Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Transmission Interrupted

Image stolen from

Hi everyone, this is just a quick post to explain myself. The lack of posts lately hasn't been intentional, but I've been extremely busy with various real life things. Everything's fine, I've just got a lot on my plate at the moment!

I'll add updates when I can, but they'll be sporadic for the time being. In the meantime, take care!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Allies Incoming!

Wow. As it turns out, it's been a while since the last update. There's a simple reason - I've gone and done something a bit rash.

I've bought a new army...

Now it's not because I'm sick of the 77th - quite the opposite, in fact. The length of time it is taking me to get the 77th together means I'm not able to take them to tournaments, which is a pity. I've been borrowing armies, but I want to be able to take my own. So, instead of rushing my Guard, I thought I'd buy an army that I can build and paint relatively quickly. This will mean I can complete my Guard to my satisfaction, while being able to play an army I'm familiar with.

Here are the offenders in question - a Space Wolf army! It's a 37-model, 2000pt army, which will be perfect for getting ready for the tabletop quickly - especially with the help of an airbrush!

This was meant to be a brief diversion from the IG, but it's been going for a bit longer than I expected. Still, they shouldn't take too much longer to finish building and then get painted, and I'll pop up some updates as I go along. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Got Colour Shapers?

For anyone out there who does any amount of sculpting in their armies - even just simple gap-filling, here's what I want you to do:

Step 1: Go and buy yourself some colour shapers.
Step 2: Go home and be amazed at how much they improve your sculpting.
Step 3: Send me rewards and money for changing your life! (Or at least a nice comment below).

I'm quite serious about Steps 1 and 2 - Step 3 is optional, but feel free to do it anyway!

These things are amazing, and I can't believe I got by without them before. And before you ask - no, I don't work for the company that makes them!

Essentially they look like a paintbrush, but instead of bristles they sport rubber tips of varying softness, shapes and sizes. The rubber means that your sculpting medium (such as Green Stuff) won't stick to it. At all (well, unless you use a very high ratio of yellow to blue). This allows the nice, smooth, shiny result you see people come up with in their sculpts. They come in soft (which have white tips) and firm (which have grey tips), which I'll mention in a second.

The same company also makes what they call Clay Shapers, which are the same thing but with very firm tips (which are black).

I have a range of shapes, with a couple of very firm shapers, a couple of firm and a few soft. I use the very firm ones to get the putty where I want it on the model and sculpt the basic shape I'm after. Next, the firm ones are used to add finer detail (such as folds in the cloth). Finally, if some details are too sharp, I use the soft shapers to lightly brush over the putty and smooth it out.

Using just these, I can get the basic sort of shapes I'm after. If I need to do finer detail, I do this with my metal tools - I bought Gale Force 9's sculpting kit which, although quite expensive, does come with a spiffy case. My girlfriend tells me it makes me look like a psychopathic dentist, about to torture people:

Anyway, that's how I do my sculpting - you can see some of my examples here (Death's Head veteran), here (Commissar's peak cap) and here (Counts-as Marbo).

I've still got a long way to go before I get really good, but it certainly helps to have the right tools for the job!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Death's Head Veteran Squad - First Member

Not feeling like painting the other night, I got to work on the first of member of my second veteran squad. After seeing these great stormtroopers by jdteixeira over at the Work In Progress forums, I've been wanting to use the idea of Necron Warrior heads for a while - a veteran squad felt like the perfect time to break them out!

He's got a shotgun I converted up as described in this guide, and a bit of green stuffing and plasticard work as well. The Necron Warrior heads need a bit of sculpting as they have no neck, and I bulked out the rear of the heads to look like fully-enclosed helmets. Let me know what you think! The bandolier was made in a similar way to the shell holder on the side of the shotgun. I had to repair the forearm as well, because it is the sergeant's arm from the troop box and removing the insignia just left a flat area that didn't look right.

This squad will probably go together quite slowly, as I want to make painting what I've already built my priority for the time being. I'll be adding updates as they get done though!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yet Another Commissar - WIP

It's probably not a secret any more, but I really love painting Commissar models! They're one of the things that drew me to the Guard in the first place, and I like the unique personality they possess - it really makes them stand out from the ranks of Guardsmen. I've got 2 Commissars already done, but I'd been doing some minor sculpting for my shotgun conversions, and with the left over Green Stuff from these sessions I came up with this:

Now this idea certainly isn't mine - I first saw this beautiful example on Coolminiornot. Having a spare metal commander model (it's from the old Cadian Command Squad box) I decided to have a go at this conversion!

This is one of my few attempts at sculpting something other than a basic shape, so I decided to break it down into several steps and let each bit dry before I moved on to the next. It basically went as a cylinder on top of his head, then the basic peak cap shape. This ended up being too flat on top, so I added some more bulk to give a bit more of a sense of his head being there. I also sculpted the eagle symbol at this stage.

Once that was done, I added the brim, and when that was dry I finished it off with the braid above the brim, and glued on some thin slivers from plasticard rod at each end of the braid.

Let me know what you think! I'll paint him up at some point and show it off here, but I've got a lot more urgent things to do at this stage!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Command Squad Veterans

Last week I showed you Captain Shout, my Company Commander, so here's the rest of his squad. Being veterans, I wanted to make them stand out so I used a variety of bits to differentiate them from the rest of my force, and hopefully make them look battle-hardened!

For those interested, they've got Space Marine Scout heads, Catachan legs (I like these for veterans as they have lots of pouches already on them) and various backpacks and other bits and pieces.

In the interests of making these guys stand out, I decided to soup up the squad's voxcaster as well. I added an extra antenna from some guitar string and made the knob at the end with some plasticard rod. It's very long, but I quite like it - it will help with long-range communications across the battlefield!

Monday, September 20, 2010

C Company Commander - Captain Shout!

Here's the man in charge - Captain Shout! I wanted him to stand out among my army, which is why I put him on a rock (just a bit of bark I picked up from a garden bed). I was having trouble finding good-looking debris for him to stand on that would fit on a 25mm base, so I went with this. Hopefully when it's painted up it will still fit in with the rest of the army!

The torso is a Forgeworld one, which I picked up second hand a long time ago. I hadn't planned on using it, but I saw a painted version over at the 42nd Cadian and decided I couldn't leave it out! The servo skull isn't currently attached - I plan on painting it separately, and attaching it afterwards.

For those wondering, his name is a nod to an ANZAC Captain who fought at Gallipoli and won a Victoria Cross for his bravery. For those interested, you can read about him here.

Check back the same time next week, for the rest of the command squad. Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Old-School Commissar (Thanks, eBay!)

I was browsing eBay a little while ago, and came across an out-of-production Commissar model I hadn't seen before. I liked the model immediately, and decided to get my hands on one. However, the first example I saw was in nearly new condition, and I didn't think I would want to pay the kind of money that might attract.

Fortunately for me, another person happened to have the same model up for sale. It was missing its sword, and covered in quite thick paint (which I think is why I got it so cheap in the end, it wasn't particularly recognisable) but I put a bid in and got it for 1.04GBP. Bargain!

The missing sword was OK by me - I'm not such a fan of the old style blades. I replaced it with a plastic Catachan sword. I filled in the notches on the back of this with Green Stuff, and apart from a soak in some Simple Green to strip him of paint, that was about all that needed doing!

It's a pretty neat model, and hopefully it will be somewhat unique amongst my local gaming crowd! Watch this space for a picture of him painted up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shotguns for the Imperial Guard - 10 Minute Conversion Guide

I've been thinking about another Veteran Squad already (I still need to paint my first one) and have decided I want to equip them with shotguns. They'll operate as an expendable unit, with flamers to cause as many wounds as possible, and since you can't assault after firing lasguns I'll outfit them with shotguns.

Obviously, this means I need some way of representing this on my models. There's a few different options I've looked into:

1. Using Space Marine Scout shotguns, such as Necros did on the Boot Camp forums.
2. Convert some shotguns up, such as these really nice ones over at The Manufactorum.
3. Buy some 3rd party shotguns. Some places like MaxMini do some. (I'm sure there's others, this is just an example I've come across).

In the end, I went with Option 2. The Scout shotguns look great, but I want some weapons unique to my Guard. Third party stuff is fine too, but I enjoy the process of converting things, and so I went with Option 2.

Now, after trawling the 'Net, an article on frequently got mentioned. This site is unfortunately not around any more, but I was familiar with it as it hosted many articles I was interested in before it disappeared. Thanks to the miracle of the Wayback Machine, however, I managed to track the article down! The full thing can be seen here, but what follows is my adaptation of that tutorial.

For what I'm showing here, I used:

 - 1 Imperial Guard Lasgun (either by itself, or attached to an arm - the latter will require a bit more work though).
 - 1 Space Marine Bolter
 - Green Stuff
 - Styrene Rod (1.6mm round and 1mm square)
 - Styrene Sheet (I used both 0.75mm and 0.25mm thick, but use whatever is comfortable).
 - Resin shotgun shells which I bought from These aren't the cheapest way to go, but they do look nice - you could achieve something similar with some thin rod, however.

Let's do it!

Step 1: Cut the lasgun down to basically the main body: we want to get rid of the stock, the barrel, the clip, the front part of the stuff on top, and the angular bit under the aquila. Shave off most of the details as well. The bits to remove are shown in red below:

Step 2: Cut the section shown in red off the bolter. It's worth leaving the bit behind the bolter grip too long to begin with, so you can get a good fit later:

Step 3: Shave the part behind the bolter grip down to straight sides, by cutting off the red parts in the second picture. I like to shave it even thinner, to look like a rail for the bolter grip to slide along as a pump-action.

Step 4: Glue the bolter grip to the underside of the lasgun, cutting it to the right length so the front of the two pieces are flush (I accidentally cut my grip too short, but we'll fix it up later). Glue a section of 1mm square rod along the top centre of the shotgun. Shave the front at an angle.

Step 5: Drill a hole in the front of the shotgun and glue some 1.6mm rod in there for a barrel:

Step 6: Right now, the pump grip seems to be hanging in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to stop it sliding forward. I cut out some 0.75mm plasticard to fit around the barrel and extend down to cover the front of the pump. I do this by drilling a hole in the 0.75mm sheet (of the same diameter as the barrel, this gives the bit which fits neatly around it) and then cutting out the rest of the rectangle, with one of the short ends being a semicurcular hole. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but check out the picture below! This makes it look like the rail goes all the way to the front of the gun:

Once all this had dried, cut the barrel down to size and drill it out.

Step 7: The bulk of the body has been done.

Now we need to fill in any gaps and finish off a couple more parts. Firstly, green stuff over any gaps between the 'rail' and the main body of the shotgun. Also, fill in the section above the old lasgun clip and extend the bit on top of the gun to the back. (I've drawn red arrows to the parts I've green-stuffed):

Step 8: To add some interest, cut out a plasticard 'plate' to attach to the side of the gun with the skull decoration. I also cut out a cartridge ejection port - having a sharp knife and using 0.25mm plasticard helps with this. Cut the ejection port first as well, to stop the plate from deforming.

Step 9: We'll add some spare cartridges on the other side of the gun, which gives some extra decoration. I'm using the cartridges I bought from, but, as mentioned earlier, some plasticard rod could also be used here. Firstly I glue a strip of 0.25mm plasticard on this side of the shotgun to raise the cartridges off the body of the gun:

Step 10: Next, I glue some cartridges on to this strip. My cartridges have come with an extra tab on the bottom from the casting process, which I've left on for now to give me more to grip on to. I'll cut them off after everything has dried. Finally, roll a thin sausage of green stuff and lay it across these cartridges. Squash it down flat, and finally use a wet blade to press the green stuff down between each cartridge. That should give you something looking like this:

And that's done! All that's left is to attach it to your veteran and paint them up. All in all, this process took me about 10 minutes - however, that doesn't include time waiting for the green stuff sections to dry. I wasn't quite as careful as I normally would be, but I still came up with a decent example.

I haven't done a full veteran yet (I've got some super-secret plans for them) but I can show you a shotgun all painted up to give you an idea of what they will look like:

I really like the chunky look of this shotgun - after all, I want my vets to look like they'll do some damage! However, I realise it may not appeal to everyone, but hopefully this will solve the issue of a lack of shotguns for a few of you out there. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section, and, as always, thanks for looking.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shameless Product Endorsement

Unfortunately, I'm not getting paid for this... Just a quick post to fill in the time until I get some more models up!

I picked up this book from Amazon a little while back - the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer:

 Image from the Black Library -

It's a fun read and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd recommend it to all of you!

If you haven't seen it before, it's a tongue-in-cheek look at the 40k universe from a lowly guardsman's perspective. It runs through basic training for the Imperial Guard as well as tips for defeating their enemies - such pearlers as "There is one rule to employ when fighting the tyranid: shoot the big ones."

Anyway, it's good for a light read, and has some useful background info in it too. I'd recommend it for any Imperial Guard player!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Workspace

OK, I'll admit it - this is really just to get my blog at the top of the blogrolls again... I stuffed up with the publishing scheduler (why can't Americans do the date properly?) and removed one of my posts. This meant that my post about Commissar Volkov (below, and which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check out!) didn't get advertised properly.

While I'm here, however, I thought I'd show you a pic of my workspace which I snapped a couple of weeks ago. I cleaned my table up and, taking advantage of a rare opportunity when one can see the table without all of the mess, decided to take a photo to show you the tools and materials I like to keep handy:

All the bits and pieces are as follows:

A: Wet palette. If you're interested, check out how I made it here.
B: Paint brushes, of various sizes.
C: Sculpting tools - both silicone-tipped and metal. I'll discuss these in the near future!
D: Basing and detailing materials: a tub of water-filter contents (used for rivets), modelling snow, static grass and basing sand. Behind that there's a bottle of water effect and plaster that I use for the mud on my bases.
E: Paints!
F: Brush on varnishes, and weathering pigments.
G: Glues, hobby knife, spare blades, files and a toothbrush. "Toothbrush?" I hear you ask. That's right - I use it when I'm cleaning the mould lines off models, as it helps to get rid of all the shavings!
H: Drill, drill bits, razor saw and mitre box (used to cut materials at different angles accurately).
I: Pliers and clippers.
J: Tweezers.
K: Various types of wire.
L: Plasticard rods and tubes.
M: Craft mat.
N: Whatever I'm currently painting!

And that's about it. I realise this wasn't the most interesting post ever, but I like seeing people's workspaces - it gives a bit of an insight into the person behind the models, in my opinion!

Until next time, take it easy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Commissar Volkov

I wanted a change from painting Guardsmen, so I decided to jump in and paint the 77th's second "morale booster" - Commissar Volkov!

I came across a picture of this model somewhere (I think it was an old Imperial Guard Collectors' Guide) and decided I had to have one. I love the face mask he has and the character it adds. If you want one for yourself, it's order-only, and is listed as a Steel Legion Commissar.

He's painted in a similar way to Commissar Waechter, with the other parts painted as follows:

I used a method similar to the one described by Syph here for painting the mask.
  1. Start with a basecoat of Snakebite Leather.
  2. Wash with Devlan Mud.
  3+. Highlight with a mixture of Bleached Bone and Snakebite Leather, gradually mixing in more and more Bleached Bone until a final highlight of Bleached Bone. From memory, I think I did 4 layers of this.

Gun Body, Epaulettes and Sash:
I decided to paint these blue to tie in with the rest of the force. The method was:
  1. Basecoat Necron Abyss.
  2. Highlight with Regal Blue.
  3. Highlight with 50:50 Regal Blue and Ultramarines Blue.
  4. Highlight with Ultramarines Blue.

Unfortunately these are hidden underneath the brim of his cap, but the method was:
  1. Paint with Liche purple.
  2. Wash with Leviathan Purple.
  3+. Highlight with Liche Purple/Skull White mix up to pure Skull White, of which a dot is placed at the centre of the eyes. This gives the impression that they are glowing.

Respirator Tube:
I couldn't decide whether or not I really liked the look of this, but I decided to keep it in the end.
  1. Undercoat with Adeptus Battlegrey.
  2. Wash with very watered down Blood Red.
  3. Highlight ridges with Adeptus Battlegrey.
  4. Highlight again with 50:50 Adeptus Battlegrey/Codex Grey.

Silver Metal:
The gold metal parts were painted in the same way as Waechter, but the silver bits here went as:
  1. Undercoat with 50:50 Boltgun Metal/Chaos Black. This gives a toned-down metal which I prefer - to me, it looks more like cold steel.
  2. Wash with Asurmen Blue (although this isn't that obvious in the final product).
  3. Highlight with the Boltgun/Black mix.
  4. Highlight with pure Boltgun Metal.
  5. Finally, highlight with 50:50 Boltgun Metal/Chainmail.

For the sword I tried to do this as a series of glazes more than straight layering, to give a smooth transition between the shades. It didn't quite come out as I wanted, but it was pretty close.

Shells in Bolter Magazine:
I didn't have any Dwarve Bronze and couldn't be bothered going to the shops to get any, so I went with:
  1. 50:50 Shining Gold/Scorched Brown.
  2. Wash with Gryphonne Sepia.
  3. Highlight with about 60:40 Shining Gold/Scorched Brown.
  4. Highlight with about 80:20 Shining Gold/Scorched Brown.

Phew! That's more for my record than anything else, but perhaps someone will find some use for that list!

Anyway, I'll be back with more Guardsmen soon, but I'll leave you with a shot of the 77th's Commissariat:

As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Vision

Image stolen from

I thought I'd take a break from my usual posts just to tell you a bit about why I choose to post the things I do.

Obviously, the main aim of the blog is to put up photos of my army, and that's generally what I concentrate on. However, before I started on this blog, I always enjoyed reading about someone else's army and being able to find out how they've produced the models I'm looking at.

To this end, as well as pictures of my models, I also want to post about the ways in which I've gone about painting and modelling. I'm well aware that much of this will already have been discussed elsewhere (indeed, I've discovered many of these techniques from reading blogs and forums, and I do my best to acknowledge where I have learnt techniques from), and quite often by someone much more skilled than myself, but I want people to be able to browse through my army and, if they want to, immediately find out more information about the techniques I've used.

Aside from that, it also serves as a record for me, so if I haven't painted for a while I can easily look up the techniques or the paint scheme used!

Anyway, the upshot is that I'm hoping that even though you can often read about this stuff elsewhere, this blog provides a 'one stop shop' for the hobby - as far as the production of my army is concerned - and that people can learn something new from my articles. To that end, if there is a technique, conversion, or anything else that you would like to find out more about, please ask me and I'll do my best to give you an answer!

And just so this post isn't completely devoid of any army pictures, here's what's on my table at the moment:

Back to the usual stuff next time!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Reinforcements Arrive!

It's been a busy few weeks, and I didn't have much time for the hobby until the week just gone, but I finally have some more Guardsmen painted! You might notice I've changed the base rims to be Calthan Brown (I had originally painted Squad 812 with Scorched Brown rims) for a bit of contrast - my army will all be like that.

I also decided to borrow Admiral Drax's idea for unit identification markings on the rear of the bases. All the troops have squad markings on their shoulderpads, but with the weathering I do that's not always easy to see. Hopefully the markings on the base make organising my troops a bit easier!

These changes have also been made to Squad 812 - apart from that, they're painted in pretty much the same way. I tried painting a darker complexion on a couple of troops, using a paint scheme I found here. I modified it slightly, so it ended up being:

1. Chaos Black basecoat.
2. Scorched Brown/Chaos Black 50:50 for the next layer.
3. Scorched Brown next.
4. Scorched Brown/Graveyard Earth in a 50:50 mix.
5. Graveyard Earth.

I didn't highlight any more as it started to get too light. Let me know what you think!

I'm on a bit of a roll now, so hopefully I'll start cranking through some more stuff soon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Air Time

Whoops! I knew it had been a little while since my last post, but I checked last night and it was over 2 weeks ago! This is just a quick update to let you know I'm still working away - I'll hopefully have more to show after the weekend!

I was excited to see this rock up in the post last week:

My brand new hobby compressor! It's a nice little unit, and is really quiet, which is a plus. I'll be putting it to good use once I get to painting my tanks. Hopefully I can replicate the techniques from the Imperial Armour Masterclass and create some nice-looking tanks! Stay tuned...

I've also been painting up the start of my next squad. I'm waiting to do all the sergeants together, then all the heavy weapons together etc., so that's why I still haven't finished off Squad 812. I'll be getting around to them soon though! So here's what's on my painting desk at the moment:

Most of the work has been done so far, which means they shouldn't be too far away! As I mentioned, I hope to have them done by the end of the weekend, so I should be posting another update then.

I'm in a bit of a groove with painting these guys at the moment, so I'm hoping I can keep that going and chew through a lot of painting pretty soon. That's the plan, at least! I must admit, it is a good feeling getting things finished after all this time.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grenade Launcher Guardsman

Just a quick update - I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had a lot of time for updating my blog, but rest assured I'm still cruising along with my army!

I have a 1,200 pt tournament coming up, and was 1 Grenade Launcher short of having the infantry component built. (Pictures of the rest will be up in the next few weeks!). There's only so much one can do with the single set of GL arms that come with the Cadian Troops box, and I didn't want all 3 of my GL-wielding troops looking the same. Here's what I came up with:

To make him, I grabbed the Cadian Command Squad box, with a GL from the Catachan Command Squad box (which doesn't have a hand attached to the trigger). I added the handle from a section of plasticard rod which had rings carved out of it, which hopefully looks close enough to the 'real' handles.

Finally, I noticed that the helmet-holding arm was much skinnier than the standard Cadian arms, and it had a cuff on it which the standard troops don't possess. To fix it, I used some Green Stuff to bulk out the inside of the arm, and carved the end of the sleeve down to match the standard arms.

Paint will be applied soon! As always, thanks for looking and feel free to leave comments!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lt. Lokk's Lads

Well, they may not end up being called that, but a little bit of alliteration never goes astray, and I didn't think Brigadier Bob's Buddies sounded quite right...

Anyway, I've been working away on my first veteran squad. They're led by a Sgt. Bastonne counts-as, with carapace armour and 3 meltaguns. It's a hefty lot of points, but they'll get a Chimera eventually so hopefully I can deliver them to a target, destroy it with meltas, and still survive a round of shooting with their 4+ save. I took Bastonne mainly for his ability to give orders and regroup regardless of restrictions, as this squad might end up moving out of orders range from my command squads in order to engage targets.

For the most part, the models were made using pieces from the Cadian, Catachan, Space Marine Scouts and Tau Fire Warrior sprues with a few other bits and pieces thrown in. I was aiming for a mix of parts to personalise each trooper, but with enough similarities to tie the squad together.

So here's the main event. What you've all been waiting for... *cue drum roll*...


Firstly, here's the squad as a whole:

The armour was done by taking Tau Fire Warrior legs, cutting of the feet and replacing with Cadian boots, and then filling in the gaps with Green Stuff. Some poses require more work than others, but I think it came out OK. The heads are from Pig Iron Productions.

Now a few pictures of the individual models and some notes on the conversions:

First up we have the Bastonne counts-as. He has a hellpistol, so I cut down a lasgun and tried to copy the hellpistols from the Kasrkin models. I'm actually pretty proud of the job I did (if I may say so myself) and I don't think you'd be able to tell the difference once it's painted. The backpack was a cut down vox-caster, the power sword converted from the Cadian Command Squad and the chainsword arm from the Troops box, and the hoses for the pistol simply electrical wire. The black bands were heat-shrink pipe cut down to size. You can find this stuff at electronics stores, and you put it over what you want, then heat it with a hair dryer (there is a proper tool for it, but anything that blows hot air will work) and it shrinks down.

Now I know you all think I'm amazing and get everything perfect the first time around (or at least, I like to tell myself that you think so) but here's the previous iteration of the sergeant:

You'll see the hoses were originally connected to the side of the backpack which made them look way too long and out of place. I think the new version looks a lot more streamlined.

This was the first veteran I did. He has a Forgeworld Resin Backpack, Space Wolves knife and some Space Marine Scout belt accessories. Some minor green-stuffing and I came up with the above.

This guy is one of my favourites. He has a Space Marine scanner for something different, and the armour plate he is resting on was just some platicard, melted with a lighter to look battle-damaged (kids and accident-prone people, make sure there's an adult around!) and some rivets added from chopped up styrene rod. The meltagun nozzle is some styrene pipe, because when I was drilling out the barrel the bit snapped off and I had to destroy the original gun to get it out. Lesson learned...

This guy was just for a bit of fun. He's the token 'crazy guy in the squad of battle-hardened troops'. You know the one...

Anyway, I hope you like them - I certainly enjoyed converting them up! As always, thanks for looking and watch this space!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Identity Crisis Marbo!

Here's something I've been working on for a little while - my counts-as Marbo. I wanted to get across the idea of a cold-blooded, emotionless killer as described in the background, but a slightly more twisted take on it.

The fully-enclosed face was chosen to remove personality from the model, and his poisoned weapon is a pair of wrist-mounted syringes - his victims suffer a swift, clinical death, in line with the way I imagine the character.

I used green stuff to make his wrist weapon, as well as modifying his backpack and gun. Plasticard was used for various parts.

I'd be interested to hear your opinions, especially about the scope on his gun. I'm not sure if I should add anything more, or leave it as is. Let me know what you think in the comments!

He's made from a lot of different parts, apart from the plasticard and Green Stuff. The bits used are:
  - Cadian heavy weapons helmet with visor.
  - Respirator from Cadian Command Squad sprue, with hose cut off.
  - Cut down lasgun.
  - Catachan Vox-caster backpack (cut down).
  - Catachan legs.
  - Cadian Torso.
  - Cadian arms (I can't remember which ones, in particular).
  - His left fist is a cut-down one from the grenade launcher hand (the one holding the handle).
  - His melta bomb is, as I found out afterwards, represented by a Tau Photon grenade (I've added a few bits to it, so hopefully it won't be so recognizable).
  - The ripper pistol barrel is from a vox-caster's antenna.
  - The round bit on the back of the ripper pistol is cut from a bipod from the heavy weapons sprue.
  - The demolition charge is from Forgeworld.
  - A couple of frag grenades from the Cadian troops.

Let me know what you think! I'll post an update as soon as I've painted him, but it could take a while - he doesn't currently feature in my 1,500 point list, so isn't a high priority!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Painting a Guardsman, the Frag_Dad Way - Part II

Welcome back! (I'm hoping at least SOMEONE is reading this...) Today I'll walk you through the steps to finish off the Guardsman we started here. If it's been a while, I'd suggest you go back and read the General Tips I gave in Part I. At the very least, remember to keep thinning your paints!

The following steps should achieve:

We've basically finished the armour, flesh and fatigues, so let's do the final touches to finish our Guardsman! I think these bits are just as important as the rest of the model - no matter how well you've painted his armour, flesh etc., if you've neglected the details it really shows. When I first started painting I'd do most of the model but not be all that happy with it, but once I started finishing off the details it really pulled the paint job together and looked much better! So let's pick up where we left off:

24. We'll start with the chin strap - paint the lower parts it with Bleached Bone. (No picture).

25. Wash this with Devlan Mud.

26. On to the belt accessories. Paint the grenades and canteen with Gnarloc Green.

27. Wash the grenades with Badab Black, and the canteen with a heavy wash of Devlan Mud.

28. Once dry, highlight the raised areas of the grenades with Gnarloc Green, and do a 'rough' highlight of Gnarloc Green around the canteen. I say rough because I don't want it to look to clean and pristine - it gets used a lot!

29. Paint the handle of the knife with Graveyard Earth.

30. Wash the knife handle with with Devlan Mud.

31. Highlight handle with Graveyard Earth.

32. Highlight handle again with Snakebite Leather.

33. To make the leather of the belt accessories look worn, drybrush some Codex Grey over the surfaces which would see a lot of wear-and-tear, such as around the edges, the studs on the pouch and canteen, and the tip of the bayonet holder (is it still called a scabbard if it holds a bayonet?).

34. Going back to the chips on the armour, underline some of the more prominent ones with a thin line of Dheneb Stone. I tried white, but it didn't look quite right.

35. Overline them with a Scorched Brown. This simulates a 3D effect on the chips.

36. Paint the base with Scorched Brown. Make sure this covers the black properly, (especially around the rim) so this may take more than 1 layer.

37. Now we've done most things except for the weathering pigments and metallic colour. We need to do the spray varnish now (otherwise it will kill the metallics) so grab your model and give it a spray. Make sure you wait for it to dry before you continue! It's wise to test the spray first on an unimportant model (or a bit of sprue) to check that you're not going to destroy your hard work!

38. If you want 'wet' looking mud, paint some satin varnish on the base.

39. Now we need to tie the Guardsman into the base. He's trudging through thick mud, and it looks a bit odd without some consequence of that represented on the model. I use Vallejo's Burnt Umber pigment, mixed with brush-on Vallejo Matte Varnish (to get it to stick to the model) and brush that on around the boots. I try not to go too thick, so you can still see the colours underneath showing through, but just do what looks good to you. The matte varnish works very well - once the pigment mixture has dried, even scrubbing at it with a toothbrush won't take it off easily.

40. Drybrush the mud with Calthan Brown and then Graveyard Earth to give some depth and variation.

41. If the areas where the metallics will be painted have stray coloured paint on them, it's a good idea to paint them black now. There's not enough pigment in the metallics to completely cover the area easily, and you may find underlying colours tend to show through.

42. Paint all the metal areas (knife blade, if applicable, aquila, lasgun nozzle, grenade pins etc.) with Gunmetal.

43. Wash these areas with Badab Black.

44. Highlight with Gunmetal.

45. For some select spots, highlight with Chainmail. This is rather bright, however, so don't overdo it. (The Chainmail highlights here are much too stark - I since went back and dulled them down with thin layers of Gunmetal).

46. To protect the metallic paint, it is a good idea to paint some satin varnish on the bits that will get handled lots (such as the bayonet blade) to stop it wearing off.

And we're done! Hopefully you'll have something looking like this:

So in only 46 easy steps, we have our Guardsman! Now I realise that's a lot, but most of these took less than a minute to do. In addition, you can omit some of the layering (such as on the flesh) if you want to cut down on the amount of painting. I think all the work is worth it though, especially when you see a group of them together.

Even if you've only skimmed this guide and haven't painted up a model yourself, I hope you might have picked up an idea or two. In any case, thanks for reading, and happy painting!