Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FINISHED - Iron Warrior Rhino

At long last, that flippin Rhino is done!

"Pleased to meet you. Hoped you guessed my name."
I finished this a few days ago, but waited to try to get some good pictures for this write up and to post it on Cool Mini or Not.

When we last saw this Rhino, it was still missing its hatch and doors. I had not even begun to weather it either. After the failure with the Charadon Granite, I gave up on doing any sort of dynamic weathering on the silver parts. I settled instead on giving it a light drybrush of Runefang Steel (formerly Mithril Silver) and stippling Ironbreaker (formerly Chainmail) on the areas that got too much was on them. All of the shading on this model was done with Agrax Earthshade (formerly Dev Mud) by painting it in the areas I wanted it. You just can't dip a large model like this. I thought I was going to have to use some Nuln Oil (formerly Badab Black) but turns out that the Agrax Earthshade did the job pretty well.


The yellow areas on the front started as Averland Sunset (formerly Iyanden Darksun). After being washed, I brightened them up just on the hard edges with Yriel Yellow (formerly Golden Yellow). This left some dirty spots on them but still made the edges bright enough to match up with the rest of the model.

Warning: Big picture!
The yellow on the top hatch was done the same but after being washed, I could not manage to make the yellow paint even enough for my tastes so I just painted it Yriel Yellow and was done with it. I left some of the Agrax Earthshade showing around the rivets to give them depth. the weathering is Runefang Steel painted in places where it would be chipped or weathered. I shy away from painting chips or weathering in the fashion on flat surfaces and usually stick to corners and hard edges. This sets the eyes up to look for this pattern and pays off when trying to imply a hard edge where none exists. Where the two top hatches meet int he middle is such a place. The weathering there implies a hard edge where no really exists. I could have (and still might) do something crass like drawing a black line down the middle.


Speaking of black, the black areas were something new. Usually I have 3-4 layers to my blacks. It starts with Abaddon Black (formerly Chaos Black) followed by a 1:1 mix of Dawnstone (formerly Codex Grey) and Abaddon Black leaving some of the pure black showing below. Alternatively, this step can be done as a drybrush. On the hard edges and anything that need to be highlighted, I paint a thin line of pure Dawnstone. Then the whole thing gets washed Nuln Oil. After that, I come back with Dawnstone and touch up the hard edges in places where maybe too much wash got on them.

This time, I did not leave any pure black showing under the 1:1 mix figuring that a extra heavy wash would fix that. I do not know if it was a flaw in the painting or the substitutions of Agrax Earthshade for Nuln Oil, but unfortunately the black did not turn out dark enough. This is a mixed blessing in that it makes the model brighter overall. I still do not like how the blacks turned out. They are pretty flat for my tastes. I don't think that the Agrax Earthshade gets the blacks black enough. I am going to go back to doing them the old way.


I have already talked about how I did the silver areas so I will move on to how I shaded the beast. I mentioned before how shading infantry is different than shading a larger model. On a man-shaped figure there are more nooks and crannies to hide your shading in. Most of the time you can dip these minis and get away with it.

With a vehicle you have two things working against you and prohibiting you from just dipping the model. First, there are fewer recessed areas to shade. Therefore you have to be clever in the ways that you imply shading and depth. Second, there are large flat areas (at least on Imperial vehicles. Damn you STC!), and those areas tend to pool wash and make it look really foolish. The deep recesses need to be dark but more importantly the recesses on the underside need a heaver shading. On the left of this paragraph you see the side view of the Rhino. I've intentionally flipped it for you so that you can more clearly see the extra shading done to the underside of armor. It stands out a little better this way.


I've already spoken about some of the little conversions that I've done on the mini and the dissapointments of the doors and so on to the bottom. I do a similar thing to all my vehicles if possible. My Blood Angel Rhinos and Land Raider all have the bottoms torn open. On those minis it is a necessity as I need to poke my fingers in to remove the side door and top hatch to swap them out. It serves a dual purpose though as when/if the vehicle is destroyed, I can flip it over to serve as its own very obvious wrecked marker. It is a simple trick to cut some holes out of the bottom and weather them and a compelling (and apparently impressive judging by new opponent's reaction when I flip them over) effect.

"Does anyone else feel a draft?"
This is much easier and more effective to do to the bottom before assembling the mini. What you do is use a hobby knife to trace an outline of a jagged hole. You can, at this point, break the tip off of a new sharp knife and repeatedly trace over the outline until you break through. This is a fantastic way to wound yourself but it does make a nice sharp outline. An alternative is to punch through with a Dremel tool and cut out and outline. You'll need to sharpen it up a little with a hobby knife if you do that way.

After you get your outline, you'll need to cut chips and dings in the hole. Usually I like to extend these with a triangular file. Makes it really look like something blasted out of there. This is only possible if you do it before you assemble as the tracks and wheels are going to massively get in your way.


I've tried a lot of techniques for tracks and have not really settled on one. Ultimately, they are not the focus of the mini so you can do just about anything to them. It is hard to mess them up unless you just paint them metal and call it done.

What I did was start with Mournfang Brown (formerly Calathan Brown) and give it a splotchy overbrush of Ironbreaker. Don't forget the tracks have two sides. Then it got washed with Agrax Earthshade with everything else paying special attention to the inside of the tracks where they meet the wheels. After that dried completely with got a sporadic and very lite drybrush of Runefang Steel (formerly Mithril Silver). If you go too crazy with the metal and fail to leave enough of the brown or the wash showing through, it ruins the effect.


When I detail my Blood Angel Rhinos you'll see how magnet crazy I can get. I decided to take thing a little easier on the CSM vehicles by only putting the bare minimum of magnets in it.

Partially by accident, I discovered how happy attaching my hatches with magnets makes me. No more hatches falling out unexpectedly. Other than securing them in their places, there is not much of a reason for sinking magnets in the hatches but it makes me happy. More to the point, it makes me feel like a dummy when my hatches fall off during a game and this prevents that. 

"One gun was NOT ENOUGH!"
I sank two magnets on the hull on either side of the hatches for smoke launchers. The reason for putting them on both sides is a small problem with the aforementioned hatches and those damn spikey bits. See the spikey bits on the hatches look awesome but if I put them on the side, they hang over where the smoke launchers would be. If one of those spaces is covered, I have another. Alternatively, I could attach a spotlight but I am skipping that for now. Since searchlights are standard equipment and can not be destroyed, I figure counting the headlights as searchlights will work.

I magnetized the smoke launchers to act as a counter for smoke. This way during a game, if I use smoke I can remove the bit. That helps me remember better than stacking dice on a vehicle.

There are also magnets on the bottom for a dozer blade when/if I get to them. They are pricey in terms of points and not really useful IMHO. I do not take them often on cheap transports.


I  went conservative on the spikes and extra bits. The spikes that come with the CSM vehicles are awesome and all but have two major problems. When you add them on they look really added on. It is something about that square and unadorned base that they are stuck on. I'd be happier if they mounted flush. If I ever add them to a vehicle I'll probably saw off the bottom and sink them into the hull.

The second fault they have is related to the first. They break. Invariably during transport or battles, the spikes break off. Then they are a bear to repair. I decide to short circuit that and skip them entirely. Also, with the extra armor, there is little space where the spikes would fit.

The Forge World parts come with these cute conical spikes intended for the spaces above the side doors. I did not like the look of four of them up there so saved two for the front. I wanted some more ramming spikes but did not want to use the ones from either of the CSM vehicle sprues as I only have one of each. Also, that would make  The mini rather long and awkward to attach a dozer blade to it.

I banged out a few hatches while waiting for all that silver paint to dry. I really wanted to do one with a driver and found some good bits for one. I used the front from the Chaos Knights from the WFB line as well as a head. The left arm is also from that set but took a little sculpting to make it look like a CSM arm. I love the look of this guy. I intentionally chose a single hatch rather the double hatch for the archaic look of it.

The other driver does not have a gun and that is a massive oversight on my part. Every hatch should have a gun because the Rhino can not support two hatches. They bump into each other and with those spikey bits, forget about it. He'll be useful for the Land Raider but not for the Rhinos.The hatch with no gunner is magnetized to swap between a combi-bolter and flamer. I'll knock out a melta attachment or maybe a plasma one later. I have the combi-melta bit from the Command Upgrade sprue and will paint that with the next Rhino.

That's it. I do not know if I can write anymore about this damn Rhino.


I uploaded a few pictures to Cool Mini or Not to see how my works stacks up and the results are mixed. The rating after 19 votes is 7.5 which is the highest I have ever received. Before this, the highest was a 6.9 with Huron Blackheart. Looking around I am really flattered at the rating and at the same time skeptical. Below are some awesome samples of minis with similar ratings:

Space Wolf with wolf claws 7.5 at time of capture
Good clean Ultramarine Rhino 7.1 at time of capture
Space Wolf Rhino with some pretty good freehand 7.2 at time of capture
Iron Warrior Rhino that looks like a dustball to me 7.6 at time of capture

After looking around, I thought I was hot stuff. Then I looked at specifically Iron Warrior Rhinos and my self-esteem took a hit. It seems that minis with the Forge World upgrades gets a pretty good rating regardless of the paint job. Below are some examples:

Forge World Rhino with more Forge World 7.6 at time of capture
IW Rhino with too much damn yellow 7.2 at time of capture

Cult Rhinos

That finishes all the Rhinos that I plan to do for the Iron Warriors. I want to do one Rhino for each of the Cult Troops with the Forge World front and doors. I'll skip the extra armor due to the fact that each Rhino would cost quite a bit. I want to make each of them really encompass the spirit and personality of the 4 dedicated cult Legions.

But that is a story for another day.


  1. You need the Mega-Dip:
    48 oz of craft paint (the cheap Walmart stuff - 32 of black and 16 of brown gives you a Devlan Mud-like tint)
    4 Gallons distilled water
    1 bottle Future Floor wax (now called Pledge with Future Shine)
    5 Gallon paint bucket
    Stir Stick
    Dishwashing or nitrile gloves (beats sticking your hand in the wash unless you need shading too)

    Mix all in bucket, stir well. Dunk entire model. Let drain to desired shade. Set aside to dry. Viola! Cello! Bass! It's pretty easy, about $40 for all the ingredients and gives an awesome finish.

    The big bucket works awesomely for tanks/terrain/other big stuff. Plus you can slap a lid on it and the stuff keeps forever.

    Rhino looks beautiful, BTW.