Zarbag’s Gitz

And here’s the whole gang! (more about the squigs in the previous post) When I initially started painting the gobbos I thought they’d be pretty quick to finish. Once again, I was wrong ๐Ÿ˜€

Zarbag’s Gitz

The main inspiration for the paint scheme came from a classic Adrian Smith painting of Night Goblins. The main take-aways were the blue, black and red robes, as well as the freehand patterns on the hoods. My colors are obviously quite a bit more vibrant and cartoony than the artwork, but I’ve noticed I like my miniatures like that!

Prog da Netter, Dibbz, Stikkit and Redkap

The robes were finished pretty quickly, and painting a rough fabric texture by hashing is always fun. To contrast the robes I tried painting the skin smoother. While the light green paints have pretty bad coverage, I’m once again really happy with how they came out.

Then it was on to the details, of which there were many. Each model also seemed to have their own special things, which made batch painting difficult. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it! Even painting all the rope textures on the net was quite enjoyable, relaxing even. There were a few details which were a bit more intimidating (those involving blending), but once I started doing them they all came out great! It was funny actually, at first Drizgit da Squig Herder was my least favorite of the bunch (the mushroom on his mouth doesn’t really work for me), but after painting the fire effects he’s one of my favorites.

Drizgit da Squig Herder, Zarbag and Snirk Sourtongue

I quite like the bases on this warband, they have various small details that add to the narrative of the group. I actually started this painting project with the bases, something I don’t often do. As painting the bases was mostly drybrushing, I thought I’d have to repaint a lot less if I started with them (looking at Zarbag and those mushrooms!). Of course, I then had to lightly drybrush the bottoms of the robes after finishing the models, but thankfully that went without issues.

I’ve got one regret with this warband, and that’s not doing gap-filling properly. Thankfully it’s not (very) visible on the photos, but especially on Zarbag’s cowl it’s raining on my parade a bit, after painting him up so nicely. Painting-wise, there’s one or two things that I could’ve improved or added, but as fun as they’ve been to paint, it’s time to start working on something new.

I also get to cross off another square on the bingo card, this time it’s the “warband for a skirmish game”.

Zarbag’s Squigs

After building and priming all those models shown in the last post, I promptly went on to paint something different. So now, more than a year after building and priming them, I’ve finished painting Zarbag’s Gitz. In this post I’ll show you the two squigs, which I painted before the rest of the warband, and in a couple of days I’ll show the actual Gitz.

These two angry red balls were fun to paint, and quite quick as well, with so few elements to them. I tried some new recipes on these, mainly on the red skin and the teeth/bones. I shaded the red with Contrast paints, Blood Angels Red on one and Flesh Tearers (FT) on the other. Not much difference in the final product, FT provides a bit more contrast. Otherwise the process was the same. I used a flesh tone for highlighting, which was a first for me.

I wanted to try something different with the teeth as well, especially to provide contrast between the giant bone and the teeth on Bonerakka. I took inspiration from the studio models and tried Rakarth Flesh (RF) as a basecoat, shaded very carefully with thinned Nuln Oil. Highlighting with Pallid Wych Flesh (PWF) finished off the teeth. The bone was likewise RF, but shaded with Seraphim Sepia. I then layered with Flayed One Flesh and highlighted with PWF. Finally, I glazed on some color with a mix of Reikland Fleshshade and Carroburg Crimson. Very happy with the result!

One final note about painting the details: the brands on the squigs’ sides had me scratching my head for a bit, but happily one of my go-to sources, Tale of Painters, had me covered. Stahly has painted this warband very nicely and provides recipes for most of the colors, including the scarred flesh. Also helped with the mouths! I didn’t get mine to look quite as nice as the reference, but that’s fine.

I’m also sneaking in my hobby bingo card, as a week ago I built two new magnetic storage cases. The construction was exactly the same as the previous ones, so didn’t feel the need to post a picture of them. But with those, I should be set with storage for quite some time!

Blood Warriors

Whoops! February went by without a single post. I haven’t been completely idle on the hobby front however, as I’ve managed to finish a project that’s sat on the to-do pile for years. Here are my Khorne Blood Warriors from the AoS starter set!

These guys have been built since 2018, and I laid down some basecoats in 2020, but only now mustered up the courage to properly start and finish painting them. That Chaos trim is notorious for discouraging painters and not without reason! I wouldn’t say it was difficult to paint, just very time-consuming. All together, these five models took around 20 hours of painting time.

The Warriors continue my Khorne army project which started out as a “speedpainting” exercise, though I don’t know if that was ever the right word. “Not-to-the-best-of-my-ability” would probably be more apt. Basically I painted the Reavers to GW’s “battle-ready” standard and the rest of the models more or less “parade-ready”. Heh, I don’t even know if it would be possible to speedpaint the Warriors with all that trim!

So yeah, painting these guys was a bit of a slog. I’m happy enough with the end result, but getting there was a paint-by-numbers affair which got a bit dull at times. Painting the red was probably the most fun, as I tried some very simple volumetric highlighting and subtle gradients. The models would really benefit from from one final highlight on the red (and on black, too), and it wouldn’t have taken much time either. I think I’ll try that with the Lord of Khorne model first and, who knows, maybe I’ll update these models and the rest of the army too.

Speaking of the Lord, it’s the last model from the starter army, which means my Khornates are in the same state as my Stormcasts – only missing the Big Boss. Maybe by the time AoS 4.0 rolls out I’ll be done with the first starter set ๐Ÿ˜€

My AoS starter set so far

Silverlions Prosecutors

So far in 2021 I’ve only been working on the 40k side of the hobby, so it’s high time that I got some AoS in the mix. I have a few half-done/started models in my to-do pile and thought that I’d try to finish some of them during the summer. Amongst them were the three Stormcast Prosecutors from the AoS starter box who are now done!

These guys took surprisingly long to finish. The largest part, the armor, was of course quick and easy, but the wings, gold and the “magical toilet paper” took hours to do.. That’s probably down to inefficient workflow, but it’s the way I’ve painted this army and I’ll stick to it. I think the reason these were not too enjoyable to paint for me was that this was a “paint by numbers” affair, there’s no freehand designs, battle damage, bare faces or any other more freeform stuff, just neat painting. I tried to speed up the process by not going back to fix mistakes, instead using the next paint to cover any slips. There’s still some around, but I tried to remind myself about “tabletop standard”. The good things are that the end-result is still pretty nice and I’ve only got the Lord-Celestant to do and then this army is probably finished!

So yeah, I’m happy that they’re done and I’m just one model shy of completing this army. For the hobby bingo I’ll use the Prosecutors to claim the “to-do-pile”-square. They’ve been built and primed since 2018 and I started painting them more than half a year ago, so I think they’re well qualified. I think I have a small chance of scoring one complete bingo this year, so I try to set myself up for success. For the monster, I have two candidates: Ghazghkull Thraka and the Lord-Celestant. Hmm.. If I really get a move on I might be able to finish at least one of them before the end of the year.

Astra Rodentia Standard Bearer

The first model of the year is finished and we’re not even halfway through February! Sigh.. But here he is, a standard bearer (/fanatic) for my Astra Rodentia!

He’s been a long time coming, as I built the model nearly a year ago! I guess a big part of why he took so long to get painted was the banner. I had to come up with some kind of a color scheme, something to write on the parchments and then figure out how to do something like NMM on the symbols. The original idea was to also put on a graffiti-style text on top of the design (“Gutter Runners”) to show that these rats have taken some other regiment’s standard and made it their own, but I kinda shot myself in the foot with my chosen color scheme. I couldn’t use yellow, white or red for the lettering, as it would’ve gotten lost and I didn’t want to introduce any further colors like blue, green or pink to the model. Oh well, maybe I’ll get to realize this idea on some other model.

On the whole I’m pretty happy with how the flag came out. The left side of the flag seems to be a bit lighter, I went a bit overboard with the dirt splattering on left side, and I clearly need a lot more practice with NMM, but as a whole I think the banner looks nice.

As for the rest of the model, there wasn’t much that was different from the other Astra Rodentia I painted before. I painted on some wood grain to the banner pole, which was more successful on the left side, and glazed Skrag Brown on the yellow hazard stripes, which looks really nice. One new trick I tried with this model was to use a brush and a toothpick for the splatter effects, rather than a toothbrush and my thumb. Much more accurate! I also used AK’s Ultra Matte Varnish on all the non-metallic areas. It can be used with a brush straight from the bottle and works really well. Maybe a little too well for my liking.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, so new year and a new bingo card! Maybe this is the year to complete at least one bingo? We’ll see. I count this model for the “technique you haven’t mastered”.

As a bonus, I though I’d show you the finished bases that I’ve made for upcoming Astra Rodentia reinforcements. There’s the six bases I showed unpainted in the last post and a seventh one (with the T-pipeline and chain) that I built and painted ages ago for my last couple of rats. I’m pretty happy with most of these – the only one giving me pause is the one with the knife. The floor ended up looking too messy – not an unlikely scenario in the real world, but I’d like a little more definition. I might end up repainting it before using it.

Mollog’s Mob

Praise Gork (or maybe Mork?)! New finished models, at long last!

I painted Mollog quite a while back in June, but didn’t have time to paint his minions. They ended up sitting primed until October, when I decided that it was time for them to get painted. I guess Bat Squig counts as my Orktober project?

As with Mollog, I pretty much followed the studio scheme, just altering the colors to be less purple. Because each of the minions has a different color scheme I painted them individually to completion before moving onto the next. This was great fun, and I once again tried wetblending and other more “freeform” techniques. This group was also a great exercise in how to tie the different color schemes together: even with the box art as reference I had to really think about the color choices. I actually ended up repainting the white on Spiteshroom, as the first iteration was too white! In the end I think I managed a cohesive unit, so I’m very happy with the result.

One minor thing that I kind of messed up was the bases, which ended up a bit lighter compared to Mollog’s due to too aggressive drybrushing. And speaking of bases, my word all those mushrooms took a long time to paint!

Silverlions Lord-Relictor

A couple of months ago I painted the Bloodsecrator from the AoS 1.0 starter set. Now it’s time for his Stormcast counterpart – the Lord-Relictor. This guy also counts for another entry in Azazel’s Jewel of July-August!

If you’re familiar with the original model, you’ll notice that I’ve swapped his head. I hate the stock helmet with a burning passion – what were they thinking with that ridiculous nose? As Space Wolves heads have been shown to fit very well on SC bodies (not least by the OG Silverlions by Banzai1000 / Thilo Engels), I promptly copied the trick.

For the most part, he was surprisingly enjoyable to paint. Before this model I’ve basecoated the armor on the Silverlions with GW’s Ironbreaker, which is a bit rubbish and requires a lot of layers. This time I used Vallejo Metal Color Duraluminium, which is a pretty close color match but covers better (two layers, tops!). After an Agrax Earthshade wash and a drybrush of Runefang Steel (VMC is too thin for drybrushing, I imagine), the result is indistinquishable from Ironbreaker. Well, there might be some difference, but not due to the different basecoat! Comparing the Relictor to my older models, there’s a bit more Agrax showing through, which is an effect I like. More definition and a bit more weathered look. I think it’s down to me getting on the “make-up-brushes-as-drybrushes-train” a little while ago. They really are great (and cheap!), and can produce a really smooth result. With the Citadel’s small drybrush I tended to go a bit too heavy. It’s still a good brush for small details though.

Speaking of details, they were the most fun part of the model. Once again I tried adding a bit of color on to the face, and while it’s not my best work it’s one of the better ones. I think I got the black beard relatively nice as well. For the hourglass I took some pointers from an ‘Eavy Metal tutorial in an old White Dwarf (#362). Went a bit overboard with the reflections, but I guess it’s fine for a first attempt. Also, I’m not sure if the blue-gray color is the best choice here, as it’s not repeated in other areas of the model. It certainly stands out, but maybe too much. Finally, after finishing the gold in my usual way, I thought I’d try enhancing the contrast a bit with some Guilliman Flesh. I think this worked out great, although it might’ve been beneficial to re-highlight some edges with VMC White Aluminium / Runefang Steel.

The only part that was a bit tedious to paint was his cape. Those SC parchments are pretty annoying to paint, at least the way I do it.. And as if that wouldn’t have been enough, I also had an Agrax mishap which left the whole cape glossy after the wash. Thankfully after some coats of matte varnish and Lahmian Medium I was able to fix it. Hopefully now that I’ve painted the Relictor, who surely has the most flappy bits, the rest of my SC models will be easier to paint!

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..

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˜€