Saturday, 13 August 2011

New Life into Old Lead Pt II

Before I get into today's post, I'd just like to pass on a belated big thankyou to Brian aka The Inner Geek for his invaluable help in setting up the quotes gadget you may have noticed appear over to the right in the past week. He sourced me a very easy to use script and if it wasn't for his assistance I'd probably still be locked in search engine hell.

Following on from my success with my Techmarine last month I embarked on another renovation project; this one was going to be much more of a challenge and I'd been putting it off for ages through a lot of fear and doubt in my own ability. Many years ago, my good friend Pestie aka Paul of Pauls Painting Emporium painted a conversion I had put together of a Terminator armoured Sanguinary Priest; whilst he did an outstanding job as always, there were now a couple of bits that didn't quite sit right with the look of my Blood Drinker army or the rules of the 5th edition Blood Angel codex.

Here are a few pics of the original conversion and paint job.

As you can see, the first problem is that he is armed with a Thunder Hammer, something a Priest can no longer have, mores the pity. Also the 25mm base is just too small for his broad stance and could really do with updating to the standard 40mm that most hobbyists use for Terminators these days.

The banner, copied from the old 2nd edition Angels of Death Codex and given a bit of scroll work by me bearing the characters name, was a bit flimsy and had seen better days. The name Konrad didn't really fit my adopted naming convention for the Blood Drinkers now either (I use a mix of mostly ancient Roman, Greek and Hebrew).

On to the paintwork, I thought the helmets dark colour (whilst being superbly painted) clashed with the rest of the colour scheme, drawing too much attention to the face and it's Chaplain origin. This coupled with the fact that we had strayed slightly from the half red, half white of a Blood Drinker Sanguinary Priest (it just didn't seem to work on a Terminator) unsettled the overall look of the miniature.

Finally the glass vials on the back pack were just too bold, painted in the yellow and black hazard stripes and I much prefer the liquid contents look.

I started out by replacing the Thunder Hammer with a Power Sword; I wanted a weapon suitably impressive for this independent character and luckily having recently cut up an Emperors Champion for my Griffon Project I had just the blade sticking out of the top of the bits box. It was fairly simple to cut the Thunder Hammer away and then drill and pin the blade in place but painting it was another matter.

This was only my second power weapon painted using 'lightning' effects and boy what a pain in the arse it was. Due to the shape of the blade with it's beveled edges and carved inscription I couldn't use the techniques that most guides suggest; either the power source radiating along the centre of the blade tapering out to the edges or Ron's Space Hulk style with the power at the tip (although I did use a bit of this in the end).

After several frustrating attempts ending with dips in 'the Green', I settled on this wrap around look with the energy arcing around the blade from points along its edge. I based in Chaos Black, then dry brushed Regal Blue and Enchanted Blue so that the Inscription was not filled in and obscured, using Iced Blue and Skull White for the energy effects. I'm fairly satisfied with it and I think it gives the optical illusion of either the lightning wrapping around the outside or being contained within the blade.

I then set about painting the helmet, basing with Space Wolves Grey, working up through Ghostly Grey and highlighting with Skull White. I also changed the lenses to the standard green ones that I'm now using for all my army. This was the real nervy bit of the operation as Pestie had done such a great job on the original paint job (he'll probably kill me when he reads this post), but despite my inferior paint skills I don't think it came out too badly and the now white helmet is better balanced with the overall scheme.

The banner was completely re-done, using a fresh scan from Angels of Death, if only I'd had a scanner way back when, I'd never have cut up all my old White Dwarfs! Using Gimp I then added a better scroll work outline and renamed the Priest Varro (yes I'm a big Spartacus fan). This was printed off and PVA'd onto a piece of card, I also did a reversed image for the back of the banner for a more realistic effect. I then went back over the banner, painting it to bring the colours out and make a bolder image.

The glass vials were painted with a bit of guidance from the FTW archives again, see Ron's tutorial Here.

I filled the chalice in with Blood Red and gave it a gloss varnish to add a liquid glisten; I opted not to try and angle the fluid level within as due to the actual flat surface, depending on where you viewed the miniature from this either worked or didn't. I figure the blood would be kept in by some kind of energy field anyway, you'd not want to be staining your carpet with Sanguinius's blood, I'm sure it's a devil to get out.

Finally the 40mm base was added, cutting the old metal slot tag from the miniature, drilling and pinning him to the new base and adding my usual mix of flock, gravel and Army Painter Steppe Grass.

These few adjustments, despite taking quite a lot of time and effort due to the extra care required not to ruin an already finished miniature; were in my opinion well worth it, I'm far happier with the overall look now and I'll be continuing with my restoration projects in between painting some new stuff.


Miyzia said...

Looks great Bix! You skills with scalpel and brush are blossoming!

Bix said...

Thankyou mate, praise indeed from a conversion wizard such as you; appreciate that :)

Just glad the gamble paid off and I didn't screw up the miniature, Pestie would never have forgiven me.

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