Finished Vanguard Veteran Sergeant

My Vanguard squad has a sergeant to lead them

Finished Sternguard SergeantI had some fun with this guy. I bothered to base-coat all of my Vanguard at once, in pieces for the most part. I kept heads, most shoulder pads and weapons off. The squad is magnetized to the hilt. This Vanguard sergeant is no exception: his sword and shield are both magnetized. So, I guess he was already half painted when I got to him. They’ve been on my desk for ages and I decided to finish another one up this weekend.

In a veteran squad there’s really not much to identify or differentiate the sergeant. In this case, I used the jet pack with the elongated Crux (a terminator crotch-shield) attached to it and a similar cross-shaped shoulder pad. The long tail has long been a symbol of the sergeant, back from when they used to use the Crux Argentum for them. Maybe I should do that on my terminators, now that I think of it. Other than that I used the same recipes I did for the test model, but I think I ended up going darker on beige color’s wash step. I like the stronger contrast so I may lean towards that. I thin my washes with water, and the ratio has a big impact on the strength of the tone.

Work-in-Progress shots

I like to snap lots of pics, mostly for Twitter but also because it gives me a quick break now and then. Here are a few stages of the shield so you can see it layer up.

Sternguard Sergeant head detailI really enjoy painting pale skin for my Raven Guard successor. I feel like it’s less expressive, though, so I add very subtle glazes to breath a little life into it. I use a bit of red around the brow, and the bottom lip. Then I use a tiny hint of blue around the temples and the eyes. to add a bit of depth. The effect on pale skin in striking. I use the same paint recipe as I did on the arms (indeed, this is why the Eagle Eyes paint their arms off-white) but I go a lot heavier on the Pallid Wych Flesh and white final highlights.

I still struggle a tiny bit with painting the eyes pure black. According to fluff (and confirmed with the studio Corvus Corax model) the Raven Guard geneseed turns the eyes completely black over time. It’s not very clear how long this takes, but it seems like all the art from the Horus Heresy shows it so it’s probably fairly fast. That means I get to ‘cheat’ on the eyes, but I kind of feel bad about it. I thought about adding a tiny dot of light to the eyes, but I think it would look strange. Failing that, I may drop a tiny bit of gloss in there.

Sternguard Sergeant Relic Blade detailAnd here’s a shot of the Relic Blade. I usually do my silver metals as a worn, somewhat dulled effect with Agrax Earthshade to darken, and Ironbreaker as the highlight with Runefang Steel saved for very small final highlights. For this blade, though, I wanted to show a more polished, reflective metal. That meant I got to play around with some true-metallic metal effects (TMM). Basically that just means using a bit of Nuln Oil in layers to darken some planes in a gardent, and then highlighting up the opposite side by layering up through Ironbreaker to Runefang. The effect is a cross between non-metallic metals and bog-standard wash-and-highlight. It’s a bit hard to see in the pic, but basically it’s just a high-contrast metallic effect. I think it turned out pretty well from tabletop distance. Some of the blending is a bit rough. I need practice with this. I find two-brush blending really hard with washes. I should have done thin glazes with a mix of Lahmian Medium.

The final model

And here he is, finished for the most part. I haven’t based these guys yet.

You’ll notice I’m using my new custom decals from Fallout Hobbies. I’m working on a full review of these bad boys and that’s why I actually started painting this guy again. These were applied with gloss, then Microset and Microsol, then gloss again, then dulled down to match. Turned out pretty well.

The green was highlighted all the way to the final highlight of Krieg Khaki, then I added the damage and scratches with Rhinox Hide before and highlighted them with the penultimate highlight color: Skarsnik Green. I hit the green with a yellow glaze at the end to tint the tone and add some warmth. I saved the white highlight step on the beige until after I added the scratches and then highlighted the armor and the scratches at once to save a little time. There’s almost no red on this guy — just his bionic eye and the melta bomb.

It will take me ages to finish this whole squad, but I do really enjoy painting that almost bone-like beige color quite a bit. And actually, saving the arms from green makes painting the green much easier as well, as so much time is usually dumped on the hands, arm and shoulder-pad highlights. I think they’ll look awesome when they’re finished, if I do say so myself.