Nighthaunt Dreadwarden with LED Candles

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A gentle tapping downstairs in the wee small hours,

A whisper in the empty room that’s never used,

A snapping twig behind you on the lonely road,

You are never truly alone in the Tallowlands.

These are the first finished models (unless you count Darrakar) for the small Age of Sigmar Nighthaunt force I’m putting together called “The Uncharnel”.

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Who are The Uncharnel you ask? Legend tells they were a band of mercenaries who betrayed the Duardin of old. They paid a kin-traitor for knowledge of the secret tunnels and vaults deep below Hollow Mountain and sought to steal the heirloom treasure right out from under the Mountain Folk.

But a traitor’s tongue can be bought twice, and the mercenaries were betrayed. In their wrath, the Duardin collapsed the secret tunnels, burying the avaricious humans alive.

And there they remained for untold ages, as unquiet spirits consumed by greed and a hatred of the living, until the fateful day they were released by the Ghoul King of Hollow Mountain. But that’s a tale for another time…

LED Candles

When it came to LEDs in my Nighthaunt, I knew I didn’t want to have them in every model as I do with my Crimson Fists, mainly because it would be so time consuming! But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a few here and there; in lanterns and candles for example.

So how were the LED candles achieved? I’m not going to do a full tutorial, as most of the process is very similar to existing tutorials. For example, my LED Psykers tutorial covers the essentials of inserting a battery into a bases and running wires up miniature arms, so if you’re new to LEDs and want to give this a try then that is your best starting point. As for the candle flames themselves:

1. I used three 3V White Ultra Nano SMD Chip LEDs (note: ‘white’, not ‘warm white’) available from Small Scale Lights.  All three LEDs are connected in parallel to the same battery. The wires are wrapped around the candle holder. The arm was too thin to drill easily so I cut it out and replaced it with the wires, as shown in the picture below. The wires run down to the base along the back of the robes.

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2. Next I built up the candles with modelling putty to hide the wires. I also rebuilt the arm around the wires using modelling putty, and re-sculpted part of the robes to hide the wires running down to the base.

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3. Next I applied Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World, to build up a “flame” around the LEDs. You’ll need to apply it in several layers to build up a flame shape. The gel instructions recommend leaving it for 24 hours between applications to allow the previous layer to dry, but for this small amount I found 12 hours was sufficient.

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4. Continue to build-up layers of splash effect gel until you are happy with the flame shape.

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5. Once the final layer of splash gel has dried, coat each “flame” with Lahmian Medium as a basecoat, then apply two thick coats of Hexwraith Flame technical paint, waiting for each layer of paint to dry. The Hexwraith Flame acts as a filter, making the white light appear green. And yes I do mean thick coats, otherwise it won’t have any effect!

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6. That’s all there is to it really. Just make sure you’re happy that the flames look green enough for your tastes when the LED is on. If not, apply as much Hexwraith Flame as required. Just make sure you don’t obscure the LED completely!

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Painting

Just in case anyone is interested in the paint scheme I used, it’s closely based on the ‘Classic Style’ paint scheme shared for the Emerald Host in the December 2019 issue of White Dwarf. The ghostly ectoplasm is Grey Seer undercoat > 50:50 Hexwraith Flame:Lahmian Medium > thinned Ulthuan Grey > White Scar highlight.

With the bases, I wanted to give the impression of the ghosts being deep underground, perhaps in a crypt far below the Hollow Mountain (more on that another time). The recipe was Grey Seer undercoat > Basilicanum Grey contrast > Administratum Grey drybrush > White Scar drybrush.

I quite like the effect this creates, almost a ‘static’ or low light ‘night vision’ effect, like the only think you can see clearly is the glowing spectre as it drifts towards you, slowly reaching out a withered hand…

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More from the Tallowlands

The Tallowlands is a joint project by my gaming group, the Plastic Crack Rehab Clinic (PCRC) to create our own little narrative corner of the Mortal Realms. If you’d like to read more about the Tallowlands or see some of the other forces being created to inhabit it, you can check out the Tallowlands blog here.

My Crimson Fists on Warhammer Community Website

I feel slightly silly writing this post as it will mean that four of the last five posts on my website will have been “hey, have you seen my models featured on this thing?!”. But I just had to share the news that my Crimson Fists were featured on the Warhammer Community website on Saturday!

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There’s Captain Grimstone, front-and-centre on the preview image! My models were featured alongside the work of four other amazing hobbyists who have been sharing their painting using the #WarhammerCommunity hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. If you haven’t got involved with sharing your work online yet, then I’d really recommend joining in the fun. It’s a great way to meet other supportive, like-minded hobbyists.

Ok, that’s enough blowing my own trumpet for now! I promise that my next post will actually show some new miniatures!

Crimson Fists Standard Bearer

Never trust a regiment with a spotless banner. These colours have flown over thousands of worlds, and will fly over a thousand more while I still draw breath.

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This Crimson Fists Primaris Ancient is a conversion of the plastic Primaris Ancient found in the Dark Imperium boxed set. Rather than building the standard model with its pristine banner, I decide to change it up a bit to more closely follow some of the classic artwork.,

Images (C) Games Workshop

I didn’t want to exactly copy either the original Rogue Trader cover image or the updated Primaris version. Instead I picked out features I liked, such as the chest cables and firing the bolter one handed. I did consider adding the bandaged head wound, but wasn’t sure I could pull it off, plus I didn’t feel it was quite in keeping with modern lore, particularly for a Primaris Marine!

The “tattered” banner that replaces the original banner is from a Fantasy Orc regiment and has been hanging out in my bits box for ages. I considered making it a white banner as in the original image but was worried it would look too much like a surrender flag!

I ummed and erred for quite a while as to what to paint on the banner. In the end I decided to keep it very simple. In some ways I felt it didn’t actually matter what was on the banner, as it was the overall impression of a well-worn banner being raised in defiance of a hostile galaxy that I was aiming for, rather than any specific details. To paint the Crimson Fists chapter symbol I followed the freehand guide for Imperial Fist symbol that I found here.

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For the LED muzzle flare, I simply used the processes detailed in my LED Muzzle Flare tutorial.

That’s it for this week. Come back again soon for more LED fun, including hopefully some Age of Sigmar!

Adeptus Titanicus Knight Lancer & New Energy Shield Tutorial

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The masses have faith in the Warmaster as their shield. I have something a little more potent!

– Omega-78, Shame-Scion of House Perdaxia

Here’s a new idea I’ve been brewing for a little while – an “energy” shield with LED explosion effects. I was quite pleased with how my Lamenter with breacher shield and impact explosions turned out, but I thought the idea could be expanded and built on. The impression that I wanted to give was that the model was protected by an invisible bubble of energy that was suddenly becoming visible as it reacted to an exploding projectile. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!

As of this morning I now have a brand new LED energy shield tutorial on my tutorials page if anyone is interested in having a go at this themselves. This project has occupied pretty much all my hobby time for the last five weeks. In the Age of Corona, between working from home and home schooling two young children on lockdown, I haven’t had a lot of time to spend hobbying.

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I’ve been interested in Adeptus Titanicus since it was first announced (I used to play a lot of Epic Armageddon) and I’ve had a couple of Titans sat on the ‘Shelf of Shame’ for about two years now! I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to put one together.

 

This Knight Lancer is from House Perdaxia who threw in their lot with the Warmaster during the Horus Heresy. So why House Perdaxia? The Titan Legion I will ultimately be collecting is Legio Fureans – I just love their retro yellow and black flame colour scheme! Plus we already have plenty of Loyalist Titan Legions in our gaming group, so we really needed another Traitor. I chose House Perdaxia for the Lancer as they are listed as one of the Knight House who regularly support Fureans. I was also intrigued by their background – Perdaxia removed their colours and iconography at the start of the Heresy and adopted those of Legio Fureans. The Knight Scions even abandoned their old names, adopting strange code names instead. What led them to do this? What secret shame do they hide? It’s an interesting question that I’m going to enjoy thinking about!

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That’s it for today. More Adeptus Titanicus to come soon – I have to make the other Knight Lancer in the pair – as well as more 40K and Age of Sigmar. See you all again soon.

Crimson Fists Battalion

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Two years and ten months after posting my first LED Primaris Crimson Fist from the Dark Imperium boxed set on my Instagram, I’ve finally finished painting a minimum sized Battalion of two HQ choices and three Troops choices! I felt that this momentous occasion called for a group photo and a quick retrospective.

I was on something of a roll with my painting last week and completed Brother Isario and Brother Merius (don’t forget, LED helmet eye lens tutorial can be found here).

Traitors are a cancer, and cancer requires a blade to excise. – Brother Isario

I relish the dry click of an empty magazine. It tells me another thirty Orks are dead. – Brother Merius

With these two Intercessors complete and added to Brother Lyrast, Comms Specialist Cleulis and Sergeant Galvéz, this in turn completed Squad Galvéz…

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…which in turn, when added to my other two squads, Lieutenants and Captain, completed the minimum-sized battalion!

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I’m pleased with how they’ve turned out, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far! So what next? Well that’s not the Crimson Fists finished by any means! It’s probably time to start thinking about the Elite and Heavy support slots so I have a little more firepower on the tabletop. Plus there’s the Reiver and Hellblaster squads to finish, and ‘Armies on Parade’ to think about in the autumn…so plenty more to do!

Gregor Dessian, Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists

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Being a Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists is not about being the lord of one thousand Space Marines. It is about acting as a servant and shield to all Humanity.

– Gregor Dessian

A fun little side project this week, with my take on Gregor Dessian, current Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists. This is for the ‘We Paint Minis‘ #ChapterMasterChallenge on Twitter.

This is one of those very rare occasions (for me anyway) when the miniature survives its translation from my brain to the finished model almost entirely unaltered. When the Chapter Master Challenge themed around the Imperial Fists came up, I knew I wanted to do a ‘modern’ Primaris Chapter Master. I also knew that I didn’t want to give him a power fist or thunder hammer. As much as I love these two iconic weapons of the Fists, I thought that was probably a route that a lot of other people participating in the challenge would go down. Instead I wanted something that wasn’t necessarily commonly associated with the Imperial Fists, but still implied this was a hero with access to rare and valuable equipment. In the end I settled on twin custom plasma pistols as they satisfied these criteria, plus it was a chance to get some LEDs in there too!

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Gregor’s master-crafted twin plasma pistols, Brick and Mortar are a rare treasure from the armoury of the Phalanx. Their power cells are charged directly from plasma vented from the battle station’s reactor, ensuring the Chapter Master always carries with him a direct link to the beating heart of the Imperial Fists Fortress monastery.

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As you can see in the image above, the connections for the LEDs (in this case Nano Chip LEDs) run through each arm, through the torso and down one of the legs into the coin cell battery hidden in the base. If you’d like to have a go at a similar conversion, then I used the techniques detailed in my Simple Plasma Weapons tutorial.

That was a fun diversion for this week. Next week, back to the Crimson Fists!

Crimson Fists Intercessor with LED Muzzle Flare

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I’ve never met a xenos my bolter couldn’t kill. But for the day I do, the Emperor has blessed me with a grenade launcher – Brother Lyrast

After a busy couple of months working on real-life non-hobby stuff, I’m back in the game with Brother Lyrast. This Intercessor is the third member of my third Intercessor squad.

I used my standard LED muzzle flare technique on this model, as detailed in the tutorial here. The only difference was that I used the Nano SMD Chip LED (Amber 3V) from Small Scale Lights, rather than the slightly larger 0805 chip referenced in the tutorial.

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I wanted to experiment with the Nano SMDs as they are even smaller and easier to work with, in terms of inserting it into the model, than the 0805s. The downside is that they’re not quite as bright when hidden under the resin muzzle flare. I’m not especially sold on one of these types of LEDs over the other though, so I think I’ll pick and choose depending on the needs of individual models.

I’m now firmly in the habit of painting my resin muzzle flares with a wash of Fuegan Orange and a glaze of Lamenters Yellow. This makes the miniatures look better in the display cabinet when the LEDs are switched off, as shown below, and doesn’t seem to impact the LED brightness (based off previous experiments).

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That’s it for this week. My current goal is to finish off this third Intercessor squad, so please drop by again soon for more Crimson Fists!