Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Heresy Era Dark Angels - Land Raider off the factory floor

Quick hit this morning - Spent some time working on the first of the Land Raiders after work yesterday to try out the paint scheme on a vehicle. I've definitely found that sometimes a paint scheme that works well on an infantry model doesn't translate well to a large vehicle (and vice versa), but overall I'm glad to say that this scheme seems to work okay!

Still a lot of work to be done on the tank of course, all of the heraldry and weathering has yet to be applied, but in general I really dig the subtle greenish cast the edge highlighting gives and I think it's subtle enough that it doesn't become too distracting. I will say that pushing the edge highlights to be a little thicker and maybe using a more neon green and it would veer into Necron territory. Of course, that does half tempt me to do some Necrons now (no, stop it, no more new projects!)...

The addition of some red slashes, some black-and-white checkerboard patterns and a fair bit of battle damage, dirt and dust should give the tank much more personality, but as a proof of concept for the underlying paint scheme I really couldn't be happier! Looking forward to working up the other Land Raider and the Spartan in the same scheme soon!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Heresy Era Dark Angels - Characters and plasma repeater support squad(s) painted!

Got a fair bit of brush time in over the last few days, as well as some cool new gear - A good combo!

I wanted to do a few placeholder character models for the Dark Angels while I await whatever new models may drop with the release of the next book, Malevolence. The two Dark Vengeance models got a helmet swap and some Mk.III backpacks to heresy them up a little, while the chaplain basically just got painted as-is. Even so, they're a little over-blinged which reads as a bit more 40k in general. Nevertheless, quite pleased with how they turned out!

The plasma support squad was the initial test of the paint scheme using the Vallejo range of substitute colors for the armor, and while they worked out reasonably well, I ended up buying some Incubi Darkness and Kabalite Green which are both about a step darker and will hopefully not be quite so stark on future models.

Still researching how I want to do the heraldry thing with the models. As a nod to the fluff, all of the models in the army will have the green right shoulder pad to represent them being Calibanites (and as such filthy dirty traitors, as the situation demands). I'm thinking of going with a common heraldic design to denote squads, with some additional personal heraldry on occasional other areas of the armour. Most of the color plates seem to suggest a mix of red slashes, black and white checkerboard and bone, so will have to experiment with various combinations thereof! So that said, the two squads above aren't done per se - still a fair bit of work to go, but as a proof of concept I think we're on the right track!

You may have noticed a bit of an increase in the quality of the photos due to the acquisition of a proper light box (finally). I've been experimenting with backdrops and techniques over the last several months as you may have noticed, and finally broke down and bought a Foldio 2 based on the comments and reviews of several fellow bloggers - thus far I have to say I am quite impressed! The adjustable overhead lights make getting good bright white light at the intensity desired, these were taken at about half brightness as the full chat was blowing out the pics. The translucent material of the box itself means that I can position my stand lights to either side and get some nice secondary diffusion. Now if only buying new gear automatically granted a commensurate boost in  painting skill! Hah!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Heresy Era Dark Angels - A tidal wave of resin and plastic!

Earlier in the week the first wave of bits and kits for the Dark Angels arrived, and after a flurry of soaking, scrubbing, rinsing and drying I've been merrily building stuff for the force!

All sorts of goodies await - Several tanks and a whole mess of infantry upgrade kits! Everything went into the wash and was laid out to dry, then it was all whisked up to the hobby loft where I couldn't wait to get cracking!

While it's tempting to jump in and build all the "cool stuff", I try to get the basic Troops choices out of the way up front, and save the more interesting models for later on once I've gotten my eye in on the builds. So, first things first - cranking out thirty Tac marines. Oof.

Once I got rolling they went together very easily. I had spent a bunch of time clipping and organizing several sets worth of plastic bits from the Betrayal at Calth and Burning of Prospero boxes a while back and it's made it a snap to build infantry. The sergeants were pretty fun to build, going combi-plasma and Calibanite warblades as a change-up from the usual Powerfist-and-boltpistol loadout. May not be as effective, but feels more aesthetically pleasing!

Dun dun DUNNNN! I've been dreading this moment. The last Spartan I'd built back in 2014 was a copper-plated bastard of a build and was, until I had the 'joy' of building a Storm Eagle, the least fun I'd had building a Forge World kit to date. I'd heard they'd re-sculpted the kit and approached the box with trepidation...

The re-cut model looked promising, I'll admit - Though there was some wonky bending to some of the pieces, my trusty heat gun sorted them out right quick. I'll tell ya, when it comes to working with resin, this heat gun was the best $30 I've spent on hobby tools. Highly recommended!

Turns out my fears were unfounded, and the kit went together incredibly quickly! The addition of some Dark Angels doors and magnetized sponsons were the only real tweaks of the model - I'm not a huge fan of the "put masonry and candles on everything" aesthetic of the modern-day Dark Angel vehicles, and plan to keep the builds a bit more restrained on the Heresy side.

Still undecided what I'm going to fill it with, I'm hesitant to build terminators for the force, knowing that once the book drops they'll likely get a bespoke terminator unit. In the interim it'll likely sit on the sidelines, or perhaps ferry a full 20-man tac squad around.

I had picked up a trio of the new wrap-around track upgrade kits form Blood and Skulls Industry, originally planning to use all three on the Sons of Horus. While the spiky "Oppressor" pattern treads worked well for the traitors, I thought I'd save the "Liberator" pattern sets for a future project. I had forgotten that I'd already gotten the track housings about 3/4ths done when I made the call, so they were a snap to finish off!

Having built one for the Sons of Horus already, I had a good idea of the challenges and pitfalls of the kit so the following two flew together! I really like the look of the Mk.IIb Land Raider, and wrap-around treads really give it that Heresy vibe.

Managed to get all of this stuff primered after work and am looking forward to getting some paint on 'em!

Updated the painting chart - It's getting colorful now! Started the test painting on the squad of Plasma Repeaters but it's too early to tell how they're going to turn out. Also got the next batch of bits and kits on order from FW - Some more shoulder pads and heads (mis-counted what I'd needed in the first order), the Volkite Calivers for the second support squad, and a pair of special weapons variant Sicarans, which I think fits in with the Dark Angels using rare and esoteric weaponry in the Heresy. The plan has already gotten out of hand on paper (5500 points is a little excessive), so some of this may get dialed back, likely starting with the Glaive. While I'd love to build and paint one for the force, I don't really ever play games where a Superheavy is required...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Heresy Era Dark Angels - Vortigern's Lost Lions army planning

With the successful sale of the Thousand Sons and Spireguard, I had some funds to spend on a new Heresy project. Initially I had planned to do some more Imperial Fists, but thought it would be a better exercise if I tried a legion I've not dabbled in before. After reading Black Legion, I figured it could be entertaining to build a force around the idea of Vortigern's Lost Lions, a group of the Fallen that survive the heresy and end up joining up with Abbadon following the scouring and the Legion Wars. Figured I'd do a force representing his warhost during the heresy, but generally run them as traitorous Calibanite DA. Not a whole lot done beyond planning and the first few test builds so far, but I have a whole raft of packages arriving over the course of last week and this week!

The plan - Keeping things fairly generic while awaiting the actual book drop later in the year (fingers crossed), in the interim I figure one can't go wrong working on the basic troop types while waiting to see what specialist units the new book will bring:

Knowing that the Dark Angels are known for using a lot of old, dangerous and esoteric weaponry, I did figure on doing a couple Tactical Support Squads, one with Volkite Calivers and one with the DA-only Plasma Repeaters. In order to differentiate them from the ordinary plasma guns, I figured I'd use the recent Primaris Hellblaster guns. A little trimming was required but they fit onto the Mk.III plate reasonably smoothly. The addition of some FW shoulderpads and heads and the first squad is coming into focus!

I'm leaving the backpacks separate for painting as a change, and am scheming on doing some experimentation with some new painting and weathering techniques on the force - Haven't fully decided on what exactly, but may try out some weathering powders and/or some of the technical paints from GW for mud and slop. Also scheming on doing some greenish-tinged black with the hope that it won't go full Necron/Tron on me. I rather liked the look of the end result on the youtube tutorial here and am looking forward to giving it a try! ...Well as soon as the weather yo-yo's back up a bit warmer, got a lashing of snow and cold over the last few days. Ah well, more time to build stuff, right?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Exodite Eldar - Wasp Assault Walkers Built!

Quick hit today, with the addition of a trio of new models for the Exodites - Counts-as Wasp Assault Walkers, using the Forge World rules.

The initial intent was to use the Stormcast Vanguard Palladors to do jungle-cat-based War Walkers, but I just couldn't figure out a good combo of bits to make the combo work. So, inspired by a fellow Exodite builder on Instagram I utilized the Blight Drones instead, which in the end I think will tie out with the giant spider quite well. I used some greenstuff to fill in the more egregious open sores to de-Nurgle them a little, and the end result is both creepy and fitting!

Once the first one was built, the following two just flew together (pun definitely intended)! Really looking forward to getting started on them, though a new project is also underway behind the scenes, following the successful sale of the Thousand Sons and Spireguard. Woohoo!

Monday, March 12, 2018

40k Exodite Eldar - Night Spinner painted!

So I'm reasonably arachnophobic - This project is NOT helping! Heh. After getting the Night Spinner built I wanted to get some paint on it so dived right in!

Sticking with the color scheme laid down on the force so far, the beast got a purple carapace to match the smaller beetles on the earlier models. It is a LOT of purple though, I'm thinking it needs some stripes or dots of a contrasting color to give it a bit more zing. That means doing google image searches of spiders which is not my cup of tea to say the least!

The wood and bone of the howdah contrast nicely with the gribby beast below, and hopefully sell the Night Spinner idea - The hallmark of a good counts-as army is that it's immediately apparent to one's opponent what each model is intended to represent.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how the howda turned out - I didn't want to just plonk a turret on top and call it good, so tried to get the "lashed in place" look with the wood and webbing. Really looking forward to getting on the table - This army may be the one that gets me to actually play a game of 8th edition!

Monday, March 5, 2018

40k Exodite Eldar - Rangers and Nightspinner built!

Not a whole lot of brush time of late with Real Life(tm) munching up more of my free time than I'd prefer, but nonetheless the work continues on the Exodites of the Tanelorn Wood.

The force needed a couple more troops choices, and I knew I wanted to do a squad or two of Rangers. A fairly straightforward kitbash, the legs, torsos and heads are from the Wildwood Rangers matched with de-spike-ified splinter rifles. Simple but effective!

On the other end of the spectrum, the far more complex Night Spinner has taken shape and as a professed arachnophobe this particular part of the project has been thoroughly uncomfortable for me. Hah! It was a toss-up between the Fire Prism and the Night Spinner for the "tank", and as I've been going with a beetles and bugs and assorted creepy-crawlies the opportunity to mix in the Arachnorok Spider was the more theme-y option it seemed.

I didn't necessarily just want to plonk a Night Spinner turret on the back of the spider and call it a day, the aesthetic called for a more overgrown look, and I tied to make it seem as though the craftworld-y weapons platform is lashed in place with more natural building materials. Overall I think it works without being too busy, but we'll see how it paints up! It's certainly already creeping me out...