The second member of my Hardened Veterans squad is complete. I'm still not sure what to call them yet, but I'm toying with a handful of nicknames: the Gravediggers (because Hardened Veteran squads are patched together from surviving members of depleted conventional Guardsmen squads, thus many of them joke that they've all, at one time or another, been on grave digging duty); the Inevitables (because Hardened Veterans have cheated death so many times, the inevitable will eventually catch up to them); the Bulletdodgers, the Walking Dead, etc. In other words, I want to come up with a unit nickname that captures the fatalism inherent in being a member of the Imperial Guard, especially one who, against all odds, has survived long past his expiration date.
This second Hardened Veteran was, again, converted from the Standard Guardsman by adding a handful of bits here and there: his left-hand claw was from a Chaos Rhino sprue, the Purity Seal dangling from his right shoulder pad was from a Space Marine sprue, the sword and scabbard strapped to his back was from a Bretonnian Knights sprue, and the Ork Skull was, I believe, from a Dark Angels sprue. Oh, and his head was originally from a Space Marine Scout. The paintjob has gotten more uniform with every Guardsmen I do. It hasn't necessarily improved, but I think I'm getting the basics of miniature figure painting down. Psychologically, I feel ready to start working on my highlighting and then moving on to blending/ glazing/ layering/ feathering and all those other advanced painting techniques. Also, since this Hardened Veteran was one step up in terms of conversions versus the first Hardened Veteran, I fully expect my next Hardened Veteran to take my conversion skills another step upwards.
Click here for more pics.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I've broken my cherry! It seems like everyone who becomes involved in miniature figure painting eventually winds up painting a Warhammer 40k Ultramarine. This miniature was from the Assault on Black Reach starter box set so was very limited in terms of conversion possibilities. I'm actually semi-happy with his paint job. The lines are clean, the wash shading was good, and the details are starkly visible and not muddied. Now, even though I am fairly satisfied with the shading, it did end up splotching the blue paint. If I were being generous, I'd say it gives the marine a worn, battle-damaged look, but, honestly, it just kind of makes him look messy. I'm nervous about giving him another coat of paint, however. Even though I use very thinned paint, too much thinned paint still runs the risk of turning the smooth surface rough and wrinkled.
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Well, I finally converted one of the Imperial Guard Cadian Shock Troops from the first post into a Hardened Veteran. I glued four bits I purchased from eBay to the Shock Troop - 1) a shoulder pad from a Warhammer Fantasy Dwarf sprue onto the Veteran's right shoulder, 2) a belt pouch from a Space Marine sprue onto his left shoulder, 3) a holstered, archaic flintlock rifle from the Warhammer Fantasy Pistolier sprue onto his back, and 4) a ribbon from the Warhammer Fantasy Bretonnian Knight sprue onto the holstered rifle.
According to the Warhammer 40k fluff, Hardened Veterans are allowed to keep equipment they scavenge from the battlefield which is why I've chosen to convert my Hardened Vets with bits and pieces from all over the place. This was just my first attempt, so I really didn't do all that much to change his initial look, but my plans for future Hardened Vets are much more ambitious. Visually, I'm trying to capture in these ten troopers a cynical yet loyal (at least to each other) attitude.
As usual, click here for more pics.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
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.
Click here for a gallery of more pictures.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
This is my second attempt at painting Ridley Darkedge. Overall, I'm very pleased with how the scenic base turned out. The broken arch was scavenged from a dismantled VHS cassette tape (remember those?) and the cobblestone floor was sculpted using clay purchased at a craft store. The only "non-scratchbuilt" part of the base was the skulls and chain which was a plastic bit taken from a Games Workshop Chaos Space Marine Rhino sprue.
As for Ridley himself, I'm semi-pleased with his paintjob. I'm getting much better at shading with washes, and my patience with applying multiple layers of paint to cover a surface has grown as well. This has led, in my opinion, to smoother painted surfaces. Well, except for the faces of miniatures. For some reason, I'm still struggling with getting a smooth coat of paint down on the faces and heads of these models. More often than not, they still end up looking like they've been afflicted with some evil sort of flaky, splotchy skin disorder. In general though, I'd say Ridley's paintjob demonstrates slow improvement in my technique. You can view a gallery of this miniature here.
Next up, either a continuation of my Imperial Guard Cadian Shock Troops project (assembling and painting the vox-caster operator of Second Squad, 1st Platoon), or painting the Juron, Mystic Knight miniature I mentioned in my previous post. I'm leaning towards the Cadian Shock Trooper because I'm actually formulating a plan to use Juron in a large diorama involving multiple miniatures which I haven't quite committed to, motivation and time-committment wise.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
My second attempt at a larger scale scenic base. I must have painted and stripped this model four or five times before this current paint job. In actuality, this model was one of the first miniature models I ever purchased almost a year ago. And, again, while the paint job isn't anywhere near a respectable level, I believe it represents the high point of my current painting skills. I think part of the problem is that I'm still using craft paints (being too cheap and unsure of my skills to invest in expensive model paint). Since I've only been seriously painting for two to three months, I'll allow myself to develop for another three months or so before thinking about forking over the dough for the model paints. A gallery of the figure can be found here.
The large brown rock comes from a cork board while the spindly tree was once a bristle from a toy witch broom my wife purchased to celebrate the release of the last Harry Potter book with her friends.
My next miniature project will be to re-paint and properly base one of two Reaper Miniatures: either Juron, Mystic Knight, or Ridley Darkedge, male thief.
My first attempt at a more scenic base. The miniature is a resin-cast from Reaper Miniatures. This paint job is my third attempt at painting the figure. I'm still not very satisfied with the painting, but I like the base. The tree was created by cutting and painting the discarded stalks of silk flowers my wife purchased. The base was created by gluing together two 2" diameter wooden discs. A gallery of the figure can be found here.
I'm pretty sure at some point, I'll probably strip this model again in order to give her a proper paint job.
A new addition to my slowly developing Cadian Infantry Squad - a veteran sergeant with laspistol and chain sword! Again, the basing materials used for the sergeant's base were all purchased cheaply and in large quantities from Michael's. I tried to paint black hazard stripes on the sergeant's chainsword, but it turned out terribly, so I primed it over and just kept it yellow. Maybe at a later date, I'll try to paint those black hazard stripes back on. A gallery of the figures can be found here.
Six more Cadian Shock Troops to go before First Squad is complete! Out of the remaining six, one will be a special weapons trooper (either a flamer or a grenade launcher) and another one will be equipped with a vox-caster.
My first attempt at basing miniatures on something more than the default plastic black bases. I think the bases turned out well. All of the materials used were purchased at Michael's in large quantities and at very reasonable prices - much cheaper than I would've had to pay if I had bought scenic material specifically geared towards miniature models. The painting on the figures is also of the highest quality I've been able to muster in the 3 months since I took up this hobby. The paint I'm using is craft store paint - I don't believe my painting skills are at a strong enough level to invest in expensive miniature modeling paint just yet. I did use Games Workshop Citadel washes to shade the figures. I'm slowly getting the hang of using inks and washes to provide shading and depth, but I'm still a rank amateur in regards to highlighting and blending.
The three plastic figures are rank and file Cadian Shock Troops from the soon to be out of production Imperial Guard Cadian Shock Troop box set. You can view a gallery of the figures here.