I am constantly in awe of those who can manipulate green stuff so precisely as to create something that looks as if it were part of the model. I'm not sure whether it's a natural talent, experience and time, or just luck, but after working so much with green stuff, I'm still puzzled at how some modelers achieve such great things. Hair, straps, filling in spliced joints; these are easy to do with a little practice. But masks are something created from scratch - and it's things created from scratch that are the most difficult (for me, at least). I will admit that I am getting a lot better - and faster - at creating these things, though. While I still feel like an amateur in many respects, my newest masks are much better in comparison to my first ones, and I'm now very comfortable creating them. Each one ends up being unique, depending on how the green stuff is moving for me - I can't really explain that, I guess it's sort of like how an abstract painter would describe how they create their paintings. As a result, each Trooper seems to have his own emotions and personality - even if they're all bad ones. ;)
This morning I finished the Hardened Vet redshirts I've been working on, so they're next up for priming and painting (the guy on the far left is my favorite):
Next on the list, as far as troops, is this squad, my second 'static' squad with Plasma/Missile launcher. They're all ready for masks (my hobby life is a never-ending mess of green stuff!), which hopefully I can churn through in the next week. My bitz box is full of chainswords for some reason, so I've been adding more to my line troopers to give them more of a melee feel. Ah! And I just noticed in the picture that the Plasma Gun's barrel needs drilling. Wouldn't want to miss that, it would ruin my OCD streak of perfectionism. Any of you guys ever have to tell yourself, "Put the glue down and prime the damn model already, or you'll never be finished!"? :P
Next up - Pater Sin! I'd thought about making a psyker squad with him at its head, but I didn't really want to go for the psyker squad. I did, however, want the opportunity to model Sin, as he's a very cool character from the Gaunt's Ghosts series:
Once it had become clear that Saint Sabbat was reborn on Herodor, the Chaos forces, led by Magister Enok Innokenti, quickly launched an all-out attack on the planet in the hope of killing or capturing the Saint. Along with the Chaos army came a different force, a group of assassins known as 'The Nine': A marksman; three psykers; three lizards; a phantom; a death machine.
Pater Sin is one of the three psykers, and is described as "A large figure wrapped in silk green robes. Well over two metres, built of corded muscle, with skin, where it showed past the rich emerald silk, decorated with the filthy tattoos of the Infardi cult. An image of the Emperor tortured and agonised was tattooed across his left cheek and forehead, with Sin's bloodshot left eye forming the screaming mouth. Sin's teeth were sharpened steel implants. He smelled of sweat and cinnamon and decay."
When I reworked my list, I decided that he'd fit well as a Priest, since my HQ is close-range/melee-oriented. So, a month back I converted up a model using Catachan arms and head, a skull reliquary stolen from the Black Templar upgrade sprue, the Baneblade Commander body, and much green stuff. I added an Eviscerator (made from two Space Marine chainswords) and called him good. I've got his skin painted, minus the tattoos, and I tried to do a couple basecoats on the robes, but unfortunately I don't have the greens I need to paint it in emerald. After a couple tries doing highlights with different mixes of greens, I put him on hold, hence why he looks cruddy. :P I only have a couple greens (Dark Angels Green, Catachan Green, and Camo Green, none of which are the right kind), so I'll have to pick up emerald of some kind before long to finish him, because I really like how the model turned out, epsecially the Evil Goatee™. He seemed like the type of guy who'd have one.
Lastly: My Loxatl! Unfortunately this guy is also on hold, because I don't have the parts I need to finish him: Specifically, Genestealer hands. My modeling-fu is not good enough to sculpt their claws/hands from scratch, so I figure genestealer claw/hands will work well. But I don't have any! If anyone has a whole bunch of them, and you're interested in trading or selling, let me know! In the meantime, I'll probably finish up everything else - the arms/legs need a scaly texture, the belly needs tidying up, and I have yet to build the flechette blaster.
There's also one more of The Nine that I want to build... the phantom. His name is Skarwael, and he's a Dark Eldar Mandrake who infiltrates his way past the Imperials to assassinate the Saint. In the books, he is a freaking hardcore creepy stealther. And which IG special character is a stealthy, slip-from-the-shadows-and-murderize-you-with-a-knife sonuvabitch?
That's right - Sly Marbo will be making an appearance in my army list, as Skarwael. Imperials, watch out...