+ inload: Endworlds +

+ Whatever happened to Barbari Kills? +

The cover was up. For whatever reason, humans did not adapt well to the empty night skies of the galaxy's rim. Haim felt it. They all had; though in different ways. She had tried to explain it to Brunski, a few weeks back, as the ship glided silently through the black, empty void. 

"Like... being watched; but not enough? Do you–" She had paused; started again. "It's just as though there's nothing holding me down; no anchor. Nothing secure. It's all too..." she had waved her hands in slow, loose, frustrated circles. 

Brunski had just grunted, got up and left.


Lowering her weatherhood, she cast a glance over her shoulder. A nod to Brunski saw him holster his rifle. He and Castaway turned and went back out; hoods up, eyes down. 

The sign read, in the peculiar glyphs of the backwater, 'Teleroftaels'. It wasn't hard to see the derivation – particularly not for an ideodact like Haim. Teller of tales. A village bard, then, she supposed; some sort of archivist, she dared to hope. A job as old as humanity. 

From the rear of the spare, stone building, came a voice. "Come; come." The voice was surprisingly deep, and rich; though it was cut through with a scratch. Haim was reminded, for a brief, absurd moment, of her father's audiorepeater. "The arrangement details are all in order; you are well come here." 

The woman's smile was warm; her skin folded and tanned like soft leather. Her head was shaved completely bald, save for two tufts at the other edges of her eyes, where the remnants of her eyebrows had been extended into short, beaded braids. A bold stripe, darker brown than the rest of her skin, ran over the crest of her head. Paint? Make-up? Some sort of tattoo? 

If she noticed Haim's vacant look, the teleroftael's face showed no sign. Her smile remained soft, unwavering. 


Haim blinked, and embarrassedly demurred the offer; waving away the proffered cup. The water here required adaptation. Inquisitrix Barbari Kills hadn't intended to stay longer than was necessary; and so nor did her team. 

"No, no; thank you. Do you mind if–?" Haim gestured at her own flask, securely gathered on her webbing. The teleroftaels nodded permission. You'll have my gratitude for information, rather than refreshment, mam. Even so; thank-you." At the other woman's gesture, Haim looked for a place to sit. There was a brief, awkward pause before the teleroftaels smiled apologetically, and lifted aside a pile of soiled textiles from what turned out to be a low bench.

Stepping back, the teleroftaels squinted gnomically, assessing Haim. The moment stretched. Just before Haim spoke, the teleroftaels announced, "You'll be want the history." 

Haim nodded. Odd phrasing, but for such an isolated region, it was reassuring to find anyone that spoke anything resembling Gothic. Most of the populations Corewards of Saxa Tarpeia had been utterly incomprehensible to Kills and her team. 

"Thank you, yes. Solid form if you have it. I tell you," she continued. "It's been a hell of a time getting any cartography or records of this entire region." The teleroftael's smile broadened, perhaps in pride. Haim carried on. "It's such a relief to find an historical repository. Even if it's just the local... " She stopped herself as she watched the teleroftaels shuffle backwards towards the back of the room; clearly uncomfortable with  turning her back on her guest. "Sorry; I'm gabbling. It's been a long search. I'm just excited. Should I ask my colleague to help carry them?"

The teleroftael's smile slipped for a moment; wrong-footed. Haim wondered if she had strayed over some cultural boundary. 

"Not think that'll be needed."

Unsure, Haim made a small half-hearted nod; and the teleroftaels disappeared behind a curtain. 


"Rimworlds, you Imperials call 'em. Most here just call it Edgeside. Out beyond the galaxy's rim. It's an... odd place. Liminal; know what I mean? Out beyond it's the big black. Just nothing. Sounds simple when I say that, but it's..." she paused. "Heh. Comes to something when even my words fall into the black."

"Like I say, it's odd. The big black. It's the end of it all, see? Sure, there's other galaxies out there, but they're just like us. Little island universes gradually wearing away. And make no mistake –" she waved a finger in the Rogue Trader's face, "It sure is wearing away." She paused, looking out of the colossal window once more. "Look far enough, and you can see it happening. Slowly, sure, and dust – just dust. Trickling away from the galaxy's edge into the true void. But nothing comes back in."

Her faraway gaze suddenly switched; as though a lever had gone off in the back of her mind. Fear. That was all Taiwo saw in her eyes.

"Nothing you want to meet, anyway."


+ inload: Flotsam and Jetsam +

+ On the Rubricist's desk +

'Oi, Roboute, stop hogging the blog!' – [Attr. Volnoscere. Likely apocryphal]

+ Coo, doesn't the dust gather quickly? I'd blame Easter for preventing me from updating more frequently, but in truth it's been our daughter blog, + Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten + that's been receiving my updates. Over there, we've seen the War of the False Primarch begin to unfold, with new posts on:

  • The Quadrargenta – the first four Chapters to declare for the False Primarch (or not false, I guess, from their point of view);
  • The Extinction Armada – the High Lords of Terra's understandably heavy-handed response to rebellion;
  • ...and a rather lovely look into the Tom K's awesome Marines Saturnine.


+ But I've not just been writing; rather I've also been doing some bits and pieces across my hobby spectrum. For the Endworlds, my Gatebreakers' Land Raider has received a base and a hint more paint:

+ The Order of Solar Ascendant [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] have received an unexpected batch of reinforcements, courtesy of a kind birthday gift:

+ Heads are coming, don't panic. +

+ ... and over in the War of the False Primarch, I've had a great deal of fun painting up some forumware Epic miniatures:

+ These were both a lot of fun to paint, and a successful experiment in using  the Contrast range. I heartily recommend their use for Epic scale: it's absolutely ideal. +

+ Whether these marines will ever see play is uncertain at the mo; but I hope I can get some games in soon. At the very least, they'll make for a nice backdrop to suggest scale in the project. +

+ Still with the War of the False Primarch, I also painted up a Sister of Silence. The project is proving hugely flexible and fun for me – and hopefully others too. +

+ The size and scope of the war gives a great excuse to paint up some odd one-off models. Not that you ever really need an excuse, of course; but it's certainly giving me reason to churn through a bit of the backlog. +


+ inload: Captain Aethon +

+ Captain Aethon, painted +

+ I built this model nearly a year ago; the process being detailed in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. Earlier this month Bob_Hunk told me about GW's #marchformacragge 'event' on Instagram – basically an excuse to paint and show off your Ultramarines (go check out his awesome Rogue Trader-inspired Imperial Space Marine [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. I dug out my marines and – as is the way – immediately decided that I needed to update them. +

+ Let me assure you that this wasn't a full strip-down; the army's taken me more than a decade to paint, and I have no intention of restarting them – I've flirted with that idea before and, goodness, am I glad I didn't. Rather, I contented myself with rebasing them. After all, as I confidently announced back in 2014, this is a quick way of updating things! +

+ Reader, it was not a quick thing to do. I got fed up halfway through, and the army has languished, half on snow and half on rubble, ever since. This time, I was determined to get things done, and really stuck to it over the course of three evenings. Any time I got bored, I'd turn to work on Aethon, or – depending on my mood – tick in some details that, again, I'd been confidently telling myself that I 'd do when the army was finished. +

+ Of course, as no army is ever finished, my poor Ultramarines had been wandering around missing their squad markings – long since revealed in a HH 'black book'. This provided a great opportunity to fill them in. There are a few of the rebased models shown above, but I'll do a proper inload on the army as a whole at a later date. +

+ Y'know, when it's finished. +


+ Captain Steloc Aethon +

+ And talking of unfinished – or to be kinder, not yet finished – projects, my 'truescale' Betrayal at Calth set [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] ticked along just a little with the completion of the Ultramarines' leader, Aethon.

+ A fun little exercise in trying to remember how I painted my Ultramarines, it's proven the usefuleness of having a blog to record techniques, mixes and approaches. +

+ As with most of my recent Terminators, Aethon's converted from a Custodes Aquillon Terminator, giving him what I think is the correct proportions against Primaris or truescale marines. +

+ inload: Updating old models +

+ Remus Ventanus redux +

+ It's not frequently that I go back to old models to update them. There's always more to do, new ideas to explore, and there's also the not inconsequential risk of spoiling the old ones. +

+ No, usually I like to leave things as they were, as a record; or to create a completely new version, as with the second iteration of Roboute Guilliman. Apart from anything else, I like the idea that all the models we see are representations of a particular viewpoint in-universe. Everyone has a slightly different take on a character, whether that's an individual or the broader character of a force. +

+ Theoretical: changing figures +

+ Nevertheless, I do occasionally return to figures to change particular aspects. This is usually when I'm very happy with the majority of it, but a particular aspect has nagged at me. This was the case with Captain Remus Ventanus of the Ultramarines. You can read about the original diorama in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], in which I explain how I converted a scout head. +

+ The updated version uses the head of the Sergeant Jovan anniversary figure. I used the rest in my Word Bearers force [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], which provides a nice symmetry! The idea of replacing Ventanus' head has hung around for a while. I was pleased with the original [VIZREF: below]; don't get me wrong, but when I first saw the Jovan figure I thought it would be an improvement. + 

+ The original, for comparison +


+ Practical: a delicate balance +

+ Stage one was painting up the new head. I did this on-sprue to give me something to hang onto – a technique I've not used much, but have been practising with my Gatebreakers [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], as the armour on this army requires multiple layers of oils and acrylics, with varnishing in between. Since the heads don't, I thought it an unnecessary risk to keep the bare heads on, and have been painting them separately. +

+ In practical terms, I used the techniques covered in my step-by-step tutorial on painting faces here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and decided to have a bit of fun with using a couple of Ultramarine-themed colours. I started from Calth Brown, and used Macragge Blue alongside Vallejo off-white and golden yellow. A hint of Vallejo flat red finished things off. +

+ A bit of brute force and ignorance took the old head off, and I carefully trimmed down and cleaned up the join before attaching the new head. The set-up above shows how it looked. I was pleased for about five minutes, but then the traditional problem of updating models crept in. +

+ Your painting style – and ability – inevitably change over time. I'd used a loose, painterly style for my Ultramarines. This was partly an intentional decision to match the Visions of Heresy artwork that was my inspirational, and partly my limitations as an artist. Looking back on the figure, there were lots of bits that I'd do differently... and that started to nag at me. I knew I didn't want to completely repaint him. He's from a period of which I have fond memories, and in any case, repainting him would mean repainting the others (or that would nag at me more!), and so forth: 'mission creep'. +

+ In the end, I contented myself with a couple of minor tweaks. The first was a little tidying up of the cables around his chest. These had been particular loosely done [VIZREF: above], and I felt a little tightening would improve the look of things around the focal area without committing me to a full repaint, or markedly changing the style. Secondly, you'll notice the original stance, again shown above, is leaning back slightly. I removed him from the base and slightly carved down are where the front foot stands to sit the figure in a more balanced position. +


+ The revised figure +

+ Here's the finished figure, set up as for the original diorama – itself styled after Neil Roberts' artwork for the Black Library novel Mark of Calth. Details of the individual marines are below: +

+ Sergeant Selaton +

+ Captain Ventanus +

+ Brother Genericus +


+ inload: Bob Olley Techpriest +

Witness the Might of the Mechanicum +

+ Ah, the Adeptus Mechanicus. Since seeing the hugely creepy Giger-esque illustrations of same in the Rogue Trader rulebook, I've loved the denizens of Mars. Having built an entire converted army, the Braun VI skitarii  – now long sold and (presumably) bravely fighting the good fight elsewhere in the galaxy – I've picked up a few kits here and there as one-off painting or converting projects. +

+ Along with various other side-projects, like my collection of Titan crew and the Blackstone Fortress figures [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], I've realised that I've inadvertently created a rather sizeable little expeditionary force – I'll see if I can get a group shot at some future point. +

+ The most recent addition to this is this classic techpriest sculpted by the inimitable Bob Olley, who I was pleased to find out is still beavering away [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. His miniatures are some of the most distinctive and outré in the entire Citadel range, with a very distinct aesthetic. +

+ His sculpting creates pieces that reward a painterly approach, rich with recessed detail and baroque detailing. Many of them include nice clean spaces for opportunities for freehand and special effects, like the object-source lighting on the axe. I very rarely utilise effects like these on miniatures (I like my grimdark space fantasy with a heavy emphasis on grimy realism and dirt), but for this miniature, I felt it was necessary. The shrouded face is a wonderful part of the composition, suggesting deformation or other horror – but it also covers up the usual focal point. TO combat this, I painted the fabric with a yellow-toned cloth, then added blue (yellow's complementary) on the axe. The two thus form a little diad for the eye to bounce back and forth between. +


+ In contrast, this Anvil Industries scribe/techpriestess [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] is a nice, clean sculpt. The eye is drawn up the figure's scroll, across the characterful little feather quill to the head area. It's a lovely little figure that painted up well. It also demonstrates nicely how the nature of the Adeptus Mechanicus means that some quite disparate figures, from different ranges and eras, can fit together nicely. +

+ The robes on both this and the Citadel techpriest were painted very simply, using Gryph-Hound orange over a white underlayer. I emphasised the highlights with cream, over which I worked glazes of orange ink, introducing sepia ink into the recesses. +

+ inload: A constellation of Silver +

+ Look up to the Stars +


+ A quiet few days on the blogging front – though do be sure not to bypass the [+noosphericexloadlink+] to + Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten +, where I've been able to collate some of the amazing work people are conributing. Thanks in particular to those brave datascribes and inloaders who have contributed images and stories from here: they're very welcome. If you would like to contribute, pop over to the Facebook groupnode and I'll let you know how you can. There are no entry criteria beyond enthusiasm! +


While I've been editing and uploading others' material there, I've also got quite a lot of my own painting and modelling done, so thought it'd be nice to show 'em off here.

+ Silver Stars +

+ Firstly, progress has continued on this are-they-aren't-they Legion of Space Marines. As with my M42 Chapter, the Gatebreakers, I'm delighted with the scheme. That always helps with my enthusiasm – nothing more draining than plugging away on a model whose colour scheme you've grown tired of. +

+ The figure front and centre here will be the model used for the Silver Stars' upcoming Index Astartes, which will (partially) explain the meaning behind some of the badges, logos and sigils here. +

+ A very messy shot of the desk that shows a few odd bits that are work-in-progress, from techpriests and Titan Princeps to Gatebreakers and Imperial Guard; not to mention a couple of more esoteric figures. A pile of Silver Stars is on the right of the image, which is the front of the desk. I often keep a couple of odd figures nearby, just to avoid getting burnt out on batch painting. A change is as good as a rest, after all. +

+ ...and the War of the False Primarch is not constrained to one scale – I've been painting up a detachment of Epic-scale marines for use in dioramas and scenic shots, in the style of the very old Adeptus Titanicus promotions in White Dwarf. +

+ Of course, there won't be any reason that I can't use these to play games – and I'm hoping against hope that I'll be able to get some tabletop gaming in against the PCRC at some point. Miss you, lads! +

+ A Deimos Predator – plucked from the Cupboard of Shame Opportunity – has been given a big 130mm base. Bit of a gamble this, but after experimenting with the base on my Blood Angels Rhino [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], I've decided I really like tanks on bases. For whatever reason, it makes me feel that they belong a bit better. Perhaps this'll be something I make a more general part of my planning. +

'We are Legion' [citation needed]

+ As you can see, the Silver Stars are swelling to be quite a force. The scheme [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] is relatively time-consuming, though a lot of this is down to drying times. Those with keen occulobes will spot that I've worked the white up on a lot of there, rather than starting with the black, as I suggest in the linked tutorial. A lot of my 'recipes' – particularly those of Space Marines or other heraldic scheme [+noosphericloadlink embedded+] can be approached in any order, as the parts are effectively separate: you just need to be careful and neat after the first stage is down. +

+ For that reason, I decided to start with the white on the majority of these – because it uses one of the new Contrast paints (Apothecary White), it's inherently a bit messier (as you need to slop it on). Better to go back and tidy any splodges with black and turquoise than add light on dark. +


+ inload: Hope is the First Step on the Road to Betrayal +

 + Followers of a False Primarch +

+ I want to know. That's at the core of any good tease – and I think it accounts for pretty much the entire appeal of the Lost Legions/Primarchs. Any answer, no matter how well-planned and executed, is going to be a big anticlimax, as it collapses the waveform of possibility into a final, definitive – and necessarily limited – answer. +

+ No, adding questions and leaving doubt; that seemed much more 40k to me. +


+ ... and another thing that's very 40k is integrating older material with a new spin (or as it used to be called, graverobbing). To that end, the off-shoot blog + Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten + (STABLF) [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] will update with a new article on Friday, detailing the Marines Vigilant. +

+ One of the Vigilant +

+ I'm trying to keep STABLF more tightly focussed on lore and organisation than on painting and real-world influences, and so here's a great place to look behind the scenes. The Vigilants are a Marine Chapter that I've come up with for the project that had to fulfill a few different points:
  • To indulge in some winsome nostalgia;
  • To be part of the explanation for how five Chapters defeated eleven;
  • To allow me to paint some one-off marines;
but primarily...
  • To allow anyone to get involved.
+ To that end, I envisaged the Vigilants as a sort of Deathwatch equivalent. Like the Deathwatch, the Vigilants are a militant group of Space Marines drawn from different Chapters that work under the auspices of the Inquisition – in the Vigilants case, the Ordo Astartes; the group tasked with ensuring the Space Marines don't go all rebelly again. +

+ I didn't want them to be a directly correlative group to the Deathwatch – that seemed a bit derivative – and the best way I've found for doing that is to draw a few threads from older material and weave them into the new. In this case, I styled the markings on the Rogue Trader-era Field Police, a concept that has fallen by the wayside; and added a few hints of the retconned older Mentor Legion Chapter background – namely that they use esoteric equipment and work variously in detail and in larger groups. +

'Master' Enoch, one of the upcoming Dramatis Personae, and a member of the Ordo Astartes.

+ The background is, effectively, an excuse. One of the things that most disappointed me about the Deathwatch – an otherwise very cool concept – was the fact that all the amazing heraldry and pageantry of a diverse group of Astartes was painted black, save a single shoulder pad. With the Vigilants, I've inverted that, with the Chapter heraldry of each miniature intact save for a red plate with a yellow and black hazard stripe. +

This member of the Patriarchs of Ulixis shows a red helm with hazard stripe and the old RT Field Police symbol on the hip plate.

+ This simple approach means that anyone who has a single marine can instantly get involved in the project, simply by painting a hazard stripe on them somewhere. I hope that this draws more people in to getting involved – after all, collaboration and discussion is really at the heart of any project. +

+ Before moving on, I just wanted to draw attention to the downside of writing background before trying things out on a model. Trying to paint the complex symbol of the High Lords of Terra (effectively the Other Side of the War of the False Primarch) on a shoulder pad was fun, but a challenge. +

+ I didn't want to make this a stumbling block or excuse for people not to get involved, and so wrote out the idea that all Tactical markings on a marine seconded to the Vigilants were replaced with this symbol. Instead, there's the option for a simpler triangle symbol; or nothing at all. There's the lesson, than – paint the model first, then write your background! +


+ Sundries +

+ STABLF has been monopolising my blog writing time – apologies; though I hope you're also enjoying the material that pops up there. Here are a few pictures that I've been taking, along with some rather off-the-cuff thoughts and notes. I hope they're of interest. +

+ Little more than a test of using a white backdrop, this picture's a nice scale comparison of a Space Marine and unaugmented human. Working from home means that I've got much nicer natural lighting than usual, and that in turn meant I couldn't resist snapping a few things. +

+ A little preview/work-in-progress of the Silver Stars, this 'sample' has quickly expanded into a thirty-man army, complete with tank. I've drawn the line there, for the moment, and am making a pledge here that no further stuff for this lot until they're all painted! +

+ Another marine for the STABLF project, this was an experiment in making properly accurate Mark VII armour (and apologies – I realise that the 'how to make Mark VI' tutorial is still languishing. Promise I'll get it done once I find the damn WIP!). He was also going to be the 'case study' Vigilant, but his pose weighed against him. I like the fact he's sighting down the barrel, but while realistic, it obscures too much of him. He's a good example of a good gaming piece, but a challenge to photograph or showcase effectively. + 

+ The chap next to him is an anonymous scribe at the moment. Whether he'll end up of the side of the orthodoxy or Partisans is uncertain. Fun model, though. +

+ To close, a Silver Star – and in stark contrast to the figure above, he's been deliberately designed to allow close examination of all the bits and bobs that make the Stars what they are. Keep an eye out for a future inload! +

+ inload: [REDACTED] +

+ Conceptinload: Silver Stars +

+ Honestly, I'm impressed with how long I went in this project before giving in to the temptation to have an inload called '[REDACTED]'. The figure above is one of the Dramatis Personae for the Silver Stars – and likely the nearest thing the Legion(?) Chapter(?) will have to a public face. +

+ I've deliberately kept the lids of the other Silver Stars on, in order to make them as anonymous and mysterious as possible. I want to provoke the reader to question 'what's underneath?'. The more questions I pose, without providing definite answers, the better: at least for this early stage. +

+ So why show this figure's face? A number of reason; not least of which is the simple fact that I like painting faces. After completing Volncoscere's own (oh – we haven't seen that yet, have we?), I wanted to play around with the skin mix I'd used. This character's skin is slightly different to the possible-Primarch's, but in the same wheelhouse. The Silver Stars have some Hawaiian/South Pacific island touches, and it was fun to try to bring that out by using more cream and orange in the mix than the yellow and white I would for caucasian tones. +

+ Secondly, this figure is slightly unusual in being a combination of two very old concepts – a Unification Wars model I built a few years back, but never painted, and Ulixis the Black [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], an Ultramarines' Captain based on the legends of Odysseus. I loved the idea of Ulixis as a wily commander, but on consideration, he didn't fit very well within my Praetors of Calth. He has a much better home here, in a possible-Legion surrounded by so many questions, and in a project that is concerned with lies and truth in the 40k setting. +


+ Building and painting the Laka'i +

+ The legs and torso are unmodified – as with all the Silver Stars bar a couple made from Plague Marine bits, he's based on Txarli Factory's definitely-not truescale Crusade Armour [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. The arms are from the original model I had made for the Unification Wars; based on a Forge World Centurion (though I swapped out the power fist for a Mark III gauntlet). I also brought the groin-guard across from that figure, too. Although there are some South Pacific hints about the Silver Stars, I want them to be just that: hints. I've never liked the flanderization of the Space Marine Legions, and like my marines to be marines first and foremost: the cultural touchstones of each should be subtle. +

+ That goes double here, as the Legion needs to retain some level of mystery and anonymity. They need to be identified primarily as 'marines with curiously ancient armour', and so littering them with extras would dilute that very quickly. +

+ It's also worth noting that I find the best army archetypes are those that combine disparate, seemingly unrelated ideas to get a good fusion of influences. I find it helps to prevent an idea becoming kitsch, or worse, offensively stereotypical. To that end, the markings aren't a constructed South Pacific script (indeed, until relatively recently, Hawaiian had no written form), but rather combine alchemical symbols – familiar shorthand for 'esoteric' and slightly sinister to most Western audiences – and cuneiform script. Diligent readers might be able to translate the symbols and numerals about his person – but whether they read into them is entirely up to them... +

[APPENDEDIT]+ I wrote about combining disparate ideas to create a fusion concept a bit more in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], for those interested. +

+ The Chapter/Legion symbol is the 'Silver Star' itself; an intentionally simple icon. In trying to create a Legion that could conceivably have come from the same well as the existing Legions, I wanted to use simple terms – like 'Luna' or 'Night' or 'World', 'Silver Star' has vague astronomical hints, and is also a simple phrase. That's what (well, hopefully) gives it an iconic ring to it. +

+ The colours are unusual for Space Marines. Rose, white and turquoise were chosen to give a vaguely Pacific region/Far Eastern feel – but the placement on the figures is intended to evoke the simple block colours of the 'canonical' Legions. +

+ As a closing note, someone on Instagram commented that the unpainted model looked a bit like Keanu Reeves. I couldn't help seeing it afterwards, and it still makes me grin! Unintentional stuff like that is always fun – and why is a big of why I enjoy sharing my models. Thank you all. +

+ inload: White tutorial: Painting the Silver Stars

+ Painting Silver Stars + 

+ Some things may be best forgotten, but how you paint a uniform isn't one of them. I thought I'd exload my approach to painting the cool white I'm using for this mysterious possible-Legion of Space Marines. +

+ Silver Stars Astartes: painting white +

+ Whether the Silver Stars are a Legion of marines or not, they seem to favour Mark II Crusade Armour. The bodies and legs are from Txarli Factory [+noospheric exloadlink embedded+]; the remainder of the figures from a variety of GW and FW kits. As always, this proves the benefit of a deep bits box: I bought the Crusade Armour bits used here years ago, intending to use them for my Praetors of Calth Ultramarines. One side project after another, I decided that it was a shame they sat languishing, so I dug them out, and was pleasantly surprised to find I had a decent little pile of them – some twenty in all. +

+ Painting Silver Stars +

_1 Assemble your marine as normal. The bases I've used here are from Unreal Wargaming [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+].

_2 Prime using Halford's Grey Primer.

_3 Paint the base colours. I block in the metals with black (though note I've used Dryad Bark for the gorget, which will be gold. You can use them fairly interchangeably, but I think I'll proceed with brown for gold, and black for silver). I've used Sotek Green for the blue-turquoise, which seems to be nigh-identical to the old Hawk Turquoise.

4_I've used 'Mummy Robes' from The Army Painter's Warpaints range [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], a lovely smooth warm white. This takes two layers to get a smooth surface. Once dry, I overlay it with Apothecary White, one of Citadel's new Contrast range of paints. This is a lovely quick way to get some initial shading it – and perhaps more importantly, to help you identify where to pick out later.

5_ From here, it's essentially refining. This is a bit of a jump from the previous stage, I confess! Here, I've gone back over the white with more Mummy Robes, adding Vallejo's Off-White for highlights. I've also used Daler-Rowney's Payne's Grey acrylic ink, diluted with flow improver, to line the stronger shadows. I've used the same combination of colours to add weathering and scratches to the white armour – I suggest you do this sparingly, and don't make them so high contrast as you would on darker hues: white paint is obviously very high in value, and so marks look much more striking and obvious than on a low value hue.

The blue-turquoise highlights are simply Sotek Green with increasing amounts of Off-White. The gold is Balthasar Gold followed by Shining Gold, washed with two layers of Seraphim Sepia, with touches of Leviathan Purple added wet-in-wet. The two washes are also used over Iron Warriors (the modern Boltgun Metal equivalent) for the silver areas like the boltgun and backpack.