The picture on the left shows the Blood Ravens Sternguard with his right arm wielding his pimped out bolter and backpack attached, and primed with Black (brushed on). It's slowly coming together. I then proceeded to paint the backpack and arm Opaque Red, his shoulder pad Old Parchment, and his bolter Bridge Grey. I also finally decided to just paint over his knee pads Opaque Red because I desperately want to avoid making him overly colorful. He's a hardened space marine, for goodness sakes! I keep returning, for reference, to the image of GW's Sternguard as well as the two Tactical Blood Ravens I've already painted up in order to get an idea as to whether or not I'm on the right track. Primarily, I want this Sternguard to stand out from the Tacticals while simultaneously not going overboard with the bits and bobs. In other words, I want him to look like a well-decorated veteran of the Blood Ravens various campaigns against heretics and xenos scum but not so much so that he becomes a walking display board for The Bitz Barn.
3 thin basecoats later on the arm, bolter, and backpack, and we get the result show on the right. You'll notice that I've added a handful of embellishments (with 2 thin basecoats) to the model - a banner pole, a tabard over his right shoulder pad, a crux terminatus on his backpack, and a belt decoration from a Terminator sprue to his right shin guard (which was an attempt at copying the effect on the GW mail order only Space Marine Sergeant seen here - note the Imperial Aquila on his left shin guard). If I were more confident with my greenstuffing, I would have integrated the belt decoration more seamlessly into the leg of my Sternguard, but I'm not. Regardless, I'm pretty satisfied with the effect, and I can always come back at a later date and try the green stuff when I feel I'm ready for it. At this point, he's practically done. I'll very likely add 1 or 2 more layers of basecoats to the embellishments, then make an attempt at free-handing the Blood Ravens Chapter Marking on to the banner as well as some free-hand work on the shoulder pad tabard. After that, I'll move on to the wash stage, the bringing the basecoat back up and highlighting stage, and finally end with painting and sprucing up the base a bit.
By the way, check out Thomas Schadle's rendition of the Blood Ravens. His painting ability almost makes me want to throw my own Ravens into a tupperware container filled with Simple Green and start over. Ah, but then I notice he's done very well in the Golden Daemon competitions (even winning the L.A. Slayer Sword back in 2005 for his Blood Ravens Librarian) and realize how silly it is to compare myself to him. He's painting at a major league level, while I'm very obviously toiling away in Tee Ball at the moment. My wife remembers when I first started this hobby, I would constantly bemoan my lack of ability especially after browsing through the awesome paintjobs on CoolMiniorNot. Viewing the finished products of such accomplished painters almost made me want to quit until 2 things happened: 1) I noticed that so long as I kept practicing my painting, I actually got better (fancy that!); and 2) I finally came to the very sane understanding that a handful of months invested into anything is not enough time to become very, very good at it. (Unless we're talking about falling down. Maybe a couple of weeks would be enough to get very good at falling down, but you know, not even. Just ask circus clowns and stunt men/ women how hard it is to fall down convincingly without cracking your own head open. But I digress...)
My apologies for this tutorial going on so long. In the future, I'll cut out some of the more mundane aspects of putting these miniatures together and jump straight to the painting technique. I still need to refine my tutorial presentations to give you all a better look into how I paint, but I always knew that designing tutorials would be difficult. Hopefully, I've learned something from this first initial go of it.
For more pics of this work in progress, click here.
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