Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hermetika Prepares - Building the Knightly house

So after months of playing around and teasing and generally not getting anywhere done the Knights of House Hermetika are complete (albeit with a small job on the carapace still outstanding).

The models took some time and the pics below show the various progress and some tips and tricks I've picked up along the way. I was overall pleased with the results seems as this was the first work I have done using an airbrush.

To accompany my Skitarii and be useful in both 30k and 40k games I decided I wanted a few different variations and I wanted an Ad Mech house (my true 40k knights will be imperial aligned) so as you may have seen already I decided on Hermetika but with some variations to their scheme.

My favourite knight to both build and looks is the Atrapos, the combination of the Ad Mech Armour and the Cerastus pattern body is brilliant so I had to have one.
The model was a pleasure to build and had an awful lot more parts than I was expecting (each piston is a two part piece with a shaft and tube - uber detail!) but went together so well.
Here he is looking hardcore on a Secret Weapon Scrap Heap base.

Once built he joined my "standard" knights. All presented undercoated are a styrix and magaera (which will count as battlecannon and melta versions for 40k) and finally a warden. All have the FW ad mech armour which is brilliant and adds a lot of character.

for the metallics I finally used my airbrush and started with the GW Air paints, their lead belcher is so smooth and once applied gives a lovely finish.

I decided to add to that metallic finish by using a variation on the "Cherry red" scheme that is popular with FW Ad Mech knight. In the guide they base using a very bright silver but I decided to dull it down slightly and use plain lead belcher to give a darker tone. I also chose to use the FW paints as per the Imperial Armour Horus Heresy Masterclass for a number of reasons but mainly because I knew I could obtain them, so all steps below follow that guide more or less.

First steps once the base coats of silver (lead belcher as opposed to the guides lighter silver - this is my only major deviation) were dry seem counter intuitive but that is to shade all the "edges" or curves you'd like to pick up with Calth Blue! It seems crazy but bare with it, these transparent paints are magic.

next up comes several thin coats of FW Angron Red, this "clear paint" gives a lovely smooth coat and dries with a nice sheen as you can see below - in the book it says a number of coats, I found 3-4 was sufficient.

here is some further detail of the carapace armour to show how the blue banding presents through the red and how it highlights the curves, I guess you would call it "pre-shading".

Here are some rough assembly and WIP pics of the knights to give you an overall idea of the look I was aiming for.

Once dried the details and brass was then applied to the appropriate surfaces and detailed.

During detailing and looking at the best way to re-do any silver parts I was concerned about masking areas and destroying the red underneath, when I posted about this on Facebook I introduced to a substance called "Parafilm". I don't really know what it is but it seems to be a type of clingfilm with a layer of parafin or something similar to stop the paint sticking and it sticking to the surface.

On this leg panel the red was already in place and I used parafilm to mask it, ensuring it was fully pressed down and flat in to all corners.

once the airbrushed silver above was dry (I got busy and ended up leaving it about a week) I inked and dry brushed the silver for some more depth and then removed the parafilm as below.

As you can see the film masked perfectly and left no damage to the red below, I can not recommend this stuff enough to anyone looking to find a good solution to masking whilst painting. I used it on several areas for both airbrushing and standard brushing with no issues.

Finally just prior to our trip to Nottingham House Hermetika and the forces of Mezoa mustered for packing. Unfortunately they are only 90% done here and need final touches but those should be done soon (no transfers yet as none from FW at the moment) and more detailed pictures will be up once done.

Monday, February 20, 2017

SNM Stuff - Airbrush for Beginners

Hi folks, as some of you know I recently purchased (read last year) an airbrush to try and speed things up and spur me forward to work on some new models. I know its taken me a while to get round to this but in all honesty I haven't had chance to do it :(

In the end the purchase was great but to start with I was a tad worried about using it, so in my attempts to move forward I decided to look at some courses on airbrushes before I made the purchases, just to ensure I wasn't wasting my money.

Initial searches weren't great as the courses were either being held too far away or at locations where they not only wanted you to pay for the course but expected you to purchase the airbrush as part of that course (and I wont pay Iwata prices for "china" compressors!) and offered little in the way of incentive (in fact at least one of them the course and set prices worked out more than their individual prices via their store!).

In the end the closest course I could find (which was still a good two hours away) was being run by SNM Stuff, a store I had heard of (and whose name always makes me laugh!!) but never dealt with. It was offering a full days tutorial for £95 with a chap called Brian Best, a who is listed as a Golden Demon winner, and he really is.

To quote their blurb:

This course is ideal for those new to airbrushing or who want to brush up their basic skills, and time is also dedicated to showing you how to clean and care for your airbrush. We used to advertise this course as “basic techniques” but we’ve changed the name because we find that by working at a comfortable pace, with many groups, the attendees are skilled enough already (or pick it up quickly enough) that we get considerably beyond just basic techniques by the end of the day. Although we provide all the airbrushes and equipment you’ll need, we also include a troubleshooting section to help address any issues you might have with your current setup.
As well as gaining a full day of training, you will also benefit from a 5% discount on paints and supplies bought on the day !
As I was unsure of what I wanted/needed this seemed the best way forward. On arrival the store is very centrally located and well stocked. Located in the town centre of Camberly I honestly expected it to be smaller but was quietly impressed. Only thing to note was parking was a bit of a pain but then what British town centre doesn't have that issue.

They even have a corner of dice:

Overall the welcome was pleasant and no real delay in starting. The courses are purposely kept small to allow for 1-1 assistance, there were 6 of us on the course I attended and this small size was worth it. I found the set up quite nice and it did help me decide on a few peices I wanted. Here is the booth set up and the room set up.

The tutorial style was very informal with no-one booth being set up but Brian moved from booth to booth to demonstrate techniques and methods, this was good as different people wanted to learn different things over the course of the day and this meant they got their help but we got to see what was happening.

First lesson of the day was basically how to use an airbrush which started with the following doodles (which I enjoyed as I had never airbrushed before) and lead in to some "accuracy" excercises that covered "spotting", shading, fading and lines.

After that we moved on to the opportunity to try out different techniques, use of stencils, use of different colours to get effects as well as even more basic things like paint thickness, paint types to use, thinners and cleaners and the effects of the wrong ones. Overall a pretty comprehensive introduction to the art of airbrushing. Brians skill is undeniable and his easy teaching method was a good fit for the day.

Overall I enjoyed the course and setting, I learnt a lot and even though it might not look like much I was pleased with my efforts for the day.

I can highly recommend the starter course and if you are in the area or want to attend I would seriously give it a go.
More details of their latest course can be found here:

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