Starting work on a little foray into throne-loyal power-armour. Although historically my preference for astartes has always leaned heavily towards the servants of chaos the chance to start a small collection of truescale marines was too good to pass up. Probably won’t do much more for a little while as so many other projects are jostling for attention but wanted to do a little kitbashing to test the waters, starting with this assault marine. As ever feedback is more than welcome.
Before normal Space Marines become old news and are swept aside by a torrent of true-scale Primaris-based giants here’s an Iron Hand I converted a couple of years back from the Captain in the Black Reach boxset, and finally got around to painting yesterday.
There’s no story or grand plan behind him, just a model I took a fancy to making and, a long time later, took an equally unexpected fancy to painting.
My freehand skills still leave something to be desired but hopefully its clear enough that here we have a member of the Iron Tenth, grim, relsolute and ready to smite heretics.
When I first got into the hobby one of my biggest inspirations came from my friend Sam, already something of a veteran and a painter of no mean skill. All these years later and he’s pretty much hung up his brushes (the demands of being a responsible adult – I’m told – comes for the best of us in the end). What he’s left with is a cupboard full of beautifully painted miniatures and, after visiting him recently, I couldn’t resist getting some photos so I could show them off to you. In the end I turned up so much cool stuff I’ve split the blog into two parts – expect to see the fantasy half soon. I should also mention that Sam has a blog and, although it’s been distinctly quiet over there lately, it’s well worth taking a look at. Who knows, if we drop enough hints we might even coax him out of retirement. He also passed me on a few of his unpainted models which I’ll be attempting to do justice to, so keep an eye out for them in the future as well.
As usual if you want to get a better look at any of the pictures, just click on them.
As I’ve mentioned before I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Space Wolves. Njal Stormcaller however remains very firmly in the “cool” camp through his combination of shamanic trappings, psyber-raven familiar and fierce control over the furious Fenrisian elements. Sam’s really brought out the rich colour of his armour, from the hearth-warmth of his shoulderpads to the frosty wolf-grey of his rune-carved greaves. The wolf pelt is also, in my opinion, about as close to perfect as you can get, and the unnatural glow of its dead eyes is a brilliant touch. All in all, one of my favourite of his models – even against stiff competition.Marneus Calgar
Marneus Calgar – the Chapter Master of the Ultramarines and one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. Not my favourite incarnation of him to be honest, compared to the version accompanied by the honour guard this one is really showing it’s age. The model always looks a little squat (by which I don’t mean to imply that he’s actually a space-dwarf – although that would be twist to the 40k story wouldn’t it?). Nonetheless I rather like how he’s been painted, goes to show that a decent paint job can make a world of difference to any model. The ice effect on the base really adds to the model as well.
The world of 40k is not all about the Space Marines though (in spite of what you may have heard!) The Great Devourer is tearing its way into the galaxy and though my opinion of the Tyranid miniatures range is mixed there’s no denying the Trygon is an absolute beast. Sam’s painted this one in the colours of Hive Fleet Kraken. Of the three main Hive Fleets I’ve always felt Kraken’s scheme to be the most organic and believable. I want my Tyranids to look like real animals and there’s definitely something reminiscent of a giant centipede about this model.
I’ll admit that, as hinted above, I have something of an ulterior motive here – to encourage Sam to pick up his brushes again. After all, as his friend, I know what’s best for him far more than he does! If you agree with me pop a comment in the box below – and just wait until I’ve sorted out the photos of his fantasy miniatures!
It sees my lack of fidelity to a single god is a crime from which I must now atone. Having failed to serve Nurgle faithfully he has struck me down with a particularly virulent sickness of the cold/flu/lie around feeling naff variety. Sadly this has made painting and modelling somewhat nonexistent.
Never mind, the show must go on! Whilst visiting my parents over Christmas I found a few old models tucked away that I don’t think I’ve shown before and I thought might be of interest. Before we take a look at them however let me add a quick caveat. These aren’t the best models I’ve made but maybe there are some ideas in here that could be salvaged for future schemes, or which might inspire one of you at some point? Who knows? Either way perhaps if the ideas are shared something might come of them in the future – and if they aren’t at least it fills in the time until I’m recovered!
First off here’s a Space Marine I put together when playing around with ideas for a new chapter.
Overall I’m still rather pleased with him, especially as he’s quite old now. I don’t find gold an easy colour to work with (so quite why I chose it who can say?) and with a critical eye the antlers look a little bit big. He also lacks a backpack (a cardinal sin!) but I couldn’t work out how to attach it without fouling the cloak (which I reckon is probably the best bit of the model). Mostly though he seems a little small. I’m not a true-scaler (total respect to the guys who do that but I’ve never had that much commitment to Space Marines) but I have at times wondered about resurrecting this guy’s chapter (perhaps without quite so much obvious Blood Angels iconography), writing some background for them, and putting together a few ‘actual size’ Space Marines based off this idea. Of course, if I ever did try anything like this, I’d need to create a few chapter thralls to accompany them – which brings us to this second model.
I’m not sure that he holds up as well as the Space Marine does, although there are still elements about him I like. The Bretonnian hooded peasant heads always add an element of rustic grime to Imperial serfs and the banner has held up well. Sadly for him however he was built in the dark ages before the release of the Skitarii when pretty much the only human sized bionics came from ancient (even then) Necron warriors. At the time I also thought I was really pushing the boat out using an Ork axe to make a backpack. Again though I feel there are good ideas here, it’s just that my ability to execute them hadn’t really developed yet. In my defence I was also working with a considerably reduced pallet of bits compared to what’s available now. Certainly were I to attempt this now I think it would be a fairly straightforward model to create, so perhaps there will be a life after death for him after all.
Anyway, hopefully you enjoyed this little look into the archives. All being well, or more specifically me being well, there should be some traitor guard headed this way soon. In the meantime comments are always welcome.
Here we go with Part 3 of this little foray into the archives of my Space Marine collection. Something new next time I promise!
Anyway, (somewhat inspired by all the undead activity going on at the moment thanks to the return of Nagash to Warhammer) this time it’s the turn of the Legion of the Damned. I’m something of a fan of 40K’s most mysterious Space Marines (that’s right, even more than the Dark Angels). Who doesn’t love ghostly warriors returning to fight alongside their brothers once more, then vanishing like smoke when the battle is done? Of course the true nature of the Legion of the Damned is anyone’s guess (my suggestion is the ghosts of warriors from the Great Crusade/Heresy era – after all they’re not called the Chapter of the Damned now are they? Maybe even the spirits of those warriors betrayed to their deaths in the Isstvan system). Wherever they come from it got me thinking about how my Hawkmoths chapter, desperately short of allies, might find their numbers bolstered by the spirits of the battle brothers Kell and his traitors slaughtered, returning in search of vengeance.
Here’s the sergeant in charge of the squad.
To many it seems that these ghostly warriors share a connection to Librarian Numitor, often manifesting in battles where he is present and lingering around him as they are drawn back into the shadows. Some suggest that the enigmatic librarian has found some way to tap into the psychic need of his chapter to enact revenge, and by this means has allowed his dead brothers to resume their physical form, albeit only temporarily. Yet if this is true then the tainted dead crave vengeance even more so than their living comrades and hunger restlessly in the Immaterium, begging, commanding and cajoling by turns, scratching constantly at the psychic barriers the Librarian has erected between his mind and the Warp.
Here’s a ‘rear view’ of the models showing the spinal forms growing through their powerarmour.
Long term I have a pipe dream of making a whole army of undead Space Marines, complete with some kind of Vampire Lord as a Chaptermaster, ghostly Librarians projecting their spirits from the Warp, and only the Dreadnaughts “alive”, still guiding their chapter from beyond the grave (although this ambition may have to wait until I’m old, decadent and rich). Additionally, although regular readers of the blog will know I rather enjoy painting Plague Marines it was a nice change of pace to try some zombie Space Marines without the influence of Papa Nurgle.
Another idea, linked to the above, came to me when I read the piece in the Legion of the Damned Codex describing the belief held by Inquisitor Quixos that the Legion were the Emperor’s will taking form on the physical plane, in exactly the same way as the daemons of chaos are the manifest will of their patron god. The piece suggested that just as, for example, Khorne’s servants range from bloodletters through to mighty bloodthristers, so there might be larger and more powerful entities in the Emperor’s pantheon of servants waiting to be discovered. I don’t know if I’ll try it but I thought this could be a rather fun project to pursue, perhaps creating a small strike force of Grey Knights to represent these Engels Mortis.
So what do you think? Are they the Emperor’s will made manifest or should I be burned for allowing noble warriors to consort with these dark spirits? Make your feelings known in the comments box below!
Following the Librarian in the last post here’s another Space Marine ‘from the archives’; Chaplain Germanus. This project came at roughly the peak of my sculpting endeavours. After this, perhaps emboldened by these successes, I tried increasingly adventurous projects, over-reached myself, and retreated. For a while I instead chose the somewhat cowardly get-out that I was good at kitbashing but couldn’t sculpt. Obviously this is grossly unfair – my first efforts at painting were sloppy and my early kitbashes were regularly awkward and odd looking so it was hardly surprising that my initial attempts at working with greenstuff often turned out a little rough around the edges. Anyway, I’m trying to get back into using greenstuff a little more now so this seemed like a good moment to show this model, especially as it remains one that I’m rather proud of.
Rather than re-invent the wheel I’ll not try to explain how I made the skull helm, instead I’ll point you at the tutorial I followed over at the much missed From the Warp. For those of you not familiar with From the Warp (where have you been?!) it was an extremely useful and inspiring blog, full to bursting with helpful tutorials. Personally I most enjoyed the way in which complicated tutorials like the skull helm were presented as straightforward and achievable so that even a beginner like myself could look at them and think “I could do that”. Sadly From the Warp hasn’t been updated in some time but it’s still well worth a trawl through the archives.
I made the long oath scrolls from paper (thick paper or card works best for this, nothing too glossy or thin). Add a dab of superglue and let the paper wick it up, once it dries the paper will become stiff. Then just glue it in place and add a blob of greenstuff to make the wax seal.
Here’s a couple of work-in-progress images showing how the model developed. I don’t often show these, not because I don’t like them – I think they’re great and often really useful – but because I tend to get wired straight into painting and then realise part way through (usually before the highlights and details start to go on when the model looks unsavably awful) that I forgot to take any pictures.
Finally here’s a few other things I’ve worked on recently for the Hawkmoths. The Watcher in the Dark may be a real Dark Angel’s staple (and given their background it’s hard to say why one would be associated with the Hawkmoths) but they’re just too cool not to paint one. Perhaps it’s something to do with Cypher…