Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: The Dark Passion Play - Kakapo's 40k Swan Song

  1. #1
    Chapter Master Kakapo42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Over the hills and far away
    Posts
    1,730

    The Dark Passion Play - Kakapo's 40k Swan Song

    The end,
    The songwriter's dead,
    The blade fell upon him,
    Taking him into the white lands,
    Of Empathica,
    Of Innocence,
    Empathica,
    Innocence...


    So then begins my first ever project log here. For a long time I stayed away from the painting and modelling section on here, as most of my forum activity in general is highly compartmentalised - Advanced Tau Tactica for Tau stuff, Asrai.org for Wood Elf related work and so on, leaving this site mostly to discuss (and usually rant) about other, non-hobby related tabletop subjects. But with the photo-posting function supposedly now fixed, I decided to take that as a sign to start one, covering any 40k-related projects regardless of their nature.

    There's also a darker side to it. Things are now very dire for the sad little nocturnal parrot who foolishly thought he could. The truth is I just don't really feel like I belong in the world of tabletop games any more (if I ever did to begin with). It seems I'm completely opposed with the rest of the community on almost every point, and more and more the entire tabletop wargaming landscape just all looks the same to me, and not in a good way. Related media keeps saying that 2017 is going to be the best year yet for tabletop games, but so far my enthusiasm for them is at an all-time low. I don't see myself doing this for much longer.

    So it is that in my desperation I have brought my tainting darkness to the pristine corner of the hobby section on warseer. I have heard tell of this fabled place that is a beacon of positivity even in the best of times, so perhaps if I start a thread here some of that good nature might rub off on me. Maybe I can find a reason to keep going with the hobby that's been with me since I was a child. If nothing else, then at least it should keep the worst of me contained to just one thread, instead of infesting entire subforums.

    And if worst comes to worst, then maybe I can at least leave behind something constructive, with a log of pretty pictures of (probably crudely painted) models. I figure that would probably go down better than the alternatives.

    To start with, here are the latest models I've been working on - some Firewarrior test models for the long-awaited rebuilding of my Tau army. The Tau were the first 40k faction I ever collected, and indeed were the first tabletop army of any system that I was interested in, after becoming enamoured with the box artwork for the computer game Fire Warrior when I was 8 years old. Since then they have remained one of my two favourite factions in 40k, and now that my Tau fleet for Battlefleet Gothic is mostly finished (for now at least) I've begun an extensive rearmament program for my poor neglected ground forces.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	003.jpg 
Views:	39 
Size:	122.5 KB 
ID:	229436 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	004.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	114.4 KB 
ID:	229437 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	005.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	111.8 KB 
ID:	229438 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	006.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	118.4 KB 
ID:	229439

    This first test model was mostly to try out the colours I'm going with - the classic T'au desert camouflage scheme from the original GW studio Tau army as it was showcased in Codex: Tau. This project is (or was, before it took on it's darker overtones) to be a celebration of and homage to the magic of the early 2000s 3.5 era 'Silver Age' GW and the original Tau army that so captivated me for all this time as much as a renovation and modernisation. I am a child of late 3rd edition and early 4th edition 40k, and I wear the colours of that era with pride.
    Last edited by Kakapo42; 24-03-2017 at 04:03.
    Death to Metaplots!!

    Currently wishing it were still 2004-6

    Naked Metal- my new hobby blog. Go on, visit it, don't be shy

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Kakapo42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Over the hills and far away
    Posts
    1,730

    Re: The Dark Passion Play - Kakapo's 40k Swan Song

    Apparently there's a limit on how many pictures you can include in a single post, so I've had to split the intro a few times to get them all in.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	001D.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	119.2 KB 
ID:	229440 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	003D.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	115.1 KB 
ID:	229441 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	005D.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	110.8 KB 
ID:	229442 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	006D.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	105.6 KB 
ID:	229443

    With this second test model I decided to use the bare head, so I could practice painting Tau skin, as well as a pulse carbine to see how they looked with the paint scheme.

    I have never been able to quite master painting faces (one of the reasons why I love the Tau models so much; almost none of them have visible faces), and to this day it remains one of my weakest areas in painting. This one represents a quantum leap in my face-painting capability however, as not only is it one of the best ones that I have done so far, but it also marks the first time I have come close to successfully painting eyes.

    During the buildup for this project, which took multiple years, I put a lot of thought into how I was going to paint the eyes on my bare-faced Tau. Most background material I've come across suggests that they're usually mostly black, with a bit of reflection or traces of colour. In the GW studio army the bare-faced Tau usually have their eyes painted red, which doesn't quite look right to me, but at the same time just painting them black wouldn't do it either - that would look like they had no eyes, just empty eye-sockets (or like they were possessed by one of the demons in Supernatural). The solution I came to was inspired by older Tau artwork in the first and second codexes, specifically the close-up of a Firewarrior's face on page 60 of Codex: Tau and the artwork of Shadowsun in the 4th edition Codex: Tau Empire. The impression I always got from those two pieces (and Tammy Haye's colour scheme on Aun'shi, until I looked a little closer and realised she had painted his eyes red too) was that the Tau eyes in them were reflecting goldey-yellow or pure white light, which gave me the idea to paint my Tau eyes yellow. I experimented with a few different colours for the eyes on this one, before finally settling on Yriel Yellow (or Golden Yellow - I still know and recognise the Citadel range by its older names) for the effect I wanted. I was a bit worried it might end up looking like my Tau all had Jaundice, but it seems to have turned out not quite as terrible as I feared.

    I also experimented with leaving the backpack separate during painting. In theory, this would give me better access to a couple of areas, at the cost of increasing the number of painting sub-assemblies from 3 to 4. In practice it resulted in a lot of very awkward fiddling around for little comparative gain. I don't think I'll be doing that for the other Firewarriors, but then that's exactly what these test models are for - to find out what works and what doesn't.

    Finally, I experimented with the undersuit on this model. The Rhinox Hide (or Scorched Brown as I call it - see above) main colour was drybrushed on rather than layered, and I tried using Mournfang Brown instead of Steel Legion Drab for the highlight colour. Ultimately though, I liked how the Steel Legion Drab highlights looked more, and went with those in the later test models.
    Death to Metaplots!!

    Currently wishing it were still 2004-6

    Naked Metal- my new hobby blog. Go on, visit it, don't be shy

  3. #3
    Chapter Master Kakapo42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Over the hills and far away
    Posts
    1,730

    Re: The Dark Passion Play - Kakapo's 40k Swan Song

    There weren't that many wild experiments after this time, as I'd pretty much nailed down the paint scheme I want. The main one for the next two test models was on the bases, marking my first ever use of a new basing element - tufts. Much like everything else about this project, I spent a long time beforehand thinking about what I wanted to do with the bases. The bulk of it was easy to work out - like the classic T'au desert camouflage scheme used in the 'Evy Metal studio army, I also wanted to emulate the desert/badlands basing theme that was used in it. This was pretty straightforward, as I conveniently already had everything I needed for it, but I decided that I also wanted something more for my army bases, some kind of little extra embellishment or doodad to really spice them up a notch, and decided that some grassy tufts would be just the thing (I thought my model bases needed tuft-ening up). This then resulted in a decision to use two kinds of tufts - one that was a very strong green to contrast with the more barren base colours and make the whole thing really pop, and one that was a more subdued sandy colour to enhance the overall theme of the bases and go more with the colour scheme on the models. Putting all this together would ideally result in a kind of Savannah wastelands look - something similar to the Badlands map theme from Starcraft is essentially what I'm trying to aim for here.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	002D.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	112.3 KB 
ID:	229444 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	003D.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	110.7 KB 
ID:	229445 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	004D.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	106.2 KB 
ID:	229446

    The third test model isn't anything special painting wise. The main innovations with her were in the assembly stage, where I manage to refine my greenstuff skills to an acceptable level. I'm using only the older kits for the Firewarriors in my army, for several reasons of varying importance, which came with rather infamous mold defects on the leg armour. The obvious solution would be to reconstruct the deformed sections with greenstuff, which seemed simple enough on paper (the leg armour being comprised entirely of simple shapes and lines), but proved somewhat infuriatingly troublesome in practice. My original plan - to take an ordinary staple and bend it into the right shape to use as a press for the panel lines - fell through when I was unable to get it into the right size and shape (the shape wasn't too hard, but getting it into the right size was another matter entirely). So instead I tried scoring into the greenstuff with a needle, which had always worked before when I needed lines in greenstuff, but this ran into the problem of getting sharp corners - they would inevitably either come out curved (which didn't look right) or deform into one straight line. I tried making greenstuff molds from incact leg armour pieces, but they couldn't quite get the right pattern on.

    The breakthrough finally came when, as I was going to bed after another fruitless night, my thoughts turned to the recent Disney film Moana. I thought about a brief shot in that where a character is getting tattooed and suddenly had a Eureka moment - I could simply tattoo the details on with a needle! I conducted a quick experiment the next day and the concept worked like a charm, although it was still imperfect and the sculpted leg armour came out rather wonky. But it was progress, and I quickly came to the conclusion that the problem had been too much greenstuff on the section, which was causing the detail to cave in and 'lip' when I pressed in too deeply with the needle. I tried again with another set of legs using a much thinner layer of greenstuff and the results were much better, though there was still some deforming towards one end (the moral of that story is never work with greenstuff in less than ample light conditions). But I considered it good enough to start painting with, and indeed it's far less noticeable now.

    The other important breakthrough was learning to work with the leg armour sections, only using greenstuff on the middle area where the panel lines are supposed to drop down. Any missing panel lines on the sides of the armour were simply carved into the plastic using - very, VERY carefully - a razor saw (do not try this at home).

    The tuft I tried out on her base is the current planned sandy-coloured tuft, a GW Mordheim Turf tuft. I doesn't look quite right to me, but I suspect that may be because I ended up squashing it while peeling it off the sheet and gluing it down.
    Death to Metaplots!!

    Currently wishing it were still 2004-6

    Naked Metal- my new hobby blog. Go on, visit it, don't be shy

  4. #4
    Chapter Master Kakapo42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Over the hills and far away
    Posts
    1,730

    Re: The Dark Passion Play - Kakapo's 40k Swan Song

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	005D.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	109.6 KB 
ID:	229447 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	006D.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	101.7 KB 
ID:	229448 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	007D.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	98.8 KB 
ID:	229449 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	009D.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	145.5 KB 
ID:	229450

    The final model is where things start to get more interesting, as she is a testbed for a number of tricks, mostly for the Shas'Uis that are planned. On the building side of things I tested out a new conversion. I want to give all the markerlight equipped infantry models in the army data-cables running from their helmet aerials in the same manner as the original 3rd edition Pathfinder (and Stealthsuit Shas'vre) models, because it looked awesome on them. Much like the component repairs above, this seemed simple enough in theory, as all I'd really need is two pieces of wire cut to the right length, bent to the right shape stuck together, with a little bit of strategically placed greenstuff to cover where they met the gun and aerial. Closer inspection of the 3rd edition Pathfinder models that I own revealed that there's also a small circular... thing... part-way down the cables at about chest height, but that seemed easy enough to replicate with greenstuff too. The trouble came in finding the right wire. I initially planned to use regular old 1mm wire, which is the standard wire I've used in every other hobby project so far and something I am now swimming in after buying a ton of it in preparation for this one. The 1mm wire however proved to be much too thick for the infantry models, effectively making it look like the Firewarrior helmet had tusks and blowing the greenstuff details all out of proportion. I desperately hunted around in local shops for something suitably thinner, before finally finding the answer in very thin Florists' Wire from the local flower store. It was available for a very reasonable price, and proved to be the perfect size for the infantry when I tested it at home.

    Painting wise the model represents my first real attempt at the bane of any painter's existence - painting white. The only real experience I've had so far with white has been my Tau fleet, which just used very heavy drybrushes of Skull White (and later White Scar). This worked fine for Battlefleet Gothic models, but I had the feeling it wouldn't quite cut it for 28mm heroic scale models. I searched long and hard for an answer to how to layer white properly, but could find very little online. Eventually I talked with a painting goddess I encountered at the local GW store and she confirmed what I had already begun to suspect from squinting at examples of white 'Evy Metal painting (start with a grey and work up), and then pointed me in the direction of which colour I should use as a base. Conveniently, it was one I already had from painting the ATT orbital. Thus began the basis of my attempt at painting bright white on the scanner. starting with Fenrisian Grey (forever Space Wolves Grey to me) as a base and then layering it with a mixture of White Scar with a little bit of Fenrisian Grey, then highlighted with White Scar. It seemed to work out well enough for small details like the scanner, which is all I really need it for at this stage.

    The bone white on the helmet and shoulder guard were an attempt to recreate the bone white panels in the old studio example Tau army. I initially tried following the driections for painting white helmets in the Crisis Suit painting guide on page 40 of Codex: Tau, but quickly ran into a problem with the main colour. The guide specifies that this should be a Skull White-Vomit Brown mixture, with a ratio very heavily Skull White's way, but my experiment quickly proved that all such a mixture would produce is a very light sand ochre (this might seem to you to be simple common sense, but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt at the time under the reasoning that the old 'Evy Metal painters might know something I didn't). Thus I defaulted to an old method of painting bone white that I used in a couple of places on my hobby minions, starting with Ushabti Bone (which I actually had to physically stop myself from typing as Bleached Bone) and then highlighting with Screaming Skull and White Scar. It seemed to work out good enough, but I can't help but think I could get it closer to the studio examples by using a mixture of Ushabti Bone and White Scar as the main colour instead (of course, that would then raise the question of how to highlight it...). It also represents my first real attempt at painting Tau markings at 28mm scale. They turned out reasonably well, I suppose, but I can't stop thinking that they're slightly crooked.

    The tuft used on this model is an Army Painter Woodland Tuft, which I discovered in a local hobby store and plan to use for the rich green tufts. The actual production infantry models are going to have the smaller size Woodland Tufts on them, but the sheet came with more medium tufts so I decided to use one of those for the test case.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	013D.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	172.3 KB 
ID:	229451 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	014D.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	163.5 KB 
ID:	229452

    Finally, here is the whole group together. All in all I would say it has been a successful test run. Now to start on the real army...

    The Beginning.
    Death to Metaplots!!

    Currently wishing it were still 2004-6

    Naked Metal- my new hobby blog. Go on, visit it, don't be shy

  5. #5
    Chapter Master Kakapo42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Over the hills and far away
    Posts
    1,730

    Re: The Dark Passion Play - Kakapo's 40k Swan Song

    Where oh where do I start...

    I have begun to notice a new development in my agonising slide towards oblivion - I now feel anger towards GW's statements. All of the various little quips and asides that have begun creeping into their official messages are insulting towards me, as are the various releases geared towards nostalgia. Each one is a slap in the face, a mockery of the past era that I love so dearly, and the generalisations make

    Please stop GW. I am not excited, I am horrified and miserable. 2017 has not been the best year for my tabletop hobby, it has been one of the worst, an all-time low-point and a continuation of a long downwards spiral that has been ongoing since May 2013. I don't want your 8th edition 40k. I don't want your ugly not-Squats. I don't want your metaplots. Stop saying that I do, I never asked for any of what you're doing now except for the tattered scrap of an archive service you call Made To Order. And nothing you have done recently makes me trust you at all.

    I want the 3.5 edition setting as a sandbox, and I want the models you made between 1997 and 2008. Not some CAD-designed abomination with a few nods to them, not a Forgeworld kit in the style of them, those exact models, exactly as they were. And I want to be able to use the rules from that era in a public space. If you're not going to provide those things, and it's clear that you aren't, then there is nothing you can do to win me back.

    And as someone who holds Bretonnia as their second favourite favourite Warhammer Fantasy faction of all time, I find your new Forgeworld Blood Bowl team grossly offensive.

    God I feel so voiceless these days.

    On a more positive note, joining me in my last stand is my first new Firewarrior team in over a decade.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	004.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	199.8 KB 
ID:	229977 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	005.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	200.8 KB 
ID:	229978 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	006.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	198.9 KB 
ID:	229979 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	007.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	221.6 KB 
ID:	229980

    Firewarrior Team Kais (as if it was going to be called anything else given my fondness for the computer game Fire Warrior) is my first new Firewarrior team in over a decade, though it is also a homage to the first Firewarrior team I ever owned and contains several throwbacks to it. Like that one, I've taken the idea of personalising and special roles to heart and made the unit a sort of 'Kill Team lite', including several specialised members. Some, like the tech specialist and honour guide, have been carried on from the first team, while others, such as the demolitions expert and medic, are entirely new. Almost no component swaps or kitbashing was used to make the team - I am keeping conversion work in the army down to a minimum, because A) I already think the models look fantastic as they are and don't really feel the need to modify them too much, B) I'm looking at focusing more on getting the most out of the model kits themselves and pushing them to their limits rather than introducing lots of outside elements and C) it will make the major conversions I actually do really stand out that much more.

    Thus, the only component used in this unit from another kit was the Shas'Ui's markerlight, taken from the new Pathfinder kit. I think most of all, more than anything, my favourite part about the 2013 6th edition Tau releases was the introduction of a readily available separate markerlight bit, and I have obtained an entire box of Pathfinders purely to harvest for markerlights for my team leaders (though other bits on it will be coming in handy also). It is a testament to the flexibility of the old Firewarrior kit that I was able to make all of the specialists that I wanted (5 in total) using only the parts contained within it. Plus a little greenstuff and a piece of sprue frame (and the ubiquitous florist's wire for the Shas'Ui's stylish data-cables).

    The team also includes a Team Second painted with a white helmet and shoulder guard panel (a tradition carried on with all my Firewarrior teams), with an in-universe justification as a deceptive countermeasure against enemy snipers. It also allows me to split the team and field it as two units of 6 Firewarriors with minimal fuss if I so wish (I can also conveniently make both teams Bonded by simply including the honour guide in with the Second's group). Her pose is a direct reference to the first team's Second, though not an exact copy (mostly because I wanted the required set of legs for it for another use), with the major change being a worn helmet, as I am moving to the old 3rd edition GW studio Tau army's pattern of only one bare head per Firewarrior team. Even then all of the infantry models will have a helmet somewhere on them, as what I've read suggests that going into an active warzone without some kind of head protection is widely regarded as a bad move.

    Painting wise it's nothing that hasn't been already shown on the test models, with the exception of the white panels on the Shas'Ui and his second. I experimented with them after the thought suddenly occurred to me that the erroneous colour choices listed in the 3rd edition codex's painting instructions might have been a typing/publication error (as they say, never attribute malice to what could simply be incompetence) and they really meant Bleached Bone instead of Vomit Brown. Thus, I tried a 3:1 mix of Skull White and Bleached Bone (that's White Scar and Ushabti Bone for you youngsters reading this) for the main white colour and was tickled with the results, which were much closer to the white on the studio models. The only question left after this breakthrough was how to highlight it, for which I used a 3:1 mix of White Scar and Screaming Skull followed by a final highlight of White Scar. The Shas'Ui also has a simplified pattern of team-markings on his helmet and shoulder guard, indicating his team is a 'tactical' Firewarrior Team armed with a mixture of pulse rifles and pulse carbines.

    This update was delayed for a long long time as painting the team ran dangerously behind schedule. I had originally intended to get it finished before the start of the month, and was confident I would by using a production line painting method. The last army I worked on was a Wood Elf one for Warhammer Fantasy, where an overall production line was impractical on the plastic Glade Guard that formed the core of the army - units in Warhammer Fantasy are tightly ranked, and thus all the models in them must fit side-by-side, and since I was also working in sub-assemblies for maximum access during painting this meant I had to go through an entire unit one model at a time to make sure they all fit together when fully assembled (I tried keeping unpainted ones together with blu-tack at first, but that proved to be of little help as they kept falling apart or leaning over), and thus production line painting was only used for metal units. Since 40k units act in loose formation, this was not necessary, simplifying things considerably, however going through the entire unit in a gigantic production line quickly proved exhausting, and after two weeks I finally gave up and started working through it two models at a time. The end result has left me almost a month behind my initial planned schedule, and I fear the delays have meant that I will now never end up playing a full game of 40k at a GW store (unless they relax their policies on using older rules editions for games in there), as I will not use the coming 8th edition rules - I have already heard enough about them to know that they are not what I am looking for for 40k gaming.

    Still, all in all it is a fine start to my Tau rearmament program. Now to give them some backup...
    Last edited by Kakapo42; 27-04-2017 at 00:31.
    Death to Metaplots!!

    Currently wishing it were still 2004-6

    Naked Metal- my new hobby blog. Go on, visit it, don't be shy

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •