Drop pods are deceptively large models and it took quite some time to get this model ready for priming. The digital camo scheme was done with styencils from Anarchy Models. There is a good tutorial on Beasts of War which can be seen here.
I have an urban theme for the bases of my Sauroters army but I didn’t want to do a grey digital camo. I wanted something a bit more mediterranian so I went with Tamiya Olive Drab (TS-28) and Tamiya Wooden Deck Tan (TS-68). The light green is Highlight Russian Tank Crew II (70.330), which is also the highlight color for Sauroter power armour.
I contacted Anarchy Models to ask if I could use rattlecans with their stencils. They recommended car primers rather than the Tamiya line. This is because the Tamiya cans have quite a heavy flow. You tend to get a ridge building up at the edge of layers. I didn’t mind that but if you were doing a lot of weathering it might be a problem.
The doors were a little tricky to fit. Three fit fine, one is almost perfect and one is a bit reluctant to fully close. I can live with it. I think I could have gotten a better fit if I have assembled it before painting but that would have made the painting process really difficult.
I enjoyed assembling and painting this kit a lot more than I though I would. In fact, I’d really like to do a Dreadclaw. Maybe in a future project. Incidentally this is the first model I’ve posted in a hobby Facebook group. The post can be seen here
So, having completed forty models and various parts I am no closer to my goal of a full battle demi company. This is due to the fact that thirty of the the forty are Ultramarines and the 10 Sauroters are not quite up to the standard I want. That said, I have learned how to assemble, model, convert and paint to a standard I am satisfied with so I’m now ready to tackle the project. So I’ve made a plan.
The first step was to buy the models I need. From ebay sellers I purchased four tactical squads. Two Betrayal at Calth sprues, one Burning of Prospero sprues and a MKVII sprue. I also bought an Assualt Squad sprue. That gives me enough models for 3 10-man tactical squads, 2 5-man Devastator Squads, 1 Assault Squad and a 5-man Command Squad. The Command Squad was put together by kitbashing leftovers from the sprues plus 5 sets of legs from my original Ultramarines Devastators.
The next step is to clip all of the parts off the sprues and group them into individual sets. As I have mentioned before, I want to be as WYSIWYG as possible. So, I will also need to supplement the sprues with parts from my bits box. The goal is to have a small baggy for each model containing each of the bits required to build it. For models like sergeants, this will include all of the weapons options. The leftover bits will go into my bits box.
Next I’ll need to clean up all the parts. I have heard several people mention how good the GW seam scraper is. I can use a knife just fine but it is a little dangerous and there is always the possibility of cutting into the miniature so I might get one. I am also going to get some Vallejo plastic putty for gap filling, particularly on the jump packs.
After that comes the modelling. I like to use sub-assemblies so I won’t be fully assembling my miniatures. I’ll be leaving the backpacks, helmets and arms carrying weapons of the bodies. These will be mounted on skewers for undercoating. I’ll also need to do the magnetization at this stage. Arms for the sergeants and hands for the special weapons guys. I’ll also be drilling all the barrels on all the weapons.
Everything will be primed with a Tamiya undercoat. I am planning to preshade the miniatures by first priming from below in black and then from above in grey. If I can keep subsequent layers thin, I should be able to achieve a decent look. Preshading is subtle but really does add something to the finished product if subcequent layers are thin.
Painting will be done in batches. I have noticed that I tend to get frustrated and sloppy if I paint for too long. What should be a hobby becomes a chore. My satisfaction really depends on a good result so I will be painting in small batches of 5 for miniatures and 10 for sub-assemblies. I am going to limit myself to one batch per session and concentrate on getting the best result possible.
The final step will be basing the models. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ll be using a base stamp and green stuff for basing. With the assault marines I’m planning to use transparent acrylic bases with black painted rims. I haven’t decided what color to paint the rims of the plastic bases but it will probably be black or grey. Everything will then be varnished with two coats of Tamiya Flat Clear.
A first draft of a color scheme. Created using the Space Marine Painter. The left pouldron is bronze. The rest of the armour is intended to be a terracotta color. I intend something a bit more desaturated. The choice of color will also depend on what Tamiya rattlecan colors are available for basecoating. I’d also like a Vallejo model air color for highlights mainly due to the very thin consistency of the paint.
Update: Having since completed highlighting my Ultramarines I have changed my mind on the Sauroters color scheme. I am going with green rather than orange. I really enjoyed painting blue and I think I’ll get a similar result with green. Green will also make it easier to keep to a complimentary overall scheme.
Specifically I have chosen Vallejo Panzer Aces Russian Tank Crew and it’s highlight. These colors are designed to work together and I want to try and get a good blend through several layers. I’ll also be able to use blue for the helmet lenses.
I also intend to paint all the layers with a brush. I will split the models into several sub-assemblies and batch paint them. This should make the painting less tedious.
This project is not my first attempt at modelling and painting Space Marines. In fact, that attempt is not actually finished. I have painted (apart from highlights) three squads. Two tacticals and a devastator squad. I had intended to paint a 1000 point Ultramarines army, but as I finished the base coats, inspiration struck and the Sauroters were born.
I am quite pleased with how the Ultramarines have turned out so far and I learned a lot in the process. I’ll put some pictures in a later post. The main lessons I’ll be applying to the Sauroters project are:
Remove all mould lines as completely as possible
Don’t try to remove small moulded details unless they are really irritating
Undercoat in grey (Tamiya) primer
Use as many subassemblies as possible
Paint the helmet lenses first
I’m looking forward to doing this. Modelling space marines is very satisfying unless it’s drilling out barrels. It’s something I think you really need to do but I find very difficult to get right. I’ve ruined quite a few weapons trying to do it. Although, I’ve found once they are painted it’s difficult to tell which ones are off-center so that takes a lot of the pressure off. There are also a few things I will be trying for the first time:
Base coating the armour with a Tamiya undercoat spray
Using Vallejo black metal for weapons.
Edge highlighting weapons with graphite.
Using a pinwash to pick out rivets and other details
Of these, the base coating probably seems the weirdest. I just found basecoating armour with a brush really tedious. Boredom led to mistakes, which led to touch ups, which led to paint being too thickly applied, which led to detail being obscured. And a few things I need to research/ practice more thoroughly:
How to model realistic poses
How to magnetize
How to paint lenses
How to paint bronze
How to paint hazard stripes
Hazard stripes have been particularly difficult to paint to the standard I want. Mainly because I thought hazard striped chainswords were the coolest thing in 40k when I was twelve. Having tried a few times and a few methods I think black pen on yellow paint is the way to go. I’ll also try scoring guide lines in.
I think I’d like to make them a bit of a reoccurring feature. Not just chainswords but also on my Devastators. I’d like to add stripes to the front of the missile launchers. Just above the end of the barrel. Also to the servo harness of my Techmarine. More on him in a later post.