Motivation

mr-motivator
A missing Primarch?

How do you stay motivated? Personally a combination of progress and results seems to do the trick for me. Recently I had a real dip in motivation. To the extent that I considered giving up on the whole Sauroters project. I’m not sure why really and it seemed to come out of the blue. That got me thinking.

I tend to do batch painting. I find it quite satisfying as well as a more efficient use of time. I have noticed however, that there is a definite limit to how big batches can be. I have tried painting 10 man squads in batches. I find it takes most of a day to finish. Towards the end it starts to feel like a bit of a chore, rather than a hobby and I tend to make decisions or mistakes that end up reducing my satisfaction with the result.

I also find painting large areas of flat colour very tedious. Consequently, I tend to rush and apply the paint to thickly. Again, this effects the end result. A good example was the Proteus Pattern II missile launchers. They have a deceptively large surface area and I found painting five took a lot longer than I expected. I was really trying to just finish the last couple, add a wash and call it a day. When I came back the next day, to do the highlights, I found the finish was patchy and I had missed some spots altogether.

Although, to date I have completed over thirty Space Marines, only 10 of them are Sauroters. Plus, I am not intending to include that squad in my Demi Company, mainly because they are not quite up to the standard that I want. This means that I haven’t made much progress towards my goal. I think this was responsible for the dip in my motivation.

My current feeling is that the painting I have done up to now was really just learning how to model, paint, convert etc. I am now ready to complete the project to a standard I am happy with. So, I’m feeling motivated again. I think in my personal case there seems to be a sudden hump to get over in any of the projects I do. Once I push through it I’m fine again.

Due to the sudden fall of Sterling I have been able to order most of what I need in one go. From various ebay sellers I have ordered 2 Betrayal at Calth sprues, 1 Burning of Prospero Sprue and one box of five Assault Marines. That gives me enough models to create 1 10 man Devastator Squad, three Tactical Squads and one Assault Squad. I also have a Librarian, a Tech Marine and an Apothecary. I want to replace my Chaplain and add a Captain.

The plan is to clip everything of the sprues and clean them up. Then assemble everything into sub assemblies and prime them all together. Then I’ll batch paint everything in groups of five until they’re all done. Rather than batch paint models I’ll batch  paint elements. I’ll do all the backpacks, then helmets, then weapons etc. That way I should be able to get a really consistent look and stay motivated. Personally doing a bunch of backpacks isn’t boring as long as I’m making progress and the finish is good. I’m really looking forward to it.

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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.

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 Chaplain

1-chaplain-front

2-chaplain-plasma

3-chaplain-crozius-arcanum

4-chaplain-back

5-chaplain-back-magnet

6-chaplain-front-jump-pack

7-chaplain-plasma-jump-pack

8-chaplain-crozius-arcanum-jump-pack

9-chaplain-back-jump-pack

 crozius-arcanum

Modelling

  • The body of the model is from the Deathwatch: Overkill boxset.
  • The helmet is from the Betrayal at Calth boxset.
  • The jump pack is from the Vanguards Veteran set.
  • The left shoulder pauldron was a custom order from a Shapeways seller.
  • The backpacks are magnetized using 1 x 3mm rare earth magnets.
  • The right arm is from the Betrayal at Calth boxset.
  • The plasma pistol is from the Tactical Squad boxset.

I found converting the backpacks relatively easy. I used two magnets for the backpack and three for the jump pack. I find the easiest method is to drill a hole and glue the first magnet. Usually this is the magnet in the body of the miniature. Next, I put the second magnet on the first and drill the hole in the secondary piece. Then, I apply glue to the second magnet using a cocktail stick. Finally I offer up the secondary piece to the second magnet. When the glue is dry I can pull the pieces and the magnets apart. This way the magnets will sit flush and I am less likely to get the polarity wrong.

Painting

The basic scheme is black. I went about it by applying very watered down coats of black over grey primer. Detail which then showed through was either left as it was or picked out in GW Eshin Grey. The armour was then tidied up with Vallejo Game Colour Black.

  • Armour ~ Vallejo Black (), highlighted with Eshin Grey
  • Left pauldron ~ Vallejo xxxx ()
  • Plasma Pistol~ Vallejo Black Metal (71.073), washed with GW Nuln Oil, highlighted with  Vallejo Gunmetal Grey (71.065)
  • Crozius Arcanum ~ Vallejo Brass (), highlighted with Vallejo Gold () and Vallejo Silver()
  • Leather~ undercoated with Vallejo Cammo Black Brown (), washed with GW Agrax Earthshade and Highlighted with Vallejo Flat Earth () mixed with white.
  • Book~  Vallejo Hull red (). Washed with GW Carrobourg Crimson and highlighted with Vallejo xxxx ()
  • Eyes ~  Vallejo xxxx  () sheded with GW Agrax Earthshade.

 

Overall I’m pleased with the result. I particularly like the way the handle of the Crozius Arcanum came out. It looks like soft leather. I regret not spending a bit more time and care on highlighting the wings of the Crozius Arcanum though. I feel I could have done a better job. I’m also not satisfied with the eyes. I have since developed a method I’m happy with, when I was painting this model I couldn’t do anything I was satisfied with so I just did almost solid red.

I have decided to make it a rule not to go back and add anything once a model is varnished. I’d prefer to just try to improve on the next model. In this way I hope to see a solid progression in the quality I can achieve. It’s also motivating to try and get it right the first time. I rushed through the Crozius Arcanum because I was tired and wanted to get it finished. I would have been better off simply stopping and picking it up another day. It’s a hobby after all and should be relaxing not stressful.

You’ll notice that it is 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.

Also, I haven’t painted the detail he is standing on. Partly this is because I haven’t decided on a basing scheme but mainly because I will probably cut this piece away. I want to have a base where he is running up stairs. This should give a more dynamic look. Especially with the jump pack attached. It will also break the monotony of all the HQ choices having one leg up on something.

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.

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.