Friday, March 20, 2009

Lazy Sentinel of Cadia

The Lazy Sentinel

A painting tutorial in 4 (5) steps
(or 8 hours)

With the new IG:Codex arriving in May, and given the difficulty for many generals in getting large swathes of IG models onto a gaming table near you, this quickie-guide to painting a Sentinel seems like a good place to start for the LazyPaintbrush.

Since this is the first attempt at a tutorial, well, steps were not carefully documented in camera. Nor was a tripod used to stabilize the images. Perhaps we need the LazyPhotographer?

The Sentinel was first released a while back (2000?). This particular kit is the soon-to-be out-of-production Armaggeddon Steel Legion Sentinel. It comes withe the basic Sentinel plastic kit, as well as pewter parts for the following:
  • Autocannon
  • Camo Cloth
  • Front Armour Plate
  • Armored Top in 2 parts (but not enclosed!)
Step 1: Hour 1
Assembly &
application of GW: Roughcoat Spray

Unfortunately, I can be rather obsessived about getting rid of every last mould line. They can really spoil the look of the final product when missed. So this part took me about 3 hours. For lazier generals, this can take you anywhere from
10 minutes to x.

Why should one remove mould lines? They can get in the way of drybrushing. Very badly. Plus, the models can just look plain odd with a crest running through over the top of a helmet. Or...

To ease painting difficult corners, the model was assembled into the following components:

  • Autocannon
  • Driver with head and arms attached
  • Feet attached to base. (see left)
  • Leg x2
  • Lower torso or hips (where the legs meet the main body)
  • Main Hull outer shell.
  • Main body inner shell and exhaust(cockpit)
To save time on the base itself, Vallejo pumice was used to create the rough sandy looking texture on the base. Its basically a glue/sand mix that one can shape and apply quickly. Note that it takes a few hours to dry out, so this is best done as the last step before stopping for the night.

ROUGH Armour
What I decided to try out was to roughen the armour to create a more gritty look. After assembling the outer shell, GW's roughcoat was applied. Before spraying the main hull, care was taken using scotch tape and blue tack to cover up the parts that would look funny if they were roughened. These included the vision slits, imperial eagles, front-mounted searchlight, door handles, this also included taping over the big 'mouths' of the top and bottom of the Main hull so that the roughcoat would not get onto the interior cockpit parts. (another 30 minutes gone!)

This process was repeated with the autocannon. I felt that since the legs had no additional armour, fuzzing the legs would make it look odd, so the legs were not roughened.

Neither was the pilot nor the interior cockpit. The back exhaust armour plates were also roughened, with the exhaust covered up in tape.
(this technique's also being tried out with an Ork Stompa!)

Post Roughcoat, the assembled model looked greyish.

Total time taken to date: 4 hours. (like I said, I hate mould lines, and there were lots of experimenting with what to cover and using what to cover with pre-roughcoat.)
Step 2: Undercoat and Basecoating
Time taken: 2 hours

Colors used:

GW Foundation
Tausept Ochre
Knarloc Green
Adeptus Battlegrey

Right. You see that gap there? right above the pilot's bedroll? Terrible. I just couldn't figure out how the armoured top would fit right on. Oh well. It didn't look too obvious on the final product. ;-)

Anyway, after a solid round of undercoating with GW's spray chaos black. (solid as in, 360 degree all round, multiple trips out into the open air (do NOT spray in an enclosed room, unless you want to be labelled "druggie") ), the basecoat was applied on.

Neat painting. The messier one paints, the more one has to go back and do clean up work. Get it neat the first time, and the need to do re-work is reduced greatly.

Additional color:
GW Foundation: Tallarn Flesh

Now, a good brush that doesn't look like a toilet scrubber works wonders. Neatly apply the different colors to create a contrast, like on the chin-strap. Green. The uniform was based Tausept Ochre.

The legs were covered with 2 colors - Knarloc Green and Adeptus Battlegrey. All the moving parts (or look like moving parts - hydralics and all that, wires or piping) and the ankle ball joint were covered in grey. Again, one cannot overstress the necessity of neatness. Steady the hand on the table, or wear heavy clothing or something. Just steady that paintbrush.


Well, All Knarloc green here. Try to avoid painting all the deepest recessess. The black undercoat here left unpainted immediately creates a sense of depth. The less effort, the faster it takes right?

The base itself was ultimately covered with Chardon Granite.

Done with the basecoats. It could go onto the table now, but that's not going to win one enough points for painting effort in any tournament. So, the next step. Drybrushing. (or wetbrushing, or... well, brushing.)

Step 3: Brushing (Drybrushing/wetbrushing)
Time taken: 1 hour.
1. Dip paintbrush in paint. (up to half the hair, not the whole brush!)
2. Find a rag/tissue/absorbent material. Dab brush onto material. Brush back and forth. Remove most of the paint. The idea is to leave a faint trace as the brush moves across the surface.
3. apply onto model's hard edges.

1. See step 1 in drybrushing101
2. Find another rag or use the same tissue. Remove most of the paint, but not all of it.
3. Apply onto model's hard/sharp edges. be very gentle. You don't want to end up changing the basecoat color into drybrushed grey.

Colour used: GW Foundation Astronomican Grey

Lower Torso/hip

dab dab dab dab dab dab. Remember. you can always brush 2x, 3x 4x, but undoing is harder than just pressing that back arrow.

The Imperial Eagle

This part was masked by bluetack during the roughcoat spray. You can see how the eagle and door hinges are defined, while the
armored parts are rough, and caught bits of the drybrush. Nothing like one brush creating many outcomes.

The main Hull
As you can see, the eagle again was masked, and when drybrushed, has a different look to the rest of the armoured parts. The searchlight was also lazily painted with tausept ochre as a base. (yellow is yellow!)

dab dab dab. over all the sharp edges in the army, and randomly across the flat parts. the Roughcoat picked up random effects.

At this point, one might think the drybrushed effect is too severe. There's another step!

The interior cockpit/back exhaust.

The dark undefined adeptus battlegrey has been highlighted with the lighter astronomican grey. Immediate weathering.

Same outcomes with the legs, feet and autocannon. Instant depth, highlighting. Truly, an easy technique to use when looking to do masses of models.

Step 4: Magic Ink (or that new GW wash!)
Time taken: 45minutes and overnight to dry.

Wash: GW Badab Black
Wash: GW Ogryn Flesh (only for the pilot)
Wash: GW Asurmen Blue (only for the pilot's goggles)
Wash: GW Devlan Mud (for the bedroll and other brown bits and the base)

Quick. Very quick. Remember worrying about the drybrushing being a little too extreme? Well, magic ink is here. Just run Badab Black liberally over the whole model where it was green or grey. Woosh. Instant extra depth and balancing. Ogryn flesh all over the brown bits.

The pilot's face was washed with Ogryn Flesh.

At this stage, the model is more than ready to add to the army painting score in any tournament. Sure, you're not in the running for best painted model, but best painted army? why not if its all done well?

Step 5: Fine bits

Other random colors:
Vallejo Model Color blue, pale yellow, green something.
GW Foundation Mechrite Red, Necron Abyss, Solar Orange

Extreme highlighting. You may have noticed the bright yellow-streak running across the autocannon ammunition. one dab of pale yellow there, and on the edges of the pilot's bedroll.

That orange power cable on the side of the autoccannon. The varying color sensors. The searchlight's random brighter yellow dots.

Oh, and very very steady hand to dot the pilot's eyes. If you don't want to do that, well, then think about positioning the pilot looking down. Nobody can see his eyes then without a dentist's mirror!

Other bits. cockpit interior switches in different color. Command stick's LCD radar screen. Whatever one finds fun in painting on.

That was fun. It could have been done in less hours, but hey, I'm slow and OCD when it comes to models and getting it righter.

The above picture of the foot, shows, (badly), just how the different steps look. You can stop anytime, or do all of it. The more steps taken, the better the model should look.

Then again, beauty's in the eye of the beholder.


Postscript: I added freehand the ghostly image of the Cadia regiment on the door, as well as unit markings for the 609th Regiment. Perhaps the start of an army?