In this blog post, we’ll be looking at an Astra Militarum commission project that we completed for a customer. Kane contacted us through the contact form on our contact us page, asking for a price to build and paint an Astra Militarum battleforce. We submitted a quote that Kane was happy to go ahead with and he sent through the models for us to begin the assembling process. The project consisted of a Command Squad and a Primaris Psyker, two Cadian Shock Troop squads, a squad of Bullgryns, a Chimera Transport, a Scout Sentinel and a Leman Russ Battle Tank.
Kane wanted all of the vehicles to have magnetised weapon options so that we could use weapons depending on which enemy he’s facing on the battlefield. Magnetising the vehicles means he also gets the maximum amount of value available from the kits, instead of having to buy more models with fixed weapon options. We also magnetised the Company Commander as he has quite a lot of arm options available to him, giving Kane different variety for every game he plays. Kane wanted an urban camouflage colour scheme based around blues and greys. After painting up a few test models for Kane to look at we settled on the scheme you will see in these pictures using a mid-grey (Dawnstone) and a mid-blue (The Fang).
COMPANY COMMANDER AND COMMAND SQUAD
We started off by painting the Command Squad who’ll live in the heart of the Astra Militarum force so it was important to make them a centrepiece for the army. The company standard helps to make the squad stand out, giving them an inspiring presence. All of the Company Commanders weapons are magentised, along with the Standard Bearer’s left arm which can either have a Lasgun or a Chainsword.
Another character was added to the Command Squad in the form of a Primaris Psyker, who adds a psychic dimension to the force, helping to support nearby friendly units. There’s also a Plasma Gun Veteran and a Medic, giving the Command Squad more character and support options. The Command Squad kept the colour scheme of the force to keep the overall look consistent and uniform.
CADIAN SHOCK TROOPS
The Cadian Shock Troops are the backbone of the force, able to secure objectives while laying down multiple volleys from their Lasguns. The squads include a Sergeant, a special weapons expert and a Vox Caster, able to receive orders more reliably. The main armour plates were painted using The Fang as a base layer and then highlighted with Russ Grey and then a final fine highlight Ulthuan Grey.
The fatigues were based with Dawnstone, dry brushed with The Fang for the camouflage patches and then washed with Nuln Oil. Once the was had dried the fatigues were brightened up with Dawnstone and The Fang once again and then highlighted with Administratum Grey and then a fine highlight of Ulthuan Grey. Little camouflage patterns were then painted on with Abaddon Black and a speck of White Scar.
The Bullgryns provide a vital line of defence for the force, able to counter charge and intercept units that come too close to the Astra Militarum lines. With their hulking bodies able to withstand a massive amount of punishment, they’re able to soak up the deadliest of attacks. All of the Bullgryn’s weapons are magnetised, getting the most value out of the kit. They can be geared for brutal close combat with their mauls and slab shields, or close support with their grenadier gauntlets.
The Bullgryns can also be used as a bodyguard for the Company Commander, shielding him from incoming threats. On the mauls and suppression shields we added blue glowing effects to the nodes on the weapon options. These effects give the effect of the weapons being ready for battle and add that next level of realism to the models. The Bone‘ead has an unmasked face and has a grenadier gauntlet shell on his base to make him distinguishable from the other Bullgryns.
The Scout Sentinel is a light vehicle that is able to scout from a forward position and offer supporting fire for nearby units. The Scout Sentinel can be equipped with a whole range of weaponry such as a Plasma Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Multilaser, Lascannon, Autocannon or a Missile Launcher. We fully magnetised every weapon option on the Scout Sentinel giving Kane flexibility with how we would like to use the model on the battlefield.
It can either stay in the gun line and use its Lascannon to pick off heavily armoured targets, or it can rush enemy positions with its Heavy Flamer and charge in with its Sentinel Chainsaw. You can see in the image below, how many weapon options you can utilise with the Scout Sentinel. Kane requested that the Sentinel be painted all Dawnstone with The Fang details added to one of its armoured panels, giving a simple and subtle yet striking colour scheme.
The Chimera is a transport vehicle for the Astra Militarum that’s able to carry Guardsmen into battle. We used the same colour scheme we did for the Scout Sentinel, using Dawnstone as a base colour, highlighted with Administratum Grey and Ulthuan Grey. For the coloured stripes on the side of the hull, we used The Fang, highlighted with Fenrisian Grey and Ulthuan Grey. We then added battle damage and weathering by adding Leadbelcher to a small piece of sponge and dabbing on to the hull’s sharpest edges. The Leadbelcher was then highlighted with Runefang Steel to give the weathering a bit of depth.
We magnetised all of the weapon options on the Chimera as well as the Hunter-Killer Missile attached to the side of the hull. Magnetising all of the weapon options means that you get more value from the kit itself and enables you to customise your weapon loadout based on what enemies you’ll be facing on the battlefield. Magnetising is also handy if you need to add a few more points into your list or shave some off to fit another unit into your list, giving you great flexibility. We’re really happy with how the Chimera came out and out favourite part of the model is the coloured stripes on the side of the hull.
LEMAN RUSS BATTLE TANK
The Leman Russ Battle Tank is the main battle tank of the Imperial Guard armies, a heavily armoured and powerfully armed war machine known across the galaxy for its deadliness and durability. The colour scheme used on the Leman Russ Battle Tank is a little different from the Chimera and Scout Sentinel as Kane wanted a camouflage pattern adding the the hull, using Dawnstone and The Fang. We dry-brushed the colour onto the hull to give the pattern a patchy look that blends together well.
Like with all of the other vehicles in this project, all of the Leman Russ’ weapons are magnetised too. This adds to the value of the model as there are a lot of different weapon options in this kit. There are four different main weapons, two hull mounted weapons and four different sponson weapons. This means that Kane can tailor his Leman Russ to any enemy on the battlefield. It can be a dedicated anti-armour tank, a dedicated anti-infantry tank or a mix of both.
THANK YOU, KANE
It was a pleasure working with Kane and painting a custom colour scheme that he wanted for his army. We’re really pleased with the outcome of the project and we’re looking forward to working with Kane again in the future. Here’s what Kane said about his army:
“I got the models over the weekend and carefully unpacked them and what can I say! They look awesome, the paint job is an excellent reflection of what I was trying to achieve with the scheme! The amazing magnetisation means that I can get the maximum amount of flexibility from the vehicles!”
We’d like to say a massive thank you to Kane for his support and giving us the opportunity to paint this awesome collection of models. We hope Kane has a great time using these models on the battlefield as well as having them in his collection! Thanks again, Kane!
Have you got a similar project you’d like help with?