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˜€

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..:)

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Thorns of the Briar Queen

Alright, my Nightvault collection is now officially started, as I’ve finished the first warband, Thorns of the Briar Queen!

As I was building these models I couldn’t help but admire the quality of GW’s new kits. Virtually no mold lines to speak of, and the dynamic poses of the models with only 1-3 pieces is astounding. Like all Nighthaunt, they are intricate, and sadly the ghost with the plank strapped to his arm lost a finger at some point. Well, he’s a tortured soul, so what’s one digit..

Painting the gang was mostly enjoyable, though more time consuming than anticipated. Painting the robes, the rusty metal and the black ghost bits was actually really fast, but the rest of the details (granted, there wasn’t an impossible amount of them) bogged me down a bit.

As per usual, I used schemes and recipes borrowed from hobbyists much more talented than me. The Nighthaunt scheme is from Jeff Vader, as already tried out on my Imperial Skaven. The rusty metal is from RobPaintsModels, which I also used for my Sepulchral Guard, with the crucial difference that I didn’t ruin it with an all-over wash of Agrax this time. While I love the dirty robes, I think my favorite part of these models are the roses, the red spot color brings some much needed contrast to the otherwise quite drab scheme. There’s a couple of details that I’m not too chuffed about: the white could’ve been smoother at places, and I didn’t quite know what to do with the diamonds on the Queen. They’re quite small details though, so I guess it’s OK..

I’ll also enter the Briar Queen and Varclav the Cruel (below) to Azazel’s monthly challenge, Jewel of July. They’re not big heroes, but as minor ones are eligible too, they’ll be my submission. I would’ve wanted to include Stormsire Cursebreaker as well, but that was a bit too ambitious. Well, I’ll just have to see if he’ll fit August’s challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’ll take a short break from painting now, and get back to building a couple of models. I recently got my ebay bits package, which allows me to start working on some new conversions that I’ve been looking forward to. Building might also be a little more tolerable than painting, as we’re feeling the heat wave in Finland as well..