Flesh Eaters Ancient, Golden Demon 2022

Raise the colours high, Ancient Harlon! Let the enemy see who comes to claim their lives!

– Flesh Eaters Chaplain Uriah Grimm

Allow me to introduce Brother Harlon, Flesh Eaters Ancient. This model is my entry into the Golden Demon painting contest this weekend at Warhammer World.

The Long Road To Golden Demon

I know I say this increasingly often, but this was one of the most fiddly LED projects to date. I had already planned to make this model for my Flesh Eaters army project, but decided it might make a good Golden Demon entry. I was lucky enough get a Golden Demon ticket in the first round at the start of August, so I had a little time to plan and think. My initial idea for what I would build and submit was actually not part of the Flesh Eaters project, but I couldn’t get the prototype of the circuit to run for long enough off small batteries. With the current multi-day format the model will be on display somewhere between 24 – 36 hours, so it had to be long lasting. Unfortunately the prototype for my original project only lasted a mere 5 hours! So I decided to put that one on the back-burner (no details yet, as I may revisit it later) and instead tackle the Primaris Ancient. So with one project abandoned and two weeks in August “lost” to a summer holiday, I didn’t properly start the Ancient until the 1st September.

My initial iteration of this project involved using filament LEDs to represent energy beams lancing past the Ancient and through the banner. You can see some WIP shots of this version below. Unfortunately there were two drawbacks with this version:

  1. They required a 12V battery, which meant a different base design.
  2. The ends of the filament were not illuminated. No matter what I did to try and hide this they drew the eye and spoiled the effect.
  3. They were ridiculously bright! So bright in fact that I couldn’t take a decent photo and it was difficult to see the details of the paintjob.

I tried my best to persevere, telling myself it would all come together when it was finished, but I had my doubts. Finally, when I accidently snapped one of the filaments while making fine adjustments two days before the contest, I finally said “screw it”, and removed both filaments and the 12V battery from the painted model! Making such a huge, fundamental change to a competition entry just 48 hours before submission was the stuff of stress-dream nightmares! But I managed to do it after a couple of hours and without inflicting too much damage on the paintwork.

Painting & Modelling

The standard bearer in picture above is one of my primary influences for this piece. This photo is taken from one of the colour sections of the ‘Rogue Trader’ first edition Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. I’ve always thought this was a really cool model.

The base model for my version is a Primaris Ancient. As you can see in the images below, the model required some serious reposing. I wanted to banner to be on the viewer’s left as they looked at the model, while the stock Primaris Ancient holds the banner to the viewer’s right. The reason I wanted to change this is two-fold: one was to emulate the pose of the model that inspired it, the other was because when humans view an image their eyes start in the top left and track down diagonally to the bottom right (interestingly this is regardless of cultural influences). So I wanted the visual story to begin with the banner under fire, followed by the Flesh Eaters heraldry announcing who you were looking at, then on to the heroic Marine himself with the glowing eye lenses firmly in the centre of the image. Finally, the eyes take in the second round of incoming fire and the damage to the pauldron, bookending the visual story with the fact that this is a Marine in the heart of battle!

In the end the LED effects were achieved using some of my standard techniquies. The green eye lenses were achieved using my LED Eye Lens tutorial and a Green 1.8mm Tru-Opto LED. The bullet impacts were achieved using my Simple LED Muzzle Flare tutorial, only with two Yellow 1.8mm Tru-Opto LEDs connected in parallel. You can see some WIP pictures of the bullet impacts below.

To paint this model is used my normal red armour receipe, but with a few extra steps; a Rhinox Hide glaze shade at the bottom of large panels, a Trollslayer Orange point highlight, and a Bloodletter glaze. I wanted to do an extra nice paint job for Golden Demon, while not having the model look out of place with the rest of the army. If you look at the close-up shots then hopefully you’ll notice some subtle battle damage as well.

For the banner, I was trying to emulate the look of the banner from the Rogue Trader book. I decided not to extend the chequered pattern the whole way around the border. This was partially to save time, but also because I thought it would draw the eye too much. I thought it was worth adding the chapter name as the Flesh Eaters are relatively obscure and some viewers may not recognise the chapter symbol alone.

The final thing to talk about is the display plinth, seen in the picture below. I went for a transparent Perspex base, rather than the traditional black, to demonstrate that the miniature was entirely self-contained. This way you can see that there are no batteries or circuits hidden in the plinth.

So there we have it! Of course I will keep you all updated on how it goes. It would be weird for an LED model to win a painting contest, so I’m not holding my breath for any trophies, but it’s the taking part and the fun of being there that counts! As ever, thanks for reading, and please don’t forget you can also follow my work on Twitter and Instagram.

Brother Nikko, Flesh Eaters Drum Major

Here come the drums!

Drum Major Nikko

Drum Major Nikko is the next officer to join my Flesh Eaters ‘Armies on Parade 2022’ project. He will count as a Primaris Lieutenant on the table top, with the inspirational beat of his drums representing the ‘Tactical Precision’ aura.

Design Influence

I enjoy a little medieval and renaissance pageantry in my Space Marines. Not necessarily on every trooper, but certainly on the officers. Artificer armour, master-crafted weapons, banners, falcons, musical instruments – I love it all! With this project I think it particularly helps to add to the archaic feel of an army set in the 34th millennium. Ok, so that’s still the far future by our standards, but from point of view of the 41st millennium it’s a distant and forgotten past.

My other influence for this model was the Royal Marines band. I had a grandparent who was in the Royal Marines during World War 2, and when I was a child I was taken to places like the Royal Marines Museum and saw many parades involving military bands. So I guess the concept of military musicians stuck with my over the years.

Building & Painting

The base model is the Indomitus Captain with relic shield, although his weapons have been replaced with scratch-built drumsticks made from wire and plastic tube. The drum-sticks went through several iterations. First the tips were circular, but I wasn’t happy with how that looked, so I switched them for miniature plastic skulls! But I decided these drew the eye too much, and made the whole model look a little “Chaos-y”. In the end I settled on the cylindrical shapes you can see on the finished model. The drum has been knocking around in my bits box for a while; I’m fairly sure it is from AOS Freeguild Guard set.

The LED eye on the sheet music servo skull was mostly achieved using the basic techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial, with one main difference; instead of recasting the skull in resin I used the plastic original. I drilled a 1mm hole into the eye socket of the skull, and then a larger hole up through the neck to meet the eye hole in the middle of the skull. I then fed the wires of my 3V green 0603 nano SMD chip LED in through the eye hole and out of the bottom, then gently pushed the LED into the hole with fine tweezers. The wire then formed one of the “tails” of the servo skull. I ran the wires through the backpack, torso and legs of Brother Nikko – 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 over the LED. Finally, once the gel was dry I applied several shades of Citadel Biel-Tan Green. This is to give the eye some colour when the LED is off and also to prevent the LED being too bright.

When it came to painting, I largely stuck to my previous Flesh Eaters colour palette. There was one exception though – the leopard-skin robes! This idea came from the animal skins traditionally worn by the Royal Marines band. I hesitated about breaking the palette at first, but I gave in eventually as I couldn’t get the idea out of my head or think of a more appropriate colour to paint the robes. They were painted with the following Citadel Colours:

  • Zandri Dust base coat
  • Seraphim Sepia shade
  • Karak Stone highlight
  • Screaming skull fine highlight
  • Tuskgor Fur small dots
  • 50:50 Abaddon Black:Rhinox Hide irregular circles around the dots

That’s it for this week, I hope you’ve enjoyed slightly unusual character concept! I’ll be back again soon with some new models. As ever, thanks for reading, and please don’t forget you can also follow my work on Twitter and Instagram.

Flesh Eaters – Armies on Parade update

Give me a hundred Space Marines. Or failing that give me a thousand other troops.

Rogal Dorn

Here we are, seven months into my Armies on Parade 2022 project, and the Flesh Eaters are starting to come together as a force. This is just a quick update to share some group shots and look at the last few months of progress.

So far my Flesh Eaters army consists of:

My goal has always been to complete approximately 750 points by November, so only three months left to go. In that time I need to finish:

  • Second Assault Squad
  • Lieutenant
  • Ancient Standard Bearer
  • Dreadnought
  • Display Board!

I may need to pick up the pace a little! I also have an idea for another vehicle that would take the army up to 1000 points, but I’m not sure if I’ll finish that before Armies on Parade.

That’s it for this week, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the group photos of the army so far. I’ll be back again next week with some new models. As ever, thanks for reading, and please don’t forget you can also follow my work on Twitter and Instagram.

Uriah Grimm, Flesh Eaters Chaplain

In war are we eternally reborn.

Uriah Grimm, Brother-Chaplain of the Flesh Eaters

Brother-Chaplain Uriah Grimm is the first HQ choice for my Flesh Eaters army project. I started work on him a few months ago, hope to have him complete in time for a call for examples of Dramatis Persona in the War of the False Primarch, but in the end I missed the deadline by quite a way. Next I thought I’d have him finished in time for the Armies on Parade 2022 ‘Gods of War’ month, but that came and went too! Still, he’s finished now, and I’d always rather take my time and get things “right” rather than rush to a deadline.

Design & Building

“Don’t talk to me or my son ever again!”

Chaplain Grimm is heavily influenced by the Rogue Trader era Chaplain pictured above. This is the first 40K model I ever painted way back in 1993, using a mix of Citadel paints from the time (good old ‘Blood Red’) and my dad’s Humbrol paints. You may have seen me post this ancient model before, I like to dig it out occasionally just to remind people that we’ve all got to start our hobby journey somewhere and anyone can improve their painting with a little practice. You can see a more competently painted version of the same model in the bottom left of the image below.

Rogue Trader era metal Space Marine Chaplains, as seen in White Dwarf 108

When updating this model I didn’t want to make a literal rivet-by-rivet identical version, just to capture the key points and general feel of the miniature. The pose, the weapons, the distinctive skull shoulder pads and helmet were the main points I wanted to preserve. Everything else was up for grabs. You may recognise I’ve based my miniature on the Indomitus Chaplain, while the arms and shoulders are from the Black Templars Castellan, the backpack is from the Forge World Mk V Heresy Armour set and finally the helmet is a re-sculpt based on the Primaris Reiver helmet.

The LED plasma pistol was created using the techniques described in my LED Plasma Weapon tutorial, although in this case I used a TruOpto 1.8mm Green LED instead of the pink LED described in the tutorial. The reason for this is that I am trying to limit the colour pallete of LEDs in this project to only green and yellow. The other slight difference – as seen in the images above – is that I rotated the LED through 90 degrees so that it faced upwards through the plasma coil rather than out of the barrel. This makes the coils a little brighter which I prefer when you can’t really see down the barrel in this pose. The otherwise bare resin of the coils has been given a thin shade of Citadel Biel-Tan Green, just to make it look a little more visually appealing when the LED is switched off, as seen in the right-hand picture above.

Painting (a.k.a. To Bone or Not To Bone?)

One of the things that delayed me finishing this model was settling on exactly how I was going to paint it. I knew from the start that I wanted to limit the ceremonial “black” colour of the chaplain office to robes and other small areas. My main hang-up was whether to go with a traditional beige colour for the bone-styled areas of the Grimm’s armour, or to stick with Corax White? As you can see the white won in the end. This was because it emulated the original model I had painted, and also it meant I didn’t have to add any more colours to my armour colour palette, as Corax White is already part of the scheme. At first I started painting the whole shoulder pads white (rims and all), but I realised that was a little much and decided to introduce the silver and black so that the shoulders didn’t end up dominating the whole model.

The Caputmori – an eagle with a human skull – became the notorious symbol of the Partisan forces during the War of the False Primarch. The replacement of the twin heads of the Imperial eagle with a single alternative was a clear challenge to the authority of the High Lords. So how did a chaplain of the staunchly loyal Flesh Eaters acquire such a symbol of office? As with so many things in the War of the False Primarch, we are reduced to speculation. Maybe it was taken from a defeated Partisan chaplain as a trophy of conquest? Or perhaps Brother-Chaplian Grimm was simply attempting to “reclaim” this symbol for Pentarchy of Blood? We may never know the truth. But what we can be sure of is that the crozius arcanum did not leave his side for the duration of his recorded engagements during the war.

EXTRACT FROM ‘A TREATISE ON THE WAR OF THE FALSE PRIMARCH’ BY SCRIBE HOWTOPHER BUXCRAFT

So there we have it, two Troops choices and an HQ. I think that technically counts as a ‘Battle Forged’ army, doesn’t it? That abomination the False Primarch doesn’t stand a chance! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again soon for with some more Flesh Eaters.

Flesh Eaters Assault Squad ‘Levers’

Assault Squad ‘Levers’ is complete! Including Kill Team Caro, my Flesh Eaters army now consists of two troops choices. I’m not far from a (technically) playable force, so it feels like this ‘Armies on Parade 2022’ project is finally gaining a little momentum!

Design Philosophy

I’m very pleased with how this unit turned out, especially now I’ve seen all five models together. While I was working on this unit I had a three-point design philosophy:

  1. Continue the ‘Rogue Trader’ era aesthetic and the ‘War of the False Primarch’ army theme by giving everyone MkVI power armour.
  2. Give the impression that the unit is right in the thick of the action (bullet impacts, blood splatter, etc).
  3. Only the sergeant could wear a helmet.

For the third point, I wanted to reverse the normal trope of bare-headed space marine officers, and make sure it was only Brother-Sergeant Levers who was wearing a helmet. After all, as the leader of the assault squad he’s the one who needs the most protection and access to all the sensors and comms devices that the helmet provides. All the other battle brothers in the unit are fighting with bare heads (infra-visors don’t count) to prove their bravery and look the enemy directly in the eye!

If you’re seeing my Flesh Eaters project for the first time and you’re interest in how the LED effects on the helmet eye lenses were achieved, I simply followed the techniques described in my LED Eye Lens tutorial. The only difference was that I used TruOpto 1.8mm Green LED instead of the red LED described in the tutorial. My painting recipe for Flesh Eaters armour can also be found in this previous post.

Squad Members

Brother-Sergeant Levers is the leader of the assault squad. A brutal close combat brawler, he routinely wears dual powerfists into battle. You can read the full article about this model here.

Brother Kane carries the squad’s “terror banner”. The trust placed in him by this role often inspires Kane to lead the charge into the fray. You can read the full article about this model here.

Brother Talon has sworn an oath to seek an honourable death in combat to prove his faith in the Emperor. You can read the full article about this model here.

Brother Akerman is known for always being stoic in the face of enemy fire. You can read the full article about this model here.

Brother Dunn is equipped with an infra-visor, ideal for spotting potential enemy ambushes in close-quarters fighting and boarding actions. You can read the full article about this model here.

So there we are, squad complete! I hope you’ve enjoyed following the progress of this unit over the last couple of months! That’s all for today, but I’ll be back again soon for more Flesh Eaters, plus a few side projects (that may also be red). As ever, thanks for reading, and please don’t forget you can also follow my work on Twitter and Instagram.