Large Scale Ultramarines Sergeant (1)

A large scale space marine in process, it was an impulse buy a couple of years ago. Normally I would spend about £40 tops on a resin figure, but Games Workshop's large-scale figure of one of it's iconic Warhammer 40,000 space marines was over twice that amount. Games Workshop figures are always expensive, but this took the biscuit and not until I got a boost with some extra cash did I finally take the plunge and buy the kit. Even today I still shudder at the thought, but console myself by thinking that most of the women I know pay more than that for a new hairdo.
Anyhow, purchase it I did and straight away I plunged in and painted it up in the colours of a space marine's chapter that I had invented - the Red Lions (after my local pub) - in a mix of red and green. However, just lately I have been salivating copiously over some of the Ultramarine figures seen online and decided to re-paint the figure as an Ultramarine sergeant. I had painted up the miniatures in the past and still had a rather battered copy of Games Workshop's How to Paint Space Marines for reference.
The first thing to do was get rid of the old paint job, so, having successfully winkled the figure from the base, I broke it down into its component parts and went shopping for some Dettol. I've no idea what bright spark worked out that Dettol dissolves acrylic paints, but I think the modelling fraternity owe him or her their thanks. Using it is a messy business, but it effectively strips old paint off figures a treat. I use an old glass coffee jar to drop the figures or parts into, half fill it with Dettol and top it up with water. The Dettol goes milky so that you can't see the contents, but in a day or so the items can be fished out and most of the paint just rubs off. You really need to wear rubber gloves to do this as the paint turns into a messy goo and a separate bowl is needed for scrubbing the more tenacious paint off with a stiff brush in warm soapy water. Sometimes, as was the case with this larger figure you will have to pop the parts into a Dettol mix twice to shift all the ingrained paint.

I did leave some of the pieces in for about a week and discovered that lengthy immersion of resin in Dettol does make the resin go rather soft and flexible, which is no good for thinner parts as they can distort and pull apart, This happened to the sniper scope on the bolter, which I had to take off as a result. Nevertheless, as can be seen with some of the sturdier Dettol-fied parts here, they do come up fairly clean and leave the room smelling lemon fresh for about a week afterwards!

The one advantage with rebuilding an older kit is that all the prep has been done, so with this I could plunge straight into the priming and painting. The argument goes on as to whether black or white is best as a priming colour, but as a rule I use black as a base colour for darker hues of blue, green, brown, etc., and white or grey for reds, yellows, oranges and the lighter shades of blue and green. As I knew that this lad was going to be an Ultramarine a chapter heavily into the blues, I did the undercoat in black. Personally I never use spray paint to undercoat, I paint on Citadel Chaos Black or White Base, or their Humbrol equivalents. I've tried the pots of Citadel Black Imperial Primer, but in my opinion it's watery rubbish, I avoid it like the plague. If you clean the pieces first in warm soapy water then prime them with the colours mentioned there's no problem.

With the helmet, I undercoated in white, as according to the book, Ultramarine sergeants have red helmets. Once this had dried I then covered the helmet in Citadel Blood Red, shaded with the appropriate red shade. I then proceeded to age and dent the helmet - not literally, but with a little trompe-l'oeil. In the world of Warhammer 40k, the space marines' armour is hundreds of years old and handed down from one marine to another, so an aged and battered look was appropriate. First I painted on nicks and flaking of the armour in black before applying Citadel Doombull Brown (old Dark Flesh) over it, leaving a slight line of the black near to the top. If there was any red paint showing below the 'rusty' area I then applied a thin line of pink to highlight it. The effect does not show too well on these pictures, but can be seen much better on the blue armour in the first picture. I then gave the whole helmet a thin coat of Gryphone Sepia shade to reduce the contrast between the various colours.

The eye lenses were first coated in Citadel Dark Angels Green. When this was dry the front half was painted with Snot Green and for more of a highlight I mixed some of the latter with a little white and yellow. The final touch was the tiny blob of light on the rear of the lens. The gold hubs near the mouth were painted in Citadel Shining Gold, Burnished Gold and a mix of these with Mithril Silver to produce an upper highlight. The ear pieces were in Boltgun Metal shaded with Nuln Oil

More to follow.


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