Saturday, 29 September 2012

To celebrate the release of Angron and the new Horus Heresy book from Forgeworld I thought it an auspicious time showcase my take on the Ninth legion's primarch, Sangunius. 

The model started as a commission and ended as an obsession. Working closely with the client, we worked up a fairly coherent image of the angel and decided that I should sculpt the majority of it from scratch. I wanted to convey the aloof nature of Sanguinius, the beauty of the. Wong and he sheer presence of the character. His outward stretched hand is a nod to the cistine chapel depiction of god bestowing life on Adam. I wanted a visual cue of the divine meeting mortality and thought this would be an interesting reference. 

The scheme was inspired by the work of John Blanche and the many fine artists working for games workshop, as well as amateur illustrators who love the subject just as much as I. 

With the absolutely beautiful job simon Egan has done on Angron, I cannot wait to see forgeworld's depiction of Sanguinius, and the entire Pantheon. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Venerable Hellbrute from the new Dark Vengeance set. This model is a painters dream. There are nice strong angles of segmented armour that contrast well with the more organic elements of the muscle structure. I resolved to paint this in the colours of the Word Bearers, so it was to my utter surprise when the model directed me to paint it otherwise. Some models just naturally align themselves to a paint scheme and this demanded to be amongst Abbaddon's damned legion. 

I wanted the black armour to have some visual interest, so I highlighted it with Games Workshop's new colour; Incubi Darkness and shaded it with VMC Hull red. I used Incubi Darkness mixed with a little purple for the skin, highlighted with an increasing amount of Reaper Master Series Fair Skin. The entire model was then varnished and given an oil wash. 

I have three of these bad boys, and I'd like to think i'd have the will power to paint them in three different colour schemes. But this model has a will all of it's own that isn't easy to overcome!


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

This is a commission piece for a client who disliked the original gold armoured Helbrecht painted by the Eavy Metal Studio. The client also requested that I leave the back pack off and not paint it. 

I'm working with the idea of contrast throughout a miniature, I wanted to put a little of what I have learnt into play with this piece. I therefore decided to paint the black with warm tones, highlighting it with reaper master series (RMS) aged bone (quickly becoming a firm favourite of mine), GW's bleached bone and VMC Ivory for the final highlight. The cloak I painted with RMS aged bone, but shaded the recesses with VMC air dark blue grey and black - cool colours to contrast with the warm armour. Although the majority of the model is swathed in Helbrecht's cloak, the warmness of the armour brings it to the fore in the viewer's attention, whereas the coolness of the cloak makes it recessive. 

I used weathering powders to add a further level of detail. I think i've finally cracked how to use weathering powders properly; the trick, as with painting in acrylics, is thin, multiple layers to build effect. 



Saturday, 8 September 2012

Here is the finished set of Dark Vengeance terminators. These models were an absolute pleasure to paint. The entire kit makes be incredibly optimistic about the future direction of GW plastic kits.

The paint scheme is based on the classic scheme seen in the original Space Hulk Expansion 'Deathwing'. I wanted to try a real chipping technique that I read about in the Forgeworld Master Class books (there's a great video of it here). The technique works in this particular case because of the warm red rust contrasting with the cool Deathwing armour.

I created the molten lava bases with cork base and used source lighting on the power sword to create more visual interest for the sergeant.

These model are now for sale. If you would like to purchase them please contact me!


Friday, 7 September 2012

This tutorial details how I created the chipped white armour of my Deathwing Terminators. Future installments will detail how I will paint the rest of the miniature (metallics, gun plating, basing etc). 

These models will be available for sale once painted. If you would like to purchase them before they go on general sale please e-mail me here.

Paints used in this tutorial

  • Reaper Master Series (RMS) Bloodless Skin
  • Reaper Master Series (RMS) Aged Bone
  • Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) Ivory
  • Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) Dark Blue Grey
  • Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) Black Grey
  • Vallejo Game Colour (VGC) Black Game Ink
  • Vallejo Air (VA) Rust (metallics) - not pictured
  • Pro Pigment Raw Sienna - Not pictured

Step one

  • Base coat miniature with grey primer
  • Airbrush model (20 - 30 psi) with VA Rust mixed with Pro Pigment Raw Sienna (90:10). We are looking for a nice even coating which may take two or three passes to ensure this. 
  • Spray miniature with two coats of Hair Spray

Step two

  • Airbrush model (20 - 30 psi) with RMS Aged Bone and VMC Dark Blue Grey (70:30). Ensure an even, consistent coat, covering all the white armour plates and recesses completely. 

Step three

  • Add a little more RMS aged bone to the previous mix. We want to add a little more warmth to the armour and start building a gradual change in the gradient from shadow to highlight. 
  • Aiming the airbrush at a 20 degree angle, spray the miniature with the new mix. You may not see much a difference in the tone now, but you will in later stages.   

Step four

  •  Empty the airbrush of the previous mix. Now mix RMS Aged Bone and RMS Bloodless Skin (60:40) and airbrush at a 45 degree angle. This will help build the impression of natural light hitting the model. Concentrate on airbrushing raised armour plates and area's where light would naturally fall. 

Step five
  • Add more RMS Bloodless Skin to previous mix and aim the airbrush at a higher angle from previous sprayings. 
  • Concentrate you highlights on the end of previously highlighted armour plates. Pay attention to the face, shoulder pads and top carapace. 

Step six

  • Add VMC Ivory to previous mixture until you are running pure VMC ivory through your airbrush. Concentrate on the very highlights points of your highlights. 

Step seven
  • This is where the fun begins. Using warm water and a suitable applicator (I used the edge of a broken knife for ultra fine detail and a cue tip cut in half) to 'scratch' battle damage into the armour. 
  • Unlike other chipping techniques where you are fooling the eye with dark and light colour, this technique actually chips the paint. It is a very realistic technique and quite easy to achieve with a little fore-thought. 

Optional Extra Step, Graphite lining. 
  • Using pencil lead, line hard lines of the miniature (in this case, I used a technical pencil). The graphite has a natural metallic sheen that helps armour plates stand apart, as well as adding an additional layer of texture to the weathering. 

And that's how you create a weathered Deathwing Terminator. In the next article I'll run through how to paint the metallic details of the miniatures as well as any other details I manage to compile. 

Thank you for reading. 


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Looking back at assault on black reach, it's hard to imagine just how far games workshop's manufacturing process has come along. To think that for many, the contents of the black reach box offered the pinnacle of plastic kits. Now we can drool over plastic character blisters and the new Hellbrute model. Upon opening the box and having a cursory glance over the Dark Vengence sprues you begin to see the advantages of designing these kits digitally

I'm a little disappointed with the box cover. I think I've been spoiled with epic scenes of future battles brought to us by John Blanche and GW's artistic team. The stark black background is a little sterile, but does the job. Other's enjoy this change; a stripped back utilitarian presentation.

Once the box has been opened, the joy begins. The sprues are absolutely packed to the brim with models. Look a little closer at the set and you begin to realise the enormity of the success this kit is. This set should be seen in the same light as the next generation 'console'. It is colour to black and white, HD to normal...'D' - this is the evolutionary step that saw little fishes decide to poke thier heads above the water and have a looks to see what was happening on land. And this is all encapsulated in one model;

So what's to remarkable about this model? Well, the horned head piece is separate to the rest of the model for a more detailed, two piece casting process. This has been cast with a part of the shoulder pad and the bolt gun. A traditional sculpt would struggle to take this kind of casting process into account. This is an example of a confident designer working with an experienced tooler to produce a world class miniature.

This level of thought runs throughout the the kit and is just astonishing to see how easy they all fit together. The fit is snug and easy to achieve, even without glue. The level of detail is a joy to behold, as well as paint.

These models all have some form of mould line, but again this has been taken into account. Many of the joins have a straight edge, or some form of detail as to mitigate the mould line completely (running along a purity seal for example)

The entire marine set follows a clear line of imagery, well established through 6 editions of artwork detailing the dark angels. Games Workshop have not been subtle in their attempts to enforce the image of the first legions as monks from space. The captain is so swathed in his monastery robes that it is hard to image him actually fighting in a battle (he'd set alight pretty easily; something to bear in mind).

The poses of the marines are believable and well conceived. The Dark Angels markings look easy to remove and will come as a welcome staple in many marine armies. Online retailers and bits sellers seem to have set a price hovering around the £10 mark, and for those who can remember when the current multi-pose marines were released first, it is a welcome return for a tenner a squad.

The chaos marines draw on 20 years of imagery, that i feel hasn't been fully exploited in teh model kits to date. These marines hark back to the darkly baroque armour of the chaos space marines kit from the space crusade games.  Little touches like the backpack reloading Draznicht's bolt gun, or the twisted, raging faces establish these are warriors from beyond recognizable reality. They have endured the madness of the warp, and have been marked by its influence. The poses of the models are formidable and enduring; with plenty of  stuff for conversions.

The cultists seem to have pleased everyone, being comprised of hooded religious types, mutants and berserkers. They are the generic bad guys, drones to be slaughtered by the dozen; video game influence is very obvious here. I can see this part of the kit to be very popular with painters as they offer a host of conversion possibilities; scavvy gangs and imperial militia are proving to be popular suggestions already.

The Hellbrute is an especially exciting bit of kit as it may offer some foreshadowing of the releases we can expect from the rumoured upcoming Chaos codex. A melding of machine and madness, the Hellbrute is a wonderful concept to be added to the infernal legions. The model is exquisiteness detailed and least the front is. For a kit so beautifully formed and detailed, it seems so odd that the back is surprisingly bare. It's as if the designer only saved one half of the design in it's digital formatt, then only had time to create a passable impression of a back.

The rules set included in the set are simple to follow and the missions offer a fantastic entry to learn the game. Summary sheets are included as well as a special page for the Chaplain if you ordered the limited edition set. The little rule booklet will become very popular amongst gamers I feel.

In summary, this is a formidable successor in the run of starting sets. This is a fine example of what can be achieved with plastic models and can is an exciting new step forward into technology and the design philosophy of the kits. My only hope is that they follow up on this triumph by ensuring all future plastic kits have this level of detail in them.