Monday, February 28, 2011

Blood Angels Terminators, Death Company, and Astorath

The pictures did not make it in order as I uploaded them, so bare with me! I have a load of details still to paint, but I love the way the terminators are turning out. I've had so much fun with them that I painted a bunch of units to accompany them, but more on that later. The unit consists of 3 space hulk terminators, three regular terminators, and a chaplain model that I have just started. The key element of this whole process has been the use of my air brush for armor shading. Basically, I prime the models black, and then layer on small amounts of paint, working from dark to light top down. Not everything has been easy though. I have found it difficult to paint the crux terminatus, and the storm shield. I don't have a clue why it seems so difficult to me, but those items are just not up to par with the rest of the painting. On the terminator above I have not even attempted the SS yet!

I used the air brush for more than just shading the armor. I am shading all power weapons using it, which is producing such a rich color on the models. It seems to help tie them into the librarian as well which is helpful. Lightning claws are really difficult to air brush though, so I am going to have to go back and look up softening some of the blends. The problem is that I am not sure how to do that, since the paint is so thin each time I touch it I damage it a little.

I added little details on the non space hulk terminators in order to BA-ify them a bit. It isn't much, but it does distinguish them a little bit from the regular models.

This photo is out of order, but the shading on the power claws can be seen pretty clearly, including the left claw that is slightly sup-par. Since I had one unit in the can and I wanted to paint a bunch of other units using the air brush I decided to batch paint all of my black models. I painted lemartes, a foot slogging chaplain, a terminator chaplain, Asteroth's wings, and 5 death company. Most of the minis are in the pre-wash but shaded state, but I think the airbrush is going to end up being the MVP here.

The final step for all of the black models is going to be a diluted black wash with a little flow aid mixed in. I tried this on a test model, and it toned down the grey shading quite nicely, while also shading the details. I am trying to paint all of the details that could benefit from a black wash first, and will then go back and finish those remaining.

I could not resist a shot of the mostly completed death star!

Red is where the air brush shading is really having an effect. Since I had shaded Asteroth's wings dark grey, I had to paint his red torso. Since I batch paint when using the air brush I threw mephiston and corbulo into the mix as well. If you look at brother Corbulo's legs, the shading is really evident.

I am thrilled with the way the wings turned out. By angling the air brush so the paint stream hit the raised edges of the feathers. This provided instant shading. Throw in a slowly lightening up of the color and I had the wings shown below.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This is my death star. There are many like it, but this one is mine.... My BA terminators are progressing well. I love the red armor tones from the air brush, and decided to attempt the same kind of color gradation on the power claws using dark blue to white. I used note cards as paint shields and gave it a shot. The claws turned out ok, but I really should touch them up, as the paper left clean lines where it was torn. In any case I am really pleased with my first squad, and can't wait to get it completed. I supposed it absurd to have a force with BA terminators lead by Librarian in a land raider, and an assault squad + priest, plus librarian dread on a storm raven, but I am going for it!

Monday, February 21, 2011


My latest painting spree has lead me to a new recipe for red. Basically I followed the same path as with my librarian, but with earth tones. The recipe might seem complex, but basically I just keep adding color into the air brush pot as I go along, which is why there are so many mixtures listed below. This is all about laziness, since I don't like cleaning the air brush once I am in a painting groove.

  1. Air brush dark flesh leaving some areas black
  2. Air brush dark flesh + gore red
  3. Air brush gore red
  4. Air brush blood red
  5. Air brush blood red + blazing orange
  6. Air brush blazing orange
  7. Air brush 50/50 baal red + water
The next step is to mix acrylic thinner + flow aid, and darkflesh+chaos black into a solution to darken up the recesses.

The really nice thing about the flow aid, is that it keeps the pigment from bleeding out along the areas being lined. It also dries slowly, so over paint can be easily wiped off with a damp brush.

Ron, if you are reading this, I want you to know how much your site has meant to me. I have already hit up your new 'less is more' blog and am looking forward to your posts! The Armageddon project is pretty big, and I am looking forward to working with you again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Transfers the Easy Way: You were all right!

After doing a pretty poor job putting transfers on my dreadnought a few of you suggested I use gloss varnish along with microsol and microset. You were right! I did not have gloss varnish, but I used GW 'ardcoat, followed by microset on the shoulder, followed by microsol on the transfer. I could not be more pleased! The transfer has none of the weird air bubble discoloration that the dread had. I should have been using gloss varnish a long time ago! The only downside is that I had to use testors dull coat, which after a mishap a while back has left me fully in the camp of those who do not varnish models at all!

I should listen to other people's advice more often!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

BA Terminator Librarian

After having so much fun painting the BA dread and the jump pack Sergeant, I thought I would take a stab at one of the the Space Hulk miniatures. This guy will either lead the Land Raider assault, or the Storm Raven assault (picked up a Storm Raven last night!). I used a lot of air brushing on this guy, which I am really proud of. The base is one of the resin bases, I have been tinkering with, and works well with the pose this guy comes in. I have a red micro-pen which I plant to use to mark up the prayer sheet on his leg, and on his magical tome. I would like to make the marking look like cuneiform, but so far my practice markings have not worked out very well. I have the FW BA transfers, but I need to wait until I have some gloss varnish before I try them again. I mucked up part of the libby dread and I don't want a repeat of that. (I used microsol and microset, but they still went on poorly)

When I went to the GW store yesterday I spent some time looking at the Armies on Parade contest. I really want to participate in it, but have never made an army display board. June 25th seems kind of close if I want to really lavish time on the Army. If I want to take BA, then I will have to completely redo my army with my new style. I was thinking though that a lessor known chapter might make a bigger splash.

Color Schemes for Marines (BA,DA or just turned Chaos)
  • Pastel Green / light Purple with gold trim (just turned or turning to Chaos)
  • DA green / Bleached Bone (DA successor)
  • flesh Tearers
  • Blood Red / Bleached Bone (BA successor)
  • My Iron Scythes scheme with new models (and painted this decade!) I could also cast some roman crests to add to their helmets.
Units I would like to include:
  • Storm Raven
  • Rhino
  • Land Speeder
  • Jump pack troops
  • Tactical Squad
  • Dreadnought
  • Terminators
  • Hanger bay with rearmament vehicles, servitors, and chapter serfs preparing the drop ships. (storm raven in this case)
  • Hive city ruins with flying units up top and ground units driving through rubble.
  • broken up desert battlefield with destroyed ultramarines vehicles, and dead strewn about. The bright blue would add a striking color, and it is always fun seeing another chapter picking up the pieces. A few live ultramarines could be in consultation with the BA relief force. That would let me integrate red and blue and not have my librarians sticking out so much.
Just some ideas.... How much of a diorama is needed on these boards? Does anyone know? Should I repaint my Squat army instead?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finished Blood Angels Dread & WIP Sergeant

I finished up the Dreadnought, baring matte varnish. I think I am going to avoid transfers until I find a better way to put them on. I am getting a lot of air pockets despite the surface being extremely smooth. In any event, I love how the dread turned out.

I used the same techniques to paint up the special order Sergeant from GW. I was not thrilled with the mini at first, but now that I see it painted and interspersed with a squad, I really like the way the pose stands out. The new plastics have loads of detail, but less character pose wise. This guy has it all. I tried a new way to paint his power sword, and I think I am hooked. Lost of small passes with an air brush and I have the best blade I have painted! I finished and based the model a few hours ago, and started on the BA librarian from the Space Hulk game. I'll post some photos tomorrow of him. It turns out one of my custom resin bases is perfect for his pose. It almost looks like the base and the model were made for each other!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kit Bashed Librarian Dreadnought Part 2

I am beginning to really like this paint job. I think the trick is the black undercoat + air brushed blood red. It gives the model such rich tones, while keeping large portions of the model in shadow. Since this is my librarian dread, I painted a little more gold/bronze on him than usual. I blocked in all the colors last night prior to a 50/50 dev mud/water + 1 drop of thinner wash. Now that I am learning to thin my washes I think I am getting much better results. I think I have reached the point where decals have to be added. I always dread this step since it is hit or miss with me. I still need to paint the cables, wash and highlight the purity seals, and do something with the etched brass on his right leg, but I've had those FW blood angels decals sitting near my desk since receiving them as a Christmas gift from my wife. I think it would be nice to use them. I also have that Arvus Lighter to paint from her!