Friday, June 9, 2023

Some Raven Guard Reinforcements

More reinforcements for the XIXth Legion, the Raven Guard. Multi-part resin models from Forge World.

When you get into the rhythm blogging, it is easy to keep the posts coming. And when you take a break blogging, well, it is easy to keep taking a break. So it has been a while since I have posted - not that anyone would notice, as both Dallas and Frederick have kept things moving! That said, it is about time I got back on the blog-posting-horse once here, and to do that, we start with a little project from earlier this spring - a 10-man Space Marine tactical squad from GW's "Horus Heresy - Age of Darkness" setting, sporting the markings of the XIXth Legion Astartes, the Raven Guard. These are 28mm multi-part figures from Forge World.

Did a resin chain bayonet as an experiment...although on reflection, the Raven Guard seem more like traditional bayonet sorts...

Yes, that's right - these are resin castings. Seeing the classic "beakie" Space Marine helmets here in the pictures, you might have assumed these were plastics from GW's new and ever-expanding plastic "Age of Darkness" range. But they are not...they are, rather, extracted from my reserve hoard of Forge World stuff. After all, prior to the release of the excellent new plastics, the "beakie" Marines existed only as a difficult-to-access remnant option in the Forge World "Horus Heresy" range. 

Detail on the comms trooper's vox unit.

I certainly am not short of the new plastic Mark VI why dig these out? Well, it seemed like fun. Fun part one: I wanted to experiment a bit in terms of painting. How so? Well the Raven Guard are generally portrayed in black or "sable" armour, and most collectors try to follow this. But I first start painting them myself, I wanted a slightly different look, opting instead for a dark grey. I mean...hardly THAT different...but still different, and liked it. But there is now a hitch...that approached relied on the use of Nuln Oil, and GW's newer Nuln Oil formulation...well, it sucks. Not as bad as the new Agrax Earthshade sucks, but it still sucks - it has lost a lot of its ability to tint surfaces, and so loses the desired effect on the grey base paints I had been using for the Raven Guard in the past.

Squad sergeant and vox-unit operator.

So I thought, why not try a more "traditional" Raven Guard look on these models? I duly experimented and...well...the results were south of great. Black is a notoriously tricky colour to paint, requiring sharp edge highlighting on panels. This, in turn, calls for thinned out paints and a certain level of discipline and steady hand with a brush, and the results on that score were...mixed. Not awful, but far from sharp...clearly more practice will be needed if I want to try this again in the future. 

It's fun to compare! A plastic Mark IV Marine on the left, one of the Forge Mark VI Marines in the middle, and the larger plastic Mark VI Marine on the right (somewhat giving away which Legion may see new reinforcements next...).

Same comparison, from the rear showing the power packs.

The other fun part of this was just to compare the Forge World Mark VI Marines with the newer plastic "beakies". The contrast is interesting...the Forge World sculpts were, in may ways, an absolute tribute to the original RTB01 plastics, matching them almost exactly (although some notable differences are seen on the power pack), and even aping the quirky RTB01 poses to a certain extent. 

The newer plastics are bigger yes...but, to me, not much "re-scaled" as they are just standing taller, and seeing these figures reinforced that sense for me. For example, even though the new plastic Marines are taller, the plastic heads are smaller than the resin ones for the Forge World Mark VI figures. I find these contrasts interesting, and for me it reinforces how the re-scaling of the plastic Mark VI "beakies" was more of an artsy preference exercise than any commercial attempt to force a re-scale into the collector base (compared to, say, what was done with "Adeptus Titanicus", although even that is not a simple cut-and-dried issue either).

For Corvus Corax!

Anyway, my small Raven Guard contingent has another group of tactical Marines to join in various "shattered Legion" operations against The Warmaster and his oath-breaking bunch on the gaming table. The paint scheme won't match the others, but as you can see in the comparison photos, isn't so far off either, so no big worry there. Will I paint more Raven Guard in this way? Likely not, will probably still stick with the previous process, even though the outcome is not as great due to the lameness of the new Nuln Oil formulation. 

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more posts soon - thanks for reading!


MFraser said...

I hear tell that Duncan Rhodes two thin coates may have created a suitable alternative to both Nuln oil and Agrax. He of course did the Kickstarter thing, so who knows when you’ll actually be able to buy some?

Dallas said...

Great looking Raven Guard there dude!

Enok Innokenti said...

I've found that the Darkstar range of washes are a pretty good substitute for the original GW washes.