Thursday, June 4, 2009

20 - Imperial Guard Veterans Squad "The 50/ 50s" (7 out of 10 Completed)

As a new member of the From the Warp Bloggers Group, I'd like to make my first contribution to the group by adding to the Collaborative Post on the Imperial Guard. This post is more of a summary of all of my past posts on the construction and painting of my Veterans Squad, "The 50/ 50s" (so named because this jaded, cynical group of hardened veterans understand that life and death is merely a 50/ 50 flip of the coin, oftentimes, and skill ain't got nothing to do with it). To the left, you will see the finished 7 members of "The 50/ 50s." In the top row, from left to right, we have: Specialist Samori, the vox-caster operator and newest member of the squad; Sergeant Greyloch; Specialist Ruddard, the sniper; and Specialist Blacker. In the bottom row, from left to right, we have: Specialist Slagan, demolitions expert; Corporal Marsham; and Specialist Condan, meltagun operator. The squad is still missing its heavy flamer operator (next up as soon as I get my heavy flamer bit in the mail) and its Heavy Weapon Team (a lascannon, I think).

Now, I'm not really all that interested in min-maxing this squad. I mostly chose its composition based on what I wanted to paint or how I envisioned it in my mind. While I'm not counting out ever playing a table-top game of Warhammer 40k, at the moment, I really have no time to pursue that.

A close-up of Specialist Samori is to the right. His head comes from a Space Marine Scout, his vox-caster is Catachan, the banner streaming from the antenna of his vox-caster is a Dark Elf Warrior bit, the shotgun has been cut and converted from a Space Marine Scout, and his right arm is from the Command Squad sprue. His paintjob neither improves nor slips from my current level of painting. I did continue my attempts at grasping highlighting by adding some to the banner (to decent effect), but I think proper highlighting is still a few months away.

Some comments on how I put this squad together - Corporal Marsham (bottom row, middle) was the first Veteran I "converted" and painted. As you can see, he's pretty much a standard Guardsman but with a few bits glued on him here and there. Specialist Blacker (top row, far right) was the second, and his conversion was taken one step further than Marsham's - I cut off his left hand and glued on a hook from a Chaos Space Marine Rhino decorative bit. Also, his head comes from a Space Marine Scout. As I became more confident and more engrossed in the conversion aspects of this hobby, each subsequent Veteran underwent more and more elaborate conversions - Specialist Ruddard, the sniper, is wielding a converted sniper rifle; Specialist Condan operates a meltagun from the Space Marine Tactical Squad box and required a lot of cutting and filing in order to make it fit on his model; etc. What I came to realize is that converting models is incredibly good fun! It's heretical to say, but it's even more fun than painting them! I've gotten to the point where every remaining unit in my Imperial Guard list is going to be scrutinized for conversion possibilities. I'll be asking myself: "Hmm, do I really have to buy a Cadian Command Squad box? Or should I see if I can convert one from bits laying around?"

After completing my Veterans Squad, I will be building a diorama for them. I would like to incorporate magnets into the diorama, or at least design it in such a way that the miniatures can be removed from the diorama easily. I've seen tutorial on the web, but many of them seem to require a drill bit of some kind which I do not own (nor plan on getting in the near future). At this point, I think I'm looking at using plasticard or even sculpting putting to create depressions in the diorama to accomodate the base of a miniature.

Well, click here for more pics of my Veterans Squad, and feel free to visit my blog for more in-depth posts on each of the individual members of "The 50/ 50s."


Col. Corbane said...

That's a nice looking guard unit, keep them coming.

the other Kevin said...

Yes, converting is fun!
Good looking vet squad. My favorite conversion is how you've added the standard to the Catachan Vox caster. I have to wonder if the hook count as a CCW ;)

Simon said...

Nice looking conversions! For someone who claims to not know much about highlighting your models have quite a bit of depth. If you'd like any tips let me know but I think you've got a much better handle on it than you think.

Again, great conversions - the squad has a ton of personality.


Paul Wu said...

@ all

Thanks for the kind words.

@ Col. Corbane

You've got a great blog, btw. I've picked up quite a few tips from you.

@ the other Kevin

I have a tube of green stuff sitting on my desk, taunting me w/ the possibilities it holds. But I'm just too nervous about epic failing that I've held off going that extra step w/ my conversions. I was just wondering - does anyone have any links/ YouTube vids recommendations for a beginning green stuff user?

@ Simon

Thanks, but you know what they say - we're our own worst critic. When it comes to highlighting, I do have 1 basic question:

Q: Do you highlight first then shade the models w/ a wash or inks? Or vice-versa? I currently shade first then highlight, but I've been pretty unhappy w/ the results - the highlights seem too stark and harsh. Of course, this could be because my highlighting skills are just lacking all around!

Thanks for visiting, all!

Col. Corbane said...

Thanks mate.

On the green stuffing, don't worry about damaging mini's. The worst you can do is botch it up and then pick the stuff off.

Go and have a look at the tutorials on FTW and also at Dakka Dakka :-

I'm learning quite a bit from both.

The 25mm Warrior said...

Absolutely great job on the eyes there. I'm jealous. If I could make eyes look half that good I'd be a happy painter :)

Simon said...

Personally, I shade and then highlight because I find using washes to be messier than highlighting.

I lay down a basecoat, wash the area, then reapply the basecoat, leaving the shade where I want it. Then I start highlighting on top of the reapplied basecoat.

If your highlights look too stark you can either build up to that color using mixes of the highlight and base colors or try making your highlight lines thinner.

Hope something in there was helpful and let me know if you've got any other questions.


Paul Wu said...

@ Simon

Thanks very much for the tips. I've heard about the "building up to the highlight" before, but it seems like a daunting technique for me still. It's part of the whole layering method that I've still yet to try consistently on my miniatures.

Question: do you use a fine detail brush for highlights? Or do you stick to the 1 or 0 brush (i.e., the one you use for most of the non-basecoating painting on models)?

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