Yniguis Galvez, Intercessor Sergeant

Long-time readers may remember me picking up two copies on Conquest issue 1 – six Intercessors for less than £4 was a bargain, not to mention the paints – and noting that I was going to use them as a basis for a converted squad. Well, here’s the first of them:

Brother-Sergeant Yniguis Galvez is a veteran of the first intake of Primaris Marines created on Rynn’s World. Soon after the Roboute Guilliman shared the secret of creating this new breed of Space Marine with the Crimson Fists, Pedro Cantor dispatched the newly reinforced battle companies to reinforced beleaguered Imperial worlds in the surrounding Loki sector.

The foes were many, and not even a Primaris Marine can be everywhere at once. Eventually the respective company captains found they had no choice but to divide their companies into demi-companies, then squads, and finally kill teams, in order to spread themselves as far as they could. These actions saw Galvez leading his men into battle against Orks, Aeldari, and a myriad of other heretics and xenos who were capitalising on the anarchy that flourished in the wake of the Great Rift.

I knew I was going to have to do some conversion work if I wanted a squad of five distinct individuals. The models six were three duplicate monoposes, two of which are very similar to those found in the Dark Imperium boxed set.

The main areas of conversion are the head swap – fairly inevitable with LED models anyway – the removal of the helmet mag-locked to the hip, the change of the pointing hand to be holding a severed Ork head, and the addition of a sheathed sword. The LED eye lenses were achieved following my standard LED eye lense tutorial.

Galvez favours the ‘Gravis’ pattern helm for his Mark X armour. As both a sergeant and a hand-picked kill team leader, he has a certain amount of leeway in selecting equipment from the armoury. It is likely that he favours the ‘Gravis’ helm for its improved communications suit, it’s intimidating appearance, or perhaps both. With so few Marines at his disposal Galvez knew that psychological warfare, properly applied, could make his meagre numbers seem much larger. After all, even the greenskins respect a brutal and intimidating opponent!

I took some inspiration from the image of the Marine holding a severed Ork head on the classic Rogue Trader cover, without copying it exactly. I went for the ‘Gravis’ helm as I think it looks quite threatening, and I wanted to further enhance the “brutal” look of the sergeant. I’ve always enjoyed the juxtaposition of how Space Marines can look terrifying while still being the “good guys” – for certain values of “good” of course!

I have a reasonable-sized Ork army, and the associated collection of bitz, so digging out a spare head was easy. I selected one that looked suitably fed-up, then sculpted on the hair-squig and the neck (Ork boyz have a hole in the back of their head where they connect to the neck mounted on the torso) using Green Stuff.

As ever, more Crimson Fists are on the way over the coming weeks. But come back here tomorrow for something entirely different…

Imperial Fist Breacher – True Scale

Something a bit different today; I thought I’d take a break from painting Kantor Blue and remind myself of the “fun” of painting yellow! So here’s a Breacher for my Age of Darkness ‘True Scale’ Imperial Fists.

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I started this army back in 2014, when there was no such thing as Primaris and if you wanted an embiggened Marine you had to do it yourself!

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This is my fifth completed Breacher, making the squad half done. Although the other models are at least assembled and undercoated.

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The idea behind this army is that it represents mid-late Heresy Imperial Fists. They’ve seen some action; they’ve been to Mars to recover the prototype MkV and MkVI armour, they’ve completed missions for Rogal Dorn in the Segmentum Solar, but now the Warmaster is closing in and they’re rushing back to man the walls…

Previous True Scale Imperial Fists

My Imperial Fists haven’t really featured on this blog very much yet, so here are a few more pictures for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t seen them before. There’s even more information in this log that I used to run over at the Bolger and Chainsword forum.

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The blue LED helmet eye lenses use my standard method as detailed in this tutorial. In fact these were the first models to pioneer the resin casting technique! Some of them are still on their original CR2032 batteries – five years later!

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The volkite energy flare is one of my favourite LED effects that I’ve done so far. You can see more of my Imperial Fists on Instagram, if you scroll down far enough.

Anatomy of a True Scale Astartes

If you’re wondering what parts I use to build my True Scale Marines, I’ve done a break-down below. This technique was heavily influenced by the work of my good friend Apologist. Check out his Death of a Rubricist blog for more True Scale goodness and general painting excellence.

I refer to this armour pattern as MkVI-S (the S is for ‘Stark’). In my mind it represents an early variant of MkVI. It’s still recognisable, but didn’t quite make it into full production after the Heresy.

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1. Head – MkVI head taken from the Ravenwing Black Knight sprue. Skull badge removed from forehead. Aerial removed from left side and left side re-sculpted in Green Stuff to match right.

2. Torso – Custom Green Stuff sculpt over standard Space Marine torso. Only the neck socket and plug for backpack remain on show and unmodified.

3. Shoulder pads – The left shoulder pad is a plastic ‘blank’ Terminator shoulder pad with the recesses around the edges filled in and studs added. The right shoulder pad is the Forge World Imperial/Crimson Fist Terminator shoulder pad with a lot of the detail (like purity seals) removed and the recesses around the edge filled in.

4. Arms – The arms and hand are a mix of from the Tactical, Assault and Grey Knight Terminator sprues. They have had reinforced ‘cuffs’ added with Green Stuff.

5. Bolter – Forge World Umbra pattern bolter.

6. Backpack – Forge World Legion MkVI power armour backpack.

7. Legs – Forge World Legion Tartaros Terminator legs. The ‘sunken’ panels on the thighs have been filled in to increase the diameter of the thighs and give a smooth appearance. Although if I was starting this army now I’d definitely use the plastic versions!

8. Base – Plastic 30mm rolled shoulder base with milliput, sand and slate top.

Anyway, I hope that’s all been informative, and a fun break from Crimson Fists and Genestealer Cultists!

Goliath Truck with Headlights and Muzzle Flare Stubber

I’ve been working on this Genestealer Cults Goliath Truck for the past couple of weeks, and now it’s finally complete. After painting so many single Space Marine miniatures, this large model was a shock to the system, even if it is essentially the same colours…

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Compared to my Crimson Fists, my Genestealer Cult have relative few LEDs. Well, it may not seem like it when you consider the Patriarch, the Magus and the functioning Mining Laser, but they’re certainly not in every squad. I just wanted to keep it simple for the Goliath Truck, so I limited myself to working headlights and a muzzle flare for the heavy stubber.

In terms of the muzzle flare, I’m (slowly but surely) working on a full tutorial, which will appear in my tutorial section in a couple of weeks. LED vehicle headlights are common conversions, and there are plenty of off-the-shelf kits out there, so it’s probably not worth a full tutorial. I’ll just give a quick summary in this post instead.

First I drilled and cut out the recessed headlights section on the right, leaving the frame around it for support. Then I cut out a thin sheet of plastic card and drilled two holes in it that were large enough to accommodate the LEDs. I took the row of four plastic headlights from the Goliath sprue (these are the ones that normally sit on top of the dozer blade on the Rockgrinder variant) and recast two of them in resin. Then it was simply a case of gluing the recast headlights over the plastic card holes, and mounting the plastic card in the recess where the original plastic headlights had previously been.

Finally I drilled two holes in the back of the resin headlights so the LEDs would sit comfortably inside them and shine through the resin, creating the above effect. The two LEDs were simply wired-up in parallel to a 3V coin cell battery holder and switch hidden in the body of the Goliath. The LEDs were TruOpto 1.8mm White High Power LEDs. I left the front section removable so I could get to the battery and the switch.

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The muzzle flare used a 3V Amber chip LED from Small Scale Lights, combined with a custom cast resin muzzle flare shape of my own design. I’ve only started using this LED supplier recently, so they aren’t mentioned anywhere else in my tutorials, but I’ve been very impressed with their range and customer service so far. I think they’re likely to become my main LED supplier in future.

I’ll be talking more about chip LEDs and exactly how to use them to create muzzle flares in my upcoming tutorial, but if you don’t want to wait and think you can join the dots yourself then take a look at the links in the paragraph above and give Small Scale Lights some business.

When it came to the rust and corrosion on the Goliath, I was aiming for a look that suggested ‘this has been used for industrial purposes’ rather than a ‘broken and neglected’ appearance, so hopefully I didn’t overdo it. I did a Google Image search for “industrial truck corrosion” as reference, and then tried to imagine where on the Goliath the corrosion was likely to occur. The answer seems to be anywhere that precipitation might pool, or where mud or dirt might be thrown or accumulate during everyday operation. I used GW’s Typhus Corrosion, followed by a Ryza Rust drybrush for this. It’s quick and easy and actually quite good fun to do. I’m a big fan of GW’s technical paint range, they are definitely worth checking out.

That’s it for today, I hope you found that interesting! Now it’s time to get back to working on that muzzle flare tutorial…

Second Intercessor Squad Complete

I’ve now completed the last two Intercessors from the second Dark Imperium squad. Both of them are wearing relic helms; a Mark III Iron helm and a Mark VI Corvus helm respectively. I think I’ve written about this before, but I imagine that Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, would have been keen to find a way to integrate the fresh influx of Primaris Marines with the weary survivors of the recent battles on Rynn’s World. What better way to do this than to share some of the Crimson Fists’ illustrious heritage with the newcomers? Or at least any heritage that has survived the recent disasters! That’s where the relic helms come in.

These Intercessor were built using the techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial. While building the Mark VI, I had the first ever case of an LED breaking once I had a fully assembled and nearly completely painted model! I’m not sure exactly what happened – a dry joint I think – but I had no choice but to open it up. This was a bit of a pain as I had to essentially break the model apart with a pair of clippers, replace the LED, reassemble and then fill in the gaps with putty. Back in school, my electronics teacher once said you me “your soldering is the worst I’ve seen this side of the war!”. I like to think I’ve improved somewhat in the intervening twenty years, but I can’t help but think back whenever something like this happens…

The resin Mark VII helmet the model had was unfortunately destroyed in the repair process, but I think I prefer the Mark VI that replaced it, so it was all for the good in the end.

So here are a couple of photos of the second Intercessor squad (click to enlarge). With 14 models now complete, my Primaris Crimson Fists are slowly but surely starting to feel like a coherent army.

 

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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