Friday, March 29, 2019

Imperial Knights: House Cadmus

Just a quick update to share the House Cadmus hunting pack I've just completed for a friend's birthday (3 months late!). I've recently re-vamped my airbrush setup with a new compressor and a switch to a new Iwata airbrush for detail work, so this was a good test run.

Using basically the same techniques as in the previous Imperial Knights 1, 2 and 3 posts, but with a different color scheme from House Griffith (they're still waiting their turn for completion!), and some finishing touches - decals, basing, barrel burn and some final airbrush shading. Not much weathering on these guys - they've been recently tuned up and are ready for a night on the town.

The bases from the Genestealer Cults Kill Team looked good so I copied the same style here. At the last minute, I decided to add some fun on the Knights' base. I chopped up some chaos space marine bits, molded some green stuff, and gave the whole thing some quick details and gore wash. Gives a fresh kill look to these two hunters, the remains of some poor Khorne bastard turned to hot slag.

Enjoy the hunting!

Big Brother and Little Armiger Helverin

A look at some of the barrel burn / muzzle burn effects. Really adds a meaningful touch I think.

Poor bastard....

 King of the hill. Note some of the post-decal airbrush highlights on the imperial eagle decals on the shin plates and the shoulder plates.

The Armiger Helverin's guns are devastating on the table. A fresh shoulder badge to denote he's in support of the infamous 301st Cadian Mechanized company.

The Knight's helmet is removable, and all weapon options are magnetized. The torsos are also magnetized for easier packing & travel. Plus it's just fun to turn him around to face the next kill head on (sound effects always encouraged).

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Kill Team: Genestealer Cults

The Cult that Mostly Comes Out at Night.... Mostly

I've always liked the Genestealer Cults, to me they've always seemed like a cross between Aliens and Mad Max. The Kill Team boxed set gave me the excuse to finally try my hand at painting them.  I chose to go with an industrial mining color scheme, accented with Xenos influenced purple and eerie neon green light sources. The skin color is an unhealthy pinkish hue. While I was never a fan of the bright blue & pink classic Genestealers, I ended up using that same scheme - just muted a bit for darkness. After all, this is a cult that mostly comes out at night..... mewstlay.

Almost all of these models are done with inks and shades - only the metallics and the top highlights were done with pure paint. The final product worked so well (this is probably my favorite paint job to date) that I plan to do this on most future projects.

I started by airbrushing everything in a monochrome highlight of progressive greys and whites over black, to give the initial lighting effect. With a 0 brush, applied vallejo metal steel to the metal bits , and highlighted most everything else using my favorite all-purpose highlight color, vallejo Ivory. Then came the inks: brown and sepia ink on the clothing, then alternating layers of thin red, purple, and sepia inks on the skin. This gives kind of a nice living-but-unhealthy hue to the flesh. A blue ink on the hybrid limbs, and several violet and red washes to get the right shade of purple on the torn cloaks.

After this came the shades (GW Shade colors are basically a wash in Lahmian medium, not water) : black shade on the armor and brown & black mixed shade for the clothing. The flesh was not shaded - the inks were sufficient to provide the shadows, and I did not want a Shade to darken the overall skin tone which I was already happy with. GW shades are great but they do take some practice - you need to know beforehand that the entire surface will turn out darker when it dries - even if it doesn't appear so while it's wet. Plan ahead, and start with a brighter base if that isn't desired.  

Lastly, I chose a different method of basing for these guys; using slate basing material for the rocks and a yellowed grass. It works well to give the look of an unforgiving mining planet surface (and unintentionally matched well the Alien Ruins FLG mat they are pictured with!).

The Aberrant models are some of my favorites in the bunch, mutated twisted hulks. I added a few blue 'veins' streaking up through the hybridization limbs.

The Hybrids below. You know Cthulhu had to come join the party.


I'm not going to lie - The Heavy rock drillers and rock saws are probably what made me want to paint this Kill Team the most. Absurd but awesome!

The Neophytes

Insert your favorite Aliens quote here:

Now that this Kill Team is done and was so much fun to paint, will this lead me to more Genestealer Cult purchases towards a full 40k army? Damn you Games Workshop marketing geniuses! Kill Team a.k.a. GW's gateway drug....

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Kill Team: Catachan Jungle Fighters

Kill Team's release has continued to get me excited to paint small batches of various troops and factions, giving me a reason to do a deep dive into old models that are gathering dust on the shelf. Go take a look at your collection for some old hidden gems that are desperate for a paintjob. I'd never painted Catachans before, so I am thankful Kill Team gave me the excuse - because these guys are fantastic! The old Catachan imperial guard figures are simply hilarious looking. They're a cross between every bad 80's action movie (and by bad, I mean Awesome) and over-the-top video game. This seemed a natural fit to make a Kill Team out of Awesome Action 80's All Stars. 

Catachans are basically three things: Camouflage, Jungle, and huge sweaty muscles. I used a camo technique of airbrushing a basecoat of medium green (vallejo's American Uniform green), then using a 0 size brush to make small repeatable lines, of vallejo Black Green, vallejo Goblin Green, and splotches of Flat Brown. One thing to keep in mind when doing a 3 or even 4 color camo pattern on clothing - do not worry about "realistic" or precise camo patterns. Because you'll also be applying an oil wash for shadows and a light green color for highlights, much of the camo pattern will be in the background of the clothing. You just want to make the color separations take up roughly equal real estate on the figure - the precision of the lines of that real estate isn't important. Think forward to the final product as you're doing it - it may not look perfect now, but after the oil wash and highlight steps, it'll look good.

Catachans' cartoonish musculature is good practice for your skin blending and highlighting techniques. As for the sweaty muscles in the jungle heat, I applied a final layer of satin varnish (though it was tempting to go all-out gloss!) on the skin. For the jungle bases, look no further than the Aquarium Plants section of your local pet store. The kinds of bizarre plastic flora they have there make perfect Catachan plants for cheap. Adding a little here and there to bases goes a long way; I plan to do a series of dedicated jungle scenery bases in the near future with more detail on this.

But in all honesty, the MOST important piece of putting together a Catachan Awesome 80's Action Kill Team is the names! The Kill Team rulebook's name generator doesn't go nearly far enough with all of the over-the-top cliche 80's movie references you can come up with!

Sgt. Dillon 'Action' Jackson and Corporal Chest Rockwell

Cadillac Cooke and Lincoln 'MAC' Steele

Doc Dolph Braddock and THE Bill Duke

Brock Hardstone and Sgt. Lorenzo Lamas

JJ McQuaid and Sgt. Ray 'Double Deuce' Steele

Johnny Blades and Captain Max Stryker (a.k.a Lord Humongous)

Frank TJ Lazer and Major Slade Dudikoff

 Xander Cage and Lt. Mason Storm

The possibilities are endless; need to paint more guys just to give them names...