+ 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. +


Lasgunpacker said...

Looking just as grimy as a white tank should.

Suber said...

Man, that's glorious. What a wonderful work. The replication of the pattern is ace and it works perfectly, wow, I love it