What weighs half a tonne, is made of metal and is a real pain to paint? My Blood Angels Land Speeder for my Horus Heresy/30K force, that’s what. It’s been really fun to work on this, but also a real struggle too because of, well, plenty of reasons that I’ll get to in a short while. Anyway, without further ado, let us take a closer look at the model that I’m calling ‘The Hammer’.
As you may well know, your 30k legion armies can take Land Speeder Javelins and they make an excellent addition to any force. The Forge World model looks amazing and you can take some real firepower with each one. I wanted to add one of these to my Blood Angels force as I felt I needed some Fast Attack, but, you see, there’s always been one type of Land Speeder that I’ve always wanted to paint and play with since I was a wee nipper and you’re looking at it.
I picked this up from Ebay for less than £15 (plus shipping) and I got a pretty good deal as it was missing its weapons – parts I wasn’t going to need anyway. I picked up the pintle mounted weapons set from Forge World for another project (as yet unstarted) and one of the Contemptor Dreadnought missile racks as well. These have given me a tank hunting speeder that can dash into the back lines and start taking apart some armour.
I also used an arm from a 40k space marine, an icon from the Blood Angels upgrade pack, some shoulder pads and some etched brass from Forge World to add some details to the kit. The old metal mini weighs so much that your wrist starts to hurt if you’ve been holding it for more than 5 minutes, but it’s also a little light on details, so these little embellishments helped to bring it up to snuff. They also added to the weight, so a wrist support was used at all times. Seriously, if anyone calls a Stormraven a ‘flying brick’ again, get them to pick up one of these.
I’ve named it the ‘Land Speeder Hammer’ as opposed to the Javelin and I like to think that it’s an experimental mark that the Blood Angels are testing out for the Mechanicum. Also, I’m pretty sure I could use it to bang a nail into a wall. And I’m not talking plaster – I’m talking brick.
So you might have noticed the flames. Yes, they are very cool. I’m really happy with the way they turned out and it really helps to make the model a little less bland. The yellow helmets were something that I ‘ummed’ and ‘aahed’ about for a little while, but they work so I’m glad I went in that direction. That being said, I hate painting yellow – it’s a knack I don’t have yet as I don’t get a lot of practice with it. I also painted the flying stand black. I hate the look of the clear plastic stands and this works fine for me. Will a truly elegant solution ever be found? Well, there’s that guy who used magnets to make his Eldar jetbike float but I don’t think there are any magnets strong enough to lift this thing.
There’s lots of light weathering too. Mainly because it fits in with the army and looks good, but also because it hides a lot of issues with the old metal. Weird lines, lumps and scratches. They don’t build them like they used to, and that’s a good thing. Although the old styling is still pretty boss.
I was reminded again that I hate painting metal minis. I love the nostalgia, but in practice, they’re a pain. When someone says ‘but if it’s got undercoat on it, isn’t it the same as painting plastic’ you may laugh in their face. The brush moves differently, the paint sits and dries differently, and details get lost fast. I’m really looking forward to working on a plastic mini next, and preferably not one with so many hard to reach spots. Half of the parts needed to be attached, detached and reattached all over again just so that I could get to everywhere that needed painting. Not fun. Long live plastic minis.
And etched brass can be a pain too. But even with all of that in mind, it was still great to finally paint one of these minis. I’ve wanted to paint one of these since I was a kid, and I actually love the blocky looks. And I’m thrilled with how the underslung missile pod looks – I love it when a plan comes together. Another childhood dream realised – always a nice feeling.
With that, I think I’m done for the year when it comes to Blood Angels. Well, at least when it comes to posting things up here. Let’s just say that I’ve been scrubbing a bit more resin lately. Anyway, I hope you like the Land Speeder – it really was great fun to see it come to life, even with all of its flaws.
I thought I’d end this post with a group shot of all the Blood Angels I’ve done so far. These have all been done this year, and all of them have been shared here. More will come in 2017, so keep your eyes open for those. All that’s left to do is for me to wish you a very merry Christmas. Onwards!
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!
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!
This is the first in a new series I’m going to bring you (whether you like it or not) which is essentially, a set of really simple painting tutorials on how to paint Blood Angels in the same way that I do. It’s all brush-based painting and there’s nothing here that should be too taxing for anyone, while hopefully still providing you with a good looking end product.
These are the guys I’m working on at the moment. The most basic Blood Angel bolt gun wielding 30k tactical squad you can get. And that’s what I’m going to show you how to paint in this series.
If you’re looking for advanced techniques and daring new ideas, this probably isn’t the sort of tutorial you’re after. I’m painting bog-standard tactical marines (albeit the ones from the Calth box) and I won’t be spending anymore time on them than I need to – I just want to get them to the standard of looking good; not breathtaking. So, if you want to know how I do my Blood Angels in the way that I do them, it’s all going to be in these tutorials.
Getting to the start line – what to do first.
So, as you can see from this image, I’ve put the legs and torso together and based my model. For ease of handling and painting, I think this works best – no need to faff around with corks and pins when you’re just doing the basic grunts.
- remove torso fronts and backs, and legs from sprue.
- remove mould lines and any flash that’s come off with the snipping of sprues.
- glue the torso parts and legs, and then add to the bases.
- add rocks, etc to bases with superglue.
- allow superglue to dry, then add sand using PVA glue.
- undercoat with Chaos Black spray and set to dry.
And that gets us to the start line! Let’s start painting.
The Paints You’ll Need:
Steps 1, 2 and 3 – Apply three thin coats of Mephiston Red to the areas of the mini that are going to be red. Don’t worry about going over other areas too much – you can clean those up later (try to keep it neat but don’t panic if you go over the lines). Make sure the paint is thin enough to flow smoothly. but thick enough to hold together. Use medium if preferred but I just went with water. In fact, for all of the steps below, the paint is watered down a little with just some water. You can really see in the first three pictures how it builds up and you end up with a deep, broody red.
Step 4 – Use Abaddon Black to tidy up and coat the black areas. I used it here on the belt, the bit that connects the backpack to that armour on the back and knee pads. It’s also a good idea to use this even if you already undercoated with Chaos Black as the spray is inconsistent and looks quite different to the paint that comes out of the pots.
Step 5 – Leadbelcher. Put down a base coat on the areas that you want to be silver. With both this step and the one above, be careful and don’t go over the lines. If you do, tidy it all up after this step and make sure the right paint is on the right part of the model.
Step 6 – Nuln Oil comes next now that all our base colours are down. Don’t apply this all over, but instead, apply it wherever there is a recess and shadow. Delicately get it into the cracks of the armour and under the knee plate. Run it over the top of the knee plate too. You should be able to see from picture 6 where it’s going. Do the entire model like this. When it comes to the Leadbelcher, apply the wash all over this. For all of this, use the wash sparingly and apply slowly and delicately – you don’t want thick lines of black from this, just shadowy underlines.
Step 7 – Evil Sunz Scarlet is then applied as an edge highlight all over the model’s red areas. Again, slow and delicate – let’s keep the lines nice and thin here.
Step 8 – Put your brush down and give it a five minute breather. Pick up a piece of GW sponge (I use the stuff from the old carry cases) and dab it in a little Abaddon Black. Now dab it out on a sheet of plasticard or paper until there’s almost nothing on it – the black should be very faint – and then apply it to occasional areas across the model’s red surfaces. This is going to be our little bit of “weathering”or effect that keeps each marine a little different and makes them feel like they’re in the thick of battle with smoke and grime and explosive stuff staining their armour. Just pick out a few spots, dab-dab-dab, and you’re done. If it goes wrong and you get too much on there, a quick fix with Mephiston Red will solve it easily.
Step 9 – Now we’re going to do a zenith highlight with Fire Dragon Bright. Very thin, steady lines of Orange on any parts of the red armour that have edges facing upwards (as if the sun is coming down on them. Top of the feet, top of the thighs, the shoulder area… that sort of thing. If there’s a red edge that faces upwards, apply there.
Step 10 – Back to Leadbelcher, you’re going to do an underlight on the harness that crosses the chest/back and also apply some to the rivets on the lower leg/knee. With the harness, just do the lower halves of the straps and edge highlight the lower half of the circle and its surround on the chest.
Step 11 – Now, with Ironbreaker, we’re going to do essentially another zenith highlight on all the silver areas, from the rivets to the chest piece and more. Just make sure the upward facing edges of all your silver areas now have this paint on them. Shiny.
Step 12 – With the silver now done, we’re going to use Dawnstone to edge highlight the black areas like the belt and the knees. Thin, steady lines again here – you can always fix it up with a little Abaddon if you think you’re going too thick.
Step 13 – Right, now for some really steady fingers. Take Averland Sunset, water it down a bit, and, in one smooth motion, painting from the bottom up, a straight line of your paintbrush at a diagonal across that knee. Do this a couple of times to deepen the colour. Now, I do it in one swift motion from bottom to top, but if you’re more comfortable going slow from top to bottom, you do it your way. Whatever works for you. You’re the only person who knows how you feel when you paint so do it how it works for you.
Step 14 – Take Yriel Yellow and apply it to the top half of the line, and make sure you get a bit more on that top edge just a touch.
Step 15 – Administratum Grey is used to just to a Zenith on those knees, and on the black of the backpack connecting bit on his back (I don’t have pictures of that one – sorry). I tend not to bother too much with the belt as it’s so far inset that light probably isn’t hitting the top there.
Step 16 – Back to Ironbreaker. Any little bolt heads and rivets, just very gently give them the tiniest touch of this silver paint.
And that’s you done!
- Keep your paints thinned – a wee bit of water or medium will help them flow so much better.
- Don’t panic if you mess up. Yes, it’s a little annoying to have to go back to fix things, but there’s nothing in this that can’t be fixed easily.
So, that’s the legs and torso done. In the next tutorial. we’ll take a look at some arms and bolters. Stay tuned for that and more. Onwards!
He is complete! My Blood Angels Company Champion from Forge World is now done and standing on his very own shiny display stand. I even think my photography is within 90º of being up to snuff on this one too, so let’s take a look. I hope you like lots of gold and red!
As mentioned in the WIP post last week, the kit is a bit of a classic FW piece with all the usual splits and warps that you’d expect but I think I got all the visible lines sorted, which is always a plus point. I have made a couple of swaps though. Both shoulder pads are taken from the BA Sanguinary Guard kit, and the shiny helmet is taken from the BA heads kit from Forge World. Those swaps helped to make this guy a little bit more of a son of Sanguinius. The gold also helped in that respect.
There are those leg flames, and my favourite belt buckle ever – you saw all of that in the WIP. The sword was fun and I’ve fallen in and out of love with it a couple of times. What I learned is that a couple of coats of ‘ardcoat are better than one – it just evens things out enough to catch the lights just right. One thing I did change from the WIP is the knee pad with the ‘IX’. The old lettering looked a bit like it had just been scrawled on there. I made it a little smaller and added some script to the now empty space. It now looks a little more professional. Much better.
There are some really beautiful pieces in this kit and the Aquila-head backpack is one of them. Not a new feature on space marine kits, but this one really is very nice. The base is a cracker too and was lots of fun to work on, though it was a little bit of a challenge keeping it interesting – I went with a lot of grey (as is my want) and that got a touch monotonous so I had to play around with washes and the like to bring something extra to it. Also, I’m very happy with the various blood drops on this guy, including the on on that shoulder.
Ah, the checkerboard shoulder pad. Yes, I think it looks nice, but boy was I reminded why I don’t paint Lamenters. It’s such a pain on this tiny scale! I’ve done it on Dreadnoughts and Maganobz before but there you have big spaces to play with. On tiny spots like this, it was such a pain. Another thing that was a real pain was the little blood drop design on the helmet’s forehead. I still can’t tell if I got that totally right or not. Thankfully though, it’s not so bad and I think it’s one of those things that the painter notices that hopefully the viewer won’t think about twice. Unless the painter tells the viewer in a blog post like a prat. Balls.
Here are a couple more shots for you to go through…
And that’s that! A second Blood Angels HQ done. Now, given that I only have one troop choice to those two HQs, I’ll have to address that soon. But in the meantime, I shall revel in the fact that I have my Forge World Open Day entry all done and ready for the show. I hope you enjoyed this post, and see you all again soon. Onwards!