Thursday, January 25, 2018

WIP: Adeptus Custodes with Halberds

Last night, I found time to complete the Custodes on the work bench and so another Adeptus Custodes painting project was set in motion.  I'm am very excited by what I read of the new codex and models coming very soon.  Certainly another squad of Custodes won't go amiss! Since I modeled the first squad of five with swords, this second squad naturally required the signature halberds.  

I have avoided calling out another Shield Captain directly in this squad until I see the codex.  It may be that I run these combined with the prior squad for the full ten (or in some combination), or they may run independent.  Regardless, I'm not clear how the sergeant/captain models will be designated in these squads so I'll keep my options open.  The squad "leader" stands with his hand on a dagger. A cape is waiting in the wings to be painted up and stuck on as needed.  The cape from this kit is a pretty unique piece so I didn't want a bunch of dudes running around with the same getup unnecessarily!

Adeptus Custodes Squad with Halberds WIP Assembled
Adeptus Custodes Assembled and Ready for a Primer Coat
These models require some time and attention in order to achieve good results and so I treat each model as a character.  They all get mounted to my signature Bourbon cork holders using brass rod so I can paint them freely without getting grease or other muck from my hands all over them.  I also don't was to inadvertently rub any paint off while handling either. Normally, I would have just mounted the models to their bases and painted them while carefully holding the rim of each base.  I got good results the last time with the holders, so here we are.  Once I complete this squad, the wires get pulled out of the cork, holes are drilled in the custom bases and the models get mounted by pinning them to the bases using the same wire.

Adeptus Custodes Squad with Halberds WIP Primed
Adeptus Custodes Primed and Ready for Painting

Once mounted, the squad was primed with an airbrush (Iwata Eclipse) using Vallejo Black Surface Primer (74.602). I bought a big 200ml bottle through some while back just for this purpose.  I have been able to spray it on straight, but typically I add a few drops of Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver (71.362).  The flow improver insures that things go on smoothly and don't spatter or get glopped up at all.

Adeptus Custodes Squad with Halberds WIP Based with Gold
Adeptus Custodes Base Coated and Ready for Shading
Once the primer was dry, I hit the squad with the airbrush again using Vallejo Brass (70.801) in a roughly 3:1 mix with the flow improver.  It might have been closer to 2:1, but I'm not very scientific in this regard.  I generally mix in the flow improver to suit until the mix flows well through the airbrush.  This approach takes some practice, but there is nothing really tricky about it.  The Brass comes out of the bottle thick, but with the flow improver added it sprayed well and left a great finish to my eye.

Adeptus Custodes Squad with Halberds WIP Shaded
Adeptus Custodes Shaded and Ready for more Base Coats.
The gold (well, brass...) laid down, I ended this session with an over all wash of GW Reikland Fleshshade.  I apply this from the top down on each model and use some care to insure there isn't too much pooling on the smooth, flat surfaces or any other place where it might look out of place or be too heavy handed. This step completes the messy bulk painting approach I used here to accelerate progress and achieve a consistent smooth armor finish over all.

That is where I left the squad at the end of the first session.  During the next session, I will block out and shade the remaining base colors and then set to the highlights if time permits.  I'm going to advance this squad as quickly as possible to done before Squaduary starts, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if they get finished.  As soon as February 1st dawns, all else will get set aside as I tackle some Dark Angels Primaris marines for Squaduary 2018. Thes lads will then wait for March to get to DONE.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!


  1. Looking good so far! I'm looking to start airbrushing myself this year, do you apply the wash that way as well, or is that still done with a brush?

    1. Thank you! I have always shaded/washed with a brush with one exception so far, my Death Korps of Krieg armor. For that project, I did airbrush Army Painter Strong Tone over the tanks. Otherwise, I generally like to control where the wash goes and how I apply it. I haven't practiced at all using the airbrush for that. I feel wash is a case where an even coat (as laid down by spray) isn't what serves.