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Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

It’s… The Legion Rising Show!

*Cue The Benny Hill Show theme song – Yakety Sax*

Now, including spectacular colour! That’s right, actual paint!


I’ve magnetized my models for years to facilitate my eventual need to transport them, but it’s quite useful for painting too.

I mount a small neodymium magnet in the center of the base (or several, in the case of larger models) and then I attach a layer of magnetic sheet cleanly finish the process. The rare earth magnet provides the main sticking power while the magnetic sheet adds to the effect by making the entire base hold firm. Needless to say, I have no fear of models knocking free when they’re on a metal tray. Added bonus, it’s super simple to add a bit of metal to the end of a piece of dowel so I can paint without touching the model. Not as useful when you’re doing sub-assemblies, like in this case, but better than a poke in the eye.

As mentioned, I invested in an airbrush a while back, settling on a Badger Sotar 20/20 based on reviews, videos of performance, and helpful input; a key feature was its ability to switch between a very fine 0.20mm needle, a medium 0.45mm needle, and a large 0.70mm needle, to suit the range of jobs I expect to use it on. I helped to rationalize the purchase by using it first to paint the thesis model for my bachelor’s degree, so let’s just say it forced me to overcome any fears of a learning curve very quickly as I used it for the first time on an extremely critical project. As a funny addition to the experience, I painted my model a bright yellow to contrast with black and dark grey details, and used the entire bottle of airbrush yellow paint I purchased for the task. It was a rather large model. Caught in a pinch, with parts that still needed paint and no time to get a new bottle, I turned to my hobby supplies and pulled out a very old bottle of Sunburst Yellow; to my surprise it was a very close match and despite it being very thick and needing to be rejuvenated, it saved my bacon.

On hobby models, once you get past the intimidating initial learning curve of using an airbrush, it really is a significant game changer, completely altering how one might consider going about painting a model. Even simply applying primer is elevated, with it able to apply it in wonderfully smooth layers while offering complete control over coverage. While rattle spray cans are not exactly hard to use there are occasions when they can be temperamental, creating a less than desirable surface finish, and they simply can’t get into the nooks-and-crannies of a model like an airbrush without applying way too much primer to everywhere else. Once you get the hang of it with the airbrush the progress is brilliantly quick.


To start I’m doing a 10x unit of Vanguard with three Plasma Calivers and a 10x unit of Rangers with two Transuranic Arquebus'.

All hail the ever useful Poster Tack! Great for working on perfecting a pose, and helpful in this case for keeping the bits-n-pieces on their assigned painting stick. They do fall off from time-to-time but it’s easy to replace them and it still greatly reduces how much I would normally handle them. If you’re painting Skitarii I strongly suggest keeping them separate at the waist to save your sanity; I’m assuming they are intended to be painted this way as I simply can’t see how you could get under the long coats otherwise. I had started assembling them with both arms in place, but I soon changed my mind as I looked at the model. While it will take a bit more care to do the final assembly, I find it takes much more effort to paint all the nooks-and-crannies of these models when both arms are in place. By attaching the left arm (using the right arm to ensure it’s in the correct position) it will be an easy task to attach the right arm in perfect alignment in the future. Some carefully placed bits of Poster Tack is also perfect for masking the areas that will need plastic-on-plastic contact.


In keeping with my current preference for a cold-centric paint scheme Blue, Silver, and Black will be my primary colours, with Green used as the main accent colour.

It can’t be understated just how much faster it was to paint these coats/cloaks with an airbrush and to a much higher quality and uniformity than I could ever hope for by hand. I might be able to get the blend reasonably close by hand since it is a nice smooth flat surface, but without a doubt, it would take me muuuch longer. I started rather cautiously at first, but quickly found my groove and sped up considerably once I got into it. To get them to this point was surprisingly straightforward.

-Two layers of Vallejo Magic Blue over a Black prime.
-Two layers of Blue Wash; the first over the entire area with some quick wet blending to keep most of the shading up near the torso, and a second selective application to reinforce the shade effect at the top of the model. I didn't worry too much about getting a perfect blend or if any shading dripped/drooped too low, because the final Blue application cleans it up nicely.
-After that, I used an airbrush to blend the Magic Blue back up from the bottom.
-From here I will be using Vallejo Magic Blue combined with Vallejo Electric Blue to work up the highlights.
-Cleaned up all the non-cloak bits with Black.
-A layer of Vallejo Air Silver was hand painted on; by far one of the best acrylic Silver paints I’ve used with a normal brush or through an airbrush.
-A Single Black wash over the Silver and a cleanup with Black paint (still in progress).

In order to avoid using rust and adding the warm element it would bring to the theme, I’ve decided to borrow a bit of inspiration from the fiction of Lucius Forge World and bend it some to fit my purpose. Atrum Laboris is skilled at producing quality metal alloys so wargear of their manufacture is resistant to typical corrosion or oxidation, and prone only to superficial tarnishing, developing a darkening patina over time; I may take the idea further, making Alphas and other veteran models darker and more tarnished to reflect the fiction. So, with that base covered, when it comes time to weather some of this strong colour down I’ll focus on grease, dust, soot, and carbon to add more grit and grime to the models, instead of rust and oxidization.

Ok, so not the largest update, but progress... measurable, quantifiable, documentable, painting progress!! I'm already starting to dread all the little fiddly bits, but really, only a little bit. It's sooo cathartic to finally be able to get back painting again I'm eager to push forward. Now that I have control of my schedule I can also start doing it more regularly. Being forced away from it for so long, even if for the best of intentions and outcomes, has left me quite hungry and the prospect of doing 40-60 of these actually feels like a treat! Let's hope the enthusiasm lasts. I think it will. I need to get to the Onagers, after all. Mmm... walking tanks with... Neutron Lazor Beams!

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Ok, design philosophy time! Where we delve a little into the dark nooks-and-crannies of Subtle’s design process to learn just how much he overthinks things, but in a good way!

It’s funny, one of the most profound lessons I learned while attending college is actually quite straightforward and one of the most frustrating truths I’ve been forced to accept. Put simply, as you design something almost every task it requires during the development will take longer to complete than you’ll expect it to. The general guideline my professor gave was roughly 3-to-1 and they seem to be close to the mark; if you expect a task will take you about 1 hour to complete, don’t be surprised when it takes 3 or more hours to finally finish. For some reason, despite coming to experience this firsthand, over-and-over, I struggle to take this into account and adjust my expectations to something realistic.

In this case, I’m on the final steps to completing the first batch of 3D models and that requires filleting (read: rounding) the hard/sharp edges of a model ever-so-slightly. This subtle step takes the designed object from something of a rough state to a refined finished state and it’s quite noticeable in image renderings of a design and ultimately the final production of an object. It’s not particularly hard to do (although it can be tricky in some locations of a model if the geometry is complex) but it is completely mind-numbing and takes a painfully long time to finish. Needless to say, what I thought would be done in days is taking longer than I expected. And I don’t even want to get started on adding sprews, gates, and vents, which you would think isn’t that tedious, but I digress.

TLDR: I’m putting the final touches and details on the first batch of 3D models. They look great but daaamn it’s taking longer than I expected. Note to self: Attention to detail simply takes time; adjust schedule expectations accordingly.

The redesign of the Interitus Missile Launcher (counts-as Havoc Launcher) is an excellent 3D prototype build to illustrate the design choices I make in order to create the best possible kit I can devise. Three main ideas guide my choices. 1) Find ways to improve how the model will be produced; is there anything I can do to make it easier to cast, improve the lifespan of the mould, and/or reduce the chances of casting flaws? 2) Find ways to make it assemble with the least amount of frustration; what can I do to ensure everything assembles with the least amount of cleanup and effort? 3) Find straightforward ways to add assembly options to a kit for more variety; what opportunities present themselves that might let me add more assembly options?


By offsetting the mounting point on a round plate simply rotating the plate changes the launcher’s position on the model.

A very simple design choice lets the builder put the missile launcher where they want; to the left, right, front, or back. Not anything elaborate by any stretch, but a good idea doesn’t need to be complex.


I initially split the mounting ‘yoke’ for the launcher into two parts to make it easier to cast each of the parts.

Soon after I split the part I noticed how easy it would be to add a few extra holes to match the small locking key detail. This, in turn, lets the builder assemble the launcher centered, or to the left, or to the right. Again, not exactly elaborate, but it’s also not exactly difficult to add the option, so why not?


I try to design kits to complement each other in both design style and how they function.

Modularity, it’s a good thing. Not only do I want my kits to interact well with each other; using the provided assembly options should help to avoid clearance issues. I also want kits to be able to switch and swap logical parts with each other. In general, if parts from one kit look like they could fit with another kit, odds are good that they will. Mmmm… options.


Sometimes you design to solve a problem, sometimes you design to add a feature, and sometimes one leads to the other.

When you’re creating a casting prototype it’s in your best interest to avoid details that will create a ‘knife edge’ in the mould rubber. Rubber that forms very thin shapes like this will tend to deform very quickly and because they are delicate they are also prone to tearing well before the rest of the mould wears out. Due to the shape, the ring around a missile sitting in a tube is a good example of this and it was one of the main problems I had with my first attempted making the Interitus Missile Launcher; this thin bit of rubber would first deform, and then eventually tear free, ruining the gap that is meant to simulate a missile sitting in a launch tube. At first, I considered widening the gap in an effort to make the rubber thicker and more resistant to tearing, but I’m much happier with this final solution for several reasons.


By completely splitting the part into two components I solve the initial problem and in turn, I created an opportunity to add some more assembly options.

I was pleased with solving the problem in this reasonably simple way. The ‘knife-edge’ issue is completely resolved and since they’re both flat-backed parts it won’t be any harder to cast these two components as it would be to cast it as a single piece.

If they choose, the builder will also have the option of painting the parts separately which should help the assembly process. It also makes it very easy for the builder to remove some of the missiles if they want to have the missile rack appear to have fired a few volleys of ordinance. It’s a pet peeve of mine when a missile rack on a model has a few missiles missing by default; if it’s ever duplicated in the collection they all look the same and I personally hate that kind of repetition in a collection. Let the builder make that choice, dammit!


As shown earlier in the thread, this also makes it very easy to create several unique varieties of missile for the builder to choose from.

Not every kit will get this many small options on how it can assemble, but this is an excellent example of how I try to discover opportunities to improve every model I design. It can take longer to complete a design as I work through the process, but I think it’s the kind of attention to detail that people will really appreciate as my kits start arriving in their hobby spaces. I build these models and miniatures too, so I know how nice it is when something assembles without too much fuss, and a little bit of choice when I build is never a bad thing. I aim to combine this design philosophy with top quality execution to produce some of the best kits on the market. It’s going to take a little while for me to find my stride, but it’s finally starting and I can’t wait to see where this all leads.

More updates coming soon’ish. Hopefully, with some actual first 3D prints in hand. But for now, it’s Saturday, time to go and paint something!

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






Speaking on the 'Filleting':

What program are you using? Most 3D programs actually have automatic systems for doing that process.

3DS Max's "Chamfer" and Blender's "Bevel" modifiers allow you to specify size, number of loops, as well as edge angle, sharpness booleans and what to do at complex corners, so you can just apply it to the whole model at once, without having to manually champfer all of them.

Maya's bevel tool also allows for similar edge specification, though you have to pre-select what you want to effect.

My suggestion is, if possible, designate edges that you're going to want beveled as 'sharp' while modeling, or add them into a vertex group or Selection set, again, as you're going. This makes it much easier to do that finishing bevel.

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks for the input! I'm always interested in different perspectives on any given issue.

I'm currently working with Solidworks since it was the primary software used during my Industrial Design program. I'm sticking with it for now because of my comfort with the software, but also because it's very well suited to the hard-edged mechanical forms of the kits that my studio is starting with. It also tends to create models in a very 'scratch building' kind of way, which is really suited to how my mind conceives and works through creating a model, and that's very intuitive for me.

Solidworks does have an 'edge propagation' function that you can use when filleting or chamfering edges and I'm learning how to make better use of it, but it's not foolproof and sometimes struggles with the task, creating problems that stop the filleting function from working; problem is, once it selects 100+ edges and it hits a snag that stops the fillet function from completing, it can be really hard to figure out where the problem is; usually it's only a few edges causing the problem, but they can be hard to locate and remove from the mass bulk of the selected edges, so they can be dealt with more carefully by themselves. It can be surprising how important the order of execution is when you're doing this step, and it can be a little frustrating, to say the least. I also change the radius of the filleting depending on the edge I'm rounding, so one size does not fit every edge, so it's not as easy as applying a single fillet function over the entire component. I am getting much faster now that I'm taking more advantage of the edge propagation feature but it's still a surprisingly tedious process.

All that said, I've seen some amazing demonstrations of Modo with its vertex modeling system and I have a strong suspicion that I'll be looking to another software package when it comes time to start doing softer more organic modeling projects. I think they could be done in Solidworks but with much more effort compared to a vertex modeling solution. For now, the cost of the software and the need to learn it from scratch are major barriers that I'm avoiding until I can start to find my stride with my production process. Once I'm more up to speed, I'll start considering my options more.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






I would suggest fiddling around with Blender a little, if you're looking into that. It's a powerful tool, and its open-source nature means that it has near infinite compatibility, huge tutorial banks, and very nice workflow, once you've learned it.

Workflow is definitely something that you'll run into with large, well-established software packages. Maya, for example, has TONS of Order of Operations-dependent functions, many of which are reversed from similar ones (the Constraints, if you know what those are, occasionally ask for you to select the Parent first, and occasionally ask for the Child first- and for some god-aweful reason, they allow for multiple Parents to be created at once, and not multiple Children).

Looking forwards to seeing what you manage, once you go to Organics- though I warn you, with your focus on precision, you might just drive your self (even more) mad trying to make organic forms.

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

From the forest of paint bottles, they emerge. Super organized painter, I is not. Maybe I should consider changing that habit...
 



So close to being finished the base paint job, it's painful to have to stop working on this squad, but my hobby ration for the week has been consumed.
 
It's odd that the camera seems to make the highlights on the weapons seem a bit brighter then they are in person. They really do 'pop' much more in the images. Just one of those side-effects of pixellating the image, I suppose.
 
I'm reconsidering doing the eyes bit brighter and with a bit of glow. I used a very tiny bit of transparent blue to give the lights on the chest a bit of OSL and I think it worked out well considering how painless it was. A little fiddly, but not all that hard so I guess I'll try it on the eyes and see. I'm the first to admit it's a very straightforward colour scheme that's not taking too many risks, but I think it's working well to give them a calculating clinical look.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

That blue is divine!

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in us
Legendary Master of the Chapter






Quite the shocking electric bluegaloo.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Well, it is Vallejo 'Magic Blue', so I guess it's a good name for it. people seem to really like how rich/bold it is. I do plan on dirtying the models up some once all the details are done, but I'm still not totally sure what I'm going to do and I'm not worrying about it too much until I'm at that point.

Thanks for the feedback.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot





Pittsburgh PA, USA

Great job on the blues. An epic paint job.

Angels of Vengeance P&M Blog

A Tale of 5 Gamers!

Blood Knights Kill Team P&M

Crusade of Vengeance - A Tale of Sacrifce and Brotherhood
www..com/dakkaforum/posts/list/545145.page 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks! It's soooo good to finally be painting again. I'm struggling to keep it from distracting me too much from my other duties right now. It's just so cathartic to put some paint to plastic!

Brought up in another corner of the interweb I figured it wouldn't hurt to share this elsewhere. When I say I'm considering green, this is what I mean...

 

I took a bit of time and did some backpacks in the planned green and it forced me to do at least one test model to see what it looks like.
 
While I'm happy with how I executed the blue lights, I still think it's a bit too much blue on blue. I think the green just breaks up the monotony of so... much... blue... Even the green eyes I'm thinking of brightening a bit to add a bit more punch.

With regards to the execution, I should give credit where credit is due. I've mentioned these Transparent paints from Vajello a few times the last while but until now I hadn't used them.
 

I picked these up when I got my airbrush hoping that they will compliment it and I'm happy to finally discover that they do.
 
I've only just started playing around with them so I can't provide really in-depth feedback on how to best use them but so far they're working as I was hoping they would. Subtle glow effects are most effective when the colour that is being projected on a surface is staining the surface and letting the base surface/colour show through. Thinning paints to get this effect can be tricky since many colours have additives that are meant to help the paint cover and be opaque; from what I can tell these paints are simply the colour pigments in acrylic binding medium, minus the opaquing additives. Many painters would use inks to achieve this kind of effect but inks are water-like in consistency, so I prefer this product because it has a little more body and it acts more like paint when you attempt to blend the edges.
 
In this case, I brushed the colours on the chest pieces and did a bit of blending to get the desired effect and I used my airbrush to add it to the backpacks so it could do the blending work for me. Both times it was used straight from the bottle and built up to get the desired effect. They look very bright and vivid in the bottle and when you initially put them on a surface, especially if it's heavy, but they mute down as they dry and become more transparent. The pigment is very concentrated so a very tiny bit can go quite far. So, a light touch and using a small amount is best while you get used to how they'll affect a surface they're being used on.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada



Further update with ramblings and more images to follow shortly.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

It would be an understatement to say that I’m very happy to finally be painting again. What is it about this damn hobby that makes it so compelling? I completely respect that it’s not for everyone, but for those of us who get caught up in it… mmmm… so good.

So, the first squad of Skitarii Rangers is almost finished. I still have a few small details and a tiny bit of tidying up to do here-and-there but that's basically a formality at this point. They're all still held together with poster tack so the odd backpack or arm might be a little off. For some reason, I’m hesitant to actually commit them with glue even though I think I’m safe at this point, for fear of overlooking something that would be easier to do while they’re still in separate parts.



To sort out my colour pallet and painting technique I focused on the Ranger squad to use them as a proof of concept.

Values, 1, 2, 3. One of the most straightforward yet powerful concepts that I learned in college and it applies quite well to miniature painting. Used during the rendering process when you're colouring and/or shading an image to best communicate the form and detail, it's the simple guideline that you only need three distinct Values, light (1), medium (2), and dark (3), to create all of the desired contrast. Generally, beyond that point, any additional steps/values will start to have diminishing returns for the extra effort required to add them.

In many ways it seems really obvious and common sense but I found it surprising how often I would be working on something and wondering why it was lacking some visual punch, and then I would notice that there wasn’t enough 1, 2, 3, value definition. Forcing this concept from my unconscious mind into my conscious mind was definitely something that took some practice but it pays off once it becomes more instinctive.

The idea translates well to painting where you can create a straightforward guideline to follow; determine the light, medium, and dark, value of each colour you plan to use and make sure each step is distinct. Naturally, that’s not to say there won’t be places where you may want to be more elaborate, but with or without blending it’s surprising just how effective this simple approach is. Conversely, if a paint job seems to fall a bit flat, look at it critically and ask yourself if there’s good 1, 2, 3, value definition happening.


Group shot! It took a little longer to get this squad done, but now that I have a good idea what each step involves future squads will/should/might happen faster.

As I said, I still need to tweak a few details and do some minor cleanup. OSL really does force you to pay attention if you want it to be reasonably convincing so now that they’re assembled there are a few spots that need some attention. I also want to boost the shoulder mounted lamps which are just not bright enough for my liking. The Vanguard weapons are also giving me pause as I continue to contemplate just how I want to treat the OSL glow with them. I’ve given them the first hit with the airbrush but I don’t know I’ve it’s too strong for the final look. Oh well, that’s a final puzzle to hopefully work out next painting session.

After years of painting predominantly black, the bold colours are also forcing me to accept that it might be time to upgrade my seven-year-old camera. The images aren’t bad by any stretch, but even with a bit of Photoshop to adjust and darken them, the colours are noticeably more vibrant in the pictures than in person; in particular, the blue is bold but it’s just not that bright in reality. It’s not really a priority by any means but something with better colour accuracy would be nice at some point in the future.


The plan is to get 50-to-60 Skitarii done to roughly this point before I really contemplate how I’ll be completing the scheme.

That will give me time to finish the decal designs I’ve started and get them printed, ready for a marathon session of decaling them in one big batch. Part of me wants to try to add some freehand keyed trimming on the coats but the rest of me is a coward who doesn’t want to screw it up. Thinking about it, I have an idea to get long strips of binary code printed in the smallest font possible (read: micro text) so it would appear as just a line unless you looked very closely. I’m just not sure if decals can be printed small enough to pull off the effect or how difficult it would be to apply the strips along the edges of some of the coats and hoods. I like the idea, I’m just not sure how realistic it is.

Thanks again for reading and following along. As always, any questions, comments, or general musings are always welcome. Mmmm... soooo satisfying to get back to painting.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close up the wall with our Skitarii dead."


"+++ 75-tack-0 + Reporting... primary target... confirmed. Holding position... Awaiting tactical protocol downlink. +++"


*Taps the microphone* Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3... Is this thing on? Testing... Oh, yep, it's on.

So I got ahead of myself again, and I should have tested the Vanguard Carbines before getting too eager with the airbrush. As much as the treatment on the right is very striking it's just a bit too strong for the look I'm aiming for. I've done the Plasma with this treatment and I think it looks ace, but I want the Carbines more subdued like the treatment on the left. I wish there was an easy way to get something in between the two, but I can't figure out how to do it; if the light source is coming from within the weapon (how I prefer it) then the coils are going to obstruct just how much light can spill out, and where it can strike. I've never been a fan of how the coils are attached to the Radium Carbine and this just drives it home.

So, I've had to go back and cover the heavy green glow I did with the airbrush. Finished now, but I hate redoing work. I know it's going to happen now-and-then but it always annoys me. I'm almost done the black highlights and then it'll be the blue followed by the always intimidating OSL. +++ Motivation Subroutines: Initialized +++

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

+++
++++++
++
Comm-Link ∙ Active
+++++
++++
Downloading... Complete
++
Displaying Data File ∙ Onscreen
+++++
+



+++
++++
Comm-Link ∙ Active
+++++++
+++
+

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

Its a really nice colour combination you've got going on there. Do you have points/model count goal in mind?

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks! I really wanted to do something unconventional for Mechanicus, so I'm avoiding all warm colours and naturally that rules out red. Added to that, I'm pairing blue with green which are analogous colours that tend to clash a bit to enhance the concept. I'm very pleased with the results so far. The original plan was to do the blue darker but I'm glad I chose to go with something bolder. I want to dirty them up with some final weathering after I apply some decals, so I think the brighter base will provide more contrast in the end.

Based on the Lucius Forge World, the list I'm working with as a guide is...

Tech-Priest Dominus = 127
Omnissian Axe, Eradication Ray, Macrostubber, Solar Flare
 
Tech-Priest Dominus = 127
Omnissian Axe, Volkite Blaster, Phosphor Serpenta
 
Tech-Priest Enginseer = 47
Omnissian Axe, Las Pistol, Servo Arm
 
Cybernetica Datasmith = 52
Power Fist, Gamma Pistol
 
Kastelan Robots x2 = 220
Twin Hvy. Phosphor Blasters x2, Hvy. Phosphor Blasters x2
 
Skitarii Rangers x8 = 113
Galvanic Rifles, Omnispex, Transuranic Arquebus x2
 
Skitarii Vanguard x10 = 133
Radium Carbines, Taser Goad, Omnispex, Plasma Caliver x3
 
Skitarii Vanguard x10 = 103
Radium Carbines, Taser Goad, Omnispex, Arc Rifle x3
 
Skitarii Vanguard x10 = 103
Radium Carbines, Taser Goad, Omnispex, Arc Rifle x3
 
Sydonian Dragoons x3 = 216
Taser Lance x3, Phosphor Serpenta x3
 
Onager Dune Crawler = 140
Neutron Laser + Cognis Hvy. Stubber, Cognis Hvy. Stubber, Broad Spectrum Data-tether
 
Onager Dune Crawler = 140
Neutron Laser + Cognis Hvy. Stubber, Cognis Hvy. Stubber, Broad Spectrum Data-tether
 
Onager Dune Crawler = 135
Icarus Array, Cognis Hvy. Stubber, Broad Spectrum Data-tether
 
Void Shield Generator = 190
 
Total Points = 1,846

For now, this is just a starting list to bulk up the collection and look good in a display case, so composition might change once I actually start playing games. I have no idea what my local meta is like. The one rule I'm forcing myself to adhere to is completing the Troops first and using this list to create full-sized squads. It's a bit daunting but it's better to get it over with and once I've got 40 Skitarii finished (with 60 planned, to provide options) then I'll let myself have some fun with larger models. Once the core is done the idea of focusing on one or two vehicles or a single squad to expand the army seems much less daunting.

So, it will soon be 20 Skitarii down with 20 more built and ready for their turn. I was working out my painting process with this first batch, so I'm hoping the second batch will proceed faster now that I've got most of the process sorted out.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot





Pittsburgh PA, USA

That's a wicked list you got there brother!

Angels of Vengeance P&M Blog

A Tale of 5 Gamers!

Blood Knights Kill Team P&M

Crusade of Vengeance - A Tale of Sacrifce and Brotherhood
www..com/dakkaforum/posts/list/545145.page 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks. It's not like Mechanicus get a ton of options to work with compared to some other factions, but it seems like a reasonably well-rounded list to use as a starting point. I want to add some more close combat elements once I've got this preliminary force complete, but Mechanicus have so much great pew-pew to work with it's hard not to focus on that strength first.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
++++++
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Comm-Link ∙ Active
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Downloading… Complete
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Displaying Data File ∙ Onscreen
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+++ Command Protocols ∙ Accepted +++ Request ∙ Diagnostic Activation +++_+++ Command Input ∙ Accepted +++

++
Initializing Subsystems…
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Generator Subsystems ∙ Online
Containment Field ∙ Nominal
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Initialize Plasma Reaction? ∙ Y/N

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/02/09 04:37:24


"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


+++ Initialize Plasma Reaction? ∙ Y/N +++ Command Input ∙ Y +++_+++ Status ∙ Ignighting Plasma Reaction +++_+++ Initialize Void Field? Y/N +++

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






That's so cool!

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


+++ Initialize Void Field? ∙ Y/N +++ Command Input ∙ Y +++_+++ Void Field ∙ Active +++ Plasma Raction ∙ Stable +++ Containment Field ∙ Nominal +++

+++ Command downlink received. +++ Downtime overdue. +++ Priority - Seek maintenance bay interface. +++ Rejuvenation subroutines activated. +++ Further data uplink to follow maintainance rites. +++

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

For this update, enjoy a three-course meal of content. First up, some horderves…

I have no idea why Vimeo is willing to present it in the vertical format but refuses to embed the video. If you’re interested, check the link below to see a full-size version.

https://vimeo.com/255854999

Link to a much larger video - Arcis Pattern Shield Generator

This is by far the trickiest model I’ve ever had to photograph. Usually with miniatures you want to use lots of light and there’s no problem slowing the shutter speed so you can get a good depth of field (focus range) in the images. But in this case, too much light washes out the plasma effect and a slow shutter speed can’t catch the constantly moving plasma streams. The settings and conditions that are best for capturing the plasma effect are pretty much the exact opposite to what you’d normally want to use to best showcase miniatures in photos. *Sigh*

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, on to the main course. A morsel for the mind I’m going to call the taming of the sponge. I’ve seen a few people mention from time-to-time that they can’t get results they like with the sponge technique to add a chipping weathered effect to a model. While not as authentic as doing multi-layered chipping techniques, I’ve found the sponge method is a good compromise to get excellent results that look very authentic and random with less effort than other processes. In fact, it’s so fast once you get the hang of it that you can quickly get carried away so restraint and bit of patients is a good thing when using this technique. However, I have found a few tips, tricks, and understanding helps the process considerably.


First up, do yourself a favor and pick up a set of clamping needle nose tweezers and behold the improvement in control over this technique.
I have long slender fingers and even I have trouble controlling a tiny chunk of ragged sponge dipped in paint as I try to dab it reasonably precisely on a tiny detail of a miniature. A simple set of this kind of tweezer lets you create a temporary paint brush with much more control and visibility as you work.


The tweezers will let you easily twist and turn the sponge as you work and you can ‘choke’ the sponge until it’s just a tiny tuft providing much more control working on small details.

Be sure to tear chunks of sponge off that will produce points, ridges, and edges that can provide a bit more precision to the technique. The sponge will always produce somewhat random blotches of ragged spots and that’s what you want, but this lets you have more control over where they go and how large they’ll be.


Try to find a selection of sponge of a few different densities to choose from to add further to the control you can have over the results.

The sponge pictured to the top is denser with more uniform bubbles. Simulated chips and scratches created with this sponge will be smaller and a bit more uniform. This is the type of sponge you want to use if you prefer a lighter speckling of chip marks on the edge of a model; dabbing most of the paint off of the sponge and applying a bit more pressure will tend to get that light chipping effect. Denser sponge is also stiffer so it provides a bit more control if you tear the sponge into the right shapes for your task and let the tweezers help.

The bottom chunk of sponge pictured is less dense and has much less uniform bubbles. This sponge will produce much larger simulated chips and flakes owing to the larger voids in the material. Combined with the softer nature of sponge like this a little more care is required. If you load too much paint and/or apply too much pressure with this sponge the spots can be very large. It’s always a good idea to keep a few pieces of primed sprew nearby so you can dab the sponge along an edge to test the results before you commit to a model. If the shapes that are being made don’t work for any reason just swap out the sponge in the tweezers and try again. A little practice will have you discover how you prefer the shape of the sponge to be.


With black I prefer to use silver with a black wash mottled over top for weathering but if I was going to do this with practically any other colour I’d likely use a dark grey and skip the wash.

I tend to start by placing a few larger simulated chips and flakes in key locations (read: corners and edges), fill it out with some smaller speckles, and then use a brush to unify and tweak the effect a little bit. Even with the added control, the tweezers provide the effect will still be somewhat random so a tiny bit of brushwork helps refine it a bit and tie it together.

The final tip I can provide for this technique is to thin the paint and mix in a little Future Floor Wax to lower the surface tension. This is the key trick to get the paint to apply nice and thin while still ‘clumping’ into the nice crackled and flaked shapes that make this process look reasonably authentic. Without the Future added in the paint wants to spread too much and is much harder to control and get a pleasing result.

Use the right tweezers. Use the right sponge. Use them the right way. Use a bit of Future Floor Wax in thinned paints. Rejoice with the improved control you’ll find attempting this kind of technique.

And now on to something for the sweet tooth…


I’ve never actually measured an official GW Void Shield model, but from my research, I think the footprint and height of the Arcis Generator are very similar.

I really wanted a ladder up to the battlements so that imposed some limits to how large it could be; large enough to put a small squad of snipers or heavy weapons but not much else.

Having a hexagram footprint it doesn’t really have a back so here’s the other side so you can see how the power switch and cord are treated.

“I said across her nose, not up her nose!” ~ Spaceballs ~ Extreme close-up! Because… why not? Details and stuff. Ooooo… plasma!

I do wish the primer had gone on a little smoother in a few spots but that’s a minor complaint about a model that I’m quite pleased on several levels. Mmmm… progress. Me likey progress! It’s an interesting ‘unit’ to finish first for my Mechanicus army but it’s kinda’ fitting, really, if a bit unconventional. It’s going to make a great starting centerpiece for the rest of the army to build around. Speaking of which, an update for (mostly) finishing first Vanguard squad should be ready reasonably soon, but until then…


Perhaps I can tempt you with an after dinner mint? Come now, of course you would, it’s wafer thin.

Vanguard squads two and three (each toting 3x Arc Rifles) are stepping up on deck. Pictured here in mostly grey they’re already primed and ready to start painting once the first squad is finished. Now that I have a good lock on pretty much every process and technique I’ll be using on these models I hope to be able to focus on them and power through them reasonably quickly. I’ve got an itch to start on something bigger and/or more elaborate and these two squads are my main barrier.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

Your guides are always amazing, great photos, easy to understand instructions. Thank you very much for all this hard work!

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






A suggestion for photographing: Image compositing.

If you have a mounted camera without wiggle, take one image at low-lighting, fast shutter speeds, and one at high lighting, low shutter speed, from the exact same angle. Put them into Photoshop or GIMP or your photomanip program of choice, and mask out the plasma ball.

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks very much for the feedback. I'm glad that my attention to detail shows and I really hope that the way I explain things helps people better understand the ideas and concepts that I'm trying to convey. Replies like yours tell me that I'm doing something right. When I first started showcasing my work and writing articles on process and technique my main goal was to express the information in a comprehensive way and use good quality images to illustrate the points. While there is a lot of great content on the internet many times I found it was lacking in these areas; it would either explain a process/technique very well but provide poor/no images to help illustrate the concept, or there were great images showing what was being done but the written information supporting the process/technique was vague and/or non-existent. Don't get me wrong, creating really good quality content takes time and effort and I don't fault anyone for only putting in the time that they can afford, I'm grateful for any hands-on insight into a subject I'm trying to research, but I wanted to do my best to create top-notch content that I hope will really aid and inform people who take the time to read my work. One of these days I really should start a 'proper' blog and try to reach a wider audience.

It's a very intentional choice that I'm making when I create articles from what I'm doing at my workbench. This is a deliberate extension of my studio to help support the gaming community as a whole. Everyone who supports me and my studio help produce this content and in turn, I get the kind of marketing that I want to produce for my studio. I want people to discover my studio and potentially make a purchase, but I'm also genuinely interested in supporting this awesome hobby and the community that surrounds it. Even if someone never purchases something from my shop I hope the information I provide will be useful and support their hobby endeavors.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Anvildude wrote:
A suggestion for photographing: Image compositing.

If you have a mounted camera without wiggle, take one image at low-lighting, fast shutter speeds, and one at high lighting, low shutter speed, from the exact same angle. Put them into Photoshop or GIMP or your photomanip program of choice, and mask out the plasma ball.


You know, I never considered doing that despite using similar techniques for presentation images in college on occasion; 'in situation' images of products that don't even exist beyond a 3D model is a key element to a good design proposal. I usually shoot with a tripod when the images really matter so it's not outside the realm of possibility. I might just give that a go when I take some updated product images using the painted model. Thanks for the input!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/02/15 22:37:08


"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

++++++++
++
Comm-Link ‧ Active
++++
+++++++
Downlink… Complete
+++++
Displaying Data File ‧ Onscreen
+++


+++ Preliminary Production Quota ‧ Complete +++ Ongoing Production Quota ‧ Accepted +++ Recruit Selections 3440-3460 Proceeding to Implantation +++

+++ Data Transmission ‧ incomplete +++ Further Data Transmission ‧ Compiling +++ Update Incoming ‧ Standby… +++

++++++++
+++
Append Information Exchange ‧ Additional Input +++ Large open spaces in the preliminary image offends the glory of the Omnissiah
++++
Production Quota Priority ‧ Upgraded +++ Current projects to be expedited; large scale construct assembly to commence
++++++
Comm-Link ‧ Active
+++++++++
++
Update Incoming ‧ Standby…
+++++
++++++++
+++

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

+++
+++++
Comm-Link ‧ Active
+++++++
Data Downlink… Complete
+++++
Displaying Data File ‧ Onscreen
+++
+++++++++

Well, this is a bit of an eclectic (Oooo, a $2 word) selection of units to (almost*) finish as a modest start to the collection. I didn’t really plan on getting slightly distracted finishing the Void Shield Generator, but that’s what happened. Being already half finished for many months and beginning to collect dust, it was simply too much to ignore it. Naturally, wanting to see it with the plasma globe in place didn’t hurt my shift in motivation.

*Almost finished because they are done… sorta’. The primary paint job is finished. I’ve hit the edges and high points with gloss varnish and given everything the first coat of matt varnish, that’s a little closer to a satin which is my actual preference for general applications. Now they’re going to wait for decals before a bit of dirtying up and the final coats of varnish. For now, I’m procrastinating on the decals because I want to complete more units for the army and get a better idea where I want to put icons, thus having a better idea just what size the decals will need to be; so there’s that, aaand I’m kinda’ not looking forward to the work involved in finishing the icons and compiling the final decal sheets, so that can wait until I’m feeling more inspired to do such things and I have more models that are at the point of actually needing them.


Ok, ok, this isn’t exactly a unit that hasn’t been shown before but I figured a few more images for the sake of completeness wouldn’t go amiss.

Given that the Ad Mech line is new and I’m so pleased with the models I don’t plan on doing any elaborate conversions like I might be tempted to do when working with Chaos. However, I dislike excessive repetition caused by repeating models in an army, so I prefer when I can use a posable multipart kit/s to assemble the Troops of a collection; even subtle changes in pose and composition can dramatically improve the level of variety that can be found in an army that may otherwise be very similarly equipped. The Skitraii kit walks an interesting line in this regard. They don’t offer as much in the way of pose-ability as I would normally prefer, but the kit does have ten distinctly posed miniatures and there is a good range of selection in the components. Switch a few arms, swap a few backpacks and turn the odd head and there’s enough variety to obscure any blatant repetition in the rank-and-file, but not so much with the Alphas and the Omnispex/Data-tether operators. So I’ve decided to focus a bit of converting and kit-bashing on those models in each of the squads to provide some variety to the models that are the center of each unit.

To that end, this first unit of rangers is taking the easy route and staying completely stock with no changes, since the Alpha simply requires nothing more than a Galvanic Rifle which are plentiful and that leaves the shouldered rifle component for the Omnispex operator. I’ll want the next unit of Rangers to mix thing up a bit, but I’ll worry about that another day.


Besides, showing the Rangers again gives me a chance to show a nice large image of them in context, perched in the battlements of the Void Shield Generator.

Damn the bases for the Transuranic Arquebus models are freakin’ huge. The squad in my list is 8 strong but the battlement doesn’t really accommodate more than 6 miniatures with the 2 Transuranic Arquebus’ taking up so much floor space. Since this is their intended perch it looks like I might need to tweak my list a bit. The extra bodies are really just ablative wounds for the models with the wargear that matters, so I guess losing a few isn’t an issue, but I’m not sure if there are many options to make use of the points that will be freed up. Humm…


Delayed by finishing the Void Shield, the first squad of Plasma Caliver toting Vanguard is now caught up with the Rangers.


Here’s a large close-up to showcase the paint job and to have a look at the switch-and-swap conversions I did on the Alpha and the Omnispex operator.

I want to give the Alphas in the Vanguard squads Taser Goads in part because they are signature Mechanicus weapons that are unique looking but I also plan/hope to use the Vanguard to support some close combat actions where their Rad-saturation rule can offer some extra utility. So, with luck, the Alpha might add an exploding six with the Goad from time-to-time. Not knowing which unit will be called on to perform this (likely suicidal) maneuver I’m going to give them to all the Vanguard Alphas and that’s where the vile specter of repetition crops up. I also want at least some of the Alphas holding their Rad Carbines in both hands so that begs the question of what to do with the Taser Goad when I’m not using the stock bit.

The same problem arises with the Omnispex, since I don’t want every single model equipped with one to be in the exact same arm extended pose. So, in this case, I took the opportunity to do a simple switch-and-swap of the Omnispex arm and the Taser Goad arm; removing the Taser Goad from its arm let me easily add the Omnispex to it so it can be in a lowered position, and from there I needed to add the Taser Goad bit to the Alpha in a convincing way If I wanted him holding his Rad Carbine at the ready. So, with a bit of scratch build, I created a simple buckled strap to wrap around the weapon letting it be stowed on the Alpha’s backpack. Since the backpack already features a covering with straps and buckles it didn’t seem like a stretch.


+++ Recruit Selections 3440-3460; Implantation Process ‧ Ongoing +++ Production Expedited +++ Progress Reports ‧ Ongoing +++

Next up, two squads of Vanguard toting Arc Rifles, which is the minimum number of Skitarii I’ll need to complete my initial list. For future list flexibility I was going to force myself to complete 60 Skitarii before moving to bigger things, but the itch to work on projects that will benefit the list right now is very strong so I suspect things might change. Any progress is good progress, however, so I’m not going to sweat my order of execution too much as long as whatever I work on is in the list. That damn Void Shield Generator is just too dominating, I need some bigger toys to bring it down some.

Thanks for reading, following along, the kind words, and feedback. As always comments, questions, and general musing are always welcome.

Now go paint something!

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

Those pictures are always such an amazing part of your blog, on top of that we get even more detail and thoughts behind the camera via captions. All in all, I love it

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in nz
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






Wellington, NZ

I agree with Knightley. I really appreciate the clear time and effort you put into your blog, the results are vivid, easy to follow and really enjoyable to read! The Skitarii are looking good as ever.

___________________ Check out my Ultramarines P&M Blog!___________________

 
   
 
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