Something old, something new, something red

Misleading title, I admit it ;)

Long story short, I've used my Secundaris Space Marines Method to build some Blood Angels. Let's get the pic first and the long, boring text later:

Why did I choose to do that, so suddenly? It's quite unexpected, isn't it? OK, a (not so) little digression...

My younger, who quite recently just turned 5, has been fiddling/toying/playing with my miniatures for some quite time now. He gets them from the shelves or drawers and just pew-pews with them or makes his own story, whatever. You know this kind of stuff, we all have done it. Needless to say, quite a significant number of minis end up on the workbench again for... extensive repairings. I don't really care. I believe it's more important that the kids enjoy and get familiar with dad's toys. I only keep the most fragile models away from them.

The thing is that he's been playing with my Carcharodons, making them fight against almost anything else around. All kind of beasts, space lizards or whatever. So it's all I like these knights, pew pew. A few weeks ago he plainly asked me if I could make some knights like those for him, but in red. That's important, as it's his favourite colour. He was tired of using those boring, dark grey space knights.

So I got this unexpected commission, one I could never refuse! These were the essential guidelines:

  1. They had to be red. My first idea was not to do a mainstream Chapter (spoiler: I changed my mind later), I thought it would be nice to do a different thing, something more characterful. Well, of course I couldn't do something as vanilla as, let's say Genesis Chapter. What kind of dad does that to their own child. In the future it would be something like "-Hey, how did your old man got you into Warhammer?" "-He painted me some Genesis Chapter Marines" "-Uuuuugg". Ahem. I seriously considered the Exorcists, as I've done other Chapters involved in the Badab War in the past. In fact I even started painting them with this idea in mind, as you'll see later. However, this involved the future problem of explaining to my kid the weird stuff surrounding this Chapter, such as daemonic possessions, the Puritans vs the Radicals within the Inquisition... the Inquisition itself... well, you know. Anyway, while I was on the early stages, he saw a pic on my computer of Blood Angels and he asked "-Are those my red knights?" "-Well, son, not particularly these, but..." "-But I like these. I want these." "-Ooookay". No more questions, your Honor. Blood Angels it is. In fact I honestly think that in the end it was the right choice. If he's ever to play WH40K on his own in the future I guess it's better to start with something better known, such as this Chapter. Blood Angels then!
  2. They had to be, I wouldn't dare to say sturdy, but at least a little bit resistant. Their primary use is not precisely going to be on a gaming board by adults, but by a 5 y/o. For that reason I didn't even consider metal miniatures. It needed them to be plastic, and with the least possible number of pieces involved. I had a few spare Primaris Marines on their sprues, so they seemed like the obvious choice.
  3. Once I was on this course of action, I wanted visual coherence with my other stuff, i.e., my realscale Carcharodons. Please be aware that all this stupid fanfic from 10th Edition, such as the Primaris Marines, the resurrected Primarchs and other nonsense simply doesn't exist in the Suberverse. Don't even bother to mention it. I have large, towering Space Marines, and that's it. That's why I used regular Space Marines helmets. But, as said above, I wouldn't dare to make just but the minimal, essential conversions. I don't want a hundred pieces all over everyday.
  4. I can't believe you just read all that. Let's see the pictures!
Raw Materials

You can see that I originally intended to add a Captain, but in the end I dropped it out of the project. It could make sense as an Exorcist Space Marine Captain, but not that much as a Blood Angels Captain.

I even started to paint it!

I'm not a fan of the new large bolters, but I can live with them. I shortened them for my Carcharodons, but I kept them for these Marines, as I feared little broken bits all over the place. However, I shortened the plasma gun, that was too much for me!

I hadn't painted this amount of red in quite some time!

Both my kids helped in the early stages with the base colour. It was one of their first contacts with the brushes and we worked on some of the basics, it was a pretty cool experience :)

As Old School as I could get them

 I went for a Second Edition aesthetics (well of course!), and I must confess that I thoroughly enjoyed the process. The vibrant red, the breast plate eagles in yellow, that kind of stuff... ohh, I felt like thirty years ago, in the middle of the Red Era. This was the kind of work I would have liked to do then but lacked the skills to achieve, so I can say that these five Space Marines have been a total second chance for me!

Here you have them, one by one.

The mohawk helped with the oldschool vibe

As I see this pic now I notice I haven't finished the checkers on the kneepad! :O

I didn't think of the Croatian Marine until I had it finished

The bolter and pistol pose is quite Second Edition too

It can't be retro if you don't use a beakie head

I'm displeased with the decals. I only used the Blood Angels symbol on the left shoulderpads, but I think it won't be that long until I tear them apart and paint them. For now, here you have the final result:

The best thing of all this is that my kid is happy with his new red warriors, and that's invaluable for me.

Oh, but now the elder brother (8), has just asked if he could also get some minis for him! I've proudly answered that for sure, what would you like, kiddo? And I didn't expect the answer... Marvel Superheroes minis. Wow.

Well, I guess I'm looking for the Crisis Protocol stuff now...


Interlude: Holiday sketches

 Something out of the usual today. I've enjoyed some days off with the family. Nothing spectacular, just a short trip a couple of hours far from home. The thing is that, though the forecast predicted some rain, we had a little more than expected, and even some snow, so we had to stay indoors more time than we had planned. The kids managed well (most important thing!) and I took the chance to take a ballpen and a sketchbook and let myself go with some quick drawings of our excursions over the area.

These were my first attempts of doing this kind of thing in years, so please excuse the quality and just value the enthusiasm XD

First, the castle of Burgo de Osma, the village where we stayed, top of the hill, with the medieval (originally Roman) bridge over the river.

Please mind the river, I clearly still have a lot to learn

Not a great deal, I'm afraid, more a warm-up than anything else. I tried to depict the 10th century ruined castle that dominates the landscape over the area, from a pic I took from the other side of the river.

Then I took a slightly more serious endeavour, I tried a more detailed drawing of the cathedral of the village. This time I have a couple of WIP pics:

The cathedral of Burgo de Osma

There are some serious perspective issues and some stuff I only noticed when it was too late, but somehow the ctrl+z thing didn't work here. I have to say it's the first time I try to do this thing right with ink, with no previous pencil whatsoever, so I had no chance to correct any mistake.

The inner geek in me can't help but see the village (the center of it nowadays remaining essentially medieval) but with a Mordheim twist, full of ruined stone and wooden houses, high walls and tons of dangers and adventures behind every corner. I guess I should call it Osmaburgheim to make it sound commercial, hmmm...

We made a short trip to a nearby castle, Gormaz, which happens to be the largest fortress in Spain. I was amazed by the sheer bulk of it, ruined and abandoned as it is (which is an absolute shame, but that's another story). A 10th century castle (though built over a previous fortification), originally from the Caliphate and (very long story short) later on conquered by Castilians.

Again, from a pic I took with the phone

Dated yesterday

I would have liked to draw some other pieces, as I took bazillions of pics of dead rocks piled up in awesome shapes like those above, but I'm happy I found some time to produce at least these.

I guess I should provide the source pics for you to decide how close I got from the original XD

Now it's the time to confess I have like a ton of minis I got from Crusader years ago for a 28mm medieval project I have in mind. I may have to bring them on the bench...


Second chance

These days I've been in an unexpected project. Back in 2004 I painted an Orc Warlord on Wyvern as a commission for a friend. Recently both rider and beast suffered from an undesired gravity challenge, and were reduced to this state:


My friend asked me if I could glue the pieces again and restore the model to its previous general shape. But of course, once I had this in my hands, I couldn't just reattach the bits back and leave it alone. A 20 years old paintjob deserved some deeper restoration.

So I took this different approach!

I repainted the whole Wyvern. Both belly and wing membranes were painted in Vallejo Khaki and I tried a slightly more vibrant green for the scales and so.

There are not two adjacent scales in the same exact tone of green

I kind of did the same to the Orc Warlord. I dared to paint more pieces of armour in red, instead of plain metal, and added Orc flames, checkers and stuff. The helmet had lost the horns/fangs/whatever it had at both sides, so I replaced them with a couple of horns belonging to the Dwarf plastic boxed set (form 5th Edition, I believe?)

If he sneezes, chances are to get his eyes ripped off the face

Here you have the whole piece back again to life:

I'm suddenly feeling the urge to play WHFB again after so many years!

It's not that usual to get such a second chance of painting a commissioned model. It's interesting, as you get to see how much you have actually evolved along the years, and to see what you do differently now or keep on doing the same.

Let's see what comes next!


To Infinity... and beyond!

 Quite some time since I didn't paint Infinity, but in fact the original project wasn't really finished, so about time I did something about it!

I had painted the Operation Kaldstrom core box, but my pal also got the "Beyond Operation Kaldstrom" expansion pack, as well as a couple of heavy units; here y ou have them all!

First of all, I had a mini still pending from the core box, Oktavia Grímsdóttir. I had painted her, but not taken any pics. She´s a mercenary (well, maybe a little bit more complicated than that, but the word covers it all for this post's sake), so she can provide some flexibility to your games.

Now with added snow

 Right, I've added snow to the bases (I have to fix this one!). The effect works fine at tabletop distance, but I'm afraid that if you look closer, it looks like the mini has just opened a box from Amazon and all the protecting stuff has spilled all over.

Anyway! The Panoceania team is made of  these guys, a Varg (spec ops), a Boyg Soldier (scary bloke in his uberarmour) and a Locust (a hacker, don't be fooled by his gun):

A Varg, A Boyg and a Locust come into a bar...

A Varg, A Boyg and a Locust come out from the bar...

I tried to reproduce the same colour I previously used on other Panoceania units, but I believe this time I got maybe a slightly deeper blue. Anyway I think it works. They all have interesting designs and are exquisite miniatures, but that's precisely what makes a challenge out of each one of them!

Let's move on. The Yu Jing team also consists of three members, a Shàng Jí ("superior"), which is a Hacker in an armour; a special character, Jing Qo, The Shadow of Huangdi; and a Ye Mao ("wildcat"), covering the spec ops role for the group.

Seriously, you have to be more careful when you open your boxes, look at the floor

Hey, no, I'm not done with you, come here immediately!

Once again I tried to reproduce the colours, but I think this time my orange is a little bit more vibrant than my previous work, which was slightly more yellow toned. However, I believe they all look fine when together.

I told you that besides the "Beyond" expansion pack, my pal also got heavy units. In Infitity these are known as TAG (Tactical Armoured Gear). Panoceania got this Cutter:

Well, this monster truly impresses

On the other hand, Yu Jing counts with the Blue Wolf Mongol Cavalry:

Looking for Red Riding Hood

For sure you can have quite a game with all this! Here you have a pic with this whole batch:

We could make the cover of a book with such a composition

And a final pic with all the stuff I've painted so far, with snow bases for all:

The whole project!

Fortunately the differences in tones are not severe and the new freshly painted minis match the previous ones, I'm relieved!

Well, of course now that the minis are painted, there's only one thing we can do... we have to learn to play! I'll let you know of my progress on that front!!


These are not the droids you are looking for

 At least I'm sure they're not the droids you expected. If you ever were expecting droids. Oh, whatever.

I found this batch of Chaos Androids from Space Crusade and also found the willpower to give them a second chance of a new life. They were awfully painted (you know it was kind of 30 years ago...), so I had to start from the beginning.

I don't prime in white that often

I had originally painted them in metallics, kind of Terminator style, which was the closest reference (Necrons weren't yet invented at the time!). But this time I've opted for the truly classic scheme, or something close enough.

There's no way to see it on the pic, but there are three different whites there

I first applied a very, very light grey layer, then nulned it and then went again from the light grey to basically pure white. I discovered than the sculpts, though crude, are in fact better than I credited them for, and have some more details than I remembered, hidden here and there.

How would Mike McVey have highlighted those weapons? I tried my best

It's a very straightforward job, nothing complicated. From this point on it all was just a matter of metallics and little else. I've seen that the original paintjob includes some brass on arms and feet, but I didn't fancy the scheme, I think that plain white looks better.

Before I chose the classic pattern, I had some doubts. If these are Chaos Androids (for these are not Necrons at all!), which Ruinous Power should be their Unholy Patron? The obvious choice for me was Tzeentch, Lord of (forbidden) knowledge. I believe that an AI (Abominable Intelligence) should fall under the Lord of Change's domains. So I shortly considered using a blue and yellow scheme. But in the end I thought that the white, basic pattern was better and sticked to it.

Maybe in a future repaint

Here you have them all, alongside a couple of Dreadnoughts, which, now compared to these, would benefit from another repaint, it seems.

What are we doing on the open field? We need steel and wires

How come my pics with natural light look worse than the inside ones??

It's been a nice and short project, and I have to say I've enjoyed it more than I expected, even with the neverending layers of increasingly white. Not sure of what will be next, but I already have some candidates on the queue!


The roar of the boar

 It's been some weeks since I don't post. Please insert regular excuses about real life here.

I took this old mini that needed some refurbishing. Silly me, as I'm currently working on different stuff at the same time, I totally forgot to take WIP pics of this until it was really too late to make any sense.

It's an old Rogue Trader Ork cyboar rider, which had the boar's head missing, so I had to sculpt it. The result is... crude, but fun nevertheless. Here you have the only pics I've taken:

Colour blast

I'm not particularly strict about Ork Clanz, as my current army is more Rogue Trader than 2nd Ed, so I felt more or less free about colours. Bone white for the armoured parts of the cyboar looked nice, and I built it colour-wise from that point on. You can see the army marking on the pic above, the horned skull over red field.

Alien boars look like that. Very alien boars

The sculpt didn't end up as well as I would have liked, but it can pass as some kind of furry xenos of the same family as boars, which is enough for me. In fact, as the whole body is mechanical, I could have sculpted literally any kind of animal. A camel would have been nice, now that I think of it.

Anyway, not a nice fella to mess up with

Even not using Snakebite Clan colours, I painted a snake on the boar. It's in a Celtic fashion, I guess, making a design and biting it's own tail. I wouldn't dare to call it Beithir nor Ouroboros, but it simply looked nice in that way, along the trimming on the rider's coat. I mean, there's not much more to it.

There's also another snake on his back!

I currently don't have more cyboars, so I faced this one as some standalone project, something feasible while I do some other stuff. I'm finding it fun to get these old minis back, so take for granted I'll be doing more RT in the near future ;)


Large Shark beakies

 It had been quite long since I last visited my realscale Space Sharks project. I think it's time to get back to my grey large marines!

I recently bought one of these Horus Heresy Mk.VI Tactical Squad boxes. It was kind of love at first sight, I can't emphasise how much do I love the Mk.VI (I guess that as much as any of you. I hope so). It encompasses everything that has to be said about nostalgia. It brings me back to the RTB01 times, when I got on board of this Warhammer madness. When it was called Rogue Trader. I believe I could write a whole essay on the subject, but don't fear, I won't. If you share the feeling, there's no need of it. If you don't, there are no words that can make you understand how it feels.

No more digression. The Mk.VI Corvus armour. The beakies. The models are a little bit larger than the previous Space Marines, so I thought I could just assemble the models and make them fit in with my previous Carcharodons. However, they are not as large as the Primaris models (if you remember, that's what I used for my latest unit). So I had to re-scale these too! Below you can see a regular marine from this box and a converted one:

Little difference, but enough to be perceived

Funny thing, once you start to enlarge your marines, you cannot just leave it at the legs or waist. The lack of neck seems alarmingly obvious:

He didn't appreciate being called Brother Shorty

So I had to work on knees, hip and neck. There's no need to do anything with arms, shoulderpads or anything else. Well, unless you want some kind of conversion, like the Sarge here:

The gauntlet comes from a metal Chaplain. I prefered the classic sword instead of the new provided with the current kit

As I wanted to keep a relative old school vibe, I used this Missile Launcher from Space Crusade:

Looks like a heavy thing to carry

Once again I took the same path I used with the heavy weapons operator in my previous squad. In case you don't remember (you don't have why), I built a harness to help the marine to handle the weapon while not holding the whole weight solely on his arms, kind of the Aliens thing:

I did this to my previous marine:

Archive pic

And I did it again now:

The guys from Prevention of Occupational Hazards approved it

There's not much else to it. From this point on it's all a matter of smoothening the green stuff work and painting the whole thing in the very same way I've always done.

If I can bring something new is that I changed my mind from my previous works and decided to put a back banner on the Sergeant. Of course, if I was doing it with this Squad, I also had to do with the other one. So I came up with these:

A little bit smaller than I anticipated, but it works

The banner on the other Sarge

The Horus Heresy box comes with a back banner for the Sergeant, but instead I used it on my Captain, as I think it looks best there:

He didn't have any banner until now

Here you have the whole squad, in all their Mk.VI glory:

The only thing I regret is the breathing vents on the helmets preventing me from painting shark mouths. Trust me, I tried. But there's not enough room for that. Sigh.

They are missing the Chapter symbol on the shoulderpads. I have ordered some custom decals, but until they arrive, they look good to me :)

I really do have to work on a backdrop

What can I say. I totally love these models. They finally are what I was waiting for. I think these are the true evolution of the old miniatures. They keep the aesthetics, they are not over the top, haven't fallen on the gruesome baroque nonsense we sometimes see nowadays. It's simply an update of the old models and I love it.

The box brings enough sprues to build two squads, so you can bet I'll do some more stuff in the future (probably not more Carcharodons, but I'll see what to do).

BONUS! As I was painting grey and black, I thought I could work on something else too. I could have made a post of its own, but I think it really belongs here. I had a Rhino re-scaled and 3D printed, so it matches my realscale Space Marines:

OK, right, this is BIG

I'll be honest, I wanted it even larger, the size of a Land Raider. I made some rough numbers and it looked like the size it needed to be to make ten realscale Marines fit into. But I was finally persuaded and now on a retrospective I'm glad. Let me show you how I turned this from this tone of grey to a totally different tone of grey.

Ta-daa. Easy. I collected some useful bits too

Now to the fun parts. I planned to use decals too, but the hatches don't really allow it. So I had to make it the hard way.

If it goes wrong, I'll have to name my Chapter the Space Herrings

Space Eels will work too

A thing I was missing was some lights. I cannibalised an old Rhino and did this:

Fortunately the size difference wasn't an issue

I faced some issues when painting the decorations on the side hatches. The separation between the two doors didn't allow me to paint the Shark, as the awful hollow space in between really ruined it all. At first I toyed with the idea of three stripes with Maori style symbols:

However it looked weird at tabletop distance

Then I moved forward and painted the rest of the empty spaces:

Too much. Looks like the blackboard at my school when I was a kid

It wasn't working. Sometimes less is more. I realised I had to take what I call the Epic approach. When you see a Rhino at a distance (i.e., little Rhinos in Epic), you have to understand what you are seeing. If it's all a blur, you are doing it wrong. And this was exactly what was happening here. Whatever symbol was to be depicted on that door, it had to be readable. I could only breathe and take the wise decision. Paint black again over it and start again.

It was a hard decision, but it brings peace and joy to my hart

As a compensation, I painted some of my Maori mandalas on the upper hatch

The final touch was to add a couple of banners on the back. If there's something more Old School than that, I don't wanna know. It's still missing some symbols here and there, but I plan to use decals for that. When they arrive I'll take more pics, but for now this is it:

Just in case, another size comparison pic, with a regular Rhino (the donor of the lights and some bits):


So a realscale Rhino to meet my realscale Marines:

At this pace I'll soon need a realscale board

I promise an update when I get the decals. Until then, let's keep on moving forward!