The Warmaster Part 5 – Red, Red Wine

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The Warmaster got his first coats of red last night, mainly on his pteruges, the red Eyes of Horus on his armor, and of course his giant flowing cape. I decided after the above picture was taken that I would also paint the vambrace on his left arm and most of the Talon of Horus in red to balance out the colors a little bit, as he needed a little color variation in his limbs.

I followed the red with a wash of Agrax Earthshade, not only on on the red but also the gold parts of his armor. I was tempted to try using Reikland Fleshshade on the gold as I did with my Adeptus Custodes models, but after trying it out it just looked a little too reddish for my taste. The Agrax Earthshade kept the gold looking like gold. I applied the wash only to the thicker/larger gold highlights, as I saw little point in shading the smaller bits of gold since I’d eventually be re-applying the basecoat to it anyway to clean it up.

With the red added the mini is starting to take shape – time to start thinking about midtones and highlights!

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The Warmaster Part 4 – Goooooold

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With the black armor mostly done save for some fine edge highlighting that I’ll be saving until the very end, it was time to move on to the gold details. I considered using Balthasar Gold for the basecoat for this, but I wanted the gold to really gleam and when Balthasar Gold is washed with Agrax Earthshade it can give more of a copper or bronze look rather than the gleaming gold look I thought would be appropriate for the Warmaster. So I followed the recipe I used for my Adeptus Custodes models (I’ll have to share some pics of those models soon), and went with Retributor Armor for my basecoat.

It was time-consuming, to say the least, given the sheer amount of often tiny gold details on the model that needed to be picked out on gold. I tried to remind myself constantly to take my time, and remember that instead of a squad of 5-10 models I could focus my attention on a single model. I regularly washed and cleaned off my brush (a GW small artificer brush) to maintain that sharp tip that let me really get at those tiny details, especially the tiny gold filigree around the armor panels.

Next up I’ll be tackling the basecoats on the red pteruges, vambraces, and the eyes of Horus on his armor. Time to break out the Mephiston Red!

The Warmaster Part 3 – Painting it Black

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I knew from the very start that I wanted my version of the Warmaster to be clad in his iconic black armor, and while the vision of a white armored Warmaster from the Luna Wolves era is appealing, I decided to stick to my guns. So I picked up my basecoat brush and with great anticipation, started putting paint to mini.

I started with an Eshin Grey basecoat as per my guide to painting black, and followed this with a Nuln Oil Wash before adding drybrushed highlights with Dawnstone and a second Nuln Oil Wash. The result was a solid, dark grey that was exactly what I was looking for. The gold and red details I would add later should be the main focal point, after all, and I didn’t want to spend too much time focusing on the black armor. Once all is said and done I may go back and do some further edge highlighting and weathering with unwashed Eshin Grey and Dawnstone, but I’m more than satisfied at the moment with the way it looks now.

I decided to put a basecoat on the wolf atop his shoulders as well, and after some contemplation I decided on a Dawnstone basecoat followed by an Agrax Earthshade wash. This turned out just as I expected and gave me that Luna Wolf grey look, whilst still looking somewhat realistic. Looking forward to drybrushing and/or edge highlighting some lighter colors on the fur.

Putting paint on the mini, particularly the washes, has really served to show how detailed this thing is. I particularly love the details on his greaves, which should look even better once I’ve had a chance to pick out the details in gold.

Next up: adventures in Balthasar Gold!

The Warmaster Part 2 – Assembly and Undercoat

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Following my failure to glue the Warmaster’s arms to his torso, I picked up a bottle of Army Painter super glue on the way home last night. Initially I was met with the same resistance, until I realized that I was probably putting way too much glue on the joins than was necessary. Once I wiped away some of the excess glue the joins came together a lot easier.

Above are the subassemblies I’ve built: torso + arms, cloak, head, and scenic base. I’ve decided to leave out his extended scenic base for now but will come back to that later. Upon further reflection I probably should have left the Talon arm separate to allow me better access to the right side of his torso, but hopefully it won’t prove too much of a hinderance. His pteruges went on without much difficulty, although the one on his right shoulder was pretty fiddly. I kept all the other parts on their resin blocks to provide a built in grip while painting.

Undercoat was with GW Chaos Black spray. I’ve heard horror stories of undercoat failing to stick due to residual release agent on the mini, but thankfully my toothbrush scrubbing yesterday paid off and the undercoat remains solid (for now).

A minor scare occurred when the mini fell onto the carpet and my dear wife stepped on it, snapping Worldbreaker right off at the wrist – I’ve superglued it back together for now but may have to come back and pin it together later. The join seems solid enough for painting and perhaps for gaming, but we’ll see how it holds up.

Tonight: first basecoats. I am equal parts excited and terrified.

The Warmaster Part 1 – Cleanup

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My cousin was able to fulfill a childhood dream of his a couple of weeks ago with a visit to Warhammer World – a dream I hope to fulfill myself someday soon. Thankfully, he was able to bring back a present at my request; a small black box that happened to have The Warmaster in it.

Opportunities to get my hands on Forge World items, much less one hand picked from Warhammer World itself, are few and far between. I wanted a memorable mini, one that could form a centrepiece not just for my Sons of Horus, but one that could also serve as the culmination of my almost 20 years in the hobby. What better choice than the Warmaster himself?

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Yesterday I took the first steps on what I hope will be an eventful and rewarding journey. After carefully unboxing the mini and spending more than a few minutes marveling at the detail, I gave the pieces a soak and cleanup in warm soapy water as per the included Forge World assembly guide. As per my cousin’s advice (he picked up Leman Russ, and has already started work on it) I left it in the soapy water to soak overnight.

I had attempted to attach both the Warmaster’s arms to his torso yesterday, but the glue I used didn’t quite adhere the way I’d wished it would. Time to drop by the hobby store on my way home tomorrow to pick up some super glue…

Read: Dante by Guy Haley

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The Blood Angels have long been my favorite Space Marine Legion/Chapter. Not for the fact that they are VAMPIRES IN SPACE! or that they have some of the most gorgeous models in the game  – rather, I am drawn to them because of their character. Adversity, as the saying goes, teaches us who we are. What more praise could be said of the Blood Angels, who face adversity from within and without on a daily basis, and yet still manage to retain the inherent humanity and optimism that so many other Space Marines have lost or perhaps never had?

I recently dove into Dante by Guy Haley, part of Black Library’s new series of books focusing on iconic members of the Adeptus Astartes. It is a well-written, thoughtful and surprisingly emotional work on the leader of my favorite Chapter.

Haley’s tale interweaves the story of Dante’s recruitment into the Chapter with more current events, specifically the Blood Angels’ defense of their home planet from the Tyranids. Both timelines are engrossing; I am as equally invested in the young Dante’s recruitment and indoctrination into the Chapter as I am with the current day Dante’s defense of Baal. The chapters flow smoothly into each other to depict Dante’s growth and maturity – one chapter he is leading a dozen initiates into a trial, the next he is leading thousands of marines and guardsmen in the defense of a planetary system.

Haley does an excellent job of capturing the very heart of what makes Dante who he is. Every Blood Angel must struggle with the inner Flaw that is the genetic hallmark of their Chapter, but Dante has the added burden of command and the responsibility for the lives of those under his leadership. Added to this is the fact that Dante is old and weary, and must struggle daily with fighting a war he knows humanity cannot ever hope to win. Yet it speaks to his character – and indeed, that of his Chapter – that he continues to do so, simply because it is the right thing to do. Dante wants to walk away from it all, to hang up his axe and pistol and simply let go; but he knows he cannot, because others are looking to him for leadership, guidance, and perhaps most importantly, hope. Haley does an excellent job of capturing this most heavy of Dante’s burdens in the character’s inner thoughts throughout the entirety of the story.

The novel does end rather abruptly, and the chapters detailing his rise in the Chapter ranks once he reaches full brother status are rather quick and lack the thoughtfulness of the first two thirds of the book. The book also leaves out a certain event involving his rank that I had hoped would form the climax of his story, which was somewhat disappointing.

Despite these minor flaws, it speaks to the quality of Haley’s writing that I found myself immediately re-reading certain chapters and passages simply to experience them again – one of the chapters depicting Dante removing his armor and finally finding a fleeting moment of peace is perhaps the best in the book. One of the last chapters involving Dante’s relationship with his personal servant is another highlight. Haley’s Dante is heroic and powerful, but also flawed, jaded, and occasionally even full of doubt – however, like his chapter, he fights on despite the flaws of his flesh and the weapons of his enemies. Not because he desires it, but because others need him to.

Painted: Ezekyle “Abigail” Abaddon

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When starting up my Sons of Horus, I knew I wanted a large contingent of Justaerin in it. The 10-man terminator-armored deathstar seems to be a pretty big thing in Heresy armies, and what unit screams “deathstar” more than 2+/4+ 2W terminators? The only thing was, Heresy terminators can’t teleport into combat like their more modern counterparts can, and my termies certainly weren’t going to hoof it on foot like peasants. My choices were A) buy some expensive resin from Forge World or B) slog it across the board on foot whilst the rest of my mechanized army sped forward in Rhinos and left my big expensive 500 point unit behind.

…or secret option C) – take the pre-armless version of 40k’s Despoiler and teleport my termies in for free! Plus I could easily convert an Abaddon using bits I already had, once again eliminating the need for expensive resin! Huzzah!

More pics of my conversion after the break.

Continue reading “Painted: Ezekyle “Abigail” Abaddon”