I've just finished the most recent addition to my Imperial Guard Cadian Shock Troopers - the vox-caster operator! At this point, painting Cadian troopers has become almost zen-like in its lack of thinking and consideration. I think it's actually very good practice going through these Guardsmen, forcing myself to put down cleaner and smoother brushstrokes over the same contours and segments of similar miniatures. I believe I'm improving drastically in the use of washes (I've begun to add a drop of flow-improver into my Citadel washes), and am now pretty confident with shading. Highlighting and blending are still a challenge though.
Another element of advanced painting that I'll slowly ease myself into is the use of the near metallic metals (NMM for short) technique. If you've noticed, most of the miniatures I've posted on this blog use a combination of metallic paint to represent metal and non-metallic paint. The non-metallic paint, for now, is usually applied flatly, without any real attempts at mimicking metal. This is because I'm not at all ready to tackle this advanced technique. But one day, I'd like to master NMM because I'm not very fond of the look of metallic paint on miniature models.
One more thing - one of the Cadian troopers from my earlier post (the one with the 5 o'clock shadow) will be transformed into a Hardened Veteran shortly. According to the Games Workshop Warhammer 40k mythos, Hardened Veterans of the Imperial Guard "have their skills honed by constant battle and this experience sets them apart from others. These hardened individuals are drafted into special squads where they are given access to more specific weapons for their unique jobs. Due to the status given to them by their skill and experience, they are regarded with some degree of respect and fear by their peers." I'm expecting a batch of bits for conversion in the mail and will begin working on a heavily-converted Hardened Veterans Squad.
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