Featured Post

Project: Desert Astra Militarum #1

It's been a case of all-hobby, no-bloggy for the last few months. The new edition of 40k has reinvigorated my motivation to build a...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

WIP: Astra Militarum Taurox Conversion #4

The bad news is that my second painting attempt has failed, the good news is that it has not upset me anywhere near as badly as the first failed attempt did a couple of weeks ago.

This second failure has instead taught me that my planned approach to painting the Taurox, and indeed all my other Astra Militarum vehicles, is simply not going to work. And with that certainty, I am free to abandon the plan and try something else.

So what happened? It all went to shit in the Quickshade phase, again. I tried to implement the drill-dip method that worked so well on my Eldar Jetbike but it didn't work nearly as well on the Taurox. The problem was that the Taurox, like most plastic vehicle kits, is essentially hollow. I drilled up into the underside of the Taurox but there was just not enough material inside to snag the drill bit and allow me to spin the model at high speed.

I was creative with my Quickshade application method too. Last time I tried to Quickshade the Taurox, I left a lot of unsightly brush marks. This time, I poured my thinned Quickshade into a cheap, squeezy plastic ketchup bottle, and used that to squirt the Quickshade all over the model for a brush mark-free finish.

This application method actually worked very well, and I might try it again in future. But the Quickshading was ultimately a failure once more for a few reasons:

  • Being unable to rapidly spin the model with the drill, I had to do a lot of blotting excess wash with a brush, which takes time
  • There is a very narrow window of time in which you can spin/blot/wipe away excess wash before it starts staining the paint and leaving tide marks
  • I did this outside on a nice cool, overcast morning, and literally as soon as the Quickshade hit the model the sun burned through the clouds and raised the temperature by several degrees
I can't just blame the weather, and the hollow nature of the model was the primary factor in this failure. The drill-dip method is just not going to work for the Taurox. Without some way to quickly disperse excess Quickshade, it will leave a splotchy finish on all those light-coloured, flat surfaces that I just do not like.

So what next? I've decided that I'm not going to try a third attempt, it's just not worth the time, effort and grief. Instead, I'm going to completely change the colour scheme to something more compatible with Quickshade.

My infantry have green armour and bone fatigues. It's meant to represent a regiment with standard-issue Cadian-pattern equipment hastily redeployed to a desert environment; it would be easy enough for them to switch out their fatigues to a more camouflage-appropriate colour, but it's a lot harder to repaint all their hardware. Fluff-wise it makes sense, and the muted green/bone colour scheme is a nice compromise between camouflage colours and visual impact through contrast. I like this colour scheme.

I painted my Void Shield Generator to match my Astra Militarum army. It's green. I applied the same weathering techniques and Quickshade as I've tried on the Taurox. It looks good.


I shouldn't blame my wife, it's really not her fault. But I will. I was going to paint my vehicles green, when she said, "they shouldn't be green in the desert". It made sense. I changed my plan. I should have been my usual stubborn self...

So I will be painting my Astra Militarum vehicles green. Elements of the stowage (bedrolls, camo netting, etc.) will be painted bone to tie them in to my infantry, and Quickshade on small, textured bone areas looks really good. Most importantly, any blotchy patches of Quickshade on flat green surfaces just looks like grime, and adds to the weathering. On a bone coloured model it looks like messy painting.

I think I'll be leaving the Taurox alone for a while. I may not even try to salvage the kit; it suffered a fair few breakages in its first stripping, will probably suffer some more in its second stripping, and it now has a hole drilled into its undercarriage.

I've also decided that I just don't like the Victoria Miniatures wheel kit either—it's just way too fragile, I can tell it's not going to survive actual use in 40k games. So I've placed an order with Zinge Industries for a few of their APC Conversion Kits.

The Zinge kit has a suspension assembly very similar to what the stock Taurox track units would be mounted on, and it looks much more robust than the Victoria kit. Some comments on my earlier Taurox posts also recommended the Zinge kit as being much easier to assemble than the Victoria kit, which will be most welcome. It also includes extra stowage bits, glass for all the viewports (that I plasticard'd) and alternative exhaust assemblies. I quite like the stock Taurox exhaust assemblies, but I want to add the Zinge bits to my wheeled Chimeras which have no engine exhausts at all!

Back to the painting table!


  1. The quick shade disasters is terrifying to me. That's also a varnish as well right? So quite a bear to remove when it all goes south.

    Go info on the victoria kit. What's so fragile with it?

  2. Yeah once the Quickshade goes on, there is no salvaging the model without total paint-stripping :(

    The problems with the Vic kit is that it's (a) very difficult to assemble, and (b) very fragile once assembled. All the mechanical stress is concentrated on six small cross-section, flat-resin-on-flat-resin contact points. The undercarriage broke in various places several times during painting.

  3. Oh man. That is quite the terrifying endeavor with the quick shade. I'd be in tears. I get scared just matte sealing my guys with an airbrush!

    Thanks for the info on the fragile nature of that kit. That is one thing that never seems to come up in reviews, and is very important in transport and gameplay!