Thursday, 3 October 2013

Ravenwing at NWG

So with NWG coming up in September there has been some great impetus to get some newly painted toys ready in time for the event. There are strict painting guidelines in place, with extra points on the table for those who make the extra effort to have more than the standard "3 colour minimum", that most events require. The event also encourages Forge World pieces and is capped at 1650 making the army selection process a very different one from the norm.

I had decided much earlier in the year that this event would be a good opportunity for me to get my Ravenwing army done. I have been collecting bikes for as long as I have toy soldiers and thought that it was about time I got them all painted up to a good standard.

The main issue with this is that I am quite fussy with my miniatures and their multi purpose uses in army Chapters. I have my own chapter of Marines so that I can declare them as any Codex or indeed Chaos chapter I want. With this in mind, I wanted to make the bikes up into squads that I could weapon swap/combat squad etc without much hassle. Marines are one of the easier armies to colour code for squad differentiation but I am a firm believer in the details of squad markings and as such, always make each squad easily identifiable by their chosen equipment, armour and other such details. This meant that I spent a lot of time in my bits box working out what I could do; while begging, borrowing, swapping and stealing anything I could from the lads in my gaming circles.

Having finally gotten this far I decided that I wanted at least one of my units to really stand out on the table. I have already made my own Sammael on a Jetbike (though I have since heavily converted him again for this project) but the idea of a squad of Jetbikes really stood out for me as something achievable, exciting and that would fit with the brief given by the TO for this event.

I spent some time on the Internet looking for ideas of what other people had done and trying to find something within my range without breaking the bank. As it turns out the best option I can across required the use of something I already had in ready supply: Jetpacks.

The idea made a lot of sense as it incorporates other Imperial Technology and would not make the unit seem too alien, which is something I was eager to stay away from.

The article can be found here.

Full credit to this man for the concept though I changed his basic layout slightly, which I think works a little bit better for my purposes.

I began with a basic bike body which I glued together without the wheels in place. I then cut the front wheel off completely. The original idea here had been to invert the mudguard as I had on my version of Sammael but I decided it looked just as good without it.

Using plasti-card I filled in the gap in the rear mudguard at an angle from the top of the rear faring to the bottom of the main bike engine block. I then filled in any gaps with Green Stuff.

I took a Space Marine Jump Pack and cut off the turbines and vents. I then used Instant Mould to cast these and made a bunch of moulds using Green Stuff. The turbines were placed into the rear mudguard onto the plasti-card and the turbines were affixed to the front of the bike. I drilled into the lower of the rear turbines to create a space for the wire that would hold the model in place.

All that was left was for me to paint them up using my standard army colours.

This is achieved by painting the whole model with a grey primer. I then wash the whole miniature in Blue Ink. Once dry, I dry brush with Space Wolf Grey and then White. The effect is simple, but I think effective.

When painting the bikes, I had decided to go with a simple brown for the feathers and wings that are present on Ravenwing Bikes, something I was to use as an additional squad marking aid. The brown really helped the figures to pop. So much so, that I am tempted to revisit some of my existing toys and see if I can somehow include this in my colour scheme.

I also spent some time making little things like the Nartecium.

As I prefer the older models in my list to be MK VI Armour Variant, I went the extra effort to make these lads all MKVI, including the legs, with the rest of the army being MK VII.

 And also Sammy's faring, which was made using a set of wings from the Sanguinary Guard Box.

Lastly for the event, I had to make the display board.

I borrowed a Chapel of Sanctity from SWG President and Perpetual Progenitor, Cian, and worked out the design concept on my kitchen table.

I purchased a 2"x 2" board of MDF and the same in Foam Board. I began by working out where the models would all end up on the board and drew out the lines around the bases. I then cut the holes out and affixed the foam board to the board with pva glue and left it pressed under some books for the night. I then sprayed the whole board brown. Masking this off, I spray painted the road black, then splattered grey. The latter was a bit worrying as my initial reaction to the drops was that I had made a mistake, but I stuck to it and I think it worked well.

Next I masked out the yellow box junction and painted it yellow. I was not really happy with this overall, and I think the excitement got the better of me and I rushed to finish it. Had I the time again, I would have sprayed it white before I put the yellow down and made it cleaner and more contrasting, I was the only bit done with a brush and I think you could tell.

Finally I marked out the central road marking and sprayed it white.

Once dry, I glued the biked to their bases.

Overall I think it worked out well and it was great being able to remove and replace the army here between games.

I am very happy with the end product. I managed to receive the full 50 points available for my army at the event, a score which saved me some face after being out performed on the second day of the event and dropping out of the top 10. Luckily the painting brought me just outside the top 5 on joint 6th with fellow SWG'er Eoin, who's Wrestling inspired Necron Army was simply class.

Hope you enjoyed the blog. I am now in a position to be able to play nearly any marine army I want, and what with the recent boost given to Space Marine bikes, I have no doubt that these boys will be getting plenty of runs out in the near future.


  1. It was good to see both yourself & Eion at the weekend mate & I loved your army taws class like as us Carkions say lol & bty its the NWG not the ABF