Deathwatch Blackstar - Showcase and a dislike of painting vehicles

I detest painting vehicles. I don't paint them often, which may be part of the problem, but there is something about their demand for smoothly painted plates and crisp edges, not to mention the large areas of metal work requiring attention that just doesn't click with me. When I built my Deathwatch Blackstars last year I thought that as they looked cool and were fairly simple builds that I might enjoy painting them. I was wrong.

A Blackstar, barely contained by my photo box.

At the start of January I decided to get involved with the Unpainted Armies Anonymous group on Facebook. The idea is that each game system - 40k, Warmahordes, Gates of Antares etc - has an army building layout, spread between 1 and 6. In 40k, that's 1- HQ, 2- Troops, 3- Elite, 4- Fast Attack, 5- Heavy Support, 6- Lord of War. For January, a 4 was rolled, meaning everyone in the group selected their army for whatever system and picked up No 4. For me, picking 40k this month, it meant Fast Attack, which is a slot I own relatively few units for. The Blackstars were one, so those were the chosen victims.

It quickly became apparent after a few airbrush fails that two was one too many to handle, so I dropped down to the lone bird and attacked it by hand. You'd think painting a black plane primed black would be simple, but not when you get it into your head that you don't want it completely black, but Necro Grey instead, with highlights edging up to Rlyeh Grey and Fenrisian Fenris Space Wolf Grey.

The most fun I had on the paint job was a happy hour or so sploshing inks onto the thrusters (back and under the wings) and onto the lascannons. I wasn't sold on the black finish the initial wash gave them so they got liberal helpings of Inktense Black, Chestnut, Wood, Blue and Purple before I was happy with the finish.

I missed the deadline (last Sunday) for completing the project by a few days thanks to a shin injury that made sitting at the painting table uncomfortable and a weekend trip to York for Vapnartak show on deadline day but it was finished up on Tuesday, in which time a second successive 4 was rolled for the group. This could have been the chance to finish up the second Blackstar, but I couldn't bring myself to paint up another vehicle so soon, so you'll have to wait and see where I decide to go with it.

The base was simple enough - done in the same way as my Dusk Raider bases in using Vallejo Sandy Paste and Scale75 Rough Paste with some extra stones to break up the open areas a little.

While writing this, I feel it might be coming across as a little negative in tone as I didn't really enjoy painting the Blackstar. With that aside, it's still a lovely model - one of my favourite vehicle models that GW have released thus far and it was a useful exercise to undertake in getting me out of my comfort zone of painting single figures and infantry. It also takes me ~200 points closer to a completed Imperial army, which is a nice thought. The sheer amount of time I had to put into getting smoothish looking plating was fairly depressing as there was minimal signs of progress throughout, but I guess that's what you get for trying to paint not-black over black.

The underside was kept simple, seeing as it's the underside, and not massively likely to be seen often.

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