Saturday, 18 June 2011

Servants of the Machine God

Today I present one of the most awesome and under used models in the Space Marine army, the Techmarine:

He is a properly busy model, kind of a cross between Dr Octopus and Iron Man. Before I get into how I painted this fine fellow I thought I would sing his praises in game for a moment as no-one seems to use him. Yes, he isn't a death machine like a chaplain or librarian but he is as tough as any other marine and has more armour to boot. Don't use him with servitors as it is a bit of a waste of his talents. Instead use him as an addition to a squad, with the full servo-harness shown above this will add two power fist attacks, a flamer and a twin-linked plasma pistol to the squad (normally in the order of 65 points and the plasma pistol isn't twin linked). He can bring another power weapon to the party so his 2 attacks on the charge bypass armour anyhow and can eliminate threats to him before he swings his power fists. Add to this the ability to fix the transport the unit is in by disembarking, fixing the vehicle while the unit shoots at something and then hopping back in next turn and driving on. Finally he has his piece de resistance: the ability to increase the cover value of one piece of terrain for the entire game just by being on the table. Just try digging a devastator squad out of a ruin that effectively makes their save invulnerable. But enough of this, how was he painted?

First thing first, solving a problem that I believe stops lots of people using this model. It is flippin' huge and sticks out all over the place, transporting it is a nightmare. It is also a pain in the bum to glue together (I cannot wait for a Finecast version of this [EDIT: Turns out that there is a finecast version but you can only get it in the box set with the servitors]). I solved both of these problems by ignoring them, with the use of magnets! By attaching the arms with tiny neodeum magnets I solve the transport problem and the issue of the arms breaking off every time there is a strong breeze. The only problem was the two lower arms. Magnets, you see, are excellent at resisting pulling or shearing forces but rubbish at stopping torsion (twisting) forces. The heavy arms needed some additional support to stop them hanging slackly down. To this end I attached a length of wire stiffened with superglue that formed a cradle to hold the arms. By painting this as cables I disguised it as best I could. Can't wait for a resin version that will not have that problem. Also based him on the larger 40mm terminator base as he is a huge imposing model and looks ridiculous on the normal sized base.

Techmarines are traditionally red but so are all my Blood Angels. I didn't want his specialism colour to vanish amidst the rest of the army so I thought I would try out From the Warp's Flesh Tearer red. This would give me a different red without just painting another Blood Angel. I won't steal his thunder, follow the link and see how to paint this version of red. Go on, I'll wait....

In order to bind him to the rest of the army I painted the interior of the shoulder pads and the kneepad in the usual Blood Angel scheme and added the company mark to the kneepad and a transfer to the shoulder for the iconography. I haven't covered transfers on Space Marines much (all my Blood Angels have moulded shoulder pads unless I cannot help it) but getting them to sit flat is a pain in the bum. To fix this I recommend - so long as you are an adult - getting your hands on a set of Micro Set and Micro Sol. I will do a full tutorial on how to use these in the near future but they really make them look painted on. I had to do some surgery on the transfer to get it to fit but worth it in the end.

The odd thing about this figure was that he just was not looking right all through the paint job. I had made him very clean with well cared for wargear and the like as he was a techmarine after all. Trouble was, it didn't look "right", something was missing. So I sat and stared at it for a while and gradually came to the realisation that this guy isn't a warrior, he is a human JCB, a piece of construction equipment. While I am sure that his servitors will patch up everything beautifully after the campaign, during the campaign he is flaming busy! These guys are rare and their job is hard core. With this in mind I attacked the model as though it was a tank, chips, dings, scratches, grease and oil and even a dust wash into the gaps. Suddenly he looked right. Job done.

Next time will probably be the Vanguard Veterans that I have been working on to stave off the crushing tedium of the Drop Pods. There are some models that just seem to take FOREVER to paint and Drop Pods are one of them, I am painting 3 simultaneously to get them out of the way. Go figure. Anyway, till next time


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