November 8, 2010

How do I paint/assemble my minis. A brief Tutorial.

Hi again gamer fellas, long time no see.

Well, I moved and I´ve been doing a little less painting and a bit more videogaming, but I´m on the way again.

Today I´m gonna explain you how I assemble my minis, cause is a thing my mates laughed until they had to paint big minis.

First of all I cut the minis out of the sprue, then I proceed to blade-file the mould lines and then I´m prepared to paint.

Wait... do you paint the minis unassembled?

Yep, is the best way to not mess around with this pieces too near to other pieces to be painted and to get the full mini painted, with no unpainted gaps.

What I do is paint them in batches as big as you can paint them without mess or paint other areas.

1 st E.G.: if the mini to be painted is an eldar guardian, I´ll glue every piece except the head (cause it usually is painted white) and the weapon arm, notice that I´ll glue the arm that support the weapon but not the arm that holds and fires the weapon, it will be painted apart.

2 nd E.G.: if the mini to be painted is a kroot it will be glued completely, since the gaps between the weapon and the body are big enough to be painted easily.

3 rd E.G.: if the mini to be painted is a crisis suit/wraithlord/dreadnought I will paint the mini piece by piece, because there are some techniques (drybrush mainly) that can mess with other parts of the mini, and they are too big to be hold properly since I like to paint with my hands supported by a table to gain "aim" and precision.

When I got the mini glued in the proper pieces, I start to paint following an order, not the classical prime/basecoats/inks/hightlights/details order, but an order in which the first piece painted is the one that I want to paint... less.

Look at the following picture:

It is a full team of XV-8 Crisis Battlesuit ready to be assembled.
The first part I painted were the feet, (note to people that don´t know the tau: the first from the left) cause is a piece that don´t get much attention and is easy to paint but tedious, boring and since it is tiny is weird to handle.
The next piece were the hands (the piece on the left of the torsos), because is kinda like the feet, tedious, boring and they will go covered with weapons so they don´t need as many attention as the weapons they carry.
Next are the torsos (the biggest pieces).
The torsos are strange, because they are full of posibilities, but since GW´s moulds are a bit lame they tend to be tricky to assemble (they come in three separate parts) and, therefore, tricky to paint and fill the gaps properly.
With the torsos I came to a particular mental state in which I have two separate threads of thinking at the very same time:
.- Hmmm I can do here some markings and blend this part, I can make here some weird effect and bla bla bla.
.- Dammit they are so big, I´ve been painting this piece for ages, I want to finish it... NOW.
So I tend to finish them as soon as Ican.
The next ones are the head, the weapons, the multitracker and finally the legs, and the legs goes last for a reason, they are the key to the mini, if you don´t have the legs painted and assembled to the mini, you can´t put it in a base, so you´ll got the mini lying around and the shame will strike you every time you look at it.
Well they are very easy to paint and a nice squared piece too :)
Another important thing to me is paint squads and don´t move to other mini until I have the whole squad painted, because I´m kinda unconstant and I know I´ll never be back to paint the unfinished minis.
How, in the name of the god emperor, did I achieve the full-squad-painting?
Painting them in playing batches.
Playing batches?
Yes, go to your codex and look at the sizes of the squads, for example, you can have minimum squads of five marines, five dire avengers but the minimum for fire warriors are six guys and kroots are ten man minimum squads.
Then take a look at the number of minis that come in the boxes, and look to the patience within yourself.
Once I know how big is the minimum squad for the minis I am going to paint, I divide the minis in playing batches, this is:
I paint the space marines in batches of five guys, the fire warriors in batches of three or six guys (it depends of my patience and constancy at the moment of the painting), the kroots in full minimum squads and so on.
The only difference are the squaded war machines (crisis suits and wal walkers mainly), cause I paint them in batches of three (the full maximum squad).
Now that the minis are painted, the next step is assemble them, and the order I normally do it is:
First of all glue the parts that will go together and should not be clued creatively, that is weapon+arm in the crisis suits, torso+backpack in the space marines, etc...
The next step is to glue the legs with the torso. The torso+legs combination is what will give the 80% of the position of the mini, this decide whether your mini is running, or attacking, or surveying the battlefield, or charging to head-butt the enemy, or even jumping, or whatever.
Then I usually glue it to the base (in the case of the crisis suits or wraithlords there is a middle step that is... gluing the feet to the legs).
When the mini is glued to the base is far way easier to handle it and keep it standing to visualize the next steps.
Once the legs are glued, I usually glue the arms or the weapons when the mini doesn´t have any arms (war walkers... I´m looking at you), and with this the position of the mini is almost complete.
In this picture the arms are going to be glued... beware! :)
The final main step is to glue the head and it goes last because all the assembling steps can be wasted if the mini is shooting at something in front of it and the head is looking to something in its back.
So the head has to compliment the mini´s global position, that is the reason why the head is the last piece to be glued.

And in this case the minis stand without base... yipey!

After the head is glued on, I add the final details, in the crisis of the photos the final details are the missile pods and the multitrackers albeit they are parts that I usually glue to the torso before I start to glue the torso to the legs, they were hidden below a book, so they came last :D
And then, I got my minis fully painted and assembled with no unpainted gaps.

This is only to show you they really stand, that they aren´t glued to the table :)


September 13, 2010

Raven Guard Assault Squad.

I´m not a true fan of the Space Marine Assault squads, I do prefer the sky-falling-itemizable-anihilating-veteran-rocket-propelled-guys ... that are a lot more expensive than the standart rocket-backpack guys but you can tone ´em for whatever you are going to encounter in the battlefield.

Albeit, I like the standard dudes, they are highly mobile triple-plasma-equipped melee guys wich I tend to not use, but the less expected day at the less expect moment...

I suppose the guys I will field will be a ten-man squad with a pair of plasma pistols and a plasma pistol/power glove sgt. for a total 260 points so this is the way I assembled my guys.

Sarge in the front and the plasma guys as bodyguards.

His left side so you can see the markings in the backpack and the swords.

The white-helmeted seargeand with power fist and plasma pistol.
A photo for you to take a look at the sarge´s markings.
The other side of the sarge.

The plasma guys.

Here they are.

Here is a standard assault trooper so you can see the standard markings.

Hope you´ve enjoyed.

September 11, 2010

Tau Crisis suits:FB/MP/MT

Today is the right time to introduce you to my kamikaze tank popper squad.

They are three XV-8 guys equipped with Fusion blasters and Missile pods so they can pop things near or far from them... They never get bored.

I´ll usually field them with multitracker for everyone and a pair of shield drones stuck to the leader, which eventually will be equipped with a target lock to be able to shoot another unit.

What I expect from them: Tank popping, here, there or wherever tanks are and survive enough to repeat the process as many times as possible and when no tanks left... Heavy infantry... here we come.

The guys, as ever the leader has white plates.

Doing a can-can move to their right so you can see the guys from another perspective.

The same from the other side.

What do you think?


September 6, 2010

Space Hulk dead marine (objective marker #1)

Today a Space Hulk dead marine and a bit of story.

Long time ago, when I was (more) young, my group of friends played a game called "Dark age of camelot", we were all paladins and with a bit of munchkinism we were a very nice group of fanatic almost-unkillable warriors.

We founded a guild called "CUSTOS FIDIS" (guardians of the faith) and out colours were unpainted plate and blueish-white blue cape with a winged cup in the middle.

The thing is that when we were about to play W40K a friend of mine (Firlesnes from Maestros del capitulo told me that he was going to make a revival of our guild in the form of space marines, and I thought that it was a great idea.

We tried white, almost white, more than white, whiteish, not so white and cuasi-white and we weren´t totally happy with the results so now he has Imperial Fists and me... well, Raven Guard,you know.

Time passed by and I have improved my painting skills and ordered from a bits page the dead marine of the space hulk tabletop game and I did my try, because our attempt to revive our ancient guild should not be forgotten.

And of course, the mini is full of cups everywhere, which gave me the last push to try it.

And that´s the reason my Raven Guard will fight to recover the dead body and ancient armour of "Lhottar The Redeemer" (the name of my old paladin of the custos fidis guild).

It was primed white, then washed with badab black, cleaned with vallejo silvergrey and hightlighted with vallejo white.
The blue is vallejo´s turquoise, highlighted with vallejo light turquoise and re-highlighted with a 3/2 of vallejo bluegreen and white.
The golds are vallejo brass, badab black washed and highlighted with vallejo gold.
The yellow is foundation yellow, vallejo flat yellow and highlighted with 3/2 flat yellow and white.
The last thing is... How should I make the base?
I think I will try some kind of ruined building floor, but still I´m not sure.. Any ideas?

Hope you like it.

September 1, 2010

Aajz Solari: Shadow Captain of the Second Company

Ahhhh, the Assault on Black Reach Captain, a real delight to paint and look at.

He will be my Shadow Captain Aajz Solari, the captain of the Raven Guard Second Company.

As explained in the codex Captain Solari is leading the efforts of two dozens of chapters against the Leviathan fleet tyranid invasion, what makes him in the guy with more space marines at his command... I suppose.
I will be using him as Sicarius as well as an standard captain with relic blade and sometimes with storm shield as well (nice and unexpensive combo).

He will be leading from the front charging whatever needs to be charged and inspiring anyone whose faith in victory is broken.

At the first moment I was going to convert him, adding some plasma fun, but decided to keep him unconverted (apart from the commander backpack, of course) because I really like this mini as well as my converting skills are not as good as I want them to be :D

This mini was painted about two weeks ago, but it wasn´t until yesterday I put the symbols on his shoulderpads, only to make him more characterful.

And there he is... the Shadow Captain:

I tried to make him a lot more Black/White than the previous paintjob, that had a lot of red everywhere.

I don´t know why I put the red line tatooed in his face, but i like it.

I think his cloak needs some freehand, but I´ll keep it this way until my freehand skills are upgraded... a lot :D
The guy with his Command Squad.

A cenital photo of them.

Bonus: I found a photo of the previous paintjob:

Hope you like it.


August 30, 2010

Raven Guard Second Company Comman Squad

Here they are my Raven Guard Second Company Command Squad (GW don´t seem to know what colour goes with what company of the raven guard so I choose the classic red and a "II" in some shoulderpads and it´s done :D ).

It will mostly be a close combat oriented command squad, that is the reason of the energy weapons everywhere.

They will be accompanying my AOBR captain (count as sicarius... post pending), and they will be riding a razorback... mostly.

They are made by mixing the spare pieces of the ravenwing boxes (used to make my ravenwheel), the command squad sprue and the revered Raven Guard Upgrade Pack from Forgeworld.

The upgrade pack from forgeworld is nice, indeed... I need another four to make some guard and vanguard vets.

As you would notice... there is no champion or standard bearer... I think the champion is too expensive for what he adds to the squad (I still will be painting the old metal one to use it in case of need), and the standard bearer... I´m still thinking about the banner, so it will take long.

And now... the guys.

The apothecary: the only forgeworld stuff this guy has is the raven guard shoulderpad, the other things are the standard command squad sprue.

I like his martial artist position :D

The guy with the combimelta: chest, head, chapter shoulderpad and backpack are from forgeworld.
Nothing else to say... and assaulty guy with a shot to blow a tank up.

The mace one: the power mace is from the Dark Angels upgrade pack which a friend of mine (In Cavda Venenum from "maestros del capitulo") gave me cause I love this weapon, the only change I made is the DA symbol in the wrist.
This is the only guy who will not shoot during an assault (combi-plasma)... if the weapon I choose in a list for him is the one displayed in the mini, of course :D

The Chaaaaaaaarge!!! guy: Another assaulty one, with the classical plasma pistol/power sword combo, power sword that came from the ravenwing sprue.

The pointing guy: he points at the next target with a power fist, he will be the last in deliver the punches, but they will be punches to take care of.
I love his helmet, the real beakie from the forgeworld pack.
A family photo.

The same from a cenital perspective.

I like how homogeneal they are and still different from one another.
Next post: Aajz Solari, Shadow Captain of the Raven Guard Second Company (on foot).
Hope you like ´em

August 27, 2010

Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought.

The day the Raven Guard Upgrade Pack came to my hands, a Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought came also, as well as a Dreadnought Plasma Cannon and a Dreadnought Drill Arm with encased Flamethrower.

The first time I saw a picture of the FW RG Vet Dreadnought I thought it was too simple to be a proper venerable dread, but since it came to my hands I´ve learned to love it.

Indeed, the major mistake I saw at the first moment (the lack of barroque decorations on this guy) came to be the major success, cause Raven Guard is a secretive and sneaky chapter, so they need to be as simple and black as possible, well, it´s not like the dread would infiltrate anywhere, but... I like´em plain and simple.

Here is the guy.

Do you see the wing in the sarcophagus??

About 8 layers of white (in different tones) went into the hightlight of them.

I´m specially proud of the plasma cannon, don´t know why, but I really like it.

A cenital view to show you the "old" gold of the sarcophagus and a tiny detail: the upper part of the smoke vents are painted in gold (to make it a bit more a jewel of the chapter).

I usually paint the mechanicum symbol gold, but I painted it in the official scheme and I like it a lot.

As ever comments and criticism will be welcome.