Craftworlds · Warhammer 40000

[Repaint] Be Still my Walkers of War.

“The soul stones will be ours.  Then you shall have your revenge.”

When it comes to the larger Eldar models, War Walkers admittedly rank somewhere at the bottom for me as far as looks, but 24 S6 shots at 36″ was scary enough at the time for me to justify putting together a squadron.  While they keep that curvy Eldar aesthetic, unlike the similarly bipedal Wraithlords, they look like a stiff breeze from the side could potentially topple them over.  Can you imagine the poor Guardian trying to flip one of these back upright in the middle of a battle?  Granted, this being the Eldar, there’s probably some heretical xenos tech that allows them to not only stay on their feet, but do somersaults and backflips as they fade back into the Webway.

It didn’t help that assembling them was just not fun.  I don’t know if the batch of Citadel plastic glue I was using at the time was somehow defective (can that even happen?), but I had trouble putting together the cockpit on one, and the foot on another is no longer attached to the base.  Some of the ankle joints were really finicky too.  Real weird for glue which is supposed to fuse plastic together.  Incidentally a squad of Guardians I put together with that same bottle of glue would have pieces fall off real easy over time.  I’ve since moved on to using Armskeeper Maxi-Cure glue for plastics and haven’t looked back since.  It’s also about half the price and doesn’t smell as strong.  Incidentally, these were also some of the first models I tried magnetizing.

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As you can see from these pictures, my old approach of using Alaitoc Blue as a base and layering on Hoeth Blue looked especially bad on the War Walkers and gave them more of an unintended pastel tone, especially after a matte varnish.  I didn’t get around to finishing the gems at this stage since those get hit with a gloss varnish and get saved for last anyway.  Still, you get a good idea of how they looked before repainting.

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I tried to break up the Sotek Green with bronze metallics and black wherever I thought I could fit them.  I’m still not 100% happy with the result, but they are at least a little sharper after the repaint.  Also, using a bit of a thinned down Drakenhoff Nightshade around the bases of each gem helps make them stand out a bit more which is something I didn’t do with the original paint job.

I kinda wish I could go back and redo the black bits, since using shades of blue for highlights gives them a much cleaner look as is befitting Craftworld models that aren’t heavily weathered.  Varnishing them again would be a pain though since you’d risk fogging up the shield; a mistake I’ve made in the past despite my best attempts to wrap that section up in foil. This should be fairly obvious, but the black sections above were done as follows:

  • Base of Abaddon Black
  • Highlight of Mechanicus Standard Grey
  • Fine Highlight of Dawnstone

However, more recently I came across a method of painting black in the back of the Blackstone Fortress manual that’s used prominently on enemies wearing black armor:

  • Base of Abaddon Black
  • Highlight of Incubi Darkness
  • Fine Highlight of Thunderhawk Blue
  • Edge highlight of Fenrisian Grey

It helps that I’ve greatly expanded my collection of paints as the years went by because  Incubi Darkness and Thunderhawk Blue aren’t what I consider essential colors for any of my prior projects.  Sometimes it’s really just what you’ve got on hand that can dictate the direction your paint schemes go.

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Orks · Warhammer 40000

[Repaint] Da Biggest and Da Meanest

It took awhile to get around to doing this particular blog.  Sunshine’s been kinda scarce lately, and this color scheme under the humble lamp I use for painting doesn’t seem to play too well with my iPad’s camera.  Yeah it’s a basic setup, but it works…most of the time.

Anyway, next up is the Warboss and some of his meanest Boyz.

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Before the rework and looking back, I gotta say a lot of my paint jobs came out fairly clean.  Boring, but clean.  I got this Warboss model pretty early into my hobby career, and prior to that all I’d really done was armor panels and gemstones courtesy of my Eldar — so painting such an expressive face was kinda new to me.  I don’t think I did too badly, and everything you see above, besides the yellow bits from my first attempt at a repaint were the original paint job.  If it wasn’t broke, I wasn’t gonna fix it.

Incidentally, I also had to break off his arm that originally held a Big Choppa, which seems like a trend with my Orks.  I kinda just went with it because it was the only option that came in the blister, but Power Klaws are such an iconic Ork weapon (and I have at least half a dozen still lying around) that I had to make the change, point efficiency be damned.  Anyway, I left the Warboss last out of all my infantry models that needed a repaint since I really wanted to get the technique I was using for yellow down pat…

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And now he looks like a right proppa Bad Moon Warboss!  Though this picture makes him look a bit dustier than he actually is.  I touched up his face a bit with some finer highlights and of course applied liberal amounts of washes to any metallic parts; but the biggest goal for me was to get him representing that yellow loud and proud.  On the other hand, one of the most interesting things about painting Orks for me has been playing with color contrasts, so things like the wraps on the holstered guns on his back and his body armor I decided to keep drab colors to make the yellow pop more wherever it was.

Along with my Warboss, I also had a small set of Mega-Armoured Nobz — which by the way, out of all the metal infantry models I own, are by far the heftiest.  I loved the unit in the original Dawn of War.  They could just waddle into the thick of an Apocalypse level battle and shrug off almost everything.  They were big, mean, and took absurd amounts of punishment, just like you’d expect a walking tank with an Ork inside to be.  Unfortunately, like many things, that never really translated to tabletop.  Still, I loved the idea, and the models.

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They continue the tradition of my early painting ventures of being clean but boring.  Honestly, these guys were the ones I was the most hesitant to repaint, and thought about maybe even just giving them yellow plates on their shoulders to tie them into the wider army paint scheme.  There was just something about them that made me remember why I thought the Goff color scheme was cool just beyond being a convenient pick for lazy painters.  But if you’ve committed yourself to repainting an entire army, you better go all in.

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And as I post this image I’m just now realizing that I forgot to touch up the skull trophies.  Oh well.  Anyway, I wanted to leave more black armor where I could, because the Citadel approach of painting everything yellow on the newer Mega-Armoured Nobz hurts my eyes.  The last thing I wanted was to make them look cartoony, which imo a lot of the Bad Moonz stuff they’re doing does.

Finally, I figured if I could choose one accent to kinda add my own flavor to an already established color scheme, it’d be teal as a nod to my Eldar.  Pretty simple process:

  • Base of Sotek Green
  • Wash of Drakenhoff Nightshade
  • Layer of Sotek Green
  • Highlight of Templeguard Blue
  • Fine edge highlight of Fenrisian Blue

It’s great for cables, lenses, signs, and maybe down the line even as facial warpaint on random Boyz to give them a bit more variation.  Though, given my painting backlog, that’s something that probably wouldn’t happen until 2040, or so it feels.

Orks · Warhammer 40000

An exercise in patience.

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I knew what I was getting into.  I wasn’t looking forward to the process, but I hoped the end result would be worth it.  So before I started revamping my Ork army I had 40 Shootas and 20 Sluggas, and while I like the look of the Ork Boy kit holding a shoota better, the quintessential image of an Ork army to me is a green tide slogging across a table just eager to get up close and familiar.  In 4th/5th edition, I ran them in groups of of 20, which even then was probably not super efficient, but with the 8th edition rules 30 just seems mandatory.

I know you can mix weapons for Boyz now, but I still like the idea of running specialized squads and I did want to keep a squad of Shootas.  With the extras, I had to do a bit of literal arm breaking to convert some of those Shootas to Sluggas because no Ork gets left behind in this WAAAGH.  I picked up an extra 30 Boyz giving me a total of 90 to form the backbone of an army.

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As I mentioned in a previous blog, I actually first painted my Orks as Goffs for simplicity’s sake and partially because black just felt safer as a novice painter.  The Ork on the left is pretty much how the army originally looked.  It’s not bad, but it’s not much to look at either.  Luckily, a largely black color scheme makes it pretty easy to repaint an army if you ever feel like it.  Again, yellow was always this kind of intimidating color to paint (as was white) because coverage on older paints was just so poor, but with the release of the newer line of paints and a tutorial on Warhammer TV on Youtube, I felt like maybe I could give it a try.

The technique was basically a yellow base paint, which for me was Iyanden Darksun (or the equivalent of Averland Sunset), a drybrush of Hexos Palesun, and then a glaze of Lamenters Yellow.  And y’know?  Again, not bad, as we can see on the middle Ork, but it’s a very dull shade of yellow and I wasn’t happy with it.  I actually repainted my 1,000 points of Orks with this technique, but ended up shelving it again for awhile.  Finally, the Ork on the right was pretty much a test run for what would be the beginning of an entire army overhaul.

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So Games Workshop seems to do this thing where every so often a different Craftworld or Clan or Sept, etc. kind of becomes the new face of the faction.  The Bad Moonz became this a few years back when the new Flash Gitz and other Ork models came out.  They also put out a How to Paint Orks book that I was able to thumb through and it gave me the urge to give Orks just one last shot, and finally I landed on a technique I was happy with.  It’s modified a bit from the book, but here’s how I did it:

  • Basecoat of Iyanden Darksun (or Averland Sunset)
  • Build up to a solid layer of Flash Gitz Yellow
  • Heavy wash of Cassandora Yellow
  • 2:1 mix of Lahmian Medium and Dark Flesh* (or Doombull Brown) into recesses and used to “stain” parts, especially on armor plates.
  • Edge highlight of Screaming Skull
  • If needed, a very fine highlight of Pallid Wych Flesh

Quick note: Dark Flesh is actually kind of a reddish brown, and I at least think Doombull Brown is the closest equivalent in the current range.

Anyway, it took time and quite a few breaks, but I finally did get the three squads done.  Once they were done, not only did I get a really good grasp of how to paint yellow in this way, between practicing basic freehand in the form of checkered patterns, flames and scratches, my brush control actually improved a bit.  It also made moving on to other models a bit more exciting.

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For practicality’s sake, I kept the original skin tone of the Boyz intact, adding a few extra highlights to make the old paint job pop a bit more, but for any Ork that might have been around to see a few WAAAGHs — Nobs, Weirdboyz, Warbosses — I decided to go with a more drab green.  I also found the old Scorched Brown / Rhinox Hide base color for bases to be kinda boring, so I went for Gorthor Brown and built on it from there.  I’ll detail those in later blogs.

Craftworlds · Warhammer 40000

[Repaint] Wraithlords

These two were some of my first big models and were part of a limited-time “formation” that Games Workshop put out to hype people up for Apocalypse.  Two Wraithlords, five Wraithguard and a Warlock or two.  I thought they were some of the coolest looking models at the time, and if I remember right had replaced the old Wraithlord not too long before that.  It was a little intimidating, but I gave it an honest go.  Old picture, but you can see what they looked like here:

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I started getting a little comfortable with edge highlighting, and even cranked the freehand up a little bit.  Eventually, when it was the Wraithlords’ turn to get the repaint treatment, I decided white “helmets” complimented turquoise a lot better, as they did on the Guardians.  I even took another shot at some more subtle freehand.  The Wraithlord on the left was still mostly unchanged from the very first paint job, while the second one was more or less done (at the time).  Also note the Wraithswords were swapped (well, broken off) out since if I remember right, they just weren’t worth the points some time between 4th edition and 6th.  Got those magnetized just in case.

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Something was still missing though.  And after I had redone the entire army, I went back and changed up a few things.  I just wasn’t feeling the red gems.  Maybe I could’ve been more subtle with them, but it was just too stark a contrast.  So I eventually went back to purple.  Touched up a few details, like the bronze bits, and then came out with the finished product:

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As a side note, I’ve never been a fan of the process of building models to be honest, but one of the enjoyable things about the Wraithlord kit was how you could inject a little more personality into their poses.  I wanted one (front) to have a stronger, knightly dueling stance, while the other had a looser, more “informal” kind of stance.  Can’t really see that at that angle, but it’s leaning toward its imaginary opponent almost disrespectfully.

Anyway, it took awhile for me to settle on a shade of bronze that I really liked, but I finally found it with Sycorax Bronze.  It has a colder look to it than Hashut Copper, which I used initially.  Here’s how I got the result in the picture above:

  • Basecoat of Warplock Bronze
  • Two thinned down layers of Sycorax Bronze
  • Heavy wash of Agrax Earthshade
  • Heavy wash of Reikland Fleshshade
  • Layer of Sycorax Bronze on areas you’d expect light to catch
  • Chainmail as an edge highlight

Whenever I find myself bored, I might go back and repaint the Brightlances to match the Wraithbone color I started to use elsewhere.  Until then, I think these guys look alright.  I haven’t delved too much into the 8th edition codex yet, but in years past, they’ve been really eclipsed by the Wraithknight.  Hopefully they start to see at least moderate use again soon.