Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - A whole mess of troops painted!

Once the bits showed up and I was able to get the sergeants built, it was the work of a couple mornings to finish them off!

Assault squad Mekata was essentially complete already, just had to bring the sergeant up to snuff and get them based. Easy peasy!

Tactical squad Hesyre took a bit more doing, but I'm pretty well satisfied with how they've turned out. Still scheming on the shoulder pads - I have enough sourced at this point, but need to sort out an easy way to get them painted.

Got a few more units in the offing for the Thousand Sons - while it's good to get some basic troops more or less out of the way, it's definitely time to paint something a little more fun!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Sergeants reporting!

I've been in a bit of a holding pattern for most of the characters for the army while I awaited a number of packages to wing their way to me from various points across the globe. Today however the critical box arrived on my doorstep, and I immediate dove in to get Sergeant Mekata and Sergeant Hesyre built:

Sergeant Mekata gets a suit of artificer armour, a plasma pistol and a power weapon. Very happy with how he's coming along, and as soon as he's complete the assault squad will be done!

Sergeant Hesyre is a redux of his previous incarnation - I tried to get the pose to show that he's looking on in horror as the flesh change begins to overtake him. This is carried through onto his shoulder pads which are also starting to get a little spikey!

Over the last few mornings I've been getting up early (to take advantage of the cooler temperatures) and managed to get the base colors laid in on the tactical squad, and I spent a little time today bringing the two sergeants up to the same level - hoping I can finish them all off in one big push this weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Tactical squad Hesyre build process

The schizo weather here in CO continues, with lashings of snow followed by several days in the high 70's, and with torrential rain, tornadoes and hail moving through this evening. Pretty much par for the course for springtime in the Rockies!

In the meantime I've started the build of the twenty-man tactical squad for the heresy era Thousand Sons - though the Prospero book has been postponed until sometime in 2015 (or beyond), every heresy army needs at least one big ol' blob squad of bog standard marines! First things first, sorting out which legs fit on which bases. This step ended up taking a surprisingly long time. The MkII legs have a very wide stance, and the bases I'm using didn't want to cooperate particularly well it seemed. Got there in the end, though!

Once the legs are on, time for torsos and arms. In general when I glue on torsos I'll take it in turn to glue one on twisted to the left, one twisted to the right, and one straight forward, then repeating the pattern. This helps give the models a little dynamism, instead of all just pointing in the same basic direction. Once the torsos dry it's time to add the arms and bolters - I'll generally glue the right arm on first, followed by the left arm which is glued in place with the palm of the hand just slightly lower than the level of the top of the right hand's fist - this means that when the bolter is glued in place, it fits juuuust right. About 80% of the time, that even works as intended and I don't have to pry the right arm loose and reposition it. Heh.

Placement of the head in relation to the body is incredibly important at this point, and is what really sets how natural/dynamic the models will end up looking. A good rule of thumb is to have the face pointing either in the direction of the weapon's muzzle, or in line with one of the feet if the muzzle is pointing in a direction outside the arc described by both of the models feet. The above shot illustrates the idea - the 1st, 3rd, and 5th model's weapons are within the arc of the feet and so the head faces the direction of the muzzle. On the 2nd and 4th, the muzzle of the weapon is outside that arc, and having the head pointing in the muzzle direction would make the model seem as though it's twisting around in an awkward pose. Having the head pointing in line with one of the feet gives the impression that the model is advancing with the bolter held across its chest.

Here's the whole unit with heads. Overall they feel very natural, though relatively reserved, which I think is suitable for the tactical marines - they definitely give off a different vibe from the more bombastically posed assault marines. You may notice on the 2nd row from the front, on the far right I broke my posing rule and the bolter's muzzle and the head's eyeline are both outside the arc described by the model's feet, which means he ended up looking a little awkward. Ah well, he'll consistently be the first casualty when the unit starts taking fire!

I wanted to make an homage to the previous version of sergeant Hesyre, though I'm still awaiting bits to finish him off. The poor sergeant is suffering from a touch of the fleshchange, it appears!

Lastly, the right shoulder pads and backpacks are attached and the squad is more or less ready for primer. ...Assuming it doesn't snow tomorrow, that is!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Assault Squad Mekata painting continues

A little more early morning painting time before work and the squad is nearing completion!

Once the base red and gold is on, the paint scheme really speeds up - I figure they'll be more or less complete with one more morning's worth of brush time.

I'd initially left the shoulder pads off these and the prior heavy support squad with the understanding that the next book FW would produce would include the Thousand Sons, and as such they'd be putting out legion-specific shoulder pads. From what I'm reading now however, the Prospero book has been pushed back so I'm considering adding the blank shoulder pads and just hand-painting the chapter symbol. ...what will end up being upwards of 90 times. Hmm, maybe I will wait! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Assault Squad Mekata Painting in progress!

After what's been a bit of a hiatus, I've actually been able to slop a little paint around! Rather than try and paint in the heat of the hobby loft in the afternoons after work, I've shifted my schedule around a bit and started getting up an hour earlier than normal and bang out a color or two each morning before work. Has actually been a rather relaxing way to start the days!

Since I've been doing a color or two a day in an hour or so rather than a half a dozen or more in one big go, I've taken to snapping a picture when each session is complete. This is the basic Vallejo Dark Fleshtone with a heavy drybrush of Red Gore, which is where it all begins. Super quick and dirty, I use a big ol' beaten up brush and don't worry too much about slop as it'll all get cleaned up in later steps.

Then the upper surfaces are given a further drybrush of Blood Red. The upper surfaces of my fingers, the desk and the old shirt I was wearing also got a layer of Blood Red when I fumbled the bottle. Whoops! Suffice it to say, getting the red on is not a fastidious or tidy process.

The final step in the red is to tie it all together and tone it down a bit with a thorough wash of Carroburg Crimson. In general I'll leave the models to sit and dry for a good long time at this point, as I've learned I'll otherwise inevitably put my finger on something and smear it/smudge it.

Next up is all of the metal on the weapons, the various joints at elbow and knee, and the backpacks. Pretty basic Vallejo Gunmetal followed by an Army Painter Dark Tone wash. This stage really starts to sharpen up the models, as the metal goes down carefully covering any slop from the earlier red stages.

Finally it was time to start picking out the details in Vallejo Glorious Gold, followed by a Reikland Fleshshade wash. Once the wash is thoroughly dry, the upper areas are touched up with a little more Glorious Gold. The gold does down right over the red, which I find brings a nice warm tone to the color - I find gold to be more translucent than one may expect, the under-color will affect the final tone of the gold significantly.

So far so good. Still a ways to go of course, over the next few days they'll get the ivory and blue treatment - it's definitely felt good to get painting again!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Heresy Era Thosand Sons - Assault squad build begins

Was able to sneak in a bit of build time over the weekend, and cranked out the basic troopers for Assault Squad Mekata. It's been nice enough out that I engaged in a battery of primering over lunch today in hopes of getting some painting time in, but managed to snap a quick pic prior to that. Like the previous heavy weapons squad, this squad will be getting their left shoulder pads later on (once FW gets around to making them).

I'm holding off on building the sergeant for this squad and the upcoming tactical squad while I wait for various bits to arrive. The intention is to use some bits from the possessed sprues on each of the sergeants to give the army a little nod to the Flesh Change. Should be fun!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - An unplanned Siege Master

Hello everyone! Another rough couple weeks essentially devoid of hobby output, sad to say. I was able to squeeze in an hour of build time and I set to building what was originally planned to be a Master of Signals model for the Iron Hands. Since that never entirely coalesced, I figured I'd repurpose him for the Thousand Sons!

I found out after adding him to the army list that a Master of Signals isn't actually allowed to have a combi-weapon. However, after flipping through the options I noticed that the Siege Master also carries a nuncio-vox and is allowed to have the modeled combi-plasma. Simple head swap and the addition of a khopesh-shaped power weapon and job done! Had never considered the Siege Master for the Iron Hands as they didn't have a heavy weapon squad, but in the Thousand Sons granting Tank Hunter and Wrecker to the missile launcher team? Oh my yes!