Archive for May, 2010

Rising Sun Space Marines Tactical Squad

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by stingersix

I’ve finished my Space Marine Tactical Squad. Managed to get a few pics before my camera battery died. I’ll get some more up after I recharge it.

Overall, I’m happy with the results. The camera reveals a lot of flaws up close though and age is catching up with me – I feel like I had steadier hands when I was younger, and I know my eyesight ain’t what it used to be (painting minis for 30 years has ruined my eyes, probably…)

Really liked the Reaper paints and I will be buying more when the time comes.

Now, pics!

Here’s the whole squad. I think my updated paint scheme for the Rising Sun Chapter works well.

Kill Team A – You can see the Sergeant here. This was my first stab at executing the kumadori – the kabuki-style facepaint. I can do better I think, but as a proof of concept, I think this works and I can do more of it.

Kill Team B – I do like the flexibility of poses of the current Marine minis – the guy pitching the grenade for example.

Here’s another shot of our pitcher

Kumadori – The Japanese style of kabuki face painting is called kumadori. The pattern here is that of a traditional kabuki hero named Watona. I guess this is Sergeant Watona then. The kanji on the black banner is 「力」chikara, or strength.

Up close – Ugh. Up close it doesn’t look so hot I guess. But for a tabletop model, I think it’s all right. In kumadori, red stripes indicate a powerful hero, a symbol of virtue and power. Light blue can be used to signify a ghost or spirit. Greys and browns represent animals or other monsters. I’m going to try to keep this in mind for the future, and each mini I do this for will have a different kumadori design.

So, again, I think they look fine for the tabletop. Not the display quality I thought I would achieve, mostly due to impatience and trying to use unfamiliar techniques. But I’m satisfied with this and I plan to build a whole 1500 pt. force of the Rising Sun Chapter.

Now to get started on the Rhino!

Old dog, new tricks

Posted in Blather, Minis with tags , , , on May 12, 2010 by stingersix

As I work on these new Marines, the first 40K minis I have painted in almost 20 years, I’m realizing how much my painting style has changed. The realization came about when I tried to incorporate some of master minis painter Finn Kisch’s advice into my technique. I should say I totally understand what he suggested, but actually doing it turned out to be harder for me than I thought. Finn uses a layering technique I think, one that gives very nice results when executed properly (especially by him!).

This made me think about my own technique – what is it actually? I never really thought much about it, I just did it, but what do I actually do? Looking at the Space Marine models I painted back in 1991, and the ones I painted just last week, I can see what I did then and what I do now.

So, to compare, here’s one of the Marines I did in 1991.

Way back then, I primed white…with a brush. Why didn’t I spray? I don’t know. At that point I had been painting minis (with any amount of technique) for about 4 years, and I always primed white. Anyway, I then basecoated and as I recall, I liked to use washes a lot, followed by drybrushing. I did that on this Marine here. As you can see, there’s not a lot of depth or detail. I did not blackline or do edge highlights that didn’t get on there from the drybrushing.

I also liked to do a lot of wet blending, which you can see if you go back and look at my Epic scale minis, particularly the Titans. Didn’t do any blending on this Marine though. I had also not discovered inks.

Somewhere down the line, I switched to priming black using a spray. I still used washes but not as much, and started using inks more (especially after I received a Citadel Mega Paint Set as a present around 10 years ago- yay). That led me to use blacklining, which some say is outdated, but I like the look of it. I won’t use it for everything but for hard surfaces like armor, it works for me. Still drybrushing for highlights but not as much (I really used it a lot in the past). I also began using thinner basecoats and doing more layers and edge highlighting. That’s pretty much the style I’ve used up until recently, like on this Cybertech Bunkerbreaker:

I think I started blacklining things maybe five years ago. Again on this one, not a lot of edge highlights, and I don’t do wet blending anymore.

So, I got those Marines and had a chat with Finn and tried to apply some of the techniques he laid on me, and some that I’d been dabbling with but not really gone whole hog on yet, namely layering and shading with different colors, and hard edge highlighting.

Obviously, I still need lots of practice. Layering with multiple colors is gonna take me some time to get right. I also tried the highlighting to a degree I haven’t done before. I know it’s not an advanced technique, but for some reason I hesitate to really work it. I also need to get better at figuring out the lighting angles. Anyway, I do like the way this Marine came out:

So, interesting to see how my painting style has changed over the years. As a side note, it’s also interesting to see how the Space Marine minis have evolved – they really are better and more detailed than the old ones, IMHO.

New Space Marines

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , , on May 5, 2010 by stingersix

Well, I’ve got some pics of my newly painted Marines up here for you. There’s a little story behind these guys. It’s been maybe 20 years since the last time I painted some Space Marines – check out the pics of my standard bearer in my Epic Armies post a few months back. Having seen the huge improvements in the sculpting and detail on the newer models, I wanted to paint some up. So, I bought a squad off eBay and got to work.

I also went and bought two new brushes, a Windsor & Newton Series 7 #0 and a new #1 (I wanted a Series 7 #1 but the store was sold out – I’m using a Reaper #1 until I get that Series 7), and a bunch of the Reaper Triad colors. I’ve been painting with the same worn out Citadel brushes and dried out Citadel paints for 3 years now and it was time to upgrade. Now that I mention it, I’ve been using Citadel paints for over a decade and this was the first time I’ve switched paints. I like the results with the Reaper colors so far.

I also got some advice from award-winning minis painter extraordinaire, Finn Kisch, who I am lucky to say is a personal friend.

But, old dog, new tricks. I found it actually rather difficult to integrate Finn’s techniques with my own methods. It’s going to take a lot of practice before I can reconcile the two. Although I was going for display quality, what I got was (I feel) merely tabletop quality. It’s gonna take some time and more minis before I get this right. Oh well, something to shoot for anyway.

I’ve done two Marines so far, and I’m still going. These shots are of the preliminary paint schemes, the “proof of concept”. I’ve updated my personal Chapter colors (the Japanese -themed Rising Sun Chapter) a bit from 20 years ago and I like the way they turned out. The base is GW Astronomicon Grey, shaded with Reaper’s Cold Greys. I like the bluer tone of these greys. Compared to my old base color grey, this new one is brighter. Using gold instead of dark grey for the breastplate eagle and the shoulder pad trim also makes for a brighter look that catches the eye.

The kanji are handpainted, the four characters being 「風林火山」which are read “Fūrinkazan”. In order, each character means “Wind”, “Forest”, “Fire”, “Mountain”. This was the battle standard motto of the feudal Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen, which he got from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. They mean “Swift like the wind, silent as the forest, as fierce as fire, as strong as a mountain.”

The idea is the Tactical Squads have all four kanji characters on their armor. Scouts have the “forest” character only, Assault squads have the “wind” character only, and Devastator squads have the “fire” character only. After a Marine in the Rising Sun Chapter has served in each of these different roles, he earns a place in a Tactical squad. He may then add the “mountain” character to his armor, signifying the unity of these elements in a powerful, all-purpose combat unit.

Hmm. I have an old write-up of the Chapter history around somewhere. Maybe I’ll post it tomorrow.

Starship Troopers – Marauder

Posted in Minis, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 4, 2010 by stingersix

Lazy me. I said I’d put pics up of the SST Maruader weeks ago. But, recently my urge to paint has rekindled fully and I’m forging ahead with new projects, of which the Marauder was the kickoff. I recently bought a squad of GW Space Marines off eBay (I got a deal – them plus a Rhino for about $35). I’ve started working on them but I’ll speak more about them and put some pics up in another post.

So, here’s the Marauder!

I lost the pilot figure somehow, but that’s okay ince you can’t really see it very well inside there. The cockpit canopy was originally clear, and since I liked the way the faceplates of the regular troopers were tinted, I wanted the same effect here. So, I used a thinned out wash of GW yellow ink applied to the inside of the canopy. Turned out pretty good. I find that I like the SST minis more than I thought. The only drawback is they don’t go together so well – the trooper models have a lot of fiddly bits some parts of the Marauder seemed to be slightly off. But, once past that, they’re all right.