Off the Painting Table – Old Hammer: Salamanders

Warhammer 40,000 – One of my clients loves finding old models. He works in a Friendly Local Gamestore (FLGS) and always seems to come across good deals for guys getting out of the hobby with ancient models. These models eventually find their way to my table to get painted up to match one of his existing armies.


This time around we have Marnies Calgar on a throne, several Tech-marines (The Hands of Mars) and several Chaplains. All of these are destined to get the “bright” Salamanders scheme to match up with the rest of his force. This is the same client that I did the Terminators through the ages job so it’s fun seeing this variety of model in one army.


Maelstrom of War ... Team Battle

Maelstrom of War ... Team Battle

Warhammer 40,000 – Eighth Edition 40K still seems to be a hit with my group. Each week we've had a four player team game trying out different styles of play. This week we put a restriction of 2,000 point battle forged armies with no "titanic" models. The idea being that we'd see how things work with focusing on the more standard units. We rolled off to determine teams and then followed the rule book to set up a standard Maelstrom of War Mission.

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Off the painting table - Speedy Salamanders

Warhammer 40,000 - Green is good. I find it really fun to paint models for my Salamandar client. He always seems to come across models from all different periods of the space marine range. Painting them at the same time I can really appreciate how far the Predator Kit has come from the hybrid metal plastic kit based on the original plastic rhino. I'm happy that the rivets on the tanks have been reduced and don't feel so clunky.

Also in this batch are several versions of the landspeeder kit. The metal plastic hybrid, a pure plastic older kit and the most recent variation of the kit (which is a dream to put together compared to the older kits).

With all five of these speeders I had to figure out a way to mount multimeltas to both the rail and on the hull. The meltas come from a variety of sources since unfortunately the current kit doesn't include two of each weapon option.

The scouts are a basic squad with bolters to act as a basic troop unit with a little bit of extra range.

Off the painting table - Chaplain Xavier

Warhammer 40,000 - Games Workshop has been bringing back some of the older metal models from their ranges with a cast on demand program. It's a cool idea that gives players access to models they may have missed before or lost over the years.

One of my regular Salamanders clients recently picked up Chaplain Xavier and sent him over to be painted. Sadly this character doesn't have rules in the current codex but you can build a replica with the current armory. 

On the painting table ... Gray Knights

On the painting table ... Gray Knights

Warhammer 40,000 – One of my regular clients seems to be on the last leg of his fleshing out out his Grey Knights, Inquisitor and Salamanders forces. The latest batch of models he gave me to paint included six death cult assassins, five metal terminators (that needed to be stripped), three daemon hosts and a drop pod that has been built for a dreadnought.

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Off the painting table ... Salamanders Dark

Off the painting table ... Salamanders Dark

Warhammer 40,000 – It's odd how different two similar armies can look and feel. This is the second Salamanders army that I've painted recently and needed to match the existing force my client owns. This is another one where the original paints don't exist any longer so I had to custom mix some colors to come up with a close approximation.

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Off the painting table ... Salamanders Light

Off the painting table ... Salamanders Light

Warhammer 40,000 – I'm not sure if juggling several projects at once is the most efficient way to work when I have a bunch of stuff that needs to get done in a similar timeframe. It helps to show all parties progress steadily but I almost think it adds time to the overall process. Regardless I finally wrapped up these Salamanders that needed to match a previous army I painted.

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On the painting table ... Green Marines

On the painting table ... Green Marines

Warhammer 40,000 – I have two separate Salamanders clients, both of whom need new models for their forces. One of these armies was a commission I did a while back. The other is a match job to try and make the "new" models fit in with the rest of his force that was painted by someone else with a very different style than mine.

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Special Salamander - Captain Pellas Mir'san

Warhammer 40,000 – A while back I painted up a Salamanders force for a friend. He's really liking the list he has but as of late has decided he wants to add some different force commanders. I let him look through my Badab War books and he really liked the two characters available to him in the book.

The first character is a special dreadnaught, Bray'arth Ashmantle. This beast of a commander is pretty cool and Forgeworld makes a model for it. 

The second Salamander character is Captain Pellas Mir'san, which currently does not have a model. When I first looked at this guy during 5th edition he seemed pretty mediocre, cool concept but he didn't really change the force to much. Looking at him in 6th edition with Challenges, his abilities get significantly better. Essentially he's a duelist armed with two power swords and a combi-flamer. If he's in base with and enemy character he can either gain the +1 attack or deny the enemy an attack. Pretty nifty.

To build him I rummaged around in my bitz box to find the correct parts. I had an extra captain from Assault on Black Reach that I thought would make a passible base for the conversion. Next up were two power swords, one that came with the captain model and another that I think was from the force commander box. Since his hands would be full with the swords I decided to build a predator style combi-flamer to mount over his shoulder. By attaching it to the backpack he looks similar to the tech marine models, which ties in with the Salamanders forge father look.

After a bit a clipping, sanding and welding the plastic together I have a pretty cool model to represent this character.

On the painting table ... Tank Shock

Warhammer 40,000 – If you can't tell locally the sixth edition rules for 40K have been pretty popular. I'm tandemly working on two separate commission space marine armies. Oddly enough they're both green and share many of the same models. Unfortunately they are two very different shades of green which means I can't assembly line both armies at the same time. 

To speed up the process I pulled the common colors between the two armies and put them in the main slot of my paint table. Then I took two shoebox lids and put the custom mixes and army specific colors into them. That way when I need to change gears I have everything ready to go and can bring up the colors I need right away.

This time around I had to assemble and paint a Rhino and Landraider Redeemer. Both kits a very straightforward and fairly quick to put together. My client has no interest in opening the doors so I was able to glue it shut and skip the fiddly interior details. Once glue together with plastic cement these things are essentially solid bricks.

Painting followed the same rhythm as the other units in the army. Gretchin Green base with a green wash on the bulk of the model. Followed by edge highlights. I used the same grey with black wash for the black doors.

I left the hatches loose so he could upgrade to the melta if he so desired or just stick a standard hatch on if he didn't. I'm pretty happy with how these have turned out so far and just have some minor details to finish up and decals to apply.

Leaping Lizards - More Salamanders

Warhammer 40K – Moving forward with a full head of steam sixth edition has several of my painting clients really excited. In particular my friend Drew is loving his Salamanders force. However he has come to the realization that 50%-75% of the games you play in sixth edition 40K are going to be objective based and he needs more troops. (While I pointed out that is some of those fast attach units are scoring he doesn't think they fit with his army theme).

To increase his options he picked up two more squads from Black Reach and asked me to add a power fist and storm bolter to the squad to fill in where he might have points to spend. He didn't want me to spend a ton of time on the conversion so I kept it simple and clipped off the point arm on the sergant and replaced it with a power fist. the other sergant had his hand clipped and rotated so he could hold the storm bolter "nonghettostyle." with plastic models simple swaps like this are easy so loing as you use plastic glue. using the glue to melt the plastic fills in weird joins and creates an incrediblly strong bond.

Painting followed the same scheme as the rest of the army, gretchin green base, green wash etc.

Salamanders or a close approximation

Warhammer 40K – My latest large scale commission is in full swing. I finished up the three drop pods and ten terminators last week and delivered them to the client. I'm happy with how the paint scheme turned out, rather then go with the "official" Christmas green color I chose to go more of a muted lime green with orange and brass accents. I think they really pop with this scheme.

Sometimes an army scale project like this can be daunting. Over the years I've tried various techniques including painting one color on every model in the army and then moving on to the next until they're finished. This time around I decided to stick with 10 man squads. This would allow me to quickly focus on painting them to a tabletop standard as well as allowing my client to pick up each squad as it is finished and get them on the table.

Assembly line is really the best way to paint groups of models that are the same color. The models were provided to me primed and assembled, so I was able to get right into painting. A while back my mother-in-law found a great deal on the old GW foundation paints from a store that was closing. As such I had a bunch of pots of rather odd colors I don't ususally use. Of course the paint needed to be thinned out and refreshed as the old Foundation paints were thick to start with and old stock tends to separate a little. After adding some agitators to the pots and thinning them down I was ready to go.

To start I base coated each model with Gretchin Green, a weird sickly green color. Once that dried I gave them a wash with Thraka Green. While I'm speed painting like this I keep my light close to the table to speed up the drying process. By the time I finished the tenth model the first was ready for the next step which was painting the black/grey areas. I found that painting any black areas with a dark grey and washing with black gives a nice result that has a little depth. After the grey was dry I went back through and painted all the silver metallic bits, then went through and painted the brass. With that done the models are to a three color minimum. My client wanted a little more than that so I followed through and painted the orange trim and eyes, then the bone and parchment parts. After that was done a quick wash of black on the silver and grey bits, a wash of earthshade on the brass and these are ready to go. 

The next step once these are dry is to apply the decals. This step can be a giant pain as the salamander decals don't like to lie flat on the shoulder pads. A small cut at the top of the decal helps to allow it to curve with the pad. I also like to use mirco sol and miro set when doing decals. I was of course out of it at the moment so white vinegar works in a pinch. This helps to soften the decal so it "melts" into the pad. Once the dry I go over them with a coat of clear gloss varnish. This helps to hide the edges of the decal and gives the pad a little more pop. 

Baseing was a simple matter of brush on super glue. Dip in my box 'o sand, litter and random detrius. Shake off and paint with a dark grey. Drybrush lighter grey, repaint the edge to clean it up and they're done.

I use Kryon Matte finish to seal these. It gives a nice level of protection without being shiny.

So start to finish I was able to paint up (3) drop pods, (2) ten man tactical squads, (1) ten man terminator squad, (2) rhinos, (2) dreadnaughts, (4) multimelta marines, (1) terminator librarian, (1) captain, (1) chaplain and Vulcan over the course of two weeks painting from 9:30pm – 11:30pm every other night.

Grime Darkness – 40K on the horizon?

Warhammer 40,000 – Having dodged the bullet and sold off my Chaos Marine stuff prior to temptation seducing me into buying giant metal dragons and deformed gun beasts, I didn't expect to be playing 40K anytime soon. I still have my Space Marine army and Slaanesh Daemons that are still in need of some painting love. With the marines I have enough units completed to field a fully painted list, not necessarily the units I want to run but a functional army non-the-less. 

Recently my good friend called me up out of the blue and asked how much to paint a Space Marine army. I was pretty shocked by the request as he had sworn off any army scale mini games a while back and has stuck by it. Then I remembered he had picked up a Marine force for the Badab campaign I tried running after Forge World released the campaign books. Initially he had planned on painting them himself as Salamanders and during the process he remembered he hates painting.

As such I now have several custom built drop pods, and a unit of ten terminators on my painting table. Since paying customers always come first some of my projects are going to be taking a back seat while I finish this up for him. Luckily he just wants a tabletop standard finish so I won't be slaving away at these for long. (He's also happy with how he assembled them so I won't be cleaning any mold lines or assembling anything, since he wants this on the cheap.)

I'm pretty sure once he has his force painted up he's going to want to play some games. And while I'm in the grime dark mindset I might need to finish up some of my own units. Storm Raven I'm looking at you ... (as well as considering a Storm Talon ... sigh)