Thursday 27 October 2022

Project P30 - Part 16b

The End is Nigh - Part 2.

With the exception of the base (and that’s a whole new chapter) the remaining work on my Tank is a matter of finishing things off. Some parts need to be painted from scratch but most of the work involved tying-up lose ends from earlier work.

Fix the hand holding the bell into place.

This was a far more straightforward process than the mecha arm. I simply glued the bell hand in place with plastic glue. Once that had set, I filled the seam with dilute PVA and then retouched the paintwork. This felt like an enormously significant step as I was finally adding the sub-assemblies to the model. At long last it was all coming together!

Fix the chimneys back into place.

Now things really started to near completion as the re-addition of the chimneys would complete the model’s silhouette. I’d removed the chimneys earlier to make them easier to paint and I’d expected their reattachment to be a tricky process. In the end it went very smoothly. The chimneys were pinned, then glued back into position, leaving relatively minor seams to cover. For the smaller chimney, there was a matter of adding some corrosion over the join. A little corrosion can hide a multitude of sins! 

For the larger chimney, I had to re-sculpt some of the bubbly flesh texture over the join and then fill some hairline cracks with dilute PVA. I also added a few bony spines to this. Overall I’m very happy with the result. In fact, I think this area works better than it did before I removed the chimneys! Painting this area was a matter of matching up the colours to my existing scheme.

I was now finally able to add a long planned feature to the model. Some time ago I decided that I wanted coarse bristles sprouting from the Daemon’s back and shoulders. I’ve used grass tufts and paintbrush bristles to create similar effects in the past. 

My first attempt, using grass tufts, was an instant fail! The ‘hair’ looked too fluffy. Fluffy is not what we want or expect from Nurgle! For ‘plan B’ I used false eyelashes for the hairs which have a curve to them and taper to a point. They proved to be perfect. I cut them into small clusters, or individual hairs, and glued them into place with PVA. Once again this was tricky work but the final effect is exactly what I wanted!

4. Painting the Tentacles

I’ve a notebook with seven years worth of ideas written down for this project. As my plans developed and changed I kept notes to make sure nothing was forgotten. But, by the time I started painting, there were far to many, sometimes conflicting, plans for one project. Much of my decision making has been around which ideas to implement and which to reject. As the scheme developed the process of editing my plans became easier.

The tentacles are an example of the ‘less is more’ approach I’ve taken in the later stages of this project. I’d initially envisioned them as a larger version of the tentacles on Gutrot Spume, complete with stripes and dripping slime. But I felt that the stripes would bring an unnecessary new element to the scheme which would make the tentacles stand out from the rest of the model in an unsatisfactory way. 

Rather than stripes, I’ve painted the same freehand texture as used on the sides and back of the model. This adds interest to the tentacles but ties them in to the overall scheme. I’ve used colour to make them pop against the rest of the model. Starting from green hues at the base they graduate through a pinkish flesh tone to blue tips. The blue is my old favorite Bering Blue, which I’ve used throughout the scheme. It’s at its most obvious on the tentacle tips.

5. Add drool.

I rejected the idea of slime dripping from the tentacles as being just too much! This also applied to most of my plans for adding extra slime and goo to the model. My tank from 1990 has a liberal application of slime made from PVE glue and then painted. I strongly felt that I already had enough slime and goo on my new model and any more would begin to dominate the painting.

But there was one area where I very much wanted to break out the microbeads and water effects. This was the mouth (the one in the Daemon’s head) where I felt the addition of drool would be beneficial. The mouth was one of the very first areas I painted and its been a long wait to be able to finish it! 

I decided to focus the effect to one side of the mouth rather than filling the jaws with stringy drool. This was done with that old favorite UHU glue. Once the glue had set (it goes rubbery rather than hard) I built up several layers of water effects and microbeads. Once dry I gave it three coats of gloss varnish.

In the final of these updates I’ll describe how I made and painted the base for my Daemon Engine.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Project P30 - Part 16a

The End is Nigh!

It will come as a great surprise to anyone if I state that a lot has happened since I last posted regularly on this blog! Not least the long anticipated return of Golden Demon UK at Warhammer World on October 1 & 2. I posted some finished pics here during the weekend of the competion but it’s time to indulge in a little time travel as I bring things up to date.

For some time my gut feeling was that I’d finish the Daemon Engine this year but there’s nothing like a deadline to boost momentum! I felt that, with some effort, the October deadline might be achievable so I decided to go for it. The last few months have seen some adrenaline fueled painting and I now feel more confident about that deadline. Things have been coming together well and the end is in sight!

As I move towards the closing stages of a project I usually create a checklist of things to do. This helps me to keep focused, stay on target and avoid missing anything out in a rush to get finished. It’s been especially useful this time around as there have been many steps to complete. In my next few posts I’ll describe that list of jobs in the order I did them.

Finish the mecha arm.

This arm has been the most physically difficult area of the model to paint so far! In retrospect, I wish I had found a way to paint the arm as a sub-assembly, which would have made things a lot easier. 

However, the more interesting problem was to address the transitions between areas of flesh and metal. The arm came from the Forge Fiend kit and as such already depicted a union of monster and machine. This was a good starting point. I especially liked the hand as it matched the size of the fleshy hand holding the bell. However, some of the fleshy parts of the arm lacked the definition and texture that I wanted. I built up these areas with a combination of greenstuff, texture paste and microbeads. This had the additional benefit of helping to integrate the arm with the overall scheme by the use of common textures. This applied most especially to the bubbly/blistered texture I’d added elsewhere.

The next task was to address the stump out of which the mechanical arm protruded. Microbeads (of course) provided much of the texture, but I wanted something more. I wanted to create a semi liquid, ragged texture, as if the flesh was in the process of flowing into a new form. My greatest inspiration for this was the writing of Michael Moorcock, and most especially ‘Stormbringer’, which has had a huge influence on how I see the forces of Chaos and their effects. To create the flowing flesh, I used a variation of the cotton wool and water effects splash effect (shown HERE). In this case, however, I used a PVA glue and paint mix instead of water effects. 

I was very pleased with the final effect but the overall look of the arm didn’t feel right to me. After some thought I decided that I needed more metal and machine parts in proportion to the fleshy parts. Taking my nerves in hand, I clipped off the large green tentacle (I was to later use it elsewhere) and added the spikey guard rail from the Plague Burst Crawler. It was a nasty job but I was much happier with the arm once it was done!

Paint the sides of the tank.

I regarded the sides of the tank as three distinct areas: the side panels, the tracks and the entropy cannon. The side panels are especially significant because it was here I wanted to create a major transition between flesh and metal.

I’d decided upon the colours for this transition as a part of my ongoing work. The fleshy parts of the side panels were to be a deep green, transitioning from the lighter green upper parts. I felt that a flashy NMM effect would be inappropriate for the metal parts. So I used a brown hue inspired by patinated bronze. This was the same treatment I’d used on the ‘boiler’ at the back of the tank. It is a colour that contrasts with the green but not in a way that draws the eye away from the focal points of the model.

The transition is created through the use of a freehand texture. This was based upon the painted texture of the upper flesh areas, so it felt like a part of the overall scheme. I’d not been looking forward to painting this transition but, by the time I came to do it, things had become fairly straightforward. All my choices had been made as an on-going part of the project’s evolution, so I was able to focus on executing them rather than worrying about what to do! All in all this was one of the faster parts of the paint scheme to complete. 

Now I could paint the tracks. Once again my choices were informed by my earlier decisions. I kept the scheme for this area fairly simple. I painted the tracks and all the associated wheels, gears and general gubbins in the same dull grey NMM I’d used elsewhere. This would contrast with the adjacent parts of the model but fit in with the overall scheme. I had some plans for adding lots of mud and dirt but decided against this. As things have progressed, I’ve been editing my plans as it is easy to go OTT with this project. There is already a lot going on with the overall scheme. 

Rather than adding heavy layers of dirt, I painted some fairly subtle rust effects and blended them into the brown shadows to give a grimy feel. My global shade colour is Black Leather from Scale Colour which helped with this a great deal. I am particularly fond of shading cool or neutral greys with brown hues. As always, the photographs I took for lighting reference were extremely useful when it came to placing my highlights and shadows!

The final job for this overall area was to paint the two entropy cannons. These were painted as sub-assemblies and provided a nice little sub-project. 

The sides of the tank were the last significant areas of the tank to be painted.

The remaining work consists mostly of finishing things off and bringing together previously painted sub-assemblies.

Thursday 29 September 2022

Project P30 - Part 15.

It's done!!!

It’s been an intense few months of preparation and painting but I’ve finished my Daemon Engine in time for Golden Demon UK 2022, which is now upon us! I’m very proud of how this project has turned out because I’ve done the very best I can. It has been a brilliant experience but it’s now out of my hands and into the GD cabinet for judging. Fingers crossed!

So it’s time to reveal the finished Tank in its entirety. 

My planned pre-GD blog updates fell by the wayside. Once I’m back home and the GD dust has settled, I will upload a series of posts detailing the stages of this project to its completion.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Project P30 - Part 14.

So just when I though I’d be getting back into the swing of things, with a regular painting schedule, life had other ideas! We’d been planning some long-overdue house renovations (by long I mean 20 years!) and had scheduled them in for 2022. However the chance came to get the work done earlier and we took it. As a result our home was in complete upheaval, from October until mid-January, and there was no way on earth I could do any painting. Stressful as the disruption was it’s been great to finally get our bathroom and kitchen sorted and things are now getting back to normal, whatever that is.

The enforced hiatus has given me the opportunity to take stock and realise that I’ve undergone a big shift in attitude towards this project. Up until now I’ve been very focussed on getting the paint scheme for my Daemon Engine up and running. It’s been a sign of my uncertainty that I’ve concentrated on establishing the colours, textures, overall contrast and direction for the scheme but haven’t really looked beyond that.

Over the last month that has changed and I quite suddenly realised that I’ve now painted the bulk (no pun intended) of the flesh on this model. I have no firm idea of how long it will actually take to complete, but it feels like I’ve reached a sort of halfway point in the painting! I’m well aware that much of what remains to be done features fiddly mechanical details but I’ve most definitely moved forward into a new phase of the project.

When I started work on this project, back in February 2019, it was with the final model very much in mind. But as I’ve progressed, and especially since I’ve started painting, my thinking became more wrapped up with the process rather than the end goal. I think this was necessary because I needed to make a lot of decisions about what I was actually going to do with my scheme, but it did overwhelm my thinking.

With some major decisions made (I’m sure there are many more to come!) and considerable progress under my belt, I can now see my way ahead. So much so that I’ve started to work on a base for this model. The end of the project may be some way off but I think it’s a good time to start planning for it. The overall composition of this model and its base will make or break this project so there is no room for a last minute solution! I have plenty of time for planning and preparing a base and I fully intend to use it.

My thoughts on basing the model have greatly evolved over time. I’d thought of something quite large and elaborate, inspired by the type of basing you often see for historical tank kits. Thankfully I saw sense as that would have taken the project into diorama territory. What I now intend is to base the tank as though it were, and in many ways it is, a character model.

I’m not going to say too much about my basing plans until later in the project. But I must say a huge ‘thank you’ to Byron Orde who, through the course of a general discussion about basing, helped me to clarify my ideas. However, Byron went above and beyond that with some significant practical help towards getting this model onto the right base. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but, with the help I’ve had from Byron, and if I can pull off all my plans, it’s going to be epic!

But all of that is in the future and for the moment I need to crack on with painting. I will go into more detail in my next posting but for the time being I will bring things up-to-date with a summary.

Back in October I painted the large horns on the Daemon’s head. This was straightforward but very fiddly. I then moved onto the mechanical left hand and arm. I’d made a good start on these when everything ground to a halt. 

At the end of February I was able to pick up my brushes again but decided not to go straight back to the hand. I decided to paint a sub-assembly to help me get back into the swing of things. For this I chose to paint the large chimney which I first had to detach from the model! This was not a fun job but well worth the bother as the chimney was much easier to paint as a separate element. 

With the chimney painted, I’ve now returned to painting the mechanical hand and arm.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Project P30 - Part 13.

Ding Dong!

I’m back! Not that I’ve been away as such but I decided to take a bit of a break from painting my Daemon Engine. Things had gone very well, and I’d made excellent progress, but I felt that I was beginning to get a bit too relaxed with the project. To do my best work I need to keep on my toes and I think I was getting a bit complacent. The break in painting has given me the opportunity to reset and refresh the feeling of a challenge. 

To get re-started I decided to paint the bell, which I’d been keeping back for just such an occasion. The bell was perfect to paint as a sub-assembly and, as it features distinct areas of flesh and metal, was also perfect to help me get back up to speed with the colour palette and techniques I’m using on this model.

Although this model will feature a variety of non-metallic metal (NMM) effects the majority of my metal will be painted in bronze tones. Often used for bells, cannon and in ancient armour, bronze seemed like the perfect choice for a model that features all of these. It also works very well with my overall colour palette not least because of the opportunity it gives me to use cool green hues in the verdigris effects.

As with all metals the colour of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, will vary depending upon it’s exact composition, age and the conditions it’s been exposed to. Broadly speaking, bronze is a warm metallic hue along the lines of gold or brass; but slightly darker and browner than either, and less ‘orange’ than copper. In reality the colour bronze includes a wide range of tones and hues and can be achieved in many different ways.

I’d taken this into consideration when I created my initial colour palette but, as I‘ve now spent some time working with those colours, I decided to make some additions. The new colours are Balor Brown and Mournfang Brown both from Games Workshop and Ice Yellow from Vallejo Model Colour. The introduction of these colours has enabled me to create some warmer hues than my initial colour choices allowed. 

So far I’ve painted two distinct areas of bronze on my model: the back plate (including the shoulder) and the bell. Although both areas use colours from the same overall palette they have been treated quite differently. 

The back plate.

This is the single largest area of bronze on the model and much of it is in shadow. I decided that a warmer more saturated bronze would work best here, as it would have a strong contrast with the green hues in the adjacent areas of flesh and verdigris. In addition, a warmer and more saturated shadow colour gives more interest to the back of the model.



The base colour for this area is Rhinox Hide mixed with Boreal green and Black Leather. The additions serve to darken the Rhinox Hide.


I lightened the base colour with the addition of Mournfang Brown. As I moved into the mid-tones I increased the amount of the Mournfang and gradually began to add Balor Brown to my mix. The use of Mournfang Brown and Balor Brown give warmth and saturation to the final result.


As my colours go into the highlights, I introduced a mix of Balor Brown and Ice Yellow moving to pure ice yellow. The final highlights are Ice Yellow with a little white added. 

The use of Ice Yellow was a little risky as my global highlight colour is Flayed One Flesh and the introduction of a new highlight colour could cause a colour clash with previously painted areas. However, Ice yellow has, compared to Flayed One Flesh, a cooler more saturated yellow hue that works very well for bronze.

The bell.


The base colour for the bell is a mix of Rhinox Hide, Boreal green and Black Leather. These are the same colours as on the back plate but there is less Rhinox Hide and more Boreal green and Black Leather in this mix. The resulting colour is darker, cooler and more desaturated.


The biggest difference between the two bronze areas lies in the mid-tones. For the bell I have only used Balor Brown. This is mixed with the base colour in increasing amounts as the colour lightens. However, I have not used any pure Balor Brown on the bell.


As my colours have moved into the highlights, I’ve added Ice yellow to the Balor Brown/base colour mix. As with the back plate my highlights shift through pure Ice Yellow to an Ice Yellow/white mix. 

The final result for the bell is a bronze colour that is cooler, more desaturated and with shadows that are more blackened than the back plate.

The base/shadow mix of Rhinox Hide, Boreal green and Black Leather that I’m using on this model is one that I’ve often used before due to it’s flexibility. The mix gives a surprisingly dark result that I like to think of as ‘almost black’ and I can easily shift the temperature and saturation of this colour by altering the mix. 
A page from my notebook comparing my
'almost black' Black Leather/Boreal Green mix with Black

I’ll be adding more areas of bronze as my paint scheme progresses and I’m looking forward to creating more variations of this colour.

After painting the bell I turned my attention to the hand holding it; and what I thought would be relatively simple proved to be quite a challenge. As I said earlier part of my reason for painting the bell was to help me to get back up to speed with the colour palette. And it’s a good thing too. I forgot that my base colour for the flesh tones was a mix of two parts Rakarth Flesh with one part each of Bugman’s Glow and Sahara Yellow. Instead I used only Rakarth Flesh and it made a massive difference! The flesh tones were all far too cool and I had to glaze a lot of warm tones over this to balance things out. I’m now happy with the hand although I will almost certainly adjust it a little more once I glue it into place on the model.

As I’ve said before with this model nothing is finished until it’s all finished!