Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Miniature Showcase: Lord Maarku, Knight Gallant of House Killkerran

Part of the joy that is 2020 is not being able to play Warhammer 40k locally. Luckily, my Twitter crew has started playing games via Tabletop Simulator. This has been a huge boon for us, since we can now play 40k together more often than just during Adepticon, if at all. It also allows us to play with list builds that consist of models we don't own yet.

Thanks to this I revisited the Adeptus Mechanicus, an army that I haven't played in two years due to having a massive losing streak with them.

I created a new list that included a Knight Gallant in it and a few other units that I've never given a fair shake. A few games in, I was hooked on this list and needed to scratch the Knight painting itch.

After a few weeks, the local shop opened up after the Covid-19 shut down and I decided it was time to pick up one of those bad boys. In the time since, I've assembled and began the process of painting him up.

Let's take a look!

Customizing the Knight

Since this Knight will be the centerpiece model of my Adeptus Mechanicus army, I knew I needed to make him special. One way of doing that was to swap out the original Imperial Knight legs for a pair of Renegade Knight legs from the Knight Desecrator kit and hope that I could easily Imperialize it.

Luckily I could make the legs work for a Loyalist Knight, unluckily the pair of legs that I had ordered didn't include the hips for the Desecrator. That meant I needed to try and make the original hips work with the new legs. Not a huge deal, but it did take a bit a fiddling with. The hardest part was lining up the hip joints. Surprisingly, the hip pistons worked almost perfectly, with only minor clipping.

I had originally intended to repose the legs as well. But, I chickened out on it and decided to leave them in their stock position. This ended up working out in the end as his pose really worked well with this leg pose.

Another thing I was missing were the armor plates for the Desecrator legs. I did buy a set of thigh guards from eBay in case I needed them, but they ended up lost in the mail for weeks. Rather than wait around for them to show up, I went with the Imperial armor plates instead. They actually worked really well on the model and it adds a bit more character to it too. 

Enter: Necron Abyss

After conversions were finished, the first order of business was to come up with a color scheme. I knew that I didn't want it to be the same colors as the Admech army, since he'd be from his own Knightly Household. But I also didn't want to paint an all red Questor Mechanicus scheme either. That's when I remembered the iconography of Clan Ferguson and its blue and yellow color scheme.

Blue would be the main color and yellow the accent color, while all metals will be silver. I also decided to use the actual family crest for the household crest as well.

I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted the yellow to look like, but wasn't certain on the blue. But I knew I wanted a deep blue with a lot of contrast.

Necron Abyss is an old Citadel Colour Foundation paint from the previous Citadel Colour line that was replaced with the current range of paint was released in the late-2000s. It's a very deep blue and easily my favorite blue Games Workshop has ever produced.

Unfortunately this paint has long been out of production and is very hard to come by. I have half of a paint pot of Necron Abyss, but I try to save it for very special occasions. I felt that this model was one of those occasions and since I was only using it for a thin base coat I went for it.

To get that rich and shiny blue that I was looking for I started with a base coat of Necron Abyss over Vallejo Neutral Grey. Followed by layers of Kantor Blue, Caledor Sky and Teclis Blue.

Once the initial layers were painted, I glazed the entire surface with Talassar Blue Contrast. This helped tie the previous layers together. Then, I added another layer of Teclis Blue as a highlight and then a very thin highlight of  Lothern Blue. As well as an edge highlight of Lothern Blue.

Once the panels were weathered, I finished the chipping off with chip highlights of Lothern Blue and in some areas a spot highlight of white.

This gave me a very nice NMM style blue armor, but to finish it off I wanted a glossy surface, like you would see on car paint. With that in mind, much of the armor is sprayed with Rust-Oleum Gloss varnish. Which helped deepen the blue even more, thanks to the characteristics of gloss varnish.

As you can see in the step by step example, I chose silver as my trim color. This is due to the accent color of the armor being yellow, as I didn't want there to too many yellow tones on the model and risk it getting way too University of Michigan. Plus, I quite like blue and silver together.

Freehand Madness!

It wouldn't be a major painting project if I didn't try doing some freehand work on this model, now would it?

This bad boy has a decent amount of freehand painting done to him. From the house iconography, personal iconography and a mural on the left hand shoulder and the house crest itself.

In keeping with the Ferguson clan emblem, I decided the animal icon would be a boar and anywhere that called for a house icon would have the boar on  it. So that means his shoulder, knee and shin guards all have the boar painted
by hand on them.

Whats funny is I had decided to go this route before I noticed there were boar symbols on the official transfer sheet already. The icon on the transfer sheet is a profile view, where this one is front facing.  But that's OK, they turned out well and I am happy with the design of them.

The house emblem is a straight copy of the Ferguson coat of arms, but instead I changed the name to House Kilkerran. A bit of trivia Kilkerran House is the ancestral home of the Fergusons in Scotland. This one was very difficult due to the ribbons on the emblem.

Under the shield, I hung a banner made of plasticard to use in place of the crotch banner that is normally seen on Questoris Knights. To paint it I used a mixture of freehand painting and transfers to get the look I was going for.

All of the battle honors are squares that were painted with a transfer on top. The skull at the bottom represents him being the warlord of House Kilkerran and leader. Out of all of it I am happiest with the border and how it has a little bit of embroidery texture to it.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out, especially for just  being a piece of thin plasticard.

All of this is great work and I'm super proud of it. But the pièce de résistance has to be the left shoulder pauldron.

For this shoulder I wanted a mural depicting boars in battle or something regal. So I started searching up images on the ol' Googles and stumbled on to the artwork from Rhythm of the Wild from Magic: The Gathering.

This art was perfect, so I added it to the growing list of art recreations I've used on miniatures.

For this recreation I decided to omit the rider from the lead boar to put the focus on the herd of boars rather than have a human in there too. Also, I wasn't sure if I could pull off the human figure on the small surface without it looking like a dark blob on top of the lead boar.

This one is definitely one of my best murals to date. I am extremely happy with it.

A Tale of Three Varnishes

Its no real secret that I love AK Interactive Ultra Matte varnish. But for this model I knew that spraying him all one matte coat would make the model feel very flat. With that in mind I devised a plan to make the knight really pop.

Instead of spraying the entire model with matte varnish, I decided to spray all of the metal areas with satin varnish, the armor panels would be sprayed with gloss varnish and any chipping and battle damage would be painted with AK Interactive Ultra Matte varnish.

I'm been playing around with mixing finishes for awhile now, after painting up my converted Iron Man miniature. On that model , I sprayed him with gloss varnish and then used paint over top of it to define the sections of armor.

On this model I am splitting the varnishes based on surface type. Any bare metal areas were either sprayed or brushed with satin varnish to give the metallic paint a tiny bit of gloss in the satin to allow the metallic flake in the paint to react to light hitting the surface. The satin also helped deepen the colors on these surfaces.

Gloss varnish was used only on armor plating. The look I was going for was similar to auto body clear coat. Since the glossy armor is the only high gloss areas it pops really nicely and also allows ambient light to shine on the surface. But the real kicker is once the ultra matte varnish is applied to the chips in the paint.

With the matte applied it breaks up the glossy surface and helps make the weathering more believable. When the light hits one of the armor panels, the matte chips stand out and helps you buy into the idea that this knight has seen some action.  

The Finish Line

There we have it, Lord Marrku of House Killkerran.

This was a really fun project to work on and I am glad that I can finally check Paint a Knight off of my Warhammer bucket list of dream projects.

I originally had trouble fighting off the bug of wanting to do more models for a Knight army. Now I am pretty happy with just adding him to either my Admech or Guard armies as an auxiliary unit. Plus he looks like a pure bad ass towering over all of my Steel Legion infantry.

That's it for this one! It feels good to be posting again. Check back soon, I have plenty of other posts lined up where I talk about other projects I've been working on since lock down.

Until next time, you can catch me on Twitter and Instagram.

If you like what I do and want to support the site and my painting endeavors, you can do so over on Ko-fi, its always appreciated. Also, you can buy The Brush Wizard shirts and such over on my Teespring shop, where you'll find a growing selection of shirts and other goodies including stickers of some of my art.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the finished model!