Have you ever had an inkling that maybe, just maybe, you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? When time is a factor, do you ever look to use up every second? Well, Games Workshop were very kind in sending me the brand new Black Templars big daddy, High Marshal Helbrecht himself, and I decided to push myself a bit more than I normally would with this one. Here he is:
Now, on first viewing, going by the image above, it perhaps doesn’t look too OTT. The glowing sword (the biggest thing I’ve ever tried to make glow) sticks out perhaps, and you might get a hint of some writing on the inside of the cloak there. It’s perhaps fancy, but maybe not so fancy. Give it a minute.
One thing you may also notice is the lack of the little dude shining Helbrecht’s sword (saucy) and in answering where he is, I may as well also cover off my thoughts on the miniature. “Miniature” may not be the word – he’s huge! I hear some are already calling him “Hunk-brecht” and no wonder. Proper massive. That right there is a base size usually used with Dreadnoughts. I really like the little dude wiping the sword, but he didn’t really seem to fit with the idea of the power sword being on – I imagine even a servitor would feel the pain of trying to clean a burning power sword. So I’ve reserved him for a later project which will hopefully be fun. I of course kept the guy carrying the combi-weapon because it gave me a laugh when I thought of Helbrecht getting annoyed when that servitor gets shot. “Really? Thanks, guys. Thanks. Just great. Now I’ve got to carry the damn gun myself – do you know how heavy this thing is!?” etc.
But in removing one of the servitors, I unbalanced the piece, I felt. It’s such a faithful and lovingly made interpretation of the Mark Gibbons piece, I felt I needed to keep some balance there. And then I had the idea that just took this whole piece a little too far…
Well, you had to expect it at some point, right? I mean, I don’t think there are many John Blanche box covers I haven’t painted now, and this was a glaring omission that I have thankfully corrected. In fact, I finished painting that up literally an hour or so before penning this blog, and I can still taste all the Averland Sunset I was licking off my brush. The banner itself is taken from one of Forge World’s Heresy command sets with the hand trimmed off at the back. I thin pinned it into the base and there’s a bobble of greenstuff underneath it still curing and giving it a little more stability.
I should say, my favourite part of the above shot is actually the blue glow I managed to get on the lower leg there, behind the sword. OSL is still something I need to practice but I think I nailed that bit of it, and I did get to practice several times across the mini, with varying degrees of success. The candles on his backpack are glowing, but i think I made the orange too strong, and the lantern glow might be a little weak but I was thinking that blue flames actually don’t emit much light… maybe I was overthinking that. Overall though, I’m quietly happy with how the lighting effects are going here.
And the cloak is all in latin and there is a whole message in there about the Emperor protecting and the Black Templars killing aliens and heretics… the usual stuff. The font is called ‘Ancient’ if you’re looking for similar.
I’m probably going to revisit the sword at some point to smooth out the transitions a bit but I’m happy with the colouring of it all. The armour was all painted in silvers and then stained in a blend of Guilliman Flesh and Nazdreg Yellow that had been thinned down a fair bit. Oh, and for Helbrecht’s skin I used a base of Ungor Flesh as a midtown because I’m really enjoying that paint at the moment.
There are a couple of cop outs on the mini. The little skull that’s painted in the banner’s round bit at the top – that was going to be a Templar cross but I need a lot more practice painting those before I commit to that design being front and centre on any mini. And I was going to do a load of latin on the back of the banner too but I was burnt out by the time I got there. And I was probably going to do some writing on the gun as well, but I got a red I really liked and didn’t want to risk cocking up and having to redo it. And speaking of the combi-melta…
I think this little dude became my low key favourite bit of this mini. I’m really happy with the dead skin tone I achieved using Rakarth Flesh, which I then washed with a diluted Carroburg Crimson, and then I brought the light areas up again by moving up through Rakarth Flesh to almost pure white. He’s such a characterful little dude.
I just had to run and get this photo (excuse the sketchy base rim there – not sure why that’s happened) because I completely forgot about the field of skulls that’s on the back of his cloak. And you get a nice view of the Servitor of course, but really, it shows I’ve taken things too far when I have to run off and get a photo of the cloak because I forgot it was even something I did. There is a vague attempt at a soft grain pattern in there but I didn’t go too far with it as then I’d have to do the whole cloak and I quite like the slick brown look it has.
All in all, this was a hugely fun mini to work on. It’s a great tribute to the character, the army and the illustration by Mark Gibbons. I’ve got a few little bits to touch up on it still like I said, but I don’t have the time to fix all of that just now so you’ll have to settle for a 97% done Helbrecht. Maybe 97.5%. He’s an absolute beast and a must for any Templars force.
One of the reasons I don’t have the time is because I am heading off to Salute today at London’s Excel. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces, splurging on basing accessories and big minis I probably won’t get around to painting, and having a weekend of board gaming fun and boozing with some old friends. I hope you too have a wonderful weekend, and if you see me at Salute, do wave hello – I’ll try and remember to pack the Heresy and Heroes hoody so you’ll know who I am. I’ll leave you with one last image of the banner, and until next time, Onwards (to Salute)!