Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Dark Angels Nephilim Jetfighter: TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

There is something a bit... Batman... about the Nephilim. When I decided to repaint this one I wanted to make it a lot darker than what I was used to seeing, which meant changing the wing colour scheme and the missiles so that it all blends in a bit more with the black fuselage. I think what I have produced is decidedly more grim/dark, but I will let you be the ultimate judge of that.

I have never been a huge fan of flyers in the 40K game. When they were introduced it felt a lot like a game of scissors-paper-rock had turned into scissors-paper-rock-lizard-Spock (and my army had no lizards, or Spocks). I still feel that they are a little misplaced on a 40K gaming table, particularly when other gaming systems have some pretty neat rules for flying units that make more sense (looking at you Battletech: Alpha Strike). To give me the push that I needed, my mates gave me this Nephilim and a Storm Eagle transport, which I split between my Dark Angels and Iron Snakes.

I really enjoyed painting the metallics on those wings, I was really rough with it which felt liberating after all of the detail work on the lenses. One of the last jobs I had to do was the black highlights, which I kept pretty sharp.

I played around with the colours on the engines a little bit, painting some of the internal parts gold with a green wash just for kicks. I like the way that the colours match the base, creating a kind of visual link between the two; I'm weird that way.

I also added a bit of a blue/purple glow to the end of the engine, just to add a bit of light coloured detail to the rear view. Again, the colour ties in nicely with the river on the base, which is a technique I like to use.

As I mentioned last post, my mates added some Epic scale Space Marine figures to the base to establish a bit of forced perspective, to make the flyer look like it was flying higher above the battlefield. I loved the concept to bits, so I added to it a fraction with the addition of a river and some trees, which match my gaming board appearance pretty closely. The effect is great for a display piece, which this model will be for most of the time. Of course when it is next to other models the suspension of belief is a lot harder to maintain. That doesn't bother me too much, flyers shouldn't be pulling such tight maneuvers 20 m off the ground anyway!

Overall, I am very happy with how this project turned out. I think I have made it look a little more sinister, whilst still maintaining the features that my mates worked so hard on. Drum-roll: big orange stamp!

See you across the table,


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Forced Perspective Bases

Hi folks,

The last step of my Nephilim Jetfighter project is to finish off the base. As I mentioned last post, when my mates gave me the model they had based it with some Epic-scale figures, to introduce some forced perspective.

"Forced perspective is a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It manipulates human visual perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the spectator or camera."

In this case, the figures on the base are supposed to make it look like the Jetfighter is doing a higher altitude pass over the battlefield. When I saw what they had done I loved it, I don't think I had ever seen anything like it before. As part of the re-painting process, I decided I would add some extra details to the base but retain and enhance the forced perspective. To kick things off, I scraped off some of the old basing material and marked out where I wanted the river to be with a white base coat.

Next I painted the river using Caledor Sky for the deeper water, blending from Teclis Blue to Lothern Blue on the shore.


I was planning to add some sandy shores to the river, to match the river on my gaming board. The material I used on my board was shell grit, which has some fairly large shell pieces in it. To enhance the forced perspective I used a mortar and pestle to crush some of the grit into much finer grains. I cleaned the mortar and pestle with vinegar when I was finished (it dissolves the calcium carbonate of any left over shell).

To apply the grit I used PVA glue, which I painted on with a brush on the banks of the river. 

So that was the neat, tidy... rational, painless part. After that I sprinkled the crushed grit on the base and let it dry for an hour or so. Stupidly, I used my breath to blow the excess off the base and got a fair whack of it in my eyes. Thankfully (?) I have had some experience with this kind of accident, so managed to keep my eyes jammed open until I could get under the shower and flush them thoroughly. Ten minutes later the excitement was over and my eyes were 0% gritty. Next time, I'm just going to give it a blast with my airbrush, or wear some damn safety glasses (I have enough pairs of them).

 To cover the bulk of the base I used the summer/spring flock mix that I always use. I mixed a big batch of this stuff when I first did my gaming boards, the day it runs out I swear the sky will fall.

I added the two remaining Epic-scale marines to the base, which had fallen off during the removal of the original basing material. I also chopped up a Citadel jungle tree and used the smallest fronds to represent some larger trees around the base.

To finish it off I applied a 1 mm layer of water effects to the river. The surface tension of the water effects is very strong (the intermolecular forces are strong in this one...) so there were no troubles with it flowing over the shoreline or the edge of the base. 

...and that's how I left it for the night. It usually takes over 12 hours for the water effects I use to set, so I didn't touch the base again until the next day. Then I whipped some black around the base edge and called it done! Tomorrow I'll post the final pictures of the whole project.

See you across the table,



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Dark Angels Nephilim Jetfighter Progress

Hi folks,

I few years ago two of my mates put this Nephilim Jetfighter together for me and gave it a lick of paint. Sgt Waz tinted the canopy with Tamiya Clear Red and worked on it for as long as time permitted to get it as close to finished as possible. Of course, for both of us, the term "finished" has taken on a whole new meaning since then! Over the past couple of days I have cleaned it up quite a bit and changed the scheme significantly, starting with the wing symbol on the... wings.

I started by re-spraying the wings black, then adding a layer of Warplock Bronze. Gold was stippled up one end to add some depth, with black stippled on the other end. I finished them off with gold highlights on the upper edges and Leadbelchers at the base. You can also just see the blue/purple glow I have added to the engine. With a large flat brush I added a black layer to the fuselage to cover up some very thick grey highlights, restoring some darkness to the scheme. I also added some white running lights on the wingtips.

I hadn't realised quite how much junk these models have up front! Next up I painted lenses all over the place. Let's just say I had a lot of practice doing jeweling effects that night. I also changed the colour of the missiles to green, as the yellow was not quite distracting and too close to the gold I had just added.

To finish the job I need to do a whole heap of edge highlighting and fix up the base. The guys decided to try some false perspective, using an Epic scale Landraider and some marines, which they even painted in a Dark Angels scheme. I love the effort they put in to do this and it really makes me giggle on the inside. I think, however, that I can still jazz up the other features of the base and perhaps add some water effects, to match my gaming table. The frustrated gardener in me can't wait :-)

See you across the table,


Monday, 6 November 2017

Armies on Parade 2017

Hi folks,

This year the owner of my FLGW asked if I would come around and take some photos of the Armies on Parade displays. I usually attend to cheer on Sgt Waz, but he was going to be conspicuously missing this year; knee deep in undercoated Primaris Marines. Being asked to be the somewhat-official photographer for the day sounded like fun though, and I do like to support the store whenever I can. So, with 90 minutes to spare before my best mates wedding, I snuck off to GW Liverpool (Australia).

There were five categories that people could compete in and only seven entries, so it felt like a bit of a shoe-in. Having said that, every entry had its own charm. The field seemed to be dominated by Young Bloods and first timers, which was nice. Sgt Waz tends to blow those guys out of the water when he competes, I think they all breathed a sigh of relief knowing he was occupied elsewhere. Here is a run down of my top 3 entries:

1) Salamanders vs Dark Eldar

Some really cleanly painted Salamandars and Dark Eldar, arranged in a battle diorama. I really liked the diversity of the models presented.

2) Deathworld Primaris Marines

I think I am so used to seeing Space Marines in bright colours and heraldry that this entry really caught me by surprise. The paint job was particularly detailed or finely executed, but the concept worked really well, the force was definitely unified in its appearance and a lot of effort had gone into getting all of those trees done. It was a joy to crouch down and photograph all of the hidden marines.

3) Mordian Iron Guard vs Thousand Sons/Tzeentch Daemonworld

My personal favourite of the day, even when I ignored the lights, smoke and effects. This display was chock full of old school goodness, but also had some new models, all painted very well. It was clear that a lot of effort had gone into the display and the massive volume of models actually fit the theme perfectly. It was even presented with its own short story! The guy who made it had some kind of smoke machine connected to the destroyed Landraider, which malfunctioned allowing liquid to pour out onto the board (poor guy!). He was pretty philosophical about it, even though his wifey/gf seemed to be freaking out a bit.

After taking my shots and voting I high-tailed it out of there. It was great to see them pop up on the store's Facebook site after a couple of hours; mission accomplished!

I know I have said it before, but I really want to enter next year. I even have a pretty good idea of what I want to do: Ravenwing sallying forth from a Fortress of Redemption. Let's see if I can deliver something this year that I can enter ;-)

See you across the table,


Monday, 30 October 2017

Ghost Bears: Kodiak Progress

Hi folks,

It's a bit shameful to admit, but this model has been standing unfinished on my shelf for over 3 years now. In fact, the conversion of this guy was my second post on this blog! It wouldn't be so bad if he was one of mine, but I actually got it for KuriboGoomba as part of a 5 Mech Ghost Bear Star. After painting a test miniature, though, I lost my nerve a bit and never picked them up again. Well, nerves be damned, I'm back stravags!

The Kodiak assault Mech is 100 tons of pure aggression. It is designed to tear strips off anything at close or medium range, with its Ultra AC 20 cannon, twin Streak SRM 6 launchers and 8 (8!!!) ER Medium Lasers. They were one of the main challenges; painting those 8 tiny little green lenses.

The other big challenge is the black outlining of the cracked ice motif, particularly over uneven surface (i.e. all of them!). Let's just say I'm looking forward to never having to do it again.

For a simple size comparison, I put the Kodiak next to the Shadow Hawk IIC I had painted earlier:


Two down now, three to go. Next will be a Stone Rhino...

See you across the table,


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Dark Angels Servitors: TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

In the spirit of finishing off some of those niggling projects that have been hanging around for too long, I finished some servitors off to go with my Techmarine. I built this squad back in the days when you could have four heavy weapons in a servitor crew. These days the limit is two, so I can see another Techmarine getting painted in the near future. To finish these guys off I needed to replace the old busted green plasma glow with the new stylish turquoise glow. That may not sound like a lot of work, but I think it was worth the effort.

I painted one of the servitors with a fully charged plasma cannon, the other is recharging. Take a look at the next pic and see if you can tell the difference between the two.

The fully charged plasma cannon was drybrushed with increasingly lighter shades of turquoise using a short bristled flat brush. I wet blended some of the same shades into some skin colour applied to the face.

The recharging plasma cannon was painted flat turquoise, then I applied increasingly lighter shades as washes to the base of the plasma coils. I then drybrushed Leadbelchers to the top, so that the glow only appears in the gaps between coils.

These guys are now ready to go and Zzzapp! some Primarines. Not that I have anything against them... or anything...


See you across the table,