Assault Squad Torsos

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I have completed the base coating and some shading on the torsos of the Assault squad. I thought the torsos were a good place to start because they wont be particularly visible under the jump packs. I am fairly pleased with the way they turned out.

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I began by basecoating in xxxx then applying highlights with 2:1 xxxx to xxxx. Then 1:1 xxxx to xxxx. Then 1:2 xxxx to xxxx. Finally I applied an edge highlight of 1:2 xxxxto xxxx mixed with xxxx.

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The harnesses were painted in Vallejo Model Air Black Metal and drybrushed with  Vallejo Model Air Gun Metal.

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The kneepads were painted in Game Color Iraqui Sand over Game Color Khaki. The white is meant to signify the company, in this case the 4th. The numeral signifies the squad, in this case VII is the first of two Assault Squads in the 4th Company. I used Vallejo Decal Medium and Decal Fix. The decals went on fine but the surfaces were pretty flat.

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Once the basecolors were established I sealed the models with a couple of coats of gloss varnish before I applied the washes. This worked really well. The washed flowed into the recesses and there was little to no staining. The green armour was pin-washed with GW Athenian Camoshade. The harnesses were washed with GW Nuln Oil and the Wings on the chests with GW Agrax Earhtshade. I decided to color the wings gold to signify that they are assault troops.

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I did some light chipping effects with Vallejo Air Cammo Black Brown.

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I am happy with the way they turned out but there are a couple of areas I want to improve. First, the highlights, especially the edge highlights were a bit sloppy. It won’t be so visible on these guys but it’s something I want to do better on the jump packs and definately on the tactical squads.

Second, the varnish. I used a cheap rattle can of varnish from Daiso. It was what I had to hand. It went on really thick which didn’t help the details much. I need to get a better quality varnish, probably something from Tamiya as it’s easy to get here.

Also, the armour lacks contrast. The Cammoshade isn’t dark enough and applying several coats seems like it’d be tedious. So I’ve ordered the Weathering Set for Green Vehicles from AK interactive. It includes the Dark Brown Wash for Green Vehicles which is an enamel wash. I will be able to apply it over a gloss varnish and then remove it with a cotton bud. You can see it in action over Space Marine armour here, on the Dr Faust’s Painting Clinic YouTube channel.

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Sauroter Apothecary

1-front

2-narthecium

3-chainsword

4-back

5-helmet

Modelling

  • The body of the model is from the Forgeworld Apothecary Set.
  • The right shoulder pauldron is from the Betrayal at Calth boxset.
  • The left shoulder pauldron was a custom order from a Shapeways seller.

The cast of this model was a little rough. Some of the detail was a little blurred and it was sometimes difficult to decide whether something was a mold line or the edge of an armor plate. That said, there is a lot of great detail. I particularly liked the multi-lens eye piece which has a cable running down the back of the helmet.

The model features a lot of cabling. The moulding is interesting. The pipes and cables are often in high relief.  It’s hard to explain but the cables have more depth than meets the eye. Often extending far back into the body of the miniature.It makes sense really. It would be very difficult and fragile a detail was not attached to a miniature all along it’s length. In these cases I simply painted the extra resin with Vallejo Air Cammo Black Brown to create shadow.

I decided not to use the Forgeworld shoulder pauldron. The iconography is way over the top. As with the Chplain I have decided to leave it blank. The color of the armor and the equipment make the specialization obvious without the need for Desperate Dan style wings sticking out of the side of the model’s shoulder.

Painting

The basic scheme is a warm white. Dr Faut’s Painting Clinic has a great tutorial on painting white. This model doesn’t have any grenades so I painted some of the cabling blue, the accent color for the Sarotuer paint scheme. I used different metals on the various bottles and canisters to try and provide a bit of variety.

I was particularly pleased with how the large lens on the helmet turned out. It’s a great part of the model and a bit of a focal point. I have struggled to get a result I am satisfied with in past attempts with other models. I now have a technique I like.

First I base coated the lens in Vallejo Iraqui Sand. Then applied Vallejo Dead White leaving a small ring of Iraqui Sand. I then added GW Waywatcher Green Glaze. I quickly dried my brush and used it to remove some of the glaze from the center of the lens. I glazed over the center with Vallejo Flat Yellow and then added a dot of Dead White to the top right of the lens. Finally I carefully added some GW Nuln Oil to the inside edge of the lens casing.

  • Armour ~ Vallejo xxxx ().
  • Left pauldron ~ Vallejo xxxx ()
  • Plasma Pistol~ Vallejo Black Metal (71.073). Drybrushed with  Vallejo Steel (71.065)
  • Medicae-Systems ~ Vallejo xxxx ()
  • Leather~ Vallejo xxxx (). Drybrushed with Vallejo xxxx ()
  • Narthecium ~  Vallejo xxxx  (). Washed with GW Agrax Earthshade
  • Eye ~  GW Agrax Earthshade. Vallejo xxxx  ().
  • Right knee pad ~  Vallejo xxxx  (). Highlighted with  Vallejo xxxx  ()

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, the model has a kind of peg on the bottom of one foot. This is the attachment for a kind of rubble element he is standing on. I will probably remove it and have the model’s feet flush on the base but I haven’t decided yet.

 

Sauroter Tactical Squad

First troops choice painted and ready for basing.

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.

Basing

NECROMUNDA
Image from: olivercates on Pinterest

How to base miniatures is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about. I still haven’t come up with a satisfactory answer. I have seen some really great themed bases. But when those themed bases, say a snow theme, is placed on a table top with a different theme, or an army with differently themed bases, the result is incongruous.

Sometimes, for example Death Korps of Kreig, people go a little overboard. A base drowning in mud distracts from the miniature. Sometimes, for example Salamanders, the bases don’t make much sense. How can anyone stand on magma? Even in terminator armour. I want something that compliments, or at least doesn’t clash with, my color scheme. I also want something that makes sense fluff wise and will work with different tabletops.

I considered using clear bases with the rim painted black. The effect is striking but subtle. The problem is that clear bases are not much fun and so many miniatures come moulded with elements attached to their feet, you still have the same problem. Also, unless I pin the models to the bases, which might be very noticeable, they will snap off every time they are dropped. Also, I guess that the clear plastic will eventually pick up dirt and scratches, ruining the effect.

I considered buying some aftermarket bases. The problem is that I don’t really like what I have seen. Some of it is OK but for the price, I want to be a bit more excited about them. Also, scenic bases come in sets and most sets only have a few good bases and are pretty derivative in general.

So, given that this is a hobby, I think I’d like to make my own bases. That leaves me with the same problem of theme.  In the future, I’d like to make some terrain and that will almost certainly be classic ruined city terrain. So, I think that, given the grimdark nature of the 40K universe, urban bases are probably the way to go.

Also, after this small Sauroters force is completed, I would like to collect some other factions. Specifically, the Genestealer Brood from the Deathwatch Overkill boxset and some Death Korps of Kreig. To round it out to four, I’d also like to create a Chaos warband. So, I’d like to have complementary bases for each faction.

The Genestealer Brood features a model with a very elaborate base; a Patriarch crouching on a pipe. So, a kind of Underhive, Necromundaesque theme seems appropriate. I want to paint the DKoK in a light blue WWI French theme. I’m imagining them as a kind of sinister UN style paramilitary force doing urban clearance. So, a war-torn city theme seems to fit. As, for the Chaos warband, I’m really not sure yet.

For my Sauroters I would like a dark color scheme for their bases. So, I think I’m going to go with stone. The kind of flagstones a fortress monastery might have. I am thinking black rather than grey and well worn. I have found a tutorial I like from Dr Faust’s Painting Clinic which can be seem here.

I’ll post some pictures when the bases are painted.

Apothecaries

FW-APOTHECARY
Image from: ForgeWorld.co.uk

I really like the fluff of Apothecaries so I want to include one in my collection. I am not sure if I would include them in an army list though. They seem a bit superfluous. Perhaps there is a formation that takes advantage of them. I think a command squad includes an Apothecary but I prefer to go light on HQ choices.

Forgeworld offers a great Apothecary model. Oddly, you buy a set of two. I am not sure why this is. Why would you need two? One of them has MKII Iron armour. So, I bought the set from an ebay seller with the intention of using the MKII variant as a Techmarine. The sculpts are really nice but they both have their foot up on something, as have just about every HQ choice. It’s not a problem per se, but it is a little comical.

 

I like painting white and I am intending to use a warm white colour scheme. There is a great tutorial from Dr Faust’s Painting Clinic, which you can find here. I really like this channel and in fact, I support it on Patreon. There is a ton of great content. For instance there is more than one tutorial on white.

I am thinking about painting the tabbard as leather. I plan on doing the same with the Techmarine model. I think it looks a little more brutal than cloth, given the Apothecaries duties. Also, like many Forgeworld products, the cloth features embossed iconography. It seems odd to me that cloth on a combat uniform would be heavily embroidered but the idea of embossed leather seems suitably utilitarian.