Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Shoemaker's Children

I have 1500 points of painted Blood Ravens.

It seems odd that after 4 years of painting (and on seven different occasions, playing) 40k that only now I  have enough of my own painted models to field a normal sized game.  I have painted untold thousands of points of models for others, and I have painted hundreds of points of my own for other 40k armies, but only now do I finally have 1500 I can throw down fully painted.
I'm just (sniff) so happy.

The models shown here don't actually add up to 1500... it's somewhat more actually.  It just gives me some list options.It was the vehicles that finally pushed the number up above the magic mark.

Now, to get 30 points of painted Menites!  Or Legion!  Or 1500 Orks!  Or 1500 Ordo Hereticus!  Or 1500 Eldar!  And to all the people for whom I've painted, I really am grateful.  Besides the monetary, I love the idea of models I've painted seeing battle throughout the world.

The shoemaker's children are often shoeless, but not today!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Space Hulk "Plan"

Since I first saw Space Hulk I have wanted a fully painted set.  The models of 3rd ed have so much personality that they beg to be painted to highest quality.  I bought my copy in November.  I have yet to complete one model.  So to help break this down into bite size chunks, I'm going to set some milestones with the intention of being able to play each mission fully painted.
Mission 1: (11 figures to paint) Starting from scratch I'll need to paint up the entire Marine squad and enough 'nids to realistically play fully painted.  In the time I've played mission 1, I don't think I've ever seen more than 6 Genestealers on the board.
  • Sergeant w/ power sword and storm bolter
  • Marine w/ power fist and heavy flamer
  • 3 Marines w/ power fist and storm bolter
  • 6 Genestealers
Mission 2: (5 figures to paint) I tacked 2 Genestealers onto the Marines required to add extra insurance that every model in the game would be painted.
  • Sergeant w/ thunder hammer and storm shield
  • Marine w/ power fist and assault cannon
  • Marine w/ chain fist and storm bolter
  • 2 Genestealers
Mission 3: (5 figures to paint) After this mission we'll have 10 painted Genestealers, so there isn't much risk of needing an unpainted one.  Have you ever had more than 10 visible on the board in missions 1-3?
  • 2 Marines w/ power fist and storm bolter
  • the C.A.T.
  • 2 Genestealers
Mission 4: (6 figures to paint)  All of the Marines for this mission are already painted from the previous missions, so we'll focus on Genestealers.
  • 6 Genestealers
Mission 5: (6 figures to paint) Like mission 4, we're already set on Marines, so let's get some 'nids painted!  At this point we will have 20 Genestealers done.
  • 6 Genestealers
Mission 6: (2 figures to paint) The last of the Marines!
  • Librarian w/ force weapon and storm bolter
  • Marine w/ lightning claws
 Mission 7: (3 figures to paint) Only one model to go after this.
  • Dead Space Marine
  • the Artefact
Mission 11: (1 figure to paint) The last one.
  • The Broodlord
Considering I have yet to play anything beyond missions 1 and 2, this list gives me realistic goals on which to focus for fully painted play.

So, do any of you have your whole set painted?  How did you get it done?

Edited based on suggestions from Rushputin.  Thanks, R!

    Matt's Nids... Test Model

    Primed black, heavy overbrush of Calthan Brown
    Overbrush Dheneb Stone
    Gryphonne Sepia wash
    Bleached Bone on flesh areas, mostly ridges. I didn't read the instructions closely enough and started painting bone on the carapace. That's corrected a couple steps from now.
    Highlight same areas w/ 50/50 bleached bone / skull white
    Mordian Blue base
    Stripes of enchanted blue
    Highlight strips with 50/50 ice blue/enchanted blue
    Joints, eyes, openings to fleshy areas: base lich purple. Highlight warlock purple. Also added skull white to teeth and small specular to eyes.

    Camera Comparison (old vs. older)

    Just a little fun with the cameras tonight.  I finally found the charger for my 2 year old Casio Exilim 7.2 Mp camera after having it be lost for a few weeks.

    This first pic is from my 8 year old Olympus Camedia 2.1 Mp.  The second if from my Casio.  Both are pretty much in default mode, with only the macro setting on, no flash and using self timer.  I think both cameras were using f1.8.  The setup for the mini was exactly the same for both pics, meaning I didn't move the mini or the lighting between shots.  The only change was switching the tripod over to each camera.

    I like the colors a lot more on the newer camera.  I wonder if CCD technology has gotten better or is the internal software better now.  Looking at the two pics I would say the Casio pic looks more like the mini, warts and all.  Clicking on each pic here should give you a good idea of how much more information the Casio records than the Olympus.

    And because I just can't seem to give up goofing off and go to bed here are a couple more pics I took tonight with the Casio.  It takes nice pics, but it really captures the flaws too.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Hobby Tip: Stronger Superglue Bonding

    Bonding large metal pieces together can be a challenge, especially when the bonding surface isn't shaped convenient for pinning.  One trick I just started using is to sandwich a small piece of absorbent paper in between the pieces.  Here's how you do it.

    1. Get a paper towel, fast food napkin or possibly even toilet paper (basically any paper that can absorb the glue) and tear out a single ply.

    2. Place a drop of super glue on one surface  and then place a small patch of the paper onto the super glue.

    3. Place another drop of superglue onto the matching surface and press onto the paper.  Hold together until glue is fast.

    4. Trim any paper protruding from the join.

    After the glue dries you will find the glued join is extremely strong.  As an example, I glued the two body halves from this Hordes model (Skorne Titan Gladiator) together using this technique and was unable to pull the two halves apart.  I could probably separate them with a tool, but with just my fingers is was very difficult.

    As an aside, this technique will add a very thin spacer in between the two pieces, but the tolerance of these pieces is typically more than enough to allow for it.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Blood Raven Painted (to date)

    My Saturday battle with Joe's fully painted Goff army really has me inspired.  Tonight I got as many models as were possible out and painted the final little details on them, then arranged them for the group picture here.  They all have chapter symbols and squad symbols now.

    Shown here are:
    • Captain in terminator armor
    • Chaplain w/ jump pack and plasma pistol
    • Librarian
    • Captain w/ power weapon and bolter
    • Sergeant w/ power fist and bolt pistol
    • Sergeant w/ power weapon and bolt pistol
    • Sergeant w/ chainsword and bolt pistol (Assault on Black Reach model)
    • Sergeant w/ chainsword and bolt pistol (Battle for Macragge model)
    • 15 Marines w/ bolter
    • 2 Marines w/ missile launcher
    • 1 Marine w/ heavy bolter
    • 2 Marines w/ flamer
    • 5 Assault Marines (inc. Sergeant w/ power weapon and bolt pistol)
    • 6 Sternguard Veterans (inc. combi-melta and combi-plasma)
    • 5 Marine Terminator squad (inc. Sergeant w/ power weapon and storm bolter)
    • Dreadnought w/ missile launcher and plasma cannon
    The funny part is that I can barely field over 1300 points with what I have painted.  Finishing up the Land Raider Crusader and the two Razorbacks (Stronos pattern and TL heavy flamer) will increase that another 420 points.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Blood Ravens Dreadnoght

    This fellow was fielded yesterday against the Orks (Orks!  Purge the beasts!)  I didn't know I was playing Orks when I put him in the list, but the ability to drop two templates was certainly appreciated.  The plasma template scattering off the target nearly every time was irksome.

    The body is an AoBR dread, which I had originally painted for a "Black Reach in a month" painting competition, in which you paint the entire box in four weeks (it was a tie in with the release at our local GW store.  I lost, thank you berry munch.)  The top book thingy is from the Librarian in terminator armor, and makes it nice and Blood Raveny I think.  The missile launcher arm is from a regular dread kit, with some plastic tubing put inside the arm socket to make it fit the smaller black reach dread's peg.  I did a youtube video a while back on how to do it, but lots of people have listed easier ways since then.

    The plasma cannon is a little different.  It's a devastator plasma cannon, mounted to the multimelta arm of the black reach dread.  I had to sculpt just a little of the segmented cord at the bottom to make it match, so it's a fairly straightforward conversion.  Now that the plastic venerable comes with a plasma cannon arm you aren't forced to make your own or buy from ForgeWorld.  Have you seen the venerable dread sprues?  I want.

    Dwarf Engineer (contest winner)

    I spent part of the day at Get Your Game On today hoping for a game of 40k.  In the four or five years that I've been playing 40k, I have fewer than a dozen battles fought.   Today was another, and another notch in the "never won a game of 40k" belt.  More on that in a minute.

    First off, though, I'd like to show off the mini that won the Paint Creek "Strategic Redeployment" painting contest when they closed.  50 Dwarf engineers were given out at the ill fated GW store the week before they closed, and they were judged in a painting contest a week later at the new "place" to be, Get Your Game On.  My entry won, and I received a battleforce as my prize (I chose Eldar.)  The engineer is painted in the color scheme of my friend Bill's Dwarf army (a great deal of which I still need to paint for him.)  It also matches (roughly) the University of Michigan school colors, and since Get Your Game On is smack dab in the middle of Ann Arbor I'm guessing that have a soft spot for that color scheme.  I'll be giving this to Bill as a display piece.  I'm quite pleased how it turned out.

    So in term of playing 40k, the store was absolutely devoid of warhammer/40k players when Stef and I got there ... roughly 4:00 PM.  I immediately got the "don't want to be here" feelings going, but Stef convinced me to sit and paint for a while.  Less than half an hour later, a fellow named Joe came in with enough Orks to play the 1500 points of marines I had brought.  The fight was on!

    Joe had a Goff warband painted much like my own (although he had many, many more models painted.)  We got sieze ground / dawn of war, and I took first turn.  I won't do a play by play, but I did learn a few things I will share.
    • When it comes to taking objectives, 4 squads of 5 marines would have been much more useful than 2 squads of 10.  I will be breaking into combat squads in the future.
    • Nobs with a painboy are scary even when foot-slogging.  He took mostly huge choppas as wargear, which still allows armor saves but wounding on a 2+ means you are going to take a lot of them.  
    • Six sternguard can effectively destroy a mob of 20 boyz holding an objective.  If you are inside 24" those Hellfire rounds just tear anything up.  Once the mob was reduced a bit I got close enough to rapid fire, making him choose between keeping the objective or leaving it to charge at me.
    • A Land Raider Crusader can kill an Ork Warboss in the shooting phase, unlike the rest of my army.
    • When given the chance, don't forget to contest the objectives.  In the last turn I could have run a dreadnought over to the objective the Nobs were holding and potentially won the game (we drew at 1 objective each.)
    • If the Ork Warboss w/ Klaw makes his invulnerable save against your force weapon, prepare to get the big hurt.
    And here are a couple more views of the Dwarf Engineer:

      Saturday, March 20, 2010

      Rat Ogre Bonebreaker (complete)

      This guy has been done for a while, but I don't think I ever posted a pic.  Last week my wonderful, special kitty jumped up on a tray of Skaven in my office sending 20 metal plague monks, 20 plastic plague monks, 25 clanrats, 2 Plague Priests and this fellow crashing to the floot from about 3'.  There was only minor damage to the metal models, and I really think the coats of Minwax polyurethane they got saved their paint jobs.  This fellow lost the warlord's head and got some scratching and mashing.  This pic is after the repair job.

      Now that this guy is US3 (according to the new Skaven FAQ) he gets a "look out sir!" roll when in a unit.  I'm so happy!

      Every Army Starts Somewhere

      And my Biel Tan Eldar army starts with one lonely Guardian.  I really want this to be a nice looking army, so this is the quality level I'm shooting for for the whole thing.  If I can't ever win at 40k I'm going to at least look good losing.

      Through various trades, a few purchases and some contest winning, I've actually managed to accumulate a nice sized start for this army.

      Some HQ:
      Avatar of Khaine
      Farseer (bonesinger conversion)
      Farseer w/bodyguard box set
      (includes farseer, 2 warlocks with witch blade and 1 with singing spear)
      ...then the contents of a battleforce:
      20 Guardians (w/ 2 weapon platforms)
      5 Dire Avengers
      1 War Walker
      1 Wave Serpent
      Some Elites...
      10 Howling Banshees (w/ Exarch)
      20-some odd Harlequins (including 2 troupe masters, 2 shadowseers, a death jester, 4 fusion pistols, and 8 with Harlequin's kiss)
      Swooping Hawks box (6 models, inc. Exarch)
      Falcon grav-tank
      1 VibroCannon w/ crew
      2 old Dark Reapers
      1 single Wraithguard

      So, Eldar players, what sort of 1500 point list would you make from these models?  I'm leaning heavily toward the Harlequins right now since they will be so much fun to paint.

      Thursday, March 18, 2010

      Hey Austin!

      For more than a decade, a friend of mine and I have been calling each other on St. Patrick's Day to sing this stupid little advertising jingle that ABC Warehouse used to play on the radio.  I wish I knew the name of the tune, but everyone associates it with St. Pat's Day and all things Irish.


      Even though Austin and I never see each other any more, I submit this as my 2010 entry.  I was too sick yesterday morning to even think about calling anyone, even if I did still have his number.

      Painting One of Mine!

      Okay camera, I surrender.  You can saturate the colors all you want, and make everything I paint look like it went through the high gamma filter.  I'll just post whatever you give me.

      In honor of the new Blood Angels codex I decided to put a little time in on the only Blood Angels models I actually own... the Space Hulk terminators.  For this model I used my super secret formula for painting bright red.  Want the secret?  I knew you would.  Just paint a million freaking thin coats.  After about 800,000 coats it will start to smooth out and by 1M it looks pretty darn good.  Just for fun I put a little green on the gems there and the eyes.  I really want a nicely painted Space Hulk set, and this fellow is a promising start.  Now, only 30 more figs to go!  At this rate I'll be done in 2039!

      Tuesday, March 16, 2010

      Ancient Evidence

      Ceaseless research and careful archeology in my in-laws bathroom has revealed a surprising fact.

      The ancient candle makers clearly knew the "sweep kick to roll tackle" combo move.

      Can I get a "MORTAL COMBAAAAAAAT"?

      Skorne Basilisk Pair

      Lunchtime is getting more productive, especially since I've decided not to eat most of the time.  (But, Mike!  Not eating isn't healthy! you say.  Well, for me there's a pretty strong correlation between a "normal" sized lunch and the nigh uncontrollable urge to nap at about 2:30.  I can handle about 200-300 calories at noon, and any more that that knocks me out.)

      But anyway.....

      Skorne!  Brian gave these to me, oh, three years ago or so to paint in exchange for some Menoth figures.  I still have a couple Titans and a Cyclops to finish, but the Basilisks are pretty much done.  The skin is white primer with a heavy GW flesh wash, then highlighted up with mixture of tallarn flesh and skull white.  The red is mechrite red with a wash of devlan mud (yes, that's all.)  The ropes are snakebite leather with a highlight of khaki.  The crappy photo comes courtesy of my Samsung cell phone camera.

      Now, to finish the Cyclops and on to the Titans.  I'm a little concerned about the Titan Gladiator because I dropped him on my desk and he exploded into nearly all his component pieces.  I definitely have some pinning ahead of me.

      Friday, March 12, 2010

      I Am The Winner?!!?

      I must be, because it even knows what town I'm in right now!  That's so cool!  I didn't even know I had a message account at the ad-banner place.  Yay for internet!

      ...And Then This Happens

      Everyone seems to be using Facebook all the time for pretty much everything (and by that I mean virtual farming, sending people virtual faming paraphernalia, challenging each other to quizzes about virtual farming, etc.)  I had started a Facebook account waaaaay back when it intended for University affiliated people.  I lost interest soon after.

      In the past few months, the sheer volume of Facebook invites / friend suggestions has coerced me to try and re-enter the Facebook world.  I accepted many of the dozens of friend requests I had and tried to figure out the best way to utilize it other than making it a public declaration of my various fandoms or my prowess at virtual plowing.

      Today, my aunt and uncle sent me a Facebook friend request.... FROM THEIR DOG.

      Facebook, I am kicking you out of my life again.  I think MySpace has a couch you can crash on at their trailer, but you are not staying here another night.

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      Lunchtime Skorne, et al.

      I've been juggling projects for people lately, depending on where I am at the time.  At home it's Ulthwe Eldar... mostly.  At work it's Skorne and finishing up the Ghost Stories repaint.  We're going to play Ghost Stories on Friday with fully painted figs.  I'll try to remember to snap a pic or two.

      Here we see (thanks to cheap camera phone, thank you berry munch) some of the Skorne models.  To the left front are two basilisks, a Drake and a Krea.  For the life of me I can't remember which is which or why one's eyes are sewn shut.  Directly behind them are two Cyclops Savages, one nearly done and one very basic.  To the right of those are a Titan Cannoneer, slightly modded to be pointing the cannon out, and tongue poking out as she tries to aim.  They don't have fantastic RAT.  Also seen are Reinholdt with plaid pants and a metal bowler, a tin of Shinola and a coprolite.  Behind all that are some books I haven't touched in 10 years, an unpaid parking ticket from 2006 and a postcard of Ypsilanti's landmark water tower.

      Annoying in Life...

      It's rough, I know, but they're getting better.  I'm thinking a tablet would make life so much easier.

      Monday, March 08, 2010

      Skaven FAQ is here

      Now that GW has had their say on the Skaven mysteries, let's see how I did from my stated stances.
      1. Warpstone Tokens and the Storm Banner are "one use only" - spot on!
      2. The Doomwheel may not start in the front arc of a unit, then use its movement to maneuver around to hit that unit in the flank or rear. - spot on!
      3. Shooting will scatter into Rat Ogres on a 1-4, into other models on a 5-6. - spot on!
      4. Only one Night Runner, Jezzail team, Rat Ogre, etc. can be upgraded in a unit, not any and all of them. - not addressed, but I think there was enough consensus on this beforehand.
      5. Banner of Verminous Scurrying can only be used to augment a unit's normal march, in the movement phase. - not addressed.  Too bad too, because this is still very vague to me.
      6. Template weapons hitting an enemy unit engaged with slaves will be randomized between slaves/enemies. - I was wrong.  Models hit by the template are hit, with no randomization.
      7. Plague Priests may not take warpstone tokens. - not addressed, so I stick with my stance.
      8. I will never take more than one tail weapon or rat hound bodyguard. A brace of warplock pistols is possible until ruled otherwise, but only because it's a cool conversion option. - Only one of anything is allowed per model, including pistols, so mostly correct for me.
      9. The plague censer would benefit from poisoned attacks. In the same way a great weapon keeps its rules (+2 strength, strikes last) with poison, the plague censer is a weapon with its own rules, not a magic weapon. - not addressed. 
      10. Slaves breaking from cc will get additional hits under the "Cornered Rats!" rule only for each full rank of 5 beyond the first, not just for each rank beyond the first. - spot on!
      So, mostly vindicated.... mostly.

      Sunday, March 07, 2010

      Converting Deffkoptas : Big Shootas

      Does it seem strange to anyone else that we need to convert this model to get it back to the basic codex stats?  Oh, well.  If they came with big shootas we'd be seeing hundreds of conversions to rokkits.

      The conversion is simple enough.  Get out the ol' bone saw and chop off the ends of the rokkits on the front of the kopta.  Leave some of the rokkit body intact since we'll be using that for the big shoota's body.  You can cut right through the bottom part, and we'll be putting in a little Orky decoration to cover up the cut.

      Next you take two diameters of styrene tube, one of which fits inside the other.  I wish I could give you diameters, but I can't find the packaging.  The only really important parts are that one fits inside the other, and that the larger of the two fits on the inside part where the four rokkits used to be.  Take a section of the larger tube about 3/4" long and use a pin vise to drill some holes in it like a machine gun's cooling jacket.  They don't have to be perfect..... if you are converting Orky stuff you already know that.  Place a piece of the smaller diameter tube inside the larger one to make a barrel, and glue this sandwiched between the remaining parts of the rokkit bodies.  After that, glue a short piece of the smaller tube to each of the four rokkit bodies.
      Here's a pretty good illustration of what we're aiming for.  Yeah, it's pretty rough, I know.  What we end up with looks like five barrels, easily WYSIWYG for a twin linked big shoota.

      Now to fix that ugly flat spot in the bottom.  Take a length of trapezoidal sprue about as wide as the bottom two barrels.  Glue it in place with the smaller edge facing down.  Now cut some rough triangles from plasticard with your plasctic cutters and glue them in the old "dog tooth" Ork pattern.

      There!  Wasn't that easy?

      Saturday, March 06, 2010

      The Truth about "Simple Green"

      Since I first started reading miniature painting tips online, the cleaning product "Simple Green" has been mentioned as an effective paint stripper.  Having recently found some at my local hardware store, I tried it out today.

      First off, we have a very old Eldar Dark Reaper.  This fellow was veritably caked in paint.  Thick, chunky paint.  With no advance cleaning I dropped him in a small container of Simple Green.  What you see here is the same figure after soaking for about three hours.

      A light brushing with a toothbrush had paint sloughing off in great chunks.  This is better than I remember metal figs that had been left in brake fluid.  Remember, this is only about three hours!

      A rinse under the sink and a little more brushing, and check this out.  I was absolutely amazed.  I've tried other cleaning solutions (ammonia window cleaners, Sol-U-Mel, etc.) and nothing has performed like this.  It's as if acrylic paint killed Simple Green's family, and it is time for revenge.

      Go to a hardware store and buy this stuff.  I paid $4.29 for a 24 oz. bottle, and it is worth every penny.

      Friday, March 05, 2010

      Farseer (from Bonesinger) primed

      My Farseer, whom I really wanted to be an original model, is primed and ready for paint.  I really like the way he looks.

      Not that I'll get to him anytime soon....

      This is the danger of commission work.  You see and paint so many of the models that you eventually want to start that army.  Between the thousands of points of Eldar I've painted and Fritz's entertaining tactica, I'm going to do my best to deliver doom to the Mon-Keigh.


      Matt, you are one sick puppy

      This is the example model given to me to demonstrate how a friend wants some gaunts painted.

      Um, Matt?  What inspired you to make this thing giving birth to a bunch of rippers?  Seriously, either you have way fewer hang-ups than I do or you have a view of procreation that just makes me feel icky.

      That said, this is one cool conversion.  I'll be starting a project blog to cover the progress.  I just wanted to share this freaky nid to you all for now.

      Thursday, March 04, 2010

      Trying a Few Things - Buying a Few Things

      I'm trying out Tinweasel's rust effect.  I bought some 0000 steel wool from my local ACO hardware store, filled a Reaper eyedropper bottle with it (loosely packed) and then filled the bottle about 75% full with the bleach / vinegar solution he describes.  The steel almost immediately started to rust, and this oxidation is caused by the bleach I've discovered.  To my surprise, vinegar (an acid) does more to polish metal by removing oxidation than cause the metal to break down.  The bleach, although very alkaline, provides the oxidation reaction.  Go figure.  I'll let you know in a few days how it looks.

      While at ACO I also picked up 600 grit sandpaper (impulse buy) and a bottle of (drum roll please) Simple Green!  People have been raving about this stuff for stripping minis for years, but I'd never actually seen it in a store until yesterday.  Then again, I'd never looked in a hardware store.

      Wednesday, March 03, 2010

      Catnip is a Gateway Drug

      I tip my hat to the good people at Avrett Free Ginsberg for making a cat food commercial that actually makes me want to eat the cat food.

      Now if that isn't messed up enough, there was a fairly hilarious parody of this commercial on youtube that was viewable as of yesterday (3.2.10) but that now shows the following message when you attempt to watch it:
      So clearly either someone at youtube or someone at the International Olympic Committee has actually been eating the cat food.  Or smoking it.  Or something.  Wait... can cat food be smoked?

      Breaking News!

      Apparently after a wild night of claiming copyright over everything they saw on youtube, the International Olympic Committee has woken up with a splitting headache and admitted that, yeah, maybe a parody of a cat food commercial wouldn't really be infringing anything they control.  Although you have to admit that "carp ship racing" as a proposed event in the summer games was supposed to be secret for now.  "Dude, remember we talked about that fish boat racing thing the other night?  Those guys at Friskies totally stole that."

      What this means for you, gentle reader, is that the link to the potty-mouthed parody works now.

      Tuesday, March 02, 2010

      Check out Tinweasel ... NOW

      Behold the fantastic painting of Tinweasel!  This guy beat me down in fantasy single fig at Chicago 08, even thought we painted exactly the same figure.  He's good.  Really good.

      And he's looking for commission work.

      And he's running a contest to give away a commission job.

      Go to his blog, follow it and check out how to enter the contest.  Also check out his commission rates.  They are a real bargain for the work he does, and I expect that these rates will go up as more people realize what a great painter he is (and demand increases against a limited supply.... you know the economics people!  Don't make me go all Adam Smith on you!)

      Go now!  I command you!

      Chain of Events

      Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
      Will Rogers

      So, are you experienced?
      Have you ever been experienced?
      Well, I have

      Jimi Hendrix

      Cause of death:
      Inhalation of vomit
      barbiturate intoxication

      Death certificate of James Marshall Hendrix, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

      My boss has the first quote posted next to his office (attributed to Rita Mae Brown) and this little slice of history occurred to me.

      Monday, March 01, 2010

      Blood Ravens painting tips

      Ugolino sent the following:

      I'm trying to get into the Warhammer 40k tabletop hobby, and more specifically the Space Marines. I've been trying to paint a Blood Ravens army, but keep on making mistakes. I found your site when looking for a Blood Ravens guide, and I've been using your models as a guide in my attempts. 

      How much do you water down each of the layers of red? What exactly constitutes a "thin" coat?

      Also, can you tell me what method you used to paint this Raven, if it differs from the one listed on the wiki? (http://coolminiornot.com/109090) He's a bit closer to the specific look I was hoping for with my Ravens than the "take cover" entry.

      Thank you.


      Hi Ugolino,

         Welcome to the hobby!  Thinning paints can differ based on personal style as long as the goal is kept in mind: put color on the mini without the dry paint having a rough or chunky texture.  I've read and number of guides that said "the consistency of milk" but I never really figured that one out.  Start with 50/50 paint water and get a controlled brush load to avoid the thinned paint wicking everywhere on the mini.  Touching the edge of the paint brush (about halfway between the tip and the ferrule) to a coffee filter will draw extra moisture away from the bristles so you can control application better.  If you are getting smooth results with 50/50 stick with that or try even thinner.

      Red is tough to get solid in few coats.  I recommend GW's mechrite for a base coat, and then red gore built up to your desired shade (for Blood Ravens anyway.)  You can do a highlight with blood red, but be cautious because it's very orange compared red gore.  A little bleach bone / red gore makes a nice edge highlight and isn't too pink or orange.

      One thing that helps me is a wet palette.  They are really cheap to make, and I posted a how-to here:

      That fellow (my Blood Ravens test model from '05) was painted before the current wash range or foundation paints came out, so I most likely painted him all red gore (over black primer... it would have taken a few coats to get the color solid) and then gave him a wash in "Future" floor polish wash (50/50 water and Future + some GW brown ink.)  Nowadays a 50/50 diluted GW Devlan Mud wash might do the same thing.  The mechrite red gives a very good base red too... way easier to deal with than black.

      Maybe this combo might work... just off the top of my head.  If I was going to try and recreate that model with the current range, this is what I would do.
      1. basecoat mechrite red.  Total model coverage.
      2. wash Badab Black.  Again total model coverage.
      3. paint armor areas red gore.  Multiple coats until color is consistent.
      4. Paint shoulder pads bleached bone (coat until consistent color)
      5. wash enture model with 50/50 water/Devlan Mud wash.
      6. Paint details like eyes

      One of the important things about red gore is that it looks purple
      when the coverage isn't good enough.  Just keep applying thin coats
      and the color will even out to a nice, rich red over time.

      Hope that helps,