Space Marines are… Oops

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I’ve been struck by a severe case of lack of motivation caused by a combination of work/life and my painting plans getting derailed by the introduction of the new Citadel spray paints, me making Plans involving them, and then finding out that they are not available in my region. Hopefully, I can get back into a painting mood soon and that will lead to me blogging more.

Anyway, the Space Marine codex has been out a whole two months and I’ve read it… multiple times. I’ve been tempted to start a small force of Space Marines but I’ve managed to talk myself out of it for now as I have two and a bit armies to work on already!

What I’m also still very excited about, several weeks later, is the Tactical Marines box. I’m so excited about it that I daren’t cut any bits out to use, which kind of isn’t the purpose! I have “assigned” certain parts though. The Mk. IV legs are going to go to a future Rune Priest project, that’s just waiting for my current projects to move on a bit (or I get bored). Other parts will be used in future Space Wolves and maybe some more Blood Angels. While the legs are still in that strange standing Space Marine pose, it has been tweaked slightly, making them far more dynamic. The sculpts themselves are more detailed too.

Also more dynamic are the arms. The extra hands, holding a magazine or pointing, look like they’ll be good for conversions. The hands have been moulded to the weapons rather than the arms on the weapons, which is a bit different and I’m not sure how it’ll affect fitting bolters after painting, which I find helps with painting the torso. There are a nice combination of different weapon types and designs, including a combiweapon (which might end up on a Wolf Guard model).

The kit comes on three unique sprues which leads to less duplication than was seen on the old sprue or in the Space Wolves Pack box. Hopefully, when I get my motivation back, I’m going to have a lot of fun with this kit. I just hope that the Wolves get Grav Guns when their time comes!

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How to paint Space Wolves: part 2

Space Wolf Panorama: A mixture of models from my newest to some of my oldest.

Space Wolf Panorama: A mixture of models from my newest to some of my oldest.

So, after all the preamble in the previous post, here’s how I paint my Wolves. The colour key is in the previous post.

 Stage 1: Basic colours
I start by painting the armour SW Mix. The concertinaed areas at the back of the knees, thigh joints etc. are coloured Eshin Grey. Bare skin and the backside of furs are painted Bugman’s Glow. Areas that will be painted gold or brass are painted with Tausept Ochre, yellow areas are painted with Iyanden Darksun and red areas are painted Mechrite Red. Bone areas (skulls, fangs, purity seals) are undercoated Ceramite White. Leather areas are painted Scorched Brown. My cabling colour scheme doesn’t completely work with the new paints as they got rid of Mechrite Red and I use that along with Fenris Grey and Caliban Green for any piping. Silver areas are painted with Boltgun Metal.

 Stage 2: Next Layer
Skin is painted with Elf Flesh, red areas painted with Red Gore (weapon grips, purity seals, fabric/chords) or Blood Red (armour), yellow areas are painted with Yriel Yellow. For yellows you need to do several thin coats in order to get a smooth colour. Brass areas are painted with Dwarf Bronze and gold areas are painted Shining Gold.

Stage 3: Freehand
For large bits of freehand I really recommend planning in advance (shoulder pads for instance). For tattoos I tend to go with the flow and see what I can come up with. I like to paint freehand before highlighting as it is easier to correct mistakes. However, this can also disrupt the highlighting process a little as you have to paint round the details.

At this point my guys tend to look like this:

before washing

Stage 4: Washes
The new washes tend to stick a bit more to the models. I don’t mind this so much as it makes armour in particular a little bit dark and dirty. If you want to dilute it use a bit of Lahmian Medium as well as water as that improves the flow a bit.

For skin I use Ogryn flesh
For hair it depends on the shade. I usually use either Gryphonne Sepia or Badab Black
For bone, fangs, parchment, back of furs etc., I use Gryphonne Speia
For armour I start with a layer of Deneb Mud and then follow it up with a layer of Badab Black.

The models then look something like this:

after washing

Stage 5: Highlights
Oddly enough, I don’t highlight my Wolves quite as much or use such a complicated scheme as I use for my newer models. It’s mostly because I’m trying to have a vaguely coherent army and I started highlighting with my second set of guys and while I hope that my technique has evolved, I’d like to have an army that more or less looks the same.

For armour I highlight with Space Wolves Grey. I line highlight along any edges and panelling and then add other highlights where it looks like light will fall. For bone areas I start with Bleached Bone (the Gryphonne Sepia really does change the colour that much!) and then extreme highlight with a touch of skull white. Yellow areas are highlighted with YY+W while red areas are highlighted up in the order (BR+RG, Blood Red,) TSO+BR, Troll Slayer Orange. Brass areas are highlighted with shining gold, while golden areas are highlighted with Burnished Gold. Silvery coloured metals are highlighted with chainmail and then the “sharp” edges are highlighted with Mithril Silver. With the piping I highlight Mechrite Red with Blood Red, Fenris Grey with Hawk Turquoise and Caliban Green with Warpstone Glow.

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Stage 6: Glazes
For the power axe I used a Guilliman Blue glaze before adding the sparks with Hawk Turquoise, Ice Blue and Space Wolves Grey. For the heat damage on the flamer I used Lamenters Yellow followed by a final coat of Gryphonne Sepia.

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Furs
I’ve separated hair and fur from the rest of the instruction as I tend to deviate a lot here from model to model.

I usually paint furs grey or cream but it’s easy to mix and match these and the same idea can be used on other colours. I usually go

Eshin Grey -> Nuln Oil -> Codex Grey -> Celestra Grey

Bleached Bone -> Gryphonne Sepia -> Bleached Bone -> Skull White

Start with the darkest colour and wash it, then highlight the spiky bits of the fur with the second colour. Use the final colour for extreme highlights. If you want to add patches of different coloured fur simply move one shade darker or lighter for the starting colour.

 Hair
I’m only showing one guy with hair here. The process I use is: base colour, wash, highlights. I start with a colour very close to the base colour and blend colours together until I get to a very light highlight colour.

For the Blood Claw I went: Trollslayer Orange-> Gryphonne Sepia-> YY+TSO-> Golden Yellow-> YY+W

For Grey Hair I start with Codex Grey and work my way up to Skull White.

With hair I highlight as the hair moves, using the lightest colour on the tips and on anything that really stands out (sorry if that doesn’t make enough sense)

So, that’s how I paint Space Wolves. Sorry for the delay, I had camera problems. I just hope that this helps somebody!

L.o.F.

Citadel Texture Paints review

I have to be honest, the Citadel Texture paints didn’t really interest me when the new line of Citadel paints came out earlier this year. My boyfriend on the other hand thought that he might find them useful for basing his models, so I ordered a pot of Astrogranite for him. Then I was recommended the Mourn Mountain Snow and thought that I’d give it a go. I wasn’t overly impressed by it the first time round to be honest, it looked a bit, well, odd.

I thought that I should give it a bit of a chance though, so I decided to run a test. I’ve not gone much out of my way for this review, I’m afraid, as I’m just testing the two Texture paints we have: Mourn Mountain Snow and Astrogranite.

I prepared the square base by priming it with two coats of Imperial Primer. I then divided it into four quarters. On one half I used Mourn Mountain Snow, on the other I used Astrogranite. I used a both a brush and the scoop part of the Citadel modelling tool to apply both paints.

The paints themselves consist of some sort of grit or sand suspended in thick paint. The paints are largely odourless and washed off the brush easily. They have a jelly-like texture, unlike the normal Base and Layer paints, and this makes them a little difficult to apply by brush.

 

A= Mourn Mountain Snow + brush

B= Mourn Mountain Snow + scoop

C= Astrogranite + brush

D= Astrogranite + scoop.

 I have to confess that I think that Astrogranite looks a bit better than Mourn Mountain Snow. It would work either as a layer across the whole base, or in blobs to add features to a base. It would be quite good for a gravelly urban base or combined with some green flock to resemble the verge of some country road.

I think that Mourn Mountain Snow would be most effective on scenery, particularly scenery that might get bashed around, when flock is less suitable. It might look good used in conjunction with either Astrogranite or Stirland Mud to make a snowy urban- or battlefield- style scene, where the snow and the gravel and mud all combine to make a slushy mess. I don’t suggest mixing the paints, rather using splodges of several different Texture paints on the same base.

If you’re lazy about basing, or dislike it, or are very pushed for time, these paints offer a way to get properly based models quickly and without too much fuss.

In conclusion, while I still can’t think of many reasons why I’d personally want to use the Texture paints, they do work quite effectively. Mourn Mountain Snow is slightly less effective than Astrogranite, but both have potential to speed up basing if you’re not so keen on that part of the hobby. A potentially useful product, if limited by the use of the same texture medium in both paints tested.

Citadel Glazes Review

When the new Citadel Paints were introduced earlier this year I was quite excited about the glazes, and I actually find them quite useful. The glazes are very watery paints and come in four colours: Bloodletter (red), Lamenters Yellow (yellow), Waywatcher Green (green) and Guiliman Blue (blue).

So far I’ve used them for lighting effects on metallic areas such as the power axe on this guy and the headlights on my Land Speeder and they work pretty well. The photos don’t do the effect justice as it is angle dependent, so as you move the glow does too.

The other time that I have found them useful is when I’ve needed to soften highlights, which I used on the hilt of the sword on the scout below.

I decided to try and do a systematic study on the glazes for a project. In the picture below you can see a chart of colours. I’m just using colours from my box, so some will be missing. For instance, neither me nor my boyfriend own many purples.

 

The columns represent the paints used with the new names following in brackets wherever I used the old style Citadel Paints:

1) Monochrome: Chaos Black (Abaddon Black), Eshin Grey, Codex Grey (Dawnstone), Celestra Grey, Ceramite White

2) Reds: Red Gore (Wazdakka Red), Blood Red (Evil Sunz Scarlet), Troll Slayer Orange

3) Yellows: Iyandun Darksun (Averland Sunset), Yriel Yellow, Sunburst Yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow)

4) Greens: Calibran Green, Warpstone Glow, Scorpion Green (Moot Green)

5) Blues: Ultramarines Blue (Altdorf Guard Blue), Hawk Turquoise (Sotek Green), Ice Blue (Lothern Blue)

6) Greys and purples: Elf Flesh (Kislev Flesh), Liche Purple (Xereus Purple), Shadow Grey (The Fang), Space Wolves Grey (Fenrisian Grey)

7) Browns: Scorched Brown (Rinox Hide), Snakebite Leather (Balor Brown), Tausept Ochre (erm… Balor Brown?)

8) Silvers: Boltgun Metal (Leadbelcher), Chainmail (Ironbreaker), Mithril Silver (Runefang Steel)

9: Golds: Tin Bitz (Warplock Bronze), Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper), Shining Gold (Gehenna’s Gold), Burnished Gold (Auric Armour Gold)

 

The rows represent the glazes used:

R: Bloodletter

Y: Lamenters Yellow

G: Waywatcher Green

B: Guiliman Blue

 

First a note on the test. In order to try and make it fair I did it on a uniform flat surface which meant that the glazes pooled differently than they would on a model. None of the test swatches looked as good as any of my less scientific try-outs of the glazes, however they are all equivalent, so I can compare them.

As you can see, using glazes changes the colour, which can either be used to create an entirely new shade, or bring two colours closer together (dealing with over-highlighting)

They work particularly well on metallics. I actually really like the effect of the yellow glaze on metallics, it makes golds look really warm. The other colours look less good on gold.

I don’t know what’s the matter with the Bloodletter, it doesn’t seem to have worked as well as the others. That is probably due to my painting rather than the glaze though, as all of the glazes look less good on the swatches than they do on models. The glazes tend to pool on surfaces and with a flat horizontal object, that’s exactly what they do- which is why it all looks a bit ugly!

The glazes can also be mixed to create other colours, particularly oranges and purples. The long silver and white bar down the edge has examples of orange and purple (and a couple of streaks of yellow and green which are there by accident).

So time to wrap this lot up. In conclusion  the glazes are pretty useful and can be used to make some nice effects when used in conjunction with metallic paints. However, as they do change the shade of painted areas considerably, I’d really recommend doing a test piece first.

Citadel Paints Imperial Primer Review

I was looking forward to the Imperial Primer from the moment it was announced. It is a primer in a tub rather than a spray can. I could think of many uses for it and I’ve already used it for many of them. So, in order to review it I decided to primer two barricades that I had, one using Citadel Paints’ Chaos Black Primer spray paint (it’s what I have, other primers are obviously available) and the other using the new Imperial Primer in a bottle (well, tub).

The barricades came from the Games Workshop’s Urban Barricades and Walls set and are made of resin. I know that to do a really thorough test I should test the two primers on plastic, metal, greenstuff and Finecast, but I don’t own any Finecast and I didn’t have any of the rest available that I wanted to use as test pieces. One was the barricades was broken and I superglued it back together, but it didn’t make any difference to the test. I washed both barricades in warm soapy water before I started to ensure that they were clean.

I applied the Imperial Primer with a broad brush that I usually use for loading paint onto my pallet and painting very large areas. It has quite soft bristles and tends not to leave any obvious brushmarks on the piece. I used approximately two coats of Imperial Primer, used straight from the bottle without any dilution. For most of the piece I only needed one coat but over larger areas I needed two. I applied a coat of Chaos Black Primer to the other model. I had to coat it in two sessions as the primer could only be applied to one side at a time.

After priming the two pieces were quite similar. There are no obvious brushmarks visible on the piece painted with Imperial Primer. I had however missed one edge of the model coated using the Chaos Black spray. The picture below shows the results, with the front piece being the one primed using the Imperial Primer.

The primed pieces: front- Imperial Primer, back: Chaos Black Spray Primer

So, what were the pros of using the Imperial Primer over the Chaos Black spray?

  1. Odour/fumes: The Imperial Primer has a slightly fishy smell in the bottle. However it is quite  faint and does not hang around. The Chaos Black spray does produce quite a bit of fumes from the propellant, which are not pleasant. The smell also lingers. I have to spray indoors as I have no outdoor space, and although the area I use is well ventilated, the smell does linger for quite a while.
  2. Weather independent: Related to the last point is that the Imperial Primer, as it produces no fumes, can be used in an enclosed space, which, if you live somewhere where it rains a lot, is a bonus. If it rains, my window has to remain shut, which means no undercoating with the Chaos Black Primer. I’m not usually in a hurry to primer something, but if I had to do something in a hurry on a wet day, and we get plenty of them here, I could use the Imperial Primer.
  3. Control: With the Imperial Primer it is far easier to control where the primer goes. This means that you can use it in all those little crevasses that the spray misses, prime a new addition to an already painted model or touch up a spot of damage.

Of course, there are also cons.

  1.  Evenness of coat: It is much easier to get an even coat of primer on a large area using a spray primer
  2. Speed: Using a spray primer means that you can coat several models in seconds instead of one model in minutes.
  3. Mess: This is the bottle rather than the product itself. Every time I open the tub I get a coating of black all over my hand and on my modelling area. The picture below was taken partway through coating the barricade with the Imperial Primer. It washes off fairly easily, but if like me, you work in an area of clutter, it’s best to move any painted models well out of the way!

 In the end the Imperial Primer is a very useful product. It in no way replaces the spray but is a very useful addition to my paint box. I’ve used it mostly to touch up areas that the spray primer has missed, most recently on the awkward shaped cloak on one of my Wolf Scouts. I also used it to fix a meltagun where the spray primer wouldn’t stick. I don’t grade things, I’m not consistent, but the Imperial Primer is very nearly there. It’s an adequate substitute for the spray and brilliant for touching up areas that the spray can’t reach. It’s a pity about the bottle, but I can live with that in return for a product that I’m already finding an essential addition to my modelling stuff.