Introducing… the Angels of Condemnation!

I love Terminators. Space Marines in the old “Tactical Dreadnought Armor” just look kickass, in my opinion. I became obsessed with Warhammer 40,000 after playing Dawn of War (prior to that, I was aware of 40k, but uninterested in spending money on it). In Dawn of War, the Terminators were clearly the most deadly, invincible Space Marines ever to enter the battlefield… and they had great quotes! (“The Emperor’s finest reporting!”)

So… the Deathwing are basically an army made entirely of Terminators. What’s not to love? Well, I didn’t love what it would cost to buy that many Terminators… so an army of Terminators became something of a pipedream.

Enter Dark Vengeance, a starter set full of Dark Angels, containing five Terminators. This set flooded the secondary market, such that a person could get 5 Terminators on ebay for $10 (instead of $50 or $60). So I did what any reasonable person would do – bought a ton of them and started cutting them up and customizing them.

I am, of course, dedicated to no two models looking exactly the same (even before they’re painted), so this was a fun pet project to make four poses look like fifty poses. In the end, I also used the Deathwing Terminators box, both for extra bits, and because Deathwing Knights look amazing, so I wanted some of those.

Early on, I was going to simply paint them like my custom Codex Chapter, the Basilicans, and simply have them “count as” Deathwing… but I decided that I like inventing fluff (and the Dark Angels are a cool parent Chapter to have), so instead I invented… The Angels of Condemnation!

Continue reading Introducing… the Angels of Condemnation!

Assembling the Leviathan Dreadnought

I really loved Forgeworld’s Leviathan Dreadnought when I saw it, and the model did not disappoint. It’s massive and hefty, which is what I think of when I think “dreadnought.” I got a siege claw and a storm cannon to go on for now.

I magnetized the weapons at the elbow, which seemed easier than the shoulder joint. I also magnetized the flamer/volkite weapons at the waist. I didn’t magnetize the missile launcher/phosphex discharger – there’s not much area to drill into except detail I didn’t want to ruin, and it’s an easy piece to tack on with wall mounting putty if I want to.

Leviathan Pieces
I fall to pieces…

My favorite part of assembling it, though, was making a nice decorative base. Using the front bit of a Rhino (left over from a Demolisher), a Rhino door, Chaos Space Marine bits, and some Rhino tracks I got in a bits box, I gave the Leviathan Dreadnought something nice to stand on.

Chaos Rhino base
Take that, Chaos Rhino!

Assembled and posed, this is now one of my favorite minis that I own. For this picture, I tacked the model together, but I intend to paint it separately (base, legs, body, head, top cover, and weapons individually).

Leviathan assembled
Prepare for Leviathan-ing

Stay tuned for a painting adventure!

The Year of Painting: Imperial Knight, Part 4

This was my first time airbrushing a model. It was my first time using “Future Shine” to make a wash. It was my first time painting free-hand symbols on a model (I’ve painted freehand on bigger surfaces before). And everything came out great! This just proves a personal motto of mine, Just do it. It will come out better than you think it will.”

Here’s the (basically) finished model, and this picture really shows how effective the “Future Shine” wash was – all the brown shading is from that wash.

Imperial Knight
Also, I’m not very experienced with decals, and those came out great, too!

Continue reading The Year of Painting: Imperial Knight, Part 4

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

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!

The Wolf King, Painted!

Fans of the blog know I’m not an avid painter. I don’t think I’m bad at it, I’m just always wishy-washy about starting… because I’m afraid I’ll mess it up.

When we last left the Wolf King (3 years ago), he was scratch-built but unpainted. I am happy to say he has now been painted.

After laying down a base layer, I took a picture (to remind myself that these paint jobs look terrible at first):

Base layer for the Wolf King
Yuck. That’s just awful.

From there, the work improved. I was going to try and paint him (and my other Space Wolf-wannabes) in white armor, but… I do not like the way that looks, it turns out. So, the Wolf King ended up more of a gray color. Voila!

The Wolf King, front view
The Wolf King, rear view
The view from the back!

The Black Legion Chaos Terminator Lord that lies cut in half at his feet also came out pretty nice!

Wolf King, base decor

And here’s where his power fist ended up…

The Wolf King, more base decor
It’s amazing the Wolf King didn’t get any of that blood on his armor, huh?

I sculpted a lot of things by hand, like his hair, bear, and some the fur at his shoulders, waist, and leg. Unfortunately, I think you can easily tell…

Wolf King, view of face

All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out, despite some of the sculpting things I don’t like. But, considering how many times I reworked this figure, I guess it’s pretty darn good. I don’t like it as much as my Terminator Chaplain paint job, but it’s still good.

Comments are welcome!

Space Marine Centurions and Mounting Putty

In my previous video post, How to Not Magnetize, I explored the world of using wall putty instead of magnets.

The Space Marine Centurion kit has long intimidated me. I like to build “What You See Is What You Get” models (meaning that the model itself shows what weapons it is using in a game) not because I play with anyone who requires it… but because it’s kind of a fun challenge sometimes. The Centurion Kit has 3 chest weapon options, 4 arm weapons, and 2 more options for one of those arm weapons. That’s… a lot of permutations.

And the Centurions have very tiny areas where these weapons attach, especially the chest weapons. They are so tiny. So very tiny. Magnets don’t really seem to be an option for the Centurion, not realistically.

But mounting putty? That’s a whole different story.

I built one Centurion, and then started making and sticking weapons on it. Here’re all the various arm weapons (I didn’t swap out the chest weapon, but trust me, they are swappable):

Centurion pictures
Siege drills with meltaguns, siege drills with flamers, lascannons, heavy bolters, graviton gun, and the less popular “no weapons” option

The putty option isn’t perfect. Sometimes, it’s hard to get the right amount. Sometimes, it isn’t enough. But… considering what a mess drilling holes for magnets could be, mounting putty remains a really solid option for building a completely flexible unit without buying a million models, or asking opponents to pretend the lascannons are heavy bolters. Don’t get me wrong – I think people who are strict about that kind of thing are likely assholes, but I do enjoy the challenge, and I really enjoy using all the parts that come in the box.

Once again, mounting putty is your friend!

Stormfangwolf – The Magnetizing

In the last post, I showed you how to not magnetize the guns on the Stormfangwolf. This time, I’ll just show you how I magnetized the rest (but not the lascannons, which I just decided wouldn’t be swappable). Here we go…

First, the magnets for the front door area. I cut the “Helfrost Destructor” bit for the Stormfang variant near the front and glued the remainder to the top of the ship. The “vent cover” piece for the Stormwolf variant covers the gun when it’s in that form. I also cut the side tabs off the Stormwolf front gate. You should be able to see all the cuts in the photos, so let’s get to those:

Inside view of the hull
Inside view of the hull

The magnets here on the left hull piece and the middle of the floor. These two magnets are all we need to hold both front bits in place. You’ll note the swatches of plasticard – that’s used as a spacer to get the magnets in the right position. Once I find the right place, I use standard superglue to hold the magnet in place. And then once everything fits together, I go back over each magnet with a small amount of Gorilla Glue.

Gorilla Glue is like an expanding foam that hardens, and it gets into cracks and crevices and creates an amazing hold. So, once I know the magnets work, I use Gorilla Glue to make sure those magnets will never move again.

Here are some close-ups of the magnets in their places (for no good reason):

Magnet on the top of the left hull
Magnet on the top of the left hull
Magnet in the center-front of the floor
Magnet in the center-front of the floor

I made a mess of the inside of these pieces, but the inside isn’t going to be up to display standards, so I don’t care. It’s more important to me that the pieces hold together. Here’re shots of the two front pieces in place:

Stormwolf front door in place
Stormwolf front door in place
Stormfang front piece (with the tip of the Helfrost Destructor in place).
Stormfang front piece (with the tip of the Helfrost Destructor in place).

Here’s a shot of the top with some of its magnetized pieces showing:

Top of the hull and its bits
Top of the hull and its bits

And the top in both its variants:

Top hull of the Stormfang variant
Top hull of the Stormfang variant
Top hull of the Stormwolf variant
Top hull of the Stormwolf variant

And a final shot of the top of the hull where the turret and engine cover thing goes:

Top rear hull and its magnetic babies
Top rear hull and its magnetic babies

That’s all of the Stormfangwolf for now – someday, I’ll paint it and post about that!