Darrakar and the Nightmare Lantern

Behold, mortals! Darrakar, Guardian of Souls is upon you! Fear his baleful Nightmare Lantern!

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Darrakar is one of the two special limited edition models that were released for a short time to celebrate the recent opening of 500th Games Workshop store. A friend picked him up as a present for me, and as it’s such an awesome model I had to bump him up to the front of the painting/LED queue!

As I discuss in my design tutorial, I always think that the best LED miniatures are like magic tricks. If someone can look at the miniature and it’s not immediately obvious how it’s done, then that produces the best reaction. But, like a magic trick, if it’s super-obvious then it’s less impressive. If you can see the card up the magician’s sleeve – or in this case the wires and battery – then it won’t garner much more than a shrug.

So how was Darrakar’s lantern done? Essentially the basic principles can be found in LED Eye Lens Tutorial, although in this case I was working with a ghostly lantern instead of a Space Marine helmet! The image below shows the lantern switched off so everything can be seen a little more clearly.

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The battery is in the base, as normal. The wires come up through a hole in the middle of the gravestone and then cling to the back of one of the wispy tails and from there run up into the torso. I didn’t try and drill the ethereal wisps. Instead, because they’re very thin wires, they’re glued to the back of the wisp and then further disguised with green stuff.

From there they run through the torso and up to the lantern arm. Darrakar’s original arm was too spindly to hide wires, so I essentially removed the arm and replaced it with the wires themselves. I then extended the sleeve of the shroud with green stuff to hide the wires – in this case the magician really did have something up his sleeve!

For the lantern, everything from the top of the flames downwards is a resin recast. I drilled a hole in this and inserted a green LED. I then cut away the handle of the lantern and made a new handle from the legs of the LED! These then connect to the wires just behind the hand.

So there we are, a little insight into the Guardian of Souls and his Nightmare Lantern. I’d encourage everyone to have a go at this themselves – the Nighthaunt model range are ripe for the use of ghostly green and blue LEDs!

 

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Genestealer Patriarch

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The Celestial Father whispers from the shadows directly into the minds of his children, sharing secrets that would drive unbelievers mad. The Galaxy is doomed, and only those in the Cult of Cosmic Wisdom have the strength of purpose to be consumed and born anew by the Hungering Gods.

Another addition to my growing Genestealer Cult! Say hello to the Celestial Father, the Patriarch of the Cult of Cosmic Wisdom (if you haven’t already seen him on my Instagram on Saturday that is).

As I mentioned before while talking about my Magus, I don’t want to have too many LEDs in the GSC army, which is just as well as this guy took about two weeks of evenings to build and another two weeks to get a paint job that I was happy with! I had a bit of a crisis of faith halfway through as it just didn’t look right. The problem was that I had the brain area directly behind the eyes glowing, which took the focus away from the eyes themselves. But once I’d added some more paint in to restrict the brain glow it looked good again. I’m very pleased with the final result.

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This model was especially tricky as, since the head is integral to the body piece, I had to razor-saw off the whole head and shoulder for resin casting! The whole processes added an extra hour or so to the build time.

If you’re wondering why I went for a yellow LED, as opposed to the blue of the Magus, it was for the following reasons:

  • “Modern” Patriarch artwork tend to have yellow glowing brains and eyes (if they are pictured using their psychic powers), as opposed to the blue that the Magus’ are often pictured with.
  • I wanted to differentiate between the half-human nature of the Magus and the entirely alien Patriarch. Blue is a very “Human” (and Eldar) psychic power colour. Yellow I hope indicates that the Patriarch is exhibiting very different powers to his high priest.

Below you can see what that Celestial Father looks like with the LED switched off. Hopefully this allows a clearer view of the paint job. Stay tuned for more Genestealer Cult models in a week or two.

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Conquest!

Like so many others in the Warhammer 40K community this week, I grabbed a couple of copies of Issue 1 of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest. With three ‘Easy to Build’ Primaris Marines, three pots of paint and a paint brush all for the price of less than a single pot of paint, it was too good a bargain to miss!

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The magazine looks like a great introduction for newcomers – which is obviously who it is intended for – but there’s nothing in there for veterans that we haven’t seen before. This is totally to be expected as we’re not the target market. But for those already in the hobby, the real prizes are the paints and the Intercessors. This sprue normally retails for £10 alone!

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With their hollow bodies and nicely posed legs, the Primaris Marines are ideal for my LED eye lens treatment. Even the slotted 32mm bases will be easier to cut-up for battery insertion. When I look at all the Primaris releases, I sometimes think there’s someone in the GW design studio looking out for me and trying to make my life easier!

These guys they will be joining the rest of my Primaris force as Crimson Fists. I’ll be carrying out head-swaps as part of the LED process anyway, but I’m hoping some arm swaps might also add some variety to the duplicated poses. Watch this space!

The Road to Hellblasters

I should really be concentrating on the Genestealers at the moment, what with the pressing October deadline, but I was in the mood to tackle another Crimson Fist this week. Presenting: the first of the Dark Imperium Hellblaster squad.

I’m very pleased with how this turned out. I’ve tackled plasma pistols before but never a full size plasma rifle. If you’d like to know how it was done then you can check out my Plasma Weapon tutorial in the LED Tutorials section here.

Genestealer Magus

I’ve been a fan of Genestealer Cults since I started the hobby back in the early 90s, so I was thrilled when they got their recent plastic reboot. Now I’ve finally found the time to start work on this army, theoretically trying to get a 100 Power list ready for an event at the end of October(!).

I don’t want to do as many LEDs in the GSC army as I have in my Imperial Fists and Crimson Fists – mainly for reasons of time and expense – but there definitely will be some lighting effects scattered around. This Magus for example! My main influence for this model is this classic Mark Gibbons drawing. MG is one of my favourite Warhammer artists, and I’ve always loved this picture.

I’m planning to upload a LED Tutorial for the Magus (and psykers in general) in a few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you’d like to read some of my Genestealer Cult related fiction then you can find a bit over on my writing website.

The Church of the Astral Ascension | The Enforcer and the Neophyte