More Storm Talon progress

Eagle Eyes Storm Talon: Part 2

Storm TalonI’ve been working diligently on the Storm Talon, trying to get it ready for the Facebook contest that I mentioned in my last post. I’ve gotten the green pretty much done, including two levels of edge highlights, a little wear and damage, and the yellow glaze. Have a look below and feel free to offer any comments or suggestions that cross your mind.

Edge highlighting

Storm Talon edge highlightI was a little concerned about the drybrushed first highlight, but my earnest hope was a little edge highlighting would bring back the crisper look, and allow the sloppier drybrush to still show through enough to softer the transitions. I’m pleased with the way this worked in practice. Although it took a very long time, going around all the edges with Skarsnik Green really helped to define everything further and give it that crisp, clean edge I was hoping for. Having drybrushed already, it was really easy to find and highlight all the edges. Given the angular nature of astartes design, I was able to use the side of the brush for the vast majority of this work. Totally worth it, though.

Starting in on the chipping and scratches

Storm Talon chips and scratchesI started in with a little Rhinox Hide on a piece of distressed pick-foam. I tried to concentrate on areas that made sense for chipping, especially around the areas of the cockpit where the pilot would climb in and out of the machine. I ended up going in later and adding even more, but I have to exercise a little restraint during this step. Since the chips and scratches are so low-contrast by nature, I see this step as a way to add a lot of reddish tones to the flat, green areas. It does a good job of making it feel a lot less bright overall, and the effect of the scratches is a great way to just add a little visual interest.

Storm Talon chips and scratchesIn this case, I put a bit of thought into making sure many of the scratches were directional to enhance the sense of forward motion. This isn’t a very good pic, but you can see areas around the tail, in particular, give you feeling of a high-speed flier under fire. Like I mentioned earlier, these pics were taken before I went in and added some more chipping around the forward edges of the wings, which would attract a lot of impact hits.

You can also see in the bottom picture that I’ve gone in and added a very thin highlight under the scratches and some of the chipping. I used Skarsnik for this as well. It gives a nice 3D effect and it’s fairly simple to achieve pretty good effects with it. I’m quite pleased with the bottom part of the tail fins.

Final green highlights

Green Storm Talon before glazeThe last highlight in my green recipe is an edge paint: Krieg Khaki. It’s very pale, and I save it only for the areas where two lines intersect, the very tips of sharp areas, etc. It’s a stark contrast, but it has the effect of picking out all the edge highlights and enhancing the geometry of the model. You can see the difference in this picture. As I keep working on this model, though, I’ve been rubbing paint off some of the edges which really sucks. I decided I needed to hit it with a coat of Future floor polish to protect all this painstaking work. You can see the artsy pic above with the gloss coat, and but after that dried I went over it all again with Lahmian Medium and a touch of ‘Ard Coat through an airbrush, to give it that nice Citadel satin finish.

What a difference a glaze makes

green Storm Talon half-glazedThe final step of my green recipe is a yellow glaze. This is a holdover from my 2nd Edition days, where you always glazed red and green with yellow to brighten it up. I personally really like the way it brings the highlights together and reduces the chalky look you can get with pale highlights. For fun, I decided to do a half-and-half job and snap a pic. The left portion has been glazed, and is markedly less ‘blue’ than the right. This is how I always see the Eagle Eyes green in my mind, so the models never look right until I get to this point. But, once added, it becomes a more jungle-like green than the ‘Raptors’ drab green look.

Green Storm Talon after glazeAnd here’s where I am right now. If you look carefully you’ll notice the added chipping around the leading wing-edges. You can see I’ve also finished off the red bits, notably the missiles. I still need to finish the black tips, but they do look a lot more deadly and help bring in that red spot color a bit. Overall, I’d be happy to put this model on the table as-is, but I still need to add actual weathering, finish the metal, and do a couple small details here and there. I think it’s really coming together, though. It’s very daunting to think I have another Storm Talon to go, but I’m glad I didn’t try to do them both at once. Every step of this green was probably over an hour’s worth of work…  Note, the missile pods, including separate front and side pieces, are magnetized, the cockpit isn’t glued in, and the turret at the bottom will never be glued as it can rotate freely. I have a really hard time holding this model, to be honest. I’ve been using rubber gloves to avoid getting finger oils all over it, but still the friction rubs the hard edges very quickly. I’m hoping the gloss coat stops this, but we’ll see.

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions?

I’m still trying to decide how much weathering and fading I want to do. I want to strike a balance between something somewhat realistic and my almost comic-book style high-contrast highlights. I want it to be in keeping with the rest of my army, even though flyers should really fade and weather differently than, say, a Rhino APC or my Dreadnought.