Painting the Leviathan Dreadnought, Part 1

So I’ve made great (if slow) progress on the Leviathan Dreadnought (affectionately called “Max”). After priming, I put on my blue basecoat. This didn’t go so well – not sure if the primer didn’t take, or the paint mix was wrong, but I had to strip him once and still had problems with the second try. Still, I got it done eventually.

Then I followed my normal process РI added other base colors over the model, such as the joints, the grill on the chest, and the blades of the claws. Then, I did an airbrushed wash using Pledge floor wax mixed with a burnt umber, and wiped most of it away with a t-shirt. That left me with this:

All the parts of the dreadnought, painted
Paper plates are my palettes, my model trays, and my lifelong friends.

The model still never looks right after this step, and there were parts where the base coat had rubbed off, and parts that still didn’t look right. Still, I valiantly picked up my brush and went after it. And the result was pleasing.

Dreadnought painted up, phase 1
Not a great picture… but I have learned to take better ones!

Keeping the head off the model was obviously a great idea. I put a stripe down the head and laurels (these both indicate veteran status in the Chapter) and it turned out nicely. In this photo, I had started highlighting, but wasn’t done.

As an aside, I’ve really struggled to take good photos of my models. I learned a little recently about aperture settings, shutter speeds, ISO settings, and lighting, but I still didn’t have great luck. Finally, I spent some bucks on a lightbox tent and some standing lamps (with bright bults) to go with it, and the results are amazing!

Semi-finished dreadnought
In case you’re interested… F-stop: f/18, exposure: 1/10 sec, ISO speed: 1600. I used three lamps, including a 200W incandescent bulb overhead, to get the lighting right.

As you can see above, I finished highlighting and started doing some freehand lettering and iconography. Here’re close-up shots (again, thanks to the lightbox):

Dreadnought, detailed shot
The left is supposed to read “Basilica” (the name of his homeworld), and the right says “Maximir” (his name), as well as a skull (Chapter Symbol) with a V and a III (the two Companies he captained during his service).
Detail shot of dreadnought
The symbols on his upper chest are the Basilican Skull (the Chapter icon) with laurels (indicating his is a veteran), and on the right upper chest is his personal sigil, a crescent moon with an eclipsed sun behind it.

I still have to paint his base, his waist weapons, and add battle damage, but he’s coming along very well. My tiny, tiny, tiny freehand lettering is far from perfect, but it’s like… good… which is surprising. If I master the tiny freehand better, I’ll post about my refined method of doing it.

Stay tuned for more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *