Lamenters Breacher with LED Explosion Effects

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I find our enemies often make mistakes. The most common is believing that they can hold the breach. – Brother Achillus

Here is Brother Achillus, the second Space Marine in my Badab War Lamenters Kill Team project. Brother Achillus is wearing MkVII ‘Imperator’ armour and is equipped with an ‘Umbra Ferrox’ pattern bolter, auxiliary grenade launcher and boarding shield. He will be the demolitions specialist in the Kill Team.

LED Breacher Shield Explosions

So how was the explosion effect achieved? This is an idea that I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while. Essentially it is the process detailed in my LED Muzzle Flare Tutorial. The wires still run from the base and up through the body and arm, but in this case the LED connections terminates on the front of the shield rather than on the end of a gun barrel.

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I hid the connections at the back of the shield under some Green Stuff putty. I deliberately made sure the connections ran in straight lines so that the putty I built up to hide them would look like additional reinforced bracing on the back of the shield. The LEDs used in this case were TruOpto 1.8mm Yellow LEDs.

The resin explosions themselves were simply cut-down versions of muzzle flares that I had previously cast. I gave them a light shade of Fuegan Orange and then a light glaze of Lamenters Yellow (appropriately). This doesn’t inhibit the light getting through, and actually makes them look better when the LED is switched off, as shown below.

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I may revisit the resin at some point and sculpt and cast specific explosions, rather than the re-purposed muzzle flares, but that’s something for the future.

True Scaling

As with my Lamenter in MkVI ‘Corvus’ armour, I was trying to keep this model both retro and ‘true scale’. So again, although this model is based around a plastic Primaris Marine, I was careful to remove and resculpt any details that were obviously ‘Primaris’, such as the rims around the knee pads and the stabilisers on the ankles. He also has a MkVII appropriate backpack, and his bolt rifle has been swapped out for a more traditional bolt gun.

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Painting Lamenters skin tones

When choosing the skin tone for the Lamenters, I new I wanted to go slightly pallid  rather than tanned. I find that I tend to paint human skin differently each time; partially because I never find a technique I’m 100% happy with, and partially because I paint skin infrequently and forget what I did last time! However I do normally try and paint Space Marines with tanned skin. To me a lifetime of warfare waged under a thousand alien suns kind of implies a decent base tan.

But in this case I wanted to go pale. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, to hint at the Blood Angels heritage (Blood Angels are often depicted as pale and vampiric). But also I wanted to imply that this was a team that had spent a lot of time inside space ship corridors, fighting boarding actions away from natural light. The other reason of course is that a healthy tan and a square jaw often indicates the faultless hero in western culture. While I definitely don’t see the Lamenters as bad guys in the Badab setting, I didn’t particularly want to set them up as out-and-out blameless heroes either. Classic 40K shades of grey!

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This was a very simple technique. A base coat of Rakarth Flesh, a shade of Reikland Fleshshade, then two highlights mixing greater amounts of Flayed One Flesh into Rakarth Flesh. I’m pretty pleased with the results and will definitely duplicate this on other helmetless Lamenters.

That’s it for today, stay tuned for more Lamenters, more Badab and of course more Crimson Fists in the not-to-distant future!

The Lamenters and Badab

Like all excellent ideas, this one started in the pub. I was out for drinks and dinner with a few of the members of my games club, when an intriguing question was proposed; if you could have one magical wish that would compel the other members of the club to collect themed armies and play in a campaign of your choice, what campaign would you wish for? My answer was easy. A Badab War Kill Team campaign.

Eyes around the table lit up. “You don’t need a magic wish for that!” they told me. So here we are!

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Some ask why we lament the execution of our duty. We do not. We lament that our duty is necessary at all. – Brother Heamis

I’m pleased with how my first Marine has turned out, but slightly embarrassed to note that many of the others in the club have finished their entire kill teams in the time it took me to make a single model!

I wanted to start with a basic tactical marine just to make sure I could get everything ‘right’, before moving on to specialists and the leader. But even though he’s ‘just’ a tactical marine I still wanted to allude to the fact that he would be taking part in some brutal ship-to-ship fighting and also hint at that Blood Angel ancestry. This is why I eventually settled on the pose of being in the middle of drawing his knife.

True Scaling

I knew from the outset that I wanted my kill team to be both ‘true scale’ and to have a retro vibe. Not only is the Badab War set in 40K’s “past”, but the original campaign narrative was first conceived in the early 1990s. Thankfully true scaling is a lot easier these days thanks to plastic Primaris Marines. No mucking around with Terminator legs any more if you don’t want to!

As you can see from the WIP picture below, the model is based around a plastic Primaris Marine. I was careful to remove and resculpt any details that were obviously ‘Primaris’, such as the rims around the knee pads and the stabilisers on the ankles.

I used Reiver arms as these are less bulky than Primaris arms, since they lack the forearm ‘bracers’ that the Primaris have, and therefore look more old school. It also gave me access to ready-made arms in the process of drawing the knife.

Painting

To paint the yellow, I tried something a little different from the technique I used on my Imperial Fists. It basically went like this:

  • Corax white undercoat
  • Averland sunset base
  • Cassandora yellow shade in recessed
  • Yriel yellow (two thin coats)
  • Flash Gitz yellow edge highlight
  • Dorn yellow final edge highlight

The chapter icon was an interesting challenge. I used an old Space Marine campaign badge transfer – a black skull in a black circle – applied over a white shoulder pad to get the central circle right. Then I painted over the skull in white and painted the heart in freehand (Khorne red then Evil Suns red).

Next I filled in the chequered pattern. I did this by ‘sketching’ in roughly where the black squares should be, then going back and painting the black more solidly, followed by any touch ups of the white where I’d made a mistake. I know some people like to draw in a grid for cheques and then fill in alternate squares, but I find that can leave the black squares larger than the white due to the thickness of the grid lines.

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LED Eye Lenses

Of course I had to add my customary LED helmet eye lenses. My tutorial is here if you’re interested and haven’t seen it already.

As an experiment I applied a thin coat of Spiritstone red technical paint to the eye lenses. This doesn’t do anything to hinder the light when the LED is on, but makes the eye lenses look red when it is off, as seen in the image below.

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That’s it for Lamenters and Badab for the moment, but there are still six more models to come. It should be a fun campaign, in addition to my Lamenters the rest of the games club already have Astral Claws, Space Sharks, Sons of Medusa and Salamanders kill teams underway. If you’d like to see my good friend Apologist’s Astral Claws kill team then his blog is here. Stay tuned for more Badab action over the coming weeks and months!

Everchosen – 3rd Place at Warhammer Nottingham

I’m pleased to say that my Reiver Sergeant picked up enough votes to come in third place in the Everchosen contest at the Warhammer Nottingham store this weekend!

Everchosen

Sadly not enough to progress to the next round, but to be honest the quality of entries at the Nottingham store was so high that I was honoured to place in the top three at all! Thank you very much to anyone who was there and voted for my miniature, if you happen to be reading this!

Nottingham isn’t actually my regular local store, but I was in the area visiting family, so it was the store I was closest to on that particular Saturday. I must say I enjoyed the Everchosen experience; it’s quite different to Golden Demon with the public vote and different rounds. The atmosphere in the store was very friendly – while I was there at least! I hope Everchosen goes on to becomes an annual event. In the meantime I’m looking forward to casting my online vote in the next round!

Sergeant Bast, Reiver Squad Leader with LED Muzzle Flares

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I only have two answers for the question of heresy, and both of them are fully loaded! – Reiver-Sergeant Bast, on the eve of the Jotun Offensive.

Reiver-Sergeant Bast is the second member to be completed for my Reiver squad, and also my entry for the Everchosen nationwide painting competition that Games Workshop are running tomorrow.

The role of the Reiver has two aspects, just like our skull helms and the human faces underneath. One is the stealthy infiltration of our targets. The other is the application of instant and overwhelming force. – Reiver-Sergeant Bast, squad initiation.

When I was first planning how to assemble this unit, I decided I wanted to go for very dynamic and aggressive poses. I was imaging them deploying via their grav-chutes, opening fire on their targets before they were even on the ground.

This conversion may look a little complex, but it was actually fairly simple. There is no left-handed bolt carbine on the Reiver sprue, but I simply cut the hand from the right-hand from bolt carbine that doesn’t have a hand on the forward grip, and then glued it onto a left combat knife arm. The LED muzzle flare effects were achieved as described in my tutorial here. Both LEDs are connected to the same battery in parallel. As they are identical LEDs there is no need for any additional resistors (the current draw is obviously the same for both). There’s no actual in-game effect for having two bolt carbines on the model, it’s just for show!

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The image above shows the model with the LEDs switched off. Normally I leave the resin unpainted, but that of course means the muzzle flares are resin white when the LEDs are not on. As an experiment for this model, I painted some Fuegan Orange shade into the recesses, and then painted the whole muzzle flare with Lamenters Yellow glaze. As you can see above it makes the muzzle flare resin look better when the LEDs are off, but doesn’t seem to effect the brightness at all, since the shade and the glaze are both semi-transparent. I’m so pleased with this look that I think I’ll go back and apply this to all previous muzzle flares.

More Reivers to come soon, and I’ll post an update over the weekend about how Sergeant Bast does in the Everchosen competition!

Dark Angel with LED Plasma Gun & New “Simple” LED Plasma Weapon Tutorial

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What is it to be a Dark Angel? It is to be the first Legion, the honoured, the Sons of the Lion.

Don’t panic, I haven’t abandoned the Crimson Fists! But I have had a Horus Heresy Dark Angels “itch” that I’ve needed to scratch for a long time now. I also needed a model to be the subject of a new guide – the “simple” LED plasma weapons tutorial – so it seemed like a good idea to kill two birds with one stone. Regular readers will know I already have a LED plasma weapon tutorial, but this new one is the “simple” version and features:

  • Less cutting
  • Less drilling
  • Alternatives to soldering
  • Alternatives to resin casting

So on the whole it’s more accessible. The new tutorial can be found here and my original LED plasma tutorial can be found here.

As readers of a certain ‘vintage’ may have spotted, I’ve taken influence for this model from the classic piece of artwork shown below.

Space Marine box art
Image © Games Workshop

This is the box art for the Space Marine game. A 6mm ‘Epic’ scale game released in 1989, it was set during the Horus Heresy and compatible with the first edition of Adeptus Titanicus. This is a classic image of the Dark Angels that’s firmly lodged in my subconscious. I haven’t tried to copy the art precisely, but I definitely wanted to capture the “feel”. I’ve combined the helmetless Marine firing a bolter in the centre with the plasma marine in the bottom left. I’ve changed the colour palette slightly to bring it more in line with current interpretations of 30K Dark Angels, as seen in the Forge World Horus Heresy books. For example, the chapter symbol on the model painted is red rather than the black(!) shown here. But hopefully the influences are still recognisable.

This isn’t the start of a new army, in fact I’m already working on the Crimson Fists again. The Dark Angels will be a Kill Team at most. However there will definitely be more Dark Angels coming up later in the summer as I have some new LED tutorials to write, and they are excellent demonstration models!

So if you’d like to have a go at LED plasma weapons on your own models, then you can check out my new “simple” version tutorial here.

 

Primaris Reiver and New LED Muzzle Flare Tutorial

Reiver 01

In a change of pace from my Intercessors, here’s my first Crimson Fist Primaris Reiver. I’ve had the concept of the model in my head since 2017 when the PCRC bought me the Reiver box and the Aggressor box for my birthday. So it’s good to finally get this model out of my imagination and into the real world!

I wanted to give the impression of an intimidating killer; someone who is taking down enemies with short controlled bursts from his bolt carbine before confidently striding forward towards his next target. Hopefully I’ve managed to get that across!

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As I was working on this model I also took a lot of work-in-progress images to finally put together my LED muzzle flare tutorial, which you can now find on my tutorials page if you feel like having a go yourself. This is a bit of an extended tutorial, as I specifically cover the casting of the resin muzzle flare as well as the electronics aspect.

I’ve recently gained a new LED supplier – Small Scale Lights. If you’re at all interested in using LEDs in miniatures then you should check out this supplier. They have a great range and excellent customer service.

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Here’s a comparison shot with the LEDs turned off, so you can see what the model looks like under normal lighting conditions.

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And of course, I can never resist a quick improvised diorama!

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TARGET ELIMINATED! ADVANCING.

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to check out the new tutorial. I’ll be back again soon with more Crimson Fists. Hopefully I can get the rest of the Reiver squad out of my head too! Remember, you can always catch me on Instagram or Twitter in the meantime.

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…