Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tanith - Some armored support from the Narmenians!

Time for another addition to the ongoing Tanith commission. This time it's the Narmenian 1st Armoured Regiment, under General Grizmund, who have had some time under the brush.

The Narmenians supported the Imperial defense of Vervunhive in the novel Necropolis, the first novel where we saw the way that Dan Abnett could keep the Ghosts going, even though they'd lose hundreds of men each battle (by folding in other units who had been equally mauled).

Although they play a critical role in the defense, and Grizmund is an important plot point, there is surprisingly little in the way of descriptors for the tanks or their crews. The main description is of the color of the tanks - "mustard drab". To achieve this mustard-drab color I started with an airbrush of GW Zamesi Desert, followed by a highlight airbrush of VMA IDF Sand Grey. The tanks and sentinels were then given a couple of shading washes of AP Soft Tone, and finally all were given a light drybrush across the top edges with VMC Pale Sand.

Tracks, weapons, and other details followed...

You'll notice a big pile of weapons in front of the three tanks I painted up (two Mars-Pattern Leman Russes and a Mars-Pattern Demolisher). They are there because I magnetized and painted up each sponson weapon option for two of the tanks.

The way the "new" weapons slot into the sponsons, it was easier to mount the magnets on the side of the piece that slides into the sponson mount, and on the side of the sponson mount itself (as you can see above, the small circle in the center of the photo).

Here's the Leman Russ with sponsons - No. 28, Purity's Hammer.

And the Demolisher - No. 34, also known as Emperor's Wrath.

Here's General Grizmund in his command Leman Russ, Grace of the Throne. After my initial photos were sent off to the client, he requested I add a mustache to Grizmund and the banner flying back from the turret. Both of these things are a nod to the General Grizmund model that Forgeworld made way back in the day.

You'll notice that most of the lenses on the tanks are saturated purple, rather than my regular red or green. I did this to contrast nicely against the desaturated mustard yellow of the hulls.

On top of the gun mounts on each tank there's a mailed fist, the symbol of the Narmenian 1st Armoured Regiment. These are decals cut down from the FW Iron Hands decal sheet.

The sentinels received the same magnetized weapons treatment. I think that by the end of the project I'd used 41 magnets for just six vehicles (five if you don't count Grizmund, who has no magnets).

On the panel in front of the driver's door I put the vehicle number (1-3) and the Narmenian mailed fist icon.

I know my client is happy, and I hope you like them all too : )


Monday, September 28, 2015

Secure the Colours!

I recently completed a commission for a friend of mine, painting up the three Waterloo vignettes from the Perry Miniatures Napoleonic range. Each of the vignettes represents the loss of the "colours" at some point during the Battle of Waterloo.

The first vignette shows a sergeant of the Scots Greys taking the Eagle from the 45th Line Regiment.

The second shows a Captain and Sergeant of the 1st Royal Dragoons competing to capture the Eagle of the 105th Line Regiment.

And the third shows a cuirassier of the 9th Regiment taking the King's Colours from the 5th Battalion of the King's German Legion.

Normally I would go with a slightly simpler basing scheme, mixing tufts and static grass and a few clumps of flowers, but all of these action took place on the battlefield, which was then (as it is now) a farmed field in summer. During my recent visit to Belgium, we walk past miles of fields full of barley and wheat (and sugar beets), so I decided that this needed to be represented.

I picked up some long grasses from Scenic Express and trimmed it to an appropriate length. I then gathered together small bundles and glued them down in a regular pattern, as though they had been planted in rows. I also gave a little more space in between each bundle to represent older farming methods. The tufts and flowers were sprinkled in around the base of the barley (or wheat) stalks to act as weeds and other grasses. Of course, much of the battlefield would have been trampled over, so there are a lot of stalks knocked over.

In order to send the vignettes to my friend, I asked Alex at Ironheart Artisans to cut this special shipping box for me. He took my basic idea and really ran with it! The bottom (above) consists of several layers of MDF with holes cut to accommodate the vignettes (as you can see below).

Once the vignettes were in place, I glued in the back wall of the box.

And the lowered down the "locking" layer, with circles a little bit smaller than the size of the vignette bases. This would lock in the bases and stop them from moving around.

The next step was to add the opposite wall, then glue in the ends of the box. Two angled pieces were added to the box at this stage. These will protect the vignettes from crush damage.

Finally, the lid was glued on (strapped here with rubber bands to hold it steady while the glue dried. I then wrapped it in bubblewrap and put it in a cardboard box.

This whole thing worked really well, apart from one small glitch. As the cavalry models were quite heavy metal minis, two of the horses ended up bending at the ankles. Otherwise, there was no damage.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mechanicum - The Myrmidon Destructors

It wasn't too long after they were released that I received a surprise package from a friend in Florida. Richard sent me a pack of three Myrmidon Destructors. He had received them by mistake in an order from Forgeworld and decided they would be painted if they made it to my painting table...

...well, it has taken almost a year and a half to get them to this stage (almost finished). They sat on my desk with just a Tinny Tin dry brush over the metal for close to a year, as I couldn't find the little pack of mechadendrites. I finally found the pack the other day, so I launched into finishing them off.

Of course, as soon as I did I promptly lost the mechadendrites again. Once I find them, bend them, and paint them, I'll dust the bases and post a final pic for you all : )

More posts to come this week!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mechanicum – Three more Knights are close to walking

I’ve decided to take a little break from my Mad Max cars for the moment, and try to clear a few other projects from my plate. The Vorax were the last project I cleared, and now it’s on to the next three Imperial Knights.

I assembled them all at the same time, or at least put them into their various sub assemblies, so that I could go for a little batch painting on their various sections. First were the legs, with my standard drybrushing: Tinny Tin, Gun Metal, and a light drybrush of Vallejo Model Air’s Aluminium, my new go-to bright silver. This was followed by strategic shading with my super secret wash. Certain parts (typically on the pistons) were hit with some Brassy Brass for a bit of pop. The cables were then painted black and given a light drybrush of grey.

The second step was to complete the metallics on the torsos, heads, and weapons. I followed the same process as for the legs, finishing up with the various cables etc.

After the torsos I busted out my airbrush - a tool I still don’t have a lot of experience or confidence with - and started working on the armor plates. Rather than present identical panels on each Knight, I decided to mix it up a little bit. I think they will still have a nice unified look while each has their own “personality”.

Since that stage I’ve been focusing on the individual Knights, and the first two are almost complete. After I wrap up the painting on the last Knight  I’ll be able to apply the final decals.

I’m expecting a nice little envelope from Fallout Hobbies to arrive this week with my updated (and white-underprinted) House Taranis crests and emblems to arrive. I’m very excited to see how Ron’s decals compare. After seeing the detail he can get last week at the NOVA Open, I think I’ll be in great shape!

More soon…