I have finished my Venerable Dreadnought. Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post, your suggestions were much appreciated. As you can see, in the end I did decide to swap one of the armour panels and repaint the other in order to make the overall appearance less blue. I decided that this was worth the effort (and risk of damaging the model). I think it just shows that there are times when, despite the time and effort you have put into a model, you need to go back and do things again in order to get the best finished result. He now looks like a proper Astral Claw and not an Ultramarine.
The left panel was carefully removed and replaced with a new one which was then painted silver. This was done because the other one had already been given a coat of gloss varnish in preparation for a decal and so I couldn’t repaint it without it looking a mess. The panel on the right then had two strips of silver painted along each side to leave a stripe of blue down the middle rather than the whole panel being blue. Not only does this tone down the effect of the blue but it also better matches the Forge World artwork which shows the Astral Claws with blue vertical stripes on their vehicles to break up large armour panels.
The engine was painted to simulate heat discolouration on the metal. In order to achieve this I painted the engine stacks Leadbealcher and, when dry, applied a number of washes. There were, in order, Seraphim Sepia, Ogryn Flesh, Leviathan Purple and Agrax Earthshade. The trick is to use less wash each time so that some of the previous colour is still showing. I also used this technique on the end 0f the plasma cannon working towards the front of the barrel. The soot at the top of the stacks was painted on using Typhus Corrosion followed by a wash of Nuln Oil. I’m really pleased with the dirty, grimy look which has real texture to it.
As this is a Venerable Dreadnought I decided to try and reflect the chapter’s history on the model. I used the original Astral Claws heraldry rather than Huron’s personal heraldry which was later adopted by the chapter. For this I used a Forge World decal over a blue stripe. I imagine him as an old veteran from when the chapter was fleet-based and that it was during this time that he fought against the Tyranids and ended up entombed inside a dreadnought (hence the honour badge on the sarcophagus). I also painted the name of the chapter’s new homeworld to his other leg as a nod to this later stage of the chapter’s history. this reflects the way that in the background the dreadnoughts are living embodiments of their chapters’ histories.
His power fist also has a blue stripe painted down it to help balance out the blue areas elsewhere on the model. Originally I was going to paint blue stripes on the shoulders (as Leeman suggested in the comments) but I decided that as I had already painted blue onto the power fist I would leave them plain so as not to over do it on the blue again. Instead I added a small Imperial eagle decal to provide a bit of interest and painted on some freehand battle damage. The blue stripes on the storm bolter ties it in with other weapons carried by marines in my force.
And that’s it. Overall I am very pleased with how he turned out and it was definitely worth going back and redoing certain parts to get the right result.