Monday, 16 July 2018

40k Death Guard - Part 1

Recently I've been persuaded to sign up to a Warhammer 40,000 ("40K") tournament in early 2019.  Having very little experince or skill with the current (8th Edition) rules I've decided to start up a new army.  I reckon with about 8 months to go that'll be enough time to build the force and learn to play.  We'll see...

I've always wanted a Nurgle army and so I decided this is the time to get one.

Anyway, rummaging about around my lead (plastic?) mountain I discovered a Dark Imperium box set I'd forgotten that I'd bought some time ago, which includes some Nurgle troops.  

I've kicked off with three of these little fellows in a bit of a colour shceme test.  I'm happy with the results so this'll be the colour scheme of the army.

The first three.  I think the one in the middle is some sort of magic user.

Bells are a theme, as are what I think are censers. 

I may need to work on the fliying beastie's wings.  These fly-type wings are common int he army so i need to get them right.

Overall, I'm really looking forwards to building this force.  I like painting grubby, rusty stuff.

Here are the steps I take in painting the above miniatures.  Aside from the undercoat spray, all my paints are Games Workshop.  With all basecoats, I use thinned paints and several coats to build up the colour without obscuring the detail.

1. Undercoat
I always spray, and usually undercoat in matt brown.  Where a model has another dominant colour I’ll typically undercoat in that colour.  As these are mainly green I’ve used a green undercoat (matt green from Halfords).
So as not to obscure detail this goes on in a couple of fine coats.

2. The armour
I build this up from the base green in 4 layers.
Firstly I overbrush the armour in Death Guard Green.  This fills in most of the colour but leaves the deep recesses with the undercoat showing.
Secondly I give a heavy drybrush of Ogryn Camo Green.  This is actually somewhere between and overbrush and a drybrush.  I focus on the highlighting details and putting a lighter tone on “upper” surfaces.
Thirdly I give the armour a careful undiluted wash of Athonian Camoshade (dark green).
Once this is fully dry I finish with a drybrush with Ogryn Camo Green, picking out the edges, details and cracks.

3. The iron
For me these models have two main metals; “iron/steel” and “bronze”. 
For the iron I paint it fully rusted as befitting the whims of Papa Nurgle!  This is usually the weapons, chainmail, and mechanical pipework – anything that seems like it should be iron.
I built this up as follows:
Firstly a basecoat all the iron metal bits with Mournefang Brown.
Secondly I “blotch” and stipple on random patches of Skrag Brown.
Thirdly I “blotch” and stipple on random patches of Jokaero Orange.  These patches are generally smaller that the stippled brown patches.
Fourthly I give a drybrush over the whole metal area using Boltgun Metal.
Finally I wash the metal with undiluted Agrax Earthshade (brown) wash.
If this darkens it too much a final drybrush of Boltgun Metal perks it up.
I’ve recently acquired a pot of Typhus Corrosion technical paint, and will dab small spots of this on.  I think it’ll have a greater effect on larger surfaces like vehicles.

4. Bronze
I basecoat all the bronze parts with Sycorax Bronze.
Next I give them an undiluted wash of Agrax Earthshade.
Then I put small washes of Nihilakh Oxide in the deeper recesses and where water might naturally collect, giving a bronze virdigris effect.
Finally I drybrush with a mix of Boltgun Metal and Runefang Steel.

5. The flesh & “horns”
For these Nurgle models I’ve seen all sorts of colours n the internet, and green skin seems common.  However, for me, I intend to keep all the flesh, well...flesh coloured...albeit with sickly tones and bruised hues.  This may vary a bit on the Nurglings (which I adore – they’re so cute!).
Firstly I basecoat with Eldar Flesh.  This lays down a nice bright tone to contrast the dark armour (although it won’t stay that way).
Next I use an undiluted wash with Reikland Fleshshade.  This gives a reddish stain.
This is followed by a spot wash of Agrax Earthshade, and then another of Carroburg Crimson.  I use these more like glazes than washes, to give the skin a bloodied, and “dirtied up” appearance.  For spilled entrails, or wounds, I also use spot washes of Druchii Violet and Nuln Oil (black).  This can take a bit of time to blend it all up.
Its worth noting that these models are festooned with horns and other spiky mutations (gifts of the chaos god).  I’ve decided to paint these in the same manner as the flesh, but I add more Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil to the layers.  I also overbrush Abaddon Black towards the tips (as befitting diseased extremities).  This makes them subtly different in tone but not a completely different “horn” colour.

6. Cloth (white)
I intend the predominant colour of these miniatures to be the green armour, rusted metals, and sickly flesh.  In most cases I don’t like painting more than three main colours on a model but these also have various layers of cloth on them.  I’d considered maybe just going black with them, or other dark tones to take them out of the colour mix, however I don’t think it would work.  Mainly, such dark colours would overload with miniature with dull tones.
Looking on the GW “source” models (which are disconcertingly “clean” for rotting and pestilent troops) it appears these cloth parts are a mix of bright white and red.
So I decided to use these colours, but darken them down significantly.
How do you darken white?!  Here’s how I do it.
Firstly I put a basecoat of Celestus Grey.
Over this I layer a few thin coats of Ceramite White.  I’m not looking for a smooth finish here but something a bit more patchy.
Then I use various spot washes of Agrax Earthshade, Nuln Oil, and Carroburg Crimson to give a filthy blood-stained appearance.  This keeps the white accent colour but dirties it down to fit in with the overall tone.

7. Cloth (red)
Next I tackle the red cloth, which i want to be just a hint of red rather than bright.
I give this a basecoat of Khorne Red.
Over this I give two heavy layers of undiluted Nuln Oil black wash.
Finally I give a light drybrush of Khorne Red to re-establish some of the tone on the edges and upper surfaces.  This gives a very dark red/black cloth that, like the white doesn’t detract from the main colour trio.

8. Sickly smoke
Some of these models have sickly, pestilent smoke modelled onto them so I needed to come up with a way of painting it.  I felt that it wouldn’t look good in dark colours (I was intending to do a sort of dirty mustard brown/black) as again it would dull the overall effect.  I also considered going orange, but felt this would be too far from the established palette and tone (although orange is a good contrast for green).
Turning to the GW sources again, it seems a bright yellow/green is commonly used so I settled on this.  I’m still not sure about it an may amend to the dirty mustard gas effect if I really don’t like it.
However, the effect was created as follows:
Firstly I basecoated the smoke in Celestus Grey.
Then I simply glazed the smoke with Lamenters Yellow and Waywatcher Green glazes.  Several coats of both built up a nice strong tone, although the yellow may have been better over a pure white.

9. Details
Now comes the part that takes the most time, the details.  It’s difficult to say anything definite other than this is the stage when “it all comes together”.  Here I’ll add in the fine details, like pus spots, soot stains, and other bits and bobs to make the model “pop”. 

10. Basing
I use a granular sand mix which I actually collected from “the wild” (in that its real sandy/stony earth).
I spray the base brown, and then mark where the model’s feet will be. 
I spread PVA glue over the base (leaving space clear for the feet), dunk in the sand mix, and then seal with heavily diluted PVA.  Because I use “real” sand, I don’t need to paint the basing as it looks natural enough.
I then file away the pain from the bottom of the model’s feet, scrape clear where they’ll fix to the base and glue.  Job done!