+ inload: Astral Claws progress +

 + inload: Badab painting in progress +


+ Painting continues apace on the Astral Claws. Nothing hugely earth-shattering in the inload today, but a few light notes on some models that are proving a nice change of pace. +The figures below are getting to the fun stage – all the boring work has been done, now it's a case of improvement and refinement. + 


+ First off; let's address the grox in the room. Mouldlines. [+SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT+] mouldlines. You check and you trim and you file and you... nevertheless see the [+SCRAPSHUNT+] things appear. They seems particularly egregious on the Primaris legs because they run the length of the front of the legs – this is owing to the orientation of the legs in the mould. The set of Hellblaster legs I received were particularly badly affected, and also seem a bit distorted on the rear. +

+ Other than those, I'm pleased with the look of the conversion. Half-tempted to go back and put the cable 'junction box' in the centre of the torso. The cradled helmet pleased me, as it was such a simple change – trim away the Primaris grille and replace with a Mark VII. Turns out the old and new maring helmets aren't as divergent as they first appear. +


+ You can see the odd distortion/dip in the plastic around the calf area here. I'm guessing this is a common fault in the casting, perhaps caused by the thickness of the plastic here, or the sheer amount of casts that must have been pushed through for these cornerstones of the new Primaris army. Struck me as unusual, as GW's plastic manufacturing is normally free of such minor defects. Maybe I've just been spoiled by the flawless engineering of the Adeptus Titanicus Warlord Titan. +


+ With metallic schemes, it's important to build in contrast, or it just looks boring. Worse, it loses verisimilitude. A quick trick is to use different tones for different types of metal. On this Kill Team, I've used a relatively bright metal for the armour plates – i.e. the bits that make up the Chapter's uniform – and a duller gunmetal for the boltgun and backpack. A quick, subtle and simple way to add interest.


+ In the same vein, I've added a blue stripe to break up the studded shoulder pad. The silver then stands out against the blue. Note also the soft armour joints and rope here are painted in a dark green. Since metals are monotone, they can be very boring – introducing some hints of chroma elsewhere help lift the scheme. + 


+ The marine with the Maximus helm shows another way of introducing colour to a metallic scheme; use glazes and touches of coloured wash – I've added greens, blues, purples and sepias across these marines. A lot of this will get knocked back when I build the midtones and highlights back up at the next stage of painting. +


+ The colour blue has been used not just on the pauldrons, but also on pouches and similar non-armour areas, like tabards, knifesheaths etc. +


+ The Astral Claws scheme is a bit unusual in being quite varied – the colour plates in Imperial Armour IX show a variety of colours being used, particularly on the pauldrons, which vary between blue and silver; and with silver or gold trim. +

+ It's all left up to your own interpretation. Mazer Rackham, on the Bolter & Chainsword forum, offered these following ideas, which I rather like:
It's not canon, but I always saw the silver and blue pauldrons of my own Astral Claws company thusly:
  • Silver Pauldrons, the old guard, ones who follow Huron, but did not approve of him and so are herded into the back end of the requisition line.  They have the most banged-up plate, the older weapons, the hand-me-downs and all the pants jobs.  They can be found with the black and yellow lioness, the old iconography.
  • Silver pauldrons, gold rims, Veteran Sergeant of the old guard.
  • One blue Pauldron, silver rims, these are the converts to Huron's cause, they will have the astral claws now familiar star and claw.
  • Two blue Pauldrons, silver rims, veterans and committed to the new kool-aid.  Better gear, better missions.
  • Blue pauldrons, gold rims, Veteran Sgt of the Kool-aid variety, the best gear, best missions.

+ That all seems quite fitting to me, so while I haven't gone into quite as much detail yet, I like the sense of progression and transition. The marine above, then, with his varied pads, is made to look off-balance and uncertain – which suggests some character, perhaps based on a hesitancy in following Huron's cause. It's a nice conceit. +


+ The difference between the metals on the backpack is quite clear here: silver top, gunmetal remainder. Like the pauldrons, the exhausts (the bobbly things on the sides of the backpack) vary in the artwork between silver and gold. Might tweak one or two to reflect this. +


+ Dakka dakka dakka! Heavy bolters aren't Primaris equipment, but rules should always come second to the models you want to build. I've mentioned how I like the echo between the studs on the helm and pauldrons before; I've emphasised this by breaking the trim on the pauldrons into separate areas, which help to frame the head. +


+ I often use purple wash over gold. It's always effective at creating a sense of opulence, and it's great for depth. +


+ Finally, here's the first casualty for the group. I love the idea of casualty markers – they vastly improve the aesthetic of a game, to my mind – and the small size of a Kill Team means that it's realistic to make one for each model. I've left the heads off this figure as I'm intending to try a press-cast. Not only will this make reproduction easier, but it'll let me customise the resulting figures with heads that match the injured marine. +

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