(Guest Post from Cole, of 08ak1’s blog):
It’s no secret around here that I am a big fan of the Grey Knights.
After being out of the hobby for nearly 5 years I came back in 2008 with only my Grey Knight army and some random space marine junk I had accumulated from friends over our original many years of playing. After playing with them for about 6 months, I decided to add some inducted guardsmen and that snowballed into a full on IG army. Ever since my poor Knights have been neglected, regulated to a shelf in the garage where they collect dust and cobwebs. Only my old Grey Knight Grand Master received the honor of sitting on my desk.
Now as you no doubt know Grey Knights are back this next month, and I intend to honor them with everything I have as a hobbyist and gamer. So over the last few weeks I have been preparing the ones I have for integration into the new codex. The first thing they need though is a shiny new coat of paint! My grey knights weren’t badly painted (though their basing was borderline horrible), but I intend this army to be both modeled and painted to the best of my ability. I will not cut corners; I will not leave a model in a crappy pose or without any modeling alteration if it needs it. I will research techniques and follow them for things like skin tones or blade effects.
Luckily I got some help on the financial side, a good friend of mine very much desired my IG army. He currently plays Ultramarines, but doesn’t actually play because he’s such a perfectionist about his painting that he has little over a thousand points available. So after much thought we struck a deal for him to buy my IG who are fully painted (though not as well as he paints…but fully painted none the less). This gets my friend playing with me, it gets an army that I have neglected aside from Apoc games back on the table, and it gets me a boat load of cash that I can spend on my Knights without feeling like I’m being selfish to my family.
So get ready, because ladies and gentlemen were gonna make them purty!
First thing, is stripping the old models. That’s:
- 29 Power armored Knights of which there are 4 poses amongst them! =( thank goodness for the new kits.
- 15 Terminator armored Knights
If you have never stripped a model before, the formula I use is pretty easy…it’s more work then I might sound
- Soak model base in warm water for a few minutes, and use a hobby sculpting tool to peel off the old basing/Elmer’s glue.
- Remove most models from bases, this isn’t necessary your bases will be fine if you want to leave em on. I like to use the metal tab many models have to hold on to with pliers later, if they’re based you can’t =)
- Grab a Costco sized case of Simple Green, pour this into an open topped something and completely submerge as many models as you can into it. NOTE: if you have animals or kids keep this away from their reach, I have cats so I also place a plate or something over top not so that it seals it but so they can’t drink from it. Leave your models in here for anywhere from 6 hours to overnight. I have heard folks say leaving it longer then that can cause plastics some problems, but I have left them longer and not seen any issues… Regardless I personally recommend just overnight so about 6-8 hours.
- Next pour out the simple green and dispose of it, grab either some gloves or pliers or some lotion (for your poor hands if you intend to just hold them), and a toothbrush.
- Using the toothbrush go to town on them, most if not all of the paint will come off with no effort at all. Sometimes paint get stuck at one spot, but it all sticks together so that one spot holds a big flaky piece to the model. Just brush as best you can. I do this in my sink so I can put the model under the running water often, but bear in mind two tips; your sink will get messy with paint bits, and you want to have something there in case a bit falls off so it doesn’t go down the drain!!
- As you complete brushing models set em aside in another container, once all of them are brushed throw some dish soap in there and wash em to get the simple green off. If you have a lot of models it’s a pretty good idea to just leave em in the soapy water for an hour or so.
- Next dry em out completely, just dry em and leave em for a couple hours and they should be good.
- At this stage you’re either done, or there still some paint stubbornly holding into a few cracks. I use a scalpel like sculpting tool to go in there and pop em out.
Among them I have two models that just aren’t gonna make it into the new army, my old Grand Master and my Dreadnought. The GM has pegasus wings, which I thought was really cool back in the day and kinda still do now as they were meant to be symbolic not like he actually had wings…call it the shrouding made manifest….WHATEVER it looks neat =) Aside from aesthetics it’s actually incredibly irritating to deal with his wings in assaults, that and he’s packing a psycannon which is a boat load of points on a guy meant to assault. Long story short I’m going to honor him by making him into a statue, and he will become a very cool objective marker for the army.
The Dreadnought is another beast…as you can see he’s a little different. I really liked his Inquisitor (the game) chest piece, and otherwise he was a fun piece way back in the day. But alas I don’t like it all that much anymore, and close inspection reveals what must be nearly an entire bottle of glue holding his butt together… So I think he will become terrain, maybe a large statue of him fighting a big daemon or something neat like that.
Now that stripping is done, I have begun basing them. I like placing them onto stuff because it helps the squad add a dimension of height into it, when some models are just a tab bit higher or lower than the similar ones around them. So a good 3/4 of the models have been based on top of Foam that’s been cut and in some cases carved to look like big broken pieces of cement or stone. The Foam works well as it is incredibly easy to mess with, but you need some know how to make sure it doesn’t become a disaster at the end.
Essentially the steps to basing with the foam are:
- Cut the foam into thin layers; check it on the base to make sure it’s not too thick.
- Cut or just rip it into base size pieces, I find it actually looks pretty cool when it hangs off or over the sides of the base.
- You can use an exacto knife (remember to be careful!) to cut thin lines and designs easily into the surface of the foam.
- Generously apply Elmer’s glue to the bottom of the foam and sides of the foam, attach it to the base, and leave it alone for at least a couple hours…
- Super glue somewhere along the sides of the foam, this just adds a little more securing the foam to the base.
- Now if the model is large or metal, you’re going to want to drill some holes down to the base where the model will contact the foam. This is important because the foam isn’t a great thing to be holding the model in place. If the model is your average infantry man you can usually skip this. A dremel tool works as always amazing for this, if you don’t have one yet go grab one for fifty bucks or so they are super useful in this hobby.
- With the holes drilled, grab some plastic card tubing or if you don’t have it just some spare straight plastic sprue that you no doubt have in mass quantities… stick it down the hole until it touches the base, snip it off. If you want you can of course use it like pinning and drill a little hole in the foot of your model for it to actually insert into.
- Super glue the parts of the plasticard/sprue that will touch the base, and stick it back down there. Give it a bit to dry, however long is normal for your glue.
- Now completely paint the foam with Elmer’s glue, every bit of it. Leave it to dry for at least 4-5 hours, overnight is best.
- Glue your dude on!
The Elmer’s provides protection from the super glue initially, and the spray primer you’ll use later so it’s quite important.
The next step for their basing is going to be to add lots of dead daemons all about the place, I’ve already primed some of the termies so I’ll have to prime those separately but that’s fine.
So next I got to work on the interiors of the vehicles I’ve already purchased for my knights, it saddens me to buy 2 more Land Raiders when I already have 3, but the 3 I have are very crappy in both construction(big glue blobs abound) and their upkeep of parts. This is because they’re relics of friends past not actually mine originally, but I can’t have ugly raiders if I’m doing everything I can to make this force purty…
Oh and theres another reason I bought ’em but i’ll save that for the next post. =)