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…




Genestealer Cult: Squad Identification

Though I like a uniformity throughout an army, it’s not always easy to pick different squad members out of a lineup.

cultcolors-1For my Ultramarines, I went with the official codex solution of giving them smallish squad markings in roman numerals.  While that’s canon and they look cool, it does make them a huge pain to differentiate.  Even with each type of model (assault, tactical, dev) having a different shoulderpad and each squad having an individualized marking, it’s still quite hard to differentiate them on the battlefield (or even putting them away).

EDIT: For some reason I still have never done up posts for my older Ultramarine stuff that predates the blog, so I don’t have good pictures to illustrate that point.  You can make out some of the detail in this photo, but the squad markings are so small, you won’t be able to really tell them apart.

For my Tyranids, I took a more obvious approach, having learned a lesson from my Ultramarines.  Each squad is differentiated by colored flares on their head and/or tail to make them stand out.  Those worked well because the stain tones down my color choice, and they’re just a small splash on an otherwise identical palette.  The problem there is that they are, again, a little too subtle.  At times, it can be difficult to tell which model belongs to which squad–especially when viewed from directly above.  A good example of their color markings can be found here.

For my cult, I’ve taken a different tact.  For better or for worse, I’ve opted to go with a more noticeable marking in painting the pants of the unit in an entirely different color.   That should help them stand out a bit more–and frankly, if you look at my acolytes, it definitely does the trick.  I do find myself wondering though if it’s the right answer.

But I feel like I’m pot committed at this point, so I’m going to continue the scheme with my Metamorphs.  To prepare, I’ve marked the bases of each model to break them into five man units.  Each unit contains at least the following:

cultcolors-2Well, that was the original intent (And what you should see from the photos).  I have actually since gone back and changed the membership up a bit by taking the four Neophytes that had “skirts” covering their pants and made those all the blue squad.  This was because they had so little of their pants showing that it was going to be difficult to identify their squad marking.  The end result is that one of the squads has 80% of them with the exact same body.

It’s not ideal looking, but I’ll try to use them less frequently to make up for it, so the only time that they’ll really see the table is when I have at least 40 other metamorphs out there, so they’ll easily get lost in the shuffle.

For colors, I went with much the same colors that I went with on the Acolytes, but also expanded it a bit.  The only ones that are dangerously close are the deep/bright red and maybe the purple/pink.  Each one of those is essentially a pair of colors that I use for a base/highlight, so the lighter version of each just gets an extra layer of highlight–with the base color being a little more covered.

It’s not an excessive amount of progress, but considering that my blog has been quiet as of late, I’m going to take what I can get…

Genestealer Cult – Belated Progress (if you can call it that)

hotelpaint-1Things have been relatively quiet on the hobby progress front as of late–something any regular reader of the blog has certainly figured out by now, seeing as I haven’t had a post since November 2nd.

Oh my, has it really been that long?  That’s almost a full month ago!

I knew it had been a while, but I had no idea that it’d been that long.  Egads.

hotelpaint-2Well, the root cause of the radio outage has to do with an inability to find free time.  You see, at the end of October, I had to go out of town for three weeks on a work trip.  I had brought along some hobby materials in the hopes that I could work on them, but I really didn’t get all that much free time.  I did make small glimmers of progress though, but it was hardly enough to justify writing blog posts about (and I wasn’t going to spend what very little free time I did have writing blog posts, as my time was better spent making actual progress!).

When we last left off, I was gathering up some characters for my Genestealer cult.  My grand notion was that I would take them down, along with the rest of my unpainted cult models and paint them up during my stay.  That way, when I got back into town, I could seal them up, dip things as necessary, and get to play my first games with my “new” army.

hotelpaint-3So that proved to be a little lofty, as my stay was only fruitful enough to produce a fresh coat of Ultramarines Blue (or rather Altdorf something-or-other) on the models, with a smattering of Bleached Bone.  Realistically, I didn’t get more than an hour of two painting in for the entire month.

Hopefully you’ll excuse the poor quality photographs.  That’s what life looks like when painting in a hotel room.  In retrospect, maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t have all that much time to paint in such poor lighting conditions, eh?

But it is some progress.  And though it’s not anything to brag about, this blog is all about documenting my hobby progress.  Hopefully I’ll get some time in the near future to improve upon this, but for now, this is where I stand.

Genestealer Cult – 42 Painted Neophytes

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-2Depending upon how you add things up, I have somewhere between 4-8 squads of Neophytes painted up at this point.  Of course, that’s nowhere near enough models for a painted cult force, but I’m hoping that–once I include the 90ish genestealers I have painted–I don’t have all that many figures left to paint before I can actually start fielding a respectable list.

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-3Truth be told, I’m writing this post at the beginning of the month, having completed both my Dreadtober entry and these models by the 9th.  I had some travel for work this month, so I had to bust my hump to get the hobby progress completed before the trip.

Because of that, I haven’t yet gotten my codex, so I don’t rightfully know what an army of these guys truly looks like.  I suspect that I’ll need more of these, but that I’ll need far more acolytes as well.  From what I hear, these guys are roughly 5-8 points each, so I could see running as many as 200ish models in a 2,000 point game.  Frankly, I don’t have anywhere near enough figures to make that a reality, so I’m hoping to either:

  • wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-1Run smaller games
  • Eat up points with some larger units (perhaps Leman Russes?)
  • Or maybe even just ally in my Tyranids or IG.  Frankly, IG seems far more fluffy than Tyranids, but I have so many more units to choose from in my Tyranids codex that they’re the far likelier choice.

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-4From what I can tell, these are probably going to be more effective in smaller units (big surprise there, as that seems to be par for the course with basically any unit/codex in the game).  I really should do something to make them stand out with squad markings–but then again, I didn’t do that with my IG either.  I figured with those guys that I would probably go cross eyed trying to put units away if I bothered to give them individual markings, but maybe I’m wrong…

I’m definitely pleased with these guys, especially since I knocked them out in an assembly line over the course of a couple of weeks.   The one area that I really didn’t do them justice on is the flesh though.  I thought I did a good job on the test model, but when I tried to do it in bulk, I just didn’t have the heart (or the stamina) to take the time to do them right.  It actually got to the point where I eventually just started throwing a brown wash over parts of their faces to pick out the details.  If you look closely, you can certainly see that.

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-5But these guys aren’t supposed to win a Golden Demon.  That’s not their point.  Their purpose is to rally up and die for the greater good, so that eventually Hive Fleet Proteus can sweep over the planet, engulfing all life in it’s maw, and leaving nothing in it’s wake.

The cult needs no praise.

Only the cleansing baptism of the hive fleet washing the unclean from the world…