+ inload: Nyoto of the Salamanders +

+ They that touch pitch shall be defiled +

+ I've painted a couple of Salamanders before – odd one-offs, or parts of my May You Live Forever project, themed around the Isstvan Dropsite Massacre [+noospheric exloadlink embedded+], but fellow PCRCmate Omricon's awesome Salamander Kill Team got me enthused again, and I've been tinkering away, as mentioned in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +


+ Since then I've been working on the greenstuff, using Heavy Intercessor legs as the basis for the conversion. Why don't I just use my existing truescale tutorial? [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] Well, mostly for the sake of experimentation. Trying new things is fun – and where better to try new things out than on the famously master-crafted Salamanders? +

+ Mutatis Mutandis +

+ I'm afraid I didn't make a step by step – mainly because I'm still feeling my way around, but the broad strokes of tutorial linked above still apply – the only real difference here is that I've trimmed away the odd gyroscopic nobbles on the various joints before getting stuck in with putty. +

Work slowly, and in layers. As you can see, I've worked from the 'inside-out' – that is, I've started from the most recessed parts first, and allowed those to cure before moving on to the outer layers. This is the best way to avoid inadvertently knocking or smearing your work as you go. +

+ A neat detail of the Forgeworld Salamanders heads upgrades is that the brow reinforcement is flat, rather than angrily angled like other Legions'. +

+ You'll note that I've retained some of the details on the existing armour – not only does this add some greebling [+vocabref={interesting surface texture}+], but I've also found it a good way to ensure that I don't 'over-bulk' the model. What I mean by this is that the figure needs to look muscular and bulky – a walking tank – but retain structure and form, and not simply look distorted and uneven. Adding bulk to the back of the upper legs and form to the outer front part of the leg (i.e. the hams and quads), while adding only a little to the part nearer the knee makes the leg appear muscular rather than like a simple tube. +

+ It's easy, when adding greenstuff, to lose the underlying shape of the muscle, so I try to work symmetrically – cutting equal amounts of greenstuff and adding them to (say) both upper legs, and refining those. If there's not enough, I'll cut smaller equal amounts and repeat, sculpting first one side, then mirroring it on the other. Working gradually, with small amounts, is the best way I've found. It's surprising what a difference even tiny amounts of putty can make! +

+ Taking a black-and-white pict-capture is a handy way to check form and line. It takes away some of the visual confusion of the various putties and plastics, and makes it easier to judge your work. You'll notice I've added some pipes to the sides of the upper legs – again, to add greebling together with a sense of weight and bulk. Should work nicely to suggest Mark V Heresy armour. +


+ A Tale of Difficult Decisions +

+ But enough of the modelling, what about the lore? There's very little I find more disheartening in this hobby than getting enthused over a story I've come up with only to find I don't enjoy making the characters I've described. +

+ As a result, most of my projects start with models that I want to make and loose ideas that gradually cohere and come into focus, rather than being rigidly pre-planned beforehand. +

+ The background that I've been playing with is thus a bit patchy, and explores a couple of spaces that I find interesting about the Salamanders. Here are my notes:
  • Post-Isstvan Dropsite Massacre
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions: the force is making some very difficult, arguably dubious, decisions in their search for Vulkan
    • Senior character's opinion is Exitus acta probat; the junior's is more aligned with Vulkan's own teachings and enduring. A clash?
  • Searching for a way to revive their Primarch. Recon/scouty – light vehicles.
  • Olive drab scheme
  • Importance of fire – cultic symbolism: explore the runic incisions in painting.
  • Alliance/associations with similarly morally grey forces – Blackshields and Thousand Sons
  • Vehicle crew – how can I add some flavoursome differences to standard marines
  • Painting-wise: pure oils?
  • Gaming: Something I've never done – differentiated from other forces
    • All mounted? Infantry in Rhinos rather than bikes
    • Perfect excuse for lots of flamers – to the exclusion of other weapons?
    • Concept: each squad is a specialised unit of veterans that works mechanically in Kill Team. Understrength units.


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