And so I present the 32nd Vanguard of the Mechanicus Expeditionary Force Pi.
I've started to come up with a story line to build a narrative behind the models I'm painting which is why I've given the unit a name. I'll write up more of this background later as I flesh it out, but simply put I'm basing my Mechanicus force around an exploration force sent to terraform a new world for the Mechanicus of Mars.
To say I'm happier with these models than I was with the last batch I finished would be an incredible understatement. While I still struggled to get a whole unit painted within a month due to all the sub assemblies involved, I did manage to deliver a group of models that I am happy to put on the gaming table. I'm stoked with how the metal has come out in a dirty, dull tarnish to contrast with the bright red of their great coats. I'm also thrilled about how the green has come together. While I am still adhering to the Martian red of the GW paint scheme I wanted to steer away from the blue glow they used. I think the blue makes the models look too clean and I really wanted something more sickly to highlight the unhealthy radiation seeping out of their weapons and equipment. I'm much happier with the green and I feel it gives the models a much darker, grittier look more suited to the narrative of 40k.
Despite all this I'm not completely without frustration. This whole process is becoming a bit of an experiment into the unknown where I test out new techniques and new products. One technique I decided to try towards the end of painting these guys is Object Source Lighting (OSL) from all of the green light sources. The model in the back row with the Arc rifle is the one I used as a test subject, you can see a little OSL on his rifle and the light on his backpack. I really like how it's turned out, but seeing as it was an impulsive, last minute action I will have to return to finish off the rest of the models at the end of this project which is a little annoying. In future however I will be applying this to all further models. On the other hand one thing I'm not happy with is the snow on the bases. I bought some of the new Valhallan Blizzard texture paint to have a play with and I can tell you that I am far from impressed. This is what it is supposed to look like according to GW:
This is what it actually looks like:
Some might like this effect but the look I'm going for is a rocky mountainous terrain capped with patches of receding snow. I've tried to improve the look by mixing the Valhallan Blizzard in with some PVA and water to get the right effect but it still looks pretty naff. I'm confident I'll get it right with a bit more tidy up work but at the moment I just feel whole-heartedly disappointed with it.
I've also been looking at weathering effects and I'm pretty sure this is something I'm going to add in to the next step of this project. That's another step that will need to be revisited on all the models I've already painted at the end of the project. More re-work sucks but I really want to push my limits and explore as a painter with this project so it'll be worth the effort.
Speaking of the next step in this project I should probably lay out my goal for November. The original plan was to paint a vehicle for month three, so my next model on the painting table is a second Onager Dunecrawler
At the moment I'm clipping and cleaning the parts out of the sprues and gluing them together. I'm hoping to have the whole model glued and undercoated by the end of the weekend so I can begin base colours on Monday. Once again I'm a bit behind where I should be and I'm quickly running out of time, so I better sign off here and get back to modelling. As always thanks for stopping in to read and I hope you're finding these updates interesting or inspiring. Check in next weekend for another update and hopefully a quick post about some other random topic in between.