Updated: May 23
Mechanicus expeditionary fleet L-05t set out in search of habitable plants almost 80 decades ago. With their mission to find mineral rich worlds, the fleet was code named “Paradise”.
No transmission has ever been received from the expeditionary fleet. They are resigned to the history books as simply ¬¬Paradise Lost¬¬
Armed with the latest technological advancements, “Now that’s what I call Synthwave” 85 and a white labelled copy of No Man’s Sky for training simulations, Paradise Lost still roam the stars in search of their primary objective and a sick beat.
So with a lucky (and incorrectly spelt) Adeptus Mechanicus ebay find, I start my next project. Long have I been collecting Ad Mech stuff, teenage armies being built on servitor models, tech priests and Ork bionic parts. I even have an Adeptus Mechanicus logo tattooed to my left arm and the same logo emblazoned on my cars engine. So you would think when they released the official model range I would have been all over it. Sadly no...
As with so many armies, a lack of conversion ideas, an empty wallet or the wife's watchful gaze prevents me from collecting another. However I finally settled on a theme, I have the spare coin and promised the misses I'll sell the Tau.
Most of my recent evenings spent painting has been to the tune of New Retrowave or Synthwave. It's a genre of music I can't get enough of at the moment and I encourage you to read this blog listening to the below;
It's this awesome reimagined 80's design, fantastic colour palette and inspiration from some of the worlds in No Man's Sky that has given me the direction for my Ad Mech army.
I'm aiming to make the bases brightly coloured too. With palm trees, crystalline structures and this alien grass! Considering these Ad Mech fleets explore uncharted worlds, a real focus on how alien the planet is should work.
I picked up some hexagonal resin crystals from ebay and had planned on just painting the bottom of them white. However after a bit of playing about with them on the bases, I decided it would be best if there was nothing under them at all.
I set about cutting out holes roughly the right shape in the larger bases. Then pushing greenstuff around them and letting the putty cure when the crystals were in place. Once set, the crystals were pushed out and a little bit of super glue was added over the green stuff so it didn't fall off. Once the base is sanded and painted, the crystals can be glued back in place.
With nothing under the crystals, there is a possibility I'll light them up with a tiny battery/LED further down the line.
I also wanted to add some slime/goo to parts of the bases. This was achieved by rolling Milliput into a line and shaping it with a sculpting tool. Small greenstuff bubbles were also added to the slimy parts. Luckily I normally roll left over greenstuff into a ball, this habit finally came in useful here when I cut them in half for the bubbles.
As for a colour scheme for the infantry, I settled on a palette similar to the header image (all the way at the top of this blog) and ordered some fluorescent Vallejo paints. Which over a white under coat are mental!
I played with a few different ideas on where to use these paints, but ultimately settled on the design to the left after a bit of photoshop trial and error.
Hopefully by colour coding the different weapons the Mechanicus use with these fluorescent paints, they'll be easily identifiable on the table top.
I'm thinking blue Arc weapons, green Radium, pink Plasma and orange Phosphor.
As for the painting these figures, individually they're not technically my best. A lot of the model has been left silver, as to not take too much focus away from the neon parts. However as a group I think they stand out quite a bit.
The blue ground was Blue Ink straight over sand. Then dry brushed with a Teclis blue, with a few highlights of Baharroth blue. The slime was a layer of Fulgrim pink, two layers of white, a watered down Warlock Purple (old GW) then finally the Vallejo fluorescent pink. Well technically the gloss varnish is last.
Each of these fluorescent paints are really thin. If you're using them I would suggest painting a pretty solid undercoat of white (a few thin layers). Even still, I added some appropriate washes to each part after the first layer of Vallejo, followed up with some fluorescent highlights.
Well that's the start of the Vanguard done. I have also finished one of the Rangers, mainly to have a painted example of these crystalline bases as soon as it was possible.
The gun lets this model down. I don't want to use golds and not currently sure what else to do with it if I'm honest. I'll leave it for now as good ideas aren't normally forced.
I don't imagine a lot of infantry sized models in the army. Which will give me plenty of opportunity to explore this 80's inspired world on the much larger bases.
Also, cutting out the hole for the crystal was totally worth the effort. This model was just sat on an old phone for the photo. Moving forward I'm defiantly getting tiny LEDs!
As for the crystals themselves, I applied a layer of Tamiya clear blue (x-23). The thinner parts of these resin pieces didn't have enough colour to them originally.
Well I think that's enough done to start this blog. Looking forward to getting more finished.
P.S. are you still listening to Cassetter?
12th of December 2020
Not a massive update this week, work has continued on the Rangers but they're not quite finished yet. However I did find this fish tank scenery the other week. I usually try and avoid plastic plants, as even for a scale model they look fake. However the colours are a perfect match to the alien grass and I thought at the time, if I didn't buy it, I'd kick myself if I ever think of a use for it.
Maybe it can be cut off the stone weight and added to a huge base further down the line.
30th of December 2020
Well these guys seem to have taken the back seat to the McFarlane Marine I'm working on. However the unit of rangers is now done.
Now don't get me wrong, I like the colour scheme on this army and I'm hoping it all comes together with some larger models, but I'm not 100% happy with the troops so far.
To reiterate what I've already written and as cool as they are, these neon paints do not highlight and shade very well. These paints are very thin and heavy in pigment at the same time. White or very light base coat is a must and you cannot use these Vallejo fluorescent paints to cover any errors in your base layer. The finish completely rests on how solid your base coat is. 2 or 3 thin coats off white is advised first.
I have found that a light wash in the correct colour can be applied overtop of the fluorescent layer without completely ruining it. If need be, small highlights with the fluorescent paint can be applied overtop too.
Hopefully in time I learn how to use these neon paints correctly but after recently painting up my Space Marines and really pushing the painting envelope, these models are not technically very well painted.
At some point I need to finish the Tech-Priest Dominus too...
23rd of January 2021
This week I've finished the Tech-Priest Dominus and an old metal Enginseer model that I found within some old Imperial Guard bits. Before I get onto the photos of both of them, I just wanted to say I've recently uploaded a video on what I've learnt so far with this Vallejo Fluorescent paints. You can watch it here.
I'm going to start with a couple of shots from the Dominus base as I have already included pre painted photos of it further up in the blog. I still need to order some mini LEDs and wired these model up property, so far it's just sat on an old phone.
As for the actual Dominus model, I've tried a couple of new techniques like 80's chrome and liquid within the canisters on his back. The latter was also uploaded as a tutorial on my YouTube channel.
The same 80's chrome was also applied to the axe of the Enginseer and his heavy armour also allowed me to clearly demonstrate the colour scheme gradient.
and that's it for now. I don't have anything left in my Mechanicus paint queue!
28th of January 2021
So not a painting update this time, but while I was eating my dinner this evening a thought occurred to me. Would the Vallejo Fluorescent paint glow under blacklight? The answer is yes. Inadvertently this army has just become even more 80's!
Even the grass glows!
Now that I know this, any future models will be layered more constantly with these Vallejo paints as the blacklight really does highly any blemishes in the paint.
The helmets of the Vanguard, which were the first models I painted in this army do not look that impressive under this light. There was a lot of yellows layered while I tried to get a handle on the technique. With only a thin layer of Vallejo yellow applied at the end.
I'll get some more models soon, promise.
20th of March, 2022
Wow it's been a long time since I last gave these guys any attention. After the initial cheap ebay find, I had run out of ideas beyond the luminescent colours. However some point during 2021 I came up with the idea of a Lambo tank. In part this was born out of the mild dislike of the Ad Mech tank chassis. The Skorpius doesn't look that menacing, probably due to the hovercraft looking nature. You just worry it's going to pop!
Instead I wanted a more traditional grav tank/sci fi chassis. Something 80's would be on theme too. Like the Countach. Angular enough to look military but sleek enough to be whizzing through the air? Maybe, well that's what I'm going for.
I must add that I'm not saying this is a Lamborghini converted into a tank. Firstly the model I've picked would be out of scale. No this isn't some Ad Mech meets Mad Max style vehicle conversion, but a large tank chassis this exploratory fleet uses which just happens to bolster the theme by looking like a Lamborghini Countach.
With the explanation out the way I want to start the conversion process and here in lies the reason it's taken me a year to put this idea into practise. The conversion parts have been a nightmare to track down. First up is the chassis itself. I ordered a few diecast model cars to begin with to choose a scale that would be big enough to be a 40k scale battle tank. In the end I settled with 1.24.
Then came the issue of finding a 1.24 Countash model kit that didn't cost the earth. Eventually I won an ebay listing for an Italeri model.
Next up was the anti grav plates. The new Primaris tanks have awesome looking anti grav tech and I set my sights on these for the Lambo tank. Unfortunately again these are very hard to find. A seller in the US seemes to break down Impulsors but with postage added on, it was too much. Eventually however I got lucky. A guy in the UK did the same and broke apart a new Impulsor kit, listing each group of parts separately. I managed to complete the buy-it-now on his grav plate listing.
With two of the main components ticked off I gave the turret some attention. I had originally thought about using the standard Skorpius turret. Problem is it's too round for the Countash chassis. Now an old Predator turret would be awesome as it has a similar boxy feel...
I went back to ebay to see what I could find but there was only one listing for a single unbuilt Predator turret. Needless to say I didn't consider the price it was up for reasonable and accepted that just like the last two parts of this build, I would have to wait.
Luckily in this scenario I'm a spoilt hobbyist with years of stuff collecting dust in the garage and I remembered I had a broken Predator. Once on the conversion table for a looted wagon with a turret untouched.
As for the other conversion parts so far, they where much easier to track down. Gun barrels and the like from the original Skorpius kit. I have even ordered tiny LEDs as I want this model equipped with neon lights underneath.
So many months after having this idea, I finally had the parts to start the build.
First up was fitting the mounting points for the grav plates and luckily enough, it was almost made to fit a Countash. The underside of an Impulsor was cut in half and the front nose of the Countash undercarriage was removed.
Amazingly this slides right inside the main body of the car.
Next up is the turret mount. I could have stuck this part directly on the roof but having it flush with the roof will look much better once done.
After this came the wheel arches. Of course on this model it won't have wheels so the arches would need to be filled in. I reverted back to my favourite source of sheet plastic, ice cream tub lids. 4 panels where cut out, superglued to the inside in preparation for P.38 body filler. Now this might be overkill on account of it being actual car body filler but I had some left over in a half used sachet.
27th of March, 2022
During the week I've not really done much of this model, so this update really just covers what's happened over the weekend.
First up was sanding down that mess of filler so that the wheel arches disappear. It was easy enough but I did take extra care with the body line running the length of the vehicle. I first used a pencil and ruler to mark the line over the filler and then used a hobby knife to score the line in.
As for the actual sanding, it was mostly fine paper finished off with wet n dry.
I then turned my attention to the base of the vehicle and fitting the Grav plates round the body. During this process I realised I needed to cut a space in the rear GW piece for the engine to fit. Would have been easier before I stuck it in place but these projects always rely on a good deal of "winging it".
The wheel arch inners were also cut down to make it easier for the body work to fit over them. This is going to be painted in two halves at least, so it needs to come apart frequently during all stages of the build.
And here's what it's looking like so far...
As for the side sills, well they no longer need to fit over the wheel arches. In fact it's just the right length to fit between the rear bumper and the end of the front grav plates. So the actual wheel arch was removed and the sill and rear bumper will become the same piece.
Green stuff held them together before the milliput was added. It's currently all curing and sanding will begin again in a day or so.
Other than that, I bought some florescent spray paints for the body work and ordered some brass and clear acrylic rods to support the model flying and to act as neon's under the car, with LED's, switches and wires already in the bits pile.
1st of May 2022
Despite a lack of updates in April, it was a fairly busy month and with the majority of the vehicle completed, I turned my attention to the base.
While the standard Skorpius is assumed to float just about the ground, my tank will skim the battlefield several feet in the air. Mainly to show of the neon's. To support this, I set about creating a palm tree with a central brass rod to take the weight. The tree itself would need to be hollow to hide the wiring and I sculpted a series of palm segments on progressively smaller items such as pen lids. The aim is for the wires to come up from under the base, through the tree and into the underside of the tank.
Also on the base was the foundations for a large Crystal (which will light up) and a tactical rock hiding the switch and battery. The Rock was built out of plasticard, sprue and miliput and once the main body of the rock was set, cling film was rested over it and the lid sculpted. This meant the top of the rock fits exactly but didn't stick together while the putty cured.
Next up was to add the swampy pink goo the infantry already had on their bases and I also built the base up using plaster. To ensure this didn't spill over the edges, I lined the base with sticky tape and brushed in plaster where it was needed.
Once set, the tape can be peeled off and the plaster sanded back. I ended up using some filler on the edges of the base to cover the plaster as I didn't think it was wise leaving fragile plaster as the edge of a base. The rest of the base however was covered in PVA to "seal" the plaster before another layer of glue was added to sick the sand.
Just need to be sprayed and wired now. To complete the palm, I managed to find a suitably colourful fish tank palm tree which will donate it's foliage... More on that later.
As for the tank, I ordered some holographic nailart foil to line the inside of the windscreen. I assume the Ad Mech have some sort of refractor field in place of glass here. Just need to figure out how to stick this foil to the clear plastic windscreen.
I also ensured the tank was ready for the LED's by drilling appropriate holes for wires and placing small sections of brass tube for lights. I want the LED's to be directional and not just light up the area they're in.
You'll also notice a rocket battery added to the turret and the tank commander. Just a bits mash-up of Skitarii ranger parts and Imperial guard tank crew.
Tomorrow I break out the soldering iron...
22nd of May, 2022
Rolling a lot of updates into one here. Wiring has been done, hell the whole model is done now but I'll start with the circuitry.
Technically I completed what I set out to do originally but not what I came up with along the way. The model does have a light up crystal on the base and glowing neon's under the car (tank). However there was not enough juice in the battery to power the head and brake lights. This was the first time I've ever wired up a model so there were some lessons learnt.
Once the wiring was done, I set about painting the model. This was actually a very quick process in the end. Much like most of this army, the paint job is all about style and not substance. These are not the best painted models in my collection. They do however grab attention in different ways.
For the body work the model was first primed white. Then sprayed florescent yellow from the top. Turned over when dry and sprayed flo orange from the bottom. Once that was done, a little more white spray at the very edges of the bottom, finished off with flo magenta.
Next up was the windscreen. I had considered painting it along with the bodywork, as if it was just another part of the armour. However I couldn't pass up on adding another element to the whole thing. As I believe I mentioned earlier on, I ordered some holographic nail foil and stuck this to the inside of the clear plastic using 'Ard coat (pot not spray) and once dry, I could cut away the excess foil. I assume the Ad Mech have mastered some kind of force shield here to protect the crew and allow for full battlefield visibility.
There isn't a huge amount extra to comment on in relation to the paint work, but I did make use of the kits Lambo transfers and chrome exhaust pieces. Oh and I also might have relied heavily on fish tank scenery for the base. Does it notice?
There we have it. I struggled for 80's inspired units for this army for a while, but now? It practically screams New Retrowave.
Next up is some robot dinos. Seemed appropriately Mechanicus and 80's. Well based on the cartoons that used to air in the 80's.