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Category Archives: Make the dead glorious again

Make Khemri Great Again

Orbital ‘Halcyon and on’

I’ve finally finished this diorama:

The colours have come out slightly better without the background:

I was going to paint the pyramid blocks as sandstone, but noticed that numerous Tomb Kings pictures depict the stone as a kind of dark, volcanic rock – and thought that this looked suitably sinister:

The hieroglyphic pendant was made from oven-bake clay –  it should read ‘Khemri’ in hieroglyphics:

I’m going to revisit some of my previous models, as I think they would benefit from minor alterations. After that, hopefully I will start working on an Inquisitor-based project.

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Work In Progress (18) – making a display base.

Shelleyan Orphan ‘century flower’

I was going to mount the diorama just on a display board, but it looked a bit underwhelming – so I thought it would be worth experimenting with a more characterful base.

So, to make pyramid-esque stones – use a piece of insulation polystyrene (2.5 cm thick), and trace out a series of squares:

Begin to carve rock shapes:

I used a craft-knife for most of this work, along with a cocktail stick/sculpting tool here and there. The emery board was used to sand the polystyrene down where needed:

It’s best to turn the craft-knife blade sideways to make rough crevices:

Test-fitting:

When you’re happy with the polystyrene-carving, use a hot glue gun and attach it to the display board:

I also used pieces of wire to pin it, for extra stability – but this isn’t entirely necessary:

I shaped the foam slightly, to fit the shape of the desert-base:

Coat the polystyrene with either ready-mixed filler – or, as in this case, wood filler – which will give it a more realistic appearance, and make it harder-wearing; then add sand around the base of the rocks, using PVA:

 

If you intend to undercoat this with spray paint, then it’s important to give the polystyrene a wash with watery PVA; as the solvent in spray paint melts polystyrene. It’s also helpful to coat the sand likewise, as this makes it easier to paint:

Once undercoated:

I made a temporary mount, using some packaging foam/double-sided tape/masking tape to make it easier to hold while painting:

Basecoated – the red oxide paint was just dabbed in places which the sand hadn’t covered so well:

Ready to paint.

Make the dead glorious again (16)

Vashti Bunyan ‘Love Song’

It’s taken so long since the last update as I had a lengthy bout of painter’s-block. None of my original ideas for the freehand design on the cloak really worked-out, due to the heavy folds.

I had tried to make an arabesque pattern, which I didn’t really like:

Then went through the initial stages of various other designs; which didn’t look very effective, either:

So I decided to change approach slightly – instead of using an Arabian design, I used a Khemrian one instead; based on the Tomb Kings imagery:

 

I think it’s a shame that the Tomb Kings were discontinued by Games Workshop; so this serves a duel purpose, as a homage to the Khemrian monarchs. It also prompted me to change the name of the diorama to Make Khemri Great Again.

Step-by-step (give or take):

It’s not quite finished, but the rider shouldn’t take too long now. The display base needs some slight revisions; but hopefully the next update won’t take two months.

 

Make the dead glorious again (11) – painting dark female skin

‘Til Tuesday ‘Voices Carry’

It’s been a while since the last update, as I was ill for a couple of weeks. However, I’ve finished the majority of the Arabian rider – with just the freehand designs, flame, and an ornamental dagger remaining.

I thought it might be helpful to demonstrate how to paint dark female skin; as it can be a difficult effect to achieve. Dark skin is a challenge on miniatures, because if it’s too dark then it will lack definition – which is especially important when painting faces, as they are the focal point of the figure. If it’s too light though, then it defeats the purpose. Female skin is tricky in its own right, as it needs to be much smoother than the male variety, otherwise it looks too masculine.

These were the colours used:

Base – Cadian fleshtone + Mournfang brown (1:1)

Wash – i) smoke + black ii) smoke:

Unfortunately, I forgot to take photographs of the subsequent stages (I really was unwell); but to continue:

Layer i) – Cadian Fleshtone + Mournfang Brown (1:1)

Layer ii) Cadian Fleshtone + Earth (1:1)

Highlight by adding increased amounts of Ushabti bone to the above mix, over successive layers. Use pure Ushabti bone as a final highlight raised areas.

Glaze the whole skin area with smoke, which will unify and darken it slightly.

For eyeshadow use Cadian Fleshtone + Regal Blue around the eyes.

For the lips, basecoat them with a dark red; highlight by adding Cadian Fleshtone; then glaze with baal red.

The finished effect:

The skin required a bit of experimentation – and it’s still a bit paler than I hoped it would be; but I’m not too unhappy with the result. I had originally tried to paint the skin dark by using an ‘Eavy Metal guide – that is, rhinox hide, tau light ochre, and khaki – but it looked a bit ghastly:

I’m going to paint the cloak with a Mehndi design – but it needs planning out properly first.

Make the Dead Glorious Again (9) – Undead Horseman finished (give or take)

Fourwaycross ‘shimmer’

I’ve finished the undead horseman; though some aspects don’t look quite the way I want them to, so I may adjust these at a later date – but taking a break by working on something else often helps, as it grants you a bit more objectivity.

As it is, however:

To be honest, this was a real pain to paint; and I’m glad to put it aside.

I will begin painting the Arabian horsewoman now; though I haven’t planned it out fully yet. Hopefully it will prove a bit less arduous than the undead horseman did, though.

Make The Dead Glorious Again (8) – painting freehand banners

The Three O’Clock ‘A Day In Erotica’

Freehand designs can be a bit daunting. Rather than be put-off, however, if you approach them methodically, they become more straightforward.

It’s helpful to draw a sketch of your design before painting it. I would also recommend using a wet palette, as it delays the drying time of paint; and therefore makes it easier to maintain its consistency – as you don’t need to keep adding water to it at intervals. I find this especially beneficial when painting finelines.

Paint the background – in this case, red and white stripes:

This was shaded with a fairly generic black+brown wash:

Use dots to plot-out your design:

Add plot-lines to help structure the design:

The same method of dots/lines was then used to paint the overall emblem:

Fill the lines in with grey:

I used this coat for the body, but painted the crown, claws, and shield their base-colours (I painted the tongue last, as I wasn’t sure what colour to use at this stage):

Shade with the same black+brown wash as before:

Paint the details as you would any other miniature – highlighting and shading as normal:

I added a scroll:

Painting lettering is very painstaking, and I’m not especially good at it – my handwriting is dreadful; but it’s beneficial to begin in the middle, which helps you to space the letters out evenly:

Then paint the letters at the furthest edges:

Before painting the remainder:

At this stage, it’s good to tidy-up and sharpen any areas which need refining. The photo reveals a few misplaced brushstrokes, which I hadn’t noticed – so I will re-touch these. I finished by glazing the whole banner with a very thin layer of brown.

However, no matter how complex a design is, as long as you break it down into small stages, it should look effective once finished:

 

Make The Dead Glorious Again (7) – work in progress

Tears For Fears ‘Pale Shelter’ 

I’ve finished the skeletal steed/horseman – except for the banner (and its pole), as it still needs planning out properly; which is why the cloak hasn’t been attached yet:

I decided to make the object source lighting effect stronger, and to remove one of the horns from the helmet, as it looked a bit off, somehow:

The glow effect just requires stippling progressively lighter shades of green, with a final dotting of yellow+white in select places; and then being given a thin glaze of dark green to finish. I think it looks more effective – and to be honest, stippling is much easier than blending, given the heavy folds on the caparison.