View Full Version : GK and Dwarf escalation

01-04-2007, 02:29
So another project log, yadda yadda, motivation, yakkety yakkety...

You all know the story here, so to the meat of things.

I mentioned something about wanting to start an escalation league to my local gaming group (who are primarily 40k players) as a motivation for painting up my fledgling BFSP dwarf force, and somehow a week later found myself organizing the whole thing. We're running 500 point monthly stages for both 40k and fantasy armies, and I decided to try iron-manning my way through both, painting up Daemonhunters (mostly grey knights) for 40k, and my dwarfs for the fantasy portion. Combine all that with a new camera and you have this log.

I know, I know, get to the piccies.

First off my workspace, semi-cleaned:

The first thing I've started on is the Grey Knights, seeing as it'll only be 13 or so minis in the first 500 points. I want to have a scheme a touch different to the codex knights, so they'll be grey (but not NMM) grey knights, with liche purple in place of the red accents. I'm also trying my hand at a more complex paintjob than the "colored within the lines" job on my Tau.

The first mini painted was a psycannon PA knight, still wip. This is my first attempt at shading/highlighting, and using Citadel colors instead of cheap craft paints

WIP front, slightly blurry (new camera):

WIP back, same:

C&C, suggestions are welcome. I hope to keep this updated every couple of days at the longest.

Thanks for looking.

Model count and progress:

14 Dwarf Warriors
15 Dwarf Warriors
10 Dwarf Thunderers

Inquisitor w/ psycannon
6 Grey Knights
6 Grey Knights

01-04-2007, 15:06
Looks pretty good so far, though I would ask that you play around with the camera a bit and try for some slightly clearer photos. But like the idea of 'grey' knights, and look forward to seeing what you can do with them for some individuality

02-04-2007, 01:09
Yeah, I'm still learning my camera, but already showing some improvements.

The psycannon Knight is almost complete, just a touch of inking and cleaning up the chipped sections the camera brought to my attention. I'm very pleased with how he is turning out. I've also made headway on one of his storm bolter bretheren. My 500 point combat patrol list is going to have 2 units of 6 knights w/ a psycannon in each unit, and probably an inquisitor to round out the last 100 points, but I'm still tweaking the list. 500 points is a tough constraint for a grey knight daemonhunter list.

Front of the marines, a bit clearer this time:

Back, I need to touch up the heel of one them:

And the aforementioned dwarves,in all their unpainted glory:

The Dwarf list is pretty final:

Freya Fangbreaker, Dwarf Thane
Rune of stone
Rune of speed
Rune of fire

14 Dwarf Longbeards with hand weapon + shield
Full command

15 Dwarf Warriors with hand weapon + shield
Full command

5 Dwarf Thunderers

The list comes out to 500 points on the nose. The box of warriors behind the set out models will be assembled as the longbeards, and the Thane will go in their unit. I had originally considered trying a NMM technique for the dwarves, but as the Grey Knights are being so carefully painted, the dwarves will likely be finished to a lesser standard so I can finish on time. Assuming I finish, that is.

03-04-2007, 00:50
Well, I didnt make a huge amount of progress today, at least anything you all would want to see. Most of what I got done was basing and priming models, although I did manage to put most of the finishing touches on the second Knight and put a base coat on one of the dwarf models. Anyway, on to the pics:



The camera really does bring out every little flaw in the painting, but I'll admit I wasn't as careful painting no.2 as with the first marine. There's an ink smudge on the helmet by the holes I'll have to touch up. I'm also still trying to master the right amount to thin the paint for a good consistency. This marine was nearly straight from the pot for a large part the process, although I managed to make a bleached bone wash at one point. The purity seals are a bit too brown, but good enough for now (the sound of fluttering paper Grey Knights make in a breeze must be deafening). I do like how the storm bolter looks in the purple. The dwarf has a bit more work done with the base coat, but I wanted to get a pic taken while the sunlight was still good. I've also done a bit of painting on the two Knights' backpacks, but they're nowhere near done.

I know I mentioned th escalation league, but realize I didn't give you any of the details. The first 500 points for each army is due April 29, giving me 27 more days to paint 46 1/3 more models.

Yikes, when written down like that, it seems I might have taken on too much. I may have to dumb the dwarves painting standard down to just "done", as they'll be ranked up in a large block anyway.

Finally, does anyone have any tips on keeping the edges of metal minis from chipping/rubbing off while you're working on them? I'm priming with Krylon flat grey primer (because it's cheap, I can see the detail easier than with white or black, and I already had it), but handling the mini while painting still rubs paint off in places.

04-04-2007, 06:20
No tips, eh? I suppose edge flaking is just the nature of the beast with metal miniatures then.

Today I completely finished the two wip marines and the wip dwarf, with the exception of sealing them.

The marines, with their primed, basecoated, and initially inked bretheren:


The only thing missing from that batch of models for the first 500 points is one psycannon Knight (currently on order), and the inquisitor with psycannon I'll be using.

The inquisitor is still in the blisters; I'm going to take the Techpriest Enginseer model, and replace his axe with a metal space marine scout heavy bolter to represent the psycannon. The hands line up pretty close, from eyeballing it. I may need to bend an arm a bit, and the heavy bolter bit will have to have an arm-ectomy performed, but I think it should be effective. I'll try and get some shots of the bits tomorrow, so I can get some input. This'll be my first real try at choping models -style conversion. So far my attempts have been of the mixing bits -style. If I feel particularly froggy (and have the time) I may try to green stuff the bolter to look a little more psycannon-like.

On the dwarf front, things are progressing. I basecoated him completely, and gave his beard a quick high-point highlight, but he was looking pretty cartoony. Then I inked him, brown for the face, hair, and beard, black on the chainmail. It's amazing how much better the mini looks after just a quick ink wash. I'll edit in a pic tomorrow, as I didn't get the stumpy done until after the sun was down. Overall it looks like the dwarves will come together pretty quickly to a decent standard, and I may knock them out quicker than I thought.

That's a lot of reading with no pictures to break it up, so here's a shot of my cheap craft painted, and 70% done tau force, minus some bits and bobs.


If you'd like to see closeups of any of the models, let me know. As you can see, lots of unpainted models there too, but most of what I usually use in the game is painted to a neat, if not highlighted standard.

And as a final treat, Jenny my painting helper:


04-04-2007, 10:17
Well even if no-one else is going to, I shall. I think they grey knights are looking good. It's good to see some that aren't bright silver (I hate that scheme).

You've quite a bit of Tau there!

04-04-2007, 11:17
Yeah, top tip: try undercoating your models, it works wonders! :> (edit: err, I mean the dwarf.)

Very sweet tau army by the way.

04-04-2007, 16:29
They are undercoated with Krylon grey primer. Unfortunately, it's almost the same color as the plastic and virtually identical to fortress grey. You can see the dwarf's primed if you look at the base.

And thanks for the complements on the Tau. I'll take some individual pics of them to show that the craft paints arent *that* bad, and post them later today.

Edit: To avoid double-posting, I'll tack todays update here.

I finished a couple of the dwarves, the ones that were based and primed. It was really really quick getting them to this standard, the second dwarf took an hour tops from primer to done.

They're not high art, but they'll work on the table:

And to show the rest of the unit is based and primed:

I'll most likely be batch painting these boys over the next few days, as they'll be very easy to knock out, and I want to spend a bit more time on the Knights. I'll take a good bit more care with the Thane and other character models too, but I think the rank and file look decent enough at this standard.

Painting on the Grey Knights has also gone decently. First up, a pic of the completed second marine:

I'm very pleased with how his NFW turned out, and it was super easy to do. I decided to make the weapon and top backpack panel purple to try and increase the color's presence in the army. It has worked out well, there's just enough purple on the models to break up the grey and silver without making me feel like I'm looking at grapes.

I've made decent headway on the next two marines, as this WIP shows:

My highlights are still a bit sloppy, but I'll work on that as I go. The first model had much more subtle highlighting, but I spent way too long on that model to do that to each trooper and still meet the deadline.

When It gets too dark to paint, I've been gradually assembling the longbeard unit. It's surprising how many spare bits are in that dwarf warrior box. Still, the assembly has come along a bit slowly.

One thing about maintaining a log like this, I'm much more eager to make painting progress each day, so I have pics to show you all. Thanks for the feedback, it's helping to keep me going.

And special thanks go out to Spikyjames for the blue-fade background I've begun using. I think the pure white paper was washing out some of the color on the models, they look a lot better agaisnt the blue.

05-04-2007, 01:13
Double post, I know, but the last post hit the pic limit.

I promised pics of my Tau, and here they are.

First off a pic of the only totally finished Hammerhead:

It's gloss varnished, but I like the shiny new look it has on the table, and think it fits Tau more than any other army. It was painted with Apple Barrel paints, and also has my first attempts at gem/lens effect on it.

Next, some Firewarriors and a Stealth suit:

Like I said in an earlier post, not much more than colored within the lines. The middle Firewarrior has the results of an attempt at drybrushing, but I didnt like the look, so none of the other models have any drybrushing. Still, they look decent enough that I don't feel embarrased putting them on the table.

Thanks for looking.

06-04-2007, 23:39
Between classes an driving 3 hours to visit the parents, I didn't paint any yesterday, but today I've made decent progress, finishing up 3 dwarves (one full rank of warriors done now).

Here's a pic of them, it's a touch dark because today's overcast and gloomy, but it shows them well enough.


I did all three at once. Batch painting them seems like a good idea, at least for the leather and metal parts. I'm trying to vary up their hair and shirt colors a bit, so its not a big block of clones. The Skull Pass sculpts are all very similar, so individuality is going to have to come more from the paint.

Tomorrow, I'll try and get 5 done at once, if family and my nieces and nephews give me the chance. Watch this space.

07-04-2007, 03:32
I'm afraid your Dwarf list is illegal: Thunderers have a minimum unit size of ten.


09-04-2007, 00:24
Thanks for pointing that out, I'm not sure how I missed it. I'm still new to fantasy, but I should've checked the unit size restrictions. Luckily it's easily remedied, although it adds five models to my list of stuff I need to get painted this month.

The modified Dwarf list:

hand weapon and shield
Rune of Striking

14 Dwarf Warriors w/ hand weapon and shield
Full command

15 Dwarf Warriors w/ hand weapon and shield
Full comand

10 Thunderers

It should total to 498 points, and actually be legal.

And now I have another 5 thunderers to base, prime, and add to my "needs paint" stack for this month. This weekend had a lot of interference with painting, as I went to visit my parents for the weekend, combined with the holidays, and alot of time spent with the nieces and nephews. I did manage to get 3 dwarves painted friday, giving me one complete rank of warriors. At least painting 5 warriors at a time is completely doable; I'm going to have to make up painting time somewhere.

My project list for this month looks like this:
wip/partially painted

Dwarf Thane
14 Dwarf Warriors
15 Dwarf Warriors
10 Dwarf Thunderers

Inquisitor with psycannon
6 Grey Knights
6 Grey Knights

53 total models, 46 more to complete by April 29.
Man, do I need to get cracking.

10-04-2007, 05:24
Just a tiny bit of progress today.

WIP shot:

The entire first unit of warriors there. Five were painted before, five done last night, and the last 5 in progress at the taking of the pics (wanted to get it before the light went).

Crappy shot of the newly painted warriors:

The fully painted warriors as of the time of the photos:

The final five dwarves WIP:

Since the photos were taken, I've finished the entire unit. Next will be the 10 thunderers, although I'm debating dropping the rune on the thane for shields on the thunderers, which will require adding shields to the models. Does anyone think this is a good or bad idea? I'm completely new to fantasy, so advice is welcome.

I'm liking the relative quality of the dwarves in relation to the time spent painting them. Ten models in two days isn't too shabby a rate, if I can keep it up.

I'll post pics of the completed warriors tomorrow, when I can get some decent shots of them.

10-04-2007, 07:58
I don't know this for sure, but aren't the unit restriction sizes different in border patrol?

Keep up the good work, I know what painting the clones is like :D

Your metals would REALLY benefit from a wash of black ink or watered down chaos black.

11-04-2007, 05:50
Yeah, the weapons and helms could use a touch of black ink, but I think I'll save that for if I have time at the end of the month. They're already a bit above the "Done" standard I mentioned earlier, but that's almost totally due to the inks.

As promised, the completed warrior unit:

A close up of the command:

I made sure every model in the unit had Liche Purple on it, to tie the unit/army together. Most of them have it on the shields, but the musician has no shield, so I made his shirt purple. You'll see this repeated on the thunderers, when I get a daylight photo tomorrow. The command are also the only models with gold on them. I've touched up the standard bearer's base where the sand fell off since the photo; cropping and sizing the pics brought the flaw to my attention.

A close up of the champion:

I made his sleeves a unique (to the unit) color to help him stand out, in this case warlock purple. I also used a different recipe for the blonde beard on him than the other blonde models, but the difference is really subtle after the inking, mainly the absence of the orangey undertones.

The bases are a little plain, but I'm not sure I want to go much more elaborate on them. I want a gravel/talus slope feel to the bases. Maybe a few touches of snow on the front rank would work.

As far as painting progress goes, I completed the 5 thunderers that I had based and primed, the next five will follow after they get a dose of gravel and primer. I have a ton of photos of them, but the inking wasn't done until after it got too dark for good photos.

Here's the pre-ink pic:

I'll post a completed pic in tomorrow's update. If you all want to see them, I can also post step by step pics of the painting process on the Thunderers. I'm really happy with how fast these guys are coming aling, and the quality as well.

Thanks for looking.

12-04-2007, 05:05
As promised, here's a completed pic of the first five thunderers for today's update:

Not a huge amount of progress to report today, classwork took priority and ate up most of the afternoon. Still, I did get the remainder of the thunderers based and primed, ready to bust out tomorrow. I'm also working on basing the second warrior unit, since basing doesn't require as much good lighting.

The marines have been neglected the past few days, but are ready to get painted, for the most part. I have one Knight with psycannon on order, he should be in on friday. If it comes in on time, the list will look like this:

OM Inquisitor (elite) w/ psycannon, power armor, icon of the just, targeter, hammerhand

6 Grey Knights in power armor, 1 psycannon, targeter and frags on Justicar

6 Grey Knights in power armor, 1 psycannon, targeter and frags on Justicar

If it doesn't come in on time, one psycannon will become a incinerator and I'll find a place to spend the points (likely more wargear on the inquisitor).

As far as the inquisitor goes, I have to cobble one together, as there are no stock models with psycannons. Here's a semi-bad pic of the bits I'll be using:

It's the Techpriest Enginseer and the heavy bolter from a space marine scout. The hands seem to line up relatively closely, but I'll have to chop the scout's right arm off at the wrist to match the priest's arm. Luckily the priest's left arm looks like it can be bent a bit if needed. I'm not sure if I'll need to modify the heavy bolter further to represent a psycannon, as the only other modification I've really considered is maybe green-stuffing the muzzle to look more like the one on the Grey Knights. I may also try and sculpt an inquisition symbol or two on him to hide some of the techpriesty-ness.

If any of you have suggestions for making the inquisitor fit his listed gear, I'd like to hear them. As far as I know, he's close enough to work.

13-04-2007, 06:04
Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died, so I have no pics for today's update. I did manage to finish off the rest of the unit of thunderers, and the basing for the rest of the dwarves. I'm starting get really tired of painting the dwarves, but its just one short push to the end. If things go well, I should be finished with the fantasy portion of my escalation league commitment in 3 or so days, leaving me with just the marines to paint.

Still, I've managed to paint 27 models to a decent standard in 12 days, probably the fastest I've ever gone since starting the hobby.

14-04-2007, 06:37
It sometimes feels as if I'm talking mostly to myself, but at least the armies are getting painted.

The camera is freshly supplied with batteries, so here's a shot of the completed thunderer unit. The dwarves in the front rank are the five I completed yesterday.


I'm not entirely happy with the flesh on their faces, but they look good enough from the tabletop, just not so much at this extreme close range. It's something I need to work on; the only other skin I've painted in decades is on my Tau, that's a whole different game.

The weather has again conspired to keep me from priming the rest of the dwarves today. I swear someone accidentally sent Seattle's weather to New Mexico, with the amount of rain we've had this week. Still, I do have models primed and ready for paint, so today it was the two marines I had begun before the dwarf madness set in. Their armor was already highlighted, and a couple details started, so I finished them with my painting time today.

Front shot, before the base was painted:

Rear shot:

The bases have since been painted, so they are finished except for their right arms and backpacks.

The highlighting on the armor is a bit extreme on these two, except in a few places, and I'm not entirely satisfied with it. I'll work toward a more subtle/blended highlight on the rest of the marines, but these two are decent enough for right now. I do like how their purity seals turned out, compared to the previous two knights.

As for this weekend, if the weather cooperates, I'm going to try to have all 15 remaining dwarves painted up by Sunday at noon. It will be nice to have a fully painted army to play when we test our lists on Sunday.

19-04-2007, 05:34
No updates for a few days, and progress has slowed, but not stopped.

The current state of the dwarves (poorly lit and slightly blurry):

I'll get some better pics tomorrow afternoon. I noticed while cropping the pic that I missed the purple on two shields, but that's all that remains and the dwarves will be complete.

This weekend I got a chance to play with the second list, and it did well, with a draw (in my favor) and a minor loss, both to vampire counts armies. Not too bad a record considering it was my second and third (of Fantasy) ever. We also discovered the warbands rules changes the minimum unit size for 20mm based units to 3 models, meaning my first list was indeed legal. Does anyone have any opinions on whether the Longbeard's' Old Grumblers special rule (auto pass panic tests, allow rerolls to units within 6") is worth the loss of 5 thunderers? I'm leaning toward using the first list with perhaps a few tweaks to the Thane's rune loadout.

And now that the dwarves are done, I have the rest of the month to focus on the Grey Knights. I just hope the end of term college stuff doesnt eat up too much of my painting time, so I can complete them too. I'll have to see how things go.

19-04-2007, 11:05
great steady work on that lot!

19-04-2007, 22:38
@jasevx: Thanks! Posting the pictures here has been more than a little bit of what has gotten me this far.

As promised, some better pictures of the dwarves:

The completed second warrior unit:

A close up of the front of the Thane:

A close up of the back of the Thane:

She's a reaper miniature, but overall fits the look of the rest of the dwarves, except a slight scale difference. I really like how her skin turned out, and she has my first attempt at eyes, which I think turned out well.

Finally a shot of all 40 Dwarves I've managed to get painted this month:

That's already more models painted this month than I've ever done previously. Not too bad a record, imo.

24-04-2007, 23:53
Well, another weekend passed with no update, although I have been painting. On Sunday, I got another couple of games with the Dwarves under my belt, this time with against Ogres and Wood Elves. I did well, pulling a minor victory against the Elves, and a draw against the Ogres. It did decide me on which list to use, however. I'll be using the list without the longbeards, mostly because I keep forgetting to make use of their special rules.

On the painting front, there has been some progress:

That's one complete squad of the Grey Knights, leaving one identical squad and an Inquisitor to be painted, by Sunday. I may make it after all.

The last two Knights:

Regular Knight:

The Justicar:

I'd prefer to take the time to make the armor highlights more subtle, but there just isn't enough of the week left for me to get it right, especially with my classes working up to finals. Still, they look nice, and I have no qualms calling them "done" for the purposes of the competition. I should finish just in time to work on the lists for next month.

Screaming Evil
25-04-2007, 00:40
Wow really nice work on the Grey Knights there, how exactly did you do the force weapons? they look really cool.

I like the dwarfs too, and the female thane fits in quite well, even if she is a bit taller than them, but still it looks good.

Keep it up.

25-04-2007, 04:59
Thanks for the compliments.

The force weapons are super easy. First I base coated the blades liche purple.

When they were dry, I coated the blade in clean water, to the point where it pooled up slightly.

Then I loaded up a brush with warlock purple, and touched it to the water in a couple of places, swirling very slightly to spread the color a bit.

When it finally dried, I went back over the warlock purple swirls and darkened up the thicker spots a bit.

Finally I edged the corners in tentacle pink. The shafts are just chainmail and shining gold.

Thanks for looking.

27-04-2007, 05:18
Ok, for today's update I present......

Two more Grey Knights, sans backpacks:

This leaves me 4 Knights to paint, and an Inquisitor to convert and paint, by Sunday. It's coming down to the wire, but I think I may actually make it, as the Knights are getting much faster to paint to this standard.

As far as the Inquisitor goes, I'm thinking of sticking to the same color palette, but reversing the colors a bit. So he'll have purple armor and grey robe. I had planned on picking up the eagle-headed backpack for the model, but it wasn't part of the space marine command squad box, but in the commander box, so I made the wrong purchase. Still, there are some bits in there I think I can make work.

29-04-2007, 03:41
Success! I have finished both armies this month! It was looking a bit iffy there for a while, but a push today got me done.

The marines:

The pic was taken pre-backpacks, while the light was still good. The backpacks have since been finished.

Close up of the Inquisitor:

The green stuff making the joins from the hands to the arms is a little rough. Luckily it makes for decent enough looking leather gloves.

Inquisitor's back:

Finished just in time to get some playtime in and start on next month, once I figure out my lists.