Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bob Naismith Painting Challenge

"The all enclosing armor was really a development of again my historical information, you know, the idea of like Medieval armor with knee armor that had to articulate, you know that the feet would have to articulate but still be armored. These are common elements in Medieval play armor, full play armor. The helmet, again, we knew it was fully enclosed. We knew that these guys were going to be I suppose kind of like Roman soldiers. So they were like legions. There were going to be loads of these guys, loads of them. So the helmet was loosely based on I suppose like a Roman legionary’s helmet with neck, neck protector, ear protectors that roll-over the ear, and sometimes you would have a heavy browband … Now, the backpack was kind of, in design terms, again it was almost kind of like it had a historical root in my mind, in the sense that it is a cylindrical form at the top which was — you could say it was like based on a rolled blanket from historical periods, like the Napoleonics. There was a backpack type shape in the center, which if anything probably resembles like a Second World War American GI’s backpack. Then the nozzles at the bottom were surrogates for some of the equipment packs that I referred to earlier on. So that the guy looked like he always had equipment with him.

-Bob Naismith, during testimony in Games Workshop Limited v. Chapterhouse Studios LLC (N.D.Ill 2013)

JB over at the excellent Leadplague had organized another one of his classic painting contests on the Oldhammer Community Facebook page. So after getting the amazing Trish Morrison and the one-of-a-kind Bob Olley to judge us painting their models, he's now roped up Bob Naismith to judge one too!

Picking a Bob Naismith model was not difficult, but it should have been. He's been sculpting for longer than many of us have been alive. In fact, he started with Citadel shortly after I was born! And in his lengthy and illustrious career, he has sculpted some amazing models. 

I think the craziest thing about his career is that he's still sculpting really great stuff. If you don't believe me, go check out his work for Saga: Age of Magic. But to stay at the top of the game for damn near forty years is a quite impressive feat.

So as I was saying, it should have been hard to select some models, but it wasn't. For me, is original Space Marines are so iconic and so classic that I had to choose those. And they had to be painted as Crimson Fists. Plus, I only have two of the original batch that he sculpted so that would be easy enough to fit into my limited painting time. 


When it came time to paint these lovely blokes, I largely followed the same process I used on the previous Crimson Fist I painted. I did make a few minor changes though. On their armor, I applied quite a few glazes of GW Levidon Blue contrast paint thinned with water. These things make great glazes and really helped smooth out the transitions. You can still seem some in the photos, but with the naked eye (or at least my naked eye), the colors transition really well.

For the fists themselves, I was so struck by the Crimson Fists that Curis over at Ninjabread did, that I wanted to emulate his fists. So I based them in GW Screamer Pink and gave them a Druchi Violet wash followed by a Nuln Oil lining in between the fingers. On top of that, I layered Wazdakka Red, and then I added a mix of Fulgrim Pink and Screamer Pink (to magenta up the Fulgrim Pink just a little), until I was happy. I used the same colors for Freehanding the fists on the shoulder pad.

I also wanted to add some old school decorations, so the first marine got hazard stripes and the second got checks. I would have liked to do more decorations like that, but these models are tiny and I am still not sure enough of my ability to paint the fine lines required for a lot of that kind of stuff. I did try out applying reflection highlights down the armor in a few places though!

 Finally, for the base, I attempted to copy what HeofThreeNames did on some other Rogue Trader Crimson Fists I own. Over Vallejo Pumice paste, I painted Dryad Bark, which I drybrushed with P3 Menoth White Base (basically Bleached Bone) and then washed with GW Agrax Earthshade. I think these two are probably my favorite marines that I've ever painted, and that's 99% due to the awesomeness of Bob Naismith's sculpting.


  1. Really Cool PJ on these two marines Andrew. These were the first marines that I ever bought, I still have a soft spot for them. Your skills at brushwork just keep getting better and better my friend. Keep up the good work 😊

    1. Thanks! Sadly, I didn't start buying Marines until well after this period.

  2. Really looking good here Dyer! A lovely entry

  3. Really liking these mate. Will there be more to join them?

  4. I love them beyond any measure. Best choice you could pick. Vibrant colours and perfect looking. Fantastic, seriously.

  5. Great job on great miniatures! Loving the colours and overall feel you achieved on these.