Black Templars Stormtalon 03 WIP

Well, this is actually the first of the smaller Black Templars vehicles to be worked on in this commission.  It is also my first attempt at building and painting a Space Marine Stormtalon.  I had thought that this would be a fairly straightforward process as I have done numerous Stormravens before.  However, I did not account for either the moving parts or the partially assembled state of the kit as received.

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Generally I prefer for a model to arrive completely unassembled or totally complete.  This either eliminates fixes that would be required due to poor assembly or just a straight paint job.  The easiest is unassembled as it allows me to approach the kit in stages as often times components are best painted before attaching to the rest of the kit.  Taking a kit that is in varying degrees of assembly creates issues of paint order vs assembly and sometimes even requires partial disassembly to get things right.  As this kit came to me, I had to do priming in stages using painters tape for masking in areas.

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Now the primary painting can begin.  I always start with the messiest stages first as the following steps often cover up or allow for tidying of the underlying paint.  This keeps me from having to revisit and repaint parts of the model several times.  Because this is a new kit to me, I was frequently test-fitting the sections to ensure that the paint aligns and the shade will fall in the right spots.

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One thing about the new crop of flyers from GW, they have flying stands.  Take it from someone who has been building flyers since the first Forge World Lightning Strike Fighter released, having the mounting point molded into the model is a HUGE bonus.  That said, I often see the base left a flat plain of black plastic or covered in some plain flock that makes it look like a putting green.  The expanse is too wide to go unadorned so it needs some detail.  If you don’t have the budget to destroy a model to represent a unit belonging to your arch-nemesis, you can at least add a little detail.  In this case, I used some scrap pieces of some of the desert terrain I just built for a client.  The base will be painted to match the bases of the rest of the army; including the Warhound titan.

Also, never use super glues (CA-type) attaching the clear riser to the base or aircraft.  The fumes will accrete to the oils on the piece and cause it to frost (and look like crap).

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Here is where the fun happens.  Life decided to hand me challenge in the form of a tipped water cup.  24oz of ice water tipped into the tray I paint on soaking the entire project.  Quickly removing the pieces from the danger zone and then patting them dry prevented any damage that would necessitate repainting.  The only real upside of the event was that the tray (which is intended to contain paint or glue spills) kept the rest of the table area from getting splashed.

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After all the damage control, detail painting proceeds apace.  Icons, control surfaces, view screens, buttons, targeters, and weapons all get some attention.  Final highlighting of the exterior panels commences as we prepare to assemble the sections.  Also, we start adding decals for more realism

Many people have difficulty using decals (or water slide transfers).  My method takes a couple of steps but usually gives great results.  First, I put down a patch of clear gloss where the decal will be applied.  This give a good surface for the decal to rest on.  When I wet the decal, I do it in a shallow bowl nd I use warm water to speed the process.  I use a dampened paintbrush to place the decal where I want it and also to ensure that some water puddles on the decal.  Then, use the brush to nudge the into the alignment you want.  As long as you have water on the decal, you should be able to push it with the brush without tearing.  Once the decal is in its final location and aligned, dry your brush and then use it to wick away the water puddled on the decal.  Once the standing water is gone, allow the piece t dry for 20 to 30 minutes – go apply another decal somewhere else.  When you come back to it, you will brush a thick layer of gloss over the decal; ensuring that you go past the edges and onto the model itself.  I know that the shine stands out right now, but the gloss will keep the decal from rubbing off when handling the model during games.  Spray varnish applied to the model when it is complete does not provide enough protection for the decals.  However, it will eliminate all the gloss making the decal look seamless.

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Here is where everything comes together.  I’ve assembled the major components – only leaving off the canopy and flying stand.  These will be attached after the entire model is clear-coated.  The spray would frost the clear parts.

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To attach those clear parts and complete the piece, just use a white glue like Elmers (PVA glue).  Now, go forth and rain death on the enemies of the Emperor of Man!

Here is the finished piece in a small gallery.  Better pics on a terrained table can be found on the Black Templars Miniatures page.

Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or questions.

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