Crimson Fists Eradicator & Melta Weapon Tutorial

If the Emperor had meant us to show mercy, he wouldn’t have granted us the Total Obliteration protocols.

Brother Eliseo, Eradicator

This week I decided to return to the Crimson Fists for a bit. I haven’t added anything to this army since “finishing” them for Armies on Parade. But the still mostly unpainted Indomitus set is nagging at me from my ‘Shelf of Shame’, the three Eradicators in particular. They are one of those units that I had a very clear vision for from the moment I saw the models. I don’t have any other melta weapons in my army, so this would be the perfect opportunity to try out some LED effects on this type of weapon.

LED Melta Weapon Tutorial

So how do we make LED melta weapons? I’m not going to do a full tutorial, as most of the process is very similar to my existing LED Muzzle Flare tutorial. The steps below essentially replace steps 11 – 13 in that tutorial. For this project I used a 3V Blue Ultra Nano SMD Chip LEDs available from Small Scale Lights, rather than the 0805 yellow chip LED mentioned in step 12 of the LED Muzzle Flare tutorial. Also I used a 175Ω resistor in series with the TruOpto 1.8mm red helmet LED, rather than the 100Ω resistor mentioned in step 15 of that tutorial. This is due to the different current requirements of the blue ultra nano LED. All paints used are from the Citadel range. As with all my tutorials, I recommend reading all the way through to make sure you have the necessary skills and tools before you get started.

  1. Begin by drilling the melta barrel. I found a 2.5mm drill bit was just right. You may find it easiest to cut off the wide front of the barrel at the point where it reaches the narrow “neck” with a craft knife and then drill it separately. You can then use a sharp craft knife or scalpel to cut the remaining thin layer of plastic in each of the four vents on either side of the barrel.

2. Now you will need to drill a hole through the gun and arm to run the wire for the blue ultra nano LED. I found a 1.5mm drill bit was about the right size for this. For weapon effects I normally run the wires through the right arm, but in this case I found it easier to go up through the top handle and left arm due to its position and how straight it was. Another valid approach would be to go through the front of the chest at the point where the back of the melta rifle is held against the chest eagle. Once you have drilled your hole, run the wire through. This can be connected to the rest of the circuit inside the miniature as detailed in steps 14 – 17 of the LED Muzzle Flare tutorial.

3. Assemble the model, as detailed in steps 19 of the LED Muzzle Flare tutorial. Make sure the blue ultra nano LED is setting as centrally as possible in the barrel so it can be seen evenly through all vents and also the muzzle. Test that the circuit works and that you haven’t damaged any components or connections during assembly by switching it on.

4. Cover all exposed LED areas with blu-tac (or similar) and then apply your spray undercoat of choice. If you are following this tutorial to the letter then the critical areas to cover are the helmet eye lenses, barrel vents and the muzzle. Once the undercoat is completely dry you can remove the blu-tac. I find either using a pair of fine tweezer or fresh blu-tac can assist with this.

5. I’m just going to discuss painting the melta barrel itself. The rest of the model you can paint to your own colour scheme. Firstly, paint the barrel with Leadbelcher, being careful not to clog any of the vents or get any paint on the ultra nano LED.

6. Shade the barrel with Nuln Oil and edge highlight with Stormhost Silver.

7. Apply a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade starting at the muzzle and going about halfway back along the barrel. This is the start of a ‘scorched metal’ effect that will give the impression the barrel has discoloured due to the extreme heat of the melta weapon. If you don’t want to paint this effect, ignore this and skip straight to step 10 instead.

8. Apply a narrow ring of Druchii Violet where the blue shade stops.

9. The final part of the ‘scorched metal’ effect is to apply a ring of Seraphim Sepia below the violet shade.

10. Now it’s time to build-up the melta ‘flame’ effect. It’s not really a ‘flame’ in the same sense of a flamethrower burning internal fuel. Rather, I wanted to give the impression of the air being ionised by the incredible energies in the vicinity the barrel. Picture the blue flame on a bunsen burner, but taken to extremes. To make the ‘flame’ I applied the ever-useful Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World. There is a small amount emerging from the side vents, but the majority is coming out of the muzzle. This gel is milky-white when applied, but don’t be alarmed as it dries clear. You can’t sculpt the whole flame immediately, it needs to be applied in layers. The product instructions recommend 24-hours between application of layers, but in these small amounts I found that around six hours was plenty. Once it’s clear and hard, you’re good to go.

11. Continue to build-up successive layers to enlarge the muzzle ‘flame’ until you are happy with it.

12. Once the gel is completely dry, you can apply some thin paints to give it a bit of colour when the LED is off. Apply a thin shade of Drakenhof Nightshade and once that has dried apply a light glaze Guilliman Blue (or another watered-down mid-blue).

And there we have it, the finished effect! I hope you found this tutorial useful, or at least interesting. That’s all for today, see you again soon!

He-Izswol, Saurus Oldblood

Celestite beats rock. Also skull.

He-Izswol, Saurus Warrior-Poet

My #NewYearNewArmy Seraphon project continues with another Leader for the army. This is He-izswol, a Saurus Oldblood wielding a Celestite Maul. I was trying to give the impression of a chunk of glowing celestial rock mounted on a haft and used as a brutal club! I’ve used the same colour scheme and limited palette detailed in my previous post about the Skink Starpriest.

Celestite Maul

Once again I’ve used the same technique to create the Celestite Maul as I used for the Nighthaunt Candles, although this time I built the splash effect gel up in successive layers to form the rock rather than a flame. The LED used is an ‘Ultra Nano’ 3V blue LED from Small Scale Lights. Once the final layer of the gel was dry I applied a thinned down blue shade and then a blue glaze, just to make it look a bit nicer when the LED is switched off. You can see on and off comparison pictures below.

I “cheated” slightly with the wiring on this one – as the legs are an awkward shape to drill through due to the switchback ankles, I passed the wire up through the dangling skull trophies instead (pictured above right). This was quite easy to do as the skull was only a few millimetres from the ruined temple base, so I just used putty to make the stones very slightly taller and hide the wire.

That’s all for this week. Check back again soon for more LED miniature fun!

Itchibitz, Skink Starpriest

In their wisdom the Old Ones gifted us with comets. Would you like a closer look, warm-blood?

Itchibitz, Skink Starpriest

Happy New Year everyone! This is my first post of 2021 and it’s time to talk about #NewYearNewArmy. I’ve been promising myself a Lizardman (or should that be “Seraphon”?) army for Warhammer Age of Sigmar for many years now. The beginning of a new year combined with my eternal quest to clear the Shelf of Shame seems like a good time to start! I’m planning the army to mainly be composed of Skinks and Dinosaurs. They will be setting out into the Tallowlands (my gaming group’s Age of Sigmar custom setting) in search of the missing saurus warrior Xali-Qhops (my character in our group’s re-skinned Age of Sigmar themed D&D campaign). You can read more about the Tallowlands setting for Age of Sigmar on our joint blog here. First to march forth from their temple-city will be Itchibitz, one of the Skink Starpriests leading the Seraphon on this sacred quest.

LED ‘Blazing Starlight’ Spell Effect

I’m going on record now and saying I don’t want to go too nuts with the LEDs in this army, although we’ll see how that sentiment holds up over the coming weeks! However I do want to include some LED weapon and spell effects to help my heroes stand out on the battlefield. In this case we have the Itchibitz conjuring the ‘Blazing Starlight’ spell.

The LED used is an ‘Ultra Nano’ 3V blue LED from Small Scale Lights, my favourite LED supplier. You can see the LED emerging from the left palm of the model in the ‘work in progress’ image above. The palm on the left hand of the standard Skink Starpriest miniature is facing down, but I cut the wrist between the two bracelets and rotated it through 180 degrees so it could be “holding” the spell effect.

The wiring for the LED in this miniature was achieved using the techniques explained in my LED Psyker Tutorial. The shape of the comet was produced using the same techniques as described for flames in my LED Nighthaunt Candles Short-Form Tutorial. I went for the twin-tailed comet as this is an important symbol of order in the Age of Sigmar, as well has being significant for the Seraphon (representing the forked tongue of Sotek) and also in the story of Xali-Qhops.

Colour Scheme

The planned colour scheme for my Seraphon is heavily influenced by the toy Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex from 1993. When I picture dinosaurs, this is one of the first colour schemes that spring to mind. I chose the rest of the colour palette for this model as analogous harmony colours with the red. Whenever I record my painting recipes on this blog, it’s not so much to give out advice on what is a “good” colour scheme, but mainly as a reminder for myself! But I also think it’s nice to share in case anyone is interested how a particular colour was achieved. The recipes are shown below. All paints referenced are Citadel paints.

  • Undercoat (all areas)
    • Grey Seer contrast undercoat
  • Bright Red Scales
    • Contrast Blood Angels Red
    • Wild Rider highlight
    • Fire Dragon Bright highlight
  • Dark Brown Back Scales
    • Rhinox Hide base
    • Agrax Earthshade shade
    • Doombull Brown highlight
    • Tuskgor Fur highlight
  • Orange Crest
    • Contrast Gryph-Hound Orange
    • Fire Dragon Bright highlight
  • Pink Feathers
    • Screamer Pink base
    • Nuln Oil shade
    • Pink Horror highlight
    • Cadian Fleshtone highlight
  • Black Claws / Leather Straps
    • Contrast Black Templar
  • ‘Gold’ Staff / Jewellery
    • Contrast Aggaros Dunes
    • Screaming Skull highlight
  • Yellow Eyes
    • Averland Sunset base
    • Fuegan Orange shade
    • Yriel Yellow layer
    • Abaddon Black pupil
    • Wild Rider Red veins
  • Human Skulls
    • Contrast Skeleton Horde
    • Ushabti Bone layer
    • Screaming Skull highlight
  • Ancient Stone
    • Contrast Skeleton Horde
    • Screaming Skull highlight
  • Base Texture
    • Sand & PVA Glue (before undercoat)
    • Contrast Snakebite Leather
    • Zamesi Desert drybrush
    • Ushabti Bone drybrush
    • Mordheim Tufts
    • Steel Legion Drab rim

That’s it for this week. More Seraphon to come over the next few weeks, as well as more Crimson Fists and Lamenters of course!

“No More Last Stands!” Crimson Fists ‘Armies on Parade’ 2020

“We are surrounded, Brother-Captain,” said Lieutenant Alehoc, gesturing at the frothing sea of greenskins around their position. Captain Grimstone nodded curtly.

“Excellent, that means we can launch the counter-attack in any direction, as the old proverb says.”

Alehoc grinned, then began issuing orders.

“Forward brothers! Show these xenos what it means to face the Crimson Fists! Remember Rynn’s World!“

The fourth company surged forward, bellowing their new battle cry.

“Remember Rynn’s World! No more last stands!”

Here we are then. Three and a half years after starting this project Captain Grimstone and the Crimson Fists fourth company are now at 60 Power Level and submitted for my first ever entry to the ‘Armies on Parade’ competition. I call this entry “No More Last Stands!”.

I’m very pleased with how this project has turned out. The display board was made from a picture frame with a hill built up from layers of foam card and putty. I deliberately selected quite a compact display board as I’ve found it easier to photograph LED models when they are close together, although getting these photos took over an hour! The other factor that made me want a compact board was so it would fit in my display cabinet once it was done.

The impression I wanted to create was of the hill from the iconic Rogue Trader cover art, only this time the Crimson Fists weren’t making a last stand, but breaking out and surging forward in their new Primaris forms. Basing the board around a hill also made it easier to display the models in a compact space without them obscuring each other too much.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to have a go at LED miniatures yourself then I have my tutorials here and FAQ here. I now also have handy lists of suggested tools and consumables for anyone who is just getting into miniature electronics, which can be found here.

There are various debris scattered around the battlefield, including ork and human skulls, and some original RTB01 Space Marine helmets that I had in my bits box.

That’s all for today. Do check back in the future for even more Crimson Fists, as well as various other side projects. Don’t forget you can keep up with my latest work on Instagram and Twitter.

Crimson Fists Reiver ‘Squad Bast’ Complete

We lit the signal flare and before we knew it Reivers were descending out of the night like wraiths. I hope they scare the xenos because they sure as hell scare me!

Tobith, Guardsman

Another long running project draws to a close as I finish Reiver ‘Squad Bast’ one year and four months after beginning the first member! This squad has a long and storied history before even hitting the table top; you may remember that Sergeant Bast won the Bronze Everchosen award at the Nottingham Warhammer store and that the half-finished unit appeared on the Warhammer TV Community Hobby Round-up.

From the start I knew I wanted this squad to be arriving via grav-chute with some members of the unit still in the middle of landing. How exactly to achieve that while also hiding the LED wires in a convincing way is one of the reasons this unit ended-up on the back-burner for a year. In the end I settled on the idea of the Reivers descending above an illuminated signal flare.

As you can see from the ‘work in progress’ picture above, the Reivers are held aloft by a small length of stiff wire. The connecting LED wires are then looped tight around this wire to keep them neat. All the wires are then hidden by cotton wool sprayed red to mimic a signal flare. If you’d like to know a little more about the LED techniques involved then don’t forget I have my LED Eye Lens tutorial here and my LED Muzzle Flare tutorial here. The signal flare effect was enhanced with an additional Tru-Opto 1.8mm 3V Red LED on the base. This was simply wired in parallel with the helmet eye lens LED as it is an LED of the same type.

Now the Reivers are done there is just one more unit to add to “complete” the Crimson Fists for Armies on Parade 2020 and bring the Power Level to a nice round 60 Power. Check back soon to find out which unit it is!