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Horus Heresy 500p Challenge: The Thousand Sons by Bothi

Horus Heresy 500p Challenge: The Thousand Sons by Bothi

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Project Blog by bothi Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

A good friend and I ran a 500p Challenge over the course of the year. We each painted a 2000 pts 40k army in 4 blocks a 500 pts (hence the name). Each block took 6 weeks. You can check it out here:

40k 500p Challenge

We had so much fun, that we wanted to do it again. This time it should be something special and we wanted to be more people. So we asked our friends and got 5 more people on board. And nearly all of us decided to paint up a Horus Heresy army. One is going another way, but still participating in the challenge.
Again we would try to paint a 2000 pts army in 4 parts. We decided to take a bit more time and have 2 month per block. As our start date is the 1st of November 2018, we should finish until the end of June 2019.
The rules are clear. You can built and prime as much as you want. But you are only allowed to paint the Minis dedicated to one block in exactly that block. So slower painters don't get discouraged by the success of the faster ones.
As you might have guessed by the name of the project: I am going for Thousand Sons. The most underestimated and misunderstood Legion of all times. For Ahriman (Magnus is a pussy).

This Project is Active

Magistus Amon / Sorcerer

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The second part of the third block is a sorcerer. I decided to use the model of Magistus Amon, because the model is just so awesome.

I painted him the same way as Ahriman. So one more steps of highlights everywhere, a glow on the “casting hand” and a lot of inscriptions on the armor. Also this is the first model which actually shows skin. So I tried to go for an deep arabic skin tone.

The base is the Forge World base that comes with the model. It kinda fits the rest of the bases of the army so I used it. And it’s awesome aswell.

Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer
Magistus Amon / Sorcerer

Block 3 finished: Sekhmet

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Skill 1
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The third block is finally finished (1 week late, I know). It consists of two parts. The first part is a 5 man squad of Sekhmet. These are the Terminator Elite of the Thousand Sons (as if Terminators are not elite enough). I stayed with the same paint scheme and used the same weapon effect as with Ahriman. It’s a lot of work, but I still love the result.

I magnetized all the weapon options, as you can see on the pics. So I can run them with Force Axes, Powerfists, Chainfists, Combibolters and Combimeltas. I also have some Combiplasmas and Combiflamers magnetized, but these are not painted yet and wont be for the near future.

I also tried a new technique to photograph metallic minis. Tell me what you think.

Entire squadEntire squad
Other weapon optionsOther weapon options
Sarge with Axe and CombimeltaSarge with Axe and Combimelta
Sarge with Fist and CombibolterSarge with Fist and Combibolter
Two more dudes...Two more dudes...
... and other weapon options... and other weapon options
Last two dudesLast two dudes

Ahriman

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Skill 3
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As promised yesterday I managed to finish Ahriman today. This finishes the 2nd block in time. So I made it this time and can maybe paint something other in the meanwhile. But first some pics of the man himself.

Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman
Ahriman

Veteran Squad "Snakes"

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Skill 7
Idea 7
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So. The second block of the challenge is underway. The timeframe is January and February. I have to paint another 10 man veteran squad and Ahriman. A bit less in minis than last block, but seriously I can’t stand painting MK3s anymore.

Nevertheless I finished the veteran squad today. They are called the snakes. But again first two pics from a week ago with the finished bases.

Veteran Squad Veteran Squad "Snakes"
Veteran Squad Veteran Squad "Snakes"
Heavy Bolters and SargeHeavy Bolters and Sarge
3 veterans with melee weapons3 veterans with melee weapons
4 veterans with bolters4 veterans with bolters

Ahriman is nearly finished aswell. So I should be able to finish the block in time. There will be pics tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

Block 1 and Falcons finished

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I know I am nearly 3 weeks late, but I finally finished the first block of our Horus Heresy Challenge. Short reminder: my first block were two squads of 10 Thousand Son Veterans.

I am getting really used to the painting scheme and I just have to say, painting with so much metallic paints is a real pain. Due to the consistency of the paint it is so much harder to be precise and get covering results. Also taking photos is really hard too. But when I see them in RL I think it’s worth it. I got a lot of feedback from friends and they all say the photos don’t do the minis justice. But unfortunately that’s all I can show here. So judge for yourself.

Entire Squad Entire Squad "Falcons"
Sarge and two Heavy Bolter dudes (one with Vexila)Sarge and two Heavy Bolter dudes (one with Vexila)
4 Bolter dudes4 Bolter dudes
3 dudes with different weapons3 dudes with different weapons

As to some feedback I got, yes I know that the white looks quite terrible on the pictures. This is due to the metallic-ness of the figures. Hence I have to take photos of them with really low lighting (otherwise you get reflections and flares like crazy). Then if the gamma/brightness of those photos is increased in “post-production” the white turns really bright.

Actually the white on those figures is not white at all. It is ivory with white edge-highlighting. Following are two pictures of what I am trying to do with the white.

The white is painted as follows:

  • Base paint (covering all): Army Painter Skeleton Bone
  • Layer paint (covering 99%): Vallejo Ivory
  • Edge-Highlighting (very thin line on upper edges): Vallejo White
ScarabScarab
BolterBolter

Skarabs continued...

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Skill 11
Idea 6
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Somehow I could not get the other post to take more pics. But I still have more. So I continue in this post. Read post below first πŸ˜€

Veterans (part 1)Veterans (part 1)
More VeteransMore Veterans

Squad "Skarab" done!

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Skill 10
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As promised yesterday here comes the update with the pics of the finished squad. Due to their insigna I decided to call them “Squad Skarab”.

I managed somehow to take o.k. pics of them. I had to play a lot with the lighting not to get shiny syndrom all over the place. But I am still not quite pleased with the photos. Maybe I need a better camera. Or a light tent for less spots on the minis.

Nevertheless I am quite pleased with the minis. They turned out better than expected and I learned a lot. Especially about metallic paints. They can look great but are a pain in the butt to work with. Now it’s only two more squads to go. And a lot of other stuff πŸ˜€

Squad SkarabSquad Skarab
The Sarge, a bit of an isoteric dude!The Sarge, a bit of an isoteric dude!
Heavy Bolter dudes (one with vexila)Heavy Bolter dudes (one with vexila)

Bases Done! Squad 1 nearly done...

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The first block of the challenge is nearing it’s end and I still have to finish 2 squads of 1k Sons. Fortunately I already finished the bases for all 20.

Bases Done! Squad 1 nearly done...

I am quite happy how those turned out. Especially that I managed to not go overboard to much on the glow.

And I manged to finish the first squad.

Bases Done! Squad 1 nearly done...

As you can see I still have no idea how to photograph a metallic mini. The pic looks terrible compared to the real minis.

Nevertheless I still need to get those guys on their bases and apply some finishing touches. So hopefully there will be an update tomorrow. For second squad, they are still red. All the blocking, layering and highlighting still to do. So I am pretty sure that I wont finish them in time. That’s one whiskey bottle I have to get for the other guys.

Red Done!

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 6
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So I managed to get “the Red” done on the armour. As postet in the guide below this is on top of the golden/silver basecoat:

  • 3 layers of 50/50 mix of GW Carroburg Crimson and GW Spiritstone Red
  • 1 layer of thinned GW Carroburg Crimson
  • 1 layer of GW Bloodletter Glaze
  • 1 layer of 66/33 mix of Army Painter Gloss Varnish and Army Painter Matt Coat Anti Shine
Red Done!
Red Done!

I know they look shiny and glossy and not at all metallic. But that is only on the photos. In real they look quite good, if I do say so myself.

If anyone has tips on how to photograph metallic shining minis properly, please help me out.

Preshading and the beginning of "the Red"

Tutoring 9
Skill 7
Idea 6
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Today I finally got around to continue work on the 1k sons. I finished the preshading with a strong drybrush of Vallejo Model Color Gold (70.996) and then a light drybrush of Army Painter Shining Silver.

Preshading and the beginning of

Then I started working on the red washing/shading. This is a 50/50 mix of GW Carroburg Crimson and GW Spiritstone Red thinned down with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner (71.361). I mixed 10 drops of each red with 5 drops of thinner. This only lastet for 7 marines. But that’s ok. Firstly it gives me a good measure of how much I need of the stuff and I am tired. Going to to bed now.

Preshading and the beginning of

Here we go...

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Skill 9
Idea 9
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It is already mid of November and I only have started the first block today. Over the last two weeks I had a lot of work to do and still had to finish building the models. I went for the Prospero Box first and built 30 Veterans and Ahriman. Fortunately my buddies could hook me up with 3 more heavy bolters, as I needed 6 and there are only 3 on the sprues.

Also I changed up the shoulder pads. I really like the MK3 Marine, but not the shoulder pads with the big rims. So I decided to go with the Achean shoulder pads from Forge World displaying the Legion Symbol (Eye of Magnus) on one Shoulder and a Scarab on the other one.

Today I went into the garage and hit the first 20 with GW Retributor Armour from the spray can. It’s quite expensive but a beautiful product. The gold makes me want to paint an entire golden army. And it is a really thin coat.

Here we go...

Testing the Paint Scheme

Tutoring 7
Skill 12
Idea 9
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What I love most about the Thousand Sons is their deep metallic red as their main color. So I had to try to reproduce that. But how to do it?

I researched a lot and there are a few colors out there that can do it. But for a clean look you really need an airbrush to do it. And I don’t have one. Maybe a spray can for cars? But that would clutter the details too much…

Then I stumbled over this blog entry:Β http://www.mengelminiatures.com/2016/11/tutorial-heresy-era-thousand-sons-by-em.html

This was exactly was I was looking for and I already own most of the colors used. Only the black bolters I don’t like that much. So I decided that mine will be white (or ivory for that matter).

But I had to try the paint scheme first. I took two of my really old 40k Marines and tried the scheme in two different ways. These are the results.

Testing the Paint Scheme
Testing the Paint Scheme
Testing the Paint Scheme

Please only judge the color of the armour in these pictures. I know the rest looks really crappy. I was just testing colors to get and idea where I want to go with this. Spent like 5-10 mins per Model on the details. Just quickly dropping some colors.

But on the armour I spent much more time and effort. The left (darker one) is exactly following EM’s guide. The lighter one is my own interpretation on that. On the photos I actually like my version better. But in real life with real light the darker one looks much better. The red is much deeper and has a strong metallic gleam to it. It got a bit to shiny, but I can fix that.

Next up are the bases. I’m probably going to paint the bases seperately and only glue the mini onto it after both are painted. I decided to go with the Arcane bases from Microart Studios (see below). For one they look awesome. I already can imagine my army walking through the streets of Tizca. And they are available in all sizes. Now I am ready to go.

Testing the Paint Scheme

Planning the Army

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Skill 3
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First of all I had to come up with a list to paint. As you might have guessed from the first post, I am not the greatest fan of Magnus. I think he is a very interesting and well written character, but just not very likable. So I didn’t want him for my army. On the contrary I really liked Ahriman in the Horus Heresy Books. So. Ahriman it is.

Next up I wanted a lot of psyckers and some of the Thousand Sons specific units. So I decided to go with the “Pride of the Legion” Rite of War. This means I can use Terminators and Veterans as Troops. And I want Veterans, because they can be Psykers. Normal Troops can’t. Said and done: I am going for 3 Squads of 10 Veterans each for my Troops. Give them the awesome special Bolt Ammunition which only 1k Sons can have (Apshyx Shells) and there we go. Why 3 squads you ask? Because there are 30 MK3-Marines in the Burning of Prospero Box πŸ˜€

Onto the special Units. I just love the look of those Sekhmet Terminators. They are just awesome. So we need a 5 man squad of those. They can levitate? Let’s give them Combi-Meltas. Although there is that awesome 1k Sons specific Contemptor Dreadnought. The Osiron. The model is one of the best Forge World has ever produced.

Not many points left. I also like those 1k Sons specific Battle Automata. The Castellax-Achea. Great looking models. And very fitting with the Osiron. Let’s take two of them and make them a squad.

I would have loved to round the list out with Magistus Amon. Another great model. Unfortunately the points don’t allow that. So I’ll just go for a normal lvl 2 Psyker and use Amons model. Done!

Overview:

  • HQ:
    • Ahriman
    • Lvl 2 Librarian (Model of Amon)
  • Elites:
    • Osiron Contemptor Dreadnought
  • Troops:
    • 10 Veterans, Brotherhood of Psykers, Asphyx Shells, 2 Heavy Bolters
    • 10 Veterans, Brotherhood of Psykers, Asphyx Shells, 2 Heavy Bolters
    • 10 Veterans, Brotherhood of Psykers, Asphyx Shells, 2 Heavy Bolters
    • 5 Sekhmet Terminators, Force Axe + Combi-Melta each
  • Heavy Support:
    • 2 Castellax-Achea Battle Automata with Maulter Bolt Cannons

With this done I could already plan out the blocks:

  • Nov-Dec ’18: 20 Veterans
  • Jan-Feb ’19: Ahriman +Β  10 Veterans
  • Mar-Apr ’19: Sekhmet + Librarian
  • May-Jun ’19: Contemptor + Castellax

What is this?

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Skill 0
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Disclaimer: This is the same as the side bar text πŸ˜€

A good friend and I ran a 500p Challenge over the course of the year. We each painted a 2000 pts 40k army in 4 blocks a 500 pts (hence the name of the challenge). Each block took 6 weeks. You can check it out here:

https://www.beastsofwar.com/project/1223150/

 

We had so much fun, that we wanted to do it again. This time it should be something special and we wanted to be more people. So we asked our friends and got 5 more people on board. And nearly all of us decided to paint up a Horus Heresy army. One is going another way, but still participating in the challenge.

Again we would try to paint a 2000 pts army in 4 parts. We decided to take a bit more time and have 2 month per block. As our start date is the 1st of November 2018, we should finish until the end of June 2019.

The rules are clear. You can built and prime as much as you want. But you are only allowed to paint the minis dedicated to one block in exactly that block. So slower painters don’t get discouraged by the success of the faster ones.

As you might have guessed by the name of the project: I am going for Thousand Sons. The most underestimated and misunderstood Legion of all times.

For Ahriman! (Magnus is a pussy).

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