Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Nathaniel Garro - Hand of the Sigillite

"...My name is Nathaniel Garro, and I am a Legion of One."

Oooh, this was a fun one folks. Garro is one of those models that I'd struggle to justify for my own collection so when one rocked up as part of a commission I was happy as a pig in muck. Garro is an interesting character from the Heresy, a former Death Guard commanding the Eisenstein and brought word of Horus' treachery to the Emperor. Eschewing his traitor legion, stripped the colours from his armour and demanded new purpose. He now serves Malcador the Sigillite, Regent of Terra directly and there are strong indicators that he was the inspiration for the formation of the Grey Knights. Nifty huh? I'll confess I haven't read any of his recent adventures, for me the Heresy series has rather lost it's way and I quit after Nemesis, but I believe this model is depicting his actions on Calth. How he got to Calth through the Chaos-called warp storms and all the rest is beyond me but I'm sure the author threw some macguffin or other at it so we'll take it as read. On to the exciting bit, painting!

I was a bit torn at first as to the exact method of the unpainted armour. There were three options: 1 - very shiny like modern grey knights; 2 - fairly plain metal like the forgeworld studio scheme; 3 - heavy, slightly weathered iron as though it's protective paint had been stripped. Having consulted with the client - and lets face it, knowing me - we went with option 3. Heavy and weathered. So the metal started from Ammo Old Rust which is a great mid rust brown. The whole model having received a brown basecoat I started the sequential drybrushing of four different steel colours (Gun Metal, Plate Mail Metal, Shining Silver, Model Air Steel) leaving the brown only in the recesses and peeking through to tone the darker steel. A quick wash of Nuln Oil finished the job and he looked great. The texture of the resin armour really worked for this technique. I thought the bronze areas were a little too bright on the forgeworld scheme, they drew too much attention. So I used some of the Nihilak Oxide over a basecoat of Bright Bronze (shaded with a little Agrax Earthshade) and then highlighted with increasing amounts of silver added to the bronze.

Aside from a few details most of the work was done by this point! I painted the weaponry a cleaner steel tone using blue in the wash to give them a slightly different tone to the armour. Liberatas - Garro's sword - also got a bling golden pommel and quillions rather than the bronze fittings everywhere else. Liberatas is supposed to be a very old blade won by Garro so I didn't want it to seem like it was made to order to fit his uniform. With this done I turned my attention to the base: most of this is just rocks and rubble but the interesting bits include some twisted metal wreckage - handled with Ammo's range of rust colours - and a discarded helmet. Given that it's Calth I figured an Ultramarine was in order. Oh, there is one other thing on the base...

...Yup a dismembered Gal Vorbak daemon hybrid of the Word Bearers legion. This was another colour challenge. Given that Garro is quire desaturated with all the metalwork, a bright red dude was going to draw a lot of attention. So given that the Word bearers are a dark red anyway I knocked it down another tone to diminish the impact (Khorne Red with black added). The grey shoulder went to dark steel instead prevent it blending too much with the rocks. This was all fairly straightforward. But the skin. Hoo boy that needed some thought. I considered a red tone but dismissed it as it would blend with the armour too much. Contrasting tones would start drawing attention again, basic flesh tones or a genestealer hybrid purple would stand out too much. Eventually I realised that burned black daemon flesh would be the right choice. Black mixed with Cadian Fleshtone as a basecoat adding more Cadian Fleshtone as the highlight. Worked nicely. One for the mental archives I feel! Some streaks and pools of blackish blood (I figured that the lack of other body parts meant Garro had killed him offscene and kicked the torso forward leaving trails of blood) finished the base off.

As the full base is somewhat large, forgeworld have cunningly included a drop in version of the scenic base. This leaves him with a still pretty but much more usable base for general gaming. The last thing to do was the face. There's not much to tell here, I painted him pale as that's how he's described in the books, made sure that the eye-sockets were dark and purplish as frankly, "he's seen some things, you weren't there man, you weren't there..." and that was that! This one was a lot of fun to paint, a great character with a really nice sculpt to represent him. 


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Krieg Kit-bash Konversions

Hi folks, fairly quick one today as we have but two candidates on the workbench:

These two gents fall in to a nebulous "Krieg but not Krieg" category. On our left is a kasrkin whose head has been rather violently removed with various saws and replaced with a Krieg one. The right is more of a kitbash, Elysian legs and arms with Krieg grenadier torso. Both look rather lovely I think. The aesthetics blend nicely. Well, except that the old metal kasrkin is massive compared to the forgeworld models. Seriously, look at the base sizes in the picture, I had to tweak the scale to make the picture look anything like sane. But anyway, enough with the scale grumbles, lets talk about painting man mountain fink:

 It's hard to see but the kasrkin is the same paint job as these chaps, I think he's supposed to be an officer or something leading them. As a result most of my colour choices were already made. In the end almost none of the Flecktarn camo can be seen but from the back he is very stealthy.

This chap I needed to do more thinking for. He's to join a group that has black; green and yellow as a colour palette but he needs to still be a soldier. So while I knew I needed some nice saturated green in to the model... I figured I still needed some more soldierly green to form the main body of the fatigues. The armour is much brighter in person than it seems in the photos by the way. The yellow was always going to be more tricky to pull off. Too much would give it a cartoon vibe but there needed to be some in order to bind him to the group theme. Inspiration struck by realising I could just put some quick arm-of-service-esque stripes on the gun and helmet. It's small, but it's enough.

There we go, like I say, a quickee today. More shinies soon!


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Servants of the Omnissiah: Part 2: Skitarii Vanguard

Last time we met the slinking, infiltrating Ruststalkers, today, we have a group that is a touch more "in your face":

The Skitarii Vanguards are the "stormtroopers" of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Straightforward, no-nonsense soldiers... with tons of augmentations. Again, I have to rave a little about just how nice these models are: their weight distribution; their weapon design; the crusted detail; the clever undercut-averting coat design. Gorgeous is what they are. I will say, they are not a fast paint job, nothing with this much detail ever is, but reaaaaally worth it.

I've decided that only those of Tech Priest rank will wear overall red robes so I needed another scheme for these lads. As I worked the metallic areas on to the models I kept looking at the black undercoated overcoats (heh, English for the win there) and realised that some black leather stormcoats would bring the badass quotient right up. It's my usual black leather of Val German Camo Black Brown (a paint I use so often I should just abbreviate it to "that one") with a dash of black added. Shaded with Nuln Oil, highlighted with the original mix. Then I hit the leather with satin varnish and begin the wear. Add some Val Deck Tan - or any vague bone colour, Deck Tan is just so wonderfully flat and desaturated - to the original mix and start scuffing and scratching the edges of the coat with fine lines. Use a couple of lighter tones of the same mix to add variety. The new painted areas will be matte and seem roughened and scuffed. Lovely.

It took ages to figure out how the special weapon "worked". There was a battery pack, a row of vials, a tube of some kind down the middle, a pump action (!), and what was clearly either a pilot light or an injector of some kind. Why did I care? Because it affects how you choose to paint it. In the end I decided that the battery was just to maintain a magnetic field, the pump action pressurises the system before firing, the vials combine to a highly volatile gaseous compound that is flashed to plasma and accelerated by the magnetics. At the last moment the injector fires a catalyst into the plasma stream and sends an incandescent spear of furious energy at the enemy... Or so I think anyway. This led me to decide that a nice glass containment tube as the barrel reinforced by the steel furniture. By the way, check out that lovely specialist backpack. So much little detail on these guys. I decided that the leather pouches would be the same Val German Cam... That One but shaded with Agrax Earthshade and highlighted with a little Off White added. Same colour palette, different shades. Keeps the whole thing subtle and cohesive while allowing differentiation and a tiny bit of contrast.

I went again with the dark glass blade for the power sword. I like the idea that the blades are disposable and replaced after every battle as there is almost nothing sharper than knapped glass. I also decided that a dark wine red lining to the coats would give a tiny pop of colour and thematically tie them as direct servants of the Priesthood.

I find the official backstory for the Vanguard silly in the extreme and frequently contradictory. So I'm ignoring it. Instead, these are simply professional volunteer soldiers. Limbs altered to bionic replacements to function perfectly regardless of temperature or stress. No hand shake, perfect eye-to-hand response for shooting. Enhanced nervous systems and hypnotic combat trances keep them cold and present in the moment, unconcerned by risk or intimidation of the enemy. Able to dispassionately proceed until the battle's end at which point they will have to deal with emotional aftermath. I imagine they communicate entirely in encrypted binaric cant. Short bursts of digital information, difficult to garble, impossible to understand if overheard. Their rifles are not the crude spray and pray lasguns of the guard but precision semi-automatic high-power rifles. Each trigger press sending an aimed round at their target. That their reaction speed makes this process indistinguishable from rapid fired automatics is irrelevant... precision is honour to the Omnissiah.

In short, these are not "characters" like the Ruststalkers seem to be. They are grunts. Front-line, aggressive, relentless... and replaceable.

That's all folks, more soon!


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Death Korps, now with mustard

Ahoy shipmates, guess what? There's some more Death Korps leaving their assembly areas on my workbench and boarding the cardboard transport to the front lines.

I believe these are some kind of specialist unit on secondment to the rest of the DKK already with the client. Brief was for grey with mustard details.

The yellow is based on the Averlander yellow I use, i.e. Val Tan Yellow with glazes. In this case two coats of Seraphim Sepia to create a more ochre-ey (totally a word) followed by matt varnish to kill the shiny wash effect.

It's tough to see on the images but the greys are different between the armour; coat; and canvas mask/puttees. If you were painting for a studio and online photos you'd want more contrast. Realistic doesn't always look good on "film".

Final pics for the day are two random Inq28 goons. Well, one goon and a monk. The monk is based on a real order which are beige with brown flecks. Meant breaking out the pointillism to make the little flecks. The goon needed to look "classy-threatening" so pin stripe suit and a nice black leather trench-coat was the order of the day to go with a shotgun straight out of the ministry of emphasis.

That's all for today folks, not much to natter about so just enjoy the pretty pictures :)

If pretty pics are your thing by the way, head over to the Beard Bunker, I just finished my series of shots of our trip to the new warhammer world (from quite a while ago), there's some good stuff there.

Warhammer World - Part One; Part Two; Part Three.