Back to painting power armour

I’m actually quite worried I won’t get my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army painted in time.  I’ve decided I’m only 5 mini’s away from being done, but besides these three rank and file models I have to paint both my HQ choices.  I was going to paint a Greater Daemon too, but now I’ve realized I’ll never get it done.  If you want to see what it will eventually look like, just go back in time and see the purple Bloodletter I’ve been painting…

Models painted Black and Tin Bitz
Models painted Black and Tin Bitz

As for the three models I’ve been working on tonight, I haven’t made much progress.  After finishing the Chaos Sorcerer for the Mighty Empires Campaign at Strategies, I ran some errands and applied to a few jobs.  It also got a lot hotter.  I slept in and had to delay painting until later into the evening.  I even bought some beer to try and fight the heat.  I really should get a fan.  I just sit in my apartment and sweat.  I have to go to the washroom and wipe the sweat from my forehead.

All these models are ‘kit bashed’.  They are made of various plastic, metal, and resin bits that I’ve acquired over the years.  I’m actually running out of in-print backpacks and I think chaos space marine legs.  I have extra torsos because I use metal and resin ones, but legs I’ve mostly used up.  I’ll have to buy another box of rank and file CSM someday.

Highlighted Black Power Armour
Highlighted Black Power Armour

I’ve actually decided to change things up.  Even after painting well over 100 Chaos Space Marines I’m still trying to get it down.  By getting it down, I mean paint more efficiently.  Give me 60 hours and I’ll paint you a really nice model.  But if your goal is to paint an entire 1500 point army, especially to a high standard you have to be smart about it.  I’ve moved to the cult of the black primer, but I’m trying to give grey a shot for some models.  I seem to spend a lot of time painting black into recesses after spraying my models with Chaos Black.  I think I may give Army Painter Primer or Testors or something a try.

I swear the models are never perfectly cleaned and primed no matter how much effort I put into them.

The first thing I did was paint the armour trim Tin Bitz.  All three of these models will have different coloured power armour as they are in three different squads.  Two of them are Plaguemarines and one is a Chosen of Chaos.  I decided to paint the trim first as it defines the model.  It is something I’ve been experimenting with while painting test Bezerkers.  The trim outlines the model which helps in painting the rest and in photographing.

Innis and Gunn Beer
Innis and Gunn Beer

I painted the Chosen first as it has Black Power Armour which is actually easy to highlight if you follow my system.  I spent a lot of time working on an efficient method of highlighting black.  I also leave room for the Purple Flames which are the signature feature of the Nefarious Fire Chaos Space Marine Warband.  To highlight black after much experimentation I use Foundry Triad #34 Charcoal Black.  I apply the paint in the following order Shade, Charcoal Black, Highlight, Shade.  I use the second layer of Shade to shape the highlights.  Then I give them a little Badaab Black wash to darken and blend the highlights.  Then I use the Highlight (34C) again and if I want the model to pop, I use a lighter grey.  This time I used the new light grey I bought which is Vallejo Sky Grey.  It is actually a bit too light, but any lighter grey will serve.

I’ve gotten more selective in what I highlight.  You have to do this if you’re trying to paint entire armies and squads, especially for the square based game.  The most important parts of a model are the face, hands, and the weapon.  I left the weapons black as they will mostly be a silver metallic colour, not Tin Bitz or Brass.  The hands I did highlight up to Sky Grey but this model has no helmet, he’ll get a blue tinged flesh like most of my CSM.

It is almost midnight and I’m on to my third beer.  So this is the end for the evening.  Tomorrow I have to get up earlier walk to Strategies and try to win my first game of Warhammer 8th Edition.  I don’t fancy my chances. I will be trying to get these three models done quickly to maximize the time I have for my HQ choices.

Whenever non-hobby people see my models they always ask what size brush I used so since I’ve had to buy some new brushes and although I’m not super picky, all brushes are not created equal, here are the brushes I’m using lately.  Most of them were bought at Deserres.

Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade

3 WIP Chaos Models

Today I’ve done a lot of painting, I got up early and I kept at it for most of the day. I’m working on three different chaos models. The first is my second test bezerker, the second is an old OOP Bloodletter which I’m painting up to be a generic lesser daemon, but mainly I’m practicing my dark purple skin tone technique, the final model is another old chaos model, this one is still in print, non-the-less mine is lead and will serve as a Herald of Tzeentch come Sunday at Strategies.

Mostly finished Khorne Bezerker
Mostly finished Khorne Bezerker

What I really should be working on is my Astronomi-con Vancouver army, but their is a method to my madness. The Khorne Bezerker is serving as a test model for my Forgeworld Khorne Terminator Lord conversion. The Bloodletter is a test model for a bigger daemon. Even the sorcerer could be argued that it is a test model, as I need to get that flashy look for my Slaneesh Sorcerer I’ll take to the tournament.

Well with all the time I put in, I could have put in even more, and none of the models are finished. I had hoped to start on three other models today, but tomorrow will do. I did a lot of work on the Bezerker’s red armour, the Bloodletter’s purple skin, and the sorcerer’s grey robe.

The model I’ve done the least on since the last blog post is the Bezerker.  I finished the purple flames using the Foundry Royal Purple Triad pretty much as they intended.  I’ve been having brush troubles today.  Several brushes were retired and I couldn’t find a good ‘0’ or ’00’.  I’ve been focusing on speed and buying and using bigger brushes, that now when I want to paint flames or fine highlights my tools are letting me down.  Tomorrow I will invest in some new brushes.  I’m tempted to go to Imperial Hobbies because a few gabs have appeared in my paint collection.  Specifically I need a green between Orkhide Shade and say VMC Sick Green.  I ended up making one…

Building up Purple and Grey Highlights
Building up Purple and Grey Highlights

So the greens on the Bezerker are for his seems or tubes or whatever.  I painted them Orkhide Shade then tried to go right to Sick Green but it ended up looking way too Christmas tree-ish.  I then mixed a darker green for the other models.  I also had troubles getting the green in the tiny gaps without damaging my red or grey highlights.  The other thing I did on the Bezerker was it’s ‘silver’ metallic stuff.  I didn’t use silver, but rather GW’s Chainmail.  This was way too shiny, so another dark gunmetal colour would be nice too.  I can darken Chainmail with Badaab Black and Devlan Mud wash but there is always a risk of spillage or seepage, so I think I’d prefer an even simpler metal.  I have Boltgun Metal but I think something even darker than that would find many uses in my painting.

Royal Purple Triad plus a Purple Glaze
Royal Purple Triad plus a Purple Glaze

The Bloodletter got his skin finished off.  It came out pretty well, but eventually I just had to say enough because I have bigger models to work on and I need to get them done within two weeks.  Thankfully I’m unemployed… The skin was painted GW’s Liche Purple twice.  I let black come through, I missed painting a little bit of stuff on one shoulder, I thought it was a necklace but it was his collar bone.  After that I think I did the first part of Foundry’s Royal Purple Triad, but perhaps before that a custom dark purple wash.  Then I worked up the Royal Purple Triad followed by a thinned old purple wash.  Then it was basically Royal Purple Triad Highlight along with some glazes.  I might go slightly pinker maybe to Warlock Purple on the big fella, we’ll see how it looks and how much time it takes.

I also did some striations.  Yet another place where I needed a good sharp point. I actually have some really tiny brushes, but I need zeros and double zeros too.

An extremely highlighted grey robe
An extremely highlighted grey robe

The Sorcerer got a pretty surreal grey robe.  I didn’t use that many different greys, basically just GW ones, two Foundation ones, and one regular one.  In fact I chucked out a light grey, which doing some infantory I think I need four colours and I’m going to try non-GW ones, preferably in the dropper style bottles.  Sometimes they come out too much, but generally they are pretty easy to work with, for super common colours I like the flip tops like black and white or metallics which I keep out of my P3 Wet Palette.

The robe got a wash of Badaab Black but that didn’t go as well as I would like so future washes were custom made by me out of old Black GW Wash.  I did two, one thinned and one really thinned.  I also built up the highlights to Astronomicon Grey, but then I went even higher mixing in some white.  I also painted in lowlights.  This was partly to get rid of unwanted shine, but mainly as it looked good.  I got the aforementioned thin brush and painted black lines into folds.  I also painted on more folds than were sculpted using various greys.  This is a technique I use on skin too, such as the striations.

Building up Green highlights
Building up Green highlights

After I was satisfied with the robe I touched up the black and waited until the Bezerker was ready to do green.  I wanted a different green, working towards an old pot of GW Jade Green, possibly going even brighter.  I started off with Orkhide Shade, leaving some black showing on all three models.  Then I did a mix of Orkhide Shade and Vallejo Model Colour Sick Green.  Finally pure Sick Green was applied then a custom wash made from an old GW Ork Flesh Wash mixed with a tad of Shadow Black Ink.

Then I deemed them good enough for tonight and tomorrow I will finish them mostly and try harder to find a job.  I might go out tomorrow night, so I don’t think I’ll put in as many hours painting, but I’m in the home stretch for all three models, so it will be time to work on three different Chaos Space Marines.

3 Finished Plaguebearers

Three painted Plaguebearers
Three painted Plaguebearers

Today was actually the best day for painting we’ve had in a long time in Vancouver.  There is a breeze, my hands don’t sweat, I don’t have to OD on water.  Too bad my sleep schedule is so messed up I slept away most of the day.  I’m up now and paint is drying as I’m almost done Fleshy, Drabby, and Knarly.  I’ve finished the eyes which are oranges and yellows.  I think I need a bit more yellow but yellow notoriously doesn’t cover well, even over orange and white…

I did the handles of the swords brown even using my Reaper Master Series Terracotta on them.  I did the champs tongue purple.  I did my new dark purple system of GW’s Liche Purple then the Foundry Royal Purple Triad.  For fun I blended on the Wet Palette, which is behaving more today in the milder weather, the inbetween shades.  Alas I still haven’t gotten the handle on the wet palette and may have rushed things too much.  I did a very thinned down old GW Purple Wash too.  Now like a lot of other things it is drying.

My Putrid Green Paint Pot
My Putrid Green Paint Pot

I’m painting the glob on Knarly’s sword an old GW Jade Green which I plan to highlight with an old GW Putrid Green.

I painted the nipple ring on Fleshy a P3 Blighted Gold colour which is a great Nurgle colour even if it does suffer from some separation issues, it is still workable.

The bases will be drybrushed with three GW browns: Scorched Earth, Snakebite Leather, and Bubonic.  They already got a fresh coat of Delta Ceramcoat black which is nice and flat and covers well.  I reach for it a lot to save my Chaos Black for finer detail work, now.

That’s about it, when everything is reasonably dry I snapped the pics then they are off to the box to get Matte Varnished.  I plan to go with Purity Seal even though I hear horror stories about it frosting models every now and then.  When I get a job and lessen my debt load I’ll hopefully have used it up and switch to Testors.

I think after all these years I’ve finally gotten good at drybrushing.  I come from the old school where we drybrushed with old brushes.  This can be really hit and miss which is a way to describe drybrushing itself.  Over the years I’ve acquired some makeup style brushes and on my last trip to Deserres I bought the smallest one yet.  This is much superior to the old worn out Tamiya brush I was using.  It was actually a joy to drybrush up the dirt with my new brush.  Maybe I’ll have to try drybrushing something else besides dirt and skulls…  Of course you still need to get just the right amount of paint on your brush, this is more important than the kind of brush you use.

In case you didn’t notice the Putrid Green turned out to be a boulder.  Shows you how often I use it.  So the green glob on Knarly’s sword is GW Jade Green and one of the oldest pots in my collection, GW Bilious Green from the Monster Paint Set I believe.  I blended the colours together, oh yeah the midtone was, a not quite as old, GW Striking Scorpion Green.  Anyway I mixed various midtones over a very solid two or three coats of Jade Green base.  I then put too much old GW Green Glaze on the model, but it worked out fine, I built back up my highlights even better using the wet palette and then I put some pure Bilious Green on and modicum of GW Yellow Glaze and voila slime! I may use some other tricks to keep it nice and slimy.

So which is your favourite one?  All three are great sculpts which is probably why Nurgle lesser daemons are the only metal ones left in GW’s catalog.  Drabby was the least work, but he has the nice exposed bones.  Fleshy I like though his skintone could have had a lot more depth to it, but it is a unique colour.  And Knarly I really gave the P3 Wet Palette a bit of a workout blending various mid-shades and I also used four different new GW Washes as well as some of my own custom thinned washes, so basically 15 years worth of Nurgle painting experience went into these models, hopefully they’ll result in a glorious victory on Sunday, now I just need to re-base the Beasts of Nurgle and make a 40 strong movement tray to replace my old puny 16 one.

Drabby the Plaguebearer

Fleshy the Plaguebearer

Knarly the Plaguebearer

The Drabby photo is a bit soft, I took four or five and this was the best one I got with my iPhone today.  Oh well you get the idea.

Make Mine Nurgle

Plaguebearer Progress

Today hasn’t been a very productive day, I stayed up too late last night working on the plaguebearers flesh and slept in way too much this morning.  You can do this when you’re still unemployed, but  tomorrow I’m setting an alarm.

Almost painted plaguebearer flesh
Almost painted plaguebearer flesh

I couldn’t resist fiddling with the models, especially after the turn towards orange that the flesh of one plaguebearer took.  I used some more Foundry Flesh 5C and some GW Ogryn Flesh wash to rescue it, but I’m still not happy doubly so due to all the effort involved.  The other model came out much better, but I tested some of those techniques on a Nurgling previously.  It was a base of GW Graveyard Earth, no less than three thin coats.  Then some Foundry Drab 12B then eventually 12C.  I used GW Devlan Mud and Gryphonne Sepia wash on it.

Now I’m going to do the metallics on all three plaguebearers.  The unit champion has some chainmail and a pendant.  So I’m going to give them the rusted metal treatment before doing the flesh of the third model.  I’ve learned my lesson I’ll be using a Foundation paint or painting straight from the pot to get the basecoat done on the champion.  He’ll be a flashy sickly green in order to standout.  After that it is bones and blood and the plaguebearers are basically done.  They are rather fun to paint, which is probably why I’ve acquired 40 painted ones when I get these three finished.

Painted plaguebearer flesh tones
Painted plaguebearer flesh tones

In 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000 they used to be better than a Genestealer in hand to hand combat.  That was a long time ago, now Plaguebearers can’t even be fielded in the same army as Plaguemarines.  Hopefully GW fixes that again someday.  In the mean time I’ll rank them up and try a horde of them in Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th Edition and continue to work on non-Diseased Sons models for 40K.

Work in Progress Nurgle Plaguebearers

Plaguebearers with one coat of paint
Plaguebearers with one coat of paint

So as mentioned earlier after realizing just how soon the 25th was, I changed gears and started work on some more Nurgle Plaguebearers this evening.  I sprayed them black, then used Delta Ceramcoat black (which actually dries a nice flat black), then two or three more touch up of Chaos black.  After all this I reached for Foundry Triad Dusky Flesh pot 6C.  Some people online like this triad but it is the least useful of all I’ve purchased.  I thought at least it would provide a base to built up from…

I put it on the P3 Wet Palette and it didn’t cover much at all.  I new I was going to have to do another coat.  So I looked around for a similar and chose GW’s Graveyard Earth.  I put it on the wet palette and it didn’t cover much better.  I don’t know if I’m using the wet palette too wet, or if I shouldn’t use it at all until I got the basecoats down?

Plaguebearers with two coats of paint
Plaguebearers with two coats of paint

After putting a second coat of each paint on, again using the wet palette things looked better, but I figured why not do a third coat?  So I have three coats of paint on the model, all the same colour, time to start building up the highlights.  I decide to just go straight to Foundry Flesh Triad and grab pot 5A.  It gets put on the wet palette and it covers quite well, so maybe the A colours have more pigment or something.  I make sure it is good and thin and though it looks a bit different I push on.  I figured when I put a wash over top it would blend together pretty well.

For the other model, the more upright one, I chose Foundry Drab Triad number 12.  I was going to go straight to the C, but once it was on the wet palette I knew it was too light so I got out the B and put that on thinly as a first highlight.  Now the models were starting to look a bit different and a bit like I’d spent some time on them.

Plaguebearers with three coats of paint
Plaguebearers with three coats of paint

As part of my flesh, I decided to use GW’s old flesh wash.  This has never worked out very good for me, no matter how much I shake it or stir it, the pink pigment always separates leaving a light brown was.  I shaked it every few minute and I’ve been rotating it regularly so having read online how some people actually miss it, I decided I’d put some on my other palette, in one of the little cups.  I actually got some pink pigment in it.  I thinned it with a drop of water, stirred everything really good, and put some on the model.

I’d previously done a pretty heavy wash of Devlan Mud on the one I’d used the Drab triad on, so I put the same amount of wash on the Flesh triad one, it looked orange, I pushed on, it really was orange.  I don’t know how it got orange, no orange paint or inks were involved.  Maybe I should have tried to wash the stuff right off, instead I put it on much thinner and tried to remove the excess from in the recesses.

Both models are drying while I type this, but I’m sure you’ll agree when you see it now, the flesh plaguebearer is definitely tinted orange.  It is quite a weird colour, doesn’t look like I’ve spent all evening trying to achieve it.  The Drab plaguebearer on the other hand looks very evil.  I’m pretty tired so I think they’ll stay as is until tomorrow, but both need a lot of work, maybe I should have done them all green or pale blue, colours I’ve actually tried before.  I tend to use my plaguebearers to expirement on, but I’m on a deadline so perhaps I shouldn’t have this time.  Hopefully with some decent highlights and maybe another wash they’ll come out alright.  I plan to try Ogryn Flesh Wash on the flesh coloured now orange one and Gryphonne Sepia on the Drab one after building the highlights back up.

Plaguebearers before washes

Finished WW1 Canadian Corps test figure

As promised I stayed up in the heat and finished my WW1 Foundry Rifleman test model, which I painted in the colours of the Canadian Corps circa mid to late 1916.  Furthermore I made the miniature a member of the Van Doos, but I almost forgot to paint distinctive shoulder markings. Finished model from behind

This is the final of four blog postings about painting this model.  It was painted beside the original test model, and another test model this one for my Servants of Decay army which I’ll be doing for next years Astronomi-con Vancouver.  But the focus of this post is how I did my second and better but still not perfect Canadian WW1 infantry soldier.

Finished painting Drab triadHere is the recipe so to speak, any colours I don’t list a manufacture for are probably made by GW (Citadel):

  1. Clean, base and prime the model.  I used Citadel spray black primer, but any black paint that is of reasonable quality will do.
  2. Uniform is painted Foundry British Uniform Brown Triad (#100) order A-B-C, with a Devlan Mud wash, after the wash was an edge highlight of 100C.
  3. Webbing is painted Iyanden Darksun with a Gryphonne Sepia wash and highlights with Vallejo Model Colour Beige (#917)
  4. Rifle stock and entrenching tools any dark brown, I used GW Scorched Brown.
  5. Weapons and canteen lid painted Boltgun Metal, washed with thinned armour wash, highlighted with Chainmail and selectively aged with Gryphonne Sepia.
  6. Flesh was Foundry Triad Flesh Triad (#5) order B-A-C, then a custom flesh wash made from red and brown ink, I used old GW inks Rust Brown and Plasma Red.  Finally another highlight of Flesh 5C.
  7. Then I painted the rest of the gear which was the helmet, canteen, and ‘putties’ using Foundry Triad Drab (#12) in the order of A-B-C.
  8. I then highlighted the black boots with Foundry Triad Charcoal Black (#34) with order B-C-A.
  9. Then I used a tiny bit of Badab Black wash on the ‘putties’ and on the boots, this was very selective and subtle.
  10. I did the eyeballs of the model, little bit of white paint, even less a dot of black paint, fix up any flesh with 5A.
  11. Finally I drybrushed the beach sand on the base with three GW Browns: Bestial, Snakebite Leather, and Bubonic.
  12. Fixed up the rim of the base with Chaos Black paint.
  13. Painted the insignia, a blue rectangle with a red circle above it on both shoulders.  I decided to use Deadly Nightshade (old GW paint) and for the red I’ll go with GW Blood Red.

That’s it, I recommend sealing your model the next morning when it is good and dry with a Matte Sealant.  I may use Purity Seal, I may use Krylon, but I’ve read and been told that Testors Dullcoate is the best. The finished WW1 rifleman model

Finished Van Doos test model and friendsIf you’re going to paint a platoon of these guys you can try to cut corners, use only part of the Triads, the Foundry Drab Triad all three colours are quite different but if you have faith, thin your paint, and feather in a bit…  Anyway experiment with the triads, try just the B with the C as a highlight or maybe the A with a B highlight, try leaving out some of the washes, use just one metal colour etc. etc.

I also used the P3 Wet Palette for most of these colours which ensure you thin your paint at least, but maybe it is too much.  It definitely isn’t necessary I’ve painted 100’s of minis without one.  I don’t use my metallics in the wet palette, I’m worried about contamination.  Now to take the final pictures and then try to get some sleep.

Two Test Models

Painting Flesh and Weapons

So I suppose this is the third post in a series on my ever under refinement method for painting WW1 Canadian Corps rifleman, particularly Van Doos…  Maybe I’ll make a proper tutorial when I got all the kinks out.  I’ve made tutorials as I go before, but I also know the value of test miniatures when you plan to do an army or even just a platoon which is the current plan for the Van Doos. Doing the metalics on the model

So to recap the metalics, paint the weapon Boltgun Metal.  When dry do a thin armour wash, I mixed my own but you can use Badab Black if you want.  Then do a wetbrush or a drybrush if you care less of Chain Mail once the wash is dry.  You can then call the metals good enough, and I made sure to take a picture at this stage.

The easy way to paint weaponsOr you can add a little character, for the Foundry Rifleman miniature I used Gryphonne Sepia wash in splotches to age and dirty his gun just a bit.  The Servant of Decay (the plastic GW Orlock) was to get a more elaborate rusting of his weapon using a series of DIY washes starting with thinned rust brown ink, adding in various pigments, Mecharius Solar Orange, Firey Orange, until I tired of it or I went too far.  The paints are all GW, the rust brown ink is an old and valued GW ink, and the pigments come from a variety of companies. rust triad of pigments is quite good though it can be tough to open their containers.  The pigments have served me better than the washes which have separated a lot on me in two out of three cases. Finished Metalics and Foundry Flesh Triad (#5)

For the normal human flesh I used Foundry Triad number 5 just for simplicity sake.  I did do things differently than the uniform, I applied the B or base colour to most of what I wanted flesh.  I left some black showing and I put on basically a coat and a half.  I think used the A or shade version and painted where shadows would fall, finally I painted the C or highlight member on the triad on fingers, knuckles, cheeks, noses, chins, etc.  This is pretty good, apparently historical painters often don’t do eyes.

I decided to take a picture and update the blog as I’ve never had the best of luck with flesh washes.  I have GW’s original flesh wash, something like four different pots of it.  It seperates too much and is too brown.  I have the new Ogryn Flesh wash and it is probably a little too brown for me, so I cook up my own using old GW inks, Rust Brown and Plasma Red.  At least that is what I’m going to try.

The rifleman is mostly done at this stage, the Servant of Decay is more work and has fallen a bit behind.  The helmet, water bottle, and ‘putties’ will be painted Foundry Triad Drab #12.  This is an alright colour and one I used for a variety of gear on the original test model, the Imperial Guardsmen in the photos.

After that I just have to do the boots and base.  I’ll also give the flesh probably a post wash highlight of Foundry Triad #5c and do the eyes white with either a black or blue iris/pupil.  The Servant of Decay will be more work, but might be finished by the end of tomorrow.  The rifleman I hope to finish everything except the base tonight, but maybe I’ll do the base too, what the hell.

There has been considerable discussion on the Lead Adventure forum on how a Canadian Expeditionary Force uniform should look, circa 1916, for a rifleman in the Royal 22e Regiment…