Monday, March 5, 2012
Finally finished one
It's been over two years now since I decided to take the plunge and get into Warhammer. Amongst my purchases on that first day was a box of metal Grey Knight Terminators. This was a while back, over a year before I even heard rumours of a new codex. After reading the rules and codex, I picked up a few more terminators and some Grey Knights in power armour, with the intention of taking them as allies in a Space Marine army (I didn't see the point of painting more than a handful of the same models, and to be honest the idea still doesn't appeal to me).
I did some experiments with the models, like magnetising arms, installing bulbs, and using glow-in-the dark paint, but I never got around to actually painting them. This was initially because they were quite daunting with all the detail, and being some of my very favourite miniatures bar none I wanted them to be perfect. Later it was because I was busy, then because the new codex completely turned me off (Kaldor Draigo has the stupidest fluff I have ever read in a GW publication, though I do have a soft spot for Mordak's rules and fluff).
But, as I believe I have mentioned before, I've decided to paint the models that I like rather than worry about army lists, and I still like the GK terminator models. Plus, I don't think I'm going to get much better at painting anytime soon, so I finally decided to paint one.
This started off as an experiment in quick painting, the idea being to use Army Painter metallic spray and quickshade for fast results. I also wanted to paint this one to be relatively dark, and then a Grand Master to be brighter. It ended up taking a lot longer than I expected though.
First of all, I'm not getting good results with the metallic primer. Paint doesn't seem to stick to it very well, so I ended up thinning down some boltgun metal and using it as a wash, combined with a boltgun drybrush, to try to get a better base. The armour was later washed badab black then drybrushed boltgun again. Next time I think I'll I'll just put on a black primer coat and drybrush with boltgun, that should give good contrast and a 'pitted' surface as well as being much faster. I might try edge highlighting with mithril next time, just to see what difference it makes (I didn't bother this time because I normally find edge highlighting on boltgun or chainmail has very little effect, perhaps because they are already quite shiny).
I then painted the details dwarf bronze (I may have used a layer of tin bitz as a basecoat, I don't actually remember), and a few things in tin bitz (like the storm bolter housing and sword handle), but I applied it in very thin layers to try to stop it from clogging the detail, so it took many coats to get a strong colour. Plus I kept missing hidden bits of detail and needing to go back. It was washed black at the same time as the armour. In all the White Dwarf articles they always highlight gold with mithril silver, so I thought drybrushing them boltgun at the same time as the armour should work reasonably well and save time. It didn't. The drybrush robbed all the colour, and they ended up looking too close to the rest of the armour. Fortunately a wash of gryphone sepia brought the colour back, and the end result was not too bad - though next time I'll paint them after the armour and just leave them bronze with a watered down wash.
The eyes were simply white with a blue wash to create a very weak glowing effect (it's much easier than painting lenses, which look better when they're done well but worse when they're not). The paper was done the same as usual; bleached bone with white edges followed by a gryphone sepia wash (or maybe it was ogryn flesh). The purity seals were just mechrite red with a devlan mud wash ( I wanted them daker than usual). The book on his right hip was just calthan brown then scorched brown, then given the same wash as the paper.
I decided that the symbols on his shoulders and the book hanging from his waist were not actual paper and leather, just painted to look like it, so I used skull white and tin bitz, and washed them black with the rest of the armour. I also painted the sword symbols mithril afterwards to make them brighter than the rest of the armour. The freehand on the books is of course the two elements of the Sentinels Eternal symbol, just split up for a change.
The sword itself was slightly modified by removing the 'power weapon mechanism' normally found at the base of the blade to give it a much more traditional look. I hate that bit, it makes the sword look less sturdy. The blade was painted chainmail, washed black, the drybrushed up to mithril to make it brighter than the rest of the model, so it would stand out and serve as a focal point. I'm not partial to the power weapon effect on the current 'official' paint scheme, in fact I'm not completely sold on power weapon effects in general, so I'm just keeping it simple for now. Plus of course the whole look of the Grey Knights is very old fashioned, so an old fashioned sword looks the part to me.
I decided to leave this one glossy, as it makes the metal look more shiny. I agonised a bit over this decision since I was supposed to be going for a 'dark' look, and when I look at him I'm not sure I like it (it doesn't help that I applied the varnish rather thickly so it fills up the detail a bit, making it look almost laminated), so I'll try a matt varnish on the next one to see which I prefer.
As you can see his name is "Tighten". It's a reference to Megamind, if you've seen the movie - and you know about Grey Knights - you'll get it. I hope. I might be using him as a ghost Knight - not in actual gaming, but just in terms of the unit I'm painting. I've been experimenting with glowing spray paint and getting somewhat usable results so a part of me is tempted to use it on 'ghost knights', but I don't think I'll use it on him. Maybe the next one, we'll see.