Project Log – Crimson Hunter

My latest project has been taking me a bit of time and effort to get going, so I wanted to share an in progress report.

Although I have yet to upload many of the photos I have taken of individual models – blame it on lack of proper photography equipment and a general dissatisfaction with the resulting pictures – my primary involvement in the 40k hobby is painting. I am sure it comes as a big surprise, pardon the sarcasm, considering I have noticed a particular trend that feminine-types often occupy the painting-sphere and I have heard plenty lamenting guys who wish their feminine significant other would play more. Instead of telling the tale of my 40k gaming experiences before I have a sufficiently helpful battle report – the last game I played was woefully one-sided – I have a painting project that I am dying to share. I wish I would have thought of it before I had gotten halfway through, but I will try to fill in the details where my pictures are lacking.

Behold, a Biel-Tan Crimson Hunter.

Crimson Hunter Overall

Before you say it, yes, I am aware that GW thinks Crimson Hunters should be all red. My own idea of how the Eldar army colors work disagrees. Aspect Warriors have colorful equipment, but all vehicles are Craftworld colors. To compound things, red is about the worst color an aircraft could be unless we are all fighting for control of the Mars airspace. So, my Crimson Hunter does have a red flight-suit but the aircraft is a more appropriate green with a grey underbelly.

Beyond that, this is one of the few projects I have done a lot of work to connect to something outside of just the realm of 40k, and although a lot of the details that I intend to add are not yet present, I am working to give the aircraft a story and appearance inspired by the Russian 588th Night Bomber Regiment. Also known as the “Night Witches,” the 588th was a Regiment of all women pilots that flew canvas and plywood planes more commonly used in crop-dusting and training exercises and terrified the German army. They were so despised that any German pilot that shot one down was automatically awarded an Iron Cross, not that it was easy. The planes the ladies flew had a maximum speed slower than the stall speed of the German planes, so their greatly increased maneuverability made them difficult to target. They were amazing and unfortunately are not particularly well-known.

Anyway, since the 588th had a tendency of painting flowers on their planes and since I have already toyed with the idea (one of my Wave Serpents has a rose on the side), I figured that was something I could add. I started off making sketches of the flowers on regular paper and then cutting them out. It makes transferring the design onto the irregular surface of the model easier for me.

Paper Sketch of Flower Trio

Paper Sketch of Flowers with Buds for Nose Art

This second set kept trying to rip, so I ended up using some clear tape to hold it together.

Then I trace the outline in pencil before following the outline in a neutral color paint (grey in this case since the flowers will be white and red). Once the paint outline was in place I completed the shading on the green portions of the plane since any screw ups could more easily have been fixed on simple gradient shading than on the multi-colored, multi-layered flowers. Then I filled in the grey (besides the green stem areas) to give myself a nice starting base.

Then comes the task of doing the flowers. I have a preference for thinning my paints a lot and working in many, overlapping layers, somewhat like watercolors. This particular set of flowers, I started with the cream (I think Pallid Wych Flesh) edges before working through a light red (Evil Suns Scarlet) into a darker red (Khorne Red) towards the center, which got a few layers of black. To blend everything back together, I used a very thin layer of the cream color and went over most of the white, cream, grey, and red sections.

Finished Flower Trio on Crimson Hunter Wing

I like to leave the plate lines the color of the main body of the plane (or darker) although I do not really have a particular reason. It is just my preference. I have also painted the blisters black in preparation for gem-toning. I have a tendency of doing all blisters I can find as gems – my wraith models particularly are covered in gens and the husband nick-named them the “Confetti ‘Guard.”

Flying Base with Center Cut Away

The last thing I worked on, out of boredom mostly, was the base. My army’s theme is a snow-covered swamp or marsh, so I often break out part of the base to make an indent that can later be filled with clear epoxy resin. With part of it gone, the base then needs a new bottom; I have been using cardboard inserts that come in my cats’ canned food boxes. You could also use cereal box, facing the glossy side up towards the model since all of it will get covered in paint and basing materials.

I will do my best to post further updates as the project comes along.

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