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Friday, April 1, 2011

How to paint a (BA) Drop Pod in a night

I wanted to change my original Blood Angels list (Fire and Wings, Metal and Death) to be more 'red'.  As a fluffy player, I like to keep with the spirit of 'realistic' battleforces.  I believe most Space Marine armies to be based almost completely around the battle company, and so battle company troops should make up the majority of an army.  You'll see this theme in my Ultramarines and Black Templars as well, it's just the way my hobby brain works I tell ya. 

Here's the new army:

Now most of these units were already done, and the remaining few I finally painted last Thursday.  But I was still missing the dreadnought's drop pod, and that's pretty key to my strategy.  I decided that my Ultramarines no longer needed their FW dreadnought drop pod (which you'd notice in pieces on the motorpool table, Tour of Jay's Workshop) and absconded with it.  Luckily for me, the Blood Angels are already regarded as 'douches', so no additional harm was done to my Ultramarines' pride.


Now let me tell you an awesome story about the afore-mentioned drop pod.  Many many long years ago (in '09, I think?), the new GW model for the drop pod was released and I wanted to do Sicarius' Spear army.  Pulling together my 5 new, 1 FW, and 1 FW Dreadnought pods, I was sure that I could have the entire army built.  I called a staff hobby morning and brought together the staff to work on personal projects together. 
Unfortunately, that morning was not a good one.  Before the shop was even open, we'd recieved multiple phone calls of a stupid nature.  As we're handling that and the staff aren't all terribly happy (it was morning, after all), the super glue was also failing.  The five plastic pods went together with some frustration, but were done.  The FW drop pod went together like a champ.  But the FW Dreadnought drop pod?  Yeah.  That sucked ass.  The glue wouldn't hold, the resin was warped, and nothing would work- not even zip-kicker!  I was so angry after about half-an-hour of messing with it that I slammed the glue and resin ball of ridiculousness down on my tile.  I called my boss and complained profusely.  I wrote a letter to Tony and the rest of the goons at FW and made sure to include a huge number of profanities and such.  Luckily, my anger subsided and I never sent the letter out.  But that drop pod remained in pieces for a long long time.  Until a week ago.

Funny enough, as I repaired the horrific damage that I caused (one fin broke in half.  Yeah, it was horrific.) and glued the model together, it fit and set instantly.  It seemed, in my overly-superstitious observations, that the drop pod was very unhappy to be Ultramarine, but was now downright excited to be in my Blood Angels army.  Creepy, right?  In any case, I now have a fully assembled FW Dreadnought Drop Pod.  Some primer, and here we go:


Here's the assembled drop pod after being primed with Chaos Black spray.  In the time it took me to walk from my backyard to my living room, the primer was dry and ready to be painted on.  Sorry, folks.  THAT'S why I'll spend the extra bucks on GW's primer.  It rules and it's nearly instant.

Also notice that the doors are not attached.  Unfortunately, the designer of the drop pod designed the hinges to be both stupid and fragile.  I found it more reliable to simply 'break open' one hinge hole so the doors can be moved, openned, closed, and removed altogether very easily.  You'll see later that it affects the appearance of the finished product very little.

Remember that I'm trying to get this thing painted in a single night.  As I paint this, I'm watching the Texas NBA teams getting spanked, and finsh just after Red Eye.  In TV time, that's about 8 hours.  Minus my frequent breaks and obvious distractions, that's about 3 hours worth of real work...

Step 1:  Drybrush Boltgun Metal with a large, flat drybrush.

Notice that I kept it dark.  I don't imagine the drop pod being all 'shiny' and beautiful after screaming at 10 times the speed of sound into the atmosphere and then slamming into the earth.  I don't plan on weathering the vehicle (at least not right now.  Tournie ready time, maybe.), but the metal and colors should be darker by my reckoning.

Step 2:  Basecoat mechrite red onto the red panels using a large brush or wash brush.


Don't forget to paint the wires 'hanging' on the engine.  Sadly, once the doors are open, it's the only red you get to see.

Step 3:  With the same-sized brush, layer blood red onto the panels.  Use a watery mix and apply the layers multiple times.
I couldn't get the color quite right, so after a few layers, I concentrated on highlighting the edges and corners.  If I weren't in such a hurry, I could have blended this stuff and been much cooler-looking.  But Dallas was getting schooled by the Lakers and I wasn't in a good mood...

Step 4:  Line Highlight the Red corners and edges with Blood Red using a standard brush.

Step 5:  Line highlight the red highlights with Fiery Orange using your standard brush.  Yes, Fiery Orange.  It needs to be bright.

Step 6:  Wash the entire red areas with Baal Red wash using your wash brush.  Believe it or not, the wash actually dulls the orange while not taking away the vivid-ness of the orange highlight.  I love Baal Red wash.  It's made my Blood Angels awesome.  I just wish you could see it in the pictures, but I suck at photography.

Step 7:  Basecoat the Imperial Eagle icons with Shadow Gray.  The standard brush is fine for this step.

Step 9 and 10:  Using your fine detail brush, highlight the Aquila using Space Wolves Gray and finally Skull White.
This is one of the steps I used to tie the darker Drop Pod into my uber-bright army.  This is one of those helpful hints to those other 'colorful' armies like Eldar and Chaos.  Find some small details that you'll always paint the same just to tie all the models together visually.  I did this with the Aquilas and running lights for this army.


Step 11:  Basecoat the running lights Dark Angel Green using the standard brush.
Step 12 and 13:  Highlight them with Snot Green and Scorpion Green, progressively covering smaller areas.
Step 14:  Add Skull White dots into the dark areas and Viola!  Gemmed running lights!

Step 15:  Basecoat the jam-strips with Iyanden Darksun using your large brush or wash brush. 
For this stage, I actually just 'overbrushed'.  That's the same as drybrushing, but with more paint on the brush...

Step 16:  Using your large brush, basecoat Chaos Black stripes onto the Iyanden Darksun.
At this stage, don't forget to paint the pipes 'hanging' from the engine.  Again, there's already very little detail, so don't miss what you can get.

Steps 17 and 18:  Highlight the yellow with Sunburst Yellow and highlight the Black using Adeptus Battlegray.  A standard brush will work for this step.
When you layer on the highlights, leave some of the Iyanden showing along the lines where it meets black.  When you highlight the black stripes, just line highlight the edges nearest the yellow stripes and the metal plating.


The finished product:


And that's it.  I hope this gives you ideas or just helps you paint a bit faster.  Although it was a bad night for Texas sports, I ended up with a fully-painted model.  Too easy, drill sergeant!

2011, A unit a week

week 14, and caught up at last!!!!!  I'm a bit excited about that.

Furioso Dreadnought

Blood Angel
This is the old metal Furioso with the plastic Smoke Launchers on top.  I have yet to buy one of the new dreadnoughts, and I'm excited to.  In the meantime, this model will always be one of the coolest and acceptable in any of my Blood Angel armies.

I have also painted a drop pod for the dreadnought, but that's for the next article...

2011, A unit a week

Makeup for week 13:

Vindicator Siege Tank

Blood Angels

First, the Blood Angel's 'Lucifer' engines make the Vindicator awesome.  No other army in the game has a fast ordnance template that can instant-kill termies. 

Second, this particular vehicle has a story.  It is actually the FW version released way back in '02/'03 (and boy is there a story to that!).  I purchased two Vindicators for my Dark Angels army (a picture of the remaining one is below) and used the 'Power of the Machine Spirit' upgrade on them.  This meant that the tank could move 12" and still fire the ordnance.  Unfortunately for me, that rule disappeared and my Dark Angels became far less effective and so were retired (to be fair, I also had a new IG, Ultramarine, and High Elf army to keep me busy in all that time).  Strangely enough, that ability reappeared in a new way in the BA book, so I chose to repaint the Vindie to be red and mean. 

Go go gadget repurposing!

also, here's the remaining 'ol Vindicator for the Dark Angels:
Notice the FW doors as well.  And just so you know, those company markings were done by my hand!  It's because when I try, my stuff comes out awesome.  Sucks that I'm so lazy, right?

2011, A unit a week

Makeup for week 12:

Captain Sendini

Blood Angels 5th Battle Company Commander

More than anything, I just wanted to use that Thunder Hammer.  Having some extra stuff left over from a Captain I built years ago, I slapped some Blood Angel bits on and now I have a regular ol' captain for my force.  I don't expect to use him much (and I'm even thinking of adding a storm shield somehow to change that).

Go go gadget kit-bashing!

2011, A unit a week

Makeup for week 11:

5th Company Tactical Squad

Blood Angels

I figured I needed some anti-tank firepower.  This squad is armed with a tank-busting lascannon, an anti-tank meltagun, and the sergeant is carrying a massive power fist.  Unlike the rest of my Blood Angel units, this squad has one very obvious purpose.
I also included a Rhino as every single unit in my army needs to be fast.  Also, Blood Angel Rhinos rule...