+ inload: Blood Angels progress +

+ A return to blood +

+ The Alien Wars, a setting based around the actions of armies during the Nova Terra Interregnum, has been ticking over in the background. You can read about the broad scope of the project in the tab at the top of the blog (and check out the awesome aliens people have made!). Part of this is my Blood Angels army [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

+ They've been a bit neglected this year, but I dug them out last night to assess where I'd got to with them. +

+ The first tactical squad is completed. The army was intended to be an exercise in painting a neater, cleaner style, and I found it very slow going. Neverthless, pulling these lads out of mothballs was very rewarding; and a reminder of why I decided I was going to really try my hardest with this force. I don't think they've quite got the visual impact and 'pop' of my Gatebreakers [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], but they scratch that retrohammer itch and have a lovely warmth to them. After playing around with oils, it's also nice to see what I could – and hopefully can still – achieve with acrylics. +

+ The second Tactical squad is more than half complete. I think I must have got fed up with the remaining four; and this is likely where I'll start again. Small goals, in my experience, are much more sensible to set! +

+ I keep spotting little details like the banners and flamer, and wondering how I did them; or whether all four of the remaining figures have been taken to the same painting standard. This is a problem with breaking off a project halfway through! +

+ If you'll excuse a little self-congratulation, I think the Devastators look awesome together. Painting this Mark VI-themed squad – like the rest of the army, an homage to the RTB-01 models used in the GW studio army detailed in WD139 – should be fun. +

+ I've finally decided how I'll tackle the blue helms, and that's to take a leaf from the Swedish artist Anders Zorn, who used a very restricted palette of just four colours: yellow ochre, vermilion, titanium white and ivory black. Lacking any blue, it's a palette that still allows for a wonderful variety of hues. +

+ Now, I'm not going to be quite so restrictive as to remove all blues from my palette – not only am I no master artist, but my aim is to have tight control over the notoriously variable colour red, not make things harder for myself. I will, however, be using a muted, desaturated grey-blue (typical of the Zorn palette) to stand in for the vibrant primary blues of the inspiration. +

+ I used to really dislike the style of these models – the combination of ruffles and earrings and mohawk/ponytail combos just seemed weird – but now they've got a real retro appeal for me. While I like the 'tacticool' design of the modern sculpts, sculpts like these Renaissance-flavoured scouts really capture the outré, ritualistic feel of 40k's semi-barabaric dark age much better. I'm looking forward to painting these the most, so I might skip ahead to tackle them and get my hand back in for painting in this style. +

+ Having mentioned using acrylics above, I'm wondering if I might get away with using oils for this army, too. The red seems like it'd be ideal to enrich with burnt umber [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and it'd go a long way to making this project more enjoyable. (You can read about my thoughts on changing style, here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]) +

+ If I decide to do so – and it's a big if; consistency here is important, and I want to persevere with the approach – then these scouts seem an ideal place to try it. By their nature, they'll look different to the rest of the army, and an all-over burnt umber oil wash will help to tie together different areas. +

+ Ah, the Terminators of Squad Redemptor. Back in 2018 I wrote a tutorial for converting Terminators large enough to sit alongside Primaris, and then they lurked, victims of imposter syndrome as I thought I'd never be able to do them justice in paint. The tutorial [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+has long been the most-viewed inload on the site, so I really ought to pull my finger out and get them done. Apart from anything else, it'd let me play Space Hulk again! +

+ The characters. I said I'd reward myself by painting one every time I completed a squad, which rather shows how slowly this army has been progressing... Rather like the look of them all gathered together – I'm glad that I decided to go 'all-banner all the time'. +

+ Bases on tanks? Yes, I thought this was a neat way to give the Rhino a bit more presence. Long-time inloaders will know how much I dread painting vehicles, but this might be another excuse to try out using oils, since it doesn't need to exactly match the infantry. Perhaps I'll find a method of painting tanks that I enjoy? +

+ Rather ugly lower legs there. I think I'll need to return and fix that before progressing with the speeder. Half tempted to paint the speeder yellow – it'd make the marines stand out, and I always rather liked the idea that the heraldic colours were reserved for the Astartes themselves, rather than their equipment. What do you reckon?+

+ ...and last but not least, the casualties – including one interred safely in a Dreadnought. Safely for him, that is; not the enemies of the Emperor! Looking more closely at this, you can see that this must have been the last thing I painted before packing the army away – the upper half is the Mephiston Red spray, while the lower part has received two coats of the Mephiston Red and Vallejo vermillion mix I use, as detailed in my painting red tutorial here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +


+ It's nice to have everything collected together again for a once-over. The imminent release of the Primaris Techmarine means I'll have a figure available to plug the last gap in the WD139 force; the techmarine manning the Thudd Gun. That seems a good enough motivation for me to get chugging along with the army once more. What would you like to see me tackle first? Finish off Tactical squad II, paint the scouts or polish off the Dreadnought? +


  1. I love this project. For the vehicles, you could try using ak interactive’s Streaking Grime and Streaking Rust. Zatcaskagoon Miniatures has some great tutorials on YouTube for it. I also like the idea of the yellow speeder. As for which minis to start with, I’d go with the scouts. You seem to be most excited for them.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up – some vid-screen watching ahead for me, I think. As you'll see from today's inload, I sort-of decided to be good and polish off the half-finished squad; but I couldn't resist starting the scouts too!

  2. Incentivise yourself first - finish those 4 Tacticals THEN do the Scouts as a reward. Non heraldic speeder sounds like a good idea - I have similar feelings about Marine backpacks and weapons staying utilitarian while the armour gets pimped out.

    1. Wise idea – and one that I have followed. You'll see the four marines are finished, and now the way is clear for reward characters and scouts :)

  3. Scouts. Also, 100% do the yellow on the Land Speeder.

    I respect the urge to finish off the Tactical Squad, but there may be a reason you paused on it. Do the scouts that you're intrigued by first (also I really want to see them), then 'finish a whole Tactical squad' with four miniatures, then reward yourself with a character - and now you have a huge swathe of the army finished!

    1. You temptron, you – I managed to hold steady. :)

  4. Everything looks gorgeous so far, I love every bit here. The yellow speeder would have quite a RT vibe, I guess, so I'm totally for it!

    1. Yellow hot-rod seems to have got a lot of support behind it, so think I might. Ta for your thoughts.


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