Monday, 14 April 2014

Mechanicus Storm Troopers

So I settled on what to do with these distractions. The first impulse I had had upon seeing pictures of the rumored release was to think they would make great Mechanicus troops. The Legion was always going to be about themes within themes, a philosophy that has held true from the very fist models and units. The little Mechanicus Continent has grown to be one of my favorites and offers a great space to explore. Count as allied space marines, it already contains the Cyclops dread automaton and Skitari Centurions.

I've always been annoyed by the disparity between rich Mechanicus fluff, intelligent tech assassins, elite military squads and operators and then all things Mechanicus in miniature form coming across a bit lobotomized. While it fist servitors perfectly, not the shock troops of Horus Heresy books or my own imagination. 
Mechanicus being an esoteric organization that doesn't fully understand yet alone reproduce the technology it has makes for a beautiful back drop for the imagery in the grim darkness of far future!

I am going to create a unit that fits what I think would be the Warhammer 40K outcome of a technologically superior organization creating it's Speznats, bionic warrior adepts on an industrial scale. 

PS. after this assembly detour, I was back painting the Knight last knight, and will do my very best to finish it first.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Imperial Distractions arrive!

Took a night off from building the Knight. Could not help myself. Imperial Distractions first batch arrived. 4 sets of Storm Troopers, their Codex, a Baneblade and and a Tauros.

I have to let you in on a secret. I've been slowly building two very very detailed and lovingly crafter Inquisitorial Retinues. One is the "Good" finale for the +I+ trilogy (albeit your mileage on good may vary) and the second one is Rosethorn Redux, return of Inquisitor Eisenhorn and friends. Legion friend included.

I love working on stuff that I have such a passion, but slowly over a long time, collecting each part carefully and having enough time to contemplate and tweak. The overcoat from the new Storm trooper kit was the final missing piece for the big man himself.

Speaking of the new storm troopers, stunning work Games Workshop!!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Titanic undertaking - Knightly progress report.

I've been working on the Knight every night for an hour or few and it's going to brake all records about the amount of time I've ever spent on a single model.

That's not to say I am not whole heartedly enjoying it - just feel the pressure a bit with the new Imperial Guard units (mainly the storm troopers) in transit. The Knight has been a great platform to move to more evolved airbrushing and to learn about oil paint weathering. Oil paints definitely make me excited to build some guard tanks soon, and I have 4 more on the list.  Everything else I've learned these past years, is going to be put on display herewith the aim to create a real showcase piece for the Legion project.

Last night I spent 2 hours on the decals alone. I am now roughly at the half point mark and should be able to put all of him together in a few days. That's when the real weathering and "Freeblade" narrative work begins.

Attached is a quick pic of the pale green scheme after carefully "massaging" the first layer of weathering in with oils. I should post another one after decals, the top carapace looks very cool now.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Painting the Imperial Knight

...and expect it to be quite the undertaking as I am trying many new things and it's a massive thing with a ton of detail. It is also the very first model ever that I paint in parts and subassemblies.

I am getting very excited about the upcoming Imperial Guard release. This army to me won't feel a real army until I have several squads of guardsmen lined up to make the rest of the units look like the esoteric bunch of special operatives that they are.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Black Prince - a Freeblade Knight in the 41st millennium

After uncharacteristically reading the Codex, (yet to open the Tyranid Codex) and pondering on how to paint and where to take mine in the drowning sea of freshly finished Knights that is the internet, I've decided that.

  • a freeblade knight fits my army theme perfectly
  • I want mine to look much more gothic and detailed than built from the kit
  • it needs to be really really sinister. Sinister!
I am going to go with the green direction, but a dramatic splash of Black introduced to the scheme. I haven't yet done moonlight black. So I am looking forward to that challenge. 

So far the kit has been an absolute joy to work with. Only down side is how very long it takes to build one... 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Knights on the menu and a happy modeler.

The internet is rife with the first painted Knights by hobbyists around the world.

I've just finished the perfect warm up exercise that has painted to one of my favorite models in the army. Quick picture attached, with the final selective matt varnish and weathering film still missing. I will do proper photos with the Big Knight. I want to show off the great rands in gloss, the improved metallics and more subtle airbrushing weathering.

Tonight I will unbox the knight!, and start by building an epic little base as always. I've decided I will build the Battle cannon variety, but I am uncharacteristically torn between picking a color scheme. Looking at three options and curious to hear what you guys think.

Whether I should do the red Mechanicus scheme that has served the Cyclops Battle Automaton and the Skitari so well. They are on the way to a nice little army within the army. I like the red, because it is a very unique way of doing red and highlights the moon light theme so well.

I could also pick a version of the Blue grey I used to do the IG vehicles. It weathers beautifully and is a very nice hue that would go great with big yellow hazard stripes (which will feature on any design I pick obviously) This way the Knight would really fit with the soon to be rapidly growing IG component and still stand out too.

And finally, I am entertaining a cold green scheme. Something that makes the Knight completely independent, a hero of sorts, with enough blue and off-white in there to make him fit in. Tempted by this, yet a little worried that my rag-tag horde is starting to loose coherence too.

Thanks for feedback!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Five years of the XX Legion - Everything in three opposites!

Five years into the project, two kids, new continent, new job, new and new and new later, still thoroughly enjoying and excited about the "old" subject matter. The original ambition still stands.

"I've decided to throw out all the rules and just paint the way I feel I must and not be afraid of color. The project is inspired by Dainton's art as always, the Legion book and the pale, chilling light of the Moon." 

Something has changed too, I have more tools, more tricks and a much better understanding of what I am doing, and it will be a mix of these additions that should keep the project fresh and exciting. The balancing act is between having the courage to evolve things to avoid mannerism and boredom, while maintaining enough characteristics of the original philosophy.

In 2014 I look at my project with these three pairs.

  • light / shadow
  • fine detail / raw stroke & texture
  • sense of material and scale / surprising color play 

I play between each pair and constantly try and up the creative contrast they offer. I've recently introduced some exciting new tools:

  • an airbrush
  • varnishing with a full range between matt and gloss (Mixing floor wax and Tamiya flat medium)
  • enamel and other alcohol based metallics 

I look at each very critically, brining a new dimension, a new vitality to the work and the three pairings that drive the work these days. I'm really focused at not letting the new tools change the essence of my work, only add to its character. The advent of Airbrush for example, has lead to many armies that look airbrushed from miles away. 

Games Workshop has started out the year so strong, and implemented bold new changes that really benefit the hobby it feels, and it has helped energize the project. Looking back and forward to the future at the same time, plenty more of this to come:

"Furthermore, the Legion's rash, eager to prove, outrageously creative and utterly dangerous outlook on things is an immense inspiration, together with Imperial Guard armies of 2nd edition that had many different units and schemes. The relationship of superhuman warrior gods and their guard protégées has endless depth to interpret."