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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Before I start this project log I should probably give you some background information.

I started playing 40k when I was 12 (I think) and played through to the age of 17 or 18. At my prime I was a mediocre painter at best. This was 14 years ago and sadly, unlike fine wine, I suspect I've not improved with age.

On top of this my wife is due to give birth to our second child any day. My experience of one small child is that he presents challenges to painting, two I suspect will be an even greater struggle.

Not to be deterred I've decided to assemble and paint a 2,000 point Chaos Marine army. At present I have a Battleforce, an extra Tac Squad, a squad of Havocs, a Terminator Squad, a Sorcerer Lord in Termie armour and a Land Raider.

With these points in mind, and having had the models 3 months and only having the tac squad and half the havocs assembled, I suspect my army will not be of high quality, or swiftly concluded! :)

Having recently read the Horus Heresey books I've decided to paint my army in the style of the Thousand sons (without a single dedicated Thousand son minature - cunning!).

Final point before I show the pictures, I'm planning to use this log as a source of help and advice as well as a yardstick for how much my painting improves (if at all!). I'll probably end each post with a request for help, hopefully some kind souls will accomodate.



and a close up of the chap with the Chainsword




and my favourite so far (sadly the worst quality picture)




Originally I had planned for the marines to have Golden Yellow armour trim, however having looked at threads by other Tsons painters I decided to also opt for Gold. My gold is basecoated white, then golden yellow, then Shining Gold. I'm tempted to highlight with Shining Gold/Mithril Silver mix, but haven't got round to that yet.

The blue is a basecoat of Ultramarine blue, followed by a wash of Asurmen blue, then 50/50 Enchanted blue/Ultramarine blue and then highlights of 50/50 Enchanted Blue/Skull white <phew thats a mouth full!>.

I was a little worried by the highlights at first as they are a strong contrast to the major blue, however it's really grown on me.

So, my first two requests

1) The horns - I painted these basecoat skull white, then 50/50 skull white and snakebite leather, then a wash of Devlan mud. Problem is I hate how they look. I'm not sure that muddy bone is the right choice for Tsons - any ideas?

2) The bolter - I'm going to leave these black but my original attempt to highlight in chaos black/mithril silver was, to be honest, a dismal failure. Does anyone have suggestions for a decent grey colour to highlight against the chaos black?

Thanks!

Dan
 

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Very good start man! TS are a fun army :p

1) The horns - I painted these basecoat skull white, then 50/50 skull white and snakebite leather, then a wash of Devlan mud. Problem is I hate how they look. I'm not sure that muddy bone is the right choice for Tsons - any ideas?

2) The bolter - I'm going to leave these black but my original attempt to highlight in chaos black/mithril silver was, to be honest, a dismal failure. Does anyone have suggestions for a decent grey colour to highlight against the chaos black?
1) I think you're doing it backwards :p Try starting with the darker color. Though I'd suggest Graveyard Earth as the base. Do a 50/50 Graveyard and bleachd bone, then full bleached bone, then 50/50 bone/white. Finish it off with a thin devlin mud. That'll give you a nice bone.

2) 50/50 Chaos Black and Codex Grey is a great highlight for black. If you need it a bit brighter, do a second highlight close to 25/75.

A few other suggestions:

I think you need to use some washes. A thin blue wash on your armour would add a lot of depth. Your golds definatly need a devin wash :p And for silver, Badab Black is the way to go!

Cheers :grin:
 

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Real good stuff there, great considering you haven't painted in such a long time, well done to you!

I myself 're-discovered' the hobby about 6 months back now from roughly a two year break but what I found was that I could paint my models alot better than I used to, I was about thirteen when I stopped and I guess I gained a more level headed approach to the hobby since then.

But back on to your figures I think you have a real solid base to work from, you know some good techniques and all you can really do is practice them to get better, I don't know every single technique and I'm porbably about average at the ones I do know, maybe less in some peoples eyes but pratice makes perfect and that is the case with this hobby whether its converting, painting or gaming.

A couple of basic ways to give your figures depth are 'highlighting' which you obviously know well, I see that you've highlighted the raised areas with a lighter shade of blue, excellent, your doing well but you have also highlighted the recesses and the darker areas of the figure too, for example the areas of the armour plates that are adjacent to the borders.

Another way is more like the opposite of highlighting, what I tend to do is if I'm painting my chaos boys and lets say I want them blue like yours I'll just give them a basecoat of a fairly dark blue to start with all over, then paint the main colour or one of the main colours over it but I'll make sure to leave the areas adjacent to any borders etc the basecoat colour, this gives it some shading and a little bit more depth.

Or you could take the easy route and simply slap on the base colour and wash it with a dark wash haha. :laugh:

Like I say I'm pretty average at painting myself so don't take my advice as gospel, but I am liking your models alot, keep up the awesme work! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated!

Pherion: I'll pop to the local GW at the weekend and get the paints to give the bone a try, and pick up some Codex Grey for the Bolter highlights

Perriwinklee: (sorry didn't know how to get 'e' right!) Not sure I understand what you mean by the armour plates adjacent to the borders - can you point me in the right direction?

And for both of you: I'll try and wash the dark blue bits in a light Asurmen Blue again and see how that comes out.

Cheers!

Dan
 

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If you want my advice, don't go to GW. There is plenty of online stores that sell GW products 10 - 20% off. Thats my big bit of advice, means you can get more for your money ;).

As for the models, the blue looks very good, although the highlights look a bit thick (not thick paint, thick lines), I would definitely thin them down (using a detail or a fine detail brush). Also, I would highlight in stages, for instance if I'm highlighting Ultramarines blue (slightly different colour, but same principles), I go 70/30 Ultramarines Blue to Space Wolves Grey, the 70/30 Space Wolves Grey to Ultramarines Blue, then pure Space wolves grey, getting thinner lines every time :).

Like this:
 

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Porn King!!!
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Always cool to see another Sons player. One suggestion I would make for your paint is to thin the highlights just a bit as they are a tad large and uneven. Perhaps go back with the darker blue and even them up a bit if needed. Otherwise they look just fine.
 

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Normally id agree with pherion but quite a few of the horns on csm helmets have no definition at all and it makes it hard to paint without putting some work into it. Try this on the bone. paint some very thin black lines down about 3/4 of the horn starting at the base. You can vary the length but dont go any more then the 3/4. Use a heavy black was around the base about a 1/4 of the way down. once it dries wash the whole horn delvan mud. Thats how i paint most of mine. Its not a pro technique put its simple, easy to replicate and looks good table top. Wish i had a better pic but hopefully you can glean something from this. If i remember ill get some better pics for you when i get home.


I use armor grey (reaper i think) to highlight black then a final of codex grey. I see a lot of people use straigh codex though and it looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the comments all. My wife duly popped baby no2 out yesterday so I can forsee that painting will be on the backburner for the immediate future (but given the speed to date, not sure that'll result in a noticeable slowing!).

My next step is to take the advice of Marneus and Wraithlord and tidy up my highlights. I'm going to use pure enchanted blue which should, I hope, result in a nice blend between the highlights (enchanted b/skull white) and the armour (enchanted b/ultramarine b).

One slightly bizarre question; what type of lighting arrangement do people use to paint in the dark? I have a feeling most of my painting will need to be done in the evening but I really struggle without the natural light.

Cheers

Dan
 

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One slightly bizarre question; what type of lighting arrangement do people use to paint in the dark? I have a feeling most of my painting will need to be done in the evening but I really struggle without the natural light.
We are slightly bizarre people, so we can answer almost anything :).
Well, if you can get hold of a cheap lamp, get a daylight bulb for it, this lets you paint you model in awesome light. Thats what I intend of doing, since I'm in the same boat. Also, I find that under the light of the long tube bulbs, is pretty good. But your eyes can get strained by it.
 

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Porn King!!!
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I use three lamps in different spots as well, provides enough for me to paint by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Right all, it's been a hectic week what with baby no2 and all (good luck to Horus Reborn - you'll know what I mean soon :grin: )

I've only had one opportunity to paint in the last week so I used the time to work on the previously displayed models to thin out the highlights (which were admittedly too fat previously) with pure enchanted blue. You can't really see from the pictures but it blends the highlight into the main armour colour quite nicely. I then applued a wash of Asurmen blue to the un-highlghted armour parts of the models. Results below.










I'm pretty happy with the blue parts of the models now so am going to consider them finished, I need to work on the weapons next as I didn't like the initial highlight on the bolter which you can see in the first picture (which was Codex Grey 2/3 Chaos Black 1/3). I might go over the first highlight with Codex Grey/Choas Black in a 75/25 mix or maybe throw a little Mithril Silver in too.

The bone is still very much a WIP - my local store didn't have any bleached bone :( so I'll keep looking.

No news on the lighting situation as I am so far unsuccessful at convcing the Mrs that a hobby lamp is a good investment :wink:

Signing off with a question as promised

a) Do i bring the gold down with some Devlan mud?
b) If so, what should I use the bring the highlights back up?

Cheers

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Right all, its been a long time since my last post (and no response to my questions, shame on you!) but I've been muddling on as ever. As such I'm happy to say 3 more marines are all but done so without further ado

(This one is with the flash on)



and with the flash off



And the next two



And behind the same two




I consider the blue, gold and black/grey weapons complete on these guys, but I do have some questions;

a) What colour should I do the top knot of the bloke with hair?
b) How on earth do i get transfers onto them? The first chap has a transfer on his right arm but, frankly, it looks rubbish - is there a tutorial?

And then finally my next WIP is the terminator lord (which is a bit ambitious for me!). Pictures of him to follow in the next few days.
 

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hi i realy like the thousand sons after reading the thousands sons book :) i think they are looking great.

about the gold i use ogryn flesh to give it a reddier colour wich will contrast and stand out realy well agains the blue imo but test it to see what you think

and i think transfers are just a matter of practice makes perfect so just keep going with them :)


and keep updating :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a small update for now with no pictures (sorry, not good i appreciate!). How do people paint Chainswords that look suitably menacing but don't require elite painting skills.

Following other people's threads I can see some fantastic examples (Xenobiotics bloody gore covered 'swords are amazing but WAY beyond my ability).

The cutting edge itself I guess I can use mithril silver/chaos black in a 50/50 mix, but what about the blade? Tsons are very blue and gold so I was thinking of throwing something random in for the covering of the inside bit of the sword, green perhaps?!

Advice much appreciated!

Dan
 

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Hi, Dan!

I've learned quite a lot from the helpful people on heresy (and other forums) when it comes to putting together, painting and finalizing miniatures since I first started some years ago. Before I mostly did grey-scale drawings which, even if the theories are similar, have a different execution and state of mind.

Generally speaking when painting miniatures you need to consider the miniature as a whole:
  • "What can I do to bring the miniature to life with colour?"
  • "What can I do to accentuate the features of the miniature?"
  • "What can I do to help or fool the eye to see what I want the viewer to see?"
  • "Is there a specific goal or theme I have with this miniature/army and how can I achieve that look?"
In order to do this you need to use contrasting colours and complimentary colours, and in order to use these theories you need to know what they are. If you already know these theories then excuse my rambling, but here we go!

Complimentary colours are often represented by a colour wheel.
Colours directly opposite to others are contrasting.
Colours next to each other are "similar" (and usually divided into warm and cold).

If you paint a miniature only using cold colours (blue, purple) it will most likely look dull and lifeless (which can be an advantage sometimes!) but if you paint a few details in a warm colours (such as yellow lenses) it will make the miniature "pop" and bring it to life. And vice versa.

This is probably the reason for why the GW thousand sons have yellow stripes on their head and shoulders (I say without knowing).

a) Do i bring the gold down with some Devlan mud?
b) If so, what should I use the bring the highlights back up?
I almost always bring a colour down with a wash (the most notable exception being white these days which I only line with wash instead of completely covering it).

Washes can be used to make "easy highlights" instead of painting a darker colour and highlighting it you can go with a brighter colour (perhaps the one you intended to do the highlight with in the first place) and bring it down with washes (so that the lines between the armour plates are darker and the edges are brighter). I used this technique with my plasma coils on my Death Company miniatures plasma pistol.

So one possibility is to paint the areas you want in gold with mithril silver and then wash it with a brown wash to give it a gold like appearance.

Depending on what kind of effect I want I use a wash of that colour. Sometimes washing a colour with a complimentary colour (such as washing red with Thakara Green) can give interesting effects (and make the base colour look richer).

When it comes to gold, it depends on which gold colour you use as base. If you use any of the "brighter" ones you can try washing it with any of the brown washes and see which effect you prefer. Darker golds will probably look best with devlan mud or maybe even badab black.

If you want to highlight the gold just do a highlight in the base colour again (the one you applied before the wash).

a) What colour should I do the top knot of the bloke with hair?
b) How on earth do i get transfers onto them? The first chap has a transfer on his right arm but, frankly, it looks rubbish - is there a tutorial?
I would suggest doing the knot in some kind of closely related colour (purple? dark green?) to spice it up a bit.

There are pretty many tutorials about getting transfers on out there on the net, but I have never tried any of them (I don't use transfers atm).

Such as: http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2007/07/tutorial-custom-decal-sheets.html

Just a small update for now with no pictures (sorry, not good i appreciate!). How do people paint Chainswords that look suitably menacing but don't require elite painting skills?

Following other people's threads I can see some fantastic examples (Xenobiotics bloody gore covered 'swords are amazing but WAY beyond my ability).

The cutting edge itself I guess I can use mithril silver/chaos black in a 50/50 mix, but what about the blade? Tsons are very blue and gold so I was thinking of throwing something random in for the covering of the inside bit of the sword, green perhaps?!
Heh, thanks! When I did my bloody chainswords it was mostly a trial and error process. I thought my Death Company wouldn't bother wiping the blood of from previous engagements (compared to the assault marines that apparently did bother). And tbh it was a bit of a shortcut to do them that way rather then "just white", heh.

But anyway, I figure you need to choose where to go colour wise. As you say the cutting edge is the easy part. When you do Iron Warriors you can always do warning stripes but that doesn't really fit a Thousand Sons theme. I'm afraid I'm at a loss for now, I'll come back to you if I can come up with something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the long and comprehensive reply Xenobiotic! (It's amazing how motivating it is to get C&C, even on a PLog which I'm ostensibly using to track my own progress)

I decided to paint the hair of the marine in question red, I'd like to say this was after a deep and meaningful analysis of complementary colours, however the truth is I just like red :grin:

I'm actually quite pleased with how the hair came out.



I also decided to "try" and do something interesting on this chap so you'll notice in the next few pictures that I've attempted a very thin highlight of Mithril Silver over the gold areas on the right shoulderpad. When I look at the actual model I think this looks kinda cool, in the photos.....not so much




What do people think? I'm going to have to do the rest of this model the same, should I do likewise with the rest of the army?

I'm going to try basing the model next (should be fun - roll on a trip to Hobbycraft tomorrow!), other than that I consider this chap finished (well, finished other than the bits I noticed on the photo's below that I'd missed which I'll have to touch up).



I've also made a start on the Terminator Sorcerer Lord who I'll attempt to polish off next




and




I absolutely need to do something about his staff because I hate the metallic colour, makes it look like he's holding a copper wand. Not really sure how to salvage that right now!

As usual, comments welcome!

Dan
 

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It's what we are all here for after all: Motivation, inspiration and some advice and pointers. Well, most of us anyway.

Do I hint some highlights on the knot? Looks good, breaks up all that blue and gold. There is however one thing I'd think would give your miniature a bit more depth. Try painting the ribbing between the armour segments and the tubing on the backpack in another colour than blue or gold. It's just to much of those colours at the moment.

I'd suggest painting them in a grey colour and washing that with badab black two or three times. Or if your prefer them in metallic colours, then do them boltgun metal and wash them with badab black one time.

It is hard to see the highlights on the gold, but the few lines I do see looks good. Remember that you don't have to do highlights on every edge, sometimes less is more! The edges that protrude the most are usually the ones I give the brightest highlight on (if any).

On boring metallics: If there is one place washes can help you out it's here. A couple of washes on a metallic colour makes them pop, especially when you do a soft highlight afterwards (such as you already tried doing)!

Take your time on your HQ-choices, having a nicely painted leader can be a great motivator to keep going :)

Good luck on the basing, that's the one thing I'm struggling with at the moment. I keep messing mine up :whistle:
 
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