Well what a week. First and foremost I have completed my first monthly Horus Heresy unit, a squad of five Ashen Circle. These were the test for painting the remaining fifteen and I am rather pleased with the results. The unit is painted the same very dark grey as my Zardu Layak. I chose this as I thought it represented their function rather well, blackened ashen armour indicative of the flames they use to burn the false ideals of their enemies. The pistols and shoulder pads remain the red I use for my regular Word Bearers to tie the two schemes together.
Overall I have three colour schemes for my army. The first being the standard red. The second is this dark grey and the third being the same as the regular marines but using greys to highlight the red which I will use on my possessed units.I have models painted in all three now so have tested them all and am content.
Also this week was Allen and I receiving our Dropfleet Commander pledges. We are going to start by painting up 500pt fleets for small skirmish games to get used to the rules but having read the rulebook already that won't be too hard. They are fairly intuitive. Although I have a fleet for each faction I have chosen to start with the Scourge as they are the simplest to paint. I plan on airbrushing the ships dark metal with a lighter metal on the tips of the hull and fins then several coats of various washes in striped patterns over the hull, finishing by picking out the details with a brush.
I have forgone buying Prospero this month as I have already chosen my Horus Heresy project for November, the Sicaran tank. This has been cleaned and tidied and I hope to have put it together by the end of the week so I can make a start next week. As I will be getting the airbrush out I expect to paint some Scourge ships at the same time. Painted or not I hope we can get a game in some time in November to get a handle on the game proper.
It is now announced that my employer has acquired Wild West Exodus so I will be adding some Warrior Nation models to this month's schedule. I am not expecting to get much done but I have purchased the paints I need to paint realistic Native American skin tones so plan to do at least a test model. I found this guide which was really helpful and I recommend it if you want to paint something other than standard flesh and it can be found here. My Squat plans may be the victim of this decision though but I've not forgotten about them.
Looking further ahead it is now rumoured that Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons marine sprues will be released towards the end of this month, if true I will be picking up one of each though I do not expect that they will be included in my December list as I am already eyeing up my Calth Contemptor for the Horus Heresy portion of my projects. After that I need to add some more infantry and I already have plenty to choose from. In the meantime here is an image of all the units I have painted thus far, Allen has a ways to go if he wants to keep up!
It's been an interesting week, for starters my Dropfleet Commander KS turned up, well, half of it. I tried to resist i really did, but the models are just too damn nice. Just a couple of frigates I told myself, as I dove into a box jam packed full of sprues. just one or two.
Just one of each class, ok a squadron of each, now a cruiser, no, all the cruisers! '(after all i need to review it all, right?) before I knew it had assembled all of my UCM ships over the course of a couple of evenings, I consoled myself with the fact that it was too dark to undercoat anything so I couldn't make a start on my Horus Heresy choice for the month anyway. Besides, they're so much fun to put together! I even made a few extra bits out of spares to represent convoys, tanker, corvettes and the like.
Thankfully i managed to restrain myself from making a start on the PHR. As it was any thoughts of continuing the busts this week was, well, a bust. I will get those finished though.
So as the weekday evenings passed and my fleet grew I cast my thoughts to the Heresy entry I would do. As I had left it so ridiculously late and I had a busy weekend ahead I figured the best option was a single character, in this case the Praetor from Betrayal at Calth. It wasn't just laziness that informed this decision, I still wasn't sure how I was going to paint the 13th legion, and I figured the Praetor would make a good test model, with a spare available should it go horribly wrong.
So the plan was, up first thing Saturday to get him undercoated and then crack on....
Then at around 08:30 The Burning of Prospero turned up.
Normally my preorders arrive on the Tuesday. I'm not complaining that I got it earlier no siree, but there went my morning... still I managed to resist putting it all together, instead poring over the contents and taking a few pictures for the inevitable review (coming soon). So there went the morning, i was out in the afternoon, DJing in the eve. Saturday was now officially a bust. Two days till deadline and only undercoat to show for it, bugger.
Sunday i got up early. With Dr Strange at 11 and family engagements for the afternoon i was working on a ridiculously truncated time scale. Nonetheless i managed to get some base colours down.
You see, I started with the blue and wanted to go for a nice deep basecoat. I was one of the first to paint Ultramarines darker than the usual colour scheme WAY back in the day (over 15 years ago) and also painted Ulthwe Eldar black and bone when GWs scheme was still black and yellow (in fact i used to suspect GW had me under surveillance as they also nicked my Tyranid colour scheme for hive fleet Behemoth. Anyway I digress.
I started with Vallejo Imperial Blue, nice and dark and deep, and shite at coverage. It might be down to a dodgy priming job but it was horrible. It was really shiny too, the actual finish of the paint was terrible. I had shaken the bottle well, this aint my first rodeo you know. But right now things were not going well, the basecoat looked awful. Not what i needed, i get easily discouraged these days.
Still, I was honour bound to do my best to get this Horus Heresy challenge completed. and this was just one model! I had NINETY (thanks to the Heresy boxed games) tactical marines to paint yet.
I reached for UItramarine Blue, again Vallejo. It was an airbrush paint but in all honesty a gentler touch was called for here anyway. I tried an nice thin brushed coat to blend into the imperial Blue.
No chance, it's just too different, it's a totally different paint. It was chalk and cheese, night and day. I'll not lie, this model was going very badly. It was looking like i'd need the spare.
So Imperial Blue was too weak, poor coverage, sickly finish and just not looking good on its own. Ultramarine Blue, even as a airbrush paint was too contrasting, to inflexible and stark. hmmm, i could see a parallel here...
But what if I MIXED them? The perfect blend of Imperial and Ultramarine? Well, i'm happy to say that this improved things massively, giving me a nice base, especially after a coat of Gulliman Blue wash had been thrown over it, suddenly it didn't feel like I was wasting my time and I rapidly moved onto adding Vallejo Tinny Tin to the model, looking to get as much done as I could. I ended with this. (I forgot i had some gold paint and convinced myself i'd need to head to Wayland after Dr Strange).
That evening after another typically great Marvel installment I managed to lay down some more colours and shading and chose a purple paint for the cloak reasoning that red would be a bit too standard and pandering to the triarch of primary colours too much. Purple was nice and ostentatious and well, IMPERIAL (though i was actually using Naggaroth Night - Imperial Purple was the highlight) Purple is also obviously the Emperors children main colour so i'd have to use it sparingly, after all the purity of my warriors cannot be held to any doubt.
It was all starting to come together now, the gold had been laid down though my famously abrasive fingers ensured that a few touch ups were required. I'd grabbed a few gold paints but was finding that Blighted Gold and Brass balls were working best (both P3 colours) they are a bit watery but they work just fine for the most part provided you are not using them for the basecolour. Still that was it for now, id have to finish it on deadline day.
So it was I returned from work and settled into the final session. There wasn't a massive amount to do, mostly highlighting and finishing touches and the chainblade and combi-bolter. I finished at 23:14, pretty much on the wire. I do need to dig out some transfers to apply but i have the really nice Forgeworld ones somewhere and would rather use those. The Astrogranite debris base needs a shade but thats about it, It's been matt varnished and for better or worse its done.
And that's the first month of the hobby challenge done. It's been a real treat to get back into it properly, I've neglected by hobby far too much lately, though much of it has been unavoidable. This month i've assembled lots of Genestealer Cultists, a UCM fleet for Dropfleet Commander, got back into painting with the Relic Busts (which I WILL finish) and completed my entry for the Heresy challenge just in time.
So what next? Well, PHR Fleet to be assembled, Genestealer Cult to be completed (assembly only - i'm not insane) I would like to get my UCM fleet painted though, that shouldn't take too long. And for the Heresy? Well I kind of fancy doing a Contemptor actually. After that a squad, I promise. Afterall i'm sure i'll put tother the Prospero box this month and i'll have a LOT of marines to paint then. Time to dig out the airbrush....