Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lord Moros Complete!

Hey all! Big post here, but its worth it!

I've completed work on my most recent project, Chaos Sorcerer Lord Moros. This is intended to show off my model so you can comment on it and let me know what I need to work on and what you like. But it is also to detail the journey of contructing him from beginning to end so that you can hopefully be inspired to get into modeling/painting a 40k army! Here he is!

I am pretty new to this hobby, but I am having a blast with it. I am going to share with you what I learned along the way so hopefully I can be of help to you.

So here we go,

Once you get your model the way plastic models are set up is that all the individual parts are attached to a sprue. I found out the hard way, the best way to remove these little parts from the plastic molding is to use an exacto knife or even cutters. DO NOT twist and pull the pieces off. You can really end up damaging the parts, and any little imperfection is going to show on the final painted model. If you do mess up some parts, its not the end of the world. You will just have to go back over them and scrape and shape them until they look good again. So save yourself some time and just cut them out.

Once you have all the pieces cut out you need to do some work cleaning them up. The molding process sometimes leaves lines on the pieces or even sometimes some excess plastic in some areas, so make sure you really spend some time cleaning up your model so you can have the best look possible. Usually the best way to clean them up is again, with the handy exacto knife. Just drag the edge of the blade across the areas you need to shave down as to not cut into the piece. Again, a little extra time spent here really has a big impact on the final product.

Next its time to get out your glue and start assembling your model. With this particular model, its a pretty open one, so I was able to assemble the model completely. Some models are referred to as 'closed models'. These are models that have parts that are covering areas of the model in such a way that you wouldn't be able to paint under them. My Thousand Sons marines are such models. If the model is closed just assemble what you can so that you can still paint the wholething, then paint the other parts seperately and assemble it once you're done painting.

Using the right glue is something that you really need to put some thought into. It took me awhile to really find glue that worked well for my purposes. There are some cement type glues that offer fast drying and a stronger hold, but they can sometimes be a little rubbery. I like using that kind of glue for metal models, it just makes it easier when assembling the heavier parts to have a stronger, quicker drying glue. BUT, I did notice that the cement type glue doesn't hold up to wear and tear very well.

For plastic models you can use plastic modeling glue. You do have to be careful, this glue literally melts the plastic together. If you get some on your model where you don't want it, or you put too much on the connection point it can ooze out and mess up your hard work. So be careful with it. I have found that it does offer a very solid, strong hold that puts up to wear and tear. However, it only works on plastic, not on metal models. Another thing to consider is that you won't be able to neatly separate things glued with this cause of the bond. So if you think you might want to rebase or do further conversion on a model be aware that this is a pretty permanent glue.

The last, and in my opinion best all around, glue is your plain old super glue. Honestly, I like super glue the best. It works on plastic and metal. You can break the seals and reassemble things with it. It doesn't warp your models. It does have a slighter weaker hold and some of them take some time to dry, so you might be holding parts or rubber banding things for some time. But this stuff works and is versatile.

I assembled Lord Moros and as I was looking at it, I wanted to try to spice it up a bit and give it a custom look. So I took the staff from another terminator lord kit and I added the staff head to the end of his staff. This was a simple conversion, all I had to do be careful of was making a straight cut so that I could put the two ends together in a way that it looked like one part. I also added some skull looking shoulder pads from the chaos terminators kit to give him some fearsome stature.Converting models can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. Honestly, from a newbies perspective on this, just go for it! Its kind of intimidating at first, cause you will feel like you might be ruining your model. But do some planning and forethought ahead of time and you will really like the results! Its much easier than it looks and it has a huge payoff in my opinion.

After you're all assembled its painting time! Now, If I am going to spend the money and take the time to paint models and get into this hobby I want to have models that look as good as I can possibly make them. When starting painting just remember that you can go for different levels of paint jobs. You can have a very simple paint job that you just want to use for table top all the way up to a pro-level work of art. Whatever you want is what you should do. Obviously the more time and effort you put into it, the better its going to look. So decide ahead of time what you're going for.

I always spray paint my models black to give it a nice dark base and help with the shading process. I use the wal-mart $1 generic flat black spray. Honestly, I tried a bunch of different ones it this one works the best. It also works on both plastic and metal models!

Painting is pretty simple if you remember this simple rule. The rule of 3. Basically you start with a base color. This will be the darkest color you will apply. Then you slowly work up to the brightest color. Its the rule of 3 because all you really need to do is have a dark color, a medium color, and a light color. Now you don't always have to follow this strictly depending on the look you want, but its a really good place to start. For example, On here you can see on Lord Moros how I painted the blue. Starting with Mordian Blue as a base, then applying Ultramarines blue. Then I used the Asurmen Blue wash to give it a cleaner look and a darker tint.

For this I use the drybrushing technique. You LOAD the brush up with paint then wipe almost all of it out on a paper towel. With this 'drybrush' lightly loaded with paint you just quickly brush back and forth on the model and try to only get paint on the higher areas and avoid the recesses. This will leave the black undercoat showing through and give nice shading to the model. I did the same with the ultramarines blue, but used less than the mordian blue, so that you can see the shades of blue.

After the asurmen blue wash the model has a nice dark blue color to it. Then I added the highlighting around the edges of the model. For this I used pure Ultramarines blue so that it would blend pretty well, but still stand out from the darker blue base color. Basically just go around all the pronounced edges on the model to make them pop. This was pretty much the end of the blue.
Next step was the gold trim. The base coat for this was Bestial Brown. Just do a nice even coat of it on all the trim and areas you want to paint gold. I was also using this color for the base on my bone colored areas, so I filled those in as well. You want to take extra care here to not go over your hard work on the blue areas, so be very careful. A small amount of water mixed in with the paint should really help it go on smoother, but you don't need a lot of water at all. After the brown is all, just lay down a smooth coat of shining gold down on all the brown areas. In the next pic you can see his right leg has the gold on the brown.

After all the gold was finished I started in on the bone sections! This was a very fun part of the painting process where I really got to see the model coming to life. It was pretty easy. On top of the bestial brown, in the areas I wanted a bone color, I just drybrushed on a very light coat of Bleached Bone. I did maybe 2 or 3 coats of light drybrushing until it got to the color I wanted. Then I took some skull white and VERY lightly drybrushed it onto the most raised areas. Then finished it off with a Gryphonne Sepia wash. This gave it a nice blended color and a little shine like polished bone.

After this, pretty much all the major areas of the model are painted and it was time to move onto the details. This stuff takes some time, but if you get it right, this is where your model really takes shape and begins to look great! So I suggest taking your time on the details, they really make the difference in my opinion.

So, for the silver areas I just use boltgun metal, and mithril silver for the highlights on the edges, just like with the blue.

For the white cloth I used a base of codex grey, and then a 2 to 1 ratio of codex grey and skull white and drybrushed it up until I used pure skull white for the extreme highlights on it. It was a nice look and its a subtle cloth look. I see some cloths that look very weird cause they have very extreme color changes. I don't like them as much, I don't think they look as natural.
For the cape I just drybrushed about 4 or so very light layers of Regal blue onto the black base. Leaving the recesses black. It gave it a really nice look and blends well with the rest of the model. My hope, if I can work up the confidence, is to freehand a bunch of runes on his cape. Should look very Tzeentchy and awesome when its done! The fur on top of the cape was done with Scorched brown base and bestial brown drybrushed over the darker brown. After that I used the sepia wash to bring the color down and then one more VERY light drybrush of bestial brown to make the tips pop. Fur is really easy because of all the detail on the model. Drybrushing works best when there is lots of detail.

Keep working on the details and go all out! the details make the model! That's pretty much it for how I made Lord Moros! Here are some more completed pics of him!

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