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Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


More Painting Steps: Painting the Weapons.

Step 1: When the camouflage painting is finished and dried, paint the weapons, engines, and exhaust pipes with boltgun metal. Also, dry brush selected feature such as the front of the helmets with boltgun metal.

Boltgun Metal on Sergeant Staghorn.

Step 2: Irregularly spot paint Baal Red on the tips of the barrels of weapons, the engines, and the exhaust pipes. This will give the metal a heat stained look.

Horse with Baal Red on the tips of the barrels, the engine block and the exhaust pipes.

Step 3: Heavy paint over all the areas with boltgun metal and Baal Red with Badab Black. This both dulls the shiny boltgun metal and gives the surface an oily look. It also blends in the Baal Red so that the metal looks like it has been heated. This is one of my favorite steps because it looks so good when finished.

Horse after the Badab Black has been applied.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2010/08/30 17:38:23

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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Even more painting steps: The backpack and other brass areas.

Step 1: Paint Tin Bitz over the backpacks and any other areas such a weapons or helmet parts that will have a dark bronze finish.

Horse with Tin Bitz on his backpack and on the horse on his helmet. He also has just had boltgun metal painted on his weapons, engine, and exhaust pipes.

Step 2: Paint small highlighted areas such as the flying skull on the marine’s chest, the skulls and daggers on their backpack and any other insignia to be highlighted with Dwarf Bronze. Dry brush Dwarf Bronze on the tin bitz. This is another fun step that will give the model a finished look.

Horse with the Dwarf Bronze applied. Notice on the horse above and on the backpacks how the Dwarf Bronze highlights the model.

The Dragon flaming Orks with Staghorn covering him.

This picture, my favorite which I have already published in an earlier post, shows the highlighted bronze backpack on both Staghorn and the Dragon. It also shows how natural such highlighting looks.

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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The Flying Skulls on Headstones.

Look at the top of the headstone on the left.

Frank’s Headstone.

Last year my wife and I took a trip to Boston. We did the tourist things including going through an old graveyard from the American Colonial times. This is a picture of a headstone. Did they have Warhammer then? The tour guide said that the winged skull represents the soul after death. The skull represents the death of the body. The wings represent going up into heaven. These winged skulls were on headstones throughout the graveyard.

The Headstone of Mary Goose.

We were told that this may be the headstone of Mother Goose of fairy tale fame. But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Goose. Obviously, Mother Goose was a Warhammer 40K fan. I wonder what army she played.

Made in us
Boom! Leman Russ Commander

United States

there are some beautiful tombstones in boston. my dad and i went there a while ago and did inprints on them, where youput the paper over the raised edges and use charcoal to get an inprint on the paper. its against the law but you can get some beautiful stuff from it. it doesnt hurt the tombstones as far as i know.

"Reality is, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away"
-Philip K. Dick

Constant Lurker, Slowly getting back into modelling! Someday a P&M Blog link will lurk here! 
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Revised 1000 point army.

Captain on bike with artificer armor, storm shield, and relic blade.

1st Bike Squad (white) with powerfist, 2 extra bikes, 2 meltaguns.
2nd Bike Squad (red) with powerfist, 2 extra bikes, 2 meltaguns, Attack Bike with Multi-melta.
4th Bike Squad (Staghorn’s Rowdies) with power axe, 2 extra bikes, 2 flamers, Attack Bike.

Land Speeder with Typhoon missile launcher.

Land Speeder with Typhoon missile launcher.

I had to revise my 1000 point army because I had forgotten the points for the Captain’s relic blade. So I created Staghorn’s Rowdies to take the place of the 3rd Bike Squad (blue). The Rowdies have fewer points than the antitank squads but it may be my favorite squad. The Rowdies adds a little character to my army.

Although this is just a 1000 point army, it should be both fun and a great learning army for me to master bike rules and tactics. The white squad would act as the Captain’s escort.

Staghorn’s Rowdies.
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut

Looks good, love the camo pattern

Monster Rain wrote: Don't be so neurotic about your lil' space manz.[/quote 
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


General Quantum Wells

It has been several months since I made my last post but I have been building some new characters. In my fluff on the creation of the 157th Special Security Detachment, I mentioned a character named General Quantum Wells. He had been assigned to lead the chapter even though he was an aging military bureaucrat who had distinguished his career by avoiding risks, factious attention to obscure regulations, and petty military politics. So I decided to build a model for him even if I have no real plans yet to use him in my army. Still he was lots of fun to build with a lot of customization. The head is an officer's bit from an Imperial Guard Cadian command squad and the body is from the space marine commander’s set. I added a few bits including the ammo carrier from other sets to create the model. Just in case I put him in a game, I configured him as Pedro Kantor with a Powerfist and an upgraded heavy bolter.

General Wells and Sergeant Rock with Lascannon Gunner.

I do a lot of pinning. I actually counted the pinning I did in this General Wells and came up with seven pins. I have one on each shoulder, one between the left arm and the heavy bolter, one between the heavy bolter and the ammo can, one between the body and the head because that is an awkward fit and needed a lot of green stuff, one to hold on the helmet on his belt, and one between his legs and his upper body to give him the necessary twist. I pin my models when the parts do not fit flush which often happens as I customize them. For example, I often put my arms in different positions which requires that I pin the shoulder and put in green stuff between the shoulder and the arm. If I hadn’t done that, the heavy bolter would point to the side rather than directly ahead and the powerfist would have been off to the side rather than lifted up defiantly.

General Wells from the Right Side.

General Wells from the Left Side Showing his Helmet.

Just because he likes to wear his old Imperial Guard Cadian soft cap doesn’t mean that he won’t wear a helmet when the fighting gets rough or the atmosphere is nonexistent or poisonous. Like all my bareheaded models, I place a helmet where the character can easily get it. Here the General has his helmet hanging from his belt.

General Wells and Sergeant Rock from the Rear.

Although General Wells is more of a military bureaucrat than a warrior, one of his hobbies is killing Orks, especially if he has some space marines to back him up.

General Wells and the Trouble with Orks.

Of course, one trouble with hunting Orks is that they start hunting you. Still blasting away at Orks is always good for the soul even if they get a little too close for comfort. I bet he wishes he had put on his helmet. Have you ever smelled an Ork? It is just nasty.

I still need to finish painting his eye.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Lascannon Gunners.

Everyone loves Lascannon Gunners. Here are two of mine.

Lascannon Gunners.

Sergeant Rocky Ridge Directing his Lascannon Gunners.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/11/20 13:11:03

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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Revived Command Squad

I have been making some major changes to my bike army. I have decided to make it a pure bike army with two bike captains and two command squads. I not only added a second command squad, I rebuilt my first command squad to increase its antitank and assault power by adding four meltaguns and adding an extra lighting claw and two shields. I also did a major rebuilding of the company champion and the apothecary, although that was primarily because I didn’t like how they had first turned out. For all the first command squad, I kept the bikes as they were but replaced the arms and some of the torsos of the individual squad members. I also built a whole new second command squad modeled after Staghorn’s Rowdies which I had earlier posted.

The First Command Squad.

Fluff-wise, this is a more disciplined command squad than the second. Their helmets and power armor are more in strict conformity to the prescribed uniforms of the Ultramarines. This squad carries the company standard and will escort the first company commander.

The Second Command Squad, Staghorn’s Rowdies.

The second command squad is a more nonconforming and flamboyant squad than the first. Three squad members have totally unauthorized and highly decorative helmets. All the veterans in this squad carry captured Berzerker knives and scabbards. This squad will escort Victor Staghorn, who will be upgraded to the second company commander.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The First Command Squad Company Champion.

I was disappointed with how my first company champion had turned out. I had ordered some champion bits from a supplier and put them on a marine biker but the figure just seemed to have no personality or excitement. The champion helmet, while different then the normal marines, was boring. The shield with pistol just seemed to make the model appear as if the champion was cowering behind his shield rather than aggressively seeking out the enemy and attacking. With the camouflage, the special marine shoulder pads seemed uninteresting. I liked the sword but not enough to make up for the rest of the model. Beside, it wasn’t in as dramatic a position as I wanted. Finally, I had not bothered getting the model a champion torso because it had a long robe at the bottom that would not fit over a motorcycle.

The Original Company Champion.

When I decided the create a second command squad, I bought the Warhammer command squad package and after examining them, decided to rebuilt my champion. I pulled the torso and arms off the biker and rebuilt him. This time I used the company champion torso by cutting off the robe so it would fit on the bike. I had really liked the head that I used for Sergeant Rock, the Sternguard sergeant I had earlier built. So I got another head like Rocky’s , a squire’s head from one of the Bretonnia® knight’s sets. I had to use green stuff and pinning to attach the head to the torso and I sculpted a right eye piece. I put on the champion’s power sword in the left hand but also put a chainsword, rather than the shield and pistol, in his right hand. Instead, I carved off the pistol from the back of the shield and placed the shield on a meltagun that I attached to the bike. I hung the champion’s helmet from his waist and now had a more dynamic champion. With his arms lifted and with the champion torso, the shoulder armor showed up more dramatically and was more fun. I found that painting the shoulder armor a regular camouflage rather than trying to accent it actually more it more impressive than if I had painted it gold. I also added a winged bit on the top of his backpack that really made a nice accent. When I finished it, I had a champion that looked ready to rock.

The New Company Champion.

Company Champion with his Helmet on his Waist.

I still need to finish his eye and put red paint on the eye covers his helmet. With all the details, I don’t know if I will ever really finish this army.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/11/19 22:49:04

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Boom! Leman Russ Commander

United States

i like the lascannon models! they look very army like

"Reality is, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away"
-Philip K. Dick

Constant Lurker, Slowly getting back into modelling! Someday a P&M Blog link will lurk here! 
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The First Command Squad Apothecary.

Like the original company champion, I was disappointed in my original apothecary. He just wasn’t exciting for a unique character. He was bland. In fact, he is the only unique model that I hadn’t even bothered to take a picture, except with the rest of the command squad.

The Old First Command Squad.

The apothecary is the second from the left with the white trim. Notice that even here I kind of buried the apothecary so he didn’t really show. So I decided to rebuild him.

I ripped the torso, arms, and antennna off the apothecary. In rebuilding him, the main change I made was to use his medical equipment hand to grasp the handle bar of the bike which was more natural looking than with his heavy hand out flailing. This freed up his other hand to wield a chainsword. I also put an undercoat of white rather than black on his shoulder pads, his medical arm, and his helmet. I increased the amount of white but used a bone white rather than the bright skull white as a final coat to down play its brightness. I did put his helmet on him rather than a bare head to indicate that compared to the second command squad apothecary, he was more disciplined.

The New First Apothecary.

The main lesson I have learned in building bikers is that to make sure that you have a dramatic and nature position to the arms, use pinning and green stuff at the shoulders rather than just putting together the arms to the torso as they come from the factory. This is fairly easy if you have a hand drill, especially since the shoulder pads cover up the joints and hide any sloppiness in the green stuff.

The First Apothecary in Battle.

With this photo, I can see some places that need to be touched up with white paint. One reason I use a black undercoat rather than white is it hides the mistakes. The mistakes just disappear into the shadows and are hidden. Not so with white. The white, however, shows off colors better.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/11/22 20:40:37

Made in gb
Deadshot Weapon Moderati

South Lakes

Wow, those predators look bloody great. I love the camo, but it looks like your paints could do with thinning down a little on some models. Nonetheless, very inspiring, i really like them.

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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


sphynx wrote:Wow, those predators look bloody great. I love the camo, but it looks like your paints could do with thinning down a little on some models. Nonetheless, very inspiring, i really like them.

Thanks for the kind remarks about the predator. You are right about the paints needing thinning down. I get a little impatient sometimes and sometimes splater on the paint a little thicker than I should. I like the instant gradification of a quick layer of paint rather than carefully layering on the paint.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Rebuilding the First Command Squad.

In addition to my Company Champion and my Apothecary, I rebuilt the rest of my first command squad. Unlike my Company Champion and my Apothecary, which I rebuilt because I didn’t like how the original models looked, I only rebuilt the other three veteran bikers to beef them up for play. I liked how the rest of my original Command Squad looked. I liked the standard bearer with his powerhammer. I liked my veteran biker with duel lighting claws. I especially like my simple veteran biker with his chainsword.

However after watching some sneering imperial guard player put down all his tanks and other armored vehicles at our local game store, I realized that I needed to increase the amount of anti-armor fire power in my bike army. So I gave a meltagun to each of my veterans in my command squad. I also realized that if I used meltaguns to take out armor, I would be in range for an assault by any mechanized infantry forced out of their vehicle. To take out armor with meltaguns I had to be within 12 inches of the target. Even I succeeded in hitting the vehicle, any infantry on board the vehicle may during the next turn be in a position to disembark two inches, walk six inches, and then assault another six inches to hit and overwhelm my bikers. Thus, if I only used my precious scoring Tactical Squad Bikers as my primary anti-armor force, I was going lose them to assaults. So I decided I needed two antitank, counter assaulting heavy command squads to help with the close up killing I planned to do. This way I could take out armor with both my command squads and my tactical squads, but would be able to assault any survivors with my command squads before the enemy assaulted me.

Below are the before and after versions of the other three rebuilt members of my beefed up First Command Squad. Modeling wise, I like the before versions as well or even better than the rebuilt versions.

Original Standard Bearer.

Modified Standard Bearer with Meltagun.

Original Veteran 1 with Chainsword.

Modified Veteran 1 with Meltagun and Single Lighting Claw on Handlebar.

Original Veteran 2 with Twin Lighting Claws.

Modified Veteran 2 with Meltagun and Single Lighting Claw.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/11/24 17:38:11

Made in us
Lord of the Fleet


Wow pretty cool and creative army. First I've seen camo bikes made.

Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The Second Command Squad Company Champion.

My second command squad company champion is very similar to the first command squad company champion, only with his powersword and his chainsword reversed. Actually, his powersword is the original power sword from the original first company champion. Since it was in this right hand instead of his left, I had to cut off the blade and the pummel and pin them on the second company champion’s hand after I had cut off another weapon from this hand. This allowed me, however, to use a really neat left handed chainsword with the bionic arms and hand.

Second Company Champion

I used the company champion’s torso and shoulder pieces from the Command Squad Package. I found that if I raised up the weapons, that is with the power-sword upraised in one hand and the chain-sword upraised in the other, it lifted up the arms and displayed the shoulder pads and the torso.

I had earlier built a pistol gunner using the head of a Bretonnian soldier which I really liked. I found another head just like it and used it for my company champion. Below is a picture of this earlier model which happened to turn out to be one of my favorite models even though he is just a basic biker with no extra equipment or function. Still, he was the inspiration for my Second Company Champion.

Just a Biker with a Pistol.

Both of these models have the attitude that I want; tough troops who are ready to mix it up with a mob of Ork Boyz.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
The Second Command Squad Apothecary.

I made my second command squad apothecary bareheaded with his helmet on the side of the bike. For some reason I took three pictures of him. Notice that I put his medical hand kit on the handlebar of the bike, which is actually easy since the hand itself is normal sized. The adjustments I had to make were from the shoulder, not in the hand itself, although I did have to cut up the handlebar to make the hand fit.

The Second Apothecary.

Another View of the Second Apothecary.

Third View of the Second Apothecary.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/11/30 21:02:08

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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Snake – A Veteran in the Second Command Squad.

I was pleased with how my earlier models of Staghorn’s Rowdies turned out, especially the models with the knight’s helmet. I used these earlier models as a guide to building my second command squad. Here is one of my favorite veterans whom I am calling Snake. I have heavily armed him with a meltagun, single lighting claw, and a storm shield.

Snake from the Front.

Compared to my earlier meltagunners, I have positioned the meltaguns upright and more aggressively outstretched. Again, I am able to position them better by pinning the arms and using green stuff at the shoulders to move the arms into position.

Snake from His Left.

This view shows the Chaos Berzerker knife and the lighting claw resting on the bike’s handlebar. Actually I cut off the handle and pinned the claw onto the bike so it looks like he is guiding the bike with the claw. Fluffwise, all my bikers carry a knife. Most carry an issued knife but each biker is allowed to carry a knife that they took from enemy during a battle. So some of my bikers carry a Chaos Berzerker knife, some carry an Ork knife. Although the First Command Squad veterans only carry the space marine issued knife to show their strict obedience to the code of the Adeptus Astrates, the Second Command Squad veterans carry a Berzerker knife to show their ability to take the knife from a Berzerker. Of course, it is easier to take the knife if veteran kills the Berzerker first.

Snake from His Right.

Snake’s storm shield is from a space wolf guard set but I cut down the jaw of the wolf skull to make it more human looking. I really like space wolf bits and their storm shields are better looking than the standard space marine storm shield. The main reason I used the space wolf’s storm shield, however, is because it was the only storm shield bit that I had.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/12/01 18:17:40

Made in us
Chalice-Wielding Sanguinary High Priest

Arlington TX, but want to be back in Seattle WA

i love the blue squad. Comething about blue and green look good in my eyes

4250 points of Blood Angels goodness, sweet and silky W12-L6-D4
1000 points of Teil-Shan (my own scheme) Eldar Craftworld in progress
800 points of unassembled Urban themed Imperial Guard
650 points of my do-it-yourself Tempest Guard
675 points of Commoraghs finest!

The Dude - "Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man."

Lord Helmet - "I bet she gives great helmet."

Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Horse – Hammer Bearing Veteran of the Second Command Squad.

I had an earlier model in Staghorn’s Rowdies that I called Horse. He carried a flamer. Notice his helmet actually is a unicorn but I like the name Horse better than Unicorn.

Horse with Flamer.

I really liked this model so I modeled a second Horse with a meltaguns and thunderhammer.

Horse with Thunderhammer.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The Bird or Griffin - Another Veteran of the Second Command Squad.

This is my last veteran in the Second Command Squad. I call him Bird after the image on his helmet. It appears to be part lion and part bird, I guess a Griffin. Actually, I don’t like the word Bird but I am not sure I am ready to call him Griffin. Maybe I’ll call him Peter Griffin which sounds like a private detective in an old movie.

The Griffin with Lighting Claws.

Note the Skull on his Lighting Claw. I had to use an old claw that I found and added the skull I cut off from a bike antenna to beef it up.

The Claw.

Maybe I’ll just call him The Claw.

Peter Griffin with Meltagun.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Captain Victor Staghorn.

I upgraded my sergeant, Victor Staghorn, to a second captain. I was unable to find another stag horn helmet so I had to tear apart my original Victor Staghorn and convert him to a captain. This was difficult since he was one of my favorite models.

Before: Sergeant Victor Staghorn.

After: Captain Victor Staghorn.

I carefully removed the helmet and the arms. I put on a Captain’s torso and cape. I had to carved down the cape to fit is over the bike. The torso also took a bit of work. The space marine commander’s kit has a torso that is really thick front to back. This is not a problem with the standing figure because it is covered by the cape but on a bike, this pushes the figure way forward over the legs and makes the Captain fat. On my prior captain, I raised up the torso with a pin and green stuff so he was taller and there was distance between the legs and torso so I was able to better place it. But with the antlers, Staghorn helmet makes Staghorn high enough. This time I shaved down the seam between the front and back portions of the torso to thin it up. This meant, however, that I lost the guide pins. So after I had thinned the torso, I predrilled guide holes in the front and back of the torso, and pinned the torso bits together.

After I had assembled it, my son looked at it and said that Staghorn needed a bigger war axe. I agreed and went through our bits until I found a huge Space Wolf war axe. I thought about cutting off the Space Wolf head at the bottom but decided that I would just adjust the fluff to fit the model. This was somewhat easy since the name Victor Staghorn sounds like a Wolf Marine rather than a Space Marine name.

Captain Cat Schrödinger and Captain Victor Staghorn Side-By-Side.

The fluff explains the Wolf Axe. Staghorn is a brave but somewhat eccentric or individualist officer. Of course, such individualism is discouraged among the well disciplined codex space marines. But such traits are admired among the Wolves who themselves prize such individualism. Based on my own military experience and reading, often a promising officer or soldier will be assigned to an allied army to learn different tactics. Such happened to Staghorn who was assigned to the Wolves. Because he fit in so well with the Wolves, he actively sought out additional assignments with the Wolves and because of his independent streak; his exasperated chapter master frequently approved such assignments just to get Staghorn out of his hair. Thus, Staghorn spent as much time howling with the Wolves as he did praying with the Space Marines. Because of this and his great bravery, he became the only non-Wolf ever to carry a Wolf Relic Blade, the Great Howling Axe of Floyder.

Captain Victor Staghorn with the Great Howling Axe of Floyder.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Victor Staghorn, his Company Champion, and Snake from the Back.

Below are just a couple of pictures of Captain Staghorn and the Rowdies. Staghorn is my second captain and the Rowdies are his command squad. My son doesn't like the name Rowdies. He thinks I should call them Staghorn's Bad Boys or Bad Company.

Staghorn, Snake, and one of the two Company Champions from the Back.

Staghorn’s Rowdies.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Poetry in Motion: Assault Bikes with Heavy Bolters

Who doesn’t love assault bikes? Assault Bikes with heavy bolters are just poetry in motion. Assault Bikes are nothing really fancy but I enjoyed customizing them. I replaced one of the arms of the bike rider with the pointing finger which may be the best bit for space marines. I added some boxes off of some predators. Soldiers going into combat will load as much ammo as possible plus food, fuel, spare parts, and a few personal items. They always need a little more room.

Two Assault Bikes from the Front.

The Two Assault Bikes from the Rear.

The Two Assault Bikes from the Side-car Side.

For a pure bike army, these two bikes have the longest range and may be useful as an economy of force to wear down infantry targets.

Two Assault Bikes from the Biker Side.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2011/02/21 22:34:08

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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The Pointing Finger – The single best Space Marine Bit.

I mentioned in my last post that the pointing finger is the single best bit for space marines. I love the pointing finger. Although I have posted most of these pictures, I decided to bring all my pointing finger picture together.

The Pointing Finger on an Assault Bike Rider.

The Pointing Finger on upgraded Victor Staghorn.

The Pointing Finger on original Victor Staghorn.

The Pointing Powerfist on Sergeant Rocky Ridge.

The pointing powerfist is almost as good a bit as the pointing finger. It may even be better. Still, the pointing finger is a little more flexible.

The Pointing Powerfist on the White Pretty Boy Sergeant.

I have two more models with pointing fingers. Unfortunately, I have no pictures that really show off these pointing fingers. Still, if you look carefully at these three pictures, you will see a pointing finger.

The Pointing Finger on a Space Marine.

This is an unpainted picture of Sergeant Rocky Ridge showing how his bolter has been modified. Notice that the space marine to his left (our right) has a pointing finger.

The Pointing Finger on the Tank Commander on a Predator.

Notice that the Tank Commander on the Predator on the right has a pointing finger.

Another View of the Pointing Finger on the Tank Commander on a Predator.

The pointing finger was actually somewhat difficult to put on the tank commander. The bit for the heavy bolter has two arms connected with a support for the heavy bolter to form a U-shaped bit. To finish up this pointing finger required that I cut off one arm of the U-shaped bit which made it more difficult to put it on the Tank Commander without pinning. The more challenging problem was now I had the hand off the pistol grips so I had to cut a pistol grip in half and pin it to the pistol grip bit with a hand on it. It was a lot of work but worth it to use a pointing finger. I need to finish painting this model and take a picture that really shows off the pointing finger.

Do you have a model with the pointing finger? Send me a picture or a link so we can see it.
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Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


I have not posted since February. In part, it was because my army was fairly complete and I have been busy with a life outside of Warhammer 40K. Moreover, our local Warhammer shop closed down several years ago and then the game shop where weekly Warhammer 40K games were played moved to a smaller store with less space and then shut down. So I have not been able to play my biker army.

About a month or two ago, however, I went to a strip mall to have some shoes repaired and noticed a hobby shop so I went in. I discovered that the gamers who had been displaced from the weekly game now played a weekly game in this hobby shop. So I brought my biker army down there and played it for several games.

I have discovered that a pure biker army is a difficult army with several challenges.

The first challenge is that the pure biker army has limited long range weapons and thus has to be deployed close enough to the enemy units to invite assault. Except for the command squad, however, a bike is not generally a good assault unit.

The second is that bikes are not defensive units. They need to move and attack the right targets. I discovered that if the right biker unit attacks the right enemy unit, that enemy unit disappears. I also discovered that if I attack the wrong unit, my bikers disappear. The bikers, however, are not very good in a protracted firefight. It bogs them down and they tend to be whittled away. I am still learning the capability of my own troops and the vulnerabilities and strengths of my opponents.

The third is bikes have a large footprint. Thus, with the 2000 point games that my opponents favor, it was difficult to find places to hide my bike troops where they could survive to score. Compare the footprint of a full bike squad with an assault bike to tactical squad in a Rhino. The Rhino has a small footprint easily hidden by terrain features. With a pure bike army, enemy barrage weapons almost always hit something; enemy long range weapons easily find a target.

Finally, although bikers are tough, they are not armor and in the 5th edition, armor is king. Killing a squad in a Rhino is a two-step process. Kill the Rhino and then kill the squad itself. With bikes, it is only one step, kill the biker.

So I am modified my bike army by eliminating one of the command squads and one of my biker captains (although I am keeping the models since I may use them later). This opened up a number of spaces for other units which gave me an opportunity to finish some of my models and make a few new ones. With this long winded introduction over, I shall share a few pictures of my new models.

Two Predators

I finished painting my two predators. These predators serve several purposes for my army. The first is to act as mobile cover for my bikers. The second is to provide a little long range antitank firepower with the autocannon. The final purpose is to absorb firepower that would normally be directed to my bikers. For the later reason, I kept these predators reasonable cheap, adding only a storm bolter. I did add some flourish to them with banners and other decorations to make them appear more imposing. I want my opponents to focus on them.

Two Predators with the Tank Commander having the Pointy Finger

See the prior post for a discussion of the pointy finger and a picture of these two predators before I finished painting both.

A Young Ork’s Last View.
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


I decided to add a tactical squad. I made my tactical squad from bits that I had from other models.

Tactical Squad with Rhino

The bits came from different sets including this model left over from an Assault on Black Reach.

Tactical Marine from the Assault on Black Reach

Although this was a starter set, the model is actually rather nice with good decorations and a nice belt on the bolter. I added other bits including a knife, bolt pistol, krak grenades, and frag grenades. I left this model with the standard tactical squad marine pose.

For the remaining models, however, I varied the pose. Even though it is a plain vanilla space marine tactical squad I wanted to give it some personality. I love the scene in True Grit where Rooster Cogburn charges “Lucky” Ned Pepper and his gang with a pistol in each hand. With some left over pistol hand bits, bolters, and with some arms left over from the bikers kits, I was able, using green stuff, to carve and pin the arms into place so that each marine carried both his pistol and his bolter ready to fire. Below are some plain tactical marines, each with the proper swagger.

Tactical Space Marine with Swagger

My son was surprised that I knew the word swagger, associating the term only with rap stars and gangsters. But the term is perfect for the space marines models I want to create. I noticed that I missed a seam in this model. It is hard to get all the seams.

Second Tactical Marine swinging bolter and bolt pistol

Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


A human face is difficult to paint. In part this is a factor of our minds. The human mind is extremely sensitive to the features of the face. If a human face is slightly distorted or off, we immediately see it. Moreover, our brains interpret colors and features so that what we think we are seeing is not what we really see. The untrained artist will attempt to paint the eyes, lips, and nose while the trained figure painter or portrait painter will paint shapes and shadows to create the eyes, lips, and noses. Painting Warhammer human faces should be easier since the model already has the underlying shapes already molded into the model, but I find that I still struggle with the faces.

For faces, I generally follow the instructions on page 30 of the Games Workshop How to Paint Space Marines. The instructions recommend a first coat of tanned flesh, a middle coat of dwarf flesh but leaving the tanned flesh showing in the recesses, and a highlight of elf flesh. I usually paint several coats of tanned flesh to cover the black undercoat, and then paint the dwarf flesh on the nose, checks, and forehead of the face, the places where the sun shines on the skin leaving the tanned flesh in the shadowed areas of the face. I rarely use much elf flesh since it is too light, perhaps as a dot or two as highlight.

For the eyes, the instructions recommend painting a white line. I note that the instruction do not specify which white and rightfully so since Warhammer whites such as bone white and skull white are too bright for the highly shadowed eyes. I use a line of Astronomican grey, a Games Workshop foundation. I put in a small dot of blue –black or dark brown for the pupils. I often have to repaint tanned flesh near the eyes because the eyes are too big. Often I have to paint the eyes several times and sometimes I just can’t get it right. Painting faces is an art and sometimes the face just doesn’t turn out right.

In some cases, I just give up and fill in the eyes with tanned flesh and hope that no one notices that the eyes are missing. I have done so on one of the models below. When all the facial features seem okay, I cover the face with a wash of Ogryn flesh. I have four bare headed models in my tactical squad. Of course, each carries his helmet on his belt.

Bareheaded Tactical Squad Space Marine

I am never finished with a model. This model has electrodes coming out of his skull. Some I have painted silver. Some I still need to paint.

Second Bareheaded Tactical Squad Space Marine

I painted the inside of this model's mouth with a dab of Mechrite red foundation.

Tactical Squad Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Chainsword.

This is one of my favorite characters. I used a bare head bit from the Bretonnian Knights. I made the right eye piece from green stuff but it isn’t great. Still, this is a fun character.

Third Bareheaded Tactical Squad Space Marine with Warhammer Fantasy Bare Head

I finally gave up on painting this third space marine’s eyes and just left the eye socket dark. Can you tell that he has no eyes? Actually, this sometimes works better than painting in the eyes since our minds tend to fill in such details for us. If the eye is already there, our minds notice if it is not right. Although I like the scarf and pose, I rate this model as okay but not one of my favorites.

Below are two of the above bareheaded models in an action scene.

Sergeant and Space Marine Covering the Tactical Squad’s Flamer

I am also including an example of a bareheaded non-tactical squad space marine, a land speeder pilot.

Bareheaded Land Speeder Typhoon Pilot

Painting a bareheaded land speeder pilot is as tricky as painting a bareheaded tactical marine. In fact, it may be more difficult since the head is harder to get to with a paint brush.
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


A space marine tactical squad is allowed two specialists. The biggest problem is deciding which two specialists should be selected since the choices are so good. I picked the flamer and the multi-melta gunner.

The Multi-Melta Gunner

This is a good solid model that adds to the appearance of the combat squad. Of course, a multi-melta is also a welcome choice for game play.

The Flamer - Front

This is one of my favorite models. The head is a Bretonnian Knights helmet. I love flamers. Every model I have created using a flamer has turned out right. Of course, I make my flamers flamboyant because they are flamers.

The Flamer - Rear

The Flamer in Action

The Grenade Thrower

This last model is not really a specialist since all space marines have the option to throw a grenade. Still, I wanted a model actually throwing the grenade since I had a grenade throwing arm bit. I used a biker bit holster to carry his bolt gun. This is a good solid model, not great, but definitely an addition to the appearance of the tactical squad itself.
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


The last member of a full Space Marine tactical squad is the Rhino.

Rhino with Two Squad Members

Since the best kit for building a bike army is the Dark Angels Ravenwing Battleforce, I ended up with a lot of Dark Angels bits. The decorations, flag, and braiding on front of this Rhino and the Predators above are Dark Angels bits.

Rhino with Sergeant
Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot


Although my biker command squad can be delightfully hard hitting, I decided to toughen it up with a biker chaplain. I bought the Game Workshop space marine chaplain on bike but found it disappointing. The bike is a standard plastic marine bike and the chaplain is a metal figure that didn’t quite fit the bike. The body is too short so that the biker chaplain would be shorter than my other bikers. The metal head is a merely a bareheaded space marine.

So I modified the Chaplain. I used a small hobby saw to cut the chaplain in half at the waist and put his legs on the bike. I also cut off the arm and shoulder that held the Crozius Arcanum. I had a number of Dark Angels winged fairing and I used one of them in place of the metal fairing provided with the Games Workshop bike chaplain. I cut off a skull on the metal fairing and added it on top of the Dark Angels winged fairing backed with green stuff. I placed a regular space marine torso over the metal legs but with a pin and with green stuff, I raised up the torso to give height to the chaplain. I pinned and green stuffed the Crozius Arcanum arm on the right of the torso and a pistol arm to the left.

My son and I disagreed on the head. I wanted to use a snake like dragon crested helmet from the Bretonnian Pegasus Knights. My son thought I should use a skull which is typical of other space marine chaplains and he found me a skull from his old Chaos space marines. So I compromised. I cut off part of the dragon crest helmet and carved it out to fit over the skull. I pinned this snake crested skull head to chaplains torso. The results were better than I expected.

Biker Chaplain

This chaplain is now one of my favorite models. The metal parts give it weight which makes it fun to pick up during a game but most of the parts are plastic so it is well balanced. I love the Marti Gra look of the model, fun but dangerous.

Biker Chaplain – Front View

This view shows the details of the helmet with the snake like dragon crest over the skull head. It also shows the details of the winged skull fairing. Unfortunately, these pictures also show a slash of brown paint on the tires. I always see some mistake that I had overlooked when I view these pictures. This weekend, I will repaint the tires.

Biker Chaplain with Captain Victor Staghorn

I liked the Dark Angels fairing so much that I replaced Captain Staghorn’s fairing to match. These two models have the swagger and the punch to spice up my command squad. I am looking forward to playing this combination.
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