Monday, January 14, 2019

WIP: Heresy Era Dark Angels Tactical Squad in Mark III Plate - part 3

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

More work on the First legion tactical squad in mark III armor.  It was time to sit down and get to the highlights that I have been procrastinating on.  I started with the brown leather bits (ammo pouches and holsters). The first highlight was GW Doombull Brown, followed by GW Tuskgor Fur. The Tuskgor fur was laid down in thinner lines, and only applied to the most exposed, brightest edges.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

You have to click through to see much detail in the image above. Some Tuskgor fur was used in very thin lines to make scratches and other marks of wear. Here is a close up of one of the holsters.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Marine WIP

Next I buckled down and got to the black armor highlights.  I'm still suffering trauma from painting Deathwatch marines and I revisited the horrors once again trying to put fine light grey lines on the sharp edges of the power armor and backpacks.  Also, the back packs continually remind me that four of them were assembled wrong, so the ribs across the top don't align. This wouldn't annoy me half so much if I hadn't had some 30 years of experience assembling models. So classy.  Anyway, I'm going to let it ride on these guys and hope I don't flub any more mark III backpacks in the future.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP
Highlighting complete!
With the highlights complete, I finally got to the bases.  I decided on a neutral light tan that I hope helps the black armored marines stand out a bit.  So first off, I laid down a base coat of Vallejo Khaki Brown.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

Once dried, I shaded the bases with a heavy coat of GW Agrax Earthshade, straight from the pot.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

I really like how this came out once dry.  I highlighted the rubble a bit with Vallejo Light Brown and there called it quits for now.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

The squad is basically complete, and it is time to move on to the second squad if I hope to have any chance of completing two squads and an HQ before the end of January.  I haven't made final decisions on squad markings and heraldry so I expect to come back and do something with right shoulders and knees at some point in the future.

Before the week ends, I should have a post up with progress on the second squad of Calabanites in mark IV plate.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

WIP: Heresy Era Dark Angels Tactical Squad in Mark III Plate - part 2

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

I have more progress to share on the First Legion Terran tactical squad. First off, I completed highlights to the armor and red icons.  I also began some black armor highlights, barely visible above, on the first legionary, front row left. Vallejo Steel was used as the sliver highlight at this stage. GW Wild Rider Red was used to guessed it...the red.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

That brightens things up a bit after the shading and the icons really come to life now. I also got to work on some of the backpack details using more Vallejo Oily Steel.  This will later be highlighted with Vallejo Steel, same as the other metals. My early armor highlight attempts can be better seen as well on the front left marine.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

At this point, I really should have carried on with highlighting the backpacks and armor...but that plain, primed Vexilla just  kept vexing me!  So I thought a bit and dug about in my decal collection...

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Marine WIP
Hmmmm...what colors to use?
The decal sheets above may be older than some readers...just sayin'.  The copyright is 1989!! The notched out decal does NOT give away my choice, either.  In the end, went with a black legion symbol on a white field. This would balance nicely with white banners on the sides. Here's how things looked with everything roughed in.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Marine with Vexilla WIP

A roman numeral one for the legion and a chess board for the squad.  More on that later. This was all painted in my basic style with P3 Mennoth White for the scroll, GW White Scar for the banners and symbol field.  Vallejo Brass served for the gold details and GW Moot Green completed the laurel wreath.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Marine with Vexilla WIP

The whole vexilla was then shaded with GW Agrax Earthshade thinned to about 60:40 with GW Lahmian Medium and brushed on.  I used a damp, clean brush to daub up any pooling shade where I didn't want it.  After everything dried, the scroll was highlighted with P3 Menoth White Highlight and the banner with more GW White Scar.  Vallejo Old Gold was used to highlight the brass.  Then I finished the highlights with some GW Warpstone Glow on the wreath.  Here's a close up of the details.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Vexilla WIP

Some my recognize the chess board from my recent work on Legio Tempestus Reavers for Adeptus Titanicus. Three rows of checkers fit perfectly on the banner.  So that became the squad markings for these Terrans. I set about printing a new sheet with slightly smaller squares to serve as squad livery on the right shoulders.  This took some time away from painting progress, but I love the results. Custom decals are a great way to get the imagery you want if you aren't great at freehand, which I am decidedly not. A little Gimp....a little printing on Testors White Decal Paper...a little matte spray to seal the ink and voila'!

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP

Click through for a better look, but now all ten legionaries have checkered livery on their shoulder pads.  The pics come after the first application so things are still a bit rough.  I need to go back in with a brush to touch things up a bit here and there shading a such will blend things in more fully in the long run.  If I fuss about too much, the ink still comes off.  probably because I didn't lay down enough matte spray.  I have been using Model Masters Lusterless Flat coat, but I'm thinking I'd be better off with a true Decal film spray and Testors offers just such a product.  I'll be trying that out soon.

In any case, it took a few passes with Micro Sol to persuade the  rectangular strip of decal to conform to the rounded contours of the shoulder pads.  But it worked.  Three rows was going to be too much on the pad, I felt, and too hard a rectangle to coax around the slopes.  I know relief cuts can be made to help,but with a checker pattern, I didn't wand the rows to end up all curvy and odd if I didn't cut and bend the design just so.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad Sergeant WIP

And that's where the squad stands so far.  Time to get back to the highlights and remaining details, few though they may be.  I hope to complete the squad this week so I can get to the next squad ASAP.  January is slipping away more quickly than I'd like.  And I still have to nail down how the bases should look...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Monday, January 7, 2019

WIP: Heresy Era Dark Angels Tactical Squad in Mark III Plate - part 1

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark III armor

Today, I'm sharing progress on a force of Legion I Dark Angels I've started work on.  The initial 1000 pts appeared in this month's On the Workbench post.  With the build and priming complete, I kicked off the initial painting effort with the tactical squad in mark III plate.  This squad will feature original "Terran" members of the legion, veterans before The Lion was found and new Calibanites added to bulk out the legion's ranks.

A good bit of the character and culture around the the First Legion comes from the appearance of Lion'el Johnson and his fellow recruits from the death world of Caliban.  FOllowing Johnson's ascension to Primarch of the legion, the recruits from Caliban enjoyed the favor of their leader, even being allowed to use green on their shoulder pads as a nod to their origin homeworld.

I want to capture this in my force, and so have split the squads up.  All marines in mark IV plate using the Forge World upgrades (chest and helmet) will represent squads whose members were drawn from Caliban.  Squads in mark III plate, or mark IV without the helment/torso upgrades, will represent original Terran squads; members of the legion before Johnson became primarch of the Dark Angels.
Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark III armor

So here we have a squad of Terrans.  I used the airbrush to base all of the black armor with GW Abaddon Black.  As with my Deathwatch, this makes touch-ups easier later and adds an additional layer of paint over the primer.  I then sat down to paint on all of the silver trim using Vallejo Oily Steel.  This was also painted on grenades and the visible parts of clips in ammo pouches. As a reward, and to take a break from silver, I painted in the Dark Angels icon on the left shoulder pads using GW Mephison Red.

In the next session, I sat down again with the Vallejo Oily Steel and added silver trim to all of the raised edges of the arm and leg armor.  I also added this to the ridges over the top of the back packs.  This really breaks up the predominantly black armor. Later blue/grey highlights on the black will also help better define the various surfaces.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark III armor

I used GW Spiritstone Red over the Vallejo Steel for the eye lenses.  This is a new approach that hopes to capture a more nature glass lens effect.  I need to touch up the eye rims further, but I am liking the overall effect. Not sure if I'll keep it yet or not.

Not visible in the pictures, I also painted GW Rhinox Hide on all of the ammo pouches and bolt pistol holsters.  Here is a close up of the progress on the squad Sergeant.  He received additional silver trim on his helmet and a nice red crest to match the legion shoulder icon.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad Sergeant WIP mark III armor

Next, the metal trim and red bits were all shaded with a ~60:40 mix of GW Nuln Oil Gloss and GW Lahmian Medium.  The shade tones things down a bit and adds some definition to the armor and red icons/crest.  After this dried, the weapons were painted using Vallejo Air Gungrey (71.072). The sergeant's sword hilt was painted with Vallejo Brass (70.801).

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark III armor

The shell casings in the bolter clips was painted using Army Painter Greedy Gold. The weapons were then shaded with GW Nuln Oil Gloss straight form the pot (no Lahmian Medium this time). Finally, Vallejo Steel was used as a highlight under the eyes and in a "T" across the eye slits and down the nose.  More highlights will follow next, but this completed what could be done during the last session.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad Sergeant WIP mark III armor

I'm really liking the Sergeant in particular.  I am hoping the red iconography helps break these guys up from a typical pre-heresy Iron Hands color scheme.  Oh, and of course, some more heraldry is coming - black and white checkers, etc. - which will also help sell these troops as 1st Legion.

Heresy Era Legion I Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark III armor

So next up, I'll compete the highlights to the metal and perhaps the black armor too.  I need to move forward since I have another 10-man squad and an HQ to complete by the end of January. While finishing up the details on these guys, I'm also thinking hard about the bases.  I need a contrasting, interesting, light earth color to help showcase the black armor.  This is the main reason I moved these guys off the originally planned custom deck plate bases.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

WIP: Magnetizing a Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought

Horus Heresy First Legion Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought WIP

While building out my First Legion force for Horus Heresy, I assembled a Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought that had been long languishing on my hobby shelves.  Unsure which hull mounted weapons I might play with in games, I decided to magnetize some things so I'd have future options.  Perhaps ironically, I chose NOT to magnetize the main arm weapons.  I even have the autocannon arms still in the original packaging.  For the First Legion, however, there will be only PLASMA!

Magnetizing the torso weapons was a simple matter of drilling holes and gluing in magnets.

Any magnet of sufficient size will do here.  The weapons are not heavy and easily clamp up under the chin with most any decent rare earth magnet.  I believe I'm using 3mm diameter magnets here, but I didn't take good notes form the build.  I drilled deep and used two magnets in each hole for the body to provide solid attraction.  Overkill, no doubt, but effective.

Above, the heavy bolters are magnetized.  Below, we have the full set of heavy bolters and heavy flamers magnetized. Once painted up, I can try the different options out without feeling I made a mistake by gluing in one or the other of the two options permanently.  I like the acid rounds for the heavy bolters, so they'll get some time in battles for sure.

Next up, I chose to magnetize the missile launcher.  This allows it to swivel for effect, and I reasoned that since you pay separately for the weapons, I might chose to run the dread without the missiles in small point games to conserve points.  I don't know that this is strictly legal, but it'll certainly work for casual play.

Here again, I went a little over board.  Rather than sinking in a smaller magnet, I noticed that a 3/8" magnet was the exact diameter of the post used to mount the missile launcher.  So I trimmed off the requisite amount of post with my razor saw and used 5-minute epoxy to glue a magnet in its place.

The socket for the post in the body was quite deep, so I used epoxy to glue another magnet in there as well.  I could have used a 3/8" washer just as easily.  Bu the two magnets have GREAT GRIP! :)  the missile launcher will never fall out in a game or during transport. To accommodate the magnet in the socket taking up extra room, I trimmed off an additional amount of resin from the post of the missile launcher mount. This is visible above where the trimmed off resin is a bit thicker than the magnet that replaced it.

The launcher now clicks in with authority, swivels nicely is is totally replaceable and removable for very little apparent reason. :)  I just enjoy magnets, really.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

On the Workbench [January] - Heresy Era Dark Angels

Horus Heresy First Legion Dark Angels WIP primed

Happy New Year! And best wishes for 2019.  I decided to kick off the new year with a modeling and painting challenge.  One of my gaming friends has been trying to complete his Horus Heresy force and I have been sitting on my own potential force, all on sprue, for quite some time.  So a challenge was born! We will complete 500 points of models in January and then see where we go, but the goal is to get to a fully painted 1000 point force as soon as possible.

So while this is a January workbench post, the actual work on the workbench was done over the holiday break from work at the end of December.  I built and primed 1000 points of Heresy era Dark Angels with a nice split of Terran and Calabanite squads to mix things up a bit.  After some thought and discussion, I put the Terrans in mark III plate and the Calabanites in mark IV plate using the Forge World custom resin bits.  Otherwise the infantry are all drawn from the plastic sprues from Betrayal at Calth and Burning of Prospero.

Dedicated readers of the blog may recall I build a heavy support missile squad back along from which I painted my first test model for the new force.

Horus Heresy First Legion Heavy Support Squad WIP

I originally planned to put everyone on metal deck plate bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures.  However, after rebooting the project I've decided to skip this in favor of my traditional Dark Angels custom blasted earth bases.  The lighter earth should help the black armor stand out better, I think.  And I like the synergy with my existing Dark Angels for 40K. I'll hang on to the Secret Weapon Miniatures bases and use them for my Adeptus Mechanicus army one day...

But this is a workbench article, so let's see some models on the workbench!

Horus Heresy First Legion Centurion WIP

My first HQ will be a Legion Centurion.  I think in the end he will be promoted to a Legion Champion, but for now I need the points in my fledgling force for other things! :)

Horus Heresy First Legion Centurion WIP

Next up, the Terran Tactical Squad in mark III (Iron Armor) plate.  I am beginning with 10 man squads with the intent of growing them to 15 or the maximum of 20 over time. Forge World shoulder pads convert the Burning of Prospero minis into 1st Legion soldiers.

Horus Heresy First Tactical Squad Sergeant WIP

Horus Heresy First Tactical Squad WIP mark III plate

The Calabanite squad in mark IV plate uses the Forge World helmets and torsos as well as the shoulder pads.  Thank goodness I pre-purchased these parts long before the great resin purge of 2018.  Now only the helmets and shoulder pads are available.

Horus Heresy First Tactical Squad WIP mark IV plate

Click through the images to get a closeup of the details.  I fancied leaving the helmet off the sergeant for this squad to further mark them out as favored of the Primarch. As the fluff goes, after being reunited with Lion 'el Johnson, it became clear the Calabanites earned reference over the Terran veterans - at least until a good many of them were sent back to Calaban with Luther.

With the core of the force assembled, I turned to the support elements.  First a Terran tactical support squad armed with plasma guns. These legionaries are also in mark III plate.  Maybe it'll afford some protection from overheating...

Horus Heresy First Tactical Support Squad WIP mark III plate plasma guns

Next up, I returned to the original heavy support squad armed with missile launchers.  I added a sixth member for some durability from counter fire and re-based them according to my new plans.

Horus Heresy First Legion Heavy Support Squad WIP mark IV plate and missile launchers

This squad will also be made up of Calabanites in mark IV plate. The original test model and another part way to completion are visible in the group shot below.  Some minor repainting and touch up will be needed around the base, but nothing major.  The primary difference will be the introduction of Calaban green, and some possible heraldry to the shoulders.

Horus Heresy First Legion Heavy Support Squad WIP mark IV plate and missile launchers

Last up, I had enough points to add in my Deredeo pattern Dreadnought with twin-linked Hellfire Plasma Cannonade.  I loved the look of this model (and the auto cannon version) when it came out and immediately bought it for my first legion force.  But it languished long on the shelf of shame before now.  Here is a quick shot of the assembled model.  I will put up a second post describing the build and minimal magnetization I did for the torso and missile launcher weapons.  I chose NOT to magnetize the main weapon even though I have the auto canon bits.  The first legion demands PLASMA! :)

Horus Heresy First Legion Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought WIP hellfire plasma canonade

Man...I still *love* this model. Call it the Madcat of 30/40K if you must, but it's still well in the rule of cool. The head sits on a pin for painting and did not get into the photo shoot.

And so it is that I have the full 1000 point force assembled.

Horus Heresy First Legion Dark Angels WIP assembled

And as the title pic shows, they are all primed using Vallejo Surface Primer Black as well.  This month, the HQ and tactical squads will get painted according to the gentleman's agreement with my friend. Then the support elements will follow in February.  Along the way, I'll need to make time for my Titanicus maniple and other outstanding projects. 

I'm guessing Squaduary will see me completing the plasma squad and painting up the missile squad into the bargain.  Maybe the dreadnought will fill out monster march...maybe that will be when I get to a Warlord or two for Titanticus...or complete the Warhounds.

It'll be a productive winter season of painting I think!

Cheers and Happy Gaming!