Posts Tagged 'priming'

Beginning the Black Legion Paint Scheme

This time of year is a bit tough for me, as work gets really, really busy in a big buildup to one huge week-long event, and then three days after that finishes, I’m on the road to GenCon. So the posting has been slow, but I’ve been keeping busy during my not-posting time. Take a look at some work in progress Chaos Space Marines painted in a Black Legion scheme:

The first three Black Legion models - a work in progress (WIP)

This is still pretty early progress. At this point, the steps go roughly as follows: they were primed black and ‘dusted’ with grey primer (as mentioned previously) and then drybrushed in the raised areas with a grey paint only slightly lighter than the dark grey primer. Then they were washed with Badab Black wash all over except for tops of heads, tops of shoulder pads, tops of arms, etc. Next, Boltgun Metal wash added to the trim on the legs, feet, gloves and backpack exhaust ports, and Burnished Gold was added to the trim on the shoulder pads. Lastly, the entire model was washed in Delvan Mud (even the areas I missed with the Badab Black) and then highlights were picked out on the metal trim areas and painted with slightly thinned versions of their original metallic colors.

I’m mostly happy with the depth that the dark grey primer and drybrushing steps added to the main ‘black’ armor areas, and the layers of black and brown washes really helped make the ‘black’ areas seem less grey, yet not totally black and flat.

Before (primed black and then 'dusted' dark grey and drybrushed in the raised areas) and after (metallic details and black and brown washes)

Next, I need to work on the boltguns, which will be mostly dark silver with some scuffed black bits, and then I need to do the non-metallic details, which are mainly skulls and horns. Both will be painted nearly the same: a basecoat of a dark brown, then an off-white coat (probably Bleached Bone from Games Workshop), then some Delvan Mud or Gryphonne Sepia washes, and then some more drybrushed highlights with the off-white color again. Then I have to figure out how I want to handle the details on the backpacks, then a final run-through and it’ll be time to do the basing, which I already have figured out.

I’m really looking figured to having these first few guys done, because once you figure out a method to your paint ‘recipe’, it makes the painting go a lot quicker. And like most Warhammer 40,000 armies, I have a lot of guys to paint. As an experiment, I’m trying to paint in smaller groups now because staring at 10 nearly-identical figures that all need to be painted assembly-line style is pretty daunting, but smaller groups of three to five is much less so. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Battles and Basecoats

I was recently invited to a Warhammer 40k gaming day at a friend of a friend’s house. I was told to bring a 400-point Combat Patrol list and a 1000-point list. Upon the completion of my daemon prince model and the near-completion of my dreadnought, I finally had enough figures to actually build a 1000-point list. It was pretty exciting.

We played up in Appleton at Zach’s house. I had never been there before, but he was really friendly and I knew all the other guys there, so it was great. I ended up getting into a game with Kelly and Karl. Kelly had 1000-points of Blood Angels and I had my 1000-points of Chaos Space Marines. We teamed up and played against Karl and his 2000-point Imperial Guard list. He had tanks and airplanes and wildebeests and the circa-1980s G.I. Joe aircraft carrier and a magical man named Marbo who killed an entire squad of Plague Marines (except one lone guy) with a single shot. No armor save. No Feel No Pain. Nothing.  It was kinda harsh.

I brought a newly finished piece of terrain to play with, and snipers hid in it most of the game, which was good

However, we actually won the game, but only because the game ended on turn five (in many Warhammer 40k scenarios, you roll a D6 on turn five to see if the game ends, then you try an easier roll on turn six, and if the game is still going it must end at the end of turn seven) so that helped us out. I have no doubt in my mind that if the game had gone to turn six, the forces that Kelly and I still had left would have needed to be cleaned off the board with club soda.

I’m saying we would have left nothing behind but a stain. Not even a big one.

But it was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing it again and look forward to when I can host a game day like that in the Nerd Bunker. Things are progressing on that front.

Also progressing is the painting of my Chaos Space Marine forces. After figuring out how I would be basing them and doing some tests towards that end, I then based five of my normal CSM troopers and primed them black. They will be painted as Black Legion, so they’ll be mostly black and gold and a bit of silver. However, you never actually paint a black thing just straight ‘black’ in miniatures painting. Instead, you paint it a very dark grey. This allows you to darken parts of the model to add ‘shadow’ to the ‘black’ parts of the model. If you just primed the figure black, then you couldn’t make it any blacker, technically. Therefore, to trick the eye and give these small models more depth, you paint a ‘black’ model nearly black.

Dark grey basecoated model on the left, primed black model on the right

I realized that the primer I love to use (Duplicolor Sandable Primer) comes in black and also dark grey. Therefore, if I primed in black, and then oversprayed at a 45-degree angle with the dark grey, I would get both a nice middle zone and highlight zone of the dark grey color, and the shadow zones would stay primer black because the dark grey paint wouldn’t hit those areas. Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense; if these first five models work out well, then I’ll probably make a step-by-step tutorial on this technique later on, with diagrams and whatnot. All that’s important at this point is that I got five models basecoated and I was happy with the results. Now, it’s time to move on to the next steps as soon as I figure out what they are.

Wargames Factory Shock Troops FINISHED

When I took the time out of packing for our move to set up my lightbox and shoot my finished Tau and finished Steam Golem, I also shot finished photos of the finished Wargames Factory Shock Troops that I test painted. I did two test paints: one in a desert color scheme and one in darker olive color. I really like how they both turned out, and I think I’ll be painting the rest of the box in both of these color schemes.

The desert-themed Shock Trooper

Once you get them put together (which is a little more fiddly than I would like, arms-wise) and get them sprayed with your Krylon Camouflage paint (which acts as both primer and basecoat), they paint up pretty quick. I mainly used washes and a few other colors for boots and gloves, and then it was some drybrushing and painting the base and there’s your finished figure. I think it came out pretty well for a test piece, and I’m glad I wrote down the steps (or “recipe”) that I used to paint it, so I can paint eight more of the guys in the box in this same theme.

Two views of the "olive" Shock Trooper

I really like the test I did using the Krylon Camouflage “Olive” color, as well. Again, a very simple color set, but with the Games Workshop washes and a little drybrushing for the metallics and the mud on the boots and the bottom of the coat, it can be very effective. I’m going to paint up eight more guys in this color scheme as well, and then I’ll have nine of each of the color schemes and that’ll be the whole box of 18 figures all finished. Hopefully by then, they’ll have the new Shock Troop heavy weapons team available for sale, and then I’ll have another project.

Sci-Fi Greatcoats: Unboxing to Priming

I’ve been following the development of the Sci-Fi Greatcoat Infantry at Wargames Factory for a very long time now. I threw my hat in the ring and added myself to the initial “pre-order” list for them way back in March of 2009, and kept up on the progress and was glad when I could actually pre-order (with real money, this time) a box for delivery. There were some manufacturing issues, but eventually, a box did finally show up on my door.

Yay for Priority Mail!

I had purchased a package of their cool Zombies a year or more ago for a different project, and their sprues came in a crinkly plastic bag with a color printed piece of card with some artwork. I thought they were fine since I bought them online (I’m not super impressed with packaging usually), but I’ll bet retailers didn’t like the zombies in that configuration since they weren’t very stackable in those bags, and retailers are always thinking about shelving, which makes sense. The Sci-Fi Greatcoat Infantry (now referred to as Shock Troops) come in their own fancy full color box, which probably helps attracting people to them on the shelf and keeps them stacked in nice neat rows, so everybody’s happy.

Fancy-shmancy box

Opening the box gives you six identical sprues. No build instructions, no fliers or marketing junk, and no decals. Just the six identical sprues. I’m okay with this as well, because I don’t see a need for them to waste money on decals when they have no idea what you’re going to use the figures for in the first place. This just mainly keeps the price down (and it’s a very good price). I guess it might be a good idea for them to post a PDF or something that might show you how to put them together and such, as they are a little fiddly. The heads sometimes need to be modified to fit into the neck hole, so make sure to dry fit your models before you start squirting glue.

It's just six of these

The bodies are not super customizable, but they’re simple and not doing something too dynamic, so that might actually help. You might be able to cut the body at the belt and then turn the torso some, but that would be a royal pain in the rear, I suspect. Other than that, there are tons of customization options between the different arms, weapons and heads. Man, each sprue sure does come with a bunch of heads. I trimmed the pieces I wanted off of the sprues, scraped the very little flash off of the models, did some dry fitting, and then got to gluing and texturing the bases. Once they were dry, it was time to prime them with my new favorite: Krylon Camouflage.

Freshly primed with Krylon Camouflage

This paint is great stuff. It doesn’t come in a ton of colors, but it does come in some pretty cool military-type colors, mainly because the military is frequently thinking about camouflage and painting everything in those colors. I wanted some of the guys to be in a sand-based palette, so I went with the Khaki color. I was only able to find it at WalMart, as Lowes and our local Menards don’t carry Krylon for some reason. Believe me, take the time to find it.

This stuff is great because it’s a primer and basecoat all in one, and it uses Krylon’s special Fusion technology, which means the paint is designed to fuse with plastics. So for about six bucks, you get a can of ultra-flat primer (camouflage can’t be shiny) that comes in cool military colors (meaning that it can be your basecoat, too) and can’t be scraped off of plastic models unless you use a knife. This is ideal for a lot of stuff that I like to paint.

Primed and ready

The spray goes on nice and thin, covers well, and dries quickly. I’ll be using it a lot more for plastic figures in the future.

Overall, I really like the look of the figures and how customizable they are. I really hope they continue the line and add more forces in the same style, and I’m really looking forward to painting up a few test pieces and showing them to you as finished models.

Very Moist

It’s been terrible weather for miniatures the last week or so. Cold and damp weather makes spray primer a disaster and Dullcote spray even worse. Painting in the humidity is probably not terrible per se, but my painting is sometime iffy enough that I haven’t really wanted to push it. It’s okay weather for model construction though, so I’ve been building and doing a little tiny bit of conversion on some Imperial Guard soldiers. I’m going to be making a generic squad of ten guys for Flying Lead and I’ll probably just be painting them military green or something. Nothing fancy. However, I do plan on building the rest of the ten guys in the box as more fodder for my yet-as-unnamed mercenary force, so they’ll have the same blue and bone color scheme as the other mercs I’ve done so far and I’ll be replacing their heads with something cool from the folks at Pig Iron Productions. I used heads from their line for my merc Space Marine Scouts, and they’re really a lot of fun to work with and make figures look great. And, PIP makes some pretty cool minis themselves, so if you like sci-fi soldiers, you should really check them out.

However, I won’t be starting on those guys for awhile, as my new big project should be arriving by the end of the week, and then I’ll have a lot of work to get done. A lot.

Some New Terrain

Back during GenCon in 2006 or 2007, I purchased some resin terrain from the swell guys of the Ottawa Red Shirts gaming group. We were volunteering with their group, running Silent Death (Iron Crown Enterprises) demos and scenarios during the convention. They were also running their own miniatures game, called Injurious Games (Red Shirt Games). They had a huge table set up and could run a dozen players at once. They were from Canada (in case the name wasn’t a tip off) and at the end of the convention, they decided that they really didn’t want to take home as much terrain as they had come with, so they put a bunch of large resin pieces up for sale at terribly nice prices. I was unable to resist, being the resin whore that I am.

Now I’m starting to paint a few of the pieces for use on my gaming board. I have a few industrial chemical tanks, a “mobile command base” (or a trailer, to you and me) and this weird thing:

I have no idea what I'm going to use the Easter Island heads for.

I guess it could be a reactor or some other kind of processing installation. I added some small pipes and other details to it before I primed it, so we’ll see how that works out. Luckily, this upcoming Monday is Memorial Day here in the US, which means I’ll have the day off, so it’ll be a good day to paint up this piece of terrain and finish some other figures I’m working on, too. Look for photos here when I get ’em taken.

A Productive Weekend

I got some things done this weekend, and I don’t just mean some cleaning around the house and getting out to a few local shows. I did a decent amount of hobby work and got some miniatures further along on their quest to being finished.

There's a football in there somewhere

There's a football in there somewhere

I bought Blood Bowl (Games Workshop) more than 15 years ago, and I played it a little, then kept it in my various closets from apartment to apartment. It’s a great little game of fantasy football, and not how the term is used these days. In this case, the ‘fantasy’ means elves versus the undead, or humans versus orks, that kind of thing. Though designed by an English company, it’s based off of American football, but it’s a lot more violent, with players being killed pretty frequently. It’s a pretty good time.

Recently I got one of those weird ‘wild hairs’ in my you-know-where and decided to get the figures all modeled and painted up. I pulled out the box, cleaned the flash off of the plastics, and based the ork team with a layer of simple sand. Once that was dry, I was ready for priming.

Since it was a nice day with little wind (important since I don’t have a basement or a garage) I decided I should try and get a few more pieces primed, as well. Besides the ork team, I also primed a unit of Widowmakers and a Manhunter from Warmachine (Privateer Press), and I primed the second half of my figures from Pig Iron Productions.

Newly-painted soldiers

Newly-painted soldiers

These figures are from their Heavy Infantry line and are great little models. The photo above shows the first half of the squad that I just finished painting. Unfortunately, when I primed them last year, I either did it wrong (maybe holding the spraycan too far away from the figures) or the conditions were bad or maybe the primer had just gotten old. Either way, they ended up with a pretty rough, dusty texture once the primer was dry. I painted them anyway, even though they nearly looked fuzzy in comparison to other miniatures I’ve painted. I used brush-on varnish to seal them, and put it on kind of thick. This helped to smooth the texture out a bit, but I’m still skeptical.

I’m going to try to paint this newly primed batch the same way (if I can remember which colors I used) and hopefully they won’t look too weird together when they’re all mixed into one squad. If the ‘fuzzy’ ones just don’t look right, then maybe I’ll get to try my hand at paint stripping, which will mean more research time with the big global info teat. I certainly could have worse problems.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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