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Yet another Blood Ravens hobby blog: adventures in contrast

Space Marines Primaris Blood Ravens hobby blog WIP contrast paints repainting

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#1
Darkjediben

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Hello all! 

 

I've been away from the hobby for a year or two as my family grew and I explored a new career path. This COVID quarantine has given me the opportunity to take some time for myself and jump back in! I bought some refreshed hobby supplies before the stores closed along with the Space Marine Vanguard box to start.

 

I started out in the hobby back with the Battle for Macragge box set and proceeded to build a custom chapter of purple and gold space marines. I was a kid with no money, so the paint schemes are....cobbled together from whatever cheap paints I had access to. I have a good number of my purple and gold marines, but that collection is haphazard at best. When I hit college I took a jaunt to the xenos side, and started my Necron army. I love those skelly boys, but they aren't getting a lot of love these days. I couldn't resist the lure of the new primaris hotness forever, so here we are. 

 

When deciding what chapter I wanted to create this time, there was no doubt in my mind that it was going to be the Emperor's favorite thieves sons, the Blood Ravens! I've been a big DoW fan for over a decade, I still go back and play 1 and 2 from time to time. I grabbed some new contrast paints and did some paint tests and got to work.

 

+++ The Plan +++

 

I've got the Vanguard box set and the Primaris half of Dark Imperium on order from ebay. I'm going to test out contrast paints, develop a consistent paint scheme across a unified army, and by the time quarantines are over I should have a respectable Blood Ravens force to expand upon. At some point I will consider returning to my marinelets and stripping some crappy paint jobs / refurbishing some poorly built and painted vehicles. I've also got an unopened box of Space Hulk, and some reappropriated suits of Terminator armor in Blood Ravens livery seems delightfully thematic.

 

+++ Goals +++

 

To achieve a consistent, tabletop-ready look across an entire army

 

To deepen my understanding of and skill with various miniature painting techniques

 

To be able to start playing games of 40K again by Summer 2021, when I move for hopefully the last time in a while.

 

+++ The Work +++
 

So truth be told I'm about two weeks into this process already. I'll use the rest of this post to document my progress thus far.

 

First thing I did was experiment with contrast paint. I tested a couple different reds on some old bits of sprue before deciding to go with Fleshtearers Red. It's a little darker and I like the tone against the black and bone shoulders. I painted a couple infantry models and an eliminator to see what the combination of green, bone, black, and red looked like. I followed Duncan's tutorials for lenses, for shoulder pauldrons, and for free handing the Blood Ravens sigil. Here's the first result:

1fUxIZ1.jpg

 

I'm generally pleased with how the contrast paint came out. I'm using Americana craft acrylics thinned down for the eyes and then glazing with Tamiya clear green on the lenses, I think it's coming out pretty great. I'll use this green on all scopes and screens as well moving forward.

 

There is some variable shine on the models, but I'll solve that with a matte varnish I've ordered at this point to be delivered. 

 

I'm very pleased with how the Blood Ravens freehand came out (thanks Duncan!), but after a couple of these, I'm forced to admit that it isn't exactly uniform. I find some blood ravens transfers on ebay and order those as well, and I find Tigurius Omnis Arcanum's blood angels on google images for some inspiration. I plan to use his pauldron layout with some micron pens in addition to decals once they're delivered.

 

In the meantime I move on to finishing my eliminators squad since they have minimal pauldrons exposed. A little liquid plastic putty from Vallejo helps me shore up the cracks in the cloaks, but after some ink washes I'm pleased with the result. These haven't been sealed in matte varnish yet either, but the one I've tested it on I've found the varnish dulls down the cloaks ever so slightly for a pleasing result.

 

ZTaKK1g.jpg

 

And a quick look at sarge's pauldron, the only one exposed:

 

TX1yxiY.jpg

 

I'll note here that after 15+ years in the hobby, this is the first time I bothered to acquire a pin drill and drill my barrels. I have to admit...it makes a huge difference.


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#2
Darkjediben

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At this point I've got my color scheme laid out pretty well. I know what blacks and greys and midtones I'm using, and I'm ready to start production lining this. As I build models, I realize the flight stands are absolute garbage, so I order some magnets for a quick and easy solution. I've since realized that ball bearings and ring magnets will ultimately be better, and I'll use those down the line for my inceptors. For now, I'm using the pin drill to drill out a hole in the bottom of the suppressor backpack and sticking some disc magnets in, properly polarized to link up to the bases.

 

Magnet base: 

 

qIcA9g5.jpg

 

Assembled sarge on a flying stand by magnet:

 

7rqw36j.jpg

 

I've also been using some WHTV tutorials for painting eyes. The absolute bane of my existence last time I was painting space marines, I went out of my way to find helmeted characters. Turns out all I was missing to make eyes not look like garbage was a little mascara!

 

Suppressor sarge

 

3BcG8KM.jpg

 

Lieutenant

 

XAHqtA6.jpg

 

 

Once I've got my face techniques down, it's time to start assembly lining these fellas. I paint contrast to the waist and then apply the technical paint, Armageddon dunes, to the base. I'm using a pair of paddle tweezers bent out to give me a nice metal tool to spread and work the technical paint across a base. The little plastic doohickies provided to spruce up the bases are great!

 

aEMqwwX.jpg

 

Then it's time to block in the shoulder pauldron base color (Zhandri dust) and edge with black

 

vqTelol.jpg

 

And once all the black is filled in, I line the zhandri dust with agrax earthshade and paint 2 thin coats of ushabti bone over that.

 

tUxOAXA.jpg

 

Today my decals arrived, so I'll be working on my decal technique and shoulder pauldrons for the next pots!


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#3
Yosef Hausakluif

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So far looking really good as Blood Ravens. I’ve gotta say though that I am REALLY impressed with your hand painted chapter symbols; they came out beautifully and will look awesome, if not time consuming across the entire force. Good luck and look forward to seeing your progress.
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#4
Bjorn Firewalker

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Good job on the models. Your painting skills are good.
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Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#5
Darkjediben

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HQ time! Now that I've got my decals, time to check out how microsol and microset work and finish up this lieutenant. 

 

Turns out the most important piece of equipment for decal work is a q tip. I need to look into some tighter spun cotton when this quarantine is over, but for now a basic q tip is doing the job. 

 

I really enjoyed the process of practicing and learning to make the blood ravens sigil freehand, but ultimately I decided that if I want this thing to proceed at any kind of pace post-quarantine, I need to be more efficient. The good news is matte varnish over the top definitely helps decals look painted on!

 

Here's a couple shots of my lieutenant that I took in my kitchen:

 

ctCQKfl.jpg

 

Really happy with how the skull decal turned out there. I was never able to make those work as a kid.

 

And the reverse side for a detail view of the main chapter decal:

 

HqTJvRY.jpg

 

I'll make this post pretty short, because I've got another update re: my first full infantry squad to make.


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#6
Darkjediben

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Sneakily creeping up behind, what's that? Infiltrators! SMOKE BOMB!

I really enjoyed making these guys. I think the Primaris sculpts are absolutely outstanding, and when I put them up against other models they're very much the size I always imagined space marines to be. Here's the full squad:

 

rCSmqFs.jpg

 

Here's a couple close ups of the helmet-less members:

 

yO6NplM.jpg

 

mtgrZTi.jpg

 

xrXJTlA.jpg

 

B3Hw5Vs.jpg

 

And some close in shots of the smoke grenade guy

 

8qwzwjB.jpg

 

Iz9ilvh.jpg

 

And the helix adept

 

OZFWwq3.jpg

 

And lastly, a lovely line-up with all the shoulders turned towards the camera. When you see them all lined up like that, you can really appreciate the uniformity that a couple of custom decals bring to the models. I could never have achieved such clean results by hand (some of you brilliant folks can, I've seen it, but I haven't got either the patience or the dexterity). 

 

Ax85p8a.jpg

 

Great thanks to another B&C hobby blog, BKZer0's "Blood Ravens 5th Battle Company [WIP]". On the last page he did a lovely tutorial about working with decals that helped me tremendously. I didn't make my own custom ones, I ordered off ebay, but his detailed walkthrough about which chemicals to use at what point of the process was awesome. If you haven't checked it out, you definitely should.

 

My pace of updates is going to slow down at this point. At the start of the day today most of my stuff was 75%+ painted, and was just waiting on decals/matte sealing. I have 3 suppressors that are mostly done, but after that I'll be starting either the Invictor Tactical warsuit or the Dark Imperium stuff from scratch, unprimed sprues.

 

Looking forward to stealing creating new blood raven armor and equipment as the weeks drag on. I hope all you folks are doing great in self-isolation and killing the legion of grey lurking in your backlog!


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#7
Debauchery101

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I dont see enough stolen relics to justify them being raven guard...even if they look really good
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#8
Darkjediben

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I dont see enough stolen relics to justify them being raven guard...even if they look really good

 

Wait til I get into the Space Hulk set in my closet. I reckon their Chief Librarian will have some "liberated" Blood Angels gear.



#9
Bjorn Firewalker

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Fine works.
Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#10
Darkjediben

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Had a busy afternoon, so I kept the hobby stuff to a minimum. Here's a quick breakdown of how I'm magnetizing my Invictor Tactical Warsuit.

 

There's only really one piece of optional equipment on this bad boy, and that's the main gun. The Incendium Cannon/Ironhail Autocannons are both great options, and I figured it wasn't worth picking one or the other. This pictorial will show you how to magnetize your warsuit with 6 teeny tiny infantry magnets (2mmx1mm) and a pin drill.

 

First of all, the only piece both assemblies will have in common is number 74 on the sprue. That's basically a gear with two pins that the gun clamps around. We're going to turn those pins into magnets.

 

The good news is the pin is hollow, so you don't need to worry about drilling off center. Get a small pin drill bit like you'd use for drilling bolters and go right through the middle like so:

 

P15gp63.jpg

 

Once that guide hole is drilled, I drilled with successively larger drill bits until I could stick a whole stack of magnets through the middle. A clamp is very helpful here to ensure the gear doesn't wiggle around while you're trying to drill straight.

 

D5dJFCj.jpg

 

Once you've got a lovely hole through the middle, it's as simple as putting in the magnets.  Match polarities to the appropriate sides of the guns, and there you go. If the magnets don't fit perfectly flush in the well of the gun where the pin was supposed to go, grab your pin drill and use the same bit you used to put magnets in the gear. Drill carefully and slowly, checking every few seconds when plastic shards come out. It'll only take a little bit of material being removed to make it fit flush.

 

5dCQrE6.jpg

 

The assembly of disembodied arms at the bottom are my master or key set of magnets. They're a paired set that I can use to keep track of polarities on projects like this. For example, if I put the sword arm up to the gear and it attaches to the left side, I know that I can stack magnets on the sword arm and stick them on the inside of the right side of the gun. I glue the bottom of the stack, and then slide the arm away along the model to break the magnet seal, and the side that's left facing up is the side that was attracted to the sword arm, or the opposite of the left side. The arms provide a convenient, non-magnetic surface the push against the magnet as I pull away and keep it in place in the socket.

 

Here's the incendium cannon, and the constructed assemblies:

 

a4K1jg5.jpg

 

 

ud9nUBZ.jpg

 

 

I've got plenty of work to do cutting mold lines and sanding appropriately before I even prime, but it's nice to know that when I get around to finishing this bad boy he'll go together in whichever configuration I need!


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#11
Darkjediben

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After a full day of sealing in resin with matte varnish, I'm pleased to present to you all my full Vanguard Space Marines starter set box!

 

NoiyydE.jpg

 

Here's a close-up of the Suppressor Sarge, I believe all my other unhelmeted characters and individual units have been pictured up-thread.

 

nQvv1Of.jpg

 

Really pleased to have a finished box before moving on to further options. Next up: the blood ravens vanguard gets some mainline battle reinforcements from the Dark Imperium starter!


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#12
Lucerne

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What was your cloak recipe?


"The Alpha Legion has- in spirit if not in body- remained much the same since its creation."

 

https://i.imgur.com/YxV2bFv.png <-This is what the Warhammer 40k setting is about.


#13
Darkjediben

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@Lucerne, my cloak recipe was a base of Mechanicus standard grey. I then added some white paint to the grey and painted polygons with that color. Then more polygons using black, since it's always easier to cover a lighter color with a dark one. Once that's all dry, a thick wash of badab black/nuln oil, whatever black wash you've got. That's it! Quick, dirty, simple, looks great. I also made sure to do a little edge highlighting on all the black leather bags and pouches with that same mechanicus grey to help tie it all together.


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#14
Bjorn Firewalker

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Good job on the Primaris Blood Ravens.
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Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#15
Darkjediben

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Today was the last day this week without snow or rain in the forecast. That kind of humidity wrecks spray primer, even when I spray inside near the window up here. I spent a lot of time during lectures and lessons on Zoom cutting, de-flashing with a knife and sandpaper, and assembling every model in the Dark Imperium starter set. Here's a single teaser image of the grey legion detachment sitting on my desk. Really looking forward to painting and basing these guys and transforming them into Blood Ravens over the next few weeks!

 

pTMSPpV.jpg



#16
Debauchery101

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Today was the last day this week without snow or rain in the forecast. That kind of humidity wrecks spray primer, even when I spray inside near the window up here. I spent a lot of time during lectures and lessons on Zoom cutting, de-flashing with a knife and sandpaper, and assembling every model in the Dark Imperium starter set. Here's a single teaser image of the grey legion detachment sitting on my desk. Really looking forward to painting and basing these guys and transforming them into Blood Ravens over the next few weeks!

pTMSPpV.jpg

I feel you on the weather issues for priming...Its 40-50f° about 75% of the year with some humidity where I live. I have to move everything inside after priming because if I don't the primer takes forever to dry and has a lot of bonding issues.

I ended up buying a cheap master g22 setup with pump for $90 on amazon maybe another $30 for Vallejo flow improver, 2 large bottles of vallejo primer and airbrush cleaner.

Its helped my dramatically for time saved. I can usually bust out 10 -15 models with a zenithal highlight in under 30 mintues and they're ready for paint

Edited by Debauchery101, 10 April 2020 - 05:15 AM.

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The Pleasure God's Chosen

Emperor's Children (RIP) 2500 pts
Death Guard 3500 pts
Iron Warriors 3000 pts
Enslaved Traitor Guardsmen 1500 pts
Daemons 4000 pts
Salamanders 3000 pts
Necrons 2000 pts

#17
Darkjediben

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Today was the last day this week without snow or rain in the forecast. That kind of humidity wrecks spray primer, even when I spray inside near the window up here. I spent a lot of time during lectures and lessons on Zoom cutting, de-flashing with a knife and sandpaper, and assembling every model in the Dark Imperium starter set. Here's a single teaser image of the grey legion detachment sitting on my desk. Really looking forward to painting and basing these guys and transforming them into Blood Ravens over the next few weeks!

pTMSPpV.jpg

I feel you on the weather issues for priming...Its 40-50f° about 75% of the year with some humidity where I live. I have to move everything inside after priming because if I don't the primer takes forever to dry and has a lot of bonding issues.

I ended up buying a cheap master g22 setup with pump for $90 on amazon maybe another $30 for Vallejo flow improver, 2 large bottles of vallejo primer and airbrush cleaner.

Its helped my dramatically for time saved. I can usually bust out 10 -15 models with a zenithal highlight in under 30 mintues and they're ready for paint

 

 

Thanks for the airbrushing tips! 

 

I currently live in a 2 BR apartment with my wife and our 1 year old while I'm in grad school. That means space, cash, and ventilation are all at a premium. I plan on investing in an airbrush set-up some time around summer/fall 2021 when I'm done with school and back making money again. Until then, I'll stick with priming straight from the can out the window on good days and painting by hand, but I'll definitely come back to your comment around then!



#18
Darkjediben

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I decided to start the Dark Imperium boys from the top down. I based and started blocking out flesh tearers red and zhandri dust on the 2 lieutenants, captain, and company ancient.

 

While those dried, I figured it'd be fun to start in on the company banner. I searched online to see how other people were handling it, it seemed that most folks were painting red banners. IMO I didn't think this let the banner pop enough compared to the sea of scarlet armor. That's when I remembered the banner prominently featured in Dawn of War 1's intro cinematic! I pulled up that (still totally badass) video on youtube, took a bunch of freeze frames of the banner the sergeant dies to raise up at the end for color reference and got to work. 

 

I also had to decide on a company number since my plan for the banner includes numerals. I settled on the 7th Company. Captain Atanaxis of the 7th company Blood Ravens led the first flotilla to re-establish contact with the Imperium after the Great Rift stranded the fleet-borne chapter in a galaxy of terror and chaos. The custodes gave Atanaxis their primaris tech, and that's where primaris blood ravens started. Since I'm sticking with primaris models to start that seems like a great company to roll with!

 

So here's a pic of the banner from DoW1 for reference:

 

vRspFJN.png

 

And here's a pic of my painted banner from the Dark Imperium set:

 

MaiuTKt.jpg

 

I think I was able to capture the color scheme from my first exposure to the Blood Ravens. I still need to paint the end caps, but I'll wait til I mount the banner on the Ancient's upraised arm to finish it off.


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#19
Bjorn Firewalker

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Fine work on the standard.
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Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#20
Darkjediben

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You guys. I have got to stop staying up til 3, 4 in the morning to finish off a model I'm SO CLOSE to finishing that I wind up spending another hour and then another hour on.

 

Long story short, here's my Primaris Ancient holding the company banner.

 

hV3ghgJ.jpg

 

Very pleased with how this guy came out. He looks really excellent placed in the middle of my infiltrator squad, the bone colored banner really pops over a sea of red armor.

 

Thanks for following along with me, I'm planning on taking a couple days break from posting to get caught up on schoolwork. Looking forward to updating you all soon!


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#21
Sandalphon

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Great work! That shade of crusty blood red is spot on and the contrast with the bases really works well.
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outgunned, outnumbered - but never outclassed.

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#22
KaosRaptor

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Awesome work on the Ancient, the banner looks fantastic!


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#23
Xenith

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These look great, keep going!


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gallery_58096_14832_1433.gifgallery_58096_14832_1808.gifgallery_58096_11725_17801.pnggallery_58096_11725_17950.pnggallery_29004_9303_844.pngfriday-award.pngXX 

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#24
Bjorn Firewalker

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Excellent work on the Ancient.
Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#25
Darkjediben

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Last night I finished my Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor. I wanted to echo the blinged out captains of the Dawn of War games, but I also didn't necessarily want to go with the blinding wall of gold that old Davian Thule turned into once you unlocked everything over Kronus. 

 

I went with a bone colored cape for the same reason that I made the bone colored backing on the banner...it really makes him stand out. I don't think this model is anywhere near as individually impressive as the Ancient, but placed against the backdrop of the Vanguard you can see that the gold accent really makes it clear that this is an important character model.

 

CBAyBo0.jpg

 

Next up: 2 more Lieutenants! You can never have too many lieutenants. Also my pot of Khorne Red should be delivered soon so I can get to work on the Warsuit!


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