Sunday, March 7, 2010

WIP: BA Terminators ...because it would be rude not to.

This week marks the 10th and final week of the Winter Term here at the University, and what better way to celebrate than to spend an entire week talking about (and looking at) TERMinators –as subtle as a wounded moose, I know. I would apologize, but I’m not genuinely sorry.

Today, we start the Terminator glory with a few shots WIP Blood Angels from the recently released Space Hulk. Blood Angels are everywhere today. It’s crazy.

First, I love the new edition of Space Hulk. I loved the old edition of the game as well, but I somehow managed to miss out on all the expansions that have since come to my attention –plastic scouts, etc, where was I?

Second, it pains me to paint Blood Angels. I know that there is a lot of momentum behind them right now, but I’ve taken a strong stance of jovial antagonism to this trend. Harumph. My newest Daemon Prince (who is still very much a WIP in his own right), was designed specifically to swim against this tide, and I like him all the more for it; however, to assert that I was simply being cantankerous and/or curmudgeonly would not tell the whole story. The simple truth here is that I’m not all that good at painting red. I’ve really struggled with it in the few attempts I’ve made and, as a result, I tend to use it sparingly.

In my experiments, the color red either comes out rather murky and dingy, or entirely too orange. While the first result can have its uses, the second really rubs me the wrong way for some reason. And so, with these stunning models, I’ve got a bit of a challenge in front of me.

Thankfully, these new Terminators have buckets of other details that, in my opinion, dominate the models so much so that red tends to become almost a simple base color that is almost lost behind all the other details. This is something of a relief for yours truly. Still, red is there and I have to paint it. I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve not had much luck with the uber-sharp thin lined shading techniques, but I suspect that I’ve got some of this ahead of me if I’m going to pick this red up from the murky depths that it wallows in now.

The shade of red as it stands here is actually several reasonably simple steps. Once again, I’ve started with Liche Purple and worked my way up through the Foundation Red toward Blood Red. I’ve then come back and aggressively washed the entire model -in almost a dipping manner- with a mix of Purple and Badaab Red (with more red than purple). I’m not sure why this works for me exactly, but I then basically repeat the steps I’ve already done from Foundation Red to Blood Red but a bit more gently and more thinned this time. I’m not sure if this step is really necessary, to be candid, but I do it anyway out of something like superstition.

At this point, I’ve stopped with the red and started picking up other colors, but (as mentioned) I intend to trace several of the edges with an appropriate highlight –and there’s the rub. Highlighting Red well is not easy.

Third, I’ve mounted these Terminators on Dragon Forge Bases from the Tech Deck line. I’d painted the bases in their entirety first, and only mounted the Terminators on them once all of the aggressive brushwork and washes were finished and dried. More accomplished painters would probably tell you that I should wait until the entire figure is finished before introducing these separate elements, but I’m not convinced. In particular, I like to get these figures on their bases well after the messy work is finished, but well before the fine detail work gets its proper attention. I almost certainly don’t need to tell you how utterly annoying it can be to ruin certain delicate details on a model while trying to manhandle it onto a lovely pre-painted base. No. That’s not for me.

The bases make these poor guys a bit awkward for the actual Space Hulk game, but it’s easy enough to work around for those who are motivated to do so. It just requires a small amount of care and attention. Moreover, the bases make the figures viable in “real” 40K, so that’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.

I have to confess at this point that I’m starting to get the BA bug …as much as I’ve resisted –oh boy. Here we go …again.

Finally, I’ve included a shot of one (out of roughly 15) Bits boxes in which I keep every plastic and nearly every metal bit that crosses my path. As mentioned, these messy piles of loveliness are essential for me when I look toward conversions and other matters. There’s more than a few clues to what I’ve got in mind for the future, so I’ll leave you to pick through the pieces here.

post script: There was a question about the black paint holder hovering in the background of the first photo. It's from a company called Miniature Scenery, and you can find them here. Enjoy.


Bryan said...

Can I ask where you got that black plastic paint holder in picture #1?

Terminators look great!

Brian said...

Hello Bryan.

The black paint holder is actually a composite board one that I primed black because it looked a bit rough when I assembled it. I rushed it over lunch one day, and wood glue was everywhere.

It's from a company called "Miniature Scenery" and you can find them here:

or more precisely, here:

I've order a couple other things from them and I've always been extremely pleased with the product.

I hope this helps.

The Dark Templar said...

Very much looking forward to seeing these complete!

Starting with Liche Purple is an interesting spin on the building up of red armour. Might have to try that one myself.

Brian said...

Dark Templar. Thanks. It's funny that you should say this, as I have every intention of having a go at your red recipe in the reasonably near future.

With regard to the Liche Purple, I would definitely recommend the wash as well. In my limited, and mostly problematic, experiments with the color red, I've found that the wash is essential to push the shadows back down and to keep the entire palate convincingly red.

Rob (V05) said...

Red. Always a paint problem. I don't do much of it...

Liche Purple, then Mechrite Red, wash with purple, then Blood Red for highlights? Mechrite Red again after the wash (but before the brighter Blood Red) for more depth to the color?

Much to learn, I still have.

Brian said...

Rob. I'd give it a try on a model that you don't really care about first, and I must say this as a caveat: the effort-to-result ratio is prohibitive in my opinion.