Friday, 19 January 2018

A Knight's Tale: Perseus Intrepidus TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

Today I added the finishing touches to the Imperial Knight Warden Perseus Intrepidus. For those of you who would like to know, the final touch was a minute wash of sepia around the left rivet about the eyes, which had somehow stoically avoided being washed all this time! I also repainted the plasma-blaster, which had been bugging me a bit.

Sooo many rivets...

There isn't too much more I can say about the painting of this model, that hasn't already been said in other posts. It is by far my greatest accomplishment in this hobby, and I have been at this game for a while now. Still, Perseus wouldn't exist, at least not in this guise, but for a very specific set of circumstances and folks in the 40K community. Some of you may know part of the story, but probably not all of it. If you are not into stories, feel free to skip and just look at the pictures; I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them!

I added more weathering to the Reaper Chainsword.

The Medusa has five snakes, one for each plasma weapon.

My first exposure to the 40K universe was playing Epic 40K with a friend in 6th grade. I say the word friend loosely; I was really just a person for him to win games against, using the models his stepfather bought for him. I learned later that the army lists he wrote for me were always less points than his, sometimes by 50%. I distinctly remember using an Imperial Knight Castellan that punched way above its weight in our games. I resolved to get myself one, if I could ever afford it.

The Hellfire Plasma Cannonade.

I painted the inside of the exhaust, which was looking decidedly sprue-grey in the last photographs.

When the Imperial Knights and Wardens were released by GW I realised the time had probably come, on an even larger scale than I ever thought possible. Of course the Crusader variant was the closest to the Castellan of my boyhood memories, so I gravitated towards it. I was going to get myself one for Christmas a few years ago, when my dog Gypsy started getting sick. The surgery she required wiped us out financially, but I gave up the chance of owning a Knight gladly if it meant keeping my little shadow.

The following year Dave Weston (thankyou thankyou thankyou) from Confessions of a 40K Addict ran a terrain building competition. The prize was, of course, an Imperial Knight Warden. I love participating in community events like these, so I thought I would give it a go and be a part of it all. I didn't really have any hopes of winning, but if I did, well...

My Dawn of War Thermoplasma Generator did win the competition, despite some incredible entries by other members of the community. I was so excited when I received the prize, but also pretty nervous. I felt very much responsible for doing a good job with it, in honour of the other contestants. I opened up to the community about the project and got some great ideas from people. Thanks especially go to +squareoaky stewart for his ideas about House Feardrakken, which gave me the inspiration for the paint scheme. Other inspiration came from my simple, obsessive, love of plasma weapons! One of my last acts was painting the snake on the base as a Bandy-bandy, as suggested by my mate over the ditch, +D Power.

So, there you have it. I threw everything but the kitchen sink at this Knight, every painting technique I know and idea I could think of. Some... didn't turn out so well, but I'm glad I gave them a go. Thanks to everyone who spurred me on and provided critical feedback during the process, it was greatly appreciated. Thanks again to +Dave Weston  for gifting me this incredible model; it was an epic journey and looking at it now on the shelf brings it all back again. Hopefully, it will take some heads on the table top as well, perhaps whilst defending a Thermoplasma Generator ;-)

See you across the table,


Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Knight's Tale: Avenger Gatling Cannon and Reaper Chainsword

Hi folks,

So, technically, I have finished painting my Imperial Knight Warden. Excuse me while I dance around like an idiot for a minute. About 10 minutes ago I finished drybrushing the overheating Avenger Gatling cannon, finally using that contrasting red that I have been saving. Before having a go at it, I watched a whole heap of YouTube clips of miniguns firing at night and at various stages of overheating. You may not know it, but there has been some conjecture about the best way to paint heat effects on weapons as such as these, with most painters putting the hottest parts in the wrong place. This article on Tibbs Forge is an excellent source in that regard.  I focused primarily on the following photograph when painting the effect:

You can see that the coolest metal is towards the end of the barrels and the hottest part towards the heat source. I tried to reflect this in my paint job, with the added complication of the varying thicknesses of the barrel housing in the Avenger model. So, the closer to the actual barrel (deeper), the hotter I painted it. There is one section that I assumed would be naked barrel, which I painted the brightest of all.

I also noticed in all of the pictures and YouTube clips that the red glow was a touch pastel in appearance. I added a touch of purple into my reds to try and match this. I also used a mixture of purple and red brown on the coolest ends of the overheating barrels, with I highlighted by brushing actual Leadblechers.

In comparison, the Reaper Chaisword was far simpler to paint. I added some extra weathering and scratches into the sword blade, which I assume would take an awful battering in combat situations.

Tomorrow I will be adding a very small amount of weathering to the decals on the legs, adding some static grass to the base and painting a Bandy-bandy snake ;-)

...then I am doing the final assembly and calling him To-Done!

See you across the table,


Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Knight's Tale: Shoulders and Plasma Cannonade

Hi folks,

With a break in the weather I have been able to make some more progress, focusing mainly on the shoulder armour and Hellfire Plasma Cannonade. To help with the Medusa symbol on the right shoulder I made two simple stencils, one of the face and one of the mouth of the snake. I started by making a detailed sketch of the silhouette, then transferring the image to some tracing paper. I could then cut out the shape of the face to use as a stencil. Originally I wanted the face to be white (negative space), so to transfer the image to the shoulder I stipled Spacewolf Grey around the edges. I then used very watered down paint to mark out where the snakes would be. I needed the paint to flow very freely and not add a significant amount of texture, in case I needed to start again or paint over it.

When I was happy with the composition I started blocking in the snakes with solid colour.

To make the snake appearance consistent, I made a small stencil for the head, which I used four times. The head down the bottom was free-hand, as it needed to be smaller to fit in the space. I quite liked the design with the face being white, but it was clear when I put it on the Knight that the colour combination wasn't going to work.

I blocked it in using the same light blue as the rest of the scheme, and that seemed to appease the paint-Gods (there is also something just a little bit Daft Punk about it...). A touch of weathering finished it off.

I haven't decided whether or not the other shoulder is finished yet. I think I need to sleep on it. I was tossing up whether to paint the forward section light blue and use a white decal in that spot, but this would compete visually with the Medusa symbol. I settled on a skull and laurel design that I added using free-hand, but it left the section closest to the front awfully empty. I filled it with the Knights name... in Greek. It may or may not stay that way; let me know what you think.

The Hellfire Plasma Cannonade took me a day to paint by itself, on and off. I originally had all of the plasma weapons painted with a green glow but, again, when mounted they just didn't fit the scheme very well. There is not much contrast in the blue that I have used but it matches the plasma weapons of my Iron Snakes and mirrors the colour of the snakes on the shoulder armour: 5 snakes for 5 plasma barrels :-)

Next I will be working on the Reaper Chainsword and Avenger Gatling cannon. The plan is to paint the chainsword quite plainly, but the cannon is going to have overheating barrels. I have been saving my reds and oranges for one special dose of contrast; I am interested to see if I can make it work. So many times during this project I have tried something different and then had to carefully reconsider in light of the entire body of the project. The Avenger is going to be the final hurdle in that regard, I predict. Just call me Nostradamus ;-)

See you across the table,


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Iron Snakes: Chapter Master Seydon Build Complete

Hi folks,

When I was planning this conversion I had another flick through Brothers of the Snake to try and build a picture of Seydon in my head. The two passages that stood out for me were:

"Chapter Master Seydon was just a shadow: robed, mysterious and towering. His cloak was made of broken, polished, wyrm-horn pieces, linked together like a jigsaw puzzle by gold wire. Slow respiration throbbed form the exchanger tanks under his cloak... He was a good meter taller taller than Priad".

Later on, after a battle against the Orks, there was this:

"His jigsaw cloak of polished wyrm-hide pieces had been ripped and torn, and loose fragments dangled from unravelling golden threads. His great lance, Tiborus, lay across his knees."

I also thought it would be fun to try and pay homage to the cover art of the book as well, because I have always loved it:

To give the model that extra height, I chose to base it on the Primaris Captain. I used an old resin True Scale Space Marine backpack, to which I added some regular vents (just visible in the picture). The head is from the Space Marine Captain kit; I thought the rebreather reflected the description of his laboured respiration well. I found an Imperial laurel piece, trimmed it down and added it behind Seydon's head. The base is a Spartan 40 mm base from Scibor, which I will attach after painting.

I chose the Stalked pattern bolter to match the picture and added a small Spartan shield from Scibor.

To match the text, I cobbled together a lance to represent Tiborus. The hand was too small to work on separately, so I left one large piece of sprue attached. The shaft was from a Dark Elf spear, which I cut into two pieces and drilled out for pinning. I cut the blade of the sword out then drilled out the hand. The two halves of the lance shaft were pinned to each other, through the hand. The lance head itself is a sword from a Wood Elf kit; it's patterns are very similar to the ones on my Techmarine's lance. After the pieces were secure, I cut away the last piece of sprue.

At the moment I am leaving both arms off so that I can paint the details on the body easier. I also needed to paint the shoulder pads separately, because I couldn't imagine free-handing the Iron Snakes symbol any other way. They still have some weathering to go, but here is a quick WIP.


The timeline for painting Seydon is "sometime before February". Because February is Squaduary and I am going to be all over that like three Thunderfires on a backfield blob.

See you across the table,