+ inload: Aliens and all sorts +

+ Aliens and all sorts +

+ A bit of painting this week, as I get ready to attend the Antares 2 Bootcamp over in Wiltshire – exciting! +

+ The new version of the game brought a few minor changes, one of which is that units of Tsan (the spidery aliens above) are now fielded in fours, rather than threes. Being sold in threes was a consequence of manufacturing, apparently. No longer being subject to commercial pressures, details like this are being brought in through the different army lists. +

+ While the option is built-in to allow you to downsize the unit to three, I thought it'd be a nice excuse to get a couple more painted up. I used the same techniques and paints as previously for this rough-and-ready paintjob, except that I decided to introduce a different skintone for these two. I just thought it'd make a nice change. +

+ Lurking in the background of this picture is the other new addition, a (checks notes) Tograh MV2 transporter. +


+ inload: Sons of Simargi – Death Guard +

+ And while spraying up the Isorians, I also decided to spray some (very) patient Death Guard up: voila. +

+ inload: Born for death +

 + Silver Stars Predator +

+ Riverhead commands a Predator forward during the Machinedeath +

+ It's been a long painting drought for me, but I sat down over the weekend and went back to a fittingly forgotten project. I dug out this Silver Stars Predator, which has lurked undercoated and with the base metallics in place, for ages. +

+ Far too many half-finished Silver Stars here! It's been so long since I've painted one that I was glad to have my recipe recorded [+noospherinloadlink embedded+]. Turns out that having the blog as a record is useful after all! Besides this Predator, I've got half a dozen more Silver Stars Tactical marines and a squad of Terminators (you can see one peeking out from behind the Predator above) to paint, some further along than others. Having returned to the scheme after a while, I thought it best to start on something a bit special (in this case a tank) to help get back into the swing of things. +

+ A few minutes allowed me to block in the basic colours. I've seen a few different interpretations of how the Silver Stars scheme can be applied to armour (all of which look great!), but the key thing I wanted with my rendition was to balance the rose and turquoise against the white. +

+ As you can see about, I've laid in the first layer of oils. The base-coated tank was varnished prior to the addition of oils, as described here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. To add some visual interest, and stop it getting too warm, I used a combination of burnt umber and Prussian blue, applying the latter very sparingly, as it proved dominant. +

+ Detail of the oils on the turret. I just love the effect, even at this stage. +

+ Oils take quite some time to dry (well, oxidise), so it's now sitting pretty. The next stage will be to return and paint the metallics. From my limited experience with oils, the solvents don't seem to play very well with metallics, making them dull or lifting them off entirely, so I've opted to add them on top, then weather them down either more sparingly than the rest, or perhaps use some inks in place of oils. +

+ I'll also be re-applying some white to clean up the tank a little – in comparison with the infantry, it's looking rather beaten-up. Of course, that's quite fitting for the article in which it'll be showcased (that of the Machinedeath on Null, in which colossal amounts of armour is destroyed), but I think I've been a bit heavy-handed with the damage at this stage – particularly as I'll be further weathering later on. +

+ There's a balance to be struck here. On the one hand, I always want to enjoy my painting, so I experiment to keep things interesting. That's the way I've found best to stumble upon new techniques and ideas... but it works against a uniform finish for an army. Personally, I don't mind a slight hotch-potch variance (in fact, for some armies it's a positive boon), but I don't want this Predator to stand out too much from the rest of the army stylistically. +


+ Choosing the placement +

+ When working out paint schemes for armoured vehicles, I try to get down to a figure's eye level. It's all very well having a scheme that looks good overhead, but Space Marines are all about heraldry and announcing the Chapter's (or Legion's) presence on the battlefield. To that end, I wanted to make sure that the enemy would see the right balance of the pseudolegions' colours. +

+ I kept a finished marine near to hand for this, and considered the front of the tank as equivalent to the torso. The Deimos Predator happily has a bit of reinforced armour on its glacis plate, which echoes the collar of Crusade armour. That's a perfect spot for the metallics from the scheme, and I think the addition of the brass here and gunmetal elsewhere will go a long way to making the model 'pop'. +

+ As the glacis echoes the torso of the infantry, so the wings of the vehicle represent the shoulders. I toyed with having stripes down the sides, but while this would work well for Rhinos, the sponsons mean it's a bit of a non-starter for this Predator, making things confusing there. Instead, I decided to add a stripe to the wings. Note that I haven't filled the indented area, but rather added a freehand stripe. It seemed a bit too large an area to paint he vibrant, eye-catching pink, and would dominate the more subtle turquoise and white. +

+ If the front is the body, the turret's the head, right? I decided not to paint the whole thing turquoise (my initial plan), and instead go for a more stylised interpretation by painting a strip of the turret. In contradiction to my points above about heraldry above camouflage, having some markings visible from the air/orbit seemed a pragmatic (and dare I say more realistic?) application of the scheme that, crucially, also looked good to me. Sticking with theory's all very well, but don't sacrifice the opportunity to enjoy exploration entirely when you're doing something like this. +

+ At this point, I decided that the sides of the tank didn't say 'Silver Stars' to infantry, as they just showed white and rose. To fix this, I painted the sponson targeters turquoise. Perhaps they're regarded as the machine spirit's helms by the Legion, and thus treated as a helmet? +

+ Anyway, here's where the Predator stands at the moment. The windscreen is orange as an experiment – pre-oils is a perfect stage to test out accents that you're unsure of, as you'll seal it off and can either follow up or cover over as you choose. +

+ Hopefully I'll find some time to make further progress with the Stars soon. +

+ inload: Gates of Antares 2 +

+ Going Beyond +

+ Well, lots going on in the world of wargaming. Squats are back in 40k, a new  edition of the Horus Heresy-themed Age of Darkness game, and after a long delay, we've got the second edition of Beyond the Gates of Antares. +

+ The sad news is that Warlord Games have decided not to support it further – not entirely unexpected, but disappointing. The good news, however, is threefold: 
  • The models will continue to be produced, via a third party
  • The game will continue to be supported by Tim Bancroft and Rick Priestley
  • The rules are largely the same, but laid out a bit more clearly – and they're also completely free!
You can read more about Antares 2 on the new Nexus [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+], which is where you can download the rules and army lists, and also read about the universe and factions. +


+ Off to Bootcamp +

+ To celebrate the launch, Tim Bancroft has organised a bootcamp event, which I'll be heading over to with fellow PCRC member, TrojanNinja, who's picked up some Ghar (don't worry, there's a cream for that). +

+ This seemed a perfect chance to finally field my Isorians – Karba's Huntsmen [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] – and learn how to play the new rules. Having gone through the new armylist, it looks like I've got around an 80pt list from which to pick. I don't yet know what we'll need to bring to the event, but I'm fairly confident that'll be more than enough. +

+ There are a couple of tweaks – Tsan Ra (above) are now fielded as standard in fours, rather than threes, for example. There is an option to drop a model, but since I have a couple of spares, I'll likely paint up the additional members to field four-member squads. +

+ Support weapon teams are now accompanied by batter drones (these project a protective force-field), so I'll convert and paint up a couple of those, too. +

+ ...and while I'm planning, I also got my new transport sprayed and ready for paint. It'd be nice to take a vehicle along, so I can learn how tanks and fighting vehicles work – plus it's a cool model! +