My Ultramarines Veteran on WarhammerTV

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have one of my models make it onto Warhammer TV for the seventh time! My Ultramarines Veteran featured alongside the work of other hobbyists on this Thursday’s ‘Community Hobby Round-Up #MarchForMacragge Edition’ on Warhammer TV (Thursday 1st April episode, at the 46 minute mark, if anyone would like to see it).

I’m very honoured to once again have had my work exhibited in this way, and a big thank you to Ben, Nick and the rest of the Warhammer Community Team for their kind words and high praise!

Ultramarines Veteran

It has been a long vigil my brothers. But as we endure, so endures the Imperium.

Stolus, Ultramarines Veteran

Something a little left field this week: an Ultramarines Veteran, based on the limited edition ‘Imperial Space Marine 2016’ model and painted in the Rogue Trader era Ultramarines colour scheme. A friend recently gave me this model brand-new-in-box as a gift. My first instinct was to paint it up as a Crimson Fist, especially as that is how the box art miniature is painted. However I realised that it might look a bit strange alongside my Primaris Crimson Fists due to the size difference, so I started to wonder if I might go down a different route…

If you’re on “hobby” Twitter or Instagram then you may have seen the #MarchForMacragge hashtag floating around. If you’re not sure what that is, basically it’s just a bit of fun to encourage people to paint Ultramarines or Ultramarine-adjacent miniatures during the month of March and post them online with the hashtag. This set me to thinking about the Ultramarines army that got me into the hobby.

Back in the early 1990s I was introduced to Rogue Trader – as the first edition of Warhammer 40K was known – by the son of one of my dad’s friends. He had a large army of classic plastic ‘RTB01’ and metal space marines all painted up as Ultramarines. He would split this army in two and we would play games of Ultramarines vs Ultramarines so that I could learn the rules. Thinking about Rogue Trader era Ultramarines gave me a warm nostalgic feeling, and suddenly I knew exactly what I was going to do with my Imperial Space Marine!

Building & Painting

The LED effects for this model used my standard LED Eye Lens Tutorial. The specific LED used was a TruOpto 1.8mm Green LED, but otherwise it followed the LED Eye Lens Tutorial to the letter. I went for a green LED mainly to differentiate this Ultramarine from my Crimson Fists, and also because I felt the green went very nicely with their particular shade of blue.

The paint recipe I used on the armour is fairly simple and uses Citadel paints: Macragge Blue base, Nuln Oil shade, Calgar Blue highlight and Fenrisian Grey final highlight. Readers with long memories may recognise some of the Rogue Trader era iconography; the chequered helmet stripe indicates a veteran and the small icon to the bottom right of the Ultramarine symbol indicates a ‘beamer’ operator. This seemed like the closest match between the ‘disintegration gun’ the Imperial Marine is equipped with and the established weapon icons from that era.

That’s it for this week. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this slight tangent from the normal marines that I paint and a trip down memory lane! I’ll be back again soon with more Crimson Fists, so stay tuned, and please don’t forget you can find me doing hobby stuff on Twitter here and Instagram here.

Lamenter Marksman

The Tyrant sends his regards! *BLAM-BLAM-BLAM*

Brother Quartus, Lamenter Marksman

Here is Brother Quartus, the latest addition to my long-running Lamenter Badab War kill team project. If you’d like to look back on this project then you can search for posts tagged with either ‘Lamenters’ or ‘Badab War’.

Influence

When designing this Marine, my question to myself was “how can I make one of the team’s “filler” tactical marines with bolter interesting?”. In the end I hit upon the idea of loosely copying this classic Mark Gibbons art. I haven’t copied it exactly – for one the marine in the art is a Blood Angel – but I hope I’ve captured the feel, both of the art and of that era of Games Workshop history. Of course Brother Quartus has grown on me over the building and painting process so now I think I might promote him to sniper specialist in the kill team.

“Downgrading” Mk X armour to Mk VII

All my Lamenters are ‘true scale’, that is to say they have Primaris stature but wear period-appropriate armour marks. There was no Mk X used during the Badab War (as far as we know), so I wanted to “downgrade” the base Primaris Intercessor model to Mk VII power armour. The most important thing was to remove the elements of the armour that are distinctly Primaris features. For me this is the ankle ‘stabilisers’, the rim above the knee-pad, the armoured stomach, the forearm bracers, the wide backpack and of course the helmet. An argument could be made that the thigh-plates don’t belong on a Mk VII either, but I think I can make my peace with that.

To remove the unwanted leg and stomach detail I simply hacked off anything that I didn’t want with a craft knife and then smoothed over any gaps with modelling putty, sculpting detail in where necessary. The arms are from Primaris Reivers, which are in scale for a marine of Primaris stature but less armoured than the standard Mk X arms. The helmet and the backpack were straight component swaps for their Mk VII equivalents.

Effects

For the LED effects I simply just followed the steps in my own LED Muzzle Flare tutorial to the letter, using the exact LEDs and components listed there. My Lamenters paint recipe can be found in this post if anyone is interested in how the yellow is achieved. As for the mid-ejection bolt shell casing, I think that’s worth talking through as this is a new technique that I was playing around with for this model.

  1. I started with a 1mm diameter plastic rod, painted the end in Retributor Armour, and then cut off a 2mm length to form the ejected bolt shell casing.
  2. Next I built up the “smoke” around the ejection port using Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World. This gel is white and opaque when applied (as seen in the picture) but dries transparent.
  3. Once the splash gel had dried, I used a tiny dab of super glue to attach the shell casing.
  1. Next I applied another layer of the splash gel around the shell casing to continue the smoke effect.
  2. Once the splash gel was dry I gave it a thin watered-down glaze of Ulthuan Grey. This helps it to retain some transparency while also appearing smoke coloured.
  3. Finally I applied a coat of Lahmian Medium to dull down the shine of the splash gel.

That’s it for this week. I’ll end with a group shot of the kill team so far (minus the Mk VI, who has returned to the chapter forge for modifications). That’s four down, three to go! My aim is to have the team finished by the time face-to-face gaming is allowed again in the UK, so please visit again soon to see how I’m getting on with that!

Crimson Fists Eradicator Sergeant

No enemy shall escape either my sight or my wrath!

Paulo, Eradicator Sergeant

This week I’ve been working on another Indomitus Eradicator. I didn’t use the LED melta weapon effect technique on this one as I felt his weapon wasn’t really in a firing pose. Instead I decided to focus on his bionic eye – if you’ll excuse the pun!

This was mostly achieved using the basic techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial, with one key exception; instead of recasting the head in resin I used the plastic original. I drilled a 1mm hole into the bionic eye of the plastic head, and then a larger hole up through the neck to meet the eye hole in the middle of the head. I then fed the wires of my 3V red ultra nano SMD chip LED in through the eye hole and out of the neck, then gently pulled the LED into the hole. I then ran the wires through the torso and legs – again, as described in my LED eye lens tutorial – to connect to the battery in the base. Then I applied a small blob of Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World to fill in the hole. Finally, once the gel was dry I applied a shade of Citadel Carroburg Crimson and three successive glazes of Citadel Bloodletter to give the eye some colour when the LED is off and also to prevent the LED being too bright. Bloodletter glaze is sadly discontinued, but a watered-down glaze of Citadel Evil Sunz Scarlet would do the same job.

So why do this rather than my normal method of recasting the head? For a start this is far less time consuming than making a new silicon mould for this one head. But also one of the reasons I use casting rather than drilling for helmets is that it allows you to easily retain the non-circular shape of helmet eye lenses. With bionic eyes this is not as important as they tend to be circular and therefore they lend themselves well to drilling.

Here’s Sergeant Paulo with his fellow Eradicator from last week. As you may notice from the image above, the other thing I did this week was to switch out the incorrect ‘battle line’ symbol on Brother Eliseo’s shoulder for the ‘fire support’ symbol. I had a complete brain-fart while applying transfers last week and for some reason thought that Eradicators were a differently armed variant of Heavy Intercessors – which would have made them ‘battle line’ – rather than being their own thing. Ah well, it was fairly easy to make the change. Anyway, that’s all for this week, see you again soon for more LED action!

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!