Thursday, September 30, 2010

Character Profile: Captain Marius

Today I will be featuring a couple new things: firstly Captain Marius of the Void Ravens Eighth Company, and secondly, my newly learned use of colour correction with Windows Photo Gallery. I will admit, the colour correction isn't fantastic, but it's quick and effective enough that I got a decent result without losing too much hobby time. I won't be going into an in depth step by step guide, Captain Ingemar covers all the basics for the painting. This will be more of a parts guide and introduction of my latest named character. If you haven't guessed already, this conversion is based of the character Kayvaan Shrike.

   The Jump Pack is relatively obvious. Just a part from an Assault Marine that didn't have a squad, some purity seals from various kits and the Iron Halo from the Space Marine Captain boxed kit. This, like the rest of the model, I kept relatively unadorned and plain. The Void Ravens philosophy is such that they disdain too much ornamentation, and will display only the most simple of heraldic totems. For them, duty is its own reward, and no task is below the attentions of the Raven. They understand that they were made for the Imperium, the Imperium was not made for them. Purity seals are the only exception, a Void Raven never refuses to proudly display as many purity seals as possible. Many centuries of fighting Chaos in all its forms has taught them that valuable lesson. Boltgun Metal, Chaos Black, Codex Grey and Bleached Bone are the base colours for the model.

1. The head, torso, and both pauldrons come from the Forge World Raven Guard upgrade pack. For the left pauldron, I cut the nubs from the Heresy pattern pauldron to make that smooth style so that the chapter and company markings could be placed upon it. When I get around to making a Chapter Profile post, all the iconography and markings will be explained in there. I also carefully filed the Raven Guard icon from the right pauldron to make room for the Assault marking. They aren't Raven Guard anymore after all. For the chain, I started with Boltgun Metal. I found that to be much too dark, so I moved up to Chainmail. Strangely that was also too dark. With some Mithril Silver and a wash of 5:1 Water/Chaos Black, I found that the chain suitably popped from the rest of the pauldron. I also wanted the raised part to stand out more, so I washed that with Kommando Khaki and adding detail with a little Chaos Black, adding a few touches of Dheneb Stone for highlight.

2. This Lightning Claw  came from the Captain boxed kit. Nothing of particular note. Chaos Black with Codex Grey highlight. I used Mechrite Red with Red Gore highlight to add a little pop to the power cabling.

3. This Lightning Claw was a little harder to come by. GW of course does not make right handed Lightning Claws in plastic. You'd think with all the Space Marine players that GW would just make a nice big upgrade sprew that contained at least one of every weapon in plastic, left and right combat weapons, all special weapons and combi weapons, all on one sprue, easy 20 bucks. I know I'd pay that. I had to order the Space Marine Veteran with Lightning Claws, I used the left over body as a Sternguard Sergeant. I'll give Rafeckt his own post later with the rest of his squad. That does mean I had to use a saw to cut the overly-decorated pauldron from the arm. I used multiple cuts to clearly remove it, but it took an hour and a friend to do it. I used a file from my Galeforce 9 collection to smooth the piece, and used the plastic upper arm from a spare assault marine piece I had to use as the pauldron mount. Greenstuff and Loctite was used to merge the two parts together. Truly a hybrid bit, a metal Lightning Claw fused with greenstuff to a plastic upper arm with a resin pauldron to finish it off.

4. The legs also come from the Tactical Marine boxed set.  On the left leg, I made a cut at the ankle, knee and hip so I could reposition the leg into a more dynamic pose. I only cut the toe and ankle of the right foot to reposition them in a take-off stance. I sculpted the banner piece with greenstuff, and took the skull from the back of a spare space marine power pack. The purity seals are from various kits.

5. The skeleton I got from a random bitz bag that were handed out at the last Canadian Games Day. Not entirely sure where they're from, I'm sure someone knows. A couple years ago, I developed a standard process of painting a lot of things, from bone to parchment. It seems like most people, including the 'Eavy Metal painters, have already thought of it already but I'll recount it here in case anyone else hasn't heard of it already. I start with Graveyard Earth as my base shadow. I then apply broad strokes of Kommando Khaki to lighten the more raised parts. I then use Dheneb Stone on the next level of raised surface. Depending on what I want, I'll either finish with Bleached Bone or Skull White. Even with the Bleached Bone, I might just use a very fine highlight of Skull White anyway. For parchment, I might use Dheneb Stone and wash with a little Kommando Khaki, them daub on a little Bleach Bone to highlight it. Really any combination using these paints can make some fantastic looking results, experimentation is really the key, and variety helps models a lot. Finally, I used a big wad of greenstuff to make the snowdrift the skeleton would be buried under, just pressing in at points to make for some places I'd ice wash later.

   That's another captain off the list. I have said I don't like using Special Characters, but that doesn't mean I don't want to use them sometimes. I also really like the Shrike model and his rules, but the model just doesn't fit with my army and I didn't particularly feel like starting a Raven Guard army just for Shrike. I like taking advantage of the "Make your own character, use these rules" part of the Space Marine codex to inspire new models and use the characters in other armies. I really wanted to make a model that would really do justice to Shrike as well as keep it within my own chapter.
   As for justification, everyone loves justifications. I wrote a whole story about the history of the Eighth Company and where the Lightning Claws come from. In case anyone questions why the Eighth Company captain has Master Crafted Lightning Claws, they were crafted by the second Eighth Captain after the death of the first. They were made to bring death to the traitor who had slain the first captain, and thus the Lightning Claws were immortally named The Raven's Vengeance. Every captain afterwards have wielded this pair of Lightning Claws to slay the foes of the Emperor and to regain the chapters lost honour. I'll post the story somewhere, probably in the Wikia.
As a side note, at the early start of the Void Ravens, there were only enough marines and senior staff to organize into the First, Third and Eighth companies. Captain Rynar surrendered his Third Company to his second when the senior staff elected him to be their Chapter Master. Though they had cut themselves from the rest of the Raven Guard as a result of their apparent failure at Istvaan V, the entire command staff all agreed it was fruitless and meaningless to devolve into an unorganized mass of warriors seeking vengeance and redemption. Due to this, their number was not recorded with the surviving brothers of the Raven Guard after the Istvaan V betrayal.
   The skills of the four captains remaining and the 300 or so Astartes that had followed them were such that they divided up into Master of the Elites, Arsenal, and the Assault Reserves who would later train initiates in the ways of the Raven before a tenth company could be founded. Rynar had determined that they would not simply seek out death in a vain attempt at restoring their lost honour, they would become strong, grow if need be, and fight the traitors until the end of time.
   Even if it took 10000 years to redeem themselves, even if those living brothers themselves could not restore it, their successors would. They cared not, they were Ravens, they would remain until the end of time to seek out the complete destruction of those who had fallen from the Emperor's grace. Rynar would see to it that everything would be in place to see the continuation of his Primarch's legacy and the oath he and his brothers swore to him. They were no longer complete after their failure, no longer with honour, void such as they were, and took up the name to represent that. The white of their legion now bone, the black of their helm now faded. Raven Guard they could no longer be after not being able to defend their Primarch's own sons against the machinations of the enemy.

   That's it for today, another new character, some more fluff, some more tips and tricks. Perhaps you learned something, maybe just a nice refresher. Either way, look forward to more.
Signing off


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