Next up we have Dire Avengers. If I remember right, they were my second squad ever, paired up with a squad of Guardians which I would learn were ridiculously fragile. I mean, I knew. But it took them keeling over and dying whenever my cousin’s Tau Fire Warriors gave a stern look in their general direction game after game to realize I probably wanted to look elsewhere for Troop choices. Here’s the first squad of Dire Avengers I ever worked on, which at the time used to come in packs of 10 models for $30 USD. Now $35 gets you 5. Pretty painful, considering they’re only marginally tougher than Guardians. Why, GW?
Again, I tried going for a darker color scheme, opting not to use Ultramarines Blue which was the “official” primary color. I think it was Regal Blue, with some of my first attempts at edge highlighting with Enchanted Blue. The plumes on their helmet I believe were Bleached Bone. And check out that freehand. One or two actually came out pretty crisp. The rest looked like cave drawings…
I picked up a second squad of Avengers some time later and used more or less the same colors. I got a little more comfortable with edge highlighting as you can see from the Exarch on the right. Something terrible happened when I tried to varnish that second squad though:
I think maybe it was just a little too cold that afternoon. But when you see all those white specks on a model you worked so hard on, it’s heart breaking. Luckily it was only 2-3 models, but was definitely another thing that set me on the path to repaint my army eventually.
And as you can see, I decided to just go for Ultramarines Blue after all. I actually still had an 8~ year old pot of Ultramarines Blue that was still completely usable. Years back a Games Workshop employee turned me on to the idea of storing paints upside down so the paint at the bottom would dry and create an airtight seal. Can’t say it worked for all my older paints, but it certainly saved me some money after a long hiatus from the hobby. Much like my Guardians, the undersuit was based with Mechanicus Standard Grey, then the armor plates were done like so:
- Basecoat of Ultramarines Blue (now Altdorf Guard Blue)
- Wash of Drakenhoff Nightshade
- Layer of Ultramarines Blue, avoiding darker recesses, or shadowy areas
- 1:1 edge highlights of Ultramarines Blue and Hoeth Blue
- A finer edge highlight of pure Hoeth Blue
- Add a little White Scar to Hoeth Blue and apply to only extreme edges
The plumes on their helmets were inspired by The Soaring Spite Harlequin masque whose primary colors are an alternating blue and purple. The purple was done with a basecoat of Xerus Purple, layered with Genestealer purple, washed with Druchii Violet, then overbrushed towards the tips with Genestealer Purple with just a bit of White Scar mixed in. The technique was the same for blues, except it was basecoated with Alaitoc Blue, layered with Hoeth Blue, washed with Drakenhoff Nightshade, and overbrushed increasingly heavier towards the tips with Hoeth Blue and a bit of White Scar.
You might notice I also tore off the banners in favor of sheathed swords on the Exarchs’ backs, cause they just looked cooler. And again, the gems are something I intend on giving some attention in the future when my painting backlog eases up a bit. Anyway, I’ll go into how I approach white and brass in future posts. Til next time.