Sunday, September 2, 2012

Finished Valkyrie with Secret Weapon Base!

It's Been a Long Time

     It has taken me a very (read: VERY!) long time to complete this model.  Rightfully so!  It's not an easy kit to assemble, even more difficult if you're constantly fretting over which bits should be painted before assembling.  This kit isn't for beginners, even the ones that don't intend to paint the model.

     This represents quite a few milestones for me.  This is the largest Warhammer 40K model I've ever assembled and painted.  This is also the first time that I've had a pre-made resin base.  I absolutely fell in love with Secret Weapon Minisatures' Urban Street bases (see previous post).  The base was so easy to paint that it almost felt like cheating.  Not cheating enough for me NOT to use it.

     I'll have some more pictures and a funny story about the Valkyrie in a bit, but first I want to talk about the base.

The Joy of Basing

     As I said above, this was a joy to paint.  I got to experiment with all sorts of techniques that I have been wanting to try.  I think the end results were pretty good and I learned a bit about different methods of applications of weathering powders.

     Before I could paint it, I needed to make sure that I could fix the flight stand such that it would sit flat on the base.  The elevated portion of the base, containing the side walk, was the challenge.  I decided that I would try a bit of carving.  I went to a hobby store and purchased a cheap wood working kit that had a few carving tools.  I looked for one that had the width of one of the "fins" of the flight stand (the typical GW one) and lucked out with one that was just slightly larger.  I then traced out the footprint of the flight stand on the bare resin base with a pencil.  I then started carving into my perfectly nice base.  You can clearly see the carved out portion here:

     Took some guts to do this to this beautiful base

     Once I was sure I was getting close to a good fit, I just kept test fitting and shaving off smaller amounts each time.  At the end, the flight stand fit perfectly!  Here is a close look at the result:

     Since the "fin" that I had carved out that little trench for was sunken ever so slightly into the base, I was sure to use a more daring amount of glue on that portion of the stand.  It seems like I have a good strong fix between the stand and the base, but I'll likely always treat it a bit gingerly just in they desire to divorce themselves of each other.

The Gunners: Frick and Frack

     The final piece I had to complete on this model was the door gunners.  I had spent a fair bit of time making sure the cabin was detailed, and I had made sure to magnetize the gun cradles to the swing arms such that I could be truly WYSIWYG if I should opt NOT to take the two Heavy Bolter door guns.  With all that work in place, I knew that I wanted to put some real detail into the door gunners themselves.  Obviously I wouldn't spend as much time as I had on some of my infantry models, such as my command squad, but I wanted them to still stand up to some scrutiny.  So here they are:

Frick on the left, Frack on the right

     I made sure that they matched the infantry but yet looked a little bit different such that they represented flight crew, not ground slogging infantry.  Their armor is fresher looking, no bullet holes or rusting.  They have flight suits so no camo spots either.  I spent a bit of time making sure those visors on their helmets had some very subtle light streaks and spots.  After all that, here's what you see of them when they're installed:

Detail work?  Totally worth it.  Just look at that visor!

     Yes, I do feel like a bit of an idiot.  I'm a slow painter because I'm still not super great at NOT painting bits of the model in less detail.  That's truly a talent in and of itself.  Dave Taylor, ex-GW man and the absolute master of the fast army, is my hero because of that ability alone.  I've see his work on his blog and everything is simple and elegant.  While he's capable of finely detailed paint jobs, he doesn't do it unless he has to for the most part.  He knows how to spend the effort on the parts of the model that the eye naturally clings to.  Maybe I'll be able to do that some day.  Oh and if you think the above photo is bad, wait until you see it with the wing attached!

What door gunner?


     I really feel that this was a pretty good milestone for me.  I'm proud of the model, but I'm also immensely pleased to have it OFF my painting table and in my display cabinet.  I've got another Valkyrie kit sitting here, but that will have to wait.  I have an Ork flyer to paint!

     I was worried that this paint scheme wouldn't fit in with my army.  I wanted the Valkyries to stand apart because they are flyers, and I reasoned that they shouldn't have the same camo pattern as my tanks.  To that end, I went with a bit of a "stealthier" look since these things will be shuttling two Storm Trooper squads around.  Just to make sure that it would still fit, I added those stripes.  I think that did the trick.  Here are some pictures with a few of my infantry to compare:

     I had some fun staging those two pictures.  Some day, when I have a table and some terrain, I could see myself wasting some time setting up some scenes with my models.  Full man-child achievement unlocked!

     I have a game lined up for tomorrow.  I think I'll be taking my Guard along for shits and giggles.  Might as well start to learn how to use them a bit.  Additionally I've been dying to mess about with a flyer so this gives me the perfect excuse.

     I leave you with a few more pictures of the Valkyrie:


Anonymous said...

I love what you've got here - I keep coming back to it to admire it again.

I have a part finished Valk and was really going to go to town on the interior - but looking at yours, my fears about it being a bit of a wasted effort is proven - not that what you have done is wasted effort - simply that the results wont be seen fully. What I think I'll do instead is focus the effort at the parts of the interior that will be glimpsed.

I'm also deeply taken by the idea of spraying the underside another colour. I hadn't planned on doing that but will be leaning that way now when I get to the exterior - I just need to find a complementary colour to go with the normal armour colour I use.

Dai said...

One of the best Valk's I've seen in a while. Love the scheme and also like the well-done subtle weathering.

Anonymous said...

And a question for you - is the lighter coloured bottom half carried up all the way across the underside of the wings, or only the main body?