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