Friday, June 28, 2019

Guardian Defenders, T'au, Kroot, Cawdor Juves and a Really Big Rat...

A bit of an odd assortment of 40K related things rolling off the workbench today. A lot of this is actually for the kids. I've been experimenting with... well... other ways of painting. Not for me, I like the black undercoating and leaving that hard black line between things for contrast and deep shadow. When I got the kids painting I tried to teach them the same, but I've come to realize it requires a bit of finesse and attention to detail to pull it off and without that... well... it doesn't look good... So I thought I'd experiment with other things to see if I could help them find a different painting style that suits their needs and/or speeds up their production so they can get things DONE!

Some of these were started a couple weeks ago, but were then put on the back burner as I needed to push to finish the last often Drukhari that we needed for the Strange Bedfellows Team Tournament. Some are ones I tried spraying with coloured primer (purple) and then washed with either Nuln Oil or Druchii Violet (or sometimes both) then highlighted and/or dry brushed... and added some details...

Some of the more recent ones I actually tried out the fancy new Contrast® paints on. I was a little skeptical about these when they were announced, but seeing some of the stuff other people were pulling off with them, I thought I'd give it a try... and I have to say, it's a pretty slick system. I'm not going to change the way I paint overnight and incorporate them. But I think for the kids - and anyone else starting out - it might help get things started and doesn't look terrible. Honestly, if it means I get to play against more painted armies and less bare plastic at tournaments, then I'm ALL FOR IT!!!

Ten Asuryani Guardian Defenders for Keira's Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld force.

These models were from the Big Batch o'Eldar Keira and I bought and split back in May. There were, like, almost 90 of these plastic Guardians that neither of us really wanted. I picked out 30 of the best ones to use for myself - to put together a Battalion Detachment of Ulthw√© Black Guardians to go with   the Eldrad Ulthran model I also got out of the lot. After that there were about two more squads worth of decent ones (not broken or missing the do-dads on the backpacks or whatever) that I set aside for Keira, the rest I gave or traded away to Other Tim or this other fellow from the Hunters of the Warp league (for some Fire dragons for Keira - which she was pretty excited about!)

These ones I originally sprayed with a purple basecoat/primer... Then I think I washed them with both Nuln Oil and Druchii Violet... I think I did two test ones one with each wash, and the Druchii Violet wasn't dark enough, so I did Nuln Oil, then Druchii Violet on the rest and then decided that was all too dark and ended up brushing the whole mess with the colour Keira was painting all her other Guardians with (Vallejo Blue Violet?)... and then we got the contrast paints and I wanted to try those, so I painted their Shuriken catapults and pants with white (or bone?) and used contrast paints on those... then did the same with their helmet face plates... and then, because they were all still looking rather plain, I did dots of white on a bunch of the bumps on the armour and did little bits of different contrast paints on top of those hoping it would look like gems or sprit stones...

I wasn't really concerned if they turned out crap, because we'd more or less gotten all these for free and Keira didn't really even care if she got any of them... but I think they turned out not TOO bad. I could have done some edge highlights to make them pop a bit... but I couldn't be bothered...

I also took five that she had assembled and sprayed them white and tried painting the two different purple Contrast® paints we'd picked up on those... the Magos Purple was WAAAAAY too light... and the Shyish Purple was just way too dark... so, more experimentation is needed. I'm going to try thinning the Shyish Purple to see how that works... otherwise, I could just do the straight Shyish Purple and then drybrish with the Blue Violet that she likes....?

Five T'au Fire Warriors for Finnegan.

These were also sprayed Purple to start. I did one sample a few weeks ago - I think I may have washed trying only to get the cracks and and then edge highlighted... the rest, when I got to them earlier this week, I did an all over wash with the Druchii and decided that was too dark and then did a heavy dry brush with the Blue Violet and then decided that was too light and did s second all-over wash with the Druchii... and then said "eff-it" and called it quits... the black was the same for all of them - I just blacked out everything that wasn't armour and picked out some detail with a dark grey and presto they were done.

I'm going to get him to assemble the rest of the T'au in the coming weeks and see if we can't knock off this force over the summer. I think I'll stick with spraying purple, try to just get some wash in the cracks (either Druchii or nun) I'll probably do the edge highlights for him, get him to do the black. Should basically work for everything... and should be quick!

Four Kroot Warriors - I had him assemble these around the same time as the fire warriors. I'd sprayed one purple along with the first five fire warriors (with no intention of painting it purple - just wanted a quick primer). I think this was the darker guy, second from the left... I'd painted it all over with a light green and then washed with Agrax Earthshade... and then picked out their "webbing" with Vallejo Khaki Grey and then washed THAT with Agrax Earthshade as well... then painted the gun black and picked out details with metal and washed that with Nuln Oil and then some brown for the rear stock and more Khaki Grey for the leather wrapping on the barrel and washed that all with Agrax Earthshade... a bit of a process to figure out... In the future I'd probably do all the green and khaki grey and brown at once and THEN wash the whole mess with Agrax Earthshade... then pick out the metal bits and call it done. But I probably won't suggest he do them that way...

The remaining three I sprayed with white primer and washed with some Contrast® paints (Militarum Green?). They were a bit on the light side, so I tried washing one with Agrax Earthshade, but wasn't happy with that, and left the other two as they were. the Khaki and rifle I used the same process as above - which could be streamlined a bit... I got him to start assembling the rest, because these didn't take long at all - and I was figuring things out as I went. now that I have it sorted, the rest should be a snap - and then he'd have enough for a straight Kroot Kill Team - which would be cool. I mean, they could be working for the T'au... or.. ANYONE! I mean, the Kroot are mercenaries, right?

Kroot Hounds.

I basically used the same process as the warriors above (one was sprayed purple, painted green and washed, the rest white and sloshed with Contrast®, etc, etc...) the darkest one, up front, was one I did with Contrast® paint and decided it was too like and did a second coat of contrast... and then it was a bit dark, so left the other two with one coat.

This is all the Kroot he had, so these are DONE!

Finnegan's entire T'au force, so far (all painted by me!?). Probably enough for a mixed T'au Empire Kill Team.

We should be able to expand this into a small 40K force over the summer. He has another five Fire Warriors and twelve Kroot to finish up. then there are some battlesuit warriors three XV-25 Stealth Suits, three Crisis Suits and a Commander in... some kind of battle suit... Then a small swarm of drones and an Etherial. I think it's about 35-38 Power Level (or 700-750 points) - enough for a decent sized skirmish!

I DID get some Necromunda stuff painted!!

 Two Cawdor Juves!

I have another pile of Cawdor in the works... should be done soonish.

The gang so far...

The leader came with his gun cut off, so I'd replaced it with an inferno pistol I had in the pits box, thinking it would be rad (y'know, BEFORE I was actually thinking I'd use them for Necromunda)... but Inferno pistols aren't really an option, so I think I will call it a "hand flamer"...

I have another Champion/leader with chainsword and "auto pistol" (I guess that's what I'll call it... it's a submachine gun like an Uzi or a Mac-10... but there aren't really rules for those... just "stub pistols" - which is what I'm calling the revolver, and "Autopistols" which I'm calling all other single-handed projectile-throwing devices...

There's also a Heavy (Champion) with a Heavy Stubber, and half dozen regular gangers with a mix of Autoguns and Lasguns... none of the fancy pole-arm combo-weapons the NEW Cawdor gangers come with... but whatevs... Oh, and a couple more Juves...

My friend John picked up a box of Mantic Ver-Myn (Space Rats) for me to assemble and paint for him to use as "Chaos Cultists" in Kill Team... as Chaos Cultists can also be used in Necromunda, they'll also see use there, no doubt. I also happened to have this old Citadel Rat Over having about so I cut off his front fist and replaced it with an orc fist grasping a slugga and figured it could be used as an Cultist Champion with an auto pistol and "Brutal Assault Weapon". that's a 40mm base he (she?) is on... hard to tell without a reference point...

Here it is with the Juves. S/he's a Big 'un....

I'm almost done assembling the rest of the space rat cultists... I've ended up using a lot of Ork weapons (as I think the weapons the Vermyn come with look silly...)

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More Necromunda!

(and probably a few more Eldar and T'au as I help the kids sort out a quicker way to paint their own minis!)

I should also post a picture of Keira's complete Eldar force - she's got quite a few now - including a Wraithknight!!! I should do battle with that beastie - throw some Russ' up against it and watch them get cleaved by the Gigantic Freaking Wraithblade!!

Maybe some Shadespire stuff as well - I have more of those back on my workbench for John (Rats and Dwarves) and they seem like they should be easy to knock off and then he has two more complete factions to use in the game...


  1. My method of painting:
    1 Spray bomb a primer (used to be black, but these days more usually a mid or dark grey, or even better, the main colour of the figure/miniature)
    2 Paint the colours according to how the figures would put on their clothes and equipment. Generally that means start with the skin, pants, shirt/jacket, belts/webbing. The first couple of colours, I'm a bit looser one because they usually don't touch and the following colours cover over any over painting.
    3 Go back and patch up any mistakes.
    4 Do the dip/wash.
    5 Go back with the original colours and put in the pure colours as a highlight (because the dip/wash generally darkens things a bit)

    The smaller the scale, the brighter I generally paint to make them pop more.

    I've gone with the mid/dark grey as my primer because I find it easier to make out details in painting. I found that with black, it sometimes gets hard to see them and I need to put some paint on to see what I need to paint, and some pigments (like some reds and yellows) show a lot of background, which means that they need 2 or 3 coats to show up properly on black (if they do at all). With white, you have to make sure you get 100% coverage or else the white pops through. Grey or any other middle tone avoids those problems.

    1. Cool. thanks!

      Generally, I paint on black gesso, then a layer of black paint, then paint it like a paint-by-numbers trying to keep "within the lines". when all areas have paint - I put on some finish and call it done.

      There are a few exceptions...

      I admit it's an odd way to do things, and not for everyone and won't win any prizes anywhere... but I like it and it's quick enough for me.

      I usually start with flesh too - mostly because it makes it look more like a person, which in my mind makes it more interesting somehow and motivates me to finish it...?

    2. I tired to teach the kids to paint the same way... but they just can't paint "within the lines" - whether they just aren't steady enough, or just can't care to. And it just doesn't work if you can't do it right. So, finally breaking down and trying to fins them some other, more fool-proof way of painting their toys...

    3. I'm not that great at painting within the lines either (hence step 3). I could maybe skip that step but the mistakes I would see would drive me nuts. I just keep correcting until the law of diminishing returns restores me to sanity and I declare "Enough!"

      Everyone has to develop their own process and they'll develop their own, but it's all good because their style will incorporate some of yours just through exposure.

  2. Nice range of figures. It seems like contrast paints may not be at their best on the Eldar, as they are all smooth surfaces. By contrast (ha!) how did you like using it on the Kroot?

    1. I think it would work well enough on the Eldar - if there was a colour that one liked. The problem we're having is the purple is a lot darker than Keira likes - and a lot darker than the purple she's used on her other Guardians.

      The Kroot were pretty quick and easy to paint and didn't turn out terrible... Now that I've figured out a process the rest should be a snap to do - whether I show Finnegan how and leave him to his devices or we sit down and king or work on them as a team. They'll take less time to paint than it will for him to assemble them for sure!

  3. How does the Contrast paint work? I'm guessing it's a paint that has a bit of a flow agent in it so that it behaves a bit like a wash.

    And also, $9.40 a pop for a small 18ml bottle make Vallejo and Reaper seem pretty cheap.

    1. Yeah, it's basically a thick wash over a light colour (grey or white or bone) lots of it pools and settles in the recesses making for darker shaded areas, and the raised parts the "paint" is spread more thin and thus the light undercoat shows through a bit creating a lighter area. It's pretty runny so it goes on quick. I'm not sure I'd want to try using it on terrain!!

  4. Nice experiments in painting. :)
    I do like your usual style - it ties together your miniatures, even from different companies and in different styles. I can see where it wouldn't work for everyone though.

    My usual method these days on most minis is brushed on black gesso, then a heavy dry-brush of white gesso, then block in the main colors, with a wash and/or bit of drybrushing depending on colors and textures.

    I got a box of the Veermyn earlier this year, and did one test one. I generally prefer metal minis when I can get them, so I haven't been in a rush to do more of the plastic space rats. I hadn't thought about the weapons. Maybe I will have to see about getting some plastic space ork sets/sprues so I can borrow their weapons if I ever get around to assembling more of the Veermyn.

    1. There was a Bit Exchange at my FLGS and I got a BAG of spare Ork arms and weapons for, like, $5? (and that's Canadian - so, like $2USD!? ...or something like that!). Every 40K Space ork box comes with options to kit out the entire squad with either a shoota (rifle) or a slugga and choppa (pistol and some sort of brutal-looking melee weapon) so if you know (or get to know) any 40K ork players they should have LOADS of spares!

      At first I was carving the rat weapons of the rat hands and the Ork weapons off the orc hands and trying to glue Ork weapons on Rat arms... Then I realized if I just trimmed the shoulders down a bit, I could just use the orc arms with the weapons already in them. The arms look a bit burlier, but I don't mind... They just look like ripped ratmen... which if they're down in the sump, clawing through rock and rubble, they've HAVE to be pretty ripped.

      I've been thinking about trying a dry brush of white gesso over the black for a while - thinking it might make the brights a tad brighter... but always worried it might make my undercoat a tad thick... well... and I'm just a bit lazy... but if it's working for you, I'm definitely going to give it a try! It might help me actually SEE some of the details I'm trying to paint a bit better!!!

  5. Thanks for the tips on ork arms. One thing I find the plastic kits good for is "kit-bashing", even as bits to add to metal figures.

    I just did some black gesso basecoats with white gesso drybrushing on more minis. The white gesso goes on pretty light and shouldn't add much or clog things up.

  6. Nice rapid work on the guardians and I really like the Kroots! I paint a bit like Fitz ,spray black primer dry brush white acrylic with a big brush and then everything else is a wash, means the paint last a long time and seems pretty rapid, sometimes I'll prime in grey if there is a lot of white involved. It's definitely finding the system/ technique that suits you, yours look great but it wouldn't be for me, so I think it's great GW are producing ( admittedly expensive) new products to help get more people actually painting their figures!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks, Ian!

      This morning I've actually been experimenting more with the contrast and different undercoats. I have a pile of throw-away marines (plastic Marines a friend got at a garage sale for $5, sole to Finnegan for the same, who then traded them to me for my Orks). I don't care about them much at all, so I can experiment and not worry if they turn out like crap, I could just throw them away!

      My own chapter, the TANGERMARINES, are orange - a colour that is notorious for being light on pigment and really freaking hard to paint straight over black without a bazillion coats! So I thought I'd try this orange contrast paint... first I tried it over a model entirely primed/painted white (or more of a bone colour...?). It turned out looking lit utter rubbish... But then I started experimenting with ones that were already primed black - I tried doing a heavy dry brush with white gesso on a couple then a couple with more of a bone colour. and... they're not as terrible... I might try it out with more marines as it was certainly quick and might be an easier way to get the few that I have DONE and available as a kill team or a small allied detachement... maybe once they're drier I'll post some pics...