better they’d look with a modern sculpt? The cloak could be billowing out, the plasma pistol could be held more threateningly and that skull shoulder pad could really be brought up to a higher standard. What’s more, those two pointy bits on the sword could be streamlined as I’ve always wondered how they gave him any benefits at all as they would make a blade harder to cut with and stab with. His rules make him a boss, but the mini, while not quite sending me into a black rage, does make me thirsty for a redoing. Here’s hoping they can make him a little more dynamic and detailed soon.
I’m no great fan of the Dark Eldar as a rule – nothing against them but they’ve never really got my hobby juices flowing. One thing that they do have going for them is that they have a lot of very good looking characters and HQ choices, from Lelith to Urien, from the Succubus to the Haemonculus. And then there’s Drazhar, doing what I’d call a ‘prancing velociraptor’ impression. The enigmatic master of blades looks just a bit underwhelming when stacked up against other characters in the range. Add into this that he got a little bit of a nerf with the last codex (albeit with a points drop), you don’t see him much these days. Those demiklaives of his could be much better positioned, and in fact the model would look far better in a leaping pose. Throw in a few more details to that desperately dull armour, and he could be a real winner in terms of looks at least. A character with fluff as good as Drazhar’s shouldn’t have the worst sculpt in the Dark Eldar range.
Ah, the bathrobe wearing wild west gunslinger. He’s been skulking in the shadows for so long now, and only part of that is due to his ancient sculpt. Arguably one of the most popular characters in the game if we’re going by lore alone, he is well overdue an update by now. I’d like to see him in a pose that lends itself to his shadowy background and not something that would better suit a Western B Movie extra whose about to be shot by the man in the white hat. The holsters for his pistols are about the same size as his upper legs and his face looks like something out of a bad horror movie (ok, so that’s not unique in the CSM line), so it really does need clearing up. Also, I’d like to see the armour being maybe MkII or MkIII – bring him in line with the fluff a little more. As it is, I don’t think I could stand the idea of painting this guy up now, which is a shame because he really is an incredibly cool character to have in the 41st Millennium.
Another unit all done! Yes, it took me too long, but it was worth it – I love the look of my new Blood Angels Legion Tactical Squad and they’ve definitely got that 2nd Ed feel to them that I was going for. What’s more, you all got to follow along with the tutorial posts which was really fun. Happily, the photos here are a lot better than the ones in those tutorial posts, so let’s take a look at the latest addition to my small, but growing, Blood Angels Legion army.
In a rare feat, I don’t think there’s anything that I really had issues with here. It was a very comfortable project to work on and it all went well. Between now having a grip on the Blood Angels paint scheme that I’m working to, and the fact that this is a relatively simple kit, there just aren’t too many negatives to bring up, and that’s great!
Yes, I still love those reds (how could you not!) so that’s a win. I think I got the eyes pretty much spot on with these guys too, and the bolters, each with their different markings, look really good as well, if I do say so myself.
I still really like the ‘winged blood drop’ shoulder pad from Forge World (used on my despoiler squad) – that gleam from the ‘Ardcoat really brings it to life. And the subtle ‘weathering’ (if you can call it that) – the kicked up ash and slight scratches really do a lot to break up the red armour and add a little bit of recent history to the models.
The kit itself is fun, but I have to say, working on 9 basic bolters can seem a laborious task. It’s amazing how much you miss the occasional melta gun or missile launcher. While those options are both part of the kit, these guys are going to be my most basic troop choice so it’s boring bolters only. It’s a bit of a churn, but it’s worth it to see these guys like this. And the reason, I did 10 and not 20? Well, I’d like to have them riding to war in a rhino one day, and besides, if I were doing 20, I’d be writing this in December! Also, I have plans for the other 10…
There aren’t too many different bits on these guys – I only used a couple of the more basic heads from the Forge World Blood Angels upgrade kit to break things up a little but it still felt like a bit of a slog at some times. The Vexilla was a nice touch to break things up though, and I’m really happy with how this one came out.
The backpacks all have their knives on them – a good looking piece but a tad fiddly to add on to the pack. These were the last things I painted for these guys and while they only took me 30 minutes-ish to paint each, I’m still glad to see the back of them – ha ha.
And I’ve done my first blond haired Blood Angel too – the Sergeant who wields a chunky combi-flamer to further add to the firepower that this squad can bring. Blond is actually much harder to paint than I first thought, but I think I nailed it with this guy. And I still really like the way those black shoulder pads frame the mini. Can’t wait to clean house with this guy on the table top!
That’s that done then. Another squad completed and on to the next one – whatever that may be. In the meantime, I might indulge in a week away from my paintbrushes – just a week – to give myself a little break. I think I’ve earned it. But stay tuned for the next post. Onwards!
Welcome back hobby chaps and chapettes. Today is the last instalment in my very basic guide to painting Blood Angels legion tactical marines and we’re going to be focussing on the backpack and, as an added bonus, I’ve included the Legion Vexilla as well, as this is a fun little bit to paint up.
This week’s photography issue: White balance. I’ll not go on any more about it, instead, let’s dive in.
Oh, but one last thing to remind you of: These are basic tutorials. If you’re looking for something challenging and groundbreaking, you won’t find it here. These are just little guides to help your average painter get something good looking on the table top. And for this tutorial, you’ll need these paints:
Now, I’m not going to go over in too much detail about painting the backpack itself because, if you’ve read the previous posts in this series (links at the bottom of the page), you’ll know all about painting red, silver and black in this style, but here’s a quick refresher for you.
For this, I’m saving some time by painting up the parts on the Vexilla that correspond too. Oh, and remember to keep your paints a little thin, giving them a nice, smooth consistency.
1. Mephiston Red, Abaddon Black and Leadbelcher go down in the appropriate places, before being washed with Nuln Oil. Remember: when it comes to adding the wash to the red, just do the recesses and around the bolts.
2. Evil Sunz Scarlet edge highlight for the red areas, and a Leadbelcher lowlight on the silver – just catch those lower edges.
3. Dawnstone edge highlight on the black, and then zenith highlights of Ironbreaker on the silver, and Fire Dragon Bright on the red. Add just a tiny bit of White Scar to the ‘lights’ in the front of the backpack.
And you’re done! If you’re not doing a Vexilla, you should be able to breeze through this very quickly, but don’t worry if you still like to take your time. Now, onto the Vexilla itself…
Let’s start with the scrollwork. There are other ways of doing this, but this is preferred by me.
4. Start with a couple of thin coats of Ushabti Bone all over the scroll.
5. Wash with a little Reikland Fleshshade – be conservative here and don’t let it pool but get good coverage.
6. Using thinned down Ushabti Bone, give it an edge highlight.
7. Give the top edges a highlight using a thin mix of Screaming Skull.
8. Finally, write something on there using Abaddon Black. Now, script work is something worth practicing even just to get it to a legible state, never mind all those clever sorts who manage to do calligraphy on there! Practice a while on some plasticard or a flat bit from your bits box, and work at it. I went with a simple ‘BAAL’ but you can do anything.
Now, let’s move on to the scriptwork on the banners that hang down.
9. Start by writing everything out very thinly in Averland Sunset – steady hands needed.
10. Then highlight this script with Yriel Yellow. It’s as simple as that, but if you do go wrong, or if you don’t like the look, you can always use black paint to touch it up.
Let’s now go on to the laurel.
11. Start with a couple of thin coats of Warpstone Glow.
12. Wash it down with some Biel-Tan Green to give it a little depth…
13. …before bringing it up again by edge highlighting each leaf with Warboss Green.
14. Finally, give each upper edge of those leaves a little bit of Skarsnik Green.
15. Moving on to the circle at the top, I’ve painted in a black blood drop (these are all over Sanguinius’ armour so I thought it would look good here) using Abaddon Black. It’s a surprisingly tricky shape to paint this, but practice it and you’ll get it in no time.
16. Cover the inner area of that circle (so all the red and the black blood drop) with ‘Ardcoat, and add a little to those two ‘lights’ as well.
17. Finally, stick it onto the miniature, and you’re done!
Not too hard, was it? The three guys above are now done, so I’m not too far off being able to show you the whole squad in all their glory. Hopefully, that’ll be very soon too. I hope this guide has helped you out. Sorry for the photography, but I dare say the gist was got despite the images. For those looking to catch up, the links to the other tutorial parts are down below.
Don’t forget to tell me what you think of this series below. Useful? Interesting? I just hope it’s given some painters an idea of how to get things to look good without too much bother. See you with the finished unit soon. Onwards!
Ok, first off a note about this week’s post – the photography is really bad. I know I’ve said that before, but I had real problems with it this time around, so apologies about that. Hopefully, between the slightly fuzzy images and the descriptions of the steps, you’ll be able to get it.
So, moving on, this week, we’re looking at painting the shoulder pads and heads for a Blood Angels tactical marine. This isn’t where you’ll find advanced painting ideas – this is the simple stuff to help the average painter put a good looking army on the table. If you want the advanced stuff, there are plenty of other painting tutorials out there that have got you covered and they’re great for inspiration. And with no more ado, let’s get going.
We’ll start with the shoulder pad that has the tactical marking on it – the one that looks like this: <->. But before we get painting, I first need to show you what paints I’ll be using in this tutorial…
I use citadel but of course there are other brands and lines available. And aside from these, the one other thing you’ll need is something that looks like this:
This is a bit of old Forge World flash that never got thrown away, and the reason why it didn’t get binned is because I knew I’d be painting shoulder pads again in the future. You can use a bit of sprue with some blue tack instead, but the larger bit of flash gives you something a little more stable and chunky to hold on to – I can’t recommend it enough. When you’ve removed the shoulder pad from the sprue, clean up the areas where you snipped it off with a craft knife and then press it down onto the superglue. Or you could just do it on the model. Your choice of course, but this gives you a little more freedom to move around what you’re painting.
I’m not going to go over the basics of painting red, silver and black again for this. You can find all the details on how to do that in part 1 and part 2. What I will say is that because these are such large, rounded areas on the shoulder pads, you might need a couple of more thin coats of Mephiston Red before it’s ready. And it’s quite nice to take a 2:1 mix of Mephiston Red and Evil Suns Scarlet and just highlight the higher points of these pads – breaks up the bare red a little more.
Step 1: The black trim and red pad are done.
Step 2: To paint the tactical markings, thin down some Abaddon Black on your palette and start by painting two thin parallel lines, a couple of mm apart, horizontally across the lower centre of the pad. Then paint four smaller lines at the ends – a little less than half the length of those two horizontal lines.
Step 3: Find a point that’s in the centre of the lines and a bit further out and add a dot. Do the same on the other side. These will be where you’re aiming for with the arrow points.
Step 4: This is the tricky bit. From the tips of the four smaller lines, bring a line down to the closest dot. This takes practice. If you mess it up, just try again – you can always go over any mistakes.
Step 5: Fill in the arrows with Abaddon Black and you’re nearly there!
Step 6: Go around the edges of the arrows with Evil Sunz Scarlett. Again, this is a fiddly bit, but it’s great for cleaning up mistakes, so take advantage of that, especially if you feel one arrow head is larger than the other (this happens a lot).
Step 7: Back to Abaddon Black – put a tiny bit on a sponge, remove most of it from the sponge on a towel and then pat it on to give the shoulder pad a bit of character. And that’s that one done!
Now, let’s move on to the Legion Symbol shoulder pad. Again, I’m not going to cover the bits about how to paint red and black. Leave the wings a solid black, but go over the very highest edges of this with an edge highlight of Dawnstone. That should get you to the first stage in the following set of picks.
Step 1: Just make sure it’s all cleaned up, and then apply a thin layer of Evil Sunz Scarlett to the face of the blood drop (don’t go over the edges and down the sides).
Step 2: Take Eshin Grey and pick out each feather and just give each one a highlight. You can do this really quickly so it’s not as fiddly as it sounds – almost with a drybrush sort of approach.
Step 3: Use a 1:1 blend of Evil SunZ Scarlett and Fire Dragon Bright, and go from the tip, down the right hand side of the blood drop, and round the bottom. Then, in a thinner line that goes from a little lower down, do the same thing with some Fire Dragon Bright.
Step 4: Blend Fire Dragon Bright 1:1 with White Scar. Pick out the lower right hand edge and do a very thin line with this – don’t go all the way round the bottom or up the side; the bottom corner will do. Then do a little dot with this colour nearer the top of the blood drop, and then coat in ‘Ardcoat.
Sorry there weren’t more images to detail that last bit – that’s when things got really blurry with the camera. But now we’ll move on to the head.
Step 1: So snip your head off the sprue, leaving a little attached to hold in a crocodile clip – very useful. Paint up the red and silver parts in the usual way.
Step 2: Edge highlight with Evil Sunz Scarlett and use a sponge with a little Abaddon Black on to add some weathering effects.
Step 3: Use Warpstone Glow to paint the eye lenses.
Step 4: Then paint the lower half of those eye lenses with Skarsnik Green.
Step 5: Using a 1:1 mix of White Scar (which I just realised I didn’t put on the ‘paints you’ll need’ image above – grrrr) and Skarsnik Green, paint a dot at the centre-rear of the lenses. This is great for bringing the eyes to life a little.
Step 6: Zenith Highlight the Red Areas with Fire Dragon Bright, and the silver areas with Ironbreaker.
Step 7: Add a tiny dab of ‘Ardcoat (technically not a paint – before you say anything re the aforementioned ‘paints you’ll need’ image) to the eyes and you’re done.
When these steps are finished, you can glue the components onto the minis, and they should look something like this:
So there you go! As you can see, I’m making progress. Once I’ve completed one more of these tutorials (that will deal with backpacks and peripherals), the squad will all be done. Hopefully I’ll have that for you soon. In the meantime, happy painting. Onwards!