Thursday 26 February 2015

1st Captain assembled at last

They say Lord Dante of the Blood Angels is the oldest surviving Astartes.  That is not surprising because not only is an Astartes practically immortal, he's a vampire.  Please see another post of mine where I waffled on a bit about that--
But anyway.  That is true, Dante is the oldest alive-- but there was once one who lived longer than he.

Lord Klatos, 1st Captain of the Sagodjur Fjorlag and the only Terran Astartes in the entire Chapter.  Back in the 31st millennium Klatos swore a blood oath to his primarch Rogal Dorn that while he lived, he would never let the foundling warband fall.
Six millennia passed...

Once again, a most extensive conversion, using the legion praetor, terminator chaplain and a host of other parts including a few from WH fantasy.  And I'm very pleased how the combi-melta turned out.  The crux termanitus, I changed slightly so it was more in the style of John Blanche.

Each accessory reflects the captain's long history.  For instance, the half-cape is from when Klatos fought in power armour long ago in the VII legion; the Necron head is a trophy from mid M.34 when a tomb awoke beneath the Chapter's fortress-monastery and almost wiped them out.
The wings on his left shoulder are an honour unique to the Chapter; the Wings of Tragedy, given to a fate Gryphon who has chosen to hew his wings from his shoulders to learn to fight in Centurion armour or tactical dreadnought plate.

Klatos' chainfist, Led into Madness is another relic from ages past, and something I really, really hope to see my Primarch wielding when Forge World releases His miniature.
Observe the Lord still bears legion iconography including a begasew shaped like the Templar's cross.

I think the conversion began in my mind when I saw the face of the Helbrute from Dark Vengeance and decided, I want to make a terminator with that face.  Of course, the Captain's pain is incredible as his body rots away beneath the ancient, decaying plate, but while he stands, the Chapter stands; his death in late M.36 marked the Chapter's decline.  Half a century after, the Sagodjur Fjorlag were wiped from existence.

Just a few things more I need to add after painting... Klatos' back-banner-- the only laurels in the Chapter-- and a small book-carrying creature to decorate the base with.

And that's that, I suppose.  1st Captain, and his story.  When I finally get around to buying some primer, I should post some progress pictures, but that'll come later.


Friday 20 February 2015

Overnight tramp up Mount Arthur


It was planned in a bit of a rush.  Thursday evening, I looked out at the Mt Arthur range and thought, "I need to be up there somewhere in the next few days".  There was no reason behind the thought.  I just wanted to return to Mt Arthur.  Last time I had been there was about half a decade ago; I was quite unfit, very foolhardy and didn't appreciate it as much as I would now.
I rang my old friend Colin and asked if he would be available over the next week-- he wasn't, but said that Friday and Saturday would work quite fine, which was a pleasant surprise.

So we took off Friday avo, and got tothe Flora carpark about 5:15.  This signpost was about ten minutes along, beside a fork in the four-wheel-drive track; I think you can read it okay... We weren't going anywhere there, so why did I even post this picture...
No, it was two hours to Mt. Arthur hut, where we proposed to stay overnight.  Being Friday, we were sure there would be a crowd of trampers and other people clamouring for space there.

This is the best of three terrible shots I took of my first morpork.  He was not a wild fellow and let us approach, but my camera let me down.
All the way up to the hut was beech forest/native bush.

We got to the hut and found, with no little surprise it was empty.  I remained so the whole night-- I know this because I couldn't go to sleep and spent the entire night playing Majora's Mask.
Funny thing, when I checked my 3DS after I got home, it had recorded over 20,000 steps and I had earnt 40 play coins.

This was really the only proper reason I could think of about being there.  This is the best of about two dozen I took.

...and a not so good one.

Sunrise!  They're never as colourful as sunsets, but they generally have much cloud, which is also nice.
On Saturday we started walking about 9:15.  It was three and a bit hours to the top.  Observe my accurate times.

Gorden's Pyramid, where we thought about going but did not in the end.

For most of the year, these sinkholes are full of snow.  In the middle of February, there was none.

An example of the landscape.  I like this barren, treeless, Twilight Princess-type terrain.

Oh yes, I found a pill-bug.  At sea level we have slaters, but this is an actual pill-bug.

The summit was not much to look at, but here it is anyway.  Over the years, people have been adding to a crescent-shaped formation for some shelter against the wind which only ever blows east.

From here I got a good shot of our route, or at least, most of it.  We followed the top of that green ridge and then you should be able to see a path across the scree.

I forgot to get photos of us at the summit, so here's the second best thing; me 300 metres from the top.

I'm not sure what this is... It may have to do with this survey mark we saw at the top.

All up, we spent 22 hours either on the mountain or driving.  It was a long two days, but it was fantastic.  I'll be returning there some day.


Thursday 19 February 2015

Assembling 3rd Captain-- and still WiP

I'll be away for a few days on the peak of Mount Arthur, so I will post now.  I'm quite near the end of completing my 3rd assault Captain, and am very excited about him, so sorry if I begin to ramble.

Lord Baldr, rites-lord and captain of the Blodfjord; the Bloodied-wings.  Armed with storm bolter and lightning claw-- and yes, those are wings.  Brettonian pegasus wings.  But I like to think my excuse is at least a little plausible; however, I'll only explain if enough interest is generated.  He has a pair of Scourge's feet and a Solarite's head.

The backpack is from a Chosen one from Dark Vengeance, cleaned up a bit so it is a little less chaotic, with an entirely re-purposed Chaos icon as an Iron Halo.  Observe a version of the Chapter icon in the middle; normally, the device is in a halo, but I'm not at that skill level yet to sculpt such a thing.  I also wanted to wrap the chainsword in razor/barbed wire, but I can't find any decent suppliers.

Aaaand picture's blurry.  The shoulder-guard is from the vangard veteran kit with a terminator honour on top.  The Chapter has only ten suits of Terminator armour not counting the 1st Captain's, and if an Astartes wants to learn to fight in one he has to amputate his wings; so the terminator honours must mean something else.

The bolter is a design I like to think I invented; that of putting a trigger hand underneath a Grey knight's storm bolter.  If you'll look closely, you'll see I shaved the skull knuckles from the other lightning claw and used them to decorate Baldr's pouches.

His face reminds me of a Zora, which is good, I was going for elegance.
The collar, I wanted to look like two bird heads, but the one on his right looked more like a bird's skull; so that was okay, I helped it along a bit and there we are.  The micro-chain is from this place in town called the Bead Gallery.  They were having a closing down sale last I saw.

Not sure if you can see what's going on here... I shaved some purity seals from the terminator chaplain miniature and used those.  The knife is a Blood Angel's one, covered in skulls shaved from different places, I think maybe the side of a weapon of some sort.

And that's it for now.  My third Captain.  Next post I think will be about my trip up Mt Arthur.


Friday 13 February 2015

Assembling elites

I've backed off assembling/painting troops now; right now I'm working on a few elites. 
Right now, I've finished assembling a captais, a colour sergeant and an apothecary.  When I say "finished" I mean I have been adding little bits to them for several weeks.  I'm great at starting projects and never finishing them, and I have to push myself to actually get something done.  I think it might be a fear of messing up, something I still struggle with.

Lord Thunraz, 7th captain of the Sagodjur Fjorlag; the Gallows-lord.  This is the third and so far best incarnation of the miniature yet.

As you might have guessed, I like adding as much to my characters as possible.
His left shoulder guard was taken from the Furioso Dreadnought kit.  Note the cable noose that marks him as Gallows-lord and captain of his Master's executioners.  Thollr, the company's name is taken from the world-tree of Norse mythology, and the word is also used for "gallows".

The weapon is not a sniper rifle, it is a combi-grav with an extended barrel.  I'm going through a long barrels phase after watching Hellsing.

 The colour sergeant was great fun, even if the pose was a challenge.  Using vanguard veteran legs, I had him stand on top of a plaguebearer's head instead of running.  Observe the liquid greenstuff on his arm.  I wondered what would happen if you decapitated a plaguebearer with a power sword; not very pretty...
I tried to make it look like it was bursting into ethereal flame.

If you'll look carefully, you will see that his left arm is actually 1st edition, making him that extra bit special.  Any piece of kit from that time is a revered relic in my eyes.

And this is my apothecary.  Please don't tell me off for giving him a thunder hammer; the codex does say you can give any veteran one...

Inspiration for the bolt pistol was again from Hellsing, in particular The Captain's Mauser C96, of which I am a great fan.  Just the pistol, not the guy.

Just so you know, this is the rest of 7th command.
And that's that.  I've almost finished my assault captain, and I'm looking forward to introducing him.


Tuesday 3 February 2015

What two years of painting can do for you

When I was younger, I got my first taste of the 41st millennium at my local hobby shop when I read a copy of the old Daemon Hunters codex.  Remember that one?  I can't find a copy of the picture to post here, but you should hopefully know.  The horror and disgust that filled my mind enthralled me, and I was irrecoverably hooked.
About decade later, I bought my first Space Marines from a friend; I assembled them and left them be, too scared to paint them in case I messed up.  I decided on a Chapter name, heraldry and everything and after six or eight months finally decided to buy some paint.

Two years have passed since then.  I still have my first squad I painted, and as much as I want to strip them and thus absolve myself, I need to keep them to remind me just how far I've come.  I've compiled a few photographs of my Astartes from then to now.  Sometimes I felt so useless with the brush I wanted to just throw in the trowel and give up painting, but I remembered that old codex, remembered why I started the hobby and took heart, picked my brush back up and carried on.

Oh, that sounded lame.  Never mind.  Picture time.

My first squad-- all I knew in the way of detail was battle damage and dust, and was not very good at that.  No washes, no drybrushing, nothing.  Look at the backpack.  I didn't even trim the mold lines.

Second squad-- I sort of had an idea where I was going.  I had already proposed to hand-paint the icons onto the shoulder guards, but I was still very poor.  Watering down dryad bark was something I thought of, but was too scared to try it.
I found out about writing script on with pencil; also, what started as an accident became my signature of sorts-- the white stipple.

Third squad-- my Chapter was only going to ever have two devastator squads, so I wanted to do my very best.  Dryad Bark left the yellow a nice, dull ochre, so I was very happy; I also found using  watered down Bestial brown left a nice, rusty finish, along with a bit of Fire Dragon Bright drybrushed over.

Fourth squad-- by this time, my confidence had grown along with my repertoire of techniques.  I started using a pitt pen more often, including make-up around the Astartes' eyes.  I also found that colouring the basing sand orange and drybrushing it with Zandri dust as opposed to dabbing the paint on all thick, it made a much nicer base overall.

Fifth squad-- throwing any and all caution to the winds, I tried splotching watered down Caliban green and Abbadon Black over the brown before the rust wash.  The result was a very bitter, dark colour that I felt befitted the 41st millennium quite well.

Sixth squad-- but I didn't stop developing my skill.  After acquiring some technical paints, I went to town with oxodising brass, sticky, caked-on blood and decades worth of grime.  I also found dropping a little watered down Nurgling green into the eye worked better than trying to highlight it with a brush.

This is my most recent Astartes.  I always strive to paint at least a little like the John Blanche, and I think I might be getting there.

So you see what two years of painting can do for you.  Just keep practicing, don't hold back with new ideas/techniques, and above all things, let the Emperor guide your hand as you paint.