The first month of the Vale of Legions painting challenge has come to and end, and I am delighted to say that I have managed to keep my pledge and get a tactical squad of 10 marines finished (well, nearly finished). It was pretty close though, as I only just squeaked in under the wire with a few hours to go, however there are no prizes for being an early bird and so being just in the nick of time will do nicely 😀
I had decided in my infinite
stupidity wisdom to try and push my painting skills a bit further with this challenge, mainly as the 30k models are so nice that they deserve a bit more attention, but also because I wanted to see whether I was capable of pushing the boat out a bit further without sinking. Well, I wouldn’t say I sunk, but maybe required a bit more bailing out than I had envisaged.
First up was the decision on colour scheme. I wanted the bluey-metallic look that I had achieved with the test models, and so set about giving the leadbelcher sprayed models a couple of coats of Guilliman Glaze. This had mixed results – on some models it was nice and smooth, but on others it pooled a bit like a wash would and left the surface looking sloppy and uneven. I’m not really sure how I would rectify this with the next batch, other than to be more careful with my brush strokes.
Next up was the accent colours. I had gone for Lothern Blue eye lenses, buttons and sword grips, and Loren Forest (green) grenades, with satchels and guns in black. This led to a very subdued colour scheme which I was a bit worried about at first as it didn’t really pop, until I decided that the last thing the alpha legion want to do it ‘pop’ visually 🙂
I then decided to try two stage highlights for the first time. First up was the silver on the armour. Urggh, is there anything more punishing than silver highlights? I did leadbelcher followed by Runefang and it almost ended me. I may have overdone though it as it seemed to rob the models of a lot of their blueness. I also did two stage highlights on all the black bits, which turned out better.
After that it was just a case of adding the models to the pre-done bases, before trying something else new – tufts. On a whim I had ordered a set of Heather grass tufts and decided to employ them on the bases, in the hope that the purple would help to make the models stand out a it more, but at the same time compliment the blue/green colours. I think they work really well, these are probably the bit I am most happy with.
Extremely happy overall, these are technically much better than anything else I have done to date and am looking forward to cracking on with the next part of the pledge. I still have the heraldry to do, but I ran out of time and as I am still planning to do them free hand I also require a bit more time to build up the nerve to do them 😀
However they are not perfect – I overdid the silver highlights in parts (pauldrons!) and I may have made a rod for my own back with the glazing to get the blue effect. I can also improve on the basing hopefully and make better use of the purple heather effect.
But, the most important thing of course is that I managed to make the pledge, as well as get another big fat stamp of approval for the hobby list. Job done, on to month two!