samedi 8 mai 2021

Luna Cohort Imperial Robot


Hello everyone!
I am back with a second robot for the Luna Cohort: the Imperial Robot from Blackstone Fortress.

This time, we'll have a look at the colours and techniques I used, since you all got the ins and outs of this project reading the previous article.

First of all, a disclaimer: you will not be amazed by the techniques, since everything is super basic and could hardly be simpler. You have been warned!

The picture above shows the colours I have used, a very restricted palette as you see, which makes sense for some very monochromatic models I guess.

The painting process starts with an undercoat of the grey primer spray. This brand is good (that's the one I use at work), but many others do the job equally. Then I spray the model from the very top with Corax white, letting the white cloud do the gradiance job and cast light on the model.

What is particularly fitting for my lunar environement is that this dual spray technique is always a bit powdery, and on top of doing an instant highlight, it looks a bit like the model is covered with moon dust.

The next stage is to circle the rivets, panel line and deepest recesses with Apothecary white, very much using it as a lining tool to add a bit of definition in a subtle way,
I also block some areas with the same colour, like knee and elbow joints, back leg machinery... This is just to have two tones of white, so the model doesn't feel overly monochromatic.

From there, I block all of the areas I want to paint in metal with Black Templar. This is to add a lot of contrast and definition. I also select some areas to be black, generally shoulder and hip joints, but also the ammo belt in the case of that robot. And the pipes.

I then paint some parts in Sycorax Bronze, some in Leadbelcher, some in Plate Mail Metal... The model shows pretty well where the colours are deployed I believe...
For this stage I make sure to leave the recesses in black to keep the definition.

When it is all dry, I apply a coat of 'Ardcoat gloss varnish on the black bits.

It is now time for the transfers, which I apply straight onto the model. When I am sure they are dry, I then put a few thin layers of Stormshield mat varnish to protect the transfers and have a similar mat finish all over the model.

And you know what? That's it!
The model is ready to explore the cold wastelands of Luna!

The next model will probably be another Kastellan Robot, with the fists this time so he has a different silhouette from the first one.

Please ask if you have any question about that painting process, and don't hesitate to drop a little comment ;)


samedi 1 mai 2021

Luna Cohort Kastellan


The Luna Cohort is a defence force of the Legio Cybernetica assigned to surveillance of the outer fields of the Circuit. Patrolling the Lunar deserts of moon dust, these automated servitors of the Omnissiah protect these desolated regions from the locals contesting the authority of the Imperium and infiltrators from outer space.

Most of the stock of robots was decimated during the tragic events following the destruction of Cadia, but some have been seen wandering in the areas they were allocated…


So here is something a bit different from what you have been seeing me painting (and writing) over the years. I am going to try to explain my thought process behind this model, through a short personal story. I hope that it will make sense to you!

1. The Overdose

I think I have experienced a bit of a hobby overdose. I mean, I’ve had 20 years of nonstop hobby, solid, without interruption and at a pace that everyone could witness on that blog. Not to mention that my job is a tiny bit hobby related (is it?!)

I never had a hobby break before, so it felt very strange as it is such an important part of my life and daily routine, actually. Some friends were actually checking on me thinking something happened “Are you ok?” I only painted a handful of models over 2020, and this Kastellan Robot is so far the only model of 2021 (more to come?)

I tried to get back to it many times, without being able to commit for more than 20 minutes and in a very sporadic way. And it was painful to realize that I was not able to achieve what I could do before but more than anything else that I was not enjoying the process.

I questioned myself on why I was feeling this for painting models, something that I have loved so deeply over the last two decades. Painting those Ork planes slowly helped me to see clearer and to put my finger on what was bothering me.

2.   The Art of Edge Highlighting

I was really struggling with edge highlighting. Not only was I finding it very difficult (my eyesight not getting better does not help, that’s for sure) but also as soon as I was getting to this stage of the painting process, I was feeling a bit sick.

I am a huge fan of the ‘Eavy Metal style, which is the epitome of edge highlighting, we will all agree on that. I also really like what I see as being the other end of the spectrum, all the Blanchitsu movement. I tried to paint a few models in that style too, but never got anything successful and worth showing on the blog. It is simply not for me. I consider my personal painting style (if I have one) to oscillate somewhere in between, textural but with a very graphic approach. However I probably lean towards the “clean” side of the spectrum a bit more (even my rusty Plaguebones are painted in a pretty neat way), so I was questioning myself: Does a clean painting style always have to tend towards the ‘Eavy Metal style? Couldn’t I find a way of painting devoided of sharp highlights but still being clean and easy to read?

Anyway that kind of hobby break and the fact that I was struggling to find it enjoyable made me think that I needed to explore new territories.

3. The Moon

I really, really like our lonely satellite. I look at it pretty much every night, and sometimes find myself just sitting in my garden with a glass of wine, staring at it for a few moments (that was some romantic sh*t based on true events)

There is something I find absolutely fascinating in this pale, gloomy orb mottled with tiny (from our distance) craters. Looking at this desolated, cold and dusty disc (or crescent) makes me feel very peaceful, and somehow inspired me to research a different visual language.

                                                4. Towards a different Way of Painting

So all that said, I went in search for some images that would reflect the kind of aesthetic that triggered those feelings, and made up a quick mood board:

It is composed of pictures of the moon exploration, but also of photographs of the amazing Andrew MacCarthy who managed to capture the essence of what I tried to express above.

I then looked into what painting technics I could play with to replicate that pale and dusty feel, and what model could be appropriate for those technics (knowing that I would not want to highlight a single edge - that excludes Space Marines I believe…) to sit in that environment: the Moon (well, Luna in High Gothic).

I’ve always had something for the Kastellan Robot. There is something in that slight retro sci-fi / early space exploration that I find very charming and very conveniently fits completely in the environment I just described. Moreover, thanks to the round shapes that compose this brilliant design, they have very few edges. I think I had my winner.

I finally decided to design my own iconography for what would become the Luna Cohort, a handful of Legio Cybernetica robots wandering in the moon-dust wastelands of Luna.


That was a lot of words, I think I’ll detail the painting process, aesthetic choices and colours (colour?!) I used in a future article.

Thanks a lot for reading me, I hope you found that big monster of metal covered with guns, well, relaxing! 😊



samedi 24 avril 2021

13 Years !

 and teaser...

Hi everyone!

Yes, it has been 13 years since this blog started, and we are still rocking the place with the crazy conversions and the colourful paintjobs that has become the essence of Lé Kouzes!

Let's take this anniversary as an opportunity to look at the most popular articles of all times, the top 10 posts that you have been reading again and again! Enjoy!

Salut tout le monde!

Et oui, cela fait 13 ans depuis que ce blog a démarré, et on est toujours dans la place avec nos conversions barrées et nos schémas hauts en couleurs, qui sont devenus la marque de fabrique Dé Kouzes!

Profitons de cet anniversaire pour jeter un œil aux articles les plus populaires du blog, le top 10 que vous ne cessez de lire et relire! Faites-vous plaisir!


10. Capitaine Salamander

A "bright and bling" display figure.

9. A Dark Imperium

My designer's notes on the Death Guard from the Dark imperium boxed game.

8. Warcry !

My designer's notes on the first wave of Warcry models.

7. Making of Kalista's warband

Behind the scenes of Daouide's (in)famous Slaanesh Warband.

6. Obliterators Emperor's Children

Probably Daouide's most amazing unit!

5. Tuto peinture d'un Plaguebone

A recipe that was a bit of a revolution at that time!

4. Faminus, Tha Black Knight

Probably the Plaguebone centrepiece that required the most work.

And now the TOP 3 !!!


3. Plague Centaurion

Another Plaguebone centrepiece which made a bit of a buzz in its time!

2. Son of the Phoenix

A colour exploration on a Primaris Marine, which has been officialized 

and is now part of the 40k lore.

1. The photo tutorial

A photo tutorial by Aliaume, a great hobbyist turned professional photographer. What else?!

I hope you have enjoyed discovering (or rediscovering?) these articles, and I leave you with a teaser of an upcoming project...

J'espère que vous avez apprécié la découverte (ou redécouverte?) de ces articles, et je vous laisse avec un teaser sur un projet en devenir...

Thanks for reading, and onto year 14 now !

vendredi 16 avril 2021

Cerastus of house Orazur


Bonjour à tous, cette semaine, je change d'échelle. Voici une petite unité de Cerastus pour Adeptus Titanicus. J'aimais bien la fig Forgeworld pour 40k, et la sortie des mini Cerastus m'a fait franchir le pas. 
Le montage est impressionnant de précision et les lignes de moulage quasiment absentes. Un régal à préparer. Pour le montage, la seule difficulté est la position des bras. Les angles entre les lances et le bras limitent un peu les dynamiques et plusieurs montages à blanc avec de la Patafix sont utiles pour caler tout ça.
En concevant les poses et les socles, je voulais raconter une histoire. Les deux chevaliers devaient sortir des ruines pour se lancer à l'attaque. Après le montage des ruines et la disposition des figurines, je me suis rendu compte que l'on pouvait raconter deux histoires selon la position d'une figurine par rapport à l'autre. Ci-dessus, les deux chevaliers semblent viser le même ennemi, l'un abaissant sa garde et sur le point de toucher, l'autre en train d'armer son coup. Et ci-dessous, ils donnent l'impression de frapper des ennemis différents, probablement d'autres chevaliers de leur taille. 

Je suis parti sur un schéma bleu/blanc que je trouvais bien convenir avec la gestion des métalliques et des dorures. Le blanc serait la base des décalcos, principalement noirs, pour permettre un contraste maximal.
Les parties métalliques ont été traitées très simplement avec un applat de Gun métal suivi d'un lavis général de Dark tone, puis quelques touches de Strong Tone pour les parties plus usées. Quelques linings de Chainmail sur les arêtes supérieures pour donner un peu d'éclat ont suffit à le mettre en valeur. J'ai retenu les déboires de mes prédécesseurs qui ont voulu trop pousser les traitements et qui se sont écœurés.
Le bleu est une base de Stegadon Scale Green éclairci avec un ajout de 1/3 de blanc, tandis que les assombrissement sont un glacis de noir.
Le doré a été un peu plus travaillé car très visible, et encadrant la tête. C'est une base du béni Retributor Armor avec un glacis de Contrast Darkoath Flesh. Les rivets de la carapace sont les seuls à avoir eu un lining noir pour les mettre en valeur.
Les tabards rouges sont faits avec une base d'Evil Sunz Scarlet éclaircis au Fire Dragon Bright et assombris avec un mélange médium mat + Contrast Black Templar. 
Une fois la peinture finie, je suis passé au décalcomanies. Sur les carapaces et les épaulières, je me suis essentiellement contenté de peindre des bandes pour les différencier car les surfaces sont petites et elles auraient été surchargées. 

Les insignes et marquages sont tous issus des feuilles de décalcos fournies avec la figurine, avec peut-être quelques-uns issus de la planche pour la maison Gryphonicus.


Les seules photos de wip sont pour les socles car les figurines n'ont pas été modifiées. Je voulais des ruines comme celle de la boîte de base V3 de 40k avec l'architecture gothique. Je suis parti de plaque de polystyrène et de profilé Evergreen que j'ai grossièrement taillée, puis j'ai fait les ouvertures avec une lime plate. Les piliers sont des profilés hexagonaux. Avec la pointe d'un scalpel, j'ai ajouté quelques lignes structurantes pour apporter un peu de détails aux surfaces planes.

Le dallage est fait en découpant des bandelettes fines Evergreen en carré à la pince, et disposé grossièrement. La tache bleu-verte à droite est du latex pour l'empreinte du pied que je retirerais au moment du collage après peinture. Je procède ainsi car je trouve que c'est plus facile de marquer la position avant la peinture plutôt qu'après, question de goût.

Le moteur est un morceau de bits d'arme SM de gravitons de centurions (je crois).

Voilà pour ces petits chevaliers. Je ne sais pas si j'irai plus loin, mais les figs me plaisaient bien et j'avais envie de m'essayer à une échelle plus petite. C'est maintenant chose faite. Finalement, je vais peut-être me laisser tenter par une taille au-dessus.