Finally! My Blood Angels Veteran Tactical Squad is, at last, done. The Horus Heresy now welcomes Squad Castor – The Black Helms, 1st Squad of the XIIIth Chapter of the IX Legion. It’s a bit of a long title, so let’s just call them the Black Helms, shall we? It’s taken me a couple of months to find the time to finish them, but I’m happy I took the time – not too shabby looking, and certainly unique, even if I do say so myself.
This marks the last bit of the Betrayal of Calth box and the penultimate unit of ‘Phase 1’ of my 30k Blood Angels Legion project. And boy, do these chaps like setting fire to things. I showed them off in the WIP from last month, but you can see better above that these guys are certainly packing plenty of templates (which should still be around in 30k for a little while at least, even if they’re not long for 40k). Let’s take a look at the rest of the squad shall we?
So, why the black helmets? Well, I initially planned to paint them gold, as per the conventions regarding Blood Angels vets, but for whatever reason, this didn’t sit quite right when I was imagining them. This project, as long term readers will recall, has drawn a lot from the 2nd Ed 40k box art from John Blanche, and there’s not a whole lot of gold going on there. I guess there could be, but there isn’t and the effect felt a little alien to the rest of the army’s aesthetics. Then I realised that, without the Death Company around in this era, and with no other unit claiming the colour for their helmets, I thought; why not? I used mostly Forge World upgrade BA heads and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. Also, this can add to the unique narrative I’m forging for the XIIIth of the IX. Black means death to the Blood Angels, and maybe these warriors have cheated death for so long, that they wear its own colours in defiance. Something like that, anyway.
I also wanted a bit of yellow throughout to make them pop. Maybe this shows off that they have the ability to operate as assault vets, though on this occasion they’re favouring a tactical load out. The knee pads, and yellow blood drops on their shoulders help to liven them up a bit, and help to tie them in to the themes of my army as a whole.
You’ll notice that my Legion Vexilla is a little different for this squad too – a piece borrowed from the Sanguinary Guard kit that helps these guys to both fit in and stand out in the army. The heavy flamers are a great looking bit of kit but if you want to avoid hobby-inspired rage, you should be warned that fitting the fuel line from the tanks on their backs to the weapons can be a nightmare. They actually led to me thumping a model with my fist (don’t worry, I pulled the punch) for the first time in decades. “Fiddly” doesn’t begin to describe it. But hey, that’s what super glue, green stuff and therapy are for, right? Oh, and as with other minis in this army, heavy flamers mean white flames and their shoulder pads do help them to pop a little more.
I’ve given the squad a bit of height and variation with some very simple but effective basing too. Half on slate, half not – it’s a very easy way to keep things interesting and it takes very little effort to do. Oh, and the sergeant is wearing the Master of Signals’ backpack. It was meant to be the nuncio vox upgrade from Forge World, but I mixed them up, and in the end decided to stick with this. I’m not intending on using my Master of Signals any time soon, and it does look rather fancy – again, it helps to make him a little different from the other sergeants.
Speaking of the sarge, meet Sergeant Castor. He’s got his black flames, yellow cloth, and even a golden Sanguinius mask to be getting along with. He also has his trusty hand flamer and a stonking great power fist for no other reason than it looks cool, and when you’re packing a squad like this full of bells and whistles, the additional points involved with power fists… well, you just think ‘Why not?’. And there’s the “SaOlNpS hOaF lHeOgRiUoSn” (read the caps and lower case letters separately) helmet on his base, with its bolt hole. I’m really happy with various parts of this particular mini. The power fist looks good, it’s one of the best bare heads I’ve done, and that’s some of my best ever script work on both the fist and his shoulder. Winner.
And there you have them! All done, and on to the next project. Which will definitely not be another 10 man squad. Not for a while at least. No, I think these guys need a unique and fancy ride… but more on that later.
Was a pleasure working on these, and I hope you like them too. Any comments, or questions, just let me know in the section below. I hope your own hobby efforts are bringing you plenty of satisfaction. Onwards!
So, it’s been a little while since I gave you an update on my hobby progress and I wanted to share with you where I am with my BA Vets. The good news is that the torsos and weapons (between them the longest, most time consuming and frustrating parts of the process) are now almost complete. As you can see above, these guys are a little fancier than the standard tactical squads, and I’ve added plenty of yellows, and even a dash or two of gold to help them stand out.
And yes, you can see two heavy flamers in this squad. These are Blood Angels vets – they know a thing or two about shock and awe, and they do like setting fire to things, so I expect to have some real fun with these fellows drop-podding in and burninating everyone around them. It will of course make this one hell of an expensive squad to bring to the table, but the rule of cool dictates that it must be done. But what of their own mighty leader…
Yep, that power fist is going to make them even more expensive. But it looks so cool. I can win games with ‘cool’, right? Also happy with the helmet on his base there. Is it Sons of Horus, or is it Alpha Legion…? Well, instead of trying to be mysterious, I’ll just say that it kind of works as either. Which is fine. I mixed the paint myself so it’s a little too green for Alpha Legion and a little too blue for the SoH. Works either way, so I’m calling that a win. And what will my sergeant have in his other hand?
Yes indeed, that is a hand flamer. Because why have two template weapons in a squad when you can have three? And again, it looks cool. Winning.
Once this is painted up and put in place, it will be shoulders, backpacks and heads. Of course, I will keep you up to date with progress here as and when I can. I hope your own hobby-related endeavours are going well for you. Onwards!
Well, it’s been too long since I updated this blog with an actual finished miniature, and so this week I bring you my Delaque Gang Leader. I picked up this old Necromunda mini from Ebay and it was really fun to work on, as well as being a great trip down memory lane and a chance for me to practice my ‘feature base’ skills. Let’s take a closer look.
Back in those days of yore (well, 1995) when Michael Jordan decided that baseball wasn’t for him, Quebec decided not to leave Canada, and while Britain was slowly turning grey under the leadership of John Major, Necromunda was released and that made me a very happy 12 year old (I’m feeling pretty old right now). While Van Saar were my gang of choice, I played a lot with Escher, Cawdor and Delaque gangs as well, and the Delaque’s were… a bit dull. Oh, they had good fluff, but they were just sort of generic baldies. So why pick them to work on? Because it’s a challenge.
I also wanted an opportunity to do a fancy base, and so that’s why I picked the gang leader. I had the idea of a guy shooting through a rusted, broken archway, and that seems to have worked out quite well. There’s also a pipe leaking ooze (I love Nurgle’s Rot – such a fun paint), some wire, spent shell cases, a skull (but of course) and a few other little features on the base that help to set the scene. It makes it a bit of a showpiece, and gives the whole thing a bit of height with that ruined doorway. And soooo much rust. Well, this is the bowels of the Underhive after all.
Back to the miniature, and I can say again that working on a metal miniature is as much fun as ever, in that it’s not that much fun at all. It still amazes me how un-detailed everything in metal was back then. But then that can make it fun when you’re adding your own. On this miniature, I’m quite fond of the tattoos (Dark Reaper is a great paint for this), snake-skin scabbard, the coral snake motifs on the lapels and gun, and the back of his coat. In fact, the coat itself I’m very fond of. It’s definitely got that thick, sheepskin sort of feel to it. I was going to go with a snakeskin lining but that may have been overkill.
I now want a sheepskin duster. I just do. I’m not even sure they make them, but I want one. It’s a really cool coat and I’m particularly happy with the way this came out. Also, there’s that snake design on the back, and the stylised ‘D’ on his shoulder that worked out quite nicely too. Also, XV-88 has to be one of my favourite Citadel paints. Ok, it looks a bit like diarrhoea, but it’s such a rich, thick colour that makes very short work of painting leather like this.
And this is the image I had in my head when I started. You can just about make out the ‘Thug Life’ style tattoo on his stomach, and that snakeskin scabbard I was talking about. I imagine him hunting some Goliath or Escher gang member through the tunnels of the Underhive and peering round every corner, gun-barrel first. Also, the green glasses remind me of Archer (Retinas! Seered like tuna steaks!) and also, If I ever want to paint Rick Sanchez, this would be a pretty good miniature to use – just need to green stuff some hair on him and it’s a big slice of Wubba Lubba Dub Dub.
Anyway, that’s that then. Also, let me know what you think of the images – trying out new phone camera and different lighting. Oddly, although the background’s a bit creamy, this captured the true colours on the miniature a lot better than the fancy camera with daylight spots did – I think I need to play around with my white balance. Hope you enjoyed it. Back to the long slog of the Blood Angels for me now, but I may do a bit more Necromunda work in the future. We’ll see. Onwards!
This is one of those annoying ‘something and nothing’ sort of blog posts that all bloggers are forced to do from time to time. When we don’t have anything amazing to show off or anything interesting to really talk about. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is. So let’s get this show on the road.
First up, in an effort to prove that I’ve actually been doing something, here’s a quick snap of the next unit that I’m working on:
Unfortunately, this paltry offering is the most that I’ve been able to drum up in the last two weeks. Four torsos, four pairs of legs and a bunch of other guys waiting for similar treatment who will one day be my Veteran Tactical Squad. While I’m happy with how these chaps are turning out, I’m not particularly overwhelmed with my progress. In fact, I’m barely even whelmed.
Things have come up, I’ve been busy, and in truth, my love for Mephiston Red has cooled ever so slightly in recent weeks. I need a break from it all so that I can come at it again fresh and full of beans, because at the moment, I ain’t got no beans, man. But that’s not my only problem though…
Now, that is a messy desk. But more than that, it’s full. Like, you can’t fit anything else on there. So I need to sort out either a display cabinet or some sort of chest/trunk to store my grey tide. However, given that I have work, a holiday coming up, and a billion other things to do, I can’t find the time to sort either of those things out. Give me a couple of weeks, and I’ll hopefully have something sorted out because the above is unacceptable, and in no way conducive to a productive hobby.
But in better news, I’m still finding time to be creative. I’m attending life drawing every week which is good – I hadn’t done any in a couple of years so it’s good to get the sketch book and pens out again. This is the sort of stuff that I’ve been knocking out of those sessions:
Of course this activity takes up an evening each week where I could be painting, but I’m enjoying it greatly. Furthermore, just being creative in any way is good for one’s hobby efforts. And soon, my love for Blood Angels will return and I can finally finish with Phase 1 of my Heresy era army. Then I’ll put the Mephiston Red away for a little while and work on something else.
So there you have it – a classic something and nothing post. Hopefully I’ll have something a little more exciting to share with you in March. I hope your own projects are going a little quicker than mine. Onwards!
And it is done. Finally, after well over a month of avoiding the damned lump, my Blood Angels Spartan is now complete and ready to join the ranks of my slowly growing IXth Legion army. And now that it’s been in front of the camera and had its glamour shots, I can take you through it all right here.
Firstly, this is a beast of a kit, and Forge World have done yet another fantastic job on bringing a rather chunky beast to life. It weighs enough to club a man to death with, and despite my best efforts, there are still a couple of mould lines here and there, but for the most part it’s looking good (which is a miracle considering I assembled it in a grumpy and hungover mood – see previous WIP post).
As mentioned in a previous post, this kit has helped me to realise that I’m not a huge fan of working on big kits (a bit of an issue considering that there’s a titan still waiting to be built/painted) but I’m relatively happy with how this turned out. Yes, it does have a bit of a wobble (my fault), and It’s about 10% green stuff (still my fault) but weathering hides a multitude of sins. I used the same weathering techniques that I used when I did my rhinos, and it’s worked out really nicely. I’m especially happy with how that weathering worked on the tracks too. Dulling them down with Typhus Corrosion and those dry-brushed greys really takes the edge off the silver colours.
I’d also forgotten that, having painted more than a couple of Land Raiders over the years, I really hate painting the sponson weapons that come with those. Those las-cannons are always so fiddly to get right, and the Spartan of course, comes with twice as many. I kept it simple and I can live with them. I also have to say that the FW Land Raider doors look great on this assault tank. I thought about going crazy with the freehand here, but I’m glad I didn’t. The White Stripe and the doors do enough for the sides. This is a workhorse vehicle – not a fancy pants tank. I am getting an itch to do a bit more freehand now though…
I have to say, despite my previously professed adoration for Mephiston Red as a colour, I’m getting a little tired of it now – after this. It’s still glorious but I think I’m starting to dream in Mephiston Red. There is definitely a change due soon – if only for a short break.
I’m quite happy with the engine stack. I feel I could have done more with it, but I don’t think anyone will be looking at it too much, and it fits with the other tanks that I’ve worked on, so I’m not too bothered about it.
I am looking forward to seeing this on the table top. The idea of it disgorging my terminators onto the battlefield, right in the heart of the enemy ranks, gives me a wicked smile. And for that reason, I actually painted a bit of the inside as well. It’s basic, but it’s better to do it – it makes the model feel more complete. The Cataphractii Terminators do look massive next to this tank though. Even so, it’s a lot of awesomeness.
And that’s that finished! On to the next project, which will almost certainly also be Blood Angels related, though hopefully not this big. I fancy working on something small and interesting that won’t take me a month to work through. Something with no side sponsons, mould lines, interiors or green stuff. But I shall leave that until the next post. I hope your projects are going well, and until next time; Onwards!
Just a quick update for you on where I’m at with the Spartan which is, in truth, not a lot further, but I do now have the top of the tank done. Which, by the way, is no mean feat. There are a billion and one edges to highlight up there and that takes its time. The white stripe was pretty nerve racking too – now if anything has ever required a steady hand, it’s that, but it’s turned out looking alight. Didn’t go overboard with the paint chipping either, and yet it still looks busy. Nice.
Annoyingly, I’ve just realised that these pictures were taken before I finished working on the ramp, and the inside, which are also now done. I can’t be bothered to put too much love into the innards of this tanks as you can’t really see into them, and I’ve done enough so that they look decent. That’ll do for those, though the ramp looks a lot nicer – you’ll see some shots of that in the future.
I’ve also done the beast of an engine stack at the back there, which was fiddly as hell, but it’s turned out looking alright.More weathering has gone into this since the images were taken too – I really must get better coordinated when taking these images. The above images makes the colours look a little flat, but there’s a bit more definition in there which will come out when I take the glamour shots of the finished tank. And yes, those are orange indicator lights at the back. Safety first. 😉
And finally, here’s a top down view from the rear, so that you can see all of that lovely edge highlighting that in no way took bloody ages and certainly didn’t drive me near insane.
It’s getting there, but it is taking some time. Next up will be the sides, then the tracks, and finally the guns which I’ll paint separately and stick on afterwards. After that, I final bit of weathering. I’m also going to see if I think I can add any more blood drop symbols or ‘IX’ markings anywhere – don’t want to overdo it with those, so we’ll see.
Anyway, that’s how far I’ve come. Just wanted to reassure you that I am working on it, albeit slowly. I might sneak in another WIP before it’s completed but we’ll see how it progresses. I hope your own projects are moving ahead at a faster pace than mine. Onwards!
As it’s going to take me a little while to get this finished, and as a nice Friday treat, I thought I’d share with you a couple of images of my latest project – A Spartan for my IXth Legion. Here it is in very little of its glory:
Thankfully, a lot of the leg work is done here. All the base coats are on, and the silver areas, and the top of the hull, have all seen some wash, but boy did it take some effort to get to this point. You know when you get a perfect storm of issues that lead to a project being a lot less fun than it ought to be? Well, that’s what I’ve been going through with this.
It started on Boxing Day (26th of Dec for those who don’t box), when I put this kit together. I was hungover and grumpy from a lot of festive celebrations so I was less than caring when assembling things. Entirely my own stupid fault, and I have plenty of regrets. It’s a gorgeous kit, and I owed it more TLC during assembly. But I will forever be reminded of this as there’s a little bit of wonkiness running through everything. Not overly noticeable to most (I hope) but I’ll know. There are also a lot of mould lines that I have spent a lot of time removing and this thing is now more green stuff than resin in some places, and some of the lines are still there. Weathering will save the day in the end, I’m sure.
I wanted to get one bit of it finished just to have some sense of true accomplishment, and so I have done the upper front door, which is one of the Forge World upgrades meant for Land Raiders. This is ever so slightly wonky, as it was a tad too thin and so I had to add a couple of millimetres of green stuff down one side. But that is literally the one bit that is done. All the rest of the tank is still to do and it’s going to take a while. I haven’t even built the guns yet!
So this is what will be keeping me busy for the foreseeable future. And speaking of those guns, they’ve come in classic curly FW styling so they’ll be getting a dunking in boiling water before I even start with those. But yeah, it’s a beast. A huge kit that will be fun, but I am realising more and more that I do prefer working on smaller miniatures. I don’t mean epic scale or anything like that – but I get a lot more enjoyment out of working on a single character than a big tank. I’ll still enjoy the tank, but I’ll enjoy painting a single dude a lot more. It’s important to learn these things about oneself.
There you have it then. That’s what I’ll be struggling through, and you will see the completed monster here soon(ish). May your own projects go well and speedily for you. Onwards!
How’s that for a quick turnaround, eh? My second Blood Angels Deimos Rhino in as many weeks! Done, and looking dusty in record time, I now have to try and make this blog post interesting seeing as I just wrote a post about a very similar tank last week. Let’s see how that goes.
As with the last post, I can say that the kit looks great, and is a little tricky to assemble if you don’t read the instructions. It is a joy to look at when finished though, and while the GW variant is a classic, this Forge World version just looks so cool. Classic styling with modern design aesthetics – very nice.
So, yeah, it’s the front of a rhino again. I suppose the weathering is a little different, and the missing paint on the white stripe is also a little different… yeah, it’s a little different. Oh, yes, and there isn’t a flamer on this one. I almost forgot that. This tank sticks to the combi bolters. This was done because I thought it was only right because one ought to have a pure, basic variant. Also, Forge World doesn’t give you enough hatches in the pintle mounted weapons set to allow you to do too many of these – the one minor drawback of a great little upgrade kit.
The weathering was fun to do, again. Beaten up brushes, sponges, blacks, greys and Typhus Corrosion in generous but subtle amounts. Also, again I’d like to give a shout out to Mephiston Red spray – such a wonderful product. Were I to do it again though, I might not cover the silver parts with it. A bit of masking tape might mean a single coat of silver rather than a couple. I could knock these out even faster!
And (again – sorry about all the repetition) there are some tactical arrows on the roof to go along with the unit that will be riding around in this thing. And, that’s about it. For all other details, rather than repeat myself, please see the post about the first rhino from last week. But, as a treat, here are a couple of snaps of both APCs together.
That’s me done with Rhinos for a little while at least. Bigger fish to fry. Well, one bigger fish anyway. That has taken up a lot of liquid green stuff – but more about that later. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the Gathering Storm as much as I am (you have no idea how much I want to talk about it but I’m going to wait so as to not give away spoilers). Lots to look forward to there. More on that, and my Blood Angels in the upcoming posts. Onwards!
I decided that my Blood Angels needed some wheels (well, cat tracks anyway) and so I’ve put together my first Rhino transport vehicle for them. And, as it happens, I’m pretty happy with it. What’s more, I learned a couple of lessons with this one, that I shall happily share with you here.
But before that, let’s talk inspiration. As you will know if you’ve been following the progress of this army, I’ve been using classic 2nd Ed Blood Angels as an inspiration for this army, and it’s no different here. I took the classic Rhino APC from the below image and updated it a bit, and did a fair bit of weathering too. See if you can spot some similarities.
Now obviously there are some differences – a lot of them really, but this was where my ideas started. The tactical arrows on the roof, the symbols on the front, the general colouring… this was in my head when the project kicked off.
So first lesson to impart; read the instruction that come in the box when assembling. I’ve put together many a rhino over the years, but with this kit, things are a little different. I of course charged into it thinking ‘I know how to do this!’ and then came a cropper when I went to go and put one of the side panels. It’s a lot easier if you do it the way they tell you in the instructions. Just so you know.
Second lesson; Mephiston Red spray is brilliant. A couple of thin coats of it, and you’ll have saved your brushes a lot of time. Heck, you’ll have even saved time with your airbrushes if you’re that way inclined. What’s more, with a slightly elevated angle, you get some great natural shadows in there. So glad I picked it up, and will definitely be using it again.
With this kit, I used a couple of extra bits as well. The pintle mounted heavy flamer (because you can never have too many flamers) comes from the FW upgrade clam pack, and that’s some etched brass on the front piece there. As with any FW kit, there’s a lot of swearing involved in assembly, and plenty of mould lines to clean up, but of course you also get an amazing looking miniature when all of that’s done. I much prefer this kit to the one you get from GW when it comes to looks and design.
I’m really happy with the weathering job here. Typhus Corrosion is a great pot of paint and appears all over this tank, but the effect I really like was required by using a couple of grey paints to give the lower parts of this vehicle a dusty look. I’ve used it on my dreadnoughts before now, and it fits in with the basing of my other minis, so it’s great for tying the army together.
Now, why didn’t I do the big white Blood Drops on the doors? A, the door teeth make that a bit difficult, and B, putting white paint onto a red surface is not easy. And by that stage, I’d done enough of it, as you can see from the picture below.
When I worked out that painting white onto red was difficult (which I always knew but we oft relearn this sort of lesson), it gave me a bit of idea. It would be plenty tough for the guys maintaining the armoury on a space marine ship as well. Especially if they’re constantly coming in and out of battle. Sure, the important vehicles would get perfect spray jobs, but rhinos? The workhorses? Maybe when all the paint was being retouched, it left marks, where the new paint was slightly different or applied too thinly or heavily. So I added this to my weathering plan and it worked really nicely I think. Breaks up the flat red surfaces a bit at least. Won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like it.
And so I shall leave you with the back end of a rhino to look at. Don’t fret though – you’ll have a new front end to look at soon enough. Like the titles says, this is rhino ‘1’. The next one is primed and ready for a bit of attention so I shall get to work on that soon enough. For the time being, I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at this one, and I hope your own painting projects are going well. Onwards!