Thursday, April 30, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - A whole slew of characters painted

Been having trouble getting motivated to work on the 20+ tac marines, so I set them aside and just cherry picked the characters out of the last big pile to run through the batch painting machine. Figured they warranted a bit more attention than the basic troopers, anyhow! Buckle up for a mess of pics!

First up is the big guy, Alexis Polux - I'm finding I'm really of two minds about the model, it's definitely a refreshing change of pace pose-wise from the bombast so commonly found in FW's character series, but that said I find his pose with the big ol' shield really covers a lot of interesting detail on his armour from view. Love the power fist/melta weapon, and all the little grey knight-esque sculpted latin inlays. Just a beautiful sculpt to work with!

Next up is my take on Sigismund as a hold over until/if FW ends up doing their own, at which point he'll be demoted to just legion champion status. I sort of like the patchwork armour, definitely gives him a hard-fought feel.

You just can't go wrong with a praetor in terminator plate, this fellow will be joining the rest of the terminators where they'll generally be teleporting in - at some point there may be a Spartan coming, but I have a feeling after I get done building the two Proteus land raiders I may suddenly have a change of heart!

Mild conversion on the praetor in artificer armour, swapping his paragon blade for a solarite power gauntlet. Not necessarily the best swap but befitting the Imperial Fists from a fluff perspective!

I had bits left over to build another legion champion, this one armed with a thunder hammer. He's the only one in the army wearing Mk.III plate, apparently!

Similarly, the leftover bits from the Iron Hands army from a while back had caught my eye so I knocked together a Forge Lord for the army. With the fierce competition for HQ slots in the army however he's not likely to see much action, unfortunately.

The last of the HQ models is the always surprisingly nasty Master of Signals and his Pie From The Sky attack! I absolutely LOVE this sculpt, the homage to the old RT-era model is a thing of beauty. Really been looking forward to getting my hands on one to paint up!

Bringing up the rear is the sole Elite choice with an apothecary in Mk.IV plate. Similarly to the MoS above, I hadn't ever painted one of these models (I used the Mk.III versions in the Iron Hands and Thousand Sons armies though), but I'd always wanted to!

As is always the case, doing the photo editing shows up all the little things that I've missed and have to go back and touch up - a lens here, some highlights there, a wash and gloss varnish on the other, and so on. Doh!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Rhinos Painted

Another hellacious week I'm afraid, coupled with the mild burnout I felt after cranking through all the black on the infantry from last weekend meant I didn't get a whole lot of brush time in. I didn't want to lose my forward momentum entirely however and managed to finish off the trio of Rhinos when I could squeeze in a little time.

The first two will act as transports for the Tac squad when it's not being run as a big 20-man blob. Once I got some weathering and decorations on them the yellow looks a little less slapdash, but overall the sepia wash stage from the scheme doesn't work particularly well over such large flat surfaces. Overall though they ended up being perfectly serviceable!

The veteran squad will be rolling in the third Rhino, and again there are some things about the scheme that I'm not happy with - The edge highlighting, never my strong suit, ended up being pretty disappointing. Scaling up the colors from the black scheme I'd used on the infantry sounds good on paper, but on larger surfaces such as vehicles, the scheme ends up much brighter and stark than I had hoped. I think in the future I'll be leaving the final grey highlight off, and instead wash the dark grey edges down with a black wash then re-highlight with the dark grey again. Should keep it a bit more subdued. I do like the predominantly black with yellow accent panels look overall though - the upcoming Land Raiders and Venators will be sporting that look, I think!

Rather busy Saturday ahead, but I'm hoping to crack on with the infantry from earlier and get some good progress towards completing them on Sunday!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Tactical Squad and Characters painting continues

It's been one heck of a week, Real Life(tm) has been kicking my butt so sadly not a whole lot of hobbying got done during the work week. However I did manage to get some brush time in over the weekend, and got the Tactical squad and the various characters all to the same stage and blocked in all the various parts that will end up being metal or black.

31 models in the batch this time around, which is pushing the upper limit of the number I can deal with in one sitting. Doing the blacking-in step nearly broke me, it's definitely the most time-consuming stage of the scheme, as I have to be very precise about the application. Once that's done however, all the remaining colors go on really quickly - definitely past the half-way mark from a time perspective on these models!

While I was at it I worked on the couple models that have unhelmeted heads. Pretty happy with how the terminator head is coming along, definitely needed to be painted separate from the model as it ends up really recessed inside the gorget and is hard to get a in brush to (as I discovered the last time I painted this model for the Iron hands).

Less thrilled with the other Praetor, he definitely ended up a little cockeyed. Gonna have to give his  face some more work!

On the other hand, I'm really happy with how Alexis Polux's face turned out - definitely a beautiful sculpt to work with. Hopefully the upcoming week will be a little quieter on the work front and I'll be able to press on with the army!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Rhinos painting begins, and unintended veterans

While I've been trying to stick to the plan for the Imperial Fists army, there are times when an idea occurs and I just have to see where it leads. Started off laying the base colors in on the two rhinos intended to ferry the tactical squads around when they're not mobbed up, and thought I'd try something different with the third one and decided to see what it looked like if I kept it predominantly black with yellow accents instead:

I found that I liked the general look enough that I think the Land Raiders and Sicaran Venators will also be primarily black with yellow accent panels. This will add a bit of visual interest to the army (so it's not all one giant yellow blob), and also cut down a bit on the areas I need to worry about painting yellow - These rhinos were testers to see how the yellow recipe translates to vehicles, and the answer is 'not as well as I'd hoped". Works okay on small areas, less convincing over large flat planes - Definitely an area where I could see an airbrush really helping as far as base color application goes. That said, the black-with-yellow-accents is generally the scheme applied to legion veterans, which got me thinking I ought to build some to occupy that third rhino!

...So I did! As part of the recent orders from Forge World, there was a small hiccup where they sent me 10 Mk. IV marines rather than the Mk. III that I'd ordered, but told me to just keep 'em for the inconvenience while they sent me the correct models. A rummage through the heresy bits boxes and I turned up enough kit to outfit 'em as an aggressive unit of veterans. Went with a pair of shoulder-carried heavy bolters I turned up in the bits box (while I love the new two-handed legion heavy bolters, these really hearken back to the old days style-wise which I thought was appropriate), and then worked to model each one with all the gear they carry - bolters, bolt pistols and chainswords (slung/holstered where appropriate), meltabombs, and a Solarite Gauntlet and combi-melta for the artificer-armoured sergeant.

The +1BS when using bolt weapons was the main impetus for the pair of heavy bolters, though the fact that they come with suspensor webs means that they get an alternate fire mode at 18" Assault 3. Nifty! The meltabombs and combi-melta mean the unit is also a threat to any vehicles they may run across as well - we'll see how they fare, I suppose!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Terminators and Contemptors painted

An absolutely beautiful day out yesterday and I took advantage of it to flock and seal the Terminators and Contemptors - two more units complete!

I absolutely love the Cataphractii models, they are some of the best infantry models that FW has done in my opinion. I went with one of the paint schemes laid out in Extermination - primarily yellow with the black veteran panels on the under-shoulders, knees and gorget and a fair bit of gold trim.

Tried the more-familiar-to-me sponge weathering technique on these guys, starting off with vallejo's Charred Brown then going in with a brush and some Boltgun Metal to pick out the interiors. Then a little Gold Yellow on the lower edges to try and give it a bit more of a 3D look. Still not totally comfortable with my weathering on infantry models - practice makes perfect though, gotta keep trying things to see what works!

I didn't have any Imperial Fists waterslide transfers small enough to fit anywhere on the models, so I just added some 7th legion numbers on the shoulder pads. Might revisit the decorations later if I can come up with a decent idea. Overall however, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out!

Next up are the two Contemptor dreads. I absolutely love the models both from the posing options and just how nasty they are on the tabletop! The sponge weathering is much more convincing at this scale I find - just a little more area to work with makes all the difference (or at least it does with my fists of ham)!

It's always when I'm reviewing the final pictures where I realize I missed a step in the painting - totally failed to highlight the leg decorations. Argh! Couldn't come up with a valid low gothic substitution for "Nacho Libre" that would fit on the scrollwork across his chestplate yet, Zzzzzz. "Liberum Caseus Calamistratus" is a bit too long. :)

Didn't get any painting in yesterday but in between chores and errands I did knock together the trio of Deimos Rhinos that have been lurking in the Closet of Doom since the Iron Hands army - Never got around to building them for that army, nor the Thousand Sons, but they finally will get their time in the sun! Definitely want to test out the Fists paint scheme on some basic Rhinos before committing to the Land Raiders and Sicarans!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Tactical Squad(s) painting begins

Cracking on with the infantry for the Fists - Generally when working on an army I try to knock out the compulsory unit choices early on and get them out of the way, which acts as an incentive to work through 'em so I can get to the fun stuff!

Any self-respecting heresy army includes at least one big blob of tac marines, and for the Imperial Fists I decided to go with the more bulky and solid-looking Mk. III armour to contrast against the more sleek look of the Mk. IV assault marines. I had a rummage around in the heresy bits boxes and came up with enough spare models to throw in a second pair of vox & vexilla troopers and a spare bolter marine which will allow me to run them as two ten-man squads as well (hence the pair of Mk. III sergeants back in the characters post).

Next step was to get the yellow on 'em (and my fingers, desk and shirt). While I was at it I also did the yellow on all the character models, but realized I hadn't taken a pic of 'em yet. I'm trying to do the yellow on big swaths of models at once then come back to finish them off as units or individuals, as that ensures the yellow base colors match across the army.

Speaking of, I updated the painting chart to see how things looked. Turns out from a points perspective it's gotten a bit out of hand! Thinking about trimming the Phalanx Warders and Templar Brethren out of the list for points (and cost) reasons, honestly their rules are somewhat underwhelming though I can't deny the models are beautiful. I managed to finish off the terminators and dreadnoughts this morning, just waiting for it to warm up enough to seal 'em, and I'll get some pics up on the blog!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Couple more characters built

Not a lot of hobby time the last few days, but I did manage to build the last couple characters for the Imperial fists - an Apothecary and a Forge Lord:

The apothecary is pretty much right out of the box, with a Fists shoulder pad. The techmarine on the other hand is a bit of a mutt - some leftover bits from the Iron Hands (all the cog-tooth decoration seemed appropriate), some metal bits from a rendered-down 40k techmarine, and a head and servo-skull from the depths of the Closet of Doom - no idea where they were from originally. Hoping to get these and the other characters primered over lunch today while it's nice out, and get some paint on 'em all over the weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Assault Squad painted

I managed to finish off the assault squad over the last few days, gave them a spray sealant in preparation for the addition of the waterslide transfers, weathering and flocking, followed by a final spray sealant pass. Done and done!

Updated the sergeant's helmet to the red-and-white striped veteran look, which sets off nicely against the yellow and black of the armor. Quite pleased with the blue spot color on the eyes and power weapons/cables as well. Ham-fisted color theory for the win!

I added a little static grass here and there on the bases to give them a little more depth, and took a run at adding some painted-on dings and scratches based on some of the examples I'd found online. A little ropey, will definitely need to practice their application further but overall it worked out okay.

Have I mentioned waterslide transfers to the curved marine shoulder pads are the bane of my existence? There was copious use of Micro-Set and Micro-Sol, and much swearing involved. Finally got into the groove and sorted out a couple places the transfers needed to be slit in order for them to lay a bit more flat on the complex curves. Micro-Sol is also a massive help, as it softens the transfers and helps them lay down on the surface. One must be careful after application however, as they become so soft and pliable that it's easy to tear them.

Overall, quite pleased with how the unit turned out, though - 20 marines done, 80+ more to go! Oof...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Terminators and Contemptors painting continues

Another quick hit today - pressing onwards with the painting and got a fair chunk of work done on the recently-built Terminators and Contemptors. Here's a couple WIP shots as of the end of last night's session:

Following the paint scheme for the terminators found in Extermination, primarily yellow with a few black plates and a fair chunk of gold trim. I'm going with a reddish-gold to try and help it stand out from the yellow of the armour. So far so good!

The Contemptors are getting painted at the same time as the Terminators, decided to go with the red veteran helmet colors (white stripes to come) as it seems logical that the marines interred in the Contemptor chassis would likely be veterans of the legion. Quite pleased with how they're coming along, still a ways to go of course!

I managed to get the waterslide transfers and weathering on the assault squad and get them flocked and sealed, but need to wait for some good daylight to get the final pics of 'em - hope to do that over lunch today!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Terminators and Contemptors painting begins

Just a quick hit today - the weather turned nice over the weekend and I was able to get a chunk of models primered and laid in the base yellows on 'em last night. After Easter service this morning I was able to sneak in a little brush time while doing laundry and got everything blocked in with black paint in preparation for the detail work:

So far, so good! Hoping to get a little more work done on 'em this afternoon, and get the assault squad's transfers, weathering and sealant sorted out as well. More pics to come!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Cataphractii Terminators built

Typical springtime in the Rockies here, it snowed an inch and a half a few days back and today it's going to be in the mid 60's! After the fun I had building the Contemptors, I pressed on and banged together the Terminator squad as well:

After the experiment with the cheap-as-chips terminators I'd done for the Thousand Sons, I knew these guys were going to get power fists and chainfists. I decided to go plasma-themed with them as well, with a pair of plasma blastguns and four combi-plasmas. It also has the benefit of allowing the unit to have more spot colors with the blue plasma coil glow.

I had a few parts left over from the Iron Hands build early last year, and put together a second sergeant armed with a thunder hammer and storm shield which allows me to run them as two 5-man squads, but I have to say I like the look of it enough to think I may have to do a full 5-man squad of 'em!

It's warmed up enough that I could primer them earlier this morning, still waiting for it to warm up a bit more before I risk the first sealant coat on the assault squad - looking forward to getting the transfers and weathering on them this weekend and call that unit complete!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Contemptor Dreadnoughts built

Cold and snowy outside today, so no sealing of the assault squad models has occurred as yet. Nevertheless, I pressed on with the next set of models intended for the painting block and assembled the two Contemptor dreads!

I am a huge fan of the contemptor chassis, the posing options are nearly limitless! I'd planned on one shooty and one melee dread, and figured I'd try to reinforce their duties on the tabletop with appropriate stances.

The first of the two is armed with a pair of Kheres assault cannons, and I wanted to go with a somewhat static pose as though it was bracing to fire on a target. Holy cow are the Kheres weapons ever fiddly to assemble!

In contrast, the melee dread was given a running pose, as though it's roasting someone with the flamer, just before swinging the other fist around for a crushing blow!

No more hobby time until the weekend however - Concert tomorrow night, going to see the man in the leopard print tux, Richard Cheese. Should be a hoot!