Friday, September 29, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - First of three Land Raiders built!

For this Sons of Horus force I wanted to go with the "Armoured Spearhead" Rite of War, which allows any unit that can take a Rhino to instead take a Land Raider, and this was prompted by the recent release of the Sagittarius track upgrade kit from Blood and Skulls Industry. The wrap-around tracks really add to the heresy vibe, and I figured I'd couple them with the Forge World Mk.IIb kit for extra heresy goodness.

The kit comes with a set of insert rollers that the treads fit onto, and they key into the interior of the land raider sides beautifully. As the plastic upper hull won't fit anymore the kit also includes a replacement rear hull that also slots in nicely. The instructions suggest leaving the side hull sections unglued until the insert rollers are added, as they need just a little bit of wiggle room to slot in and gluing up the side hulls beforehand may cause a spot of trouble. The act of gluing the roller sections to the side hulls means the end result is very solid, even though I didn't add glue to the interior posts.

Once the rollers were added to the side hulls and the center hull was glued up, it was time to wrap the tracks around. Started off by doing the top front corner track sections as per the instructions, which I was pleased to see keyed in place nicely.

Next up, two single piece sections and the next straight section around the front of the tank. Tried my best to ensure both sides matched up in their angle, and it was a piece of cake.

At this point I was feeling confident that the tracks were going to be bang on target (as all of the Blood and Skulls kits are), I proceeded to continue the wrap along the bottom, then wrapped around the back. No tread trimming required, fit around the rollers beautifully.

...And the back.

The Mk.IIb add-ons work pretty darn well - The kit is designed for use with the standard plastic Land Raider main hull pieces, but fit the FW kit very closely.

The only egregious gap from the Mk.IIb kit is on the rear heavy bolter housing - a little strip of plasticard covers it up easily and will likely be unnoticeable once primered.

The perfect ride for a Justaerin or Veteran squad! Got some SoH brass etch inbound with the next box o' joy to give it a bit more flavor.

I have two more of the non-spikey "liberator' pattern kits on deck, but figured I ought to solo-build one kit first to iron out the kinks - would hate to find I'd screwed up the build and have done so on all three kits at once!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Contemptor and Predators Waterslides and Weathering!

Really been enjoying working on these models and am nearing the finish line! I took advantage of a brief break in the weather yesterday afternoon to get the initial sealant pass on the models and once it had dried set to with the waterslide transfers and weathering! The initial pics of this stage against the green cutting mat I work on looked poor so I broke out a little parchment paper and made a poor man's photobooth (needs work, I know).

The contemptor got a transfer on the kneepad and top carapace, and a few chips and scratches here and there - I generally go with the "Less is More" philosophy, and try to apply the weathering to locations that would theoretically be getting bumped and bashed.

The Plasmacutioners got much the same treatment, with a couple eye motifs, and the "XVI" legion numerics, followed by some sponged-on weathering using Vallejo Beastly Brown, followed by a sponging of Gunmetal, then some highlights in Shining Silver on the hard edges. I tried to pick out the 'underside' of some of the weathering here and there with the Vallejo Tank Crew Highlight to give them a little extra depth.

Second verse, same as the first! Once the chipping was on, I thought I'd add some mud/dust along the bottom of the tank to represent the churned-up earth. Went with the same colors I'm using on the bases, and tried to do a streaky pattern to represent the grime spattering backwards along the hull as the tank rumbles forward. I think it needs a bit of sponge work to break it up a little and add a bit more texture, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along! Probably one more quick session and then just a holding pattern for a break in the rain to do the second sealant pass - after that, the water effects and grass tufts for the dreadnough base and they'll be complete!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Contemptor and Predators "Off the factory floor"!

A little cleanup and basing session last night brought the models up to what I call the "fresh off the factory floor" stage, where they're ready for the initial sealant pass in preparation for the waterslides and weathering steps.

Went with a muddy blasted urban scheme for the base, with the brickwork in a lighter sandstone color to give it a little pop. I'll be adding in a couple tufts of grass, and have ordered up some of the Secret Weapon water effects that I'll be adding at the verrrrry end after the final sealant pass (as it sounds like the spray sealant may mess up the look of the water).

Spent some time cleaning up the most egregious sloppy edge lining on the predators, and added in the various lights and lenses. Naturally now that they're ready for the initial sealant pass, it's forecast to be rainy and chilly for the next several days. Curse you, mother nature!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Contemptor and Predators painting begins!

Got a surprising amount of brush time in over the weekend and managed to get some good forward motion on the Contemptor and Predators. Huzzah!

Really quite happy with the green tone, though as usual my edge lining needs a little cleanup. On the upside this go-around the main armor color doesn't include a wash step which means I can use the mid-tone green to go in and clean up any slop in later stages. The seafoam green uses the Vallejo USMC Tank Crew Green (70.319) as the basic midtone, with a 50% mix of tank crew and black as the undercoat and the Vallejo USMC Tank Crew Highlight (70.323) as the, well, highlight. Couldn't be simpler!

The plasmacutioners got the same treatment while I was about it, and then I started laying in the secondary spot colors, with a dark grey/storm grey/black wash on the black areas, the usual ice blue/guilliman blue wash on the blue areas, and then a white undercoat/hot orange/orange fire on the plasma coils which I really think sets off nice against the green!

Still a ways to go before they're ready for the initial sealant pass prior to waterslides and weathering, but I am really digging 'em so far!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Contemptor Dreadnought built!

Just a quick hit today - A bit more build time yesterday saw the Sons of Horus Contemptor assembled and ready for primer!

I always enjoy the freedom of posing the FW Contemptor kit offers, and the legion-specific models are generally gorgeous. I've always had a particular fondness for the Sons of Horus version - it's just brutal looking! Carrying on with the plasma theme it's got a plasma cannon and a plasma blaster in the fist, so it should excel as a heavy infantry/light tank hunter!

At this point I had to stop myself from just carrying on and building up a mountainous pile of resin models. Before I assemble anything else I think I'm going to challenge myself to paint up what's been built so far - having a huge backlog of minis to paint can sometimes be demoralizing, and I find having something fun to build to reward myself for painting is a nice motivator!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Justaerin Terminators built!

The first Box o' Joy arrived from Forgeworld yesterday afternoon, and was waiting for me when I got home - It's Christmas in September!

This order included a whole mess of infantry upgrade kits, a unit of Reavers, a unit of Justaerin and a Contemptor dreadnought. All the big tanks will be arriving in a second order that will be arriving in a few weeks (as apparently several of the models on that order are on a 10-day delay).

After work I cracked open all the blisters and got everything washed, soaked and scrubbed and laid out to dry. A fiddly business, but important to do when working with resin models!

Later in the evening once the models had sufficiently dried off, I couldn't wait to get cracking on some infantry and decided to start at the top and build the Justaerin Terminators! Kitted this unit out for vehicular destruction with a pair of Multimeltas and a generous mix of power- and chain-fists. This does mean they miss out on the Merciless Fighters rule (as that only applies if the models haven't already fought at initiative step 1), but I plan on doing a couple squads of 'vanilla' cataphractii with lightning claws to take advantage!

While I was about it I finished the builds on the Plasmacutioners, adding the dozer blades, headlamps and a radar dish and searchlight to give 'em a little more visual interest!

Lastly I cracked open the army list again and did some wishlisting and updating of point values to see where things stand - Naturally it bloomed to a 5000 point force almost immediately! At this point the meat of the army has either arrived or has been ordered and on the way, with one more order to go including Horus and a Damocles on the HQ side, and a couple more fast attack choices with a Xiphon for some air cover and a unit of Outriders mostly because I've never built or painted them before. As good a reason as any, right? Gotta say I'm really excited for this project,  the green/black scheme of the Sons of Horus are going to be a welcome change of pace from all the red and gold of late!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Project planning, and first models!

As I have alluded to recently, the next Horus Heresy project in the hopper is a Sons of Horus force. I place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Dave Taylor, who shared his SoH paint recipe for the recent NOVA Charitable Foundation raffle army and after painting up a helmet in that scheme being held by one of the Thallax models I'd done, and subsequently a test model, I was hooked!

Whenever I start a new project I pencil together a quick painting chart to get a feel for what the army structure may look like and figure out what I have on-hand and what needs to be ordered. In this case I thought I'd do an Armoured Spearhead force as a counterpoint to the recent Orbital Assault Thousand Sons list. The RoW requires all infantry models to be mounted in a dedicated transport, and gives the option for any unit that could take a Rhino to instead be deployed in a Land Raider. As the Sons of Horus are known for their brutal assaults, I knew that I needed to run the Phobos variants to take advantage of the assault ramps, and while the Mk.IIb Land Raider from Forge World has a little Heresy flavor, what really sealed the deal was the unveiling of a new set of track kits from Blood and Skulls industries, providing wrap-around track sections akin to my beloved Proteus models!

I have a trio of these kits winging their way to me as we speak, and picked up a pair of the Mk.IIb Land Raider kits from the FW booth at NOVA a few weeks back, can't wait to get 'em combined! I'd placed a FW order a week or so ago for the majority of the infantry bits and kits that I'll need to get rolling (and have gottend a shipping notification that they're on the way, woo!), and will have to place one more order in the upcoming weeks to pick up the last of the requisite models including the big man himself, the Abbadon/Loken set, a Spartan and the third Mk.IIb raider. Not a lot of models, but it's going to be a pricey order!

The force is also going to have a strong plasma element to it - I'm envisioning using a hot red/orange on the plasma coils to set off against the cooler seafoam green of the armor, and as such I dug out a couple tanks that have been lurking in the Closet of Doom for years. A pair of Predator Plasma Executioners! I'd run a pair of them in one of the earlier iterations of the Thousand Sons and they were pretty fierce - I'd picked up a few more intending to use them on the recent Thousand Sons force but when I switched gears to go Orbital Assault with 'em they ended up languishing in a box instead. Happy to have a chance to use them in the new SoH force! Still gotta get the tracks on them, but other than that they went together like a dream - only had to break out the heat gun for one side panel, everything else lined up really well. Hoping to get the builds finished over the next few evenings and get 'em primered over the weekend. Maybe get some paint on 'em too!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

40k Blood Ravens - Characters painted, more or less...

Rather than spam the blog with every single step I figured I'd push ahead and post up the (more or less) completed models, and keep the recipe pics for my own reference. So without further ado, a whole mess o' character pics!

First up is the commander in Gravis armour - I really dig this sculpt, he's heavy and brutal, and the wrist-mounted bolter with the ammo feed is a nice design touch.

Really dig the Primaris Chaplain sculpt as well, another brutalist re-imagining of an iconic model. I particularly like the Iron Halo!

The Librarian I'm of two minds about - I enjoyed painting it, but felt that it's the least epic of the new character models. Nothing particularly remarkable in the design, though it is solid and reads as a Librarian straight away. Went back to the well with the ethereal green weapons and cabling, which sets off nicely against the blue and red.

Ah the new Apothecary - I absolutely LOVE this new sculpt and think it may be one of the best Apothecaries they've done. Really enjoyed painting him up although from what I understand they lost a little utility on the 8th edition battlefields.

The Ancient is a fairly unremarkable sculpt comparatively speaking, but as I've always been a big fan of banners on the 40k battlefields, I really did enjoy building and painting him. Picked up a sheet of totally-not-blood-raven-transfers (wink!) from Fallout Hobbies at NOVA and was well pleased with how it turned out!

Finally, the four Lieutenant models - Fairly basic marine sergeant type figs, but pretty happy with how they turned out. Had to use my usual bright blue color scheme somewhere in the projects after all, and the power swords fit the bill nicely!

Now for the downsides - Overall I'd say when the dust settled I'm only about 75% pleased with how they turned out. It was a bit of a speed painting exercise after a long stretch of no real hobby activity, and they feel a little rough. I know that I can do better than this, and looking back over them there are some pretty jaggy blending and shading issues here and there. Part of that I think comes from painting-red-fatigue and in retrospect I think I may have been better served choosing some other chapter than the Blood Ravens. I'm committed now however, so we'll press on regardless.

That said, I just got a shipping notification for the next batch of Sons of Horus bits, so sometime in the next week or so I should be getting a nice big box o' joy from Forge World, which includes enough bits and kits to actually get started on the next Heresy force. I'm really looking forward to getting cracking on with the sea-foam green scheme, and will be taking some lessons learned from this current project to heart when it comes time to bring brush to model on the SoH!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

40k Blood Ravens - Character painting continues!

Got a little brush time in over the last couple days and have been plugging away at the characters. I figured I would document each step so I'll have a reference to check as I work through the rest of the force and ensure they're all following the same steps.

After laying in the reds on the armour, next up was to hit everything intended to be leather, bone or parchment in Vallejo Tierra (Earth).

The bone and parchment areas were then picked out in Bleached Bone, while the leather got a second pass to brighten it up. The chest eagles and the ravens on the shoulder pads were re-blacked in at this point as well to clean 'em up a bit.

Next all the bone, parchment and leather were given an Army Painter Strong Tone wash to bring them down a little and give a touch more depth.

All the bone and parchment areas were then re-highlighted in Bleached Bone followed by a pass of Pale Sand on the uppermost surfaces.

Finally I went in and re-blacked the shoulder pad rims which cleans up a fair bit of slop and sharpens 'em up a bit! Next up will be highlighting the black on the rims and chest eagles, then on to the metallics. So far so good!