The Emperor's Creamsicles

I had a sprue of Marines from the Battle of Macragge set, but I wrecked it by buying yellow primer and thinking it would actually cover something. What an idiot I am. Anyone who has ever worked with yellow will know exactly what I mean. Anyhow, they are sitting on the floor of my friend Matt's garage, abandoned. I wrecked them.

I picked up a box of 5 cheapass Marines; the really old-style ones. I wanted to practice up a bit before I get more Macragge Marines (Matt is graciously donating his to me because he's awesome). The thing about me and Marines is... I don't have any particular attraction to them. I don't mind playing against them, but they do nothing for me as an army of my own. I looked at what my options were for a Marine "theme", painting-wise and decided I'd rather be dead than use the same old Ultramarine Blue that every kid in the world uses (or the Blood Red of Blood Angels). My decision for the paint scheme was rather easy: I just went through my box of paints and picked out the one that had been used least. Well, that's actually not entirely true; I didn't want to make Purple or Pink Marines... but the third choice, Orange, turned out to be my theme color.

And the results are below:

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I had to push myself a little to finish him, as I didn't really have much inspiration in my heart to do so. This is because, as I said, I really don't have much zeal for Marines. Still, I think that he's a passable entry: Blazing Orange over a white base, watered-down Flesh Wash for the shading, Sunburst Yellow for the highlights, a touch of Boltgun Metal and Silver here and there, a gold eagle on the chest and some quick-and-dirty battle-damage on the leg and one shoulder pad... and that was it. Done. There is a touch of highlighting on him (you can see it best on the fingers of the hand holding the barrel of the bolter), because it's hard for me not to highlight, but other than that he's pretty much as-is.

A dremel was used to create a little bit of scarring on the shoulder pad, btw... and I will very likely put some transfers on the shoulders. Incidentally, I didn't bother too much with flash or casting lines; my attitude about this army is "quick and dirty", like it was with the Tyranids (though I'm very happy with how they worked out, actually). I don't want to invest the time, frankly. Call it lazy if you like, but there's some charm in having an army done in a day, and after working on the Scorpion it's a nice change in philosophy and approach.

After showing him to my friend Keith, he asked if this scheme was inspired by a photo of his dad that I'd seen. At first I laughed but, after I thought about it for a few minutes, I realized he might have something. Even the mirthless demeanor and the gun strapped to the side says "Marine", don't you think?

Anyhow... more to come soon.


Sleepy Little Genestealer

I showed my five-year-daughter Dora the Genestealer I'd painted up (as detailed in this post), and she took an interest. She asked what it was and, without going into the complexities of what the hell a "Genestealer" is, I told her it was a monster. After all, there are monsters on Sesame Street, so the word "monster" in itself can't be so dangerous to a five-year-old's psyche, right? Well, we were lounging around in my bed and Dora decided that the monster was kind of cold, so she wrapped it up in my blanket. After that, Dora decided that it needed to be patted for comfort and then she sang it a lullabye so it could sleep. We both agreed that little monster felt a lot better after being snuggled a little, and that he was probably in a much better mood now.

So that little Genestealer has been really well cared for today. If the entire Tyranid species were cared for in this way they would probably lose that grumpy disposition.

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Two Things You Never Thought You'd Hear Me Say

Two things you thought you'd never hear me say: I'm painting a small force of Marines and I'm painting a small force of Tyranids.

Those of you who know me will likely think they've stumbled onto the wrong webpage somehow.

Anyway, yeah. I bought the Battle For Mcragge kit; that awesome deal from Games Workshop which includes a nice handful of Tyranids, a nice handful of Marines, a copy of the rulebook (small enough to fit in your army case), dice, measuring sticks, scenery, scenarios, markers... all sorts of awesome stuff. If you want to play Warhammer 40k but you don't want to do all the spending and painting and so-on, this is totally the way to do it.

Anyhow, I got this thing because a) It's cheap, b) It allows me to play Warhammer with my girlfriend and, what's more, when she gets bored of it and decides never to touch it again (we all know that's what's going to happen), it won't be like I spent $500 and six weeks of painting to get two armies together for us to play.

As many of you know, Mcragge comes with a nice kit of Marines and a nice kit of Tyranids. I started with the Nids first, as Lori will no doubt want to play those if she has the choice. Thing is, I didn't want to spend tons of time on these little bastards; Tyranids (like all 40k models, I guess) can soak up hours upon hours of energy and work to get them looking "just so", and I didn't want to do that. I, therefore, made a few decisions:

1. I wouldn't file, sand or otherwise fiddle with the models too much. Extreme occurrances of flash would be trimmed off, but not much more.
2. If I couldn't do the entire force (which includes roughly 18 models or so) within a 24 hour period, then forget it.

I'm amazingly impressed with the results so far.

The approach: I got a bottle of primer from Canadian Tire, which was a "Honeydew melon" color (very, very pale green, like a Fortress Grey almost). I basted the models with this. Then a white drybrush; nothing fancy... just an overall dusting. To be honest, the results weren't extremely striking, but I foraged ahead. Then, a wash of Flesh Wash ink with lots of water and a few drops of Future Floor Polish. At first, it looked awful. So I did another wash of Flesh Wash, and it looked a bit better. Another wash, better. Another wash, even better. Pretty soon I got this lovely ruddy brown that was just really nice and organic. Then, some bleached bone on things like claws, spine and teeth. A few dots of white on the end of claws to bring out highlights and a tiny bit of Goblin Green mixed with Flesh Wash on the back to give a slight greenish tinge. Eyes were dotted with Sunburst Yellow (I think that's what it's called). Goblin Green on the base (which will be flocked later) and a liberal dose of Purity Seal spray to take the shine off of it and, voila... a ruddy, boney, brownish-green Tyranid scheme. And I really like it.

Without further ado... photos of my first Genestealer. He's hard to photograph because of the way he's hunched over, but I think you get the idea.

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Turned out way better than I anticipated. The whole Flesh Wash thing was borrowed from an idea I got from this website where a guy just dunked his Nids in Minwax furniture wax. Obviously what I did isn't a lot like what he did, but if you check out the site you can see where they're conceptually connected.

BTW I don't intend to start collecting Tyranids... just in case you thought I was getting any crazy ideas.

Soon to come: Marines. Oh, the shame.


Aluminum Case, White Paint, Death Sled

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usI've got the inclination to continue painting my Forgeworld Scorpion Mark II Tank lately. It's a fine piece of resin and I'm glad to have it, and after six months of it gathering dust I think I should probably try my hand.

So last night I sat down and continued the work I'd started roughly six months ago. I've decided that I want to paint this thing white (with details of other kinds, of course), but when I got that stroke of genius I didn't really understand how hard white is to work with. I primed it white, but that really didn't do the trick. Those of you who have used Games Workshop white primer will know of its limitations. I then did a wash of Space Wolves Grey all over it (very watery). I probably should have started with SW Grey primer, but whatever. I then did another wash of Space Wolves Grey and Reaper Mini's "Pure White" paint (sorry GW guys, it's just better than Skull White and that's all there is to it). It was a ratio of about 3:1, watered down to the consistency of skim milk. Then a mix of 1:1 over that, same consistency. After that, a mix of 1:3. I am now at the point where I am putting actual white on top, and it's going slow (and will definitely require at least two coats). I'll tell you this, though: It's all worth it. The opacity and evenness of the color is so very worth it. I don't regret a thing.

I also picked up a VERY cheap aluminum case from Canadian Tire. You can see it in the photo above. It was too inexpensive to pass on (besides; I actually paid for it months ago and forgot to pick it up), and it makes a fantastic case to store the Scorpion in. The best thing about it, though, is that the Shock And Awe element is going to be sky-high when I walk into the store with this case in my hand. I may handcuff myself to it in order to push the illusion even harder. As I learned from Batman Begins, theatrics matter. When I walk in with the Scorpion II, the Engine of Vaul, the Death Sled, the Gravemaker... I want hearts to stop beating and livers to turn cold.

More on this as it develops.


Autarch, baby


Got a better photo of him, finally. I think he's just great. I have no idea what he is, really... but he's great. Especially the acid-wash flag.