This is actually quite a milestone for me: this is the first model I've painted that I actually LIKE. I don't mean the results of my paint job, I mean the base model itself. Sounds stupid huh? The thing is, I like the 40K world and the space marine fluff, but I just don't like the standard space-marine models. They are supposed to be superhuman futuristic knights-templar, but they look like Star-Wars storm troopers with over-sized shoulders and poorly-designed backpacks. I can live with the shoulders (they are over-sized to allow room for painting detailed insignia and the like anyway), and the backpacks and helmets work for me on the heavy weapons crews, but overall the standard marine model doesn't really appeal to me.
So why did I paint so many? Why have I spent so long painting models I don't really like? Well, it seems I'm conservative by nature - I wanted to improve my skills before I painted the models I DO like - the Grey Knights, the Emperor's Champion... the Chaplain in Terminator Armor.
So I finally decided that it was high time to really start. My painting is not where I want it but I think it's adequate and I just don't have the time to invest in getting much better. Most inportantly I can't be bothered to paint any more models that I don't really care about, so from now on I'm going to concentrate on the ones I do. If I screw up, I'll just strip the paint and start again.
So here we are, my Chaplain in Terminator Armor:
He has a combi-melta/stormbolter (the melta barrel is magnetized but it presses too tightly against the barrels, some varnish and paint was scraped off the first time I took it off, so I'm leaving it on for now). The chaplain in terminator armor is the only model who I think justifies a combi-weapon since it only costs 5 points instead of the usual over-priced 15 (yes, you lose out on one bolter shot at 12-24" range - a small price to pay), and also I wanted his gun to look scary. I didn't want to remove the existing one, which has a fantastic ammo belt (and also a regular bolter would have looked tiny in his hands), and I hate the "stick a melta barrel over one of the holes in the storm bolter barrel", which I think is hideous. Instead I added a melta-pack from the space marine devastator kit to the back, replaced the existing barrels with a longer pair to balance the melta barrel length (and also to move them up - the old ones were much lower leaving very little room for the melta barrel). I also had to build up the front with greenstuff, which came out a little messy.
I left out the iron halo and weird thingies he came with, and I also replaced the hideously-unbalanced mace - the only bits of the original model I don't like. I actually wanted the mace used by the inquisitor model in terminator armor (the one with the gun over his shoulder) displayed in the old Deamonhunter's codex, but I have no idea where that is from so I settled for this Chaos Knight one instead.
Also note the right shoulder. Last time I forgot to point out the symbol of my chapter, the Sentinels Eternal, painted in freehand on the Scout's shoulder: an empty hourglass on a shield. OK, it's not obvious that the hourglass is empty, but it's the best I could do. Anyway, this chaplain is the second model to carry the symbol and this time it's not just painted on. I printed out a shield and hourglass, stuck them to a sheet of plasticard, cut them out as best as my clumsy mitts could manage, stuck them together and used them to make a mold. Then I cast a greenstuff shield in the mold and took it out while it was a little soft (luckily I had just got some instant mold, which does not stick to greenstuff so you can get it out while soft without damaging it), and curled it onto the shoulder.
The main body was painted metallic (Army Painter metal primer - I don't have time anymore and why risk losing details with more coats of paint?), then a layer of heavily watered down black with clear washing up liquid was painted over to get a very black metallic look. I wasn't really happy with how this turned out, I think just mixing black and boltgun would work better (in fact that's what I used for cleaning up after I made some mistakes later and it blended in quite well). The brass turned out a little dark but I figured that fit. I deliberately made the parchment very dark to differentiate it from the skull, which I wanted to stand out and be a focal point for the model. To that end I brushed it with plenty of skull white to get a really pale bone, which contrasts well with the black armor. I painted the eyes as black lenses so they would give the impression of an actual hollow skull, rather than the glowing red I believe the model on the GW site uses.
Unfortunately the model itself showed some problems, I suspect the GW mold is old at this point and has lost some detail. I had to do some cleanup work, especially on the left shoulder, including adding a stud (I forget where I read about this, but someone once suggested using the things in water filter cartridges, which worked quite well - there's a range of sizes so you can find one that fits it well with the ones around it) and trying to file some detail back in to the skull and crossbones. Shame, but I don't think it's too noticeable.
I'm happy with the model overall: black armor, white skull helm, big gun and a heavy blunt weapon - not someone you'd want to run in to in an alleyway late at night. The black is less metallic than I had hoped, the mace lacks depth, and the edge highlighting is a little cruder than I would like. On the other hand I'm proud of the gun and the gems look pretty good (might have to give them another layer of 'ardcoat though), the paper doesn't look too bad and the skull really pops out. So yeah, he'll do.
And yes, I know everyone is into Grey Knights right now. No, I don't like their new codex very much, but I still have the old metal models I bought a year and a half ago sitting around, and I still think they look great, so I'll probably be starting on some of them before too long. Might try to finish my scouts or crimson fists first though, we'll see.