Hobby WIP Wednesday 1/22/20

January 22nd, 2020
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This week, I worked on some color tests. Having primed only three 2nd-Edition Space Marines, I didn’t want to jump right into experimenting with them when I didn’t know how exactly the Citadel Contrast Paint line was going to work, and I wasnt certain about how the colors would turn out. So, I went through some boxes from my parents’ and found some high elves from the GW LotR game that I’d primed (kinda badly) years ago.

I mixed four different ratios of Talassar Blue and Ultramarines Blue, deciding, ultimately, on the darkest blue. I also laid down some Blood Angels Red to provide the necessary contrast because my ultimate plan is for a scheme that is heavily red and blue.

I found some pooling and splotchiness with the blues, but the red went on beautifully. I chalked part of the splotchiness to the uneven priming job, but I definitely need to practice with the paint to avoid the pooling.

Red, white, and blue LOTR high elves.

Red, white, and blue LOTR high elves.

Red, white, and blue LOTR high elves from the front.

Red, white, and blue LOTR high elves from the front.

Because the ultimate paint scheme also requires some metal, I tried out two methods, both with Army Painter’s Plate Mail Metal. I then threw down a wash of Citadel’s Nuln Oil on one and more carefully applied Citadel’s Black Templar Contrast Paint to the other. I was pretty certain that the Nuln Oil would give the effect I was looking for, but it was a good excuse to try the BTCP over metal. I really like the look of both (though the black one didn’t photograph all too well), but the Nuln Oil is perfect for the ultimate plan. I’ll save the BTCP for a Warcry project–though I’ll likely this it down with Contrast Medium a bit so the black isn’t quite so overpowering.

LotR high elf with Nuln Oil-shaded Army Painter Plate Mail Metal.

LotR high elf with Nuln Oil-shaded Army Painter Plate Mail Metal.

LotR high elf with Black Templar Contrast-shaded Army Painter Plate Mail Metal.

LotR high elf with Black Templar Contrast-shaded Army Painter Plate Mail Metal.

Then it was time to try things out on Marines.

The blue didn’t turn out quite right on the legs, and the red ended up pooling really badly.

Duh. The cloaks and gauntlets on those elves don’t match up to surfaces on the Marines. Because of how the Contrast Paints run into crevices, providing a built-in-wash, they are going to look different applied to various surfaces and textures. Should have taken that into account.

So I continued experimenting with the blue ratio.

On top of that, the paints were frustrating to work with. I was making a mess, and the paint was drying too quickly for me to touch up areas that were splotching. Maybe I’m just slow–maybe the air isn’t humid enough. Probably a little bit of both.

Anyway. Time to reveal the paint scheme and Space Marine chapter: I give you the Fists of the Prime, an Imperial Fists successor chapter.

All three 2nd-Edition Space Marine test models of the Fists of the Prime chapter.

All three together. Even with the rough technique and quickly slapping the paint on, they do pull together in a group. There’s something to that “unit effect” that makes multiple minis look better than a single one.

Yup. I’ve married my love of Transformers to my love of the original grimdark property, 40K. It’s the geeky collision nearly no one asked for.

I’ll break down each one and what I tried with them.

First Fists of the Prime Marine test model.

First Fists of the Prime Marine test model. Original darkest blue from the elves on the left leg and head. Just a bit too dark for what I wanted. Aquila painted with Contrast Aethermic Blue with a Nuln Oil wash. Doesn’t look bad in the picture, but it came out muddy in person. Black Templar on the pouches and scabbard.

Second Fists of the Prime Marine test model.

Second Fists of the Prime 2nd-Edition Marine test model. I tried some Army Painter blue with some Contrast Paint on the left leg, and it didn’t quite look right (actually looks better in the picture, somehow). Then I went back to the Contrast Paint mix and went down to a 1:1 mix of Talassar Blue and Ultramarines Blue. This was much closer to what I wanted. I again painted the aquila with Contrast Aethermic Blue, but this time I lightly ran some Talassar Blue over it. Nope. It looks cool, but it’s too deep of a blue because I want to capture the glow of Optimus Prime’s windows. The Black Templar on the pouches and scabbard wasn’t working for me. Too dark and felt like weird shadows on the model. So I went for brown with Contrast Snakebite Leather.

I did realize that I was using a brush that was too small. I ran over to Michael’s (thankfully right around the corner!) and picked up a Royal & Lang round 3 brush, which definitely made a difference. I also decided to add some Winsor & Newton fluid retarder in order to slow down the drying process.

Ultimately, I used a mix of 1 part fluid retarder, 1 part Contrast Medium, 1 part Talassar Blue, and 1 part Ultramarines Blue for the blue. This mixture was easier to work with but requires two coats. For the red, I used 3 parts Blood Angels Red, 1 part fluid retarder, and one part Contrast Medium. It’s hard to see in the photos, but the red on the third one isn’t quite as deep. I might raise the ratio to 4 parts paint to fluid retarder and drop the medium.

Third Fists of the Prime Marine test model.

Third and final 2nd-Edition Marine test model. Sorry for the blurry picture on this one. Both the blue and the red went on much better and was easier to move around with the bigger brush and the thinners added. I did not add any extra shading to the aquila, and this really is more what I was going for. I’ll likely add more subtle shadows and highlights without major washing. By this time, I’d settled on the brown leather pouches, which I think ties things together better for some reason–plus, the weapons are going to be black to match Prime’s rifle, so I thought it best not to allow too much black to take over.

Three 2nd-Edition Space Marine color-test models.

Here are all three from behind. The red worked fairly well on the backpacks, but they are more like the gauntlets on the high elves: full of texture. The one on the right with the fluid retarder and medium added is a bit washed out, though it’s not nearly as noticeable in the picture.

I’m going to have to work on technique, but I think I’ve figured out enough to be ready to start painting once the unit is built and primed.

Speaking of which, I got back to cleaning up mold lines, assembling, and adding magnets.

Here are some pictures from that process:

Primaris Space Marine Infiltrator/Incursor with holes drilled in top of torso and bottom of neck for magnets.

Primaris Space Marine Infiltrator/Incursor with holes drilled in top of torso and bottom of neck for magnets.

Primaris Space Marine Infiltrator/Incursor ready for a dry fit of his arms with Sticky Tac.

Primaris Space Marine Infiltrator/Incursor ready for a dry fit of his arms with Sticky Tac. I’m planning on painting using sub-assemblies, so the arms won’t be glued on until after painting. Note that the infiltrator scope is already magnetized and can be swapped out for an incursor scope.

Primaris Space Marine Infiltrator/Incursor with Sticky Tac and paperclip placement tool.

Here, I’ve used a bent paperclip and some Sticky Tac to gauge the placement and fit of the bolt pistol in its holster. Eventually, I ended up using it to glue the piece in place.

Here I’ve drilled the hole in the back of the sheath–talk about fine work. The magnet will stick out just a little, but I’m going to try to sink the magnet in the thigh of the model to match.

I’ve drilled the hole in the Space Marine’s thigh and placed a dab of Superglue gel in it. The magnet is perched on a junk X-Acto blade, ready to be placed.

And the magnet is installed.

I ended up losing the infiltrator ammo pouch–dropped it in my lap right after gluing the magnet in, and the thing must have fallen into a black hole, because it’s gone-gone. I seriously tore everything apart with no luck finding it. There’s a leftover one on the sprue, so I’ll get it clipped, cleaned up, and magnetized.

Next week, I’ll post a short video showing off the magnetization.

Hobby WIP Wednesday 1/15/20

January 15th, 2020

I’ve recently decided that I need to spend a little time on things that I simply enjoy–I’ve spent ten years working and worrying about things, and that’s not healthy. I need time to work on miniatures, which is like meditation. I need to play games with people to relax in another way and to keep the brain agile.

I’ve also decided to keep track of hobby progress and post my successes and failures weekly. Here’s my first report:

Nothing too glamorous to report this week. Still working on cleaning up and assembling the Primaris Infiltrator/Incursor models–and I’ve mostly settled on a paint scheme for my chapter that I think is going to be really fun. More on that next week.

I spent too much time cleaning, organizing, and installing shelves in the laundry room to have space to set up my airbrush station. It took some trial and error, but it’s workable. I found yet another use for the old Ikea dresser parts, laying down a drawer front over the laundry room sink for another flat surface. But it’s exciting to finally be using the airbrush (it’s never been used, just collecting dust the past couple years) even if it’s just for priming at the moment.

Airbrush Workspace

Airbrush Workspace

Anyway, I dug up some old 2nd-Edition 40K Space Marines to experiment with. I’m planning on using Citadel Contrast Paints for my basecoats, so I’ve primed one plain white and two in light gray, both of which were then given a zenithal highlight–one using a white ink and the other with a white primer.

I stopped at @WarhammerWilmington for some paints, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with colors on some old models that I primed ages ago with a rattle can. Once I think I have the colors figured out, then it’s time to paint the test marines.

Results/things I learned: I went too heavy with the white on top of the gray. The picture doesnt really show it, but there is still grey visible from underneath the models, but I think I mostly wiped out the midtones. Getting exact control over the paint flow is going to take practice.

Warhammer 40K 2nd-Edition Space Marines Primed

Warhammer 40K 2nd-Edition Space Marines Primed

Even though I tested each color on empty sprue first, I still had the pressure too high (20 PSI, which works well for the primer) for the white ink when I started spraying the model, and I ended up with some splattering and pooling after the first pass. The second pass (at 15 PSI) mostly covered it up, but the paint job is not as neat as the gray and white primer.

While I think with practice I’ll be able to achieve greater results with the ink, for the squad I’m working on now, I have a feeling I’ll be sticking to the gray and white primer. I’m trying to get them done for a painting competition in a little more than a week. Yeah. Good luck.

My dyslexia is really messing up my ability to do a proper back flow with the airbrush. Because the trigger action is reversed from painting (pull back on the trigger to pull back the needle before pressing down to engage the air, rather than the opposite), I’m always thrown off, and then I can’t remember which to do first when stopping, so I sprayed dirty cleaning solution everywhere or stabbed my finger multiple times. Practice. Practice. Practice. Bleed some more.

The wire rack wasn’t a bad idea for painting bits that are magnetized or stuck on with mounting putty, but it fills the spray box and just isn’t maneuverable enough, making it impossible to hit the bits from all angles. So, back to the Ikea dresser remains. I found a support, cut it in half, then attached some hooks I had lying around from the previous incarnation of the vocal booth. Now I have a bits spraying handle (as seen behind the models).

Bits Painting Handle in the Background

Bits Painting Handle in the Background

#warmongers #wipwednesday #wargaming #warhammer40000 #warhammer40k #40k #wh40k #airbrush #airbrushingminis #paintingminis #gamesworkshop #spacemarines #primarisspacemarines

TBR Pile Growing

March 9th, 2014

With all of the teaching and editing I’ve been doing, there hasn’t been much time to read for pleasure the past couple of years. Pyr and these two guys are making it tough on me since I want to start reading both of their new books right this minute.

  1. Disclosure: If you purchase a book from the below links within a certain amount of time of clicking on it, I will earn a small portion of the sale. That does not affect my recommendations, though. For more information, see the full affiliate disclosure.

I first encountered Jon Sprunk when I published a short story of his in my very first themed short story anthology, Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of Elves. I’ve had the pleasure of including stories by Jon in a handful of books since then, and it’s been exciting to watch his novels take off. I think he’s really hitting his stride with his brand of sword and sorcery. Blood and Iron is a sword and sorcery tale set in a world that borrows from the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians and ruminates on the meaning of power and freedom.

I knew of Mark Smylie from his fantastically bloody and sexy Artesia comics, and we started running into each other at various conventions such as Wizard World and Gen Con. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a friendlier creator before or since, and I’m a little sad realizing our paths haven’t crossed in a few years. I was looking up information about Jon’s book, and I noticed something about The Barrow by Mark Smylie. Seems as if he’s taking readers back into the Known World, the setting of his Artesia books. It doesn’t appear that you need any knowledge of the earlier works since it features a new story and new characters—an intriguing cast of rogues. All reports indicate intense violence and sex, and a darkly rewarding story (and I wouldn’t expect anything less).

Both books are getting good reviews. Now I have to figure out which to read first.