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This thread (or at least, this post) will probably have a great deal of content to it. I'm going to end up talking a lot about the modelling aspect of GK's, but it's not all directly pertaining to that sort of thing, or I'd put it in a different forum. I figured the a larger amount of DH players would read this if I put it here - I'm going to be talking about some conversion ideas, some painting ideas, and some playing ideas. A lot of this is not only for discussion, but for my future reference as well, as I tend to have a terrible memory about particular conversion ideas. There's a lot of points in this where I ask for opinions and feedback from you, and while I know that I won't get an answer to everything, any sort of ideas contribution is worth it's weight in gold. I appreciate questions answered. If you are illiterate or just generally scared of large blocks of text, now would be a good time to turn back.
I've found myself recently with a lot of time on my hands - I've just had back surgery, and unfortunately, the healing process for that involves a whole lot of nothing but laying around and being a potato. I'm not generally inclined to do that sort of thing, and I have an even harder time keeping away from my paints and hobby tools, so in the mean time I am forced to sit here and plan. It's not all that terrible, aside from the fact that I think I've looked at everything on the internet twice by now. I've literally combed through the past hundred pages or so of posts/threads in this particular forum at random just trying to establish the foundations for a proper GK force in my head, and I figured now I'd turn it around and start discussing some things. Please understand that any pictures you see linked below are not mine and should not be inferred so, but are merely displayed for allegorical purposes.
Let's start with a couple thoughts.
I play Orks, and I've always been enamored by the Grey Knights if only for their models. In my experiences, Orks have always been.. well, I don't know about competetive, but very freeform. Perhaps forgiving is the word I'm looking for - I win most of my games with my Orks, but a lot of it is just sheer dumb luck and dicing. My original thoughts for my Grey Knights army were that I'll keep playing my Orks for when I just want to have a good head-bashin' time of a game, but try and keep a competetive GK list as well for when I want to buckle down and have a serious game with some of my opponents. Of course, this was the general theory - I've since discovered that a 'competetive' Daemonhunters list is rather subjective, and that some of the time allies and smart tactics are what's needed to win the day. I wonder if anyone could show me a tournament-winning list of Daemonhunters? I haven't found anything in my brief search.. it'd be interesting to see the most effective lists.
I almost appreciate the fact that the Grey Knights require a bit more of a tactical finesse than the Orks - having a bit more experience with general strategy would provide a more entertaining game than 'Look! A 'umie! Let's klobber em!'. However, 40k is still a game of dice, and I get the feeling that no matter how well you plan, coordinate, or strategize, those D6 dice gods will always have the final say in how the game goes. I think that's one little feature WHFB has going for it over 40k - however, I'm not going to wander off on that tangent for now.
In any event, I'm now working on getting my modelling, painting, and playing ideas together for my Grey Knights. I have a side of me that's very much into showmanship - I generally work on my Orks a tremendous amount so that I'm awarded with some individuality and unique units that I have more fun playing than just stock-and-painted minis. Really, a large part of the hobby for me, at least, is the actual creation of these miniatures - I like to make things that make people stop, stare, and ask questions. It's just part of my attitude towards the game.
The Grey Knights are complicating that sentiment for me a bit. Now, don't get me wrong - the stock models are gorgeous, and some of the best that GW's made, but I can't remember the last time Grey Knights were featured in something like White Dwarf all that prominently in an army highlight or the likes as they all tend to look similar... whereas chaos armies, for example, come in a variety of flavors that can be worked upon. My urge to tinker, modify, and convert things can't quite be surpressed, even with such lovely models, so my mind starts to wander and consider what sort of options I have to make my force stand out and catch some eyes.
The upside to the Grey Knights for my converting side is that the model count is very low - meaning I can devote however much time I need to, per unit, to get things done. It's a lot easier to fully glorify a squad of grey knights than a squad of 30 orks, in my estimation. However, the actual methods of making them stand out are what have been concerning me the most.
The first point I've been having a hard time with is the actual color of the Grey Knights. This seems somewhat oxymoronic - as grey knights, the answer's right infront of me. However, this doesn't mesh well with my indvidualistic side - I want something different. I've seen Grey Knights come in a lot of colors - some worked beautifully, and some.. well, not quite so much. Orange, purple, greens... They're nice, but they seem somewhat demeaning to the archaic nature of the Grey Knight's overall design theme. The blues, grays, blacks, and metallics, however, hold a certain appeal to them, and I'm drawn more towards those colors despite the fact that they're more common.
I consider myself a reasonably good painter. With something like Grey Knights, where I can take an indefinite amount of time painting each miniature, I want to get a solid scheme down for them that looks as majestic as the armor deserves. So for these past few days, I've been considering my Grey Knight's color options. I've made a few small, definitive decisions on the actual armor, but I can't quite resolve the base color idea in my head.
I know I want to do robes and cloth in a vibrant red with a bit of gold filigree - it seems to work well with the overall appearance of the Grey Knight's armor design. I also know that the script that is carved into each Grey Knight's armor (like the shoulders on the terminators, or around the knees on PAGK) will most likely be done in a gold color as well, just to make them vibrantly stand out. I also want to do their eyes in a bluish color - but we'll talk more about that particular feature a little farther in.
As to the actual base color of the armor, I can't make up my mind. These are the options I'm considering:While we're on the subject of base coats, and mostly to satisfy my curiosity, what sort of primer do you all use? I've almost always ever worked with a Black primer, but I'm wondering if a neutral gray primer wouldn't be a good foundation for.. well, grey knights, to begin with.
Gleaming Plate. This meshes really nicely with the heroic appearance of the Grey Knights in general. My only aversion to doing this is that.. it's very standard, thematically. It may come to the point where I've converted enough of the rest of the miniature where I don't have a problem painting it up in this sort of color. Granted, this does look to be fairly nice - and I even have a step-by-step tutorial for it. More than anything, I love the reds and golds of this piece - they're very vibrant, and I want to carry that over to my GK's.
Dark Gray. I like the imposing look of the armor that this creates, and I think that this particular picture executed the dark gray armor perfectly - any darker, and it'd start to look like a Templar or Deathwatch, in my opinion. There's something to be said for this approach - Thomas Schadle's Grey Knights (Seen here at minivault) also fit into this general approach. I like the look of it, but I can't quite sell myself to it, at least not yet. This was actually almost how the Grey Knights were first displayed in the old Index Astartes... What do you guys think of this sort of approach?
Blue-gray. I have mixed feelings about this - while the blue provides it with a bit more of a steely look, it starts to overlap into Space Wolf territory in terms of colors, and I don't know if I like it - sometimes when I see it executed, it turns out being a bit too blue and ruins the look for me. The slight tint can really help make it pop, though.
There are other color options that I'm not entirely interested in. Most of the Grey Knights I've seen in person have been Boltgun and Mithril Silver with a blue ink wash - the effect is great for a tabletop quality miniature, but I always tend to want to take things one step further. I've seen red armor enviously executed, as well as a myriad of other colors, but I think I'm going to be picking from the three listed above... I'm just having trouble settling on one in particular.
Anyway, I've been considering my options with this. I have no doubt that some of these paint schemes are above my ability to execute, but I am speaking from an idealized viewpoint at the moment that suggests that I have basically however much time I want to paint and repaint these minis until they're well above Tabletop quality, due to their sparseness in numbers. Until today, I was planning on going the gleaming plate approach, but then I saw that lovely dark grey terminator and my mind began to reconsider... Which led me to this idea.
Let's say I field both Grey Knights in Power Armor and Grey Knight Terminators. I'm thinking that I might do the GKs in PA up with the gleaming plate approach, and leave the Terminators a darker gray. I can't quite picture the unified army on the table using this two-tone approach, though. Has anyone ever seen something similar to this? I imagine it'd make the Terminators look much more imposing than their Powered Armored bretheren, but it might also be like apples and oranges on the table, aesthetically.
I also think I'm going to run Stormtroopers with my GK's, and they'll probably be primarily black-armored, so perhaps that isn't such a terrible choice...
In any event, I've said about as much as I think can be on the topic of the armor's base colors. Let's move on to a different idea.
In the vein of having a unique and memorable army, I've been considering my options with the Grey Knights for conversions. Aside from reposing them, which is a possibility I've been entertaining for a while now, it seems to me like there are three paricular outlets for making the Grey Knights unique.More seals! More scripture! This is the general approach I've had recommended to me time and time again, and it seems like an easy way out, honestly. While I do intend on adding a bit of extra decoration to these models, I can't let that carry the full weight of my converting.I'm a fan of lit models in general - I plan on doing some lighting work to my GK dreadnought, as well as a Land Raider (once I acquire one, that is). I think it adds a particular dimension to a model that wasn't there before.
Their Force Weapons. The codex basically gives DH players the rights to run wild with conversions on these, and I'm considering the implications of this. I like the halberds a good deal, but for the sake of variety I'd probably change the general weapon shape of a few of my Grey Knights just to keep things varied. I don't like the idea of a NFW hammer, though, like in the Grey Knight novels, as it'd be too easy to mix up with a Thunder/Daemonhammer and probably not worth the effort. Instead, I had an interesting idea I'd like some feedback on: Flaming blades. I've seen a number of different colors and takes on the Force Weapons, from having lightning painted on the blades to painting them with Object Source Lighting. What I'm instead thinking is that I could simply greenstuff flames coming off each of the blades and paint it as such, in a sort of implication that the force weapons are made of righteous fire. From a fluff and gaming standpoint, how does this idea stand? I don't think I've ever seen it done before on Grey Knights, and I think it's one of those little details that would distance my force from a normal GK army.
Their eyes. This is an idea I'm really excited about, and have been working on properly learning how to do. I have a vision in my mind of my entire army, arranged on the table, with their eyes lit up and projecting a powerful glow. Allow me to demonstrate: here. By utilizing small, surface-mount LEDs, it is possible to rig the interior of a Grey Knight with a switch that will illuminate their eyes. Now, this is a lot harder than it sounds - the GKs, being almost all one big metal piece, are not as particularly accomodating to this idea as plastic models. However, I know it can be done with a lot of labor: see here. Done by the same fellow as the Necrons - I'm using his pictures without permission, but I'm hoping he doesn't mind so much, as they are a spectacular illustration to the possibilities behind this idea. I'm thinking that I'm going to go with the blue LEDs - I'm probably going to be trying to do this to my HQ units first, as they're bigger and multiple parts.
Other than those three ideas, I'm stuck for inspiration regarding these troops. I can't think of many more fundamental changes that can be made to the GKs without simultaneously going against the overall army's embellished gothic stylings.
Now, I want to take the chance to discuss a few particular units of interest that I plan on making, and get some feedback regarding their construction. The first and foremost of this is my HQs - I'll probably be running an Inquisitor Lord around in smaller games with a retinue just for a change of pace, and a Brother Captain or GM, depending on total points value the rest of the time.
Again, nothing satisfies me more than unique models. With that said, I've been working on the general design of my GK Hero, and I'd like some feedback to the ideas.
I've seen a handful of Grey Knight Heroes based upon Marneus Calgar's Torso and Legs, and I did enjoy the juggernaut-esque look to them. It's a pretty straightforward conversion - get the legs and torso, assemble. Remove the Ultramarines iconography from the legs. Find a suitable head, tack on two GK termie arms, and you're in business. The arms are what's giving me a bit of trouble - I was originally planning on decking the HQ model out with a halberd/sword on one arm and a GK termie psycannon arm on the other, but I have since been informed that giving the GK Hero a Psycannon isn't always the best choice... In any event, I'm not sure if I should be giving him a Psycannon arm that I call a Stormbolter and pay for as a Stormbolter most games is fair, or if I need to strictly adhere to WYSIWYG purposes and put a normal Stormbolter termie arm on there. What's my best bet for arming this fella? Please note that I'm not interested in making magnetized conversions - whichever arm I end up picking and going with is going to be heavily converted to properly mesh it with Calgar's torso, so it's not going to be the sort of thing you can just unplug and swap. Feedback on this is greatly appreciated.
If anything, I imagine the GK hero will be easy to light as he is in multiple pieces, so he'll probably end up being my prototype.
I'm clearly going to be taking a lot of GK in Power Armor. They're just the staple diet of any DH army, and rightly so.. but I'm saddened by the fact that a lot of the time, Terminators get overlooked. It would seem to me that a Terminator Squad pumping out full-range psycannon shots is a very desirable thing, but I see very few army lists actually trying this. Am I severely handicapping myself in gameplay terms by taking Terminators over regular GKs in PA?
At what point does it become worthwhile to invest in more psycannons, instead of more GKs in PA? Each Psycannon is essentially one extra marine.. and most army lists I've seen squeeze as many of the in there as they can manage and leave special weapons at home. I understand the Stormbolter's a magnificent weapon to begin with, but when does the Psycannon finally come into use? About the only time I ever see it consistently handed out is to a shooty solo Inquisitor or shooty Inq. Lord.
I understand that there's no golden rule for this - against something like an ork choppa, I'd rather be losing a GK in PA than a Terminator any day as the extra armor isn't any help, so you have to adapt based on your opponents.. but at what point does taking a Terminator seem like an optimal idea?
I've also been considering taking a Sisters of Battle ally with my forces. As it stands, I'm more in favor of SoBs than Guard simply because I like the fact that they're exotic and still fill roles that the GK's can't - particularly, I find myself drawn to the Seraphim, as they seem to be capable jump troops that are far more mobile than the GK's and reasonably good tank hunters. I don't know if I understand something correctly, though - as I read the rules for Seraphim, it seems like after an assault they're able to 3d6 their way away from whatever it was they were fighting. Does this, in theory, mean that I could land next to a Space Marine Land Raider, melta-bomb it into the ground, and fly away before the enemy got a chance to turn his wrath on the small unit? What would be the appropriate size for a purely tank hunting Seraphim force? I don't want to go too small, as I could use them as a quick and easy table capturing unit if it came down to it and if they're reduced under half, they can't fulfill that role as well.. but they're almost as expensive as the Grey Knights themselves! I've also had a Dominion squad recommended to me in an Immolator, but I think I like the Seraphim better - if I'm trying to get meltas up to a Land Raider, I think the Seraphim can better manipulate the terrain and cover
I'm starting to run out of steam here. I think I'll take a break for now and pick up on this a little later. I just want to wrap this up for now saying that, while I have typed a lot, I appreciate you reading it, and any sort of feedback to the ideas above would be spectacular. I know it's a lot to sift through but it took me a while to type out, and I'm just confined to my bed with nothing to do, so I'd appreciate some answers and discussion.
This is an excellent post on modelling GK. Well done, I will sticky it.
Absolutely beautiful. As a new GK player, your ideas and enthusiasm are inspiring. Keep it flowing, man.
Last edited by rattler; September 8th, 2006 at 12:22.
It is great to see that you have really researched your options here, before investing too much time and money into it.
Oh, and get well soon.
It's worth a krak!
Very cool post, and plenty of good ideas. Just thought I would give you my thoughts on some of your ideas, though not many because I'm on my lunch break from work
Grey Knight Termies and psycannons: In my opinion the reason people tend not to take psycannons in a termie squad is because you can only take one (2 if you pay for one from wargear for the brother captain). Most of the time you want the your temries in assault, and the psycannon is useless there. Worse, it takes away a power weapon.
In fact, psycanons generally detract from squads in this way. When paying for them on PAGK's your paying for 1 more shot (admitedly it is str 6), but again sacrificing an assault attack from true grit, and 6" range (unless you plan to keep you PAGK's still, which is a bad idea IMHO). The only way I personaly take psycannons is on Inquisitors or, in a large game, in a pergation squad.
Thats all from me now, but I'll try to post some more thoughts later. Good luck with the army plans!
A little unexpected, but thanks. I might get some more answers this way.Originally Posted by Lord YossanrionNo biggie. It's a lot to respond to, anything helps.Originally Posted by windbourneJust from a gaming standpoint, though, getting your terminators in assault isn't always a viable option. Case in point: Orks. Those choppas will cut your save to a 4+, and there's always enough Orks to survive the first round of assault, if you're playing against footsloggers. Is it really that bad to gear a bit more shooty? Or is this really decided more on a per-opponent basis?Grey Knight Termies and psycannons: In my opinion the reason people tend not to take psycannons in a termie squad is because you can only take one (2 if you pay for one from wargear for the brother captain). Most of the time you want the your temries in assault, and the psycannon is useless there. Worse, it takes away a power weapon.I understand the desire not to include them on the Grey Knights in Power Armor - they don't get the range the Terminators do, and it does deprive them of a power weapon, so this all makes sense. I like the idea of the Inquisitor running around and gunning with the Psycannon, partly because it opens me up to using Assassins, which are a great deal of fun in an otherwise static army list.In fact, psycanons generally detract from squads in this way. When paying for them on PAGK's your paying for 1 more shot (admitedly it is str 6), but again sacrificing an assault attack from true grit, and 6" range (unless you plan to keep you PAGK's still, which is a bad idea IMHO). The only way I personaly take psycannons is on Inquisitors or, in a large game, in a pergation squad.
This statement is wrong. A terminator with a psycannon still has his NFW. A PAGK with a psycannon does lose the NFW. I think you mixed them up.windbourne. Most of the time you want the your temries in assault, and the psycannon is useless there. Worse, it takes away a power weapon.
Why use science and education when ignorance and superstition will work just as well.
Let's talk Nemesis Force Weapons for a minute.
I just finished reading the Grey Knights novel, which is a fairly interesting read. I do, of course, realize that it's just a novel - if one squad of Grey Knights could kick nearly as much ass as they do in these books, they'd be 1,000 points easy. However, I did notice a couple of things, one of which was that there's a member of the Grey Knights squad that carries around a Nemesis Force Weapon in the shape of a hammer.
While this is an interesting idea, I'm hesitant to do it for a couple of reasons. Primarily, I don't want to cause any confusion with WYSIWYG rules - this weapon could be misconstrued as a Daemonhammer, Thunderhammer, or otherwise not interpreted visually as a normal Nemesis Force Weapon due to it's rarity. I'm trying to consider, presently, what my options are for converting their Nemesis Force Weapons into something a little more unique.
I'd be interested in seeing variations on the Nemesis Force Weapon design - specifically, alternative shapes and varieties of these weapons. I can picture perhaps something along the lines of a battleaxe or scythe being a possibility. I've always really liked the stormbolter-in-force-weapon design that the earlier Grey Knight models had, and that the Custodes also have - something like this. I'll probably end up converting them in that fashion regardless of the fact that they have the stormbolter mounted in their gauntlet, just to give them some extra visual appeal. There's actually a few photos of how to do it on GW's site here, so it should be easy enough. Of course, when I see that article I'm tempted to go ahead and try and make a Custodes force myself. :shifty: But that's another matter!
Edit: This would appear to be the Halberd wielded by the older, OOP terminators, yet I can't quite make out if the bolter is actually incorporated or if it's simply the technological adornments on the haft. I may have to order a couple of these anyway - it'd be cool to have one or two Grey Knights modelled in prayer with their weapon stuck in the ground in front of them.
As I mentioned earlier, part of the ideas I've had concerning these weapons involve replacing or converting their normal halberd blades - I think with a little greenstuff along the back edge of the weapon, you could easily paint them up as 'flaming' blades, which would mesh well with the concept that they're a manifestation of the GK's psychic energy. I've never seen this done before on Grey Knights in particular - has anyone? I'm wondering if I'd have to remove and replace the whole blade with one made of sheet styrene for the proper effect or if I could simply start sculpting tails of Greenstuff on the back of the blade and let the paint do the rest.
I've also been considering other options. As my Grey Knight Hero is very.. noticable.. compared to the other Grey Knights, since his model is based off Calgar, I've been considering extending my lighting options from not simply his eyes to his force weapon as well - it would be an interesting challenge to try and make it glow. Moreso if I used him as a Grey Knight Grand Master, I think, as they are the ones that actually utilize the full potential of these weapons, right? The general theory: remove the blade from a Grey Knight's Sword (I'm going to go with a sword on this, as the halberd is probably harder to hide everything in). Find some clear sheet plastic - such as sheet styrene, or even something like a CD case would work (though it would be considerably fragile!) Cut a new blade to shape, and using fine-grit sandpaper, sand down the edges of the blade so you get a taper. The sandpaper has an additional effect - it serves to 'cloud' the clear plastic, making it diffuse light instead of transparent. Get a small surface-mount LED, or perhaps even a fiber-optic cable leading from the body down the arm, and mount it in the hand at the hilt of the sword... Then reattach the sword. Theoretically (at least, in my head), the force weapon should then illuminate once power is provided to the light. It'd be a pretty awesome effect, though perhaps one reserved only for the HQ of the army.
Any ideas or feedback to these ideas or the first post? I'd appreciate some additional discussion from the rest of Ordo Malleus.
Last edited by Ein; September 4th, 2006 at 01:40.
Yuo've got some awesome ideas and, as a wannabe DH player, I'm psyched about the prospect of painting and modeling such an amazing army.
I have some ideas for you:
As far as LED's to light their eyes. You mentioned using celophane or thick plastic. Do a google search for Rosco Gels. These are the square coloured gels theatres use on their lighting. You can get one of two types; Rosco, a thinner and less expensive variety, or Rosco Lux, a thicker more resilient type. Since your LED will be so close to the openning of the helmet a Rosco Lux will best help to diffuse the light. Also you can get a blue gel to enhance the color. Lastly, the thick Lux gel will help to hide the hotspot of the filament so that there isn't a bright spot in your visor. It may even be possible to cobine three or four Lux gels and make the shell of a sword and then place a light at the base. My only caveat could be to make sure your model doesn't end up looking like something that belongs more on a Christmans tree than on a 40K table.
Paint jobs! I read your post several times and I think I detect a little trepidation at the three choices you've limited yourself to as far as paint (Grey, Silver, and Blue steel). I would like to offer my suggestions.
1) Gold? Maybe only for the GK Hero...
2) A Heraldric pattern, although this may be over done.
3) Ivory, which could include some nice scroll work or designs in a slightly darker ivory tone (like aged Ivory)
and my favourite...
4) Mother of Pearl. You can buy Iridescent, Duochrome, Pearlescent, and interference trype acrylic paints for some AWESOME effects. Do a Google search for Luminescent acrylic paint for some suppliers.
AAH! I'm stuck in flippin' Iraq and I can't paint GK's iridescent colours!!!! That would be so cool. Anyway, good luck with your project! Hope my input helps a little.
As to the LEDs: I was planning on using a medium like hot glue to actually use as a light diffuser, but your method may work better. I've not actually lit a miniature before in this manner, so it will end up being mostly trial and error, I think.
I'd love to see the last two color suggestions done, even on a non-grey-knight mini, just so I get an idea of what that would look like.
I probably wouldn't touch gold unless I was doing a Custodes force, as they're the ones associated with that color in my mind. I've seen it done, though, and the effect is nice, but not one I think I'm going to pursue.