Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Avenging Angels and Apps

This has taken me a while, but it feels good to get Azrael finally painted and finished. I've had this figure iny collection forever it seems, almost certainly since release, and never got round to painting him. I guess I wanted to do the model justice and was always intimidated by painting such an iconic character. Well he's done now and I'm reasonably happy with the end result, although I stopped once I realised I'd reached endlessly tinkering stage.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Back in Black!

 Wow! and Oh dear. It really has been almost 5 months since I updated here.

I confess. The Gundam figure broke me, following on so closely from my general unhappiness with my Dark Angels. It really was one of those "dark nights of the soul" where I felt like I couldn't face painting another mini and being unhappy with it. I also found myself looking at the Azrael figure I had underway and feeling rather disenchanted with that as well. So I just stopped. Call it a crisis of confidence.

I'm not sure what it was that prompted me to pick up the brush again last Friday and pile headlong into painting Inquisitor Asmodai. Maybe it was all the game's day stuff I'd seen. Maybe it was the new Dark Angels set that GW released. I don't know, but as it was I went at the painting full bore on Friday and Saturday, by which point I'd gotten so far....
Being a little indulgent with the painting helped me somewhat. I used techniques that I hadn't used in ages in favour of time saving approaches that I now realise had become to feel unfulfilling. The black armour was done by painting mid grey, highlighting with light grey and then applying blue wash, brown wash, black wash, over and over (retouching the highlights where necessary) until I had a coverage I was happy with. It is a time consuming technique, but it produces such a rich black with a lot of depth that just painting black doesn't have. It is also, I think, a very easy technique, it just can't be rushed.

The robe at this stage only has the base coat, mid coat and washes on it, but I'd already started wet-blending the mid and base tones everywhere I could. I really enjoyed this, working fast and loose while the paint was wet, got a smoothness of transition I'd been missing from the other highlighting techniques I'd been using.

I knew what I was going to do with the sword, so that was no worry. The banner was a problem, being already fixed in place and partially obscured by the Crozus, painting that was going to be a challenge.

And in the very short end, this is where I got to.
This pic shows slightly more clearly the transitions on the robe than the first one, largely because I fiddled around more carefully with my lighting. My only gripe with the figure is that the particle effect round the eyes didn't work as well as I'd have liked, but I'm happy enough with it.
I'm quite pleased with how the sword came out and I used the same technique I applied for Kaldor Drogo all those months ago. Progressive washes at either end blending into each other, while periodically dry-brushing a light off-white shade (Reaper Ghost White for preference), to give a little particle effect and to help with the shading. The lighting is freehand, with a couple of washes over it so it blends into the colours.
Obligatory side shot. Worth mentioning here that the technique I used for the gold on the armour and sword, was a base of Formula P3 Cryx Bane Base (a rather nice off black) and then Formula P3 Blighted Gold, followed by a quick mithril highlight and a devlan mud wash. The P3 Blighted Gold was recommended by Ron in one of his Deathwing posts earlier this year and I have to say, it is definitely the best gold I've worked with for getting the slightly moody effect I like on my DA and DW. Sally forth and buy yourself a pot today.
The banner. Now there banner was where I thought I was going to "break" myself again and give up in despair, but I tried to keep it simple. So I freehanded on the red stripe and the scroll for his name. The skull, which neatly matches his helmet, was a transfer that I painted over. Simple, but I'm really happy with how this came out overall.
Final shot of the rear. The robe was done with the trusty Reaper bone triad, wet blending as I went and then doing a final dry brush highlight with Reaper Leather White. This shot also shows what I think is a real depth of colour in the black of the backpack. There is a slight blue tinge, which I rather like and the highlighting round the edges is very fine and nicely diffuse into the black.

And there you have it. My first mini in five months and one I am quite pleased with. Certainly this has given me sufficent fuel for my fire to press ahead with finishing Azrael and he'll be up next.

Until then, I'm back. Back in Black.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Gundam - Unconcluded Conclusion

Here is is, in all its splendour and glory. And by that, I mean its assmebled, but far from finished paint job, glory. This picture actually shows the Gundam 00 combined with the Raiser fighter craft, with a variety of weapons attached.The Raiser by itself is a nice enough looking piece of kit and you can see it fully assembled in the picture below.

Why am I stopping here?

1) I'm actually a few LEDs short for completion. There are two more that fit into the attachments attached to the shoulder pods and until I've got those, I can't show the figure in all its glowing glory. I've got these on order.

2) I really need a bandai action stand to display and pose it properly. I've got one on order.

3) Until I've got the above items, I'm really not feeling the urge to press on with tidying up the paint job which is going to be far more fiddly than I'd previously anticipated.

4) I am actually kind of hacked off with it at the moment and that is usually a good sign to walk away, take a breather and revisit it when my mind is in a better place. What that means is that I'll occasionally update this post with new pictures and what not, but I'm not going to do any further posts. Instead I'll be going back to 40k stuff. There is also a valuable lesson connected to this in that I've focused on the Gundam kit to the exclusion of everything else, which isn't an approach I've taken in the past. Previously, if I've gotten bored and frustrated with a piece, I've stopped and done something else. I didn't do that with the Gundam kit and I think I've sufferred for it.

5) Although it is a wonderfully detailed kit and very poseable (with the bandai action stand) it is very fiddly at the end. Swapping configurations, attaching and removing weapons, is a surprisingly time consuming process and some of it is not as slick as I would like. There is a real risk of "bit loseage" if you know what I mean. So until I have all the parts to finish the piece once and for all, I'll mitigate against "bit loseage" by employing a "non fiddlage" policy.

It'll be a while before I update this entry again, but rest assured it will happen and will make it known in my other updates.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gundam WiP - Body of Interest

Oh the humanity! Will the terrible puns never cease? Nope, not a chance. Heh!

When we last met I was in the process of building the legs of the Gundam 00. I'd finished one leg and was starting on the next. Well I've finished both legs now and the waist unit, combined them all together and the end result is................
Tada! More giant robot imagery after the cut.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Gundam WiP - Oh a leg! You're looking for a leg! I think there might be one back here.....

Sorry, this seemed like a good moment for a Monty Python gag. Actual Gundam assembly pictures after the cut.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Of Paints, Blogrolls and Terminators.

I've had a rough 48hrs with work, so bare with me as some of what follows descends into a rant. Only some of it mind, because not everything under the sun is bad.

1. New Citadel Paint Range.
I know these have been talked about to death across the blogsphere, so I'll keep this brief. I'm not amused. I don't mind a new range of paints. I don't mind a new formula. I don't mind that the names have changed. But I DO MIND THESE AWFUL PLASTIC POTS! They really are the most hateful little containers.

Now, I'm not short of paints by any stretch of the imagination, so I'm hardly going to fall over myself to buy this new range in the first place. Aside from the washes (where they annoying pots are less of an issue) and the glazes (because I'm curious), the plastic pots really do put me off trying the rest of this range.

Seriously Citadel, all it would take is a better storage medium for the paints and I'd be buying these. Hell, I'd probably by the full range with the carry case. As it stands, I'll stick with the far more sensible sotrage of my Reaper and Vajello droppers and the far more sophisticated pots of P3 and Cote D'Arms.

2. New Forgeworld Terminators
I love Forgeworld's stuff, I really do and their order logs + my bank balance should be a testament for this. But I really don't like these new Tartaros (Tartar Sauce?) Terminators. I've looked and looked at these, trying to find that little glimmer of love in my heart and it just isn't there. I can see what FW have tried to do with making thise consistent with the MKIV armour, but the end result doesn't work me. I like the styling of the MKIV armour and it does look "advanced" as that particular Mk is supposed to do, but it just doesn't carry over to these Terminator kits.

The things which bother me most are the shoulder pads. They're just not big enough. I think if they extended into a proper half hemisphere like the standard Terminator armour does, I'd be a but more enthused. 

Also, I'm a bit fan of the aggressive "look" of the standard Terminator armour, especially the current plastic range from Citadel. For the first time I'm feeling a bit "disappoint" with something from FW.

3. From the Warp Blogrolls

You may have spotted that I've removed the FTW blogroll widget from this page. As you may know (and if you're on the blogrolls you should), Ron has done an overhaul of the blogrolls and is starting afresh. One of the policies of the new rolls is that the blogs must be 40k focused, accepting that occasionally people will have non-40k side projects.

Right now, I'm in the middle of making a Gundam kit, which is evidently not 40k. As a civil servant, I'm a big fan of being consistent on a policy position, especially when starting out a new system. So for the time being, I won't be part of the blog rolls. This is Ron's decision (obviously), but I fully agree with him on this, because it would look very odd for him to say "blogs that focus on 40k" and then on the new blog rolls have "random Gundam stuff." It just wouldn't look right and if I were Ron, I'd make the same decision.

Once I'm back to painting 40k stuff and have a few weeks worth of material on this page, this may change. I hope. :-)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Gundam WiP - Points of Interest

So this is where I am at present, after a few hours work this evening, I've assembled the shoulder housing and finished both arms. Assembly is proving to be slow going, partly because everything needs to be repainted to a varying degree once it comes off the sprues. If I ever do a Gundam again (which won't be any time soon), I'll be taking a radically simplified approach to the painting so the "tidying up" stage for each piece is a lot quicker.

Plus I've had a bit of a disaster with the electrics at home which meant my painting space was unusable for a few days. All fixed now though. 

I'm going to briefly talk about something we normally don't have to worry about painting Warhammer miniatures, articulation. Thanks to Swelter for their comments, which prompted me to think about this. Thoughts after the cut.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Gundam WiP - Mostly Armless

Please forgive me the awful pun.
So most of this evening has been spent building and painting an arm. Just the one. These things take time. the photo above is a shot of the arm skeleton in its near nekkid state. This is quite a few parts in and of itself, with lots of hidden bits to help with articulation, I particularly like the clear plastic green bits, they're a nice visual touch.

The skeleton takes a bit of putting together and, invariably, I make a mistake reading the Japanese instructions. This is largely because I cannot read Japanese at all and mostly just stare at the pictures to get the jist of what I should be doing, then look at the Kanji and wonder what Bandai are trying to tell me with the various accompanying warning symbols.

Red button is no turn delightful?
High voltage death doing?
More pictures after the cut?

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Gundam WiP - Assembly Commences

Grainy image courtesy of high ISO setting on my camera, which isn't particularly great but it does the job. Purpose of image.......................to see the glow! Yup, although the model is far from finished, I had to fit one of the LED lights into it just to see the lighting in effect. It isn't super bright, but with all the lights out there is still a pleasing glow. A lot quicker than painting on a particle effect I can tell you!

But this is getting ahead ourselves, we need to step back to some time earlier and peak past the cut.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Gundam 00 Raiser & The Right Sort of Green

No, I have not been painting my Gundam green. I'll come to that in a moment. What I've been doing with the Gundam, following undercoating, is getting my base colours on. For all the "dark grey" sprues I've now spray painted Boltgun Metal and given a wash of Baddab black, to create a bit of contrast. I'm of the view that the grey parts of the Gundam are supposed to be metal in appearance, but to keep the price of the kits down they don't do metallic colour plastic.
Aside from being able to give the Gundam a more appropriate colour scheme (in my view), the paint also takes away the shiny plastic look of the model. TBH - this is the main virtue of painting a Gundam for me and you don't really need to do much more than that. My friend Wayne painted up an Endless Waltz Gundam Zero Wing and did nothing more than just apply his own colour scheme. No highlighting or blending or anything clever like that (which Wayne is more than "more than" capable of), apart from a bit of shading in the recesses. The finished model looks stunning. A hugely effective yet simple colour scheme.
I intend to do more in the way of shading and highlighting on my Gundam and hopefully I won't come unstuck in the process. I've not yet decided how I will do the highlighting yet, because at present it is a bit hard to orient pieces on the sprue or even work out which part is likely to catch the most light. I will probably assemble parts and then paint them once I have a better idea of the 3D structure.

But as for the green......

We had another edition of "Paint Club" on Sunday and I picked up the Azrael figure I'd be working on previously and decided that I couldn't continue without tackling the "green issue" which had so hacked me off while painting the Dark Angels devastators. However, rather than compromise the work I'd already done with an "experiment" I brought a spare figure with me and worked on him first to see how the green went.

I'm much happier with these results. I used Orkhide shade for the green, which blends much better with the black and has less of a yellow tinge than DA Green. This gives me the shade and contrast I want, without having to create an overly light highlight. Knarloc green works well for the edge highlighting. I just need to decide how much blending and highlighting work I want to do.
And here's the Azrael in progress. I repainted all the green from the original colour scheme, working from a black base, followed by a 50/50 Orkhide Shade and Black mix, then Orkhide shade and then a simple edge highlight of Knarloc Green. I felt a lot more positive about the experience, so I carried on with building up the highlight on the robe. 

I'll come back to these once the Gundam is complete.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Gundam 00 Raiser - A change (and shortage) of space

This is my workspace, or my workspace of a few months ago. I've made a few changes since then, including a new paint rack from http://www.miniaturicum.de/ who I can heartily recommend.
Same room, different angle. Here you can see how deftly I can switch from relaxing while painting, to relaxing while playing on my computer. Or changing the music I'm listening to. My painting chair is something I'm very particular about as it is, despite probably being about 20 years old, extremely comfortable for painting.

I provide all of this as context, to be clear that I am not cramped away in some cubby hole by my missus where she can hide my pursuits from visitors to avoid embarassment. At the same time, I do not exactly luxuriate for space, but I make do. This exposition is here so we're perfectly clear that I don't have enough space to work easily with a Gundam Master Grade kit.

More after the cut.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Dark Angels - A Slightly Sulky Conclusion

And so the painting of my Dark Angels Devastators (plus a couple of Sternguard) has drawn to a somewhat slightly unhappy close. I've upgraded from the position of very unhappy yesterday because, after having 24hrs to distance myself from the figures I'm slightly less frustrated by my work. Actually, if I were to quote my former boss, I'd say that I was "less than extremely satisfied" by which I believe she meant that unless she was "extremely satisfied" by something, it wasn't any good. I'm not sure I've set myself a bar that high, but when you work for someone like that, their behaviours do influence you.

More angst and analysis after the cut.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dark Angels - WiP- Seeing Red.....

With the main body of the miniature early on (thanks to the airbrush) I've been taking my time on the details. One of things I'm particularly keen to get right the red on the weapons. Now I've done red on weapons the more traditional way on figures in the past, as you can see on this Deathwatch figure above, which I painted a while back. Now I'm happy with how the gun turned out on this guy, but it's a bit "bright" and "cheerful."
I'm painting "Dark" Angels, so I want something a little more sombre.
I also want the red to be consistent with the zenithal lighting so I only get a sharp highlight at the points where the most light hits the model. At the same time, I want to have a nice shadowy red anywhere the light doesn't hit and have good colour saturation. So I'm using all reds all the time.
In a way, most of the ground work is done in the earlier stages where I used two red paints from a reaper triad that go really well together. The problem with them, is that they're a somewhat purply red and a like my Dark Angels red to be a little bit more fiery. However, the reaper paints are the basis that makes what follows work. All I do is heavily thin some citadel Blood Red and then apply that carefull to the relevant parts of the model for my zenithal highlight, while blending it down into the shadow. This takes quite a few passes.
As the two tones I applied earlier compliment each other really well and the Blood Red is effectively a wash, all that happens is the two tones take on some of the qualities of the red and I lose most of the purple tone. This gives me a colour I like, but I retain my shading and I can still build up a strong highlight that blends well.
The next step is to apply a line highlight to pick out the edges and give those a little more definition. Citadel Blazing Orange or Reaper Lave Orange works well for this. The orange line highlight by itself is a little too obvious, so I go over it again with my Blood Red wash to tidy everything up. After that, I apply a quick wash of Baal red to tidy the transitions up further and just take the edge off the brightness, to give me a darker red.
I really like how this looks, as I get a nice red colour on the weapons, without it being "day glo" and inconcistent with the zenithal lighting on the armour. As you can see on this pick (and the earlier ones), I've also done some some work on the plasma coils to get the brightness right. I'll do a slight particle glow effect to finish them off.

I've also painted the black elements on the weapons and armour. I use the Reaper Dark Elf triad for this, with a blue wash and a black wash afterwards. This gives me a more interesting black colour (which would otherwise be a bit flat). Annoyingly, I think I overdid it on the washes and I'll have to go back to repaint some of the highlighting in, as it is now hard to see there.

I've also done shading and highlighting on the metalwork of the weapons and armour, as well as applying a highlight of mithril silver to pick out the zenithals again. I still need to do some more work here, as I haven't quite got the definition I wanted and I also want to try my hand at Ron's heat stained gun barrel effect for a bit of interest.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Dark Angels - WiP - If I never see snot green again.....

No, I've not been working heavily with snot green on my Dark Angels over the past week. Instead my body has been working full time on producing its own snot green analogue in addition to generally making me feel quite miserable. While this has given me a lot of time at home, it hasn't been productive painting time. As a rule, I tend to avoid painting when I'm at risk of sudden convulsive coughing and sneezing, at best it is off putting for painting. At worst......well your paint job might take on rather more abstract qualities.

Back in the saddle now and I'm trying to be disciplined with Tuesday's as my dedicated painty and blogging night. The dedicated part is less about the painty and the more about stopping to actually do the blog update. I suspect I'm not the only blogger out there who keeps painting until they feel they've got something they're happy blogging about, rather than just stopping and going "hey, this is where I am at." I think there is a certain honesty in the latter approach and I'm going to try from now on to stop around 9pmish (just in time for Alice Cooper on Planet Rock) and take photos of whatever stage my model is at, warts and all.

Back to the models.

Starting with the image above, hopefully you can see I've started applying the mid tone red to the Plasma cannon. I've done this for all the weapons and generally the colour is all over except for those areas in shadow, which I've left as the darker red.

I've also started working on the plasma coils and so far all I've done is base with enchanted blue, painted on a mid tone of ice blue, washed with asurmen blue and given it a quick dry brush over with the ice blue. Its a start for the plasma coil, but there is more to do to get the intensity on the coils right.

I've also applied my mid tone to the bone details of the armour, again working to keep the colours consistent with the light and shadows. I've also applied some of my mid red to the company badge on the knee pad, again working towards the light and I've also started building the detail up on the eyes. This picture also shows one of the issues with working from fully assembled models (which is kind of necessary when you're doing zenithal highlighting with an airbrush), is getting to the detail. Some sacrifices need to be made with the detail at this point and certain areas can be left alone.

That said, some of the detail is just plain fiddly to get at and a steady hand is needed, plus patience to deal with mistakes when they happen.

And they will happen.
I think this is a good "warts and all" picture on the melta, as it shows the application of the mid tone red is quite messy really, even though it doesn't seem that way to the nekkid eye. This will get neatened up a bit as I apply the final highlight and a red wash to tie the transitions together. I've also given all the metalwork (that's not gold) a healthy wash of Baddab Black.
The mid tone bone highlight has gone onto the Chapter badge as well. I'm kind of making these up as I go, so I'm still not entirely sure what the finished result will look like. I think the detailing on the lower wing needs tidying up a bit, just so the highlighting makes more sense.

Funnily enough though, the detail on the little symbol hanging from his belt looks better in this photo than it does to the nekkid eye. Funny how these things work.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Dark Angels - Work in Progress

So my Dark Angels devastators are coming along...........................slowly. What the airbrush giveth, the hand painting taketh away. Getting all the details onto eight figures takes time, even just the basic blocking out of colour, before you start shading and highlighting.
Still, as I'd hoped, the figures are starting to come together as the detail goes on and the zenithal highlighting via the airbrush looks less weird now and will look progressively less so as the details are refined.
This blocking out of colour is probably one of my least favourite stages of painting a model, because it is fiddly and time consuming. I try to avoid any mess, to save time cleeaning up later on, which means careful painting inside the lines. I've also got to think about what colours I want, where I want them and how it will all look when I'm done. Plus I miss bits, I forget stuff and then wind up having to repaint areas because I've moved onto another figure at the one time. So not all the base colours are done yet.

Plus doing the freehand to get the Dark Angels chapter symbol on the shoulder pads (as the DA sprue shoulderpads only have a sword) takes a while as well.
Also,last night appeared to be "not good macro photography night" as it was late and I was tired taking the pics so everything is slightly darker than it should be. This some what exacerbates the zenithal highlighting on the figures, where some of the dark looks darker than it should. I find myself worrying unnecessarily when looking at the photos that the macro photography has made it so the shadow is hiding the shadow effect I've tried to achieve, when in fact, it's displaying it more or less properly.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Rant: If You Can't Say Anything Nice.........

....don't say anything at all.

I imagine this is something that all of us have heard from one of our older and wiser relatives at some point in our lives. I see it as one of the great truisms of existence. Sadly nowhere is this saying more widely ignored on the internet but, I suspect none of us our strangers to this or the effect that "anonymity +audience+complete lack of consequence" has on some people. 

I can't get my head round the mentality of why some people feel compelled to post the comments they do. It probably is the most depressing thing about browsing the blog rolls and stumbling across someone's blog, which they've lovingly put together, showcasing their work which they've clearly invested a lot of time and effort in, only to see that some faceless non-entity has posted utterly non-constructive criticism. Criticism that invariably isn't backed up by any link or way of referencing the posters own work. Not that I imagine for a second anyone with an ounce of self worth, self confidence and ability would spend time trashing someone elses work. Regardless of whatever talent any of us might posess, no one wants to look like an ass in the eyes of the rest of the community or senslessly hurt someone's feelings for kicks.

Where am I going with this? 

Oh yes, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Basically whenever I look at someone elses blog, that's the first thing that goes through my head. Art is subjective, we all do things differently and I honestly believe that you can learn something from everyone's miniature painting or other artistic endeavours. I've seem mini's that I consider to be poorly painted, from a technical standpoint, but the imagination behind the colour scheme or the conversion or the pose or other aspect of the piece, is something that I can draw inspiration from. Sometimes you can see what was being attempted and perhaps it didn't work, but then you think "would I have the balls to try doing that?"

Now I'm either quietly inspired (more often than not) or I'll post some compliment about whatever inspired me and go on my merry way.

I also think that if you are going to critique someone's work, you need to be clear on what is good about it before you post about what could be improved. And the "language of improvement" is, to my mind, the only valid way to critique, because art is subjective and nothing is ever truly "bad." A paint job might be unaccomplished, it might be untidy, it might be shockingly poorly colour co-ordinated, but they're never "bad." I know people who paint so the figure looks "good at arms length" and they completely achieve that objective. Obviously such paint jobs look a little (sometimes very) rough when subject to macro photography, but that misses the point entirely. Everthing else about the paintjob, the colour scheme, the shading, the light sourcing, etc etc, is all correct. It looks good the way it is supposed to look. It makes as much sense to critique that approach as bad as it does to say "impressionist" art is "not as good" as "photorealism." You might have a personal preference for one over the other, but that's not an objective viewpoint.

There is also a lot of stuff on the blogrolls which is awe inspiring. It is easy to post a compliment but, that shouldn't preclude complimenting with a critical eye. In which case it is what are the things about the paintjob which really stand out to you, where the technique actually has you baffled as to how you'd do it.

I think, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, that almost everyone out there in blogland is looking for encouragement and support on their painting. It is encouraging to be complimented, it is equally encouraging to have someone say "This is great and have you tried doing such and such a thing?" because that helps us improve.

Maybe there are very rare exceptions to the rule, but for the greater part, I think every miniature paintjob has it good points and its learning points.

Or to put it another way.

Every paint job is a starting point.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Going Green for 2012 - Dark Angels WiP

Over Christmas and New Year I spent some time reflecting on what I was going to paint next and also decided to satisfy my yearning to assemble some miniatures, a process which is fun in its own right. Due to the way things worked out this year, I found myself at home on Christmas Eve happily assembling a sizeable number of Dark Angels veterans including personality figures like Azrael and Ezekiel.

After basecoating the veterans I realised "hey, there is a lot of bone white fabric to paint on these guys!" Closely followed by the thought "I need a break from bone white, I should paint something else." The final thought pulled into station brain shortly afterwards, which was "paint some regular DA you numbskull!" which seemed like a pretty good idea for my brain, especially as I haven't painted a single, honest to goodness, green DA figure since late 2009. Here he is.
I think he was one of the first figures I painted back in 2009 after I got back into minis again after the better part of 2 decades. The figure isn't complete here and I was using a limtied selection of paints, but I was quite pleased with how he turned out.

Anyhow, the other reason for going with non-veteran DA is because I can use my airbrush for the general green colour scheme, something that isn't so practical with the veterans.
The airbrush makes it easy to do a lot of figures quickly (I'm working on 8 atm) and also makes zenithal highlighting a lot easy. They do look a little weird until you the other details done though, as the lack of contrast of other colours does flatten the overall scheme.

The approach is straightforward enough.
1) Undercoat black.
2) Spray miniatures Dark Angels green.
3) Liberally coat the miniatures in a watered down baddab black wash.
4) A more carefully applied spray coat of DA Green to the upper parts of the model.
5) Mix of 50/50 DA Green and Snot Green which is then lightly applied to the upper parts of the model (best to just stand the figures in a line for this and then aim your airbrush as the lightsource and off you go.
6) Line highlight of watered down 50/50 mix of scorpion green and snot green.
7) Thrakka green wash over everything.
8) More black wash into the recesses as needed.
As ever, my macro photography is somewhat shonky but, hopefully you can see on this guy the graduated shading afforded by the airbrush. I'd say getting the right effect, for me, is about 50% judgement and 50% luck. The end result is that the armour is very very dark green out of the light and in it, well, its a slightly less dark green with the odd sharp highlight here and there. I may tinker with the line highlighting as I put more detail in, because in some places it looks fine and in others I think the line needs to diffuse more.
And yes, most of thee guys do have heavy weapons. I like my devastator squads and what I have here are 6 heavy weapons figures. I might make two part of a tactical squad and the others part of a devastator team. I've also assembled a few veterans with heavy weapons as well. If you like something, go wild!
The other two figures are sternguard veterans from the original metal blister pack which I picked up at Gen Con 2009. I may assemble a full blown sternguard squad at some point, using the three I've already painted as the core. The MkVI figures in the set are destined to become Consecrators, indeed one already is if you check the start of this blog.
It really didn't take long to get all 8 figures to this state, maybe a couple of hours work. I'll hopefully get the detail on at the weekend and then we'll see what we shall see.