I have magnetized each of these 10 models to allow them to have versatility in weapons choices, and I will have a small step-by-step sometime in the future to show how this was done (easy!), but for this post, I will focus on the painting steps for this unit.
Can't say enough how pleased I am with these Forge World models. I've had some in the past that are difficult to paint or have really rough surfaces, but these pre-heresy marines are fun to paint and come together nicely in the end. Some of these pics are probably duplicates from previous project updates, so I apologize in advance. Either way, please feel free to offer comments or feedback or to send me a message asking questions. Big shout out to Maybug Games for providing inspiration and some color choices for these models, although I did veer slightly from his scheme.
In order to do this properly, some planning and prep work was required. In order to avoid a huge headache with the airbrush, it was necessary to paint these models in sub-assemblies. I mounted the heads, shoulder pads, backpacks, and weapons separately.
As you can see from the pictures, I used cork (as I normally do) to mount the bodies and heads for spraying, but had to get a little creative with the other pieces. In order to achieve the correct lighting on the shoulder pads, I placed them on the model to see their angle and then stuck them to a strip of masking tape at the same angle (I numbered each marine from 1-10 corresponding from top to bottom on the tape). This will ensure the highlights point up to the sky rather than just sitting at the top of each shoulder pad.
I then mounted the backpacks and weapons to the tips of popsicle sticks using a small amount of blue tac. This made sure I wouldn't have too much area on each of these pieces uncovered by paint, but also that I would have full control and ease of movement so that I could pick out highlights and other details.
I primed the bodies and heads of the models white, since their primary color would be white and the backpacks, bolters, and shoulder pads were primed black since they were going to be blue (I may change this in the future since the blue didn't really turn out as bright as I had hoped). After priming those pieces black I put some zenithal highlights on them with white primer so that the first layer of paint would have a natural highlight. The masking tape strip makes this incredibly easy for the shoulder pads, because arranging them based on their final position on the model meant that I could just hold the tape and use the airbrush to hit the top of the shoulder pads with a dab of white.
Using the airbrush, I used two "recipes" for the white and blue parts. For the white, I started by shading down, first using a 1:1 mix of Vallejo Air White and Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Flat Earth. I sprayed this mix on the models in the shadows underneath the models and also in areas near joints and around trim. Then, as a deep shadow, pure VMC flat earth was sprayed into the deepest areas. When you put this on the model, it doesn't look too impressive, but you have to be patient - it will all come together in the end.
For the blue, I used Vallejo Air Intermediate Blue first as a basecoat. Then, I put a spot of white on the areas where the highlight would be and went over with a light coat of Vallejo Air Insignia blue. In hindsight, an additional highlight was probably needed, maybe even with pure white, but I will try this again in the future - I was happy with the outcome.
At this point, it was time for a bit of weathering, so very simply I used Dryad Bark and randomly applied this with a piece of blister foam before assembling the models for the last few steps.
For Brass parts, Sycorax Bronze was used to base coat these areas, which were mostly around the trim of the armored parts, including the shoulder pads, arm/leg, and knee pads.
Final shading was done using an oil wash. Raw umber oil paint was mixed with mineral spirits in a small cup and then applied very carefully to recesses and cracks in the armor, allowing coverage by capillary action. It was necessary at times to remix the oil wash so that it flowed better, as it tends to settle at times. Unlike most washes, I did not touch some of the large flat surfaces and instead decided to stay in the deepest recesses and around rivets, etc. This allowed the armor to look stained and more realistically weathered.
The final bits included painting details on the backpack and bolters silver and doing normal washes with nuln oil.
For the bases, I used Secret Weapon Miniatures mud base kit and the tutorial for the kit found here. It was easy enough, but I'm going to try to find a video, because it seemed like a little more water was needed than I had interpreted from the tutorial. I feel like the color of these bases work well with the color scheme, tying in with the dusty white and the blue.
And the completed models....
Again, happy with the turnout, but it was not without lessons learned. Fortunately, I have plenty of models left to paint in the force (and unfortuantely many more to purchase). Next up, I've spent some time tonight priming the first squad's ride, a deimos pattern rhino. This will provide a nice challenge and learning opportunity to see how I will need to paint my tanks, which will be markedly different from the infantry.
Additionally, I have the next tactical squad and Rhino taking a bath.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully, I'll have more updates soon - I plan on having another painting marathon during the upcoming weekend, which made the updates this week possible. Until then, Happy Painting!