Tag Archives: painting

Black Templars: Project Complete!

templars_october_crusadersWhat you see above is the last 9 models I had to paint to complete my Independent Characters 2014 Painting Challenge. They were half-finished on my workbench two weeks ago, but now they’re all finished and ready for the tabletop. This finally completes the army I started working on 10 months ago. Actually, I started on this army in April of last year…

black_templars_projectBut after I got it assembled and primed in August…

kr_multicase_03…I stalled out for a few months. Thankfully, the IC Challenge kicked my ass into gear, and now, a year and a half later, I’ve turned those boxes into this:

templars_complete_01It’s been a fun project, and I’ve had opportunities to practice things like freehand details and a bit more weathering than I normally do, so it’s been a good learning experience. That doesn’t mean my Templars army is done, though. I still have to paint:

  • Chaplain Grimaldus and his retinue
  • A power fist Chaplain
  • A Marshal (well, a Captain/Chapter Master now)
  • 10 Honor Guard
  • A Drop Pod
  • A Dreadnought
  • A Stormraven
  • 2 more Rhinos/Razorbacks

That could easily keep me busy for a few more months, but other than the Honor Guard and Drop Pod (which are already on their way to being finished), I can take a break for a while and get to my other armies (like my Chaos Marines, which have a number of units in post-priming limbo). Well, I might squeeze the Stormraven in; gotta add a flyer for fun. 🙂

To Convert or Not To Convert

That is the question, isn’t it? This past week, I managed to grab an older plastic Leman Russ and a Basilisk for my IG army, and as I work on ideas for it I find myself second-guessing my original ideas. Originally, I’d been thinking about converting the army into a sort-of Armageddon Steel Legion army. However, as I go through the overall look and the logistics and such, I’m wondering if I just shouldn’t go with the standard Cadians.

It all comes down to look, personality, and long-term ease of expansion. Cost isn’t too much of an issue, although plastic Cadian heads are somewhat cheaper from bits vendors than the Pig Iron heads (it’s something like $6 for 20 Cadians versus $10 for 20 Pig Iron), although you get more variety in the Cadian heads, including unhelmeted heads for sergeants and commanders. Look, though, is huge. The Pig Iron heads do not look like Steel Legion heads, no matter how much I’d like them to. Also, I can’t sculpt worth beans, so I’ll never make the Cadian bodies look like they have longcoats and gloves. At best, they’ll look like bad knock-offs. They won’t look bad on their own, but they’ll never look like Steel Legion troops. Would I rather have Cadians that definitely look like Cadians, or not-Cadians that don’t look like anything in particular?

Confusing the matter more are these guys:

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I have a squad of 10 of the Forge World hostile environment Cadians, presumably to use as Storm Troopers or Veterans. These guys fit the Cadian look far more than the Steel Legion look (because they are Cadians), and don’t look like the Pig Iron heads at all. I can’t head-swap them, either, because the heads and torsos are one piece. To keep the look of the army generally more coherent, that puts points in the Cadian side of the equation.

As far as Personality, well, the Pig Iron heads kind of lack that entirely. Oh, they have a very definite look, with a distinct WW2 German helmet-plus-gas-mask feel. The problem is, though, that they’re all the same. Every single one of them is identical.  I already have one army of faceless, identical infantry (Tau Fire Warriors, anyone?), and I don’t know if I want a second one. Cadian heads, though, at least vary somewhat. Sure, there are only so many options, but that’s still more than “one”. I kind of like the idea of my IG troopers being semi-unique people; even my Black Templars get to have different helms spread across the army. Sure, it means painting a little bit of fleshtone, but I can live with that.

Finally, there’s ease of expansion. I can take Cadian kits off the shelf and use them as-is without having to worry about whether I’ll run out of heads and need to order more. That makes shelf-to-tabletop time a lot shorter and the process a lot easier.

So… am I bailing out on this too easily? I mean, this isn’t my primary, secondary, or even tertiary army, so I’m not deeply invested in it. I can still use my DKoK Quartermaster as is, I think; company commanders can be geared out however they’d like. Or he could just be a display piece and I can use standard Cadian commanders. The more I think about it, the Cadian solution seems to be the way to go for a consistent-looking army with some personality. There’s nothing saying I can’t change up the color scheme from the standard green-and-khaki, of course, to make them unique.

Black Templars: Helbrecht Complete!

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 I completed my High Marshal Helbrecht last night/this morning. He’s not quite up to par with the official ‘Eavy Metal paintjob, and the Finecast model ended up being rougher in spots than I’d originally thought, but all in all I’m very happy with him. Technically, this would have finished my painting challenge army, but since the new codex changed things up I have mode models to build and prime this week.

Also, last weekend I picked up the new Tactical Squad, Sternguard Veteran Squad, and Vanguard Veteran Squad boxes, all to ensure that I have enough bits to make my add-ons, including the Honor Guard I’m planning. So many cool bits in the two Vet boxes, so I should have no problem making my Honor Guard look awesome, especially with all the spare Black Templar bits I have floating around.

Black Templars: Land Raider Crusader, and the Future

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For August, I had a Land Raider Crusader to add to my Black Templar army, and it is done. Even though it was only a single model, as crazy as this month has been (I still haven’t posted photos from Games Day, and I’ve totally ignored my blog), I got it done just under the wire. It’s a nice addition to the army, though, and I managed to avoid the “police car” effect that my Razorback had.

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I went with the same kind of illuminated script detailing that I put on my Venerable Dreadnaught; I figure that, like a VenDread, a Land Raider would be an ancient piece of tech with a backstory, and the Templars seem like the types to put that story on the equipment itself. One thing I am surprised at, though, is that on the Space Marine vehicle transfer sheet, there’s not a single large black Maltese cross. There are white ones (and I put one on top of the chassis), but no black ones, which I wanted to put in the large white area on the Land Raider’s front right. To get one, I’ll have to order a BT transfer sheet from Forge World. For now, it’s no big hurry.

Also, regarding my Razorback, I managed to de-police-ify it by painting in some of the white:

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I’m much happier with this version, and it matches the Land Speeders and Land Raider in just having a couple of spots of white rather than big panels of it.

As for what I’m painting this month, I’m not sure. Saturday sees the new Space Marine codex released, and with the Templars officially being de-codexed and rolled into the main book, it’s going to change up the list I’ve been painting. I’m not sure how much at this point, although I imagine my five-man Las/Plas crusader squad will probably go. Points costs will need to be re-evaluated (although hopefully things got a bit cheaper). Wargear will be changed up. My first priority will be re-calculating and seeing what I need and what I’ll have to add to make things legal (as opposed to the things I’d like to buy eventually, like a Stormraven and some Sternguard).

I’ve also added another army to the mix; I managed to luck upon an amazing deal that got me a Leman Russ Executioner (and a Demolisher turret as well), a Chimera, a Vendetta, and about 40 or so IG infantry, including 3 Mortar Teams. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what I’m going to build with them list-wise, but I know I’m aiming for something Steel Legion-esque in appearance. There’s converting to be done!!

Black Templars: Venerable Dreadnought

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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.

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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.

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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.