WIP - Iron Angels?

WIP - Iron Angels?

Warhammer 40,000 – I don't think I can extoll the virtues of making up your own force and color scheme in 40k enough. The flexibility it affords and money you can save in the long run is really worth it. Of course you'll occasionally get somebody who gives you the side-eye every time you say successor chapter but whatever that will happen regardless of what you do.

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A shot in the dark ... Astra Militarum

 A shot in the dark ... Astra Militarum

Warhammer 40,000 – Snipers on paper seem like a great investment. Being able to pick out characters and cause mortal wounds should be amazing. In practice it's pretty hit or miss. I run Space Marine Scouts often and on a good day they roll a ton of 6's and cause my opponent a ton of grief. But most times they do a wound or two and then draw fire until they disappear.

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On the painting table ... Sniper Scouts

Warhammer 40,000 - Now that Gathering Storm has been out for a little while I'm seeing some forces adding a few units to maximize what they can do with the Castellan Formation. Having access to pretty much anything Imperial has people doing some interesting things.

One of the cheapest Troop units is the Space Marine Scout. For a minimal investment you get a fairly tough unit that can scout onto objectives and snipe off enemies from a good range. Not to mention with this formation they come back on a 4+ when they do finally get eliminated. I can see why this is a go to choice to fill out those four troop units.

This particular batch of Scouts goeswith a Tyrants Legion force I painted some time ago. They have a custom decal that is used on all the various forces that I've done for this client. As well as the same grey, white, red and black scheme that ties everything together. The camo cloaks are painted to match the base so that they at least appear to be functional.

There's also a unique Vindicare Assassin that you can see photos of in the painting gallery.

On the painting table ... Guard your Grill

On the painting table ... Guard your Grill

Warhammer 40,000 – I suck. Plain and simple I've been sitting on this job for far to long. Part of the problem is the client has provided no deadline and has most of his other stuff that is playable so this is really just a bunch of stuff he got a good deal on and wants to match his other models. This is great for me as it means I just paint when I have a chance between other jobs but it also sucks because I feel guilty for having this for so long. 

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On the Painting Table ... The Tyrant's Legion Returns

Warhammer 40,000 – My client the previously had me paint up a Tyrant's Legion Army in his own custom color scheme has recently come across a great deal on a Catchatan Jungle Fighter army. This included not only a boatload of troops but several tanks, sentinels and a Baneblade. The amount he paid for them is pretty ridiculously low (let's just say only double digits).

So he has asked me to paint these up to match his existing force so he can mix and match the models creating a very ramshackle look and feel to his army when he needs to. It also will give his two unique forces that can be paired together for Apocalypse games.

The first batch he's given me is a unit of Ogrun and command elements. These are pretty fun models to paint. I'm happy with how I've worked his existing color scheme into the jungle fighter uniform. I think if he mixes these models in with the great coat models he'll have a force that looks uniform enough to be a cohesive force but varied enough to play up the chaotic bent that the Tyrants Legion has.

Once these are finished I have several tanks that need to get a fresh coat of paint.

And we're done ... Custom Tyrant's Legion

And we're done ... Custom Tyrant's Legion

Warhammer 40,000 – The Imperial Guard/Tyrant's Legion project is finished. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out and my client is thrilled. He was amazed at how fast I was able to do this quality of a paint job and is happy to have his force in hand. I'm happy with the system I came up with to do a three color paint job and look forward to applying it to large army jobs in the future. My client mentioned that he will have a Baneblade and some aircraft on the way at some point so I can see this growing over time in smaller batches.

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On the painting table ... Command and Conquer

Warhammer 40,000 – Finally I'm into the interesting models that make up this Tyrant's Legion commission. The character models and command squad all have a unique look which means I don't feel like a factory worker cranking out the same part every hour. 

Of course that being said most of the basic paint is exactly the same as the line troopers. Being character models I do spend a little extra time on the highlights and detail work since they should theoretically be on the table for longer than the basic troopers. (That being said they are still guardsmen so a massed volley of bolter fire still turns them into red mist ...)

On the painting table ... Deja Vu

Warhammer 40,000 – I can understand why you see so few fully painted guard armies on the tabletop. With this commission I'm seeing how it can get to be overwhelming. With the kits my client used for this infantry there are only two or three variations in the sculpts which means each "squad" looks essentially the same. I feel that it's important to point this out as otherwise it looks like I'm just picking up the same post from the last few squads.

So yes these might look like the same models but I assure you this is a new group and I'm nearing completion on this army. I'm hoping to be able to snag the completed army from him to take some group shots when it's all said and done.

On the painting table ... More Grunts

Warhammer 40,000 – Yes sir more Imperial Guardsmen made their way to my painting table this week. These are or the more official variety with a head swap of course. Talking with my client he plans on using these models as conscripts and/or gun encampment crew. They have a different look than the great coat models that make up the rest of his force and as such I need to do something a little different, yet keep them similar enough that they look like the fit with the rest of the force.

First up as always with this army I prime everything dark grey and follow it up with a grey basecoat. For these models I chose to do a red and white shoulder pad. I imagine it would designate a different rank or squad than the great coat models which have a 3 panel pad. After blocking in those colors I add the metallic bits and do aa heavy black wash. This bring out the details and gives the basic shading to each model. 


On the painting table ... Imperial Armor

Warhammer 40,000 – This week I've been working on tanks and defense lines. These are more elements for the Tyrant's Legion commission I've been grinding through. Even with a simple three color scheme it does take a while to paint up these tanks and I was surprised at how quickly I went through a pot of black wash.

As with all the models in this force my client requested a simple three color scheme with some custom decals. The models were supplied "ready to prime" and he doesn't seem concerned with the amount of mold lines and flash that he left on the models ... sigh. (Note to self: avoid your obsessive need to fix everything and stay on budget)

To start I primed everything with a dark gray duplicolor primer, followed with a basecoat of dark gray paint. To add some interest to these tanks I came up with a simple design that matched the shoulder pads of the troopers in the army. To paint this I used some masking tape to mark off the area to be painted and applied the red stripe. Once that dried I reapplied the tape and painted the white line with a light gray foundation paint. After painting the metallic bits I went in and applied a black wash to everything. This weather the paint and filled in all the hatch lines and made the rivets stand out.

The next step on the tanks is to go back in an pick out any details like the skulls, scrollwork and laurels. At that time I'll also further weather the gun barrels with a bronze to show where the muzzle burns and carbon build up happens.

Also in the que this week is a defense line. This fortification seems to be a staple in most armies to help deal with flyers and provide your static units with a reliable source of a cover save. Painting on these follows the same steps as the tanks detailed above. On the rear of these walls are some strange panels that I'm guessing are some type of light or tactical display. Based on this assumption I painted them to match the other monitor screens in the force.

Finally we have some mobile gun encampments. These are not a GW piece and as such my client uses them for a variety of things from thud guns to thunderfire cannons the simple nature of the piece fits with the look of his army and serves multiple purposes. Painting followed suit with the above. I'm probably going to apply a decal to the front of each of these to add some more interest to the relatively plain front of the carriage.

Using a fairly basic set of techniques I was able to get these models table ready in just one session of painting which helps to keep the project on budget and on time. Next up for this one is a mass of 60+ infantry troopers and special characters.

On the painting table ... We are Legion

Warhammer 40,000 – On the table today are more models for the Tyrant's Legion force commission I'm working on. This is essentially a three color minimum job with a wash and custom decals. The models were supplied to me "assembled and ready to paint" which is a state that can vary significantly from client to client. I guess everybody has their own idea of what that means...

Anyway pretty simple color scheme consisting of gunmetal armor with white, black  and red detail work. I've found using a dark gray primer works best for this job it puts down a solid base that is easy to cover quickly with a single coat of paint. To start I overcoat the model with the gunmetal color and then go in and block out the details with foundation paint. Once that's all blocked in I do a black wash and let that dry. The next step is to go back in and do a simple highlight picking out any details that got lost in the wash. 

Once everything is dry I begin applying the decals. I use a laser printer water slide paper to print these. It works much better than the ink jet version as you don't have to seal it and the toner won't bleed like ink does. The only issue I have with the paper is it is very thick so it takes a bit of work to make the decal lie flat. Mircosol and Mircoset do wonders to help but it's still more work than a commercially printed decal. The other issue with the decal paper is you have to meticulously cut close to the edge other wise it won't lie flat on the shoulder pad. Once the decal is in place and smooth I apply a coat of gloss varnish. I've found that if I do this while the decal is still moist the liquid in the varnish helps it soften up while it sets. If there are any issues with the edge showing I'll go back in and paint the edges to blend them in.

With this custom color scheme I've been able to crank out these models fairly quickly and my client is thrilled with how they've turned out. The trick with any large project is figuring out a system and sticking to it. For tabletop quality focus on how it looks at arm's length, if it looks good you're done and move on to the next model.

On the painting table ... Imperial Guard

Warhammer 40K – My newest commission is a Imperial Guard force that I'll be painting squad by squad. My client opted to go with the more affordable Wargames Factory Shock Troopers the models are about the right scale and they have the look he wanted with out breaking the bank trying to build a Death Corps Forgeworld Army.

He was little haphazard with the way he glued models to the bases he had so the scrolls don't always line up on the bottom of the base. He asked that I just try and hide it with paint. Easy enough, the models also have a plastic tab on their feet which he just glued to the base. Not exactly how I would go about it but every gamer has their own quirks and for some just getting something on the table that looks decent is more important than the little details. I hid the bases with some sand and rubble then set about priming the models.

This is another basic tabletop job. Which seems to be the norm for large scale army jobs. Honestly you rather see individual models by themselves so going overboard on the details isn't necessary for most gamers. (With my own stuff I obsess over the details ... which is why I can't grind them out as fast as my commission work)

After a gray base I went in with foundation paint and picked out the black, red and white areas then added metallic to the guns and face masks. Doing these assembly line style I was able to get most of the work done in one night.

Next steps are to wash them with black, do some minor highlights and apply the Helghast Decals to the shoulder pads.

On the painting table ... The Tyrant's Legion

Warhammer 40K – The Imperial Guard commission continues, my client is giving them to me a squad at a time so this might get a little boring as they for the most part look exactly the same. Painting them in batches does help to stay focused and I've gotten them down to a basic 5 color process to paint. Base gray, paint gunmetal, paint red, paint white and paint black. Wash with black and edge highlight. Apply decals, spray varnish, turn over to client. Repeat.

Luckily he has also began to assemble some marine models to fill in for the special characters presented in the Badab War book. He liked the look of the Tyrant's Legion but opted to go with his own scheme to match the Helghast look of the Guard models. Dark iron armor, white pads with red accents is what I came up with using the space marine painter from Bolter and Chainsword and I think they look pretty good. To call out the veterans I went with a black helmet with white faceplate. The look mimics what is going on with the guard models and ties the force together as one complete unit.

The two conversions he built are pretty cool and I like his take on the conversion beamer and whips as well as the Tyrant's Champion. While I'd have preferred using a larger shield for the champion he wanted to keep it versitle so he could field it in a regular command squad as well.