Thursday, 12 August 2021

The Triumph of Saint Katherine

 


I have been slowly building an Adepta Sororitas army since the middle of 2020, and finally had the joy of painting the centerpiece model, the Triumph of Saint Katherine, over a number of weeks in July. A funerary procession, with each of the models representing the six major orders of the sororitas, as well as the skeletal remains and preserved heart of Saint Katherine, the patron saint of the Order of Our Matured Lady. I am painting this model for my Order of the Bloody Rose faction, hence the blood red armour and dark cloaks, though the model isn't faction locked so I can use is as part of my detachment. 


The model is a beast to paint, with so many sub-assemblies it felt like painting a whole squad or two at once. I had hoped the black robes (which were simple to paint) would not overwhelm the colour palette, and it was only once the final model was completed (the sister at the front with sword and shield) that I was finally happy with the whole procession and how it visually matches the rest of my army. 


The most rewarding, and truthfully also most tedious, part of the model was painting the cherubs. Each wing was painted using the basecoat/wash/highlight method rather than any dry-rushing, and this meant many many thin layers of light grey and edge highlights of white to get the look I was hoping for. The same palette is used on the base, so as to frame the model, and I have used this effect across the whole army with the white/gray hair and stone bases, and it has translated well to this larger piece. I also attempted to copy the scrollwork form the box art and was very pleased with how it looks on the model, not too distracting but also rewarding a second look from a casual observer. 





I am now just over the halfway point of my army painting goal, and with this model taking a little bit of a hit rules-wise in the new codex I am very happy that I had a chance to paint it before moving on to other parts of the army or buying any of the newer releases. It was a real joy to paint, and having taken around one hour per night for three weeks, I am very happy with the final result given it could have taken months trying to perfect every little detail that would surely be lost to anyone who hasn't actually attempted to paint this themselves. I used to take three months for a diorama competition entry, and very happy to have taken less than a third of that for this gaming piece. Do let me know your thoughts in the comments!


Wednesday, 26 August 2020

How to build "heavensteeth" Grot Guard

Presenting here a collection of reference photos, in no particular order, which may in future be developed into a full blog post. I hope this helps explain some of the steps involved in creating my custom Cadian "Grot Guard" unit, made from Blood Bowl goblins (Scarcrag Snivellers), various goblin heads as well as a lot of cadian bits and pieces. The Cadian Heavy Weapons Team sprue in particular comes with a few spare helmets but otherwise these were carefully ground out with a rotary tool. The Blood Bowl team only has two open palm hands per box, requiring the copying with green stuff. Pinning was used quite extensively to keep all the pieces together and the models will hopefully survive many many fuure games and edition changes. Good luck with your own projects!!






















Tuesday, 30 April 2019

"Grot Guard" at the 2019 WetCoastGT

Over the Easter long weekend I attended the Wet Coast GT in Vancouver, Canada, bringing 2000 points of fully converted and painted Astra Militarum "grots" and taking away the Favourite Army award as voted by other competitors. I also had my first win in the ITC format (after only one practice game and less than a dozen 8th Edition games) using a rather un-optimized list, built using a variety of leftover tanks and purposely purchased models kits to create the first army I am truly happy to own both in conversions, paint quality and colour scheme.

I hope to edit this and future posts with more details of the army and models but as I have spent over a year's worth of any available spare time just getting the army completed I'll leave you with a few of my favourite photos from the event. I don't think I will ever be attempting such a large and ambitious project any time soon! Thank you for all the words of encouragement from everyone online and at the event.








Monday, 27 August 2018

Grot Guard Leman Russ Battle Tanks




I've had a lot of fun painting these three tanks for my Grot Guard army, and with the trio completed I am now sitting at 1000 points and ready for the next stage of the project. I saved them for "last" as a reward for painting most of the infantry and characters, while at the same time gathering all the necessary bits and pieces from across the many boxes locked away in storage. One of these tanks I have owned since 2001 (and marks a third and final repaint) while a second I bought in 2009, and the final one was given to me by a former boss who was tidying up his shed! They are all the "old" design, and while I had enough cannons, ne turret and most of the original weapons went missing along the way. I managed to break up the most complete tank and use the sponson guns to make them "official" Astra Militarum vehicles in dimensions and weaponry despite their converted appearance.


Above you can see the difference in colours used, with my Orks receiving the garish Temple Guard blue, while the Grot Guard are pained using Lothern blue. I have also been "speed painting" the Grot Guard with each tank tanking approximately five hours, whereas the Battlewagon above took more than double that over a few weeks. On the tabletop the blue and difference in details doesn't seem to matter and it's been really rewarding painting an army so quickly and yet in a style I know I will enjoy for many years to come. The same can't be said for other quick paint jobs in the past.


The models were always intended to be used as Astra Militarum first, Ork looted vehicles second, so there is a lot of confusion whenever I post them online. I hope that once the army is all done the intent will become apparent! These have been painted using the classic base-coat, wash, highlight method that is so common to Games Workshop models (because it looks so good!) though I take great pains to block in the blue areas and leave the shaded sections in-between. I would say roughly half the paint time is just laying down the blue basecoat, but was made easier by breaking it into sections. One side of a tank could be blocked in in about an hour one evening, for example. The weathering itself was quite quick, just black chips with a quick edge highlight and brown rust streaks. I covered any boring bits with some blood splatter and then a dust of pigment powder.



Here you can see the extent of my bits box raiding, and while the hull was stripped of paint (mostly) the extra bits and pieces were just painted over after a light dusting of undercoat. A few rivets here and there were made from plasticard, and the battlewagon turret cut down to match the Leman Russ size to prevent any grumbling if I were to be accused of modelling for advantage. While it was tempting to go all out converting an Ork vehicle I wanted these to be useable in the future for any Astra Militarum armies based on my Grots.

Thank you for taking the time to drop by! I look forward to sharing my next few conversions soon.

Friday, 20 July 2018

"Grot Guard" (the first 500 points)


I have been woefully behind in posting my progress pictures for my latest project, a small force of  Astra Militarum "counts as" goblins, but I am here to report the project is well under way at almost one third completed after less than four months since the first test model. With the bulk of the miniatures being basic super fast to paint grots (representing conscripts) it was easy to spend a little more time on the conversions while speed painting the rest of the force.


The "big idea" for this army arose when the new goblin Blood Bowl team was released in 2017, as I thought them a perfect candidate for converting into Cadian soldiers using parts from my bits box. Combined with the Looted Wagons which had not seen any love in five years or more, it seemed the perfect way to create a unique army quickly and inexpensively given I already had an Ork colour scheme I knew and loved already.


I took the rather garish Temple Guard Blue from my Orks and replaced it with Lothern blue, a reasonable match should I use units across the two armies (Heavy Weapon Teams as kannons and so on...) but quite de-saturated which I felt suited the more military nature of the Astra Militarum models. Of course, most of these tanks had been previously looted and parts were missing, but I am doing my best to keep them subtly converted with the long term view of playing them using the loyalist codex and minimal "counts as" explanations necessary.


The real standout models so far have been my Lord Commissar (see this post for more photos) and my first conversion of a Tempestus Scion using some Arkanaut Company models from the Age of Sigmar range. I like the model so much I am saving any further conversions as a reward for rebuilding and painting three Leman Russ tanks from my bits box (which in itself is a reward for getting to the 500 point mark as once they are completed I will be at 1000 points and a second HQ choice from a playable army). I like to tell myself it has been a great use of the delayed gratification tactic to get this far, but honestly all the units have been fun to build and paint!


The whole force is still crammed into my bookshelf away from tiny hands while I renovate an old carry case, and I almost want to set up a display case, but the real reward will be getting them out for a game and hopefully tripling the amount of points by the time Armies on Parade rolls around in another three months.


The real joy of this whole project has been finally painting up some of these goofy models, emptying my bits box of some of the larger unloved pieces, all while putting some of my wacky conversion ideas and new models on the tabletop! This is definitely an army I will be gaming with and adding to for many many years...