Thomas Baker contacted us through our contact form enquiring about our commission painting services. He was interested in having a small Tau force painting and building, as well as a Blood Angel Terminator Captain and a Necron Overlord. Thomas also wanted to have main weapon options on the Riptide magnetising, so that he could swap the weapons out, depending on the army he was playing against, giving the Riptide a more flexible role in his force. We provided Thomas with a quote for the building, magnetisation and painting of the models, which he was pleased to go ahead with. Once he shipped the models over to us, we got cracking. The order consisted of a Tau Empire Ethereal, a Tau Empire Riptide, Commander Farsight, three XV8 Crisis Battlesuits, a Blood Angels Terminator Captain and a Necron Overlord.
Riptide Weapon Magnetisation
The Tau Empire Ethereal, Commander Farsight, Blood Angel Terminator Captain and Necron Overlord were all really simple to put together, as they only have a few elements to put together. The Riptide and the XV8 Crisis Battlesuits are a little more complex to put together, as the models allow for a lot of posing positions due to them having a lot of joints in there legs and arms. In the pictures below you can see how we magnetised the main weapon options for the Riptide Battlesuit.
First of all we cut out all of the parts in the Riptide kit and assembled them as their own elements, as the picture above shows. After we’d done this we then assembled the torso and stuck the legs on, along with the arms and jetpack. We left the main weapon options off so that we could magnetise them. We also assembled the secondary weapon options such as the Twin Linked Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster and Smart Missle System, but left them off the model, as Thomas also wanted these to be interchangeable.
We then purchased some magnets that have a 5mm diameter and that are around 2mm thick. These magnets are the perfect size to use on the weapon options for the Riptide arm and main weapon options, as they slot into place without too much space around them, pictured above. We used super glue to keep the magnets in place on the arm and the weapon. On the pipe connecting the weapon to the arm, we simply cut off the ends and replaced them with magnets, so that the pipe didn’t stand out too much and look out of place.
When the pipe is connecting the arm and the weapon it fits together like in the image above. We feel that this is the easiest way to magnetise the weapon options without have to drill holes into the model in order for the magnets to fit it. This way reduces the chance of damaging the model as there’s hardly any modifications to make to the model apart from cutting the ends of the pipes off.
Once the magnet was super glued into the arm, we then added a magnet to the other weapon option, making sure the the magnet was the correct way round. A good way to get the correct poles together is to scrore the back of the magnet with a knife or add a bit of paint so you know which side of the magnet needs to go where, this is really helpful if you drop your magnets or have to leave the project and come back to it later.
Once the magnetisation on the weapons and arms was complete we then glued the arm on to the model and left it to dry before testing the magnetisation of the weapons. We opted for strong magnets as it’s a lot of weight for a few to hold.
Once the arm was set, we then tested out the weapons on the arm with the connecting pipe. As you can see in the image above, the magnets are the perfect size for this and once painted, look part of the kit.
Once we were happy with the main weapon we then moved onto assembling the secondary weapon options. These are simple enough to put together and there’s not really a need to magnetise these parts, as they easily slot into place.
As you can see in the image above, the secondary weapon options can be easily added and removed from the Riptide’s jetpack without magnetisation. Once this stage was complete the Riptide was ready to be primed for paint.
XV8 Crisis Battlesuits
Thomas wanted his XV8 Battlesuits to have dynamic poses that capture the movement of the Crisis Battlesuits. The Crisis Battlesuit kit allows for some great posing options, due to the amount of joints it their legs and arms. For the Shas’vre we even added a barrel to his base to make it look as though he was jumping off of it, ready to fire his Plasma Rifle into the oncoming enemy.
Together the unit looks great and have a dynamic look, like they’re ready to fire their weapons and jump into action. At this stage the battlesuits were ready to be based and primed, ready for painting.
We wanted the team’s Shas’vre to be the focal point of the Crisis Team, this is why we elevated him from the base by using a barrel to give the effect of him jumping off of it.
Thomas wanted the XV8 Crisis Battlesuits to be painted in the Farsight Enclave colour scheme, as he also wanted Commander Farsight painting too. We were really pleased with how the unit came out once it was painted as the red armour has some great depth, that contrasts from the desert base that they’re on. We added glowing effects to the eye lenses and the barrels of the weapons to give the impression that the battlesuits were operational and their weapons were ready for war.
We painted the bases with Steel Legion Drab and then dry brushed, Zemmesi Desert and then Screaming Skull to get the sand effect. We also added some tufts of grass to the bases so they had some depth and weren’t just flat. When Commander Farsight is with the Crisis Battlesuit team they really look like a force to be reckoned with. Commander Farsight’s pose really lends itself to the look of the unit too, as he is also bounding forward, ready to strike with his Dawn Blade.
The Crisis Battlesuits will be very good with Commander Farsight as an ambush unit, able to deepstrike right next to an enemy without even scattering. This is especially deadly for armoured targets as the Crisis Battlesuits are equipped with Fusion Blasters, the Tau version of the Meltagun. They’ll also be a great anti armoured infantry squad too, thanks to them having Plasma Rifles. If these Battlesuits are buffed with Markerlights, any enemy on the board isn’t safe when these arrive into the battle.
Riptide and Ethereal
The Tau Empire Riptide and Ethereal were both painted in the new white Tau colour scheme that’s seen on the new models that Games Workshop released. These look great next to the Farsight Enclave Battlesuits as they are a stark contrast in colour. The red accents on the Riptide and Ethereal also tie in with the Farsight Battlesuits so they look related when they’re on the battlefield. The Ethereal was the firsts model that we painted for this commission, and he set the style for the Riptide to follow. The Ethereal stands out in this collection as he’s the only model that has his blue flesh showing, which is a great focal point for the army, as any HQ should be.
Below you can see the Riptide showing the different weapon options that it can have thanks to magnetising the main weapon and then having the interchangeable secondary weapon options. This is a great idea for any Riptide as it gives your Riptide the flexibility to take on any target depending on which army you’re facing. If you’re facing Space Marines, a good option would be to go for the Ion Accelerator as it can deal out a lot of high strength low AP fire power. If you’re facing more lightly armoured foes, a great option would be to use the Heavy Burst Cannon. It’s lower strength than the Ion Accelerator but it can fire a lot more shots.
The secondary weapons also add another flexibility to the Riptide. If you’re facing heavy infantry the Twin Linked Plasma Rifle would be a great option. If you’re facing more armoured targets such as Rhinos and Land Raiders, the Twin Linked Fusion Blaster would be a great option to take, and if you’re facing a lot of lightly armoured infantry the Twin Linked Smart Missles would be a good way to go. If you Nova Charge and use the Ripple Fire option you can have these weapons fire twice, already adding to the deadly fire output of the Riptide.
We painted the Riptide’s base in the same way that we did for the Farsight Enclace Battlesuits using the Steel Legion Drab and dry brushing Zemmisi Desert and Screaming Skull over the top of it. Because the base is quote big and there’s a lot of open space, we added some stones before undercoating the model. These were painted using the same technique as the rest of the base. We also added the tufts of grass to give the base more depth. We asked Thomas which army was his greatest rival when playing, he answered ‘Khorne’, so we added a Khorne Chaos Space Marines head on the base and some spare Khorne icons to give his Riptide’s base more narrative.
We painted some of the parts of the Riptide using red, to break up all of the white on the model. The red really pops thanks to it contrasting with the white. We also added scratches to the armour to give the Riptide a battle hardened look which compliments the model. There are also red Tau Sept marks on the model, which have been painted freehand, these also help to break up the white plates.
The mechanical parts of the Riptide such as the legs and parts of the weaponry were painted black, this helps to define the shape of the armour better, adding to the clean, crisp look of the Riptide.
The Ethereal and the Riptide look great when they’re stood side by side. The Ethereal is the leader of the Tau and the Riptide looks like his huge bodyguard, ready to protect him from the enemies that stand before him.
It was great painting these Tau Battlesuits and the Ethereal, as the kits are some of the best that Games Workshop has produced and they offer a lot of enjoyment through building and painting. There are a lot different poses that each battlesuit can have, along with a whole host of weaponry. There are a lot of edge highlights on Tau models, which can take some time, but once they’re done the results are fantastic, which is the most rewarding part when painting Tau Empire models.
Blood Angel Terminator Captain
Thomas added this Blood Angel Terminator Captain into the project too. The model is based in the same way as what the Tau Empire models are and has a tuft of grass to break the sand base up from just being flat. The model has some great details such as the little blood droplets on his Thunder Hammer and Storm Bolter. Once these droplets were painted we added a layer of varnish to give them the gem effect. We also added a lightning effect to the Thunder Hammer to give the illusion that it’s cracking with energy, ready to dispatch the enemies of the Imperium.
Thomas also wanted a Necron Overlord painting for the project. The Overlord is equipped with a mighty Warscythe and an Orb and is painted in the standard Necron colour scheme, with a cracked earth base. We added small glowing effects around the orb and the Overlord’s eyes to give the impression that he has awakened from his tomb world and is ready for battle. One of our favourite features of the Overlord is his golden cape/tail, as it makes him look regal and it really pops off the model due to the differing layers of gold that we used.
All in all we had a great time building and painting this project and it was a great size for us to sink our teeth into. Our favourite model of the project would be the Tau Empire Riptide. It was the model that took the most time to paint and build but we feel that it really stands out in the commission thanks to it’s size and colour scheme. We hope that Thomas has some great battles with these models and enjoys playing with them as much as we have had building and painting them.
Here's what Thomas said about our service
“I contacted Ben and the Deathhammer40k team in late September 2016. I could see from the website that they were highly skilled painters, with a passion for the hobby and I really liked the style of their miniatures. I was so impressed with how reasonable the quote was, which included the full build of the minis. It took a tiny bit longer than I expected, but I have absolutely no complaints about the price, the quality of work and customer service I received from Ben and the team, which was truly first class.
The e-mail updates were sent at a reasonable frequency and Ben was really accommodating with some last minute changes, custom requests and even using spare parts from their stock to give minis the exact spec I wanted. This is the first time I have used a pro-painting company and the service has blown me away. Now the only problem I have is to try to paint my rank and file well enough so that they don’t look terrible next to my beautiful new Deathhammer40k painted models! Thanks Ben and Team!”
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