Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mechanicus Servitors

Once again, I was able to complete a small unit that's been sitting in my paint queue for months. If you consider the fact that many of these minis I've had since I played 40K on a regular basis, some have technically been sitting in my lead pile for about a decade. Honestly, I always had a soft spot in my heart for the humble GW servitor miniature. Nothing truly aspires to the grimdark aesthetic like a giant slab of lobotomized, cybernetic muscle brimming with massive servo-claws and heavy weaponry. Until now though, I'd never had much use for them as I never ran IG, though I did toy with the idea of starting a Horus Heresy army for awhile and considered putting them there. So, in an effort to "do something different", I pulled these out of cold storage in the vaults of Mars and got to work...

In the interest of being different, I wanted some Frankenstein-like flesh and decided on a blue hue. I did this by basecoating in Vallejo Grey Blue, adding increasing highlights of Army Painter Wolf Grey, doing an overall wash of Secret Weapon Cool Grey Wash (hint: it's really blueish), adding more highlights of AP Wolf Grey and finally mixing that with some Vallejo Basic Skintone for the most extreme highlights. Where cybernetic grafts met skin, I mixed AP Wolf Grey with Vallejo Salmon Rose for a distressed look. I also wanted to do some bright red uniforms. Normally, I do much deeper reds (actually starting in purple tones) but, again..."doing something different" I wanted uniforms that would reflect the holiness of the Omnissiah. I started with Vallejo Flat Red as a base, washed with some (very old) GW Red Wash. I did a few alternating coats of this to sort of build depth, then started gradually highlighting by mixing in Rach Red, and then the most extreme highlights being a 50/50 mix of Rach Red and Salmon Rose.

The "bronze" cybernetics are actually basecoated in cheap craft paint - FolkArt Chocolate Bronze - that, while lacking a good amount of pigment, is actually a very nice color after a few coats. This was gradually highlighted by mixing in Vallejo Brass and then given a wash of GW Earthshade. Utilitarian pieces of kit were all Vallejo Luftwaffe Uniform (trying to continue the blue-grey color tone) and washed with P3 Armor Wash. There's also a LOT of wiring, buttons, and dials that were painted various colors but no need to go into them here.

These are all based on resin bases I custom-made years and years ago and I found a good recipe for "sidewalk" cement. Basecoat in a 50/50 of beige and a midtone grey, then drybrush with light tan, and finally off-white. Then, without using glaze medium, apply a "wash" of diluted mid or dark tone grey in 1-3 coats. Done! 

Demolition servitors (the aquila icon was basecaoted in Pewter Grey, stippled in gradual highlights of midtone to light greys, edge highlighted in off-white, given a diluted wash of Tamiya Light Grey, then given some spot washes with Tamiya European Dirt)

Heavy Weapons Servitors

Utility Servitors

Data Scribes (I had actually painted these ages ago but they were so badly done, I had them stripped and repainted for this unit. The parchment is basecoated in Vallejo Dark Sand, given gradual highlights by mixing in Ivory, then pure Ivory for the top highlight. I only washed the most extreme shadows with GW Earthshade.)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Soviet Motorized Infantry in Afghanistan

I recently finished up more miniatures that had been sitting half complete in the paint queue for months now, this time some of Eureka Miniatures' Soviet Motorized Infantry. I had started in on the flesh and blocking in colors when these were delivered and set them aside, only to collect dust. I'm glad I picked them up again to finish because, like most of Eureka's works, the detail is super crisp and a joy to paint.

The most iconic part of the Soviet uniform in Afghanistan was the KZS jumpsuit, which was simply a light camouflage overall worn over the soldier's BDU. To go along with my Soviets in NBC suits (see below), I wanted the squad to have a bold colored KZS of olive green and desert sand. I used Vallejo Medium Olive and progressively highlighted it with Vallejo Light Olive, then I washed it with diluted GW Earthshade, then highlighted the high points of folds with a 50/50 mix of Light Olive and white, then did one more washed of diluted GW Earthshade. The "splotches" are done by blocking out each one with Reaper Faded Khaki and then painting the inside of each with Reaper Amber Gold, leaving a tiny rim of Khaki visible. This helps to blend camouflage patterns into the garment. I finished with yet another wash of GW Earthshade, but only in the recesses of folds to help blend in the splotches.

Flak vests, bags, and chest rigs are all Vallejo Russian Uniform, highlighted with white to help them appear faded from constant use, all once again washed with GW Earthshade (I'm really starting to love this wash...). Flesh here is my normal process - a base of Vallejo Medium Flesh, progressively highlighted with Vallejo Flat Flesh, and finally Basic Skintone, then washed with GW Fleshshade. Gunmetal is done in Vallejo Dark Grey, highlighted with a 50/50 mix of Dark Grey and Vallejo Grey Blue, and washed with P3 Armour Wash. As I shoot more in my personal life, I'm getting a better sense of what truly weathered, "blued" gunmetal looks like and I think this recipe is fairly close to reality. The wood furniture is Vallejo Brown Leather with some Brick Red mixed in and the iconic bakelite magazines are Vallejo Red Leather; both are washed with GW Fleshshade.

The bases are Territorial Biege, highlighted in Khaki, drybrushed in Vallejo Desert Sand, then washed with diluted layers of Secret Weapon Sewer Water. The bricks are simply washed in diluted Brick Red and a mix of arid-style grass is applied.

Special Weapons Section

Rifle Section

Additionally, I repainted some of my old Soviets in NBC gear from a few years ago to more closely match this squad. Repaints included some work on shading and washing the suits and masks in order to make them look dirtier, some minor repaints of the weapons (particularly the RPGs), and repainted the bases.

And here's a glamour shot of both squads together. Now all they need is a stateless, stealth operative to track down or a giant mecha to defend...

Monday, August 20, 2018

Commission Work: 6mm "Tau" Army #2

Following up on the heels of my last Epic-scale Tau commission, here's yet another one in the same scheme! The client wanted a very simple white-grey and red scheme. Like the last army, these are all Onslaught Miniatures "Okami Technocracy Combine" pieces taken from assembly through final painting.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Gebirgsjager Squad

Finally completed these excellent Gebirgsjager from Brigade Games' "Ends of the Earth" line. I had actually done a small squad of them for my Hungarians awhile back and was going to do a small Bolt Action army based around them, but ultimately decided to move on to other squads for my Germans (notably my Volkssturm from 2017). This is another project (much like the American Woodland Indians I finished awhile back) that had been sitting half-complete in my paint queue for about a year. I tend to be fairly scatter-brained when it comes to painting, in that I'll start a project only to get bored with it halfway through and move on to something else. It's actually rare for me - outside of painting done for commissions or tournaments - for me to complete a project from start to finish without stopping.

What attracted me to these figures were the unique anorak snowsuits and I wanted a squad that moved away from the complex and colorful camouflage patterns of my other German minis. The snowsuits themselves are Vallejo Blue Grey mixed with progressively more and more Reaper Misty Grey and finally Misty Grey and pure White. I've debated whether or not to give them pure White highlights but ultimately decided against it. To mimic the darkest shadows, I lined with Army Painter Wolf Grey. In the past, I've been unsatisfied with my normal painting technique for black leather, so I went with a Vallejo German Grey base, highlighted with Vallejo Dark Grey, and (at the most extreme) a 50/50 mix of Dark and Pewter Greys - though I used this very sparingly - and I think it worked better. Canvas kit was done in Battlefront German Camo Beige, highlighted with a mixture of Battlefront (darker) and Vallejo (lighter) GCB, with a final highlight of Vallejo GCB and Dark Sand, and washed in GW Fleshshade. Red leather kit is done in Vallejo Red Leather, progressively highlighted with a mix of Vallejo Orange Brown, and washed in GW Fleshshade. Brown leather is based in Vallejo Brown Leather, with a very light highlight of Brown and Red Leathers, and washed with GW Earthshade.

The biggest problem with these minis are the Kar98s, which aren't molded well and required that I file off the cleaning rod to look decent. It's a pretty small quibble and they actually slightly resemble the Hungarain FEG 35M now, which was used by the Germans under the designation G.98/40. The MG34 sustained-fire tripod is probably another semi-ahistorical piece but only because of how I painted it. I found pictures online that showed it in a very light green, almost olive color (rather than the more common dark grey or beige colors) so I decided to paint it that way. I used a mix of Vallejo German Camo Uniform and Vallejo Medium Olive, with highlights in Medium Olive, and washed with GW Green. I actually quite like the color.

Basing on these is probably the weak point. I wanted the snow to look somewhat melted, so did a very light layer of scenic snow and PVA, then brushed on some Vallejo Gloss, and finally a heavier layer of scenic snow to top it off. For some reason, my snow always tends towards a grey tone, which I'm starting to suspect is the Elmer's Glue I use, so I may try a different brand in the future.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Gaslands Vehicle: "The Gun Truck"

This is my son's first vehicle he designed specifically for Gaslands, named "The Gun Truck". He picked out all the parts, designed it, and painted it; while I helped with the assembly. The base model is a Hot Wheels '83 Silverado. We stripped it, gave it a new set of tires ("with blades on them!"), a modified tarp over the bed, a roof-mounted recoilless rifle, and mesh windshield.

Gaslands really is a great family game. I did get his permission to post this. Positive comments and constructive criticism is welcomed and I'll be reading it to him.