Kneeding Closure: Knight Titan WIP Update

Yup, that’s the title I went with.  “Kneeding Closure.”  I was trying to come up with a suitable knee-related pun, but now think that the extraneous “K” might come across as a Knight related pun.  In the realm of Dad jokes, that really is a two-for-one.

If you haven’t guessed, this post is going to be on the knee-pads of my knights.  It might seem odd to do an entire post focused on just their knees–especially because I’m not particularly known for doing WIP posts at all, and to date I’ve milked these guys for four posts already (and trust me, there are probably half a dozen more where that came from).

I’ve decided to stretch this out because these guys are taking a long time, and I’ve actually been taking more work in progress photos throughout the process.   My goal on the photos hasn’t been to create content for the blog, but rather to send them to my friends in the hopes of inspiring them to paint things up for our next Apoc game (spoiler alert, that actually just happened last weekend–expect more posts on that to come up soon).  I’m not sure how much it really inspired people to paint, but me talking about it and sharing progress truly does help me to keep motivated to finish the project.

So, knees…

They’re not an overly interesting part of the model, but they’re significant because they’re really the first time I played with many of the base colors that would be dominant through the figures.  My last post on the subject covered that I had already committed to going with House Terryn, so I knew that the scheme was going to be primarily blue, red, and white (maybe I should’ve saved this post for Independence Day?).  With the basic idea of the colors chosen, I needed to figure out what shades I was going to use.

If you recall, my goal was to make them look relatively cohesive with the Ultramarines units I already have, but also to make then distinct enough that you could tell they’re from a different army altogether.  With the blue, I opted to shade them darker than I have with the normal boys in BLOO, so I took the same tact with the red, adding black into my base mix to give it a more stark contrast.

Searching online, it appears that House Terryn, like most knight households, seems to use a lot of checkerboards and other classic heraldry from medieval times.  I suppose that makes sense, given that they are knights afterall.  I’ve had some practice with checks and the like because I used to have a Harlequin army (actually, I’ve owned several over the years, all of which predate my blog entirely), and to a lesser extent, with my Ultramarines.

I tried to find some photos of the checkers on the marines, but there really isn’t a lot there.  I don’t know why I’ve been so remiss with posting pictures of the BLOO.  I really need to get better at that.  You can see at least a glimpse of some of the checks on one of my dreadnoughts in this battle report.

With the marines, I’ve traditionally shaded the white with blue.  It works great, and keeps a consistent theme going, however, for these guys I wanted to go with a brown shading.  I’d done brown as a shade for white years ago, but it’s not something I’ve revisited in a long time.  The basic recipe isn’t anything terribly fancy: paint white (in multiple layers because white is finicky that way), and then paint the edges with bleached bone (or, in my case, a craft paint equivalent), and shade with GW’s old flesh wash.

For the checks themselves, I marked them off with a micron pen and painted them in.  In retrospect, that black really could use a little highlighting as it’s too flat for my likes.  Oh well, a painter’s work is never done…

I’m going to take a break from the Knight Titan WIPs for a while and work on a recap of the Apoc game, but I’ll come back and revisit these afterwards–likely starting off again with my new recipe for painting gold…

Knight Progress: Color Choices & Missing Handles

When assembling my Imperial Knights, I found that my sprues didn’t seem to contain all of the required bits.  In fact, each of my most recent two nights were missing two of their five handles that go on the top hatch.  Come to find out, this isn’t all too uncommon of a practice–as my friend Sam reported the same issue when purchasing from the same vendor years ago.

Well, rather than let it stop me in my tracks, I looked for a solution.  Rather than going the route that Sam took (and just skipping the “extra” handles altogether), I opted to take 5 out of the six handles I did have and build a single “complete” model, but that left me with one that had but a single handle.  I opted to glue that lone handle on the left side of the carapace, but that left four very naked spots on the right side.

When I started the process, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with that, but I knew I had to do something about it–as it looked tacky.  I figured that I might just putty over them and leave that hatch completely smooth (which would’ve been a totally acceptable solution).  Whatever I was going to do, I knew that it wasn’t going to include sculpting four more handles from scratch.

I eventually opted to find a spare piece of Ultramarines brass etch and affix it to the carapace.  It did a reasonable job of covering most of the holes and I felt that the single Omega on it was not overly obvious (well, at least it wouldn’t be if I didn’t bother to paint it that way, right?).

Then it really came down to color scheme.

House Terryn became the defacto house for me based upon a few facts:

  1. The scheme of red/blue/white would work well with my Ultramarines and keep things from looking too outlandish
  2. House Terryn seems to have worked with the Ultramarines, at least according to this wiki article
  3. It’s the one house that Forgeworld makes resin options for–so, no free hand!

With that in mind, I started painting the carapace blue.  But, since I didn’t want it to match my ultras exactly, I opted to go with a darker base and not quite as bright of a highlight.  The result here is that the schemes look relatively close (And honestly, they don’t look as good from afar without the bright edge highlights), but still look different enough to pass for a different force.

Well, I’m not 100% sure about the last part.

I’m also not a big fan of gold traditionally.  I know that in “recent” editions, Ultramarines’ second company has switched from yellow to gold, but I’m still a big fan of the primary color scheme.  As a result, I don’t incorporate that many metals into my figures.  However, House Terryn clearly uses them, and it was a chance for me to add a little extra differentiation between them and the armies of Ultramar.  Though it’s not typically my thing, I think I kind of like it–you’ll see why in my next post on the subject…

Knight Titan Base Coat

I own an airbrush.

I really do!

Of course, if you saw my armies, you wouldn’t exactly have reason to believe me.  The thing is, that I like how airbrushed models look, I even went to town using it on my Imperial buildings and other terrain.  I even like how it looks on models–particularly how great it looks on power weapons.

But it doesn’t match what I’ve done on my existing armies.

It always looks so obvious when I see some models painted with an airbrush next to those that aren’t.  Since armies are all about cohesiveness–and I have zero interest in going back and repainting everything I’ve already done–it just doesn’t make sense for me to use the airbrush to paint my Tyranids or Ultramarines.  Sure, I use my airbrush for some basecoating, but that’s because I’ll wind up hand-painting over that.

But my Imperial knights?  Well, that’s a completely different story.  Sure, they’re allied with my marines, but my goal is to paint them up as House Terryn–which have a similar–but not exactly the same–color scheme as my Ultramarines.  To add to it, they consist of large armor plates and other sections that would be perfect for airbrushing.  But when it came down to it, I just didn’t bother.

Drybrushing them silver was going to give me the desired effect that I wasn’t sure I could pull off with a compressor, and I lack the skill/patience to properly do detail work.  If I had to guess why, I’d think it was something to do with me being loathe to change.  Yes, I love the effect that the airbrush adds (not to mention the amount of time it saves), but some part of me held firm on hand-painting them.

Maybe I’ll go back and hit these with a layer of shading from the airbush.  Now that’s something I could see myself doing.

The color scheme on these guys is a little varied.  The first Knight was sitting on my shelf for years with a drybrush of boltgun metal on him, whereas the second two got a treatment of Vallejo’s Gunmetal (which is a fair bit darker–I’m not sure if that’s because the first became sun-bleached, or it’s just how the color is).  I wound up hitting them all with a fainter drybrush of Mithril Silver to hide the differences, and that turned out ok.  Then, so they weren’t all exactly just big silver necrons, I picked out some areas in Tinny Tin or various golds I had laying around.  Much of this will be obscured by the armor plates when they go on, but it gave them a little extra depth.

But not at the moment–right now, I have to go back and talk myself out of painting the carapace by hand.  I’m not so sure I’m going to be successful…





Metamorphs: Completed!

completingmetamorphs-1I’ve been making pretty steady progress on my cult as of late, the most recent of which concerning my Metamorphs.  Well, at this point, I’m happy to say that these models are now “complete.”

Technically speaking, they aren’t based, so they have a ways to go, but the painting process on these guys is essentially complete (I say that while completely ignoring the fact that basing generally involves gluing little bits and other gubbinz which, of course, need to painted).

But I won’t be working on basing until sometime in the Summer when I can work outside and keep the static grass from completely destroying my house.

completingmetamorphs-4I was initially very happy with myself because I essentially managed to paint all fifty of these guys over a three-day weekend.  From looking at the photos, the blending from dark to light on highlights clearly suffered as a result.  I accept this knowing how fast I painted them and how cheap they are to field.  I’m not sure it’s fair to justify these as inconsequential paint jobs because they’re merely 11 points a piece when I spend a good deal more time on a tactical marine that costs 14-15.

Granted, I could go back and work on these–especially the highlights on their leather, but I think anyone who sees them would have a hard time not calling these table top quality.  From afar, I dare say they look pretty darn good.

I still need to go back and take final quality pictures of them, but those really don’t need to happen until I get around to actually basing them.  So, again, we’re going to wait until Summer to do that.  Hopefully by that time I’ve finished all of the remaining models for my cult and Nids and can dip them “one last time” (again) and then get back around to taking another army photograph.  When I do that, I can also go through the effort to take shots for each individual squad as well.

But that’s still months away.  For now, I’ll call these guys “done” and move on to my next project… most likely characters for my cult.


Painting Metamorphs

makingmetamorrphs-1With my metamorphs made, it’s time to get back down to the business of actually painting models.

These are interesting figures to me, not because of the models per se (which are interesting in their own right) but because they don’t really fit into either of my traditional painting motifs.

You see, a long time ago (back in the days of 3rd edition), I had decided to start playing with painted models.  In order to do this, I identified an army (Ultramarines) that I wanted to play, and was going to try to paint them to a reasonably high standard.  Progress was slow going, because I really didn’t enjoy painting at the time.  I always had some aptitude for it, but just derived no pleasure from it.

makingmetamorrphs-2For the record, that has changed a bit.  I don’t truly love painting, and would generally rather be doing something else, but it doesn’t bother me to the same degree as it once did.  I’m not sure if that’s because I’m not trying to paint to a high standard, if I’ve just gotten better/faster, or if I’ve mellowed out in my old age.  Most likely, it’s some combination of the three.

Anyway, while I wanted to have a painted army, I didn’t institute a prohibition against playing with unpainted models until sometime after this blog started in 2009.  I was working towards it heavily, and that’s really why I have a Tyranid army at all.  Because I knew that if I was going to have a painted force, it would surely happen first if I had a set of models that I could dip.  Tyranids were an army that looked reasonably good painted in that way, and one that I’d liked since the days of 2nd edition (especially Genestealer Cult…. RIP).

makingmetamorrphs-3By having one army that was dipped, I could achieve the goal of always playing with a painted force and still also have another army painted to a higher standard.  Of course, anymore, I get far more compliments on my Tyranids than I do on my marines (dipping is just that cool, I guess), so I kind of shot myself in the foot there.

The point of all this is that I have two basic painting styles: Ultramarines (which are slow and higher quality) and Tyranids (which are barely a base coat and a heavy coat of dipping).

Enter the Genestealer cult.

These guys I plan to use as allies for my Imperial models–and at other times–allies for my Tyranids.  So, what kind of paint scheme shall I follow?

makingmetamorrphs-4Granted, these guys are cheap, throw-away units that I’m likely going to field in large numbers, so I don’t plan on painting them with any exceptional level of quality.  And I already have an example of this for my imperial forces: My Imperial Guard.

Still, while not particularly high quality, these are a cleaner paint job than anything that’s dipped.  Since stain is so messy, and I don’t want to stain the entire figure, I eventually opted to go with a “clean” style paint job, covered (as necessary) with a brown wash (technically a Sepia Ink Wash from Vallejo).

The end result I think turns out to be a model that generally fits well with either of the two armies.

Of course, these guys are just a work in progress.  At this point they have their base coats on flesh, carapace, weapons, and squad markings.  They might not look like much at this point, but there are fifty of them being batch painted at once, so it takes a lot of work.  More to come on these guys in the future, I’m sure…