From the Archives: Khorgorath

This post is something of a milestone as I’m presenting the last model that I painted before starting this blog. Here’s my Khorgorath, painted back in December 2018.

If you’re familiar with the Khorgorath model, you’ll notice that I’ve modified him a bit. The original head is a weird tiny skull with an odd “headdress”, and has those bone worms jumping out of his left arm. These things make the model too busy for my liking, but otherwise I feel the model is pretty solid. I saw a conversion by Will Vale, where he had swapped the head for another bit found in the AoS1.0 starter set – a daemon skull from Khorgos Khul’s collar. I instantly loved this and promptly proceeded to copy it. I also converted the jumping bone worms to stay put in their holes, which was surprisingly simple. As the base is so large and flat, I built up some rocks and subtle elevation with greenstuff and stuck down some Stormcast bits and skulls.

When painting the model, I followed Warhammer TV’s tutorial very closely. I like the transitions from purple to red, and with Duncan’s help it was very easy to do. I remember the most time-consuming bit to be the skulls and bones on his shoulders/back, which is unfortunate as they ended up a bit boring. Some variation in bone tones would’ve worked better. Maybe some day I’ll go back.. The base was painted with my default sand/bone recipe. I tried using Agrellan Badlands on the center, hoping to achieve a dry, cracked river bed look. While the paint did crack, the cracks are so small that they’re not really visible. The shield was of course painted in the colors of the Silver Lions, the scheme of my Stormcast army.

And that’s about it for the Khorgorath. While I’ve now shown you all the minis I’ve painted since getting back to the hobby in 2017, and most of my teenage output, this is not necessarily the end of “From the Archives”-prefix. I do have a couple of old miniature projects that I’ve yet to show, so maybe those will pop up at some point. But of course, going forward most of my posts here have to be actual new content, which most likely leads to longer gaps between posts. So nothing new, eh? We’ll see how it goes, as always..

Revelators Scout Squad

I’ve finished some more models for my own Space Marine chapter, the Revelators! This time, a squad of shotgun-wielding Scouts.

So yeah, they’ve been a relatively long time coming, and I’ve shown them unpainted a couple of times already. As the construction has already been discussed, I’ll focus on the painting in this post. I’m glad to say that painting the Scouts was for the most part an enjoyable process. It was also a bit different from my other recent projects: I tried to keep them consistent with my other Revelator models, which meant no weathering and less highlights than with, for example, my Astra Rodentia or Inquisition models.

This is not to say that I don’t like the look! I’d describe the look as vanilla-GW-tabletop, and the slightly cartoony look is neat if a bit uneventful. I did however try something new with these guys, as I try to do with every project: I did their cloaks in six-color desert camo, which is about my favorite camo design. Well, to be frank, it’s more of a four-color desert, as I simplified it for the miniature form, but I think it reads well for what it should be. Might try all six colours for the sniper Scouts when I eventually get there, as there’s more room in their cloaks..

A note on the color scheme as a whole: I’m really liking that my chosen armor color of gray and the desert basing scheme allowed me to create a somewhat sensible scheme for scouts. I was a bit worried about my standard accent colour yellow, but then I realised that as Scouts don’t use company colors, I had no issues! Yeah, there’s some gold, but there always has to be some bling in Warhammer.. All in all, I think they look like an effective bunch of commandos ready for some close-quarters action.

I’m entering these guys to Ann’s April hobby challenge along with the Ork Boyz. Turned out that April was a very productive month for me, as I managed to finish eight models! Can’t even remember the last time I was able to do that. Thanks for the extra boost of motivation Ann!

From the Archives: Revelators Throwback Veteran Sergeant

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shown you an old model, but here goes.. This time it’s a slightly converted Space Marine Veteran Sergeant.

If you’ve been in the 40k hobby back in the 3rd edition times, you might notice that this (veteran) sarge resembles the one in an old metal Command Squad. I always liked that model, and once I found out that the ‘new’ SM kits had appropriate parts I decided to make myself a modern plastic version of the old guy. The parts are mostly from the Tactical Squad, but there’s also a hand (and an arm?) from the Devastators, a backpack from mkIV Marines and a bolter from 3rd ed. Tactical Squad, when they came with grips! The weapon sling is made from greenstuff, as is the soft armor on the right armpit.

One final note about the build is that this was probably the model that inspired me to spend quite a bit of time accessorising my models. Adding a bunch of pouches doesn’t seem to be high on the priority list for most hobbyists, but since I built this model I’ve added accessories to pretty much every 40k model I’ve done. Yeah, they’re very fiddly most of the time, but I think the end result makes up for that.

Some of you have of course already seen this model in a previous post about my SM Captain, also inspired by the same old Command Squad. As you might’ve guessed, I’d like to have a version of the Standard Bearer as well, and indeed I’ve been gathering up bits to build one. The head still eludes me though, so it might be a while before he gets built..

More Ork Boyz

What?! New finished models already? Somehow I’ve managed to paint a trio of ork boyz in under two weeks! While not exactly lightning speed, and surely not optimal for “getting boyz on the table”, I felt like I was making good progress. Here they are:

As I’ve already said some words about the building, this post is about the painting. The general process was largely the same as with the last two. I think I spent a bit more time on the weathering and especially on the freehand this time around, but hopefully the rest of it went a tad quicker than the first time around as I was more aware of what I should be doing. I was again a bit intimidated about the orange before I started painting it, but in the end it turned out nicely and pretty quickly. I did have to be careful when working on the clothes and other bits so as not to accidentally get paint on the finished orange, but happily I managed without mishaps. And then of course I proceeded to paint on some freehand and chipping! The latter especially is good to fix any mistakes that might’ve happened.

Speaking of freehand, I tried to come up with some other designs besides the classic checkers to mix things up a bit. There’s some triangles, or “dags” I believe, on one of the shoulder pads, and a sort of racing stripe design on one of the helmets. But of course I’m the most proud of the little “evil sun” on the back of one of the shoulder pads! I was actually going to use a decal first, but noticed that the decal would be too big for the pad. I thought: “what the heck, these are orks, doesn’t matter if it’s a bit wonky”, and ended up practicing some more freehanding. Again, it was a bit scary as I wouldn’t be able to get the same orange back, but I knew that I could hide any mistakes with battle damage. Turned out all right I think! And why the Evil Sunz emblem, you might ask? Well, as I’m doing my own color scheme I get to pick and choose! The evil sun might be my favorite, but possible future models might have a bad moon or any other clan logo on them as well, as the designs are pretty cool. Also, being orange, my orks obviously feel the call of speed at least a bit (as well as dakka and bling!).

And that’s it for my boyz, for now! With these lads done, I’ve finished all of the ork boyz from my teenage years. Well, actually I’ve still got one half-finished conversion with which I might do something.. However, while painting these orks I’ve started to seriously consider getting a new box of boyz, or lootas/burnas, just to paint a couple every now and then. Also, some time ago I got myself another bucket list model, the AoBR Warboss, from eBay! So he’ll eventually get painted as well. Just got to build him first, and come up with an appropriate base as well.

Finally, I’m entering these guys to Ann’s April hobby challenge, splendidly titled “Paint the Crap You Already Own”. While I still have the opportunity to go to an FLGS and buy new models (stocks might be low though..), I very much agree with the idea that we should all try to make our backlogs of unpainted models as nonexistent as possible. Keeping that in mind, I’ll try to get a couple more (old) minis finished before April’s through!

Poxwalkers; Experimenting with Contrast

So I’ve jumped aboard the Contrast train! I wanted something simple to test the new paints on, and what better candidates could there be than the humble Poxwalkers. These guys are also my submission to March Might & Magic painting challenge, more on which later.

I’ve been interested in the Contrast paints for some time now. Not for using them exclusively to paint minis, but to speed up the painting process in some areas. The greatest sources of inspiration for this have been Vince Venturella, Darren Latham (channel will close in May, go watch the videos if you haven’t already) and most recently JuanHidalgo with his ‘Eavy Contrast tutorial series. They all show great examples of how to use Contrast for basecoating or effects, and more traditional paints to refine and finish a model.

About a week ago I went to the FLGS and bought a box of easy-to-build Poxwalkers and a bunch of Contrast pots (not cheap..). I decided that I’d revisit the zenithal undercoating, and at the same time try out how that works for multiple figures simultaneously. Well, multiple minis seemed to be fine, but I had some problems with my rattle cans: the gray one clogged which left me with black and white only, and I ended up messing the white and creating a bit of texture on the models. (Here you can see the rest of the walkers, in their primed state.) Well, it’s Nurgle so not too fuzzed about it.. Of course, it probably affected the flow of the Contrast paint to some extent. Oh yeah, I’m using regular automotive primers, not the GW recommended ones.

Painting with the Contrast paints was very enjoyable and in about half an hour I got a model all basecoated apart from metallic parts which I wanted to do with TMM paints. The result looked pretty good actually, and if I’d have to paint dozens of these for playing games I’d happily leave them at that. As I don’t, I spent an additional half an hour per model to refine the paintjob. I layered, or rather glazed the larger surfaces of skin with Flayed One Flesh and then highlighted everything with Pallid Wytch Flesh. The pink tentacles and the orange cloth also got some layering, and the yellow pustules got a glaze of the now OOP Lamenter’s Yellow. Finally, a further 30 minutes were spent painting the metallics (Vallejo Metal Colors, Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust) and the base.

So all together, it was around an hour and a half per model, which I suppose is not all that quick, but I reckon a lot faster than what I could’ve done with traditional paints only. I’m calling this experiment a success, will surely use the paints for other models as well. For example, I have the Shadespire dwarf team still on my to-do list, and I now think that I’ll employ Contrast paints for the majority of the models.

I’ll also use these fellers to claim a square in the bingo: paint a model in a color scheme you don’t normally use. So far I’ve painted very few mostly naked models, much less Nurgle afflicted ones, so I think this counts. Furthermore, as I said at the start of the post, I’ll enter these models to a painting challenge organized by Ann of Ann’s Immaterium. The topic this month was “Might & Magic”, which could be freely interpreted by the painter. I see the Poxwalkers as the lowly embodiments of Nurgle’s might, and there’s at least a little magic involved as their disease-ridden bodies are blessings from a plague god.

Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith

I’ve finished another model for my fledgling Inquisition collection. A model that I’ve wanted ever since I saw it as a kid, the good old Uriah Jacobus.

I got the model at the same time as the chainsaw preacher, and from eBay as well. This was right after GW had pulled Jacobus from sale, so I rushed to eBay and managed to get him at an acceptable price, albeit of course more than what I could’ve bought him for a week before. The model was properly old though, as it came in an unopened 3rd edition era blister pack, which was pretty cool.

Even if the model is positively ancient, I think it has aged really well. There are some details that are a bit clumsy, such as all the skulls, the fur, and the comically large hands, but overall ol’ Jacobus still holds up. Of course, just the pose and the concept of a “shotgun preacher” are cool enough!

Painting the model was largely similar to the last preacher. I chose to go with the studio paint scheme with this model, as I wanted to see if I could replicate the awesome skull design on the banner. While it’s not as nice as the original (big surprise, right?), the important thing is that the proportions look good to me and I’m happy with the result. Two other things I practiced while painting this model were the hot coals on the banner top and the more refined hazard stripes on the chainsword. I’m very happy with how both of these things turned out. Especially with the stripes, I feel like I’m approaching a good amount of weathering, and not over-doing the chipping.

And finally, I managed to claim another bingo square with Jacobus, this time for using a technique I haven’t mastered yet. I mean, really I could claim it with any model as even my basecoating could surely be improved, but this one is for practicing freehanding.

WIP: Modeling for days

All right, it’s high time for an update. For the last three weeks or so I’ve been on build mode whenever I’ve had some hobby time, and have now got a couple of models to show you. First up, a couple of Ork boyz! (click the pictures for slightly larger/complete versions)

The two unprimed boyz are built from bits fresh off their late-90s sprues, while the primed one is a rescue job (parts are still from the same box, though!) that I did ages ago. He’ll be painted along these two new ones, whenever I’ll get to them ๐Ÿ˜€ The shoota boyz are pretty stock builds, while the slugga boy has a number of minor adjustments, such as reposing the hands and the horns on his helmet.

Next we have my latest creations, two more members for the Astra Rodentia. These guys take me a plenty of time to create as I fiddle with most of the parts. Getting a chainsword on a right hand was quite an exercise, I can tell you! Another conversion/scratchbuild was the radio pack: I wasn’t happy with how thick the antennas were, and made some new ones from paperclips and thin wire. I also added a phone(?), haphazardly hanging from its cable. While building it, I noticed that the Skitarii backpacks would’ve had the same elements, but I didn’t want to wait for an order to arrive.

Finally, a bunch of Space Marines. The two tacticals above were actually built around six months ago, and have since been based and primed, and the sarge on the left has got his banner. I’m using this old image as I have a couple of subassemblies on them, here they’re reasonably assembled. Fun fact: the sarge was actually built around the right, open, hand that was found in the Devastators kit! I’ve also built two more shotgun scouts, which completes the squad I started building.. last summer? (where does the time go?)

I’m using the scouts to claim the conversion square in the hobby bingo. The slugga boy might’ve been a more ‘optimal’ choice, but fug it, I’ve made more progress than expected already!

New Stuff, New Job

No miniatures today, but some updates for my hobby table and a development in the real life.

The old setup

First up, I’ve updated my lighting setup. My old setup had two lamps, but they were wildly different from each other. The other was a desk lamp with really warm, comparatively dim light. The other was a floor lamp with a bright white light, but the light cone was so tight that at times it was difficult to keep the model under it. The differences meant that I often had (harsh) shadows on the figure, and that when I was taking photos I had trouble with white balance as I had two lamps with different temperature values.

The new setup

I’ve thought about the update for a while now (well, basically since I got back to the hobby a couple years back), but after I recently saw a video on the subject and noticed how affordable the update could be, I decided to pull the trigger. I got two Tertial desk lamps from Ikea and two led bulbs from the local automotive store. These bulbs are nice as they have three temperature settings: warm, white and daylight. After installing the two lamps (had to modify the clamp on the other one slightly), I’ve gotten rid of most of the shadows. This obviously makes painting, as well as photography much easier. I think the lights could be even brighter (the video recommended 13W, whereas I found 9W bulbs), but for now I can certainly get by with these. They’re a big improvement!

My photography “studio”

Secondly, I’ve made myself some new brush pots! Okay, this is probably not that interesting, but whatever.. Some time ago I found some very decent (good even?) cheap brushes from the local super market. They come in packs of five, and I’ve bought four so far. My old Coca Cola cup started to get a little small for the lot, so I decided to get a second container for them. I then realised that I could make it myself, and ended up doing a bunch! I’ve worked as an insulator (/scaffolder) since last summer, so I’ve got access to all the aluminium that I could ever need and the tools to work it. Now, these pots could be described as prototypes, and aren’t really too nice. But they work as intended and are a nice memento from the insulation work. I made some others as well, a bit neater even, but my wife took them to her work before I could take a photo of them ๐Ÿ˜€

New pots, some new brushes and a sneak peek of an upcoming model

Never one to pass an opportunity to fill a hobby bingo square, I’ll claim the “something for the hobby that’s not for battlefield” with these pots!

Finally, I’ll be starting a new job next week, and this time it’s on my own field of work! I’ll be a substitute English teacher until the end of May, which should be interesting. While this is definitely a good thing for my career, it probably means that I’ll have less time to work on hobby projects. The job is also on the other side of the country, so I’ll lose access to some equipment for some time. I’m taking some minis and paints with me, however, and we’ll see how it goes. Expect fewer updates though, especially on new finished minis.

Preacher with Eviscerator

I’ve finished another bucket list model! This time, it’s GW’s out-of-production Preacher with Eviscerator.

I actually had a hard time finding info or a picture of the studio paintjob of this lunatic (maybe someone can help me out here?). The model’s tab said it’s from 2002, but even with a couple catalogues from the era I couldn’t find an official image of him. Rules-wise, I don’t know which faction he belongs to these days, but I’m guessing Sisters of Battle. Not that it matters too much, it’s just an awesome model! I’ve wanted it in my collection for a long time, and after seeing Heretic Tom‘s awesome (and growing!) collection of Imperial Cult miniatures the temptation just grew too strong. I bought the model from eBay and it arrived around Christmas.

My goal with the model was to achieve a “blanchean” color scheme, with mostly warm palette, a lot of red and some classic motifs like the checker pattern. I also wanted to try and push my skills on certain areas, as well as try out new things. The main things were the red robes – I wanted to push the contrast by shading with purple and highlighting all the way to orange; and the face – adding a bit more color than I’ve previously done. I also tried painting marble on the base, and experimented with some new metal paints.

There’s not much to say about the red itself, but painting it was surprisingly fast and I really like the result. I got to say though, that it’s amazing how much each successive highlight, or the final details, add to models. Each little dot and hash adds so much to the final model, and as you’re always painting smaller and smaller areas, it takes almost no time at all! Looks like the law of diminishing returns does not apply to miniature painting.. Case in point, I painted the face first as I normally would (base/wash/layer/highlight), but then added some thinned down washes below his eyes (purple) and nose/cheeks (crimson), as well as a couple of lines to his lower lip to imply cracks. A lot more character with very little effort!

Now, the metallics. I recently stumbled on an arts/crafts store that stocked some Vallejo Metal Color and bought myself two pots. I had heard good things about them from Vince Venturella (as in, they’re the only metallics he’s using), and I can confirm that they’re totally worthy of the praise. So thin and smooth, but the coverage is still unbelievable. I actually already used them on the Farstriders, but thought that I needed to experiment further to say anything. With the chainsaw blade I got to do some rudimentary wetblending, which works pretty well. I’m definitely getting some more Metal Color pots in the future, and changing to them instead of GW’s steel paints.

I wanted the preacher to have a thematic base, and what could be a better fit than a crumbling chapel? I cut down some thin plasticard to make the stone tiles, and glued down a few patches of sand so that the base wouldn’t look too sterile. I was a bit unsure about the skull at first, as it’s a bit bigger scale than the preacher, but in the end I really wanted it there and just called it a space marine skull! The tiles got a marble effect following an old WHTV tutorial, and I added a roman numeral on the skull for a bit of extra detail. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, as a reference to some amazing old pieces of 40k art such as this one. To finish the model off and tie it to the base I drybrushed and stippled some bone color on the robes/parchment/base, which was as harrowing as ever, but seemed to work as it always has.

As has thankfully been the case with all my other models this year, I can claim a square in the hobby bingo with this one as well. I’ll take the “model from a faction that I don’t already own any painted minis for”. Although I’m not exactly sure which faction this model belongs to! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Farstriders

My Shadespire collection grows by yet another warband! This time, I’ve finished the Farstriders! That makes six finished gangs, and two more to go to complete the first season of Underworlds.

Now, to be honest these could’ve been finished a lot sooner, had I not bought myself Hades from Steam. I’ve sunk so many hours into it during the last month that had I used them all painting, I’d probably have my Shadespire collection finished right about now.. It’s a pretty good game though ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, the Farstriders. I decided to change my default SCE color scheme to something else for this group. At first I toyed with the idea of going with the box art golden boys, but then I felt that I needed to change it a bit to make it mine. I thought I’d just change the blue to red, but then I decided to change the gold as well, to a more weathered looking brass. I came across a cool Space Marine Minotaurs tutorial on FromTheWarp ages ago, and finally got to try it out. Well, loosely speaking. I used Citadel paints and their brass triad, just adding verdigris effects before all the drybrushing. I’ve used Nihilakh Oxide a couple times before, and have been a bit unhappy with the results, thinking that the paint went on too opaque, even with 1:1 thinning with medium. This time I diluted the wash even further, to 1:2, and think that it looks good to me (as long as I only go over areas once). Well, I erased most of the verdigris with the drybrushing anyway, so it didn’t really matter even if I put too much on.

My favorite part of the models to paint were the capes. As you might have noticed, I’m a bit of a sucker for differentiating my warband models in some way, and here I decided on making the capes in different colors. I used around five base colors for the initial pattern in each cape, which I then washed with different washes and drybrushed them to finish them off. While painting the initial pattern, I mixed the paints on the borders to achieve a smoother transition, either by mixing an intermediate color on the palette or by wetblending on the model.

There are a couple of things I’m not totally happy about on the models. One is that I probably should’ve pushed the highlights on the reds a bit more, as compared to the black leather bits they look a bit flat. Speaking of red, with these models I tried to make the reds on the topknot, pauldrons and the loincloth(?) a bit different, and brighter on top to draw attention there. Success, I think? I’m also not sure about the color choice on the bird: I tried to mimick a golden eagle, but brown and white doesn’t really stand out from the brass armor and white cape. But these are considerations for future models, I’m calling these ones done.

Last but not least, I’m claiming a square on the hobby bingo: a team painted specifically for a skirmish game. Seems like the year has started well on the bingo front, one month down and two (/three) squares completed! If I can keep this up, I’ll be finishing the whole board before the end of the year! (Yeah, fat chance..:)