Project Updates (Modeling)

I actually have been busy with a lot lately, so forgive me for not getting pictures up sooner.  First, just a teaser photo of my friend, Aaron’s, “self-building” project, based on the Cato Sicarius model.

weedenfront weedenback

My own project and my brother’s are both coming along well, too.  Here’s a peak of a planning drawing:


Next, a few weeks ago I built the Space Marines from the Assault on Black Reach set, and Aaron built the Orks from it; I just forgot to post some pictures.  There’s still plenty to be done – most notably basing and painting – but here are some shots. 

blackreachmarines  orkses 

Finally, last night saw a host of building, mostly from trades and eBay purchases. 


On the Marines side of things, I acquired a large number of Scouts, including two Sergeant Naaman models.  I never really liked the original pose of Naaman, so on the first I cut the sword and repositioned it so the teeth were down (instead of behind); on the second I gave him a plasma pistol and put the sword in his other hand.  I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. 

convertednaamans allscouts 


I also acquired some more Guardsmen, most spectacularly some crew for my Heavy Mortar unit.  Also in the picture are two models I “converted” a bit ago – two more tank riders made into ground pounding Guardsmen. 

heavymortarscrew1 crew21 

Still left on the chopping block: myself, my brother’s self-build, another friend’s self-build; 3 Deffkoptas, 1 leader Nob, 1 looted Rhino, and maybe a surprise or two around the corner…

Space Marine Drop Pod

Why reinvent the wheel? Maybe next time I can do a search on what I’m constructing.

Games Workshop article on Drop Pods.

Bell of Lost Souls article on Drop Pods.

(Both links open in a new window.)

In fact, they solved some other questions I had on them. So there you go. Thank you, Ian, for pointing out that I’m a twit. :)


Space Marine Drop Pods – Quick notes

I’m currently in the middle of building my first drop pod. While I will have a step-by-step post in the next couple weeks, I thought I’d drop some hints for those of you that can’t/won’t wait.

1. Side cutters are your friend. Hey, I normally don’t use ’em, but in this case, I wish I did. Some pieces are thin, and break more easily than in other kits. Use side cutters.

2. Beware of the glue. With the way the pieces fit, glue slips out a lot. My thumb and forefinger are now silky smooth because of a couple of mishaps. Be careful.

3. HARNESSES GO ON A SPECIFIC WAY!!!11!one! Now, I’m not dumb, (I hope.) but as I was eagerly putting this whole thing together, I realized, too late of course, that i had messed up and put one set of harnesses on the wrong way. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

These three are all I have for now… I’ve still got the “tent poles” and engine to put on, but unless there’s a big screw up there, I’ll save it for the full post. Cheers!



Okay. The tent poles were kind of a screw up. My advice? Bring a friend to help you. What a pain.

Help has arrived!

Everything currently painted.

Wow, somebody check my temperature, two actual updates in one week? Shocking! Ian and I have been talking about what we’re going to do for future updates, and things look promising. Ian is going to be stripping and re-painting 3500 points of Imperial Guard, (yowza!) and I’ll be making some bunkers from scratch. Look for those in the next few weeks. But for today, we’re going to look at what I’ve been neglecting to put up here for the past few months.

So I’ll start with the sniper. Look for him in the group photo, see him? No? That’s because he’s hiding. (Or that I forgot to put him out for that one. Whoops.) He has a very simple color scheme: Dark Angels Green, Camo Green, Chaos Black and Tin Bitz for the body, Bronzed and Elf flesh for the face, and bits of Blood Red, Sunburst Yellow, and Snot Green to highlight his goggles and gun. Sadly, he’s the lone sniper, as I’ve not put the others together yet. That’ll change.


My personal favorites of the group, the Death Company and the Chaplain. This picture really doesn’t do them justice. The marines were simple, Chaos Black, drybrush with Fortress Gray, (Really, really light on that drybrushing too, just enough to break up the black and highlight the edges.) Tin Bitz for the metal parts like the jump pack straps and vents, and Skull White for the helmets. Oh, and Blood Red for the eyes.

The Chappy was a bit more indepth, though it’s the same basic scheme. More Shining Gold and Mithril Silver on the metal parts, Liche Purple highlighted with Ice Blue for his cloth piece, and Blood Red on the Purity seals. Heavier on the Fortress Grey than on the DC because, hey, he’s been around. That armor is going to get scuffed, right?

And finally, the Beakies and the Chapter Master. The Master was done like the other marine. I painted his armor to show wear. He doesn’t lead from the rear, no sir, not my guy. His cape was done as the Chaplains. It truly is a great combination, and if you are thinking of adding purple to your models, I highly recommend it. You won’t regret it. The Beakies I got off of eBay and, despite their age, are some of my favorites. They’ve proved to be more difficult to paint than I thought, however. They didn’t take the stripping as well as I’d hoped. No matter, they are tabletop condition, and will likely lead the way against enemy forces.

I should note here that all the guns I’ve been doing lately have been done in Mithril Silver, with a heavy blank ink over the top. These pictures don’t show it well, but it really is a pleasant effect. Don’t dilute the ink, and don’t be shy. The silver will shine through.

And that’s it for now! Oh, I had a question about attempting to resurrect old paint. If it looks like mud, you can add a little bit of water and stir it up with a toothpick, that’s how I kept some of mine alive. If it’s completely hardened, you can go to the local GW store, and pay $3 or $4 for a new pot – that sucker probably isn’t going to come back in usable condition. Hope that answers your question.

As always, leave comments, I love ’em, Ian loves ’em, everyone loves ’em. And don’t forget: I’ll post photos of your army if you want them up here. Leave a comment with an honest email address and I’ll get back to you. Cheers all!


The 500 pt. Space Marines Army

So I promised I’d post my 500 pt. army, and try to explain why I have what I have. So, here it is:

HQ – 90 pts – Captain with Plasma Pistol and Power Weapon (Store Link)

This was the piece I was least sure about. You would think that since it is so important I’d be sure this is what I wanted, but there were just so many choices. So I kept him simple, not wanting to put too much into him in case I get rid of him later. Still, he is able to hold his own, which is always important.

Troops – 2 groups of 9 Space Marines (151 pts./Squad – 302 pts. total) (Store Link)

While I was considering specializing the core of the army, it just seemed like I’d be better off with a bit of flexibility. Again, keeping it simple, it’s just 18 Space Marines, each squad having a flamer and a launcher. The Sergeants have the basic pistol and close combat weapon. The hardest part of this was figuring how mobile I wanted these squads to be. Right now we’ve spent 392 pts on the army, leaving 108. 108 pts will get you two Rhino transports. Mobility is usually good. But, instead, as we’ve seen in previous post, I went with…

Dreadnought with Smoke Launchers – 108 pts. (Store Link)

More than mobility, the army needed a centerpiece. Let’s face it, when there is a large piece on the board, people want it gone, and fast. Is the Dreadnought more deadly than the others? Well, yeah. However, the others used together can be devastating, and if they aren’t hurt by enemy fire, they can do more than the Dreadnought can by itself. (Mobility, again.)

So there it is. Is it simple? Yes. It’s supposed to be. Is there some grand strategy that’s going to enable this to win every time? No. Is there any obvious strength to it? No. Is there any glaring weakness to it? No. So all in all, I’d call this a successful core to an army. I won’t actually know until I test it, and test it again, but that’s how things work.

Leave a comment, and let me know what you think.

The fun stuff

Now last post I explained the “pre-color” or “pre brush work. Now we get dirty. (Kind of.) Here is where we left off:

Chaos Black primed Dreadnoght.

Now, this piece is a giant hunk of metal, so the first color we have to put down is a metallic silver.  We’re going to drybrush it on, with some heavy parts on the flat surfaces. This is so that when we paint it red, the metal will show through a bit. It also helps us choose what should be metallic later or not. This step shouldn’t take long, two quick passes should be perfect. If done correctly, by the time you get to the end of the piece, it’s ready for it’s next color. (Kids, that means start at the top and work your way down, then do it that way the entire time.) So once we have our plan, we coat with Mithril Silver, and it looks like this:


Like I said, quick. But it helps you visualize what the final piece will look like. I see that I definitly want the wires and such to be metalic, and that the piece is going to look (expletive deleted) cool when it’s done. Notice the heavier metallics on the “leg shields” and the left chest panel. This will make the red that is going to be on top come out brighter. Now, if I really wanted to make this look clean, I’d probably do the entire piece in silver, but clean isn’t the style I’m going for.

Now for the red. I have three major tips for this stage of the painting.

Tip 1: Save yourself time. Use a large brush.

Tip 2: Don’t worry if you get red where you didn’t want any. It can be fixed.

Tip 3: It’ll take a few coats to get it right. Make sure the previous coat is dry before you add another.

That’s really about it. Just go over the parts you’re going to want red. After three or so coats, it looks like this:


Now we detail. We do bits here, bits there, different colors, whatever you like. For this one, I added a white “racing stripe” to the left chest panel by masking off the painting lane with tape. (Clear scotch tape at that.) Now, because of the bumps in the details it didn’t come out perfect. That’s okay with me. With that done, the piece now looks like this:


Though it’s hard to see, I used Skull White, Mithril Silver, Fortress Grey, Bleached Bone, Boltgun Metal, and Shining Gold. Once this phase was done, I did the arms the same way. Then I had to dirty it up.

Now, this part is difficult to explain. The short story is, I had some 4 year old paints that had dried up a bit. I slowly added some water to reconstitute the paint. It’s kind of a sludge really. Then I just slop Tin Bitz on where I think the dirt should go, and it gives you a good dirty effect. Like so:


Now all that’s left is the fine, nitpicky detailing. I haven’t actually done this yet, but it’s simply cleaning up his medals, and perhaps a quick ink wash. But as you can see, it’s not bad as is. That’s all I have for now, but I’ll have another post soon detailing my 500 pt. army.

Priming of a Dreadnought

So I had hoped to have a step by step painting tutorial on how I painted my Dreadnought. It turns out, I really don’t have that kind of patience this week, but I did manage some pictures, which I’m going to split into two posts. I use this same process for all my models, with a few added tips and tricks here and there. I’ll add them in later, but unless otherwise noted, this is my standard method of painting.

 This post is going to focus on the pre-color work.

Step 1: Assemble the Model

Not everyone would agree with this. I suppose if my Dreadnought was going to be scrutinized as a work of art, I would paint each piece seperately. It’s not. I didn’t. So, I found a pose that worked, and glued everything in place. (Except the base, which I will cover later.) Why do I prefer this? I don’t want to do a ton of detailing. I normally don’t have a lot of time, so if I can shave a few minutes here and there, this is good.

At this point, this is what it looks like:

Dreadnought Front No Arms

Step 2: Tape off any parts that you don’t want painted.

This is very important. No matter how good you think you are, TAPE OFF ANY PARTS YOU DON’T WANT PAINTED. I can’t count the times where I say to myself, “I just won’t paint that, and glue it later.” Then I go and paint it. Then I have to file the paint off, usually compromising some part of the model I wanted to keep whole. Any kind of tape works. Really. Save yourself the headache.

Step 3: Prime the Model

Okay. I’m not going to be a stickler for the paints sold at the GW Store. If you don’t want to use Citadel Colors, that’s fine. (I do, but you’re not me.) However, use thier primers. They don’t melt the plastic pieces. They stick to the pewter pieces. I’ve had these problems with other primers, and you may think your saving a few bucks, but when you have to clean the pieces, then go and get the Citadel Primers, you really haven’t. Take my word for it, they’re the best.

Now, as for the actual priming. There are three rules for priming any piece.

Rule 1: Multiple thin coats of primer are better than one thick coat.

Rule 2: There is no coat that is “too thin.”

Rule 3: Once satisfied, let the primer cure for 24 hours.

These are very important to follow. Rule 1 keeps you from losing detail in the piece, while rule 2 keeps you from spraying too close to the piece and wrecking Rule 1. Rule 3, however, saves you pain later in the painting. IF you paint the piece BEFORE the primer is dried THEN you will ruin your brushes and paintjob. Primer doesn’t come off as easily as the other paints. I’ve had a few conversations (read: arguments) with people as to how long is safe. I had one tell me an hour, one 45 minutes. I, in turn, told them I waited a full day. They looked like I had said something bad about thier mothers. I thought about doing so, then decided I had shocked them enough. But I do. Waiting 24 hours means that I have time to look at the piece and finalize how I want to paint it, and that I know the primer is completely dry. Wait a day. Think about how cool your piece(s) is(are) going to look. After 24 hours, just before painting, the Dreadnought looked like this:

Chaos Black primed Dreadnoght.

Next Post: Initial Coloring

Space Marine Captain

Today’s picture is of my Captain, who as of yet remains nameless. Unlike the other pieces I’ve posted here, the Captian was basecoated in white. It was an experiment, and I wish I had done it with a different piece.The Captain

In hindsight, I can see where I missed some spots on his hand, and his overall look is very different from the other Marines. But then again I did plan on him being different, I’m just not sure I’m happy with the overall look. I guess I’ll call that lesson learned.

Bonus Post! Rise of the Dreadnought

Dreadnought. From the moment I first saw this game, I knew I wanted to play Space Marines because of them. Sure the Imperial Guard has two legged walkers that look like something out of Star Wars, but they just don’t scare me. These did. And as I feel it’s important to have a large piece in your army, this was it. (Wait until you see the girlfriend’s Tyranid army… it’s got a nice centerpiece as well.) Sure, I could have used a Rhino transport for the troops, but enemies don’t fear a Rhino. They fear firepower, and the Dreadnought brings it.

So, as I’m getting ready to paint this model, I think, “This would make a perfect post.”

And with that setup, here it is, mostly assembled and unpainted.

Dreadnought Front No Arms

Now, I wasn’t smart enough to take a picture with another piece to show scale, but it’s about twice as tall as a normal Space Marine. I’ve left the arms off on purpose, because I’m going to paint all his weapons and swap them out as my army list changes. The final two pictures are the back and the model with arms on. I should have it basecoated later today and I will include pictures in tomorrow’s post.

Dreadnought backDreadnought w/arms