I had intended to switch back to some Grey Knight units – specifically some Dreadknights – after finishing the Deathwatch, but I ran out of some of the paints I used during the first GK’s I painted and had to rethink my plans.
One reason I was building up both armies was to combine them into a 2000 point army for a small, one day tournament to be held in April. Or at least, that’s what I thought, based on last year. When I did get the information about the tourney, it was 1500 points and happening in March. Oh. That meant my plans had to be drastically altered! While I could field a combined army, it would have meant some big compromises, none of which seemed particularly good, so I decided to focus on expanding just one army to fill the points.
Deathwatch required fewer additions to reach 1500 points, so that’s where I focussed my attention. Listing out everything I had already brought me to around 1200 with upgrades factored in. I wasn’t going to have enough points for another squad or Kill Team, so adding one or more vehicles made sense.
Skipping ahead to make a long story short, I ended up reorganising things about to make a Black Spear Strike Force, and by changing some of the upgrades around, I had enough points to take 2 Corvus Blackstars.
I bought and built the kits on Saturday (it’s a really nice kit to build!), keeping as many of the metallic parts separate as I could, and magnetising the main weapon options. From there I painted them much the same as the Drop Pods:
Prime black: 2-3 layers
Layer with Vallejo Game Air Black
Red areas (in this case, the stripes) are given 3-4 layers of Game Air Scarlet Red
Mask off the red areas
Respray black to neaten up
Using heavily thinned Game Air Sombre Grey and a bit of card, softly highlight the edges
Neaten up with some black if needed, concentrating on the middle of panels
Paint all “working” metallics with Metal Color Burnt Iron, shade with Nuln Oil, then lightly go over with a drybrush of Necron Compound
Decorative metals are painted with Metal Color Steel or Metal Color Gold
I do still need to paint the lenses or missiles on the model, but I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do those right now, so I’ve left them undone for now. I’ll get them painted before the tournament. Both Blackstars were 95% finished on Sunday, and the remainder done in a couple of hours on Monday
So soon after I finished building them? I’ll be honest, the previous post was supposed to have published 24 days ago. Whoops, my bad. In that time I ended up finishing the Deathwatch. It was one of those projects where I didn’t want to lose momentum, so I didn’t really stop to post WIP details in the evenings. But I did take pictures, so on to those!
I primed the models with grey primer. No, I hadn’t lost my mind (probably) – I wanted to be sure I had a consistent finish throughout this batch, and didn’t trust my eyes to pick out black primer vs black paint by finish alone, with the sometimes questionable lighting in my hobby area.
From there, I airbrushed on the metal arm, and the primary red details (knee, cloths, etc) – in the end I repainted all the reds by brush later on, so I shouldn’t have bothered with those.
Finally, the black armour was basecoated with GW’s new Air-range Chaos Black. I added some drops of Scale 75 Inktense Blue and Inktense Green inks to make it a bit more interesting. This was my first time using a GW Air paint, and it was… interesting. I don’t think there’s as high a pigment:medium ratio in them as there is in Vallejo Game Air paints (for example), so it needed multiple coats. Other than this, it was fine enough. The fact the range is sold in a local store is handy, and obviously colour-matching won’t be an issue, but I think I’ll mainly stick with Vallejo where I can.
Once the armour was basecoated I highlighted it by giving it a zenithal highlight of very thinned Vallejo Sombre Grey. The steel arms received a black/blue wash made from inks.
The Sombre Grey highlight ended up being a little too strong in some areas, and the overall finish wasn’t what I wanted, so once I repainted the red areas with GW Khorne Red, I washed everything but the steel arm with a wash made up from Black and Green inks, mixed 5:1 or so, and heavily thinned. This made the armour really pop, and seemed to give it a very slightly glossy finish.
From there it was mostly blocking in/picking out the details. Red areas were highlighted with Evil Suns Scarlet. Any bone or white areas were based with Rakarth Flesh, shaded with either Seraphim Sepia or Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted up through to Pallid Wych Flesh. Pouches were painted with Rhinox Hide. Golds were Vallejo Metal Color Gold, shaded with Agrax Earthshade. Cables were painted with Incubi Darkness, then highlighted.
Chapter badges were picked out near the end. Every Marine has a unique icon, and I still have many spares from the sprues.
Bases and whatnot were painted to match my Grey Knights, and the various sub-assemblies were glued together. 2 weeks after starting and the bulk of the Deathwatch were finished.
Near the start of the project, I had a mishap with one of the Librarians and had to get a replacement. It didn’t arrive until the day after I finished the rest of the project, so I gave myself a speed painting challenge. Some parts (particularly the cloth) are rougher than I’d like, but as a 3 hour paint job it’s fine enough.
Because I was finished this project a lot quicker than I expected, I decided to go all-out and build/paint the drop pod “expansion” I had planned for the army:
I built the pods initially in 3 sections: base + doors, engine, and fins. The lower section and engine received a gloss black primer, before being airbrushed with Metal Color Burnt Iron. The interior sections were then dusted with Metal Color Gunmetal Grey.
From there, I finished assembling the pods, then primed the outside with 2-3 coats of regular black primer. The red areas were painted with several coats of Scarlet Red, then masked off so the black could be neatened up. Finally, I gave the black a highlight using Sombre Grey, using a piece of card to get sharper edges. Once done, I sprayed black in the centre of some panels to re-establish it.
To finish, I neatened up any of the Gunmetal areas that needed it, painted the dome of the central column with FW Clear Green, and finished off by painting the icons with Silver.
With these done, it was a total of 3 weeks (almost to the day) to get the entire Deathwatch project – a ~1250 point army painted up. As a reward, I bought another addition to the army, that’ll let me field it as a complete Black Spear detachment. More on that later!
Next up on the table are 2 Dreadknights, which should round out the Grey Knight force. After those, it’s on to… well, I don’t know what yet! I’m ~6 weeks into the year and already through what I expected to take me until the end of April to paint.
I’ll let you in on a secret: I dread starting to build miniatures. Which is odd, because once I get going I find it incredibly relaxing. Possibly more so than painting. But it’s the thought of dealing with all the clipping, mould lines, cleaning, fitting, and glueing that provides a mental hurdle. So the 18 models I had planned for my Deathwatch contingent took a while to get going:
As I wasn’t “feeling it” at the time, I took a break then went back to it later, put some Tabletop Tactics on the iPad, and got stuck in. On the first evening I built Artemis, the close-combat Veteran squad, and the first of 2 Aquila Kill Teams with Librarians:
As you might be able to see in the last picture, I also scrounged up a second Librarian from my bits box.
On night 2 I wanted to keep things rolling, so I built the second Kill Team, then threw in a Chaplain which will accompany the Veteran Squad (I haven’t decided what type of Kill Team to make them yet)
Both Kill Teams are built with double shotgun and double frag-cannon. The Blackshields are all equipped with two power swords. I have some Drop Pods to build for these squads, but I can do them in a later batch of models.
Artemis is in sub-assemblies, and similarly I have left the shields unattached from the Veterans, for easier access to painting (particularly at the airbrush stage).
Oh, as one last thing – fuck this one bit (from the frag-cannon barrel assembly) in particular: I lost 2-3 of these while trying to clean the parts. It’s only because I bought spares off eBay that I could finish the build at all.