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Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Feo’s base, poop Chiclets, and a big hill

Feo was fun to build, but I was equally excited to work on his base — because at a staggering 90mm wide, it presented a huge canvas (relatively speaking) to tell a little story. So I decided to tell a two-part story.

Part one is the back, where I added the remnants of an overrun Imperial Guard post.

The back of Feo’s base

It continues on the front, with the remains of one of the Marines who came to Armageddon to assist a failing Guard mission (sorry, Astra Militarum — my brain automatically thinks “Imperial Guard”). When I get texture paint all packed in around him, I’m hoping it’ll look like his corpse is half-buried in the dust, with just his back, one Power Fist, and bleached skull visible.

And given that one theme of my army is “everyone wears a helmet,” how did this poor Marine die? From a head wound…because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. (It’s hard to make out, but his skull has a crack down the front.)

Fully assembled, base front
One of my busiest painting corners ever, around the time I finished assembling Feo, with Barakiel on the handles; Judgment, Adamo, and Zahariel curing; and Feo awaiting primer
Shading underway

Mmm, slimy poop Chiclets.

Mostly done, just the decal and final Grey Seer drybrush to weather the various bits of scenery

The sandbags were outside my wheelhouse (nothing in my army is brown…) and required some fumbling, including a full repaint and re-shading job. I eventually realized that it didn’t need a painted-on layer, just base > wash > drybrush > drybrush — and the recipe I used for the stone ruins on my Assault Squad’s bases. Hopefully they read as sandbags rather than stone.

Definitely not poop Chiclets anymore
I’m curious to see how this turns out in the next stage

Next up, adding the texture paint — and building a convincing hill under and around my Ultramarine. This base swallowed the remnants of my second bottle of Astrogranite Debris and a good chunk of a fresh one, too.

I had to break up the line of the hill (which is going to take like a week to dry…), so I made little terraces for tufts and marked them in MS Paint. We’ll see if that does the trick!

L>R: small/medium, large, and small/medium tufts go here
Less critical, but these all seem like good spots for tufts too

I’m not sure how convincing the hill is, and I wish I’d mounted a few skulls on posts to add some variety (building the level up to the skulls, like I did with the fallen Marine’s skull). But I test-tufted it, and held a Marine up in front of it in the same position, to see if it looked like there could be the bottom of a dude under there — and it does seem to work.

Test tufts from “battlefield view”
Test tufts from the front

Redemptor Dreadnought base color guide

Feo’s scenic base uses the following for the non-standard elements (skulls, etc.), as always mostly based on GW’s Parade Ready recipes:

  • Ultramarine armor: Macragge Blue > Nuln Oil > Calgar Blue > Grey Seer drybrush (dust/weathering)
  • Ultramarine white: Celestra Grey > Drakenhof Nightshade > Ulthuan Grey > White Scar > Grey Seer drybrush
  • Ultramarine gold: Retributor Armour > Reikland Fleshshade > Auric Armour Gold > Grey Seer drybrush
  • Ultramarine metal: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil > Stormhost Silver > Grey Seer drybrush
  • Vox-caster and knife: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil > Stormhost Silver drybrush > Ryza Rust drybrush
  • Astra Militarum sandbags: Mournfang Brown > Agrax Earthshade > 2:1 Kislev Flesh:Mournfang Brown drybrush > Grey Seer drybrush

For the Ultramarine’s pauldron decal, I applied it just like normal but then varnished it before doing the dust/weathering drybrush layer; I worried that drybrushing might tear the decal. When I’m ready to varnish the whole model, that bit will get a second coat (which is fine).

I love how huge this model is! I can’t wait to be able to do the full line-up: old Marine, Primaris Marine, refrigerator Dread, Contemptor, Redemptor.

Categories
Blood Angels Space Marines Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: decal time

As I amassed the hoard of plastic that will become my Blood Angels army, I learned about decals. Most of what I knew about them was that as a kid, I tore, mangled, and misapplied them at basically every turn.

My research led me to Micro Set and Micro Sol (paid link), the twin weapons in the modeler’s arsenal for putting tiny decals on tiny figures — and especially on curved or irregular surfaces. They’re both decal softeners; softer decals become more fragile, but also better able to conform to curves and whatnot.

I might be able to freehand a Blood Angels chapter emblem in, like, 2027

I watched three YouTube videos about putting on decals, and browsed a few posts, and the funny thing is that people don’t really seem to agree on how to do it. Take the videos:

  • One person scored the decals with a hobby knife and uses only Micro Set, and never touched the decal with anything but a brush or that knife
  • One used like 8 million layers of Micro Sol; the process appeared to take an hour or two with lots of drying time between coats
  • One used both Set and Sol, and a Q-tip, and did the whole thing in one coat of each and like two minutes

All of their decals looked great when they were done.

And the posts? Gloss varnish before and after; no, only after; no, gloss before and matte varnish after; only after turning three times widdershins and never under the light of a full moon . . . you get the idea.

The little near-identical bottles themselves also make things a bit confusing: Sol recommends starting with Set and then using Sol; Set says to use only Set unless you really need Sol. But Sol is for irregular surfaces, which sounded like my use case — so I just followed the directions on the Micro Sol bottle.

Sergeant Karios, Second Company

I went with Second Company for my first squad because I like the pop of yellow and — for some reason — the decals for Second Company seem to be the most common.

And there’s another peculiarity: GW seems to have largely gone away from decals that aren’t for Ultramarines. The only Blood Angels transfer sets I have came out of my Dreadnoughts — even this kit, an explicitly Blood Angels tactical squad, doesn’t have a sheet of transfers in it. When those run out, I’ll be relying on Ebay.

Anyhoo, next came the banner.

Long may it wave

The Micro Sol bottle says to let it dry and see how they turn out, and then apply more Sol as needed (with drying time between coats); as needed, prick any bubbles that form. With a reasonably smooth coat of primer and paint these two decals both seemed to have gone on okay, but I could see a couple little spots where they hadn’t settled down perfectly. So I hit those spots with some more Sol, then let them dry again.

When all’s said and done, I’ll varnish over the decals when I seal the whole mini. These weren’t hard to do at all — huzzah!