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Shadow Force Dragomir - A Raven Guard Army


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#1
SCC

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Welcome to Shadow Force Dragomir!

SFD is my latest 40K army project and one I'm hoping will become the first playable army I've had since a Dark Angels army that began construction with the release of WH40K Second Edition and just made it onto the tabletop for the final year or so of Third Ed. Some of you may remember my previous army projects, notably my Brazen Claws, and if you do chances are you've seen first hand just how slowly I normally paint (Brazen Claw Tactical Squad Icmalius for example took over 7 years from start to finish for a simple 10 man Tac squad)

Well, with SFD I intend to break that hoodoo and field an army in under twelve months, a speed which is unprecedented in the 20+ years I've been into 40K. 'How?' I hear you ask, to which I reply, 'Simple my friend - I'm fielding an all black army - Raven Guard!'. I'm also deliberately aiming for a tabletop quality army, I want it to look good of course but I'm going to try to not obsess over the tiny details that caused me to take an average of 25 hours and occasionally upwards of 35 hours to paint a single Tactical Marine in the past.

So far I'm doing pretty well with this aim, below is a picture of the first half of my first Tactical Squad:

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Combat Squad Zaloga here looks, I think, pretty good, but by choosing a black army and using decals and other simple tricks I've managed to keep the average time per Marine down to about 4.5 hours. In the 31 days since I started this project I've not only painted these 5 Tactical Marines but also a couple of Vanguard Veterans with jumpacks so I'm doing quite well. To relieve the dullness of having a few score black Marines to paint I've decided that each Marine or other unit will be a unique model, each will have a touch of the unusual or exotic about them, even if it's just something minor.

Black is much easier to paint than bright blue and red of course, a quick spray of undercoat and you're halfway there. A few simple highlights, some trim, some sand and stone for the base and you're ready for the tabletop. I make no bones that I'll win any painting awards with SFD but I think I might just be able to put an army on the table sometime in the next twelve months at this rate.

My ongoing SFD blog has plenty of WIP pics and commentary for those interested so most of what you see here will consist of either finished pieces like this or of miniatures where I'm looking for inspiration or guidance from the community B)

And now the individual members of demi-squad Zaloga. As you can see I've mixed plastic, metal and FW resin parts to make sure that each Marine is truly an individual as befits the Sons of Corax:

Battle Brother Zaloga:
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Forgeworld Mk.IV armour & bolter w/RG backpack

Battle Brother Galbraith:
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Regular plastic Marine w/FW Phobos pattern bolter

Battle Brother Talbe:
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FW Mk.III armour

Battle Brother Kolya:
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Regular plastic Marine w/bionic right arm from the old Iron Hands box set

Battle Brother Lirim:
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Regular plastic Marine w/bionic left arm from the old Iron Hands box set.

And do you know what I just realised? Lirim needs his right shoulder pad painted in Tactical green :P

Still, welcome to Shadow Force Dragomir, here's to seeing it on the table sometime in the next year!

#2
Rogan

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Pretty Marines. I take it, as you began naming your Marines, that each one is to become an individual rather than a mere pawn - like that!
Just one thing I'd asked myself: the codex says that Marines rarely have a complete set of armour (MkII, MkIII and so on) but instead use equipment composed of many pieces of the earlier variants. Wouldn't it be much nicer...? And, for the sake of variation, it would add even more to the individual look.

#3
GooseDaMoose

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These look really cool, the black is awesome. Is it just chaos black highlighted with codex grey or something darker?
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[center]Please visit my WIP blogs! Comments and suggestions are welcome :)
[url=http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=259695&st=0&gopid=3160255&#entry3160255]The Goose's Den - Assorted WiP Projects[/url]
[url=http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=213040]Sons of Malice, 7th Company "Batko's Blacks"[/url]
[url=http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=224886]Untouchables; The Emperor's Sisters of Silence[/url]

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#4
Ravendove

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These look excellent. Well done! What did you do for the shoulder pad symbols, decals?

#5
Captain Mick

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I think u did a great job on them. Keep up the good work :) .

My Archived UM Topic : http://www.bolterand...howtopic=151653 (Last updated 13-08-2010)
My Archived Death Guard topic: http://www.bolterand...howtopic=208519] (Last updated 21-01-2011)

 

New Deathguard Topic: http://www.bolterand...ed-death-guard/ (Updated 27-06-2018)


#6
Meatman

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Those are some very good looking Raven Guard, nicely done :)

I would also like to know what your recipe for highlighting is if possible :)
QUOTE (Something Wycked @ Sep 22 2011, 02:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My ultimate point is this: play your opponent, play the board and the terrain, but don't game the system with cheap tricks


I love the Chapter Name Creator :D
Repentant Hippos
Stealth Turtles

My DIY chapter is so going to be one of these two :P

#7
chenley

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I love how you did the black, SCC do you mind share how you achieved such a nice black?

NVM: I think that I found it in your blog entry dated: Sep 25 2010, 02:22 PM

Edited by chenley, 13 October 2010 - 05:15 PM.


#8
Stuart

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I've already commented in your blog, but I'm loving this army. For being as quick and simple as you claim they are, they look really, really nice, which can be tough for black armies. Frankly, I'd be surprised if you don't win any awards with them :) .

#9
Myxx

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Very cool. The black looks like the skin off of a F117. And the markings are really sharp.
ETL_03_Custos_Fidei_Vow_04.jpgETL_2013_02_Oath_Breaker.jpg

#10
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Just one thing I'd asked myself: the codex says that Marines rarely have a complete set of armour (MkII, MkIII and so on) but instead use equipment composed of many pieces of the earlier variants.

I agree entirely, but the FW pre-Heresy sets were too nice to not make one complete suit of each type (I've got a full set of Mk.V in the works too). The rest of the army will use a variety of pieces from all over the place to give it that 40K look and feel. As an example take a look at this guy:
Posted Image
He features Red Scorpion Mk.IV helmet w/Aquila, RG Mk.VI/VII upgrade torso, SW Mk VII legs and Deathwatch bolter, he'll get the matching metal DW pad too, so there should be no worries about complete sets of armour from here on out.

For Goose, Meatman and the others wondering about the black the recipe is below, note there's now an additional step between the two final highlights compared to my blog version of this recipe:


  • Spray undercoat black
  • Broad highlights of 'RG Black' (a very, very dark grey I made from approx. 1 part VMC German Grey to 3 parts Chaos black with just a touch of Foundation Adeptus Battlegrey to tie it to the highlights).
  • Badab Black Wash
  • Fine highlight of 50/50 RG Black/ Adeptus Battlegrey
  • [Blackline with black ink - 'true' black and recessed/shadowed areas only
  • Final highlight of ABG
  • Black wash
  • Touch up
I've taken to 'blacklining' recessed areas and any areas of armour that I'd normally shade on a more brightly coloured mini with a mix of black ink/Chaos black. I know 'blacklining' a black mini seems daft but I do this mostly to ensure that those areas I want to be black are properly dark to maximise the contrast between the highlighted areas and the really, truly black ones.

@Ravendove: All the markings (so far) are from the Forge World RG decal set. I use plenty of Aero-Set II (virtually the same as Micro-Sol/Set) and strategically trim and cut the decals to ensure the maximum adhesion and flexibility. I then paint over the markings with a few coats of really thin VGC Skull White to keep them really nice and clean and ensure the best contrast with the black (which helps the black look really black as an added bonus). I also make sure to paint over any remaining transparent areas of decal with black, again, it's all to max out the contrast and make black black and white white.

The FW decal packs also give different size/type RG symbols which will allow me to mix up the markings as well as the physical minis to ensure each is individual.

#11
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Three more completed Tactical Marines for Tactical Squad Khalid, including the Sergeant himself:

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Brother Sergeant Khalid


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Battle Brother Andelku


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Battle Brother Nebosja


Two more to go to finish the squad...

Oh, and Brother Lirim eventually got his missing green trim too:
Posted Image

#12
Arn Greybeard

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Outstanding Raven Guard!

#13
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Nine Marines down, one to go before Squad Khalid is completed...

Posted Image
Battle Brother Drazan

Drazan is kitted out with Mk.IV armour mixed with more recent, knightly components, I think it creates a restrained, yet intimidating pose. His right arm is encircled with a penitent's cord, marking his failure on a recent mission to meet the terms of his oath of moment. This failure led to the revocation of Drazan's purity seals and other honour markings, although he was permitted to keep the white markings on his shoulder pad indicating participation in the infamous Karradine Winter Crusade. Brothers Talbe and Zaloga also participated in the Crusade as can be seen from the similar honour markings on their armour.

#14
Captain Mick

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Looks great really, keep up the good work <_< .

My Archived UM Topic : http://www.bolterand...howtopic=151653 (Last updated 13-08-2010)
My Archived Death Guard topic: http://www.bolterand...howtopic=208519] (Last updated 21-01-2011)

 

New Deathguard Topic: http://www.bolterand...ed-death-guard/ (Updated 27-06-2018)


#15
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Battle Brother Kraayt is finally complete:

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Battle Brother Kraayt

Kraayt here reminded me of just why I never field Devastator squads, and it has nothing to do with their being a fairly inefficient way to spend points in a game and everything to do with assembling the little so-and-so's. Even with pinning, careful preparation and a full night's sleep getting Kraayt into the right position and keeping him there was a paint in the backside. And that doesn't include the typical hassles of getting a head to fit in a reasonable pose with that damned backpack in the way, I had to abandon my initial plan of using a helmet with extra targeting gear as it simply wouldn't fit at anything like a natural angle. Thank the Emperor there's only one more heavy weapon Marine in my planned line up, almost all my big guns are going to be Razorback mounted, it's easier to assemble a whole damned Rhino than a squad of thrice-cursed Devastators...

Still, I'm quite pleased with the end result if I'm honest, so maybe the hassle was worth it...

Bitz wise Kraayt's fairly standard with the exception of FW Mk.V legs, which I think suit him quite nicely and he's pretty much standard markings wise as well. I did add a little something to his base:
Posted Image
A defiled Aquila over which Kraayt stands guard while Brother Nebosja (with the auspex) notes their exact location so this relic can be retrieved and reconsecrated by Imperial forces at a later date. Again, the rust isn't quite right, I'm clearly going to have to find some tutorials on using weathering powders...

So, Kraayt is the tenth and final mini of the squad and here's a pic of the whole squad:
Posted Image
Tactical Squad Khalid


Next up will be their Rhino...
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#16
Rune Priest

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i absolutely love these guys; their simplicity is mixed with a bold underlying blend of character and complexity. this may sound paradoxical, but that's the vibe i get from these guys. *very* effective paint job.
Praise Russ!


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QUOTE (Terrible_Trygon @ Nov 5 2009, 02:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wait, Rune Priest is a dude? I always thought he was a she from his avatar and all that.

#17
Captain Mick

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Fantastic painted models once again, well done :jaw: .

My Archived UM Topic : http://www.bolterand...howtopic=151653 (Last updated 13-08-2010)
My Archived Death Guard topic: http://www.bolterand...howtopic=208519] (Last updated 21-01-2011)

 

New Deathguard Topic: http://www.bolterand...ed-death-guard/ (Updated 27-06-2018)


#18
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i absolutely love these guys; their simplicity is mixed with a bold underlying blend of character and complexity. this may sound paradoxical, but that's the vibe i get from these guys. *very* effective paint job.

Now there's a man who gets 'it'! ;)

Either that or he's a helluva flatterer, watch out for this one ladies! :ph34r:

Seriously though, thanks RP, as I've said in the blog I'm trying to keep things simple so the army keeps moving forward while still making sure it looks and feels like a real, unique Raven Guard force. It's nice to know that I'm on the right track.


@Capt. Mick: Thanks for the support, I'm working on the Rhino now, it'll be a little plain but it's something of a test model, I've painted 2 Rhinos and 1 Land Raider in the last twenty years so I'm still feeling my way through the process of painting vehicles...

#19
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Following the successful completion of my first Tac squad I decided to reward myself with some fancier miniatures. I decided to work on my Command squad, mostly because I wanted to build an Apothecary.

I've always had a soft spot for Apothecaries, after all, without them there are no Astartes. The problem is that they're kinda tough to model in an original way, I mean, you either use an old metal Apothecary or the new plastic bitz or you paint a model white with a caduceus or two.

So I had two objectives in mind when I started this guy, first, give a sense of how highly valued apothecaries within the Adeptus Astartes and second, make an original model that was clearly an Apothecary yet different to the run of the mill medic.

And this is what I've come up with, note I'm still choosing between the two helmets/poses. He carries the heavy calibre bolt pistol that is used to grant wounded Astartes the Emperors' Mercy and I've removed a variety of plastic Apothecary knick-knacks and added them to different areas on the mini. The aim is to make him distinct but obviously an Apothecary.

Red Scorpion Honour Guard helmet and a more active, though guarded pose:
Posted Image

Mk.VI helmet and a more upright pose, and perhaps a touch more nobility or purpose:
Posted Image


In the first two shots you can see the Apothecary helix symbol on his chest, I'm waiting for some RG etched brass to arrive and when it does I'm hoping I can add some RG wings to the side of the symbol to give him an RG feel. I've also got brass Aquilas on the way so if the RG symbol doesn't work I hope they will. The helix was removed from the plastic Apothecary army by carefully shaving with a sharp scalpel and then GS'd into place on the Mk.III chest. You can also see the Apothecary equipment pouches on his hip and waist, they were also removed from the plastic bitz and glue into place.

I've used the Mk.III chest and the bionics to convey a sense of his experience as well as, by granting him heavy Mk.III armour over his vital areas, a sense of the value placed on him by his Chapter. The RS helm looks like it'd provide more protection but the Corvus is more RG. Still, if I'm waiting for the RG brass for the chest I guess I can wait for it for the RS helm to see if I can make it look more RGish...

Side view showing medicae equipment - another carefully removed plastic bit has been added to the model. In this case the 'drill' has been mounted on the Apothecary's right arm , some brass wire has been used to give it 'power' and some plasticard has been added to mount it to the arm.

Posted Image

Back pack wise I think I'm going to go with one of the FW RG backpacks rather than an Apothecary one, I don't really like them.

Opinions on which helm/pose works better?

#20
Brother Nihm

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At first I felt for the Honour Guard helm, but on second thought, if you pose the Beakie differently, say facing slightly down and looking towards his left, it would work better.

My 2 Kraks
Posted Image
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#21
Captain Mick

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Agreee with above :P .

My Archived UM Topic : http://www.bolterand...howtopic=151653 (Last updated 13-08-2010)
My Archived Death Guard topic: http://www.bolterand...howtopic=208519] (Last updated 21-01-2011)

 

New Deathguard Topic: http://www.bolterand...ed-death-guard/ (Updated 27-06-2018)


#22
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Something more like this?

Posted Image

Slightly different angle:
Posted Image

#23
Captain Mick

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Looks way better allready :P .

My Archived UM Topic : http://www.bolterand...howtopic=151653 (Last updated 13-08-2010)
My Archived Death Guard topic: http://www.bolterand...howtopic=208519] (Last updated 21-01-2011)

 

New Deathguard Topic: http://www.bolterand...ed-death-guard/ (Updated 27-06-2018)


#24
Brother Nihm

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Yeah! :P

Edited by Brother Nihm, 08 November 2010 - 12:04 PM.

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#25
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Thanks for the help guys :P

While I'm sitting here watching The Mentalist I've been trying my hand at real 'Corvus Corax pattern' Corvus helmets :tu:

The FW original can be seen here:
Posted Image

My humble efforts can be seen here:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Still slightly asymmetrical and rough but I'm getting closer and with a little more work should have something passable. Turns out to be pretty easy, I scraped away a rough triangle on each cheek with an X-acto and the used it to 'drill' out the nostrils. I didn't do a great job of either, they were a little rough and had some sharp gouges that didn't look right so I whipped up some GS and lightly filled in the gaps. The GS was much easier to get the correct shape with than the plastic, so I was able to work the nostrils and the 'gills' in the helmet without too much trouble. Once it hardens up a little I'll try and sharpen the shape up and then sand it smooth tomorrow night.

I'll try to grab some better reference pics of the original for other RG players and I'll also, if I can find another plastic Corvus helm, Emperor only knows what I've done with them all, try to do a step by step for folks too. It really is dead simple if you've got the FW version for references.




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