I finally got around to finishing my Venerable Dreadnought for the Independent Characters painting challenge; he only took me a month and a half to finish (although to be fair, April was a crazy month to try to get even one model painted in). The paint scheme wasn't anything really fancy, but black, white, and gold just the right combination of simple and striking for this guy.
I'm really happy with the edge highlighting I did on this model; I'm really getting comfortable with how the effect looks on black armor, and it's definitely more subtle yet effective on a larger model than it is on a smaller standard marine. The Power Fist looks particularly good, in my opinion.
I also tried my hand at more freehand details on this guy, something I started on my Emperor's Champion. While I'm not ready for full murals (without someone else doing the linework), doing scripting on blank spots seemed a challenge I could handle, so I went for it. On one shinguard, and on his parchment, I did blocks of scripting, complete with a colored, embellished dropcap.
There's one other freehand detail, and that's on his left shinguard - the Templar cross. Originally I'd intended to use a decal, as I did on the left arm, but the decals I had were just slightly too big to fit comfortably, and I didn't want to go with a more generic numeral or skull, so I bit the bullet and went ahead and tried freehanding a cross. Actually, I think it turned out rather well, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat (although I do like the decal on the arm, as it's sharper and cleaner).
I'm taking June off from the Templars, as I have a fair amount of Tau to paint for the Gateway Grand Tournament - 2 Riptides, 3 Broadsides, a Sky Ray, 8 Pathfinders, and 6 Fire Warriors. It's a crazy amount to squeeze in, especially considering that 2 of the Broadsides and the Fire Warriors aren't even built yet, but that's what the Memorial Day weekend is for, right? I think that if I can get everything finished this weekend, I can prime and paint them over the next 3 weeks and call it good. They might not be up to the full standard of the rest of the army, but I can get them close, especially with my spray gun for fast basecoating.
That's right, March. April was so Tau-focused that I completely forgot to post what I'd painted in March on my Black Templars army. First, a group of Sword Brethren Assault Terminators.
I did note that the Terminator in the middle didn't get his tilt shield finished, and I didn't paint the service stud on the bareheaded fellow in front (not a Sergeant, since Black Templar Terminator squads don't have those). Nothing I can't touch up later. Next up, the Emperor's Champion:
I went ahead and used a decal on his shoulder pad, since I didn't think my freehanding skills were sharp enough to make a really crisp templar cross. On the other hand, I did brave putting some extra detail on his tabard, so maybe I shouldn't feel so sheepish.
Finally, a Razorback for the Las/Plas Crusader squad from February:
I don't know if I'd do the black/white color so strongly for future Rhino chassis; it looks a bit more like a police car than a battle tank. Still, this one was fun to weather by liberally applying some Mourn Mountain Snow to the treads. Not a bad look overall, but I do think I'm going to go with solid black next time, or at least less white.
As far as April, well, between the new Tau codex and a lot of life happening, I didn't finish that month's goal of painting up a Venerable Dreadnought. I did make progress, but not nearly enough to finish it.
It's coming along, and I've made progress since taking this picture. I think I can finish it up in May, along with getting a start on some new Tau minis. More about that another time...
February was a crazy month. Besides being the shortest month on the calendar, we got snowed in, and I hunted for and acquired a new job. Despite all that, I managed to get another two Crusader Squads and a Chaplain done for my Black Templars. Granted, it's taken me two weeks to post about it (new job, remember?), but here they are in all their black-and-white glory. The first squad is pretty much like last month's squad, just with the bits arranged slightly differently.
Complete with Neophytes, of course. That completes the close-combat Crusader squads. Next up, the shooting squad:
After all the tabards and ribbons and seals on the close combat squads, these guys were actually a bit on the boring side. Fortunately, the lascannon and plasmagun mix things up a bit. The bases aren't as blue as they appear in this photo, either; they're more white drybrush, but for some reason the lighting picked up the blue background more.
Finally, my first HQ, a chaplain to act as my Master of Sanctity:
I wish they had plastic skull helms that weren't for Khorne CSMs, but they don't, so I kitbashed this guy with a bald head and a breather. He looks appropriately Chaplain-y with the skulls and the crozius and the rosarius and the scroll, so I don't feel bad about him. The only part I don't care for is the censer hanging from his belt; the wash didn't darken the recesses to my liking, but I'm not sure if I want to try to touch him up more or not. Otherwise, he looks great.
This month, I'm working on my Emperor's Champion and my Assault Terminators. It'll be nice to not paint quite as much plain power armor (and with a much smaller model count as well)!
It's been a busy couple of months here, with the holidays and family illnesses and such, but I'm back to my blogging. I've also been painting, and I finally have some of my Black Templars completely painted. My first Crusader Squad, along with a variety of special weapons users, was finished this afternoon, and I'm very happy with how they've turned out. I'm still getting used to edge-highlighting black power armor, but for the most part they've turned out how I wanted.
Here's the special weapons Templars - meltagun, power fist, power axe, and flamer.
And a side view of the power axe. I went with the traditional "blue lightning" power weapon effect, but for the background I went with Leadbelcher washed with Drakenhof Nightshade (okay, the newer GW paint names are just silly after a point).
And the Neophytes, with under-armor colored to match the Initiates' tabards.
I've got a second squad about halfway complete; I was hoping to have them done by the end of the month as well, but a couple of things came up and I had to delay my painting work a bit. I won't be horribly set back in my overall painting schedule, though, so I can get right back at it and finish up early next month. It's good to finally see these guys finalized and ready for the tabletop.
I actually managed to grab a week of vacation time over the Thanksgiving holiday, and miraculously we had 60+ degree weather for most of it. Given that it's not going to be long before we're deep in winter, I figured that it's time to get priming while the weather's agreeable for it. First on the block was my Realm of Battle board. My wife got a new bike that same week, so fortunately we had a big empty cardboard box that made the perfect priming setup for large flat pieces of plastic.
Besides the board, I also had the additions to my Chaos Marine army: the Bike Lord, the Chaos Bikers, the Autocannon Havocs, and some more Noise Marines. By the way, these Noise Marines were made with the new Finecast bits, and I can't begin to describe how much easier these were to work with than the old metal bits. I had a love/hate relationship with the metal Noise Marine kits, but these were all love. My only minor complaint is trying to get the arms lined up with each other and the body, but that's a fault with the design, not the material. If I ever needed to expand my Noise Marines further, I would buy another set of these bits in a heartbeat.
I also primed my Cultists to get them ready. I did hit a point of frustration here, though, and it's with how Dark Vengeance is packaged. Each squad is 1 Champ, 8 Cultists (either CCW/Autopistol or Autogun), and one special weapon Cultist. However, combine two of those, and you don't have a legal squad of 20 unless you count Champ #2 as another CCW/Autopistol Cultist... and one of the champs doesn't even have an Autopistol. I've got a tournament coming up this weekend where I'm using the Cultists (if I play; I'm the ringer to pad out even numbers), and I needed a legal unit of 20, so I ended up picking up one of the GW Cultist boxes after I'd done my priming... so I'll have one bare plastic Cultist (the shame; the shame!). Also, the Shotgun is crap, so I did an arm swap between the Champ and one of the close-combat Cultists.
And to wrap up all the 40K-ness, I also assembled and primed my Aegis Defense Line. A friend is lending me her Dremel, and I used it to deface the Aquilas off of the various barrier bits and the Quad Gun base. On the quad gun, I smoothed it down nicely to put a new Chaos marking on it, but on the ADL bits I just left the Aquila spot looking distressed and defaced to give it that "hastily defiled" look. Oh, and spikes were added, because it's Chaos. Can't have Chaos without spiky bits, right?
But that's not all, folks! I've also been branching out, and recently picked up the Viktorias for Malifaux. I'm still waiting on some Ronin and a Convict Gunslinger, but I got the twins and Taelor primed. I want somewhat more vibrant colors, so I went with a gray primer instead.
And finally, some models I'm just doing for an eventual display piece: 4 Darklands/Bane Legions Melusines, ordered from Maelstrom Games before that vendor imploded under the weight of their own debt. The manufacturer's sending me the fifth to make up for the one I never received. I have some special basing materials set aside for their display board, which will start out as a sheet of cork glued on a plinth, with square holes cut out for their bases. I'm wary of that totem staff, though; it's resin and very wobbly and fragile.
Between all this and my Black Templars, I'll have plenty of models to work on over the next few months!