Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Painting a Wave Serpent

I recently got a Wave Serpent to finally begin catching up with how Eldar are "supposed" to be built. That and after getting destroyed by them at NOVA, I can't deny they're good, and they look cool. I've always had a soft spot for Eldar tanks. To begin the build, I was looking at the turret. My initial plan was to create a magnet system to swap out the weapons, but at the same time, I can't seriously imagine a time when I wouldn't want Scatter Lasers. I tried magnetizing the shields to the axle, but it ended up not really working, and I ended up abandoning it. 

The other place of magnetization was in the turret itself. In looking at the base of the turret, I realized it could technically rotate, but there is a tab that looked to me like it should lock that part of the turret in place. That said, there is another part of the turret that I felt should actually be the rotating portion. To do this, I drilled out a magnet sized area and then covered it with plasticard to keep it in place.

I then did the same thing on the base of the turret, which would allow for easier transporting and a rotating turret.

Once my magnetizing attempts (newbish in comparison to Ron) were complete, I went about assembling the rest of the model. I decided to glue the canopy and would paint it, allowing me to skip assembling the pilot.

I then primed the model with my airbrush. Honestly, this might be one of my favorite uses for it while I'm still figuring it out. I primed the top with a shadow grey, and the bottom and weapons a white. I then took the bottom portion and primed the top black as well, with a fade on the transport area.

The bottom of the craft and weapons, which would be bone got an airbrush of a medium brown.

Meanwhile, the top got an airbrush coat of Royal Blood Blue. I followed this up with sponging on Alaitoc Blue

The weapons and underside of the Wave Serpent got a coat of a light bone color. I followed this up with a gloss varnish and then a light brown wash.

The last airbrushing step, I masked off the canopy and sprayed a diluted golden yellow. This was followed by a short burst of white, which was then washed in the brown to tie it together.

From there it was a matter of painting the approximately 80 gemstones. For this I started with black, then did about half the gem in Rhinox Hide (a good, dark reddish brown). Finally, the gems got a line of Mephiston Red on one edge and a dot of white at the top. Once they were painted, I covered the model in Matte vanrish, followed by gloss varnish for the gems and canopy.

Last step was the base. I glued my sand on the base, using 3 attempts as the clear plastic doesn't seem to provide an ideal surface. I left the glue overnight to dry and then came back and carefully dabbed a dark brown over the entire base. This was followed by a light drybrush of Screaming Skull. The finishing touch was some static grass, covering up any thin spots.

I'm not usually very happy with my bases, but I think this looks pretty good, and it's certainly not difficult. The biggest obstacle I've had in the past is my impatience, because you need to let it sit and fully dry, both the glue and the first layer of paint, which I water down a bit and dab on heavily to seal it in. One way to streamline the process for me is I've tried to make a point of gluing the sand before painting, that way the sand gets primered and, assuming I'm using an airbrush for the basecoat, gets an additional layer of paint to help seal it on before I touch it with a brush.

Anyway, here is the final product, based and ready to put out some punishing amount of firepower.

I also finally finished up some Dire Avenger passengers. These guys had sat mostly just base coated since ages past, with only the Exarch even remotely close to complete. I cleaned up the main colors of white, black, and blue, then added highlights.

I'm particularly happy with the warm highlights for the black, which are a little extreme close up, but I think help a lot at gaming height.