Converting a knightly scout squad sergeant

I mentioned last time that I was struggling to make my scout squad fit with my astral knights look.  I can't give the sergeant a plumed helmet as the scouts don't wear helmets and having a feathery plume sticking out from your head isn't good if you are trying to be sneaky and hide!  Banners don't really fit either for much the same reason.  So I came up with the following little conversions.

 As you can see from the image he has been given a power sword, the archetypal knightly weapon.  I'm not sure where the arm came from but I cut the hand of at the wrist and then thinned down the power armour cuff using a hobby knife so that it fitted with the slimmer scout arm.  I think the forearm is a little too long but it looks OK.

The other thing I did was to give him a shield.  I used one from a terminator sprue as they are nice and small, anything else would drown the poor little scout.  Like my tactical squad sergeant it has been mounted on the back of the hand holding the gun.  It also has the vertical sword on it that matches the chapter badge.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions....

Scout squad, a change is as good as a holiday

Having finished my first squad of Astral Knights I fancied a quick change of pace from all that power armour.  I've decided to do a scout squad, they are equipped with sniper rifles as I feel that these suit the look and purpose of scouts much better than boltguns or shotguns.  The squad is nice and varied with a number of different poses and lots of material to paint rather than flat armoured surfaces, I'll also get to have a go at painting some faces which I haven't done for a while.  I'm struggling to personalise them and make them fit with the Astral Knights look, so here are pictures of the four squad members and I'm going to try and convert the sergeant a bit to make him fit the aesthetic.

If you have any ideas for things that I could do to the standard scouts to make them look more 'knightly' then please feel free to let me know, also any hints or tips for painting camo cloaks would be much appreciated...

Finished tactical squad

Here is the full tactical squad in all their glory....

Please feel free to give me some feedback or hints/tips.

Next up some scouts with camo cloaks and a little bit of conversion work.

Finished tactical squad sergeant

Here are the pictures of my finished tactical squad sergeant, so enjoy....

I'll try to put up some photos of the whole ten man squad soon.

Please feel free to leave any comments, questions, hints or tips.

Finished sergeant's power sword

In my last post I showed some pictures of the lightning/lava effect I was trying on the sergeant's power sword. It looked good but in the final glaze it had lost some brightness.  So I went back and put another highlight of bright yellow right in the centre of each branch and then a tiny bit of white at the junctions. 

I think that it has really brought the effect to life and it looks a huge amount better.  I am going to run with this as my power swords across the army as it has worked well and isn't too bad to do for the odd sword...

WIP, power sword lightning effect

I have attempted to paint a lightning like effect in red through to yellow on my sergeants power sword.  I started by edge highlighting in dark red, then washing that twice with nuln oil to get it nice a dark. After that I highlighted the edges back up to the original dark red colour.

Having put the highlights in red on the edges I put a series of short sharp strokes in red, quite thickly, down the centre of the sword.  With these done I progressively got thinner and brighter highlights in the middle of those strokes, working up to yellow.  I put a glaze of bright red over the whole sword, this blends it all together a bit but does mute the final yellow highlights so I think that I will go back and put them in to really give it some punch.

So what do people think?  Was it a successful experiment or should I try something else?  Any comments, hints or tips are greatly appreciated so please feel free to leave a comment.

Squad and company markings for my Astral Knights

Having ummmed and ahhhhed for quite a while I have finally decided on a system of squad and company markings for my Astral Knights chapter.

I wanted each squad to have an heraldic design, like a knightly order, but a complicated design would be too much to freehand on every marine so I have come to a compromise.  Each squad will have a geometric design using blue and white, which will be painted on the right shoulder pad.  This design will also be used on any banners, shields or other areas.  

For my first tactical squad I have chosen a simple diagonal bisection from top left to bottom right, but I could do all sorts of things; vertical bisection, horizontal bisection, quartering, etc...

Shoulder pads done on these two marines.


Shield done on the sergeant.

On the banner I have used the design as the background and done the chapter symbol in the reverse colours to make it stand out.

The company number is marked using roman numerals somewhere in the design on the right shoulder pad as you can see in the photo below.


WIP, tactical squad sergeant's banner

I've painted up the banner for the tactical squad sergeant.  It was based in dark grey and then given a coat of kantor blue.  The back was washed with drakenhof nightshade in the recesses and then highlighted up to altdorf guard blue.  I tried to use wet blending to give a gradual colour change, partially successfully I think.

On the front I used the same process but took the highlights up to teclis blue to give it a bit more punch.  I then freehanded the chapter symbol (using the same process as on the shoulder pads) and company number in white.  I used a very light grey to put some shadow in the folds of the white.

More on the diagonal colour swap next post.....

Any hints, tips or ideas for banner painting would be much appreciated so please feel free to leave a comment.

Ideas for painting power swords

I've been searching around for ideas to help with painting my sergeant's power sword.  I've come up with the following options.

Option 1.

This one is courtesy of from the warp.  It uses repeated line highlighting and washing to give a lightning like effect from the tip down the blade.  Of course the colour could be varied or it could be done from the bottom up.  This is another example from the warp. (images from the warp)

Option 2.

The NMM effect beloved by grey knights.  This can look amazing but having looked around at how to do it I may be slightly out of my depth trying to replicate it. (image from

Option 3.

Necron style edge highlighting.  This example is from Ieuan over at Sons of Isis and he's done a brilliant tutorial so I think that even I could follow it.

Option 4.

Plain silver. An oldy but a goody...  (image from GW)

I'm leaning towards option 1 at the moment but would appreciate any other ideas or suggestions. So please feel free to voice your preference, give me some ideas or point me in the direction of something I've missed.....

WIP, helmet plume on tactical squad sergeant

This is my first attempt at painting feathered plumes and I think it turned out ok.  I made it a little bit harder for myself by choosing to do two colours but I wanted both the chapter colours in there.

The blue section was based in altdorf guard blue, then washed with drakenhof nightshade and a very careful drybrush of teclis blue to bring out the texture.  The drybrush on the blue was restricted to the edge and top of the feathers to try and give them some highlighting.

The white feathers were based in pale grey, washed with nuln oil and then drybrushed with white.  The top feather was more heavily drybrushed than the lower one to provide the effect of shadowing.

Just the power sword to do.....

WIP, tactical squad sergeant

Here are some pictures of the progress with my tactical squad sergeant.  I have tried to lavish a bit more care and attention on him than the rest of the squad.  I am also trying out a couple of new things...

This is the first progress shot.  You can see the base is done, the flex and inner armour have been painted and washed.  The helmet and pads have been given a coat of dark grey (more on that later).  No idea what happened to the bottom of the photo.

The blue armour has been completed at this stage, painted, shaded and highlighted.

Nearly there, now you can see why the helmet was based in grey.  I tried to follow this tutorial from the warp, I'm not sure I've got the hang of it yet but I'm sure I'll get plenty of practise if I do all the sergeants helmet's in white.  As this was the sergeant I've gone back and highlighted the silver armour to make it look a little bit brighter. 

He still needs a couple of bits doing.  I need to decide on a look for the power sword and plume.  Any suggestions would be very welcome especially if you can point me in the direction of a tutorial or images.....

Astral Knights in 6th Edition

Finally managed to find the only mention I could, concerning the Astral Knights in the 6th Edition. 

It's quite nice to have a name and not much else.  It gives me a lot of freedom to be creative with the rest of the chapters details.

Freehand vs sculpted chapter badge

Having tried both freehand and using the DA sword shoulder pad to do my chapter badge I'm not sure which is best.  The sculpted pad looks more official and interesting but the shape of the sword makes it harder to see the star design behind.  I also, rather surpisingly, found it easier to freehand the entire design instead of working round the sword that was already sculpted on.

Most importantly it is going to come down to what looks best.  So which do people prefer?

Finished tactical marines

Here are some pictures of the next four finished tactical marines.

Kitbashed standard marine using bits from DA boxed set.


Special weapon marine.

Heavy weapon marine.

I really like the lense on his missile launcher and you can't really see it but I put horizontal lines on the base of his foot that looks like tread.

Combat squad leader.

All four together.

Just the sergeant to go now.

WIP, highlighted blue

Having highlighted the blue armour makes such a difference, just two highlight colours really brings the model to life.  Hopefully the rest of them will be finished soon.