The other day I was busy hunting for new material for the blog when I bumped into Dave Cross. Many of you won't know who Dave is - he doesn't write army books and he doesn't sculpt models, but he is responsible for many of Games Workshop's greatest hobby innovations including our vast range of hobby tools and the Citadel Paint Range. The thing is, when Dave's not hard at work creating new and wonderful things for us, he's busy painting new miniatures to add to his collection, in this case an army of Mentors Space Marines.
The Mentors have a long and illustrious history in the background of Warhammer 40,000, and their first appearance can be traced right back to White Dwarf issue 98. It was this image on the left that first captured Dave's imagination and from that moment he knew that he wanted to paint an army of Mentors. The only thing holding Dave back was his painting skills, which in his own words were "not good enough at the time to do the miniatures justice. A Space Marine is not a real Space Marine without his iconography and I certainly wasn't a good enough painter to paint a Chapter symbol on every shoulder pad and make them look right."
Almost 25 years later, Dave finally got around to building a Mentors army, a decision that was prompted when we released several new Space Marine transfer sheets earlier in the year, including one for the Mentors. Some would say that Dave is an immensely patient man to wait so long, but in reality he's been happy distracted by plenty of other army projects over the years, including a huge army of Bad Moon Orks (we'll get our hands on them at some point, too).
Dave's strike force is based on the Space Marine Battleforce with the addition of the Space Marine Commander kit and a spare Razorback turret. Both the Tactical Squad and the Scout Squad are built straight from the box, while the Sternguard Veterans were converted using spare parts (including combi-weapons) from the Space Marine Commander.
When it came to painting his battleforce, Dave followed the painting guide for Dark Angels in the How to Paint Citadel Miniatures book for the green areas of armour. For the white he applied a basecoat of Celestra Grey followed by Nuln Oil applied into the recesses of the armour. Once this was dry he went over the armour panels with Ulthuan Grey and then painted a final edge highlight of White Scar.
The last addition was the transfers, a moment in Dave's hobby life that made him exceptionally happy (the Emperor truly rewards his most loyal servants). Following the guide in How to Paint Citadel Miniatures, Dave applied the transfers to each model. Once they were dry he applied a layer of Lahmian Medium to seal the transfer to the model. Dave's big piece of advice is to ensure you give the Lahmian Medium a really good shake before you use it to ensure a consistent finish.