Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back in Black; My ruined Death Wing are Reborn!

To move forward, sometimes we have to go back. With my recent Death Wing painting disaster, I had to abandon my plans for a clean white Death Wing army. I worked with the ideas of brass and patina, but it just seemed like a cheap answer and betrayed all of the conversion work I put in with green stuff emblems and chapter symbols.

My frustration mounted during the recent tourney when people told me it looked like a nice "counts as" army. I love counts as, but that is not what my Death Wing is about, so I set out with my airbrush to make things right ...

Being a Death Wing enthusiast, I know that up until the recent past, the Deathwing, like the Raven Wing wore all black armor in memory of the original 1st Legion colors. Within the last thousand years or so, a squad of teminators defended a recruiting world against a genestealer infestation. Believing they would die, they adorned their armor in white powder, symbolizing that they would likely die in their mission. Amazingly, most of the squad lived and over the years, the 1st company adopted the name Death Wing and the white armor as well.

I liked the idea of going "old school" without also having to adhere to a pre-heresy theme (essentially, all the current tech existed at the time they were still in black). It also offers the chance to stick to the Death Wing theme in a paint scheme that remains true to the legion.

So anyway, I whipped out the Iwata HP/CS and laid down a base coat of Chaos Black. I like to use the airbrush for Chaos Black because it subdues the natural glossiness of the paint, also since I hate pure black armies, I knew that I would continue with zenithal highlights. With that said, next, I approached the models from a 45 degree angle with a 60/40 mix of Chaos Black and VMC White, just a slight step up from the original black. Finally I sprayed the minis from directly above with a 70/30 mix of Adeptus Battle Grey and Chaos Black, giving me a smooth fade to black using shades of grey (true black only being in the recesses).

I also airbrushed the bases with Dark Flesh, which which spread just right up the legs to mimic the work I did with powder on my white DW. Here is a shot with some basic base coating on some of the key parts. I took this photo while I was still playing with the scheme.

Another shot, different angle.

Here is where the models stand this morning. I tested stone colors on the shields, but it all just translated to more shades of grey, so I went bold and went for red icons on the shield as well. The center model is my model that is closest to being finished and he is also the recipient of the most testing!

There are still some things on the model that need some work (basing material just for starters, lol), but I like where this is going and painting the models feels much more fun. I nearly went with the glowing hammer effect, but honestly, it is a little tired since the grey knights came out, so I am sticking to the hammers seen with my white DW. the black offers the opportunity for some subtle weathering, which I am working on and it gives me the chance to put a version of the DW on the table most people will never see, so in the end I am happy with the scheme and currently floating on a cloud of motivation, which may see this army painted up before New Years, which would be great as my first army of 2012 will be a Daemons Conversion army, including World Eaters on Juggernaughts and a giant Angron!

That is it for now, comments are always welcome.


  1. I like it. I'd have to say its a full recovery. The red icons are super bold, and I feel like it needs a black wash to bring it down a little. But maybe that's just the effect of the photo and not the way the mini actually looks. Keep up the good work and I can't wait to see the demons.

  2. Look nice, but to me these don't say Deathwing or Dark Angel even with the symbols. These could just as easily be Space Wolves. Your white white Deathwing are amazing, these look like something I would paint.

    The guy on the left of picture number 4 is where I would have stopped the graying process and started concentrating on the detailing. A much blacker, Legion of the Damned type feel.

    I hope I don't come across to harshly here. They are nicely painted and will make nice models once finished. They just read generic chapter or more accurately some Dark Angel successor chapter.

  3. Not harsh at all, Paul, I respect the critism, though I have to say that he underwent the same grey highlighting as everyone else. I think a lot of the highlights came out in the photo process. Sometimes the flash will appear "hot" on the model the camera picked up as it's focal point. This is my fault as I just do not feel like taking hobby time to build a light box - which I may do in my next trip out to the East Coast.

    They really do kind of scream successor chapter with the grey tones and I may even just use that as a table top explanation since they grey will be more predominant from the top-down perspective of wargames. The variation in color grade is really only noticable when the models are handled and seen from eye level. It's a consideration I really only took when you pointed it out, so thank you.

    I am leaning with keeping the command squad white for a few reasons:

    1) People always ask "which one is Belial's squad?"
    2) I took some serious time painting the White armor and love the way they look - I would hate to change them.
    3) Whether they are explained as a successor or as a mix of old and new, I have explanations for both.

    a) That each successor chapter has a Death Wing and Belial is considered the Grand Master of all Death Wing in the same way Azreal is the Grand Master over all chapters and the Inner Circle.

    b) If I went with the "original paint scheme" story, they could literally be the squad that fought the stealers and the chapter has yet to adopt the "all white" motif.

    Either way, I am happy to rescue them and thankful for your thought out critism. It was your comments in the other posts, mixed with some of my own, that led me back to a Dark Angels theme to begin with!

  4. It is hard to tell from the pics you've posted how "black" the figures are in the shadow. You could apply a few careful washes of black into the shadowed areas to darken the armour up. The bronze effect on the icons looks superb, I really like that.