Ryza Pattern Lascannons

LASCANNON
Image from Forgeworld.co.uk

I really like the sculpt on the backpacks. I imagine the bars as space batteries of some kind. So I wanted a very utilitarian look. I basically brybrushed Vallejo Metallic Grey over the same color washed in GW Nuln oil. I finished with an edge highlight of Vallejo Air Silver.

I tried a kind of heat distortion effect on the barrels of the las cannons. I followed part of  a tutorial from Warhammer TV, which can be seen here (from 18:24). The base color was Vallejo Air Silver washed with black then tidied up again with silver. I thinned down some vallejo blue ink and applied a thin band with a flat brush. I then applied an overlapping band of purple ink (mixed from GW red and Vallej blue inks). Finally I applied another overlapping band of GW Seraphim Sepia.

I am fairly pleased with the effect. I think the GW inks are much better than the Vallejo blue ink, which dried patchy. I was a little heavy handed, especially with the purple. Next time I’ll try to be more patient and build up the color with several layers.

I want the cables to be a jumble of different colors but still try to keep within my analogous paint scheme. I want to try doing a black and yellow striped cable but I can see that being a really frustrating procees so I’ll see how it goes. I will leave shaping the resin until after everything else is painted. So, I will be painting them after the armor is finished and everything is glued into place.

I am planning on using these models as tactical marines rather than Devastators. I will be using the classic las plas squad inside a rhino combo.

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Devastator Helmets

devastator-helmets

I really like the paining aspect of the hobby so I tend to break models down into sub assemblies. It makes batch painting more enjoyable and less frustrating. It’s so much easier to edge highlight a helmet without a body getting in the way.

I have chosen to paint the helmets blue, partly for variety and partly for fluff reasons. The Sauroters are an Ultramarine successor chapter and that’s how the Ultramarines do it. Also, I like paining blue and it fits with my analogous color scheme.

This is actually the second attempt at these helmets. The first was OK but the blending on the tops of the helmets and the eyes weren’t good enough so I stripped them and started again. Second time around however, I over sprayed the undercoat and cloged some detail on some models. Nevermind; next time.

While I was paining I found the Vallejo Ice Blue really thin. To the extent that it was hard to paint with. I tried shaking it real good but to no avail. I considered thickening it on the pallette by using dry retarder but decided I should probably try to just fix the problem. I tried using a glass bead as a paint agitator. It seemed to do the trick.

As always the eyes drove me nuts. The best method for me seems to be basecoating and shading as normal and then adding a thin line of white. This needs to be thinned down with some medium. Then a glaze over the top. I find it impossible to do anything else consistently or well.

I am using 30k Tactical Marines from the Betrayal at Calth boxset. This is because I have bought some resin heavy weapons from Forgeworld. The static poses suit the heavy weapons and I much prefer the MKIV marines to the MKVII devastators. I like the crenelations on the latter’s armour but they are just too ostentatious, the weapons in the box set look stupid and there are only five in a box.

By next week I hope to have finished the armour.

Sauroter Tactical Squad

Here are some pictures of the first troops choice for my Sauroters Chapter Battle Demi Company:

1-tactical-squad

2-tactical-marine

3-tactical-backpack

4-heavy-weapon

5-flamer

6-magnet

7-melta

8-plasma

9-backpack

10-sergeant

Design

I have placed the squad number on the right knee plate. In the 30K fluff this is where the Legion number is displayed but that doesn’t make sense to me. It seems more reasonable that the limited space for markings would be better used for a squad marking. Especially as the Chapter Symbol is already displayed on the left shoulder paulron. So, color denotes the Company and the numeral denotes the squad. I will carry on the theme with subsequent squads.

Modelling

I found the converting a bit easier this time around. I have a bit more experience working with plastic and resin. Also, I found the 30K marines a lot easier to work with. Mainly because of the wrist armour which provides a lot of surface area for gluing. I have also taken to applying super glue with a cocktail stick which is much more controllable. I also invested in an electric drill which made drilling out barrels etc. much easier and consistent.

Painting

The basic scheme is green with copper. Blue is an accent color and is used on the eyes and some of the grenades. The squad was batch painted to what I think is a decent tabletop standard. It took a fairly long time but that’s fine. Painting is a hobby for me. I think any subsequent squads will be probably be painted much quicker.

I experimented with pin washing, that is I applied Agrax Earthshade over a gloss varnish coat. I like the effect but it didn’t work particulalrly well. The flow of the wash was insufficient and I pretty much rushed through. Also the pin wash was the last in a lot of layers so detail may have been clogged. Next time I will try with thinned oil paint.

  • Armour ~ Panzer Aces Russian Tank Crew (326). Highlighted with Panzer Aces Russian Tank Crew Highlight (330). Glazed with GW Waywatcher Green.
  • Left pauldron ~ Vallejo Brass (70.801)
  • Bolters ~ Vallejo Black Metal(71.073). Drybrushed with  Vallejo Steel (71.065)
  • Holsters ~ Vallejo Air Cammo Black Brown (71.042). Drybrushed with Vallejo Flat Earth (70.983)
  • Kopis ~  Vallejo Brass  (70.801). Washed with GW Agrax Earthshade
  • Eyes ~  GW Agrax Earthshade. Vallejo Deep Sky Blue (70.844).
  • Right knee pad ~  Vallejo Khaki  (70.988). Highlighted with  Vallejo Iraqui Sand  (70.819)

You’ll notice that they are not based yet. I am not planning to base anything until the whole army is finished. I want to try an achieve a  consistent look and I really haven’t decided how they’ll be based yet.

Decals

As usual, I had a bit of trouble with the decal. I want to have a consistent command squad marking for my HQ choices. This replaces the embossed iconography that is very common with GW and Forgeworld. I have seen coflicting advice (icluding on the Vallejo website) about the order in which to use Decal Medium and Decal Fix. It took a couple of attempts to get right.

I started by applying a thin coat of GW ‘Ard Coat to the surface I was applying the decal to. Once it was dry, I applied a small amount of Decal Medium to the surface. I softened the decal in clean water for about 30 seconds. I positioned the decal and then covered it in a thin coat of Medium. Once it was completely dry, I applied Decal Fix and left it to dry overnight. Finally I sealed the decal with matt varnish.

I am very pleased with the overall result but there are a few things I’d like to improve. I had a lot of difficulty with the eyes. I don’t particularly like the finish but it’ll do. I realized too late that I should have started by painting the eyes. It would have been much easier. I also went a bit overboard on weathering the squad markings on the shoulder pauldrons. I was having fun and just got carried away.

My biggest regret is deciding to add the kopis after I have finished painting the models and had varnished them. The gluing didn’t go well, the paint job was pretty sloppy and when I varnished them again, I ended up with slight frosting. They looked a lot better before I went back and started messing with them, so lesson learned I guess.

Betrayal at Calth

GW-BETRAYAL-AT-CALTH
Image from: Games Workshop

Shortly after I started this blog Games Workshop released the Betrayal at Calth boxset. It seems like a good deal but space is at a real premium for me. I also can’t see myself wanting to paint 30 pretty much identical spacemarines. Also, I much prefer the classic Dreadnought to the Contempter and I’ve never been a fan of Terminators, Cataphractii or otherwise.

I do really like the MKIV armour though. So, I bought a single tactical squad from an ebay seller. The sprue is really nice. I really like the bolter guns. The barrel lines up with whatever the part that ejects spent cartridges is called. That’s something that had bugged me since Veteran Sergeant pointed out why it doesn’t make sense on his blog.

I am going to paint this squad as a veteran squad. I am imagining that Sauroters veterans get access to earlier marks of armour as a badge of rank. This should also add a bit of variety to my collection and give me a bit of variety in my painting too.

I like that GW included enough combat blades for a WYSIWYG squad, but I don’t like the blades themselves. They are too big and can’t be mounted behind the shoulder as I intend. They also won’t fit well in addition to grenades, pistols and pouches. It’s telling that very, very few painted models, even from Games Workshop TV, include the combat blades. So, I’ll be using the 3D-printed Kopis I mentioned in an earlier post.

I like the MKIV backpacks better than the MKVII from the Tactical Squad boxset although I still much prefer the backpacks from Anvil Industries. So, I’ll use the resin backpacks for the tactical and special weapons marines. I’ll use the MKVII backpacks for the Sergeant and heavy weapon marine. I’ll be using MKIV backpacks on my HQ choices so that should provide some visual continuity.

Im comparison with the 40K tactical box set, I find the poses a bit static. However, I like how the arms attach to hands holding weapons. The extended wrist armour gives a nice surface for gluing and a much neater looking result. However, that also make it very difficult to change aiming poses. So, I think it’s back to (the cheaper) MKVII for subsequent squads.

Librarians

FW-LIBRARIAN
Image from: ForgeWorld.co.uk

I wanted to include a Librarian in my collection as an alternative HQ. However, I’m not a big fan of parts of the GW aesthetic. I don’t really like the chapter specific iconography and I find some of the general embellishments a bit over the top. In particular, the horned skull on the Librarian pauldrons and greaves, reminds me of the Desperate Dan’s cow pies.

Initially I ordered the librarian from the Assault on Black Reach boxset. I didn’t like the non helmeted head and there was a fair amount of Dark Angels and Dandy iconography on it but I really liked the pose of the outstretched hand. So I set about ‘converting’ it.

With my first attempt I manages to cut off the fingers while taking it off the sprue. So, I ordered another. I practiced taking off the iconography on the first model. I very quickly realized I was not going to be able to do it so I decided not to worry about it. Then I discovered the Magister Sevrin Loth miniature from Forgeworld. I really like the Mark IV power armor, so I ordered one from ebay.

I ordered it from an ebay seller. I was really impressed with how quickly it turned up and the packaging was really excellent. I would definately recommend them.

The miniature I ordered only included the body, not the arms or weapons. That suited me fine because they were chapter specific. I also intended to add the arm from the Black Reach Librarian. However, I made a real mess of it. In the end I went with a standard Mark VII arm with pointing hand and a spare chainsword arm from a Forgeworld Apothecary. The post looks a bit ‘come at me bro’ but it’s fine. I imagine Librarians to be a bit unstable anyway.

In terms of fluff Librarians are supposed to have a power weapon. On one hand I like the idea of a hazard striped chainsword. On the other, I would like a power sword or perhaps a lightning claw. The problem is, that the weapon hand is the right hand and melee weapons usually come attached to a right hand. It wouldn’t be too hard to covert something, so I’m going to think about it for a while.

Another reason for including a Librarian is that I really enjoy painting blue. I’d like to go for a lighter blue than with my Ultramarines. Blue should also provide a bit of variety in amongst all of the Sauroters green. I might go for red helmet lenses on all of my HQ models, except the Techmarine, just to provide a bit of visual continuity.

Chaplains

GW-CASSIUS
Image from: wh40k.lexicanum.com

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had ordered some heads from DragonForge.com. The heads have arrived and they are great. I don’t have any experience of working with pewter and they seem really heavy duty in comparison to resin and particularly plastic. I had been intending to use one of the heads to convert a the Chaplain mini from the Deathwatch Overkill box set. But then inspiration struck.

I thought why not simple paint a skull onto a helmet? Not an original idea I’m sure. In fact I found several tutorials. In particular, I liked this video from MiniWarGaming.com. I really like their content and in fact, I am a subscriber to their Vault (a paid membership). So, I went ahead and painted a skull helm, using a helmet from the Betrayal at Calth box set. I am pretty pleased with the results and I’ll post pictures when the rest of the miniature is painted.

Painting black is supposed to be tricky. Highlighting with grey seems to be fine, although I imagine it would be overpowering if overused. I will be painting the trim and various armour embellishments in a metallic or bone scheme. So, I don’t think the black will be a very dominant color in the overall color scheme.

I am not a fan of OSL effects, unless they are really subtle. I like the look of burnt metal effects and other weathering, but not the really bright plasma effects that seem so popular. As my Chaplain is in a running pose, I will not be painting the jump pack as if it is on. Rather as if he is about to take off.

I considered the idea of magnetizing the helmet and head so I could use them as a kind of wound marker. I still like the idea but I think it might be a bit much. I want the option to give the Chaplain a jump pack, in case I want to add an assault squad to my collection. I am worried that too many magnets, too close together, will affect each other. So, I have magnetized the back pack called it a day.

I ordered a jump pack from a bits seller on ebay. I was pretty satisfied with the seller although it’s a good idea to pay for the better packaging if the model is delicate. It’s not advertised as better packaging, rather as the expidated option. My model arrived slightly broken but the sculpt has so many delicate details, it’s difficult to imagine how it could be avoided.

I’m not sure exactly how it will fit on the model I have. It’s very hard to judge from the pictures. The model’s pose is pretty dynamic but neither arms are upraised so I think everything will fit.