It’s honestly hard at times to remember which models I’ve already covered, given my long posting hiatus and the general time-distortion that has been a year in lockdown – looking back through my posts, though, I don’t think I’ve covered this one that I’m rather proud of:
I’ve found as GW’s newer chaos marine sculpts have come out, I’ve had the bittersweet issue of not needing to do many conversions. This is arguably a shame, as smashing together decades-old kits to make something new is one of the main appeals of the hobby for me, but I can’t deny that some of the newer chaos characters have so much… well, character, it’d be a shame to do much to them with a knife.
As a result, my Master of Possession is pretty vanilla, at least from the boots up. Instead, the reason I’m so happy with this model is all to do with the painting. This was probably my first model where I thought about the overall contrast, and considered how to frame it in terms of colour. With a traditionally orange lava base, blue flames were an obvious choice and the two contrasting light sources let me really flex in terms of my OSL abilities.
After Huron Blackheart came out more like Huron Blueheart, I refined my black armour recipe a bit further, and think this came out more as what I had intended – there’s not as much power armour on display here obviously, which helps, but I do think it reads more as inky blue-black than Huron’s.
I did let myself do something crazy with the base – as this angle best shows, I took some spare bloodletter arms and one of the big chaos mutant arms from the old CSM box, then glued them to the base to create the look of lava daemons clawing their way into realspace. Some hot glue around them helped disturb the surface of the base while still keeping it looking viscous, and I think they add quite a bit to the model.
I ruminated for a while on what to do with the staff, as wood seemed both anachronistic and a poor choice for a marine who’s at least partially on fire. As a result, I decided to try to make the haft look like polished obsidian, and also applied the same effect to the sacrificial knife at the sorcerer’s hip.
I’m starting to really enjoy working on leather, the more of it my models have on them. After finding a guide somewhere about building up the shades and noise with layer after layer of washes, I think I’ve got the effect down – these gloves look fantastically old and worn. Again, they’re a bit odd – I assume the marine wears them over his gauntlets? – but I can’t deny that they look good.
And that’s about it! Not a whole lot else to say about this model – again, lacking any converted elements it’s fairly straightforward to go over. Lockdown restrictions are starting to ease in the UK now, so hopefully – assuming the country doesn’t screw it up and no other disaster strikes – I might get to actually play with this guy soon!
As well as getting a Knight Tyrant done last year, I also picked up another Regular-Pattern Knight.
I actually got this model after the gorgeous Chaos Knight Desecrator kit came out, but decided instead to get myself a loyalist Knight Preceptor kit for the third piece of my all-titan Chaos Knight Lance. This was for a couple of reasons, the chief of which was the two kits’ respective loadouts – the Desecrator inexplicably doesn’t come with any ranged weapons except the new Las Destructor, while the Preceptor/Canix Rex box sported all the weapons, and a built-in cockpit I’ve yet to do anything with. As people may remember from my first Chaos Knight, I copied some of Krautscientist’s work to build a cockpit myself, but the newer Preceptor kit had a “proper” one built-in already. It even has a working hinge!
The other factor was, of course, the converting opportunity. It’s always a bittersweet feeling when GW bring out an official kit for something I’ve converted (see my obliterators), as taking a kit and a pile of spare parts and making something new is one of my favourite parts of the hobby. That’s not to say that the Desecrator is in any way bad, and I’m sure it would make an excellent base for a still heavily-customised chaos knight, but the fun of desecrating (see what I did there?) a loyalist knight kit is a joy in of itself.
There’s something of a pattern for how I build my chaos knights now, which helps tie them into looking like a unified household. As with the first one, I used a lot of jewellery chain to attach shields to the model, although by this point I’d all but run out of Khorne-themed Skullcrusher shields. Instead, I ended up using some from the venerable and now-OOP Chaos Knight kit (The other chaos knights, the ones on horses) – I’m a big fan of these, and had fun working in the off-white on the left shin when it came to painting.
The knights’ warhorn mouthpiece ended up being used as a gargoyle for the rocket pod (which was carefully sawed in half, so as to have both ironstorm rockets and stormspear missiles represented on the same model). I like to think it actually serves as the knight’s warhorn in battle, blaring deafening noise in a similar fashion to a proper titan.
For a while, I was stuck on how to change the overall silhouette, as from a distance the knight still resembled its loyalist cousins. I wanted to add something that made it clearly read as a fallen warrior, while still differing from the other knight in the lance, and it took a lot of rummaging through my bits box to find something suitable. Eventually, however, I settled on an addition I really quite like: Spears, from the old Vampire Counts skeleton box. They were a perfect fit, as the changed up the silhouette, and the tattered banners on them allowed me to both use off-white again elsewhere on the model and add some movement to the titan’s stride.
The faceplate also had me stumped for a while. Initially, I planned to use the face I had spare from my Kytan – Lord of Skulls (‘Lords of Skulls’?) come with two faces; a scaled-up skullcrusher helmet and a sneering twisted daemonic visage. I still had the latter left, but after gluing it on it just… didn’t read right. I often find that the gribblier side of Chaos isn’t for me anyway, but I think the lack of skin or flesh anywhere else on the model meant it really stood out.
So, I tried gluing on one of the knight masks, sawing off the grill that covered the mouth. This sort of worked, and had the model look strangely like an Uruk-Hai with its mouth exposed, but it still didn’t quite pull off the look I wanted. When I added the lower half of another knight mask, however, it clicked together perfectly – the longer mask was suitably different and twisted compared to a loyalist knight, and the addition of a dangling Khornate rune from the Bloodthirster kit worked nicely, while adding a bit more movement to the model as well. A couple of horns from the old finecast Bloodthirster completed it, along with another rune on the forehead to make the knight’s allegiance abundantly clear.
And that was it for the conversion, more or less. As always, the khorne and chaos brass etchings pulled overtime to add detail to the model, covering up unsuitably blank and clean armour plates where necessary. I also had fun taking a drill and scalpel to multiple armour pieces, beating them up and making the knight’s carapace look suitably battered and war-torn.
Painting-wise, I didn’t really push the boat out, although I must say that I think I managed a decent gradient on the red and blue armour panels. The bronze also came out really rather well, with the subtle greenish tinge from the athonian camoshade complementing the red armour nicely.
Overall really happy with this model – all I need now is one more despoiler-pattern knight (maybe I should get a desecrator?) and I’ll have a fully-fledged knight lance for realistically any game I’m likely to play.
Next up is probably my Lord Discordant, who definitely deserves a proper write-up. That, or some photos of my Armies on Parade 2020 board – it didn’t win anything, but it did cause this reaction:
So, er – as it turns out, I’m not very good at consistently updating this blog.
Still, let’s not dwell on that. I’m not going to make any empty promises that I’ll get back in the saddle of regular posting, but let’s give it a go!
Fortunately while I’ve not been writing about any of my projects, I have managed to do a decent amount of painting since my last post. In the time since finishing Huron Blackheart, I’ve slapped some paint on several projects great and small, including an entirely new and entirely less evil army (although unfortunately, as I discovered once I started painting them, one no less covered in armour trim).
We’ll get to them later (2027 probably, given my usual pace), but for now, I wanted to share some pictures of a project I finished shortly after Huron – my Chaos Knight Tyrant.
As veteran readers from the ancient days of yore might remember, I picked up a pair of Wardogs a while back, and had fun converting the snot out of them. They came in a box with the humungous Knight Castellan, who then sat on his sprue for several months while I figured out what I wanted to do with him.
I knew I wanted to kitbash the model, as always – my other knights are walking altars to the Dark Powers, and those empty armour panels are a converter’s dream (which is part of the reason I’ve yet to pick up the actual Knight Desecrator kit – it’s gorgeous, but the hard/fun part is already done for you).
I also knew I wanted to continue the fine tradition of decorating my models’ bases with bits of Ultramarine, and – having done Captainsbefore – I wanted to try adding a dreadnought. I could have just glued it to the base between the knight’s legs, but finding some resin parts on etsy (check out Taromodelmaker – he does some phenomenal knight conversion kits), I decided to raise the knight’s right leg to be stomping the fallen walker into the dirt.
While picking up the poseable knee joints linked above, I also decided to get a waist extension. This made the Tyrant stand a little taller than my regular Renegade Knight and – coupled with the usual centimetre of cork on the base – had the amusing affect of making my model stand ever-so-slightly taller than my friend’s loyalist dog of a Castellan. I also bought one other resin part, but we’ll get to that later.
With the overall pose built, I had one other major addition to make to the core model before just gluing spikes and skulls to it. None of the stock knight helmets really spoke to me as being chaotic, most of them looking a bit too… well, knightly. I wanted something that looked savage and brutish; a suggestion that this walking fortress had fallen fully from grace. If I could tie it into my overall army’s chosen patron, even better.
Using the skull cannon from the Lord of Skulls (a leftover part of my Kytan) was quite inspired, I think.
With that in place and a nest of green stuff cables and tentacles added behind it to bulk up the join, the rest was mostly a case of just gluing spikes, Khornate glyphs, skulls and other trophies onto the model. Some choice parts were the use of a Bloodthirster chest armour piece over the knight’s belly, and a realisation that terminator trophy racks fit the contours of the shoulder pads almost perfectly. I also painstakingly removed the shield from a Skullcrusher banner, and dangled it from the knight’s crotch plate – I like how the billowing movement of it matches the titan’s stride, giving an otherwise quite static model some movement.
Then there are the skulls. So many skulls. The box of skulls was the main resource here, of course, but we’ve also got skulls on chains from the bloodthirster, skull-shaped knight faceplates, skulls on spikes from the chaos vehicle upgrade sprue – et cetera.
For the colour scheme, I had a lot of fun trying to get good blends on the red and blue – I’ve since bought an airbrush, which would have helped a lot, but I like to think I did okay with a regular brush. The metalwork was built up with patches of rakarth flesh and stormhost silver sponged on, before being drowned in agrax earthshade and a few spots of fuegan orrange, giving it a really nice oily, aged and rusted look. I also tried washing the bronze trim with athonian camoshade, giving it a slight green tinge that complements the red armour plates.
Now, the model that came in the box was a Castellan-pattern dominus knight, meaning it had the plasma cannon and volcano lance. For some reason GW didn’t make a sprue of weapon options, but instead made the valiant – the knight with a gargantuan harpoon and flamethrower – a separate kit. There was no way I was going to buy a second tyrant – I barely get to play with this one as it is – but I wanted to try making recognisable counts-as weaponry for the other configuration.
Enter Taromodelmaker again. I’m not sure on the moral or legal colour coding here – I imagine third party resin bits that can’t be used without the original model is a grey area, but the fact the actual Valiant model exists probably makes these other weapon options a no-no at GW events and stores. Still – my FLGS couldn’t care less, and I think the harpoon definitely looks the part. I did realise after building it that I should have had the shaft of the harpoon retracted for it to make sense, but it still ‘reads’ as the right model.
The conflagration cannon, meanwhile, is all GW bits. At is core is the belly gun from the Lord of Skulls, with the flamer barrel itself made up of a Baal Predator’s turret flamer, kindly donated by a Blood Angel friend (I added one of his veteran’s golden helmets to the knight’s trophies as thanks). The fuel tanks were lifted straight from the Munitorum Containers scatter terrain, with a few green stuff hoses linking them to the gun itself.
And that was it! This model’s sadly only been fielded something like twice, as COVID put an end to face-to-face games for the majority of the year. However, once Chaos Knights get a 9th edition codex I look forward to having this monstrosity stomp out onto the battlefield again. All it needs now is a good name.
One thing I’ve done with 8th edition finally giving us real Legion traits is experiment with other legions and warbands, besides my beloved World Eaters. It’s a nice perk to having a lore-less colour scheme, in that I can run them as basically any Legion I like, with any marks, God alignments and – if I want – named characters.
When Vigilus Ablaze came out, one of the surprising big winners mechanically was the Red Corsairs – with command points for days and a nifty stratagem that almost makes taking regular Chaos Marines worth it, they make a nifty little CP battery to attach to other Chaos forces (especially knights, of which I now have several).
The star of the Red Corsairs is of course Huron Blackheart, who combines a Chaos Lord and a mini Sorcerer into one potent, cheap package with some decent wargear to boot. As a result, a lot of Red Corsairs armies benefit from him, but the actual finecast model has.. well, it hasn’t aged all that well:
So naturally, making my own was necessary – I needed a model that was clearly Huron, but looked a bit more this-decade in terms of sculpt and size. Starting with the humble Shadowspear Chaos Marine champion, this is what I ended up with:
Like a lot of conversions, there wasn’t too much to this. The left arm is from the Dark Vengeance chosen, pauldron and all (sawing an out-of-production model more or less in half was nerve-wracking), while the axe head is from the old Fantasy Chaos Knights, I think.
The head worked incredibly well – taken from the Terminator Lord kit, it has the metallic wires on the left side, but the cybernetic eye (Huron is a pirate Chaos Lord who has the 40k equivalents of an eyepatch (cyber eye), hook (power fist) and parrot (familiar). GW doesn’t do subtle) and the surrounding frame was just paint. I’m really rather happy with how it turned out.
The back banner was a spare taken from the Blackstone Fortress Renegade Psykers, and the prometheum canister on the backpack was from… I have no idea. Some flamer bit or another. I’m quite happy with the flamer actually, in that there isn’t actually one – the official Huron has it built into his fist’s palm, but as this model’s fist is mostly closed, there was no need to install a nozzle – I simply made a green stuff tube and linked the fuel canister to the fist, and left it at that. I also added a cable going over each shoulder on the inside of the pauldrons to give a bit more top-half bulk, befitting a centuries-old former Chapter Master.
As for the paint scheme, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – he’s blue. I know. This was my first model in which I went for a Space Wolves grey for the trim, using The Fang, Fenrisian Grey, etc – the hue of which is far more blue than my usual neutral grey.
It’s not bad – I do like it – but I think the combination of that and some heavy-handed layering on the armour panels had this model definitely come out reading as blue rather than black. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and I learned a lot for my later models.
All in all, a fun, quick project and a useful little addition to my army if I ever decide to get involved in a WYSIWYG tournament or the like. I haven’t yet done a counts-as Hamadrya for him, however – that’ll have to be a project I get round to at some point.
I’d wanted to get some Renegade Armigers from the moment they were announced way way back, but it was the release of the Chaos Knights Codex that really sealed them for me – the chance to branch out my overall Chaos army further, to build up a full traitor Household, and to really go ham conversion-wise on the canvas that is a knight’s carapace was something I was really keen on.
So, when Apocalypse dropped and brought with it the chance to get and defile a Knight Castellan and two Helverins, I couldn’t resist. It took me some time to decide what to do with the Wardogs, however – I wanted to go with something a bit more ambitious than just gluing spikes onto the stock models.
And so, this monstrosity was born – I like to think it embodies the ‘Dog’ part of Wardog quite literally.
This project was immense fun to work with, and the build was remarkably simple. As with most of my conversions, I can’t claim credit for the original idea – quite a few people have done quadrupedal Armigers or Wardogs – and the basic concept is literally a case of gluing the hips directly over the reactor on the back of the hull, rather than underneath it. The legs were posed with lumps of green stuff in the sockets to get a more dynamic pose, and that was it for the basic shape.
I can claim credit for the tail and the head, however. The former was literally a few pieces of garden wire with the Helbrute thunder hammer attached on the end, with multiple sausages of green stuff turned into sinewy cables and rubber hoses using my trusty tentacle roller from Greenstuffworld. The head, meanwhile, I think was quite inspired – the big skull from the Box O’ Skulls pack GW now do served as a base, while the eye holes were plugged with more green stuff tentacles.
It looked a bit silly before the eye sockets were plugged, but the second I put the cables in it clicked, as did the name for this engine – Warpstalker. With the pilot fused and bound to the warp signature of a Flesh Hound, it unerringly seeks out psykers and grinds them to dust before dashing toward the next one.
The only part I’m not incredibly happy with is the autocannon. I do wish I’d come up with a more creative way of mounting it (and possibly a second one) than just gluing it upside-down to the carapace. Still, it works, and nobody can claim to be confused as to what the model’s meant to represent on the tabletop.
Ordinarily at this point I’d start talking about the paintjob – and I will – but the box I bought came with a pair of Wardogs. The conversion on the second one – Witcheater – isn’t quite as novel, but I’m still rather proud of it:
This was again, a dead simple conversion to do – it’s a Helverin from the waist up with some spikes and brass etchings, while from the waist down it’s a pretty much stock Dunecrawler. These kits go together so easily you’d almost think that they were designed to, and the resulting model just works, I think.
There are a few other bits scattered around, of course – the shields from my ever trusty Skullcrusher kit (I’m going to need a new one soon, I’m finally running out of Khorne bits) both helped to hide some of the more noble-looking trim and to mark the model as a servant of the Blood God. There’s a plate over its belly from the Bloodthirster kit, and – as a mirror to Warpstalker – the faceplate has been replaced with a leering skull.
Moving onto painting, I’m delighted with how these came out. I went a bit heavier on the blues than I did with my Questoris Pattern Knight, but I think it works really well and adds some colour variety to my overall collection. The reds were a challenge, as – for Chaos models – these still have some massive blank panels on which I had to try to get a smooth gradient, but I think I was successful.
Overall, I think I can say that these came out excellently – they’re distinctive, they’re heavily customised compared to the base models (something I missed a lot with my BSF box), and they’re still clearly recognisable as what they’re supposed to be.
Not sure what I’ll write about next, with these out of the way – as I said, the box did come with a Knight Castellan, but I’ve yet to figure out a way to photograph that model as it doesn’t fit in the lightbox. We might instead return to my Chaos Space Marines for a bit – watch this space!
They said I was mad, they said it couldn’t be done, but here we are with two blog posts in a single day.
How’s that for regular updates?*
Anyhow. This post is admittedly almost an afterthought – the denizens of the Blackstone Fortress that’ll likely never see use outside the boardgame, at least not given the spiky leaning of the rest of my collection.
Firstly, we have the Spindle Drones:
Keen-eyed painters can likely see that honestly, I was starting to get bored by the time I got to these drones. They follow the pattern of sadly quite a few of the bad guys in BSF, in that all four are (as far as I can tell) literally identical.
Add to that their relative lack of personality and, well,.. I’m a bit ashamed to say I just drybrushed them, for the most part. That said, they are nice sculpts with plenty of subtle detail to pick up that technique, and the end result’s far from bad, they’re just a little… forgettable, I suppose. I did enjoy the touch of picking out their eye lenses in the colours of the threat level from the boardgame.
The other hostiles that don’t really fit into a Chaos force are the Ur-Ghuls:
These guys were a little bit more interesting to do – as you can probably tell, I drybrushed them for the most part, but the flesh provided a bit more of an interesting challenge. One thing I very much enjoyed was playing around with the gradual transitions of colours on their mottled hides – the purple tint to their limbs, the deeper greens and blues between their ribs, and so on.
One thing the pale skin tones did give me the chance to go to town on were the blood effects. I try not to overdo these on most of my models, but it was a really nice way to add some colour and texture to an otherwise quite plain model, and the liberal splatters up the arm and on the thigh on the one above really brought it to life, I think. The addition of a few drops of tamiya clear black with the Blood For The Blood God technical paint also helped it look really dark and arterial.
The Ghul above, meanwhile, has a more dried look to its bloodstains – I wanted some variation, so I deliberately had some blood spatters look fresh and wet, while this one disembowelled an adventurer a few hours ago. It’s fun to add these little narrative details where possible.
You can also see I added one final bit of variation – each Ghul has slightly different colour markings around their necks and at their hips. A subtle touch, but it again, adds some variety.
There’s one more thing to show off before ending this blog post and this mini-series – I didn’t have an entry for my Chaos army for Armies on Parade in 2019, but I did decide the night before to enter anyway, and threw a little display board for the heroes of the boardgame in about four hours. I sadly forgot to actually let the store in question know and thus didn’t get to enter, but it’s still a nice little display piece:
And that’s it! With Blackstone Fortress done**, my next post will be a return to form as we look at the additions to my Chaos Knight household. I’ve got some conversions I’m really rather proud of. Watch this space!***
*I know that’s not what regular means.
**We don’t talk about the second squad of guardsmen.
***But like, don’t hold your breath. Regular blog posts are not my forté.
I think these were what I was looking forward to most when BSF was announced – finally, after years of waiting, after seeing Death Guard and Thousand Sons and all the Loyalists get new sculpts – new Chaos Space Marines! Without the signature Kenobi-pattern wide stance, with space in their abdomens for organs, and so on!
As with the rest of the box, I opted not to convert anything, but this was a chance to try my usual Hakanor’s Reavers scheme on some genuinely really pretty models.
Firstly, having these models side by side with Eavy Metal’s Black Legionnaires shows some key differences in the schemes. For starters,… the GW ones are much better. Obviously. But that as an aside, it’s fun to compare how the colour scheme’s subtly different from the Legion they’re almost always mistaken for, and what I think I’ve settled on for my Heretic Astartes going forward.
Firstly, there’s the blue-black power armour. At some point I’ll do a tutorial for this, as I’ve finally managed to get rid of the largely superfluous steps and get it to be almost quick, and while it can read as blue instead of bluish black at times, I think I’ve now settled on something that works.
The brass trim’s also noticeably different to the gold of the Black Legion. I find the use of Screaming Bell and its related layer paints helps keep that ruddy reddish hue, which helps the warband feel more Khornate than the cold, almost platinum gold of the XVI Legion.
There’s also the non-brass trim. I’ve tried a few things with this – painting it the same as the armour proper, going for a neutral grey – and now this, a combination of colours that starts with The Fang and gets layered up to a Russ Grey highlight. Now, this really does look blue rather than grey in certain lights, but I think it goes really rather well – it contrasts with the base and the lava cracks nicely, it doesn’t draw the eye too much, and again, it helps differentiate the model from the Black Legion.
Then there are the signature Hakanor’s Reavers lava cracks. Again, these have gone through a few iterations over the years, starting fat and clumsy, at times getting reduced right down to a few slivers – and now, once again, at a level I rather like. I’ve found that having the most intense spots of brightness be at the forks in the cracks works really well (past models had the feet be the hottest part, fading in temperature as the cracks spread up the legs). These particular models also have their cracked shoulderpads, which gave another nice place to add the motif.
One other change to my usual approach happened with these models – as I wasn’t converting anything, one of them had to have a bare head, something of a rarity in my collection. For a while I entertained the headcanon that the marines were molten on the inside, and also considered painting them as a Salamander successor chapter with glowing eyes – but ultimately, I decided regular human flesh was the way to go, as many models have such expressive faces and it’d be a shame not to paint them ‘properly.’
We may still see some Daemonkin faces throughout my upcoming models, but for now, this was a fun chance to paint a Heretic Astartes face and to try to get the eyes right. They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m quite happy with them.
Of course, there weren’t just two Chaos Space Marines in the BSF box:
…It took some real willpower not to convert this guy at all. What kind of lunatic fields a footslogging Chaos Lord with a thunder hammer and plasma pistol? XD
Still – pretty happy with him. I’m actually not a huge fan of the base model myself, as the current trend of ‘slap fleshy sausages with slinkies in them’ that’s prevalent in a lot of recent Chaos stuff doesn’t really do it for me, and this model is covered in sausages (particularly the backpack). It made building up the blue black armour quite a challenge, as there were very few surfaces large enough to get a good transition going, and that in turn meant that there weren’t many places to add the lava motif besides his boots and pauldrons.
However, it’s far from all bad. The face was a fun challenge that again, could be better but could be a hell of a lot worse, and I had fun with the cloak – white’s an underused colour among the slaves to darkness, I find, and I do enjoy having a range of cloak colours for my characters.
With these three done, the only models left to cover are the denizens of the Blackstone Fortress itself – the Ur Ghuls and Spindle Drones. Once that post’s written up, we’ll be moving onto some significantly bigger projects – my Renegade Knight may have acquired a couple of hunting hounds since the last time I updated this blog:
“I think that’s enough for one blog post. More to follow soon (stop laughing)!”
~ Prometian Painting, like, earlier this week
This is the nice thing about going over a year between blog posts – I’ve got loads of stuff to talk about, the photos are already taken, I just need to upload and waffle about them.
Next up are “the rest” of the non-guard, non-marine chaos models. Some of these were a real treat to paint.
The beastmen were an interesting project – somewhat more flesh than I usually paint for one, and – due to the nature of the sculpts – rather samey. As you can see above, there are two sets of legs, two sets of arms and two faces, so you can get four unique poses, but.. there still isn’t a great deal that separates them from each other.
As a result, I quickly decided that I’d do each one’s hair/fur a different colour, and I think it gives some nice variety and character to each one. This old grey one has a lot of personality.
As with my traitor guardsmen, I wanted to tie the colour schemes in with my other renegade guard (in the unending hope that we get a real Lost and the Damned codex someday). The fairly light colour scheme worked and came out nice and vibrant, and also made a lovely canvas for blood splatters, as shown above.
I think one of my only real frustrations with these models was the faces. My skin tones aren’t awful, but I feel that I didn’t quite capture the frenzied expressions of the sculpts. If anyone has any tips on this topic, I’d genuinely be grateful if they were shared!
Next up, we’ve got the Negavolt Cultists:
These models shared some of the annoyances the beastmen have – very little variation in pose and, with face-concealing masks, a general lack of.. character, I suppose. I have newfound empathy for necron painters.
However, on an individual basis, they were interesting to paint. As with the beastmen, each one gave a lot of skin to play with, and the metalwork was fun to corrode and scratch into something that looked genuinely damaged and worn.
As with the beastmen, I also tried to add some variation through the paintjob – in this case, by varying the skintones. This turned out to be a surprisingly fun project, and gives them that little bit of variance they need to have some appeal, I think.
These guys, though – they’re the real stars of this post. Pun unintended, honest.
The Rogue Psykers rivalled the player characters for how fun they were to paint, I think – they’re still largely similar to each other of course, but they’ve got beautifully expressive faces (which I captured far better than the beastmen, I think), a range of textures, dramatic poses – the list goes on. I really enjoyed painting these two.
I did decide on a whim to vary their colour schemes slightly. I tried to go with a black leather look for the one above, although I think I could have taken the highlights sharper and higher. I also gave them slightly differing skintones, which were really fun to paint – especially the faces, oddly, as those are usually a weakness of mine.
That wraps up the rest of the chaos stuff, aside from the (at the time) new Chaos Space Marines – they’ll be in the next post!
So the sun shines, the grass grows, water remains wet and I am bad at keeping up with this blog.
I have been painting, converting and whatnot in the past year, but through forgetfulness, real life and plain idleness, I’ve not bothered to upload anything. The silver lining to this is that I’ve got loads of stuff to talk about, so I should be able to wax lyrical about my toy soldiers for months before running out of content.
Picking up where I left off, here are some photos of the antagonists of the Blackstone Fortress box, in no particular order:
Starting off with one of the squads of traitor guardsmen – these were a mixed bag to paint. On the one hand, they’re absolutely beautiful sculpts – each one’s richly detailed, posed dynamically and has lots of little quirks that mark them as not just grubby, but outright heretical mortals.
I also rather enjoyed fine-tuning my ‘crappy metal’ recipe on the jagged spikes, gun barrels, knives and so on – the squad came out just the right level of grubby and worn down.
I did start to tire of them after a while, though – painting all the player characters back to back may have been a mistake, as I found after about guardsmen four or five, I was getting bored.
Still, as a squad they look lovely, and they’ve been standing in as cultists in my regular 40k games from time to time. On that note, as you can see, they’ve been given my standard lava bases – I made the decision to have anything I’d feasibly use in my chaos army have matching bases to tie them in, whereas some of the models that’ll literally only be used in BSF (Ur Ghuls, Spindle Drones and so on) got the starship hull base treatment.
I like to think this guardsman isn’t the squad’s official grenadier in any way, he’s just taken all the high explosives and everyone else is too afraid of him to ask for them back.
The colour scheme of the squad was painted to match my slow-grow renegade guard army, and I’ve got to say – I really like how the off-white tunics came out. You don’t see many chaos armies make use of white (other than pre-heresy World Eaters and Death Guard, anyway), and it really contrasts the bases nicely while also not vying for attention when fielded with my actual Chaos Space Marines.
The dirty grey flak armour also came out well – stormvermin fur’s a bizarre colour, in that I find it looks nothing like how it appears in the pot once it’s on the model. It and a mix with karak stone gives a really nice muted colour, though.
I still maintain that cultists/guardsmen are the bravest souls in the galaxy. It takes balls to even leave one’s house in the 41st millenium, let alone if your armament of choice is a club with metal lumps in it.
There is one mark of shame to this unit, though – its lack of a counterpart. As I mentioned earlier, one of the challenges with painting this squad was how samey it got after a while, and one of the most disappointing things about BSF is that – with the exception of the Chaos Lord – every single model is duplicated. So when I finished these seven traitor guardsmen, I was – and still am – confronted with this:
Some day I’ll muster the energy to go back and finish them, but for now, this squad sits at the bottom and back of my cabinet, a mark of shame on an otherwise finished project. Ah well.
I think that’s enough for one blog post. More to follow soon (stop laughing)!
…Well, “Heroes” is a bit of a strong term in 40k. Maybe protagonists would be a more appropriate term?
Blackstone Fortress is my first foray into GW’s ‘games inna box’ range, and I have to say, I’m glad I splashed out on it. £95 seemed a daunting cost for a collection of models that I’m most likely never going to use in any game other than Blackstone Fortress itself, but the sheer joy of painting this ragtag bunch of misfits has easily justified the purchase.
I think after converting and kitbashing, painting characters is my favourite part of the hobby, so the chance to paint eight (or nine, depending on how one counts ratlings) unique models back to back was amazing. Each of the characters is a beautiful sculpt, and for someone who primarily paints Dudes In Armour; a chance to push my painting in new directions. The sheer variation of textures and materials on each model was fantastic.
A quick note on photos – each of the images below is actually quite large, so make sure to click/tap on them if you want to see any detail!
Unusually for me, the models are not even slightly converted; each being built 100% stock. I decided that as they are each meant to represent a specific character, building them as per their instructions was quite reasonable and helped preserve the masterful sculpting. I couldn’t resist deviating from the paint schemes, however – deciding to do Janus Draik in flamboyant dragoon red and cream was a bold choice that really paid off. I also had a lot of fun giving him a different skin tone and hair colour, and honestly swear that any similarities to certain anime characters coincidental.
I did – as is tradition – give the models some custom 3D bases, however. Each one is a rather ingenious combination of ‘plastic canvas’ (something I wasn’t aware was a thing until I stumbled over it in a hobby shop – a single £3 sheet will last me the entirety of the box set and then some) and, believe it or not, cable ties. By sanding the base and then the cable ties and canvas on both sides, I ensured they would stick to both the models and the bases, and with a liberal amount of superglue I think I managed to make something both convincing, quick, and cheap.
The ratling brothers were a definite test of my ability to do fine detail – having grown accustomed to painting beefy concrete-clad supersoldiers, I really wasn’t prepared for just how small the twins were. I have newfound respect for Duardin/Goblin collectors.
I did scavenge my bits box for bits of starship hull to add to the bases. While I do like the almost Tron-like style ‘Eavy Metal went for with their BSF bases on the box art, I decided I wanted something more aged and Space Hulk-ish for mine. Adding a Rhino hatch to give the sniper ratling an elevated position was a fun touch, and fit nicely onto the 25mm base.
As I’ve explained in previous posts, cloaks have got to be one of my favourite surfaces to work with, and BSF does not disappoint for opportunities to play with them. I hadn’t tried a really deep rich blue like this before, and was really happy with the result. It was fun to try out actual gold as well, rather than the usual Screaming Bell base I go with for my Chaos Marines’ trim.
Purifier Taddeus was sadly the weakest of the lot, I think in part due to the challenge of painting cream on such a large surface area. The model is not bad per se, but not quite on par with the art I was trying to copy. I did enjoy painting him with a darker skin-tone, though, and I think it looks convincing.
UR-025 was a chance to try another new colour, as I barely work with orange for anything other than lava effects. The model doesn’t drip personality to quite the extent of the more fleshy heroes, so I decided to go to town with the battle damage and markings. Not all of the latter came out as straight and angular as I was hoping, but I think the effect is pretty strong.
The Kroot is probably my crowning achievement with the collection so far – it’s one of those models where everything came together nicely, from the blending on the skin (never painted green skin before!) to the worn leather cloak and the ochre rifle. I’m also really happy with the slight orange tint to the beak.
The star of the show, however – at least in terms of “wow factor” – is the Aeldari ranger. This is another model where everything just worked – the white armour came out smooth, the leather is some of my best work, the cloak is well blended, and the cameleoline effect worked out surprisingly well. If I could improve one thing, it’d be her eyes, but that level of precision will only come with more practice.
..And that’s it, so far! I’m now starting to chew through the hostiles while I wait with bated breath to see what the rumoured Chaos Space Marine update brings. More posts to follow soon!*
*Please note that the word “soon” when used by Prometian Painting is similar in reliability and accuracy to 40k warp travel.