Monday, November 10, 2014

"Commission" Showcase: Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought

This is my first "commission" piece. I include the quotes because I am not getting paid for this piece, it is instead a present for FTGT's resident Space Wolf, Chandler. I had intended to make it a Birthday gift, but it's a little late for that for various reasons.

To begin the process, since it was a gift, I was actually torn whether or not to let Chandler in on the process. Considering the options available in the kit, I decided to get his input and let him know my plan. Originally, I had thought to build the kit as Bjorn and make him a true display piece.

However, Chandler has a Bjorn, so I wasn't confident in my choice and so asked Chandler to decide. He was initially leaning to Murderfang, but changed his mind and decided he wanted a Dreadnought with a big axe and shield.

I selected the options that would be included, including Murderfang's front plates, and the Wolf head. I kept the kit largely in pieces for ease of painting, and then broke out the airbrush for the primer and preshading and prehighlighting.

For this step, it was a matter of going in and spraying recesses black and raised portions white. This would give my base coat some quick depth and emphasize further highlights and shading.

Per Chandler's request, I used The Fang from GW thinned with Airbrush Medium for the main color of the dread. This went on lightly on nearly all surfaces.

The base coat was followed by a couple lighter highlights created by adding white to The Fang. This was followed by an edge highlight with just a bit more white.

With the base color done, it was time to go back and paint all the metals and other colored areas black. I then rewarded myself by painting up the frost axe, mixing and adding to a custom ice blue color.

Next was Rhinox Hide on all gold, red, and bone areas on the model.

I next went to the gold areas, using Gehenna's Gold and Auric Armour Gold, with a final dot/edge highlight of silver.

Next up was the red. I used Khorne Red for a base. For the gems this was followed by Mephiston Red, an Orange, and finally a touch of yellow. For the grip of the axe, I used a watered bone to edge highlight the diamond pattern.

Next were the bone sections, which were built up from the Rhinox hide using XV-88, Screaming Skull, and a final touch of Minitaire bone.

Next was the silver sections, which were based in Leadbelcher followed by Chainmail. This was followed by an Oil Discharge wash followed by a refresh highlight of the Chainmail. At this stage I also used a brown wash on the Gold sections, particularly the grenade launcher and chest piece as those had the most depth.

The final steps were finishing off the shield; I painted the runes white, then did a light wash of Minitaire's Plasma Fluid Ghost Tint to give an OSL look. Finally, I added some weathering, first by dry sponging black and silver on some areas, particularly the hands, feet, and legs. This was followed by light airbrushing black around the exhaust vents and around the grenade launcher to add some soot.

All that was left was his base. I knew I wanted to do a snow base, but had never actually tried it before. After some research, I settled on baking soda and either PVA or Water Effects.

Water Effects on the right, PVA on the right
I made a couple test bases with different liquid mediums and consistencies - more PVA to Baking soda, less Water Effects, which is also thicker. While I waited for those to dry I based the base with my ice blue and coated the top with water effects to try to create an ice look should any show through the snow.

In the end, I went with a combination of the two, using primarily the water effects, but the PVA version to fill in some gaps and smooth out some areas like around the feet, where I tried to scuff and drift the snow a bit.

After what I would guess was 12-15 hours of work all told, I finished up the dread and had him ready for Chandler to pick up and put on the field of battle. Check out the image dump below for the final Dreadnought.

As I said at the beginning, I considered this a bit of a commission piece, even if I wasn't being paid. I've been entertaining the idea of trying my hand at commissions for a while now and wanted to see how I could do using a couple new techniques and a scheme I haven't tried before.

Before actively soliciting commissions (not that I will turn one down necessarily), my next step is assembling and painting a Baneblade kit I've had in my closet for a while. This is a different challenge in that my goal is to sell it, but have no solid scheme I need to follow or match. While I am busy assembling I will be doing some research on popular tank schemes.

Anyway, enough business, what do you think of the Dreadnought?

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