Howdy folks, Faultie here again. When last we left our intrepid adventurer, I had just finished construction of the Steamin’ Sally and was ready to go paint. Ok, I wasn’t actually done. A few more bits needed to be wrapped up. Firstly, an epic model needs and epic base, and I figured that a siege-breaking landship of epicness should be storming over the lines to assail the foe with plenty of pew-pew-pew. I took the stock base, used a few pre-made pieces, greenstuffed them together with an Armorcast explosion, and then covered it all up with stucco spackle. The stucco has a lot of gritty bits in it so that it has a nice churned-up, sloppy look to it. A bit of the stucco was also put on the feet of the Earthbreaker so that it would look like the model and the base belonged together.
As the stucco dried, I looked at Sally and got to thinking that maybe she needed more guns. I looked around my table and saw the original blasters that came with her, so I drilled out the barrels and attached them to the upper structure like machinegun sponsons. Now sufficiently armed for battle, Sally went to the primer’s.
It’s actually nice for me to see it primed finally, because I’d assembled it from a bunch of different materials and pieces, and all I could really see when I looked at it was each of the constituent parts. After priming it finally looks like a single model, and I’m excited to get to painting!
Around here I made a mistake. After removing the left arm to make painting easier, I lost the elbow piston piece. After searching for a whopping 2 or so minutes, I decide that searching is for fools, and I just sculpt a new one out of green stuff and part of a GW flyer base. Let this be a lesson: be far more organized than I am.
After priming, it was time to crank up the airbrush. [Note: even with the airbrush, the whole project (including design, cleaning, construction, and painting) might have taken 50+ hours. I have no idea how you would do this without an airbrush.] I searched around the internet to find out the best way to paint U.S. olive drab (circa WWII), and although the answer turned out to be way more complicated than I thought (apparently there was a bunch of variation b/c of the vast scale of production during the war), the generally-accepted “best” paint was from Vallejo (Olive Drab, 70.889).
The color went on beautifully, and really captured the look I was going to be going for. For highlighting, I mixed in a bit of Hammerfall Khaki, then a little more, then a little more (for each progressive set), until I was happy with it. I kept the lighter shades to the top of the model, and specifically to areas that would be more exposed to light than others. At this point, it’s time to go to details.
I really wanted the Steamin’ Sally to have a weather, war-weary look to her, as if battle was not a foreign concept. As such, I wanted the metals to look beaten and worn. The first step was to apply P3 Umbral Umber to anything that was going to end up as any sort of metal color, be it a gun barrel, scratched paint, or steam piping.
After this, a light dry-brushing of P3 Pig Iron gives it a nice metallic look, but the Umber still shows through.
Then a light wash was applied depending on the part. Gun barrels got Citadel Nuln Oil, pistons and screws got Devlan Mud, and pipes got Gryphonne Sepia.
In between parts, and as they dried, I started work on the red accents (as inspired). Even with rich highlight colors, I still wanted something of a subdued look, since this is a war machine, not a parade float. As such, I went with some cheap-o craft paint I have from another project. It’s not fantastic for most miniatures applications, but it does give a muted tone to its color, and drys quite flat. I added the red to the arms and legs, just enough to make it pop.
Last little detail before cranking up the airbrush again was the Rhulic standard I had placed up top. This got a base of P3 Brass Balls, and then highlights with Solid Gold. After drying, a bit of Citadel Gryphonne Sepia was added to the recesses. I waited to do the details on the seals and ribbons later.
At this point, the Earthbreaker is starting to look fairly put-together.
The last step was to get to work on the furnaces. I started by laying down some P3 Sanguine Base, and after it dried laying first Ember Orange and then Heartfire. Once it was fully dried, I used some Citadel Gryphonne Sepia on the edges to lend to the glowy-ness.
I then painted the rest of the do-dads on the Rhulic standard.
Now that I’m mostly-done painting, it was time to hit the computer and start working on decals. When you think oldschool bombers, you think of all the decals and artwork and stencils all over, and I really wanted to fully embrace that. Cranking up GIMP, I started fiddling around to create waterslide transfer decals for Sally.
The 3 different sized black letters say “No. 8. Sk.” (K, since there is no Q in Rhulic), for “Number 8 Squadron”. The red words say “No Step” (a common thing found on machinery). The big letters are “HF-4” for “HammerFall #4”, the serial number of the Steamin’ Sally. There are Juggernaut kill markings for confirmed warjack kills (2 sizes, not sure which I’d need), and Stormwalls for colossal kill markings (again, 2 sizes b/c not sure of size requirement). Campaign chevrons and hazard stripes are always useful things, so I added those. The Steamin’ Sally artwork is in 2 sizes, as is the No.8 Sq. logo (Searforge Hammer with wing). There’s also crossbones over a (warp)wolf skull (in both black and red). It took 1 or 2 tries, but the printer finally worked right, and it was pretty easy to actually apply the decals. At this stage, various defects, errant paint strips, and nicks-and-bruises were painted like actual scrapes in the paint (Umbral Umber with Pig Iron), so lots of the weathering is actually in places where the thing was weather!
At this point I thought, “Hey, I’ve never done OSL furnace bits before!” Time to head back down to the basement for the airbrush. It’s time to get to work on some GLOW EFFECTS! I’ve never done this before, but I wanted to try it, so I started with the furnace vents in the front and back and began experimenting. I used the same color palette as before, but at the end added a touch of P3 Morrow White for the final blast. I don’t think it turned out too terrible, and the ship is finally “done” on the outside.
After clear-coating and gloss-coating, I start work on the crew. Plarzoid was nice enough to paint the faces of the crewmen for me, which saved me a lot of time (I’m horrible at flesh tones), and I got to work on their bodies. I went with the same palette as for the body of the Earthbreaker, but hand-painted instead, and made the gradations a lot more jarring. See, my inspiration for the inside crew was the scenes on the submarines in The Hunt for Red October, and I wanted all the “light” inside the Earthbreaker to come from battlestations lighting. The red came from the previously-mentioned craft paint, as it actually is a bit low on pigment, so applying it lightly lets your shading shine through.
After drying, I realized I had never test-fit everyone on the chassis at once. It was…a bit tight. I ended up having to cut away some more of the inside of the top of the hull, repaint it, and then mounted everyone inside.
Now that everyone was mounted, everything clearcoated, and every last bit secured, it was time for the final step: attaching the cockpit windows and the roof.
You can also see the side gunners peaking out of their ports.
And that’s it! A little bit of clean-up after a week of not looking at it, and then wiring it to the base is all that’s left! These things I’ll save for TempleCon, for ease of transport. If you want to see final images, I guess you’ll just have to wait for the big reveal next week!
And don’t forget to head by the Lost Hemisphere Swag Bag for some of our sweet, sweet offerings! Proceeds of sales of Steamin’ Sally merchandise contribute to Lost Hemisphere’s charity fundraising efforts.