Earlier this week I talked about trying to paint the Minotaurs chapter symbol onto shoulderpads and decided it wasn't worth doing... at all. I figured the best solution would be to sculpt one and cast it so I'd have something to work on with my painting. Today it's time to see how that turned out.
It turns out that Forge World has just released two very nice looking Minotaur character models. On these guys, there's plenty of surface detail to include the chapter icon. This makes it much easier to paint in the end.
Think about it, which would be easier to do on your basic terminator squad: Paint all of the left shoulderpad terminator crux designs in freehand OR use have that detail sculpted on the model already and it being a matter of simply painting over that?
Image from Forge World
This guy is Asteroin Moloc, the blood crazy Chapter Master of the Minotaurs. If you look at all the pictures Forge World put out of him, you can see all the great sculpted detail on the surface of the model. There is no need to freehand symbols and such. One interesting thing is the style of the armour... in particular the shoulderpads. While they are ornate, they are not the typical terminator shoulderpads we often see. These are from a much older mark of armour or maybe it's just an old type of artificer armour. Makes me wonder if Forge World may ever do older marks of terminator armour as they've done for power armour. There are lots of third party people doing it already.
NOTE: Since writing this, Forge World has released this very thing. I have my thoughts on the older style armour and will be covering it in a post next week.
Back to my sculpted shoulderpad
The first thing I did was grab a blank shoulderpad and sculpt out the icon. I got myself a nice, thin and smooth layer of greenstuff over the top of the shoulderpad to work on and began to cut away the shape.
I started at the bottom and worked up the side. I kept the other side similar so the shape was symmetrical in the end. Once I had the head sculpted, I waited for it to cure and then added the horns so I wouldn't destroy the head while trying to add them.
I'm trying to get better with my icons and making them thinner and not as bulky. It's harder to do, but it gives them a much better look in the end I think. More scale appropriate if that's possible.
Painting this thing was a breeze. I didn't even consider it while I was painting the bronze. I just worked right over it without giving it a second though. Once I had my bronze done to include the base color, shading, patina effect and highlights, I went in and worked on the icon itself.
A quick basecoat of GW Foundation Mechrite red for the face and black for the horns was all it took there. I washed the face twice with GW Badab Black to pull out the detail (eyes and nose shape). I highlighted with a bright red color and a fine line highlight of GW Bleached Bone for contrast. A final wash of Baal Red toned those down slightly and brought it all together. The horns were given a light grey blended highlight at the top to focus the highlight on the top of the shoulderpad.
A sculpted icon is far superior in this case
Getting your chapter icon onto your Minotaurs army is a challenge. You have lots of options though. From buying from Forge World to getting enough decals to freehanding or casting your own, it comes down to what you're comfortable with doing. Each method is going to have it's costs and good/bad points. You have to decide which one will work best for your budget and your taste.
I'm going with sculpted, hands down. The speed at which it paints up in the end is night and day compared to how long it would take to apply a decal or freehand it in place. Sure, it's a bit more work on the front end, but it's well worth it to me.
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
6 tips for sculpting shoulderpad icons
Sculpting shoulderpad leaf laurels (standard Bearers)