Corvus Cabal Shrike Talon

My Cabal is getting reinforced with another model, as I’ve finished one of the coolest models of 2019! Here’s the Shrike Talon.

As with the Cabalist, I pretty much followed the ‘Eavy Metal color scheme with this model. One of the challenges with the scheme and with this model in particular is the separation of different black elements. Following the painting guide in the assembly instructions booklet (and looking at the studio models), I highlighted the feathers with blue and the hood with brown tones. I’m not sure if the colors still read as blacks, but I’m happy either way! I guess the biggest difference to the studio scheme is that I left out the painted, diamond-shape eyes from the hood. I get why they’re there in the original – to draw attention to the head, but I never liked them that much aesthetically.

I feel some parts of this model were painted a bit sloppily. As I mentioned in the last posts, I haven’t gotten quite as much painting done as I would’ve wanted lately. I noticed that this translated into less accurate painting. After a day or two I seemed to get back to the swing of things though, and the paint started to go where I wanted it to. Last week I made a conscious effort to get back to painting, and decided that I would at least put paint on my brush (if not the model) every day. Every time I did, I ended up painting for at least an hour! Let’s see how long I can keep this up…

Oh yeah, a small PSA: I’ve treated myself to some new electronics which might affect the photos on this here blog. I got a new Pixel 4a phone with that fancy camera software, which hopefully should lead to WIP shots that have much better color accuracy than before. And from the Black Friday sales I bought a new monitor to replace my previous, 10-year-old one. The important bit is that this new one has an IPS panel which is much better with colors than the TN panel in the old monitor. So, chances are that from now on the photos will be a bit less saturated, as I probably over-saturated everything a bit with the old monitor. Shouldn’t be a dramatic change, but just a heads-up if anyone notices it.

More Poxwalkers

I’ve slowly been settling down to the new digs and the new schedule. While I’ve painted a bit less than before, I’ve now managed to finish a few new models! Here are the rest of the Poxwalkers from the ETB kit:

Not too much to say about the painting that I didn’t say last time – these guys were basecoated with Contrast paints and then refined with “regular” ones. For some reason the whole process was a lot longer than last time. I think I was a bit more careful with the painting and did a bit more back-and-forth in some areas. The extra time probably doesn’t show anywhere (I hope they’re consistent with the last batch), but nevertheless I found the painting very enjoyable and relaxing.

While some of the sculpts have room for improvement (the big guy’s pose being a prime example), I’d quite like to get a hold of the Dark Imperium Poxwalkers as well. As I said, these models are fun to paint and would make good conversion fodder, models for dioramas, or just a nice looking horde for a plague lord to boss around. But as they’ve now gone OOP, they might soon cost as much as the Dark Vengeance Cultists, at which point there are other cool models to consider. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for eBay “bargains”..

Corvus Cabalist

This weekend I took a slight detour from finishing the bikers I showed in the last post, to build and paint a single small model. Here’s my first Warcry model: a Corvus Cabalist.

So on Friday I was browsing the local (/national) wargaming forum’s trading area, and spotted someone selling quite a lot of unopened kits for half price in my city. Apparently he had excitedly bought a bit too much and was selling off things he didn’t see painting in the near future. Probably a wiser man than many of us 😀 Even so, I got in touch with him and a couple of hours later a brand new Corvus Cabal box changed hands. And a few other kits as well, but more on those later..

Having bought new models and the weekend ahead of me, I had the perfect opportunity to finish a hobby bingo square that has so far eluded me: finish a model in 48 hours of acquiring it. Now, this shouldn’t be too hard, as surely we’re all eager to get those new models finished as soon as possible! But for one reason or another, they often go to the cupboard of unfinished models to wait for their turn, and might stay there for quite a while. Now, truth be told, I’ve mainly wanted the Cabal box to own the Shrike Talon and maybe some cool conversion bits, I’m not really interested in playing Warcry. I reckoned that painting one of the standard Cabalists would be good practice for the Talon and should be quick enough to paint even at my slow pace.

I built and based the model on Friday evening. I did a minor conversion too, as I’m not super fond of the kama style weapons they have. I shortened the handle a bit and used the kama’s blade to give the model a knife with a hawksbill style blade, which I like quite a bit more than the original. On Saturday I primed her zenithally using rattle cans, which went a lot smoother than with the Poxwalkers. In addition to that, I washed the model with Nuln Oil and drybrushed it with White Scar, which gave me a really nicely defined and shaded starting point. I also used some Contrast and Base paints to lay initial basecoats on the model. I decided to go with the studio scheme for these, partly because I didn’t have much time to mull it over, partly because the studio scheme fits the Cabal really well. I did leave the bloody throats out, as I think they’re a bit silly..

On Sunday I painted the rest of the model and got it finished with a good hour left before the deadline! I know I could’ve just left her in the “battle ready”, basecoated stage, give her a simple base and call it done, but as I had plenty of time, I wanted to do it properly, and actually practice for the Shrike Talon. So I ended up covering pretty much all of the basecoats by layering and highlighting. It was a very enjoyable process though, so I don’t mind. I used a similar palette as for Mollog, and again finished all colors with highlights of Pallid Wychflesh. I’m particularly happy with the beak (on the mask), I think I got the transitions down pretty well. I also like her eye, which at first at first I was going to leave black, but while I “was in the area” with my paintbrush, I thought I’d paint just a small dot of white in the corner to give an impression of a pupil. Worked well!

White there are a couple of things that could be improved and I’ll probably change with the next Cabalist, I’m very happy with the model and feel that I can more or less paint the Shrike Talon and any other Cabalists with the same techniques and paints. So yeah, one more square down, which takes me quite close to getting my first completed row. Unfortunately, I won’t be making a 2’x2′ table in the foreseeable future, due to limited storage space and no real use either.. So it’s back to working on the bikes and the “vehicle” square!

Bloodstoker and Bloodsecrator

It has been quite a while since I last worked on my Age of Sigmar starter set, but I’ve now finished the two lesser Khorne characters – the Bloodstoker and the Bloodsecrator (don’t you just love GW’s naming conventions? :D).

To be honest, I didn’t really look forward to painting these Chaos models due to the insane amount of details. But the AoS starter set is sort of my testing ground for “tabletop standard” and “speed” painting, I set out to paint them quickly, to a decent standard and without too much pressure. As with the ‘reavers, the starting point was an article in White Dwarf Jan ’17. However, in the end I used very little of the tutorial as is, instead employing quick techniques I’ve picked out in the last couple of years and trying some new ones as well.

I think I achieved my goals with this small project pretty well. The pair has around a week of painting days on them, and hopefully they look like I’ve put some effort into them. Here are some of the techniques/steps that I used to speed up the process: the skin is just drybrushing and washes, and the basecoats for the blacks were done with Contrast black over gray basecoat (okay, this might’ve actually slowed me down a bit). The bone bits were layered by “overbrushing” rather than meticulously going over each and every detail. Highlights on the metallic parts are very rough, and on the whole I didn’t really go back to fix “mistakes” that much.

Khorgorath’s motivational buddy finally shows up

Below you can see my progress on the starter set so far. The two leaders are yet to be built, but otherwise all the models are there. It’s looking pretty good, with 36 models painted and 11 to go, but of course this has been a slow burn project. When I’ll get back to it, I think it’s the Stormcasts’ and the Lord Relictor’s turn.

I could also use these models to claim a square in the hobby bingo, this time “adding a model to army and painting it before using it in battle”. I don’t know if I’ll ever use them for a game, but by default they’ve been painted before playing, so should count.

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..

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.

Nurgle Lord of Plagues; PSA

Today I get to show a model which I’ve wanted in my collection for a long time: the Lord of Plagues. As he’s a bit of a bucket list model, I’m also entering him in Azazel’s Destino December challenge.

I bought the model last month after a pretty insane work week, deciding I had earned something nice 🙂 The Lord was on stock in my FLGS, and as the price isn’t as extortionate as GW’s more recent character models I picked him up. I know this model is often used for all sorts of cool (INQ28) conversions, but as the basic model is so close to perfect I wanted this one to remain in stock form. I did however build him a bit more elaborate base to make him stand out a bit more.

As this model was bought purely for painting and not for an existing army, I thought it would be a good platform to try out some new things. Firstly, the model got a zenithal undercoating, which was a first for me. I can’t really tell if it has a lot of effect on the finished model, as I might have still painted with too thick paint, but it certainly helped me to position shadows and highlights more easily. It’s definitely something that I want to come back to in the future though.

Secondly, rather than trying to paint the armor smoothly, I wanted to use stippling both for easier color transitions and to give an impression of the armor being pitted and banged up, which I think work well as there is already quite a lot of sculpted damage to begin with. There’s still room for improvement in my stippling, but I’m pretty happy with the light-to-dark contrast that I achieved.

For the paint scheme I wanted to do something a bit different from the default green. I had seen Andrew King’s rather wonderful blue Nurgle army in White Dwarf, and decided to try something like that. Andrew used Thunderhawk Blue as the basecolor for his armor, but as my local shop doesn’t stock it I used Stegadon Scale Green. The color was a bit more green than I’d have liked, but glazing some Guilliman Blue on top worked out well to correct this.

To complement the colder blue tones of the armor I wanted the base to have warm red dirt on it. Happily, WHTV recently published a tutorial on the new Underworlds Goblin Riders. I used the basing recipe (with some alterations) in it and got a really nice result. Some weathering powders could probably take it to the next level, but I’ll leave experimenting with those for another time.

I’m using this model to claim a square in the hobby bingo: paint a model from an army you don’t already collect. Now, while I don’t expect him to grow into an army anytime soon, I might just get some Plague Bearers for him to broodingly watch over. Or maybe his little brother, the Lord of Blights!

And with that, my 2019 hobby year is pretty much over. I might try to sneak in a bit of building before the new year, but definitely wont be finishing anything. I still want to do a wrap-up post for the year, but in case I don’t get it up before Christmas Eve, happy holidays to everyone!

Lastly, a small service announcement. A couple of days ago Krautscientist pointed out to me that commenting had been switched off for a couple of my latest posts. This was not intentional, and I have no idea why it happened. It’s been fixed now, so if you want(ed) to comment on those recent projects please do!

From the Archives: Blood Reavers

I’ve made good progress on the pair of Skaven during the weekend, but as I couldn’t quite get them finished, it’s time for another post about old models. Here are my Blood Reavers from the AoS 1.0 starter set.

These guys were a bit of a departure from my normal painting. I didn’t want to spend half a year painting them, so I decided to try a “speed painting” technique. More of a “leaving models half-painted” technique, but nonetheless. I took an article in WD Jan 2017 as a starting point and made a couple of alterations to the palette. Basically the models are painted with just basecoats and washes, with the flesh additionally drybrushed after washing. I wanted a bit of variation on my horde though, so I chose a couple of different colors for the flesh, cloth, straps and furs, applying different combinations to each warrior.

As I kind of touched on, in a way I consider these to be WIP models. I think they look good, especially as a group, but they have been painted in a way that allows me to easily continue the painting with highlighting and other refinements. The ability to continue working on these models, however unlikely, is the reason that I haven’t put on any blood effects or tufts. I have however painted the base rims, which more than anything helps to give the impression of finished figures.

The rest of the Chaos models from the box will be getting a bit more involved paint job, as there are less models. I’ve already painted the Khorgorath (to be featured), so there’s “only” the Blood Warriors and the characters left to paint. Shouldn’t be more than a month or two’s worth of painting, but as you know there’s always some other, more enticing project to steal your attention 😀

From the Archives: Garrek’s Reavers

I’ve started working on the 40k Skaven, but as they’re not ready yet, it’s time to once again present some older models from my collection. This time, it’s Garrek and his merry men.

Even though Garrek’s Reavers were the other half of the Shadespire core set, they were only the third warband to get painted. I was so excited about the Sepulchral Guard, that I just had to get them out of the way first. But these guys got painted eventually, and I reckon I did a pretty good job with them. Being some of the earlier models that I painted after getting back to the hobby, they were good practice for some techniques that I hadn’t done before. Firstly, I wanted to try different skin tones for all of them. I think this was a success, even though the two lightest tones came out a bit chalky. And I even managed to color code the models without realizing, so that the darker the skin is, the tougher the guy is.

Secondly, I got plenty of practice painting faces, as there were four bare heads amongst the group. Again, I’m happy how they came out, as none of them got the dreaded “derp face”, and I got all the irises to the right spot on the first try, believe it or not. I also got some individual teeth done, though only on upper or lower jaw, not both.. Finally, I got to try out Blood for the Blood God, which was fun. Haven’t really used it since though, except for an Ork Dreadnought.

The paint scheme for these Bloodreavers is a bit unusual for me, as it’s the studio version! I tried to find something else that I liked better, but at the time couldn’t. I have some ideas brewing for further Shadespire Khorne warbands though, whenever I get to them..

*Excuse the photos, which are a bit tiny. They’re from a time when I was still figuring out how to compose and take good(ish) shots. At least you can see some detail on the picture above. I should do another photoshoot for these guys, but you know how it is…

Shadespire Collection So Far

One part of Azazel’s April challenge focuses on armies, and showcasing them “like 16 year-old girls post selfies”. My current collection doesn’t really have any proper armies, but I do have a collection of Shadespire warbands and terrain. They’ll do!

Just the one group photo this time. I have previously shown two of the warbands on this blog, my first proper post was to showcase the Skaven, and just last post was about the Stormcast Eternals. In the future I will be posting showcases for the remaining warbands – the Deathrattle, Khorne and Orruk teams – as well as the scenery pieces.

As you can see from the photo above, I’ve tried to come up or find a different color scheme for each of the groups, and if possible, go with something other than the box art. With that, I am just a couple colors short of a color wheel! If I can come up with a yellow and a green scheme, I’ll be set. Green should be easy, but yellow might be more tricky. Maybe I’ll count gold, and paint one of the Stormcast bands in the default Hammers of Sigmar scheme..

I’d like to eventually get all of the Shadespire warbands, and Nightvault as well, but I’ll have to see if I can keep up with GW’s release schedule. I’ve obviously fallen behind pretty badly (9 Underworlds teams to go, and soon two more), but as long as I can get the Nightvault box before it’s discontinued to make room for season 3, I should be good.