Warhammer 40k - XV95 Ghostkeel (part 2 of 2)

September 15, 2017

Warhammer 40k  - XV95 Ghostkeel (part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of this build series I covered the assembly of my Warhammer 40k XV95 Ghostkeel model from Games Workshop.  Having play-tested the model I am ready to paint!  You may recall I had cemented the major components of the model normally, then combined the torso, arms, and legs with tacky glue for a temporary hold to use it in live gaming for a week.


Back home, the model was disassembled.  As tested before pre-assembly, the tacky glue remains came off clean with no residue or deformed plastic.  I used the paint hood at Hobbyland Graceland to apply flat black spray enamel as a primer coat.  Flat Black fit my vision for the structural components and I had long decided not to use the stock color scheme.

I like the paint hood at the shop because besides venting fumes, the exhaust fan keeps a bit of air moving as the paint dries. The light in the booth makes it easy to catch missed spots to touch up. While the primer dried I browsed paints and finally settled on a color scheme.

Paint Booth

That evening I started colors. I used Citadel paints for these, to work within with the Games Workshop / Warhammer color family. This was a learning experience in itself.  Look for a future post specifically on the Citadel Paint line; there's more to this line than just color and finish. 

I worked more hastily and used thicker coats than I knew I should, but at least I was aware. (Remember, I haven't painted at this scale in a long time; equating to out of practice and impatient habits.) I applied red and green in the first session and then set everything aside to dry. 

XV95 Red Green Base

The next evening I opted not to apply a second green coat. It would have provided better coverage, but the blend looked more "rugged" than "sloppy" so I stuck with it (it fit the vision I had for battle-worn armor.  I was ready for my secondary color, but I found I had it in the wrong type of Citadel paint, so I moved onto "steel" accents that wouldn't conflict with the secondary color yet to come.

I started with a few obvious metal joints on the legs then moved onto the venting above the cockpit. Here I found my discipline and a very dry brush with thin layers. This provided a result I was very happy with on the vent blades.  I used a rough blotchy technique on the vent frame which looked really great for an aging, hastily maintained battle suit in a harsh environment. I liked the look so well I used the same technique with other vents and jet outputs, and the major mechanical joints. The base black with a rough brush provided a "worn but greasy" look that I liked in the mechanical areas.  At the end of night two, it's starting to look like the XV95 "Christmas Elf".

 XV95 Painting In Progress

The next day I got the education I needed on the variety of the Citadel line (besides "normal" paints, they also have some specialized for ground cover, some specialize for highlighting and drybrushing).  I found I had colors i liked but not in the types I needed for the purpose. I ran back to the shop and picked up comparable colors in the form I needed.

Night 3 was a painting marathon. I wanted to have the suit ready to play this week, so I forged ahead.  I added my secondary color, which ended up more yellow than the tan I had in mind.  I filled in access colors, blue special effects in the weapons and mechanical system, and finally - rust.

This model carries two flame throwers, and I had a very specific rusty look in mind. I didn't find "just the right" shade in Citadel paints, so I went with Testors Model Master Rust.  This proved to be an excellent choice. The Model Master line is more liquid than the Citadel "base" and "layer" paints, which proved beneficial in some of the finishing touches.

I already had some steel (silver) on the flamers, and now added the main rust on the majority of the flame barrel.  I slipped onto the steel that was already done at one point and what had been a sloppy mistake proved to be the finishing touch it needed.  Instead of dabbing off the paint that went into the wrong area, I spread it thinner across the steel.  This solved the concern I had about the still looking too shiny and new, while still keeping the steel panel distinct.


The rust effect on the steel was an epiphany.  Anywhere I had steel (like the helmet shown here, the mechanical joins, and the jet vents I applied a watered-down rusty wash. The effect was exactly as I wanted.  I also washed the white section of the primary weapon, which aged and battered the piece just as I had hoped.

The intake vent behind the helmet is my favorite detail (even if it will usually go unnoticed). I had a look in mind for it, and it turned out better than I had imagined.  This was the flat black primer coat, a light brush of the steel to catch the highlights of the vanes in the vent, then and even lighter rust - just a couple thin brushstrokes.

As a final touch I decided to try one of the "dry" paints I bought without realizing what it was good for.  I had one that was a light stone color and applied it with an extremely dry brush - almost a dusting over the yellow secondary color.  It softened the color very nicely and brought it closer to the tan I had pictured while also adding a bit of texture and age.

The base got painted with another accidental purchase.  The tan I originally intended for the secondary color was a "texture" paint, meaning it includes grit to build up a surface when painting the bases for the miniatures.  I used this on the base then layered on some of the regular green. 

Paint done - I assembled the final model.  Recommendation: sand off the primer layer where you are joining parts and use a thicker cement.  I used the Tamiya Extra Thin I had used for assembly.  It worked eventually, but the primer layer reduced its effectiveness in bonding the plastic.  When I sanded down the primer it worked much better.  I would have liked a thicker cement as I glued the shoulder joints.


Finally - the finished model, with its 2 support drones!  


xv95 with drones

xv95 finished alternate angle


Overall, I am happy with the result. There are sloppy edges and blemishes that reflect my haste, but this proved to be a good project to get back into modeling.

After a day of final cement hardening, this Ghostkeel went back into battle. It looked great as I proceeded to use it completely opposite to its tactical strengths, in my excitement!

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Warhammer 40k  - XV95 Ghostkeel (part 1 of 2)
Warhammer 40k - XV95 Ghostkeel (part 1 of 2)

September 08, 2017 1 Comment

Thursday nights are gaming night at Hobbyland Graceland. Most weeks you'll find a group playing Warhammer 40k, which I joined just as the new 8th Edition was released. ... I borrowed armies for several weeks but soon purchased the first kit of my own.... the XV95 Ghostkeel battlesuit. ... Read On for an illustrated build review...

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