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Yet another Blood Ravens hobby blog: adventures in contrast


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Ha, I didn't think about using it as a Redemptor, I forgot it's on a similar chassis. They're both Invictor warsuits, I've got the flamethrowers for both of them on magnets as well. I might eventually buy a Redemptor for backfield support for the battle bros, but with a Leviathan already sitting in my deployment zone it feels a little duplicative.

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This week I've been working with magnets. 


I've loved the Predator Tank since Dawn of War, and whether or not it's the most competitive choice for my heavy slot...I want one. But I'm terrible at choosing, and I don't want to commit to one weapon-set over another, especially in the volatile valley between editions. What's a fella to do? 




For the sponsons, magnets were easy. I chopped the sponson pole off at the top where it peeks down through the sponson mount. Glued on a stack of magnets, and once the glue dried, used a knife to separate the stack from the top magnet. 


Using a full stack of magnets instead of a single magnet makes it real easy to test the polarity of the magnets without disturbing the glue. I then glued an opposite polarity stack to the lascannon. the slot at the top is big enough for infantry sized magnets.


The heavy bolter slot required a slight drilling to expand large enough to accommodate these magnets, but once that was done, slotting it in was easy.








For the main turret guns I drilled holes into the sides of the main guns and stuck in magnets. I thought gluing some sideways into the turret would be a cinch, but boy that was a chore. Wound up losing probably 10-15 magnets (I have a few hundred left so it's fine) and gluing a whole stack in place on either side of the main turret so they'd hold in place against the interior wall of the model. They're lined up pretty well, close enough that the combination of friction + magnetic field keeps the guns pointing up or down as I wish. The ammo pack/battery was magnetized using the slotting mounts as a guide. Wound up eyeballing it a bit, but it's close enough that the rear piece lines up well.




Really happy with how this came out. Here's a WIP pic of the Predator all color-blocked. Still needs detail work, decals, clean-up and sealing, but it's coming along nicely.




And lastly, I'll mention that while I was magnetizing my heavy support units, I figured I oughta go ahead and magnetize the big gun on the most heavily armed unit I've ever painted:




Looking forward to finishing up this classic mainline battle tank, and then painting his big brother.

Edited by Darkjediben
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I wished that about my vehicles from my first army as a kid, and now that I've got the time, patience, and skill, I figured I'd do it right from the start.


And the finished product is well worth it:






Heavy Support, ready to roll out! Got the opportunity to try some spray on sealant (Army Painter anti-shine matt finish). Frosted just a little at the edge of the back part of the dakkaturret, but now I get to try the olive oil solution and see how easy it is to rescue. Great experience overall, very proud of the finished product. Table-ready for any game surface around.


Next up, his heavier, floatier brother.

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Time for the last component of my Heavy Support section. The big daddy of guns, the wildly inefficient and totally over-armed Repulsor Executioner!




Some lessons learned: Bone is literally the worse color. I hate it. Trying to paint non-contrast bone over a giant flat surface is awful. I did so many thin coats that I wound up starting to obscure details with the paint thickness and calling off. Luckily they're big metal doors, so a bit of un-even texture doesn't look the worse, but I probably won't attempt to paint a large vehicle like this again without an airbrush.


I also learned how to do matt spray from army painter without any frosting. Touch of it with the predator, watched some youtube videos and finally understood that the issue was not being too close, but too far from the model when spraying. I got right up on that bad boy this time and the seal turned out lovely and clear.


Next up it's time for a full army photoshoot.

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  • 1 year later...

Oof, bigtime thread necro. Sorry yall, had a second kid, started a new job, life got in the way. But I'm back and I'm painting again, so let's get to the content:


Got the Indomitus set, finally got around to painting the Assault Intercessors in contrast paints. I'll make that post, and then show you guys the retro side project going on with this army. 


Here's the intercessors:


Assault Intercessors group 2

Assault Intercessors group 1


I'm also really excited about this sergeant. I think I've finally got the hang of more traditional paint > ink > paint again highlighting with this helmet. He's crisp and clean and came out perfectly. I tried some different lightning effects on his power fist as well, figuring a melee sarg might want his fist powered up and ready for krumpin.


PXL 20211003 174723480

PXL 20211003 174736181


I've done something a little different with the eye lenses on these troops. Previously I'd slathered a Tamiya Clear Green over the lenses after I was done because I wasn't confident in my color transitions. I think they look fine at this point, though, so I left the lenses as flat green colors with a dark to the rear and a lighter green at the front. I think the end result is MUCH cleaner, and a touch brighter.


Next up: A blast from the past.

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When I moved to my new house, I was finally able to dig out my ancient space marines from when I was a teenager, a decade and a half ago. I had gone with a purple and gold scheme, more blinged out soul drinkers than Emperor's Children. Those garish colors combined with my lack of skill led to some...interesting results. For example, this extremely sloppy dreadnought:


Purple Dreadnought Weapons (2)

Purple Dreadnought

Purple Dreadnought Weapons (3)


Can't have that fella striding around on the table alongside my new invictor warsuits, or standing in the shadow of the Redemptor dread sitting on my to-do list. I spent a lot of time the first few weeks we moved in here with bottles of LA's Totally Awesome, an old toothbrush and some tupperware containers to try and make the old models workable. The end result wasn't quite bare plastic, and after I primed it there were parts that flaked up on the base as old paint stubbornly resisted the new grey seer primer I threw over the top.


But ultimately, thanks to a good amount of Vallejo Earth Gel, I think I got this bad boy looking...if not golden daemon level, at least presentable when stood in my display cabinet alongside the rest of my blood ravens. Without any further ado, I present to you the subject of millions of surfing memes from DOW1:


Dreadnought front

Dreadnought rear

Dreadnought with Weapons


Hope you guys are enjoying the Blood Ravens, both old and new. Looking forward to some Indomitus Characters and maybe some more restorations soon. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now  we come to the heart of it: I've got a great handle on the basics of contrasts, but can I expand my repertoire past the deep red armor of the Blood Ravens? The Indomitus Chaplain stood ready to find out. I had some experience edging black with grey, but the idea of doing it across a whole model made me a bit nauseous. I knew from my necron experiments with contrasts that Basilicanum Grey over Grey Seer primer appeared like a dull metal, but that wasn't exactly what I wanted for black armor. I'm also cheap and stingy and didn't want to go out and buy Black Templar contrast purely on the off-chance that it MIGHT work for this. 


I looked up some color studies of contrast paints and found something that might work. I based all the armor plates on the Chaplain in gunmetal (Vallejo's equivalent to Leadbelcher), and then cleaned up the armor joints with Grey seer to match the primer where I made messes. Then I loaded up my brush with Basilicanum grey and hit the whole model in one pass. You can see the results for yourself below:


Chaplain - Indomitus


I think it came out pretty great! Even got a nice texture difference between the armor and the joints, you can see a great example on the inside of the elbow. The only real downside is that when picking out the details with gold, I couldn't just spot-fix any errors that I made...when I splashed over on to the shin, I had to repaint that entire panel with grey seer, let it dry, and then hit it with basilicanum grey all over again to avoid it being overly blotchy and sticking out. The shine of metal under the contrast paint makes a nice edge highlight without me having to do...well, anything! 


So I feel confident I can paint just about any armor with contrast paint...but what about soft textures? Say...leather?


Justiciar - Indomitus


The Justiciar came out so dang good with single coats of wyldwood contrast and snakebite leather contrast that I immediately ordered a couple more brown tones for my Death Korp out of the Octarius boxset. A splash of skeleton horde contrast on his face and some fleshtearers red on the bandana to tie him in with the rest of my forces completed the look. I almost regret painting my gun holsters and bags black now that I see how damn good Wyldwood looks (but I don't regret it enough to re-prime, seal, and paint 50+ infantry models).


Next up we'll return to our roots with more red armor, but the religious branch of my Blood Ravens detachment has been a very fun experiment in broadening my contrast horizons.

Edited by Darkjediben
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Back to the boys in red...fleshtearers red contrast over the power armor of Bladeguard Veterans.


Bladeguard Veterans 1


I'm keeping the general ingredients from the infantrymen on the power armor, but I'm taking the skeleton horde robes from my chaplain, and wyldwood belts from my justiciar. I tried something new with the swords, specifically a new lightning pattern using a much smaller brush and only 2 color stages instead of 3. I think it's a much more convincing electric effect than previous power swords I've done.


Next I'll tackle the Bladeguard Ancient. Gonna have to make some choices about this one around the standard. Keep the wings dark keeping to my ravens theme, or go with a metallic color to set off the bones? Keep the bones dark with aggaros dunes or try skeleton horde and see if it's far enough removed from the tabard not to matter? 


We'll see! But probably not til some time this weekend, honestly. I kinda content-dumped about a month's worth of work, gonna have to slow down and match my content to my actual output moving forward.
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  • 1 month later...

Time for another standard! What are bladeguard if they haven't got an ancient to follow? Still pretty kick-ass melee units, I suppose, but I like big banners.


This was a much different prospect than my first banner made of cloth. The different textures and materials on the bladeguard ancient's standard are an interesting thing to approach. I normally would have used skeleton horde on the skeleton, but with that color being used for the parchment of purity seals and the cream colored robes, I wanted a darker contrast paint to make the bones look different. I went with aggaros dunes, a color I've used quite a bit on my necron army. A dash of wyldwood contrast to suggest heavy leather straps holding the skeleton in place and baby, we've got a stew going.


I've seen a lot of these banners all in gold and bone, bright, eye-catching colors. I wanted something a bit darker to emphasize the "Raven" part of blood ravens. I briefly considered Basilicanum grey for the wings, but ultimately decided that this needed to be hand-painted black with some light edge-highlighting of mechanicus grey. I think it came out great, although it took a LOT more cleanup and effort than slapping on One Thick Coat.


Bladeguard Ancient


After the ancient I knocked out some heavy support. Eradicators painted with the mostly contrast and metallics approach I've been using with handpainted shoulder pauldrons. For the heated metal barrels I stole the technique I used on my Chaplain's armor and painted them silver with basilicanum grey over the top. I think it gives it a clearly different texture while still being dark metal, just a different dark metal from the rest of the gun.



Next up my Redemptor is getting really close to the finish line!
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  • 2 months later...

As promised, a big stompy boi for everyone to enjoy!


Redemptor Dreadnought


Magnetizing these larger models gets easier every time I do it, especially with a model like this where really you're only magnetizing a couple components. I drilled into the back of the stormbolters and grenade launchers around the waist so I can hotswap the auxiliary weapons, but really the big thing to magnetize here is the gatling cannon vs macroplasma arm. Lessons learned here are being applied to the contemptor I bought with entirely too many arms.


I also got myself a pot of Guilliman Flesh. I think I've really taken my face game up a few notches lately, especially with the chaplain posted above, but this contrast is...next level.


The one big drawback for using contrast around tiny details is that usually if you mess up, you've got to repaint the whole section primer colored and re-apply, contrast over contrast creates a different color than a single coat. I messed up when painting the eye on this bladeguard, getting a wick of black eyeliner halfway down his cheek. That's when I realized that if you're doing fleshy things as opposed to complex armors, color variation is in fact EXACTLY what you want! This contrast let me turn a mistake that otherwise would have required a full repaint into some bags under the man's eyes. The tired veteran's face gains some character and I gain some time back in my day. 


Here's a pic of all 6 of my bladeguard, including honestly one of the best faces I've ever done, produced with One Thick Coat of guilliman flesh for skin and gor grunta fur for hair.


Bladeguard second squad

Next post will have a little more psychic firepower!
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Double posting today because I waited way too long between submissions:

Blood Ravens Librarian!


I had a heck of a time figuring out what to do with the robes, they seemed potentially really boring if I just slapped skeleton horde on there and called it a day. I got the idea of lining the cloaks with another color from some other people painting libbies on google images. I wasn't sure how to differentiate the red on the inside of the cloak from the armor until I realized...I don't have to! Painting the librarian helmet and torso blue provided the contrast with the fleshtearers red contrast all on its own.


The blue is kind of a happy accident. I painted the model with Enchanted Blue from Americana brand paints thinned down with Vallejo thinner medium like I usually do. I had some army painter "tones" I had been itching to try out, and when  I slapped on blue tone it did...not do what I wanted. I was hoping for something like an ink or a wash? Instead it made all the blue patchy and foggy and terrible! I went back in and threw a coat of army painter "strong tone" over the top hoping to get some definition in the crevices before repainting the whole thing, and weirdly that recipe turned the whole thing pretty ok. Maybe a bit battle damaged but there's worse things it could be.


The eyes were just the same paint as the helmet with a bunch of white to glow it up. The sword I did like the bladeguard sword for some visual consistency across the army. I think he turned out great!




Next up, I bought an airbrush...

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Went ahead and knocked out my last 2 bladeguard affiliated characters and finished the part of Indomitus that walks around on their own two feet. Contrast came in extremely handy on these guys, I'm really getting the hang of applying a RELATIVELY even coat to them and avoiding the worst of the blotchiness contrast is famed for. The lightning effect on the captain's sword is now a fine science for me, I love how it looks and I'll be keeping it. I went low-key with the volkite, knowing that I have a number of dreadnought-sized volkite weapons coming up next.


Indomitus Lieutenant Collage   Copy

Indomitus Captain collage   Copy

My attempt at checkerboard on the lieutenant's shield can best be described as "Orky". Not happy with it, but that was the fourth revision, and ultimately I decided to seal it and accept that I'm not perfect at a lot of things.
Edited by Darkjediben
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm impressed with how smooth your application of Contrast paints is, especially considering the number of models you've painted for this force army. :o


The checkerboard on the tilt shield looks pretty good from where I'm currently standing and there's always future opportunities to improve. In any case, I think stopping after the fourth attempt was a good call. :tu:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks very much for the contrast compliments. Time to test another use-case...Restoring first-born marines.


This week I worked on my Assault on Black Reach terminators from way back in the day. 5 tactical terminators painted in the heraldry of a home-brew chapter I came up with when I was maybe 14 years old? Lots of gold and purple, which are tough to get right on their own...but then also mixed in with as many decals and other colors I could possibly think of. It did not look good. 


So with the magic of LA's Totally Awesome from the Dollar tree, an old toothbrush head, and some tupperware containers, will we be able to make these ancient models look...dare I say it...new? 


You tell me:


Black Reach  Terminators - purple garbage


Black Reach Terminators - Blood Ravens (restored)

Pretty pleased with how these fellas came out. The contrast is maybe a touch un-even on the shields, but it gave me a chance to mess about with some more extremely simple freehand. Guilliman flesh continues to be skill-in-a-can for un-helmeted faces. 


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Restoring the Terminator Librarian went pretty darn well. Original flavor in the purple armored picture, but I'm a huge fan of the final project. This completes the third of three librarians in my Blood Ravens Librarium...perhaps we'll add more later, but with 2 terminator-clad psykers and a primaris one to boot, I'm feeling pretty powered up. Micron pens are the way and the light for all of those books, purity seals, and scrolls, but you've got to be real careful sealing them if you use brush-on sealant...enough pressure from the brush can cause the ink to smear.


Terminator Librarian

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