Wednesday, April 27, 2016

NOCF 2016 Charity Ork Army - Orks, orks, orks, orks...


Earlier this year the phenomenally talented painter Zab over at Almost Perftec suggested that I speak with the further thoroughly talented Dave Taylor of his eponymous blog about pitching in on the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation project for this year, and I am honored to have been invited to do so! One of the two 40k armies that will be up for raffle is a rather fun airbase-themed Ork force, and the various participants put in requests for their preferred units - there have already been some really cool looking WIP shots coming out around the blogosphere, so I have some tough acts to follow!

Of course all proppa' Ork armies need a couple bigmobs of Boyz, and as I have no real fear of batch painting I volunteered to build and paint up the pair of 20-strong Boyz mobs included in the force. Not the most glamorous part of the army perhaps, but where would a Warboss be without his Boyz, eh?

Rooted around in the Closet of Doom for bits and have started getting things put together. I had the better part of the first mob already assembled, just needed to pop 'em off their previous bases and get 'em onto the rather cool resin bases generously donated by Secret Weapon Miniatures. While the basic Boys sprues provide pieces for a Nob, I decided to use a couple from the separate Nobz kit as they're just a bit more intimidating in my opinion.

The second mob is still in the assembly phase, but I did get the 'fun' models of the squad built. Still some more detailing to add to both squads as well, there's shoulder plates, knives and stikkbombs yet to be added, as well as the occasional hair squig! Hoping to get them built by the end of the weekend, and take advantage of the nicer weather forecast to be on the way to get 'em primered so I can get stuck in on some colors that aren't red or gold for a change! The deadline for completion looms for these (though not quite so imminent as the Thousand Sons were recently), so expect to see a slew of Orky posts over the next couple weeks as the Greenskins thunder down the painting table at me!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Iskandar Khayon and Gyre painted

To help wash out the taste of the slightly-disappointing rhino escapade, I spent some time last night and this morning and finished up Iskandar Khayon and his daemon wolf, Gyre.

I thought I'd try to split the difference between the Heresy-era crimson and white and the modern era scheme, so his outer robe and helmet vanes got the blue and yellow treatment.

Overall pretty pleased with how Khayon turned out, though I think I may add a yellow flame motif on the back of his cloak to jazz it up a bit more.

While my initial thought was to try a ghostly/spectral greenish white but throughout the majority of the book Gyre is described as being more solid. Never been too good at painting realistic animals, but did some photo research on white wolves and tried my hand at matching what I found, with the shiny green eyes as a concession to her daemonic influence.

Lastly I was able to get some decent light for an army shot of the force I'll be taking to the event at the end of the month as well. Pretty happy with how they turned out!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Rhinos painted

More frantic painting in preparation for the event coming up at the end of the month, today it's the final two models - a pair of Rhino transports for the Veterans and Tac Marines! I quite like the Deimos Rhino kit from FW, it goes together quite easily (barring a little trimming/sanding required on the side doors) and is a rather nice nod to the old RT-era version.

Started off by laying in the reds, as it's the sloppiest part of the scheme. Figured I'd try and do a semi-reversed scheme on the two Rhinos to differentiate between the Vets and the Tac squad.

The areas intended to be bone colored got a leather brown basecoat, as I find painting the bone color directly onto black tends to look patchy and dull. The brown 'shines through' a bit and give the lighter color a bit more depth.

Next up the bone color was applied. It's interesting that the lighting really blows out the color, it's not nearly as white as it appears in the photos.

Then things start to go slightly awry. The bone color used on the infantry has a wash stage that just doesn't translate well to the large flat planes of the vehicles. Again, the photos are not kind to the Vet's tank, a lot of the streaks and whatnot aren't nearly as apparent in-hand. Curse you, photography!

Once all that was done, the models got a selection of the excellent waterslide transfers that I'd gotten from Fallout Hobbies, a light weathering pass and a final sealant coat. Changing over to the usual photo backdrop brings the colors on the bone and red back down to their more real-world tones, but still makes the ham-fisted wash stage look a lot sloppier than it is in hand. Weird!

Really happy with how the Tac squad's Rhino turned out!

Slightly less so on the Vet's Rhino, but I really do like how the top hatch transfer worked. All in all a passable effort, might try and go back over the bone panels on this one again once I get on the other side of the event next weekend, but for now I consider it table-ready.

Once I get some better light I'll snap off an army shot - it's a little overcast and gloomy today however. Good thing I got these sealed yesterday while it was nice out! With these out of the way, I'm going to get a little reward time in and work on Khayon and Gyre, then it's time to switch gears significantly and get cracking on with a slew of foul Xenos over the next few weeks for the NOVA Open Charity Raffle Army of Orky Goodness!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Iskandar Khayon and Gyre built

As a reward for getting a mess of painting done, I built up the first of a few characters I have planned. After reading Talon of Horus, I knew that I wanted to do a late-heresy version of Iskandar Khayon and his Daemon Wolf Gyre. After working out a trade for some Space Wolf bits I ended up with all the things I needed to bring him to life!

Khayon is remarked in the book as carring a reclaimed Space Wolf axe that he picked up during the razing of Prospero called 'Saern' which he refashioned into a force axe, as well as firing off a plasma pistol a few times. That's weapons sorted! His Daemon Wolf Gyre was recovered from a half-built state that included some goopy glue which I'm hoping to downplay a bit in the painting stage. I scraped off the various straps and buckles and tried my hand at a little greenstuff fur which turned out passable - I'm definitely not much of a GS sculptor but gotta keep practicing I suppose!

Of course, technically speaking one can't mount a character on a 60mm base so I'd designed it such that Khayon is magnetized and pinned to it, allowing him to be placed on a 'correctly-sized' base for gaming. I haven't come up with a good in-game explanation for Gyre and the big base so for the most part it'll just be a mini vignette for art's sake!

Now back to the firing line and laying in the reds on the Rhinos this evening. If all goes well I'm hoping to have them done by Sunday's end!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Infantry flocked and sealed!

I don't want to call 'em "complete" per se, as I'm still casting about for where I put the waterslide transfers for the shoulder pads, but they're done enough for the event on the 30th! As I've pretty much pounded these models into the ground I'll just show off the pics!

Terminator Squad Ankhet

Terminator Squad Phosis

Veteran Squad Khalmekt

Tactical Squad Hesyre

Sorcerer of the Corvidae Cult

Centurion Delgatus

Painting chart ahoy!

That marks what is probably a record for me - 1,145 points painted in a week. Phew! So at this point I have 8 days to paint two Rhinos. Quite pleased with how the army is cranking along - of course, now the challenge is repressing the urge to sell 'em off and start a whole new project. Haha!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Batch Painting Breakdown, or, Lets Get Critical

This marks the penultimate post about the infantry, I believe! While batch painting mixed models like I have been doing recently means that I'm never quite painting the exact same miniature more than a couple times in a row before moving on to a different type, it also means that certain fine details start to get missed when they aren't common to the various types. Generally towards the end of the process I'll pull things back out into their constituent squads and take some pictures (generally not posted to the blog) which allows me to review the models in absurd scale (which naturally enhances every flaw) and take notes of what remains to be done before the sealant stage. So, these are those notes to which I will refer next painting session! Usually I'll just scribble these down on a legal pad and reference it and delete these interstitial pictures, but it's been fun documenting the whole absurd process...

Terminator Squad Ankhet - Highlight the eye lenses, and give the loincloth red a further highlight. Specular dots on the green gems.

Terminator Squad Phosis - Ditto.

Veteran Squad Khalmekt - Highlight eye lenses, metal on the helmet grills and hoses. Red stripe around the hem of the sergeant to match the terminators.

Tactical Squad Hesyre - Ditto.

Centurion Delgatus and Librarian - Ugh. For pete's sake, I forgot to finish the librarian's face! Highlight the loincloth detail, script on the oaths of moment, white highlight on the horned skulls on the librarian. Eye lenses, helmet grill and hoses in metal, wash and highlight the wrist terminator medal and chain, wash and highlight chest skull and hoses, green gems on the helmet vanes.

So a fair bit of fiddly details to do yet, but for the most part it's going to just be a few subsets of batch painting as for the most part they're all getting the same sort of cleanup within each squad. Overall though, I'm fairly well pleased with how they're coming along!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - On the home stretch with the infantry!

Was able to get an hour in after work this evening and finished up the leather and bone on the infantry, and laid down the initial brown color on the bases. I really find that cleaning up the base towards the end of the process really helps snap the models into focus.  Perhaps not literally with these quick progress pics, though!

Of course it is also at this stage that I start to discover all the little odds and bobs I'd missed on various models, a pouch here, a set of eye lenses there, and so on. Lots of going back and fixing little things. Nevertheless, quite close to the end with these chaps, then it's on to the pair of Rhinos for the Veterans and the Tac squad. Ever onwards!

In other news, the bases arrived for the NOVA Open 2016 Charity Ork Army that I have been asked to help with, so there's a whole mess of filthy Xenos charging down the painting table just as soon as these Thousand Sons are complete!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Pressing onwards with the batch painting

Things progressed nicely over the weekend hobby-wise! It more or less dumped snow on us the whole time which meant my usual outdoor activities were cancelled and I got a fair bit more brush time in than I expected.

Two hours on Saturday evening saw the gold step completed, took as much time to pick out all the little filigree and detail as it had to do all the reds. This is the stage in the batch painting process that really gets tedious - so I fired up a Heresy audiobook (listening to Pharos at the moment, Night Lords vs. Ultramarines) to keep half my brain otherwise occupied and not thinking "27 to go... 26 to go..."

Once the gold was done, the various areas that were intended to be either white (cloth and trim) or blue (power cables/weapons) were all given an Ice Blue basecoat. I find the blue undercoat gives the white a cold tone which sets off nicely against the reds of the armor, and prevents it from being pinkish as it may become when laid directly on top of the red areas. This took another hour - not nearly as fiddly as all the gold detail work, but I still have to be rather careful from this point forward not to splodge any paint around as I could in earlier stages.

White areas get a pass of Ghost Grey and an extreme edge highlight of skull white. That detail is pretty blown out in these quick progress pics however.

Next up all the various weapons, armor joints and miscellaneous vents and whatnot got a pass with Boltgun Metal and a black wash. At this point I had to stop for the day as I was beginning to go a little mental from all the painting!

Most of the army will be helmeted, but I did want to give a couple models here and there actual faces. Or half a face in this terminator sergeant's case! I love this head, and was pretty pleased with the milky eye effect, as though while he still has half a face, it's only the augmetic side that actually works.

Really happy with the progress on the models so far, and am feeling confident I can get them done before the event on the 30th!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - You got red on you... (again)

Got everything laid out for batch painting and starting powering through the red steps yesterday evening and this morning - moving right along!

Started off with a Vallejo Dark Flesh basecoat.

After that, the models get a heavy drybrush of Gory Red, focusing on the upper surfaces mostly.

Next is a Blood Red pass concentrating almost exclusively on the upper surfaces.

Lastly the Carroburg Crimson wash step to blend everything together and add a little shading. At this point the wash needs a good hour or more to dry before any further work is done. Next up, a metric buttload of gold trim and filigree later on this afternoon after I get done with the daily chores and whatnot.

The reds took about two and a half hours to do, so far so good - well on target to get 'em done before the end of the month!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Bases! Glorious bases!

It is an exciting day on Mordia - the bases that I'd ordered from Dragon Forge Designs have finally arrived! With inclement weather bearing down on us this coming weekend, I hurriedly got them washed and all of the currently-built models glued down and primed this afternoon while the weather was still nice. Really jazzed to finally be able to get stuck in!

Now comes the challenge - On the 30th there's a Heresy event going on up in Fort Collins (about an hour north of where I live) to which I had pretty much resigned myself to taking the Spireguard as they were the only army of sufficient size that I had painted. I'd really much rather take the Thousand Sons instead, which means I have 15 days to get the army completed! On the plus side, if it turns out I fall short of the finish line, I have the Spireguard to fall back on so this is more of a fun personal challenge than a drop-dead timeline.

In order to keep things on target, I whipped up a painting chart for the intended force and here's where things stand as of this afternoon. So, 30 infantry and a pair of Rhinos in two weeks. On your marks, get set.... GO!

In other news I had a chance to go see Iron Maiden this week (Up the Irons!) and I gotta say, for a bunch of guys pushing 60, they can certainly still rock!

Glad I took my earplugs - they rocked out LOUD. Really fun show!