Space Marines – The Next Generation! Crimson Fists.

With lockdown easing, it’s time to get back to something we haven’t seen here for a while – badly painted Space Marines! Having finished the previous box up, this time they’re the new generation models, starting with an easy build one I got with a painting guide.

This space marine is painted in the livery of the Crimson Fists. I particularly like the colour scheme for this chapter of marines. I’d been playing around with the GW approach of edge highlighting a bit in the previous batch of old school marines, and wanted to follow that approach completely here. I was pretty surprised and pleased with the end result.

On to the photos:

Space Marine - Crimson Fist 1
Space Marine - Crimson Fist 2
Space Marine - Crimson Fist 3
Space Marine - Crimson Fist 4

I’m not sure why clicking on the images doesn’t allow them to be enlarged any more, but I’ll look into it and hopefully get that fixed for my next post.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way this turned out, and am going to apply myself to this method for the next few models in the regular box of this guys that I got. In the interests of full disclosure, I painted this before lockdown, so don’t remember any of the issues I might have had while painting it (it’s been 3 months – I’m lucky if I can remember what I did 3 minutes ago…).

Looking it over, I’m impressed by how quick this approach is (mainly in removing the time I spend agonising over where to place the highlights…), and how effective it looks. I think it’s definitely one worth practising and having in your toolkit of techniques. It involves 6 steps in its basic form:

  1. Laying down a base colour.
  2. Shading the recesses with a carefully applied wash.
  3. Painting in any details like symbols, equipment etc.
  4. Touching up the base layer for any mess made shading or detailing.
  5. A thicker mid shade edge highlight over all the edges.
  6. A thinner light shade edge highlight over the upper/light catching edges.

I also started using decals here, something I’ve never had much success with before. With the help of some youtube videos and a bottle of micro-set, I actually managed to get it on, pretty contoured to the surface, and not torn anywhere. Still far from perfect, but this is the best result I’ve had with a should pad transfer to date, so I’m hopeful I can get better again with the next one.

Next week will have a post-lockdown painted Space Wolf, and sadly 3 months away from the painting table have taken their toll. Hand steadiness and ability to be neat has definitely declined, but hopefully that’ll come back to its usually high (cough) standard quickly!

Updates!

It’s crazy to think that it’s a full month since I posted my last Space Marine photo – that was already 2 weeks into lockdown for us here, and was all the stored up photos I had to rely on! I’m looking forward to getting back to my painting table and sharing some more of my efforts with you all, but that looks like it’s still some way off, so I wanted to post some updates to let you all know what I’ve been up to!

I usually have a few projects on the go at any one time, all at different stages of completion, one with my editors, while the other is on my desk. The whole lockdown thing has upset my schedules a little but I’ve a couple of different stories at an advanced stage right now.

The first of these projects is the one that you’ll probably be most interested in. It’s a new fantasy story with new characters set in my Middle Sea world, and picks up some of the concepts I raised in my previous trilogies. As I usually like to do, it’ll be a self contained story that you can read on its own, but with some cameos from old characters and references to events from the past books. I’ve not got a title for this one yet, but it’s what I’m working on right now, and the first draft is almost complete. I’m hopeful that I’ll still be able to hit my original target of releasing it before the end of the year!

The other project is a bit of a new area for me, and quite an exciting prospect as a result! I’ve often talked about how I love to write the genres I like to read – fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure. I’ve been working on a couple of sci-fi ideas for a while now, and have completed the first book in a military sci-fi/space opera style series, entitled ‘The Alpha Protocol’.

It’s a similar style of story telling to my fantasy work, just set in space! It was a lot of fun to write, those who’ve read it so far tell me it was a lot of fun to read (and they don’t always say that!), so I’m hoping you guys will enjoy it too! I’m hoping to get this book out in the coming Autumn.

We’ve been surviving the lockdown here with lots of cooking, and also some chocolate making, which has been surprisingly successful. Sadly, few, if any, of these creations last long enough to be photographed, so it would seem I’m not destined to become a foodie instagramer!

I hope everyone else is doing well, staying healthy, and surviving the lockdown. If you’re looking for something to read, I believe Knight of the Silver Circle is on sale at the moment. I might be a bit biased in saying I think it’s a great book, and well worth checking out if you haven’t already, but hey, everyone’s got their favourite!

Take care!

Servant of the Crown Audiobook

Servant of the Crown Audio Cover

I’ve been listening to the audio of Servant of the Crown during writing breaks on my new project, and I wanted to share my thoughts on audio. Aside from the practicalities of the format for commutes or exercise time, I particularly love the audio versions of my books as they allow me to enjoy the stories in a way that I really can’t when I read them. I think the performance of them gives me enough distance to be a little more objective about them, rather than simply seeing all the little things I’d change if I had another pass at it.

I’ve been lucky enough to have Simon Vance as narrator for six of my books now, and once again he does a truly exceptional job on Servant of the Crown. If you want to get a taste of that mellifluous voice, you can check out an audio sample of the book here:

Don’t forget, Servant of the Crown is now on general release. You can pick up a copy of the audiobook at Amazon or Audible!

Dragonslayer 3 Out Today!

Today is release day for Servant of the Crown, the third and final part of The Dragonslayer trilogy! How will things turn out for Gill, and the world in general now that magic, dragons, and other magical creatures have awakened?

You can pick up a copy in paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and start reading it now at the following links!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Audible.com

So, that wraps up another trilogy, and my first that’s been traditionally published, with Tor. I’ve already got my next project well underway, so stay tuned to find out about that, which I hope to start talking about in the next couple of months!

I hope you all enjoy Servant of the Crown, and want to thank you for following and supporting my work!

Duncan

Space Marines 6 – White Scar

Today’s Space Marine, a White Scar, tackles a particularly tricky colour to get right – white! I used an old white paint set for this, that to be honest, I really didn’t get along with. The shades go from cream to a sort of dirty grey for the shadows. I couldn’t get the hang of the set, so the end result is a bit muddy looking.

I want to have another go at white, perhaps using grey scale shading, or blue as a shade, which seems to work pretty well. Going for warm, brownish shades just hasn’t worked all that well for me here. In places it looks ok, in others, not so much!

So, to the pictures!

White Scar 1
White Scar 2
White Scar 3
White Scar 4

I think this is a really nice looking chapter with a great colour scheme when painted well, so I’ll most likely revisit it at a later stage. My original plan was to paint 2-3 in each of the chapters I chose so I could apply the lessons I learned with each one, although I expanded the number of chapters I decided to paint, so 2 is probably more likely!

If you’ve any hints or tips for painting white, please feel free to share them, and likewise any other mini painting tips or experiences!

You can find the other parts of this series here: Part 1 – Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist, Part 4 – Salamander, Part 5 – Dark Angels.

Giveaway Reminder!

I just wanted to remind everyone that in anticipation of the release of Servant of the Crown, the final part of The Dragonslayer trilogy, on 10 March, I’m giving away 5 signed copies of Book 1 over on Goodreads. It ends on 10 March, same as release day, so not much longer left to go! Sadly, it is only open to residents of the US and Canada, which is beyong my control. You can enter the contest at the below link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/303936-dragonslayer

Servant of the Crown Audio Sample!

Servant of the Crown - The Dragonslayer 3 - Coming on 10 March 2020

I’ve got the audio sample for Servant of the Crown – once again narrated by Simon Vance – to whet your appetite in anticipation of release day, which is now only 11 sleeps away, on 10 March! You can listen to the sample below, or over at SoundCloud by clicking through the embedded link:

I think Simon has done a wonderful job once again, and I love having him narrate my books. I hope you enjoy the sample, and also the full work when it comes out on 10 March!

Don’t forget, you can preorder you copy right now over at Audible or Amazon:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Servant-of-the-Crown-Audiobook/1250264049

Space Marines 3 – Imperial Fists

In the third instalment of my Space Marine painting adventure, I’ve painted an Imperial Fist. Yellow is the colour of the day with this guy, which presented its own set of challenges, some down to the nature of the colour, and some self-inflicted.

I’ve a few initial comments to make on this one. The first thing is that I usually undercoat my models with a black rattle can spray. I think I’m going to pick up a can of mid grey and a can of white, and experiment with these a bit when I’m painting models of a mainly bright colour. I’ve read that once you get to 3-4 coats (which I do anyway), any effect of the undercoat is minimal, but I think I’ll try it anyway to see if it makes life any easier.

The next thing is that I’ve started to use a wet palette, and an acrylic thinner medium instead of plain tap water to thin my paints. The issue I had here was that I didn’t mix the thinner through the yellow well enough, meaning I got the nice saturated sunburst yellow colour in places (see the pauldrons), and a milky, chalky yellow in others (see the gun and leg plates).

Now, on to the photos!

The yellow colour represented less of a challenge with the photography, rather than me doing anything different, and getting things right!

Another painting mistake I made with this one is that after the initial 4 layers of thinned yellow base coat, I washed the entire model in a sepia ink. That’s given the flat panels a bit of a muddy effect in places. In future, I’m going to try and keep this application as precisely to the seams and recesses as I can, which I should have done from the start…

As always, if anyone has any comments, tips, or painting experiences they’d like to share, feel free to drop them in the comments box below. If you want to take a look at my previous efforts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2!

Giveaway Time!

Available on Tuesday 10 March!

To celebrate the upcoming release of Servant of the Crown, the final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy which will be out on Tuesday 10 March, I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for 5 signed paperback copies of the first book in the trilogy, Dragonslayer.

I’m afraid the giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. Once again, apologies to everyone else for this, but it’s completely beyond my control.

You can enter the giveaway over here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/303936-dragonslayer

Good luck to everyone who has entered!

Look what arrived in the morning post…

With release day for the final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy now less than a month away, on Tuesday 10 March, the nearness of it all hit me today when these two beauties arrived all the way from Tor in the US.

The covers always look a little different in the flesh than they do on the screen, and the green background is a bit darker than I was expecting, but looks even better than I’d hoped for. I’m really pleased with how the covers have turned out for all three books in the series, and it feels hard to believe that I’m almost at the end of the road with this trilogy. The last couple of years have gone by so quickly!