It turns out that things move fast in the world of duel building. It’s already time for my second update, and I have plenty of progress to show you already – it has been a rather busy week. Let’s start with where the action has been most focussed – the terminator.
I always remember the original drawing that Jes Goodwin did of an Emperor’s Children Chaos Space Marine where there’s a note about how the Emperor’s Children raided and stole a lot of their gear, allowing them access to lots of different marks of armour, weapons, and why their look was so chaotic and colourful. I wanted to bring some of that to this miniature, and so when it came to the arms, I tried to add a bit of variety and nods to other Chaos Space Marine warbands in there as well (well, I figured they stole from other warbands as much as they raided Imperial fleets and planets).
The combi-weapon, I imagine, comes from an Alpha Legion operative (it’s hard to tell in the gloomy photo above, but it’s a dark turquoise colour), while the chain blade was taken from a fallen Iron Warrior. That big skull shoulder pad was taken from a slain World Eater, perhaps on Scalathrax, while the power fist came from a trade with a Night Lords champion. They all lend themselves to that colourful and chaotic look that I mentioned earlier. Also, I’m so happy with the lightning on the power fist, I may actually do a bit of Night Lords work at a later date – a legion/warband that I’ve always been a little scared of in terms of painting.
What’s more, I’ve found the head I want to use. I had wanted a face that could looked defiant, yet in a lot of pain (he has just had his insides mangled by a strand of monofilament wire after all). But because it’s Slaanesh, pain is pleasure, so I settled on having a characterful face, full of feeling. That’s why I was going to hack the head out of a Dark Apostle. It’s got some mutations going on, it’s a bit more modern so no worrying about the sculpt being too dated. I thought it would be perfect, but in the end, it just didn’t look right. It was too shouty, and it almost looked a little pleading when I looked at it up close. So, instead, I picked the bare head from the CSM terminator box set. Why mess with a classic kit, right? I should also mentioned that I’ve tidied up the pink on the horn since taking the above picture – it no long looks like he has a gentleman’s appendage growing out of his temple.
The last thing to do is a spot of weathering, and then I’ll mount him onto the base.
And speaking of the base, that’s come on a little too. Yes, that’s another skull – like I wasn’t going to have one on there, right? Everybody loves skulls! Hell, GW’s core marketing concept for the last 20 years has been ‘needs more skulls’ so I’m hoping to curry favour there. I’ve also added a mix of sand, small rocks and some cork to give the base some texture, and I think I’m going to try and use some GW tufted grass too – not tried that before so will be interesting to see how that works.
After some rummaging around, I finally found my Harlequin. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve had this idea for a while now (a couple of years at least), and that’s when I bought the Solitaire. Well, the past version of me was not quite as careful with hacking the arm off as the present version of me would have liked him to be. It’s a bit scratched up and hacked apart, but I reckon I can rescue it. Though I’m not going to risk it – if I can’t make it all look clean, I won’t use it – I’ll just have to go and buy a new one. We shall see.
Lastly, and just for fun, I pulled out an old terminator from the Emperor’s Children army I had built many years ago. I literally just plunged my hand into the draw where they all languish and plucked out a model that felt terminator sized. Well, it turned out to be my old champion that was kitted out with the same legs, torso, arms and head as the miniature I’m building now. It was spooky – had my tastes in EC terminators really not moved on in all these years?! Apparently not. Fun to see how far I’ve come in painting terms though.
That’s your update for today done. I hope your projects are going equally as well, and that you’re having lots of fun with you paints. Onwards!
Awww, yeah! Everyone, I’d like you to meet my very own Original 1991 Noise Marine! After looking for this miniature for years, I finally found it on Ebay, and after a torturous week-long auction, he finally became mine. And when it came to painting it, I couldn’t think of anything better than a slightly updated version of the original paint job to do it justice. Let’s take a closer look, at the miniature that I have always wanted to paint.
First of all though, let’s take a look at the original Eavy Metal mini from all of those years ago that I saw in the colour-section of the 2nd Ed 40K Rule Book. Here it is alongside the above image:
I saw that guy and it sold me on Slaanesh, Noise Marines and 40k in general. I was in love, but I never saw it in a store all those years ago. If memory serves, he was only ever available for a couple of years back in the days of lead miniatures. So when it came to redoing it, I wanted to do a very similar job with just a couple of updates. Firstly, starting at the bottom, I gave him a slightly more grimdark base. The rock acts like a little stage for our axe-man, and there’s even a skull that looks like he’s singing along down there.
I made the leopard print a little more leopard like, put a bit more shadow into the hair, added a Slaaneshi symbol to one of the shoulders, and used a more modern Noise Marine backpack – the old Chaos packs are hard to come by, and they don’t look great in all honesty. Other than a few tiny changes across the model, I tried to keep it as faithful to the original as possible.
After painting more sombre, earthy tones on recent miniatures, it was a joy to go nuts with all the paints at my disposal. I swear at one point, probably while I was doing the hair, I got a headache from all the colours (though that may have had something to do with licking the paintbrush and this being a lead miniature, but whatever). I think this is what’s called an eye-bleeder.
What I think is really weird is that this miniature, to me at least, doesn’t look totally out of place. Yes, he does look ridiculous, but he’s not so ridiculous that you couldn’t see him blasting people apart with his guitar-gun. Ok, now I hear it. But whether he looks suitable for the grimdark or not, he does look cool (provided your definition of cool is an up-armoured member of the rock band Poison) and that’s all I asked for.
Regarding the backpack, it’s kind of the good thing about the current Noise Marines being such an old sculpt, is that it fits in with this even older sculpt. And the demon head speakers definitely lend themselves to the heavy metal feeling of the overall miniature. That being said (presses play on the broken record player) some new noise marines would be nice (anyone from GW reading this, take note).
The leopard print is done using a method I’ve used several times before, and regular readers will recognise it from older projects. I’ve had a couple of requests over the years, and if I get the time, I’ll do a short tutorial piece on how to achieve the look. At some point. No promises.
And that’s that done. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to paint this miniature, or how happy I am with the result. If I had an army of these guys, I’d be in painting heaven, though I now feel the need to get on an do something a little more sombre, but I want to retain some of the flamboyance from this work. Let’s see what happens next.
It’s always good to bring in the new year with some fireworks, and nothing has more colours and craziness than the original Noise Marine. I think I’ve done him justice, and if someone asked me to paint another one, I wouldn’t hesitate (though it might take me a while to find another guitar-wielding lead miniature, so bear that in mind). I’m off to go listen to AC/DC and WASP, while I cover my head with a whole can of hairspray. Onwards!
And now it’s time for some pure, unadulterated wish listing. If you’ve been keeping up with the releases coming soon, you’ll have seen that Tzeentch’s boys in blue, the Thousand Sons, are getting a very fancy, very grand set of releases. Several new units and HQ choices and, of course, the monstrous form of Magnus the Red (I’m going to paint mine blue with red hair just like the old epic version). This all looks very cool, but I can’t help but wish and wonder about what a similar sized Emperor’s Children release would look like. That’s what I’m going to go through here – my Emperor’s Children wishlist. If the pink and purple sons of Fulgrim got five new kits, here’s what I’d want them to be…
The new Ahriman model looks amazing – loving the addition of the disc. The thing is, like Kharn, the old sculpt, while perhaps showing its age a little, still looked pretty damn good. But Lucius has been left far behind in these stakes. You can see here what we think he looks like, and what the miniature looks like. It’s not exactly flattering (and Lucius does like to be flattered). Less dorky, more detailed and more dynamic – that’s what we need. The lash whip could be streamlined a bit – perhaps coiled around him as if it’s about to snap out, the face could look less like a child’s picture of pinhead from Hellraiser, and the Armour of Shrieking Souls could shriek a bit more instead of looking slightly ill. Bring me a new Lucius!
And who better to run into battle at Lucius’ side than a bunch of high-WS swordsmen striking at initiative 5? Forge World have given us the Palatine Blades, but what if GW put together a 40k version of this kit – a little more twisted and spiky from all that time in the warp? And give them a spear option as well. It would actually mean that the EC’s +1 initiative gift would be useful! How about that?!
Sonic Weapons are one of the defining traits of the Emperor’s Children and I for one would love to see some really heavy versions of this type of weapon. You used to be able to get the sonic dreadnoughts from FW, and they had their twin-linked blastmasters and sonic blasters, but I’m talking bigger, louder and more purple than ever before. Like a Marshall wall of amplifiers on an arm, and maybe a massive whip on the other arm. And a doom siren as well. Just for good measure.
And while we’re on the subject, how about a rolling wall of sound? Like the Sisters’ Exorcist, but instead of an old pipe organ, I’m thinking more Spinal Taps’ stage set turned up to 11 and stuck on some caterpillar tracks. Or, y’know, like the guy in the above picture.
For those of you who have been following and reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that there’s one area that I’ve always struggled with, and that’s photography. Well, I’ve been steadily investing in a new setup to help me rectify this issue, and this weekend, I got a chance to play around with it properly and for the first time ever, I managed to get some shots of my miniatures that really capture their colours and everything is in focus (and that really is a first). There are still a few issues here and there, but I thought I’d show these guys off and give you a better idea of what they really look like.
I’d also like to thank a couple of people for putting guides on miniature photography up on their sites. Firstly, thanks to GW for adding this guide to the black library site – it’s really quite helpful. Secondly, it should be noted that Garfy over at Tale of Painters has also put a photography guide up that has some slightly different takes on miniature photography and you can read it here. Both are super useful and though I still need to play around with all the settings on my camera a bit more, I’ll be referring back to these throughout.
Anyway, on with the show. Without further ado, here are the first set of reshot miniatures. Enjoy!
So not bad for a first try with my new setup. Yes, there are some issues. I need to adjust the white balance a bit, and the lighting isn’t perfect, but these are among the best images I’ve ever taken of my miniatures, and I’m very happy with them. You’ll notice a lack of Mortifactors I’m sure, but rest assured, they are in make-up as we speak, readying themselves for a close up with Inquisitor DeMille (Ordo Fabulous).
When they’re done, they’ll make up the second half of this reshoot, which you’ll see here first. Onwards!
Bursting forth from the warp, I am very proud to present to you Dios Toros, the Slaanesh Imperial Knight. I’m very proud of this one. It represents a long period of hobby time and, despite the fact that it makes your eyes bleed , it’s probably the greatest homage I could pay to John Blanche and the Eavy Metal team of my youth who always went a little colour-crazy when it came to Slaanesh and, particularly, the Emperor’s Children. Now, where do I start…
One particular nod to Blanche is the Knight’s shield which bears a monochrome representation of Slaanesh her/himself, as taken from one of the great man’s early illustrations from the Realm of Chaos books (i think – going back a bit). I wanted to conjure up a little bit of Dorian Gray’s portrait – a haunting, slightly faded visage that’s more than a little ghostly.
The other illustration is on the flag between the Knight’s legs. I’ve showed this off before but these images were taken with a better camera so I thought I’d show it off again. Both illustrations were the most taxing and the most nerve-racking. I’m pleased with the results on both and while I’ll always be able to spot the little mistakes and issues, they were never going to be perfect so I’m chuffed that I did this well.
Now, I couldn’t just use one of the weapons that came in the kit, could I? Of course not. So, I robbed one of the monster assault cannons from the Forgefiend kit and used it instead of the battle cannon. I also added some ammo to one of the slits in the works.
On this shoulder, there’s the classic eight point star and a few occult runes on one half, while on the rear, there is a red leather look. I used gloss on the red and that has caused the detail to be lost a little in the photo. I built up the scales with green stuff before undercoating. I really like the effect and am quite tempted to use it again in this army if I get the chance. Nothing says decadent like red leather.
The other arm features a set of tentacles, again taken from the Forgefiend kit. There are also meat hooks and the fleshy, demonic maw from whence the tendrils spring. Very time consuming, but lots of fun, and it was nice doing the conversion work.
This shoulder features more symbols and probably the bit that I’m most disappointed with. It was supposed to be skin stitched together. It kind of looks like it and this photo doesn’t flatter. But it’s ok – not my best work, but thankfully, there’s plenty that distracts from it.
On its roof, there is an homage to the monster’s past. The richer, more regal hue of purple has a scuffed and distorted ‘III’ on the top of this Knight pays homage to the Emperor’s Children’s distant history. Also, there’s a bloody handprint on the inside of the glass. The daemon that bound itself to the machine obviously didn’t take too kindly to the pilot…
And there is the fanged grin, the horned helm and the demonic eyes staring out from the viewing slit. A grim and fitting face for this behemoth. And its name, in low gothic, Dios Toros, or ‘God of Bulls’ harking back to the old Keeper of Secrets models, and the appetites and aggression of the male bovine. Hopefully it’s all representative of a very Slaaneshi knight-mare.
So there you have it. The biggest model I’ve ever tackled, the brightest I’ve ever painted and lots of fun. I hope you like it. I’m just happy that it’s all done and I can start thinking about smaller models again. But those will come soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy a few more snaps. Onwards!
The model was painted using a wide variety of brushes, was undercoated black, and Citadel Paints were used throughout.
My eyes!! Yes, they’re now ruined. The hot pinks, tiger stripes, moody golds, neon greens and electric blues of the long-corrupted Emperor’s Children have burned my corneas and retinas to ash, but the damn thing is finally done. I’m actually pretty proud of the result too. I’ve been working on it for ages now and, in fact, this is another resurrection job. I should have taken a better picture before I took the Fairy Power Spray to it, but you can just make it out here…
The old version was a proper mess, so it’s great to see one of my favourite Forge World sculpts cleaned up and shown a bit more love. Of course, I can’t really see it because my eyes, as mentioned, are now a bloody mess (alright, that’s a bit OTT, but you know what I mean).
I really wanted to capture both the insanity and love/lust of vibrant, brilliant hues that the Emperor’s Children are now known for, and to pay a little homage to the old school ‘Eavy Metal painters who first bought the long-fallen 3rd Legion to life. Needless to say, I am now really looking forward to painting some dark, subtle, understated minis.
One of my favourite bits of fluff is the Battle of Skalathrax where the Emperor’s Children fought the World Eaters, and Kharn earned his name ‘The Betrayer’. I wanted to incorporate a nod to that battle and used it as an excuse to try out a little of my freehand painting which is an area I really want to work on this year. In my mind, this dread’s close combat weapon was scavenged from a fallen World Eater Dread, perhaps that had had its mind destroyed by a sonic weapon. It’s a trophy and it allowed me to mix up the pallet a little too – it’s win-win!
The Blastmaster was one of the last parts I painted on this figure, and by that point, I was pretty done with metallics. So, using some pictures of old French Horns for inspiration, I did a bit of blending and used some different washes to break it up a bit, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Sonic weapons are unique to Slanneshi Space Marines and I wanted that to be reflected in its looks.
And yes, the tiger stripes on the legs were really fun to paint and so much easier that I thought they would be. That, and the green part of the front are the two pieces that I’m most proud of on this model. Very Slanneshi to.
The freehand on the top was fun, but nerve-wracking. I’m really pleased with the effects achieved and it really helps to break up the model a bit too because those big areas of just pink were not that fun or good to look at. Painting in shades of a single colour really helps to keep the theme together.
And that’s that! Fitting to end with the back of the Dread (quite happy with the exhausts too as it happens). I know that technically it should be called a Sonic Helbrute now, but Sonic Helbrute sounds like a failed Comic Book bad guy from the 80s. Sonic Dread sounds infinitely cooler.
The mini was undercoated black and Citadel paints were used throughout, as were a wide variety of brushes. Oh, and I just found my actual digital camera. The above are all taken with my iPhone, but I’m going to try the camera soon and I’ll do a post about the differences and we can check out the results too.
I hope you enjoyed it. I’m now off to just look at shades of grey on the pantone website. Onwards!
I’d love to read your comments or questions. Stick them below!