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Make The Dead Glorious Again (4) – painting bone

In Bed ‘Happy’ 

Given the complexity of this model, I thought it would be best to break it down into stages. So, how to paint the bone areas of the horse.

The main colours were Rakarth Flesh and Khaki for the bone colour itself:

To make a generic wash for the whole model, including the bones, I made a mix of black + smoke + tank brown; and added matt medium, as vallejo paints can sometimes be glossy:

Basecoat – rakarth flesh:

Apply the shading wash – several thin layers are better than one heavy application:

Layer – Khaki:

Highlight – Khaki + rakarth flesh:

Highlight – pure rakarth flesh:

I added chips and cracks using dark brown; then edge-highlighted these and the rest of the bone areas with rakarth flesh, plus a small amount of white:

It’s important not to use pure white on the horse’s bones, as the rider will be the focal point of the model, and so needs to be slightly brighter than the horse. An additional layer of highlighting will accomplish that.

Finally, glaze with a thin layer of smoke to unify the bone areas:

Done.

To be honest, painting larger models this way can be quite tedious, as each layer of paint is very thin; meaning that several coats of each colour need to be painted on. Drybrushing is a faster method; and will give a good bone effect, if you lack time/patience for painting lots of layers.

I did try this initially:

Unfortunately, with this being a heavily converted model, it had to be painted fully-assembled; which made drybrushing the recessed areas impossible.

I will make tutorials on painting the metal areas next; and then the freehand elements – which I still haven’t figured out yet.

Make The Dead Glorious Again (3) – how to use crackle paste

Sixpence None The Richer ‘love, salvation, the fear of death’

Following on from the last post, I thought it may be helpful to demonstrate how to use crackle paste. This can be very expensive – whether it’s sold as crackle paste, or crackle paint, so it’s best to shop around; but it creates much better effects than crackle medium.

Basecoating with textured paint aids adhesion – by its nature, crackle paste can flake off from sheer surfaces. So, I used red oxide paint here:

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Crackle paste:

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Apply with a spatula, or something similar, as the paste is very sticky and doesn’t apply well when brushed onto surfaces:

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Cover the base – I made slight variations in thickness, as the thinner the coat of paste the smaller the cracks are, while a heavy application results in larger cracks:

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As it begins to dry, cracks appear:

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Nearly there:

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Done – although it’s best to leave it overnight, just be sure. Once fully dry, it can be painted over:

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The base itself is pretty much finished, though I intend to mount it on a board when the diorama itself is complete:

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I was going to paint the eagle up as an albino bird, to contrast with the carrion crow; but thought that a phoenix would make for better symbolism, and look more colourful:

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The colours were based on the phoenix birds, from the portal of Nadir Divan-Beghi madrasah.

Make The Dead Glorious Again (2) – painting the base

Stretch Princess ‘Sugar’ 

You can see the materials the base was made from – namely sand, multi-purpose filler to create the dunes, red oxide paste to cover gaps, and chipped wood pieces (in this case taken from the local park):


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In order to ensure it would look warm, it was undercoated white:

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To paint the sand, these were the paints used:

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Basecoat tank-brown, then drybrush: 1) flat-earth 2) plague brown 3) zamesi desert 4) ushabti bone. Glaze with smoke to finish – then dust with pigments. I made a previous tutorial on how to do this here.

Crackle paste was used to create the dry river-bed effect:

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I forgot to take step-by-step photos of this; but it was Decoart paste, which you apply with a spatula (or something similar), leave to dry, then paint over. It was then brushed with pigments, to create the dusty effect.

 

Make The Dead Glorious Again (1)

Sleater-Kinney  ‘Start Together’

I’m a bit wary about introducing political themes into miniature-painting – partly because politics can prove deeply divisive; but also due to the question of taste.

However, I usually paint models in order to escape from the more unpleasant aspects of life – and these are in no short supply at present; but some things which are happening maybe shouldn’t be overlooked.

There have been proper artists who’ve used miniatures to explore serious themes – such as Jake and Dinos Chapman‘s various depictions of hell; Banksy’s Dismaland model of a crowded refugee boat; or street artists, creating comparatively light-hearted social commentaries.

This isn’t quite what I have in mind. I don’t really want to use Warhammer models allegorically; just to allude at a broader issue, in order to enhance a diorama. I figure that as long as the theme remains understated, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, rather than model a duel where violence is the central subject, I thought I would make a representation of courage, instead.

So, one model is an undead horseman, with a distinctive head of unnatural hair; aiming to make the land of the dead glorious once more:

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The other is going to be an Arabian woman:

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Araby remains under-represented among Warhammer projects – but I prefer the ambiguous artwork depictions Games Workshop produced, to the Dogs of War/Warmaster models; which tended to be a bit Disney-esque. I don’t want the finished model to resemble the more obnoxious, long-standing stereotypes surrounding Arabs and Muslims; but equally, not to be overly romantic, either. While the motifs of femininity and Islamic culture have obvious points of resonance at present, this is still meant to be a Warhammer project.

The Golden Magus in Dreadfleet is a good example to draw upon here – as he was both on the side of the Grand Alliance; but also a character with mysterious intentions. Less esoteric, perhaps, are Kay Nielsen’s illustrations of 1001 Arabian Nights; which were fantastical and ornate:

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I haven’t quite figured-out a base for this duel yet. A desert wasteland-theme seems the most fitting; but we will see.

Night Goblin Shaman (4) – Finished

Smashing Pumpkins ‘Jellybelly’

 

Painted in warmer colours than Night Goblins tend to be; and with non-metallic metals:

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I haven’t mastered non-metallics yet; but it’s something I intend to focus on this year. In the past, when I’ve not been happy with the finished effect, I tended to re-paint them with regular metals. But although they’re not rendered flawlessly here, I think it’s better to live with the imperfections – and to keep working at improving the technique.

 

Worth a look

Genestealer warband (Leskouzes)

Tutorial on painting non-metallic swords (thefantasyhammer)

Tutorial on painting freehand designs (figurementors)

Crazy Ivan (forgemechanicus)

Kharn work in progress photos (flameon)

 

Night Goblin Shaman (3) – work in progress

PJ Harvey ‘Cat on the wall’

Just a work in progress, post. I’ve finished the base, barring the possible need to tweak it once the goblin is finished:

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The spiders were painted using the same basic colours as the Necromunda plague zombies from last year. I may adjust the largest green orbs slightly, as they’re not quite looking right; but we’ll see.

 

 

Night Goblin shaman (2) – painting magic effects

Dead Can Dance ‘American Dreaming’

It took a while to devise a colour-scheme for the base that I was happy with. I had thought about making the object source lighting effect the main feature; but this would have dominated the whole scene – as you can see from the preparatory experiment:

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It would have meant having to paint the goblin shaman in exactly the same colour, probably in its entirety; which wasn’t really what I had in mind. So, I decided to keep the light effect a bit more subtle.

The base was painted as fairly standard mossy grey stone:

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These were the colours used to paint the glow effect:

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Object source lighting is, to all intents and purposes, extreme highlighting; designed to create an optical illusion. There are numerous methods for achieving this effect – in this case, simply blending up from dark to light; then smoothing the effect out through a glaze.

Basecoat – olive green:

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Layer – olive green + snot green:

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Layer – snot green:

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At this point, I applied a thin wash of olive green over the snot green areas, to give them a bit of definition.

Layer – snot green + scorpion green:

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Layer – scorpion green:

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For the final highlight, mix scorpion green + yriel yellow + white; dot this on the tips of each ball:

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Finally, apply several thin glazes of thraka green:

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Glazing will darken the overall effect slightly – if you want to make the finished effect brighter, you can reapply the final green highlight; but I wanted the green areas on the base to be slightly darker than the OSL effect I’m going to paint on the goblin, so that the goblin stands out from the base.

The colours haven’t come out so well, unfortunately, as my camera isn’t great at photographing anything dark – but on a more positive note, I decided that I will add a pair of spiders to the base: they have the right combination of creepiness and coolness.