Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Imperial Officer Corps

Here we are folks, first finished models of 2014.

These are from a whole bunch of Imperial-type chaps that are forming the command staff for an entire warzone. My client envisions them clustered around hololithic map tables on a Leviathan. Heck, he might even be making the leviathan!

First up, we'll check out the Vostroyans. I love these figures. If only, if only they'd been slightly affordable for the purposes of building an army. Metal figures and the massed infantry of the Imperial Guard don't make the happiest bedfellows. The briefs for all of these guys are fairly brief - love this, gives me huge artistic licence - and in this case was just red with green accents. The red is the normal Mephiston Red highlighted up through Evil Sunz Scarlet and Troll Slayer Orange. Greens are in short supply in the new range but Caliban Green mixed with Warpstone Glow doesn't make a bad shade. Armour was a point of musing, thought about painting it as, well, painted but the colours were giving me trouble. Adding more red to the model was a possibility but then red armour can look a bit naff and non-martial unless you do a lot of weathering or it is the dominant feature of the model. Green would work but would make it a dominant colour rather than an accent. In the end, bare steel seemed to be the win! These days I paint worn steel by first painting with Army Painter's chainmail substitute Plate Mail Metal then giving it a thin wash of a 3:2 mix of Black Ink and Brown Ink. The inks don't change either the shine or the tone as much as the washes.

The frogging down the front I felt needed a spot of colour other than green. As there was a lot of brass details on the model I thought gold thread would work. It was painted with my not-at-all-non-metalic-metal gold which I only use for fabric (not a fan of the overly cartoony effect from any NMM that isn't absolutely perfect). Last thing to mention on these chaps is the leather. The Vostroyans were absolutely crusted with detail. This is ace but can sometimes be incredibly busy. The armour could have had the eagle painted different colours, the pouches could have had the wing picked out. But these options would have distracted the eye and made the overall shape of the model harder to see. Instead I just highlighted them as either leather or steel. The sculpting is enough to make them a feature so you don't need to pick details out all of the time. Just a thought...

Next up, a pair of Heresy Miniatures trooper officers. I kinda wish all the troopers in Heresy's range looked like this, with the greatcoats. I know it marks the officers out but it is a really cool look and I much prefer the officers to the grunts. Just my preference. The brief for these included the words "shiny white armour, like a stormtrooper". So I went with it! The troopers in Star Wars are actually wearing a black bodysuit with the white plates attached to it. These chaps most closely resembled the Scout Troopers (the bikers from Endor in Return of the Jedi) so perversely there is quite a lot of black underneath the shiny white. I decided that the trench coat needed to have a bit of tough and grizzled about it to make them a bit more 40k so I broke out the leather.

The second trooper had that grizzled campaigner look about him so the client had asked for the armour to be more dinged up. Cue a sponge and some Vallejo German Camo Black-Brown for initial chipping with Army Painter Gun Metal in the biggest chips for ground shiny bare metal. A word on the armour, I tried a new-ish way of painting the white this time. A clean coat of Ceramite White is then counter shaded with layers of increasingly dark grey washes. Needs some practice and tweaking but it was easier than trying to cleanly blend up.

Well, that's it for today folks. I've got some Eldar vehicles on the workbench and will be bouncing between them and more normal painting on the Imperial Officer Corps in order to not destroy my wrist on the hexes.