The Year of Painting: Imperial Knight, Part 1

One of the most intimidating figures I have as far as painting goes is the Imperial Knight. But, since it’s The Year of Painting, I decided to jump right at it. I left some pieces off for painting – the top armor, shoulders, and faceplate – but really, I should have left all the armor off – I would have had a much easier time!

I started with a normal coat of gray spray primer (I used the hardware store brands):

Imperial Knight primed
Primed! A good spray booth, and you can use spray primer in the house (well, in the basement). I’ll cover this some time in another post.

I then airbrushed black over the mechanical parts, leaving the armor plates gray: Continue reading The Year of Painting: Imperial Knight, Part 1

The Harlequin Troupe Master

The new Eldar Harlequins are amazing models, and (despite their very dynamic poses) there’s even some room for conversion! To make this Harlequin Troupe Master (who I have named “The Fellow of Infinite Jest”), I used one of the decorative Harlequins from the Starweaver kit (why add decorative minis when you can use them for awesome conversions?).

I bent his back leg just a bit to give him more of a dynamic pose and glued his front foot to a tiny ruin bit from the Eldar Wraithlord kit. It worked out perfectly! For his arms, I had to do a little cutting. In the Troupe kit, each figure’s shoulderpads are attached to their body. But, in the Starweaver kit, the figures shoulderpads are on the arms… but those arms aren’t holding the proper weapons to turn the figure into a Troupe Player! A simple cut at the elbows of all the arms allowed me to easily give the Troupe Master a shuriken pistol (actually, it’s a Dark Eldar pistol, but it looks close enough) and the Harlequin’s Caress glove weapon.

Harlequin Troupe Leader
A true Harlequin never has both feet on the ground!

Painting the Harlequin Motley is pretty insane, as you might imagine. My diamond pattern came out great! …eventually. It took many tries, and many paint-overs, and there might be a touch of chunkiness to the lines as a result… but it looks great from “table distance” (that is, when your eyes are one or two feet away, not looking really close or, say, view a picture taken with the macro setting on the camera). It was my first time doing anything like the Harlequin motley, so I’m pretty darn happy about it.

Here are some more pictures: Continue reading The Harlequin Troupe Master

The Year of Painting: Tyranids

I haven’t mentioned this on the blog yet, but 2015 is the Year of Painting. It’s kind of like a New Year’s Resolution, if I made New Year’s Resolutions. Regardless, in my seven or eight years in this hobby, I’ve accumulated quite a few models. I have not, however, painted most of these models. Most of this comes from a huge wishy-washy quality my mind has – I agonize over details like color schemes and whether my painting skill is up to snuff. Naturally, I don’t improve without practice, and thus the vicious cycle continues.

But no more!

Now I’m just chugging through, slapping acrylics over primers over plastics willy-nilly, firing off my airbrush despite a lack of experience with it, and generally just trying to have a good time.

Our next installment is some tyranids – I did some hormagaunts to test a color scheme, and threw that on my hodgepodge Swarmlord. The tyranids were just primed white, then the armor plates were coated brown. I washed the white parts with a sepia wash, and the brown parts with a crimson wash, and then I did some highlights, the eyes, etc.

The Swarmlord is built out of leftover parts – I sculpted a cruddy body, and then tried to cover up my shoddy work with nicely-made green stuff “hoses” (made with the Tentacle Maker) that are meant to look like carapace structures. No idea how they look to others, but I think their generic, xenomorphic appearance works just great.

The fluff piece in my head for this “Swarmlord” is that he survived a disease attack from a Nurgle daemon or cultist, but survived and is now more powerful as a result. Naturally, he just counts as the Swarmlord, but I do like making up stories.

Continue reading The Year of Painting: Tyranids

Wolves, Frost, and White Power Armor

I’ve got some Space Wolves that I wanted to make my own – in general, I like to customize all my miniatures and make them “my own” in some way. The Space Wolves have no successor Chapters, so the existing canon wouldn’t allow an offshoot, strictly speaking. Of course, that’s not to say that some Chapter might not end up becoming a reasonable facsimile of the Space Wolves.

I’ve dubbed this chapter the Frost Wolves, because snow and Space Wolves are cool together. And, in tribute to the Luna Wolves of old, I thought a white paint scheme would be awesome.

But I discovered that painting white power armor is kind of a pain in the ass. When I tried it with my Space Wolves Chapter Master (a custom stand-in for Logan Grimnar), it came out not-too-good. I ended up just painting him gray (and he’ll probably stay that way).

Afterwards, I looked around the interwebs and found some tips and hints about painting white power armor, and I took another stab at it:

Space Marine in white power armor
“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

Not too bad. The white paint I have is a little chunky, so if I could smooth it out or get new paint, it might work better. Even so, this is doable. I was hoping to speed-paint these guys, but putting three layers of white on is not conducive to speed, so there you have it.

More Frost Wolves to come!

Grey Knight Librarian Conversion

I have a rule – Grey Knights wear helmets!

Firstly, their helmets look awesome. Second, without helmets, Grey Knights are apparently really goofy-looking hooded guys.

Draigo with no helmet
“My hoodie is on very tight, and there are wires all over it!”

I do like the Space Marine Terminator Librarian model (which is the model suggested by the codex as the Grey Knight Librarian as well), but obviously his head is bare… which is not allowed in my Grey Knight army. Plus, he lacks the cool wrist-mounted storm bolter that all Grey Knights get standard issue on Titan, and he needed a little more “Grey Knight” decor to make him fit – why not the decorative besagews that are signature pieces of Grey Knight armor?

You know, the besagew. The piece of armor that protects the arteries inside the armpit. It’s a real thing. Wikipedia knows about it.

Anyway, I set about carving the face off the Terminator Librarian and shaving the back of his forearm to accent the storm bolter. I also had to cut about 80% off the back of the Grey Knight head I used to make it all come together. Here are some close-ups of the finished work…

Grey Knight Librarian, close-up
Here’s a close-up. Can you tell he’s casting Invisibility? It’s true – he’s a douchebag. This picture makes it look like his head is low and protruding, but it looks right from pretty much every other angle.
Grey Knight Librarian, close-up
Here’s a close-up to show the storm bolter. I had to add a spacer (a tiny bit of plasticard) to make it fit properly around his outstretched hand, but I love that hand and I wanted to maintain its effect. Here you can also see the decorative BESAGEW.

Now I need to base him, which will give me a chance to show how I have started making custom base stamps to make matching patterned bases customized to each army! Hooray!

More to come!

The Balmorra Ray!

When last we visited my modified YT-1300 (now dubbed “The Balmorra Ray”) for the X-Wing Miniatures game, I had finished removing the original cockpit and creating a new one. Since then, I cleaned it up, primed it, then cleaned it up some more, then primed it again… and now, finally, I’ve painted it!

First, I did some airbrushing. I gave it a nice bright red accent, then I dulled that color by spraying light gray from a distance, which does a nice job of bringing out the midtones of the color without making it too dark. Here are the pics:

YT-1300, after airbrushing
Bottom view. This looks so neat.
Top of YT-1300, after airbrushing
Top view, also neat.

Then I edged off the splatter of the airbrushed red, did some dark washes and some brown washes, put on some black, and highlighted the bridge area. I also painted in a windshield. Here are the pics!

Finished YT-1300, Top
The finished “Balmorra Ray” (which is the name I gave the ship, because a ship needs a name)!
Finished YT-1300, Bottom
And the bottom, which came out mostly darker. I’m fine with that.
Finished YT-1300, Front
The highlighting is a little brighter than I wanted, but I’m going to leave it be.


Finished YT-1300, side 3/4 view
The glamour shot!

The flash on the camera makes the highlights and shadows more pronounced than natural lighting, so I think it actually looks much better in person than in the photos. I’m very happy with how this turned out, including little details like the clear plastic connector still being clear.

I do need to color in the engine (right now, it’s primer gray), and then I desperately need to put a clear coat on it, because the paint on this rubs off way too easily (and I don’t know why).

Thanks for checking it out! More to come!