Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On the painting table: Dark Angels Dark Shroud / Vengeance

I'm making good progress in the Ravenwing army project. That's an optimistic view of course as at the moment I only have about 8 bikes and some 20 tacticals, but at least I'm getting there. In the meantime I'll indulge myself to some Doublewing games, which is not an army I particularly like but is the only that I can field at the moment.

This Land Speeder is merely minutes away from being added to the completed list. It is aesthetically, uh, disruptive so to say, with an stange atrium at the front, 4 engines protruding from the sides and a chapel glass next to the pilot. What were the designers thinking about? well I've long given up trying to make complete sense of 40k, that's why it is the grim dark future and bla bla.

So preferences aside, I like this model both from a gamer and painter standpoint. In the tabletop will help me grant a 2+ cover to the command squad, which is the lynchpin of the army, and a 3+ to the other biker squads during that crucial T1. T2/3 is the dakka festival of course, but a biker army has a limited headcount and I need as many bikes alive as I can. Enter the Darkshroud. After that T2, if it's still up and running will just try to hit side armour with the assault cannon, or go after small infantry units. I feel in the event it makes it past T2, a Heavy Bolter would make it nigh useless so I'm happy to pay the 20 points for the AC. If it dies, well it dies.

Very easy to swap configurations
The other variant included in the kit is the Land Speeder Vengeance which I feel is a big missed opportunity. A large plasma blast is cute but in a 2HP model? without twin-linked? and a 24" range? I can't even hide this thing behind a Land Raider, or move it back to cover after shooting a la Tau. It doesn't need much really, just make it twin-linked, as the weapon suggests, or give it 3HP, or at the very least give it some more range than just 24"! as it is now however, it's the first thing that would go down in a game, and without requiring massive firepower. For the time being, the plasma guns won't leave the foam tray.

In any case, I felt it was worth 5 minutes of my time and 2 magnets to make sure I can swap both configurations! sooner or later GW will fix the Vengeance, praise the Emperor...

The painter view

This type of models are extremele rewarding for the hobbyist. You could be tempted to just give it a black basecoat, paint some highlights and call it a day. Certainly I have done as much in the past with things like the Death Company. This time I went for something different though. I painted clear highlights in some areas with the airbrush, then highlighter with very dilluted grey and white tones. The other element that stands out of course is the OSL with Hawk Turquoise. This is one of my favourites tones from the GW line and certainly I can see it in many power weapons around. In this case I have tried to project the light from plasma guns, gunner controls and glass to the elements around it. Notice the right side of the driver and front of the gunner have some light reflections over their black armours.

If you have an airbrush this isn't very complicated to do. If a dull economist like myself can do this, well imagine people with actual artistic talent lol!

The technique goes around applying a light tone, like a soft grey, on the areas you want to apply the reflection. Take the gunner for example; we want his chest and helmet to reflect the light from the controls in front of him, so we'll just lightly spray the grey from the same direction in which the light comes. This will shade the black and when we apply the turquoise, it will naturally be lighter in these areas we have previously sprayed in grey. The magic of the airbrush is both making this fast and easy, but especially creating the color graduation with little effort.


Then it's just a matter of creating more contrast by applying dilluted black to the recesses (all of them), and highlight again with grey/whites. Hope you liked it!

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