Thursday, January 31, 2019

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

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP

I toiled and toiled, but was not able to complete this squad by the end of the month.  And now they must be set aside as I take up the Squaduary 2019 challenge.  I may try to sneak in a session to complete them if the challenge projects go well, otherwise I'll complete the squad when Squaduary is done.

Much progress was made all the same and I'm pretty pleased that I almost completed 20 marines in a month.  If I hadn't gone away for five days in the middle there, I certainly would have pulled these guys in. I should point out that I'm doing this as a husband and (old) father of two little ones with a full time job. Finding hobby time is no big thing, finding sufficient time to paint large numbers of models in a short amount of time is an art.

First up, I neatened around the squad tactical markings and then shaded every thing with Nuln Oil or Agrax Earthshade according to the recipe. The checkers vex me.  They've come out well enough, but my inkjet is letting me down.  I need to be able to print crisp patterns where the ink doesn't dry and crack, spoiling the result.  Going back and touching up the checks is ending up looking like I hand painted them in the first place.  Exactly what I was trying to avoid by making decals.  I'm going to up my decal game as this First Legion project continues.

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP - squad icons

Some drying shade on the base above, but more on that later.  Once I had shaded the models, I managed to highlight the Legion icon on the left shoulder using GW Wildrider Red.

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP

I also put some initial effort into the squad vexilla. Each squad will have something unique on the left side and the legion number on the right.  I guess this is arse-backwards from the shoulders...maybe I should have thought that through more. :) Anyway, I'm likely the only one to care.

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP - vexilla

A 1st legion roman numeral decal will be added on the right at some point. Green banners were chosen to recognize Caliban, same as the right shoulders. Next, I highlighted the brown leather on pouches and holsters. Following my recipe, it's two highlights following the shading with Agrax Earthshade.  It's a simple GW recipe, but I find it fun and easy to paint as well as being effective.

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP - legion icon

I painted in the eye lenses with GW Mephiston Red highlighted with Wildrider Red.  And as you can see above, More drying shade.  After finishing some of the details, I decided I needed to at least help the models appear further along by completing the bases. So, I got to work with a base coat of Vallejo Khaki Brown.

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP

Then a shade of Agrax Earthshade. The brown bases are helping the models stand out and be more distinct, particularly when they aren't viewed on a black hobby mat. ;)

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP

And that's where I left the squad after some minor cleanup around the rim of the bases among other odd bits, like the combat blade hilts.  The title pic at the top of this post shows the squad once the shade on the bases had dried.  When I get another session with these guys, I'll highlight the bases and the black armor and weapons. I also need to paint the Sergeant's head and highlight his sword.  It's really close.  Probably two more sessions, only because my highlighting of the armor seems to take me FOREVER.

For those enjoying my rendition of the 1st Legion's space marines, stay tuned for more as I kick off Squaduary 2019, with one squad of five tactical support marines and one squad of six heavy support marines. And (the paint gods willing), you might even see a post sneak in to put paid to these tactical marines.  It's going to be a busy month.

January certainly was.  Here's how my January challenge wrapped up. At some point I'll put together some better framed army shots of what's been completed.

First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad for Horus Heresy - Terrans
Completed 10 Marines in Mark III Plate



First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad for Horus Heresy - Calibanites WIP
Came within Spitting Distance of Completing 10 More in Mark IV Plate
That's all for now.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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

1st Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP

Hello and welcome back for another WIP session on the Calibanite tactical squad. I had a bit of a vacation last week and that cost me a bunch of time on these guys, however, I was not all idle since the last post. As I complete base coats and get ready for shading and highlights, I need to complete the squad heraldry so it will blend in with the shading, et. al.

For this squad, a vertical checkered stripe was added to the right shoulder pad instead of the horizontal one I used on the first squad.  These simple details will mark the squads out instead of using squad numbers. I think things are just busy enough! I did want to add the tactical squad marking as shown in the Forge World imagery.


Image originally from the Forge World "Black Books"

Now...is that white or is that grey or is that silver?  Seems more white than the trim, so I'm going with white to match the checkers.  Great choice...now after searching my large collection of decals (some 25 years worth) I was alarmed to find I didn't have white tactical arrows.  I have red galore thanks to 40K Dark Angels...and lots of single white arrows pointing up (looking at you Index Astartes)...but the art here clearly calls for the horizontal double arrow. After failing to find these in any volume on the Forge World site (I think they may be on one of the legion decal sheets, but only like five or ten and I'm going to need at least 40 before I'm done), it was off to the Mr. Google for some web searching.  This brought me tho the following sheet from the The Bolter and Chainsword.  It printed nicely on a sheet of "statement" size white decal paper from Testors.

Custom Decal Sheet form The Bolter and Chainsword

I didn't want the black circles, but the black allows for nice black borders to outline the arrow, making it easier to cut cleanly, nice to layer over the checkers.  Here's an example cut out.

Custom Space Marine Tactical Squad Marking Decal

The black ink from my inkjet printer cracks as it dries on this paper which it a bit annoying.  This happens with the checkers as well.  But it's an easy matter to touch up later, so no worries.  This was A LOT more cutting hassle than I was hoping for (I would have preferred white icons on clear paper), but it worked.

Custom First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad Heraldry

SO between the close up, the glare, and the cracked ink this looks pretty bad.  Trust me that it looks better in person and under normal vision.  Plus, the black will all get tidied up in the next step so the cracking with white showing through will be gone. Standing back, the heraldry is coming along fine.

First Legion Dark Angels Calibanite Tactical Squad WIP

So I think I can fit in two more session before February 1st, when this squad MUST be set aside for Squaduary 2019! I'll post part three either Thursday or Friday as a wrap up.  I'm not going to get the HQ character done this month as planned.  But I still will have managed 2 squads and a total of 20 marines in one month which is a record for me.  I won't call these squads DONE yet, but they will be much better than simply table ready.

For Squaduary 2019, I'm pledging a five model 1st Legion tactical support squad with plasmaguns and a six model 1st Legion heavy support squad with missile launchers. That effort will complete the bulk of my infantry models for the first 1000 points of this force.  Then it's back to the character and other big stuff as a reward. Oh...and TITANS!  OK, baby titans, but still.  I still have the Titanicus bug and look forward to painting up more Legio Tempestus titans.

So that's all for now.  Look for a follow up WIP later this week, then it's on to Squaduary and back to a more regular posting schedule.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Friday, January 18, 2019

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


Heresy Era First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark IV armor

Have reached a good place with the first tactical squad, it was time to move on to the second. At half way through the month, I should be able to finish...but I'm away on vacation for almost a week, and that's going to take a dent out of the available time to complete my challenge!

This squad was built using a combination of plastic Mark IV armor from Betrayal at Calth and Forge World Dark Angels upgrade torsos, heads and shoulder pads.  I'm a really glad I bought all the custom bits before Forge World discontinued them!  This squad will represent recent recruits from Caliban who were decreed to wear the forest green of their home world on their left should pads in recognition of their service under the Lion in cleansing Caliban of the great beasts.  On the right shoulder pads, they were permitted to display the personal heraldry of their original knightly orders.

This should make for some fun painting, and a nice way to break up what would otherwise be a largely monochrome force (the red chapter icon not withstanding).

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

I'm using a head without the helmet here to accentuate the "Calaban"-ness of the unit and further help them stand out form the Terran units.

Heresy Era First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark IV armor

Looking mean!  The custom armor bits are very characterful.  I like the look of the heresy mark IV helmets too though, so I'll include some Terrans in that mark of armor as well at some point.

Heresy Era First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark IV armor

Trying out the base colors now.  The Lion decreed that his fellow Calabnites where green on their left shoulder pads in recognition of the quests to cleanse Caliban of the great beasts. Otherwise the scheme will remain the same as the Terran squads.  I'm thinking about how to add in some heraldry to the left shoulder pad to represent knightly orders.  The Lion abolished the knightly orders but did allow that legionaries could wear the crest of a past order on the right shoulder of their battle plate.

Heresy Era First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark IV armor

Vallejo Brass is used for the Vexilla, Sergeant's power sword, and the combat knife handles.  Leather work on these guys will be done the the same ans the last squad.  Below is a shot from the rear showing some of the leather details.  Just base coated for now.  Next will be shading and then highlighting.

Heresy Era First Legion Dark Angels Tactical Squad WIP mark IV armor

That's what I've manged to accomplish so far.  I'm off on a little trip for a few days, then back at it.  Hopefully I can wrap this squad up by the end of the month.  And if possible, I'm going to try to squeak in the HQ model I pledged for the month.  Honestly, though, I'll be psyched if AI have completed the 20 marines!  That's more single models than I've ever painted in a single month before.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

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 highlight...you 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!