Monday 26 October 2020

DreadTober: Free-hand Shenanigans


Hi folks,

We are now into the final week of Dreadtober! October has gone by crazy quickly and I am a fair few steps behind where I would have liked to be at this stage with my Imperial Knight. It doesn't bother me though, painting a Knight in 4 weeks was always going to be an ambitious goal. 

To move me a little closer, I spent a couple of hours on Sunday completing the free-hand images on the shoulder armour. This step is always the one that makes me a little nervous, but I know that once it is done everything else is comparatively easy, so I tackled it early to get my mojo flowing. I won't include too much commentary and just let the pictures do the talking. It is another one of those processes where it looks really bad for a long time! Hopefully this will inspire some other people to push through the early agony to reach the rewards at the end. Here we go...

Here is the reference image I used while I was painting; it is a shower curtain 😂

I compressed the main a little to fit the space and didn't quite nail the angle, but that just helps make it my own. 

I also managed to get some construction done, so (at the moment) "Achilles" Aeternum is looking something like this:

Now, it is definitely time for sleep. Hopefully, if I get all of my work done tomorrow, I'll be able to push the project forward a little further by finishing the legs and sketching out the base.

See you across the table,


Thursday 22 October 2020

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Scouts TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

As I have mentioned previously, October is a very busy time in terms of community challenges and hobby projects. My 2nd Edition Army Challenge project for this month is a little light in terms of points, a fair way shy of the 200 pt goal, but that balances out the Deathwing Terminators I did last month. The project is a squad of 5 Dark Angels scouts with close combat weapons and bolt pistols. These models are some of the first I ever bought for myself! 

The sergeant is equipped with a chainsword (2 point splurge on wargear!), but otherwise I run the squad lean and mean. Their job is to steal objectives, throw grenades and to disrupt enemy advances where possible. If I can spend a couple of extra points, I usually give the sergeant something that will damage tanks; just in case.

The other scouts are just bog standard grunts with bolt pistols and close combat weapons. Such beautiful and complicated sculpts for such simple troops! I think that was one of the reasons I loved them so much.

Next month I'll be pulling out all stops to paint a Tactical Squad with all the guns. But I have A LOT of things to paint before then.

See you across the table,


Sunday 18 October 2020

DreadTober: Painting an Ork Deff Dread with the Boi


Hi folks,

A few months ago I was trolling through eBay when a Deff Dread caught my eye. It was pretty badly wrecked but going cheap, so I put a conservative bid in. I was winning that bid for the rest of the auction until the last couple of minutes when the price shot through the roof. I wasn't going to play that game so I let it slide, but that night the seller contacted me to say the buyer had just flipped his lid, overbid the hell out of it and run away. After agreeing on a price I had it sent over for the Boi and I to work on. He really loves my Dreadnought and wanted something to go up against them with. That was big. And stompy.

October is really busy in the 40K community, as most of you know really well. With most of my energy being poured into my Imperial Knight for DreadTober, my son pointed out (quite insightfully) that this model would fit DreadTober AND OrkTober in one hit!! So, while I originally had it slated as a Christmas school holiday project, we got stuck right into it. I helped him focus on each task by asking him questions such as :look at this arm, where do you think the metal/red/black paint should go, then letting him go for it. I can't tell you how proud I am of his brush control. He put down all the layers and even most of the detail work. After that he watched me add the final touches, including washes (we are both afraid he will spill them and with the current supply issues, that would be disastrous). The white section was particularly heinous, but he persevered with me and learned a great lesson I think. Thin coats. Thin coats for days.

The blood on the saws was his idea (honest). The conversation went something like this:

"What do you need red for?"
"Blood for everywhere?!"
"OK. Don't tell your mother."

I haven't introduced him to Tamiya Clear Red yet; he'll have nightmares. The orange rockets are also his thing. I don't really understand it but [shrugs with Australian but semi-patriotic Dutch cultural identity irony]. As I mentioned at the start, the model really was a wreck when we got it. I added some wires to add something to the worst bits.

So, that's and OrkTober and DreadTober project To-Done!!! I think I'll give myself a big stamp to celebrate:

See you across the table,


Sunday 11 October 2020

Colorshift Paints: An Experiment in Paint Wizardry


Hi folks,

There is something about metallic paints that has always fascinated me. Back when I was a kid, I used to build and paint aircraft models with my Dad. Painting the metal parts was my favourite thing, the silky quicksilver of an enamel gunmetal grabbed my imagination. Perhaps it was the conceptual alchemy of it all, as you watch matt plastic turn into a shiny and reflective surface, or the way it helped with the suspension of disbelief; making the models look that much more life-like. What ever it was, I kept my metallic enamels long after the other paints were thrown away. I even used them on my first 40K miniatures.

More recently, I have continued to be a sucker for metallic pigments. Many of my projects have involved a significant metallic component and I have avoided non-metallic metallics for most of them (though I have sometimes used the technique with true metallics). My Iron Snakes and Knights have both explored the weathering of copper, whilst other projects have featured oxidised iron. My Tyranids are all glazed metallics, which allowed me to paint them very quickly.

When colourshift metallic paints started hitting the market they caught my attention. Like me, you have probably seen some amazing Tau and Tyranid models painted with these paints and, when done properly, the effects they can achieve are eye-popping. During the holidays my wife and I bought some to play with. I purchased a set of 6 from Green Stuff World for about $50 AUD. If you have never taken a look at Green Stuff World, I highly recommend their products. They have amazing paints and other hobby tools.

If you are thinking about trying these out for yourself, here is some advice that may save you some time. Foremost, the instructions on the back are exactly how you should use them. Wifey and I played around for hours and following the advice provided on the packaging yielded the best results.

1) You will most likely want to undercoat the area in black.

2) Adding a gloss varnish coat to the area enhances the effect.

3) Use ultra-thin coats. This feels weird, as the paint itself has the consistency of a wash/glaze, or perhaps a thinned varnish. To describe how it feels to apply with a brush, I would say you are dry-brushing a glaze! Let each coat dry completely before adding the next. 

4) The colour it has as it leaves the bottle has little bearing on how it will look on the figure. If it pools, however, the pooled area will be the same colour as the bottle contents with no effect. This is the main issue with painting coats that are too thick; they will have a cloudy finish in the same colour as the bottle, killing the effect. Remove any excess paint with a clean brush before it drys.

5) Sometimes you can hardly see it go on the figure; tilt the figure and it will appear!

Some words of warning: the bottles come with little ceramic balls inside to help agitate them, but they can get stuck in nozzle when you go to put paint on your palette. The whole nozzle is removable (easily...) so if you apply any pressure the whole nozzle pops off and you get $8 AUD worth of colour shifting paint on your kitchen table. Thankfully, I had the tools needed to recover it!

Here are some photos showing the step-by-step process I am going through to give my Tyranids a colorshift make-over:

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two schemes. The colorshift paints used were Martian Green for the layer and Emerald Getaway for the highlight. It shifts between metallic purple and metallic green with a light blue, yellow or purple edge. At some angles, the figures look very dark and maroon in colour; the layer and the highlight shift to match each other. Walk around the table a few steps, and suddenly they flare bright green and turquoise!

A few random thoughts: as much as I love this product (I really do), it would not feel right entering it in a painting competition. I think you would be leaning really hard on a gimmick to earn points. Some artists are able to mimic such an effect using standard paints; they get a huge amount of respect from me, as do those who paint amazing NMM. Finally, if your display area or gaming area doesn't have great lighting, most of the effect is wasted. You just don't see it. The most fun is having these in a game, where you are always moving the models and around the table.  

The wifey has been using a different scheme to paint her Necrons, but I will let her tell you about that ;-)

See you across the table,


Friday 2 October 2020

DreadTober: Knight Preceptor Construction Completed


Hi folks,

DreadTober has begun! I have just finished the first week of the Spring break here in Australia and, in true hobby butterfly fashion, I have been flitting between projects. Over the past couple of days though I have knuckled down and constructed all of the sub-assemblies for m Imperial Knight Preceptor "Achilles" Aeternum. This is the last big Imperial Knight from my 1500 pt Walls of Ithaka army list (just an Armiger Warglaive to go...).

It may seem like an awful lot of sub-assemblies, but I have enough experience with these knights now to know what is hard to get at. The next step will be to apply the undercoats in different colours (black for metallics, white for reds and blue free-hand). I have the airbrush which I can use this time as well; I am going to try and apply the light blue that way.

The head I have chosen for this knight is the last one I have kept for myself, out of all of my spares. I sent the rest "across the ditch" to D power who uses them for Terminator shoulder pads! This one is from the Warden/Crusader kit that Dave Weston gave me a few years back; it features (what I call) the Death's head helm of the Mechanicum on one half and a skull on the other. As I have done previously with my Sternguard Sergeant Thanatos, the skull references the role the underworld plays in Greek mythology and the character of Achilles:

I have converted a multi-laser for the auxiliary weapon, similar to the load-out Canis Rex has. It doesn't have any rotary features but I figure it is different enough to everything else my usual opponents won't mind.

Of course the main stand-out feature of this built is the las-impulsor.  The resin parts are from Taro Modelmaker which I originally found on Etsy. The parts were not expensive and shipping was very quick. I think you will agree that the sculpt itself is just amazeballs. If you are interested in converting your knight, or just checking out amazing conversion parts in general, check out the website. The pieces are stupendously good.

Alright, so that's the easy part done. Now all I have to do is everything else!

See you across the table,