Friday 28 October 2016

Dreadtober: Detail and Weathering

Hi folks,

With Dreadtober coming to a close, I am really struggling to find the time to get my Deathwatch Techmarine Dreadnought finished. This is the time of year we write reports at school and I am neck deep in paperwork, so I have only been able to snatch 30 minutes here and there to add details. This has mostly included painting the green lenses and the shading on the potential coil and red armour/conversion beamer. There is a Mechanicum symbol on the right arm that also took some time to paint:

The left arm took a long time to shade, even though it is primarily only one colour. I may still add some more mid-tones to some areas, depending on how much time I have at the end. I am just trying to pack as much depth into that true-metallic arm as possible.

After getting the detail done I added some weathering, primarily using stippling. I paid particular attention to the legs, adding some light brown to match the base. If you recall, the Techmarine that inspired this project has a lot of dust and muck in his robes to reflect the kind of work he does (he spends most of his days doing grease and oil changes on Landraiders).  I felt like I was paying even further homage to him by focusing on the legs and making them dirty.

The Dark Angels symbol on the barrel also copped some abuse, following some constructive advice from the community. Chaplains are on route to the offending parties to investigate any potential Fallen sympathies...

The next challenge is going to revolve around photography, but I will also be using the extra time to paint the detail on the servo-arms and attach them. If all goes well, I will be able to make the big reveal with everybody else during the final Dreadtober showcase!

See you across the Dreadtable,


Thursday 20 October 2016

Dreadtober: Base Completed

Hi folks,

I may have said something silly and gun-ho when Dreadtober started, something like "It's on like Donkey Kong."

"A phrase to denote that it's time to throw down or compete at a high level; something is about to go down. The use of the comical video game character Donkey Kong provides comic relief but the phrase itself has greater or more significance than simply its on."

Urban Dictionary 

Joe from Broken Paintbrush, who is running Dreadtober this year, suggested that I should put barrels on the base: challenge accepted!

I started with some barrels from a very old scatter terrain sprue. I cut them to size with a razor saw, so that they would not distract people too much from the Dreadnought, and undercoated the whole base black. the barrels were then painted Leadbelchers with a Caliban Green stripe. Iron oxide weathering was applied using a number of orange, purple and brown mixtures applied by stippling with an old beaten up brush. 

Around the barrels I applied the new Astrogranite Debris textured paint from Citadel. I was a bit skeptical when I bought it, thinking "surely it is cheaper to just make your own texture paints", but I don't know how I would achieve the consistency of this product. When you scoop it out with the brush it deposits soft clumps of texture that are well suspended in paint ("wet"). The clumps were easily broken down and manipulated with a damp brush, though care had to be taken not to brush the clumps against stuff that was already painted.

After application, the Astrogranite looked very flat colour-wise and I was a bit worried about how it would stand up to a round of drybrushing. To make it look how I wanted it, I planned to give it a black wash and two lighter shades of grey in highlights.

When dry, the Astrogranite was nice and hard, I dry-brushed it fairly vigorously just to test it out and none of it was removed by the action of the paintbrush. After it was thoroughly dry I added dried soil from the backyard to the rest of the base using PVA, followed by some clumps of static grass.

To finish it off I added a laser-cut fern (follow the link for a tutorial) and a Dark Angels decal on the barrel. This is a sneaky way of adding some more Dark Angels flavour to the project. The original Deathwatch Techmarine model, which inspired this project, has a Dark Angels green shoulder pad to signify his allegiance to that Chapter (...Legion). I decided this would look rubbish on a Dreadnought, so I have had to slip other little hints that he was originally from the Dark Angels Chapter around the project.  Here are some shots with the WIP Dreadnought to give you an idea of how it all looks together.

As so often happens when I take a photo of a project, I can see a little dab of grey that had spilled onto the side of the base, where it should be black. Curses! That's tomorrow Marc's problem :o)

See you across the table,


Sunday 16 October 2016

Armies on Parade 2016: Liverpool Part 2

Hi folks,

With the dust settling after the whirlwind that was Armies on Parade 2016, I thought I would share the 2nd and 3rd place displays. The entry that won second place was a large Age of Sigmar force featuring Stormcast Eternals.

The painting was high quality and there was a diverse range of units displayed. The centerpiece was a very impressive Stardrake. On second thought, putting this display next to Vulkan may have been playing with fire XD

The commander's pet was also a stand-out:

These guys on the high ground looked righteous:

As I said, the standard of painting for the whole army was high quality, well deserving of a place. I voted for this entry as my second choice, even though I don't have the faintest clue about Age of Sigmar.

Third place was a fun Ork and Eldar display. I voted this as my third favourite as well, so I was bang on the money with my predictions this year.

It featured some really cool Ork vehicles, in some colours that I wasn't expecting.

There was also copious amounts of dakka...

...and burnination...

There were some Eldar there as well, but I was too busy looking at the Orks and didn't take any photos of them! Ah well, never liked them anyway.

I'll leave you with some cheeky Facebook shenanigans that happened after the voting had closed, that had me cracking up while I was busy trying to upload photos.

See you across the table,


...and the eloquent riposte:

Saturday 15 October 2016

Armies on Parade 2016: Liverpool Part 1

Hi folks,

I dropped in to my local GW this morning to check out the Armies on Parade entries and vote for the best display. My mate Sgt Waz was showcasing his Salamanders this year, which I know he has been working hard on, so it felt good to give him a bit of support. The atmosphere in the store was fantastic this year, there was a great mix of old and new players. Conversations ranged from the sharing of basic painting skills with the less experienced painters, to troll legends from Norway, to the sharing of deep nostalgia regarding Genestealer Cults. It was also nice to see that GW had organised pins for each participant to reward them in some way.

I love a good trophy cabinet!

I had a wander around all the displays and it was pretty clear that Sgt Waz had produced something special. In this post I will just focus on his entry, as it contained so many cool aspects; I'll save the others for later.

The army was fronted by none other than the Primarch himself:

Flanking him was a Librarian, based on the Blood Angels Librarian from Space Hulk, and Vulkan He'Stan.

To either side were units of Terminators and Vanguard, as well as some fearsome heavy support.

Above them was the centerpiece of the collection: a Thunderhawk gunship on a landing pad complete with landing lights.

On either side of the Thunderhawk gunship was a Dreadnought, including a Venerable Dreadnought and Mortis Pattern Contemptor.

Then when you take a look towards the back of the display you find some more surprises. In fact, I couldn't look anywhere without seeing something interesting. For example, a Company Master overseeing the loading of the Thunderhawk from a balcony.

Or perhaps the four Imperial Assassins! The Culexis was hard to take a shot of, but here are the other three.

Last, but possibly my favourite, was right at the back of the Thunderhawk. Sgt Waz had positioned a Techmarine there, controlling a yellow powerloader (Sentinel) that was busy loading the Thunderhawk, just like the scene in Aliens. You beauty!

What more could you want? It was no surprise when the votes were finally counted at 4 pm that Sgt Waz had scored his second win in recent years. Congratulations champ! Next post I will show some of the other entries, which were all very well done.

See you across the table,


Friday 14 October 2016

Dreadtober: Base Colours

Hi folks,

This week we are all laying down the base colours, which I have been struggling to do; where did the time go?! I have picked a bunch of colours that I wouldn't usually use, at least not in the arrangement you see them in. My scheme choice has focused more on the colours that it should be, as opposed to what is easy to make "look good". The result is flat and jarring to my brain, but this stage of the job always makes me feel that way. Seven layers of glaze and highlights should make me feel better. I also have an idea that I want to try on the Conversion Beamer, but again, it is not something I would usually do...

...and if it all goes pear-shaped I'll strip the whole thing and paint a snake on it!

See you across the table,


Saturday 8 October 2016

Iron Snakes: Master of the Forge Progress Part 4

Hi folks,

Time for some gardening! Spring has sprung in Australia and I have been spending a lot of time on my outdoor hobbies. I keep quite a few rainforest plants in my yard, which are always a challenge to keep alive in the hotter months. They do provide a lot of inspiration for my basing projects, though.

To keep my Master of the Forge progressing towards completion, I have tinkered with a very simple base for him. I figured it would be harder to do once the servo-harness is attached. The model is already quite busy when it is completely assembled, so I wanted a simple base that wouldn't distract from the figure.

I have used a mixture of dry soil, winter/spring flock and static grass, as well as a pile of bullets/skull from the Dark Vengeance sprues.

I have also been working on the servo-harness, which, I have to admit, has been causing me some anxiety. I don't know why, perhaps because I am at the end of the project, but there seems to be a road block in my mind whenever I go to paint it. I could probably knock the whole thing over in one session, but instead I sit their ruminating about which colour scheme to use where. GAH! JUST DO IT!

So, at least I have made a start. The front and the back parts are complete with just the four "arms" to go. I haven't decided what colour to do the hydraulic lines; I am thinking red or gold. If you have a preference let me know in the comments. The lightning bolts where a spur of the moment decision, out of pure annoyance that I am so worried about the rest of the thing. I have never painted them before and I don't think I will even win any awards for them, but trying something out of the ordinary that I'm not necessarily good at doing may be the jump-start my brain needs.

Here is a view from that front, though not much of the new work is visible, apart from the potential coil.

The spear looks a little weird from this angle and the potential coil is hidden behind the helmet plume: best photo ever!

Next post, for better or for worse, he will be finished. Wish me luck ;-)

See you across the table,


Thursday 6 October 2016

Dreadtober: Construction Complete!

Hi folks,

I have decided that I will be painting my Techmarine Dreadnought before I completely assemble it. Through the wonders of Blutac, though, I can show you what it will look like.

I didn't factor the slope of the armour on top of the sarcophagus into the orientation of the servo arms, so they are on a slight angle. This isn't a big problem though, as conceptually they can rotate freely anyway.

All of the weapons I have chosen have a use that is additional to combat and which suits the role of a Techmarine.

The sarcophagus armour isn't quite as smooth as I would have liked it to be, but that is understandable considering the state it was in when I started. I doubt I could get it smoother without inadvertently removing other details, such as the rivets.

I added a small crux to the seismic hammer arm, which fits the Deathwatch theme. On the other arm I have attached a stylised skull and cog symbol of the Mechanicum. The Dark Angels symbol is, of course, on top of the sarcophagus, in front of the potential coil.

Withe the black undercoat done, I have already knocked over the first stage of painting. Next stage I will adding layers of grey where I will be painting red later, as well as the first of the metallics. Lots of paint scheme decisions to come!

See you across the table,