+ inload: Michelino +

+ Squad Castigarius, Third Company 'The Sorrow of Kings; under Lord Dahavauron, Prince of the Erelim, 9rd Strateia of the Host of Angels.' +

+ (Well, half of it anyway) +

+ Combat Squad Michelino +

+ Another evening's work has resulted in five more marines polished off and ready for the field; this time a combat squad of Devastators led by squad leader Lithargoel 9:19, or Michelino . +

+ Painting desaturated blue +

+ Not happy with the blue on the helms in the previous inload, I repainted them with the following scheme:
1_ Base with a thinned-down mix of Macragge Blue and Abaddon black.
2_ Once dry, overlay with Macragge Blue, leaving the previous layer visible in  the recesses.
3_ Add a small amount of white and flow improver to apply initial highlights.
4_ Wash over with Leviathan Purple and allow to dry. Being a mix of red and blue, this helps the helm harmonise with the rest of the (mostly red) figure.
5_ Reinstate initial highlights – multiple layers help to build the depth.
6_ Add more white and refine initial highlights.
7_ Use pure white for tiny edge highlights.

+ The addition of black and use of pure white to highlight (rather than white alongside another colour, as I typically would) makes the colour slightly grey and desaturated; just enough to take the 'zing' off. Macragge Blue is a nice grey-blue anywayy, so this really just helps it along. +

+ Besides the helms, I've painted the weapons with metallics overlaid with wet-in-wet Gryphonne Sepia and Leviathan Purple washes. As the yellow and purple washes mix and intermingle, they neutralise each other and result in a nice, rich neutral that's not so stark as a black wash. +

+ The freehand was applied using diluted Vallejo Off-White for the white bits, and a fluid mix of Abaddon Black, Daler Rowney sepia ink and water for the blacks. Note that I've avoided using pure white or pure black in both cases. This means I've always got somewhere to go if I need to highlight the white or shade the black; perhaps to emphasise the form somewhere. +

+ The banner also uses Averland Sunset to create a wedge marking behind the Chapter symbol. There's no shading or mixing here; the illusion of form is created through glazing. I used thinned-down Averland Sunset to paint the shape, which allowed the underlying colour to show through. I then overlaid the side in the light (left of image below) once it had dried. The result is that the curved form of the billowing banner is suggested. +



Sinistro e Dexter:  Brother Titian (Eurabatres 2:34)
Brother Loredan (Eserchie 6:35)
Brother Michelino (Lithargoel 9:19)
Brother Doneto (Kadir-Rahman 1:68)
Brother Picabia (Rahaviel 3:18)


+ Following are some individual detail shots, along with some notes on details. +

+ Brother Titian (Eurabatres 2:34) +

+ Heavy bolters. Lovely! I think this shot shows the model off best – the 'golden angle'. I've used orange on both the eye lenses and the lens of the gun. Sometimes I deliberately vary the colour of lenses to add interest, but with a figure that uses red blue and yellow, I wanted to minimise the number of accents, and so chose to match them on these figures. Orange is the complementary colour to blue, so helps both eyes and head to pop. +

With the marine's left pauldron covered in studs, the Chapter symbol is displaced to the clear right pauldron. I opted to add the Company symbol (a large white blood drop flanked by two smaller blood drops) beneath the Chapter symbol. Titian also has a little grail symbol on his holster. +

+ The yellow eagle on the heavy bolter is a nod to the original (all the weapons were noted as having yellow eagles) as is the little blue dot on his rear lower leg armour. This is the army badge. In the original, it's quite dominant. I'm not a huge fan of it, but in the interests of 'accuracy', I thought a minimal dot would work well. +

+ I'm rather pleased with the depth of the red on these. It shows up particularly nicely on the stud-reinforced pauldrons. +


+ Brother Loredan (Eserchie 6:35) +

+ As noted in the previous inload, this is the marine that's intended to be as accurate as possible in terms of armour, pose and armament. I think he looks the business; probably my favourite member of the squad.  +

+ I've added a little 'IX' squad designation to the left knee on all the marines. This doesn't appear in the originals, but being so much larger than the RTB01 originals, I couldn't resist doing something with the additional real estate. I was sorely tempted to get stuck in with further freehand, but resisted going further on the threefold basis that it'd look out of place alongside the other squads; would reduce my design space for Veterans; and would make the army less recognisable. +

+ As with Titian and the others, Loredan shares the same Chapter, Company and Army symbols. You can also see his scabbard, holster and equipment pouches here. These were treated simply: Charadon Granite washed with the Leviathan Purple and Seraphim Sepia wash mentioned above, then highlighted with Charadon Granite and grey. +


+ Brother Michelino (Lithargoel 9:19) +

+ Not the squad's sergeant, but rather the Veteran who leads the combat squad when it's split off, Michelino bears a red banner, rather than the sergeant's black. Throughout the army, I've made the Veterans' banners deliberately similar, and the sergeants slightly more varied, to reflect that the veterans carry the squad's banner, while the sergeants carry their own. In the original army, the banners are differentiated only by the squad numbers (you can see this in the detail at the start of the inload), but I've added simple heraldic shapes in yellow; different for each squad. +

+ Michelino is the largest departure from the inspiration in terms of pose. This was for two reasons: the original pose was very similar to the others in the squad; and I wanted to use some of the cool new bits from the Intercessor box, such as the little forearm dataslave and slung boltgun. +

+ Speaking of the slung boltgun, I'm clearly a glutton for punishment; as trying to fit 'Michelino' onto the boltgun scroll took a while. It's not perfect – in fact it's barely legible! – but it gives the impression of script successfully. On the other members of the squad, you'll spot a purity seal or two. On these, the text can be suggested with mere lines, but that wouldn't work on this slightly larger size, so some hints at ascenders and descenders to give a sense of shape to the script is useful. +

+ (Alternatively, you could give your marines shorter names!) +

+ Unlike the rest of the squad, Michelino has Mark 7 pads, so he bears the same standard heraldry as the rest of the army, with the Chapter symbol facing the enemy. He also retains the red pauldrons of the Chapter (rather than the black pauldrons of a sergeant). He thus – hopefully – stands out enough to be identifiable, while still being very similar to the troopers. +


+ Brother Doneto (Kadir-Rahman 1:68) +

+ Sorry, Doneto, there's always one figure that's going to get removed as a casualty first. He's got a small whit blood drop honour marking on both his helm and pistol holster – the latter is set up for cross-draw, so perhaps the two are linked? This shot shows the IX knee marking nicely, along with the tiny broken lines of script I mentioned above. You're not stuck with just lines, of course. In fact, I think adding tiny details helps make the purity seals look more convincing, particularly in bundles like this. To that end, I've added a black blood drop to one of the papers. Again, this echoes the honour marking, and suggests a bit of narrative. +

+ The backpack's a 2nd edition relic plucked from my bits box. I think little real-world older details like this help to playfully evoke the sense of time and reverence for age in 40k. +


+ Brother Picabia (Rahaviel 3:18) + 

+ The Proteus-pattern missile launcher from Forge World is a perfect fit for this project: classic design backed up with modern materials and manufacturing. The sculpt is crisp and clean, and while it retains the core identifiable parts of the original, such as the asymmetrical cowling; top-loading box magazine and the back-blast suppressor (or whatever that weird jobby at the back is), it also cleans up the lines. The result is a crisp, solid weapon that's equal parts realistic and sci-fi. +

+ The wrist-mounted dataslave screen is just about visible here. Given the number of colours, I opted to keep the screen looking grey and slightly reflective, using the same colours and techniques as on the Rhino's headlights. It's worth noting that the forearm-mounted computer bit turns up elsewhere in the Devastator squad. Alongside the blue helms, repeating details like this is a nice way to differentiate this specialised support squad from the heavy weapon operatives in the Tactical squads. +

+ Note that I've not re-used the piece as-is, but rather cut and reposed the arm and hand to make the piece incidental rather than focal. The repose leads the eye along the arm to the missile launcher, which is far more important to the composition. The more characterful parts on the Intercessor (and other) sprues are lovely, but immediately identifiable. Cutting them up and reposing is a great way to make use of them without creating an army of clones. +

+ The missile launcher cowlings in the Tactical squads are marked with stripes that echo their squad number. I didn't think that was really very sensible for squad 9, so I used roman numerals to spell out the number, deliberately echoing the kneepad marking. Note also that the missiles here are coloured to evoke the original army. I've used a maroon, rather than red, just to differentiate the ammo from the armour. +

+ Finally, the purity seal is clearly visible here. We've already looked at how I do the scrollwork, but not the wax. This is a fun little trick – after undercoating the figure in red, you can simply paint over the wax in purple. While the paint is wet, tap it lightly with a clean finger. This lifts off the paint from raised surfaces, giving you an instant finished purity seal: Chapter Approved! +


+ As always, always appreciate your thoughts – particularly on what to tackle next? +


  1. I'm so in love with your work. You make them look just as they were always supposed to. This is enormously inspirational!

    1. Thanks Suber – it's really rewarding seeing them all come together. I think the army seems to have struck a chord with a few hobbyists of a certain vintage! :D


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