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RuneBrush

Children of the Grave

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The beginning of last year (technically the end of 2016), I picked up a fairly solid chunk of Death models with the intention of putting together a Deathrattle army.  With the impending release of both Malign Portents and Legions of Nagash and the free gaming event up at WHW for the AoS Open Day, I thought that now was a good time to grab my necronomicon and see what I could do.

So my deadline for the army is 4th March and I'm away the beginning of February at the HH/Necro Weekender, so time is certainly not on my side (5 weekends) and I'm a notoriously slow painter!

Until Legions of Nagash come out I can't be 100% sure of the composition of the army, however we all know that whatever happens, your basic rank and file Skeleton is going to be a good place to start.  Just to complicate matters I had already decided that I wanted a slightly gothic Ray Harryhausen vibe rather than the increasing popular bleached bone or yellowed bone look

Thankfully I had a bit of a head start as I'd already assembled my 50 skeleton warriors last year! (two units or 10 and one of 30)  So over the weekend, I tidied up some of the mold lines I missed and had a run at trying to speed paint the basic skeleton.

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Both have been done using a slightly different technique - the one on the right took probably half the time but isn't discernibly different other than a brighter highlight on the skull.  The purple glow in the eye sockets would needs a little bit of lightning too (and they've not had highlights on the belts or rust/verdigris on the metallics)

After those successful tests, I decided to see how a larger number would go, so I grabbed a wooden baton and taped 14 models onto it (click for a much bigger version).

DThy29sWkAoodMG.jpg:large

I'm really quite chuffed with these (the two test models are on the right).  Overall they took probably a morning of work - I could do them quicker but I decided I'd also have a punt at making a video on how to paint one which meant I lost a bit of time waffling into the camera on my phone :S

I've started picking out the belts and similar which seems to be going fairly quickly, and am sticking with a very simple base > wash > edge highlight on the details.  I'll do the glow , rust and verdigris on all 50 in one hit as it means you know they'll all match and likely quicker too.

What this means is that I've another 34 left to sort - which I reckon I could just do in two batches of 17.  Frustratingly I need to remove all the magnets on the bottom of the assembled models as I used a hot glue gun to add them (stick with superglue folks).  I think though if I pull my finger out, and the UK weather is kind that I should be able to get all 50 painted up by the end of this coming weekend...  (though I do want to pick up another 10 skeletons to increase the big unit size)

So I've got two decisions to make - bases and the weapons

Basing

Probably one of my biggest weaknesses.  I either go overboard with the base putting in more work than the model and requiring pins and whatnot, or I go basic, as I have with my Bloodbound with texture paint and a few grass tufts which just has no real impact.

For speed, I'd like to stick with one of the GW Textured paint schemes as per the WD article (I photographed them all and popped them into a thread ages ago) - possibly using the red crackle as a base, but not sure.  I'm sticking with the purple glow, but thinking I might use Turquoise as the accent colour, so this rules out certain schemes.

Weapons

My test models were done simply with Leadbelcher, Agrax and an edge highlight which I plan to  rust up.  One alternative to this that I have thought of is doing brass weapons using the same technique I use for my Bloodletters.  Alternatively I could do a mixture (both techniques are the same amount of work).

image.png.43c0b329d1502f29edd3b39b9805f78a.png

 

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Made a bit of progress on the skeletons this weekend, though I was hoping to be a little further forward than I actually got (but got further in other areas).

I picked up an extra box of 10 skeletons and put them together giving me a total of 60 - a unit of 40 and two units of 10.  Rather than use the skulls from the box for these, I grabbed the GW Box o' Skulls and used some of them - they're amazing!  Much more variety than you get in the normal box and amusingly some of the non human skulls look OK too :)

I also put myself through the horror of assembling 10 black knights (and started on 10 grave guard but had lost the will to live by then).  Black Knights are not a nice model to assemble in comparison to more modern kits, they're as fiddly as you can get and nothing is square to each other, plus no option for sub-assemblies making them really awkward to paint.

Vent over (I feel better now), I've got the bone colour done on everything I have assembled - so that was 44 skeletons and 10 knights and am now onto picking the details out.  I originally had planned to do purple as my spot colour (matching in with the subtle purple glow), but after painting one realised that the colour just didn't pop very much, so fell back onto red (which I'd tried to avoid as my past 3 armies have been red...).  However it has a lot more impact and the coverage is better than the purple, plus I'm thinking of doing Neferata as my Mortarch so that ties in more nicely with her too.

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The unit of spear skeletons

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Two units of sword skeletons (spot the one with purple cloth), this is more accurate as to the colour - spears look a bit pasty

Skeletons-1-WIP2-4.jpg.f91e6e22b4b8ad12c079a1823c5cb4e7.jpg

 

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Took a lot longer than I had hoped, but all of the details on these are now picked out and have received a wash (Nuln for the red, Agrax for the rest).  I do need to do all of the highlighting, but happy to chalk these down as playable once I sort out their bases. 

I'm now half way through assembling some Grave Guard and have 9 Spirit Hosts and a Mortarch to put together.  Goal is 1500 points painted and ready to game with for the 3rd March - I have a lot left to do and I'm away at the HH Weekender this weekend O.o

Skeletons-1-WIP3-2.jpg.22d9dd766baf1b3e49a4d1230191ffab.jpg

Skeletons-1-WIP3-3.jpg.502bc7359dc33296491da8151a2bb9af.jpgSkeletons-1-WIP3-4.jpg.af528ca972f2407db07e1879530d7b03.jpg

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1 hour ago, Kramer said:

Looking very good and at amazing speeds as wel! 

I'm slightly scared by how quickly I've managed to churn these all out!  Far cry from what I usually do!

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That's a hell of an impressive start to an army, 60 skellies is a big task to take on but you are pulling it off nicely. Really like the finish you're getting and the little extra details from the Skulls kit make a huge difference. Looking forward to seeing more.

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4 hours ago, KnaveOfScribes said:

That's a hell of an impressive start to an army, 60 skellies is a big task to take on but you are pulling it off nicely. Really like the finish you're getting and the little extra details from the Skulls kit make a huge difference. Looking forward to seeing more.

Cheers!  I think I looked at it with the attitude that if I got the largest part of the force done I'd be more enthused for the rest.  Graveguard now just need heads and shoulders and I've started work on the first Spirit Host and come up with a rough idea on how to paint them (going for a purple ghost rather than green)

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Been a while since I've updated this as I've been doing quite a lot of assembly which I see little point on posting (we've all seen grey plastic before).  Since the last post I've assembled ten grave guard (and undercoated Leadbelcher), nine spirit hosts and this weekend assembled (and undercoated) Neferata on her Dread Abyssal.  Fundamentally that gives me well in excess of 1500 points (I think it actually gives me over 1700 excluding the Black Knights).

This weekend is the first full(ish) weekend I've had to crack into things as the weekend previous was the Horus Heresy & Necromunda Weekender (which consumes 4-days due to travel and adding a bonus day up at WHW), so I was determined to make the most of the time available - which I feel I did!

First up was the spirit hosts.  These received a home made wash of Dechala Violet (thinned 8 to 12 with Lahmian and a drop of flow aid) and then a careful shade of Druchii Violet (thinned 1 to 1 with Lahmian).

Spirit-Hosts-WIP1.jpg.dbb30fe972db0708e8ef603076d256f2.jpg

Up close these look amazing, from a distance or with daylight on them they look very pink :S  My intention is to mix up some blue and red glaze paint and give them an overall wash with that to try and bump up the purple colour (likely thinned a little bit).  The one thing I do wish I'd done was to add some details onto the bases.  Out of everything I've done so far these feel the most rushed (which in truth is because they were a bit!)

Next up I worked on my Wight King

Wight-King-1-WIP1.jpg.56d149777deb964881ca1e64f4d229c0.jpg

Overall fairly happy with him!  I don't think the greeny cloak clashes too much with the red, though if I were doing it again I'd likely mix some black into the base Incubii Darkness colour rather than relying on Nuln Oil (which I didn't do enough coats of).  The glowy eyes I ended up having to redo as the wash I mixed up ended up air bubbling and looked really weird - it's come out OK though which I'm happy with.

Finally I did similar on my Vampire Lord

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Again, fairly happy, despite this being a very old sculpt (and still metal).

Both the Wight King and Vampire need their fur pelts painted, so I need to do a bit of research on the best way to paint them.

I also managed to paint the little metal straps on the back of 60+ shields which had been undercoated Skavenblight Dinge and gave them a wash of Agrax Earthshade.  Next step for these is to turn them over and spray the front Leadbelcher, pick out the details in brown/Mephiston Red and then give the fronts a wash of Agrax.  It'll be a dull boring job, but if I aim to do them in batches of 6 identical shields I'm hoping they won't be too mind numbing.

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Cool stuff: a horde of skeletons like that is always a sight :) the heroes look great too.

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Managed to get some base colours down onto the Necromancer and a couple of coats of Agrax on him.  Sorry about the awful pictures, took them almost in the dark this morning :D  Going for a drab brown & grey finish which I know isn't really going to fit into the army overall but suits the model.  Oddly this is one of the least inspiring models for me, I'm not a fan of the tooth-missing hunched cliché Necromancer and already have ideas for a conversion.

Necromancer-WIP-1.jpg.085726debe5a1f69fae8520c32b67570.jpgNecromancer-WIP-2.jpg.320cfdfb9c02c9f6e010d2388849913c.jpgNecromancer-WIP-3.jpg.edb9a0a7f671507e8e2cf889a5216a42.jpg

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Managed to finally get the last few bits done on my force and got a few slightly better pictures (though I do need to get a better tripod, lights and larger piece of white paper :P)

Death-8.jpg.d2264038141876114c33ef846649381e.jpg

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Death-1.jpg

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They all look great!

I like your bone colour on the skellies - do you mind sharing the recipe?

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Skellies are looking great!  

And I've got to agree, the speed is impressive.  Can't wait to see this army develop.

I've always wanted a Vampire Counts/Death army, since 5th edition, but painting all the skellies scares me. lol.

But I'll echo LLV, I'd love a recipe as well, cause you know, eventually Nagash will come a calling.

Edited by Poly Knight
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That's a great-looking Vlad! A lot of the paint jobs I've seen for him seem to unbalance the composition of the model and make the wrong parts stand out, you seem to have nailed it here. :)

Can I ask why you went with the purple cloak on Neferata rather than keeping with the jade you went for on the other models?

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Always fancied an Undead Vampire army but the thought of hordes of skellies or zombies doesn't do it for me! I praise your dedication!

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20 hours ago, LLV said:

They all look great!

I like your bone colour on the skellies - do you mind sharing the recipe?

The bone on the skeletons was really simply, but did utilise an airbrush for speed. 

  • Base colour was Army Painter Bone out of a can - straight onto the bare plastic.  Army Painter sprays do take a while to dry so leave this at least overnight. 
  • Next up mix up a wash of P3 Battlefield Brown (a chocolate brown colour), you're looking around 1 part paint to 6 or 8 parts Lahmiam Medium (a tiny drop of flow aid could help too), cover all of the model but don't let it pool.
  • Now airbrush using P3 Menoth White Base - you're looking to airbrush from the top, sides and front, but never straight on (basically a strong Zenithal)
  • Similar again using P3 Menoth White Highlight - but just from the top and part of the front
  • Agrax Earthshade thinned 50/50 with Lahmian medium is applied over the whole model, glazing areas such as the skull and smooth areas and washing in between ribs etc
  • Finally Nuln Oil thinned 50/50 with Lahmian medium, applied just to the areas you want dark - cheek bones, eye sockets, under the ribcage etc

This will work with GW paints - Mournfang Brown, Ushbati Bone and Screaming Skull are similar.  The initial brown wash is purely to get some colour onto the model, you could use a dark green, or almost any colour to just give it an underlying hint of something.

6 hours ago, Tommy said:

That's a great-looking Vlad! A lot of the paint jobs I've seen for him seem to unbalance the composition of the model and make the wrong parts stand out, you seem to have nailed it here. :)

Can I ask why you went with the purple cloak on Neferata rather than keeping with the jade you went for on the other models?

Thanks!  I was really making it up as I went along, but very happy with how he's come out - though if I were to do the cloak again I'd apply a few more layers of Nuln oil towards the end (away from the spirits)

I didn't feel that the jade colour worked for Neferata's background, which has depicts her as being beautiful and having opulent and extravagant tastes.  I may well paint up Mannfred and Nagash at some point too, who would get the jade on their cloaks.

4 hours ago, syph0n said:

Always fancied an Undead Vampire army but the thought of hordes of skellies or zombies doesn't do it for me! I praise your dedication!

I know what you mean - I can remember getting the original Vampire Counts army book and really wanting to have a full Vampire army, sadly I didn't manage it at the time!

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Not much AoS progress recently as I've been assembling up the contents of the Forgebane box and painting up the Knight Amigers from it.  However with the date for Blackout now announced, I thought I'd better start thinking about adding the extra 500 points to my undead army...

So first up I've started to kitbash a second Vampire Lord but this one has been given wings.  Overall, pretty happy, the wings have attached a lot better on the back than I was expecting and are only going to need minimal filling/blending.  I may still glue a really tiny pin in them just to add a bit of extra strength.

The Inquisition rosary has been carved off fairly successfully (again just a bit of putty to smooth that out) and I need to find some kind of trinket to replace the grenades (most of the ones I'm finding are far too large).

Head wise I'm not sure currently.  Going to have to have a root around on some bitz companies to see if there's anything suitable out there - Coven throne vampire ladies are a possibility if I can find some.

The one thing I'm struggling on is finding an appropriate sword/weapon for the hand that normally contains the boltgun.  The vast majority of weapons are too large, or the hand too integral (the hands on this model are tiny by comparison and covered in armour). 

Really looking forward to getting this painted up with the red armour - will be nice to not have to rush it!

DaXuabmWkAIiVNC.jpg:large

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5 hours ago, Wolfman said:

One of the Sisters of Silence Greatswords is held in one hand. I believe it should match size wise. Link is to a US based bitz site for picture purpose. Bottom left arm in the picture.

http://www.hobbytitan.com/warhammer-40k-bits-horus-heresy-sisters-of-silence-executioner-greatswords-x6/

I've dug out Mannfred's sword from the Mortarch kit which may work too.  I'll see if I can get hold of a Sisters sword too, though it could be quite large - I think Sisters are quite a bit taller than Greyfax

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6 hours ago, RuneBrush said:

I've dug out Mannfred's sword from the Mortarch kit which may work too.  I'll see if I can get hold of a Sisters sword too, though it could be quite large - I think Sisters are quite a bit taller than Greyfax

Greyfax is actually a bit taller than the Sisters.

narrowgw1s.jpg

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