WIP, second combat squad

Here are the work in progress pictures for four members of the second combat squad.

They have been based using sand and pva glue. Spray painted in chaos black and then painted using the same process as before.  I need to highlight the blue and then do the details.

First use of greenstuff

I've never used greenstuff before but I needed to make the join between the feathered plume on my sergeants helmet and the actual helmet look a lot less 'converted'.  I've tried to put a small ring round it so that it looks like something is holding all the feathers in.

As this was my first time with greenstuff I did some research to get me started, I found this section on from the warp really useful.

Having made sure that my hands and tools and surfaces were wet so the greenstuff didn't stick to anything that I didn't want it to I cut of a small section of yellow and blue.  I mixed them in the ratio 1:1 as that seemed to be the general advice and rolled out a very thin string.  I then cut this to roughly long enough to wrap round the base of the plume and wrapped it round. 
Using a modelling tool I smoothed the ends together and pushed it down so that it followed the contours of the helmet and the ridge running front to back. 

I think it was worth it, the join now looks semi official and less kitbashed.

What do people think, any advice for working with greenstuff from your experiences?

Tactical squad sergeant

For my tactical squad sergeant I wanted to go a little bit further with modelling something unique for the Astral Knights.  Firstly I wanted to give him a sword and shield, the archetypal knightly weapons, however a tactical squad sergeant wouldn't look right with purely assault weapons.  So I have put a small shield from the terminator sprue (I think) on the right hand which holds the bolt pistol, it provides no actual benefit in a game but it looks the part especially with the sword symbol on it. 

I may have gone a bit ott with the sword as I have used one from the champion set and it's huge but I suppose you can never have a sword that's too big.

You can't help but notice in the photo above that he has a 'plume' of feathers.  These are from an imperial knight WFB set and have been put onto a helmet that has a more medieval style face plate.  I really like the individuality this gives him, he stands out from the rest of the squad and I've never seen marines with this type of head gear before.

The only issue I have with it is making the join between the plume and the helmet look more 'official' and less converted.  Does anybody have some tips for greenstuff methods or something else that would make it work better.

I am still trying to decide if I want to add a banner to the sergeant.  He's got the height that makes him stand out from his helmet but I'm a sucker for models with banners.  So do I try the standard marine banner, hanging down from a horizontal crossbar, or do I try to model one that flaps out behind him from a single vertical pole, or do I leave well alone?

As always any thoughts, comments or suggestions gratefully received.

Heavy weapon marine

As you can see the heavy weapon marine for my tactical squad has been given knealing legs (from the command squad set I think).  Firstly I think it adds some real variety to the squad in term of height and pose.  Secondly it just seems more natural, I wouldn't want to try and fire something that big from a standing position. 

Again he just has the DA shoulder pad to which I'll add freehand to make into the Astral Knights chapter badge.  I'm thinking of adding extra equipment to the left thigh, maybe spare missiles or just a pistol holster etc.

Special weapon marine

I gave the special weapon marine the flamer just because I like the look of the weapon more than any thought of what would work best on the field of battle.  The model is fairly plain again but I have used the Dark Angels shoulder pad to add some 3D detail to my chapter badge.  I've also tried to pose him so that it looks like he is recoiling away from the intense heat generated by the weapon.

A more dynamic pose for a basic boltgun marine

I tried to give one of the basic marines a more dynamic pose.  The idea was that if they are deployed as two combat squads then I need a marine to lead the more shooty half (including the missile launcher).  So this guy looks slightly more senior than the rest, hence the sword on the backpack and also he is modelled to appear as if he is a long range shooting expert.  I've put the telescopic sight on his boltgun, given him the head with the targeter attached and posed him as if he shooting single handed at a target far away.

How was it done?

The legs, body, head and backpack are as normal.  The right arm uses a left over arm from a biker with the hand swapped for one holding a gun.  For the left arm I had to use an old metal version as I didn't have any plastic arms that looked right.

Does he look better with the knife in hand or not?  What do people think?

I also think his right thigh needs bulking out with some equipment to balance the model and give him some more mass.

Second combat squad (kitbashing)

My first Astral Knights combat squad was very plain in terms of the models used as I was testing out the paint job more than anything else.  As I was very happy with the way they turned out, I have decided to have a go at making the second combat quad a bit more unique, using modelling as well as the paint job to make them stand out from vanilla marines.

Here is my first attempt.  This guy uses bits from the Dark Angels Vets boxed set to make him look like an experienced Astral Knight who has lots of battle honours and iconography on his armour and equipment.  Note the swords on his bolter, backpack and shoulder pad. 

So what do people think?  Is it going to make a difference when painted up?
More to come as well so keep an eye out for the rest of the squad.....

Why did I do the boltguns separately?

You may have noticed from my WIP posts that I do the body of my marines first, then paint the boltguns separately before attaching them. Why do I do this?

I find that it enables me to paint the chests etc of the marines much better and I always like knowing that even the bits I can barely see are painted as well as I can, but, there are problems.

How do you paint the boltguns on their own? I have to glue them to spare plastic (in this case shoulder pads) to be able to hold them, then break them off and reglue to the marine.

I've wasted some time! There are areas painted to my best abilities that no one will ever see.  Quite the reverse of what most people would suggest (see this link from the warp).

So for my next combat squad I'm going to try weapons on painting.......

What do you do in these kind of situations? Any tips for painting in awkward corners?

First combat squad finished

I've finally finished the first combat squad.  Here are the pictures.

I'm not going to say much else here, rather just enjoy having finished them.

WIP, Astral Knights chapter badge done

Nearly finished the first combat squad.  I've now done the shoulder pads and freehanded the chapter badge on each one.  I was really worried about consistency on this but they have come out OK.  I used my method of breaking it down into simple shapes to help me and it worked really well.  My new paintbrush seems to give me much better control as well, which certainly helps.  

Is it me or do they look a little bit like a boy band mid routine here?  Hopefully the boltguns will help with this....

Bitz Box bits have arrived

I ordered some bits of Bitz Box a little while ago and I have to say I was very impressed with the service.  They initially didn't have the bits that I needed but I requested them on the forum and within the week they were available on the site.   Having ordered the bits I wanted they were dispatched and delivered in double quick time, a very proffesional job done.  The only slightly weird part was the feedback email written in french, maybe I should be flattered at the presumption of my linguistic capabilities?  Anyway, below is a picture of the bits that have arrived so have fun trying to work out the conversions on my next combat squad....