On The Table: Sons of Medusa Terminators

I've been wanting a set of terminators since I started my Sons of Medusa.  A big bad block of awesome that could put major problems into an opponents battle plans and eat up a ton of points at the same time.  I even went ahead and ordered a set of Black Lotus Tribe shields from Maxmini.eu near as soon as I started the army.  I had wanted to use round shields in place of the normal terminator storm shields.  But when I got a set of terminators, they were caked with paint already and when I went to spray them once more, the spray fuzzed up on me.  My attempts to remove the paint were futile at best and I decided they were too far gone and relegated them to the bits bin. 

Over the last week I decided to try and salvage them once and for all.  A few good scrapes with the hobby knife and some sandable auto primer later and I was pleasantly surprised that they came out the other side looking a touch alright!  There are a few pits here and there from uneven paint but nothing that won't cover up nicely with a little of my paint weathering! 

I'm trying another method for painting my Sons as well.  Instead of going with the PS-8 Tamiya Spray I've used before I'm going to be using airbrushed Scorpion Green.  The wash I use will still be Thraka Green to add some depth, but I'll be using the wash much more sparingly.  The rest will likely be near the same as everything I've painted for the force so far with maybe a few tweaks here and there.  The shields will likely have a few areas of freehand, to include an homage to the original Sons of Medusa chapter emblem. 

I've also got another set of 5 terminators that I'll be loading out with lightning claws.  I was able to finally snag a set of shoulders for the squad after having them in limbo for going on two years now!  I picked up the squad as a trade at a bits night but they were sans-shoulders, I had been meaning to get a set online but just never got around to it.  The other day, I asked around and was able to get a set once and for all from a DakkaDakka user, AgeofEgos.  A big thanks to him for helping me finally get this project going! 

I have a lot of painting to do yet, as well as a good amount of modeling.  There is even another land raider to put together still to cart the second squad around in!  It's a long way off from completed, but I'm dying to get started!


Field Report: Painting Mantis Warriors

With this coming Tuesday being the due date for my transfer application, to say that my hobby time has been lacking is a slight understatement.  Luckily, my network of hobby friends runs nice and deep with a ton of great stuff coming out all the time! 

Today I'm bringing another faction from the Badab War to your attention, The Mantis Warriors.  My friend daKing has been a renegade commander for a few years now when Bell of Lost Souls Badab War campaign book was just starting to come together.  In one of his latest posts on his blog daKINGsays he breaks down his method for painting his force

Head over, check it out, and leave him some comment love!  If you've got a good link for the Badab War, shoot it to us at ThePaintingCorps@gmail.com so we can feature and share it with everyone here! 


Reinforcements: Sons of Medusa Marine

Getting a new model for my Sons of Medusa army finished is always a great feeling.  This is the army that I fell in love with from the start.  It's a hard color scheme, Scorpion Green and White aren't exactly colors that beginners should handle very much let alone build an army on!  Now with the release of Imperial Armor 10, they have a developed background and a brand new allure.

This guy was just one of a few wargear options I had laying around that didn't make it into the final army list.  Now that I'm back at the boys in green, I'm digging through my collection of bits and models looking to build an entire squad around him.  I've been lucky enough to find enough to put just that many models together, and am considering picking up the collectors range Iron Hands Tactical Squad from GW for a ton of great bionic bits and bobs that would do wonders for the look of the army.  Oh, and that special character from IA10 might be in the making if I can come up with the right bits!

All in all I'm extremely happy with how this guy came out, and while I was at it I went ahead and painted the chapter badge on the tactical multi-melta marine I was using as a rough guide.  I still have to go through and do that for most of the rest of the army, but with how easy it went on with these two I don't suspect it would take more than a day to get done, now if I could just find the time!

I love the Badab War, if you're working on an army from the conflict or have one built, I want to see them!  Share a link in the comments!


Friday Quick Tip: Color Scheme Wheeling

There have been a lot of great new tools, ideas, and practices I've taken from the classes I've been taking over this past year.  A formal art education is full of little nuances that you don't tend to think about when self educating.  In the last week my eyes were opened to an extremely useful tool, a Color Wheel. 

I've always known about 'The Color Wheel', but never truly given it much thought.  I'd always just winged it and learned a little about how colors react with others, being sure to remember for the next time.  I went through an entire year of classes, including a painting course, without the help of, what I'm quickly learning, is a tool that can save me a lot of time! 

 The wheel I picked up has a lot of little helpful pointers all over its surface.  For canvas painting I find the above slots of color extremely helpful.  It's a small quick reminder of how colors affect each other.  This could come in very handy if you're in a pinch for a color and have to use what you have at hand instead or running out to the store for more paints. 

The thing my hobby mind went nuts over was what I found hidden on the back of the wheel.  The arrows, triangles and boxes overlapping each other made me immediately think of how much simpler color schemes can be if you use a color wheel.  The complementary color arrows are the most immediately useful, pick your main color, and opposite will be a strong color to help the army stand out.  But the others will be helpful as well in setting up other details of a models color scheme.  The back even has a other helpful bits, showing two highlight tones of the hue as well as a shade that can easily be translated into washes and stage highlights. 

You don't need to go out and purchase a color wheel, although they won't break the bank.  There are a lot of references around the net that you can find with just a quick search.  One I found with just a few seconds of looking is called the Color Scheme Designer and does a lot of what I mentioned here.  For creating army schemes I think that program is easily at the top of my bookmark list and is flexible enough for you to play with various options and see how they present with each other. 

I bemoaned having to even buy my color wheel at first, and now I'm singing its praises.  I hope to continue bringing new and cool ideas from my schooling into my hobby world and maybe someday my hobby will invade my art!


On The Table: Missle Launcher

One of my favorite weapons in Warhammer 40,000 is the missile launcher.  It's versatility and cheap cost make it one of the best bang for your buck weapons, that I felt odd not having any in my Sons of Medusa army!  When I originally set the force up, it was with the intent of facing other heavily armored and armed Space Marine armies in the Badab War, and thus I went with a lot of melta weaponry to counter those threats for next to nothing in points.

Now that I've come back around to the Sons, I decided it was time to paint up a few of the wargear options I had laying around to give me a little more flexibility in what I take from conflict to conflict.  The majority of the options I have are from the Assault on Black Reach boxed set that weren't a part of the original set of squads.

I had almost forgotten just how long it takes to paint models for this army.  GW's Scorpion Green is definitely not a color for the feint of heart.  It takes a lot of dedication to paint even a single model in this color, and that's just getting the base color down.  I'm also hard up for some more paint at the moment as well, as my black is completely watered down now, and I'm out of Bestial Brown and Snakebite Leather!  I'm pretty certain there are other colors I've gone through as well that I'll need.  Here's to a trip by the shop for some more paint and hopefully I can resist picking up $150+ worth of Badab War books...

I'm all about the Badab War right now.  I've even gone back through the backlog and added a Badab War tag to all appropriate entries!  I hope to add a little more on the conflict and even feature more of my army here on The Painting Corps as well.  Anyone got a Badab army they want to share?  Leave a comment!


Open Discussion: Favorite Modeling Tools

Over the years you pick up a lot of miscellaneous tools for your modeling needs.  I've gone so far as to pick up most of the same tools you would need for home repair and improvement!  A fact not lost on my wife.  There are a ton of little tools as well that all have special and specific uses for each and every material you could be using on a certain project. 

The question today is all about your absolute favorite tools and equipment.  What tools would you say are a MUST HAVE for those just getting into the hobby?  What tool could you not go without?  Or just what are you constantly using? 

For me, when I'm thinking of modeling, I'm thinking of terrain.  Terrain building creates new challenges and makes you look for tools to speed things up and save you headaches.  One of the best purchases I've made in that regard was a hand held mouse sander.  When you're working with MDF board, there is nothing better than a power sander to bevel off those edges. 

So let's have it?  What is your absolute favorite modeling tool?  How about old tools you've found new uses for?  Comment, Reply, Discuss! 


Video: Disciples of Caliban

Les released a new video this week, this time on painting the Dark Angels successor The Disciples of Caliban.  This is a darker scheme that has some throwbacks to the original black Dark Angels colors while mixing in some of that beautiful green.  It's a solid look that has a cool factor because it's not something you'll see in every shop or even tournament.

Check out the video and be sure to watch it in full screen with full HD!

Head over to Les' Youtube Channel and check out the rest of his videos too! He's got a lot of great stuff with more and more coming out every week or two!


On The Table: New Sons

The winds of inspiration are fickle at best.  I never know what is going to catch my eye and just what project I'll be working on from week to week.  As many of you might have come to expect from my work here on TPC, I'm in the midst of a project shift from the Space Wolves to my Sons of Medusa. 

I've had these models floating around almost since I started working on the army.  The majority are just wargear options for squads, but then there are the Terminators that are going to be an entirely new and important unit for my force.  Some of the models are ready for paint, where some need additional modeling.  The Terminators are missing shoulder pads that I need to order still.

In the background you can see another big piece to the battle puzzle in the form of a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer.  I'm really excited to get that kit together, and will likely magnetize the weaponry on it as well.  I'm sure it will be some time before getting all of this finished, but we'll see what I end up working on! 

What would you like to see from this lot?  I'm always open to suggestions and like to work on things that others like to see.


Finished Display Board

While running around my local craft store, I decided to pick up a board to make a display board at long last.  After my latest gaming endeavor at Showcase Comics a few weeks back, I began to realize I needed something for my army to post up on and to help move around from table to table. 

I wanted to use this little display board as a test bed for the type of hills/cliffs I am considering using to create full on table project.  The main idea was to do a sandstone/limestone style hill side that wouldn't take a ton of time to create but still looked the part.  I put together a little step by step on how I got the effect that you can read up on here

I airbrushed, washed with pigments, sealed, and then painted board.  The striations that were roughly modeled were reinforced by painting lines along the ridges to help them stick out, and other flatter areas were just painted with lines to create depth that isn't even there.  I used a few different pigments from Secret Weapon to get a little variation in the ground work.  Once all of it was dry and done, I applied the static grass, the same type as my Sons of Medusa

When I was starting to work with this board, I did have a little apprehension about just how many models I would be able to get on the thing.  But thanks to a little forethought, I had plenty of space in just the right spots for certain vehicles.  There were also some happy 'accidents' with how large some areas ended up and allowed for much larger models than intended (see: the top hill!).  In the end this little beast holds the entirety of my Sons of Medusa army, and gives me a great backdrop to take photos of new models on.

I am pretty happy with how it came out in the end, and glad it didn't eat up a ton of time as well.  I'm also quite pleased with the way the hills painted up and will definitely be using the techniques used here on what I hope ends up in a full blown table by summer! 


Friday Quick Tip: Sandstone/Limestone Cliff/Hill Face

With classes picking back up, time is at a premium yet again.  A lot of introductions and supply lists for my latest batch of art supplies this week.  But in trying to keep with my wants for this school semester I've been working on a small terrain piece in the form of a display board.  With a few ideas floating around in my head I got knee deep into modeling it and found a nice way of carving out a rather convincing hill face that won't eat up your nights. 

The supplies needed are minor at worst.  A hobby knife, pink/blue insulation foam, a large paint brush, and some white glue.  You'll also end up using your hands for this one, so be prepared to dig your mitts into that foam.  Shorter fingernails will likely work best for this as you won't want to dig too much into the foam.

Some of you might remember my extremely extensive Hills Tutorial from a few years back.  These hills have started their life in much the same way as those, with a hot wire cut slope.  But that's mostly where the similarities will end.  The angle I use is aesthetically pleasing and works nicely for gaming as well as it's a shallow cut that keeps the lost space to a minimum.  In the image above to the right you can see the angle nicely.  

To start things off, I went at the side of the hill with the utility knife cutting a lot of shallow lines in a crosshatching pattern.  The knife blade should dig into the foam around a quarter of an inch.  Be sure to use lengthwise cuts as well as the regular x-patterned ones.  These lengthwise cuts will be useful in creating a striated layered look.  Just be careful!  I found myself getting lazy a few times, almost cutting myself as I hacked away!  Luckily, all of my fingers are still in place with no jagged stitch-work by a young nervous intern.

Go the full length of the hill side you're working on, and if you have any other hills/segments to work on, you might as well have at them as well to save some time!  Take note of the top and bottom edges of the foam in the photo above though.  I wasn't afraid to cut around those areas and you shouldn't be either!  You need that randomness to the edges as well and if you get too crazy with the knife, you can always patch that area up a little later with some rocks and gravel.  

Now that the length of the foam is crosshatched and roughed up, you can get to the heart of the work and create a craggy rough appearance.  To start off, run your fingers into the grooves and rip up some of the foam.  You want to create longish grooves and dig out some spots to make overhangs in some places.  This is extremely messy, so pick a spot, and stick to it.  A spot that you can easily vacuum around will be best.  Be sure you're not getting it up around your face either, you don't need this stuff to embed somewhere deep in your lungs.

To help out the grooves and striated look, take your hobby knife with the knife blade as you see above and drag it along in some places to really dig into the foam and build your layers.  This will really help drive the aesthetic home and gives you a little more control over the final look.  The big thing for your finished hill side is to get rid of any hanging foam.  Drag your hand lightly along the cliff face a bunch of times and most of the loose bits will fall away.  

To help seal the side of the hill and keep it from flaking away on you, you'll want to seal it with some watered down PVA White Glue.  Just apply the white glue loosely from the bottle onto the hill face and using a watery paint brush wash the entire surface in glue.  Be sure to use plenty of glue and plenty of water to get into all of the nooks and crannies all along the hill.  Allow the glue to fully dry and give it another coat.  After one coat the hill side was firmed up but not quite solid enough to withstand much punishment, with two it seems much more game worthy.  

My biggest worry when I started the hills was that the foam would break away and the entire experiment would be a wash.  But thanks to a few glue washes, all of my fears were left behind.  I'm very happy with the effect I've been able to achieve with such simple tools and in quick fashion.  This is an interesting take on what can otherwise be a bland area of your terrain, and while it might not be something you would use on every single hill face, it could definitely break up the monotony of your gentile rolling slopes!

Expect more from this project as I move forward with it.  The techniques I am testing out with this will likely find their way into a full on gaming table project later this year!


On The Table: Long Fangs and Scouts

After their first ill-fated debut on the battlefield, my Space Wolves were found to be woefully lacking in any real power and serious effectiveness.  To help boost their combat abilities I've taken to adding new units to the army that aren't just hand to hand monsters. 

First on that list was a set of Long Fangs.  The squad contains three models from a friends old army that I was able to clean up and remodel.  The lascannon trooper was one of my first models from my Grey Death army that had a clumpy and terrible paint job, not exactly something I was proud of having in my case.  The sergeant was built 'new' from a bunch of bits and spare parts I had in my bits box with green stuff used to create the pelts and a beard.  There is also additional green stuff pelt work on two of the devastator models that weren't explicitly Space Wolves models. 

The biggest pain was hunting down old school arms for the right side that are needed to fit into the weapon.  New style arms just can't fit right without a lot of cutting and remodeling, not something I was keen on doing when I'm trying to make speed a major part of this army build/paint.  Once I was able to find them after digging around in my bits box, I was able to start looking around for a left arm.  I ended up just using chainsword arms, sans chainsword of course.

Wolf Scouts have always been a really cool unit to me.  Their story and their abilities on the battlefield have always made me want a unit of them.  This unit was put together using a bunch of unpainted models from that same army I picked up.  I've already gotten knee-deep in the painting process as you can see.  In fact this squad was started at the same time as Ragnar Blackmane, but the day after starting both, Ragnar found traction and the scouts were set off to the side to get him finished.  With the models around 30% complete, they don't have a ton of time left on the painting table. 

So far they have kept to most of the same painting methods and recipes of the other wolves, the cloth being the only addition.  I used a Codex Grey base washed with Devlin Mud, and primary highlight of Fortress Grey.  Bleached Bone was then used to give the cloth it's true color and Skull White was used as a final highlight. 

As a little bonus piece to the army, and since I've had the model forever, I went through my first model case (a fishing tackle box!) and dug out one of my first models.  This guy was part of what I had hoped would be a Space Wolves army, but as I've mentioned before, that never came to fruition and he was painted as an early member of the Grey Death marines.  Again, not a model I've come to use or be proud of after so many years and so I stripped the model down using Simple Green and a wire brush.  This guy will end up being a part of the Wolf Guard once I get around to painting him.

I've got a lot to work on, but I'm hoping to find time in the coming week(s) to get more done with this army and hopefully find a night to get a game or two in with the new squads. With classes starting back up, here's to hoping I can keep the momentum going!