Thursday, 30 January 2014

Painting Traitor Guard tanks; Sons Of Sek, Part 1.

As with all starter armies, I wanted to get playing with my force as soon as possible, so with that in mind it was time to move to the vehicles for the Son's. With some Chaos cultists to proxy, some heavier stuff was needed.

First up, a little history from the fluff's POV;

From recollection, the majority of the militant vehicles encountered during the Sabbat Worlds crusade by Gaunt and his Ghosts are those owned by the Blood Pact. Alongside the oh-so excellent stalk tanks are the captured Urdeshi types such as the half-track Stegs, and the more lumbering AT83 Leman Russ variants.

For the Sons, the fiction was yet to cover their armoured organisation as coherently. For now, we have no definitive encounters of which to refer to. While both Traitor General, and Armour Of Contempt contain plenty of vehicular references I would argue that those encountered upon Gereon lean towards those owned by an occupational force, rather than the more regimented entity that the Son's become.

If you've not read these yet I don't think I really want to be your friend

Dave Taylor of and many others have already set the bar for the Daniverse miniatures (among many others) far far higher than I suspect Dan Abnett could have thought possible, and happily this give me plenty of fantastic ideas from which to learn from. 

No Mark, No! Son's of Sek, remember?

I noted a several things from this research that I felt to be key to making the tanks of the Sons feel unique and specific to me, that I wanted to include. 

Demands include;

  1. A single USP which would make the vehicles feel specific to me, and to the Sons. 
  2. The Sons have excellent regimental coherency, one that the vehicles should adhere to closely.
  3. Whilst appearing captured and damaged, vehicles should NOT look ramshackle and cobbled together. 
  4. Chaotic allegiances should be clearly shown.
So first up in the goodie bag was a Hellhound. One of the convincing factors in me beginning this army was a complete burn-fest that an opponent treated my marines to with one of these.

Easy to wound? Bypasses Space Marine armour? Ignores cover? Hello Banewolf.

For the moment, minimal conversions were made. Aquila's were removed, bullet holes were added, scratches scratched, and patches patched. (Demand 3 met!)

This was them primed black, drybrushed with Leadbelcher. Then, 5 layers of thinned Averland sunset were applied over the course of a day to give a rich yellow, in keeping with the uniforms of the Sons. (Demand 2 met!)

Note laptop in background to cope with multiple layering!
Following that, I washed the entire thing with Nuln Oil, and retouched any areas which the wash ran into again.

I went slightly overboard on the chemical tanks on the tanks rear, I wanted a faint first wash to give the effect of staining and corrosion but my mix was too heavy and the effect stuck. I'll live however.

After that (for the first time ever on a tank) I neglected to edge highlight it. I considered trying it but the finish was clean and the detail may have got slightly muddied if I attempted to do so.

For more weathering I then went over the tanks most exposed areas with a sponge and a brush to simulate chipping, then over the angular areas with a plain pencil to good effect (my own version of line highlighting)
Use the pencil like a brush, gives a decent edge 'highlight' thats very clean
So, onto the detail. The USP I wanted was something that was easy enough, but would look detailed and different. 

Tank graffiti; Chaos-y, to scale, and esoterically interesting. (Demand 1 met!)

My take on this would be that the Son's would be scrawling devotional text over their newly consecrated tanks, and sadly the language would be alien ,oh noes! I managed to flick and weave my brush into some oddly scripted and non-linear writing, adding various flourishes as they came to me. The only recognisable words within the text would be their namesake ('namesek'?), the word of the Anarch; Great Sek.
Top left is a recipe for Space Marine Stew, add Banewolf to Marines and simmer
Following this was a few randomly looping lines and swirls, some more Chaos iconography as Khorne icons (Demand 4 met) and then the heat burn detail on the main weapon (s). 

Loves it.
After this stage was a new one for me, oil weathering. This was something I've seen touted pretty much everywhere and was something that I wanted to try, basically you heavily dilute Burnt Umber oil paints. Allow them to dry slightly, then go back over the part-dry paint with some white spirit, which gives the nice impression of water staining upon the rivets.

Penultimately, the snow. Bicarb, PVA, Water. Bosh.

Finally the Tamiya-mixed-with-black-blood on the running track and the rear of the tank. Gush.

All finished (and two other tanks still to add to this slightly later on)

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