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Dr. Tortenkopf is making Terminators great again

Dr. Tortenkopf is making Terminators great again

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Project Blog by drtortenkopf Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

I decided that the Space Hulk Tactics Hobby Challenge would be a great excuse to get away from edge highlighting my Death Guard and get to build something again. So here come some Terminators I have been meaning to work on for several years now. I will true-scale them. I will mod them to not be Death Wing anymore. And I will hopefully get started painting them as Howling Griffons.

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Now I really am done.

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After working into the morning hours on Saturday I printed and sealed the decal sheet in the evening. Today, on Sunday it was ready to use and I was able to apply the missing chapter markings. And some text on the larger bits of scroll work.

With freshly applied chapter markings the Howling Griffons are engaging the only two Gene Stealers I have.With freshly applied chapter markings the Howling Griffons are engaging the only two Gene Stealers I have.
The scroll on the Marines chest plate reads The scroll on the Marines chest plate reads "MANCORA". The homeworld of the Howling Griffons chapter.

And before we forget, this project was about scaling the Terminators to look more natural, both next to the Primaris, but also by themselves. Because somehow they always look as if the person wearing the armor doesn’t have a head. Or as if their head was growing out of their chest somehow. All of that while wearing Terminator-Plate is supposed to just be a change of clothes for a Space Marine.

So I took the following group shot to show two of the Terminators next to the Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor and a regular Primaris Marine.

Size comparison between the Primaris and the Terminators.Size comparison between the Primaris and the Terminators.

I am rather pleased with how this has turned out. The Terminators will be able to serve next to the Primaris Marines without looking like humpbacked dwarves and the Gravis Armor is still a bit taller. I looks like it just has really thick soles though.

And this is where I leave you. At least with this project. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot as well.

I would like to thank everyone who looked at the project and clicked the buttons. Without you I might not always have had the motivation to keep the pace I had to set in order to finish the project.

I am done! Well almost...

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It is 03:13 on the  24th and I am ready to call this project done.

The Terminators have all been mounted to their bases and the last details have painted. I might still be touching up a few details, over the coming days, but nothing major is going to change anymore.

Except for one thing. I still need to add the griffon rampant to their right shoulders. However since it is the right shoulder the griffon will need to be flipped in order to still be facing forward. The red and yellow fields are also flipped opposed to the standard theme on the two Terminators in night world livery.

And that means I have to print a new transfer sheet. However due to domestic reasons  I was unable to print during the week. Hopefully I will be able to add the decals over the course of the weekend.

But until then here are the best gallery shots I could come up with at this time of night:

Painting the power sword

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Here is my progress on the sergeants power sword.

I used two tones of blue: Vallejo Magic Blue and Vallejo Electric Blue as well as white.

First I gave the power sword a series of glazes with Electric Blue so the color would be stronger towards the hilt of the sword. I then deepened the blue near the hilt using a glaze of Magic Blue. Vallejo colors can easily be thinned into glazes, however I add a little bit of Matt Medium in order to keep the thinned down paint controllable.

After the glazes were done I painted a electric arc pattern onto the blade using Electric Blue and white as a highlight.

Dr. Tortenkopf, what happened to those bases you built?

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Well, I finished painting them by picking out the cabling in blue, red and copper and the pipes in grey. Also I finished the silver rim and highlights. Look:

And here I am about to put one of the finished Terminators onto his base, by first drilling holes through it and the usind the wires in his feet to glue him onto the base.And here I am about to put one of the finished Terminators onto his base, by first drilling holes through it and the usind the wires in his feet to glue him onto the base.

The Sergeants Tabard

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Yesterday, apart from working on the remaining details on the miniatures, I have been nusy painting the Terminator sergeant’s tabard.

Here is a quick rundown of how I usually do light cloth like this:

 

I am using Vallejo Model Color. The colors used are as follows: Neutral Grey, Beige WWII, Deck Tan, Ivory, WhiteI am using Vallejo Model Color. The colors used are as follows: Neutral Grey, Beige WWII, Deck Tan, Ivory, White

The cloth had previously been base coated with Deck Tan, a nicely muted flat and very light grey. Asa first step painted the recessed areas of the cloth with WWII Beige and after that added thin line in Neutral Grey.

The raised areas are then highlighted first in Ivory and finally, very thinly in pure White.

As a last step I have added a bit of feathering to slightly blend the colours into each other.

This technicque provides very high contrast on the cloth and while the the feathering will only go so far to blend the colours it looks very good from a regular gaming distance.

Painting continues

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During these last days of the project I am somewhat frantically trying to finish the paintjobs and get the minis based. Here is the state of the project from about two days ago.

The highlighting on the armor had at that point been finished and I had made a start on some of the details.

More Highlighting

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I just finished the red and yellow highlights on the three Terminators with the standard color scheme. Here is a quick update on how they now look.

More Highlighting

Half a Terminator

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Yesterday I finished the yellow highlighting on one half of one Terminator.

For this I mix Citadel Averland Sunset with Vallejo Bone White in a 2/3 Ratio. The Averland Sunset has previously been stretched with Winsor&Newton Matt Medium. I always do that to Citadel Base Colors as they are far too goopy for my taste and contain enough pigment to make them last twice as long.

The highlight mix turns out slightly transparent, which is good because it allows me to apply it very carefully as adding to strong highlights can easily ruin a yellow miniature. I takes about two or three passes in the brighter areas to build up a sufficient highlight.

Yellow is always mentioned as a hard color to work with. This is why:

Humans are worse at perceiving color gradients in the yellow band of the spectrum, than they are in other color bands. The reason for this is, that the yellow information is extrapolated from the luminosity values of the red and green signals. This is also why people with red green blindness can perceive yellow. Their cones do not distinguish between red and green wavelength, but do register the luminosity of those color bands separately.

In short: Unless you are a tetrachromat you do not actually have the capacity to see yellow. Your brain compensates for that by combining parts of the red and green signals.

Because all the initial information we have on yellow light is its luminosity we do not perceive a lot of highlighting on yellow surfaces. Yellow is just always bright. Its perceived color intensity, compared to the other color bands, hardly changes.

This is why making yellow highlights more yellow wont look good. In order for them to look natural, they need to be brighter and less saturated. An that is the reason why I mix the Averland Sunset with a bone colour in order to create a highlight, that both stands out on a miniature to our poor, incapable eyes while seeming natural and believable.

Source:

Wikipedia on Color Vision

Building the Bases : Part 6

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The next step was to glue the plastic sheets cut from the biscuit trays on top of the foam-wire-tubing-layer. Again using styro-foam glue so I would not dissolve the insulation foam. After the glue had dried I cut the foam and plastic sheeting off in jagged rims around the outside of the plastic bases diameter.

I intend to have the basing material overhang the actual base, making it look like the ground has been ripped up together with  the figure that will be standing on it.

The bases were then sprayed black and given a gunmetal dry-brush. I then washed them with Citadell Agrax Earthshade and painted the cables and pipes different colours. I also highlighted the very edges with a brighter metal colour to make it look like they had been freshly torn

On the whole I want all the plumbing to look rather cleaner than the deck plating. Not only to make it stand out, but also because it has been sealed away for millenia while the plating above was befouled by all manner of xenos and warp spawn.

Building the Bases : Part 5

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Before actually using the pieces I had cut from the plastic trays I glued some electrical wiring and and plastic tubing to the bases using regular super glue. My plan was to have these stick out from under the plastic on the sides to give the impression of plumbing and wiring.

Next I covered the free area of around the wires and tubes with styro-foam glue. Regular super glue dissolves styro-foam and similar materials. That is why a special kind of glue is required when working with foam. This glue is a bit special in that you have to cover only the non styro-foam side of the joint in a thick layer of glue and wait for about 10 minutes until it is dry to the touch. You then press the foam onto the glue and it immediately bonds, leaving almost no margin for error.

I had previously cut fitting pieces of insulation foam which I glued into the spaces.

The insulation foam’s trade name is styrodur and sheets of two square meters can be bought at construction material wholesale stores. No hardware store I checked was stocking the stuff and I only found it available on euro-palettes online. Even at the wholesale store they looked at me in a funny way when I wanted only a single sheet. That I immediately broke it into two smaller pieces to fit it into my car probably didn’t help the  impression I must have given.

Styrodur is pretty much like regular styro-foam but with no individual bubbles at all, very sturdy and extremely lightweight. On its own it does not crumble at all and can be easily worked with a knife almost like very very soft wood. It is awesome stuff and I have been using it extensively as basing and modelling material as well as just to make paint sticks.

Its intended use is to by cemented  down under ceramic or stone floor tiles as an insulation layer. Hence why it is super sturdy, will last basically forever and has an interesting texture on it, which is intended to make it grip the layer of mortar or cement you are supposed to cover it in. That texture actually offers its own modelling opportunities, which I did not employ in this project.

Building the Bases : Part 4

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I cut a few pieces out of a used model sprue and flattened them lightly so they would look like metal girders. I made a few cuts into one of the tray bottoms to fit around the girder so it would look like the girder was separating some of the floor plates.

Building the Bases : Part 3

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Onto another one of the tray pieces I also put a little piece of green stuff into which I pressed the Austrian coin. I later cut the rim around the green stuff away and replaced it with fresh green stuff over which I rolled the handle of my crafting knife, impressing its pattern into the fresh part surrounding the eagle.

Building the Bases : Part 2

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The following is a direct documentation of the rather experimental steps I took with the the aforementioned pieces. That means I really did not know if this would would work out or not while I was doing it, which made the project a lot of fun.

First I used a crafting knife to cut out the bottoms of the trays I had chosen.

I then flattened a small bit of green stuff onto a circular area on one of the trays. I used the yarn spool to impress a pattern into the green stuff, making it look like a pressure hatch or some other industrial greeble. I am really not sure what it is and it doesn’t really matter.

Building the Bases : Part 1

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After I spent the weekend eating all the biscuits I was left with a lot of the plastic trays they had been packaged in. Some of theses turned out to be not that useful for what I had in mind.

Others however looked very promising:

I had tried to preselect the biscuits by the apparent structure of their trays, but have not been too successful. Only the three trays pictured above seemed actually useful. But especially the one with the small square pattern looked very promising indeed.

I must also stress that I did not allow any preconceptions as to the taste of the biscuits which I might have had to influence my decision!

 

In addition to the biscuits trays I also had all of the following stuff lying around. All of which will come in handy in the following step.

These are two pieces of metal wiring, some plastic piping I salvaged from a spirometry device, since I work with medical equipment. But piping like this can easily be bought online. Also we have an old yarn spool, an empty model blister and an old Austrian 10 Groschen coin which has an eagle on it. I am not an Austrian, but I have apparently traveled to Austria at some point before the introduction of the Euro and must have brought that with me. And of course a self-sealing stem bolt from IKEA.

And ideas for basing

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I mentioned earlier, that I was not quite sure of how I would be basing the Terminators. I could just do the same thing I do for the other Griffons, but that would not be very fitting to the Space Hulk theme. Even though I did promise Loyd a tutorial on how I did those bases about a year ago.

What i am planning on doing is something that will stick with the red and brown colour scheme of my existing Space Marines bases, but looks like it is part of a Space Hulk.

I have been gathering a few odd bits throughout the last week and this morning i went out out to buy the remaining basing materials.

This is what I brought home:

Stay tuned to find out for what I will try to do with this. Stay tuned to find out for what I will try to do with this.

By the way. I have not done yet, whatever it is that I plan on doing. So this might actually fail. The following part on basing I will not have been prepared for in any way, other than having bought far too many biscuits.

More painting

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It appears that daily updates on the painting process are not very practical. So here is a small update on what I have been doing for the last week.

I have been putting down the base coats for some of the larger detail areas, like feathers, the terminator crosses and the metal pieces.

After that I have been adding the line shadows to both sides of the armor and have  finished cleaning the yellow sides up this morning. That is the hardest part of the work done. The red sides go much easier and are far more forgiving.

Painting: Day One

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I have added the red side of the base coat over the primer and painted the right glove and the left shoulder on the two night world Terminators.I have added the red side of the base coat over the primer and painted the right glove and the left shoulder on the two night world Terminators.

I will try to cover my painting of the Terminators on roughly a daily basis. That wont always work, but it should make me keep a decent pace with the project.

Most of the work on the colour scheme is covered in my Howling Griffons Project, so I wont go into too much detail on the painting steps this time and rather try an focus on the building side of the project.

In that regard I am still unsure of how I will be doing the bases. But its a long time until the 24th of November. I am sure I will come up with something…

Prime Time

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Today was probably the last day for the month that had outside temperatures that would allow for easy priming. I am happy to report, that I was able to make use of this and prime the Terminators.

The entire squad ready to be put onto their painting stick. I did not do a very good job of documenting the scultping of the details around their waists and this is the only shot that shows it for all of them.The entire squad ready to be put onto their painting stick. I did not do a very good job of documenting the scultping of the details around their waists and this is the only shot that shows it for all of them.
These two are getting their own painting stick.These two are getting their own painting stick.
The sergeant, the two other Terminators...The sergeant, the two other Terminators...
... and the 500th store celebration marine are sharing the other painting stick.... and the 500th store celebration marine are sharing the other painting stick.
And here they are primed black and yellow. Two of them are primed in black, as they will be painted in the Howling Griffons alternate, night world colour scheme that was used during of the Badab War. My assumption is, that suits of armor from that campaign might not get repainted to honour the valor of armors machine spirit during a particular engagement, even if the armor has since been passed on to another battle brother. But I also assume, that the night world scheme is still in active use by the chapter and am using it for the Primaris Reavers and Interceptors as well.And here they are primed black and yellow. Two of them are primed in black, as they will be painted in the Howling Griffons alternate, night world colour scheme that was used during of the Badab War. My assumption is, that suits of armor from that campaign might not get repainted to honour the valor of armors machine spirit during a particular engagement, even if the armor has since been passed on to another battle brother. But I also assume, that the night world scheme is still in active use by the chapter and am using it for the Primaris Reavers and Interceptors as well.

Another problem with the sergeant

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The sergeant is in a pose, that made him easy to cast, but does not make him as dynamic as I would like.

In particular he originally is holding his bolter in from of his wais and is waving his sword around somewhere over his head, while being in a leg stance, that actually suggests some more aggression.

He is clearly in a stepping motion and is holding his sword arm behind him. The only time the sword arm should ever bee behind the fighters body is while either executing a very lumbering swing, that would leave the fighter completely uncovered, or while preparing for an overhead attack. The second and for a seasoned fencer more probable case is called an Ochs (Ox) Guard and has the sword pointing towards the enemy.

I reposed his bolter and his sword to both be pointing in the direction he is looking and stepping in. My idea for the sergeant is, that he has just been advancing and firing at an enemy and is now getting ready to take one last step towards him and execute an overhead stab with his blade.

While fighting gene stealers this would seem like a viable tactic to me, as the Ochs Guard will be useful in defending against their claws while allowing him to make maximum use of the bolter before stepping into melee range.

About that Angel on the shin guard

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Remember the angel on the sergeants shin guard I mentioned earlier. That still needs to go, as it just looks too much like the Death Wing.

 II had another boot left over from the Picnic Terminator. Here I am cutting that of its base plate. II had another boot left over from the Picnic Terminator. Here I am cutting that of its base plate.
The first cut made in order to remove the sergeants angel embossed footwear.The first cut made in order to remove the sergeants angel embossed footwear.
A second cut behind the knee cap made the boot come free rather easily.A second cut behind the knee cap made the boot come free rather easily.
The Picnic Terminators leg is being fitted into place on the sergeant.The Picnic Terminators leg is being fitted into place on the sergeant.
After welding the leg into place with modedling glue I sculpted over the seam with green stuff to rebuild some of the lost detail.After welding the leg into place with modedling glue I sculpted over the seam with green stuff to rebuild some of the lost detail.

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