Thursday 7 July 2016

Dark Angels - Jetfighter - TO DONE!

With a bit of a push I finally got this bad boy done. There are definitely things that have not gone according to plan, more on them later but overall I'm really pleased.

Much like the Ravenwing bikers before it the end result, although maybe not what I imagined has become something beyond my expectations and I can't wait to see it alongside the bikes and the Land Speeders too.

I haven't added the Rift Cannon glow, I appreciate the opinions, it looked like green was the winner. I may well add it in at a later date but for now it's just not firing.

The jets worked out OK though.

But here's where we can begin to address the elephant in the room. Having been disappointed with the brush strokes in the Anti-shine it was time to try a new approach. I got out my air brush, don#t you just hate it when you put something in the 'hard to access place' because you don't plan on using it for a while!

As you can see the effect is a little mixed. The end result although not frosted is a little 'dusty'. Now I asked on the 'eavier metal' facebook group if it could go in undiluted but unusually got no response. So I went in neat...

Now I started underneath as I thought I'd have less to lose. I was very careful with the varnish and I think I managed to cover up almost all the brush strokes.

As you can see close up it's really flat, just what I was aiming for.

So I was buoyed with confidence.

Then I think I got carried away, opened up the nozzle a bit too much and ended up with this rather grainy 'sandstone' finish. I mean it;s not ruined, it's just not right either. In different light it's certainly less noticeable but it's a learning experience so I'll suck it up and be more careful in the future.

I was finally able to glue the pilot and canopy in place too.

The base in all it's glory.

And the other side too.

Close up of the stasis cell.

The tail.

The stasis cell crystal roof, glowing baleful red from the prison interior. 

And in it's Jetfighter configuration.

Blackthorn missiles.

Such a better silhouette on the Jetfighter.

Three stripes on the left side. 

Litanies on the right, all done in Dark Reaper, they have the sense not to litter their craft with text that will show up too easily.

Twin linked las-cannon configuration.

The obligatory phone pic will be in a separate post tomorrow, for reasons!

So that's another one off the list, and a really great achievement. I actually have a new found acceptance of the real world price of this flyer. I think it may well be worth the £45, because next to my Cerastus it's pretty big so makes a pretty cool centrepiece [although a Doom Scythe is equally impressive and is only £27.50...].

That said though I was deeply disappointed to see the boxset mine came in - the Dark Angles, Dark Vengeance Expansion is no longer available. Rumours suggested all factions would be getting 'start collecting' boxes so clearly this is a move towards the Dark Angel variety. Sadly I think it's a mistake as most starter boxes are £50-£60 and this was an £85 box, or you could get Dark Vengeance for £65, split the figures and you had a decent starting force for £30ish. Either way you're bringing in more money for the expansion or selling out of stock for the main game as rumours suggest 8th is due next September. Reboxing them now is just additional cost. Oh and the Ravenwing battleforce has gone too...

Still TO DONE!

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Dark Angels - Jetfighter - Tail lights

I decided to do some freehand identification markings, this is 2nd company 5th wing, Alpha Squadron, craft PSI [cos who doesn't like a Pitchshifter reference] or somesuch vague meaning. The cool thing is that new flyer book suggests all markings on ravenwing flyers are meant to secret and hard to fathom by outsiders.

Once again i was struck by how much easier it is to pain numbers than roman numerals. To be honest the sides are different, this side is a bit taller and more tightly spaced, which isn't quite as nice as the other side. I could have probably done a little more to construct a grid to ensure they were better matched. But, you can't actually see both sides at once so you wouldn't really notice, maybe if I do another one?

Having started to apply some of the orange OSL on the jets I suddenly realised how the open jet engines wouldn't work - gaping black holes that are all lit up round the edges. So I resolved to fix it, albeit a little late. I stuffed the engines full of rolled up kitchen paper. I must have forced about two paper towels in each engine, it's amzing how much space is inside these! I;d originally though to use tin foil as it compresses harder but there really was too much volume to fill, and it'd have been harder to do. So instead paper and to cap it of I plugged it with DAS air drying clay. A small blob and then a damp end of a paint brush rounded it off.

The next night it was simple enough to paint over, no primer necessary, orange highlights up to yellow with some bright white blobs and I'm pretty happy.

The jet vents were alittle more understated than I'd planned but I was finding all the orange OSL just looked wrong, so I was able to remove it with just a hint of glow which I think works better. Also of note is the three 'bear claw' tribal stripe motif on the tail. This is only on the right side, if I get another flyer it'll be marked on the left and a third [for a Silence Squadron] will be the leader with both left and right markings. I later took time to add the same markings on the Jetfighter tail but asymmetrically on the left side. This will again be mirrored on a second flyer also with both sides marked on the third. Also worthy of mention are the red windows on the Dark Talon stasis cell. These will be picked out with Tamiya Clear Red X-27 when done. I even decided the conical 'dome' was tempered stasis glass too. The picture makes it all blend together quite well [much better than reality].

I've spotted a couple of things in this picture I can do to help blend it into the fuselage a bit better, despite already varnishing it. The Anti Shine has not gone on well. As expected I'm seeing brush strokes and tide marks in the Anti-shine. It catches the light funny and makes a mockery of the effort spent trying to make the black as flat as it could be.

I can only think a second coat might even things up or alternatively sprayed on, which might mean cranking out the air brush. I'll try a second coat underneath first to see if it helps. Regardless I;ve still to paint the glow on the rift Cannon and finish of the Blackthorn missiles then it's done!

Sunday 3 July 2016

Dark Angels - Jetfighter - None more black?

I've been struggling to accept the black on the Jetfighter. It's still not the flat matt black I hoped it to be and all the efforts with watered Army Painter black and Abaddon and resulted in a finish I wasn't 100% happy with, not even 80%. I even tried thinned black with Lahmian Medium and even Army Painter Dark Tone [black] all of these produce 'tide marks' which you should be able to make out below.

Eventually th best result, or the least offensive to me involved adding Citadel Technical black primer to the centre, then 'drybrushing' it overthe edges. Now the Technical paint can be a bit funny. It needs a vigourous shake, there's thick black sludge and thin black but I've found the thin black goes on wet and can be pushed around with an old brush. The brush I have is quite wide and flat but with a rounded tip. It's about 8-10mm wide and the bristles are quite gummed up - that measn I can be quite forceful with it. With a flat blade I cut in thin areas and also blend wider bits.

It's by no means perfect and I'm sure my matt varnish will add countless tide marks too. With hindsight I should have stuck with my idea to texturize the fuselage, but it just didn't look right. However, a rough texture hides a multitude of sins and I must have painted the black about 4 times with successive thinned coats to get the black with only the Technical paint even approaching satisfactory. I;d even tried it in the past without joy but this time I at least wasn't offended by the result.

Finally, some Dark Reaper has been added to the edges and joints for the extra highlight. Some further pin highlights will be added on some of the most prominent edges, but I don't want it to be too bright, so it will be quite sparing.

The Jetfighter still has a way to go.
  1. I've still got the underside of the wings to blend. 
  2. Then it's 2nd highlights. 
  3. Then pin lights. 
  4. Then patina AND weathering. 
  5. SFX (need to decide on colours for vent lights and the colour of the rift cannon). 
  6. Other lenses and lights. 
  7. Markings and litanies... 
And there was me thinking I was getting close to finished!

Anyway, quick mock up for the Rift Cannon, what colour do you think is best? Answers in the comments

    Friday 1 July 2016

    Dark Angels - Jetfighter - Red or Dead!

    So with red red wing done I went on to do the second wing but was undecided as to where this is going to go. Firstly I thought the red was too much, hence why I didn't paint the leading wing edge, but will that be black, or bronze? It certainly won't be white, but the red isn't great and in some respects the flyer looked overall too bright...

    ... at which point I inexplicably look up 'red marble' in google images. Can I just say ever since I saw the first painted example of a Jet Fighter with marble panels on the wing I thought they were downright stupid. Sure the 40k universe is backwards, inexplicable and filled with anachronisms but no one would be stupid enough to put stonework on a flyer! Then I saw this and thought what the hell, why not?!

    So I looked at a couple of YouTube tutorials, Duncan at WarhammerTV was particularly useful regards the striations that are within the stone [but I was always going to stick to water instead of Lahmian Medium]. I also checked out the painting Buddha guys, but it was above my pay grade really. However Jay Adan had a tutorial with sponging that better matched the example above and so I used the piece of card I prepared to do this test piece which I was well pleased with.

    So on to the model, where I immediately deviated from my test and did not thin my ever trusty Vermilion and so sponged on some pretty great [but not what I'd intended] texture, almost like the sandstone back on my Oneplus One

    You should be able to see the grainy relief in these shots.

    The next night I sponged on some Vallejo Heavy Red and black in varying degrees. This darker texture was to try to bring the tone down and reflect those darker grains in my inspiration image.

    Luckily that took the tone down because if I was concerned about Khorne Red being too bright Vermilion was definitely out of scope, albeit fluffy and ties in with all the other Red Planet BASE! elements

    I followed up that gorgeous dark with adding more light! Yep some Bonewhite micro-fragments courtesy of my sponge [I wonder what else I can do with it, obviously weathering but I love the minute detail here].

    And here come the striations. Lesson learned - it's really important to go in thinned, then you can build up where it's lightest. But if you put too much paint down you can use water to then spread the paint and streak it out so you get those thinning tendrils.

    Although I was really pleased with the results I thought it needed something else and as per the google image certain areas above or below the striations had a darker red.

    This added extra depth and dimension to the marble. So, some thinned black did a good job of replicating that. I must admit the wing on the right below I think is more successful. The other wing seems to have too many striations, it looks a bit forced and unnatural. I may try and fade one out a bit.

    Here's a close up of the finished effect

    I'll admit that I am thoroughly happy with what I've achieved and how close it is to my source and yet retains my own aesthetic. But I'll also say that I'm not sure about it, it'll obviously stay because it came out so well and really stands out but that's the point. For my dark and brooding jetfigther - bright red and white wings is that really what I should have done? Its all a bit gaudy. Part of me wonders if I get another, and I would ultimately like three, do I try a bronze version or even a black marble version? And then I conform and realise I've done this and this is how they will all be patterned, like it or lump it! We build our own prison cells and some are clad in Vermillion marble...